Some of you may know that both Ryan and I hail from the north. Yup, we’re Yankees living in the south. I lived outside of Syracuse from age 9-18 and Ryan lived in Utica from age 13-19. Our schools even played each other in sports…who knew? We were pretty excited when we got an inquiry from one of Ryan’s friends he grew up with. It was an opportunity we jumped at. Not only were the Balzano family wonderful to Ryan growing up but we have never gotten to show each other our old stomping grounds.
It was great for me to sit at the Balzano dinner table and partake of Mr. Balzano’s famous Italian cooking, but also hearing endless stories about Ryan during his high school years. It was like having a time machine. I got to see his old high school and the baseball field he used to tear it up, tons of youth group stories and tales of his “geekdom”. It was great to come a few days early so we could get to know Matt and Emily better and learn about their wonderful relationship.
It was a scorching July day but everyone acted like troopers. I think it is physically impossible for Matt and Emily not to smile at all times or laugh instead of complain. They were awesome. Of course we love when our brides agree to 1st looks. It creates the most relaxing wedding day itinerary and I will admit, we love doing a full-on photo shoot of the bride and groom. Now I know anyone in upstate NY may find it hard to believe that we found a few hidden gems in downtown Utica. I think one of the best and funniest compliments we received at the wedding reception during their slideshow was “Hey, you even made Utica look good.” Apparently, we are that good. HA! Enjoy the magic of Matt and Emily’s love.
Our beautiful bride, Emily.
The handsome groom.
Matt’s sweet nieces and flower girls.
I love the confusion on their faces as we are yelling down the street for them to run across the street. HUH????
So what do you do when there is a giant, colorful mural just a 1/2 block from the hotel? You say THANK YOU! Who knew the Utica skyline could clean up so nice.
A little nostalgic shot. This is her father’s jewelry store.
We found a little furry friend we were able to coax into a few photos.
We had to make sure we documented these sweet little jars Matt’s mom had made. They were filled with delicious mixed nuts and the label read “Emily and Matt are nuts for each other”
Time to round up the bridal party.
I’m gonna be honest, this is not a classic Kellan pose. What this is, is a classic Balzano family pose. I guess throughout the years as all the siblings grew at different rates they would stand shortest to tallest. This seems to be the permanent pose as I am fairly sure they are all done growing!
Love this shot of Emily anticipating going down the aisle. This is also her beautiful, proud mom Linda.
Hands down, hottest ceremony we have ever shot. Matt told us it was a miracle he didn’t faint. They didn’t know the church had no air conditioning until the day before. Did I mention it was well into the 90’s? BRUTAL!
Because Emily and Matt initially met at Buffalo Wild Wings, they thought it apropos for them to present their guests with a variety of wing sauces as a parting gift.
We don’t normally show this many ring shots but if you look closely in Matt’s band you can see Ryan taking the shot and me holding a second flash. Kinda fun. The baseball glove was a gift from Matt’s grandfather when he was a boy. It was the same glove he used all his life, even through his collegiate baseball career. His grandfather is now deceased but to honor his memory the glove was carried by the ring bearer with the bands tied on the inside.
Matt and Emily, people could not stop bearing witness to your love and devotion to one another. The ear to ear grins plastered on your faces all day were priceless. It was such a treat to come back home to the north and to be a part of your most special day. May God’s love shine brightly on you. Blessings.