Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Wedding Wednesday: Bridal Party Pictures

After all the family pictures were done, it was time to take some pictures with our bridal party. We did take a few in the church after family pictures, but we then moved to outside the church. As I mentioned before, our church is on an intersection near the downtown of our city. As we were taking these pictures, we got many honks and people yelling congratulations to us. It was pretty fun to get that kind of attention.




Our photographer, Amanda Fales, loves to do shoe shots so I got to show off my something blue and of course we argyle socks!


 The guys had to show off their socks again. This picture makes me wish we had all the guys wear suspenders. Best Man A and Groomsman M1 chose to wear those on their own and I think it looks pretty sharp.



After taking these pictures, we headed to a neighboring city where our reception was to be held. The downtown there is full of historic buildings and I thought it would be a great spot to take some more pictures.


We started out outside a local candy shop that also has a lunch counter. I love their retro sign in the alley. (And I love Coke!)



We took a little walk across the street. This is one of my favorite pictures. Our reception building is the one on the right. (Also notice that the light is green and yes there was some traffic coming down the street!)


We headed over to the county courthouse to take some pictures. I just love how historic this downtown area is and the courthouse is no exception.





I love this picture of M and the guys because it's pretty clear they're laughing about something they all find amusing. Get these 4 together and you're in for a humorous time probably full of insults and mockery. Can you tell they're family?

When we were done taking these pictures, we sent the bridal party off to the cocktail hour at the reception and we stayed out in the humidity to keep taking pictures. It was hot and miserable, but oh so worth it as I'll show you next week!

All photos by Amanda Fales Photography.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Wedding Wednesday: Family Pictures

Due to our church only doing weddings at 1:00 and our reception venue not being available until 4:00, we had what is commonly called "the Catholic gap." Our guests were warned that there would be some time between the ceremony and the reception on the invitations, so I trusted they could find some way to amuse themselves until it was time to party.

Meanwhile, we used this time to take all the pictures we didn't have time for before the ceremony. This was one of the reasons we did not do a first look as is becoming more and more popular. That, and I'm a stickler for tradition.

Our first order of picture taking business was family pictures at the church. I wanted to get these done so our families could go relax. I won't bore you with all the pictures that were taken, but I do want to show you a few special ones.

Had to get one of just us first. Isn't our church pretty?

3 generations - Me, my mom, and my grandma

My whole family.

M and Best Man A like to do this pose whenever somebody takes pictures of them. I allowed them this one if they posed nice for all the other pictures of the day.

M's whole family

We also took some bridal party pictures in front of the alter, but those are pretty standard, so I'll skip them and show you the fun ones we took next week. We also got pictures of all the siblings' families which we gave to them for Christmas presents. I made sure we got a picture of M's sister and her husband because they were married at the same church 20 years ago, but had a terrible photographer, so they had no pictures of them together on their wedding day!

One photo I totally forgot? A picture of just me in front of the alter. I have pictures of my grandma and my mom on their wedding days and I always wanted to do a display, but I totally blanked on getting a picture of me! I strongly encourage brides to make a list of pictures they must have. It will ensure you don't make the same mistake I did!

All photos by Amanda Fales Photography, who I promise does not take blurry, grainy photos. That's just Blogger messing up my beautiful high res photos. I'll be fixing that in my next Wedding Wednesday post.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Our 1st Anniversary Trip Day 1

I've been doing some fun stuff over the past few months and I've been remiss in sharing them with you all! Well, that changes today.

Today I want to start sharing with you our trip to Chicago for our 1st anniversary. We are lucky enough to live only a couple hours away from Chicago. We are also very lucky to have access to a commuter train from our local airport straight to Chicago. No need to worry about gas prices or parking, we just hop on the train and we're there!

The Thursday before our anniversary, we caught the second train of the day leaving from our local airport. (We had M's brother drop us off so we didn't have to leave our car there and pay for parking.) We took the second train because the first one is full of people headed to work in the big city. The closer it gets to Chicago, the more people get on and it gets pretty crowded.  The second train was full of people headed for some sightseeing or appointments. 

