Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Perfect Photos For The Perfect Album

While planning our wedding, it was very important to me that we'd come out of it with a professional-quality photo album to share with family and friends for the rest of our lives.

Well, we received ours this month, and it’s incredible! Our photographer Alex did a stellar job designing a beautiful layout from the photos we chose. The gorgeous album, which I’ll share with you very soon, is a black leather flush-mount style, beautiful to view and guaranteed to preserve our favorite shots permanently.

The only major challenge? Narrowing down the over 700 album shots Alex gave us to review to just 100 for inclusion in the album, which is actually one of the largest available. Being the perfectionist that I am, I definitely had a hard time. For example, after a lot of mental wrangling, I chose to include this photo.

It’s certainly a fun and beautiful shot, and I just love the way it showcases all of our bouquets. In fact, that's why I chose it, especially since we also included a humorous shot of the guys holding the flowers. But looking back, out of the hundreds and hundreds of entirely amazing photos we have from our day, there were other very creative shots I could easily have been chosen instead.

For example, what about this one?

Or this one?

Or even this one?

See the dilemma? I guess that when you honestly love your photos, it just becomes that much harder to narrow down the options!

LESSON LEARNED: When choosing photos for your professional album, try to remember that you are only choosing the best of the best of the best! Is there a photo you think is great but not necessary the cream-of-the-crop? Print it out for yourself or include it in a self-made album, whether from a site like Shutterfly or crafted on your own at home. An expensive, professional album should be the ultimate showcase for only those very few photos that are truly the most stunning and impressive from the entire day. And while it's important to choose enough of a variety to tell the whole story, it's definitely not necessary to try to squeeze in every last photo that you like.

Are you having a professional album made? How did you confront the challenge of deciding what to include and what to cut?

(Photo Credits: Alex Neumann Photography)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Family Ties

I’ve heard all the tried and true jokes about in-laws over the years, but I have to honestly say that I can’t relate at all. Stephen’s parents are fabulous people, and I’ve got nothing but admiration and respect for them. The only negative? They live across the country, and we therefore aren’t able to spend a lot of time together.

That’s why, shortly after our wedding, I was especially excited to have my first ever one-on-one meal with Stephen’s dad, who comes to town often for business meetings. This laid-back Thai luncheon gave me a much-needed break from the hectic office, and even more importantly, gave me a chance to really talk and connect with my father-in-law in a more personal way.

And now, this week, both Stephen’s mom and dad are paying us a visit, along with his sister, who is actually planning to move down from NYC. I’m looking forward to a lot more family time in the future!

Have you been able to spend much time with your current or soon-to-be in-laws, either one-on-one or with your husband/fiance?

(Photo Credit: Alex Neumann Photography)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I’m Officially An Old Married Lady…

…because I turn 27 today!

And although I may be joking when I call myself old, I’m not joking when I say that the past year – filled with planning my wedding, marrying the love of my life, getting accepted to grad school, and getting a major promotion at work – has been the best of my life.

As for the coming year? I'm hoping it will be just as amazing! Here’s a little sneak peak at three special things I’m most looking forward to.

-- I can’t wait to successfully complete the first year of my publishing degree, and be well on my way to finally having a master’s. I’ve been in class for about a month now, and am happy to say I really like my professors and the topics we’re discussing. Yes, it can get very overwhelming balancing school, work and life, but it helps that I’m able to focus on topics I’m actually passionate about.
    -- Also, after completing a rigorous round of etiquette training this week, I’m just three classes away from getting my certificate in wedding coordination from Northern Virginia Community College. I’m looking forward to finishing these classes in the spring and reaching out to potential clients.

    -- And last but certainly not least, celebrating my first anniversary with Stephen, my amazing husband and dearest friend, will be an extra-special milestone. Right now, I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the occassion next June will involve a cruise to Alaska!

    What are you most looking forward to during the coming year?

    Monday, September 27, 2010

    My “Make-It-Or-Break-It” Bouquet

    Take a look at each of the following photos? What do they all have in common?

    If you said that they all prominently feature Stephen and I, you’re right. But you know what else they prominently feature? My bouquet.

    I’ll admit that when it came to budgeting for the wedding, flowers were one category in which we decided to be more frugal. But that’s not to say we overlooked them entirely, as I believe floral arrangements can definitely “make or break” a lot of the photos taken throughout the wedding day. Of course, this is never more true than when it comes to the bride’s bouquet.

    I first laid eyes upon mine when I arrived at Gardens of the World for our pre-wedding shoot. From the very moment I saw it, I was truly blown away by how beautiful a job Lei-Ann from Happy Flowers had done in crafting the perfect design. Though my classic round arrangement was not huge (a good thing for a petite bride like me!) and cost just $100, Lei-Ann really went above and beyond in making it special, incorporating all the flowers we’d agreed upon and arranging them so flawlessly. I just adored my romantic bouquet, and especially loved the way it enhanced so many of our photos, including some which have now become favorites.

