rachel + tom // pearl @ the webb wedding

Filed in the ayres photo booth, weddings shot by on at

I’ve been so looking forward to sharing Rachel and Tom’s stunning wedding!  There was just so much to love about this day.  Rachel is an extremely talented artist, and DIY’ed just about everything you see in their wedding day details.  She designed their invitations, their table decor, their favors (yes, she absolutely DID hand paint 200 mini canvases to give to their family and friends) – the entire day has her artistic talent woven throughout.  Also, our new and improved photo booth, which we have now dubbed “Boothtastic” made it’s first ever public appearance at R and T’s wedding, along with a fun custom backdrop made of book pages, to complement their theme of books and art!  Definitely check out all the fun that was had in the booth!

Rachel and Tom so kindly took the time to share some beautiful memories of their day, along with some excellent advice about how to plan an incredible wedding.  Be sure to read their comments throughout the post!  :)

Rachel:  “Up until our wedding day I had spent hours making sure each detail was accounted for. Each moment of the day was scheduled and extra time was allotted into the day for possible delays. I felt a little crazy for being so OCD about the timeline but it absolutely paid off. The morning of our wedding I woke up feeling 100% relaxed. Anything that went wrong at this point was out of my hands and I was okay with that.  I knew that we had one shot at this day and I wanted to fully enjoy every minute of it. I started by making a beautiful breakfast for myself and my Co-Maids Of Honor. We ate and talked and laughed. We never, ever felt rushed or anxious. It was so important to me to soak it all in. The time I took  to plan and revise my Wedding Day Schedule was so worth it. Our day could not have gone more smoothly and I don’t think I could have possibly been more at ease.”

Rachel:  “I remember wondering what it was going to feel like to see Tom for the first time that day. We had chosen to do our all of our photographs before the ceremony (definitely one of the smartest decisions we had made). I wondered if I would cry, or laugh, or feel nervous. But I never ended up doing any of those things. When I saw him and he turned around and saw me I just felt… good. I felt great, actually! It was so amazing to be able to hug him and touch him and talk to him without anyone else around us. We wouldn’t have had that moment had we chosen to save the photos until after the ceremony. The best thing about doing a ‘First Look’ is that it didn’t in any way take away from what I felt coming down the aisle. In fact, I think it added to it.”

Tom:  “The first moment that sticks out to me has to be our ‘First Look.’ I will say that this was probably the only point of the day where I felt a bit nervous. Just thinking about how beautiful Rachel was going to look gave me butterflies, and then to think that in a few seconds I could see her… And as if on cue there she was to take my breath away. To say she looked anything less than stunning would be an understatement. I just remember gazing into her deep blue eyes and becoming overwhelmed with a sense of joy followed by peace to know she was soon to be my wife. It was so nice to be able to have that time just with her and relish in what the next several hours were going to be like. It was great to find comfort in each other and talk out any nerves that either of us may have had.”

Rachel: “We hired a good friend of ours to play Beatles songs quietly on guitar throughout the entire ceremony. Waiting to walk down the aisle was the only few moments of the day when I actually got a little nervous. I couldn’t stop thinking, ‘This is it. This is the moment that we’ve built this whole day around. This is the most important part. This is the moment that will change my life forever.’ And it really did change my life forever.

Rachel:  “VJ, our friend and guitarist, began to play ‘Across the Universe’ (my absolute favorite song ever) and my father and I stepped out into the aisle and I lost it. From that moment on, Tom and I both cried throughout the entire ceremony. Literally… we cried the ENTIRE time. We cried out of love for each other and excitement. We cried from the beautiful words spoken by our Officiant, Dennis DiGesare, and from the words spoken out of love by our family members. We cried thinking about how far we’ve come and how much further we get to go together. It was perfection. I will never find the right words to express just how much our wedding ceremony meant to us. It was beyond anything I could have ever dreamt of feeling.”

Tom:  “The other moment that I will forever remember has to be the kiss. This is something that is pretty difficult to describe. Now first of all let me start by saying the entire ceremony was perfect. It was so personal and real and was filled with so much emotion, but to me its pinnacle was the kiss. I remember right as our lips touched and we held each other, it felt like everything else around us disappeared and it was just the two of us. It was surreal. It was an affirmation of our vows and a seal on our promise to love each other forever. I remember then looking at my wife Rachel, who was crying as much as I was and her wiping tears off my face. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to duplicate the feelings I had that day.”

