There is something to be said about very large wedding parties. When you have 20 people standing up in your wedding, you have a lot of people that love you! For Caroline and Alex, these people are either family, or friends they have known through all walks of life. These are friends they have known from grammar school or even moved with around the country. Alex has a tight circle of friends that he grew up with in California and a whole other set of friends that he has been close with now, for a decade while living in Chicago. Caroline has remained close with the girls from her days at St. Mark's School, Nardin, and Fredonia. Caroline and many of her girlfriends from Buffalo, followed each other to Chicago and have been happily living there for years. It's like their whole Buffalo crew just relocated to the windy city. Unbelievable! That being said, you can imagine what this reunion was like for Caroline and Alex. So much fun, so many laughs! And lots of singing. This crew was not afraid to sing it loud, sing it proud!
Caroline and Alex's romantic and chic wedding day began at the new Hotel Henry. This impressive urban resort has been renewed from the old Buffalo State Asylum for the Insane. The exterior of the building is incredible with two iconic towers that have been Buffalo landmarks since the late 1800s. The interior has been restored with modern renovations giving the hotel a stylish and contemporary feel. There are several lounge areas throughout the interior and an open concept restaurant centrally located in the hotel. The resort features all of the exclusive amenities you would find at your typical upscale hotel, but the restored architecture throughout the building is awe-inspiring. From the large wood beams, rustic metal pipes and gigantic pulley systems, there so many interesting caveats throughout this building.
Hair and makeup started in Caroline's suite which was a gorgeous loft with modern accents. The 10 bridesmaids looked stunning in their long, chiffon gowns in ice blue. Caroline looked absolutely gorgeous in her off-the-shoulder ivory gown with button down back and lace embellishments. This breathtaking dress was paired beautifully with a sophisticated updo and cascading bouquet. I am obsessed with the colors in this wedding. I love that very pale blue, and the simple but oh, so elegant mix of ivory and white details. Maureen's did a phenomenal job of bringing Caroline's vision for the florals to life with a blend of white and ivory, accented with an array of pretty greens. The guys looked dapper in classic black tuxedos with black bow ties and white pocket squares. They accessorized themselves individually with on trend sunglasses.
Caroline and Alex were married at St. Mark's Church in North Buffalo with a traditional Catholic ceremony. They had a lovely ceremony and a wonderful opera rendition was performed by a male/female duo after communion. This song was so beautiful that the whole congregation applauded when it was over. After the wedding ceremony, it was back to Hotel Henry for a few quick photos with the wedding party and cocktail hour. The ballroom had a romantic vibe with a fusion of textures in ivory, gold and the glow of candlelight. Caroline's bridesmaid actually wrote all of the calligraphy for the invitations and escort cards for the reception. The gold script was so lovely! The elegant table decor featured tall candelabras with flowers and low florals to add depth and dimension to the room. The ivory cake was simple, yet stunning with gold and ivory rose accents. The bride and groom had their own sweetheart table just beyond the dance floor with an open view of the band and all of their wedding guests.
This wedding was all about the dancing and the party. And what a party it was! The new Mr. & Mrs. Soulier were introduced and playfully cut their wedding cake. The cake cutting was followed by some heartfelt and hilarious speeches from the father of the bride, maid of honor, two best men, and a blessing from the bride's uncle. Caroline was summoned by her sister to sing aloud the theme song from the musical "Annie" during her speech and, thus "The sun will come out tomorrow..." was happily sung! After dinner, Party of Nine got the dancing started with Caroline and Alex's first dance as husband and wife. It was a sweet and emotional dance to "I Can't Help Falling in Love With You". All of their friends stood up and gathered around the dance floor cheering them on. They sang and laughed and kissed. Their love for each other was palpable!
The father/daughter dance really got the party started. There was already a small crowd around the dance floor and then "Sweet Caroline" began to play. You can't help but get up and sing along to that song! The bride and her father were having such a good time dancing and singing together. He lifted her into the air and she waved to all their "fans." It was awesome! The mother/son dance was equally as great on a more sentimental level. Alex is an only child and his mother held on to him like she didn't want to ever let him go. I cried behind the camera and am crying again just thinking about it. At the end of the song, she brought Caroline on to the dance floor and handed Alex over to her. It was a very touching moment. Once the music started, the dance floor was packed and it never slowed up. Caroline hand picked each song the band performed and she certainly knew her audience. Everyone was dancing all night long. Caroline even got up on stage and sang with the band, it was great! This was probably one of the most fun weddings ever! Congratulations Caroline and Mike! Mary and I are so very honored to have been a part of your wedding and we wish you a lifetime of happiness together!!
