Wednesday, June 30, 2010

landmarks and milestones...

today i turn 30. yep, as if i didnt have enough to celebrate i am surrounded by friends and family intent on making me feel special this week and i couldn't be more grateful.

30 is a big one, and i thought i could feel it - like the way i felt 16, in my soul and in my bones from the moment i woke up. i remember turning 16 so clearly and feeling like i was transitioning to something - though it could have been the cape cod summer romance induced butterflies i was really feeling - but still, i felt something. i didnt wake up feeling any different today but i did wake up feeling loved.

as i snuck out of the house before 7 am i almost tripped on a package for me with the name in the return field belonging to of one of my best childhood friends. a friend i havent celebrated a birthday with for more than 10 years. i loved giving and getting gifts from sue when i was a kid, she always knew just what to get me even though i may not have even realized it. since sue now lives in ireland it seemed like magic that a package from her arrived on my doorstep at 6 am on my 30th birthday and i think it was. i felt so so loved and the rest of the day has seemed followed suit. thank you susie!

birthdays are always a time of reflection, of all of the days of our lives they are one that we can nail down and use as a barometer - one year ago i was, two years ago i was, 15 years ago i was. it's bitter sweet nostalgia as don draper so eloquently described, but this year i'm happy to be looking forward, i have great things on the horizon, a husband, the beginnings of a new family unit, and countless birthdays to look forward to knowing at least that one person will always be there to celebrate with me.

Friday, June 25, 2010

out of our hands...

after months of designing and procrastinating, weeks of printing, days of cutting, stuffing and tying, and hours of hand addressing ... our invitations are out the door!
i'm a very happy bride to be today
secret of how we actually got them done? why are they not still sitting half finished in boxes? we had to live for 6 hours without power today while electricians rewired the apartment. no movies, no laptops, no music, just me and my guy stuffing envelopes - i couldn't have planned a better way to get them done.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

more of why i preemptively love our photographer...

the details shots, creative use of her surroundings, and images with just a piece of the subject playing with the frame...

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

wedding 3 of 4 before our big day...

this weekend's wedding was a big one in our summer of weddings for a few reasons. first - i was in the wedding party which we all know means dress, hair, and a myriad of duties on and around the wedding. second - it was mike's sister's wedding.

mike's sister and i have been planning weddings simultaneously for the last year plus. at first i thought it would be a huge emotional issue - you know; two parties all the same people so close together; competition; sharing spotlights - all that good stuff... but the process was actually pretty great. we couldn't be two more different brides and ally also lives and works up in maine where we are having our celebration so she has been an amazing help throughout the vendor selection process and the planning in general.

well, ally worked her butt off planning and organizing a perfect day, so much so that we worried she may not be able to relax and actually enjoy her day - but boy was i wrong. it couldnt have been more perfect, she was STUNNING, the day was beautiful (a touch on the hot side but no complaints except from the boys in the monkey suits,) and everything went off without a hitch resulting in a fabulous wedding from start to finish.
one of the interesting things, as i am about to become a member of this family, is that i felt for the first time like i was at a wedding in my own family. i found comfort and so so much fun in actually knowing all of the guests, dancing with future uncle-in-laws and father-in-laws and cousin-in-laws.

as the event coincided with our 3 months to go mark and the time when we can actually celebrate without feeling like we are stepping on toes or stealing thunder i couldnt be happier - i am elated about the family i am inheriting, all of the smiling faces so excited to watch us wed in 3 months and accept me as a part of the family while i was celebrating the day along side them. what really made me warm and fuzzy inside is the fact that i truly bonded with my future sister-in-law over the last few days. between riding along as she made all of the final checks the day before, helping to entertain family, documenting the preparation process and being so intimately involved in making sure the brides day, photos, hair, feet, lip gloss, dress, and bathroom breaks were tended too i dont know how i couldnt feel close to her. i was so happy to be there for her and to know that i helped to make her dream wedding go perfectly in some small ways.
oh yeah - and aside from all the gushy family and emotional stuff we also learned and saw a lot this weekend because of the said overlap.

we are renting the same tent for our reception - it's amazing! i never thought i'd get excited about a tent but it's so bright and clean and elegant i'm really excited.

our florist created the florals and tablescape for the rehearsal dinner - also gorgeous and now i'm even more excited to work with him!

we will be having the same officiant, and it was just nice to spend more time with her before our wedding, she doesn't feel like such a stranger any more which is really great.

a few things that we know we need to work on after this weekend:

transportation - we have only rented one trolley and after riding in them this weekend we learned they carry fewer passengers than we thought (sitting at least) so we will have to suck it up and get a second one.

bugs - i was eaten alive at the reception and luckily we will be on private property so a bug bomb the day of is not out of the question.

ceremony seating - mike was an usher and as the job description states had the duty of showing all of the guests their seats. well, since the first rows that were designated for family were not marked or roped off he had to ask frail old great aunt edith to move back a row so the mother of the bride could sit which isn't ideal - we'll be putting some place cards on VIP seats or roping off the first few rows i think to prevent any shuffle.

head table - we already knew we didnt want one but this just reconfirmed it. the table was empty most of the night as we hovered over the friends or dates we really wanted to be with.

there is more but those are the biggies, and now we're off to really get this wedding planned! invitations are half stuffed and ready to go pictures to come soon!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

i love you like a song

i'm working on a special wedding gift for one of my friends inspired by moulin rouge, so i've had song medleys running through my head all day....

