The Post-Wedding Shoot

I now interrupt our honeymoon recaps to chat about our post-wedding photo shoot!  You may recall that we planned to take engagement photos this past winter, but time was not on our sides.  Our amazing wedding photographer, Brittany, liked the idea of switching to a post-wedding shoot; so this Friday, we’ll reunite for our long-awaited engagement-turned-post-wedding shoot!

I love themed photo shoots.  You know the kind I’m talking about.  The amazing Up-inspired engagement session.  The couple that loves road trips.  The flight-themed shoot for a pilot and his future wife.  Once we chose our location (the park by Adam’s former elementary school) and considered our interests (I’m a school teacher; we both love playing in the park), we decided on our own theme: Recess!  Here are some ideas to get us started:


I adore the props in the shoot above!  I’m planning to bring school-time props like notebooks, pencils, name tags, and books; along with some playtime props like balls, Frisbees, chalk, and bubbles.


Perhaps we’ll place our rings on one of our favorite novels or dictionaries (I love dictionaries).


Since there’s a playground nearby, we’ll probably hop on the swings and monkey bars for a few shots!


And here’s the twist: We’ll be doing it all in our wedding gear!  I love the combination of resplendent clothing and the natural beauty of the great outdoors.  You may remember that the photo below was the inspiration for our cancelled engagement photo session.  I’m hoping the glam+nature style works just as well in the summer!


Above: The wintry version.  Below: The summery version.


It would’ve been nice to have done an engagement session with Brittany to get to know her style before the wedding.  But postponing it gave us time to think about what we wanted to do with our final shoot.  And I love that it’ll capture a few moments in our life as newlyweds.

Would you consider switching your engagement session for a post-wedding session?  What theme would you choose for a photo shoot with your loved one?

June 21, 2010. Engagement pictures, Our Friendly Vendors. Leave a comment.

Sunday Bunday!

Berries and cuteness and bunnies on cupcakes…

There are a few of my favorite things!


And they’re all on this cute little card.

Have a wonderful Sunday, everyone!

June 13, 2010. Bunnies. Leave a comment.

Mooning Over Maui: Part Two

When we left off, Adam and I had just arrived in Maui and driven the long and winding Road to Hana.  We spent the rest of the week falling in love with Maui.  The mountains, beaches, and skies were breathtaking, and we kept stopping to take photos like these:

We also partook in a few tourist-y experiences:

The Royal Lahaina Luau. The day after Hana, I showed off my gigantic welts, ahem, mosquito bites at our first luau.  We’re guessing that the earlier you book it, the better seats you’ll have…’cause our seats were pitiful.

Showing off our leis and our buried-in-the-forest table

But I have to say, it was exactly what I hoped a luau would be!  This is in stark contrast to the luau we went to in Oahu and some others we heard about; so if you’re trying to decide on a luau, I’d highly recommend the Royal Lahaina.  Yes, all luaus have fun food and drinks, but what I loved most was the beautiful story told by the dancers, storytellers, and musician.  It made me want to stay in Hawaii forever and train to become a hula dancer!  (I’m still considering this…don’t tell our apartment brokers in NYC.)

The Pacific Whale Foundation. We went on an “eco tour” with the PWF to say hello to whales.  We didn’t get any whale photos, but I was thrilled to see a few tails and fins, along with beautiful views of the islands from afar.  Our guides recommended we come back sometime in November through March for a more exciting, whale-filled trip.  I was satisfied with the relaxing two-hour boat ride, but there were some sad little kids on our boat who wanted to see more.

Pictures we took from the boat:

Rainbows, rings, and a helicopter

Pictures we did not take from the boat:

An actual whale (photo by the Pacific Whale Foundation)

Beach Hopping.  On our last full day in Maui, Adam suggested checking out all the best beaches on the island.  I’ll briefly share our experiences with each one, but the linked web pages will be more helpful if you’re planning to go.  If you’re not heading to Hawaii soon, feel free to skip to the photos below!

