I’ll Take the Adventure

mexico, musings, Travel, wedding

True story, my engagement ring only cost $60. My wedding ring was inherited from my grandma. I made my own wedding dress, bridal bouquet, invitations, programs, and endless other details. True story, I wanted the honeymoon more than I wanted the wedding.

Not that I didn’t love the celebration of my marriage or being with my partner. I absolutely adored seeing my family and dancing the night away in one of my favorite places in the world. My wedding week and my memories of it are absolute treasures.

That being said, we cut expenses so that we would have the additional adventure of a honeymoon. That to me, to us, was worth so much more than a fancy ring or having a designer wedding gown. We wanted the fun, without the material costs. Which is why we chose the adventure.

We went to Mexico exactly a year ago from today, and it was one of the best trips I have taken. Mexico had the perfect blend of relaxation and luxury, with the adventure, history, and wilds that we both needed. Husband could sit on the beach with a book and cocktail, and I could go hiking around the resort to find monkeys and coati. Mexico was absolutely divine.

Even today I think of a “fancier” ring if we have money. And then I think of what I love more than all my jewelry and material goods, and that will always be a new adventure!

Happy Travels!

More on Mexico

Tulum Snorkeling

Sand is Caracol Resort

Mayan Ceremonies

Chichen Itza

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Laura and Ryann’s Colorado Fairytale

colorado, Photography, wedding

I got to shoot another beautiful wedding this year! This was especially gorgeous due to the two magnificent brides that took immense care to piece together their details in the most elegant way.

The wedding, while in October, celebrated a spring-like motif with pastels, succulents, sparkling gems and a pristine mountain setting! It was like walking into a fairytale setting without my work setting everything into place.

A huge thank you to the stunning couple and Lionscrest Manor in Lyons, Colorado.

An Autumnal Engagement

colorado, outdoors, Photography

I had the great privilege of photographing an adorable couple earlier this month. Caroline is a friend from college and I was thrilled when she asked me to capture these photos!

Autumn is my favorite time of year to photograph due to the richness of everything. It’s the clothes, food, natural wonders, and lighting that make everything look whimsical. Everything bursts with richness from the colors to the joy on people’s faces. It makes capturing it all the more rewarding for the photographer.

Adventure of the Week – A Mountain Wedding

documentary, musings, Photography, wedding

I’m a little late in posting this, but it always takes longer to edit photos than I plan. However, it’s worth the wait when you get such beauties like these:

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It helps that this couple was very loving and fun to be around. Their humor, and adoration made their shoot a comfortable and beautiful one that the results speak for themselves.

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I love photographing couples that I know a little bit too, these two grew up with my younger siblings, so knowing them and being around their vibrant personalities allowed me to create a charming collection of photos.

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Happy Happy!

THANK YOU BEN AND CASEY BECKER

Location: Shining Mountain Golf Course

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Adventure of the Week- a Wedding and Graduation

adventure of the week, colorado, Colorado Events, family, Photography, wedding

I didn’t even leave Northern Colorado in the last week, but I have done plenty of time on the road and away from my home. My kitchen is a perfect display of the busy.

Yet, though it has been busy there is something invigorating about having fun things to do and celebrate with people.

Last weekend my best friend and maid of honor at my wedding got married!

It started Friday night with an evening of bad movies and carbs.

Saturday night was the rehearsal dinner and lots of nerdy conversation over noms at the Moot House in Fort Collins.

Ryan and Tara tied the knot in their hotel room Sunday afternoon at the Elizabeth in Old Town Fort Collins before having a party at the Social in Old Town.

It was a jazz and bee inspired shindig with fun people, tasty food and drink. And a bride and groom that were all smiles.

Post wedding and Monday night I photographed a darling old family friend who o have known since she was maybe 5!!!!

She’s going to be 22 and is graduating from college in a few weeks. She’s also gorgeous and a ton of fun to photograph. Check out all the cuteness!

It also meant I got to play with my new camera body and some new lenses! It was all the fun!

Happy Travels, near and far.

Next week…..watch for more animals!

When Nerds Unite

family, geek, love, wedding
Ryan and I have many interests that differ, opposites attract if you will. He loves Star Wars, we love Harry Potter. He loves Star Trek, we love X-Files. I ylove costumes, we love jeans and t-shirts. I love traveling, we love vacationing.
We balance it out and find a happy medium. So for our wedding we needed something that blended our quirks into one. So we blended my love of romantic art nouveau, Alphonse Mucha pretty details with our nerdiness to make a fun and entertaining blend of us.
Example A: Our cake. Traditional white frosting with a variety of autumnal saturated colored flowers and leaves. The cake was delicately pieced together to make a stunning result. Then, being us, we had to have a Millenium Falcon crashing into the side. Thank you Das Meyer for working your wonders!
Exhibit B:
We needed something to celebrate my love of Harry Potter, well OUR love (I’m the bigger fan though).
So we brought our wands and had some fun.
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And FINALLY Exhibit C: We entered to the Imperial March from Star Wars, complete with a Vader helmet…
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So that is us, a mix of love and crazy, and nerdiness….

Homemade Wedding Dress

europe, History, wedding
Our obsession with white wedding dresses is purely a concoction from the last 150 years. Why white? Well it represents “purity” but it was also a sign of wealth for those at the start of that 150 years. Having a white dress, that you only wore once, well that was the height of luxury. So with a growing middle class and more disposable income, in addition to cheaper labor, factory weaving and mass production, white dresses became more and more popular. Yet in my family, white dresses has only been a tradition for around 100 years. With my Great-Grandmother’s donning their white gowns in the 1920s and 1930s, but before that wedding photos show women in “sunday’s bests” posed with their husbands in nice suits. Many wore dark colors. Why dark? Dark blues last a lot longer than lighter clothing.