After about 2 and half hours, we finally arrived at Millennium Station in downtown Chicago. The station was a short walk to our hotel, which I still managed to mess up. We were staying at the Hyatt Regency and when I looked at the Google map, I thought it was on the river side of Whacker Drive, so we ended up crossing Whacker when we didn't need to since nothing is on that side! It was ok though, we crossed the river and headed up Michigan another block to check out the Tribune Tower.

Which I managed to not take a picture of, so you get this one from Wiki.
I've always wanted to check out the Tribune Tower ever since it was featured on an episode of CSI:NY. The building has pieces of various historically important sites in it's outside walls. M and I had fun walking around the building looking at all of the fragments and even touching some of them.

Again, I managed to not take any pictures, so enjoy this one from The Chicago Architecture Blog. They've got some great explanations of all the fragments in the Tower.

When we were done at the Tower, we headed back across the river and found our hotel. I'll review it in a separate post. We booked our hotel through Priceline, which we usually do whenever we stay in Chicago. We always get a 4 star hotel at a good deal. We've previously stayed at the Chicago Hilton, which we loved.

After checking into our hotel, we trekked to the Field Museum. We chose to walk because we were trying to save money and it didn't seem that far. It ended up being 2 miles, but for us that didn't seem like much since we walk all day at work. Plus we walk a lot more than that when we're at Disney World. It was a nice walk along the Lakefront Trail and since we tend to walk fast, it didn't take too long to get there.

Lucky for us, the Field Museum was having a free day and general admission was free for all guests. However, the museum wasn't going to make it easy for you to get in free. The lady at the ticket counter asked us which package we wanted. The special exhibits cost extra, but we were already planning on seeing one, so we got the package that allowed us one exhibit and only paid $14 total to get in. Normally it would have cost us $44 to get in!

I love the Field Museum, but honestly, once you've seen it, you've pretty much seen it all. It never changes. We only go if one of the special exhibits sounds interesting. We still wander around and look at things, but it gets boring if you've been recently. I think it would be more interesting if we had kids or were with people that hadn't been there recently.

So what's to see at the Field?

Dead Animals. Seriously, they have rooms full of these display cases. It's like a Noah's Ark of old dead and taxidermied animals. The museum was started in 1893 when this was the only way most people could see these animals. It's kind of creepy, yet pretty interesting all at the same time.

We wandered around the first floor of the museum and eventually made our way to our special exhibit, Whales. It was a pretty cool exhibit full of whale bones and artifacts. They even had 2 blue whale skeletons. Unfortunately, we weren't allowed to take pictures, so I can't show you all the cool stuff we saw.

We wandered up the second floor to check out one of our favorite rooms, the gem room!

The Field has a pretty impressive collection of gems and jewelry that we enjoy looking at. That necklace up there is "The Green Goddess." It's a 154 carat peridot.

 The second floor also gives you a great view of the main hall of the museum.

They were setting up for an after hours event, so those tables aren't normally there. (Speaking of which, how cool would it be to have your wedding at the museum?)

That's Sue. She's the largest, most complete, and best preserved T. Rex ever found.

T. Rexes are pretty awesome.

We like to pose with Sue on every trip to the museum.

These fighting African elephants have been in the main hall of the Field Museum for as long as I can remember. In fact, they've been there since 1908!

After leaving the museum, we were very hungry so we decided to head for dinner. We ended up walking about 2.5 miles to Navy Pier to eat at one of my favorite vacation restaurants, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. And I don't even like the movie Forrest Gump!

Again, no picture from me. I must have been having too much fun to take pictures!

The weather was turning colder, so we headed back to the hotel and collapsed after all that walking!


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Pinterest Sunday

Time for my weekly Pinterest roundup! Every Sunday, I share with you a few of my favorite finds from the previous week.

