When I wear my hair down, I fidget with it. And when it’s up, I wear it in a tight ponytail because I hate it when stray hairs tickle my ears. Thus, I knew from the start that my wedding hair would have to be an updo with sleek sides for me to completely forget about my hair that day. Just like the chignon I wore at our civil ceremony in Germany. But I definitely wanted something different, more playful for our American wedding. And as I’m not immune to trends in the wedding world, many of the photos I saved had braided elements:
I suppose I owe you an apology for the (probably unnoticeable) lack of posting on my end. What can I say—life has just gotten in the way of blogging. We have had a busy past year, including lots of travel, moving, new jobs, and acquiring a pup. It isn’t just that, though. For some reason, I feel protective over our wedding. I haven’t really found words to express what an incredible, awesome (in the literal sense of the word) feeling it is to be surrounded by nearly all of your closest family and friends. How it feels to enter into such a sacred union with the person you love most in the world. I know it sounds cliche, but it was the best day of my life, and I can’t imagine that my pitiful words will do it justice. I have just wanted to wrap the memories of our day around myself, like a warm blanket. I selfishly didn’t want to share them with anyone that isn’t my husband. Is that strange? Possibly. But it was the start of my marriage, and it just felt too deeply personal to share. At least right away. But now, I am ready.
Before I get back into the meat of my recaps, though, I want to write a post about how crazy and stressed I was before the wedding. Because, well, it was slightly all-consuming to me at the time. Sorry—it’s a big ol’ wall of text, so feel free to skip past if you don’t want hearing about how insane I was. I understand. I don’t really want to read about it either.
As some of you may recall, my grandfather passed away the week before our wedding. I don’t need to go into the details of my grief because 1. I imagine most of you know how it feels and 2. I am honestly still dealing with it. But let’s just say that it involved lots of crying in the shower, crying while doing the dishes, crying while writing my blog post. Lots of crying. Lots of remembering. Lots of smiling at old pictures. Lots of thanking God that I had such a wonderful grandfather that had an active part in my life. Needless to say, it was a difficult time. I will be honest: his passing put a little black cloud over the week leading up to the wedding. It was supposed to be such a happy time, and I felt a large amount of grief and guilt over the entire thing. But, the show must go on, and what better way to celebrate someone’s wonderful, long life than with a new marriage?
Personal photo, circa 2006
Mary is selling a J.Crew Silk Organza Plum Starburst dress. She is asking $79 for the brand new size six dress.
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It’s the New Year, and you know what that means…the gym is so crowded that I can’t find a parking spot!! Thank goodness that won’t last for more than a few weeks. Actually, I kind of wish that it would stay crowded. I love that the new year inspires everyone to be healthier, but it’s such a bummer that many Americans’ resolutions don’t stick past January.
Like basically everyone I know, I face the constant struggle to stay in shape. And now that I’m a bride-to-be, the pressure is cranked up. Fortunately, I don’t really have any extra health-related goals for my wedding, because I’ve been working hard at it for several years now. My only goal is maintain maintain maintain! I think of myself as being in relatively good shape. But I didn’t get to my in-shape goals without a lot of work and a lot of trial and error. I am a girl who has struggled like everyone else to be healthy, and I really think I’ve finally found a lifestyle that works for me. So I thought I’d share the things that have worked for me. (Disclaimer: I’m not any kind of health professional. I’m just another girl trying to be healthy.)
I could probably just write one sentence to sum up all of my advice, and that would be “Make it work for you.” I apply this concept to basically everything. So with that in mind, here are my tips.
Image from Bride.net
Back in my college days, I rarely got more than five hours of sleep on any weekday night. And I sometimes got as little as three or four hours. These days, I feel only semi-functional if I get less than eight. That’s not because I’m weak now. It’s because I finally discovered what fully functional and fully rested feels like! And it’s a glorious thing.
I am typically a pretty decisive person. What can I say, I know what I like. For whatever reason, I am really struggling to make any kind of decision regarding our engagement-photo session. Basically, the only thing we have decided so far is what photographers we are going to use (Sarah & Ben). Oh, and we scheduled the engagement session. Major stress. This is the first and potentially last time Mr. Squirrel and I will have nice photos taken of just the two of us in everyday clothes. While we don’t plan to utilize these photos for the wedding, I love homes with walls covered in big photo canvases. They feel so warm and homey. Our engagement photos seem like a logical way to start this collection.
So here is our problem. I want it all. I love so many engagement photos. I love modern. I love vintage. I wish we could have an extended session so we can take pics in all four seasons. Props…yes, no? Dramatic night shots, sunset sunbursts—how is a couple to decide?
Deep down I think if I capture every possible idea, we are bound to find a few we like. What if we can’t really rock vintage? Maybe our casual clothes will be too boring.
So without further ado, in a perfect world, if I could capture any and every style/location/outfit/etc., these are the top 10 pictures we would have (in no particular order):
1. Cozy, rain, dog.
2. Sultry body shot (remember…perfect world).
With Groomsman/Bridesman P and Groomsman C
weddingbound shares a stunning photo from her day-after trash-the-dress session.
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By the end of the first look, Mr. W and I were very relaxed and feeling like ourselves. After the minor drama in the bridal suite, it felt great to just let go and enjoy the day with sweet, calm Mr. W. I mean, look at this guy:
The couple’s portraits were a little bit more work than I expected.
First, Mr. W makes me laugh, and I had a really hard time not laughing in all of the photos. Especially when he’s whispering goofy jokes in my ear, and when we struck some pretty awkward, unnatural poses.
Second, getting around with a three-foot-long train is a lot of work. I admire you women who lugged around even longer trains. Every time we readjusted for a new pose, one of our photogs would have to rearrange my train.
