Archive: July 2011  |  View all recent posts
July 21, 2011  -  Weddings

stefanie + peter

This might get crazy. I think I just counted 211 photos in this post. You might think that's excessive, and you're probably right, but we can't help it. The posts are getting longer and longer and I think that's just how it's going to be from here on it. We really love this stuff and holy shit do we love our clients! From start to finish, Peter and Stefanie have reminded us time and again how rewarding what we do is when we get to spend time with couples in love like they are, and meet the families and friends in their circles.

This is good stuff. So let's go this massive post-a-palooza going.
Yeah - and the funny thing is, I tried to make this post shorter! It takes me just about forever to layout one of these blog posts, so I was trying to keep things short today. So much for that!

So, Stefanie's details were amazing - the engraved rings, the broach her mom bought her, the epic Louboutin's - but we need to give a special mention to the ring bearer's box. Stefanie's dad is apparently a bit alright with woodworking, so he made her a custom box for S+P's rings. The top is an African wood, because right after Stefanie + Peter started dating, she went to work in Kenya. Nairobi apparently isn't much for addresses/streets, but one day Stefanie was told she something arrived for her at her office - a big ol' bunch of flowers from Peter. Somehow he managed to get her flowers from halfway around the world to a really not on the grid spot, so Dad decided to use the African wood.

And the joints? They're made from a pew from the church where Stefanie was christened! Kind of epic, huh? And I was super impressed with Dad's handiwork before Stefanie even told me the meaning behind the box!

It's funny - I don't know that I can recall the last time I saw a ring bearer actually entrusted with the rings, but Stefanie's nephew was given the honor, and he was so protective of them (which is why I love the shot of his arm curled around the box). When they'd put the rings in the box, S asked him where he'd like to put it until the wedding. He thought for a minute, and said, "The bed - that way if they fall over, they'll have the bed to land on."
That's serious love right there. A hundred years from now, that box will still be in the family. And all day long I was really impressed by both sets of parents and how into their kids' wedding they were. That should go without saying, but it sometimes doesn't and when you see families like that, it all makes sense what kind of people S + P are.

This shot of Stefanie handing over the rings? So money, Alyssa.
Thanks :)

Fun Fact: The MUA didn't have a card with her, and I forgot her name, but she did the makeup for the crew for Extreme Home Makeover when they were in town.
So we get to the church (Saints Peter and Paul RC Church in Williamsville) and the family history gets even cooler. Apparently, Stefanie's dad's great uncle (is that right, guys?) was instrumental in getting the beautiful old church built in the mid 1800s. Peter was showing us an old woodcut print in the narthex with the names. That's also pretty amazing stuff.

Yeah, that's way cool.

Also, I find the word narthex funny. Probably because I think of a narwhal when I hear it. And they're funny. Also, I didn't believe they existed until about a year ago. So, there's that. Favorite shot of the day? Making faces at the altar - definite win :)
No, no, no it was NOT a year ago. It was when I answered a question about narwhals correctly to win, nay, DOMINATE a trivial pursuit game we were playing when we were first married. I remember because it was one of the five times I've been right in our relationship. I cherish those moments. You know what's awesome, blog readers? Having a smart phone. What's not awesome about constant access to Google? Your wife having constant access to Google. When you're as prone as I am to stating everything like it's a fact, particularly when I have no clue what I'm talking about, well - I'm wrong a lot. A whole lot.

But go ahead ask Alyssa how many times she has defeated me in Trivial Pursuit. Hint - it's the exact same number of times I've beaten her at Scrabble.
That's cold.
Hah! :)
And then - photo time! We shot in Williamsville for a minute, took a break, then headed downtown. Because I'm fully neurotic, the portraits are first with the break after, even though the break was in the middle of the day, and we were just having a discussion about how I feel obligated to post photos in a chronological order. Anyway, it's getting late, and I'm starting to ramble...
What had happen was....Stefanie and Peter wanted to find a bar or cafe-ish type place for some spur of the moment photos. Luckily, our friend Christina, who is working with us this year pointed out the Irishman pub across Main, so we popped in there for a couple of drinks and some photos. So that's why it looks like we were at a bar. Because we were at a bar. I should really give them a call and say thanks, because the wait and bar staff were incredibly agreeable to us coming in there. I guess when you have THE dress on, the world is kindof yours for the day, though, right?

Stefanie, you look amazing. Peter, your are a lucky guy. Together, you two are completely awesome and 100% photogenic.
So, then we headed over to the MoDA, and started their awesome cocktail hour. Seriously, their patio is fantastic. S + P headed inside to check things out (and I followed to shoot some details before the guests headed in), and the bursted out into a spontaneous waltz. Because they took waltzing lessons. First dance? The high school sway :) I appreciate that though - it always looks good to shoot, because you can talk/kiss/cuddle instead of having a furrowed brow, while not interacting, trying to remember your steps.

Also, is it me, or is their an oompa band on the roof?
And how do you get an oompa band off the roof? Through the window, of course. :) When S+P told us on their eshoot their musical plans for the night, I about lost it. I thought the oompa band was awesome, but the later evening's music was even cooler. Oh, you'll just have to wait, blog readers!
You couldn't be more right about the first dance - loved it. And we (and everyone within earshot) LOVED Buffalo music legend, Lance Diamond (and, just for fun, I had to post a link to this clip of him and the Goo Goo Dolls on MTV. You're WELCOME - and if you're like me, you just remembered when No Alternative came out and felt SUPER old (my birthday is this weekend).
We'll close up with some shots from the studio box before Vinny ruined it (thanks, Vinny - I'm kidding, everyone told me to give you crap about falling through the backdrop, but it wasn't a big deal, bro).

