Archive of ‘Wedding Series’ category

It’s Here!

By Natalie

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3 years ago today we rang a bell to annouce our marriage. 3 years!!

How was I so lucky to be able to marry (pardon the ‘ol cliche here) my best friend? He truly is my best friend. I call him to let him know what I had for lunch and how it was. I talk to him before every decision I make. We laugh together. We have fun with one another. I confide in him with complete vulnerability, and that is something you could only do with the best of friends.

Here’s a little video my brother in law put together for us. Seems so surreal still to watch. I can’t believe it’s been 3 years already, and I’m sure the years will continue to fly by. Marriage has been the most beautiful blessing in my life, and I’ve grown to be a stronger more compassionate woman because of it.

Happy Anniversary my love. I love you so much more every single day. Thank you for being such a sweet and thoughtful husband. I love sharing my life with you, and I’m so excited for the future we have planned! Here’s to the rest of our lives!


Highway Blues & First Dances

By Natalie

This morning I made a discovery. I was listening to some blues on my way to work. Because it was one of those days. A cloudy morning, and a slow drive in. I like some good blues every now and then, you know.. deep soulful Otis Redding blues. I have to give it up to my brother in law Sean for sharing this wonderful taste in music with me. There I was listening to Redding refer to himself as Mr. Pitiful and I just started thinking. About this and about that, and my mind just began to wander all the way up the highway. Before I knew it I was at work. Those are the most wonderful drives, when you’re lost in your own world. Apparently, blues does that for me.

These Arms of Mine began to play.. the deep strum of the bass pushing its way through the speakers of the car. That’s when I started thinking. This song was runner up number 3 for our first dance. At Last by Etta James was a close second but I knew that song was a no go before I even really considered it. I love the song, but it seemed a little ridiculous to dance to a song stating “At last my love has come along.” when I was only nineteen.. not typically a long time to have to wait for love. And then there was the fact that my sister chose an Etta James song for her first dance.

Don’t tell me you’re thinking what does that matter? Oh, it mattered.. at least, back then it mattered while I was desperately attempting to be unique. When looking at rings I didn’t want the triple diamond because my cousin had that, I didn’t want the cushion setting because my sister had that. I liked my oldest sister’s ring but I wanted princess cut. Poor Brandon, I must have made his head spin. When looking at dresses I didn’t want one that looked like any bride’s dress I knew of in the past 3 years. “Why don’t you get married here like so and so?” Someone asked. “Is that a joke?” I thought. “I don’t want to hold a wedding that everyone just attended.” Mortified, I moved to the next subject. Getting married can make you a bit… crazy and.. selfish.. entitled even. Something to do with being the center of attention. There I said it. I was so concerned about doing something different from everyone else, that now I wonder if I made decisions according to what I actually wanted.

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I loved my wedding day don’t get me wrong. I just think I could have saved myself, and everyone else for that matter, alot of run around. In the end we decided to dance to “Can’t Help Falling in Love with You” Ingrid Michaelson’s version. It suited us perfectly, with the way we fell in love, and being young newlyweds. Not to mention it’s always been one of my favorites. All these thoughts ran through my head this morning. As I was merging onto my exit pondering first dance songs I confessed to myself that the first dance was the most awkward moment of my wedding day. I really don’t think that goes for everyone, especially the couples who practice. The only time I’ve ever danced with B was high school homecoming. I figured on our wedding it would just come to us. Now, I don’t think we looked awkward or anything. It’s just that the song seemed to last forever, and everyone stares at you. I mean when do couples have a chance to dance these days? Legitimate dancing, not the twirls we do randomly in the kitchen during dinner prep. Not often enough it seems. Am I alone on this?

Candid

By Natalie

It’s my anniversary week, so weddings are on the brain. Look out.

I’ve been thinking about something as I was reminiscing recently on our wedding. As important as it is to get posed photos at your wedding, you’ll find that the candid shots turn out to be just as charming. After all, you can only capture one’s true emotion when they’re unaware they’re being photographed. Of course, you’re scrambling to make sure you get pictures with family, the first kiss, the bridal party, one with the ring bearer and flower girl, oh and then there’s the one with cutting the cake, and don’t forget one with the parents, oh, and then just the siblings. It’s alot to remember. But fret not, no matter how many posed wedding photos you take I guarantee you the candid shots are the ones that will make you feel nostalgic for that day. It’s part of the reason why I we wanted to do a first look. Looking at photos of people in their genuine expressions tends to takes you back to every emotion you felt, and all the love around you on your special day.

Some of my favorite candid photos…

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Your photographer will surely capture the perfect moments, but I’m so thankful for the friends and family that captured a few moments themselves.

This photo… I adore it

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This is exactly why I love picking out all the unposed pictures. Brandon does this thing, that I used to absolutely hate. Whenever we’re in public sometimes he’d just look at me and grab my chin to give it a little squeeze. Finally one day I found myself a little embarassed as he only did it when we were in front of people. “Why are you touching my chin like that?” I said.

