Tag Archives: friends

it’s ALL about “About Love.” today.

If you take a look at this photography company and you aren’t thinking “These are the people that MUST photograph every important moment of my life!”, then you probably don’t follow their work as closely as some. :] And once you check them out, you’ll be chanting the aforementioned line at the top of your lungs.

I am so lucky to have met one of the photographers in high school: T. has changed my life and I’m not sure even SHE understands how much she means to me as a friend, as a newly-wedded wife and role model, as a pseudo-wedding planner/best advice giver, and now (OFFICIALLY!!!!) as a my wedding photographer.

T. has become involved and enveloped in everything she has been passionate about since I’ve known her — I know she has impacted the lives of everyone she has touched, and I’m honored that we were close friends for the time that we were. There is not one person that has met T. that wishes they hadn’t — she is pure genius, full of love and ideas and never one to turn away a friend.

Looking at the photography work she has done with her sister and business partner K., I feel so lucky to have them officially be a part of our wedding day. Nothing else matters to me other than capturing the most perfect moments in the form of pictures, because that is ultimately what lasts the lifetime. I began the photography conversation with my father with this line: “Dad, I would pay any price out of my OWN pocket to have T. and her sister shoot the wedding. To me, photography is non-negotiable and something that shouldn’t be compromised. It is THE most important thing to me, hands down.” I’m not sure if at that moment he was comfortable with the situation or understood my stance on the subject, but he knew I wasn’t budging. :] And he will not regret a penny of the cost when we receive the final product.

Every shoot that I have seen via their BLOG has made me irritated that Z. and I haven’t gone to Arizona yet for our engagement shoot! :] I know, all in good time we’ll begin the capturing of our experience in photos … a media worth a million words. Check out some of my favorite photos of theirs — I’ve linked the blog entries to the pictures if you’d like to see more:

Grad. Shoot -- But could totally be an Engagement Pic.

Straight beautiful.

Recent wedding, with the same color scheme. Must have good taste. 🙂

Ad. Enough said. 🙂

I really can’t say enough good things about T. and I’m absolutely sure her sister is equally as kind and loving. If you are getting married, or want a fun collection of photographs with a best friend or pictures of your newborn,  there is no one else I would recommend for photography. The proof is right before your eyes — About Love is the epitome of pure artistry.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Wedding Planning

Update: Wedding!!

Since it has been a while since I have posted about anything, I thought a little update for those of you who are curious is in order.

Not many things have changed — the biggie was the date, announced in the last post (Official date is now April 9th, 2011). Since then, not too many big things have been happening. I, of course, have managed to save about one hundred more pictures for ideas to both the desktops of my Mac at home and my Dell at work, and as much as I would love to share them all with you, I’d like there to be some element of surprise when you walk into Bentley on that fine, Saturday evening.

Slowly, but surely, everything is coming together. I am in contact with someone on Etsy.com (OMG … if you are not a fan and do not have an account, watch out. It’s addicting) with regards to some stunning and simple wedding invitation sets, which is my next big one to tackle. I’ve requested paper samples from a few vendors and have asked my bridesmaids what they like and believe captures the vision that I am yearning for, and with everyone’s feedback — it would be like me to fall in love, I mean L.O.V.E. with one that not very many of the ladies picked out. :] But it’s my day, right??

Another biggie is photography — in the process of knocking out the kinks, but my next post (hopefully we’ll have deposits down by then) will be all about one of the most amazing women I know and how her passion will capture every little detail of my wedding day. Although we have drifted apart over the last few years, the proof is in the pudding; there is no one else that I trust with such an important day in my life. Literally. I can’t say enough good … you just wait.

Flower proposals have been discussed and we are pretty much a “go” on that, other than the deposit — just needs to be run by Papa Hayes. I have had a recommendation for cupcakes, so hopefully my next weekend in Arizona I will be able to schedule the tasting, along with two caterers that I have been talking with. DJ is still in the air (hey, if you have any suggestions or referrals, please leave contact information!!), along with makeup, hair, bridesmaid dresses, as well as the possibility of a videographer.

Another fun detail — the officiant. I have been back and forth about who I would love to perform the ceremony, particularly between the priest from my hometown church that had been with us for a couple of years before I left for college, and a GREAT friend that I have made here in Bakersfield at work that is actually ordained and has just left Dreyer’s to move and preach at his very own church. To go with the theme and the feel that I want — fun, laid-back, celebrating all the family and friends that have been such an amazing part of our lives — my heart says that my friend is the key, the icing on the cake. As my officemate, he has been hilarious, passionate, and truly a friend that cares about my well being and happiness. I mean, I was engaged for a month before he left us — so he got a month full of wedding questions thrown at him :] . I’ll be asking him for a quote tomorrow.

