Jun 01, 2012

  • Last updated on May 16, 2012 at 10:55 am
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So we were contacted by a friend of mine to see if we wanted e-pics done for 50 bucks- with half of that going to the relief fund for Japan. As a philanthropist I could not see any way that this was bad! She had done my other friends' pics and they were fantastic! It was a beautiful fall day and these are a few of  what we came up with:

Engagement Pics photo 1Engagement Pics photo 2Engagement Pics photo 3Engagement Pics photo 4Engagement Pics photo 5

Engagement Pics photo 6Engagement Pics photo 7Engagement Pics photo 8Engagement Pics photo 9Engagement Pics photo 10



Engagement Pics photo 11

Engagement Pics photo 12

Engagement Pics photo 13


  • Last updated on May 16, 2012 at 8:06 am
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Since we had a small budget we had problems finding an official photographer in our area that would do our pics for the whole day on less than 1000 bucks. We are also getting married in a really small town so there were not that many options. So then my mom had a brilliant idea. My cousin, who just graduated with a degree in graphic design also minored with photography. She has never taken any wedding pics but I love the work that she has done on other things. We gave her a call. At first she had wanted to do this for free but since she still was unemployed I wanted to give her something. In the end she decided to accept 500 bucks for the day. She is like a sister to me and had lived with me for four summers in a row after high school. I am excited to help her get a start to her career!

This is the list I have created based upon different lists compiled and my own unique tastes.

Getting Ready

  • Dress hanging on the wardrobe, on the bedpost, or over a chair
  • Bridesmaids doing bride's hair and makeup

o        Hair

o        All the Pearls on (closeup)

  • Meg and bridesmaids getting dressed, applying makeup
  • Mom helping bride with one last detail

o        Zipping the dress

o        Over the shoulder in the mirror shot

  • Full-length shot of Meg in gown in mirror
  • Detail of clothing, shoes, garter, and bouquet
  • Detailed pictures of bouquets of all the girls
  • Dad seeing Meg for the first time
  • Meg with siblings

o        One funny

o        One serious

o        One with brothers –one on each arm

  • Meg hugging MOH
  • Meg with girls
  • Meg with all the women important to her past (Girls, Mom, Grandma, Aunt Margie, Aunt Carol)
  • Meg Ready to Go
  • Nathan getting ready with Dad and pals (tying the tie is a classic)
  • Nathan with Collin

o        A funny

o        A serious

  • Nathan with Best man
  • Nathan  with all the guys
  • Nathan with all the men important to past (Boys, Dad, and Grandpa)
  • Boys putting on boutonnieres
  • Meg and Nathan chatting parents and siblings
  • Dad whispering last-minute advice to Nathan
  • Nathan ready to go
  • Random and candid shots you see as you go

Before the Ceremony (These will be done at three places: Nathan’s house, inside the church, outside the church in the mediation gardens) Talk to dad about a ladder for some upper shots or use the porch)

  • Nathan face seeing Meg for the first time
  • Meg and Nathan together

o   Silly

o   Serious

o   Kissing

  • Meg with parents
    • one with Nathan
    • Serious
    • Mom and dad kissing her on the cheeks
  • Meg with her entire immediate family
  • Nathan  with his parents
    • one with Meg too
  • Nathan with his entire immediate family
  • Meg and Nathan with all parents
  • Meg and Nathan  with immediate family members from both sides
  • Meg with Groom's mom
  • Nathan with Bride's dad
  • Meg and Nathan with Grandparents

o        Meg’s

o        Nathan’s

o        Aunt Margie

  • Meg with Jr. Bridesmaid
  • Meg and Nathan with Jr. Bridesmaid
  • Meg and Nathan  with groomsmen
    • Nathan with Groomsmen
    • Meg with Groomsmen
  • Meg and Nathan with Bridesmaids
    • Nathan with bridesmaids
    • Meg with Bridesmaids
  • Meg and Nathan with whole wedding party
  • Close up of the wedding bands- on the bible perhaps?? Or on a tree branch??
  • Exterior and interior of the church

o        Shot of kissing and the stained glass

  • Staged candle ceremony

The Ceremony

  • Guests streaming into the site
  • Cool artsy photos with all the candles involved :)
  • Ushers escorting guests to their seats
  • Ushers escorting moms to their seats
  • Close-up of Nathan's adorably nervous face waiting for it to start
  • Bridesmaids and groomsmen walking down the aisle
  • Wedding party waiting at the altar
  • Meg and Dad walking down the aisle
  • Close-up of Meg just before she makes her entrance
  • Meg and Nathan at the altar
  • Altar from the back during ceremony
  • Faces of Meg and Nathan as they exchange vows
  • Close-up of Meg’s and Nathan’s hands as they exchange rings
  • Megan and Nathan proceeding up the aisle, guests' smiling faces at their sides
  • Meg and Nathan outside ceremony site
  • Congrats shots: Meg and Nathan candidly as the receiving line is occurring

