THIS GORGEOUS FLORAL FILLED WEDDING IS THE DIY WEDDING OF OUR DREAMS
“I was shoving poutine in my face while attempting to balance my glass of wine. Naturally, it was love at first sight!” she laughed.
“I joked throughout the entire wedding planning process that our wedding was going to be the greatest crafting adventure the Buffalo-Niagara region had ever seen. My craft-room and Cricut are the real stars here. I LOVE crafting, honestly any excuse to personalize, get creative with something I’m 100% in. I knew I wanted to do a lot of the crafting myself, but I was pretty practical about it and knew my limits on some things.” Kate explained.
“I designed and made our Save the Dates, but had my invitations, programs, timeline cards, and napkins designed by the amazing Idieh Design which helped me SO SO much with finalizing my overall look and saved me so much stress. Once the invites were designed, I was able to go crazy with the extras for our big day…I have a thing for consistency so I wanted to make sure all of the fonts matched, the vibes matched, etc. I made all of the signage around the reception venue including: signature drinks signs, dessert table signs, social media signs, bathroom signs, adorn yourself sign, favors stickers, and utensil bags. I also made all of our big sandwich board signs (welcome signs, restroom signs, shuttle stop, seating board, unplugged ceremony sign, food truck sign, our chair signs, and card box) out of plywood, painted and sealed them all, and designed each one’s look. It was a bit much to have massive signs in the house for a few months, but I really think it helped our theme and vibe flow throughout the entire reception space.”
“Our biggest crafting undertaking (it was touch and go for a while on whether or not they would make it to the big day) were the massive LOVE marquee letters. Thank God for Ron’s strength and woodworking abilities! I’m so glad we were able to get them finished up and they held together because they really added a cool vibe to the dance floor! Something I love about Larkin is all of the hand drawn and painted art that is around the square/in their marketing/at Hydraulic Hearth and Swan Street Diner. So I reached out to the owner, Leslie Zemsky, who does all of their art and asked if I could get copies of the paintings she did of each food truck. She also did a custom watercolor map for us we included in our welcome totes, and a custom family portrait including the dogs that we used on our photo booth strips. I loved being able to incorporate touches of the place we first met throughout our day.”
“I’m a sucker for family traditions, heirlooms, and meaningful touches (my engagement ring is actually an heirloom piece from Ron’s mom and grandma that he redesigned), so it was super important for me to include all of those throughout the day. Ron’s Uncle unfortunately passed away when he was young, and his Aunt let Ron borrow the watch that his Uncle wore during their wedding, so that was a really special way for Ron to have his Uncle be a part of our day too. The most special piece that I wore during the day was my veil. I worked with the super talented women at Made by Anatomy to piece together my mother-in-law’s blusher, my mom’s extended cathedral veil, and lace from my grandma’s 1958 wedding dress. The end result was better than I ever could have imagined, all three pieces looked like they were meant to fit together and were stunning with my dress. My mother-in-law’s blusher piece had a few seed pearls throughout that I was originally going to take off, but my bridesmaids’ dresses had a Swiss dot illusion top so I decided to actually add more seed pearls to the blusher to really bring all the styles and looks together.”
“Another meaningful thing that most people wouldn’t have noticed was that my bouquet was pretty symbolic. Peonies are my favorite flower, but they are also the state flower of Indiana where I am originally from. The bouquet also included roses for New York, a lily for Italy, and thistle as my something blue and for Scotland. I also had a pin on my bouquet that my grandma had been saving for me that originally belonged to my great-great grandmother in the 1930s. One of my favorite family traditions that we included was having my cousin, Audrey, as our junior bridesmaid. Her mother, Gina, was the junior bridesmaid in my parents’ wedding in 1986, and I was the junior bridesmaid in Gina’s wedding in 1998. It was so much fun to carry on that tradition with Audrey, and I put Gina and my junior bridesmaid pictures in frames for Gina and my mom to hold for a special picture.”
“Something special we did for our ceremony was including our parents’ unity candles. Normally, you get a single unity candle and have taper candles on either side for the moms to light, but my mom thought it would be a really fun way to honor both of our families to use their original unity candles in the ceremony. It turned out perfect, and was such a cool way to really bring all of our families together.”
“I didn’t go to a single bridal boutique, and didn’t try on any other dresses before I bought my wedding dress,” Kate told us.
“My mom lives in Charlotte so we were having a hard time coming up where to meet for dress shopping, and I couldn’t find a designer that I liked that was reasonably priced with my criteria. I have a minor thing for J.Crew so I always dreamed of going to the J.Crew Bridal store to find my dress, so imagine my despair when the company closed down their bridal stores and stopped all bridal collections in November 2016…6 months before we got engaged. During my endless online searching for dresses, I did a random Google search for J.Crew bridal gowns to get an idea of shape, style, etc. that I would want to look for in another dress somewhere else. I then stumbled upon a website where people resell their gowns that happened to have a J.Crew dress that I remember seeing in their catalog and loved. The woman selling the dress got it during their bridal store fire sale, but it didn’t fit her right so she had to get another size. I didn’t know if it would fit me or if I would even like the dress on, but I couldn’t pass it up. So, I ended up buying my wedding dress sight-unseen, online, and it ended up fitting perfectly!”
