FIRST WEDDING OF 2012!!!! WOOOO HOOOO!!!!
Life can be so crazy sometimes! I’ve been trying to get Stacy and Ben’s wedding blogged all week, but crazy things just kept popping up and demanding my attention. Every year, I tell myself that we’ll have an “off-season,” during which I can relax and recharge for the following wedding season, but it never seems to come! (This might sound a tad like complaining, but it totally isn’t – I’m so very grateful that we’re as busy as we are all year round. It’s amazing.) So, here we are on Friday night, and I’m finally getting to share this incredible Winter wedding, featuring two of our favorite people in the whole world. Stacy and Ben were kind enough to share their Top Five Favorite Wedding Day Memories with us, so I will be sharing those throughout the post! :)
I started out the day with Stacy and the girls at Bliss Salon in North Tonawanda. Everyone was so laid back and stress free! It was wonderful! Chelsea and Jill did an absolutely fabulous job on Stacy’s hair and make-up. She was (and always is) STUNNING!!Then, we headed back to Stacy’s parents’ home to finish getting ready! Stacy and Ben had been remodeling their house throughout their entire wedding planning process. Can you imagine?! If you’ve ever remodeled a house, OR planned a wedding, then you know that doing both at the same time would be difficult to say the least; but, these two managed to pull it off flawlessly. They are super-heroes!! Which brings me to Stacy’s first Top Wedding Memory!
Stacy: “Not a wedding day favorite, but a ‘wedding favorite’, is the rehearsal dinner. Leading up to the wedding we had been working on a kitchen/family room addition at our house (which is the house my Dad grew up in) with a general renovation to the rest of the home. The goal was to have the rehearsal dinner at the house and have Ben’s Mom cook! Many nights till 1am with my parents working on getting things “livable” in the weeks and days right up until the rehearsal, and we made it! Being able to have our closest friends and family for the rehearsal dinner as the first event in our ‘new’ home meant so much to me! Ben’s Mom cooked an amazing amount of food and it was all so delicious, Cajun style and Dino BBQ recipes! (A major staple in the relationship!)”Stacy: “My sisters are a huge part of my life and having them both there with me for the weekend was great. Leading up to it, texting and skyping with my sister from out of town meant so much to me. I knew she wanted to be here helping so badly, but it did just as much hearing from her then if she would’ve been here hole punching snowflakes! My sister here pulled off all the final details and kept everything on track, really it wouldn’t have all ended up being so perfect without her! The time doing the last minute things with Allie was priceless. Having my whole family together was just like being a little kid again growing up! Knowing how much they all love Ben means the world to me!” This little darling girl is Stacy’s niece, Bella, and it is crystal clear that she is the apple of Stacy’s eye. Taking time to dress Bella’s dolly for the wedding was an important part of the morning! ;) How cute is Bella’s nail polish?! LOVE!! A few quick family photos, and we were off to St. Paul’s Lutheran Church to get married! Ben started out the day with Ben and the guys at Stacy and Ben’s newly remodeled house! Ben is quite the musician, and music played a large roll in the theme of their wedding. I love their music poster Save the Date, and ticket stub invitation! So cute!! I am almost never present when the guys get ready, so it’s always interesting for me to go through Ben’s shots and find out what kind of mischief the boys were up to before the ceremony. :) Here is one of Ben’s Top Five!!
Ben: “Spending the last moments of bachelorhood with my best friends eating two cheeseburgers and two small fries while chugging champagne for breakfast.”The ceremony was absolutely gorgeous. This was our first time shooting at St. Paul’s Lutheran, and we were loving it. What a pretty church!
Stacy and Ben were so much fun, so laid back, and super easy to work with, which made for an awesome day all around! They only had one request – to stop by the Creekview Restaurant in Williamsville for a drink at the bar with their wedding party. Well, it was a tight squeeze, but we all managed to fit in the bar area, and I grabbed a few shots of the action, while Ben went ahead to Park Country Club to grab detail shots before everyone arrived there. :) It was definitely below 30 degrees that day, but Stacy had planned a Winter wedding for a reason, and really wanted snowy photos! The three of us braved the freezing temps for just a few minutes to take a few portraits outside of the restaurant. I love the way they turned out!! We love shooting at Park Country Club! It’s such a beautiful space, and Alisa and her team do an amazing job of making each and every wedding totally unique and different for every couple. With the amount of times we’ve photographed weddings at Park, you would think that they’d start to look similar after a while, but that’s never the case. They are all completely different, and totally elegant and lovely! In keeping with their “music” theme, Stacy and Ben had a large framed “concert poster” for their guests to sign, guitar pics with their names and wedding date, and VIP passes for their wedding party to wear! They also kept the decor seasonal with pretty pine cone centerpieces, and their adorable snowball fight cake topper! Everything was so perfectly “them.” As I mentioned previously, it was frigid that day, so getting some outdoor snowy photos of the wedding party in front of Park was a very quick procedure indeed. Fortunately, this was a super fun group, and they just laughed and laughed and laughed to keep themselves warm!
