shannon + nick // Hotel @ the Lafayette Wedding

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Shannon and Nick are that couple who started dating in high school and never lost that fun loving youthful energy of the “good old days”. You want to be near them in hopes that just a little of their amazing energy might rub off onto you, and if you spend more than a few minutes with them then it surely will. The excitement in the air on their wedding day was tangible! It was so sweet how evident it was that they just wanted to have fun and love each other for the rest of their lives. You could see so much affection and all the years of friendship in their faces every time they looked at each other. They couldn’t wait to spend all day together, surrounded by their family and friends, laughing and embracing and showing off their serious moves on the dance floor all night. It was such a fun filled day and we’re so grateful to have been a part of it!

Shannon and Nick shared a few words about how they met, how Nick proposed and why they love each other so much. Scroll through to feel their incredible energy and read all about it!

detail shot of invitation suite with bridal bouquet and shoes
side by side shot of bride and bridesmaid gowns next to bridal shoes and bouquet
mother and sister of the bride zipping the bride into her dress
black and white shot of bridesmaid helping the bride under her veil
a bridesmaid helping the bride with her shoes
black and white of the bride smiling at herself in a full length mirror

Shannon: “I had probably tried on 40 dresses and was starting to lose hope in the process when I had my appointment at Bridal Chateau. Their shop is unique in that they let you look through the racks and pull dresses for yourself which was really fun. I actually pulled what ended up being my dress, and I don’t think any consultant ever would have brought it for me because it was so far from what I was describing that I wanted. But when I saw it, even on the rack, I was just drawn to it! I had my mom, sisters, aunt and cousin with me and as soon as I came out in the dress they seemed to know what I knew- it was the one! The reason I knew beyond at doubt is because it was the only dress that I had fun wearing (I really couldn’t stop smiling in it) and I did not want to take it off. I loved how it moved and how unique it was! I was a little nervous how Nick would react to the bold style, but of course he agreed with me that it was perfect!

portrait of the bride gazing at her flowers next to a portrait of the bride smiling at the camera with her sister
mother of the bride uncorking a bottle of champagne
black and white pouring champagne into glass flutes with names engraved on them

Shannon: “Getting ready with my friends and family was so much fun, and way more relaxing than I imagined. I felt so supported by the amazing women in my life and it was nice to enjoy the morning with them. What particularly stands out is the little champagne toast we did, it was such a nice moment to tell them all how much I love and appreciate them and shed some happy tears together.

bride and bridal party doing a champagne toast cheers
father of the bride seeing his daughter for the first time
bride and her father seeing each other for the first time on wedding day
father of the bride embracing his daughter after first seeing her on wedding morning
side by side portraits of the groom getting dressed
close up shot of the groom's custom made cuff links with the wedding day in roman numerals

Shannon: “Nick and I met in high school in 2007 through friends. We immediately connected and had so much fun together! We have been best friends ever since. Because we were so young when we first started dating, we really didn’t have an official first date. We hung out with friends as a group a lot before becoming a couple, typical high school stuff!

black and white of the bride coming up behind the groom for their first look

Nick: “Our First Look was so special for me. I kept thinking about how we basically grew up with each other and the past 11 years had culminated to this day. Also I couldn’t believe the dress, she looked so beautiful.

groom turning to see his bride for the first time on wedding day

Shannon: “My first look with Nick was exhilarating and romantic. My heart was pounding coming around that corner to greet him, but as soon as he turned around and I saw his huge smile all I could do was smile back (and you basically won’t find a picture of me without a huge smile for the rest of the day).”

bride showing off her dress to the groom for the first time
bride and groom smiling at each other during their first look
bride and groom kissing in the hallways of their wedding venue
groom twirling his bride around in their hotel's hallway

Shannon: “Nick had planned an amazing day for us. It was a random Sunday, so I suspected nothing – we had brunch and spent some time shopping (Nick says that he was carrying the ring around all day and fidgeting with it in his pocket). Then, Nick arranged for my mom to ask me to go to Canalside to go ice skating with my parents and sisters. Unfortunately, it was a warmer March day and the rink was closed. We decided to walk around by the water to see the sunset and take a few family pictures instead – my sister’s boyfriend had brought his camera. As we got closer to the water, Nick took my hand and started telling me he loves me and talking about our relationship. Before I knew what was happening, he was on one knee! I barely remember what he said, just being so excited to say YES! It was perfect because family is so important to us, and I am so glad we were able to share that moment with them. He also had made dinner reservations and when we arrived at the restaurant, I was surprised again by his family joining us. It was a perfect day.

wedding party posing in front of a stone bridge in a heavily forested park
bride leaning into groom and smiling in a wooded area
bride and groom holding hands and smiling at the camera
bridal party laughing with each other and walking towards camera
detail shots of bouquets of blush, pink and white being held behind the backs of the bridal party
groom leaning his forehead again bride's temple and both are smiling
bride having fun with her dress and her bridesmaids
groom with his groomsmen and best person in a park
bride and her sisters smiling for the camera

