kate + ron // Larkin Square Wedding

Filed in weddings shot by on at

Kate and Ron’s wedding day involved so many things that I love about weddings. Gorgeous and abundant flowers and greenery, tradition with a quirky twist, and of course, their adorable pups! But even more than any of those things, Kate and Ron’s day was truly all about them, their pure love for each other, and honoring and celebrating the family members who helped to make it all possible. Where would we be without our parents and grandparents? Our aunts and uncles? When we dig down deep, those incredibly important humans who we share such a close bond with are the real heart and soul of ourselves, and Kate and Ron not only know that, but chose to reflect it in so many elements of their special day. From Kate’s stunning custom made heirloom veil, made by Ali at anatomy, to the specific flowers chosen to represent people and places who had made a lasting impression on their hearts, this wedding day was the perfect fit for us in every way.

Kate and Ron met at Food Truck Tuesday in Larking Square some years ago, and the venue now means so much to them that they decided to hold their reception there (incredibly transformed by Laura of West Wind Florals and Syrie of Social Maven Event Planning). I also photographed them at Larkin for their adorable engagement session last year (click here to see it!). Kate is an incredibly creative lady and DIY’ed all of the amazing signage you’ll see throughout this post. She loved doing it so much that she ended up starting her very own custom sign business, Kate Femia Signs! How awesome is that?! Scroll on through to see her beautiful work, along with some seriously stunning work from so many other amazing local Buffalo vendors (you’ll find the complete list at the bottom of this post!), as well as reading about all of the thoughtful touches and sweet memories from Kate and Ron themselves :)

wedding invitation suite in peach and ivory
bride and bridal party in front of family home
bride holding up her wedding dress
jeweled flower brooch and wedding bands

Kate: “I have a minor thing for J.Crew. I always dreamed of going to the J.Crew Bridal store to find my dress, so imagine my despair when the company closed down their bridal stores and stopped all bridal collections in November 2016… 6 months before we got engaged. During my endless online searching for dresses, I did a random Google search for J.Crew bridal gowns to get an idea of shape, style, etc. that I would want to look for in another dress somewhere else. I then stumbled upon a website where people resell their gowns and it happened to have a J.Crew dress that I remember seeing in their catalog and loved. The woman selling the dress got it during their bridal store fire sale, but it didn’t fit her right so she had to get another size. She had tried it on once, and the tags were still on it. I didn’t know if it would fit me or if I would even like the dress on, but I couldn’t pass it up. So, I ended up buying my wedding dress sight-unseen, online, and it ended up fitting perfectly. It was 100% me; no one was surprised that I ended up with a J.Crew dress.

mother of the bride buttoning bride's dress
baby's breath flowers and bride's gold shoes

Kate: “My dress was a bit plain by itself. I have a family friend who is a personal stylist, and who just so happened worked for J.Crew for about 10 years, so I asked her opinion on how I should style it. Her first suggestion was a floral belt. My initial thought was, ‘Uhhhh I’m not sure I really want peonies sticking off me all day during my wedding.’ But it was really meant to be, because during my first conversation with my florist, Laura, she mentioned how she had recently gone to a workshop where she created a floral belt. It honestly couldn’t have been a better way to allow me to rock my standard J.Crew with a garden party twist. I’ve always had a thing for aggressive accessories ;)”

black and white photo of bride's dress being put on
bride's jeweled hair piece with veil and earrings

Kate: “My bouquet was pretty symbolic. Peonies are my favorite flower, but they are also the state flower of Indiana where I am originally from. The bouquet also included roses for New York, a lily for Italy, and thistle as my something blue and for Scotland. I also had a pin on my bouquet that my grandma had been saving for me that originally belonged to my great-great grandmother in the 1930s.

bride in wedding gown with pink flowered belt and bouquet

Kate: “Ron and I wrote letters to each other that we were supposed to read while getting ready for the wedding, but Ron’s lack of patience meant he asked if we could read them the night before. We’re pretty private people, so it was actually perfect to just share that moment with Ron (via text, he was staying at the hotel) instead of having a ton of people around us. I was able to keep one element of surprise though. I told him I had his ring engraved but didn’t tell him what it said in the letter so he had to wait until the next day to find out. It says ‘Mine. Always.’ I call Ron mine, and vice versa. Always is a nod to our Harry Potter nerdiness.