Rachel: “At the end of the ceremony, just before we walked back up the aisle as husband and wife, we hugged our parents. I had no idea until this point that both sets of our parents had been crying almost the entire time as well. I will never forget when my dad hugged me. He hugged me once, then my mom hugged me, then my dad hugged me again. The second time he would not let go. As I continued to hold on to Tom’s hand and hug my dad with my other arm, my dad cried bittersweet tears on my shoulder. It wasn’t until a guest yelled out, ‘Ya gotta let her go, man!!’ that we were able to continue up the aisle. Everyone had a good laugh after that.”

Rachel:  “As for my piece of advice, here’s the absolute most important thing I can come up with: make the ceremony your own. Sure, our reception was incredibly beautiful and I could rave about it for days, but the ceremony is the reason for the reception. Our union was so important to us. We wanted each piece to fully represent who are as a couple. We customized every single piece of our ceremony: Acoustic Beatles on guitar start to finish, a friend’s father as our officiant who gave the most beautiful sermon I’ve ever heard because he was able to personalize it, personalized readings and prayers read aloud by our loved ones, a gorgeous wooden cross at our altar, handmade by my father. So many other precious and incredible things happened during our ceremony and I will never forget any of it. When the day finally comes you will certainly feel engulfed in a love that is undeniably yours alone.  

Also, (I guess I’m giving two pieces of advice!) when it comes to choosing your vendors: only cut costs where it doesn’t count! Flowers die and get thrown out and all wedding gowns are beautiful on a blushing bride. However, you have one shot to get flawless photos and throw one heck of a party and at the end of the day, that is all you will have left: incredible photos and stories. Because of this, we could not be more thrilled with our decision to choose Ayres Photography. We chose them the same way we chose our other vendors, amazing people that we had an instant connection with, knew we could trust, get along with, and who we could feel their passion for their craft radiating from them. You can never go wrong when you go with your heart.”

Thinking about renting a photo booth for your wedding?? Click here to see why we think you totally should!

Wedding Vendors Include

Ceremony: Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum
Reception: Pearl @ the Webb
Hair: Del Monte Hair System and Day Spa
Makeup: Cheri Marie
Wedding Dress: Alfred Angelo
Bridesmaid Dresses: BCBG
Groom’s Look: Macy’s Bar III
Florist: Maureen’s Buffalo Wholesale
Cake: The Village Bake Shoppe
Music: Phenomenon Events


  • 3 Reasons Why We LOVE (and highly recommend) First Looks SAYS...

    […] “Tom and I always knew we wanted to do a First Look. I think it was more about the timing of the day than anything else. We were excited at the idea of being able to enjoy our cocktail hour with all of our guests and not having to rush through photos between the ceremony and reception, or making our guests have to go find something to do to kill time in between. We were, however, both a bit concerned that doing a First Look might take away from the ‘big moment’ of me walking down the aisle.  After all, we only got one shot at a wedding day and we wanted to be sure that we did it right. Luckily on the morning of our wedding, our First Look was absolutely perfect. To be able to see each other privately, to hug, to laugh, to share our feelings about the day and how our mornings went, to just have a moment together to breathe before the chaos of the day set in, was just everything. I honestly don’t think that my day would have gone as smoothly if we hadn’t had this opportunity. It calmed my nerves and really helped both of us to just relax and soak everything in, together. Once we got to our ceremony space we went our separate ways until it was time for our wedding to start. The second Tom left my side I felt emotion welling up inside me – a nervous and excited anticipation of what was about to happen. It didn’t matter in the slightest that we had just spent a couple of hours together, or that he had already seen what I looked like in my dress and veil. When those doors opened out to the aisle and I saw him standing up by the altar… words simply can’t describe that feeling. There is truly nothing that could have taken away from how we both felt in that moment. Needless to say, tears began flowing and didn’t stop until long after our ‘I Do’s’. Thinking back on everything now, nearly 4 years later, I am still so overjoyed that we did things the way we did.” – Rachel + Tom […]

  • Stacy Squires Photography SAYS...

    what a beautiful elegant wedding :-)