I LOVE my photographer. He did an amazing job with our photographs. I also like that I was not aware of his presence during the ceremony and reception.
I hope you enjoy them as much as my husband and I do.
Me, my mom and maid of honor, getting ready The flower girl (my niece) was a doll!
The star of the show -- the dress It took a village to get me ready :)
My dad, waiting for me to get ready Leah and Jessica making sure everything is perfect
Adorable &nbs p; She loved every minute of the day
Putting on my garter(s) Showing off the dress label my mom had sewn that morn
Playing in the dress. I loved my little "getting ready" room
Me and my mom me and the parents
I love the Tiffany blue bridesmaids dresses, it photographed so well. Our bouquets, I wanted them simple
It was such a gorgeous day in SD that day. I love the lens that he used to take this picture
Me and my girls! I absolutely LOVED my shoes.
The flowergirl was a ham, she loved the camera.
Thank goodness for volleyball, totally helped out my back ;)
Enjoying ourselves before the ceremony Balboa Park is so gorgeous, you could not go wrong
We had fun twirling in our dresses Walking on the promenade
Cheers boys! Brian and the ring bearer (our nephew)
Having some fun in the Prado courtyard
An amazing tree in Balboa Park.
Such dashing young men
Taking a leisurely stroll in the garden. And then jumping over railings...
Great shot with the light and shadows
Seriously, if you live in San Diego, you must take photos at Balboa Park!
Great picture of Brian and his brother.
Our Centerpieces Our Head Table
The Chair Hangings for us Our rings with our invitations
Our guests finding their escort cards Our escort cards and their boxes
Our cake cutting set (from Topperz with Glitz) Guest tables all set up and nice ;)
Overhead shot of our reception area -- Loved it! Our favors (they were supposed to be Tiffany blue...)
The table numbers were pics of neighborhood signs The candles used to light the stage (I recommend votives)
Entrance to our reception area Our bridal party did a little dance when they walked in
Cool shot of Balboa Park Brian's parents getting down on the dance floor
Brian and Nate having a dance-off Father-daughter dance
Mother-son dance Brian's triumphant removal of the garter
The best man came up with the garter The Johnson boys can dance
Aw...we are playing so nice together That's more accurate
Brian and I met on a rainy 4th of July. I went to DL (Detroit Lakes) with some friends to go tubing down the Ottertail River. Unfortunately, mother nature was not on our side and it was a drizzly, cloudy day, too cold to go down the river.
Since we could not go down the river, we were hanging out in the parking lot, ahem, enjoying some adult beverages, when Leah, one of my friends, noticed her cousin's boyfriend among a rowdy group of boys that had just um..."found" a sign that said "Moe". They seemed like a fun group of guys, and a good distraction from the gloomy weather.
I met one boy in particular that seemed to stand out and make me laugh. After hanging out for awhile, we parted ways to go into DL and grab something to eat. We all said goodbye and maybe we will see you around. I believe that I gave my number to Brian at this point (hey, cut me some slack, it was 10 years ago!).
Phil, the guy that Leah had known, gave us information to a "party" that they were going to be heading to if we wanted to meet up with them later. Somehow we managed to find the house where the boys were. We hung out, watched fireworks and had a good and crazy time. I remember being surprised when my friends and I were going to leave that Brian had grabbed me and give me a kiss. It was a bit unexpected.
I think it was a couple of days later, Brian called and asked me to come over to his house and watch I believe the Simpsons. (Not really sure about that one) I went over there, met his roommates, watched TV and the rest is history...
Honestly, it was the perfect day. It was the 4th of July, 2009. Our 10 year anniversary. We had done a beach volleyball all day extravaganza the day before and were planning a low key day for our anniversary.
Brian had purchased really good seats behind home plate for the Padres game. We went to the game a little early, walked around the ballpark a little bit and then settled into our seats. It was a great game with interesting people sitting near us. The Padres won, which was a rarity for this season.
After the game, we were both hungry and went to Trattoria la Strada, one of my favorite Italian restaurants in San Diego, for lunch/dinner. We sat out on the patio and just enjoyed our food and people watching.
After eating, we just headed back home to spend some time with Kahlua and figure out where we were going to watch fireworks that night. We were watching tv and Brian was dozing off (we have a magic sofa, anytime Brian sits on it, he falls asleep). It was getting kind of late when he woke up, he seemed kind of stressed about where to go. I was like, we do not have to go, we can stay here and chill if you are tired, no worries. He seemed very insistent that we had to find a place and go watch fireworks.