The details are coming together, even from 500 miles away. But more importantly, I have been astounded by the amount of help that family and friends have offered to us. I feel so blessed to have so many people that are willing to spend their time and hard-earned cash to help me with such little things that in the end, won’t really matter. But it’s the love that is being shared, and their willingness to help make this the utmost perfect day for Z and me literally brings tears to my eyes. I am so thankful for being born into my most perfectly imperfect family that is full of love and faith, my friends that have been there for me every step of the way, and as equally important = the amazing family that I will soon be marrying into. H. (Z’s brother) was the most excited to be Z’s best man, more excited than anyone else in the wedding party. Z’s mother and father have graciously offered their help with my dream of some sort of yellow furniture “alter” for the ceremony — a vintage piece that they want to restore and give to us to keep as a part of our home thereafter.

As much as I was stressed in the beginning about everything being perfect, I know that it won’t be. And that is okay. :]

2 Comments

Filed under Wedding Planning

What We Came Away With.

Because of my lack of blogging this weekend, I’m sure most of you are ready for some report about what Z. and I left Phoenix with and without. Luckily, some large stresses have been laid to rest, so I’m venturing to say that the rest of this wedding planning will be much more pleasant for both me and my groom.

We saw most of our venues this weekend, with the exception of a couple. My camera is loaded with pictures, so as soon as I am able to download them this evening, a post revealing our favorites will be written. Until then, I will let you know that we have driven away from the Valley with two favorites that stand apart from the rest, which allows my brain to relax just a little bit.

Phoenix, Arizona -- the city I miss.

Most importantly, I left with one of the most stressful pieces all figured out — and paid for. As some of you know, I did have two dress appointments scheduled, one at I Do! I Do! Bridal in Phoenix and another at Destiny’s Bride in Scottsdale. I must criticize, especially for all of you ladies who may be in the market for a wedding gown. I Do! I Do! Bridal had some fabulous designers and some fabulous prices, but the service was only mediocre (yes, I had been referred to Destiny’s by THREE brides, but I had to have some “trial runs” before I jumped into paradise). They gave me a quick tour of the facility, attached my information sheet to a rack and told me to start pulling dresses that I wanted to try on. I had invited the troops: the sister/MOH, my mother, my father, my aunt and one of my fabulous bridesmaids, C. We waded through what seemed like thousands of dresses, and I was rather unsure about what I really wanted. I had looked at pictures and what not, but I didn’t know what would look best on my shorter stature. I asked an employee, and she actually had no advice and just told me to keep pulling.

Once I had pulled approximately 8 dresses, they tossed me into a dressing room with a curtain and told me they’d hand me a dress through the crack when I was ready. Once the dress had been stepped into, I walked out onto a pedestal and they clamped me into the dress with construction-orange industrial strength clamps — no one could really tell what the back of the dress would really look like. I walked out to present the options to my friends and family, and there wasn’t one dress that I actually said that I “loved”, nor that I think any of them liked. I left with two favorites documented, and no true intention to return.

Sunday was a day that was jam-packed — five appointments for venues; another bridesmaid (Ja.) and her husband and my Godson drove down from Cottonwood to spend the day with my family. We toured two venues, grabbed lunch, saw one more and then ended up canceling the last two; by this point in time there were still two that really stood out and were favorites for myself and Z., so there was no point exhausting our guests. Instead, I knew that Ja. really had wished she’d be able to experience looking for a dress with me, so in desperation I called a David’s Bridal in Peoria and managed to squeeze my way in. The help was much more valuable, and I truly believed that the employees wanted to help me find the dress of my dreams (and I think she also realized when I hadn’t loved one that I tried on). It was fun and I managed to narrow my ideas of what I wanted even more, preparing myself for Monday’s appointment.

Destiny's Bride -- Click for website.

I went to Destiny’s Bride yesterday with my mom, one of her friends from home, C., and my MOH. I knew the moment that I walked in, aside from the wonderful referrals, that the service there would be outstanding and more personal, which is what I was looking for after being so discouraged. I know, maybe I had been overreacting because I had only been to two other stores, but I was hoping that I would find the dress that I would buy with my family — and I’m sure that my mom wanted the exact same thing.

We started by talking with Linda about what exactly I had been looking for, but that I wasn’t even 100% sure about that and would be willing to try on anything she wanted me to. We started by pulling some dresses off of the racks and running them back and forth between the floor and the dressing rooms. I’m tellin’ you what: LINDA is the bomb. She is sweet, honest, and you can truly tell that she loves what she is doing and that she cares about each woman that walks into that store. AND she calls her dresses by name … adorable. We slipped into a more simple one with some of the details that I had mentioned, and I knew immediately that it wasn’t the dress that I would wear, but that there was no doubt that Linda would find the ONE.

