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.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Girl breaks down

Boy proposes to Girl.
Girl says yes.
Boy goes to war.
Girl plans a wedding.
Girl misses Boy.
Girl gets overwhelmed.
Girl breaks down.

I walked in the living room in a daze.
I could hear my mom talking but I wasn't listening to her words.
"We need to talk... I think this wedding is stressing you out."
Then came the tears.
And the breakdown.

I sat in her living room that night and we talked through all the things on my mind.
The wedding that I couldn't seem to make any decisions about.
The boy I love that is across the country.
The happy time this is supposed to be but what it was turning into.

We decided it was time to find a solution.

"What is most important to you?" She asked me.
As I thought through that question... REALLY thought through it, I came to a simple conclusion. There were 3 things that were important to me:
1. That I marry J
2. That we are surrounded by the people that are closest to us
3. That we have beautiful pictures

Did I care about the colors or the bridesmaid dresses or the centerpieces?
Not so much.
Did it really matter if we had a garter and bouquet toss?
Not when it came down to it.

At the end of the day...
the day that we save and spend so much money on...
the day that we plan for months on end for...
the day that takes weeks to prepare for and hours to get ready for...
at the end of that day what we have left is a marriage and pictures.

So I decided to simplify.

I am a wedding photographer. I see so many weddings every year. In addition to the weddings I shoot myself... I read tons and tons of blogs. Blogs of my photographer friends, wedding planning blogs, blogs that feature real weddings... SO MANY BLOGS.

There is a sense in which I started to feel this pressure when I got engaged.
I started out with plans of planning this super wonderful wedding with 100 of our closest friends and family. I wanted it to be a great reflection of us individually and as a a couple. I wanted it to be unique... full of things that had never been done before.

Then somewhere along the line things got blurred... I felt like suddenly I was planning a wedding and thinking about all the blogs... instead of about our wedding. Suddenly the wedding felt like it was getting in the way of being married to the man I love.

Believe me, I am all for weddings. I'm a wedding photographer, DUH! But at the end of the day, it comes down to one thing. Being married. Marrying the man I love. Becoming his wife. Everything else is secondary.

So after deciding what was important to me, I was able to make more decisions.
This was HUGE.
I haven't been able to make a decision to save my life!

The first decision was this: I no longer wanted to wait an entire year.
J found out he would have R&R (rest and relaxation... where they send the soldiers home for 2 weeks to get a little break) during March. We decided that would be a perfect time for us to get married.

Next we decided that we wanted to go away... do a semi-eloping kind of destination wedding. As for where to do it... well that will take a whole blog of it's own.

We also decided we would keep the wedding to just our close family.
About 30 people.
Simple, small, understated.
No big ceremony venue with lots of decorations... something simple and outside would be perfect.
No big reception with tables and centerpieces and seating charts... a simple dinner at a restaurant instead.
Our bridal party? Yes, we still want them, but they will be more honorary. And they can pick what they wear :)

I alluded to some of this in my blog yesterday about my brooch bouquet. Because of these changes, we will not be able to have everyone we love at our wedding. But our family and friends are so important to us. We want to have a piece of you there with us. And we are working on some pretty cool things so that you can share in the day with us anyway. More on that coming.

As for the photographer... again, that is a whole other blog... however I will say this. One of the 2 things left at the end of this day will be the photos. And being a photographer myself, I know how important the photos really are. So so so important. The most important thing to me aside from the actual marriage. So we will be bringing a photographer with us. We will be carving out a very large chunk of our day for pictures. I am planning pictures as well as a wedding. I know this is where the majority of our budget will go and it will be well worth it. Because when the flowers have died, the dresses have been hung in the back of the closet, the centerpieces are trashed, the cake is eaten... what remains is the marriage of two people who love each other, and the pictures documenting that love.

And so the preparations begin. We now have 4 months instead of 12. And lots of decisions to make. But not nearly as many. I am so much more relaxed knowing that I will get to be married to J in only 4 months! And that this is so us. Relaxed, laid back, and simple.

I can't wait to share the rest of the details with you! Because believe me... even for a simple, relaxed, laid back wedding, there will be details :)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Girl asks for help

Boy proposes.
Girl says yes.
Boy gets deployed.
Girl plans a wedding.
Girl gets overwhelmed.
Girl has idea.
Girl asks for help.

