alyssa + michael // Wanakah Country Club Wedding

Filed in weddings shot by on at

Alyssa and Michael’s wedding was classic elegance at its finest. Every detail they chose was so beautiful, and Wanakah Country Club did an incredible job of bringing it to life! (Side note: I absolutely LOVE this venue. If you’re still in the process of looking, it’s worth your time to go check it out!)

I loved the way A and M really built their entire day around their family and friends. It was the perfect fit for us, because we’re all about capturing the emotion and connection of the day, and there were plenty of opportunities for us to do what we do best. As you scroll through, you’ll be able to see and feel how much these two value the people in their lives. It was such a special day to be a part of!

We always ask our couples to share a little bit about their story and the day as they experienced it, and it’s so special to read through the words they send over. I honestly think it makes the whole post! I love what Alyssa and Michael shared and I know you will, too!

Alyssa: “We met while attending SUNY Buffalo Law School together. We were ‘class representatives’ for our respective law school classes on the Student Bar Association (SBA), which is like student government. I started to notice Michael about a month in to working on SBA together. Michael said that he noticed me too, but he did not ask me on a date. Various law school student groups regularly hosted ‘bar nights,’ where everyone would get together at a bar to have fun on a Friday and I told some of Michael’s law-school classmates to bring him to the bar night because I thought he was cute. Michael says he was surprised to hear this. He came to the bar night and we hung out together all night. Michael does not drink, while I certainly enjoy a few adult beverages. Because I was nervous to finally be hanging out with my crush, I may have indulged a little bit too much in the boozy beverages. Michael was very gentlemanly anyway, and drove me home that night. The next morning I was VERY surprised to see that Michael was calling me. He asked me to come over for dinner the next night, which I was very happy to do. He is a very healthy person, and he made me ONLY roasted vegetables. He says that it was very good that I was happy to have only vegetables, since that’s his favorite meal.

Alyssa: “Our engagement was not TOO much of a surprise. Michael and I dated through law school, and eventually moved in together. After Michael finished law school, however, he moved downstate to the New York City area to clerk for a Federal Judge. I stayed behind to work at a Buffalo law firm. We were apart for almost a year, visiting each other regularly, but we both agreed it was not enough. Michael knew that I wanted to get engaged before I made the move downstate to be with him. In June 2017, we met in Vermont to visit Michael’s 89-year-old Grandma, Joan. She is a very straightforward woman, and she asked us directly whether we would be getting married in time for her to be alive for our wedding. Joan immediately offered Michael a very beautiful diamond to use for an engagement ring and their conversation took place in front of me. I left that weekend in Vermont knowing that the next time we were together, we would likely get engaged. Our next visit was at Michael’s parents’ New Jersey beach house for the Fourth of July weekend. I was very excited for this particular trip to New Jersey. A little after I arrived at the beach house, Michael literally asked me ‘when do you want to get engaged?’ and I answered, ‘immediately.’ He asked me to walk with him to the beach. We were both nervous. Once we got to a spot on the beach where Michael felt was sufficiently secluded, he proposed! We took a selfie a few minutes afterwards, which we used for our Save the Date. Less than a week after the proposal, I received a job offer to work in New York City, and less than a month after the proposal, I moved downstate to be with Michael again FINALLY!

Alyssa: “Our ‘first look’ is a group of moments that I will never forget. I remember physically shaking as I walked up to Michael and doing a lot of deep breathing. After he turned around we cried and kissed and hugged, the nervousness that I had before complete evaporated.

Alyssa: “I found my dress at a store called Marra Bridal Boutique in Oceanside, New York. My parents were visiting us on Long Island for the weekend, and we had planned to go shopping together. I fully intended to shop for and buy my dress in one day because I didn’t want to it to be a long drawn-out process, and that plan came to fruition. I tried on so many beautiful dresses that I loved, but when I tried on THE dress, my Dad teared, and that was enough for me. The dress hardly needed any alterations and I absolutely love it’s classic simpleness!

Michael: “I want to spend the rest of my life with Alyssa because she has a great attitude towards living and is the most caring person I have ever met. I feel like she always has our best interests in mind and inspires me to the best person I can be.

Alyssa: “(When) I saw my Dad for the first time. He looked completely overcome with emotion, like he couldn’t believe his baby was a bride. It was so sweet to see his face like that, and that will certainly be a moment that I cherish forever.

Alyssa: “I loved everything about our ceremony. We had perfect beautiful weather and a gorgeous view. Michael wrote the ceremony, which was so meaningful to me. I’m so glad we said personalized vows to each other. I loved telling Michael, in front of everyone who we love, that I will love him forever.

Michael: “Having both of my Grandmas there to watch me get married is something that I will cherish forever. They have been very important to my life, and I’m so happy they were there for that day. Another very special moment for me, was holding Alyssa’s hand at the alter during the ceremony and feeling like it was just us on that lawn promising to love each other.

