Thursday, January 31, 2013

Tying the Knot: The Ceremony

After what seemed like no time at all it was suddenly time to start the show! 

We planned on having our ceremony at 4:30 but ran a few minutes behind based on where the sunset was. I was completely oblivious to this though as I was hiding in the corner of the bridal suite so when our planner came running in to tell me, "don't worry, just a few more minutes! the sun just needs to set a tiny bit more." I had no idea what she was talking about. 

Then it was time to go! All morning I had been calm as a clam, seriously. Running a few minutes late from the salon? No big deal! Sneaking in some First Touch shots with my fiance? No nerves or anything! I was beginning to think this whole day was going to be a breeze! Until A Thousand Years by The Piano Guys (click below to listen as you read) started playing, the song I had specifically picked out to have our family & wedding party walk down the aisle to. My heart started pounding, I lost my breath and seriously couldn't believe this was it! This was my wedding day! I was going to marry the man of my dreams tonight. From where I was hiding in the back room no one except my maid of honor and our wedding coordinator could see me and I thankfully pulled it together quickly and away they went.

The ceremony started with J's Parents (& Step parents) followed by my Mom and Sister. Then our wedding party followed by our Best Man and Maid of Honor.

Then it was my turn! I will touch on my walk down the aisle a little later when I post about [Our Unique Touches] but I will share my wedding music. I walked down the aisle to Love Story Meets Viva La Vida by John Schmidt (click below to listen.)

Our ceremony was officiated by a family friend who I have known for many years. He did a fantastic job! Instead of doing the normal Unity Ceremony with candles or the ever-so popular sand ceremony we opted for something a little different. Since our guest list was relatively small, under 90 people, we chose to do a Ring Warming Ceremony. At the beginning of the ceremony our wedding bands were taken first by my MOH/Bridesmaids then passed to our families then throughout our guests and finally to J's Groomsmen/BM. Each person was able to hold our rings for a moment, say a silent prayer/blessing/positive thought to us as a couple and our future together and then pass them to the next. Once they returned to us they held more in them than just our promises to each other, they contained the blessings and support from our closest family and friends. I am so glad we chose to add this to our ceremony as it made it that much more personal for us and for our guests.
We asked both J's Step Dad and my Sister to do a reading during the ceremony. For J's Step Dad we asked him to write something himself about what it takes to have a successful marriage and somehow include the verse Corinthians 13:4-8. The same verse was used in his wedding with J's Mom and we were able to tie in that special moment into our ceremony.
For my Sister, we asked her to read an Irish Blessing for us, one because of how beautiful it is and two because we are going to Ireland for our honeymoon. 
May the road rise to meet you// May the wind be always at your back// May the sun shine warm upon your face// And the rains fall soft upon your fields// And until we meet again// May God hold you in the palm of his hand// May God be with you and bless you// May you see your children’s children// May you be poor in misfortune// And rich in blessings// May you know nothing but happiness// From this day forward// May the road rise to meet you// May the wind be always at your back// May the warm rays of sun fall upon your home// And may the hand of a friend always be near// May green be the grass you walk on// May blue be the skies above you// May pure be the joys that surround you// And may true be the hearts that love you.

All photos courtesy of Ignite Images.

Next up: We are Husband and Wife!

Need to catch up?
First we got ready
Then it was time for The Dress
Lovely bridesmaid photos
Our sweet Ollie pup
Handsome groomsmen photos
The Bride & Groom portraits
Our First Touch before the ceremony

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Tying the Knot: Small Details

There were so many small details that went into our wedding that they deserve their own post. Between  lots of DIY projects and personal touches that made our day that much more special, these parts of our wedding helped create exactly the day that we wanted.

+ Wedding rings from Jareds.
+ Flowers from Natures Palate in Lakewood, CO. 
+ My wedding bouquet had ivory Vendela roses, natural Sahara roses, white freesia, privet berries, Bells of Ireland, and Israeli ruscus hand-tied with white ribbon. 
+ Bouquet Charm by Laura at Thoughtfully Designed.
+ Bridesmaids bouquets were simple triplets of ivory Vendela roses tied with navy ribbon. 
+ Wedding shoes by Marc Fisher.

+ Ends of aisles were decorated with DIY pine cone bunches and ribbon. Inspiration from here.
+ DIY programs included our monogram that appeared on our Invitations and wedding favors. 
+ Inspiration for seating from here and here.
+ Hand painted monogram letters thanks to J and Bridesmaid Jenna on fireplace in entrance. 
+ Simple decorative cage for cards with DIY embellishment. 