Dress: Kelly Faetanini
Makeup: Jaime Ruggiero
Hair: I DuPretty
Calligraphy: Laura Georger
Shoes: Nina NYC
Jewelry: James & Sons
Cake: Sweet Beginnings
Venue: Hotel Henry
Ceremony: St. Mark's Church
Bridesmaid Dresses: Amsale
Florals: Maureen's Wholesale Flower Market
Band: Party of Nine
Video: Anland Media
There are magical places just outside of Buffalo! These two picked out the most amazing locations for their engagement photos. Lauren and Joe drove in from Pittsburgh and we took a shot after a day of heavy rain, flooding and road closures. The weather miraculously cleared up long enough to get these photos in and then it rained again all night in Buffalo. We had some fun adventures for this session! First, we went to the place where Lauren's parents took their wedding photos. It was beyond beautiful with lake views from the top of the hill! Then, they found this little beach, perfect for a romantic picnic. Joe was a trooper and humored me while I made him carry the picnic basket, He makes it look good though, right?! Haha! Joe proposed to Lauren when they were vacationing in Napa. They were visiting wineries and while tasting some new wines, the server brought out a special bottle that had a sweet message on the label. The bottle read "Will you marry me?". Lauren said, "oh, that is a cute bottle" and had no idea what was happening until she noticed Joe was down on one knee. And just like that, these two were engaged to be married! Awwwwwww!! What a proposal! Great job, Joe!! So it was fitting to enjoy some wine in a local vineyard to take it back to how their lovely engagement began. I loved hanging out with Lauren and Joe and can hardly wait for their wedding next year!!
This baby is about to makes it's debut, like any minute. Melanie is super pregnant and trying to speed things along. Literally, I just saw her dancing at a wedding this weekend! But we are still waiting for baby. I can hardly wait to meet this little nugget! Any day, now, little one!!!
I tried using some film during our time at the beach and had a few shots that were actually keepers so that was a nice surprise! I guess we'll call it a hybrid session. Ha! Below are a few of my favorites from Melanie's beautiful beach maternity session!
My sister-in-law and her beautiful family have been visiting from Houston. All of the cousins have been hanging out and having tons of summer fun. The kids have all celebrated birthdays, gone swimming, had sleepovers and went to the movies. We sure are going to miss these guys!
I'm currently loving newborn lifestyle photography and this is definitely one of my favorite sessions. Baby Hadley is a doll and was just 8 days in these photographs. She's usually the sleepiest little baby but she decided to wake up for us at the end of her photo session and show off her beautiful blue eyes! I love her downy blond hair and her fair little lashes! Sometimes, Hadley will pucker her lips and make a kissy face when someone gives her a smooch so Hunter tried and tried to make her do the kissy face for him. He tried in his nice clothes, stripped down to his undies, and then dressed up as Captain America, planting kisses on his new sister each time. It was really cute! By the end of our time together, the superhero in training was telling us, "I just love my baby sister." Haha! It took him a few minutes to warm up, but he got there!! Every superhero needs a sidekick!!
It's hard to believe a whole year has gone by already since I saw Caroline for her newborn session! It's crazy!! She is such a big girl now and daddy's little mini me. She looks just like him! Caroline was such a little ham from the moment I stepped into her home. She was smiling and laughing even though it was nearly bed time. Caroline is the sweetest little girl who loves to explore and quickly got over her fear of grass during this photo session. Who knew family photos could double as a sensory experience?! Baby girl has a mouth full of little teeth and the most adorable strawberry blonde little ringlets growing in! After showing me the beautiful gardens in the yard, singing nursery rhymes and dancing to Elmo, it was definitely time for bed and Caroline was ready to hang out with her bear and snuggle her blanky!! I think I might love those photos the most. She is sooo cute!!!
Caitlin and Mike are just great people. When you are around them, you feel incredibly welcomed and comfortable. They are always laughing and being around these two is just fun! The same is true about being around all of their family and friends. From the minute I stepped foot into Caitlin's parents' home, everyone was so friendly and accommodating. You can tell everyone in Caitlin's bridal party just adores her. Their reaction to her getting ready, all of her beautiful wedding details and her stepping into her dress was that of pure joy. Each and every one of Caitlin's bridesmaids expressed so much excitement for Caitlin and her husband to be. Even with the absolute downpour that was happening outside, everyone remained so calm and optimistic about how the day (and weather) would play out.
