Sunday, August 30, 2009

In Loving Memory...

I've already talked about losing my grandmother. I still think about her nearly every day and I will always hold her memory in my heart. David has lost all 4 of his grandparents and also had an aunt pass away before we started dating. We knew before we were even engaged that honoring their memory was a huge deal to both of us. I'd seen several different ideas, including putting a rose/flower on the seat where the loved one would've sat or putting a few lines in the program. The first option seemed like a little too much as it's been 2 years+ without our loved ones and the second one didn't seem like enough.

We decided on doing memorial candles instead. They'll sit next to our parents' and grandparents' framed wedding pictures (more on that soon!).

I had planned on wrapping candles with vellum with a damask print for our head table, so I figured I'd use the same type of candles and wrap them with plain vellum. Our venue requires that all candles are in glass holders, so religious candles were the perfect option. They're cheap ($1.69 at Dillons) and just the right size at 8 inches tall. They started like this:

And I used these supplies:

Double stick tape, damask print ribbon, sissors, my paper cutter, the candle, and vellum (8.5 x 11) printed on with my laser printer

I trimmed down the vellum on the sides so that it didn't overlap as much in back and then used double stick tape to secure it around the candle. I cut ribbon to go all the way around and then cut the 2 pieces you need to make a bow a la Mrs. Emerald on Weddingbee! I used double stick tape to put them on the ribbon at the top. They ended up looking like this:

I hate having to blur things - The font is so pretty! (By the way it's Pea Valerie from Fonts for Peas)

Here's a close-up of the bow and text:

They don't take long to make at all, and I think they'll be such a meaningful touch on our big day.

What do you think? Are you doing something to honor your loved ones that will only be there in spirit?

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Have I Mentioned How Much I Love Pictures?

We took our first set of engagement pictures in Lawrence (where I go to school) in September with David's SIL. The package we chose with our photographer doesn't include an engagement session because we already had a couple people in mind that we'd love to have take them. David's SIL has done photography on the side for a few years now. We knew we wouldn't be able to have pictures taken in Lawrence by our photographer (as she's out of Wichita, my hometown and where the wedding is) and I looove Lawrence in the fall. Unfortunately, the weekend in September was the only weekend that would for sure work for David to be here, so the trees hadn't changed yet. I was still really excited, though, as KU has a beautiful campus and I knew we'd get to take some pictures there:

*This is a picture from tailgating before a football game last October, I hadn't noticed until today that the Campanile was in the background - Where he proposed 5 months later!*

We originally planned to do two different outfits. For the first one I planned to wear my favorite black dress with a hot pink cropped sweater and some cute pink shoes. He was going to wear a black polo and either khakis or jeans. For the second outfit I'd be wearing a cute green top with jeans and he'd be wearing a green polo with jeans - We decided on green because we both think it makes our eyes look greener! :)

I gave L, his SIL, a couple ideas of specific locations I really liked including the campanile and this really cool garage type thing:

I also told her about some nearby parks thinking we'd be set between those and campus.

I told L I definitely want a jumping picture (they're so fun!) and I showed a few other 'inspiration' pictures that I love:

*Can you tell I love Anne Ruthmann??*

*This is actually one of my senior pictures with David!*

I was so excited for the shoot and so thankful that we have such talented people in our lives! Of course, however, nothing ever goes as planned...

Is your photographer taking your engagement pictures? Or do you have a friend that's a talented photographer, too?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Make Me Pretty!

So it's a little early, but I've already been saving pictures for my makeup inspiration. My mom did my makeup for all of my high school dances and I always thought she did a great job:

She is about the only person I'd trust to do my makeup because I can tell her when I don't like it. I'm that girl who will try to hide my tears and tell someone I love my hair/makeup/whatever because I don't want to hurt their feelings.While I don't want to hurt my mom's feelings, I feel like I can tell her when I don't like something and I can have her redo it.

I want fairly dramatic eyes for the big day - And if you didn't catch the theme in the pictures, I like colors that make my eyes look more green. I refuse to call my eyes brown because I think hazel or green eyes are so pretty! My inspiration pictures don't necessarily have the colors of eyeshadow I'd prefer, but they have the look I'm going for:



I'm confident my momma will be able to pull it off, and I'm excited for the few moments of relaxation spent with her (hopefully) before the craziness starts! I just can't bring my self to pay a fairly large amount of money for makeup I'll be washing off (who am I kidding, I won't be taking time to wash my face!) that will be gone by the next morning when I have a mom that talented (especially because when I say the word 'bride' the prices go up $50).