“No one was surprised that I ended up with a J.Crew dress. It is a bit plain by itself, and I have a family friend who is a personal stylist, and who just so happened worked for J.Crew for about 10 years, so I asked her opinion on how I should style it and her first suggestion was a floral belt. My initial thought was “uhhhh I’m not sure I really want peonies sticking off me all day during my wedding.” But it was really meant to be, because during my first conversation with my florist, Laura, she mentioned how she had recently gone to a workshop where she created a floral belt. It honestly couldn’t have been a better way to allow me to rock my standard J.Crew with a garden party twist. I’ve always had a thing for aggressive accessories.”
“Before the wedding, Ron and I wrote letters to each other that we were supposed to read while getting ready for the wedding, but Ron’s lack of patience meant he asked if we could read them the night before. We’re pretty private people, so it was actually perfect to just share that moment with Ron (via text, he was staying at the hotel) instead of having a ton of people around us. I was able to keep one element of surprise though, I had his ring engraved but didn’t tell him what it said in the letter so he had to wait until the next day to find out. It says “Mine. Always.” I call Ron mine, and vice versa. Always is a nod to our Harry Potter nerdiness.”
“Including our dogs, Fitzwilliam Darcy and Sammy, in our day was a non-negotiable.” Kate added.
“It was fun having them around the house as I got ready with my bridesmaids, and then they met us at Silo City for some pictures with their floral collars which ended up being included on our chairs at the reception so they got to be with us at Larkin too!”
“Getting to see Larkin Square when we got to the reception was so surreal, and special since it’s the place we first met. I finally got to see all my crafting come together, and see all of the hard work Syrie and Laura did to really make my dream day come alive. I told Laura early on that I wanted the space to look like a flower shop exploded, and I think it’s safe to say she delivered. And the floral chandelier?! Come on. I may or may not have snuck a few peeks of the space coming together on social media, but nothing compared to seeing it in person. I really wanted people to be able to use the whole square and to just have fun, and so seeing everyone at each of the food trucks, playing corn hole and Jenga, hearing the laughter at the photo booth, and adorning themselves with flowers meant everything to me. We obviously wanted to have fun ourselves, but seeing all of our family and friends having a blast and tearing up the dance floor really made the day so much more fun for me.”
“You are going to get a ton of advice and opinions thrown at you during the whole process. Unless you specifically ask for said advice and opinion, don’t listen to it and do exactly what you want to do for your wedding. Your wedding should be a reflection of you as a couple, not what people are telling you what a wedding should be or should/should not include.”
“Pinterest and social media get SUPER overwhelming. I remember panicking a bit because I had so many Pinterest boards and I was worried that nothing was going to ultimately go together and the whole day would feel like a mash up of random things. I decided to create a sort of mood board on Canva (it’s online and free) to pull together all of my favorite Pinterest ideas, screenshots of things, and actual photos of things I had already done/bought. It was a GREAT way to see everything together, and make final decisions on things. I was also able to then nix a bunch of things I didn’t really like, or that didn’t really go with everything else.”
“People joked with me that I was going to have the whole wedding planned within the first month of our engagement because I made a lot of the big decisions so early on. I did front-load a lot of my planning, to make sure I was able to work with the vendors I loved before they got booked by someone else, and so the end stages of the planning wouldn’t be overwhelming. It ended up being a great thing to do because I was completely done with everything two and a half weeks before the wedding, and I was able to just enjoy the time with my friends and family instead of scrambling around trying to finish things up.”
“Finally, GET A DAY OF COORDINATOR/PLANNER. If you’re saying to yourself you don’t need a planner, or if you’re on the fence…get one. I didn’t originally think I would want to work with a planner, from a cost perspective and because I was so sure of my overall design/ideas/crafting abilities. After my first couple of problem run ins with vendors, I knew that if I didn’t get some help for the day of the wedding that I would be a stressed mess worrying about things being set up the way I envisioned, and that my family would have a ton to do the morning of the wedding to help. Enter Social Maven and Syrie. She made sure the day went perfectly (as far as I know!!), helped with our timeline, and just took away all stress the day of the wedding so we could just enjoy the moment.”
“Have so much fun!!! It’s a ton of work for one day, but it’s so worth it in the end.”
Photographer: Ayres Photography I Ceremony: St. Joseph Cathedral I Reception: Larkin Square I Wedding Planner: Syrie Roman of Social Maven I Invitations and Programs: Idieh Design I Signage: Kate Femia Signs I Florist: West Wind Florals I Hair: Top Knot Salon and Beauty Bar I Makeup Artist: Holly Roesch I Dress Designer: J. Crew I Custom Made Veil: Anatomy I Headpiece and Earrings: Emma Katzka I Bridal Party Styling: The Closet Therapist I Bridesmaids: Nordstrom I Men’s Suits: Get Dressed I Ties and Pocket Squares: Neck & Tie Company I Rentals: All Season I Custom Artwork Menu Cards: Leslie Zemsky I Photobooth: BuffaLoveBus I Transportation: Buffalo Trolleys I Favors: Amborella Organics I Dessert Table: Blue Eyed Baker I Videographer: Indyvisual I DJ: GLDN Girls I Catering: Ted’s Hot Dog Food Truck, Ru’s Pierogi Food Truck, Chef’s Food Truck, Rolling Cannoli Food Truck I