Caitlin had the most beautiful wedding dress. Both her Matron of Honor and her Maid of Honor described " that dress is so Her!". She selected a gorgeous, form fitting gown with crystal embellished capped sleeves. Caitlin chose a cathedral length veil to complete her look and it was stunning! The Donna Morgan sequin gowns in rose gold were so pretty and the color looked amazing on each of the bridesmaids. Maureen's did a fabulous job with the florals. Beautiful bouquets filled with fluffy Ranunculus and miniature roses in champagne were the perfect accent to the color scheme Caitlin chose. Yes, I had to look up those flower names!!
The guys started their day with a catered brunch at one of Mike's favorite local bars, The Swanee House. After kicking back in the morning, they quickly got ready to roll on over to St. Joseph's Cathedral where the festivities would begin at 12:00 sharp. All the guys sported tan Banana Republic loafers, which was a nice compliment to their navy suits. I have to give it to these guys, somehow, they arrived on time and everyone was wearing their rose boutonnieres come ceremony time!
Mike and Caitlin tied the knot with a traditional Catholic wedding ceremony at one of the most beautiful churches in Buffalo, St. Joseph Cathedral. Noah and Olivia were adorable walking together as ring bearer and flower girl. Little Ava made it down the aisle and she knew she did a good job. She started clapping for herself and wanted everyone to join in! Mike got a little emotional when he saw Caitlin walk down the aisle and Caitlin was holding back tears when her father gave her away. It was all very sweet. After a lovely ceremony and some family photos on the wet grass, there were finally clear skies above. We decided to head to the rooftop of Caitlin and Mike's building for some wedding photos. What a good choice. They have some unbelievable views of the city and the colors were amazing. That rose gold and navy combo just popped up there, with all of Buffalo in the background! It may have been so windy that my hair tie flew out, but the wedding party hair stayed in place. Kudos to Liz Jackson and Diane Wright!! I'm so excited about those pictures up there. Yes, you can tell its windy, but it was fun! Apparently, it wouldn't be Caitlin and Mike's day without some form of hockey. After the rooftop, the limo went to the Harborside Arena to check in on the 11 Day Power Play hockey game and the entire wedding party made the news!
Cocktail hour was at Asbury Hall in downtown Buffalo. There were nearly 30 tables, adorned with white hydrangeas and gold floral accents, candle light and rose gold table numbers. The bridal party was announced and the newlyweds cut their elegant three tier cake from Muscoreili's bakery and played nice as they fed it to each other. They went right into their sweet first dance to a song by Thomas Rhett called "Die a Happy Man", sung acoustically by Steve Balesteri. It was beautiful as they laughed and sang to each other. This adorable couple had several heart felt speeches made in their honor. These emotional speeches made everyone both laugh and cry. The highlight of the reception decor was the edible portion! A huge dessert table featuring delectable treats baked by the mother of the bride and the bride's aunt. This dessert bar was a colossal success, the guests loved it! You know how the rest of the night went...Dancing, dancing, dancing! Everyone had a blast on the dance floor!
Caitlin and Mike, thank for the opportunity to capture your special day. We had a phenomenal time meeting your wonderful family and friends. We felt so welcomed and had a great time celebrating with you guys! We wish you a lifetime of happiness together!! Congratulations!
Second Shooter: Mary O'Sullivan
Wedding Dress: Bliss Bridal
Bridesmaid Dresses: Donna Morgan
Earrings: Kate Spade
Bridal Shoes: INC International
Hair: Liz Jackson and Diane Wright
Makeup: Blush Makeup and Hairstyling
Men's Footware: Banana Republic
Ceremony: St. Joseph Cathedral
Venue: Asbury Hall
Cake: Muscoreili's Bakery
Band: Steve Balesteri
Florals: Maureen's Wholesale Flower Market
This family makes me want to fall in love with newborn lifestyle photography. Shannon has a flair for decorating and this nursery embodies her amazing style. Neutral basics and playful pops of color make this nursery a little bit masculine and a whole lot of fun. Each corner of the room is thoughtfully decorated with the sweetest toys, books and baby essentials. Shannon and Joseph simply adore their new baby boy. Baby Lennox is super cute and such a good baby. Whether he was awake or asleep, Lennox was pretty chill the whole session. Lennox has the most adorable lips and I love his chubby little baby cheeks. Sweet Vaeda woke up from her nap to hang out with us for a little while. Vaeda is learning how to do this sister thing. She is very curious about her new brother and is slowly warming up to this new creature that has taken over her house! Congratulations Shannon and Joe, you have a beautiful family!!