  1. Makena’s Big Beach.  This was our favorite beach of the whole trip—white sand, crystal water, and crazy fun waves!  One was at least 15 feet high.  Adam swam through it; I was thrown face-first into the shore.  That watery beast.  Besides that, we had ton of fun battling the waves!
  2. Wailea Beach.  It’s runs along some fancy resorts, and we could tell why.  It was a gorgeous beach lined with fresh green succulents and swaying palm trees.
  3. Kamaole Beaches 1, 2, and 3.  Our hotel was across from these beaches.  We saw families enjoying picnics and play-dates here.  These were the most park-like out of all the beaches we saw.
  4. Sugar Beach.  I really wanted to find this because of the name—I wanted to see the sugary sand!  But when we got there, we discovered that their sand was like all the rest.  Also, the area where we entered had a sign that said “Resort Guests Only” and a dead crab.  So we left feeling disappointed, rejected, and a little mournful.  Poor little crabber.
  5. Ho’okipa Beach.  This beach was crowded with locals who were either sunbathing, surfing, or windsurfing.
  6. Hanakao’o Beach Park.  We ran into a few groups of kids and coaches with canoes, but there was still plenty of room on the beach for sunning and swimming.
  7. Ka’anapali Beach.  We went here a few times, because it lined one of my favorite spots: Whaler’s Village!  Upscale shops, offbeat boutiques, and yummy restaurants on a beautiful beach—it’s like it knew I was coming and built itself.

All photos are mine except that whale one : )

Before we knew it, we were flying off to Oahu in a tiny plane!  Next, I’ll tell you about our stay at Turtle Bay Resort.

For those of you who have been to Maui, did we miss out on anything?  I’d love to go back in the (oh so very near) future and would love to hear about more places to see, foods to try, and adventures to experience!

June 11, 2010. Honeymoon. 1 comment.

Mooning Over Maui

We’re still waiting to receive our wedding pictures, but in the meantime, I’ll tell you all about our beachy and beautiful honeymoon!  We spent two weeks in Hawaii—one in Maui and one in Oahu.  I’ll spare you all the newlywed mushiness and try to cover the experiences we’d recommend along with helpful tips in case you decide to go! 🙂

The first thing we did in Hawaii was The Road to Hana.  No wait, the first thing I did was pick up free magazines at the airport.  Those are awesome.  Then we checked into our hotel.  Here, I’ll put it all in order:

The magazines. While Adam picked up our luggage, I loaded up on the free Maui magazines near the baggage claim.  They’re filled with maps and articles about tourist traps and local gems.  We found directions and recommendations for all of our favorite day trips and meals in these things.  Plus, they were free magazines to flip through while lying out in the sun!

The Maui Coast Hotel. We wanted a budget hotel for our week in Maui, since we were splurging on Turtle Bay the following week.  Maui Coast is located in Kihei, right across from three beautiful beach parks.  Besides the beaches and deserted movie theater, there’s not a ton to do in town, so we rented a car to explore the rest of the island.

The Road to Hana! I loved all the beautiful sights;  Adam enjoyed driving like a maniac on the curvy coastal roads.  We made a bajillion stops along the way, and one favorite was the beautiful black sand beach at Waianapanapa, 32 miles into the drive.  You can see it surrounded by lush greenery below:

We’re deprived of waterfalls in Chicago, so we visited as many as we could on the Road to Hana.  Watch for road signs pointing to waterfalls—all of them were totally worth the walk/climb/slosh!

Half of this couple enjoyed climbing trees overhanging the ocean while the other half pleaded with him to get down…and back away from that blowhole…and omgosh, did you read that danger sign?  Some of them had the word “death” in it, which scared me off pretty well.  Adam remained undaunted.

Although the road to Hana is more about the journey than the destination, I LOVED the destination!  My first name is Hannah, so I had a whale of a time shouting, “There’s my school!  There’s my ranch!  I am queen of this landdd!” 😛

It seemed like every person we met during the honeymoon had driven the road to Hana and didn’t like it!  The main reason was car sickness.  Smaller complaints included gas prices in Hana, lack of food choices, the amount of time it took, and the mosquitoes.  Okay, that last complaint was mine.  I love all God’s creatures, but what is WITH mosquitoes and their creepy obsession with my legs?

