Ahh! One of my dearest friends in Orlando is having a baby! I think all of us moms are relishing in this! Our sons are all best friends so he asked Tommy what it's like to have a baby sister. Tommy's reply was supposedly "ehhh", which he aggressively denies. Haha! Depends on the day I'm sure! In reality, the littlest sister so far, is not one to be left out and follows all of these boys everywhere. Looking forward to having another girl to hang with! We all cannot wait to meet this baby girl in a few short weeks!!
Lauren + Alex's wedding day was nothing short of incredible. I remember talking to Lauren about how she and Alex met and their story could be the basis of a Lifetime movie. Lauren went in for a routine dental visit and there was a new dentist...Alex! Due to obvious reasons, their wedding plans were revised, and changed again four weeks before the big day. With a communal effort, everything fell into place beautifully to celebrate these two amazing humans. Lauren's parents backyard was transformed into a festive wonderland and the couple made sure to sprinkle in some lovely traditions from Alex's Ukranian heritage throughout the day.
The girls started the morning in style, getting ready in the Presidential suite at the Marriott Harborcenter in downtown Buffalo, NY. The view of the Buffalo waterfront was spectacular! Lauren, her bridesmaids and some family members hung out, drank mimosas and got ready for the big day. Everyone was super relaxed as the weather went from pouring rain to the sun peeking out behind the clouds just before it was time to leave. Jaime Ruggiero had everyone looking absolutely gorgeous and Dan O'Brien, Kristen Franco, and Kelly Hausler created the most beautiful hairstyles! Everyone looked amazing!
Lauren chose a simple and elegant off the shoulder, Vagabond Alpha gown with button detailing down the back from Lovely Bride Rochester. She paired it with a low bun and loose curls. Lauren completed her wedding look with nude Badgley Mischka satin and crystal heels and a custom clutch made from her mother's wedding dress. She looked stunning! The bridesmaids wore unique dresses to fit their individual styles and all were in the champagne, ivory and beige color scheme. They looked so good!! The bride's bouquet was beautiful with white and ivory blooms and greenery created by Williams Florist. The bridesmaids' bouquets complimented their dresses perfectly with white roses, pale pink blossoms and sprigs of greenery. Lauren and her father share a special bond. This was evident throughout the entire day. They shared a daddy daughter first look in Lauren's hotel suite just before the ceremony that was incredibly sweet and memorable.
Lauren and Alex were wed at Saint Michael Church in a traditional Catholic ceremony where the priest shared a thoughtful and personalized homily with the couple and their families. To celebrate and incorporate the groom's heritage, a traditional Ukrainian crowning ceremony was included. After the ceremony, the wedding party headed over to a neighbor's property for some photos. It was as if we had entered into an enchanted garden! After some quick photos, the Limo bus headed to the reception. Lauren and Alex had not seen how her parent's backyard had been transformed. To say they were surprised would be an understatement! First, they were greeted by their pup, Mosely, who sported a navy bowtie for the occasion. After a few loving licks, they continued down the white hydrangea lined driveway into the entrance of the their wedding reception. Guests were welcomed into the white tent decorated with lush greenery and twinkling patio lights. The first tent contained a bar and candlelight adorned hightop tables for cocktail hour. The second tent contained the most beautiful decor ready for a lavish dinner party. Every little detail was taken into consideration. Guests names and table numbers were written in calligraphy on parchment with gold accents. Multiple arrangements of white and pale pink florals sat on each table surrounded in candlelight. Menus were placed at each table setting and accented with a simple green sprig. Everything was gorgeous!
Lauren and Alex had their first dance as husband and wife while Vin DeRosa played. Lauren's father thanked everyone for coming to the wedding and explained how everything came together in just 4 weeks after many changes from the original wedding planning. With the help of many family members and friends, they had created the most beautiful wedding space in their backyard. It is incredible how beautifully everyone and everything came together. Lauren's father, her two brothers and Alex's sister all gave such warm and heartfelt speeches. They had everyone both laughing and crying. Lauren and Alex are two of the most selfless people. There is so much love between these two families and everyone was so excited that Lauren and Alex had found each other.