Are you taking the DIY route or having a friend/family member do your makeup? Or is makeup something you're leaving up to the pros?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Our Wonderful Officiant

David and I knew before we were engaged that we wanted our officiant to be a pastor who knew us and knew our relationship. One of my good friend's dad is a pastor at our church in Wichita, and he's known us both since we started high school (shortly before we started dating). He's gotten to watch us grow up, both as individuals and as a couple. He is SO incredibly sweet and caring - I LOVE that we chose him to do our ceremony.

We've met with him - we'll call him Pastor M - twice now. The first time we mainly talked about what we're thinking in terms of the ceremony and the second time we started our premarital counseling. Since I go to school out of town, we're spreading the 6 sessions out over the next 9 months. We'll probably do 1 or 2 over Christmas break, 1 over spring break, and 2 or 3 in the 4 weeks between when I move back and when we get married!

I loved the discussion we had in our first counseling session. We started with Pastor M asking us why people get married and specifically why we're choosing to. My answer was basically that marriage is biblical and that God tells us it's not good for man to be alone. David's was similar - He said he agreed with my answer and that he's always thought of it as you should marry the person with whom you can accomplish more for God's glory than you ever could alone. Pastor M said after hearing our answers he would guarantee our marriage will last. His reasoning was that if we always continue to make decisions and base our lives and reasoning on scripture, we'll be happily married forever. After that we looked at Genesis 2:18-24 which reads:

18The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” 19Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. 20So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field.But for Adam no suitable helper was found. 21So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and closed up the place with flesh. 22Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. 23The man said,“This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.” 24For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.

I just love that passage. I've always liked that it explicitly says that the bone was taken from Adam's rib. It wasn't taken from his foot so that he would rule over her or from his head so that Eve would be his overseer. It was taken from his side, which weakened him, and thus gave her the duty of being his helper. I also think it's neat that the bone was one closest to his heart.

We didn't specifically talk about that part of the passage, but focused more on the last verse about leaving our parents and uniting with each other. This was definitely a conversation that needed to happen. While neither of us still live at home, we're both very close to our moms. I view my mom as one of my best friends, but she still has always provided the instruction and discipline that's necessary from a parent. When I'm at school (and things aren't ridiculously crazy), I talk to my mom at least every other day. David's also very close to his mom. She relies on him for a lot of different things. He's incredibly compassionate and it kills him to not be there for the people he loves. We've both been through issues with our families in the 5 and a half years we've been dating, and we both have kind of become the go between for our moms. Pastor M made us realize that once we're married, we're our own team. While we definitely won't end our relationships with our moms by any means, they'll have to change. That's going to take a lot of getting used to, but I'm so glad we've talked about it and know that it's necessary for the success of our marriage.

After talking about this subject, David and I hung out with a married couple, K and R, that we're good friends with a few days later. She actually used to be one of our teachers (although she's only about 4 years older than us) and he and David love talking about sports and business. Anyway, I was telling K about what we'd talked about and she told us one of the things that has been incredibly helpful with their marriage is that before they got married, K's mom talked to R and told him that she promised to never speak poorly of him and wanted him to promise her the same thing. K says that they've both held up their end of the deal, and that it's been so good for them. So if K goes to her mom to complain about R or something he did, her mom refuses to feed into it by agreeing or talking poorly about R. And if K goes to R about her mom, he does the same thing. I think that's so important - The people who love you defend you and hurt for you when you're hurt, so if I go to my mom complaining about something David did, she'll remember it, likely even after we've solved the issue on our own.

If you're still reading, I applaud you! I'm hoping that last paragraph wasn't too confusing. Do you and your FI plan to do something like that? Was it/will it be an issue to "leave" your parents?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

My Favorite Quotes

The last couple weeks have been ridiculously busy with school starting again. I moved back up to Lawrence on the 15th and I feel like I haven't stopped since! Not only are my classes a little overwhelming this semester, but I'm also now 2 hours away from home, David, and all of our wedding vendors. I've only had 4 days of classes, and I'm already ready for the semester to be over. I've just been praying that being busy will make it go by quickly. Anyway, all that to say I'm sorry if I'm not posting as often as usual - I'm trying to get into the swing of things still and am hoping things will slow down a little!