With the start of a new year I realize that I put off my final post recapping the Gazelle wedding and my good-bye to Weddingbee far too long.
Two thousand twelve was a busy year for the Gazelles. We adopted the most adorable dog ever in March, Peat! He’s a four-year-old Scottish Terrier and we love him to pieces.
We celebrated our first anniversary in July.
After we got a sneak peek of the fabulousness in the pavilion that served as our reception space, our photog Laura snuck us away for a hot second to get a few more “official” couple pictures—ones that I’d been dying to get since that morning. Much thanks to our -awesome venue.
All photos by Exclamation Imagery unless otherwise noted.
I mean, screw creating our own monogram—we had our names spelled out in big, splashy red letters for the whole town to see! We were kiiinda a big deal (for a day, at least). Hey, it’s the little things in life!
Anyway, back in the pavilion, our guests and DJ were gearing up for our reappearance, which we were all too ready for. Once we heard “Shake It” by Metro Station start playing, we made our way out while being announced as the new Mr. & Mrs. Foxy!
Big Primpin’ Part I focused on changes directly related to my skin—Part II below focuses more on general lifestyle changes that have helped improve my skin as well.
Image via HealthyLifeJournal.org
Drinking (LOTS) of water.
In my post about our ceremony, I forgot to mention a surprise element that got added at the last minute. A chorus of little frogs started whirling outside the venue just as the ceremony started. As animal lovers, Mr. Mink and I were totally charmed by the amphibian symphony just outside the doors of Pippin Hill Farm and Vineyards. A friend who worked at the venue told me that they had never heard the frogs before that evening.
I know there was one near us while we were taking post-ceremony photos on Pippin Hill’s patio and sure enough, there was one perched on top of one the lanterns that hung on the patio supports.
The sound those little frogs made was almost the same sound that the tree frogs in Jamaica made. We fell asleep to that sound every night on our honeymoon.
Our nephews and nieces were delighted over the little frogs. One of my nephews was giddy over having touched one before he jumped into one of the water cisterns outside the venue.
Hello, hive! I would like to wish everyone a very HEALTHY and HAPPY 2013! May all your wedding planning go smoothly. May your big day be perfection. And if it’s not perfection, I hope that you still leave the party with a huge smile because you just married an amazing guy. Maybe you got engaged over the holidays or maybe you are knee-deep in the planning process (like me) and just need a quiet little reminder, so here it is: Breath in and out deeply. You can do this.
I tend to become easily overwhelmed when starting a new project. This was something that plagued me in college and graduate school. At the beginning of each semester I would receive a course syllabus rife with assignments, projects, and due dates. I would panic, which would often lead to a total emotional meltdown. Eventually this panic runs its course and I am calm enough to talk myself into a “can do,” problem solving attitude. I start by breaking the project or assignment into smaller, more manageable tasks. I also like to make to-do lists where I ask myself, “What can I cross of this list today?” I remember to always take things one day at time. To sum this up in a pithy quote: The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. You will never take that first step if you are too busy being emotionally crippled by everything that must be accomplished along the way.
The same advice holds true for wedding planning. I think many women are initially overwhelmed with the amount of planning and decision-making that comes along with throwing a wedding, myself included. You have friends, relatives, coworkers, and complete strangers offering up all kinds of advice or recommendations. To make matters worse, you are immediately bombarded with a thousand minute (but seemingly huge and important) decisions. Everything from wedding colors, to cake flavors, favors, venues, music, vows, and more. There’s lots of weighing pros and cons, rationalizing, and second guessing yourself. But one of the best things you can do is to make a decision and then come to peace with that decision. Walk away from it. We all want to make sound, well-researched choices. Unfortunately there isn’t always time or energy to make the perfect choice every time, so sometimes the good enough choice needs to take precedent. And you need to be okay with that!
Here’s a tale that might ring true with my fellow DIY warriors. My dad (who generally gives the best advice) has something he calls the 90%. Essentially his philosophy is that all the extra time and energy you put into making something 100% isn’t usually worth the investment, nor is it outwardly noticeable to anyone but yourself. Most of the time 90% should be good enough. If you are familiar with economics, this is basically the concept of diminishing marginal returns. He came up with this idea while vacuuming dog hair out of his car. I really like to imagine my dad tediously vacuuming up dog hair while pondering life’s big philosophical questions. I am the type of person who will run herself into the ground in an attempt to reach 100%. I could spend hours or days on a lesson plan that is over in 50 minutes and which my students do not appreciate. I have to go above and beyond, when really, 90% would have sufficed and no one but me would have known the difference. I guess it’s all about knowing when to pick your battles. And some battles just need 90%.
|My brother and me hanging out with dad, giver of great advice and proponent of the 90% rule.|
I know absolutely nothing about makeup or doing my hair. It’s hard to justify getting dressed up daily when you spend 90% of your life in the lab full of crazy chemicals and safety is a higher priority than being cute. It’s not that I’ve never tried, but honestly, I get completely lost trying to understand how to make myself prettier, not worse with makeup. I feel like one of those awkward preteens who never grew out of their awkward phase.
Seriously, I didn’t even do makeup or anything with my hair for our engagement pictures.
I don’t have any pictures back yet, but here’s a sneak preview for you taken right before we left for our shoot.
Thus, it was never really a question that I would book someone to do my hair and makeup for me. Since I know nothing about this subject, I spent my time searching through the boards and the internet to find someone that would be great at asian makeup and hair in the Boston area. Over and over, one name came up. Who? I completely lucked out that I got the opportunity to book TEAL-Studio to do both my hair and makeup. TEAL-Studio is a new venture for Lypor* who did Mrs. Toucan’s hair and makeup over four years ago.