black and white photo groom adjusting his tie

Ron: “As Kate would probably tell you, I am someone who definitely enjoys their sleep. But on the day of the wedding, I was up at 8am and could not for the life of me fall back to sleep. I was way too excited. How was I going to wait another 5+ hours to get things started? I remember walking down from the Westin to hang out with my parents with the hope I could kill some time. The anxiety of waiting is something I’ll definitely never forget.

mother and father of the groom pinning boutonniere

Ron: “The first look was a bit chaotic as Kate and the girls were running late. So, I had to get in the car with Ben Ayres and go to the church by myself in order to not see Kate. I remember talking to Ben as we were going and him mentioning that I was very calm for a groom. I was not! I was super nervous and anxious and ready to get going, so calm was probably not the right word. When I got to the church, I was waiting in the courtyard, and I swear I heard footsteps behind me at least 4 times before Kate finally tapped me on the shoulder. I had no words at that moment, just tears. She looked so beautiful and finally, the wait for the day to really get going was over.

bride and groom doing a first look in the park

Kate: “The logistics of our day really necessitated that we do a First Look and all of our photos before the ceremony. I would have been fine either way so I let Ron make the final decision on a First Look. He wanted to go for it, so we did and it was the best decision we could have made! The night before the wedding I started to get super, super nervous. I don’t like being the center of attention at all, and the realness of the next day started to get to me. The morning of the wedding getting ready I was excited but still nervous and there were so many people around that I was getting a bit overwhelmed, plus we were running a bit behind schedule so I was starting to stress a bit. Getting to see Ron before pictures and the ceremony was exactly what I needed to relax. He’s the mellow to my controlling, stressed out ways. Plus I got to sneak a peek at him walking over to the rectory building from the trolley, and he looked so handsome! It was then I realized I was going to have an emotional day too, and I’m not the emotional one in the relationship! After our First Look, I felt so at ease and was able to then truly be in the moment and just have fun.

black and white photo of groom crying during first look
bride and groom hugging in the park
groom rubbing his eyes during the first look

Kate: “Including our dogs Fitzwilliam Darcy and Sammy in our day was a non-negotiable. It was fun having them around the house as I got ready with my bridesmaids, and then they met us at Silo City for some pictures with their floral collars. Their floral collars ended up being included on our chairs at the reception so they got to be with us at Larkin too!

bride and groom with their dogs at silo city
bridal party walking towards the camera at silo city
bride and groom inside the silos
bride with bridal party in short pink floral dresses
bridal party lined up in front of grain silos
groomsmen lined up in front of brick wall
groom posing with his dogs who wear flower collars
bride and groom posing inside a grain silo

Kate: “(A word to the wise) No contact sports the week before the wedding. Nothing eased the wedding nerves and stress more than getting to call Ron the Blackeyed Bridegroom and finding out what color of concealer he wears.

bride and groom smiling in front of silo city
bride and groom smiling at each other inside silo city
groom hugging bride under a grain silo
full length shot of bridal party outside of silo city
wedding party walking towards camera and laughing
bride and bridesmaids laughing with each other at silo city
bride and groom dancing inside grain silo
formal wedding party photo in front of silo city
black and white photo of bride and groom inside silo city
happy bride and groom in the grain silos

Kate: “The most special piece that I wore during the day was my veil. I worked with the super talented women at anatomy to piece together my mother-in-law’s blusher, my mom’s extended cathedral veil, and lace from my grandma’s 1958 wedding dress. The end result was better than I ever could have imagined, all three pieces looked like they were meant to fit together and were stunning with my dress. My mother-in-law’s blusher piece had a few seed pearls throughout that I was originally going to take off, but my bridesmaids’ dresses had a Swiss dot illusion top so I decided to actually add more seed pearls to the blusher to really bring all the styles and looks together.

bride and groom with their parents in front of st joseph cathedral
black and white of bride hugging her father inside the church
floral folded wedding programs with couples initials
groomsmen walking grandparents down the aisle
groomsmen escorting grandmother down the aisle
groom and groomsmen walking to the altar at st joseph cathedral