I've always loved quotes and song lyrics. Certain ones are able to make me cry every time I read/hear them. So, it's no surprise, that I've been bookmarking quotes and readings since before we got engaged. One I know we'll use for sure is Union by Robert Fulghum:

"You have known each other from the first glance of acquaintance to this point of commitment. At some point, you decided to marry. From that moment of yes, to this moment of yes, indeed, you have been making commitments in an informal way. All of those conversations that were held in a car, or over a meal, or during long walks – all those conversations that began with, “When we’re married”, and continued with “I will” and “you will” and “we will” – all those late night talks that included “someday” and “somehow” and “maybe” – and all those promises that are unspoken matters of the heart. All these common things, and more, are the real process of a wedding.

The symbolic vows that you are about to make are a way of saying to one another, “You know all those things that we’ve promised, and hoped, and dreamed – well, I meant it all, every word.” Look at one another and remember this moment in time. Before this moment you have been many things to one another – acquaintance, friend, companion, lover, dancing partner, even teacher, for you have learned much from one another these past few years. Shortly you shall say a few words that will take you across a threshold of life, and things between you will never quite be the same.
For after today you shall say to the world –
This is my husband. This is my wife."

I can't remember where I first read it, but I remember tears streaming down my face. I love it because it's so accurate, especially having been dating for almost 6 and a half years by the time we get married. There were countless times before we were officially engaged that we talked about, "When we're finally married we'll..." or "Our kids will..." It didn't take a ring on my finger to realize that we would be together forever. There was never and still isn't any question in my mind.

Another reading I love is The Art of a Good Marriage by Wilfred Arlan Peterson:

"Happiness in marriage is not something that just happens. A good marriage must be created. In the Art of Marriage: The little things are the big things. It is never being too old to hold hands. It is remembering to say ’I love you’ at least once a day. It is never going to sleep angry.It is at no time taking the other for granted; the courtship should not end with the honeymoon, it should continue through all the years. It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives. It is standing together facing the world. It is forming a circle of love that gathers in the whole family. It is doing things for each other, not in the attitude of duty or sacrifice, but in the spirit of joy. It is speaking words of appreciation and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways. It is not expecting the husband to wear a halo or the wife to have wings of an angel. It is not looking for perfection in each other. It is cultivating flexibility, patience, understanding and a sense of humor. It is having the capacity to forgive and forget. It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow. It is finding room for the things of the spirit. It is a common search for the good and the beautiful. It is establishing a relationship in which the independence is equal, dependence is mutual and the obligation is reciprocal. It is not only marrying the right partner, it is being the right partner."

A third reading is Love by Roy Croft:

"I love you, not only for what you are,
But for what I am when I am with you.
I love you, not only for what you have made of yourself,
But for what you are making of me.
I love you for the part of me that you bring out;
I love you for putting your hand into my heaped-up heart
And passing over all the foolish, weak things
That you can’t help dimly seeing there,
And for drawing out into the light
All the beautiful belongings that no one else had looked
Quite far enough to find.
I love you because you are helping me to make
Of the lumber of my life
Not a tavern, but a temple;
Out of the works of my every day
Not a reproach, but a song."

Our Christian faith is a big part of our lives and our relationship, so we'll be using a few Biblical readings as well. (And I'm sure our officiant will include Scripture in his message - More on him soon!) 1 Corinthians 13 is probably my favorite book of the entire Bible, so while it's incredibly common, I still want to use it:

"If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails ."

I definitely also want to use Ruth 1:16-17. I'm going to incorporate it into our unity candle (post coming soon!) but I love it too much not to have it read as well. I love the honesty of it - I think so many people today go into marriage thinking that divorce is always an option. Although this verse is actually Ruth talking to her mother-in-law, I think it applies to husbands and wives as well. Marriage is meant to be forever:

"Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me."

I'm really interested in hand ceremonies as well, and this text is my favorite of all of the ones I've found:

"These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and full of love for you, that are holding yours on your wedding day, as you promise to love each other today, tomorrow, and forever. These are the hands that will work alongside yours, as together you build your future. These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, and with the slightest touch, will comfort you like no other. These are the hands that will hold you when fear or grief fills your mind. These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes; tears of sorrow, and tears of joy. These are the hands that will give you strength when you need it. And lastly, these are the hands that even when wrinkled and aged, will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch.

Our prayer for you today is that both of you will use these hands to build a marriage where all your dreams come true.”

I have no idea which ones we'll use yet, and who will be reading them, but at least I've got plenty of ideas!

Do quotes ressonate with you? How many are you incorporating into your ceremony?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Dressing My Girls - Part 2!

