How to Get Married in Buffalo

I got married last Thursday! December 12th was the big day. (We liked the sound of 12/12/13 and figured it would be an easy anniversary to remember.)

I was adamant that we keep the event as stress-free as possible, and I’m happy to say we accomplished that. There were a total of six people in the room: Paul and I, his parents, the officiant, and a photographer. Here’s what we didn’t have: a bridal shower, bachelor/bachelorette party, or a gift registry.


How did we do it? Read on.

1) Find a location. We originally planned to get married at City Hall, but we found the designated “marriage room” depressing. (It’s basically the size of a large closet, painted white, with a few decorations hung on the wall.) We knew we could come up with something better.

We ended up holding the ceremony at The Mansion on Delaware. Since we had already booked a room to stay overnight (and our ceremony was taking place at 2pm on a Thursday), they let us hold our ceremony there for free.


2) Choose a photographer. Since we decided on a small ceremony, I knew I needed someone to take photographs so I could share them with family and friends. Mark Miller from HMNI Photography was recommended to me and I’m so glad we went with him — Mark did an excellent job, and I’m so happy with the results.


3) Choose an officiant. Our contact at The Mansion on Delaware sent us a list of people they’ve worked with in the past. Dave was one of them. We met with him for about 15 minutes a few weeks before the ceremony (at no additional cost), so we weren’t meeting him for the first time the day-of. Dave is extremely nice, personable, and professional.

Here we are with Dave after the ceremony ended.


4) Get your rings. It took us about 10 minutes to pick out Paul’s ring at the first jewelry store we walked into. I ordered mine from Mervis (a DC/VA/MD-based jewelry store where Paul bought my engagement ring), since I wanted the settings on the two rings to match.


5) You will need something nice to wear. Paul has a number of nice suits so he wore one he already owns. No tux needed.

I purchased six dresses online (returned five of them) and three pairs of shoes (returned two of them). I was happy not to have to search in a store. Total for both the dress and shoes: $330.


The coat looks like I bought it to go with my dress, right? Well…no. I actually purchased it on sale YEARS ago but had never worn it. I almost got rid of it a few times — of course I’m so glad I hung onto it. I never would have gone out and bought an ivory coat just for this occasion, but they went together perfectly.

After the ceremony, we went back to my in-law’s house to eat wedding cake. Isn’t it gorgeous?

Wedding cake!

We had dinner that evening at Tappo — it was my first time there and I really enjoyed it. I had Wedding Soup to start and Basil Prawn Risotto for my entree (both were delicious).

Here are some additional photos taken before, during, and after our wedding ceremony. (NOTE: There are many more photos in my Flickr photoset!)

The real-feel on Thursday was in the negative digits. Our photographer told us to sit on a bench and “look cold.” We said we wouldn’t have to pretend.


Standing on the front steps of the Mansion:


I cried during the ceremony:


We had Paul’s parents do a reading:


All married couples have to look out a window together, right?


Sharing a kiss while walking down Delaware Avenue:


Our wedding day went down exactly as planned. I’m so glad we did it this way.

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  • Reply Deedee December 17, 2013 at 9:05 am

    Congratulations! You look beautiful, and the snow flurries scattered around you totally MAKE the photos! I’ve always been a fan of small, intimate, “off-day” weddings, and yours looks like it was just perfect! Best wishes to you and Paul!

    • Reply Zan December 17, 2013 at 1:04 pm

      Thank you very much! We did get lucky with the lightly falling snow right as we were taking photos. It was a wonderful day. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply sassymonkey December 17, 2013 at 10:11 am

    Congratulations! Yay for small weddings!

  • Reply Jaclyn December 17, 2013 at 10:27 am

    Congratulations! What a perfect day. You make a beautiful bride!

    • Reply Zan December 17, 2013 at 1:05 pm

      Thank you for your kind words! The ceremony was very “us.” I’m glad it went so well. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply Brenna December 17, 2013 at 10:44 am

    I love this so much. Kudos to you for caring more about the *marriage* and less about the *wedding.* Love you both – and Z, you look beautiful!