Kate: “One of my favorite family traditions that we included was having my cousin, Audrey, as our junior bridesmaid. Her mother, Gina, was the junior bridesmaid in my parents’ wedding in 1986, and I was the junior bridesmaid in Gina’s wedding in 1998. It was so much fun to carry on that tradition with Audrey, and I put Gina and my junior bridesmaid pictures in frames for Gina and my mom to hold for a special picture.

junior bridesmaid and ring bearer walking down the aisle
ring bearer wearing floral print bow tie walking down the aisle
flower girl holding decorative flower ring walking down the aisle
bride and her father entering the aisle at st joseph cathedral
father escorting the bride down the aisle

Kate: “I wasn’t sure how it was going to feel seeing Ron as I walked down the aisle with my Dad since we had been together for a few hours before the ceremony. But, I may have been more emotional during that walk than at the first look! The impact of what we were about to do hits you at that moment, and I wasn’t able to look at anyone except Ron the whole way down the aisle because then the tears would have been super real!

father of the bride lifting her veil
groom and bride happily looking at each other at the top of the aisle
black and white photo of groom wiping his eyes as he walks up to the altar with his bride

Kate: “The priest who married us is a longtime family friend, and when he asked us if we were ready to do this, Ron said, ‘Let’s rock and roll.’ I don’t think he’s ever said that before, but it so perfect because I knew then he was just as excited to get married as I was.”

bride and groom facing each other as priest speaks
bride and groom kneeing at the altar of st joseph cathedral
priest praying over the bride and groom
wedding guests and bridal party laughing in the pews
bride and groom laughing at the altar
groom placing wedding band on bride's finger
bridesmaid wiping tears with tissue box which says tears of joy
bride and groom lighting unity candles

Kate: “Something special we did for our ceremony was including our parents’ unity candles. Normally, you get a single unity candle and have taper candles on either side for the moms to light, but my mom thought it would be a really fun way to honor both of our families to use their original unity candles in the ceremony. It turned out perfect, and was such a cool way to really bring all of our families together.”

bride and groom i do kiss at st joseph cathedral
groom hugging the brides mother at the church
bride and groom walking up the aisle after the ceremony
bride's parents walking up the aisle together after the ceremony
bride and groom exiting the church to cheers of the wedding party
bride and groom kissing in front of st joseph cathedral as wedding party cheers
bride and groom holding hands in front of larkinville

Kate: “Getting to see Larkin Square when we got to the reception was so surreal and special, since it’s the place we first met. I finally got to see all my crafting come together, and see all of the hard work Syrie (of Social Maven) and Laura (of West Wind Florals) did to really make my dream day come alive. I told Laura early on that I wanted the space to look like a flower shop exploded, and I think it’s safe to say she delivered. And the floral chandelier?! Come on. I may or may not have snuck a few peeks of the space coming together on social media, but nothing compared to seeing it in person.

the outdoor bar area at larkin square in buffalo new york
reception decor with flowers from west wind floral at larkin square

Kate: “I joked throughout this entire planning process that our wedding was going to be the greatest crafting adventure the Buffalo-Niagara region had ever seen. My craft-room and Cricut are the real stars here. I LOVE crafting, honestly any excuse to personalize, get creative with something I’m 100% in. I knew I wanted to do a lot of the crafting myself, but I was pretty practical about it and knew my limits on some things. My invitations, programs, timeline cards, and napkins designed by the amazing Idieh Design which helped me SO SO much with finalizing my overall look and saved me so much stress. Once the invites were designed, I was able to go crazy with the extras for our big day. I have a thing for consistency so I wanted to make sure all of the fonts matched, the vibes matched, etc. I made all of the signage around the reception venue. I also made all of our big sandwich board signs (welcome signs, restroom signs, shuttle stop, seating board, unplugged ceremony sign, food truck sign, our chair signs, and card box) out of plywood, painted and sealed them all, and designed each one’s look. It was a bit much to have massive signs in the house for a few months, but I really think it helped our theme and vibe flow throughout the entire reception space.

maid of honor reading speech off her phone at reception
bride and groom laughing during speeches
black and white photo of mother of the groom smiling during speeches
bride's father giving a speech under the greenery canopy by west wind floral
wedding guests enjoying the speeches at the reception

Kate: “Our biggest crafting undertaking (it was touch and go for a while on whether or not they would make it to the big day) were the massive LOVE marquee letters. Thank God for Ron’s strength and woodworking abilities! I’m so glad we were able to get them finished up and they held together because they really added a cool vibe to the dance floor!”

