melissa + matt

Filed in weddings shot by on at

I’m going to just go ahead and say that this post is heavy on the detail shots, and that would be because the details of this wedding (from start to finish) were just fabulous. Melissa and Matt got married in Lily Dale, and if you’ve been there before, then you probably have some clue as to why I could not stop taking detail shots. I swear that place is magical…it seems like every tree, every plant, every rock, leaf, ray ‘o sunlight, and random creeping critter is completely enchanted. I might just be imagining it, but I don’t think so. Everything seems to be just a smidgen more beautiful there than it would be anywhere else. :)

Melissa and Matt’s actual wedding ceremony was at Inspiration Stump, which is where all types of ceremonies that take place in Lily Dale are held. I had been to Lily Dale before, but I had never taken the trail back into Inspiration Stump before, and I have to say, it, too, was quite magical.

inspiration stump sign at Lily Dale wedding
The groom-to-be, getting the wedding bands prepped for the ceremony…
the groom to be gets the rings ready for his wedding ceremony at Lily Dale
You walk about halfway down the path to Inspiration Stump, and you see a bunch of different signs to go in other directions…like, this trail off to the right, for example.
woodland trail sign leading to Inspiration Stump at Lily Dale
Then, there’s this sign at the entrance to the main trail.  I loved that it was just a giant piece of tree.
The Leolyn Woods sign at Lily Dale
This is the “aisle” or the trail to get to Inspiration Stump, which Melissa and Matt lined with these awesome picture signs – LOVED it!
the trail to Inspiration Stump at Lily Dale used as an aisle for a wedding
MORE DETAILS!!!  Sorry, but I did give fair warning.  Instead of bubbles, or confetti, or any of the typical things used to make a grand exit, Melissa and Matt used ribbon streamers!!  They were also used to decorate the benches for the ceremony…dual purpose – double WIN!!
ribbon streamers given to guests at Lily Dale DIY wedding

floral arrangement for wedding ceremony at Inspiration Stump in Lily Dale
Another thing I LOVED about this wedding?  Melissa wore a teal dress instead of white, simply because she wanted to, and that’s pretty cool.  :)

This is her dad walking her down the “aisle.”

who says all brides have to wear white dresses
The ceremony was absolutely lovely, although incredibly difficult to shoot due to the fact that all of the wedding guests stood in a circle around the couple.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the intimacy of the circle thing; but, it was definitely tough for Ben and I to take shots without each other in them (as evidenced by the following photo where you can see me and my big fat camera in the background – other than that, I LOVE this shot).
black and white wedding photojournalism of wedding ceremony at Lily Dale

black and white wedding photography of bride and groom saying their vows at Inspiration Stump

an eager bride tears up while saying her vows

black and white wedding photo of an emotional wedding ceremony
I wouldn’t normally post two shots of the “first kiss,” but I liked both of our perspectives so much, and I refuse to choose just one.  So, this was from Ben’s angle…
wedding photojournalism of a bride and grooms first kiss
…and this was from my angle.  LOVE.  :)
black and white wedding photojournalism of a bride and grooms first kiss

close up wedding detail shot of ceremony programs
The ribbon streamer thingys in action during the walk back up the “aisle!”  Aren’t they so cool?  Yes, I know Matt’s face is covered up by ribbons, but I still love the shot.
bride and groom walk back up the aisle while guests wave handmade ribbon streamers
After the ceremony, we had a bunch of time to take some wedding party and bride and groom shots.  I’m in love with this next one.
black and white wedding photography by Jenn and Ben Ayres
Actually, I’m going to just shut-up through these, because I love every single one of them, and there’s no point in me saying so before and after every frame.  You can imagine me saying it every time as you look through them…LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this one, LOVE that one…just use your imagination.  ;)
bride and groom kiss in the magical woods surrounding Lily Dale

a bride and groom kiss in the magical woods surrounding their Lily Dale wedding

gorgeous black and white portrait of a bride

portrait of a groom on his wedding day

a bride and groom and their wedding party pose for a picture in front of a tree in Lily Dale

black and white artistic wedding photo of a bride and groom holding hands under a weeping willow

bride and groom pose for a picture with serious faces

black and white artistic wedding photo of bride and groom looking in different directions

wedding photo of a bride and groom kissing under a weeping willow tree

black and white wedding photo close up of bride and groom

black and white wedding photo of bride and groom holding hands next to a weeping willow tree in Lily Dale
Ok, I’m back.  We thought this last one of Melissa and Matt under the Lily Dale sign was a good way to end the bride/groom set.  If you’ve never been to Lily Dale, you need to go RIGHT NOW.  It’s an amazing place all the time, but it’s an especially amazing place for something as special as a wedding.  It was such an awesome experience for us to shoot there.
bride and groom pose for a picture under the sign at the entrance to Lily Dale community of mediums
Melissa and Matt’s Wedding – PART DEUX

The day after the whole Lily Dale ceremony/awesome photo session, this couple had a back yard reception that was a DIY-er’s dream come true.  Melissa and her mom (and a whole bunch of other family and friends) did all of the decorating, made all of the food, and organized the whole event.  We got there before any of the guests arrived, and we were like, “WOOOOOOOOWWWW.  Detail heaven!”  Having said that, there’s a whole bunch of detail shots in this section, too.  They, were just too good to leave out.  This will hopefully give an idea of what the back yard looked like.  There were cute little tables like this one throughout the whole yard, and gorgeous flowers EVERYWHERE. As far as casual, back yard receptions go, this one was pretty classy. :)

photo of a very nice back yard wedding reception on a budget

details shots from DIY back yard wedding in Tonawanda NY
This was a pretty casual reception, so we really just shot a bunch of candids, which is what we love to do anyway.  :)

Here are just a few of our favorites…

candid wedding photo of the bride talking with guests

black and white wedding photojournalism

candid wedding photo of the groom talking with some guests at their backyard wedding reception in Tonawanda NY

black and white candid wedding photo of bride laughing with one of her guests

Melissa and Matt – we can’t thank you guys enough for choosing us to be a part of your AWESOME wedding!! We really, really enjoyed every part of it. You guys are such an amazing couple, and we wish you both all the best!! :)

  • Heather SAYS...

    Beautiful! I have to ask, how were you able to have a wedding there? I always thought it would be great to do this, but I didn’t know what steps I would need to take to have my wedding there. Please give advice!! Wedding is happening this year for me =)

  • Marsha SAYS...

    These pictures capture the spirituality, warmth, and whimsy of a wonderful weekend celebration.

  • Paul SAYS...

    Beautiful wedding and pics dude… congrats!

  • Melissa SAYS...

    I’m so happy with our pictures! I love the grouping of the smaller details of the yard. You both have such a great eye! The shots of Lily Dale capture so much emotion. I can’t say thank you enough!!