The I DO Love Buffalo story:
It all started with an idea…After attending her fair share of bridal expos and listening to feedback from her best friend Marc and his fiance Adam- wedding and event photographer Heather Bellini discovered that nothing existed in the Buffalo, New York area that concentrated exclusively on wedding and event planning for LGBT couples. Heather caught wind that her friend Soda Kuczkowski was starting a new event business and reached out. Soda enthusiastically agreed to come on board as co-chair. Both had dreamed, even before they met each other, of starting something big- I DO Love Buffalo was it!
In 2014, with the help of many LGBT friends and allies, Soda and Heather created the first LGBT Wedding and Event Expo in WNY. The 2014 inaugural event was a huge success; over 100 vendors, sponsors, models and volunteers participated as well as over 600 attendees from Buffalo, NY and as far as Syracuse, NY. The I DO Love Buffalo Expo received an extreme amount of media attention, but best of all it connected local LGBT friendly business owners with potential new clients.
I DO Love Buffalo has quickly become so much more than just an expo- It has become a movement. In 2014, the I DO Love Buffalo not-for profit Organization donated $1,000 to the Pride Center of WNY. This year’s 2015 charity partner is Adoption Star and the goal is to raise enough money to put towards a grant which will assist with a local LGBT couples adoption costs*
Heather and Soda have done an immense amount of work developing this organization-by building a network and educating themselves, they put all their skills in place to launch the expo.
With the support of the Buffalo, NY LGBT community and the Pride Center of WNY, the goal is to educate businesses through LGBT Sensitivity Training. Once a business has completed the training, they will receive a web badge and a sticker to display on their storefront.**
I DO Love Buffalo presents the 2nd Annual Wedding & Event Expo on Thursday, May 28th 2015 6pm-10pm at Shea’s Performing Arts Center. For vendor information please CLICK HERE.
*For more information please visit www.adoptionstar.com
Check out some of the reviews from the 2014 inaugural I DO Love Buffalo Expo!
Awesome time at the ‘I DO! love Buffalo’ Expo 2014 at the Statler. The First Premier Event for the LGBT Community Showcasing all the great resources and businesses that are found here in the WNY area!
‘ShyGuy’ Sean ~ Kiss 98.5
Had an amazing night last night getting to know such wonderful people..and doing what i love.. thank you Soda Kuczkowski and Heather Bellini for a successful expo and thank you Rachel from Head Over Heels In Love With Shoes was lovely to meet you such a beautiful woman.. thank you for having me as one of your models , beautiful,sexy glamorous pieces you had! loved your collection.. thank you Steven Bales for having me as one of your models,fell in love with that baby doll shirt with the hood.!!…and all the other great cool talented professional people i met there was good to met you all looking forward to networking with some of you!!..cant wait till the next one!!!
Thanks for letting Western New Yorkers Against Conversion Therapy be part of your elegant and wonderfully staged event last night at Statler City! you guys ROCK!
Paul Morgan~ Western New Yorkers Against Conversion Therapy
Had a freaking Magnificent day setting up for I DO Love Buffalo @ Statler City .. great event to be a vendor at.. did a live demonstration, an interview for television & a photo spot….. and all the while I had the BEST AND MOST WONDERFUL NEIGHBOR EVER & most killer time hangin’ !!!!~ The TheGypsyParlor with Felix as the host gypsy for the suaree….Such a blast!! Thank you Soda for setting us up adjacent from each other and what a pleasure to have met Carol & Ken…with dinner at Mothers’ ♥♥♥ Patsy & Tia…. sooo beautiful to see you two!! xoxoxo ♥♥♥♥♥
Mehandi Mahal- Vendor
Had an Amazing time tonight at my best friend Heather s event I DO LOVE BUFFALO at Statler! Amazing turn out… entertainment… food… drinks… and friends! Perfect evening!
Marc Erickson- BFF
It was a great time at this event tonight – great crowd, great exhibitors, well planned and organized event! Big kudos to everyone who came out for it!
Paul Farana ~ Living in the Buff Studios
Omg had such an amazing time working the runway and meeting so many people. Glad to have seen so many friends and congrats to everyone who organized a terrific event.
Amazing night, you should be so proud. Thanks for asking us to be a part of an amazing night and event.
Steven Schroeder & Charlie Silverschatz- Models/Attendees