best man delivering his speech in front of giant love marquee letters
black and white photo of bride and groom smiling during speeches
guests enjoying the reception under the larkinville pergola

Kate: “If you’re saying to yourself you don’t need a planner, or if you’re on the fence…get one. I didn’t originally think I would want to work with a planner, from a cost perspective and because I was so sure of my overall design/ideas/crafting abilities. After my first couple of problem run-ins with vendors, I knew that if I didn’t get some help for the day of the wedding that I would be a stressed mess worrying about things being set up the way I envisioned, and that my family would have a ton to do the morning of the wedding to help. Enter Social Maven and Syrie. She made sure the day went perfectly (as far as I know!!), helped with our timeline, and just took away all stress the day of the wedding so we could just enjoy the moment.

pink and peach macaron tower from blue eyed baker
bride and groom's first dance under greenery canopy

Kate: “The song ‘Shut Up and Dance With Me’ came out the same summer Ron and I started dating, so we’ve always considered that to be ‘our song.’ However, neither of us have stellar dancing abilities so attempting a faster tempo song in front of 200 people wasn’t something we really wanted to tackle. I immediately wanted an Adele song once we nixed Walk the Moon, but she definitely has a propensity for sadness and breakup songs which are not exactly the best choices for a first dance. However, her ‘Lovesong’ cover gives me goosebumps whenever I listen to it, and Ron may have gotten a little teary the first time I had him listen to it. The lyrics are so us, and we knew that was the song we were meant to awkwardly middle school slow dance to in front of all of our loved ones!

bride and groom slow dancing surrounded by flowers and greenery
black and white photo of bride laughing during the first dance
bride and groom kissing underneath the greenery chandelier
black and white photo of groom's mother hugging the bride
father daughter dance at larkinville reception

Kate: “My dad is a Rush fanatic, and they, along with pretty much any classic rock band, were what I was raised on. So, originally I was going to surprise him with a Rush song during our dance, but he flat out told me that he wasn’t going to dance with me to some country song so I had to let him in on the secret. We did, however, manage to keep it a surprise to everyone else. Our DJ was great in creating a mash up of a random song my mom found, a South Park clip from one of the Rush tours, and then going into Roll the Bones, which was the first song I danced to as a baby. It was a lot of fun getting to do something as a surprise, and totally my Dad and I. Plus I got to use all my sweet dance moves Ron wouldn’t let me do during our dance.

bride showing off her dancing sneakers on the dance floor
bride and her father having fun dancing together under greenery canopy
wedding guests cheering for father daughter dance
black and white photo of bride hugging her father
mother of the groom laughing during the mother son dance
mother son dance surrounded by flowers from west wind floral

Ron: “My dance with my mom was special, and for once, I wasn’t the one who cried. My mother and I didn’t really have any special song, so we brainstormed for a bit and listened to a few before settling on ‘I Hope You Dance’. There wasn’t any deep meaning behind picking the song, but when we listened to the lyrics together, it kind of made sense to me. Obviously, over the course of 29 years, a mother/son relationship will have its ups and downs. The song reminded me of all the times when things were tough, my mom always been there for me and pushing me to ‘dance’.”

groom and his mother smiling at the camera during mother son dance
flower themed lollipop favors from amborella organics

Kate: “Something I love about Larkin is all of the hand drawn and painted art that is around the square/in their marketing/at Hydraulic Hearth and Swan Street Diner. So I reached out to the owner, Leslie Zemsky, who does all of their art and asked if I could get copies of the paintings she did of each food truck. She also did a custom watercolor map for us we included in our welcome totes, and a custom family portrait including the dogs that we used on our photo booth strips. I loved being able to incorporate touches of Larkin throughout our day.

food trucks lined up in larkin square

Kate: “I really wanted people to be able to use the whole square and to just have fun, and so seeing everyone at each of the food trucks, playing Corn Hole and Jenga, hearing the laughter at the photo booth, and adorning themselves with flowers meant everything to me. We obviously wanted to have fun ourselves, but seeing all of our family and friends having a blast and tearing up the dance floor really made the day so much more fun for me.”

