A Gorgeous Backyard Wedding in Buffalo, New York


Life has a way of coming full circle: In May of 2010, Lauren Lally had headed home after her junior year of college to attend a baby shower and wound up meeting a childhood friend who was living with Joey Barnard. Eight years later, the baby that enticed Lauren to come home would be the page boy at her wedding to Joey!

When Joey was ready to propose to Lauren, he knew Lauren would want a private moment for just the two of them, so he planned accordingly. “Our birthdays are just three days apart, and I’d planned a weekend at my family’s lake house with our friends to celebrate,” Lauren recalls. “My birthday was the day before we left, and Joey woke me up that morning to propose with our two golden retrievers in bed.” She’d planned to go to work, but Joey surprised her by saying he’d arranged for her to have the day off so they could get massages and she could get a manicure before they went to see their friends—but that wasn’t the only surprise. “When we got to the lake house, I realized he’d flown in my best friends and family from out of town to join in the celebration,” she says.

Lauren knew she wanted to marry Joey somewhere that felt personal to both of them. “I grew up in the country near Buffalo, and we have a pond in the yard with a small island in the middle,” she explains. “Joey and I realized we couldn’t pick a more personal or private place to get married than on that island!” On September 1, 2018, the couple and their 150 guests gathered on the island to witness the couple’s vows before an all-night party (and a few tequila shots!). They worked with planner Karina Lopez of KC You There and photographer Bridget Rochelle to create an ethereal celebration that was right at home on Lauren’s family’s property.

Keep reading to see Lauren and Joey's big day—you may even spot a few of the bride's blogger friends below.

"Lady and Tramp are the lights of our lives,” says Lauren of their golden retrievers. “Getting them to Buffalo from Dallas (where we live) wasn’t easy, but it was so worth it. The day wouldn’t have felt complete without them!”

Lauren was having a hard time finding a wedding dress that fit her vision, and was about to leave her appointment empty-handed. “The consultant brought in one more dress, mentioning that my mother had found it and that I should give it a shot,” she recalls. “My mom and I have completely opposite tastes, so I was shocked when the dress she’d chosen was the one that had us all crying in the dressing room.”

The winning gown was an Inbal Dror design with layers of silk tulle and delicate silk and lace florals. Lauren’s favorite detail was the Victorian-style sleeves, with an overlay of tulle over embroidered flowers on fitted mesh. “It created this really full, romantic look,” says the bride. Lauren's textured bouquet paired roses, dahlias, and peonies in white and pink, all tied with a piece of fabric from her mother’s wedding gown.

Lauren has always known her bridesmaids would wear white on her wedding day, and asked each woman to choose a Joanna August dress in Going to the Chapel. “I had them all wear flat sandals so they’d be comfortable on the grass,” she adds. The bridesmaids and groomsmen walked down the aisle to the Jurassic Park theme song, which her parents had played during the processional at their own wedding.

The ceremony took place beneath a beautiful tree at one end of the island. Guests sat on benches, which was the best option for dealing with the uneven ground. Lush arrangements of roses, dahlias, and delphinium led to the altar—a semicircle of matching blooms arranged in the grass. The bride’s cousin officiated the wedding, and the couple worked closely with him to customize the ceremony. After their first kiss, guests tossed white petals over the newlyweds.

Joey had nearly as much fun creating his bespoke Harris & Howard suit as Lauren did choosing her wedding gown. The deep maroon suit was paired with a gray vest and a matching paisley lining. “He chose every detail, from the stitching color and button style to the pocket placement and lapel size,” says Lauren.

The reception was held in a clear-top tent finished with flowing white fabric on the sides. Before heading in for dinner, guests found cocktails at “Lady and the Tramp’s Watering Hole”—named for the couple’s dogs, of course!

“Our escort card display featured a collection of vintage shot glasses,” says Lauren. “As guests found their seats, a server poured them each a shot of Casamigos tequila!”

Joey and Lauren shared their first dance to an acoustic recording of “Sweet Disposition” by Temper Trap.

To keep the reception feeling light and airy, tables were topped with textured white linens and surrounded by bamboo chairs. Pops of blue appeared throughout the place settings, from the gold-and-blue flatware to the blue crystal water glasses. Each guest’s place card was paired with pink Himalayan salt and a lime to ensure that everyone was ready for a tequila shot (in lieu of a champagne toast) at the end of the father-of-the-bride's speech.

After a menu of American comfort food curated by the groom, guests were treated to a totally indulgent dessert bar. “Joey loves cookies and brownies, so we had everything from cake pops and chocolate-covered pretzels to flavored popcorn, donuts, and macarons, all styled by B Sweet Designs,” says the bride.

As the party got going, Lauren, her mother, her mother-in-law, and her bridesmaids all changed into dancing outfits. “My only stipulation was that everyone wear white, but otherwise I wanted them to be comfortable!” she says. “We were all giggling in the house while we changed, and we came out wearing LED flower crowns, beads, and ‘70s sunglasses.” The bride donned a jumpsuit by Temperley London, which was covered in heart-shaped sequins.

Though Lauren and Joey did have a long engagement, she says she's glad she gave herself over 18 months to plan. “I knew I would need time and help to make it happen, so we opted for a later wedding date and hired a great planner," she says. "We prioritized our vision and made sure every detail was special, always bringing it back to the aspects that were really important to us.”

Wedding Team

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