 + DIY monogramed aisle runner with same font as programs/favors monogram.
+ S'mores wedding favors by So Much 'Mores and simple place settings.
+ Pine cone and candle decor with DIY table numbers. Inspiration from here.
+ Villa Parker set up for ceremony with 85 guests.
+ Amazing change for gorgeous reception.
All photos courtesy of Ignite Images.

Next up: The Start of our Ceremony

Need to catch up?
First we got ready
Then it was time for The Dress
Lovely bridesmaid photos
Our sweet Ollie pup
Handsome groomsmen photos
The Bride & Groom portraits
Our First Touch before the ceremony

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Tying the Knot: First Touch

I've mentioned it before but there were only a few things that J had specific opinions about related to our wedding. One of those was sticking to the tradition of not seeing the bride before the ceremony which included the entire day, not just while I was in my dress. So that meant basically doing a drive-by as I dropped his wedding present off at his house on my way to hair & make-up, sneaking out of the salon making sure the boys weren't in the parking lot, and secluding myself in the bridal suite once we got to the venue. 

However the one part of our wedding that threw a bit of a wrench in this tradition was that it was winter and therefore sunset was much earlier than the typical summer wedding. Since we were doing a sunset ceremony this meant that there would be little to no sunlight after the ceremony to capture pictures of the two of us together. So instead of breaking with tradition and doing the ever so popular "First Look" moment, we opted for the "First Touch". 

With careful coordination from our photographer, his assistant and our planner, J was led to this spot and hidden behind the corner while I waited inside. Then once he was in place they brought me out and told me, "don't step beyond this point!"

We were both so nervous and excited and just emotional at this point that reaching out and grabbing hands was incredible. We had spent the entire day apart knowing that by the end of the night we would be Husband and Wife and it was a great moment to stand there with my fiance, just moments before our wedding and know how happy we were to take this next step together. I am so glad we were able to add this part to our day.

And while we were outside together, this is what our wedding party was up to! Such a fun group!

All photos courtesy of Ignite Images.

Next up: Small Details before we had our ceremony!

Need to catch up?
First we got ready
Then it was time for The Dress
Lovely bridesmaid photos
Our sweet Ollie pup
Handsome groomsmen photos
The Bride & Groom portraits

Monday, January 28, 2013

Tying the Knot: Bride & Groom Portraits

These pictures really do speak for themselves but I have to say that I love how they all turned out. Haven't I said that in every wedding recap post so far? Oops! I guess that just means I love our photographer and the moments he was able to capture. 

Anyways, here's a peak into our individual portraits we captured before the ceremony and festivities started!

All photos courtesy of Ignite Images.

Next up: J and my "First Touch"
(a play on the first look trend)

Need to catch up?
First we got ready
Then it was time for The Dress
Lovely bridesmaid photos
Our sweet Ollie pup
Handsome groomsmen photos

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Pretzel M&M Oatmeal Cookies

I thought I would take a break from wedding recap posts for the weekend and instead introduce you to one of my new all-time favorite cookie recipes! 

Pretzel M&M Oatmeal Cookies

These cookies are seriously to die for! The sweet-salty combo is one of my favorites right now and when combined with a chewy oatmeal cookie, it's like heaven in a bite. Seriously. I told myself I was going to bake these and then take half into work so that I wasn't as tempted. Let's just say the whole tupperware is still on our kitchen counter. Oops!

Oh and I forgot to mention one minor detail. Look at this beauty J and I got as a wedding present! It was on my registry for my bridal shower as my "one expensive item" and I didn't end up getting it. Well the two lovely ladies that threw my shower for me decided to go in together and get the mixer for us for the wedding a few months later! I absolutely love it! (especially since it matches my red toaster!)

Alright, alright, back to the cookies! The original recipe is from here.

3/4 c. unsalted butter
1/4 c. cream cheese
1 egg
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. dark brown sugar
1 1/2 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
1 1/4 c. flour
1 1/2 c. quick cook oats
1 large (9.9 oz) bag Pretzel M&Ms

- Melt butter in small saucepan and heat until browned and nutty. Set aside to cool slightly.
- Place cream cheese, egg, sugar, dark brown sugar, baking soda and salt in mixer and mix on medium until combined. (1-2 min) Add butter and mix to combine.
- Smash M&Ms in ziplock bag using rolling pin until coarsely broken. Combine flour, oats and candies in bowl. Fold into wet mixture from above using sturdy spoon.
- Place tablespoons of cookie dough on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Flatten cookies slightly with fingers. Bake at 350 for 10-12 until bottoms are golden brown.

Let cool on rack for as long as your stomach will allow. Serve with milk and EAT!

