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Real WNY Wedding Love Story: Elena and Mike’s Refined Buffalo Wedding


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It all started in DellPlain Hall. We met sophomore year at Syracuse University, where we lived in quads across the hall from each other. Through countless college parties, late nights with all of our friends, and a mutual hatred for our business law class, we became fast friends, and we began dating junior year.

We headed down to Oak Bluffs in Martha’s Vineyard for an end-of-summer getaway, which we’d done for the past couple years. After checking in to the beach side hotel, the day was spent eating lobster rolls, riding mopeds around the island, and even spotting the Obama’s on vacation. Getting ready for dinner, Mike was oddly overprotective of his toiletry bag (turns out, that’s where the bling was hidden). He suggested walking on the beach on the way up to town, with the setting sun and ferries in view. About halfway down the beach (which was a favorite vacation spot of his dad’s), he turned to me and dropped to his knee. Lots of giggles and tears ensued (plus a yes!) and we celebrated with a seaside dinner and champagne toast.


Photographer: Vita Bella Photography / Videography: Black Horse Videography / Reception: Templeton Landing / Ceremony: St Gregory the Great / Gown: Cristina’s Bridal in Boston /Bridesmaids Dresses: J. Crew / Formalwear: Men’s Wearhouse / Florist: Blossoms N’ Treasures / Rings: Long’s Jewelers in Boston / Hair & Makeup: Elizabeth Dugan / DJ: Toy Bros / Cakes: Muscoreils / Officiant: Rev. Steven Jekielek / Rentals: Gala Parties / Transportation: Buffalo Trolleys


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We wanted a classic and fun look to our wedding. We named each of the tables after places we had visited together, from the cities we visited while studying abroad, to our hometowns, to our honeymoon destination.  We also incorporated photos of our parents, grandparents, and siblings’ weddings as part of the decor.  For the favors, we stuck with some family tradition. We did custom mini champagne bottles, which the bride’s siblings have all done as favors at their own weddings over the past 20 years. They were topped with Jordan almonds, an Italian tradition from the bride’s mother’s side.


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The groom’s cake was a play on the rivalry between the Bills fans and Patriots fans amongst the guests. A group of about 25 family and friends, including the bride and groom, also went to the Bills vs patriots game the next day, which happened to be in Buffalo!


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We really had fun planning our wedding. Wedding planning can be stressful, but it should be fun! That was our mentality throughout the process. We incorporated personal touches, family traditions, and details that represented us as a couple. How many times will you have all of your family and friends together in one place for a huge party? Just this once. We embraced that and everything came together into such a fun day.

Right before I entered the church, my bridesmaids and I were waiting in the back for our cue. One of them made a comment to me that I seemed so calm and not nervous at all. I said it was because I had never felt so confident about any decision in my life. We giggled and tried to hold back happy tears so we didn’t mess up our makeup.

We both agree one of our favorite moments from the wedding was our entrance and first dance at the reception. As we were waiting in the wings to enter the ballroom, we heard the roar of our family and friends cheering for us, and we danced our way in to  “September,” his late father’s favorite song which was so fitting for the day. Our family and friends surrounded us on the dance floor as we went in to “The Best is Yet to Come” and while it felt like we the only ones in the room, we could also feel everyone around us and were aware of all the love that surrounded us.

Photographer: Vita Bella Photography / Videography: Black Horse Videography / Reception: Templeton Landing / Ceremony: St Gregory the Great / Gown: Cristina’s Bridal in Boston /Bridesmaids Dresses: J. Crew / Formalwear: Men’s Wearhouse / Florist: Blossoms N’ Treasures / Rings: Long’s Jewelers in Boston / Hair & Makeup: Elizabeth Dugan / DJ: Toy Bros / Cakes: Muscoreils / Officiant: Rev. Steven Jekielek / Rentals: Gala Parties / Transportation: Buffalo Trolleys

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