June 8, 2020
On our first anniversary I wanted to commemorate our wedding! We got married surrounded by 150 of our closest family members and friends in East Aurora, NY at Knox Farm State Park. The Knox family’s 12,000 square foot summer home is in the park and is the perfect place to have a wedding. After attending a wedding there as guests in 2017 I knew that I wanted our wedding to be there.
It was a light and airy dream! The rooms are huge with large windows. The room designated for brides to get ready is gray and white with hard wood floors and is one of many rooms in the house that’s hidden! In order to get to it, you have to push open a built in bookcase that reveals the hidden room behind it. I loved the thought of having a wedding filled with years of history.
My bridesmaids and I got ready in the morning all together, taking time to relax, get our hair and make up done, and enjoy a slower morning before the craziness started. The night before, I had gifted my girls with matching pajama sets. They were the perfect getting ready outfit!
James and I decided that custom vows weren’t for us. Neither of us are big fans of being the center of attention and preferred to write each other private letters. We each spent time the morning of our wedding writing to each other and those letters are such special keepsakes for us.
We tried to infuse special details into our day. One of our favorites was the Bible James’s paternal grandmother carried on her wedding day. Since then, more than 30 brides in the family have carried it when they got married. I was so honored to be able to be a part of that tradition!
Doing a first look was perfect for us for a few reasons. We wanted the first moments we spent together on our wedding day to be private. Having all eyes on us in an emotional moment wasn’t something we were looking forward to, so we chose to have time to see each other and process everything together before the pomp and circumstance started. Plus, it gave us tons of extra time for portraits and wedding party photos!
Our ceremony was officiated by James’s youth pastor from his teenage years. Dale and his wife Rachel poured into our relationship in the months leading up to our wedding. We did monthly pre-marital counseling with them and it gave us great opportunities to talk through complex potential issues, set realistic expectations, and gave us a wonderful example of a godly marriage. Having someone who really knew us and our relationship perform our ceremony made it even more special. The other element that I made sure we added to our ceremony was to have our parents lay hands on us when Pastor Dale prayed over us. We’re both blessed with amazing parents and wanted to include them in our ceremony. We kept the rest of the ceremony short and simple!
Besides marrying my favorite person in the world, my best-loved ceremony moment was when James and I were recessing and my dad reached out and gave me a fist bump. My relationship with my dad is really special and things like that are very typical of us. It made my smile even wider as we walked up the aisle past our family and friends. I was so glad to see that our videographer even captured it on video!
We chose to do family formals right after our ceremony. We were able to document cousins, grandparents, siblings, and parents! Also, check out the cutest niece and nephew that ever lived. Madi made her “mad Madi” scowl face for the most of the day, which we still laugh about a year later. Jackson got to wear a bowtie that matched the groomsmen and it was the sweetest thing! His mom having him say “I love dinosaurs!” made him break out into a huge grin. It was so much fun having them there!
After family photos we got to enjoy our cocktail hour (thanks to our first look!). James spent a lot of time leading up to our wedding picking out the types of beer and wine we’d serve at our wedding. We chose Rochester Mobile Bartenders because they provide the bar, cups, bartenders, and are fully insured, but let us choose our menu! James and his friends love craft beer and we wanted it to be an element of our wedding. Our guests also got to play tons of lawn games that my dad made for our wedding! The cornhole boards he made for us even have our name on them!
The lawn games weren’t the only thing handmade by our family. My dad also made the easels that held our large signs, and the beautiful arbor that we got married under. My cousin decorated the arbor with fabric and flowers, and also hand lettered extra signs in calligraphy that perfect matched the fonts of our other signs.
In honor of a tradition that friends of our started in 2018, James and I each spoke for a few minutes and introduced our wedding parties. I introduced my matron of honor Beth, and my bridesmaids Adrean and Rachel and James introduced his best man Ben and his groomsmen Josh and Brian.
James’s best man, my matron of honor, and my mom all made speeches to kick off our dinner. All of which made me cry! James’s maternal grandfather, Papa Robert, gave one of his famous prayers and we all got to enjoy the buffet.
Our photographer Emi stole us away for sunset portraits after dinner. They ended up being James’s favorite portraits of the day! The meadow in front of the mansion was filled with little yellow flowers and was the perfect spot to capture some golden light. The extra portrait time also gave us some time to get away and spend some quiet moments away from the party together. It was perfect!
While James and I each have many talents, dance is not on the top of either of our lists. With the help of a few YouTube tutorials and a couple of practice sessions we got it all figured out for our first dance! My dad came over a few weeks before the wedding so that we could have our own time to practice too. He didn’t want to just sway around so we made it our own! I’ll have to post the video because words don’t do it justice. James and his mom twirled around to “What a Wonderful World” and it was so sweet to watch. We’re both so blessed by our parents!
James’s aunt baked our gorgeous wedding cake! Our florist provided loose flowers for her to decorate the cake with, and she did an amazing job! It was beautiful and absolutely delicious. Having so many elements of our wedding be a direct result of the heartfelt hard work of our family made us feel even more surrounded by love and support on our wedding day.
We got to spend the rest of the night dancing away with our friends! One of my best friends from college has also become one of my best wedding industry friends. Brennen and his brother Tyler started a DJ business a few years ago and we’ve been referring each other ever since! I’m even photographing Tyler’s wedding in August. They both kept the music going and the dance floor packed. It was so much fun! Even my very very pregnant MOH danced the night away!
Our sparkler exit was so much fun! It was the perfect way to leave our wonderful day! It wasn’t the end of our night, however. We had a small gathering at a nearby restaurant after the official festivities ended. They have a bar outside with fire places, a beach volleyball court, and plenty of space for us and our friends. It was a much smaller group than our wedding and gave us the chance to really talk to people. It also extended our night past the 10 o’clock limit that our venue mandated. We loved that extra time and it stands out as a great part of our amazing day!
A year later we’re living in our first apartment together. Photos from our wedding day are everywhere. We love getting to relive our day! Our wedding album is so special to us and I love showing it off. We have a gallery wall of images in our living room made complete with a frame of dried flowers from my bouquet. Even our fridge has prints of our wedding in magnet frames!
Our wedding day was amazing, and it was the perfect way to start our beautiful marriage!
Photographer: Emi Rose Photography
Videographer: Andrew McGinnis
Hair and Makeup: Salon-A-Go-Go
Florist: Flowers By Nature
Bridesmaid Dresses: Azazie
Venue: Knox Farm State Park
Rentals: McCarthy Tents & Events
Vintage Furniture: Revival Vintage Rentals
On our first anniversary I wanted to commemorate our wedding! We got married surrounded by 150 of our closest family members and friends in East Aurora, NY at Knox Farm State Park. The Knox family’s 12,000 square foot summer home is in the park and is the perfect place to have a wedding. After attending […]
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