Off. Gown number two was just perfect — maybe a little too busy, but it was a beautiful shape and it felt so good. We definitely marked it as a favorite. Number three was unique and what I really wanted to love, but we ended up eliminating it because even though I wanted to love it, I just didn’t; it wasn’t me. I returned to the dressing room and Linda said, “Okay. I know this isn’t exactly what you have asked for, and she doesn’t get pulled out a lot because she is a newer dress, but just try her on.”

Gown number four. I walked out and stood on the raised pedestal and she fluffed the back of the dress. I saw my mom start to well up, and that was it. I lost it. I loved it. It was nothing that I ever dreamed I’d be getting married in, but there was a presence that I felt not only within the dress, but within the way it made me feel. I was asked if I loved it, and I said yes. I was asked if I loved it more than #2, and I said I wasn’t sure. So we went back into the dressing room and put #2 back on to see them back-to-back. I returned to show my family, and we just knew that it wasn’t it. It didn’t hold a candle to #4 … AT ALL. I actually couldn’t wait to put #4 back on.

When I returned is when it got real. Linda pulled my hair up and grabbed some jewelry and what not, and it just came together. She attempted to pin the back so we could see what it would look like bustled, and every person in the room knew that that was the dress. My mom kept crying … she said “In every other store we didn’t have this moment” — she was ecstatic. Geez, I even tear up now just thinking about how happy she looked. It was emotional and exhausting, but Destiny’s Bride (particularly Linda) made the experience worth the while and I found my dress, a dress that I wouldn’t have given a second glance online or in a magazine. The entire way home was spent dreaming about my gown.

Relief … in the fact that the dress is purchased and the venues are narrowed. All there is to do now before we sign with one of the favorites is to sit down and really work out the budget to see which one, if either, would be the better pick. Both compliment our style and personal view of where we want to commit ourselves to each other, so it’s just a matter of finally making a decision.

Be excited for photos and the venue blog — I’m so excited to be back!! ❤

1 Comment

Filed under Wedding Planning

Your Very Own Tour…

Here is an uber long post — your very own “Self-Guided Tour” to my weekend in the greater Phoenix area, in search for the perfect venue … Enjoy.

As this weekend has crept closer and closer, I started to sit back and truly think about what type of venue will capture the right essence that Z. and I are aiming for on our special day. In all reality, I won’t be totally sold on a theme until there is a venue — so if the venue encourages a different decor style, then so be it. I have come to terms with modifying everything that I have thought of to make sure that the tiniest details compliment the space we will be filling. I will try my best to be calm this weekend, and it will be made a little easier (I hope) by having some close friends and family there with us.

With 9 of the 10 venues that we wanted to visit booked for appointments between this afternoon and Sunday evening, we will have our weekend cut out for us — especially since the SUNS won Tuesday night and will be in PHX tomorrow evening (awesome that they made it, even more awesome that my venue appointments will be complete in downtown Phoenix before the game starts).

I’ll give you the down-low, since I won’t be posting at all while in Arizona (I know, please please PLEASE stay excited for Tuesday’s post, and don’t stop following!!). Below I will list all venues, in the order that we will be seeing them. If you’d like to visit the websites, all you have to do is click on the first picture for each venue. :]

1. Chase Field, formally known as The BOB. I’ve seen a few blogs on baseball-themed weddings that are pretty spectacular, and it’s a fresh idea that has true meaning to my relationship with Z. We have watched some games here together, not as many as we wish … But this was where our official First Date took place, tickets purchased by Z. We still have our stubs kept in a cozy drawer, so it would be extra special if the details worked out.

Chase Field

One of the MANY areas you can rent.

2. MonOrchid. Pure beauty, and a blank canvas. Anything would go at this venue — it’s clean and simple and just gorgeous. This is probably one of the venues that I am most excited to see. I just hope that I don’t fall in love with it with 7 more appointments to go.

MonOrchid. OMGosh, did I mention my love for the staircase?

Another great shot.

3. Bentley Projects. This venue is owned by the same people that own/manage MonOrchid. The tall ceilings with wooden beams gives the rustic feel (of maybe a barn?!?) that we may be looking for, matching many of the pictures that I have saved.

Bentley Projects

Ceremony Aisle

4. Tempe Center for the Arts. Tempe is where my heart still lies, and in a banquet room that is literally Lakeside, we would have a breathtaking view (maybe minus the 202 and traffic, haha). This would also allow for pictures prior to the wedding to be taken in Tempe, perhaps on campus, which was something that I’m really interested in since Z. and I have history @ ASU (if the event isn’t in Tempe or near campus, I’m going to maybe ask the photographer for a “day after” session and go to ASU for pictures, pending pricing). I think that this venue will have more potential than I’ve given it thus far.

