Boy Meets Girl

It's the story you've heard time and time again.

Boy meets girl.
Boy pursues girl.
Boy proposes to girl.
Girl says yes.
They live happily ever after.

Only not.

Our story is more complicated. And yet, it's all so simple.

Boy meets girl.
Girls is unavailable.
Boy and girl work together.
Boy and girl become great friends.
Girl is available.
Boy likes girl.
Girl likes boy.
Boy proposes to girl.
Girl says yes.
Boy gets deployed.
Girl plans a wedding.

I'm that girl, welcome to my blog.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Girl makes a video

Boy gets orders.
Boy and Girl make memories.
Girl video tapes.
Boy leaves for training.
Girl misses Boy.
Girl makes a video.

Song: "Today was a Fairytale" by Taylor Swift

Friday, August 27, 2010

Girl gets crafty (part 2)

Boy comes home for leave.
Girl takes lots of pictures.
Boy leaves for war.
Girl misses boy.
Girl gets creative.

I have the best boy.
I really do.
I am often blown away by some of the sweet unexpected things he does for me.
While he was home on leave, we went to the Sprint store to get his phone fixed. When we walked in, the lady that was working remembered him (he's had several problems with his phone and spent quite a bit of time in that store). It was near closing time, and she happened to have an HTC Evo phone that someone had failed to pick up that day. She offered it to J. Now, you have to understand that this phone is HARD to get. In fact, I've been on a waiting list for one since they came out. So immidiately my mouth dropped. J asked the lady to check my account and see if I qualified for the phone, and sure enough, I did! Without hesitation, he got the phone for me. When my mouth dropped again (I had finally managed to pick it up off the ground from the previous drop), and J quickly explained, "it's for your birthday".

My birthday was in June.
Told you I have the best boy.

So all of this story is to say that I have this new phone. So while J was home on leave, we were playing with it a lot. I downloaded an app that would take polaroid-looking photos and I was slightly obsessed. So we took about 10 million fake polaroids while he was here.

Fast forward to today.

Mom and I went to check out the 99 cent store that recently opened right by our house. We actually went in looking for leashes for the dogs, and instead, I found these really super cool picture frames! So of course, I walked out with 7. Because really, when is one enough?

I got home and it was craft time! I pulled out some old magazines, glue, and scissors. I also happened to have just printed off several of those photos from my phone. So I pulled those out too... and I went to work.

Here is what I ended up with (photos taken with my phone :)


A closer view of one of the frames:
These frames were perfect for the square polaroids that we took with my phone! And I LOVE how they came out! I think they look so cool... individually and all together.

a close up of one of the squares without a photo:

"You are my favorite" is something that J and I said to each other before we said "I love you". We still say it. I love this saying. It still gives me butterflies every time I hear him say that :)

These were pretty easy to do. A little time consuming, but easy.
For the white frames (the first ones pictured), I just went through the magazines and ripped out sections with solid colors. Then I ripped strips of those and arranged them on the squares so it covered the entire area I was working with... the whole background. As I went through the magazines, I also ripped out any cute sayings or words I saw. Then I arranged the photo and words and glued them down. And that was it!
The black ones were even simpler because they were mostly photos. I arranged the photos how I wanted them, and then I picked a couple of squares to fill with mini collages. Then I repeated the process I did with the first ones.
These frames will hang on my wall, but I am also planning to use these and other creative framed photos for our wedding. I don't want to do the typical clothesline photos, I want something unique and funky. So I plan to arrange photos in different areas. I am hoping the venue we choose will have some large empty wall spaces so that I can hang things on the wall too :)
So now I want to hear from you!
What unique things have you done to display your photos?

Monday, August 23, 2010

Girl goes dress shopping

Boy proposes to Girl.
Girl dreams about wedding.
Boy dreams about Girl.
Girl goes dress shopping.

The "perfect" dress.
Some girls dream about it from the time they are young... others have no idea what they want until they try it on.