It turns out that all of the girls liked the idea of choosing their own black dress! I told them I want them each to pick a knee length black dress that they love and feel comfortable in. My Matron of Honor and Maid of Honor will have some sort of pink embellishment for their dresses. I sent a couple of the following pictures for 'inspiration':

(see previous post for source)

One of David's friend's wife took this picture!




A couple of the girls had mentioned how cute it would be to wear pink shoes already, and then I saw this picture and absolutely loved it! I think it's the perfect pop of color. I know pink shoes aren't the most practical (which is what I was worried about with a pink dress), but they're certainly fun! All of my ladies were on board with the idea, and some were especially excited - BM S is my roommate and as soon as she got the email she yelled across the hall, "Those shoes are CUTE!" I'm excited to have an excuse to look for some cute pink heels, now!

How did you come to a decision about your bridesmaids' dresses?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Dressing My Girls

I had been debating about bridesmaid dresses for awhile. I just couldn't decide if I wanted the girls to wear black, black and white, or pink. And I didn't know if I wanted them to be matching or if I liked it more when each girl picks her own dress. I had found a few dresses that I really liked, but some of them weren't available in a wide enough range of sizes and others might not be dresses that all of the girls would feel comfortable in. More than anything, I seriously wanted something that the girls will wear again. So that meant I wasn't too keen on any real 'bridesmaid' dresses or anything in a color that they can't really wear to anything.

I like these dresses, and they come in pretty much every size:

source for all 3 ($69.99 with an extra 20% off)

I liked either the first 2 colors together or the second 2 colors together. I didn't know if they'd be the most practical, though - I mean, not everyone loves pink as much as I do and I wasn't sure where else they'd wear them. They do still kind of look like bridesmaid dresses.

I really loved this style of dress, but wasn't able to find them:

I'm not sure where the first picture came from, and the 2nd is one of my good friends from high school - It was her prom dress. I love both of them!

There are some other cute black and black and white dresses on White House Black Market's website, but the sale dresses aren't available in more than a couple sizes, and their dresses are on the expensive side at full price.

I did love the way mismatched dresses look:

source - Mrs. Avacado on Weddingbee

I'm not sure of the original source, but found here
along with a lot of other inspiration for mismatched dresses

I decided to just email all of them and ask what their thoughts were. I didn't know if some of them would like more direction than me just saying, "Find a black dress you love!" or if they'd prefer it that way. I ended up getting a unanimous response, though! You'll just have to wait and see what it was...

Search for a Dress: Part 3

I was still really hoping I'd be able to find my dress at Brides Against Breast Cancer. My mom, one of my bridesmaids and I went up to Kansas City on July 31st hoping I'd find a dress and be able to donate to a cause that's very close to my heart. My grandma is my hero. She passed away December 30, 2005 after several years of fighting breast cancer. I love and miss her SO much, so I try to support the search for a cure for breast cancer whenever possible!

We were a little disappointed in the selection of dresses, but we still found a few that I thought were beautiful!

You've made it this far, hunny. You wouldn't want to ruin it now! :)

Search for a Dress: Part 2

I love love love Maggie Sottero. I knew her dresses would be out of my price range brand new, but I wanted to try a few different styles on and if I loved any of them, I'd look for them on websites with preowned, once worn wedding dresses. My mom and I decided to go to Reni's Bridal Boutique in Wichita one Saturday morning. We drove all the way across town and when I called to find out exactly where they were located, she told me I needed an appointment and they were full that day. So, we did what any normal people would do... We went anyway. Ha, I know that's kind of rude, but we were already there, and I wasn't going to drive all the way back out there without knowing which Maggie dresses they carried. I wasn't planning on getting to try any on or anything.

So we walked in and the first thing the woman working says is, "Do you have an appointment?" and I said, "No, but..." and she cut me off and said, "You were the ones who just called, weren't you?" Uh, what a way to start. So I explained that I just wanted to look and that I knew I couldn't try anything on. When she found out where I went to high school things started looking up, finally. She told me her favorite brides were from my high school. She gave my mom and I the Maggie books they had which had the dresses they carry marked. I had made a list of about 15 dresses I liked, but they only carried 2 or 3 of them. (But they made sure I knew I could order any of the dresses from them - Eek! I'd be way too scared to order a dress without trying it on.)

They decided to pull the couple that they had in stock so I could try them on - Turns out their next appointment wasn't for another hour and a half. I liked both of the dresses I tried on. Both were too big, though, so it was hard to see exactly what they'd look like and they were both over $1,100. I only have pictures of one of them:

David, there are more pictures of me in white dresses, so don't you dare read the rest of the post. Love you!

