wedding photographer Rochester Heather McKay's Photography

This wedding was on FIRE! A rustic chic backyard wedding: Stacey & Nick

Backyard weddings by McKay's Photography

Yeah, I know… I say this about all of my backyard weddings….. “WOW! That was fun!” I suppose it has something to do with my marketing efforts. After over a decade as a wedding photographer, the perfect couples just come right to me. Stacey and Nick were no different. This wedding had me written all over it and I actually summoned them to call me.

Quick story: About a year ago, I saw a whole bunch of friends on Facebook tagged in a photo in a field with a raging bonfire. I said to myself (out loud!) “How do I get invited to this????”  Two days later, Stacey emailed me about her wedding. I didn’t know it was her bonfire until we met at their house several days later. The power of manifesting is alive and well! Ask and ye shall receive!

The best part is that they feel the same way. At one point during my ‘sales’ meeting (as I thought it was), Stacey said “I was so happy to know that my photographer was available!”  I immediately relaxed and realized that this wasn’t a sales meeting, it was a booking!

wedding photographer Rochester Heather McKay's Photography

So, on to the couple… These two long time love birds grew up together and have built an amazing life down in Bloomfield/Bristol NY. They have a pond, a beautiful dog Bella, some ducks and the best joie de vivre! They are best friends and love taking advantage of all that life has to offer. Like snowmobiling and snowboarding.

Though they both got ready at their home, it felt fitting to meet for their ‘First Look’ down the road where there were gorgeous valley views of the rolling hills of Western NY.

backyard wedding photography Rochester Heather McKay's Photographywedding photographer Rochester Heather McKay's Photography

Rustic Chic weddings in Upstate NY

The day itself was just perfect. The formals were fast, the schedule was relaxed and there was a lot of wildlife around. Besides, their little Bella, there were the ducks, a toad, a HUGE spider and even a pig!

Bride and groom with their dog at their backyard wedding in the Finger Lakes

Nick and Stacey spent hours upon hours getting their property wedding ready. I can’t even tell you the amount of work that went into it! They even had to bathe in the pond the week of their wedding because they were without power and water until Tuesday!!

Bride and her Dad at their backyard wedding in the Finger Lakes

Backyard wedding photographer Rochester Heather McKay's Photography

lace wedding dress for backyard wedding

best wedding photographer Rochester Heather McKay's Photography

Nick was even nice enough to carve out a path through their woods so we had a place to sneak away for more photos after the ceremony.

Bride and groom at their backyard wedding in the Finger Lakes

The reception was just as perfect. Under a beautiful evening and tent by McCarthy Tents, we all had Dinosaur BBQ, s’mores, bubbles, can-jam, bagg-o and it was all topped off by the biggest bonfire with a firework finale!!

Yes, please!

Finger Lakes weddings by McKay's Photography

I love love loved this moment with the two Moms!! So cute! IT’s always wonderful to see that both families know each other and have become friends.

Bride and groom's Moms at their backyard wedding in the Finger Lakes

Soooo, this was a first! Stacey and Nick cut the wedding cake and then she proceeded to hack it into little pieces for serving. Hilarious. I guess when you bake cakes and serve them for a living, it just happens that way.

Bride and groom cut their wedding cake at their backyard wedding in the Finger Lakes

This group… Well done, pulling everyone aside during the backyard wedding reception for a quick family photo! I usually dread these, but this group was so timely and cooperative that it was a piece of cake! This was my first test shot and someone said “who is responsible for all of these people??” HA… Grandma and Grandpa raise their hands “WE are!”

Bride and groom at their backyard wedding in the Finger Lakes

Oh, and then I run into this girl!! Michaela and I met a million years ago while snowboarding and we’ve kept in touch via Facebook over the years. Rochester is awesome with it’s 1 degree of separation!

wedding bonfire in the backyard wedding photos

Also in attendance were Dan, Brittany and Mike Ross… one of my all time favorite couples (and bro!). Love those guys. Ashley (my winter wedding this year) was also there, looking radiantly pregnant.

I could go on and on, but I’ll just leave you to experience the day through the rest of these teaser images!

S'mores and bonfire at backyard wedding

Kids eat s'mores at a wedding in the Finger Lakes

McCarthy Tents for backyard wedding in Bristol NY

fireworks and bonfire at backyard wedding in Bristol NY

Were you there? What was your favorite part of the day? Leave a comment below…

Top Western NY Backyard Wedding Vendors:

photography: Heather McKay and Patrick Luke  ||  tent: McCarthy Tents  ||  location: Bride and Groom’s backyard  ||  decor: Bride, Groom, Maid of Honor, friends  ||  cake and desserts: Java’s Bakeshop (Bride!)  ||  band: The Chairs  ||  bathrooms: Crescent Moon  ||  catering: Dinosaur BBQ  ||  wedding gown: Heart to Heart Bridal Shop  ||  suits: Men’s Warehouse  ||  stationary: Hedberg Creative  ||  officiant: Pamela Hawkins  ||  bartender: Kate Becker  ||  hair & makeup: Brooke Bailey from Chateau Hair Designs