I don't know if I fit in either of those categories... I was not one of those little girls that dreamed of my wedding day from the time I was a small child. I never played dress up and pretended to be a bride. The closest I came was a princess, and believe me, at 6 years old, I was NOT looking for my prince charming!

I am also not one of those girls that went into trying on wedding dresses blindly. Having been around in the wedding industry, and seeing more than my fair share of wedding dresses, I had an idea of what I thought I would like.

Here is what I knew going in:

From what I have seen, and knowing my body type, I was pretty set on a more fitted gown. I wanted something off white or ivory (stark white is just not as flattering on my skin tone) and I wanted something with character... modern, romantic, and beautiful...maybe even a little funky.

I wanted to go to several different bridal stores on several different occasions. That way I could try on an array of different dresses and styles and price ranges. I wanted to get a chance to see what is out there and make sure that I have looked at options.

I didn't want to buy the first dress I tried on. Or liked. Or even fell in love with. I wanted to go into the stores with NO expectation of buying that day. No matter what the sales people told me, I knew I could always order the dress later. This was not the kind of buy I wanted to make based on impulse or emotion alone.

I wanted to bring a select few people I trust. I know some girls who have taken their entire bridal party. It ends up being a bit of a circus (Ever seen "Say Yes to the Dress? Some of those families should be banished until the wedding is over!). Everyone gets caught up in the excitement and emotion and their own feelings. It is hard to be unbiased and honest in situations like that. I knew I wanted to go with my mom. I was also hoping my grandma could go, but she lives in Northern Oregon so it was a long shot. Three of my bridesmaids are out of town and the other one is planning her own wedding as well as traveling and speaking and doing all kinds of other crazy stuff, so I knew that they would probably not be going with me. I knew my other bridesmaid (J's niece) would be honest and enjoy the experience.

I wanted to relax and have fun... soak in the experience. So many times the wedding planning process, and the wedding itself, fly by soooo fast. By the end of it, people look back and realize they missed so many things. The dress is a HUGE deal... so I knew I wanted to enjoy the process without the pressure of having to choose SOMETHING and choose it NOW!

So with those things in mind, my mom, grandma and I headed off to David's Bridal. We happened to be visiting my grandma so it worked out perfectly. I tried on several dresses... and even a few they picked out that were COMPLETELY not what I thought I'd like.

Dress #1

Dress #2

Dress #3


Dress #4


Dress #5



Dress #6


Dress #7

(please excuse the photo quality, my mom is not the professional in the family :)

It was a fun and successful trip. I found a couple that are definitely contenders... but remember? No buying on the first trip :) It will be fun to look around a little more... I know the perfect dress is out there just waiting to be bought!

So which dress do you like best??

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Boy leaves for war

Boy proposes to Girl.
Boy goes away to training.
Girl misses Boy.
Boy misses Girl.
Boy comes home for leave.
Girl is happy.
Boy leaves for war.
Girl is sad.

2 weeks. That's all we had.
And it's over.
Just like that.

Even with all the memories we made in 2 weeks... it's just never enough.






Saturday, August 14, 2010

Girl gets crafty (part 1)

Boy gets deployed.
Girl wants pictures.
Boy agrees.
Girl starts planning.
Boy does training.
Girl gets crafty.

I am a DIY (do it yourself) kind of girl.
I love doing crafts and being creative.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I wanted something special and different for our engagement pictures. After talking with our planning/designing team extraordinaire, and with our fabulous photographer, we had a vision in mind. And LOTS of DIY projects!

Project #1: Bundles of love letters
We wanted this to have a dramatic impact. Which meant LOTS of letters. And bundles of letters. I had all kinds of letters from the time J has been away at trainings. But not enough. So I removed the letters from the envelopes (those are going to come into play later) and I replaced them with crumpled paper that was then folded to fit in the envelope.