wedding guest using hoola hoop in larkin square
bridesmaid hoola hooping at larkinville reception
bride and groom standing in front of buffalove bus photo booth
bride and groom taking photos inside photo booth
bride and groom smiling at each other in front of photo booth bus

Kate: “Seeing my parents, family, and friends from Indiana finally get to meet my new family and Buffalo friends was so amazing. And everyone had so much fun. I don’t think I’ve seen my parents smile and laugh so much!

wedding guests dancing under greenery chandelier made by west wind floral
mother and father of the bride dancing together
bride's grandparents dancing together at reception
wedding guests enjoying themselves on the dance floor

Ron: “The party. What a party. Thinking back on it now, it was such a blur, but also so much fun. My dad doing push-ups on the dance floor has to be up there. Everything about the day from the weather, to the music, to the people, was just perfect.

wedding guests dancing at the larkinville reception
nighttime photo of bride and groom silhouette

Some planning advice from our very savvy bride: “You are going to get a ton of advice and opinions thrown at you during the whole process. Unless you specifically ask for said advice and opinion, don’t listen to it and do exactly what you want to do for your wedding. Your wedding should be a reflection of you as a couple, not what people are telling you what a wedding should be or should/should not include. Pinterest and social media get SUPER overwhelming. I remember panicking a bit because I had so many Pinterest boards and I was worried that nothing was going to ultimately go together and the whole day would feel like a mash up of random things. I decided to create a sort of mood board on Canva (it’s online and free) to pull together all of my favorite Pinterest ideas, screenshots of things, and actual photos of things I had already done/bought. It was a GREAT way to see everything together, and make final decisions on things. I was also able to then nix a bunch of things I didn’t really like, or that didn’t really go with everything else. People joked with me that I was going to have the whole wedding planned within the first month of our engagement because I made a lot of the big decisions so early on. I did front-load a lot of my planning, to make sure I was able to work with the vendors I loved before they got booked by someone else, and so the end stages of the planning wouldn’t be overwhelming. It ended up being a great thing to do because I was completely done with everything two and a half weeks before the wedding, and I was able to just enjoy the time with my friends and family instead of scrambling around trying to finish things up.

And in closing, some very sweet, very real words about us: “I love wedding photos, like to the point where I can tell you most of the photographers in the Buffalo area and their style of pictures/vibes. So, I knew pretty much immediately that Jenn and Ben were going to be our photographers; (sorry guys, you didn’t have much of an option in this matter!!) I was drawn to Jenn’s amazing ability to capture each special moment without having things seem overly staged or edited, and the raw emotion that I felt with each of her pictures was incredible. Our first meeting lasted over 2 hours, and it just felt right to have the Ayres team be a part of our day. I’m also so glad we had a chance to do engagement pictures with Jenn, too. I knew we would be awkward in pictures, but woof, we were AWKWARD. So, it was great to get to have a chance to loosen up a bit and get comfortable having Jenn around and telling us to nuzzle prior to the wedding. Seeing as Ron and I both cried when we got our preview pictures from the wedding, I think we made the best possible decision by reaching out to Jenn and Ben!

Interested in working with us for your wedding? Click here to find out if we’re available on your date!

Wedding Vendors Include:

Wedding Planner: Syrie Roman of Social Maven Event Planning
Invitations and Programs: Idieh Design
Hairstylist: Top Knot Salon +Beauty Bar
Make-Up Artist: Holly Roesch
Dress Designer: J.Crew
Veil: Anatomy
Bridal Headpiece and Earrings: Emma Katzka
Wedding Bands and Engagement Ring: Reeds Jenss
Wedding Party Styling: The Closet Therapist
Bridesmaid Dresses: Nordstrom
Groom’s Look: Get Dressed
Ties and Pocket Squares: Neck & Tie Company
Ceremony: St. Joseph Cathedral
Reception: Larkin Square
Rentals: All Season Party & Tent Rentals
Florist: West Wind Florals
Food Trucks: Ted’s Hot Dogs, Ru’s Pierogi, Chef’s, Rolling Cannoli
Desserts: Blue Eyed Baker
Favors: Amborella Organics
Custom Artwork: Leslie Zemsky
DJ: Gldn Girls
Photo Booth: BuffaLoveBus
Transportation: Buffalo Trolley
Videographer: IndyVisual