rae + jon // Midvale Country Club Wedding

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What can we say about Rae and Jon?? They are *seriously* the cutest couple. The c-u-t-e-s-t. Their smiles are absolutely infectious, and we had the best time with them on their wedding day. Quite frankly, given their amazing personalities, it was impossible not to have fun! It’s pretty evident from these photos that their family and friends felt exactly same way that we did (and still do!). We’re so happy to have been the chosen ones to capture all of their abundant laughter, emotional moments and genuine silliness! It was certainly our kind of day.

Like many (dare we say most, if not even all) Ayres couples, Rae and Jon definitely place a large value on family. One of our favorite subtle touches was how Rae involved her late grandmother into her bouquet. We’ve all seen the lovely brooches, the lockets, the favorite flower or special color, but Rae opted for a slightly more unique nod to her grandma. Scroll through to see just what it was (we loved it!!!), as well as reading all about how Rae and Jon met, how Jon didn’t know that they were on a date, about how they eventually fell in love, and, in true Ayres fashion, adopted a fur baby named Clarence. :)

wedding invitation suite with jeweled bridal belt, ribbon and wedding bands on blue satin background

Rae: “Jon and I met about four years ago, we had both (independently) joined an organization called Team In Training (‘TNT’), which is an endurance training program in conjunction with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Basically, we met weekly in Central Park with volunteer running coaches and ~50 people to train for marathons while also fundraising for LLS. You can pick your race, race destination, season to run in, etc. Jon and I had both participated in TNT before, but in the prior year we signed up for different races. In 2013, we both decided to come back to TNT and train for the Rock n Roll San Diego half marathon that would be in June. At that time, one of Jon’s roommates (Lee) was coincidentally a coworker of my friend (Samara) who I was running with. Lee told Samara that she should look out for Jon & his twin sister Lindsay at practice, that he thought we would probably all get along. Eventually we all met up on a Saturday run in Central Park and quickly became good friends. When we went to San Diego for the race, Jon actually asked Samara on a date (I was dating someone else at the time). Selfishly lucky for me, that date never happened and love didn’t pan out for them. We all remained friends, and started all hanging out outside of running. In fact, Jon’s sister Lindsay quickly became one of my best friends.

black and white of bride enjoying the morning with bridesmaids in matching pajamas
bridesmaids buttoning the back of the bride's dress

Rae: “In September of 2013, Jon recently back from Israel and me recently single, I decided that we should go on a date. I asked Jon to meet me for happy hour on a weeknight in mid-September, to which he obliged. Jon was probably the only person who didn’t know it was a date, I told everyone I knew that it was. We went to a place on Houston St. called Preserve 24 and I convinced him to try oysters for the first time. We had a some drinks, some food, and lots of fun. At the end of the night Jon walked me to the Path train, which was very much out of his way home to the Upper East Side. I was giddy and smitten. We didn’t kiss, probably since he didn’t know we had even been on a date. Fortunately we went out again not long after that, on a proper date that we were both aware of. That restaurant has since closed but every year on our anniversary I insist that we try out another oyster-serving establishment.

close up of wedding rings with bridal belt and RSVP card
bride laughing while bridal party buttons the back of her dress
black and white of bride and her mother kissing each other on the cheek on wedding morning

Rae: “Before I left for the ceremony I read Jon’s card that he wrote for me. He wrote about how happy he was to finally marry me, and knowing I felt the same way, I was so excited to go finally marry him!”

bride opening a card from the groom next to a close up shot of her reading the message inside
black and white of groom adjusting his tie on wedding morning
groom reading a card from his soon to be wife on wedding morning
Rae: “Our first look was an amazing experience. Jon looked unbelievably handsome and I felt like the luckiest girl in the world.

black and white of bride and groom during their first look
bride wiping away tears during the first look with her groom
bride and groom kissing during their first look on wedding day
side by side portraits of the bride twirling her dress and the groom smiling at the camera
full length shot of the entire 15 person wedding party wearing shades of robins egg and navy blue
bride taking a selfie with a groomsman
bride and groom throwing their heads back in laughter while they walk with the wedding party towards the camera
black and white of bride and groom holding hands and smiling while casually hanging out with wedding party

Rae: “We wanted our wedding day to reflect our relationship and what is important to much as much as possible. The diamond in my engagement ring is a family heirloom, it is the same diamond that my husband’s grandfather gave to his grandmother when he proposed over 60 years ago. My grandmother, who passed away years ago, loved cardinals. I found a tiny cardinal at the craft store which I attached to my bouquet to remind us of her. Proud cat parents that we are, we also included a pin of our cat’s face on my bouquet (he was unable to make it as he is an indoor cat).

full length of bride with bridesmaids who are wearing long robins egg blue chiffon dresses and have bouquets of baby's breath and blush roses
full length of groomsmen in navy suits with light pink ties standing in a park
bride and groom smiling with foreheads together while wedding party looks on
full length of bride laughing with the groom with wedding party lined up in the background and laughing
bride and bridesmaids laughing together in a park while posing for the camera
full length of entire wedding party laughing together and walking towards camera in the park
bride and groom laughing with several wedding party members at the park during portraits
groom and groomsmen posing for the camera on a golf course
close up of bridal party smiling for the camera with their bouquets of blush roses and baby's breath
black and white of groomsman lifting up the groom around his legs
full length of wedding party alternating between groomsmen and bridesmaids with bride and groom in the center

Rae: “I loved taking our wedding party photos out on the golf course – we all drove around in golf carts in our fancy outfits laughing and having so much fun!