I continued this process not only with the envelopes that had actually been mailed between us, but also with 2 boxes of blank envelopes. I used the blank envelopes between the ones that had been written on, to make the stacks look thicker. Then I tied the stacks of envelopes with twine.


At an antique show a few weeks ago, I stumbled upon this little treasure:


Old, vintage stamps. I made some of the blank envelopes into "prop" envelopes by writing on them and using these stamps.


I managed to make quite a large volume of these letters and it didn't cost me much at all. Here's the break down:

Vintage stamps: $2
Blank envelopes (2 boxes): $8
Spiral notebook paper: $4
twine: $3

TOTAL: $17

Project #2: Heart of letters
One of the photos that Ashlyn and Heather found for inspiration is FABULOUS!


We decided to do something similar. Remember the letters I mentioned above? The ones I took out of the envelopes? Those are going to be used to create the heart. I bought plain wood letters from Michael's for $1.40 a piece.


We chose the word "favorite" because before we said "I love you", we'd say "You're my favorite". It has significance to us. I painted the letters with grey paint.



I love the finished product!


Wood letters: $1.40 each ($11.20)
Paint: $1 each ($2)

TOTAL $13.20

I can't wait to see how Ashlyn and Heather pull it all together. I know this is going to be a fabulous shoot! More DIY projects and details coming soon!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Girl plans engagement session

Girl loves pictures.
Boy doesn't smile.
Girl makes boy laugh.
Boy smiles.
Photographer snaps away.

Engagement pictures.
It's part of my job as a wedding photographer... shooting engagement pictures.
I see so many different kinds of shoots and so many different engagement sessions on a regular basis that, like everything else for our wedding, I had about 10 million ideas running through my head.

I knew I wanted to take engagement pictures before J was deployed. I wanted to have them while he was gone, and I know I want to incorporate some into the wedding itself. Since I will be doing a lot of the planning while J is gone, I knew we needed to get them done before he left. Which left us 2 weeks that he was home on leave to work with.

First question.

You might think this would be the easiest decision ever since I am surrounded by amazing talent. But that is exactly the problem! The single biggest decision about our wedding (aside from the actual decision to get married) is who will shoot our wedding.

But since we don't have that 100% nailed down at this point (we do have some thoughts...) I decided to have my friend Jordana of Hazelnut photography shoot our engagement. She's wonderful. And I love her. And her photos! Seriously. If you've never seen her work, you should make sure to head over to her site (by clicking on her name) and check her out. There's a reason we picked her :)

Okay. So we chose a photographer for our engagement pictures. Now what?
I knew that I didn't want it just to be another photo shoot. I wanted it to be something that really showed out personalities and our relationship. I wanted it to be something that we could use for our wedding. I wanted it to be unique and fun.

Enter Carter and Cook Event Co.
We had already decided to hire them to do the design for our wedding, but when I started brainstorming for our engagement session I knew I wanted help.
So we emailed back and forth and came up with several ideas that represent us as a couple. Then Ashlyn and Heather came up with several different ideas.

This is what they sent me:

2. unknown
3. The Notebook

If any of the above photos are yours, please let me know!

It wasn't too hard to come to a decision as to what direction to go because they did such a fabulous job taking what I'd told them about us and making it into something that completely represented who we are as a couple. Here is what they had to say about the inspiration boards:

