Allison + Mike
“I remember pastor walking in and saying “I have never had this happen before where both the bride and groom are so calm.” Which I responded with “When it’s right, there’s nothing to be nervous about.”” Mike

Kick-Ass Local Vendors : Ceremony: St. Paul’s Lutheran Church | Reception: Pearl Street Grill & Brewery | Photography: Ayres Photography | Hair + Makeup: Bliss Salon | Bridesmaids Dresses: Bridals by D | Florist: Hock’s Flower Shop | DJ: Toy Bros

The Proposal
“We headed down to my family’s cabin in Ellicottville for Memorial Day weekend. With the temperatures in a weird place – not hot, but not cold – my Dad had started a fire inside so we didn’t get too cold at night. Unfortunately we fell victim to heat rising and were wide awake at 6 am Saturday morning because it was just too hot to sleep. Mike suggested taking a walk in the woods (which should have been a clue – he usually isn’t out of bed until 10 am on a Saturday!) so we headed out with our dog Parker to take a walk around the property. When we arrived at the location deemed the “romantic lookout” by my sister and I (long before Mike), we stopped and looked at the beautiful views. Mike told me how much he loved me, and the next thing I know he is down on one knee, asking me to marry him. I very quickly said “YES!!!” It was the perfect plan – he didn’t tell anyone he was planning it, so it was a big surprise (which is exactly what I hoped for). He then arranged for his Dad and our closest friends, along with my family, to join us at the cabin later that day to celebrate. Being able to have a private moment with Mike then be able to celebrate with those closest to us the rest of the weekend was so perfect. I couldn’t ask for anything more. Oh, and the ring – stunning! He did great!” Allison

“I proposed at Allison’s family cabin in Ellicottville. She had no idea it was coming. I was so excited and nervous I couldn’t sleep all night. At around 6am we were both awake and I asked her if she wanted to go for a walk. As soon as she said yes I quietly tried to get out of the cabin as fast as I could so no one else in her family would wake up and ask to come along for the walk. I had to grab the ring out of my bag next to our bed without her seeing and slipped it into my coat pocket. As we were walking around the land, I was trying to pick the perfect spot to stop and ask the question. We stopped at a ravine, I turned to her and told her I loved her and couldn’t imagine life without her. I got down on my knee and asked her to marry me. She said yes even before she looked at the ring. We rushed back to the cabin to tell her family. Little did Allison know that I invited my family and our friends to come down to celebrate the engagement together . Allison’s mom was still asleep so we decided not to tell when she woke up but wanted to see if she would notice. Allison kept shoving her hand in her mom’s face until 5 minutes later she noticed. My dad and our friends arrived and we celebrated all day. It was the perfect day.” Mike

Wedding Details
“Our first official date was at Pearl Street so it was so special to celebrate our wedding there (see picture from the restaurant – this is exactly where we sat!) It was important to take time to walk around Pearl Street together before the reception started to take in everything we had been working so hard on for the past year and a half. So many of our decorations were made by us, our family and our friends, as well as a lot of personal touches we incorporated, that it was amazing to see how everything came together. It was everything I had hoped for and so much more! Seeing everything come together, seeing all of the people you love there supporting you – it is a truly amazing feeling!”

Favorite Moments
“Spending the morning getting ready with my bridal party and my Mom. I was so relaxed because nothing in my life has felt more right than marrying Mike. I was able to laugh and have fun with some of the most important people in my life. Seeing Mike at the altar – and not being able to do anything but smile! Knowing that I was walking towards my best friend that I very shortly would be able to call my husband was the best feeling in the entire world.” Allison

“Getting ready to walk down the aisle with my Dad. I am the youngest of three girls, and the last to get married, so I was convinced that both my Dad and I would be crying as we walked down the aisle. But the comfort of having him by my side as I walked down the aisle was all I needed. We were in perfect stride the whole way! Of course, seeing Allie walk down the aisle. She never looked more beautiful than in that moment. I spent all my energy trying not to cry the whole time she was walking towards me and I couldn’t keep my eyes off of her. I knew in my heart that I was making the right decision by marrying her. Our first dance as husband and wife was really special, including the special guest appearance from our niece and flower girl, Paisley. We wanted the dance floor to be full the entire night – and it certainly was! We had so much fun dancing and celebrating with the most important people in our lives. We had a blast twirling around with our nieces and nephew, singing at the top of our lungs with our friends, and dancing to Mustang Sally with my family!” Mike

Want to submit your own real love story to us for a chance to be featured on the blog? Go for it! Make sure you’re following up with us on social media to stay inspired by our talented vendors, creative ideas and giveaways!

