hege + mike

Filed in weddings shot by on at

WOW, OH WOW!! This was definitely an EPIC wedding! It was a total meshing of countries, families, and traditions, and IT. WAS. AWESOME. It was a loooooong day of us running around like crazy people, and at the end of it all, we were ready to drop; but, we kicked some serious photo-ass that day, and we’re pretty proud of the results. WHEW!! On to the photos! :)

Hege is from Norway, land of the natural-born supermodels. I arrived at her hotel room to shoot details before her family and friends arrived, so I got to meet them all as they filtered in, which was very cool. They are all wonderful people, just like Hege.  (Also, they all look like supermodels.  Is that possible?  Is everyone from Norway naturally gorgeous?  I think I’ll have to go there to find out for myself.)  Most of the time, I had no idea what was going on because everyone was speaking Norwegian; but it was easy enough for me to understand that they all love her very much!!

gorgeous Agape wedding gown and white wedding shoes

bride gets her hair done before her wedding ceremony

close up shots of wedding jewelry taken at the Marriott in Amherst NY
I love this shot.  It’s a little crazy-looking, and has an artsy-weirdness to it, but I think it might be my favorite “bride getting laced up” shot EVER.
bride gets her wedding gown zipped up by her mother and best friend

bride is dressed and ready to go to her ceremony
The bridesmaids opening their gifts from Hege…again, I had no idea what was going on because no one was speaking English, but smiles are universal.  :)
bridesmaids opening their gifts from the bride with a reflection of the bride in the mirror
Ben was hanging out with Mike and the guys pre-ceremony, at Mike’s parents’ house.  I LOVE this shot, Ben!!  It’s perfect.
the groom gets ready for his wedding ceremony at his parents home in Williamsville NY
This is classic, pre-wedding ceremony, boys being boys.  Do they look stressed to you?  I think not.
the groom and his groomsmen play a little pre ceremony football on the front lawn of his parents home in Williamsville NY
After leaving the hotel, Hege and the girls went to the church to finish getting ready in the Church Library.  I was loving this room for all of its character.  :)
the bride and bridesmaids finish getting ready in the library of the Lancaster Presbyterian Church

photo of brides purple and white bouquet taken at Lancaster Presbyterian Church

close up photo of flower girl baskets filled with pink rose petals
Hege and her sister just minutes before the ceremony – LOVE it!
the bride and her sister make some last minute adjustments right before the wedding ceremony
So, this is Lancaster Presbyterian Church, and these are the cutest flower girls there ever were.  This church has the cutest, coziest sanctuary I’ve ever seen in the most lovely shade of yellow; but, cute and cozy = Ben photo-bombing all of my aisle shots…oh well…
the flower girls make their entrance into the wedding ceremony at Lancaster Presbyterian Church in Lancaster NY
…totally worth it when you see the shot from his perspective.  WIN WIN WIN WIN!!!  AWESOME!
wide angle photo of a wedding ceremony at Lancaster Presbyterian Church in Lancaster NY

black and white wedding photo of a bride and her father walking down the aisle

the bride and groom share a moment of laughter during their wedding ceremony at Lancaster Presbyterian Church
Hands down, my favorite unity candle shot EVER.
the bride and groom light their unity candle

photo of bride and groom exiting the church while the guests blow bubbles
We took a whole bunch of family portraits on the front steps of the original, historic looking part of the church.  It’s such a cool building…totally classic Presbyterian Church architecture.  I loved this one of our fabulous bride and groom!
photo of bride and groom in front of Lancaster Presbyterian Church in NY
Then, it was over to Park Country Club, to take some more shots on the grounds.  If you’ve never been to this place…well, it’s amazing.  You pull into the driveway, and you’re, like, in awe of the building.  It’s massive, and totally fairytale-ish.  LOVE this shot!
wedding portrait of bride and groom taken on the grounds of Park Country Club in Williamsville NY

wedding photo of bride and groom on stone bridge at Park Country Club in Buffalo NY
This is definitely one of my favorites, too…Hege may not like it (knowing Hege the little bit that I do), but I think it’s STUNNING.
black and white wedding photo of bride and groom kissing

photo of bride and her bridesmaids taken on the back lawn of Park Country Club

photo of wedding party taken at Park Country Club
GORGEOUS!!!  Norwegian bride in a forest = WIN!!
wedding portrait of gorgeous bride at Park Country Club