Anyway, we’ll set aside family wedding lore and get us to the 21st century. My grandmother’s wore store-bought dresses, as did my mother. Even though the grandmother’s were avid seamstresses. No doubt, their dresses were beautiful. Juanita wore a 1949 classic dress that had a train and a slim a-line cut with plenty of lace, while Candice went early 1960s in a bell skirt and soft satin.  My mom had a simple 1990s dress that was simple and suited their Western-themed shindig.

For myself, a child and grandchild of crafters and history nerds, I went a new but old direction. No doubt for centuries my relatives made their own clothing or had someone make them clothes, probably a relative, maybe a seamstress. So when it came to my own dress, I started with shopping in stores, and online, and with Etsy. I ended at making my own dress.

Being me, I couldn’t make a normal dress. Because of being stubborn and also being entranced with a certain design from the 18th century. The Chemise a la Reine, which was worn in the late 1700s is the amalgamation of changing culture, feminism and moving away from the strictness of fine dress. It was the beginning of a brief 30 years or so where women wore clothing that was more comfortable and more reasonable for the lives that women were leading. The Chemise a la Reine was controversial in its time for being too simple, too much like underwear. The painting below of Marie Antoinette was scandalous in its day.

So for me, the chance to create and wear something so beautiful, but
representative of how far women have come and the excitement of having something of a “princess” dress was the perfect blend.

Naturally, I made a  few modern changes. I added less poofs, I made a multi-colored under skirt and my hair represented a more modern take. It all also blended well with the Alphonse Mucha fall theme that touched many aspects of our day.

Part II tomorrow.

Honeymoon Planning for Opposites

Travel, wedding
Ryan and I are a classic case of opposites attract. While we have a lot in common, we also seem to balance one another out. While I think we should go hiking for a month in the Amazon, Ryan more practically suggests a weekend camping trip and a tropical resort. Less chance of Malaria that way.
So when it came to planning our honeymoon my adventurous nature thought something along the lines of backpacking or hiking for a week seemed like a great vacation. Ryan disagreed.
Ryan’s idea of a great honeymoon meant another cruise like we did two years previously, with all of our needs met and no need to go anywhere or do anything.
While I didn’t hate our cruise, it would not be my first choice in travel again. I wasn’t keen on hoards of wealthy Americans being dumped off to gawk at poor foreigners that moved chairs for pennies and had minimal rights. This is an argument for another day, but long story short, I wanted something more engaging and more cultural.
To find the happy medium, we needed to narrow down a world of choices. In retrospect I don’t know many people that would find camping for four days, hiking 30 miles, and not showering in that time to be particularly romantic.
At one point we talked about Japan, but when we realized the cost associated and the jet lag that would be involved in a week we knew that it wasn’t the best option.
So we had a lot of extremes and needed to find a middle ground. For me, in many ways, the honeymoon was almost the more important part. We wanted an adventure to really remember and we wanted something we could realistically ask for presents for.
This opposite thing actually comes in handy, as we tend to be able to find a healthy blend in our lives. I want to fly off to Madagascar, and Ryan reminds us that we really only have the money for Mexico.
Which brings us to Mexico. Where we will be headed to in about a week, and where we will get to stay for a week. We have picked a resort in Playa Del Carmen, all inclusive. Meaning Ryan has the ability to sit all day, read a book, eat, and sip margaritas. While I have the ability to explore some history, culture, and a chance to really embrace one place. We both love the beach, and outdoor adventuring such as snorkeling, swimming, ATV’s, and jet skis. Which the resort and our excursions will cover. There are cenotes and resort performances that embrace the Mayan culture of the region. All around, it gives us the chance to get something and everything we actually want.
Ultimately, it means compromise, and though that word is tainted, it meant trying to combine our interests into one perfect trip. My advice is the following:
1. Research what is available, and keep looking for the best rate and things to do.
2. Make a list of “musts” and decide how to hit all of those points.
3. Find what you both have in common and find somewhere that you can hit those and that also has something for each of you.
4. Ask a travel agent, read magazines, shop for deals, and see what you find. We found our resort through Southwest Vacations at a great price and with fantastic reviews for what we wanted.
5. Ask friends and family where they have been, what they liked, what the options are to customize a vacation.
6. Finally, if you can’t decide somewhere, ask for money and save it until you can figure out where to go. There is no harm in waiting a month, 6 months or a year or two until you can take the best trip possible.
 
Happy Travels!

When You Can’t Find It…Make It

geek, History, wedding

I am strictly budgeting my wedding, as a sort of boycott to the extravagance of American weddings.

I am having a hell of a time finding a wedding dress that’s under $700 and that is ACTUALLY a style I want. At this point I am just being picky.

However, I had found “the one” that was about $500 and gorgeous. It was going to be perfect. The company in Ukraine even made it custom to my measurements!

THEN…the dressmaker over DOUBLED the price of the dress

😦

to $1200

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SOOO I will not be ordering that dress

I have also been searching other places for “the dress” but I can’t stand the overpriced and gross polyester nightmares that David’s Bridal sells.

I have looked all over etsy and nothing compares….or I don’t like the neckline

I haven’t seen anything on other websites that blows me away and I want something made from a fabric I can STAND to wear for 9 hours and not sweat all over and feel gross on my wedding day.

Short and curvy I look terrible in strapless

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I want something romantic without being terrible and poofy

I don’t look good in anything without upper support for my large twins….

at this point maybe it would be easier to just make something…..

oh yeah, I do that….

I can sew. I sew pretty well.

I also have been dreaming of making a Chemise A La Reine (18th century style gown)

so….that’s what I’ll be doing.

I just ordered my fabric for $32

Meaning I may make my wedding dress for less than $50….I call it a win

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