We decided to try this spot at Balboa Park. We thought that we could see a few different sets of fireworks. We made our way there, Brian with champagne in hand and a couple of keg cups. When we were getting out of the car, I noticed that he was taking a while and asked him what the hold up was (in a joking manner). Little did I know that he was getting the ring out of the box. I grabbed the blanket and we made our way to the open area. It was perfect. There were not a lot of people and you could see 3 sets of fireworks (they were synchronized).
I do not remember at what point, but I believe that it was pretty early. Brian opened the champagne and poured us each a glass, he had put the ring in my glass. When it was fished out, he was on one knee. It was very sweet and definitely unexpected.
Heidi pretty much "nailed it" on our activities for the day. I had this planned for awhile so I was definetly a little nervous all day and trying to stay cool without acting to weird!! I know its tough for me to not act weird, but what I meant was not as weird as usual. We did have some interesting guys sitting next to us at the Padres game, he wanted to get a suite for a game and wanted us to join them only knowing them for a few innings when he asked us! Anyways all I could think of that day was proposing that night. It definetly was a perfect day. We sat on the patio and had lunch after the game doing some people watching and enjoying the sunshine. Went home to hang out with Kahlua and chill for awhile. Also had to get the ring in my pocket without Heidi finding it. We then proceeded to Balboa Park to watch fireworks with a bottle of champagne and a blanket. I opened the bottle soon after the fireworks started and poured us each a glass. While Heidi was enjoying the fireworks I was fumbling around with the ring and tossed it into her glass. By this time I was all knotted up and just wanting to get this done. She took a few drinks without noticing the ring, so I had to say something so she didn't take it down on the next drink. She thought I had maybe put ice in her glass, so I decided to check it out and fished out the "ICE" from her drink then on one knee, trying to hold myself together I proposed. I was relieved to here her answer and the rest of the night was less stressful.
I am going for "Simple Elegance" with the wedding. My colors are Tiffany Blue, Taupe and White. Our venue is so beautiful (The Prado in San Diego) that I am trying not to compete with its beauty. I am using mainly white with touches of the Tiffany Blue and Taupe.
Our ceremony is in the garden at The Prado in Balboa Park. It is absolutely beautiful and one of the first places Brian and I visited after we moved to San Diego.
I absolutely love my dress. I fell in love with it right as soon as I saw it pictured in a magazine and searched until I found it! I cannot wait until I get to wear it on the wedding day -- I wonder if I can wear it after the wedding? :)
I purchased a bride hoodie for when I am getting ready. It is super cute, a tad expensive, but worth it. I also purchased a wedding dress label from the same Etsy vendor. She was so nice and helpful. She had a ton of thread colors to choose from and is helpful in picking the right one. I totally recommend her if anyone is interested.
She liked my design/colors so much that she made them the default pictures! :)
Here is a link to her shop on Etsy:
The ballroom/venue is so beautiful, I am trying not to compete with it. I am going for simple elegance (and hope I am succeeding!). Here are some of my ideas.
The head table (one of these and 2 of the reception table flowers) The ballroom has such high ceilings, I thought it could handle tall centerpieces.
These are the flowers for the reception tables. i love their simple elegance.
For the cocktail tables. I am also thinking of making trivia cards for the tables (with info about me and the FI). The orchids will be white, not pink.
The ballroom has a huge stage. I am going to keep the curtains closed and line the stage with hurricanes with a candle inside. I have seen pictures of other brides that have done this and it looks amazing.
I searched and searched and could not find a STD that matched my colors (apparently Tiffany blue, taupe and white is not a popular combination). I finally decided to make them myself. I went to a local paper store (Kelly Paper) to see what they had. I lucked out as they had paper (coverstock) that matched Tiffany Blue. They also had nice white shimmery paper that they sold in a ream (250 sheets v. 500) for $40 -- an amazing deal. I also purchased black coverstock and I knew that I would also use that somewhere. They did not have a taupe that matched. I determined that Pyrite (from envelopments) matched the taupe I was using so I ordered that from Envelopme.com. They can be a bit spendy, but I only really used them for the pyrite color.
Here is a synopsis of what I did:
I had previously purchased a scrapbook paper cutter thing (no idea the technical term, cost about $25)
Cut the white pearl paper to the desired size (in my case, I needed the final STD to fit in a 5 x 7 envelope) (Note I cut each individual piece of paper...took some time, but I tried using the paper cutter at work, it did not keep the paper straight which resulted in crooked pages. I also ordered the taupe/pyrite from envelopme cut to the desired size -- for an extra fee of course -- but was disappointed as they were not exact in their measurements either -- some were longer/shorter than they were supposed to be.)
Cut the Tiffany blue paper to desired size (note: the enveloment color that most closely matches Tiffany Blue is Caspian)
Cut Black paper to desired size.