Friday, August 14, 2009

I Feel Naked!

One day I was reading on a board on Weddingbee (surprise, surprise!) about white gold yellowing over time. So I looked at band of my ring, and noticed it was a little yellow. I took it off to look at the inside on the band, and I noticed a line through it. I looked at the outside again and found that the line went all the way around - My band basically had a tiny crack the whole way through! I texted David and he called me right away. I told him what happened and he said he really wanted to take it in before I went back to school (the next day). So we went to Powell, where we bought the ring, and showed them what happened. She said it wasn't too uncommon and that they would have it repaired and replated - so it wouldn't be yellow anymore either! Luckily, David bought the protection plan, so it didn't cost us anything. I'm sure it won't be the last time we use it! She said it would be about a week, but when we told her I would be leaving for school the next day, she said maybe they could get their repair person to get it done in a day so we can pick it up the morning I was leaving! They ended up getting it done in a day so I had it before I went back to school, but I felt so naked without it!

I just love the people there. They go out of their way to be friendly and accommodating. While one woman was looking at my ring, the other one was having me try on a 2 ct diamond just for fun! Ha! All of the women there are such sweethearts and I'd recommend them to anyone.

Have you had something similar happen? Did your finger feel naked for a few days?

We're Goin to the Chapel... Part 3

The same afternoon we looked at RiverWalk, I talked to my mom and she had a couple other suggestions. I was raised Lutheran and was baptized and confirmed in the same Lutheran church. (I also attended preschool through 8th grade at that church's Lutheran school.) However, a few years ago there were some issues with the principle of the school and my nephew. My sister and brother-in-law, their family, and my mom and I all left the school and church. (The church because the pastor, who had known our family for over 20 years, refused to get involved in the situation or say anything to the principle, who was out of line.) Anyway, long story short, although the 2 people we had problems with there have left, there are still some negative feelings among my family for the church and I'd rather not be thinking about that on my wedding day. So my mom suggested another Lutheran church, Trinity Lutheran, which is actually only a couple miles from our reception hall. It was the first LCMS (Lutheran Church Missouri Synod) church in Wichita. When I looked at their website, I was amazed:

I called the church immediately and talked to their substitute secretary. Growing up in a Lutheran church, I knew how strict their rules on wedding ceremonies are, but I thought it was worth a try. I first asked if they do weddings for non-members, and she replied, "It depends. As long as there isn't a member wanting to get married on the same day. What is your date?" I told her June 12th, and she said it was open! The next part was what I was worried about - usually Lutheran churches ONLY allow ordained Lutheran pastors, and specifically LCMS pastors, to perform ceremonies. She asked, "Do you have your own minister?" and I told her we did, and asked if that was ok. She asked what denomination and when I told her non-denominational and that he is a pastor at one of the large Christian churches here in Wichita, she said, 'Ok!' So she said she would get me information regarding prices. However, over a week went by without hearing from her.

We were both really hoping everything would work out. It had the pews I want, the center aisle, it's BEAUTIFUL, and it could seat around 400 people - perfect size! We were praying the price is reasonable and that there weren't any other restrictions regarding the ceremony. But, believe it or not, we ran into yet another roadblock. Would we ever find a church?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Search for a Dress: Part 1

Even before I got engaged, when I thought about dress shopping I pictured all of the important women in my life there - my mom, my sister(s) (I wish my sister in Arizona could've been there, but that's a little unrealistic), my FMIL, my FSIL, and my bridesmaids. So I scheduled an appointment at David's Bridal at the end of June and invited my mom, David's mom, David's sister, my sister (and Matron of Honor), and my 2 bridesmaids that live close enough to come.

The whole group:

From left to right: BM S, BM M, me, MOH/Sister A, FMIL, Mom
Second row: FG R, FSIL/JrBM K

I thought I knew exactly what I wanted and gave her a few style numbers that I definitely wanted to try on.

Babe, I know you don't want to see pictures of me anyway, so go ahead and close this window now. :)

Saturday, August 8, 2009

We're Goin to the Chapel... Part 2!

