On the last Saturday of April, Alyssa and JJ celebrated their intimate wedding among friends and family on a pleasantly warm Spring day. Alyssa and JJ began their wedding day at the bride’s parent’s property with a first look followed by a few formal wedding party portraits. The couple shared wedding vows in the bride’s family church, the same church where her parents were married years earlier. The couple celebrated their reception on the grounds of the Ravenwood Golf Course in Victor, New York.
Alyssa & JJ’s day came together beautifully! I couldn’t believe how fortunate we were to have a perfectly warm and sunny day when the weekend before we had snow! I loved watching these two laugh with each other, which happened all day long!
The Dress: “I loved my dress so much! My dress was the first dress I tried on! I made an appointment with 2 Hearts Bridal, and because of COVID, I was unable to enter the shop to browse the store. I had to go through many pictures of dresses online and then had a zoom consultation with one of the lovely ladies there. Together we picked out the top 5 dresses I wanted to try on. A few days later, I went to go and try those on in the store. I tried my first dress on and fell in love; however, I was upset because it didn’t quite fit (it was too small) and likely would need to be let out a little. I tried a few others on and kept coming back to that one. The women I worked with at the shop felt that there was enough fabric to let out some. I committed and bought it, which was a bit of a gamble on my part. A few months later, when I went for my first dress fitting with Diane at Briella Bridal, the dress zippered up perfectly (and I can promise you I did not lose any weight). I truly felt like it was fate. Diane was amazing too. She was one of the first people outside our family that we told about my mom’s new cancer diagnosis. My mom was scheduled to start chemo two weeks before the wedding, and she was concerned she would begin to lose her hair by then. Diane had the dress ready for us a month before the wedding so that my mom and I could take a few pictures together before her chemo started.
I loved the train of my dress. It was huge. It was pretty for pictures, but holy cow, it was heavy. My maid of honor and my mom spent 25 minutes together bustling it up when we got to the venue.”
The Groom’s Favorite Wedding Day Moment: “JJ’s favorite moment was the first look. He loved that we could be one on one without a bunch of people watching. We could have the time together to see one another and just get the jitters out before the actual ceremony.”
Personal Touches: “I wore my Mom’s veil. The same veil she wore when she married my Dad. And an even cooler thing beyond wearing my Mom’s veil, we also were married in the same church my parents were. The church I grew up in. JJ comes from a family with a strong Irish background. He is 100% Irish. It meant a lot to his family that we were married in a Catholic Church and held a full mass. To honor his family, I had “Bells of Ireland” greenery in my bouquet and on the pews in the church.”
Alyssa, JJ, and all of their wedding guests shared a sparkling wine that was special to the bride and her family for their wedding toasts: “My Dad’s side of the family has owned a vineyard in Hammondsport, NY for many years. It was always a treat to visit my Great Aunt and Uncle and walk through the vineyard and the glen. We have many memories down on their property. The grapes they grew mostly went to Great Western Champagne. We had Great Western Champagne (Extra Dry) for our toast, and honestly, it is what I drank for most of the evening. Great Western Champagne is at every family gathering; Christmas, New Years’, birthdays, you name it. Our wedding wasn’t about to be any different. The Great Western Extra Dry Champagne was also part of the champagne toast at my parent’s wedding back in 1980. My Great Uncle had a jeroboam personalized for my parent’s wedding day (a jeroboam is a 3L bottle of champagne) that they still have today. My Dad also inherited our Great Western Champagne glasses when my Great Aunt and Uncle passed away, and these glasses were featured on our sweetheart table for the toast. These were tiny details that meant so much to my family and me.”
The Brides Favorite Wedding Day Moment: “I had two favorite moments. The first was after the ceremony. Between the time we went from the church to the reception venue. JJ and I went back to my parent’s house and sat on the front porch swing, just the two of us, for a minute while my parents and MOH grabbed a few last-minute things. It was the first time we were alone and got just to have our private moment. The second was the dance with my Dad. My family is going through some challenging times with my mom being sick, and it was such an emotional moment for him and I because of the song we picked. My Dad and I have always been extremely close, but I know that our family is held together by my Mom. I tear a bit just sitting here writing this, honestly. My Dad and I haven’t necessarily said the words to one another, but we both don’t know what we would do without my Mom; we kind of both expressed those feelings to one another with that dance. We were just so thankful she could be there that day and that she felt well.”
Advice From The Newlyweds: ‘go with your gut and don’t shop around if you have a good feeling about something. JJ and I selected every vendor and our venue on the first try. We didn’t shop around at all. We had “good vibes” with each of our vendors. Even my dress we got on the first try! We only met with one photographer (thank you, Casey!), one DJ, one venue, one bakery, one florist, etc. Also… pick everything together. JJ would sometimes say, “this is your wedding. I don’t care,” about small decisions, but that would make decisions more challenging at times. Just do it together. It is your day as a couple. JJ and I are thankful we did much of the planning together because we were both able to have a day we enjoyed.
If you’re interested in having me photograph your wedding or engagement you can fill out the form here and I’ll be in touch with you soon!
Photographer: LaFountain Photography
Venue: Ravenwood Golf Course
Hair: TKO Salon
Makeup: Joseph Rothrock
Bride’s Wedding Dress Boutique: 2 Hearts Bridal
Bridesmaid Dresses: Azazie
DJ: Showcase Sounds
Florist: Bloomers Floral & Gift