Sunday, October 28, 2012

Our Engagement Pictures (Pic Heavy)!

I have been looking forward to writing this post for SO long!  As you have probably heard, Adam and I don't have many pictures together.  Well, many good pictures together.  Thus, going in to our engagement session two weeks ago, I was a little worried.

We started out by having a late lunch at one of our favorite places, the Hibachi Hut.

Now, the Hibachi Hut not only has great food, but they have these amazing Long Island Iced Teas.  As encouraged by our awesome photographer, Grant Watkins, we decided to loosen up a bit with one each over lunch.  This may have not been the best idea for me, as evidenced by some pictures of my cheese-grin, but it worked wonders for Adam.  After our dinner and drink-age, we were ready to commence the picture-taking.

The afternoon flew by.  Grant was great with getting us comfortable and relaxed. We started out around campus, made our way to the old KSU stadium and then headed for a few photographic shots in our bar "district," Aggieville.  We ended our day out at Scenic Overlook at sunset.  It's this little point of interest out on the side of the highway that shows off the Flinthills and the Konza Prairie, both very Kansas features. We like to forget that we are native Kansans most of the time (Dorothy, please), but it was a nice addition to our Urban/Rural theme(?).

Grant told us that we would get our pictures back in a week.  In that week's time, I started to worry more and more.  I figured we are going to be the couple that can never post their pictures on their walls, that we'll have a home with no children and bare walls, and my plan for using our pictures for Save-The-Dates and our guestbook would have to get thrown out.  Well, I should have given Grant (and us) a little more credit because last week we got our pictures back and I am quite pleased.    So, let's see some of my favorites (all photos below by Grant Watkins Photography):



All in all, we have about 30 pictures that I am happy with and will use for my upcoming projects.  There are about 20 more that Adam and I agreed on that we will not use, mostly because of one of us isn't fully camera ready.  Based on our picture-taking experience, and after viewing our pictures, I do have a couple of regrets/future advice for couples:

  1. Don't chew gum - Adam and I are gum addicts.  Neither of us really thought about it, but there are some pictures of us laughing where you can see our gum (not acceptable for Save-The-Dates!)
  2. Wear clothes that you are super comfortable with - The sunset pictures happen to be my/Adam's least favorite because we aren't happy with the clothes that we picked out.  I didn't have good posture in a lot of those photos, and the shirt that I chose makes that very obvious.  Adam didn't like his shirt either, and there are several where he has really puffy arms or the back is really loose.  You could also tell we weren't as comfortable as it translated into the pictures quite clearly.
  3. Have fun, but be serious too - I feel like we were a little too goofy.  I mean, that's how we typically are with each other, but with the extra alcohol and being nervous, we have lots of silly pictures.  We did have a few good love-y ones, but I think there is an absence of romantic pictures and no kissing pictures!  We did try a couple of kissing pictures, but apparently we are ugly kissers and need to practice before the wedding!  There is one that made it onto the CD, but our hands are in our pockets and we are leaning awkwardly toward each other...weirdos.
All in all, I am so glad that we were able to take engagement pictures together before the wedding.  It really gave us an idea about what to expect when the wedding comes, and to have a sense of what to do/not do in our wedding pictures.  I have such a round face that I am going to have to pay more attention to how I pose to avoid the double chin and my posture is another thing that I need to work on.  As for Adam, I am really happy with his pictures.  It makes me wonder if he has been tricking me all along to think that he couldn't take pictures. I'd rather like to think that he has secretly been practicing in the mirror the last couple of months! 

So yes, engagement pictures are checked off the list now.  It's starting to feel real that we are getting married in 8 months...yikes!

How did your engagement session go?  Better/worse than expected?  Any things that surprised you?  

Saturday, October 13, 2012

DIY Unity Candle

When we left off last time, I decided that I was going to design/create my unity candle set this weekend. Well, the internet has spoken the truth and I have some pictures and a tutorial to show you.  In all honesty, this idea came from Pinterest, and specifically A Girl in Paradise's Blog.  Much thanks goes out to her and this idea because it turned out great!


Tissue paper
Printer paper
Scotch tape
Hair dryer
Wax paper

1.  I made my templates using Microsoft Word.  I tried out several designs that I liked and had Adam pick his favorite. He said he didn't care, but if he did, then he would pick #2. Thus, #2 it was.

2. I printed it out a couple of times to make sure it fit my candle appropriately.  Our names were too big the first couple of times so I had to condense them down a bit.

3.  Then I took a piece of tissue paper and taped in onto a piece of printer paper.  I tried to smooth it out as much as possible, but there were still a few wrinkles.  I also made sure the edges of the tape were smooth so that I wouldn't jam my printer.

4.  I crossed my fingers, pushed print and sent the paper through the printer.  Success!

5.  I roughly cut out the shape, separated the tissue paper from the printer paper and then cut around the shape as closely as possible.

6.  I positioned the tissue paper onto the candle.  I was a little worried because there was such a color contrast between the candle and the paper, but it goes away after step 8.