In planning our wedding, I have gone around and about and up and down about different ideas (as you can probably see by all of my recent posts and all of the crazy ideas I have). But one thing that I knew I wanted from the beginning was something unique, different, fun, and true to who we are.

I am not a big fan of flowers. I mean, I like flowers in general, but as far as weddings go... I know it's tradition, but it's what everyone does. And it just isn't really me. So I made the decision early on that I did not want any live flowers at our wedding. And so the search for an alternative began.

I knew I was onto something when I saw this picture:


I fell in love.

I knew that I wanted a bouquet like that. My mom and my grandma have been collecting brooches since I can remember. They hunt for them and pick out special ones. Each one has a story and meaning. So this picture of this bouquet brought back so many memories of my childhood.

It was perfect.

And then began the brainstorming. Did I want all flowers? Did I want all clear rhinestones? Did I want to keep it in the color scheme of my wedding? Would I borrow them all from my mom and grandma? Or would I purchase my own?

So together, mom and I came up with a plan that I LOVE.

I want my bouquet to have meaning. I want it to be special. And I want to be able to keep it long after the wedding is over. Maybe one day someone else that I love will want to carry it. If not, it will make a beautiful decoration for our house someday.

So borrowing pins was out.

The next idea was to search flea markets and garage sales for my own. Which I'm sure would be a blast. But then the brilliance came.

Why not ask everyone to send one? My family and friends can send me a pin that they already have, or pick one out especially for this. Then on my wedding day, my bouquet will symbolize those that are there with me, and those that are celebrating in spirit.

So here is my plea to all of you, my family and friends:

Javi and I have decided to get married when he comes home for his R&R this spring. The circumstances are going to make it impossible for us to invite everyone we want to, but we thought some of you might like to be a part of the ceremony in a fun and different way.

Instead of a floral bouquet, I would like to carry a brooch bouquet. But I don't have any brooches! I thought about looking for them at flea markets and sales, but then my mom suggested that maybe I could borrow some. while this is a good idea, I sort of want to be able to keep my bouquet--I would hate to have to take it apart to return all the brooches

So here is my idea. If any of you want to send me a brooch that I can keep, I will use as many of them as i can in my bridal bouquet. they can be old or new, jeweled or enameled, silver or gold. flower designs would be easiest to use, but I will try to use whatever I get. This will be a beautiful reminder of some of the people who care about me. And I say "some" because I know that maybe everyone who is reading this blog might not be able to send a pin. And that's ok.

I am excited to see how this turns out. It will be fun to see what choices you make! And I know that every time I look at the bouquet, I will be reminded of each of you that choose to participate.

Here are a few more pictures of different brooch bouquets:





If you don't have my address and you want to send a pin, please leave me a comment with your email address and I'll send you the address :) If your pin has a story with it, please make sure to tell me so I can keep track! Or if you chose it for a specific reason, mention that as well. As the pins come in, I will be blogging about them and keeping a record of all of the people who are participating on my special day!

Can't wait to update you on the progress!

Boy gets leave

Boy proposes to Girl.
Girl says yes.
Boy leaves for war.
Girl plans a wedding.
Boy sits in Indiana.
Girl misses Boy.
Boy gets leave.
Girl goes to visit.

My mom likes to say that the Army needs a wedding planner.
If you've ever known anyone in the Army... you have probably heard the saying "hurry up and wait." Seems to be the Army's unofficial motto.

So when the date finally came on J's orders to head out... I had no idea what would happen next. But I shouldn't have been surprised when he ended up sitting. And waiting.

In Indiana.

Right before shipping out, they gave the guys a few days off. But with the rule that they couldn't go more than 200 miles away from the base in Indiana. Well, California is a little farther than that. So... I hopped on a plane and headed out to Indiana. We had a great time and even headed over to Chicago while I was there!

Dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe.

We walked all over Chicago trying to find this fountain. It's the one from the opening credits of "Married with Children". Which I've never even watched by the way.

Dinner at the Crackerbarrel.

When I found out there was a Tiffany and Co, I got VERY excited. I have always wanted to go inside of one. I started telling J how much I've wanted to go in and about the girl growing up with the Tiffany's bracelet that I used to stare at and love. I told him about the little blue boxes and how cool they are and all the wonderful things Tiffany's is made out to be. So we went to check out the store and it ended up being closed. I was disappointed but figured we'd move on. But J was determined to get me in there, so we came all the way back the next day.

