Lauren + Adam's Elegant Backyard Wedding | WNY and Buffalo Wedding Photographer

Photos by Dawn M Gibson Photography

One of my favorite things about wedding days is seeing how each couple pulls together the vision of what they want their wedding day to look and feel like. And when it comes together in a complete reflection of who that couple is, thanks to the help of all their closet loved ones, it truly creates one memorable and amazing day.

This September, Lauren and Adam had a beautiful and elegant outdoor wedding celebration on Lauren's family property in Syracuse, NY. Every detail was well-thought out and meaningful. For example, they rented a clear canopy tent so guests could still feel like they were sitting outdoors while being protected in the event of rain while eating dinner. They even had different flavors of cakes made and set at each table to encourage guests to mingle to other tables and try different flavors, and introduce themselves to anyone they may not have known. But my favorite details of all (which I'll get into later) were centered around the entire meaning of their wedding day in the first place: an exchange of vows, promises, and a commitment to love surrounded by those most dear to them.

The day started out with both Lauren and Adam getting ready on the property. Adam and his groomsmen (plus some out of town family) got ready at the bottom of the family property at Lauren's grandparents' house, while Lauren got ready with her girls and close family members at her parent's house on the hill at the top of property.

Since everything was on site, and they wanted to make the most use of mingling with guests during cocktail hour, Lauren and Adam decided on doing a First Look, which was then led into an intimate vow exchange between just the two of them, followed by rest of their wedding party photos. For those who want to write their own vows but are nervous about exchanging such personal thoughts in front of a crowd, I cannot recommend this enough. It was such an intimate and deeply meaningful exchange, and made their words to one another that much more sacred and special.

Before their guests started to arrive for the ceremony, I was able to go around and photograph some of their wedding details. And what can I say but WOW. So much thought and planning into every detail, and it truly shows.

Circling back to my comment earlier about thoughtful details: Lauren and Adam knew that since they had decided to do an intimate exchange of vows, some of their guests (and family) might miss hearing some sort of exchange between them. Before Lauren came down the isle, and as Adam was waiting for his soon-to-be-wife to meet him at the altar, they had pre-recorded devotions play over the speakers. I am pretty sure there wasn't a dry eye in the house before the ceremony even began. Not even I was tear-free! It was the most personalized and special build up to a ceremony I have ever witnessed and (IMHO) made for one of the most memorable parts of their day.

Tears aside, there was soooo much joy in their wedding day. And an incredibly fun party out under the stars following dinner. The dance floor they had in place ended up overflowing with family and friends dancing onto the lawn and enjoying every minute. It truly was the best day ever!

Shout out to all the vendors:

Ceremony & Reception Venue: "Mount Daly" // Syracuse, NY
Wedding Planner/Coordinator: Wedding Planner: the bride // Wedding Day Coordinators: Brianna Holland and Andrea from Karen's Catering
Officiant: Pastor Harry Patterson from Abundant Life Church
Photographer: Dawn M. Gibson
Videographer: Tommy Khounlivong
Florist: Guignard Florist // Main Contact: Michele Donardo
Caterer: Karen's Catering of Syracuse // Main Contact: Andrea
Cake/Bakery: Biscottis (Bride/Groom cake, and each individual cake on each guest table)
DJ/Band/Entertainment: Shawn Forster (DJ)
Invitations: Lauren Daly Design
Hair: Kelsey Bolster
Makeup: Alissa Daly (Sister/MOH) and Breana Morgillo
Bride/Groom Attire: Lovely Bride Boutique (Wedding Dress) // Men's Warehouse (Groom's Suit)
Accessories: Bride's Hair Comb, Earrings, Necklace, Mother of Bride's Necklace and MOH's Necklaces: iloniti Swarovski Crystal Bridal Jewelry Boutique
Wedding Party Attire: Modge podge for girls: 1 Alfred Angelo, 4 David's Bridal, 1 from online. // Boys all Men's Warehouse
Save the Dates, Invitations, Bridal Shower Invitations, print materials at wedding (i.e. thank you cards that tucked into napkins): Lauren Daly Design
Wedding Party personalized hangers: TheWhiteInviteGifts / The White Invite | Personalized Wedding Gifts
Wedding Party's Gift from Bride (Earrings): GlitzAndLove
Guest Book Wooden Slab: MintageDesigns
Lavender bundles for each table setting were hand-bundled and picked from: Earth and Amber (
Tent, Table, Chairs Rental: Ralston

Do you have any recommendations for future couples planning a wedding? If you can do it ... do it as soon as possible. We planned our wedding in just under 5 months and it turned out perfect!

It wasn't to rush our engagement. It wasn't because we were expecting (still not). It wasn't because we were nuts. It was because why wait? We've been building to this commitment for so long; we were ready. We had family in good health that we would hate to not have with us on that day. It helped us think clearly and make actionable decisions. You don't have time to re-think things, or add more things.

Had things not fallen into place so perfectly when they did, we wouldn't have forced it. We would have chosen to wait. But knowing your family and friends support you, and having the overwhelming feeling that God's hand was in it all ... that was enough for us.

And if you're fortunate enough to have clarity like that, why wait?! Start your forever!


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