From the moment Steph, Cris, and I sat down in a Starbucks last year and spent close to an hour talking about dogs and Harry Potter, I knew they were something special. They are kind, exceptionally outward with their affection towards the people they love, funny, and love each other dearly (Plus, our dogs look alike and have the same name, obviously it was meant to be).
They laughed their way through their freezing cold engagement session with icy winds, so I knew their wedding was going to be extraordinary. And oh boy, it surely was.
We started the morning at Steph’s childhood home where I could hear the laughter from the moment I knocked on the door. Steph has a group of tight-knit friends and family that have been there for all of the important moments of her life. They are all wonderful humans, and it was one of the warmest rooms I have witnessed. They showed off their dance moves and drank mimosas while helping Steph with the finishing touches. After the final details, a few portraits, and a sentimental gift to Cris, we were off to their ceremony at the Japanese Gardens at Avanti Mansion.
Now just for the background, Cris and Steph have been in each other’s lives since they were kids. They dated as teenagers, were prom dates, and dated on and off throughout college. So this has been a VERY long time coming, as Cris described it “It’s always been her.” All of those years of love lead to tears from the entire wedding party (things you cant see here: the tears that covered the back of my camera. I’m pretty sure I made a noise). The sense of love and joy could be felt by everyone present. They exchanged heartfelt vows lead by Cris’ s childhood minister, had the kiss they have spent years picturing, and danced their way back up the aisle.
One of my favorite parts of any wedding is that “holy shit, we are actually married” moment that happens right after a ceremony. It’s a paused in the surrealism that takes over any wedding day, and is usually filled with contagious excitement. Cris and Steph’s wedding party joined them, and the energy only took off from there.
After portraits in the gorgeous sun with a visit from their beloved dog, Ellie, we danced our way into their reception. Amid heartfelt toasts that had us burst into laughter and tears, sweet formal dances, stellar dance moves, and killer dessert, we celebrated two people taking this next steps in their lives together. Steph and Cris had a wedding day that was a perfect reflection of who they are together – simply extraordinary.
Steph and Cris – Thank you isn’t quite enough for your kindness, trust, and for living in every moment of your wedding day. Congratulations again, and see you so very soon!
Hair and Makeup: Salon-a-go-go
Florist: Flowers by Nature
Venue: The Gardens at Avanti Mansion
Coordinator: Social Maven Buffalo
Musician: Rocher Scannura (guitarist)