For the second week in a row, we found ourselves working at the Marriott Syracuse Downtown (is it just us or can’t anyone help but still call it Hotel Syracuse?!), which was a great treat! Erica and Ryan chose to have both their ceremony and reception at the historic hotel – very fitting for two history teachers in love (same school district too! one at the middle school, the other at the high school!).
We can’t say enough about the hotel’s bridal rotunda!! We love it in there so much (and gush about it every time!), and we were super stoked that Erica chose to take advantage of it. The ladies lounged around sipping champagne while they took turns getting their hair and makeup done. Monica Brandt of Elite Beauty Studio and Lynne Winters of Glam Vanity were on point with hair and makeup, respectively. Each of Erica’s bridesmaids had written her a letter before the big day; ever so often, Erica would read one out loud for everyone to hear for the first time, sharing how they met, their favorite memories, and other random things that made for some great photo opportunities! The ladies also shared that Erica had asked them to get the same color, but not necessarily the same exact dresses; however, they all ended up getting the same dress after falling in love with it at New York Bride. Wait to you see them. They are super cute!
While the ladies behaved and kept on task, Ryan played some phone tag to corral his guys into the same room (this is almost as typical as how fast groomsmen tend to get ready!). Once most of the guys were together, a dilemma presented itself – real bow ties…! (hehehe). Quick-thinking Ryan called down to the hotel’s front desk to ask if anyone on staff could help, and within minutes, Declan, in his real bow tie, showed up at the door to save the day, tying everyone up perfectly in a snap! The guys showed off their groomsmen gifts to Jenn, making sure she got photographs of the personalized bullet casing bottle openers. They also had her take a few photos of them that perplexed her and must have been part of an inside joke she did not dare to ask about. What a bunch of jokesters! All ready and still with some time to spare, the guys toasted Ryan with a nice bourbon. One of the groomsmen even got a tad mushy!!
Meanwhile, Erica’s mom and sister, Elizabeth helped her into her gown and with the finishing touches. When her dad came up to see her before walking her down the aisle, he became a little choked up, but there were no time for tears; it was time to head down to the ceremony!
The ceremony was short and sweet. They were married by a past college professor. They exchanged traditional vows and sealed them with a kiss. While the official documents got signed, cocktail hour immediately followed in the hallway outside the ballroom. Sarah and Wesley took the wedding party and family members to the Parisian Terrace for some formal photographs. The ladies even braved the rainy outdoors for a few shots!
Erica and Ryan infused a little history, a lot of class, and a little Harry Potter into their wedding day decor. Their signs and table numbers were 1920s inspired, black and gold – super classy. Amongst this classy decor, a few nods to Harry Potter could be found – the sorting hat on the card table sign, golden snitches as guest favors (mmm Ferrero Rochers!), and Snape’s infamous “…always…” line appeared not only on the ring bearers sign, but on the back of Erica and Ryan’s chairs at the sweetheart table. The guests were greeted by beautiful candelabras at each centerpiece, along with their (chocolate) golden snitches. The candelabras were the perfect compliment to the ballroom, standing tall and gleaming with caught light – a truly magical touch.
The newlyweds were introduced and immediately went into their sweet first dance. Parent dances followed, and during Ryan’s dance with his mother, they invited couples to join them out on the dance floor – another awesome photo opportunity! Heartfelt speeches by the maid of honor (Erica’s sister) and best man (Ryan’s brother) came next, and Erica’s father capped things off with a few lovely words about his daughter and her chosen love. Guests were then treated to a sit down dinner.
The sweet couple chose to have a cupcake tower topped with a small cutting cake, which made the cake-cutting ceremony pretty epic and crazy! They were successful in not bring the whole thing down though and sweetly fed each other the first slice. Then it was time to party!! And the dance floor sure was a party. To top off the night, Sarah took Erica and Ryan outside for a night time shot under the Hotel Syracuse entrance. They even posed with a couple of strangers (and excited participants!) waiting for their Uber before having their romantic end of the evening snaps!!
Here are some highlights from Erica and Ryan’s best day ever:
Congratulations and best wishes, Mr. & Mrs. Aldrich!!
Featured Wedding Professionals || Wedding Gown Designer – Maggie Sottero | Wedding Gown Vendor – Spybaby | Bridesmaids Dresses – New York Bride | Groom & Groomsmen Attire – Tuxedo Junction | Hair Artist – Monica Brandt, Elite Beauty Studios | Makeup Artist – Lynne Winters, Glam Vanity | Cake – Butterdreamery Bake Shop | Florist – St. Agnes Florist | DJ – Black Tie Entertainment |