Kelly & Wojtek | Real Weddings
Kelly shares the story of her and Wojtek’s wedding, where a beautiful Rosa Clara dress, elegant venues and a loving couple were the stars of the day.
Location and Special Details: Our ceremony was at St. Joseph Cathedral in downtown Buffalo, New York, and our reception was at the Buffalo Club, also downtown. The Buffalo Club is a members-only club that was founded in 1867 and is in a beautiful historic building.
I was born and raised in Buffalo. Wojtek, who has been living here in the states for about 10 years, is originally from Poland. Most of my family and some of his live here, so it was important for me to have our wedding here. We go to St. Joseph Cathedral regularly, and it is one of the most beautiful churches in the city—so it seemed a fitting place to wed. We also had three priests officiating at the cathedral: one, our main celebrant, who is a close friend of my parents and has become a close friend to me and Wojtek; the second, another family friend; and the third, a priest originally from Poland who did part of our ceremony in Polish. This was very important to Wojtek, as this is his native language and his immediate family (mother, brother, sister and niece) were visiting from Poland. It was truly a bilingual ceremony, which made it really interesting and unique, in our opinion and as we heard from all of our guests! Everything from the ceremony and the sermon to the music was absolutely magical.
Our Theme: I didn’t have a theme specifically for my wedding, but knew that I wanted something that was neutral and classic yet also modern. I chose simple centerpieces for the tables: large poufs of baby’s breath sprayed gold, alternating the tables with tall vases and short bowls. Our flowers were also quite neutral, mainly ivory and blush roses with some additional sprigs that picked up the colors in the bridesmaid dresses.
My bridesmaids each had a different dress in a grey/blush/champagne palette. I wanted something that felt luxe, but also neutral and not seasonal. I also wanted them to have their own unique dress that they helped pick out, so they would love it and it would fit their personal style as well. I was thrilled with how they all looked together. 🙂
Other than that, I really let the venues shine on their own, since both the cathedral and the Buffalo Club are so historic and beautiful in their own right.
Favorite/Special Moments: My favorite part of the whole day was definitely the ceremony. I’ve heard from so many that it was like a fairy tale and one of the most engaging and magical wedding ceremonies they have attended. I know I’m biased, but I agree. Aside from the church being breathtaking and the music truly stunning (we had a wonderful soprano soloist named Jena Abati and an extremely talented organist), having three priests who we knew made it really personal. Our priest’s sermon was so touching and heartfelt. Also having the ceremony in both languages was so interesting and special. We alternated readings and different parts of the mass in Polish and English. We said our vows in both languages (something I’m extremely proud of, since I’m not at all fluent in Polish, yet!). So many have said that the love in the church was tangible, both between us and from all our guests.
That’s not to say that the reception wasn’t amazing. The food was incredible and the band was spectacular! Their name is Party of Nine. Everyone was dancing the entire night; I couldn’t have asked for a better band. Even my grandma, who is in a wheelchair and in quite poor health, stood up and danced a little! Of course, certain dances—me and Wojtek, me and my father, and Wojtek and his mother—were very special and emotional.
My Perfect Dress: I’m guessing this happens a lot, but my dress was not at all what I pictured myself in before I started shopping for it. I had gone to two other bridal shops before I attended the Rosa Clara trunk show at the Nordstrom in Beachwood. It felt like I tried on every Rosa Clara dress (and some others) they had that day. I think what made me keep coming back to the Rosa Clara ‘Callela’ dress was the amazing craftsmanship and the fit. The top was drop waist, which was extremely flattering for my figure. I had not been looking for this, but I loved it! The embroidery and beading on the top were exquisite. I also loved the unique topper that came with it: a sleeveless lace half-top that added interest, making it more special than the typical strapless style.
Then the skirt … the full tulle skirt. This was the part that was really surprising to me, because I had always envisioned myself in a more slim-fitting style. But there’s something about a full tulle skirt that makes you feel so special and like a bride! When else can you get away with seven layers of tulle!?
Throughout my fittings, stylist Dana Zak, seamstress Natasha and I were blown away by how beautifully the dress was made and how unique the design was to give the dress its beautiful shape. I loved it more and more each time I put it on. The key difference was that I felt it was the most flattering style on me and made me feel like a bride more than the slimmer fitting gowns I had originally been interested in. Dana was incredible. I cannot say enough good things about her. She truly went above and beyond to make me feel special, like I was her only bride! From carrying all those dresses and her genuinely helpful feedback, to her personal follow-ups from that day on, I felt like Dana was one of the most important people in my whole planning process! She truly knows the bridal gown business and understands quality and design. (Having worked in the fashion industry prior to my current job, I have an appreciation for this.)
Being that I live in Buffalo, it was a bit tricky traveling to the Cleveland area for fittings, etc. Dana was so accommodating, changing her schedule so that she could be there when I could, coming in on days off, etc. Not only did she make me feel incredibly special and comfortable there, I also felt so at ease with the entire process because of her attention to detail, incredible follow-up and willingness to do whatever it took to ensure I was happy. The other stylists at Beachwood were also quite pleasant and complimentary.
Advice for Brides-to-Be: I will give the same advice as I received (and followed for the most part). Enjoy it. Many of us women build this day up in our minds for so long, and it’s easy to get caught up in the little things. But what I remember most from that day was how happy I was and how happy my husband was. And it wasn’t because of the flowers, or the invitations, or the placecards, or any of the things we obsess about on Pinterest. It was because we were celebrating our love and were surrounded by our closest friends and family. It was really the best day of our lives for those reasons. And having the most gorgeous gown I’ve ever seen helped too. 😉
How He Proposed: We got engaged on the beach in Clearwater, Florida. We were there for a long weekend during the fall of 2014—no special occasion. Wojtek had the ring box wrapped in foil in our cooler with Coronas. He told me it was a bunch of lime slices and asked me to hand him one for his beer. I unwrapped it to find a ring box, and he got up from our beach blanket and on one knee in front of me and asked me to marry him. 🙂 I was hoping we would be getting engaged sometime soon but was certainly surprised to find a ring in our beer cooler! Knowing him, I shouldn’t have expected anything different, though!
The Honeymoon: We stayed local immediately after the wedding because Wojtek’s family was still in town and we wanted to spend as much time with them before they left. We did do an overnight stay at the Mirbeau Spa in Skaneateles, New York. It was lovely. We plan to take a “real” honeymoon at the end of May 2016 in Portugal, after we visit Poland and have a second wedding reception there! Most of Wojtek’s extended family could not make the trip to Buffalo, so we’ll be doing a full Polish wedding reception in his hometown of Sandomierz on May 21. I’ll be looking for another (more understated) dress for that occasion. I’m so lucky to be able to celebrate twice—we can’t wait!
Photos by Argento Photography
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