Category: weddings

julie + vinny // The Admiral Room Wedding

Filed in weddings shot by on at

Who loves a story where the good guy gets the girl? Well, look no further, because that’s exactly what this story is about. Julie first truly noticed Vinny when they were both on a date with other people. She couldn’t help but compare his chivalrous nature to that of her own date’s (or rather, lack there of). That day Vinny swept Julie off her feet without even meaning to. They quickly became good friends, and then one fateful day, friends turned into more. It just goes to show you, you never know who might be noticing your actions from afar, and we gotta say, we sure do love that.

Just like the majority of world’s population, Julie and Vinny had high hopes for beautiful clear skies on their big day, but unfortunately Mother Nature had other ideas. Luckily, J+V took it all in stride and we made the best of a very wet situation by sneaking in some adorable umbrella shots before the skies really opened up on us. Once the rain became too much we opted to move the rest of their photos indoors to their stunning reception venue, The Admiral Room, but those shots in the rain are absolutely some of our favorites of the day. (If you’re worried about the potential for inclement weather on your own big day, pop on over here to read about some great tips to get prepared for anything that good old Mother Nature might throw your way!)

Julie and Vinny are a true testament to the ability to turn a less than ideal situation into pure happiness, simply with their kindness and radiating smiles. We hope that scrolling through their story adds some extra brightness to your day :)

Julie: “We *think* we first met at a Canisius basketball game (I went to Nardin; Vinny was at Canisius), but, our first official memory is that my family hosted our sophomore date dance pre-party. Vinny was another girl’s date. My date was a dud and ate oatmeal as his late night snack after the dance. I noticed Vinny was a huge gentleman – carrying his date’s shoes, opening doors, etc. After that, we hung out sporadically as friends but started going on dates/eating at Teds (almost weekly), and ‘officially’ started dating in senior year.

Julie: “One rule I always told Vinny is that I wanted the proposal to be a surprise, and I wanted our families there. Well, on May 19th we had planned a dinner with friends. We were running late, and Vinny got a call from his dad saying that he had set lights up in the wrong room of the Hotel @ the Lafayette (sidebar – they own CJ Sound, so I have 9 years of experience setting up and tearing down events. Vinny has 26 years experience.) We walked into the hotel and rushed through the lights. It was a tense situation – I was hangry, the hotel manager was yelling at Vinny, and we had 5 mins to move the lights. Vinny asked me to grab the last light, and I found a ring box on top. He proposed, and I was SHOCKED. Even more to my surprise, all of our friends and family walked in after. The last surprise – the room we had just torn down was actually the room for our surprise engagement party. Luckily, someone else was there to put all the lights back up :).

Julie: “My dress was from Bliss Bridal in Hamburg, NY. It was the 2nd bridal shop I went to, but it took me 3 appointments there to find *the one*. I’ve always been known to be particular when it comes to choosing my outfits, so I was looking for something that felt different and beautiful. The store was so chic, the owner and staff were amazing, and they ended up picking the dress for me. The designer, Pronovias Atelier, has the softest lace I’ve ever felt. Typical story – I didn’t love it on the hanger but was obsessed when I put it on. The back was my favorite part – the train had raw lace edges that I couldn’t cover up with a cathedral veil.

Julie: “We are always making each other laugh. Even after a tough conversation or long day, usually we end up giggling. It’s so hard to put into words, but we really just love each other. After 9 years with a few periods of long distance, we are so happy and feel so lucky to have each other.

Julie: “We love to cook nice meals or go out to eat. We are obsessed with trying new places in Buffalo. When the weather is nice, we love going for walks and hikes. We also love our couch and throw blankets (aka, we need to be very cozy). We’ll get some good take out (Pho, Tappo, or Kaydara (RIP)). Usually we’ll enjoy some wine and watch a movie. If we are feeling adventurous, we love to entertain others in our apartment with some pretty fun parties. A perfect night out would be us enjoying a restaurant in Buffalo either alone or with other friends. Usually we’ll stop at Just Vino wine bar for dessert or some nice wine and a cheese tray. If there’s a music/dance event going on, we meet up with friends and stay out late enjoying ourselves.

Julie: “Vinny and I DIY’ed our escort card ‘hoops.’ We love a good project, and this was something Vinny wanted to be involved in. He ordered the hoops online, and they came (disappointingly) dented and scuffed. Come to find out – they were fishing hoops and not meant to look nice! I think we were able to dress them up pretty nicely though.

Julie: “One of my favorite parts of our reception was eating a brownie (after careful weeks of dieting – the dress!!!). My aunt actually moved a brownie to my seat before the reception started to make sure I had one ASAP!

Vinny: “Moments before getting introduced – Julie and I were able to look over the crowd at the reception and appreciate the entire day.

Julie: “Vinny and I have always said the ‘Wegmans’ Ultimate’ cakes were the best cakes we’ve ever had, (and we’ve tried a lot all over the world!). He prefers chocolate, and I like vanilla. So instead of getting a fancy cake for the wedding, we used Wegmans and had our own small cakes for each of us!