Oliver's catered dinner featuring perogies, seabass and NY strip steak. Everything looked delicious and guests enjoyed a fun Affogato Bar after dinner. Lauren and her father shared a lovely first dance and Alex and his mother danced to a Ukrainian song full of twirls and laughs. Then, everyone got on the dance floor as the band played favorites from all generations! Threads of Ivory got it all on video and we can't wait to see it!
Sometimes plans must change. Some things are out of our control. This was a situation where two people who are so in love, found a way to celebrate their marriage in the middle of a pandemic. Their family and friends came together asking how they could help and in the end, created something extraordinary. This is a day that Lauren and Alex will always remember. A beautiful light in a strange year.
We are so honored to have been a small part of your story. We hope we served you well, and please know, that you two have inspired us! Lauren and Alex, you are surrounded by so much love.
Best wishes for a wonderful life together!
Thank you to the amazing team of vendors who helped to make this day so special!
Wedding Planner: Marilynn Militello
Hotel: Marriott Harborcenter
Florist: Williams Florist
Makeup: Jaime Ruggiero
Hair: Daniel O'Brien, Kristen Franco, Kelly Hausler
Dress Designer: Vagabond
Dress Boutique: Lovely Bride Rochester
Shoes: Badgley Mischka
Rings: Reeds Jenss
Invitations: Rust Belt Love
Ceremony: Saint Michael Church
Band: Vin DeRosa Music
Video: Threads of Ivory
Photography: Rooted Love Photography
Second Shooter: Mary O'Sullivan
You know it's going to be a good session when someone offers you a vodka drink upon arrival! Haha! But seriously, Alyson and Dane are pretty awesome. I was so happy to meet their sweet new baby boy. They have had good luck with calm and chill babies! This little guy seems to have the same baby demeanor as his older brother. Big brother impressed us all when he gave some snuggles and kisses right on command. I met Alyson and her little guy for maternity photos while she was pregnant a few months ago. At that time, he had a little tail of hair and now looked so grown up when I saw him this time around. All set with a fresh cut for his new role of big Bro!! It was really so great to meet their adorable new baby. He is so loved by all. Congratulations guys! You have such a beautiful family and I am so honored to have been able to document this special time in your lives!
Mary and I photographed Lauren + Fran's wedding back in 2015 at the Saturn Club in Buffalo, NY. It was one of the first weddings we ever photographed and it was so beautiful. The people we met that day were so amazing and we are lucky to still call many of them friends. I remember that wedding was so much fun because Lauren and Fran, their families and every person at that wedding was so kind. They were also phenomenal dancers! Lauren and Fran are such a fun couple and so incredibly loved!!
Fast forward five years, a puppy and 2 babies later. I was so excited that it worked out to photograph Lauren and Fran's brand new baby girl when we were visiting Buffalo for a few weeks this summer. Behind the scenes, this session was a little crazy with 2 under two. We found humor in the chaos (and someone's ticklish spot) and this sweet family's laid back disposition is really what shined through in the photos.
I really love our trips back to Buffalo to visit family, but I also get to see so many friends and clients through this little photography gig. It is such an honor to document your sweet memories and to watch your beautiful families grow. Thank you for your continued support over all these years. Sharing in your lives is something I am truly so grateful to be a part of.
Miss Georgie is quite the independent little lady already at 18 months! She was on the move our entire session, stopping only for a quick milk and snack break. She was so adorable and happy as long as she was walking on her own, wandering through the quiet streets of Winter Park in the early morning and showing us all how well she has this walking thing down! It sure is a game changer when our babies start to move and there is really no going back! It's so much fun to see the little personalities of toddlers shine, but also, let the chasing begin! Such great memories come from those times our babies start exploring and walking all on their own!