This week, I thought I share with you a few things that I've pinned and actually plan to do. I tend to pin a lot of things like dresses or cakes that I will never actually wear or make simply because I think they are pretty and/or cute. But, I also try to pin things that I really do want to make or try.

One example is my Hair Inspiration board. I've been pinning short hairstyles for months now, but I think I've finally found a haircut I really want.

Great length and my bangs will work perfectly with this.

I also have a board called For the Home where I try to pin things that I want for our home, decorating ideas, and DIY projects.

I love this idea of using an old spice rack to hold nail polish. I'll be keeping my eye out at estate sales and garage sales for one of these for my nail polish collection.

I love these hearts made from maps. I'd love to do them for where we met, where we got married, and where we honeymooned. Our met and married would be different parts of the same county, but I think they'd still look different. Or we could do one for where our first house is. I've just got to get my hands on some maps!

Source: via Jenn on Pinterest

How cool is this idea? Get a clear phone case and then use scrapbook paper to customize it. You could change it out whenever you felt like it! I must find a clear case for my phone and then I am totally doing this!

My Yummy board is full of recipes, most of which I think I might actually try sometime.

Source: via Jenn on Pinterest

How delicious do these cheesy garlic sticks look? I love to get them from Papa John's, but this looks like a great way to make them at home. Now if only I could find a recipe for garlic butter that actually tasted like Papa John's.


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Wedding Wednesday: The Concluding Rites

We've said our vows and taken Communion, so the Nuptial Mass is almost over!

But first, we had a gift to present. When planning our wedding, we wanted to make it a very Catholic event. I once said the only way our wedding could be more Catholic was if the Pope conducted it in Latin! One purely Catholic element that we had to include was the Marian Devotion. We chose to honor the Blessed Mother by presenting her with a flower while our cantor sung Ave Maria.

My florist provided us a peony like the ones in my bouquet to lay at Our Lady's feet. We then prayed the Hail Mary together and awkwardly stood there trying to figure out how long we were supposed to stand there because this was yet another thing we didn't get to discuss with our priest.

We finally decided it had been long enough and returned to the front of the alter. Our cantor finished the song very shortly. (I think she just kept singing until she saw we were done, while we were wondering if we should wait for her to finish!)

The final element of the Nuptial Mass was the Solemn Blessing.

May God, the almighty Father, give you his joy and bless you in your children.


May the only Son of God have mercy on you and help you in good times and in bad.


May the Holy Spirit of God always fill your hearts with his love.


And may almighty God bless you all, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.


Father had our best man introduce us as the new Mr. & Mrs. (I have no idea why, but I suspect it was because he could not get our last name right to save his life. And we don't even have a hard last name!)

(Notice that my husband was totally looking the wrong way and we both had to direct him. You married ME buddy!)

And this seems like a good time for another kiss!

Our organist started up our recessional, Trumpet Voluntary, and we exited as husband and wife.

Our bridal party followed us.

MOH L and Best Man A

Bridesmaid T and Groomsman M1

Bridesmaid R and Groomsman M2
(I find it hilarious that M2 has his arm through R's)

Our mothers followed after them.

Meanwhile, we were in the back of the church getting hugs from our bridal party.

We chose to dismiss our guests from their pews instead of trying to have a receiving line. This way we got to thank everybody for coming and made sure we saw and talked to everybody at least once that day.

This resulted in lots of hugs.

After we greeted our guests, they headed out to the front of the church to get ready for our "getaway."

After seeing this picture, I'm so glad we went with bubbles! It made for some really awesome pictures and it was really fun to have walk through while our guest cheered.

As you can see above, our church is on an intersection in our city and the front steps are pretty close to the street, so we got lots of attention while this was happening!

I call this our "getaway" because we really just ran around the back of the church and entered again since we would be doing family pictures in the church. Most of guests left then and we would see them again in a couple hours at our reception!

Up next: Say cheese!

All photos by Amanda Fales Photography.