Shannon: “We both value family. We chose to build our life together in Buffalo because we are both very close with our immediate families (and each others).

bride smiling over her shoulder at her groom as they hold hands
full length of bride and bridesmaids smiling for the camera
entire wedding party smiling for the camera in the park
full length of groom and groomsmen acting casual for the camera
bridal party facing away from camera while bride looks back at camera over her shoulder and smiles

Shannon: “We love trying new restaurants, watching cheesy scary movies on Netflix, spending lazy Sundays enjoying our home, shopping (Nick is the best mall partner), and spending time with our families.

groom kissing the bride's shoulder
detail shots of the ceremony programs and ribbon wands in blush and navy colors
guests smiling and fanning themselves in the ceremony space
bridesmaid and groomsman walking down the aisle together and smiling

Shannon: “One of the moments that sticks with me the most is when I first stepped into the ceremony space with my Dad. I was in awe of how well everything came together it looked so beautiful. I was overcome seeing everyone I loved all at once, and then looking to see the person I love the most smiling at my at the end of the aisle.

bride and her father walking down the aisle at the courtyard ceremony

Nick: “One of the emotions that has stuck with me the most is how nervous (but in a good way) I was before the ceremony. I did not expect to feel that way at all! I started to calm down when Shan read her vows and I was really in the moment at that point.

black and white of groom waiting for his bride at the altar
bride smiling at her groom as her dad escorts her down the aisle
black and white of the father of the bride hugging her at the altar
shot from the end of the aisle of the father of the bride hugging the groom after he gave his daughter away

Shannon: “The ceremony as a whole was definitely my high point for the day. Having Nick’s Dad officiate made it so personal and really made me feel loved and welcomed by my new family. He even had picked my favorite poem (‘I Carry Your Heart in My Heart’ by EE Cummings) to include in the ceremony without having known it was my favorite. My moms reading touched me so much as well. Finally, exchanging our vows which we had written ourselves. I could barely read mine through happy tears, but it felt amazing to declare my love in front of everyone who loves us.

mother of the bride doing a reading during the ceremony
detail shot of the groom's navy blue vow book, a ribbon wand and candles lining the aisle with flower petals
bride saying her vows

When asked “What are the things that make you want to spend the rest of your lives together”, Nick said: “It’s like in high school when the teacher would ask you to show your work and you feel like you just know the answer, but can’t explain how you got it.

groom reading his vows
bride placing ring on groom's finger next to a detail shot of the wedding bands
bride and groom's I Do kiss

Shannon: “I feel like Nick makes my life better in new small ways every day. He goes out of his way to make me laugh, believes in me, and just makes me happy.

bride and groom smiling with their arms around each other at the end of the ceremony
bride and groom walking back up the aisle while guests wave ribbon wands
bride and groom hand in hand and arms raised as they walk back up the aisle together
Nick & Shan embroidered underneath the groom's suit jacket collar
black and white of the bride and groom walking away from the camera around a corner on the street
bridal party lined up on the street and smiling at the camera
bride leaning into the groom with her leg in the air in the middle of a city street
wedding party happily laughing and talking as they walk towards the camera on a brick paved street
groom lifting and kissing bride under a traffic light
groom showing off his custom made suit with wedding party on a city street

Shannon: “For my perfect night in, I would probably make something for dinner that I know we both love. Nick would clean up after dinner, and then we would curl up on the couch with our cat, Ace, and watch a movie. Eventually I’d have a dessert craving, and Nick would run to Wegmans. When we go out, we really like trying new places downtown or near our home in Amherst. My favorite is when I come home from work and Nick says that he has an unexpected night out planned for us! We both enjoy dressing up occasionally. We don’t mind waiting a bit for a table because we like to get a drink at the bar and catch up on our weeks before dinner.

bride and groom walking towards the camera with arms around each other as bridal party follows

Shannon: “So much of our reception decor was DIY! I am so lucky because my sisters are both talented artists. Jess my maid of honor does calligraphy (@jesswritesonthings on Etsy and Instagram) and Sam paints. Jess made our welcome sign and our table numbers and they collaborated on our signature drink signs which were a small detail that I loved. Nick and Jess worked together on our seating chart, which helped set the gold geometric decor theme. My aunt Val made the amazing pink backdrop for our cake table by hand. My mom, sisters and I spent a marathon session making the ribbon wands for our exit. All of these little things were such labors of love that made the day really special.

collage of detail shots from the wedding reception at the Hotel at the Lafayette in Buffalo NY
bride and groom entering the reception hand in hand
black and white of groom spinning the bride while they make their grand reception entrance
wedding party clapping and welcoming the bride and groom to their reception

Nick: “I had a blast at our reception. It was so fun to see loved ones from all aspects of our lives come together and just be happy.

bride and groom holding hands and smiling during their reception entrance
side by side shots of the signature drink signs at the bar during the wedding reception
maid of honor giving her speech while bride and groom smile
bride wiping tears away while maid of honor reads her speech
maid of honor smiling as she reads her speech during the wedding reception
best man getting ready to give his speech
bride and groom looking on during the best man's speech

