Pictures and inspiration from our rustic barn wedding in Western New York, outside of Buffalo.

rustic barn wedding in western new york

For twenty months of wedding planning, I said some version of “maybe we should just elope” on the daily. Thank GOD we didn’t. I mean wedding planning was definitely not my thing. There were lots of tears and anxieties throughout the whole process. Now I understand why people pay other people to plan their wedding lol. BUT all the bullshit we dealt with during the planning process was all more than worth it for what we felt on the day of our actual wedding. I’m not the kind of person that uses the word “magical” very often or frankly ever for that matter, but I really have no other word to describe the day besides magical. The love and joy and bliss and raw emotions that I felt that on our wedding day were overpowering and moving. It might sound cheesy but this was the happiest day of my life thus far.

I have so many pictures and memories I want to share with you guys that I’m splitting the wedding recap into two blog posts. This first blog post highlights the wedding “prep”, first look pics and ceremony.

I planned out my wedding morning to be super chill and relaxed. I woke up and went for a long walk around a lake near my parent’s house, did a little meditation, came home, made a smoothie, showered and headed out to the Inn where we all got ready. This helped me to feel grounded and centered walking into what was going to be an emotional and vulnerable day for me.


rustic barn wedding in buffalo new york
rustic barn wedding in western new york

Steve and I exchanged gifts on our wedding morning. There were two cards in the box – the card that said open first had three simple instructions written on it. Take out laptop. Plug in headphones. Open computer and press play. As soon as the video started playing, I started crying. It was a 6 minute video of all our dearest family (parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins) and friends who are married talking about the keys to a happy marriage. As soon as I saw our grandparents on the video, I lost it. Thank GOD for waterproof mascara, people!!


The video had some hilarious parts too (i.e. someone mentioning alcohol as the key to a happy marriage LOL). Steve edited it so that it would transition from funny to sentimental, which left everyone in the room watching me thinking I was schizophrenic. I literally laughed and cried back and forth for an entire six minutes while everyone stared at me LOL.

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This was my Dad’s reaction before he started balling three seconds later, to which of course I started crying again too. And I said I wasn’t sure if I would cry on my wedding day. HA! I should said I’m not sure how many times I will cry on my wedding day. The answer: A lot.


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What you can’t see here in our first look is that Steve looked as though he was starting to choke up, which is why he turned away to try and fight back the tears and compose himself. 

rustic-barn-wedding-in-western-new-york-part-i-18 rustic-barn-wedding-in-western-new-york-part-i-19 rustic-barn-wedding-in-western-new-york-part-i-20 rustic-barn-wedding-in-western-new-york-part-i-21 rustic-barn-wedding-in-western-new-york-part-i-26 rustic wedding in western new york barn wedding in western new york And yes there was kale in my bouquet 😉rustic-barn-wedding-in-western-new-york-part-i-24 rustic barn wedding in western new yorkAll of our signs were DIY (you’ll see more in part II) – this one Steve designed in Photoshop, had it printed at Fed Ex and my Dad made the frame out of barn wood.rustic barn wedding in western new york rustic-barn-wedding-in-western-new-york-part-i-14 rustic-barn-wedding-in-western-new-york-5 Are our flower girls not the CUTEST, most PRECIOUS girls ever?! Ok, I may be a little biased.rustic-barn-wedding-in-western-new-york-6 rustic barn wedding in western new york rustic-barn-wedding-in-western-new-york-10

Me, crying for the 236728th time of the day. Steve and I wrote our own vows and of course I got emotional again reading mine.

rustic-barn-wedding-in-western-new-york-11But we did it!


rustic barn wedding in new york
rustic barn wedding in western new york

Stay tuned for Part II – the venue, decor and celebration!

Tell me, what was your wedding day like? Did you experience all the feels too?