wedding reception detail shots by Jenn and Ben Ayres

photo of wedding cake with draping flowers at Park Country Club

wedding photojournalism of bride and groom cutting cake
Reason number 1,001 to love Park Country Club…
wide angle photo of wedding reception set up at Park Country Club in Williamsville NY
We took so many cool ring shots in this place, as there was no shortage of inspiration; but this one, on the valet key board is my fave.  :)
close up macro shot of wedding rings hanging on a valet key board
Ok, so for those of you who have never attended a Norwegian wedding (this was my first one, too), let me explain.  Basically, there’s a SUPER long dinner with a zillion speeches.  Apparently, at a traditional Norwegian wedding, the dinner is like six hours long, so Hege and Mike sort of “Americanized” theirs, and made the dinner three hours instead.  There were many speeches (not a zillion), and they were all amazing; but the best part of all, was when the sing-alongs started.  This shot has so much meaning for me.  I don’t usually go into such great detail about a single shot, but for anyone who feels likes reading this, here it is.  If I remember correctly, this song happened right at the end of Siri’s speech.  She had a few people come up and join her, and they started singing for Hege and Mike.  Then, people just started getting up out of their seats and coming up to join in!!  The words were totally in Norwegian, so I had no idea what they were saying, but the whole scene was so powerful, that I started to get teary.  Then, (if you look through the glass of the door on the left side of the photo, you can see me), as I was standing there with this dazed expression on my face, this amazing woman came over and started translating the song into English for me (you can see her leaning in towards me).  I managed to hold it in while she was standing next to me, but as soon as the crowd dispersed, the tears just started pouring out of my face.  I couldn’t believe a.) how much these people love their country, b.) how much they love Hege and Mike, and c.) how unbelievably kind it was for someone to see me standing there and come translate the song into English for me!  I am crying as I’m writing this.  It isn’t very often that you get to see everything that’s good and wonderful about humanity in one room, and without actively seeking it out!!  I will never forget it.

On a much lighter note, Ben and I are both in this shot.  On the left door in the photo, you can see the side profile of a man’s face.  See it?  Yes, that’s unmistakably Ben.  His nose is not quite that long in real life, but that’s definitely him.  I kind of love that we’re both in this photo.

the brides friends from Norway get up to sing a song to the bride and groom

black and white photo of a Norwegian sing a long at a wedding reception in Williamsville NY
Hege and Mike’s DJ, Kevin McCarthy, took the time and effort to learn a Norwegian love song for Hege.  He got through maybe the first line, maybe, and everyone went flying out of their seats again to go up and sing along!  It was incredible!  For anyone who’s still looking for a DJ, definitely check out Kevin McCarthy – he’s not only a bomb DJ, but he also sings and plays the guitar.  He’s phenomenal.
the bride and groom join in with a Norwegian sing a long at Park Country Club in Buffalo NY

black and white wedding photojournalism by Jenn and Ben Ayres

the bride and groom stand up to kiss at their dinner table during their Park Country Club wedding reception
First dance adorable-ness!
the bride and groom have their first dance at Park Country Club

black and white wedding photojournalism by Ayres Photography
After the first dances, an AMAZING dessert spread was laid out.  This is called (I hope I’m getting this right) Kransekake, and it’s an almond-flavored wreath cake.  It looked scrumptious!  I’m sure it tasted even better.
Norwegian krunsekake
Some fun dance floor action…
close up shot of bridesmaid dancing with her husband

close up shot of bridesmaid dancing at Park Country Club
This is Park Country Club at night.  I always get annoyed with Ben for disappearing to take shots of the venue, but HOLY CRAP!!  This is an AWESOME shot.  If this had been my wedding, I would totally want this shot in my album.  WOWZA!
awesome landscape photo of Park Country Club in Williamsville NY at night

black and white wedding photojournalism of groom being hoisted into the air on the dance floor
I’m pretty sure this will be a cherished memory.   ;)
black and white photo of drunk groomsmen and groom outside of Park Country Club at night
We did manage to grab a few night shots (of course); this one was the unanimous favorite.  LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!
photo of bride and groom kissing in a brick alley at Park Country Club

Hege and Mike – what else can we say except, tusen takk!!! THANK-YOU a million times over for allowing us to be a part of such an incredible day!! We’re so glad you found us! We love you guys, and wish you all the very best that life has to offer! :)

  • Lynn SAYS...

    Beautiful pictures…can’t wait to see more! You beautifully captured the special moments of the day. Thank you for your help in making Hege and Mike’s day perfect!

  • Karina Tesaker SAYS...

    I’m totally in love with your photos! It’s undoubtedly the best weddingphotos I’ve ever seen. I wish I lived overseas so you could shoot my wedding, some day.. AMAZING!

  • Wendy SAYS...

    I think I love every single picture! I definitely can’t pick a favorite. Love the fisheye shots, esp. the one looking down the aisle!

  • Ayres Photography SAYS...

    Thanks so much, Katie! It was definitely an awesome wedding to shoot, and such an amazing couple to work with! It was super cool to learn a little bit about Norwegian culture, too..we had a blast! :)

  • Ayres Photography SAYS...

    Hege and Mike – you are SOOOOOO welcome! We’re very happy that you like them! More to come soon! ;)

  • Katie SAYS...

    That picture of the sing-a-long…and your description of the moment…is beautiful. It made me tear up. What a neat wedding to be apart of! Wonderful photos & love your work:)

  • Hege & Mike SAYS...

    Thank you for doing such an amazing job of capturing our day! We love the pictures and we can’t wait to see the rest:-) We love the night shot of Park, that is priceless! You guys are not only great photographers, but you are wonderful people as well and we are so glad we found you. Tusen takk!!