Friends & Family Celebration 2019 at Park Country Club | Buffalo Event Photographer

What better way to celebrate the people you are lucky enough to call family and the people who have come into your life as great friends, than by bringing everyone together for an epic dinner & dancing celebration at Park Country Club? This year’s theme was gemstones, and the group was the biggest it’s ever been. With an amazing food display for cocktail hour, and the energetic music of the live band, this was a certainly a night to remember! Thank you, Kathie, for inviting me to photograph your Friends & Family celebration!

Special shout-out to some of the vendors who played a key role in the celebration: Band: Gregg Simmons, "Crying Out Loud” / Florist: Paula Salvatore, Salvatore's Hospitality / Ice Carving: John Matwijkow, Unique Culinary Concepts / Chairs: Stacy Stephens, Tesoro Event Rentals

Wild & Free at Tifft Nature Preserve: A Summer Evening Family Session in Buffalo, NY with the Flateau Family

Tifft Nature Preserve is nestled along Buffalo’s Outer Harbor, and is not only a great place for a family day trip of exploring the outdoors, but it’s a beautiful backdrop for family portraits. Especially for families looking to include a combination of traditional family portraits and candid images of their children roaming wild and free amongst the trees and tall grass (just be sure to check yourselves over carefully for ticks afterwards)!

This session with the Flateau family is easily one of my favorites from this summer. Everything from the family’s color pallet choice for their outfits to the summer evening lighting, combined with the carefree vibe of the session, and inquisitive, joyful spirit of the kiddos made this one session I am still swooning over, and know you will, too!

Then & Now: Lauren and Shaun Celebrate 7 Years!

With the every day hustle and bustle of life, doesn’t it sometimes feel like someone hit the fast forward button, and all of a sudden nearly a decade has gone by? To me, Lauren & Shaun’s wedding day feels like it was only maaaaybe 4 years ago, but somehow today they celebrate 7 years! Isn’t that amazing?! I’m so, so happy for them both and also very excited to feature them today in my Then & Now post series!

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THEN

Lauren and Shaun were married on July 21, 2012 in Buffalo, NY with a beautiful ceremony at St. Aloysius Church in Cheektowaga and a unique brunch-style reception was at The Roycroft in East Aurora. We did wedding portraits at Knox Farms in East Aurora AFTER their reception, which not only allowed them to relax and enjoy the day with their guests, but gave us ample time (and better lighting) to get photos of the two of them together, without the pressure of needing to wrap up by a certain time. If you’re considering a brunch reception, I can’t even recommend it enough. Especially a brunch reception at the Roycroft!

Before diving into the photos, here’s a bit more from Lauren about their story and wedding day experience!

How and when did you meet?
Shaun and I met in Florida in the fall of 2007. His sister in law was in the same new teacher orientation group I was in during the summer of 2017! She invited me over for a game night over Labor Day weekend and that's when we met!

Looking back on your wedding day now, would you have chosen to do anything differently?
I absolutely LOVED our wedding day. It was absolutely magical. If there was one thing I would do differently, I think it would be to have videos of our wedding day!

What was/are your favorite memory/memories from your wedding day?
Oh just about everything! From seeing my bridal bouquet for the first time (my mom did an amazing job choosing the floral arrangements), to getting married in my childhood church, to our brunch reception. One of my favorite memories was actually going out to dinner that evening at Ricks on Main with Shaun. While we absolutely loved celebrating the day with our family and friends, it was wonderful to keep on celebrating with a private dinner!

Do you have any advice for couples planning their own wedding?
I was actually so relaxed planning our wedding, which is surprising since we were living in Tampa at the time. My mom helped with so much because she has such creative ideas. My advice is to let people help you and don't get overwhelmed with Pinterest and the beautiful images on Instagram. Be yourself! It's a beautiful day regardless of everything else. Oh - and one more thing: take a moment at your wedding reception and just be with your spouse. My husband and I broke away during the reception and just sat and talked for a few minutes. The day goes by so fast and you just have so many people around you - it's nice to just have a few minutes alone!

Now

Where has life taken you since your wedding day?
Shaun and I moved into our first house in December 2013 in Tampa, Florida. In August 2018, we welcomed a sweet baby girl. Then in March 2016, we welcomed another baby girl into our lives - which was a big surprise because I was convinced she was a boy (if you have the patience, I totally recommend not finding out the gender. It was the best surprise EVER). Then in the summer of 2017, we sold our house in Florida and relocated back to my hometown of Buffalo, NY. Shaun, the girls, and myself are completely overjoyed to be living in Buffalo and soaking in everything that the Queen City has to offer!

Words of Wisdom

Do you have any advice for newly married couples?
Married life is full of ups and downs - communicate with your spouse and never go to bed angry! Don't be afraid to tell your spouse how you're feeling so they're on the same page. Add in some children and life gets real crazy, real fast! Pregnancy is a beautiful phase of life - share it with your husband - tell him how you're feeling, let him rub your feet, and let him put his hand on your belly to feel the baby kick! Once your sweet baby is born, take turns with diapers, feedings, and everything else. Parenting is definitely a two person job and is much easier if everyone shares in the responsibilities. In the evening, don't forget to ask your spouse how their day went. While a mom who is staying home may have had a challenging day - a dad who was at work all day may have also had a rough day. Parenting is the best but hardest job ever.

Thank you, Lauren & Shaun for the honor of photographing not only your engagement photos and wedding day, but the last few years of family sessions here in Buffalo! It’s been so wonderful watching your family grow and I look forward to many more sessions together! Happy anniversary!!

Shannon + Jeremy's Ceremony Destination-Themed Ceremony & Reception at Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School

Shannon and Jeremy just recently celebrated their second year of marriage, and holy smokes, it still feels like this perfect day was just a short bit ago. While living overseas in Europe, they planned their wedding at Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School in Rochester, NY – not too far from where Shannon grew up. Family and friends traveled from all over the world – Ireland, Australia, London, etc – to celebrate their day with them and a celebration it most certainly was. Happy anniversary (+1 day) you two!! <3