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Back in April at our bridal show at Westminster, The Rochester Brainery had tons of fun DIY’ing with our brides and grooms! We love bringing a hands on element to our bridal shows, so vendors like The Rochester Brainery come with supplies in tow, and teach engaged couples a new thing or two! You can take a break from the wedding planning excitement and sip your cocktail while you try a new craft!

Sue Egan Photography

If you’ve never been to The Roc Brainery, you really have to check it out. It’s Rochester’s DIY dreamland! Even if you’re not particularly DIY savvy, there are over 30 classes a month to try out, ranging from calligraphy, to gardening, to jewelry making and so much more! That’s not all that The Rochester Brainery offers, though! You can pop into any of their open working sessions for a cool, quiet and productive atmosphere. You can also rent their space for meetings, workshops or… EVENTS! That’s right! You can have your own special event, like birthday party, shower, or even wedding right there in The Rochester Brainery! The space is also a gallery, so while you’re enjoying your DIY craft session or bridal shower, you and yours will have beautiful, local art to gaze upon!


We can’t say enough good things about the space and the staff who run The Rochester Brainery. You just have to go experience it for yourself. Get your guys or gals together and organize a crafty stag/stagette! And just in case you missed seeing the team at our bridal show, they wanted to share the tutorial for paper marbling! Take a look and go nuts! Choose colors that match your wedding theme and create signage, thank you cards, place card holders, just about anything!

Materials
Aluminum tray | Masking tape | Paper | Paper towels | Wax paper | Shaving cream | Wooden paint mixers | Toothpick or skewer stick | Squeegee | Food coloring

Set Up

Mix it Up

Apply the Paper

Peel and Squeegee

Voila!

Thanks so much to Ashley Poulton, the paper marbling extraordinaire for the tutorial! Keep following us and checkin’ in for new DIY ideas, giveaways and wedding inspiration! And head over to The Rochester Brainery to try your hands at something new! You might surprise yourself 😉

The Rochester Brainery
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585.730.7034 | 176 Anderson Ave. F109 • Rochester, NY 14607

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We know that all of our vendors kick major ass, so when the opportunity for them to work together comes up, we know it’s going to be out of this world! For our spring bridal show, some of our members pitched in to give away an awesome bridal shower! Jennifer, the bride, already had the concept for a fun-filled, tropical brunch, and when she connected with our vendors – pure magic happened! The photos by Sue Egan speak for themselves!
Held in the Parkside Lodge in Buffalo’s Delaware Park, the girls decorated the space themselves, and had some help from Sweet Honey Events for their adorable pineapple planter favors! Sweet Honey Events is a full-service wedding planning company that specializes in eco-friendly weddings! She can do just about anything the big guys can, but she does it with a savvy sense of sustainability. Each of the planters is a glass from a thrift store that she hand painted! I mean… come on!! The pro’s at The Cake Place were able to add some serious glam to their ombre cake with a smear of gilded gold frosting, topped with a sassy flamingo! And those cupcakes…?! We know! The finishing touch, and the highlight of the day was the incredible food from Private Knives! For a party this size,  beautiful salads and sandwiches were a perfect fit. The food even matches the bold and bright colors throughout the event!
We especially love how all of the friends and family got into the theme and came dressed to the nines in their tropical printed dresses! We can tell that Jennifer had an amazing time! With a roster of vendors like that… of course she did 😉

Planning your own shower or wedding? You simply must use our directory to find your perfect vendors!  Want to submit your own special event for a chance to be featured on the blog? Go for it! Make sure you’re following up with us on social media to stay inspired by our talented vendors, creative ideas and giveaways!

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Photography: Valerie Kasinski Photography  | Venue: Hayloft in the Grove | Flowers & Planning: Costamagna Design | Hair & Makeup:  Salon Elizabeth | Caterer: Private Knives Catering | Calligraphy: Shalini Saycocie | Officiant: Yellowbird Weddings | Wedding Dress: Victoria’s Bridal Shoppe

“Patrick and I first met our senior year of college at Rochester Institute of Technology. He was a film student and I was in the design program taking film classes as electives. He was on the film crew of a mutual friend’s student film that I was acting in. We hit it off but it wasn’t until later in the year when Patrick asked me to be his partner in a partner-based film Sound Design class, that we became serious. He asked me to be his partner in front of the whole class! In that moment, it was as if time had stopped. We have been partners ever since, and 7 years, 4 apartments, 2 cats and a few tattoos later, he asked for my hand in marriage on a serene & snowy night on a tree-lined street in Brooklyn, where we live. The proposal was simple and perfectly sweet. Patrick and I share a love for film, music, the outdoors, gardening and great food. So, of course, we wanted our wedding day to be filled with our favorite things. East Aurora was a lovely setting to do this. The town has such a unique charm to it. My bridal party was able to stay in a gorgeous apartment a block away from downtown Buffalo, and it created a great backdrop for getting ready for the big day. I surprised Patrick by having our first look in front of the movie theater marquee in East Aurora. We were able to take photos inside the theater and also across the street at Vidler’s 5 & 10 Store, which were some of our favorites from the day!”