Michael: “It felt very symbolic and important to me when I broke the glass after our ceremony. I remember thinking that everyone was relieved that I broke it on he first try!

Michael: “I will never forget walking down the aisle after we were married and seeing all of our friends and family cheering for us and showing their support and love.

Alyssa: “Michael and I both value health, happiness, and the time that we have to spend with our family and friends doing the things we love.

Alyssa: “Michael and I danced to ‘Can’t Help Falling In Love With You’ by Elvis. We both think the song is a beautiful, classic, love song, and we truly couldn’t help falling in love with each other!

Michael: “My mom and I chose to dance to ‘You are the Sunshine of My Life’, I think because we are the sunshines of each others’ lives.

Alyssa: “My dad and I danced to ‘That’s My Daughter,’ which I sent to him to listen to along with several other song options for our dance. He loved that one because he told me ahead of time that he didn’t want anything sappy. I think the song ultimately was perfect for us because it signifies pride, and my Dad has a lot of that for me.

Alyssa: “I want to spend the rest of my life with Michael because we make an amazing team. He is so supportive of everything I do, and I try to be the same way for him. It sounds corny, and I know that it has been said a million times before, but we balance each other perfectly. I have never met a better person. He is kind, generous, caring. He will make an amazing father to our future children. He is everything that I want my husband to be. He makes me better.

Alyssa: “I will never forget the feeling of pure joy that comes with being surrounded by all of the people who you have ever been close to in your life, and knowing that they’re all there for you and the person who you’ve chosen to spend the rest of your life with. I get emotional thinking about it now. I truly believe and feel that our wedding day had an extra special feeling of love, and that was because of our wonderful guests.

Michael: “I loved every second of dancing with Alyssa and all of our family and friends to really great music by a really great band!

A piece of advice from the happy newlyweds: “This may sound odd but we think that, especially with weddings, the old adage holds true: there cannot be too many cooks in the kitchen. Alyssa and her Mom predominantly planned the wedding, Michael planned the ceremony, Michael’s parents planned the welcome dinner and the post-wedding brunch. Only one or two planners per major event worked out really well for us. Of course, Alyssa kept an eye on every aspect, but it’s good to separate the duties, so that everyone has a role, but also to avoid too many competing viewpoints.

And in closing, some especially sweet words about working with us: “We loved working with you both! You brought a level of comfort to us in doing something that is sort of uncomfortable. Your kindness the day of our wedding put us at absolutely at ease. We heard from our guests how wonderful you both were. The pictures you take are truly beautiful. Thank you!!

Didn’t Alyssa and Michael’s sunset photos turn out amazing?? Click here to see more sunset shots!

Wedding Vendors Include:

Venue: Wanakah Country Club
Hairstylist: Fawn & Fox Salon
Make-Up Artist: Passion Artistry – Makeup by Megan
Dress Shop: Marra Bridal Boutique
Dress Designer: Essense of Australia
Groom’s Look: Brooks Brothers
Florist: North Park Florist
Cake: Rich’s Catering
String Players: Greg and Ivan Docenko
Band: JoyRyde


jenna + adam // Becker Farms Wedding

Filed in weddings shot by on at

Becker Farms has been one of our favorite venues to photograph for over 8 years. At this point, it feels like an old friend that we love to see and catch up with when we can. We know the grounds, we know where all of the “good photo spots” are, and we love the staff. We always have the best time at BF, but somehow, couples like Jenna and Adam make it even better. :)

Their day started at the cute little cabins on the property. Ben and I split up and photographed the guys and girls separately before heading to the ceremony site. J and A didn’t want to do a first look, but they did hold hands around a corner and pray together before the ceremony, which was a super sweet moment that I loved capturing. Their ceremony was so beautiful and heartfelt, and the weather was perfect for portraits. We used all of the best locations that Becker Farms has to offer, and finished off the evening by sneaking out for a few sunset portraits in the orchard. I honestly couldn’t have dreamed up a more perfect day!

Jenna and Adam were kind enough to share a very detailed version of their love story for this post, so be sure to read as you scroll! Their words really bring the post to life!

Jenna: “We met at the end of our sophomore year in college. We are both students at Asbury University in Wilmore, Kentucky. (Adam grew up in Wilmore). Asbury University has a tradition that every sophomore class puts together a sophomore musical. That year, the director (my roommate, best friend, and maid of honor) decided on High School Musical. Adam was cast as Ryan Evans and I was cast as Kelsie Nielson. We were not friends during the musical, but after the musical ended, we slowly started to talk more and more. The summer after our sophomore year, I stayed in Wilmore and Adam and I started to talk a lot more and hang out almost every day, but we were very adamant that we were not dating. The closer it got to the end of summer, the more we both knew that we would end up dating. We went on our first official date on August 20, 2016, just one week after school started!

Adam: “On August 21st, 2017, there was a solar eclipse that came through the area that we live in. It was a complete eclipse in some areas, and was supposed to be pretty significant where we were living. So, everyone went crazy, buying eclipse glasses and getting super excited for whatever this was!

