What do you do when you want an elegant ceremony but also a laid-back wedding reception? Chris and Taylor found the answer! They eloped in Buffalo then hosted an I Do BBQ later in the summer. Their decision to split their celebration into two events meant they could really relax and focus on connecting with all of their friends and family. These candid wedding photos show just how much fun everyone had!
A Post-Elopement Wedding Reception
When Chris and Taylor first started planning their wedding, they assumed they would go big with a traditional celebration. They quickly realized they preferred a small, intimate ceremony. They held a ceremony and seated dinner wedding reception with a handful of family and friends at The Terrace at Delaware Park. The relaxed day felt just right for Chris and Taylor. You can see more from their Buffalo elopement here.
The elopement was perfect, but Taylor and Chris still wanted to set aside time to connect with extended family and friends. A post-elopement wedding reception allowed them to do just that. Taylor’s uncle invited the couple to plan a big party on his property near Ellicottville. About an hour outside Buffalo, the property had a summery country feeling. It provided a wide open space for everyone to relax and celebrate the newlyweds.
Chris and Taylor’s I Do BBQ
Chris and Taylor chose an “I do BBQ” theme for their wedding reception. They customized some details like you might expect at a wedding, but they kept it playful. They set out baskets of custom koozies in shades of blue that coordinated with the adirondack chairs and umbrellas. Their yard games included a corn hole game with their last name and wedding date on it. I love that they’ll be able to break this out at future gatherings and reminisce about their wedding.
This wedding reception didn’t include a lot of traditions like a first dance or speeches. Without a strict formal timeline, people could ease into the evening. They made the most of every moment eating, mingling, and congratulating Chris and Taylor on their marriage. It was really gratifying for Taylor and Chris to see these people all in one place to celebrate their love.
While some marriers might think they need to DIY everything with an I Do BBQ, Taylor and Chris took a smart approach. They hired Carson’s Food Truck to cater dinner. With their mobile kitchen, the staff didn’t even have to use the family home to prepare an incredible meal. Pink Cow provided deserts. You can’t help but smile when you see an ice cream truck pull up! It was a big hit with kids and adults alike.
Taylor and Chris found other ways to encourage connection aside from the amazing food. They set up chairs in cozy circles. Yard games were set up in the fields. Even the gorgeous flower arrangements on the tables served as conversation starters. As the sun set, Chris and his friends built a fire to keep everyone cozy.
Your Buffalo Wedding Photography
Chris and Taylor’s choice to do an elopement and an I Do BBQ wedding reception gave them the best of both worlds. They got the swept-away romantic day in the city and a laid-back party with their friends.
Having two celebrations also made it easier to get every kind of photo you could want from a wedding. At the elopement, we focused on a combination of couples portraits and candids. We took advantage of the city’s art and architecture to create some cool images.
At the BBQ, I took a more documentary approach, photographing people laughing, enjoying the food, and connecting with each other. With no hard timeline to stick to, I could also photograph Chris and Taylor with a lot more of their friends than I necessarily could on a traditional wedding day. We even did a big group photo! That combination of posed portraits and candid moments really portrays the I Do BBQ’s relaxed joy.
Are you interested in having me photograph your wedding? I’m a Buffalo wedding photographer, and I’ll document your wedding with lively, colorful photos. From the moment you inquire with me, I aim to be your Wedding Bestie - the person you can turn to for all things wedding. Let’s create a celebration that’s authentic to you! Inquire with me here.