“Our ceremony was my absolute favorite part of the day. We wrote our own vows and had each other in tears by the end of it. The love & happiness we felt was like no other. I also love how our invites turned out. I designed the invite and my good friend did the calligraphy. I was able to find vintage stamps of Buffalo, Alabama (where I spent part of my childhood) and my husband’s home state of Indiana to stamp the envelopes. Our food menu also had a fun nod to our hometowns. From Buffalo-spiced popcorn to Southern ham & biscuits to Indiana pork loin to & “Brooklyn Kale.” Tt was fun integrating all of our hometown roots into our menu. My aunt, who taught me how to bake, baked our wedding cake and cookies. This is especially sentimental to us now as she unexpectedly passed away this past summer. I also love how beautiful our flowers and decorations were. Our wedding planner painted flowers onto big rolls of paper and hung them along the walls of the Hayloft- the paintings mixed with flowers were gorgeous. For a nod to our favorite band, The Grateful Dead, we had calligraphic Grateful Dead lyrics painted onto watercolor throughout the space.

“Our wedding day was one of the happiest days of our lives. Having all of our favorite people gathered together to celebrate our love for one another was an incredible feeling- there was just so much love everywhere! We are forever grateful for their love and support and for all of our vendors that helped create our favorite day ever.”

Want to submit your own real love story to us for a chance to be featured on the blog? Go for it! Make sure you’re following up with us on social media to stay inspired by our talented vendors, creative ideas and giveaways!