8 golf carts lined up with wedding party members leaning out of the sides
black and white of bride laughing while her brother drives her in a golf cart
floral ceremony arch of white metal and white and blush pink flowers with greenery and vines
wedding guests sitting in ceremony chairs before the wedding begins
wedding guests enjoying the sun while waiting for the ceremony to start
black and white of wedding guests shielding their eyes from the sun
groom being escorted down the aisle by his parents
groom's parents walking him down the aisle at the outdoor golf course ceremony
groom's mother hugging the groom at the altar
bride beginning to walk down the aisle outdoors with her brother

Rae: “Walking down the aisle with my brother by my side, it meant so much to me, not only to have his love and support, to help me remain calm.

bride's brother escorting her down the aisle while she smiles
black and white of bride hugging her brother at the altar
full shot of entire ceremony space on a golf course

Rae: “Jon proposed in August 2016 while we were on vacation in Colorado. He had a conference to attend in Denver, and we decided to turn the work trip into a vacation. One of the days we took a bus to Boulder and went for a short hike just outside the main downtown area. At one point we stopped for a breather (altitude!) / water break, and that’s where Jon proposed! After soaking it all in and hanging out together for a bit on top of the rocks, we went back into town to celebrate with lunch. We went to a local brewery and they gave us free french fries! It was the best day!

black and white of bride and groom holding hands under their floral arch during the wedding ceremony
groom smiling at the bride during the outdoor wedding ceremony
wedding guests looking on during the ceremony
bride and groom smiling with arms around each other during a ceremony reading from family members

Rae: “We both unquestionably, without any doubt, support each other 100%. Whether as serious as career/school/life decisions or as simple as what socks to wear on a given day, I know that Jon has my back (and me, his) no matter what. We may ask the other ‘WHY?!?’ when they make a decision, but once they decide, we are in it with them til the end. We value the same things and put each other first, always. We absolutely have the same sense of humor and the same (great) taste in sweets – peanut butter & chocolate are always #1. Also, we’re a pretty good looking couple of people, which doesn’t hurt.

bride smiling at groom under a floral arch during their outdoor wedding ceremony
black and white shot of groomsmen and other seated guests watching the wedding ceremony on a golf course
bride and groom saying vows during the ring exchange at their golf course wedding ceremony
black and white shot of bride placing wedding band on groom's finger during their outdoor ceremony

Jon: “I really enjoyed saying our own vows and how we incorporated a Bruce Springsteen medley into our ceremony. Then looking back and seeing all the people most important to us in the world sitting there with us.

bride laughing while trying to push wedding band onto groom's finger
black and white shot of bride and groom's i do kiss at golf course wedding ceremony

Rae: “Jon’s aunt officiated our interfaith/non-religious ceremony, but one important Jewish tradition that we wanted to incorporate was the breaking of the glass. Generally it is the man who does this at the end of the ceremony. However, as we see ourselves as equals, we chose to both break the glass simultaneously!

bride and groom stomping the glass after their jewish wedding ceremony
bride and groom facing their guests with arms raised as they're announced as officially married
bride and groom kiss under their floral archway at the end of their outdoor country club wedding ceremony
bride and groom smiling at their guests who are clapping for them at the end of their wedding ceremony
black and white of bride and groom walking back up the aisle after being married
bride and groom smiling at each other after just exiting their ceremony
bride and groom strolling together across the green grounds of the country club
distant shot of bride and groom kissing on the ground of their country club wedding
bride and groom smiling and dancing together near a small creek outdoors
wedding party happily laughing and walking towards camera together
bride and groom walking and embracing the groom's sister

Rae: “No question, I think our favorite thing to do is to snuggle with our cat, Clarence. We love to binge-watch Netflix at home on our couch with Clarence, whiskey (for Jon) and wine (for me). Outside of the apartment, we love to do things outdoors. Running, biking, hiking – we like it all. We both own bikes and they have become a big part of our apartment decor, as they hang on the wall. Despite our conflicting baseball views (he loves the Yankees and I love the Sox), we also love watching baseball and try to get to one of NY’s ballparks as often as we can.

bride lovingly looking at her groom while holding hands in a wooded area
groom twirling his bride near a stream in a wooded area
black and white of bride and groom laughing together while strolling with their wedding party
bride and groom kissing while their wedding party members stroll the grounds around them
black and white portrait of groom smiling at the camera while bride laughs
bride and groom laughing together and holding hangs in a lush wooded area