A few more Wedding Day Memories!!
Ben: “The small things that make us us were also enjoyed by everyone else there.”
Ben: “Having our niece Bella at dinner making us laugh, and also confusing my family into thinking we already had a kid for 3 years that they did not know about until that day.”
Stacy: “Coming into the reception to ‘Pride & Joy’ and dancing with Ben. That moment felt like it could’ve lasted forever; it’s when everything stood still and when everything felt right. I knew I was all smiles, it was 100% US!”
Stacy: “Leading up to the wedding our niece, who lives in Baltimore, kept telling everyone that she was going to sit next to Ben at the wedding and everyone kept saying ‘No, you can sit with Grandma and Grandpa and then dance with Ben after dinner.’ Well…Bella sat on our laps during dinner and it made the day for both of us! She kept the cocktail hour so relaxed for us!! As soon as she left is when everything turned into a whirl wind!”The dances were all so wonderful, and so full of emotion. There are so many more that I wanted to include! After Stacy and Ben danced with their parents, Ben grabbed his guitar and played and sang a song while Stacy danced with his Grandfather and then with her Great Uncle, Don. It was so truly moving to witness. Luckily, I am a trained professional whose photographic skills are not compromised by tears streaming down my face. ;)
More favorite wedding day memories from Stacy and Ben!!
Stacy: “Dancing with Ben’s Grandpa and my Great Uncle Don while Ben played the guitar and sang the Jamie Johnson song ‘In Color.’ Both of my Grandpa’s have passed away and they were both such a huge part of my life. It meant so much to me to be able to dance with my Uncle Don. Plus, he is the best dancer I know, he actually has moves!! The first time I met Ben’s grandparents I knew that Ben and I were the same people all the way through! It was by God’s grace that Ben’s Grandpa was even at the wedding. He has been going through various bouts with lung cancer and a few other illnesses, but being at the wedding was his goal, to see his 1st Grandson get married…and dammit he made it! He walked up to the dance floor, threw his cane on the floor and hung on to me for dear life. Singing the words that fit him so well and our families so well, it was perfect! The wedding was about that – our families and friends and the people Ben and I are because of everyone who has touched our lives.”
Ben: “When my Grandpa threw his cane on the ground.” :)
Ben: “The feeling of happiness from friends and family who came to celebrate.”This dance floor was insanity!!! What a hoppin’ party! Kevin McCarthy knows how to keep a dance floor exciting all night long! If you can get him (he has limited availability, so get in touch with him soon!!), you won’t regret it for one second. (FYI: You don’t want to miss the second to last photo in this set of the man who apparently has double-jointed hips. Yes, that is his leg. It is officially one of my favorite dance floor shots of all time!) Due to the bitter, horrifying cold, we set up our night shots in the upstairs of Park. I love the way these turned out, and I love that my husband is a genius with lighting. That is all. <3
And, last but certainly not least, here’s some amazing wedding planning advice from one amazing couple:
“Do each little thing for the right reasons…do it because it makes you smile. Treat the endless wedding rules like they are all guidelines, if you like something and it defines who you are as a couple then do it! P.S. Remodel your house; you’ll never be stressed about the wedding!
The most overwhelming part of the whole wedding planning/wedding was the next day. It was about 8pm and we finally sat down to open our cards, it was so amazing the generosity we were literally in tears reading the cards. We are so blessed to have such amazing friends and family and we thank God for all the countless blessings in our life! Oh yeah, and of course…it snowed!!!”
Stacy and Ben – thank you so, so, SO much for choosing us to be a part of your wedding day! It was such a genuine celebration of love and joy! You are both such amazing people – so warm and kind to everyone around you, and we are so very grateful to be able to call you our friends. Much love, J + B :)