As always, thank you. You guys had an unbelievably ass-kicking wedding day and we were just lucky to be there. Thank you, thank you, thank you again :). And I hope you guys come back from France rested, happy, and ready to go. Because I'm partially afraid you guys will think France is so amazing that you'll just stay, and we really need awesome people like you guys to stick around.

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July 14, 2011  -  Weddings

sabrina + joe

So, the other wedding we shot at the Avanti last weekend was the fantastic Sabrina + Joe. We'll start with this shot of my fantastic husband's that I'm completely in love with :)
So, Sabrina had an epically detailed wedding. Her and her matron of honor had been planning their weddings together. They literally got married 3 weeks apart, which I think is crazy + fantastic at the same time. Crazy in that you get married, go on your honeymoon, come home and do it all over again for your friend, but fantastic in that you have someone to bounce ideas off of who's at the same place you are. And after doing all the planning, they want to be planners together - which I think is fantastic, because Sabrina clearly has a great eye for wedding details.
And credit to where credit is also due - Joe picked out him and his groomsmen's suits, ties, shoes, etc. And, well, he obviously tied their ties, too. Hey - sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do to get everyone looking good, right? The orange looked amazing with the lighter suits and perfect for a sunny, summery wedding. I know a lot of times guys are along for the ride so to speak with their own wedding, but you can do your own thing and make it unique and interesting.

And I loved the guys. I'm still laughing about some of the stuff your brother and Frank said, Joe. You picked good groomsmen, my friend.

Almost forgot - those rad boutonnieres? Made custom from maps of the area, so each one had Buffalo in the center petal. They looked amazing and are instant keepsakes.
I think the paper lanters are a totally underused wedding decoration. I love how they look and have even seen them in various sizes hanging from the ceiling of a venue, and it really adds a little funk to a spot. Loved it, guys!
So, when we were doing Sabrina + Joe's eshoot, we took them down by the waterfront. After a morning of shooting, I had them sitting, hanging their feet toward the water. They stood up and Sabrina mentioned how much she hated water. So, she decided to get married on an island surrounded by... :) It was gorgeous though. I totally get why the Avanti is in such high demand. The place is incredible.

Also, in the five years we've been shooting weddings, this was a first - a perfect, perfect first. Sabrina + Joe had a guitarist, and after the ladies all came down to the island and everyone was waiting for Sabrina to make her appearance, the first chord the guitarist played to announce her entrance, I about passed out. It was without a doubt the most perfect music to walk down the aisle to ever - the theme from the Princess Bride.
Huge win. I can stil recite that entire movie line by line. I think it was Mother's Day two years ago we couldn't find our copy and went out IMMEDIATELY and bought another copy because that was the only thing you really wanted to do for yourself that day (other than watch Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, of course).

The ceremony was hot, but not too hot, sunny but not too sunny - really it was all kinds of just right. It felt incredibly intimate and personal, just like the whole day.
This is one of my favorite things you've done since we started a more gridded layout on the blog, hon. Nice :). And ninja-fast.
Thanks :) I am ninja-like :) And who doesn't always want to watch Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, best movie of all time?

So, a lot of the time on a wedding day, Rich and I are off doing different things, so we don't get a chance to talk to each other until right after the ceremony, and I couldn't wait to see him to tell him that Sabrina + Joe have the Adventures of Pete & Pete, which might have been one of both of our favorite tv shows as kids - we totally bonded over it, and Rich actually put the theme song on one of the first mix cds he ever made for me. Speaking of, spouse, what do the kids do for each other these days? Make playlists? I'm kind glad we dated before that would've happened. I think if you'd made me a 500-song long playlist, I prolly would've checked out :) Anyway, after Rich + I dorked out for a minute about Pete & Pete, we shot some photos of their rad bridal party.
And I'm really smitten with this first shot in the set - you guys did such a good job!
And then Alyssa was all, "Hey, Sabrina, how attached are you to your bouquet?" So she had Sabrina throw her bouquet AT HER FACE. And, my wife being who she is, she was struck directly in the face, but I was pretty stoked about the one I got. Though part of me kindof wishes I could have also had a shot of a face full of bouquet because the next shot in their series in my camera had Sabrina with the most horrified look on her face I've ever seen from a bride. But it was all good and we headed up to the big, white tent.
Yeah - I have to give a shout out to our intern Dawn who was SUPPOSED to catch the bouquet. So, there's that, also :) Also, I didn't catch who did their flowers, but they held up surprisingly well for being spiked into my face.
First dance? Iron and Wine. That made my hipster beard happy. You guys were adorable.
A killer candy buffet, and how about s'more photos?

(I kill me.)
Hah! Yeah, that was a great call. I think the Avanti is offering that for all their weddings now with homemade marshmallows and everything. S'mores were a giant hit - and an obvious ring shot, lol! The Avanti also did all the flowers for the tabels, too, which was not only a nice touch, but I think it really complimented the hard work Sabrina and Joe put in.

Guys, we always take time at the end of our posts to say, "thanks," and we really mean it. We can't do this without you and your awesome wedding day and your friends and family. Thank you, again, and I hope your wine country trip is as amazing as it sounds. See ya soon!

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