hannah + max // Private Residence Backyard Wedding

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Hannah and Max’s wedding was absolutely stunning. It was a real coming together of friends and family, and we’re not talking about just the day’s events. Every bit of this wedding was made possible by the love, support and hard work of their closest and most loyal comrades, even the set up and breakdown! It just goes to show how big of an impact friendship and family can have on your wedding day, and you know we’re all about that!

Our amazing associate Nicole had the honor of documenting this beautiful day, and we think she did a fantastic job of it. She has a lovely gift for capturing the moments in between, and if you scroll through Hannah and Max’s day you’ll see just what I mean (a little unintentional poetry for you). Hannah and Max were kind enough to share some really beautiful words about their big day and their love for each other, their family and their friends. I encourage you to read along as you check out all of the stunning details :)

Hannah: “Before we got engaged, (we’d been discussing it for a few months), Max came to me one day and told me that he wanted to propose but didn’t want to get me a ring I didn’t like, and asked for my help. We ended up designing a custom ring together and even selected some specific stones. The proposal itself was still a surprise, but I absolutely cherish the ring and view it as a real symbol of our partnership since we created it together.

Hannah: “My mom was visiting for the weekend, and we thought we’d go look at some dresses just for fun. I hadn’t really done any looking, but thought it would be nice to find a dress with pockets, if there was such a thing. I was nervous – friends of mine who’d recently been married had told me stories of 50+ try-ons, dozens of visits with multiple groups of people, trips to NYC and Toronto and Chicago just for dress shopping. I was prepared for this to be the toughest part of planning my wedding. It just so happened that the first dress I tried on was perfect, exactly the silhouette I was looking for, in my mom’s favorite fabric (raw silk), and HAD POCKETS. We both fell in love and that was it! It turned out to be the easiest part by far – after saying yes, of course :)

Hannah: “We decided to do a ‘First Look’ and I am so glad we did. It gave us a few beautiful moments together to let everything sink in.”

Max: “Originally I didn’t quite understand the idea of the First Look, but it was actually so helpful to re-center myself before the wedding, and it was such a nice moment between the two of us.

Hannah: “I wore my grandmother’s bracelet and a veil borrowed from a lovely woman I met through my work that she’d worn in her own wedding in the 70s.

Hannah: “We hosted our wedding at our home, and many of our friends stayed there for the weekend or came several hours early, to hang out and help set up. This set up two of my favorite moments: the first, looking around at all of our friends doing everything they could to set up chairs, hang decorations, lay place settings, etc., without a complaint or question, made me feel so incredibly grateful to have such a loving and generous chosen family. We truly could not have made the day happen without them. The second came on our way back to the house to gather our parties for more photos. Since so many of our friends were already there, we got to have a ‘first look’ of sorts with them too, a private moment to celebrate with them before everyone else arrived, to express our love and gratitude. It was so special and the photos from those few minutes are still some of my favorites.

Hannah: “Our pup Sammy was our ring bearer with my brother, and wore a bow tie that matched the groomsmen. We’d intended to put him back inside after the ceremony, but he was having such a good time making the rounds and guests were having fun with him, so he stayed out. He’s family too, and we were so happy he could really be a part of the day.

Max: “Both of Hannah’s parents walked her down the aisle, and seeing them all, so happy and crying tears of joy, felt so special and loving – it was a really nice moment.

Hannah: “The ceremony itself was a bit of a blur. I had to hide my face in my bouquet coming down the aisle because I was ugly crying already.

Hannah: “Neither of us is religious, so one of my best friends who has become a mutual dear friend married us, ‘by the power vested in [him] by the internet.’

Hannah: “We wrote our own vows and made them very personal and fun – still one of the parts I get the most comments about from guests! I do remember that I got a laugh during my vows, which I’m still proud of!

Max: “It was so cool to see the tent progressing, from the beginning when we were laying down tablecloths to the flowers being set up and everything was in it’s place. Then finally walking in when it was full of all our friends and family was so heartwarming and emotional.

Hannah: “Our friends had a giant, epic dance off. It was so much fun in the moment and the pictures are incredible and some of my favorites from the day.

Hannah: “Max’s groomsmen printed a notorious photo of him from our college days on a giant poster and displayed it at just the right moment during the Best Man’s speech. It was truly hilarious.

Hannah: “Max and I danced to ‘I’d be Waiting’ by Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats. It’s one of our favorite songs by one of our favorite bands, and we knew we wanted to do it after seeing them live. We attended dance classes for several months to create a perfect routine that ensured no toes were stepped on :)

Hannah: “It felt good to actually do our first dance that we had been practicing and working on for several months until we knew it by heart. It was another really nice moment to connect with Hannah.

Hannah: “Our wedding day was also my dad’s 64th birthday, so he and I danced to ‘When I’m 64’ by the Beatles.

Hannah: “We briefly blew a fuse and the music went out for a couple of minutes. It could have ruined the party, but instead we started a sing-along until the music came back on, which ended up being a ton of fun instead of a party foul.

Some truly great planning advice from Hannah: “So much pressure is put on weddings and creating the perfect scene, but the key to remember is that at the end of the day, you are hosting people. They will remember their experience and how they felt long after they’ve forgotten your color scheme or the perfectly coordinated tablecloths. This made such a difference and helped us prioritize where to focus our energy and our budget. It’s much harder to get caught up in the agony of choosing things like chair ties when you’re able to say ‘how will this affect my guests’ experience?’ and just let that guide you. Was the food good and plentiful, did the bar have enough servers, were the chairs positioned so guests wouldn’t have the sun in their eyes, in short, have we created a comfortable and welcoming experience where guests can really relax and enjoy themselves. This is what made the difference for us, and it kept us from getting overwhelmed in planning or upset if anything went off-plan during the day. We still get so many comments about our wedding being one of the most fun weddings our guests have ever attended (you can see in the pictures that even our parents’ friends were breaking it down on the dance floor, it’s amazing) and I really credit this approach.

Hannah: “We could not have had a better experience with Ayres! We loved working with Jenn and Nicole so much. They were super receptive throughout the process, and really helped us hone in on what we were looking for with patience and thoughtfulness. Nicole was fabulous on the day, and we, along with our friends and family, love the way the photos turned out.

Want to check out another amazing wedding from our associate Nicole?? Click here!

Wedding Vendors Include:

Photographer: Nicole of Ayres Photography
Venue: Private Residence
Wedding Coordinator: Live Inspired Events
Makeup Artist: Amanda Lee Shamrock
Hair: Groom Service Beauty Bar
Dress Shop: Lovely Bride Rochester
Dress Designer: Rue De Seine
Men’s Suits: Indochino
Florist: William’s Florist
Ceremony Music: Rob Montone
Catering: Dinosaur BBQ
Tent and Rentals: McCarthy Tents and Events
DJ: Moving Music