For her wedding to Geoff Nason on Feb. 7 in Our Lady of Victory Basilica, Kimberly Barnashuk carried an eye-catching bouquet without a single fresh flower.
The glittering, multicolored bouquet, pictured at right, was meticulously crafted from hundreds of brooches, many of which belonged to beloved relatives of the wedding couple. Each brooch, in shades of gold, silver and pale pink, some studded with stones or pearls, was caught with a long loop of florist’s wire, which was then wrapped in green floral tape and treated like a stem. The stems were gathered and wrapped in classic bouquet form.
The bride’s former co-worker and close friend Jennifer Dougherty “worked for hours and hours” crafting the stunning bouquet that included some ingenious and sentimental touches, Kim said. One brooch included a small mirror so Kim could check her makeup. A brooch in the shape of an English bulldog loaned by a cousin reminded the couple of their bulldog, Pierogi. And along with brooches that had belonged to a late great-grandmother and great-aunt gleamed Kim’s grandfather’s gold pocket watch. Robert Potter, her grandfather, “passed away last St. Patrick’s Day, but this felt like he was able to be there,” she said.
The bouquet “was really heavy, it probably weighed 15 pounds. It was amazing and different,” she said.
The bouquet set off Kim’s simple lace gown, which was strapless but covered by a long-sleeved bolero top for the formal church ceremony.
Kim, an associate at Phillips Lytle LLP, met Geoff, a digital editor at The Buffalo News, through a Buffalo connection by way of New York City and a train to Philadelphia. While Kim was attending law school at New York University, she and a friend “were very stressed out and decided to spend a ridiculous amount of money” to attend a Sabres-Flyers playoff game in Philadelphia. Kim wore her brother’s Alexander Mogilny jersey and a Sabres hat, and their clothing attracted the attention of two young men on the train.
“These two guys sat next to us even though the train was basically empty and wound up talking to us the entire train ride,” said Kim. “I tried really hard not to talk to them, but then we saw them at the game, too.” The young men were Geoff’s cousin and college roommate.
“I became really good friends with them in New York, and they sort of set me up with Geoff when he came into New York for his cousin’s bachelor party in 2012,” said Kim.
After meeting, “He insisted on walking me home afterward, even though my apartment was right across the street from the bar. We started talking after that, we started dating long distance, and I knew I wanted to move back home, and then I got the job at Phillips Lytle and moved back in September of 2012.”
On Dec. 20, 2013, Geoff proposed to Kim in front of the apartment building where he had walked her home. They then returned to the bar where they first met, where she was surprised to find a gathering of all her New York City friends, prepared to celebrate the engagement.
The pair married at 1:30 p.m. on Feb. 7 in Our Lady of Victory Basilica, Lackawanna, with the Rev. Paul Burkard officiating. A reception afterward was held in the Greenhouse Room at the Hotel Lafayette.
The bride, the daughter of Dr. Frank and Deborah Barnashuk of Orchard Park, is a graduate of Hamburg High School. She earned a bachelor’s degree in international affairs and geography from George Washington University and a juris doctor degree from New York University.
The bridegroom’s parents are John Nason and Laura Gunnells of Springville, and Jennifer and Robin Willmott of Springville. A graduate of Springville-Griffith Institute, the bridegroom earned a bachelor’s degree in English and communication from the University at Buffalo.
The couple are making their home in Hamburg.
– Anne Neville