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Say Hello to the Peplum Dress of Your Dreams

When it came to finding the perfect gown for her Big Day, this beautiful bride wasn’t about to settle. Nope, she tried on no less than 60 (yes, 60!) stunning frocks and when she put on this breathtaking Steven Birnbaum number, well… let’s just say she found “the one.”  From the sleek and sophisticated silhouette to the sweet peplum detail, it was the perfect complement to a day that was classic meets modern in all of the right ways. See it captured beautifully by Alexandra Meseke in THE VAULT.

From Alexandra Meseke Photography… Shannon and James are the kind of couple you dream for and pray for as a wedding photographer. This was one of those working relationships that was just kismet or meant to be.

Every detail of Shannon and Jame’s beautiful wedding was flawless and represented them so perfectly. But more importantly these two are some of the kindest and most generous people the world has to offer.

We took so many pictures that day, and it could have been stressful, but we had so much fun every step of the way with these two and the wonderful support system they had surrounding them.

From the Bride… James and I had always talked about being married in a church and when we visited the restored Hotel at the Lafayette in downtown Buffalo, we knew it was the perfect place to host the reception. It has beautiful high ceilings, lots of light and character, and was spacious enough for our guests to mingle comfortably and dance the night away. We were so thrilled to be sharing our love with all of our family and friends and wanted our special day to be one that was unforgettable!

Our color palette was a mix of ivory, soft gray and pale blush. I chose neutral colors to go along with the brightness and ornate details of our church and reception venue. I would describe our style vision as classically elegant and simple, with a contemporary twist. From my dress to our unique refurbished hotel venue, we kept true to our vision.

My favorite DIY element was the stationery designed by my groom. This included the save-the-dates, invitations, welcome bag inserts, ceremony programs, place cards, table numbers, etc. He put so much thought and detail into creating all of the pieces, and everything reflected us as a couple and the style of our special day.

This is a tough to choose, but my favorite moment was when the church doors opened and I saw James for the first time. I had dreamed of that moment since I met him. There was never a doubt in our minds that we wanted to wait to see each other until the ceremony, and it was better than I could have ever imagined. I shed many happy tears while walking down the aisle to meet him that day.

I was so excited to incorporate spring flowers into our day. I carried white peonies, silver brunia and dusty miller. The bridesmaid bouquets were full of pink and peach garden roses, greenery, silver brunia and dusty miller. The reception centerpieces were a mix of beautiful spring flowers in blush, peach and ivory. We placed open white tulips in hobnail vases on the cocktail tables and baby’s breath adorned the place card table and backs of the head table chairs.

I loved my dress so much because it wasn’t like anything I had seen before and reflected my personal style so perfectly. It was very simple and elegant, but the peplum gave it a fun and contemporary twist. I tried on about 60 dresses and as soon as I stepped into my dress, I knew it was the one I would marry James in.

We wanted to find a way to incorporate our beloved chocolate lab, Rhys, into our wedding, as he is such an integral part of our lives together. We decided to do that with our favors! At each place setting was a cutout cookie of a chocolate lab wrapped in a cellophane bag with a sticker on the back (designed by the groom) explaining that we were making a donation for each guest to a local animal shelter. The cookies were not only so adorable, but delicious too, and we were thrilled that we could help an amazing cause that is so near and dear to our hearts.

Our beautiful and delicious wedding cake was made by a home baker in the area, Carly Richter. We did several cake tastings and she was by far our favorite – her buttercream frosting is so light and airy, just like whipped cream!

One piece of advice I would give to future brides is just to truly enjoy and take it all in – you deserve it! Look around at all of your guests and think about how important they are to you. Take in how much you love your significant other and how incredible you feel that day.

Vault CTA

Vault CTA

Photography: Alexandra Meseke Photography | Floral Design: William's Florist | Wedding Dress: Birnbaum and Bullock | Cake: Carly Richter | Stationery: James Neiler | Ceremony Venue: St.Louis | Reception Venue: Hotel @ the lafayette | Bridesmaids' Dresses: After Six | Catering: Marquis De Lafayette By Acqua | Hair + Makeup: Groom Service Beauty Bar | DJ: Toy Bros Entertainment | Groom's Attire: The Black Tux | Groomsmen's Attire: Men's Wearhouse | Cocktail Music: The String Brothers | Linen Rentals: Tesoro Event Rentals

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Classic Buffalo Wedding

This, loves, is classic elegance done oh-so-right; a fairytale-esque day with the most beautiful traditional details woven throughout.  Think lush blooms by Flowers by Johnny playing nice with fabulous paper goods from French Press Design Studio and a Romona Keveza gown that will take your breath away.  See every beautiful moment captured by Ayres Photography in the full gallery.


From the Bride… I grew up in Buffalo, and because most of my family was there, and most of his family and our friends were within driving distance, we decided that it would be a good geographic fit. When I was a kid, my mom used to take my brother and me on weekend outings to the historic places in Buffalo, and I remember looking at the Mansions and thinking, ‘I would love to get married in a place like that.’  Little did I know that one day, one of those grand old homes would actually be the location of my wedding!

We had a hard time choosing a venue, since I wanted classic elegance and Ken wanted a less formal outdoor feel. Lucky for us, Buffalo had both to offer. The Butler Mansion had beautiful gardens for an outdoor ceremony and cocktail hour, while The Statler gave me the ‘wow’ factor I was looking for. We decided to do both, and show our guests all of the great things Buffalo had to offer.