Well, it turns out that the pastor we'd already chosen has a problem with the church we found - Or rather, with the beliefs of the church we found. So basically, we needed to start all over. David called about 10 churches, and none of them did non-member weddings or else they did, but don't allow outside pastors. Finally, we found one that allows both: RiverWalk Church of Christ (formerly Central Church of Christ). However, the fee for using it is $800 - which is a whole $500 above what we budgeted for the church, and that doesn't even include our gift to the pastor we're using. We decided to go look at it anyway, because frankly we didn't have any other options. The church has very few restrictions as far as music choices or the service in general. Also, we could have our rehearsal dinner at the church after the rehearsal (for no extra charge) and we could decorate at any time on Friday. RiverWalk is beautiful (minus the yellow pews):

I loved the white steeple, the pews, and the stained glass. And if we used the screen at the front for our slideshow, it could be raised afterwards and the beautiful stained glass behind it would be visible. They also had a couple candleabras and holders for pew bows/decorations available for use. The only negative was the price, and we just couldn't seem to get over it. The secretary who gave us our tour and all of the information said she would put a note on our date and contact us if anyone asked about it, so it gave us some time to decide.

 Have you had to sacrifice part of your budget for an alternative venue/vendor/item?

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

We're Goin to the Chapel...

Or so we thought... We had originally planned to get married at the church that we attend. The main sanctuary is huge (seating for a couple thousand), so we looked at the chapel which seats right around 300.

The chapel was perfect - just the right size, and it has pews, which was important to me. I grew up in Lutheran churches and it just seems more like a church if it has pews. It also has a central aisle, which was another thing I really wanted. (The main sanctuary doesn't have pews - The seats are more like movie theater seating, which was another drawback in my mind.) The stained glass in the chapel was even pink! So we got the contact information for the wedding coordinator and called her a couple days later.

Unfortunately, she called back and told us that the weekend we've chosen (and the weekend after, which was our second option) are not possibilities for weddings - It's the week of Vacation Bible School. We're having one of the pastors there officiate our service anyway - more on that later - so he tried to see if there was any way we could work around it, but it's a pretty firm decision. The main sanctuary is not available either, so that wasn't even an option.

We were basically back at square one. My mom had noticed there was a pretty church right across the street from our reception location, so we decided to look into it. The church is United Methodist and is beautiful!

David called to find out if the allow non-members to use the church and if they allow outside pastors to preform the ceremony. They said yes to both and it was the perfect size! And there was even a choir loft available for extra seating if we needed it.

*Ignore David's head - He stepped in front of my picture. This is the choir loft/doors - The ceiling is beautiful!

The church has such a history, and it was so interesting to hear about the congregation's past. David and I both loved it, so we just needed to meet with the pastor there to work out all of the details. I was so excited that the location would be so convenient for all of our guests! They'd just have to cross the street over to our reception venue after the ceremony.

Of course, nothing is ever as easy as it seems... We ran into another roadblock.

Was findning the location for your ceremony an easy decision? Or did outside factors end up changing your original plan?

We Have a Photographer!

Since we're putting down our deposit tonight, I figured I could go ahead and blog about our photographer! I am SO excited about having Brandi, from Captured Expressions Photography (being renamed Lola Jo Photo Design), shoot our wedding! I found one of Brandi's ads in a Wichita Bridal Guide, and was drawn to her work just from the one picture in the ad. David and I met with her a couple weeks ago, and loved her personality. Unfortunately, I'm not able to copy/paste or link to any of the pictures from her website, but I found a wedding on The Knot that Brandi shot! It's beautiful!

Source for all of the following pictures:

Source for this picture:

Those are just a few of the MANY pictures I love that Brandi has taken - Be sure to check out her website! I just love the "feel" of her pictures. I'm so excited we found her!

Was finding your photographer an easy decision? What drew you to him/her?

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Search for a Venue: Part 3

The third option we found for our reception was Boulevard Banquet Hall. I happened to find it through a Google search and we decided to look at it the same week. The owner just took over ownership of the building this March. He and his wife had their wedding reception there, and his chiropractor office is just around the corner, so they ended up buying it. It turns out that David happens to know the owner's brother and the owner knew David's cousins when he said their names. What a small world!

(My own photo)

The banquet hall used to be a theater and has been around for over 50 years. There is seating for 300, they have open catering and alcohol policies, and the owner is incredibly accommodating. We asked about getting in on Friday to set up, and he ended up letting us have it for FREE on Friday! After hearing that, we put our deposit down immediately. He actually just finished repainting the inside (more neutral colors - yay!) and it looks great. This was while it was in the process of being painted:

(My own photo)

I love the metal on the ceiling - I think we'll be draping fabric through it and hanging paper lanterns over the dance floor. I'm excited to see how it all comes together!

Did you search end up being worth it in the end? How many venues did you have to look into before finding the perfect one?
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