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Real Buffalo Love Story : Erica & Jay

We’re excited to present a special Real Buffalo Love Story today! Check out the gorgeous, simple and DIY-packed March wedding of Erica & Jay! Erica is the owner of City Lights Studio Photography and one of the co-founders of Buffalo Indie Weddings! They were married on Saturday March 17th, 2012 at the International Institute on Delaware Ave. They met at the St Patrick’s Day Parade, and so when Jay proposed and they realized the next St Patrick’s Day fell on a Saturday, they decided to go for it! This wedding was planned in less than three months, on a minimal budget, but definitely didn’t scale back on the fun factor! Check out these wonderful story-telling images by Dylan & Robyn of Onion Studio below!

Jay surprised me with these rings on the morning of our wedding; I still wear them everyday!

My bridesmaids made these fabulous shoe-clips for all of us! I had pink shoes, and they all had nude shoes in whatever style was comfortable for them. The shoe clips tied the look together & added so much fun. We handmade each of their bouquets, with silk pieces that we cut and sewed together to look like big, blooming flowers. Each bridesmaid gave me a gorgeous pin to insert into my bouquet; each one is special. I still have my bouquet on display on our mantle!

For Jay’s present, I gave him a book I had been writing in for the past year. Every day, I wrote down something that I loved about him, from taking out the trash, to moving my car on a snowy day, to proposing. I love that he wrote back to me & gave it to me to read right before our ceremony.

Using the same handmade flowers from the bouquets, I made all of the boutonnieres and added vintage keys and twine to tie it all together. We love fresh flowers, but have also really enjoyed having all of these sweet momentos still.

To save a little money and add a lot of fun, we opted for a school bus to cart us all around for photos. We were able to do a split day, so we had the bus for photos then hours later, they came back to shuttle everyone off to their hotels. My bridesmaids decorated the inside & out, and it was great!

We headed off to City Hall, mine & Jay’s favorite building in Buffalo, for our First Look. Our ceremony & reception were at the same location, so we knew we wanted to do photos beforehand. A sweet and simple First Look was exactly what we were looking for! We opted to have our entire bridal party in the background and love the photos.

We asked our bridal party to keep it simple with their outfits; they were so excited to find out they didn’t have to buy specific dresses or tuxes. The ladies wore a short dress of their choosing from rose pink to coral, and the guys wore white shirts, khakis, and suspenders/bowties we gave them. We love how the look came together!

After we bounced around downtown for photos, we headed over to the International Institute for our ceremony & reception! We decorated the space with vintage jars, simple flowers (real and paper), and candles. We found those paper letters at a craft store and used them for our mantle decor, and created a large bare tree print for our sign-in book. We opted for a Honeyfund instead of a traditional registry, and invited our guests to participate in our trip to Thailand, so I made our cardbox with a map and some of our paper flowers. We also made a box, which we painted with our date & lined with some photos, for a wine ceremony. Nothing really matched but it came together great!

We wanted our ceremony to be personal, intimate and special. We had a friend play music, my grandfather read a poem, we wrote our own vows, and our mothers presented bottles of wine for us to save & open on our first anniversary. 

After our ceremony, we mixed & mingled then brought the bridal party back in with introductions, read by Jay’s sisters. We surprised the bridal party & our guests by preparing personalized, hilarious intros calling out some of the things they’re famous for, like owning 1000 pairs of shoes, being obsessed with pickles or having a walrus tattooed on their tush haha. It was all in good fun & the entire room was cracking up throughout!

Jay said the only thing that was bumming him out about our wedding was that he couldn’t bring our dog. I surprised him with a big print haha. She “sat” on the mantle all night & partied with us 🙂

We had tables set-up with a loosely structured buffet of salads, roast beef and my favorite, a baked potato martini bar! We all enjoyed our signature cocktails like these peach mojitos. It was completely bizarre weather for a March wedding (temps in the 70’s!) so our guests were able to use the patio for dinner and drinks as well. We called everyone back in for an epic cake smash, and a fun first dance which started with sweet, slow songs by our friends and ended with a James Brown boogie-down!

One of my favorite moments had to be when all of my bridesmaids surprised me with an acoustic serenade of one of our favorite songs, “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” by Whitney Houston. It was so sweet & my bridesmaid Kerry said she spend 3 days straight learning it for me!!

We wanted to make sure the fun went all night, so we had a strawberry & peach shortcake bar, St Patricks’ day costumes/hats/boas/necklaces etc for everyone to wear, beach balls for the dance floor, cigars for the guys, and sparklers for all!

The day was fun, beautiful and most importantly, totally us! We’re forever thankful for the friends, family and vendors who made it so great for us!!! 

Photography : Onion Studio

Ceremony & Reception Site : International Institute  Officiant : Yellowbird Wedding

Transportation : Fisher Bus Services

Fresh Flowers & Cake : Wegmans

Music : Ed Wyner, Dan Borodzik, Kerry Fey, DJ Nelson Boutonnieres, Bouquets, Paper Items & Decor : Us & Friends!

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