When Debbie first emailed me in January 2014 and said she had been following my work for several years, I was so flattered. Then she said they were thinking about a January 2015 wedding and I thought maybe she was crazy. January weather is so unpredictable, except for the fact that you know it’s going to be cold! However with an off-season wedding, you get your pick of dates, venues, and vendors, and the snowy backdrop was indeed as gorgeous as she predicted.
I met her at Facial Expressions in Fredonia where she was finishing up her makeup, and from there we drove over to Edwards Waterhouse Inn for all of the girls to get dressed, and for Debbie & Jose to have their “first look” before we headed out to do the wedding party photos.
We stopped at Rotunda Grapevine Railroad Farm, which is near where they live. Debbie – you looked amazing with that bright can’t-hold-me-down smile on your face even in the freezing cold!
Debbie’s girls looked GORGEOUS in their gold dresses but it was hovering around 36 degrees with 20-30mph winds so I tried as hard as I could to go quickly!
In the winter, the guys have it so much easier. “Can we put our hands in our pockets?” I heard. Also, “It’s really slippery right here. If we fall, do you you take pictures of that too?” Answer, yes, I would have (I’d also have given you a hand up afterwards though).
We all hopped back in our cars and headed to the church, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Dunkirk. The flower girl was not a fan of my camera, but the ring bearer hammed it up after a promise of fruit snacks!
I had been “warned” ahead of time that Jose had not ever officially asked for Deborah’s hand in marriage from her father – I suppose after 9 years together, it seemed like a given. However Debbie’s dad took the opportunity at the front of the aisle to make sure Jose knew what’s what. I love everything about that photo, from the smiles to the cameras in the background to the “wrap it up, dad” cane coming in from the right.
I am always glad when the church has open balcony access for a shot from above during the ceremony!
Afterwards, Jose’s mom gave Debbie a “welcome to the family” hug.
Because of the cold temperatures & wind, they made the call not to stop anywhere else for pictures, opting to head straight to the College Lodge outside Brocton. Having been up there last summer for their engagement photos I was nervous about the steep, winding driveway, but the keeper of the grounds had it well sanded and everyone got up the hill with no problems. The decorations were gorgeous – I know Debbie did a TON of DIY stuff and it looked amazing! The cake topper was her grandparents’ and many of the touches that were not DIY were vintage.
Jose & Debbie braved the cold once more for a couple more shots of the two of them, then it was back inside to the roaring fireplaces & open bar for the rest of the night!
After a family-style meal, all eyes were on them as they shared their long-awaited first dance as husband & wife.
They hand-made this photo backdrop which turned out really cool!
Congratulations, I hope you’re having an amazing time on your (warm!) honeymoon, and thank you for letting me be the one to document the results of all your hard work on this beautiful wedding!!!