    • Reply Zan December 17, 2013 at 1:05 pm

      Thank you, Brenna! It was exactly what Paul and I wanted and I’m glad we were able to pull it off. Definitely a memorable day. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply Anna December 18, 2013 at 7:36 am

    Congrats! It seems like you had just the wedding the two of you wanted! I love to read about these low-key weddings. Maybe because I know mine will be like that if I get married? ๐Ÿ™‚

    Was the wedding a secret to those who didn’t attend?

    • Reply Zan December 18, 2013 at 11:45 am

      Thank you, Anna! No, it wasn’t a secret (at least to most of my family and close friends). ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply Nicole Cooke December 18, 2013 at 9:07 am

    Zandria, this came out SO beautiful! Congrats to you and Paul on your marriage, and kudos to Mark for the great photos. A wonderful ceremony all around!

    • Reply Zan December 18, 2013 at 11:45 am

      Thank you kindly, Nicole! We really appreciate the recommendation. Mark was great. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply Liz Murphy (Naptown Pint) December 18, 2013 at 10:15 am

    Aw, congratulations! I’m so happy for you two. Your special day looks positively lovely. <3

    • Reply Zan December 18, 2013 at 11:46 am

      I very much appreciate that, Liz! It was indeed lovely and exactly what we wanted. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply Lynn December 18, 2013 at 8:07 pm

    Hi! Found your blog from your comment on Deedee’s. I’ll be reading from now on. I love the way you did your wedding, so beautifully simple, and your dress is gorgeous!

    • Reply Zan December 20, 2013 at 3:15 pm

      Thank you so much, Lynn! I enjoy reading Deedee’s blog so I’m glad you discovered mine via hers. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply Donna December 19, 2013 at 7:35 am

    Beautiful Pictures Zandria. Can’t wait to see you both on Christmas Eve!

    • Reply Zan December 19, 2013 at 4:31 pm

      Indeed, Donna! We’re very much looking forward to it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply John Straubinger December 20, 2013 at 11:28 am

    Congratulations to both of you Zan.

  • Reply Jaclyn December 20, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    Congratulations again! You make a beautiful bride and it looks like a perfect Buffalo wedding day. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply Carl F. December 30, 2013 at 9:42 am

    Sounds like a wonderful day! Great pictures too!

  • Reply Anastasia December 31, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    The wedding was so beautiful. I am just so glad you are happy. How you live your life is something I admire and look up to.

    • Reply Zan January 5, 2014 at 3:54 pm

      That is an incredible compliment, Stasia — thank you so much for saying that. I’m glad to see you’re blogging again!

  • Reply Ron Flesher January 3, 2014 at 3:35 pm

    Congrats to you, Zan! You make a beautiful bride, and love the way you did your wedding.

    • Reply Zan January 5, 2014 at 3:52 pm

      Thank you very much!

  • Reply lemon gloria November 14, 2014 at 11:15 am

    I just stumbled across a post from you on DC Blogs, which made me realize you’re now in Buffalo and married! You look and sound SO HAPPY! Congratulations!

    • Reply Zan November 28, 2014 at 8:10 am

      Thank you, thank you! (I did let them know recently that I’ve moved, so I likely won’t show up on that list again.) But I’m glad you found me again! Very nice to hear from you after all this time. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply Chris Abraham December 12, 2014 at 5:46 pm

    A year late but you looked AMAZING! Mazel tov!

  • Reply vera January 17, 2015 at 11:01 pm

    Congratulations. This has been very helpful. Mine is soon now I have to look for a coat just like ur’s within a very short time. Thanks.

    • Reply Zan January 26, 2015 at 7:01 pm

      I’m glad you like the coat, Vera! Unfortunately I don’t remember where I purchased it since it was so long ago. I had no idea I would wear it for the first time on my wedding day.

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