Ever since they invited me in January 2017 to shoot their wedding, to this very day (January 2018) I feel something incredible every time I think about Sarah and Max. My most successful and exciting year as a destination wedding photographer started with this couple and was somehow defined by the fantastic energy they have. They were the most amazing hosts for me and my wife in their home in Buffalo, NY, and treated us like a king and queen, gave us a time of our lives, sent us awesome video of a crazy motorcycle ride form their Bali honeymoon, and really turned out to be great friends.
Buffalo Wedding Photo Shoot
To my surprise, I felt completely at home in Buffalo. It was not the city itself that made me feel so relaxed. It was Sarah and Max’s friends and family that made everything feel so homey. I immediately felt like I’ve known everyone for years. At times, it was difficult to remember that I was actually a destination photographer with a job to do.
The bridal preparations took place at the Henry Hotel. An interesting detail about this lovely Buffalo wedding venue is that it used to be a mental asylum. There were a quite a few bridesmaids at the wedding. Maybe that was the reason they chose to put them in a hotel with such a colorful history. The guys prepared in an ex fire department station that was converted into a cool apartment building. My wife, who assists me as a second shooter during destination weddings, was tasked with following them around during their preparations.
The wedding ceremony was held in a church, definitely the biggest one I’ve seen in my life. Sarah has a large family. She has 11 uncles and aunts! One of the uncles is a priest, and he was the one who held the church ceremony. I really liked the fact that all of the attending guests were so close – even the priest was a member of the family.
The reception that followed took place at a unique Buffalo wedding venue. It is a penny arcade with old pinball machines and retro video games. I’ve never seen anything quite like it. Well, not since the 1980’s, anyway. It was like stepping into a time machine and traveling back to childhood. Naturally, I had to check if I my Street Fighter skills were still there. If you want to know the answer, you’ll have to go ahead and challenge me :). This building-size time capsule called “Space” is an old factory warehouse converted into a wedding venue. The lower floor is dedicated to the vintage arcade games. The upper floor is reserved for wedding events and parties. It already looks super-cool, but Alyson, who runs a custom wedding and special event design studio, took the whole thing to another level.
I had a blast during this destination wedding in Buffalo. The sequence and the timing of the parts of the wedding event is different than in Croatia. As they say, the beauty is in the differences. There were several speeches, and each one of them left me speechless. All of them were natural and came straight from the heart.
As the party started to pick up the pace, the dance floor turned into a riot scene. Not all wedding photographers enjoy shooting directly from the crowded dance floor. However, for me, it was a feast. The setting, the people, the music – everything was magical and the photo gallery of the party looks amazing. All those guests of different cultures and generations danced together in harmony, overwhelmed with happiness. The scene radiated with so much love and energy that I think you can still see some of it glowing across the Buffalo sky at night…
Photos by Destination Wedding Photographer Damir Plavotić