I still have a three-inch scar. Thank you, bugs.  And thank you, unreasonably sensitive skin.

Here are our Hana tips: Fill up on gas beforehand.  Pack water and snacks.  Plan for a long day (7am-8pm for us).  And bring hand sanitizer or soap.  I’d recommend bug spray, but it obviously did nothing for me.

Up next, a luau, a whale, and some beach-hopping!

June 10, 2010. Honeymoon. 3 comments.


As in—really, you couldn’t have released these stamps three months earlier?!

I was just at the post office, picking up more stamps for our thank you cards.  They were all out of the wedding band stamps, so the lady behind the counter apologetically offered me these purple pansy ones.  OMGOSH, so pretty.  When I needed stamps for our invitations and RSVPs, our options were polar bears, forever stamps, and these:

The newest love stamps are a giant leap forward.  Here’s hoping for many more lovely stamps in the future!

May 24, 2010. Stationery. 2 comments.

One Month Since

Today is our first month-aversary!  While I often hear people say that it seems like their wedding was just yesterday, for me, it seems like the wedding was forever ago.  I’m already tapping my head, trying to remember all the moments that made us laugh and tear up.  We didn’t make any major plans for the month after our wedding besides the honeymoon, but somehow, we’ve been quite busy.  Here’s what we did during the month after our big day:

  • We honeymooned in Hawaii for two glorious weeks.

  • We unpacked five suitcases: three from Hawaii, two from the wedding weekend.
  • We celebrated six birthdays.  All six people were in our bridal party, and three of us have the same birthday.  Crazy, right?
  • We started writing thank you notes.  Don’t be like me and assume that all wedding-related labor is done after the wedding.  200 blank note cards recently grew vocal cords just so they could laugh at my naivety.
  • We received teaser photos from our photographer and teased our friends for photo-bombing us:


  • We celebrated mundane things, because it was the first time as a married couple.  There was the first ordering of takeout as a couple.  The first time doing laundry together as a couple.  The first time discovering a broken dryer the hard way as a couple.  And the first time getting fed up with the machines and hanging our towels from doorknobs to dry as a couple.  Sigh. 🙂
  • We used our registry completion discounts at C&B and Macy’s to sweep up our registry favorites.  Hello, new baking buddy!


And two life-changing things happened right before the wedding, but we were too preoccupied to give them any attention:

  • I was accepted to my dream PhD program in New York.  Omgosh.
  • Adam was promoted within his awesome company…to a position in New York!

Friend’s photo

So this month has also been filled with housing applications, a flight to New York, and some exciting discussions about moving to the Big Apple!  I lived in NYC when Adam and I started dating long distance, and it’ll be fun to revisit all the places we loved and discover more together!  This time, as newlyweds.

What are your post-wedding plans?  Or if you’re already wed, what did you do during the first month after your wedding?

May 18, 2010. Wedding Photos. Leave a comment.

Sunday Bunday!

I haven’t done one of these posts in a while!

We’ve been hard at work on our “thank you” cards.  It reminds me of all the work we put into our invitations—especially when I look at all the envelopes, hand-addressed and laid out to let the ink dry.  It’s slow going, mostly because we didn’t expect it to be so much work…and I’m kind of over doing any wedding-related labor.  My only motivation is that I really do want to thank people.  The stack of 200 note cards is daunting, but when I think about the individuals, I’m moved to keep on trucking.

It’d be nice if we had some cute “thank you” cards like these:




I couldn’t find a picture of our actual thank you notes, but they are bunny-less.  I’d say they’re a cross between these two cards:

Both from Target

Hope everyone’s having a happy Sunday Bunday!

May 16, 2010. Bunnies. Leave a comment.

My Flowers: Behind the Scenes

When I first showed my auntie my floral inspiration, she had some hesitations about my dream flowers—namely, the difficult peonies, droopy sweet peas, and pricey ranunculus and anemones.  After some discussion, we agreed to replace my favorites with more budget-friendly options.  At that point, I felt lukewarm about my florals and figured they’d be nice, just not what I’d been dreaming of.

