Wednesday, September 10, 2014

{wedding wednesday} volume 6: first look

the first look...what is it?  a first look can be set up to be wherever or however you want.  basically, it's the bride and groom (and their photographer) spending a few quiet minutes alone together before the ceremony.  

wait.  what?  before the ceremony?  isn't that sacrilegious or something?

well, the truth is many couples do them and some would never.  there are many reasons why couples choose to have a first look (or not consider it at all), and no matter what those reasons are, they are perfectly valid for the couple, because it's their day.

while mike and i appreciate the tradition of the groom not seeing the bride until she walks down the aisle, we knew we would have no shortage of emotion at the ceremony whether we saw each other ahead of time or not.  we did some research to get opinions from other couples and photographers just to get a feel for it before we made our final choice.  (some great supporting articles for first looks are here, here, and here.)

mike and i had several reasons for hopping on the first look train.  1 - having a first look allows you more time with your bride/groom.  2 - having a first look opens the opportunity for family and bridal party photos before the ceremony, therefore allowing more time with your guests during the cocktail hour (when these photos are generally taken).  3 - we had a special location in mind that i had originally hoped would work for our ceremony, but it ended up being 100% perfect for our first look.

so, without further ado...i present to you:  mike and andrea's first look.

the timeline was critical in pulling off all the details without a hitch...and the first look was a big part of that.  the girls and i were at the stanford bed and breakfast getting ready while the guys were doing the same at my parents house...and the first look would take place on oliver island in the middle of crystal lake.  

so at 2:30, my dad and his friend pete, along with mike and (one half of our photographer team) dan, piled onto the party barge to head to the island.  

pete, mike and my dad heading to the island

pete behind the wheel

they had a small piece of dock to secure to a couple trees to make the transition from boat to island a little easier.  especially for the girl in the big white dress. 

that's where things got interesting.  first, mike took the wheel...

then my dad and pete worked to get the dock in place...

and then my dad took a little dip in the lake.  oops!  thank goodness he wasn't all dressed and ready.  he planned ahead knowing he'd get wet, but i don't think he knew just how wet!

then mike and dan hopped onto the island to prepare for my arrival...

dad and pete took off to pick me up at the b&b, along with bethany (the other half of our photography team) and ray (from the b&b, to help dad and pete).

it's hard to tell in the photo above, but my dad is soaked.  i was wondering why he wasn't dressed and ready for the wedding, but it turns out he knew better.

we ventured out to meet my almost-husband on the island.

before i dive into the actual first look, let me tell you how these moments felt.  

you know that moment when you kiss someone for the first time and your whole body feels like magic just happened?  or how about the moment when you figured out you really love that person?  or the moment you hear "i love you" for the first time from the person you've been waiting to hear it from? or the feeling when you get when they're proud to introduce you as his girlfriend? or the moment when he drops to one knee in front of you and you lose your breath a little?

the feeling i got as we approached the island to see my fiance, just a couple hours before we were to be married, is one i'll never forget.  you see, that feeling was built in all those moments...first kiss, falling in love, saying "i love you", getting engaged...but approaching mike with his back turned was pure magic.  pure joy.  pure love.  it was better than all of those moments individually and it was better than all of those moments combined.

my heart was fluttering, i was on the verge of tears, and i couldn't wipe the smile off my face.  i was walking to the man that i will spend the rest of my life with...and there's not a word to describe exactly how i felt.

i'm so, so, so happy we did a first look.  it was a great decision for us and it incorporated oliver island, that i so badly wanted to be part of our wedding.  now, it's our special spot.

both mike and i were overwhelmed with emotion.  we were feeling happy, excited, giddy, emotional, sentimental, and we were so relieved to finally see each other!

we took the opportunity with bethany and dan to get some more photos...

after our little photoshoot, it was time to get back on the party barge to head back to my parents, where the whole gang was waiting for us!

so, that's the story of our first look!