To my surprise Brandon was a bit puzzled himself. “I don’t know… It’s just a way to show affection.” And it made sense. He always does it when we’re in conversation. He’ll look at me, admiration in his eyes, smile, and then he just doesn’t know what else to do with himself in the moment but grab my chin. A subtle way to secretly say I love you. It’s kind of odd yea? But it’s also super sweet, and ever since he told me what it meant I’m alright with it.

Why We Did a First Look

By Natalie

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There was something about me that when I met Brandon changed very quickly. I grew up thinking that some things just were the way they were. You live the same place you grew up for example… You have rice and beans with your thanksgiving dinner… You wear pjs Christmas morning… A bride never sees her groom before her wedding… You go to a beachy place for a vacation etc. “It’s what everybody does.” I’d say in frustration. I couldn’t figure out why he didn’t feel the same. I was so used to the norms, never considering other circumstances. When Brandon met me I’d like to believe that he admired my whimsy, but he also knew that if somebody would have to burst my reality bubble it’d most likely have to be him. Now that sounds aweful, but trust me, it was for the best. He opened my eyes to new possibilities I’d never considered.

One day while we were wedding planning he mentioned “Why don’t we take the pictures before the wedding? My parents did it.” he said “Everything will be fresh, and then we won’t have people waiting forever to eat after the wedding.” I immediately shook my head no. I couldn’t imagine it. The bride seeing the groom before the wedding!? No way. But then one morning I was flipping through a magazine, and I saw a picture of a First Look. The idea was that you see eachother before the wedding to have an intimate moment where it’s just the two of you. Offering photographers a chance to catch every second of your reactions from every angle. Then of course, you could take all of the pictures you want before the wedding. What a great way to get all of the wedding jitters out I thought. The pictures I found were so sweet for the people brave enough to do something a little bit different.

I wanted nothing more than to share that special moment with Brandon. The more I thought about it, the more I realized I didn’t want him to see me for the first time as his bride with a bunch of people staring at us. I wanted it to be just us. Whispering excitement to one another of what was to come. I can happily say that I was so pleased we did it.

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Keeping the Wedding Bliss

By Natalie

A guide for the bride to be


With wedding season fast approaching I’ve felt an itch to do a wedding series. I figured I’d start out with some honest truths, then we can get into the fun stuff. I have found that there is nothing sweeter than a bride to be. She sighs and complains of her wedding planning as if it’s a chore. But deep down she is ecstatic and has been waiting for this day all her life. Yes, I walked around with those bridal magazines that were a total rip off as they are mostly full of ads, and overpriced dresses. But I wasn’t ashamed, I finally had the privilege of flipping through those pages, I was going to take it.

Every couple wishes for nothing more than an engagement that’s full of sunshine and daisies. But unfortunately as some of us know all too well there are those brief moments where reality sets in. You know reality. That thing that comes along and squashes all your hopes and dreams. Nobody likes him.

When the love of your life becomes your Fiance you refer to him as such with perfect annunciation. You gladly retell your proposal story over and over while you hold your left hand out to be admired. You’ve decided where you are going to say your vows, decided what you will wear. And you’ve experienced all of those moments in between where you said yes, and made important decisions with your soon to be spouse. I would love to say that I took the time to sit back and cherish all of those moments. But no, like most brides to be I was completely overwhelmed. Mr. Reality crept his crummy little self in.

[Now Pause] You should know that I often find myself needing to share the thoughts people just don’t talk about. Say what you will, but know that I cannot stop it. I have an unquenchable thirst to be a voice for the weak, and silent. An honest voice for those who are willing to listen.

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As planning commenced for our wedding I proudly stated that my mother would walk me down the aisle as if it didn’t bother me. I hadn’t spoken to my dad since before I graduated high school. He hadn’t even met Brandon. But secretly I felt just a bit sad all the way to the aisle that I had no Dad around to walk me. I’d love to say that our wedding was all planned flawlessly, and I got everything I wanted. But I settled for my dress, because it was the only one in budget. I cried after my bridal shower, because I had a head cold and felt so ill, all the while trying to smile. I felt blessed to have so many women shower me with love but I was so exhausted by the end of it all I didn’t know what else to do but cry. I hauled all of our gifts into the apartment while Brandon watched happily, and once I saw him I just lost it. One night I even panicked, and desperately considered elopement. Bride to be, don’t fret. Reality gets to the best of us, and I’m pretty sure most couples consider elopement at some point. Back me up?

By no means do I share this information for pity. I write this post for those who are desperately attempting to piece their weddings together while plans crumble, and dreams are simplified. People will let you down. Things will fall through. Limitations will close you in. Don’t lose sight of what your wedding is all about. How you and your Fiance handle those situations will show how the two of you will handle such shortcomings in the future.

So dear Bride, it doesn’t matter what you wear, or who is at your wedding. It doesn’t matter what comments have been made, who you are possibly offending, or whatever fell through. It doesn’t matter that a bridesmaid let you down, or your hair was not what you pictured. What truly matters on your special day is who you say your vows to, and why. You know this, I’m certain you do. But do you believe it? Because beautiful bride, if you don’t you should.