While planning the details, everything was focused on favorite things. We had assorted craft beers and a cigar bar for Ken, and plenty of champagne and French macaroons for me. One of my favorite touches was the assortment of hors d’oeuvres at the cocktail hour. As a nod to all the places we’ve lived, we had a deconstructed Buffalo wing (for my childhood), a mini Maryland crab cake (Ken used to spend summers on the Eastern shore), mini lobster BLTs (we met in college in Boston), and blackened beef tostadas (we currently live in Texas).

There were countless other little touches that made the day special for us. The gladiolas in my bouquet, Ken’s boutonnière, and our ceremony arrangements were a nod to my great grandmother. They were her favorite flower and are a favorite of all the women in my family. We also chose to include wedding pictures from all the couples in our families on the gift table. The cake, an almond cake with raspberry filling from Muscoreil’s, was the same type I used to request for my birthday when I was a kid, and the detailed band matched the belt on my dress.

The color scheme (creams, golds and navy) was based on one of my favorite outfits, and the bridesmaids dresses were from my favorite clothing store, J.Crew. Scarves are my favorite accessory, and all the bouquets were tied with unique silk scarves in the same color scheme. Ken designed some of the stationery items, and the vintage Rolls Royce was his one non-negotiable. Despite the lack of air conditioning, I wouldn’t have taken our first married ride in any other way.

All the details and planning were obviously perfect, but what really made the day was the moments with family and friends. My mother and brother arranged a surprise recessional – my brother’s a capella group drove up from Cornell to sing ‘All You Need is Love’, recreating a scene from one of my favorite movies, Love Actually, and my maid of honor’s speech made me tear up. Once the music started, we never left the dance floor. My Uncle led a whole group rendition of ‘Thriller’, and both of our families came together for ‘We Are Family’.

The whole day was a success because we took everything in stride. At the end of the day, we were both married to our best friend, and that was all that mattered.

Photography: Ayres Photography | Wedding Coordinator: Dawn Schragel of Distinctive Occasions | Floral Design: Flowers by Johnny | Wedding Dress: Romona Keveza | Cake: Muscoreils | Stationery: French Press Design Studio | Ceremony Venue: The Butler Mansion | Reception Venue: The Statler City | Bride's Shoes: Anne Klein | Bridesmaids' Dresses: J.Crew | Hair Stylist: Glam on Location | DJ: Jim Slaiman | Groom's Attire: Vera Wang | Bride's Earrings: Kendra Scott Jewelry | Groom's Shoes: Cole Haan | Make Up Artist: Glam on Location | Wedding Dress Belt: Monique Lhuillier

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Park Country Club Wedding by Chelsea Victoria Photography

Chelsea Victoria Photography is filling our morning with a classic beauty – so I think it’s only right to start this feature with a big thank you to Chelsea. Is there a better way to spend a Wednesday than getting lost in this elegance with a castle like club as the backdrop? I think not. We are pretty lucky SMPers, aren’t we? All of our days are filled with so much lovely and there is even more (of course) in the full gallery of images!

Click here to see the entire gallery of images!

From the Bride…One of the reasons our wedding day so special was that DJ and I had a genuine connection with so many of the people involved.  Providing music for the ceremony was the Richmond String Quartet, and the cellist, James Pace, was my Orchestra Instructor from Middle and High School.  Although they normally play only classical music, they were happy to play Here Comes the Sun for my Processional and they even learned to play a beautiful rendition of Bittersweet Symphony by the Verve for the Recessional.  Linda Pieri, whose beautiful Strawberry Pistachio cake was a shame to cut into, but pure ecstasy to devour, was recommended to me by a close friend.  Linda has made cakes out of her North Buffalo home for over 30 years and her care and talent was undeniable.  The Band that played for our cocktail hour, Mirage, is a Mediterranean Jazz Band that DJ and I often listen to on Friday nights at The 31 Club downtown.  A close friend, Sally Lococco, who owns Kallista for Hair Beauty Salon on Elmwood Avenue, did my hair, as well as my bridesmaids’ hair.  And after an engagement shoot in April, and countless emails back and forth, I felt as though I had known my photographer, Chelsea Victoria, for years.  She too came to me by recommendation from a close friend and I couldn’t be happier with how she was able to capture the happiness and love that permeated every inch of Park Country Club on our wedding day.

Everything about the day was so personal and so specific to DJ and I that it could not have been any more perfect.  And my memory, supported by all the beautiful photographs, is that there wasn’t a single moment that DJ and I were not smiling or laughing.  Perhaps the most special aspect of our ceremony was that it was officiated by my aunt, Bonne Mogulescu.  Since DJ and I do not belong to a church we wanted someone close to us to do the honors.  My aunt was happy to become ordained, just for this purpose.  Her ceremony was beautiful, as she weaved in the story of how DJ and I became a couple.  She used my exact words, from an earlier email, to tell this story.  Every detail of the day exceeded our expectations, from the beautiful flowers to the delicious food, and especially the warm people at Park Country Club and all of our vendors who ensured that we did not have to worry about a single thing.  I couldn’t imagine a more beautiful backdrop than the sweeping green landscape below the castle-like clubhouse.  I am truly blessed to be sharing my life with DJ.  I will always remember the love, happiness, and excitement shared between our family and closest friends on that day.  This single day, and those feelings, is in a nutshell what DJ and I are together…I will cherish these memories always.

Wedding Photography: Chelsea Victoria Photography / Flowers: The Plant Place / Location: Park Country Club / Bride’s Shoes: Nina / Wedding Dress: Allure / Bridesmaid Dresses: White House Black Market / Banner: Blue Pearls

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