Jenna knew that I was planning a proposal, she’d even worked out of me that I’d bought a ring, but she had no idea that by this point and was just trying to figure out when the right time to propose was going to be. One day, I watched a video that said that a solar eclipse is supposed to look like a diamond ring, where there’s just a band of light around the moon and one spot that’s flaring like a diamond. Later, when I was thinking about when and how to propose, that video came back to my mind and I knew what I wanted to do! 

So, on eclipse day, we went out to the barn where Jenna‘s horse Jessie lives. We went to a back field by ourselves and got situated on a fence to watch the eclipse happen. Jenna didn’t know it, but I was doing my best not to face my back to her, because there was a box in my back pocket…We watched the eclipse together, and it was thoroughly underwhelming! It turns out, being a couple hours north of the full eclipse meant that, while most of the sun got covered, it didn’t even get close to dark. Jenna was pretty disappointed, and my diamond ring analogy was seeming like quite the stretch now, but I still knew this was the moment I wanted.

We hopped off of the fence, and I said, ‘We watched a video that said that a solar eclipse looks like a diamond ring, but since we didn’t see a diamond ring in the eclipse, would you like to see a real one?’ I got down on my knee, and pulled the ring out of my pocket. I told Jenna that I love her more than anyone I’ve ever known and that I love sharing life together. I told her that I want to spend the rest of my life with her, and said, ‘Jenna Grace Filipiak, will you marry me?’ Jenna has always (rightly) called me a cheeseball, and this may have been my cheesiest moment. But she still said yes!

Adam: “We balance each other so well. Jenna is a bit impulsive while I am a bit too hesitant to act, but we work together very well. I make way too many assumptions, but Jenna helps me to see the world without as much bias. Jenna experiences very quick emotional changes, but I am able to generally be stable and a safe place for her. We both bring out the best in each other and we both like ourselves when we’re with the other person. There’s so much that makes us want to spend our lives together, but the biggest thing is that we both love each other too much to want to be anywhere else.

Adam: “Jenna is not the person that I thought I was looking for, and I don’t think I’m the man she was looking for, but I think we’d both agree that we’re exactly the person that we both needed. We are able to express anything and everything to each other, whether it’s a difficult opinion or a raw emotion, and we know that we will never be judged for those things. We make each other laugh, even though Jenna claims she’s not funny and makes sure that I don’t ever think I’m too funny…We’re both passionate about family and are extremely excited to be a spouse to each other and being a mother and father in the future.

Jenna: “Adam and have mostly shared values. We both value a relationship with God. We both want to follow the direction that He has for our lives and honor Him in everything that we do. Thankfully, God has given us similar directions and we feel affirmed that He will use our relationship for something good! We also highly value family. We come from very different families, but we see value in those differences. We plan to start a family of our own someday, and we want it to be very obvious that family comes first. Adam wants to be a pastor, and this job can be very demanding, but we have talked a lot about the importance of family and our kids knowing how loved they are and how much their parents love each other.

Adam: “We love to talk about what’s going on in our lives and about our future together. Cooking together is a lot of fun, too! If we get a chance to go out and have the money to do anything, we like to go out to eat, play with puppies at the pet store, to the movies, or (when it’s warm) to be outside! We’ve kayaked together, ridden horses together, and had picnics. What I’ve found is that it doesn’t always really matter what we’re doing; the big thing is that we really enjoy spending time together and finding our next adventure!

Jenna: “We value each other. Our relationship isn’t an easy one. We try to talk about everything and have really open communication. One isn’t higher than or better than the other, we are equal. I can see that Adam values my emotional safety. He always tells me that he wants to be a safe place for me. Whenever I am hurting, he always wraps me tight in his arms and I know that he is a safe place for me to work out my emotions. He says that I value him by taking care of him when he needs me to. I see his pain when he doesn’t see it yet and I make sure that he takes care of himself. He loves to give, but the moments where he needs to be weak and I take care of him are extremely important for him.

Jenna: “We really enjoy eating out together – more than our college budgets can often afford. Having a place where we can dress up just a little, share a nice meal together, and talk about life is so much fun! Then, to get to do something fun like bowling, going to a movie, or playing games at an arcade makes the night even more fun! To cap it off, it’d definitely be a warm enough night that we could go outside and walk around town, maybe find a fun coffee shop or park, and enjoy whatever we come across together. And then, even though it’s not out on the town, that night would probably end by getting to come home, curl up together, and relax until bedtime.

Looking for more beautiful spring time weddings?? Click here!

Wedding Vendors Include:

Venue: Becker Farms
Wedding Dress Shop: David’s Bridal
Wedding Dress Designer: Melissa Sweet
Bridesmaid Dresses: David’s Bridal
Groom’s Look: Men’s Wearhouse
Florist: Summertime Blooms
Cake: Becker Farms