We think it's important to keep engagement sessions simple, fun, and about YOU, and not totally overdone. Two different looks I think can achieve what you're looking for. The novel below describes the images in further detail...
Look A Theme: Love Letters and Stars.
We're in love with this theme the most. There is so much symbolism in this shoot that it makes me giddy. Here's our thought...
Love letters are a symbolic idea and image of both you and J. It represents long distance love, the military, and something so darn sweet I can't get enough of it. So you write emails...or letters...or both, it is the IDEA of your long distance romance, and we feel so appropriate as to where you two are at in life at this moment.
Another look involving love letters would be to be near this heart [first photo on the storyboard]...or not, it can be an entirely different staged set up. A desk of some sort, or boxes, or something that has stacks and stacks of old 'love letters' tied up with beautiful strings. They can be stacked on the a drawer (like the photo you see on the bottom right)..anywhere. I love the theme of this look...and also the simplicity. Both very powerful.
Stars. So prior to you saying you wanted to shoot at the Observatory...we had a thought on stars. I really believe stars are a new, fresh, hot, & up and coming symbol that can and will be used in lots of new ways. We like them because it's different, and we like it because of what stars represent for you both.
The Cuban flag an the Army logo BOTH use a single star...which is very J, yet very you. : )
How we use this, we're still playing with the idea, but that star garland on the top right is amazing. I like that it's pretty and sparkles and hangs down, not across. Creating something like this would be fantastic.
Shooting at the observatory is PERFECTION. The stars totally tie into this location, and your fun past date location. {Can you see why we're loving this?!}
I know you love the notebook. You're always tweeting about it, watching it ( reading it :). I love the Notebook era...and think that *if* you decided to go with this theme for your both could look straight out of the 40's. You in a short dress like the one from the Notebook, and not sure how much J will love this..but a simple, and old school outfit..maybe a newsboy cap?
Look B Theme: Biker Chic.
We were having a hard time coming up with the exact look and feel for this one, so the story board is just a starting place, but I think this would be super hip. More old school, vintage biker. Your look can be street/hipster. {Which I'm sure J would love}. *Here* is where it would be FAB to for some awesome finds..old school bike goggles, helmets, etc.

Jeans, leather jackets, hipster street clothes would be a fun contrast here. {See attached biker photos}
Shooting along the PCH for this one would be SO pretty. Not sure how realistic that is...but the view would be different and cool. Haven't seen a shoot along that area really. Having the look be more editorial than staged would be the goal with this theme.

They had so many fantastic ideas, that we decided to kind of tie them all together and make one awesome shoot! I can't wait to share more about the people behind this shoot and of course, the pictures that resulted.

For any of you planning a wedding, I REALLY would encourage you to think through your engagement pictures. Coming from someone who is a photographer, and also a bride, the thought behind the photos can make the shoot. Putting something together that is unique and represents you as a couple will make your photos 10 times better!

I also LOVE what Ashlyn and Heather pointed out about the shoot: We think it's important to keep engagement sessions simple, fun, and about YOU, and not totally overdone

It's so easy to get caught up in details and almost overdo it. Or even to come up with a concept that just doesn't fit. The engagement session should really be YOU. Don't be afraid to discuss ahead of time with your photographer... send photos of wardrobe options, prop or theme ideas... give your photographer a chance to think through your shoot before you even get there!

Choose a location that is meaningful. It doesn't have to be trendy, or super fancy... it should be something of significance to you as a couple. The place you had your first date, where he proposed, or even where you will be getting married. All of these can be fun options.

Make sure you surround yourself with a team of people that you trust and that know what you want and your vision. Pick a photographer and a team of people that you get along with, have fun with and are comfortable with. You will get the best photos when you can trust the professionals and just relax and have fun.

Above all, be yourself. And relax. More times than I can even begin to mention, a couple I have photographed has wished that they had just relaxed from the beginning. This is definitely something that isn't so easy for me (or for J), but I can always see the point in the photos that I just relaxed and let loose. I NEVER have wished it was earlier.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Girl hires a Designer

Girl gets engaged.
Girl starts planning process.
Girl gets overwhelmed.
Girl hires a designer.
Boy keeps on training.

Remember that inspiration board?
After all of that inspiration, it hit me just how much work I have ahead of me.
I know I want to do a lot of things myself. I know I want it to be unique and beautiful and fun. I know I want it to really reflect our personalities. I know several aspects I want to be incorporated.

But how do I make that all one congruent thought? And look?
And so the hunt for a wedding designer of sorts began.