"the greatest thing you'll ever learn is to love and be loved in return..."

summer of weddings two of four

this weekend my dear friend karina (you may remember her from our joint LA bachelorette weekend) was married in new york. without bias or exaggeration it is probably the most beautiful wedding i will ever attend. the wedding was held at the tribeca rooftop. the ceremony and cocktail hour were on the actual roof of the building over looking the hudson river on one side and the manhattan skyline on the other.
the day was overcast and drizzly but magically the skies cleared just before the ceremony, it was gorgeous.

i loved the simple elegance that was infused into the day, it goes to show that more does not equal more beautiful. the aisle was lined with simple glass cylinders, a white runner and some orchid lined branches as the alter. karina, her sister and mother each carried bouquets of pink peonies.

one of the most exciting things for me was the traditional chinese tea ceremony that was performed after the western ceremony. the couple presented the elders from both families with tea and in return were presented with gifts. not only was it a beautiful event to watch but as a bride to be i love that they got to spend some time with all of their families one on one to receive congratulations and to thank them for their support and attendance - does that sound a lot better than spending your entire dinner going from table to table with your groom?

the cocktail hour to follow was extravagant and delicious! raw bars, sushi bars, martini bars and comfort food stations, really no one had to wait in line for a drink or a snack and it was all delicious.

the reception only continued on the same high, the band was phenomenal, interactive, modern, and totally personalized. they made a sit down meal everything but stifling with dancing breaks between courses and toasts keeping the momentum up and the crown moving and mingling.
one of the sweet things that the couples did was present the bride's father with a cake since it was his birthday, it was super sweet and that transitioned into the father and daughter dance (which impressively was a waltz, she did so good!)

i could go on and on, he fathers speech, the gorgeous red gown she changed into at the end of the evening (another chinese tradition) but i think i'll just share a few more photos of the beautiful bride...i mean, really? breath taking.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

why i preemptively love our photographer part 2 of many...

i love sophie's ability to spot beautiful light and use it - so refreshing to see when i feel like so many wedding photographers are all flash!flash!flash! which leaves photos looking flat rather than full of life...

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

why i preemptively love our photographer part 1 of many...

so... i studied film and photography in school, and whether i am any good or not i think i have pretty high standards for visual imagery (maybe i'm a snob - but whatever,) so when we started looking for photographers i was in heaven looking through all of the gorgeous pictures - but shortly redirected to the hell that is the lack of a budget friendly happy medium when it comes to wedding photographers.

i found that the first number of photographers i inquired about were way out of our price range - like more than half of my entire budget out of my price range - i had no idea. especially now a days when everything is shot digitally so you aren't even factoring the price of film - i was just shocked that $5,000 seemed to be the low end of the spectrum, really? before getting too discouraged i made some appointments with the associate photographers of some of the fancy shmancy studios i was drawn too... except they were still out of my budget and that didnt even include rights to digital files or anything - ridiculous! since photography is something that is really for us and not part of making sure our guests enjoy themselves we were not willing to sacrifice food or any other of the major expenses so we could have a $6,000 photo on our mantel 30 years from now.

so i went back to the hunt and found some more photographers that did fit in our budget, but after meeting with them and going through their books i found myself even more upset. how do some of these people manage to have careers? i've started to seriously consider upgrading my camera and starting to shoot some weddings myself! i was just so frustrated that there was no middle ground...

but then my internet search and blog obsession skills brought me to Sophie of Rise Photography in Portland Maine. a year later i really couldn't tell you how exactly i came across her, perhaps from a local caterer or florists vendor recommendations? i'm really just guessing. well i had a hunch she was the one after checking out the work on her website and seeing that she is not only a wedding photographer but she is a portrait photographer, a fine art photographer, and a gallery owner that brings together local artisans.
what first caught my eye were her gorgeous landscapes. after seeing the cheesy thoughtless line-em-up-shoot-em-down portfolios in my price range i felt like if we could find someone who had the skill to create a beautiful landscape at our sprawling farm location and place us in it i would be a happy girl. well, then we met Sophie and i instantly wanted to just hang out with her, she was easy going, professional, stylish, surrounded by art - really - she couldnt be more perfect. she was the first of our fabulous team of vendors we've come to assemble and i just can't wait to show her our location and have her play around the farm with us. i want to show off some more of her photos so i have broken them up into groups based on what we were looking for in a first up, are some more landscapes from some of her recent weddings...

something blue

i finally got my blue shoes! hooray! after a bit of a struggle to find the perfect teal peep-toe my new dress actually helped dictate a little different shade for my footwear. since the gown is a little more muted this navy with a hint of gray from Nina is perfect - they got here today and they are sooo pretty!!!
i am so torn between not wanting to take them off because i love them and not wanting to take them out of the box to keep them shiny and new. oh the joys of being a girl!