The week before my wedding, she invited my mom and I over to her floral shop to show me the flowers she ordered.

For the bouquets:

Pink roses.  Alright.  That’s cool.  But wait, there was more!  She invited me into her giant fridge and showed me all of this:

At the last minute, she decided to order every annoyingly difficult and expensive flower that I had shown her!  Sweet peas!  Anemones!  Ranunculus!  Peonies!  Oh, the squealing and hugging she endured that night!

She coaxed these into blooming for our church arrangements and bouquets:

And for the centerpieces, she revealed bright and cheery roses, hyacinth, green hypericum berries, and teeny tiny pink flowers.  I have no idea what they’re called.

For the boutonnières, I had settled for white roses, but she surprised me with the mini calla lilies I had wanted!

All photos are mine : )

I was so thrilled to see all these beauties!  I didn’t have time to stop by to see any of the assembling, but my mom did. She dropped by the floral shop the night before the wedding and got to assemble my bouquet!  Why they didn’t take photos of this, I have no idea. 😛

Our pro photos should be ready in the next few weeks, and I can’t wait to show you the final results.  Were there any surprises when it came to your wedding florals, or was it just what you were expecting?

May 11, 2010. Flowers. Leave a comment.

Parfait Paperie

We’re back from our honeymoon, and I have so much to share with you!  While we’re waiting for our professional pictures, I’ll take you back in time to the weeks leading up to the wedding.

Between the two- and three-week mark, I worked on printing and assembling all the paper pieces for our wedding.  My cousin, Julie, designed our invitations, menus, programs, table numbers, and photo booth signs.  She is amazing, and I credit all the following gorgeousness to her!  Here’s a look at our coffee table during paper-project-mania:

The place cards were simple—a pretty gray font on white card stock, mounted on silver cards.

I adored our menus!  The border and fonts reminded me of our invitations.

I liked the shadowed effect of our fancy-pants table numbers.  I mounted them on shimmery silver card stock, so they wouldn’t wilt throughout the night.

We placed these signs near our photo booth.  My BFF (Pi Parfait) helped me come up with the wording.  We especially enjoyed the “Ultimate Wedding Scrapbook” part. 🙂

Pi Parfait also helped me design these photo booth tickets.  Aren’t they sweet?

I printed our program covers on Blush Pink card stock.  The inner pages were on regular copy paper.  I spent many long hours and sleepless nights with my paper-cutter while working on these.

The first page of our eight-page program explained the ceremony.  The inner pages introduced our wedding party, parents, and officiant with cute descriptions of each person.  There was also a page about the significance of the church, the processional song, and the traditions we included in the ceremony.

The 6th and 7th pages featured a thank you note to our guests and a map to the reception.

I made 170 of each item, besides the table numbers (20) and photo booth signs.  By the Tuesday before our wedding, I had finished every single one of these projects!  I wanted to be done the weekend before, but there seemed to be no end to the cutting and pasting.  During the process, I’d ask myself if we really needed ceremony programs or menus—I wanted to save myself from more work!  But in the end, I’m glad we had all of these pieces, because they kept our guests informed, involved, and entertained. 🙂

What paper projects have you been working on?  Did you decide to leave out any pieces for your wedding, like menus or programs?

May 3, 2010. Stationery. Leave a comment.

Oh, Joyful Day!

We’re married!!!

Our wedding was the most fun we’ve ever had in one day!  It was incredible.  We still can’t believe what a beautiful, joyous, laughter-filled day we had.

Before we fly off to our honeymoon, I wanted to give a big “Thank You” hug to my readers!  Thank you for everything.  Your positivity, your amazing ideas, and your words of encouragement have meant so much to me.  I’ve loved sharing our wedding planning process with you and can’t wait to share the amazing results!

And of course, I couldn’t leave without giving you a sneaky peek:


Have a beautiful few weeks, everyone!

April 18, 2010. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

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