The Reception (We want her to have fun too so we have picked a handful of photos and starred them. These are the ones that we want to be sure and have but the rest we figure our other relatives will be getting good shots with. We have a lot of hobby photographers in the audience.)

  • Reception details such as place cards, guest book, centerpieces, decorations, table settings,
  • Dessert table/ food spread
  • Cake Table** (Nathan’s Aunt made that!!)
  • Meg and Nathan at head table
  • Guests' tables
  • Close-up of friends and family making toasts

o        MOH

o        BEST MAN

  • Meg and Nathan’s  parents whispering to each other during dinner
  • Meg and Nathan’s first dance (maybe with a slow shutter speed so the movement blurs the image a little)**
  • Parents dancing
  • Meg and Dad dancing**
  • Nathan and Mom dancing**
  • Grandparents dancing
  • Guests going nuts on the dance floor (again, slow shutter speed could be effective)
  • Meg and Nathan cutting the cake**
  • Meg and Nathan feeding each other cake
  • Bouquet toss (perhaps a vertical shot from in front of the bride)**
  • Garter Toss **
  • Winners of Garter Toss and Bouquet Toss**
  • Last updated on May 15, 2012 at 2:38 pm
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  • 1 Comment

So like many people we pictured our honeymoon to be somewhere amazing and like nothing we had ever done. We quickley concluded, however, that we didn't have the fund to pay for such a trip at the moment. That is when my FI decided that we should take a minimoon and save up the next several years for the big trip. This was ok with me- all I cared about was that I got to run away with my man and be alone with him after all the hustle and bustle of the wedding. I also had realized rather quickely that I didn't want to pay for some huge vacation and not leave the hotel room.....

For our mini-moon we found a little cottage within a few hours drive of his hometown (where the wedding will be) and where we currently are living. It is on 20 acres of private land with a little pond and trails all around it. It was all redone recently and looks fantastic! 

Honeymoon Destination photo 1Honeymoon Destination photo 2Honeymoon Destination photo 3Honeymoon Destination photo 4

Photos by



Our big trip will occur in a few years around our anniversary. It really depends when the school I am teaching at gets done for the summer. We figured that this could be our big trip before we starting trying for a baby. And the destination is.....



Honeymoon Destination photo 5 Honeymoon Destination photo 6

We want to take 2 weeks to travel around Ireland (pictured above), Scotland, and England. FI has always wanted to go here and part of my heritage is Irish. I have been obsessed with visiting there since I was a child. I cannot wait to walk the moores with my then DH and be swept away by the landscapes that inspired the works of our favorite authors. I really want to make it a point to visit Jane Austen's home town and I know that FI would love to see Oxford and the town that JR Tolkien grew up in (the place that inspired the shire). The whole trip we plan to stay in little B&B's which will make it even more fun and adventerous than just a hotel. I also would love to see the faerie pools of Scotland. I am in love with the pictures and cannot wait to see the breath-taking beauty. As a historian the whole concept of seeing the castles and all the artifacts gets me going pretty good. FI knows he may have to just sigh and let me go on my speels about what happened at a place. I am not sure if I will be able to contain myself!

Honeymoon Destination photo 7Honeymoon Destination photo 8

Faerie Pools in Scotland

Honeymoon Destination photo 9 Jane Austen's home in Hampshire



  • Last updated on May 13, 2012 at 5:43 am
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We are having a smaller two tiered cake and a bunch of cupcakes. The cake will be chocolate with raspberry filling and buttercream frosting. The cupcakes will be: funfetti and buttercream, carrot cake and cream cheese frosting, and chocolate with fudge filling and whipped cream frosting. We also will have some pies and brownies and such to choose from. We are only doing desserts and appetizers but we wanted to ensure that everyone had a good selection. We are using the baby's breath wreath from the second picture and putting it around the last picture of the cake.