Julie: “We danced to an acoustic version of Earth, Wine and Fire’s ‘September’. This was the song Vinny played after he proposed and our entire family walked in to surprise me with an engagement party!

Julie: “Our values are very family-centered. We love each other’s families and know the importance of a strong family presence. We can’t wait to add to our great families with our own small unit.

Julie: “My dad and I danced to Dan Auerbach’s ‘Stand By My Girl’ – Dan is the lead singer of the Black Keys, one of my dad’s and my favorite bands. It’s a little more fast-paced than typical songs, so we added in some freestyle dancing.”

Julie: “Vinny and his mom danced to ‘Volare’ by Dean Martin. They used to sing old Italian songs as a family while Vinny was growing up, so it brought back wonderful family memories.

Vinny and Julie: “Working with Jenn and Ben was wonderful!! The were able to wrangle our large (sometimes rowdy) crew and the end product is unbelievable!! SO happy we had them capture our future family heirlooms.


Don’t forget to grab our 6 Tips to Prepare for Mother Nature on Your Wedding Day!


Wedding Vendors Include:

Ceremony: St. Louis Church
Reception: The Admiral Room
Invitations: Calling Cards Unlimited
Make-Up Artist: Cheri Marie Salon & Bridal Lounge
Hairstylist: Shannon and Stacey of Mink Salon
Dress Shop: Bliss Bridal
Bridal Gown Designer: Pronovias Atelier
Groom’s Look: Tuxedo Junction
Florist: Buffalo Floral Arts
Cake: Wegmans
Dessert Table: Fairy Cakes
Live Painter: Peter Fowler
Favors: Park Edge Sweet Shoppe
Lighting: CJ Sound
DJ: CJ Sound
Videography: Fruit Tree Studios

10 Tips for a Stress Free Wedding Day

Filed in planning, weddings shot by on at

No stress on your wedding day… the ultimate and seemingly impossible goal. To many couples, the mere idea of no stress is stressful! Just having to tell yourself that you shouldn’t be stressed out somehow causes even more stress! How is that even possible?! Well, some things we just don’t have the answers to (or do we….), but one thing we know for sure is that it IS possible, at the very least, to minimize your stress on your wedding day. So take a deep belly breath in … and out… and keep on reading for our 10 tips on how to stay calm, cool and collected on your big day. :)

1. Choose vendors that you trust. We can’t stress this one enough (pun intended). By choosing vendors who you feel a connection with, and who you can tell are passionate and in tune with their craft, you will have absolutely no reason to worry when your big day finally arrives. A trusted vendor is willing to meet with you one on one, and answer any questions you have, no matter how ridiculous they might seem. They have great communication with you. They are often just as excited about your wedding day as you are! They want to make all of your dreams come true and they want to do it by causing you as little stress as possible. If you’re getting married in Western New York, click here to download our trusted and preferred vendor guide!

2. Create a solid wedding day timeline with extra time built inWith all of the events that will take place on your wedding day, a timeline is a must. Between your morning beauty services, photos, ceremony, cocktail hour and the reception, and all of their moving parts and many pieces, it’s pretty important that the day is well mapped out ahead of time. BUT here’s where some couples miss the mark: you have to allot extra time for everything. Think about it… how often are you really running early or even on time for things on a day to day basis? Then factor in that there’s usually a great many other people, too. Do you really think that all of those other people are going to be running perfectly on schedule? There’s your bridesmaid, who was so late that she practically missed half of your shower, and your limo driver, who definitely 100% will not get struck in traffic at all. Unless you’ve got a secret time travel device that no one else in the world knows about (that would be crazy! And amazing!!), then of course things are bound to get a little off course! And that’s ok! The best thing you can do for yourself is to add a little extra time to each part of your day. Even just an additional 15 minutes longer than you’d anticipate can do a world of good. If you have extra time, what’s the worst that can happen?? You’ll have time to breath, to eat, to relax, and for goodness sake you’ll even have time to pee.

3. Keep everyone well informed. Remember that timeline we just talked about? Don’t just keep it to yourself. Make sure anyone and everyone who is a part of your day has a copy (and reads it!). They might think you’re crazy now, but come wedding day, when everything runs smoothly, no one needs to ask questions, and everyone knows right where to be and when, they’ll be thanking you, (while they’re relaxing and sipping champagne because of all that lovely extra time you built in).

4. Don’t over pack the day. Noticing a theme here yet? Time. You want more of it, not less. So although it might sound awesome to wake up on wedding morning and go grab a quick mani/pedi before your hair and make-up gets going, it’s probably a better idea to do that a day or two before instead. Take a few days the week prior to do your last minute self care, vow writing, gift wrapping, detail organizing, and any other small task you might be tempted to leave for wedding morning. When it comes to your photo locations, instead of trying to fit in a handful of different photo ops with your wedding party all over town, choose just one or two spots that are close in proximity to each other. Even better – try to stay close to your venue(s). The drive across town to get that one photo in front of that mural you guys love might not be worth missing your entire cocktail hour. Like everyone says, the day really does fly by, and it will fly even faster the more you pack into it.