This sweet family is preparing to become a party of four! When you are pregnant, it can sometimes feel like an eternity. Looking back, you start to forget the feeling of having a bump. The way your baby hugged your bump, the tiny kicks that kept you up all night..those memories fade. I was so happy to be able to capture this time of being a family of three along with maternity photos to remember this special time in their lives. I believe it is so important to have tangible memories we can always look back upon. Someday, these will be the old photographs we share with our older children and grandchildren. And this Iittle girl's pout may just be the cutest! She perked up any time we mentioned her baby sister and she knew right were that little one is, pointing to and hugging her mama's belly! The deep roots of those sibling bonds begin early. We took these photos outside of Lake Nona and the light coming through the trees was so pretty. Totally worth waking up early for it!! I can't wait to meet this family's new baby girl in a few short months!!
The sweetest new babe. Baby Sadie was almost 4 weeks old when we were finally able to do her newborn photos. A little music by Alan Jackson put her right to sleep as her mom and dad loved on her. She is so adored by her parents. This was just a really sweet session and I am so grateful I was able to share in this special time with this new family of three. Below are a few of my favorites from this in-home newborn session!
These photos are of my sister and her daughters from when they visited in early March. I asked them if they wanted to do a little motherhood shoot while they were here. Keli and I were excited when the girls agreed to dress up and take some photos with their mama! I am so grateful we created these images because we have a reminder of my nieces at these ages. The girls are currently in fifth and eighth grade. Due to the current situation, school will be taught at home for the remainder of the year. Some of the celebrations typically associated with these milestones are unable to happen. Even if there are no parties or graduation ceremonies, she has these memories with her girls before they transition to a new chapter!
On another note, my sister and her husband enjoy a mostly vegan diet. I find this fascinating because they are also such foodies. They love to eat out at restaurants and to cook at home. Keli gave me many pruning and drying tips for the herbs and vegetables in my little garden. I am constantly asking her for product information and recipes. It's funny, most of our text messages are usually about food in some way, shape or form. She inspires me in the kitchen, always coming up with healthy and delicious creations!
Since we are all spending more time at home and cooking a lot, I asked her to share some vegan recipes that her family enjoys so we can change things up a bit. I asked her for recipes that are easy to make and that her non vegan kids will happily eat. I linked the recipes below for anyone that may be interested!
Creamy Vegan Lasagna Soup - one pot!
From: ELA Vegan
Vegan Mac and Cheese
From: Ela Vegan
Now for some of my favorite photos of these three...All of these images were photographed on film!
“Every part of their being is truly a miracle. This truth is more engrained in my heart than ever and I cherish all the moments that make them who they are, and who we are as a family."
- Colleen, Expectant Mother
The full story is featured over at The Fount Collective
Colleen is a such a beautiful mother, inside and out, and really such a great friend. John and my husband have been best friends since high school! Their kids are sweet and adorable and our families always have the best time hanging out together. Since we live in different cities, this often includes family slumber parties, when us parents may stay up too late talking life and often drinking a little too much. I am so happy I was able to photograph this season for their family and can hardly wait to meet their brand new baby boy!
We also took some photos at home with their very first baby, Nala!
Newborns bring such light and joy and I think we can all use a little of that right now! This was my last session before social distancing was a thing. Alex and Steven are such natural parents. Steven had quickly mastered the swaddle and Alex knows exactly how to calm her sweet baby girl. They are such a great team already as they navigate parenthood together.
I don't know about you guys, but I feel like we need our team now more than ever. Each day, something new unfolds and often more uncertainty. We are confined to our homes, working and doing life closer than most of us ever have. It is crazy and chaotic here. Some days seem eternal. Others fly by and I am left wondering what we did all day. Through this experience, I have also recognized that I have slowed down. I don't have a list of places to get to and activities to get done or drive to. I have been more present and for that I am grateful. Tommy and I have started taking daily walks. It almost seems like going back in time when we walk around the neighborhood, seeing everyone out with cheerful smiles and hellos from a distance. We hang outside, as a family, when Mike is done working and the weather here has been amazing. The sun is usually dipping behind our neighbor's home and we listen to music, have a drink or swim as an evening breeze gently brings a close to the day. This situation is not ideal, I am as excited as anyone for things to go back to normal. But we are healthy and I will choose to take what I can from it and right now, that is spending more time with my little crew and listening to fart songs. Thanks Alexa.