Inspiration Cake Programs and Invites photo 1 Inspiration Cake Programs and Invites photo 2Inspiration Cake Programs and Invites photo 3



Being from the Northwoods of WI it was only fitting that we brought a little of that into the picture. Our first adventures were hiking and exploring the woods adjacent to our campus so it was quite fitting :)

Inspiration Cake Programs and Invites photo 4Inspiration Cake Programs and Invites photo 5Inspiration Cake Programs and Invites photo 6Inspiration Cake Programs and Invites photo 7 


  • Last updated on May 13, 2012 at 5:29 am
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  • 1 Comment

This is our Timeline that I have. I know I had problems figuring out timing because I am not very good at determining how much time we need for different things. Hope this works out and maybe will help others.


1pm Girls start getting ready
-Meg and Kylee at the stylist

2pm FMIL gets hair done
2:30- Meg returns to hotel to do make up

3pm Boys are at the Levande House starting to get ready
-Girls finish at the hotel
-Phelps boys go and pick up sandwiches from Subway

- boys ‘getting ready pics
- Meg and Nate first look pic
- Family
-Bridal Party
- Grab quick bite

5:30 pm Leave for the church
-Quick finish pics
-inside first (unity candles, windows, etc)
-Everyone done eating by 6:30

6:20 pm All the bridal party is downstairs
- Cards and magazines will help pass the time

6:55 pm Everyone ready and at their post

7:00 pm Wedding Commences!

Approx. 7:40 Wedding ends
- Not all the bridal party needs to stick around for receiving line. Just be sure to
make your way to the legion within 20 minutes. We are doing a grand entrance!
- Andy and Collin need to head straight over to the legion to start the music

Approx. 8:15 Formal Entrance

Approx. 8:25 Speeches
- Cake Cutting

Approx. 8:45 First Dance
-Daddy Daughter Dance
- Mother Son Dance
- Bouquet Toss
- Garter Toss

9:50 pmLast call for food!

11:45 pmTwo more songs
-clean up begins



PROCESSION------------------------------------------------> “Your Love is a Song”
Michelle and Zach
Carly and Aric
Teagan and Collin
Moriah and Adam

New Testament Reading------------------------------------> Philippians 2:1-5
Read by a friend
Old Testament Reading-------------------------------------> Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
Read by FMIL
Braiding Ceremony
Question of Intent
Consent of Vows
Unity Candle---------------------------------------------------->”Nearer My God to Thee”
Prayer     My daddy!
Nuptial Blessing
Introduction of the Couple
Recessional----------------------------------------------------->”Check Yes Juliet”

  • Last updated on May 13, 2012 at 5:24 am
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  • 1 Comment

Since we are getting married on a Friday at 7pm our priest suggested that we do a candle light service. Being a big old romantic I immediately fell in love with the idea. We decided that with the set up of the church we also wanted to make sure that everyone in our audience felt close to us. The church is a giant T shaped building. Therefore we are going to ask that our guests sit in the body of the church. Candles and candlabras with the help of low lighting will assist in creating the desired mood. I am also a big proponent in showing off our amazing and beautiful wedding party. So we are creating a V-shape when we are in front of everyone with my FI and I in the middle- facing out to our audience. The officiant actually suggested this! 

Our Inspiration Ceremony photo 1

Our Inspiration Ceremony photo 2

Our Inspiration Ceremony photo 3


We are strong in our faith. That is why we really wanted a ceremony that revealed that our faith in God is center. This is why we are having what is called a braiding ceremony. It is based off of a verse in Ecclesiastes that states two things; 2 are better than one, and that a 'cord of three strands is not easily broken'. This symbolizes that with God we cannot be torn apart. I am really excited about this because it is a physical reminder that we hang in our home. I have seen it once before and believe it to be an awesome testament to others. Here are some pictures of other people doing it.

Our Inspiration Ceremony photo 4Our Inspiration Ceremony photo 5Our Inspiration Ceremony photo 6 Our colors will be different because A) These didn't match our color scheme and B) I refused to pay the full price for a premade one. One strand will be Navy to symbolize FI's wisdom and strength. The sage green symbolizes the harmony, and growth that I bring to our family. Finally, the white symbolizes God's perfect purity and forgiveness.