Venue: Hayloft in the Grove. Photography: Nickel City Studios. Dress: Ceremony Boston – Claire Pettibone. Shoes, Jewelry & Clutch: BHLDN. Flowers: Costamanga Design. Catering: Private Knives Catering. Pies: Carriage Trade Pastries. Favors: Fancypants Baking Company. Hair & Makeup: Groom Service. Bridesmaids: J Crew. Groomsmen: Banana Republic. Groom: Suit Supply. Rings: Sophie Hughes Jewelry. Musicians: Buffalo Strings DJ: Toy Bros 

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  1. OMG Kara this post is everything! Could there be a more stunning bride? I’m so happy for you and Steve and also that we got to spend some quality time together this weekend 🙂 Xx

  2. Wow what a magical day indeed! Biggest congrats Kara! Your efforts look like they payed off in spades. As a kale lover, I adore the fact that you used KALE in your bouquet!!! xoxo!!!

  3. Congratulations Kara-You are an absolutely stunning bride! What a magical day for both you and Steve, and the rest of your families. Enjoy!!!

  4. Stunning Kara! Thanks for sharing.

  5. Rachael@AvocadoADayNutrition

    Oh my goodness I am literally that crazy person crying in the car reading this! Scotts driving not me 😉 You and Steve look so happy and in love! The two of y’all are just the sweetest and so deserving of all the joy and happiness in your future! Can’t wait to double date again as old marrieds!

  6. Olena

    Congratulations Kara! You look absolutely stunning! This makes me want to relive my wedding day again (and I’ve only been married for 3 years…so it wasn’t long ago!).

  7. OMG!!! Ok, how many times did I choke up reading this post….42.5, to be exact.
    You’re day is as beautiful as I imagined it would be. And the doors at the alter!! Amazing. I am so freaking happy for you two and the beautiful day you had. Love you to pieces!

  8. Stunning! Looked like a beautiful day. I’m getting married next month (ah!) and can relate to the anxiety of planning. Also writing our own vows and I’ll probably bawl reading them. Congratulations!!

    • Ah! So exciting, Dianna!! It’s so much. Too much, in fact. But coming from someone who didn’t 100% believe it would be worth it in the end, can tell you now with confidence IT”S WORTH IT IN THE END :). Congrats to you as well! Can’t wait to see pics! XO

  9. Elaine Magee

    thanks so much for sharing your emotions and your beautiful pics! I only wish this kind of “magical” and finding one of the few “nice guys” out there for my two daughters. Your mom must have cried as many times as you?

    My wedding was also self-made largely with about 50 guests. I even catered my own reception (had a friend heating and serving though). It was 27 years ago and it still makes me tear up thinking about it. I couldn’t actually “speak” my vows because I would have started crying from all of the emotion. So I whispered them. We renewed our vows about 4 years ago in a private mass with just our daughters and our favorite priest and my sister and her hubby and two children.

    It sure sounds like you two are off to a spectacular start! All my best wishes for you.

  10. elizabeth

    Your wedding day was so so so magical. LOVE YOU TWO!

  11. Absolutely gorgeous Kara! I started choking up and tearing up just reading through this and looking at the pictures. Your photographer captured all the emotions. You look stunning and more importantly, the happiness you were feeling really shines through. Congrats again!

    • Awe! Thanks, Jess! It was such an emotional day, but in the best way possible. I love that these pictures will help us remember years and years from now how we felt on this day. Our photographers really did do such a great job capturing that. XO

  12. Sam

    You look stunning and your day looks completely beautiful. Love the pictures of your groom choking up even though you can’t see his expression. Congratulations to you guys!!

  13. absolutely STUNNING! Makes me want to get married all over again! Seriously I teared up so many times scrolling through this post!

  14. Lauren

    Kara –
    This blog post came at the perfect time for me. I am 9 days from walking down the aisle myself and I keep thinking “why didn’t we just elope” too! You post will help me make it through these next 9 days as every detail is finalized.
    Glad to hear it turned out to be perfect for you and your new hubby!

    • Awe, thanks for sharing that Lauren. Glad it came at a perfect time for you. Hang in there! The week before the wedding was super stressful for us tying up all the little last minute details. But I promise when the day comes all of that stress will melt away. Enjoy every second of your day because it goes by so, so fast. Congratulations! xo