Cut Taupe/Pyrite paper to desired size.
We agonized over font size, type etc...spent way more time on that than we needed. Anyways, we added the necessary information for the STD (this may sound stupid, but double check to make sure everything is right...the website we listed on our STD was incorrect. i went off memory and was wrong...I am usually crazy about the details, but missed this one). We chose an e-pic (another agonizing decision, we could not agree on a pic), printed those (2 x 3) at Sav-On or something like that for really cheap. and put a black cardstock background to make the picture stand out more. I printed the STD on my work printer (my work was very nice to let me do this). My home printer is an ink jet which does not work for printing on shiny paper -- it smears/smudges and will not dry. If you do not have a laser jet printer, I suggest kinkos or something like that (fee is nominal).
Since all of our family is from out of town, I wanted to give them some information to help them plan their trip. I printed that on the taupe/pyrite paper.
Attach (i used Scotch photosplits -- found in the scrapbook aisle at Target, but later learned that a photo glue stick -- also found in the scrapbook aisle -- works just as well for a lot less money) the STD (white pearl paper) to the Tiffany blue/caspian paper (I left about an 1/8 inch border on all sides).
Attach the STD (with the Tiffany blue backing) to the black cardstock (same method as before)
Attach desired photo to the black cardstock (again I left an 1/8 inch border on all sides)
Attach photo (with black backing) to the STD (center on open space on top of STD)
Attach taupe "Helpful Information" to back of STD
I also purchased bulk envelops from Kelly Paper and envelop liners from envelopme.com (envelop liners were a splurge, but I did not want to cut down anymore paper...but you totally can)
Price breakdown for 180 STDs
White Pearl Paper (2 per sheet) $14.40
Tiffany Blue Paper (2 per sheet) $27.00
Black Paper (2 per sheet) $27.00
Pyrite Paper (2 per sheet) $27.00
Black paper (8 per sheet) $6.75
Photos (8 per sheet) $6.75
Envelopes (180) $28.80
A little expensive for DIY, but I had added a lot of paper...and probably (in hindsight) did not have to use as heavy of paper as I did (especially for the Tiffany Blue and Pyrite) which would have saved money, but it felt really nice (sounds weird...but it's true)
We did our engagement photos last October. We went to La Jolla (beach and around the streets). It was kind of windy that day, so as the shoot progressed, my hair got messier and larger...eh what do you do?
I put my heart and soul into making our invitations. I had an idea of what I wanted and searched to find the best and most inexpensive way to make that happen.
I purchased the pocketfolds from Kelly Paper (Sand color). It was about $1 cheaper per pocketfold than through envelopme.com. (Kelly paper was $1.30 per pocketfold). For the invitation, RSVP and directions, I used the leftover paper from the ream i purchased for the STD. I used the leftover Tiffany Blue paper for the Helpful Information and Optional Activities from the STD as well. Again, I was able to use the printer at work. For the band around the pocketfold, I ordered paper from Paper-source.com and had my FI cut it down to size. (1 x 12 inches). I secured the ends with a glue stick. I splurged again and ordered envelope liners from envelopme.com, but I really love them. E-mail me/send me a message if you have any questions. ;)
A New England -- Billy Bragg
Just Like Honey -- The Jesus And Mary Chain
Dear Prudence -- Siouxsie & The Banshees
Could You Be Loved -- Bob Marley
Right As Rain -- Adele
Me & Mr. Jones -- Amy Winehouse
Rebellion -- Arcade Fire
Fluroescent Adolescent -- Arctic Monkeys
Gamma Ray -- Beck
I Don't Worry -- Bess Rogers
Banquet -- Bloc Party
Take The Skinheads Bowling -- Camper Van Beethoven
Je Ne Sais Pas Choisir -- Emily Loizeau
Praise You -- Fatboy Slim
Last Favor -- The Finches
Hello January -- Fishing For Comets
Run -- Gnarls Barkley
Look Out Son -- Grand Ole Party
Something Great -- Haley Bonar
Be Ok -- Ingrid Michaelson
Get Rhythm -- Johnny Cash
Fell In Love With A Boy -- Joss Stone
Molly's Chambers -- Kings Of Leon
We ordered our sign-in book from our photographer and I absolutely love it. We do not have a huge house and this book seemed to make the most sense for combining our pictures and still have a keepsake that will fit on our coffee table.
I have taken on quite a few DIY projects. Here are a few examples.
I am adding a ribbon and will hang these on the back of the chairs. I made ones for the fathers and families as well.