5. Have help(ers). They’re your sisters, your best friends, your family. Your bridal party is not just there to pop the champagne for you (cause let’s be honest, that cork is scary!). They accepted the honor of being in your wedding party knowing that they’re there to help you with whatever you need. So let them! Designate “jobs” for each party member on wedding day. One to keep your accessories and details organized for the photographer to shoot (shoes, flowers, invitations), another as the day-of go to person of contact for all your vendors (make sure you give your vendors their contact info beforehand), and another to make sure everyone is where they need to be for photo ops, etc. Someone to keep the bridal suite clean, someone to make sure your belongings get to each venue. Each task is pretty easy when they’re spread out amongst all of your friends, but when you put every last detail on your own shoulders it can be just enough to send you right over the edge.

6. Hire a day-of coordinator. If you aren’t having a larger sized bridal party to dole out tasks to, or if you simply don’t trust your crazy college roommates to get the job done, then consider hiring a day-of coordinator! Just because you don’t have a full on wedding coordinator that you hired the second you got engaged doesn’t mean that you can’t at least have a little extra hired help on the actual day itself. Many companies offer this service at a fraction of the cost of a full on planning package. It might be just what you need to help you breath easy from sun up to sun down. Click here to read all about what a wedding coordinator can really do for you and your sanity! :)

7. Don’t plan your rehearsal for the night before. You’re likely going to have a lot going on in the days leading up to your wedding. Having the rehearsal the night before (and more often than not, some sort of celebration to follow) may not be the way you want to go if you’re looking to keep your stress at a low. Instead, consider scheduling it two days prior to the big day. This way you’re able to use the day between to complete those few last minute things (like, ahem, writing your vows), take care of the surprise or two that might pop up during the rehearsal itself (such as realizing that you never bought that aisle runner), and most importantly, spending the day re-hydrating after the multiple toasts from the night before and all those shots that your Uncle Marvin kept buying you in honor of you “taking the plunge”, (no really, Uncle Marvin … I think we’ve all had enough now). And best of all, you can even sleep in that morning and end your evening with a romantic and relaxing dinner date with your soon-to-be spouse, followed by an early night of rejuvenating pre-wedding day sleep. You’ll wake up on wedding morning feeling so much more relaxed and refreshed than you would if you were still nursing that Uncle Marvin induced celebratory hangover.

8. Have some alone time with your sweetheart. You’d think this one was a no brainer, but it’s actually something that you might have to put a little bit of thought into. Sure, it’s your wedding day – so obviously you’ll be with your sweetie all day, right? Maybe, but you won’t necessarily be alone… and trust us, you’ll want at least a few minutes to yourselves to really soak it all in together. If you’re planning a First Look consider doing it without any other family or wedding party members around so that you can really share the moment together with no witnesses. Think about maybe arranging a separate ride from the ceremony to the reception, just the two of you together. Sneak away from the party for 5 or 10 minutes, no interruptions, and just revel in the fact that you. are. MARRIED!! There’s just something so comforting, so soothing, so relaxing about being alone together during your wedding day. It’s an instant stress reliever and certainly a very special, intimate time that you won’t soon forget.

9. Get extra organized with your family formals. Believe it or not, the family formals portion of your wedding day can get very hectic and overwhelming if it isn’t properly planned out ahead of time. There are often so many moving parts to this small fraction of the day. Things often need to move quickly and annoyance can build at a rapid pace, even if you and your entire family gets along absolutely perfectly 100% of the time (if this is true then you’re family is a magical unicorn unit and we’re going to need to hear your secret to success). Our advice? Take the time before your wedding day to really sit down with your soon-to-be spouse and both sets of parents to discuss what shots are most important to them, who they absolutely have to have a photo with, and what their expectations are for this part of the day. Then, after you’ve made a list of the must-haves, be sure to pass it along to your photographer BEFORE your wedding day so that they can make sure there’s going to be enough time to capture all of the groupings that you’re hoping for. We could go on and on about all the ways to ease this part of the day. Oh wait, we already did! Click here to read all 7 of our stress minimizing tips for successful family formals!

10. Don’t forget what the day is about. It’s not about the wrong flowers being delivered, or a heel breaking. It’s not about the cake melting or your hair not looking exactly as you pictured it would. It has nothing to do with the escort cards being out of place or the food being lukewarm or getting all the steps right during your first dance. It’s about the two of you and the start of your brand new lives together. It’s about your family and friends coming together all under one roof to share in this love with you. To be part of your joy. To be part of your story. When things go wrong (and they probably will at some point) if you just look around you at all the beautiful faces, if you just hold his (or her) hand a little tighter, if you just remember to forget the small stuff and focus on the big picture, then that, my friend, is the one true foolproof way to eliminate stress on your wedding day.


Stressed about wedding day weather?? Don’t worry, we got you. Click here!