Wednesday, November 10, 2010

It's Always the Little Things That Bring This Thing Home

There's a certain phenomenon that every bride-to-be experiences at some point or another during her engagement (and some on multiple occasions).  You're cruising along, just planning and crafting and making lists to your heart's desire, talking to others about how "Yes, I'm getting married...Oh, next year..." when BAM!  Out of the blue, you write a check/see an image/catch a glimpse of your future hubby and it just hits you:  I am getting married.  And it is next year.  Only six months actually.  Holy crap.  I'M GETTING MARRIED!

It's not exactly the first time the reality of it all has hit me.  Or the second to be completely honest.  But every time, it's the same combination of feelings- a rush of excitement, nervousness, and just overwhelming love for my boy.  Sometimes I liken the reaction to that of men while they're going through a pregnancy with their lady.  To women, it's real from day one, simply because your future child is inside you (and it's hard later on to separate yourself from the reality when there's a tiny foot in your ribcage and you have to pee every half hour because the little Peanut is sitting on your bladder).  But since the men aren't feeling everything the women are, sometimes it's just a glance at an ever-growing belly or walking past the open nursery door that startles them back into the realization that "this is happening." 

The culprit behind today's reality check?  The first mock up of mine and Justin's invitations.  Eeep!  Who knew that seeing a first draft would make me go all sentimental?  MOH Flo, with all of her amazing talents, agreed to design our invitation suite, along with our programs (and maybe our drink menus, although I swear I didn't have to twist her arm).  And really by design, I mean take my spattering of ideas and put them together beautifully on a piece of paper.  When I opened the file, I was floored.  She pretty much hit the nail on the head the first time around.  And then I was floored again.  Because those were my wedding invitations.  That was my name next to Justin's.  Wow.  This is really happening in six months.  And I smiled. 

Of course I'm going to be mean and make you all wait to see the finished product, but I will tell you this- it's gonna be amazing :)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Rock n Rollers- Engagement Pics, Part 3

After cooling down and laughing a bit about our run in with the British man, it was time for the last shots of the night.  The cool shots.  The car shots.

Justin is a car man.  Loves horsepower, V8 engines and growling cams/exhausts.  Before I met him, I had an appreciation for muscle cars, but never imagined that I'd ever be immersed in the world where they lived.  Or drive one.  Fast forward to a little over a year of dating when I decided that what better time to trade up for something a little more fun to drive?  You know, before marriage and kids that you can't get in and out of a Coupe car (at least not easily).  In May of last year I ended up trading in my Rav4 for my lovely: a 2005 Pontiac GTO.

Photo by Jesse Cosper

Justin owns a 2001 Camaro Z28 and traded his trusty Nissan truck in for a Trailblazer Super Sport last fall.  Needless to say, we have a driveway full of horsepower.

Photo by Jesse Cosper

Personal photo

So it was only natural when we first interviewed with Reggie that we asked if he'd had any experience in photographing cars.  Although he hadn't, he seemed very excited at the prospect, and during our later conversations about photo ideas, he kept bringing up wanting to try out some night time shots.  Justin and I weren't really sure what it would entail exactly, but we were up for some experimenting.  And I'm so glad that we did.

All car photos by Reggie Beehner unless otherwise noted

We set up shop in the very back of the overflow parking for Rupp Arena (Go Big Blue!).  For each shot, Reggie set the camera shutter to stay open for 30 seconds, and he used hand held flashes to coat us and the cars in light.  The lights in the background?  That's from Reggie using the flashes behind us.  Pretty cool, huh?  The catch was, as with any long shutter, we had to stand still so as to not blur the shot.  Standing with our arms crossed wasn't hard at all, but while taking the kissing shots, I would get the giggles about 15 seconds in and have to keep myself from just completely busting out.  Justin wasn't amused, lol. 

I was pretty amazed with the whole process.  Especially the fact that you can't see Reggie in any of the pictures because the only objects that show up in the frame are ones that have been lit up.  And we were beyond blown away when we finally got to see the end results.  There are 2 that will definitely be made into large prints to hang in the house.  And when I shared them with everyone on a local car forum we're members of and got so many "It's so cool that your girlfriend wanted to do shots with the cars."  *brushes shoulders off*  Yeah, I'm just that awesome :) 

We were so happy with Reggie's approach to photography, his personality, his attention to detail, the way he works with light.  And after seeing the results of the engagement shots, I cannot wait to see what he'll have for us to remember the wedding day by. 

Monday, November 8, 2010

My Co-Worker Bridesmaid

My bridesmaid I work with, Carrie!
Carrie and her oldest daughter at a school event (picture provided by Carrie)

Carrie and I met on a fateful day four years ago when I came in for my second interview at the accounting firm I currently work for. Over the years we've become good friends as we've worked together (those tax seasons can be grueling). Sometimes I get to hang out with her and her two daughters (who are quite the hams, I must say).