I have a big advantage when it comes to wedding planning because I am in the wedding industry. I have been fortunate to make friends with some amazing vendors and wonderful people. It's also a disadvantage at times because I have seen SO MUCH when it comes to weddings.

I knew that I did not want my family and friends doing the brunt of the work. I didn't want them to have to set up. I want them to be able to relax and enjoy the wedding... and be guests!

But when it comes to design, I knew IMMEDIATELY who I wanted to work with. I went to college with Ashlyn of Carter and Cook Event Co. and I've followed her work pretty much since she and Heather started up. I've been a huge fan of the projects they've worked on and I am so incredibly thrilled to be working with them!


They will be helping me put my thoughts together and making this wedding happen. They are also going to be styling our engagement session. They have fantastic ideas and I can't wait to see the final product!


If you decide to hire a designer for your wedding... it is so important to communicate. Start a folder on your computer with ideas that you love. Save photos that make you feel good... include specific details that you like, photos that just make you feel happy, and things you might like to try recreating. The more ideas you have, the better you can communicate with your team.

It is important to pick a designer whose work you adore. But also who you would like to hang out with. You are going to be spending a lot of time talking with this person/people and if you don't like who they are, it can make for some stressful moments.

If you are a micro-managing kind of girl... then a designer may not be for you. Trusting them and their take on your vision is so important. If you can't let go and let them do their job, it is going to end up causing you more stress in the end.

I cannot wait to see all the FABULOUS stuff that Carter and Cook Event Co. comes up with for our wedding!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Boy comes home for leave

Boy proposes to girl.
Girl says yes.
Boy leaves for training.
Girl misses Boy.
Boy misses Girl.
Boy comes home for leave.

2 weeks. That's all we get. After days... weeks... months... of training and another 400 days of separation quickly approaching... 2 weeks together.

We're learning to make the most of the times we have together. To laugh and have fun and make memories. We're learning not to be sad... not to argue... not to cry (well I'M learning not to cry).

2 weeks.

We have 2 weeks to make a year's worth of memories.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Girl gets inspired

Girl finds a hobby.
Girl buys a camera.
Girl's heart is broken.
Boy encourages Girl.
Girl works hard.
Girl's dreams come true.

It started as a dream.
It ended as a reality.
I am a wedding photographer.
I am also a bit of a creative mind.
I love Do it Yourself (DIY) projects.
I love to be unique.

So as soon as we got engaged, the wheels in my brain started turning.
Here are things that have inspired me, and just MIGHT show up at our wedding :)


I don't have links for all of these photos because I have been saving a lot of them for quite some time. If they are yours, please let me know so I can link you!

Check out the following where I found several of them:
Promise Tangeman
Martha Stewart Weddings
Style Me Pretty

Monday, August 2, 2010

Girl gets a Ring

Girl loves sparkle.
Boy loves Girl.
Boy buys sparkle.
Girl loves boy.
Boy asks will you?
Girl says yes.

I knew a ring was coming.
I knew what I wanted.
I wanted to make it easy on him... I bookmarked it on his computer.
And he got exactly what I wanted :)

The ring.
Ahhhh the ring.
We spent time looking around at rings... we even went to jewelry stores and tried them on. I knew what I wanted. I had lots of opinions. But I didn't know what he wanted to spend, and I didn't want to push just one on him. I didn't want him to feel like he had no say.
But when it came down to it, and I gave him several ideas of what I wanted, he wanted to know which ONE I really wanted. So I narrowed it down. But narrowing it down wasn't enough. He wanted to be sure that I had the ring that I liked the best because, after all, I will be wearing it forever. :)

And so, I showed him the one I really wanted.


And that is what I got!
I adore this ring. It is perfect.
It is sparkly and beautiful and flashy without being over the top.
It is absolutely gorgeous.
I think the most perfect part is the fact that he was so set on making sure I had what I wanted.
It was about me. It was about what I liked... what I wanted.
That beautiful ring will forever be a reminder that he has my best interest in mind.