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.

Posted on by Zan in Buffalo Events 29 Comments

29 Responses to How to Get Married in Buffalo

  1. Deedee

    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!

    • Zan

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

  2. sassymonkey

    Congratulations! Yay for small weddings!

  3. Jaclyn

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

    • Zan

      Thank you for your kind words! The ceremony was very “us.” I’m glad it went so well. :)

  4. Brenna

    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!

    • Zan

      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. :)

  5. Anna

    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? :)

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

    • Zan

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

  6. Nicole Cooke

    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!

    • Zan

      Thank you kindly, Nicole! We really appreciate the recommendation. Mark was great. :)

  7. Liz Murphy (Naptown Pint)

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

    • Zan

      I very much appreciate that, Liz! It was indeed lovely and exactly what we wanted. :)

  8. Lynn

    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!

    • Zan

      Thank you so much, Lynn! I enjoy reading Deedee’s blog so I’m glad you discovered mine via hers. :)

  9. Donna

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

    • Zan

      Indeed, Donna! We’re very much looking forward to it. :)

  10. John Straubinger

    Congratulations to both of you Zan.

  11. Jaclyn

    Congratulations again! You make a beautiful bride and it looks like a perfect Buffalo wedding day. :-)

  12. Carl F.

    Sounds like a wonderful day! Great pictures too!

  13. Anastasia

    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.

    • Zan

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

  14. Ron Flesher

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

    • Zan

      Thank you very much!

  15. lemon gloria

    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!

    • Zan

      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. :)

  16. Chris Abraham

    A year late but you looked AMAZING! Mazel tov!

  17. vera

    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.

    • Zan

      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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