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Rockin’ Local Vendors
Photographer: Nickel City Studios | Ceremony: Blessed Sacrament Church | Venue: The Foundry Suites | Wedding Gown: Silk Bridal | Bridesmaid Dresses: David’s Bridal | Tuxedos: Men’s Warehouse | Florist: Williams Florist | Videographer: Black Horse Videography | Invitations: Zoom Copy | Event Decor & Signage: Rust Belt Love | Dessert: Fairy Cakes | Ceremony music: Kristen Puglisi violinist and Mark Mazur pianist | DJ: James Dovey | Hair: Patrick Higgins | Make up: Jaime Ruggiero | Limousine: Advantage Limo | Cigars: Virgil Avenue Tobacconist
Bobby and I met about eight or nine years ago through a mutual friend. I remember when I first saw him, I thought he was so cute and so nice, but he was unavailable. Throughout the years, I would ask our mutual friend about him, but our timing was always off. He’d be in a relationship or I would be in one. Just over two years ago, I asked our friend about Bobby and he finally said, “he’s single!” I told this friend to tell him that I was always interested and that I thought we should hang out soon. Before he even got the chance to relay the message, out of the blue, Bobby asked him about me! A couple weeks later, the three of us met out. Two days after that, we went out on our first date. We have been together ever since.
We got engaged in our home last May. Bobby is a little shy. He thought about proposing in front of friends and family or at some landmark, but got nervous at the thought. Instead, he put on my favorite song (which was the song played for our first dance at the wedding), dressed up our dog in a tuxedo, and sent him into the room I was in. Following him, was Bobby, who immediately dropped to one knee and asked me to marry him.
When we started planning our wedding, we both knew that we wanted everything in the city of Buffalo. We also knew that we didn’t want a banquet hall or a venue where we have both gone to for a lot of other events. We both come from big families and Bobby owns Mister Goodbar in the Elmwood village. The friends, family, and employees we wanted to invite made for a bigger than average guest list. We looked at and fell in love with the Connecticut Street Armory. I loved everything about the space. It was so beautiful, could fit our guests, and was a venue that none of our friends and family have used before. We could also pick and choose every detail we wanted. When you book the Armory, you just book the space. It was up to us to choose a caterer, get tables and chairs, extra decor, etc. It’s a lot of work and can get pricey, but fun to build your own wedding. With 12 weeks to go till our wedding, and planning at the Armory for eight months, our reception was cancelled. The Armory is a state building and an active armory where the military holds drill. We got a call from a colonel in the National Guard saying the building had toxic levels of lead dust in it and it needed to be tested and cleaned. All public events needed to be cancelled immediately for safety reasons. I was heart broken, and stressed, to say the least. We had to cancel vendors and plan a whole new reception. With a guest list exceeding 350 and a short amount of time till the big day, our options were limited. I must have called 30 venues. They were either booked or couldn’t accommodate the amount of people we were having. One thing that occurred that was positive through all of this was that every time I called a place, the people I spoke with were so kind and sympathetic to our situation. Even when a facility couldn’t hold us, their banquet or event manager offered to help. We received phone calls from friends, family, and facilities in the area offering to help us out and call around to get someone to accommodate us. It showed how good the people of Buffalo really are. It was sweet and uplifting. Eventually, I called the Foundry Suites. I had been to the facility once before and remembered how beautiful it was. I spoke to Don Warfe, the general manager, and he said the date was available. He also said it might be tight, but he would do anything to help us and promised to not let us down. He couldn’t have been more right. He was wonderful! We rented out the entire facility, which consisted of two banquet rooms, a courtyard, a bar, and 11 hotel rooms. Don also offered the bridal suite to us for free because of all we had been through. He and his staff were amazing! They were so attentive and kind. All our guests commented on how great the food and service were. After dealing with such a stressful and disappointing ordeal, Don and his staff made the transition smooth and successful. The entire facility looked gorgeous too! In the end, the day was still perfect and everything we’d hope it would be…and more! 
Our wedding was a pretty traditional wedding, however there were a few aspects that weren’t. We had a bridal party of 32 people and half of which were family members. Having a maid of honor, a matron of honor, 2 best men, 12 bridesmaids, 11 groomsmen, 3 ring bearers, and 2 flowers girls was a lot, but it gave us a chance to spend more time with our closest friends and family on the best day of our lives. We couldn’t imagine leaving any of those people out. Another non-traditional detail was that we didn’t do a lot of the traditional reception things. We didn’t cut a cake, we didn’t throw the bouquet and garter, and we didn’t have a head table or sweetheart table. We sat with our maid of honor, matron of honor, best men, and their significant others. We also didn’t really have any slow songs played other than our first dance and our dances with our mom and dad. We wanted to keep the dancing and upbeat songs and mood going all night. As far as uniqueness goes for our wedding, the locations we took our photos in between the ceremony and reception were unlike most I’ve seen or experienced. I knew I wanted to take pictures at a special, Buffalo landmark, but I didn’t want to go to the same places I always see couples go to. Sure, I love Canalside and City Hall, but I just wanted something different. So, we found a way to get into the Buffalo Central Terminal. It was so beautiful in there! The architecture and details throughout are extraordinary. The photographers, Rich and Alyssa Mattingly, were really excited to shoot in there as well. The photos turned out amazing. Another location we went to was Mister Goodbar. As I mentioned before, my husband is the owner. He closed the bar for the day so he could invite all his employees to attend the wedding. With the bar being empty, we took advantage and spent some time there. It’s obviously a very near and dear place to Bobby. And without a lot of people in it, you can see all the beautiful woodwork throughout, the copper covered bar, and stained glass fixtures. We took pictures behind the bar and on the roof. 
Another detail I found unique was our table names/numbers. I’ll admit, I picked the majority of the vendors, colors, decor, etc. How the tables were named and numbered was Bobby’s idea. Both being big sports fans, we named and numbered them after our favorite athletes. 
It’s hard to pinpoint my favorite part of our wedding day. The whole day was really fun! Every aspect of the day exceeded our expectations. I was able to get ready right at the Foundry with all my bridesmaids and mother, which I loved. I thought my favorite part of the day would be the reception, with all the drinks, dining, and dancing, but I really loved the ceremony! A friend of mine is a violinist. Her name is Kristen Puglisi and she plays with a pianist named Mark Mazur. They played so beautifully. It really made the ceremony. I also loved our photographers and videographers. They were so fun and so easy-going. There were no egos, impatience, or rudeness. It was a long day, the ceremony being at 1:00 p.m. and the reception going from 6:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m. We also had a big wedding party to deal with. I was waiting for someone to eventually get a little short or annoyed with all of the hecticness, but no one ever did. They were excellent throughout and their work is amazing! Our photographers edited and had all our photos done and digitally sent to us by the Thursday following the wedding. The highlight video from the videographer was done by the Wednesday following the wedding.
 Another favorite moment of the day was when my best friend and matron of honor gave her speech at the reception. He name is also Kara and we have been best friends for nearly 20 years. Last year, she battled breast cancer and came out a survivor and is almost a year in remission. She had a really difficult time adjusting to all the physical changes that happened to her. To see her stand up with confidence, looking so stunning, and delivering such a heartfelt and great speech was amazing. She took my breath away and brought many tears to my eyes.
Overall, my favorite part of the whole day was just being surrounded by friends and family who genuinely and sincerely loved, supported and cared for us. When they told us they were happy for us, you really felt it. It was the best feeling in the world! We are blessed with big, amazing, loving families. We are lucky to have a lot of great, true friends. We had guests come from Boston, Raleigh, Sacramento, and even Okinawa, Japan. It was all so pleasantly overwhelming.

Make sure you’re following up with us on social media to stay inspired by our talented vendors, creative ideas and giveaways! You can even submit your own real love story to us for a chance to be featured on the blog!

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