Updated: Sep 27, 2022
This fall Hamburg, NY wedding was intimate, joyful and ended with an amazing dance party!
Recognize this building? If you've been to the Erie County Fair in Hamburg you should!
First I want to say, if you know Marissa and Ben, you should consider yourself very lucky. These two are two of the most genuine, kind, intelligent, talented and loving people I know, and it was truly an honor to capture their wedding day.
Often people outside of the wedding industry don't understand why it is so special to be a wedding vendor for one of your friends. But once you are around weddings long enough, it truly is an honor when a friend entrusts you in making their wedding day perfect, especially when it comes to capturing that day for a lifetime!! (no pressure right?!) After knowing Ben and Marissa for a years as friends and having had captured them before, it was so special when they asked if I would be willing to photograph their day!
For Ben and Marissa, what was most important to them on their wedding day was being surrounded by loved ones. It seemed to center around all of their planning which I absolutely love!!! For some, they want to be private as they can be... with a private first look, private vows, and quiet time alone, but when first discussing their day, it was obvious these two are all about the LOVE!! They included their families and wedding party in their first look outside of Marissa's childhood home, they asked their guests to wear masks and be vaccinations to ensure everyone is as safe as they can be, and they shared their vows for over 100 guests to laugh, smile and cry to. They had a table full of memories of loved ones who passed on and they honored those lost in their ceremony. The love these two give, not only to one another, but to those special in their lives was so special to witness.
Before I start listing some of my favorite moments, I want to shout out Sarah of Good Neighbors Events. She knocked this wedding out of the park and it was such a pleasure to work with her! The Hamburg Fairgrounds isn't a typical venue I shoot at and it is a bit of a challenge because it is completely what you make of it, if you will a "DIY" space. The hard work of Sarah and her team made for a beautiful wedding.
I could go on and on about this day, but I will keep this as short as I can with some of my favorite highlights:
- Marissa was in tears as she put on the dress that both her mother and grandmother wore on their wedding day. Knowing she wanted to honor her mother and her late grandmother, Marissa had madebyanatomy reconstruct the original dress to a more modern style. It was special to photograph some quiet moments with her mother in the foyer of her childhood home, giving a sort of vintage essence to this moment.
- The first look!! Like I said, Marissa and Ben wanted to include their loved ones in these special moments. As soon as I arrived at the house, I knew the big front porch would be the perfect spot to set up all the loved ones as Ben and Marissa saw each other for the first time. It was so precious to have them stand back to back with their loved ones behind them. Witnessing them turn to each other on their wedding day, I don't think there were many dry eyes.
- The Wedding Party... My goodness, do I LOVE a mixed / queer / inclusive wedding party! While planning, Marissa and Ben informed me of the loved ones that would stand at their sides during their ceremony and to refer to them as the "wedding folks". I absolutely love getting creative with mixed wedding parties and having fun with posing. I think this crew KILLED it! I will say it over and over again... GIVE ME MORE MIXED WEDDING PARTIES! 😍😍😍
- The ceremony! Ugh, the music, the laughter, the tears, the stories... I have to say these two had the best ceremony I have ever witnessed. I said prior, they made sure to honor those who could not be at their wedding day and if planning a wedding during a pandemic wasn't hard enough, Marissa and Ben unfortunately experienced the loss of their dear friend and officiant months prior. With change of plans, they asked the daughter of their dear friend, the talented Curtis Lovell to "perform" the ceremony. Curtis is a local and very talented singer, I was take back by her talent as the wedding party made their way down the aisle. With just her voice and a few pedals, Curtis created such a stunning and unique precessional. After walking down the aisle, Ben and Marissa took a moment to speak the names of those passed on who could not be with them on their wedding day. Marissa and Ben chose to write and recite their own vows. Both being very talented performers in the Buffalo theater scene, it was a treasure to hear their vows. Again, barely a dry eye in the place!
- Last highlight, even though again, I could go on and go... rainy photos outside. I tell most couples, "there will be a point that I steal you away for some sunset photos during dinner"... Well the sunny September day ended up turning in to a bit of a rainy monsoon, and while most couples would fret about their "perfect weather", Marissa kept reminding us it was good luck! So instead of sunset, we got rainy umbrella moments, which I love. 🥰
Once toasts were made, bellies were full, cinnamon bun (YES!! They had a cinnamon bun instead of a cake) was eaten, photos were taken... the dance floor as open! And you been your cinnamon buns that this party killed it!
Check out the entire day in photos below!
Again, special thanks to Marissa and Ben for trusting me. Their amazing families for their kindness and trust as well. Also, thanks to Zach Anderson who second shot for me and got some great BTS stuff!
Florist: CHAMISA Venue: Hamburg Fairgrounds Caterer: A Family A Fair