Now that I've officially become obsessed with these cookies I've already started thinking what other candies I could substitute for the Pretzel M&Ms to make another variety. Peanut M&Ms? Something with caramel? The options are endless. 

Happy Saturday and happy baking everyone!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Tying the Knot: Groomsmen Photos

These five guys are seriously a hoot!

At the venue there was a specific bridal suite where all the ladies hid when the guys were roaming around. Well we definitely knew once they arrived! Laughs, loud noises, and just a great time follows these guys around all the time. Seeing J with them just makes me smile. They've all been friends since high school and are totally in their element when they're together, they're the best definition of what true friends should be. Obviously it was important for J to have these guys by his side at our wedding but I truly wanted each and every one of them there too, as they've made J into the man he is today. Even if that does mean the occasional immature or goofy moment!

Funny story with these pictures is that, being guys, they totally forgot about their boutineers (hence the reason they don't show up till the bottom pictures) and our amazingly awesome, super funny, has-everything-under-control wedding planner came running out during their photo shoot yelling "you idiots! you're supposed to wear these!" and pinned on all 5 in a matter of seconds. She's a pro.

And aren't these guys handsome!

See, I told you they were a fun group!

All photos courtesy of Ignite Images.

Next up: Portraits of the Bride & Groom

Need to catch up?
First we got ready
Then it was time for The Dress
Lovely bridesmaid photos
Our sweet Ollie pup

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Tying the Knot: Our Fur Baby

After seeing pictures like this and this and this all over Pinterest I knew I wanted pictures with Ollie at our wedding. To be honest he is a member of our family, not just our pet, and while I knew I didn't want him walking down the aisle with us, including him in some way was important to me. Originally I had planned on having him with us for our engagement picture shoot but we ended up flying back to CO for that and he didn't make the trip.

Well it was a few days before the wedding and I was honestly starting to get a little sad that we hadn't included our pup in the festivities at all. Part of the reason was because neither J nor I wanted to have to "deal with him" in the sense that we'd have so much else going on it was just adding another task trying to figure out the logistics of our boy. Well when my mom happened to ask "So if Ollie were to show up at the venue while everyone's getting ready, would that be okay with you?" I of course said yes! I had previously shown her one of the pictures from above, she couldn't stop thinking about it and made it happen for us.

We showed up at the venue to tail wags and warm kisses from this big guy, got to hang out with him for a good amount of time, snapped some pictures and then he was whisked away. I still don't know who brought him, took him, arranged it, but these are some of my favorite pictures from the day.

He's such a sweet, sweet boy!

All photos courtesy of Ignite Images.

Next up: The handsome guys

Need to catch up?
First we got ready
Then it was time for The Dress
Lovely bridesmaid photos

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Tying the Knot: Bridesmaids Photos

I've mentioned before how I loved that our wedding party was small and on the big day that held up to be so, so true. These four ladies, my four best girl friends, were exactly the people I wanted standing by my side, helping me get ready and dancing with me through the night of celebration. 

If you remember from last spring I had selected a number of dress options for the ladies to pick from and as life would have it, they all basically picked the same dress! Richelle, my maid of honor, had a dress that was slightly different with a straight bodice and more layers in the skirt but essentially it's the same. For anyone who's interested, their dresses were from David's Bridal (the easiest place to go with bridesmaids in different states) and the color is Marine. Even though it was a bit chilly (read as 30 degrees) I love the pictures we were able to capture before such a huge moment in my life. 

From left to right: Val, Jeff's older sister who I absolutely adore! Richelle, my maid of honor and best friend since 7th grade. Jenna, my classmate from SDSU and fellow science nerd. And Jenna, the soon-to-be wife of one of J's groomsmen who is the sweetest thing and a perfect friend!

And what's a photo shoot without a little attitude!

All photos courtesy of Ignite Images.

Next up: How we included our sweet pup, Ollie.

Need to catch up? 
Then it was time for The Dress

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Tying the Knot: Getting Ready Bride

After what seemed like less than 10 minutes of being at the venue, it was suddenly time to put on the dress! I absolutely love the pictures our photographer and his assistant were able to capture during this time as some of my favorite ladies helped me get ready to marry my best friend. 

I did follow with the tradition and included something Old, New, Borrowed and Blue into my wedding look. 
Old: My Dad's wedding band pinned inside my gown
New: My dress, veil, and nude pumps
Borrowed: A string of pearls from my mom
Blue: OPI nail polish from the Holland Collection on my toes and blue undies!

Now everyone was officially ready so the girls and I headed outside to start our pictures in the gorgeous patio of the venue.

All photos courtesy of Ignite Images.

Next up: Me and my lovely ladies!

Need to catch up?
First we got ready


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