April 5, 2023

Real Weddings

A Non-Traditional Summer Wedding: A Reflection of Us

As I sit down to reflect on our wedding day and finally share it all with you, I am filled with a sense of gratitude and love. August 14th, 2021, will forever be a cherished memory of the day that Chris and I exchanged our vows in an intimate celebration that was a true reflection of who we are as a couple.

The morning of our wedding was super laid back – we woke up around 4 AM (nope, not kidding) and started getting ready together in our home. We traveled around the corner to the beach where we finished getting ready and exchanged our vows privately. After we exchanged vows, we walked down together to meet our parents and siblings near the water where Chris’ younger sister married us in an intimate ceremony. After our ceremony we took some quick family photos and beautiful portraits before heading out to our reception venue, The Annex.

At the venue, we ate, drank, and got ready with our friends and we were finally able to give their gifts! Chris gifted his friends their floral ties and shark socks for the wedding and custom pewter mugs (which he was super excited about). His friends decided that Chris needed assistance and got him dressed as a team – they’re a little extra at times.

I gifted my humans Stemless champagne glasses, floral koozies, custom clay earrings, and birth flower necklaces (some their own, some their children, and some their dogs). Once gifts were done, we all stopped crying, and everyone was dressed, I got ready for first looks with my mom and my sister.

I decided to do a first look with both sides of the bridal party since most of the bridesmaids had not seen my dress or my cape and I have always been close with Chris’ side too. Do doing a fun first look with them both just seemed fun and fitting! Again, can you tell that Chris’ friends are so extra in the best way?

Since we wore different clothes for our morning beach ceremony (the thought of getting sand everywhere and then having to wear it the rest of the day sounded HORRIBLE to me haha) we decided to do a first look in the attire we would be wearing for the rest of the night. Chris had no idea what I chose – I think the cape surprised him because he didn’t know they existed but at the same time it didn’t because he knows me and anyone who knows me knows that is 100% a ‘me’ thing to choose.

Chris and I really decided early on in the planning process that we wanted our entire wedding day to be as intimate as possible and very much about the two of us. Along with our private vows in the morning and our first look, we decided to share a private first dance as well. It was one of our favorite parts of the entire day – It was a moment that we could truly enjoy together without any distractions.

After our dance, we snapped some quick photos of the bridal party and family. After photos we had a private cocktail half-hour for our immediate family and bridal party before the remaining guests arrived for the remainder of the cocktail hour. At our cocktail hour we chose to have cucumber margaritas as our signature drink – our favorite to have when we travel to Mexico! We also had one of our good friends, Brendan Bartoo, play live acoustic music for our guest which was so nice and a little different than the usual cocktail hour playlist! After some cocktails and mingling, we all gathered inside The Annex for dinner.

For dinner we decided to go with food trucks so the two of us could have our favorites! Fat Bob’s brought pulled pork and mac and cheese while Share KBR served sliders, shrimp tacos, salad, and french fries. Both trucks were a hit and, we might be biased, but Chris and I both think it was the best wedding food we have ever had.

We decided to forego most traditions on our wedding day – no cake cutting, no special dances, no bouquet toss. Instead, after dinner we decided to kick off the reception and open up the dance floor by dancing WITH our guests to our first dance song. We call it our second first dance (which is fitting because we had a “second first date” but thats a story for a different day)!

After a little dancing, Chris and I decided to slip away for some golden hour portraits while our friend’s continue to enjoy music, games, a whiskey and cigar bar, and the beautiful weather we were lucky enough to have!

After some portraits it was time for dessert! Instead of a traditional dessert, we opted to have an ice cream truck come during the reception. Guests could choose between a variety of cones, sundaes, and milkshakes made with small batch, homemade ice cream from Main Street Ice cream.

The rest of the night we just had a partayyyyy!

We wanted our wedding to be a celebration of our love and the people who have supported us throughout our journey. We were so grateful to have so many loved ones present to share this special day with us. Looking back on our wedding day, I am filled with gratitude for all the people who made it possible. From our parents and siblings, to our vendors who made everything run smoothly, to all our guests who celebrated with us, it was truly a day to remember. I am so grateful to have married my best friend and to have shared this special day with the people we love most.

Click here to watch on a mobile device – select 1080p60 for the best quality!


 Photography/Videography: Reilley Photography

Venue: The Annex WNY 

Planning/Coordination: The Refined Host

Concept/Design/Paper Goods: Michaella Richardson 

Hair: Buffalo Boho Bridal Hair

Makeup: AmandaLee Shamrock 

Florals: Heirloom Soul Florals

DJ: Whirlin’ Disc Sound

Food Trucks: Fat Bob’s Smokehouse + Share Kitchen & Bar Room

Dessert: Main Street Ice Cream + Torta (Small Cake)

Dress/Cape: Lovely Bride Rochester NY (Louvienne) 

Alterations and customizations: Made by Anatomy 

Rentals: Quaint Rentals 

Charcuterie: Chuckuterie

Suit: Tom and Luigi’s Tailor Shop

Hand Lettering: @sketchbykara 

For more wedding inspiration continue to follow along through our blog or sign up for our mailing list to get the latest inspo and updates!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Photographs that help you remember. 
An adventure you won't forget.