Nick:  “I liked the speeches because they were so much more meaningful to me than I expected. I am not a crier at all but my new father-in-law’s speech definitely had me choked up. I have always felt welcome in Shannon’s family but it was nice to hear it like that.

father of the bride giving a speech while the bride wipes away tears
bride and groom laughing during a champagne toast at the reception
detail shot of multi-cake display at the wedding reception
bride and groom smiling for the camera before they cut their cake
detail shot of the single tier round wedding cake with ivory fondant and gold painted marbling detail
bride and groom tasting their wedding cake together
bride and groom looking at the camera and licking the cake frosting off their fingers
side by side shot of a chocolate cake with cascading chocolate ganache and a naked white cake adorned with pink flower
bride and groom smiling at each other during their first dance

Nick: “Throughout the day I loved seeing how proud my parents looked. I kept thinking that I found the perfect woman for me and they knew that. I really felt it during my dance with my mom.

black and white of wedding guests smiling and crying during bride and groom's first dance

Shannon: “Our first dance was to ‘Perfect’ by Ed Sheeran. While I’m sure this was a common wedding song that year, it just feels like it was written only about us. The story of the song being about young love maturing into a forever partnership is exactly ours. The moment I first heard it I was in tears imagining us on our wedding day. Even now it takes us back.

groom twirling his bride during their first dance
black and white of the groom lifting and kissing the bride during their first dance
bridal party seated and smiling while watching the first dance
bride and her father dancing together during the wedding reception

Shannon: “I danced with my dad to ‘The Way You Look Tonight’ by Frank Sinatra. Neither of us are dancers so we wanted to pick a fun song that we could just enjoy. We ended up laughing the whole time and I was definitely leading! My dad is one of my best friends so it was very us to just have a good time.

black and white of the bride and her father laughing together during their dance
full length of the groom and his mother smiling during the mother son dance

Nick: “My mom and I danced to ‘The Perfect Fan’ by Backstreet Boys. Me and my mom used to listen to BSB together in the car all the time when I was a kid, so I wanted a song that was a throwback to that time. Plus the lyrics are true, my mom has always been my biggest supporter.

close shot of the mother of the groom and the groom smiling at the camera during their dance
collage of photos from the wedding reception dance party at the Hotel at the Lafayette in Buffalo NY

Shannon: “After a day filled with so much love and emotion, it was a blast to just unwind and have fun with our friends and family. It’s hard to pick a specific moment. We love to dance so it was great to goof around partying with our friends.

black and white of bride and groom kissing on the dance floor while wedding guest cheer around them
bride and groom holding each other close and smiling at the camera in the outdoor courtyard at night with many strands of twinkle lights

Shannon: “At the end of the night, we snuck off to the courtyard for a few last pictures. This quiet romantic moment was a nice time to reflect on the meaning of the day just us. The courtyard is so lovely at night.

fill length of bride and groom leaning in for a kiss outdoors at night with twinkle lights in a brick wall courtyard

Some great planning advice from Shannon: “Stay organized – my planning binder was a great resource. Depend on your friends and family, especially if you’re someone who finds planning stressful. As we got closer to the wedding, I felt so overwhelmed with DIY projects and things to remember. When they saw that I was stressed, my mom and my sister Jess came over and folded my laundry for me just to get something off my plate!

A few sweet and thoughtful words about what it was like to work with us: “I can’t speak highly enough of the Ayres Photography experience, top to bottom. Jenn was available to me anytime I needed help with questions, starting more than a year before the big day. As it got closer, the planning calls with her went such a long way in helping me understand the day. I haven’t even been to many weddings so I was clueless – Jenn walked me through a timeline of every minute! On the day of, their expertise and professionalism shown. They guided my sometimes rambunctious wedding party through the photo process, even making it fun for the guys who were dreading posing for hours! Ben went out of his way to make the guys crack a smile and those are some of my favorite pictures. As for the final product, I couldn’t love my pictures more. If you can, have Jenn and Ben both. They work so well together and their photo styles are complementary. My pictures help me relive the best day ever and I am so grateful for that. Can’t forget Rachel, she was so patient and helpful through my edits of the album process, and my albums are so gorgeous. I know this is way more than a sentence, but I loved working with you guys!

Obsessed with Shannon and Nick’s cake display? Click here to see more amazing dessert tables!

Wedding Vendors Include:

Venue: Hotel @ the Lafayette
Invitations and Programs: Hoopla House Creative
Hair and Makeup: Hair Reformation by Natalie
Dress Shop: Bridal Chateau
Dress Designer: Morilee
Bridesmaids: MA Carr
Groom’s Custom Tux: Bureau
Groomsmen: Tuxedo Junction
Florist: Wild Blossom Hollow
Cake: Ohlson’s Bakery
Signage: Jess Writes On Things
DJ: Toy Bros