This one is a trooper though, day in and day out getting to listen to my ramblings, my out of left field questions and my general silliness. In turn, she reminds me of 80's songs I haven't heard in ages, Disney movies I need to revisit and why she and the other girls should wear tie dye dresses (mostly to piss Justin off, lol). I know that Carrie will be a huge help the day of the wedding keeping everything (and everyone) running.

 Carrie and her youngest daughter (picture provided by Carrie

As I was writing this post, I realized that Carrie and I don't have any pictures of us together (which needs to be remedied soon). Although there are a few with me and the girls (one in particular of me and the youngest when she was 3 months old and a look of "get me out of this girl's arms!" on her face).  Nonetheless, she's one of my closest confidants and I can't wait to see her by my side on mine and Justin's big day!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Happy Halloween a Bride To Be's Style

Last year, Justin and I decided to throw a Halloween party for our awesome group of friends.  We normally covered New Year's Eve, but because he would be out of town on a duck hunting excursion, and I would be working New Year's Day (terrible, I know), we traded in for a new holiday.

Silk Spectre and Rorschach from The Watchmen (personal photo)

This year, we decided to throw our second annual Halloween party and couple it with our engagement party.  Nothing fancy, just another reason to come together and have a few drinks :)  My original costume idea was going to be a Peacock, and I found some lovely wings at Party City.  Couple those with a pretty feather mask, and Flo's black dress that I wore for her bachelorette party (seen here), and I had the makings for an awesome outfit.  Until I went to buy the peacock wings and they were sold out.  Boo.  And then Flo couldn't find her dress, even after turning the house upside down at least three times.  Double boo.

So my last minute replacement costume? 

Photo by Brittany

Yep, that's right.  A bachelorette.  I figured since it was a Halloween/Engagement party, the costume would be appropriate (and I could secure the sash of my desiring for my actual bachelorette party next year, bwahahaha).  So one new shirt from Kohl's and a sash, ridiculously large tiara (that Justin refused to let me leave the store without) and a mardi gras bead shotglass later, I was transformed into a cute bachelorette.

Anyone else play up your engaged status for Halloween?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Guilty Pleasures Series - Out of Town Bags

One day, some cute bride had the genuis idea to throw together a pre-wedding favor for those wedding guests attending from out of town.  I'm sure in the beginning it was something simple like an information packet for local attractions, restaurants and the like.  Fortunately, someone decided to take it a few steps further and the trend caught on.  And I love it!

My favorite OOT bags of them all?  The ones themed around the area in which the wedding is taking place.  Brides-to-be put their creative hats on and come up with great treats, usually including some form of the following:

-A bag that's either printed or styled as a nod toward the city

-A map of the town with the impending newlyweds' suggested or favorite spots to visit

-Water bottle with handmade labels featuring the wedding date, the bride & groom's names, or a picture of a local landmark

-Locally made treats- candies, popcorn, beverages, coffee, cakes, just any kind of edible something that the bride & groom's city is the only place you'll find it, or at least makes it best of anywhere else. 

-Commerative t-shirts, coozies, magnets, coffee mugs, anything cute and souvenier-ish with the city or state's name, outline, etc.

Out of town bags would be few and far between for Justin and I to make.  Although both families will be traveling to attend, I'm not sure that a 2 hour drive qualifies you as a true "out of towner".  Especially when you're still in the same state.  However, should we dcide to throw together something for our handful of out of state guests, we may be inclined to include some of the following:

-Samples of Ky bourbon                                           -Bottle of local wine
-Babycakes cupcakes                                                -Map to nearby state parks
-Bourbon balls                                                          -Postcard of the bluest country sky you'll ever see
-"Gettin' Lucky in Kentucky" t-shirts                         -Bottle of Ale8-One

Have any of you decided to make Out of Town bags for your guests from afar?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The One Where We Almost Throw Down For Our Photographer

...otherwise known as Engagement Pics part two. I promise there's a story coming.

Since our second day of shooting succombed to what is sometimes known as fall in Kentucky (mid 50's and rainy), we rescheduled to finish up our engagement session with Reggie (you can revisit the first part here). The weather did not disappoint, except in the fact that we couldn't get some shots that I wanted because the sun was blaring into our eyes. Eh well, you win some, you lose some (I think it got made up for by being allowed to take pictures inside the venue).

First stop was Buster's Backroom and Billiards in the old Distillery District outside of downtown. I love the look of the outside of the building and a mural that lies at the back of the parking lot (several of our friends have had pictures of their cars taken with it). Since the mural was where the sun was glaring, we ended up taking most of the shots in front of the awesome burnt orange loading doors and inside at the bar area of Buster's concert area.