if you have any questions about it or any other part of my wedding, please don't hesitate to email me!

stay tuned for more {wedding wednesday} posts!  i've still got a ton up my sleeve!  the ceremony, the flowers, the get ready, i've got plenty more to share! =)


more {wedding wednesday} posts:

volume 1:  our faves
volume 2:  the big picture
volume 3:  what we wore
volume 4:  rehearsal dinner
volume 5:  getting ready


photography:  bethany and dan photography

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

{five things} i'm digging

{wedding wednesday} is taking a break this's not ready and i don't want to post something just to post it!  so please stay tuned for next week!

today i'm sharing {five things} that i'm digging right now...

1.  make up forever hd invisible cover foundation

{image via sephora}

let me start out telling you about my general beauty routine that i have followed for years:  
 -- i only wash my face in the shower
 -- i use arbonne day moisturizer (with 20 spf!) and night cream (almost) daily
 -- 99% of the time the only makeup i put on is mascara

so now that you're up to speed on my very complicated regimen, i'll fill you in on my latest find.  this foundation from make up forever was a pretty big splurge for me.  at $42, i wasn't sure i wanted to buy such an expensive make up product i was unlikely to wear after the wedding.  but i was wrong.

yes, i bought it for the wedding to ensure my face was smooth and had even coloring and would photograph well.  luckily for me, the girl helping me at the sephora in my local jcpenney was terrific.  she tried several shades until she found just the right one and she assured me this would be the best makeup to photograph.  i'd say she was right. =)

i still don't wear makeup every day, but when i do, it feels light and is subtle enough that i don't look "overdone", but it does its job enough to make me look smooth and even.

2.  working out

i took a little break from the gym.  with getting married and spending a couple weeks away for our honeymoon, i put a hold on my membership.  it made sense because if i literally couldn't make it to the gym, i shouldn't be paying for it!

but now, i'm back.  back to a routine and back to working out.  

[insert soreness wimpering here]

if there's one thing i have learned from my fitness journey is this:  just keep moving.  if you're gonna take a break, don't take a break and sit on the couch all the time.  if you're going to take a trip, maintain as much of your regular routine as you can.  and if you have goals, keep them within arm's reach.

i was a little lax on vacation, i won't lie.  it was my honeymoon for goodness sake!  i wanted to relax and soak up the rays and not count calories or plan workouts...and i loved every second of it.  we walked on the beach for hours....i even swam laps in the pool....but i didn't maintain my routine.  at all.

so this has been a reminder to always keep moving.  working out is hard, but the result make you feel good.  you feel good because of your accomplishment and damn, it just feels good to use your body and work your muscles.  i'm sore, but it feels good.  it feels good because i can move...i can walk...i can lift...and it's really satisfying to complete something you can do.

so, despite the struggles to get back into my routine and to work through the soreness...i'm really digging working out again.

next up:  training for the color run in october!

3.  inkjoy pens

yes, i'm that nerdy girl that gets excited over pens.  i like using different colors to code things in my planner and using these inkjoy pens makes it more fun!

i really like the writing of these pens (no ink blobs!) and i like the shape (triangular, so it fits well in your hand).  i recommend them!

4.  polar seltzer

i drink a lot of water and depend on polar seltzer to make it more delicious.  i know seltzer isn't for everyone, but i'm a huge fan.  when i first tried it i wasn't, but after trying a few different flavors, i'm a true convert!

my favorite flavors are always the limited seasonal flavors, but i try to stock up so i don't feel deprived of my favorite summer flavor in november.

my absolute favorite flavor is pomogranate sangria!

5.  my haircut

after mike and i got home from the honeymoon, i was itching to cut my hair.  not too short, but definitely shorter than it was in mexico...

so, i went to see my favorite hairdresser, steph at hair therapy in grantham (go see her and tell her i sent you!), and she gave me an adorable fresh cut that i've been loving this summer!

so, that's what i'm digging these days...what about you?!

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