Rae: “Before we had even set a date, my mom came down to NYC (where Jon and I live) and I made an appointment at Bhldn. I had been obsessing over all the gowns at Bhldn for months… spending way too much time on their website. They have a showroom in NYC; mom coming down was the perfect opportunity to go! The dress I ended up wearing on my wedding day was the first one I tried on; I loved it so much. But, being over a year out from when we planned to get married, I was too nervous to commit to it that day. I tried on many others over the next year and even ordered TWO other dresses. I am thankful they were returnable. One afternoon I was browsing bhldn.com (I truly was obsessed) and I saw that my original gown had gone on sale! For almost half off! I took it as a sign from the wedding gods, and I ordered it that day. It was perfect to me, it combined what I viewed as a classic bridal feel (the lace top) with more modern, boho aspects (milky, flowy bottom… ugh! how wonderful it looked when I moved around!). The best part is how comfortable it was, I wish I had a million more dresses as beautiful and comfortable as that gown was!

side by side portraits of the bride spinning and twirling her dress
bride and groom dancing together outdoors near a small stream
black and white of bride and groom touching foreheads with their eyes closed and embracing
bride and groom running through the country club grounds together
groom hugging a wedding guests as he enters the reception
black and white of guests lounging on love seat at a wedding reception
bride mingling with guests at her wedding cocktail hour
guests waving their dinner napkins in the air at the wedding reception
bride and groom running into wedding reception while guests cheer and waive dinner napkins in the air

Rae: “Leon Bridges ‘Beyond’ was our first dance song. We struggled for a bit choosing what we wanted to dance to; there were a few we had on our short list for quite a while. Leon Bridges was an artist we frequently put on in our apartment when we were just hanging out, cooking, cleaning – he was a go-to choice for us. Leon came out with a new album in May of 2018, which we were so excited about. Listening on my way to work, ‘Beyond’ came on and I loved it. I immediately texted Jon that he had to listen to it. It came up in conversation a few weeks later that maybe we could use this for our first dance. We mutually agreed that the lyrics were beautiful and we felt like we could relate to them. It was unique, not something a million weddings had used before, and the song actually meant something to us. What more could we ask for?!

bride and groom smiling during first dance
close up of bride and groom during their first dance at wedding reception

Jon: “Even though other people were there watching – it felt like we were just dancing alone together to one of our favorite songs.

groom twirling the bride during their first dance
guests watching and clapping during bride and groom's first dance
black and white close up of bride laughing during the first dance
groom hugging a smiling bride after giving her a single red rose during their first dance
wedding guests circling around bride and groom on the dance floor

Rae: “We incorporated the extremely fun Jewish tradition of dancing the Hora. It was one of the best 10-15 minutes of the night! Seeing the joy in our parents’ and our two grandmas’ faces when there were raised up in the chairs during the Hora was unforgettable. 

bride and groom dancing the hora in the center of all their wedding guests
bride and bridesmaid laughing and dancing during the hora
bride and groom being raised in chairs on the dance floor during the hora
parents of the bride being raised in chairs during the hora and laughing
grandmother throwing her arms up while being raised in chair during the hora
groom's father giving a blessing while couple bows heads at reception
maid of honor giving a speech at the wedding reception
black and white of best man giving a speech while bride and groom laugh
three shots of bride and groom standing together on an outside deck while the sun goes down
bride dancing with her father at the wedding reception
black and white of bride and her father smiling during the father daughter dance
bridesmaids embracing and watching the father daughter dance with sentimental looks
black and white of groom dancing with his mother
Rae: “Jon and I wanted cupcakes instead of a traditional large cake. We tested all the flavor combinations and only approved the best ones. :) Our baker set them up in the shape of a large cake – it was so great!

bride and groom cutting the two tier cake sitting atop a tower of cupcakes
close up shot of three flavors of cupcakes at wedding reception
series of 8 dance floor shots from wedding reception

A few wise words from our bride, Rae: “Planning a wedding (and the day of) can be so very hectic. A lot of people have a lot of opinions on how your wedding should be, this can be very overwhelming! We recommend sitting down together before making certain decisions to double check/sanity check/confirm that the decision you’re making is what YOU want to do and that what you’re choosing is truly important to you. In terms of day of – it is going to be crazy! Guests will be coming at you from all angles at all times to talk to you. Try to take a few minutes (more than once if you can) to check in with your new spouse, to have that special time together, and to have a chance to reflect on everything that is going on!

Working with Ayres was amazing. They made planning fun, making an otherwise very stressful process a lot more manageable. We knew literally zero about what a wedding day timeline should be or look like… Ayres not only provided guidance for us (with the most helpful booklet), but when we told Jenn our basic timing and what we wanted to do – she put together the day’s timeline for us! Just that one thing made such a monumental difference. Also, Ben and Jenn – you are awesome humans who are personable and funny and it was a pleasure to have you guys be part of our wedding.

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Wedding Vendors Include:
Venue: Midvale Country Club
Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas
Hair: Beautiful Moments of WNY
Makeup: Brooke Dezio
Florist: Wegmans
Dress Shop: BHLDN
Dress Designer: Watters
Bridesmaid Dresses: Show Me Your Mumu
Cake: Delicious Designs by Sherry
DJ: Turner Music Productions