All photos by Reggie Beehner

After constantly wiping tears from my eyes that the Big Ass Fan (literally, in every capacity- a huge fan that's made by a company called Big Ass Fans) near the bar caused (I'm weird and most breezes/wind make my eyes water), we changed clothes, packed up and headed off to Jacobson park to get some sunset shots over the water. And that's where the story gets, um, interesting.

The long and the short of it goes like this: See the "dock" we're sitting on in this picture?

Photo by Reggie Beenher

It's made of these floating plastic pieces and actually made me a little uncomfortable being that close to the water after we walked out there (but that's neither here nor there). There was a man fishing off one of the sides that I believe Reggie asked if he could encroach on his space for a few minutes (I just remember hearing "It'll be like 2 minutes"). Of course 2 minutes turned into 20 and as Reggie was packing his equipment up on the dock, the man (who was British, so envision the accent while reading) began running his mouth about how Reggie was rude, basically pushed him away from his spot, etc.  Although Reggie kept his cool during the whole altercation, the man was pretty insistent on trying to start something, so there the four of us were standing on this floating dock, and all the while I kept thinking to myself "This is going to come to blows and we're all going to end up in the water."  Fortunately, after having a few words with the man myself (and Justin in position to take a swing if necessary), we made it back to land unscathed (and still dry).  It will definitely be a story to remember our pictures by.  Oh, and speaking of pictures, here are the fruits of Reggie's (apparently disrespectful) behavior):

All photos by Reggie Beehner

Stay tuned for the third installment of engagement pictures- showing off the cars and the more candid moments caught on camera :)

Monday, November 1, 2010

Let Them Eat Cake! Whatever Cake They Choose!

So I last left you with my "Eureka!" moment of creating a cake buffet for our guests in place of just one traditional wedding cake.  At that juncture, I hadn't seen very many pictures of people who had done the same, but I was sure they were out there.  I mean, if people are awesome enough to do pie buffets, cake buffets should follow suit.

Wedding Pie Buffet (source)

I knew fairly quickly exactly how I wanted our buffet to look: 6 or 7 ten-inch round layer cakes sitting pretty on cake stands across the table, with one small "traditional" cake in the center for Justin and I to cut.  Either I or my lovely familial volunteers would make the rounds cakes, while Justin and I would have our cake made for us.  We'd offer several different flavors of cake, including chocolate, white, yellow, red velvet and Italian Creme (the last two being mine and Justin's favorites respectively). 

Yes, please! (source)

And then, just as quickly as I'd come up with the idea, I started with the ifs, ands, or's.  Typical Shana.  Since my mom and the FMIL will most likely be the ones cleaning up at the end of the night, one of my goals is to keep things as simple as possible for them.  And adding that many cake stands to the mix was just one more thing for them to keep up with.  But bridesmaid Nicole brought up a good point when she asked how we were going to cut the cakes if there wasn't anything underneath them.  Good call, my friend!  So back to the cake stands it was (but should they be all one height, different heights, does it matter?  Sigh, my mind is tireless).  Now I just have to ask nicely to borrow enough for the number of cakes we'll have :)

Don't forget that I was also on the hunt for the perfect design for what would be mine and Justin's cake to cut.  I knew that I wanted something simple, but elegant.  Small, but still two-tiered.  I spent countless hours on Project Wedding checking out pictures of wedding cakes big and small, waiting for the right one to pass across my screen.  Here are a few that initially caught my eye:

Both pictures from Project Wedding

I surprised myself when I caught on that most of the cakes I was drawn to were fairly simple, with just a tiny bit of flair to them (not than I'm normally an extravegant person).  I suppose it all fit in with my "simply southern" theme.  I knew that either of these would work, but I just hadn't run across anything yet that 'got' me.  And then, I found this pretty:

It may have been the gorgeous white cakestand (in part), but this cake just called to me.  Simple, but not without its own details.  The flowers were one of the first things to catch my eye (in case I haven't mentioned it, apparently in my mind one of the ways to make something 'southern' is to include flowers wherever you can), but I also loved the textured lines on each layer.  It was different, it was pretty and it had my name written all over it.

Since the discovery, there have been several logistical changes (surprise, surprise).  Now, instead of having our cake professionally made, bridesmaid Nicole and I will be attempting what will either be a two or three tiered version of the picture.  Nicole loves baking and trying new things, so she'll be perfecting her buttercream icing (I'm not a fan of fondant) and experimenting with gum paste in order for us to make the rosettes.  I also got to thinking about how a splash of color would bring the cake together with the rest of the wedding decor, so I suggested to Nicole that we make the rosettes blue instead of white.  She responded "Well, I thought that the cake needed a little color, but I wasn't going to say anything."  Haha, suspicions confirmed.  So all in all, we should have around 8 homemade cakes for our guests to enjoy throughout the night.

Anyone else decide to give their baking skills a try when it came to the wedding?