When Jackie and Paul sat down with us, and began to excitedly explain what they had in mind for their sunrise wedding ceremony and overall non-traditional wedding experience, we were all smiles. Even though they wanted to do something very different for their wedding, they still recognized how important it was to have really good photos to document the day, and that made us smile even more. We had a brief moment of non-smiling when we realized that we would have to get up at 4:30am to photograph a sunrise ceremony, but it was totally worth it. There is something very sacred about those pre-dawn hours, when the world is quiet and still…it seems a very fitting time of day to promise your life and love to someone. It was truly a beautiful, heartfelt, intimate wedding ceremony. Jackie and Paul followed their hearts when planning their wedding, and did exactly what they wanted to do, and for that we applaud them. Wedding “trends” come and go, but making your love for each other the true focus of the day will never go out of style. :)
We arrived just as dawn was starting to break. At first, it was just us, Jackie and Paul, and Michelle, the officiant. Then, other wedding guests started to filter in. This was the first photo I took upon arriving at Island Park. I am RARELY up at that hour; the pre-dawn light is absolutely stunning.
Our next stop after brunch was the Starbucks on Main Street in Williamsville. Jackie and Paul spend a lot of time here together, and really wanted Starbucks to be part of their wedding day. (Unfortunately, our cameras were not welcome in Starbucks, but I did manage to grab a few shots on the DL). We did a few shots out in front of the building, too!
After Starbucks, we headed downtown, and spent the next few hours just walking around, and taking awesome shots to commemorate the day. We had a great time! I asked Jackie and Paul to share a little bit about what made them decide to go the non-traditional route with their wedding, and how they came up with ideas. This is what they had to say:
“Our planning was the culmination of several casual discussions taking turns describing our perfect wedding. We both agreed that we wanted a small non-denominational ceremony with family and close friends followed by a casual ‘non-reception party’ on a warm night. At Jenn and Ben’s suggestion, we met with Michelle Snyder to officiate and could not have been happier with her ideas and kind words. We tried to represent our personalities and relationship in every part of the planning process. Breakfast was Paul’s idea – we frequent the Pancake House a few weekends a month to connect and relax after a long week. We wanted to share that feeling with our families. Sunrise was a spinoff of that idea; the park was chosen based on the breakfast location. Sunrise was a wonderful theme of ‘a new beginning’ – we each experienced personal struggle and loss in the years before our marriage. We started a new chapter that day, not only in our relationship, but also in our individual lives. Everything else fell into place: orange shirt & cowboy boots – very Paul. Fun non-traditional dress – very me. Silly but informational invitations, brightly colored flowers wrapped in the Super Mario Theme Song, poking fun at ourselves with a coffee toast, walking to breakfast, having a small casual party at night, planning a wedding in two months and trying our best to go with the flow and have fun – very us.”Jackie was also kind enough to share some wedding planning wisdom. Here’s what she had to say:
“A close friend gave me this advice and even though it seemed very obvious at the time, it’s something to take to heart during the entire process and on the actual day. It’s YOUR day. It’s not your parents, your best friends, your siblings, grandparents…it is between two people to express their love for each other with people close to them. Planning can be discouraging at times; if you keep in mind why you love each other and why you are planning your wedding a certain way, you won’t be lost or overshadowed by unsupportive or well meaning people. You can’t please everyone, but as long as you know that you and your spouse-to-be are happy, that’s all that matters in the end.”
Jackie and Paul – thank you so very much for choosing us to document your wedding day! You guys are truly awesome people, and we had an absolute blast working with you! Cheers to a long, happy life together!! Much love, J + B :)