Jenna and Daniel's Rainy, Gold-Detailed, September Wedding at Sonnenberg Gardens in Canandaigua, New York


It's hard to believe we are already in the middle of September. Another fall season is beginning; another summer season soon to be behind us. Like many photographers, blogging for me always gets put on the back-burner to all the other business things – especially during the summer and fall months. But today I am taking a pause on everything else to reflect back on Jenna + Daniel’s September Wedding at Sonnenberg Gardens. Today they are celebrating the big FOUR, and while I’m a little embarased it’s taken me THIS long to share their amazing day, I’m even more excited that we can all relive this day together on their anniversary (which oddly enough, is another rainy September morning here in Buffalo, NY)!

In our time leading up to the wedding, I had the pleasure of getting to know Jenna and Daniel and was really excited about not only working with them, but photographing them because they are seriously the cutest and most playful couple. I am so drawn to personalities like theirs – fun-loving, a little quirky, and not afraid to be themselves or be silly, but yet also super affectionate.

Their wedding ceremony and reception were planned to be outdoors at the breathtakingly beautiful Sonnenberg Gardens in Canandaigua, NY (which is a dream come true venue setting for anyone looking to have a wedding with a garden setting). But of course, mother nature didn't quite agree with their plans, so they ended up needing to get a tent up over the ceremony and sides to a tent for the reception. It was a really wet day, I'll be honest. I'm pretty sure it didn't stop raining once. But even more importantly, it was a really AMAZING day. From start to finish, the rain was a part of their story, and rather than let it get them down, Jenna and Daniel embraced it and enjoyed every minute of their once-in-a-lifetime wedding day despite all the rain. And I’m sure everyone who was there will agree – it was nothing short of perfect.

Special shout-out to all the vendors:

Ceremony & Reception Venue: Sonnenberg Gardens
Officiant: Beth Bouwens
Photographer: Dawn M Gibson Photography
Florist: Wegmans
Caterer: Creative Caterers
Cake/Bakery: Scratch Bakeshop
DJ/Band/Entertainment: Turner Music Productions
Invitations: Minted
Hair & Makeup: Michelle's Salon and Spa
Bride Attire: Dress: Lovely Bride, Shoes: Wallis, Accessories: Twigs & Honey
Groom Attire: Suit: Combatant Gentlemen, Shoes: Cole Haan
Wedding Party Attire: Bridesmaids: BHLDN, Groomsmen: Combatant Gentleman
Decorations/Decor Design or Rentals: McCarthy Tents & Events
Favors: Succulents
Late night food/snacks: Mini Pies

Additional thoughts from the Bride:

How would you describe your wedding vision/theme? My friends started joking that they were going to call me "Midas" – everything that I touched with this wedding turned to gold! I knew very early on that I didn't want a specific color to be the focal point of the vision, as I felt that might be a bit overwhelming when looking at the entire wedding as a whole. Instead, I focused on a softer vision of gold, ivory, and warm lighting. I also knew that I wouldn't be wearing a white ballgown down the aisle, it just wouldn't have felt like me. Why wear a white wedding dress when you can wear an incredible golden gown covered in pearls and sequins?! I felt like a radiant sun! To keep everything soft and light, I dressed my girls in ivory bridesmaid dresses with gold shoes. Since our wedding was in September, I still wanted to incorporate a little richness in color in small touches, which I did with berry-colored flowers, vivid green leaves, navy suits, and camel leather shoes/belts for the guys. The goal was to achieve an overall sense of warmth and welcome while set in an ethereal garden, and I couldn't be happier with how everything turned out!

Favorite moments/memories from the wedding? Even though I was next-level devastated when our wedding day came with a forecast of rain all day, it actually ended up blessing us with some truly incredible moments. We had to move our wedding location so we could get all of our wedding guests under a tent, which meant that my girls and I had to make our entrance through a beautiful wooded area. When my girls stepped out to make their way down the aisle with their huge clear umbrellas, they looked like mystical woodland nymphs! As my turn came and I grabbed my dad's arm to walk towards Dan, I was filled with an overwhelming sense of joy and had a true out of body experience. I was immediately brought back down to earth as I heard my dad start muttering, "What do I do with this umbrella? When do I drop it? I'm going to drop it now." And with 20 feet to go before reaching the safety of the tent, my dad tossed our umbrella! Even though I got quite wet, I was ecstatic to make my way to my grinning groom through the drizzling rain and the laughter of friends and family. Moments like that can't be planned!

Do you have any recommendations for future couples planning a wedding? Don't take on more than you can handle, and feel free to let some things slide. Your engagement is an incredibly important time in your life, and you shouldn't experience it as a big ball of stress. It is meant to be enjoyed and shared with all of the people in your life that you love! Figure out ways that you can create your vision without breaking the bank or your peace of mind. And whatever you do, don't stop planning and just elope like you surely want to a few months into the process! Even though planning can be overwhelming and frustrating, nothing can beat the experience of having your friends and family surround you as you join your life with the person you cherish. It will make all of the stress worth it a thousand times over.