Jake proposed at home one evening (just the two of us, thank goodness because I cried for hours!) shortly after I finished the Bar Exam and a few days before we left for a national parks trip out west—we had LOTS to celebrate on that trip!
How You Met
Jake and I met during our sophomore year of college. Most of our friends were friends, but surprisingly we never met until we went on spring break with our respective friend groups. I wiped out (in true clumsy-me fashion) on a wet floor and hurt my knee pretty badly, and Jake was recruited to carry me home. He’s been carrying me through life (literally, but mostly figuratively) ever since then.
We wanted our wedding to be classic and romantic, with lots of light and airy greenery throughout. Williams Florist nailed our floral vision.
We also HAD to have a dessert table by B Sweet design—that was definitely a priority and boy was it worth it.
Length of dating
Length of engagement
Number of guests
Advice to Couples Planning Now
The day comes and goes so fast, and even after so much planning some things may go wrong. If they do, try not to sweat the little things! This is probably the only time in your life when all your favorite people in the world will be together in one place, so soak it in and enjoy every moment because it’s the moments with people that you will remember, not the little details that didn’t work out exactly as planned.
Favorite Wedding Day Moment(s)
The last song of the night. Our friends were on the dance floor waaaay past the time when the reception was supposed to end, but when the DJ played “Friends in Low Places” all our friends gathered around us in a circle, linked arms and we all sang the song together while we danced. It was the perfect end to the perfect day.
First Dance Song and Significance
Mean to Me by Brett Eldridge. It’s just one of those songs that came out when we had just started dating and the lyrics remained true and meaningful to us throughout. It feels like “us.”
Why Hotel Henry?
Our number one priority was having everything on our wedding day in one place (including the pictures, the ceremony, reception and accommodations), which Hotel Henry was perfect for! We loved that all our guests could stay there and that we wouldn’t need to lose party time shuttling guests to and from different locations!
I’m a Buffalo girl born and bred and the Hotel Henry is such a cool and unique Buffalo venue that it just felt right. It’s not only beautiful, but the layout is so interesting and unique. It was fun that we were able to have the ceremony on the back steps, the cocktail hour in their event space, and then the reception in the tower.
Of course, their history as a former mental hospital led to about a million “You’re crazy for getting married!” jokes… I guess we should have seen that one coming.
Dusty blues and grays with white and pops of yellow.
My mom made homemade limoncello for our wedding favors as a tribute to our honeymoon on the Amalfi Coast! It was SUCH a cute and fun touch (and was sneakily strong and kept the dance floor bumping all night). It also matched our décor!
It was important to us to involve family in our big day as much as possible. We loved having Jake’s nieces and nephews as our adorable and goofy little ring bearers and flower girl, and all our siblings in our wedding parties. Also, my uncle, Rick Russell, is a musician and he arranged and recorded two beautiful and very special songs for us. The first (Forever Young, Bob Dylan) was the song my dad and I had our first dance to, and the second (When You Need Me, Bruce Springsteen) was our Anniversary Dance song. Jake’s grandparents won that by a long shot with a whopping 65 years!
Jake’s mom is also incredibly talented and made so many of the fun little pieces of décor (the welcome sign, the card box, the ring boxes, the kid’s gift bags, the sign on the Calvin’s ring bearer car, and so much more!). The whole day was truly a labor of love.
We went to Italy for 2 weeks immediately after the wedding! We started in Rome, spent 4 days in beautiful Tuscany and drank all the red wine, then made two quick stops in Florence and Venice before spending 5 days in Positano. It was heaven!
Photographer: Alexandra Elise Photography (@alexandraelisephoto)
Venue: Hotel Henry (@hotelhenrybflo)
Flowers and Candles: Williams’s Florist (@Williams_florist)
Dessert Table: B Sweet Designs (@b_sweetdesigns)
Wedding Boutique: Lovely Bride in Victor, NY (@lovelybriderochester)
Gown Designer: Louvienne Celine dress (@louvienne)
Bridal Hair & Makeup: Groomservice (@groomservice); (@kassiedepkebeauty)
Bridesmaids Hair & Makeup: Salon-a-Go-Go (@salonagogo_makeuphair)
Bridesmaid Dresses: BHLDN Weddings (@bhldn) and Jenny Yoo Collection (Jenny Yoo Collection)
Grooms/Groomsmen Tuxes: Generation Tux (@generationtux)
Groom’s shoes: Meermin (@Meerminmallorca)
Chiavari Chairs: Buffalo Chiavari Chair Rentals (@bflochiavari)
Tablecloths, white ceremony folding chairs, dance floor: McCarthy Tents & Events (@mccarthyevents)
Bowties: Tie Bar (@thetiebar)
Napkins: La Tavola Fine Linen (@latavolalinen)
String Brothers (Ceremony and Cocktail Hour Music)
Sean Heiddinger (DJ Spooky Sounds): DJ for reception
2nd Photographer: Lauren Rock Photography