Tempe Center for the Arts

Sorry about the quality -- from the website.

5. Arizona Grand Resort. Realistically, I think this will be too “in the box” for us — with all of the other amazing venues that we have appointments with, I think that this matches our style the least … but we’ve still left it on the list just in case. There is no doubt in my mind that it will be gorgeous, but it’s one of the venues that is not really “low-key” and casual.

Arizona Grand Resort

One of the ballrooms.

6. The Farm at South Mountain. Unfortunately there will be weddings going on at the site this weekend so we will be giving ourselves the “Self-Guided Tour”, complete with a package of details and a read-as-you-walk description of the venue. This is another top contender for me as of right now, so I’m hoping that despite how busy it will be there this weekend, that we will still be able to see everything we need to in order to make a decision.

The Farm at South Mountain (sorry about the logo, didn't want to crop too much of the photo)

The trees are gorgeous.

7. Phoenix Art Museum. I cannot wait to be here — some of the pictures for weddings that I have seen here are beautiful, and (I know I’ve said this a lot) this may be up on the list as well :]. Again, with many people going on vacation for the holiday weekend we won’t be given a guided tour, but the Events Coordinator has been so pleasant and will be leaving complimentary tickets for us to tour ourselves.

Phoenix Art Museum

One of the rooms for rent.

8. Arizona Science Center. This would be fun and fresh, and the building outside would be stunning as a background for many of the pictures — the clean lines and amazing architecture would be b-e-a-uuuutiful. This is the placement (in terms of order of venues) that I have set aside for this venue and have talked to the Events Coordinator about a tour, but we’re been playing phone tag and have semi-solidified plans, so I really hope this works out.

Arizona Science Center

One of the areas to rent.

9. Tre Bella. This is a venue that was built in Mesa solely for events such as weddings. With 7 venues already lined up, I’d love to fall in love before we got this far into the list, but we’ll still visit. It is really pretty, but maybe for a more formal wedding.

Tre Bella

(I can’t find a picture of the outside of the building … so I’ll be sure to take some and post later.) This is absolutely stunning, though.

And there you have it: the list, pictures and websites of all the venues that are scheduled for this weekend. I’m hoping I haven’t bitten off more than I can chew. :] Ciao!

Leave a comment

Filed under Wedding Planning

Day 7 — A Sigh of Relief, but More Options??

Little do you know, this last week has been incredibly stressful … up until yesterday. I’d like to thank everyone that looked at my blog and voted for venues because today was the first day that I woke up and felt as though I didn’t have a million things to do. This blog is what is going to keep me sane until the minutes before I walk down an aisle, somewhere … :]

I have a great amount of support pouring in, from friends and family alike, but I still felt disconnected as a bride planning an Arizona-based shindig from the beautiful state of CA. This blog has been my connection to all of the people that I hold dear to my heart: here in California, one in Colorado, and countless from my home, sweet home Arizona. I love being able to pour my heart and passion for perfection onto this website and have a single, simple way of communicating with the people that want to know every little detail. So I hope you all stay interested for the next 10 months.

I have taken the time to attempt an inspiration board — who knows if I will ever do this again. Placement of specific pictures, layering, palettes, blah; I’m in need of a nap, now. This board almost perfectly depicts what my original vision is/was. Please be kind, I’m not nearly as talented as M., who’s blog I was recently featured in @ http://jetsetmeg.blogspot.com (ahhhh-mazing, might I add).

My original scheme/feel/goal, the best that I can create.

So, not to confuse any of you … but (perhaps, unfortunately) I have now come across two additional colors that I am forcing myself not to adopt until I talk to you all (I haven’t even warned my fiance, Z., about this yet). I do not know if I would simply add one to the previously stated color scheme, or totally throw my favorite color out and opt for something that is new and fresh. I’ll fill you in:

1: Peach. It’s feminine and subtle, but not pink. Pink is not the color for me, nor one of Z.’s groomsmen who has fair, freckly skin and a head of Red. I think that the peach would pop with the mustard and grey and creams, presenting a color palette that is season-appropriate (looking for venues that are available any weekend in March or the first couple of April, so a spring-time wedding).

Peach and grey board ... imagine the yellow with this. Maybe I'll make one ... blah.

2: Mint or Seafoam. This is normally a color that wouldn’t top my list, but these inspiration boards are just that: inspirational. I think that if not careful, the light green may get lost in an outdoor setting, so I am leaning more towards this if my love lies with MonOrchid next weekend. Just imagine the black and stark white walls and architecture with a grey and seafoam or mint theme — I truly think the mint would create amazing contrast.

Seafoam = dreamy.

Please please please leave your comments!!

Oh yeah … yay for being engaged for a week!! (baaahh … hahahahaha)

1 Comment

Filed under Wedding Planning