We headed into the store and looked around and I saw THE BRACELET. J insisted that I try it on, even though I knew it wouldn't be coming home with me. We finally got a lady to help us out and as soon as I got it on my wrist and started smiling, he said to the lady "We'll take it!". I tried to keep my mouth from falling open in disbelief. As she was ringing it up, she asked if I'd like to wear it out or box it up. J smiles and says, "She wants the little blue box."

So out of the store we went, with a little blue box, a beautiful bracelet and a sweet memory of how wonderful J is to me.
It was such a fun day and such a nice gesture. He did something he knew I would love just because. There didn't have to be a reason, or anything expected in return. He did it just because he knew it was something I wanted. I love how thoughtful he is of me and how many things he picks up on without having to even ask him. He really pays attention. And he is genuinely romantic. It isn't forced or pre-planned. He doesn't have to think hard about it... he just is.

We had a great time, and I can't wait to see him again soon!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Girl chooses colors

Girl plays pretend.
Girl loves colors.
Girl grows up.
Boy meets Girl.
Boy proposes to Girl.
Girl plans a wedding.
Girl is indecisive.
Girl chooses colors.

Since I was a little girl, when asked, my favorite color would usually be purple. Although I did go through a pink phase. And when I was in junior high it was yellow and blue. Then for a while I loved brown. Lately it's been grey.

As I've tried to put together a coherent thought for our wedding, one of the things I keep going back to is colors. I've been back and forth and around and around about colors. I just can't seem to make up my mind.

I've come up with several different color combinations that I like.

Light Blue, White, Tan:
I love the feel of these colors together... calming, cool. Simple.
I can totally see this somewhere like the beach!

Orange, Turquoise/Blue:
I like these colors together, but it is even better for us because J is a DIE HARD Miami Dolphin's fan. Like he gives a whole new name to the word fanatic. I think it would be cool to incorporate his love for all things Orange and Teal by using some variation of it in our wedding.

Purple, Turquoise, Navy, Grey:
I've seen a lot of peacock feathers in the recent blog posts I've read. I think they're very cool looking! I love the colors. I put these colors together kind of by accident and kind of ended up loving them!

Gold, Pink, Champagne:
My best friend Davene is getting married in August, so we've been sharing ideas back and forth. This is actually a color combo she came up with and decided not to use. I like it a lot. It seems very classy and expensive :)
**All inspiration boards made at All images are used from their site!**

So what do you think? Which color combination do you like best? What venue would you pick to go with the colors? Leave me a comment and let me know what YOU think!

Lots of planning has happened over the last couple of weeks, so I have lots of blogs coming up! Some really cool DIY projects too! AND... I bought a dress :) Stay tuned!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Girl checks out venues

Boy asks Girl out.
Girl says yes.
Boy and Girl go on dates.
Boy and Girl make memories.
Boy proposes.
Girl says yes.
Girl looks for venue.

Ohhhhhh the venue.
The place where we will be married.
The place that sets the whole tone of the wedding.

I have gone back and forth and up and down and around and around looking for the perfect place. I've asked my facebook friends, my photographer friends, random people walking down the street.

I have looked at estates, hotels, churches, beaches, houses, schools, banquet halls, and everything in between.

I have yet to choose a venue.

Our wedding is still a year away. I get that.
But I want to get started!
Like REALLY started.
Yet, I cannot seem to find the "perfect" place.

Okay so that is not entirely true.
I did find the perfect place.
I found it online and I loved it.
So of course I started scouring wedding planning blogs and photographer blogs for examples of weddings that had been done at said venue.
I found quite a few.
And I fell even MORE in love.
It was perfect.

I couldn't find the price on the site, which usually means one thing.
So I took a deep breathe and sent an inquiry email.
I mentioned that our wedding would be on a weekday in the off season and asked if they could please offer us any discounts for that.

And they responded!
With the added discounts, it was only SLIGHTLY out of our budget.
But I figured I could work around that. It was do-able.
So the next step was to check it out in person.
Mom and I got in the car with our mapquest directions and we headed to the venue.

The location was amazing!!!





But as we spoke with the representative, we found that there were several hidden costs. We got back in the car and headed home... our dreams of the perfect venue fading into the distance as quickly as the venue itself.

Since then, I have searched up and down and all over creation (and the internet) for the perfect venue. I even looked outside of LA in hopes of finding that one place that would just click.


So what do you think?
Beach wedding?
Hotel ballroom?
Big church?
Random field?
Large Private Estate?

What are your wedding venue suggestions??