7.  I wrapped a piece of wax paper around the candle (with the waxy side touching the candle).  I tore a big enough piece that I had some extra to hold on to at the back of the candle.

8.  Using a hair dryer, I heated up the candle.  I went over the design (back-and-forth, up-and-down) quite a bit to make sure that it was heating evenly.  It does get a little toasty on your hands!  Some people have mentioned that their candles started to drip, but mine never did that.  It might be because I was using a hair dryer rather than a heating tool or that they heated their candle longer than I did.  I probably heated it for 45 seconds and then peeled the wax paper off of the candle.

9.  Once you peel off the wax paper, your tissue paper should have melted into the candle and it should be difficult to see the lines of your design.  If it didn't melt right, you can always put the wax paper back on and heat it again to get your desired results!

To get the official look, I dug out the candle holder that I got at Goodwill for $2.50 and put it all together.  The lighting/glare in my house is terrible, but I'm really happy with how it turned out!  It is simple (which is what I wanted) and turned out better than to be expected.  The only thing that I'm thinking about doing is adding an "L" to the left tapered candle and an "A" to the right one.

Total Cost:
Candle holder:  $2.50
Pillar Candle: $5.99 (Wal-mart)
Tapered Candles: $1.50 (.75 ea at Wal-mart)
Tissue paper, printer paper, ink, and tape:  on hand
Before Tax: $9.99

Considering that you can spend $20 on a plain candle set at Hobby Lobby, I am incredibly happy with out $10 unity candle set and holder, and ours is personalized! I'm thinking that I will make a memorial candle in the same fashion to place somewhere at our reception.  My grandmother passed away 3 years ago and was a big part of my life and I think this would be a nice way to remember her.  Adam has a ton of family members that have passed and I think his parents would appreciate the gesture.

So what do you think?  Would you add something extra or leave it as it is?  Did you/are you planning on having a unity candle at your wedding? 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Unity Ceremony

A Practical Wedding tells me that I don't need a unity candle.  In fact, I don't need a unity ceremony at all because that is what the exchanging of rings is for!

Well, despite the fact that I know I don't need one, I still want one.  

There are lots of options for unity ceremonies that extend beyond the traditional ring-giving:  candles, sand, planting a tree together, wine box ceremony, hand-fasting (although I honestly know nothing about that!) and even foot washing.  When I asked Adam what he thought, he was quite content with the candle.

What I really like about the secondary unity ceremonies is that it involves the mothers by lighting the individual candles, slows down the insane speed of weddings by playing a song that is special to the couple and gives them a moment to breathe and even whisper while waiting for the song to end.  Also, if you remember our church, it adds a little extra decoration to our bare, but beautiful, bare walls.  Our pastor said that his weddings typically take about 20 minutes and with a unity candle ceremony, we can extend that out a little bit to a completely acceptable 25 minutes.

After searching the internet for unity candle sets, I decided that I am going to design my own candles and put the set together myself.  I actually found the candle holder at Goodwill for $2.75 and plan on getting some tapered candles for the sides and then a large round pillar candle for the center.  Here are some of my inspirational pictures for my upcoming project:
#1, but it would be round instead (Source)


#3 (Source)  

The only thing that I am completely avoiding is the over-done (because unity candles aren't over-done), ribbon and vellum unity candles that every other DIYer has done in the past.  I'm not going to post a picture because I'm not going to be a jerk to somebody's hard work, but if you Google "Unity Candle Set," you'll see exactly what I am talking about.

I'm just going to go out there and say that I am going to do this project this weekend.  Because I'm putting it out there on the internet, so it must be true, so you can check back in next week and see what I accomplished.  OR what you could do, (which would be even more fun) is you can send me your comments and opinions on which style of unity candle you like best and help me to decide on my design! 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Forecast is Sunshine and Smiles

I must say, I am a sucker for the wedding weather posts.  It's always interesting to see what the weather is expected to be like for people's wedding days and also how they ultimately respond to the news.  Unfortunately the Weather Channel doesn't have a 256 day forecast. While I would love to know what the weather is going to be like on our wedding day, I'm going to have to settle on waiting until it gets a little closer.  BUT, our engagement pictures are coming up on Sunday and that falls perfectly into the 10-Day Forecast!

It has gotten pretty cold in Kansas these last few weeks.  We even had an evening or two below freezing this past weekend.  Thankfully, it has still been in the 60s during the day, but I was a little worried about having to break out the winter coats for our engagement pictures.   My ideal attire (and the vast majority of my wardrobe) is short sleeves and jeans, maybe with a jacket.  I've been keeping an eye on the weather channel, pulled the forecast up again today and saw this:
(Screen shot from The Weather Channel App for iPad)

80 degrees!  Talk about a heat wave!  I'm super glad that it's going to be nice and warm and sunny!  I'm crossing my fingers for some badass sunset shots, so let's keep up the good work weathermen and women!

Our photographer said that he will get our pictures to us within a week of the engagement session, so make sure to check back around the 22nd to see our beautiful faces and Adam's smile!  I have a couple of projects that I am going to be using our pictures with, so hopefully I can have some new and exciting posts in the near future!