I love trivia and thought it would be a good way for people to mingle and learn more about FI and I. I made trivia cards with questions about either me or FI and then have a funny picture of us with friends on the back. I figured that people would get a good laugh at the pictures if nothing else :)
These are the escort cards (missing the names) and the matching table numbers/pictures. The picture does not do the escort cards justice. It is difficult to see, but I purchased paper from paper-source (totally recommend them for their textured paper) and cut the paper into bands to wrap around the card. My FI took pictures of signs of different "towns" within San Diego. I then put a black border around them and mounted them on the card. We also purchased frames (super inexpensive -- like $4 each at ikea) to put on the tables. I am going to write each name on top in black ink. I wanted the name to not be a focal point but still noticeable.
Our wedding was absolutely perfect. I think I was amazed at how smoothly everything went. One of the first things I did was hire a wedding planner. This is something I definitely recommend. Depending on what you want/need/can afford you can hire one for day of, week of, month of, or to be there every step of the way. I was pretty “hands-on” with my wedding so I hired my wedding planner for the week of. I did not know a lot about weddings going into my wedding planning year, but knew enough to know that the week of would be crazy and I could use all the help I could get. It was great to have someone there to handle coordinating and confirming the vendors, paying them on the wedding day and setting everything up. I had not a care in the world the day of the wedding except to be with my bridesmaids, get ready and celebrate with my new husband, friends and family. This is not to say that everything went as planned or perfectly – it did not, but I was relaxed and rolled with the punches. I had wanted to do photos of our parents and grandparents during their weddings for the sign-in table, but there just was not enough time. I did not stress about it. That is not something that was going to make or break our day and was not worth me stressing over.
I absolutely LOVED our photographer. He is great and took amazing pictures. We decided to spend more money on a photographer and have amazing pictures and forego having a videographer. Some friends and family took video during the wedding and reception and we are going to have copies made of that. For us, it was worth it to have a really good photographer with amazing pictures and memories rather than a so-so photographer and videographer with okay pictures and video. If we could have afforded to do both, we would have, just was not in the cards for us. We did not want to start our lives together in debt, as we paid for 90% of the wedding on our own.
I spent countless hours searching for the “right” photographer. I interviewed them. Went to their studios. Looked through their books. Viewed their online galleries. I also wanted the photographer to have their own studio. There were a couple of reasons for this. First, I wanted to do a boudoir shoot for my now husband for our wedding gift. If the photographer does not have a studio, we would have had to rent a hotel room (on my tab, not theirs) to do the shoot. Second, it was my thought that they were a more established and “better” photographer if they had their own studio and not just someone who is doing this as a side job to pay their way through school. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but if I am paying a fair amount of money, I want to ensure that the photographer is as in to his/her work as I am. It is a very important day and I did not want to skimp on the pictures. Thankfully I found an amazing photographer, who met, and exceeded, my criteria. I could not be happier with him, his studio and his work. I definitely recommend him to anyone.
Unfortunately, I did not apply my criteria for my photographer to my florist. Don’t get me wrong. I interviewed florists. Looked at their books. Viewed their websites. But I did not apply the “criteria”. I hired a florist that did not have his own flower shop. It did not occur to me at the time, but in hindsight makes perfect sense. He seemed very put together initially, had a tv where we uploaded images of flowers, gave me a little presentation of the order/ contract, was reasonably priced, which to be honest, I was really looking for. I did not want to spend a lot of money on flowers or even use a lot of flowers because I felt my venue was so naturally beautiful I did not want to compete with it. I did get a bad feeling though, but consciously chose to ignore it. When he sent an updated contract (I changed an item – mind you this was 6 months before the wedding, so January 2010) he misspelled my husband’s name. A minor error, but really you should get the client’s name right especially when his name is Brian Johnson. Not too difficult. He spelled his name Brain Jackson. Nope, not joking. I tried to correct it several times, but he never got his name right. Things were also incorrect on the contract. I went in fully organized, I am a bit Type A. I had pictures of all the flowers I wanted, how I wanted them to look and what they were for, typed next to each picture. He kept messing this up as well and overcharged me. I added the amounts myself to double check his math, as I thought – if he cannot spell, maybe he cannot add either. I was right. He was overcharging me around $400. That paid for my string trio during the ceremony. He also tried to add his own flair but adding greenery to the bouquets, luckily I caught him that morning and had him take it out. The flowers were probably the biggest disappointment. They were definitely not up to my expectations and were actually quite messy when they were put together. Like they were thrown together that morning. Luckily they photographed okay. While I was disappointed with the flowers and my florist, again, I did not let it ruin my day. The flowers were not going to decide my day and the fantastic memories. I just learned that I should have listened to my own advice and applied my photographer rule to my florist. Live and learn J