    LESSON LEARNED: Though you definitely don’t have to spend a fortune on flowers, do put some serious thought into them, especially your bouquet, since it will be featured in just about every photo you’re in. Don’t have a clue as to what you want? Choose a respected florist, share your vision, and let her bring it to life.

    (Photo Credits: Alex Neumann Photography)

    Friday, September 24, 2010

    Which Way To The Church?

    When you picture the bride arriving at the church for her wedding ceremony, you probably picture her stepping out of a long white or black limo as the photographer snaps away, capturing this classic moment.

    But on my wedding day, there was no limo to be found, since Stephen and I decided early on that we didn’t want to shell out the big bucks. Instead, we chose to rent a black van for the day, which my future sister-in-law Meg graciously offered to drive.

    Was it worth the savings? In the end, I'd say it's a toss up. Though things definitely worked out fine – we got where we needed to be with everyone who needed to be there – I underestimated how hard it would be to get in and out of a van in my gown, plus how cramped I would feel while riding. And then there were the issues of directions and pre-wedding jitters.

    While heading to the "first look" site at Gardens of the World, and later to the church, I was so nervous that when the girls asked me to verify directions, I froze a bit. As familiar as I was with the streets and the local area – having grown up there, for goodness sake! – I was entirely distracted and had too much on my mind to think clearly. Fortunately, after a few minutes of back-and-forth discussion, we successfully arrived on schedule.

    LESSON LEARNED: Before you cut a certain service or vendor from your budget in hopes of saving money, take into consideration just how much that particular aspect may add to your comfort or peace-of-mind on the wedding day. It may be more worth the spurge than you initially think. In retrospect, I may have been willing to spend the money on a limo at least for the rides to the “first look” site and church, so that I could be as comfortable as possible during my most nervous and anxious moments. It may also be a good idea to have printed directions to each location on hand in your emergency kit, no matter how familiar you are with the area, in case you draw a blank in all of the excitement.

    What type of wedding day transportation do you plan to use?

    (Photo Credits: Personal Library)

    Thursday, September 23, 2010

    Wish Upon a Wedding DC’s Blissful Wishes Ball

    Planning to be in the DC area this November? Please help us help others in need by coming to Wish Upon a Wedding DC’s Blissful Wishes Ball!

    The Blissful Wishes Ball will benefit Wish Upon a Wedding, the new nonprofit organization that has touched hearts and changed lives across the nation by providing weddings and vow renewals for couples facing terminal illness or other serious life-altering circumstances.

    Not local? There are balls taking place all across the country this fall, so RSVP today for the one closest to you. Don’t miss this chance to enjoy a fun and sophisticated evening while supporting a great cause!

    (Graphic Credit: Wish Upon a Wedding)

    Wednesday, September 22, 2010

    Heather & Stephen's Summer Sangria

    If you’ve been reading my blog for a while now, you know I’m wild about wine. From visiting vineyards to taking tasting classes, enjoying a good glass is my perfect way to kick back after a long and busy week.

    But although I do like to drink my wine straight, I also love it with a little twist. So, in addition to the classic reds and whites we served with dinner, Stephen and I were especially excited to see our signature “summer sangria” brought to life the day of the wedding.

    Even though my queasily excited stomach kept me from trying more than just a sip or two, the drink was a perfect blend of red wine and citrus, which our guests enjoyed down to the last drop. Seeing them sipping away throughout the night reminded me of all the amazing summer evenings Stephen and I have spent together at La Tasca, our favorite tapas place, enjoying a glass of sangria as flamenco dancers swirl around the floor.

    LESSON LEARNED: A signature drink is a great way to add a special personal touch to your party. Whether you choose one of your all-time favorites or work with the venue staff to concoct a unique drink that meshes with your theme or color scheme, this is a great way to give guests a taste of your personalities. Not a drinker? Non-alcoholic drinks can work, too, and will definitely be popular with those who need a break from the bar.

    Are you serving a signature drink on your wedding day?

    (Photo Credits: Alex Neumann Photography & Personal Library)

    Tuesday, September 21, 2010

    My Proudest Wedding Day Moment

    Not normally accustomed to being the girl in the spotlight, when Stephen and I first decided to take dance lessons to prepare for our wedding day, I doubted how far we’d get, especially since I’ve spent my entire life believing I have two left feet. But with the help of our fabulous instructor Kathy, plus many patient hours spent communicating and practicing together, we managed to learn our routine confidently and even have fun while we were at it.

    Still, I couldn’t help but feel a bit nervous right beforehand on our wedding day. What if, after all that hard work, we majorly messed it up? Would my heavy dress throw me off? Would we be too nervous and forget the steps? After all, we only got one shot at our first dance!

    How did things turn out? Have a look!

    As you can clearly see from the sheer joy on my face both throughout and upon finishing the routine, performing our dance to the resounding cheers of our guests was by far one of the proudest and most exhilarating moments of my entire life, let alone the wedding day. Although we may have gone off-beat once or twice, we made it back before the end, and I was beyond thrilled to nail some of the more difficult turns.

    I’m so glad I had the confidence to give this a try, and even more importantly, that Stephen and I worked so well together as a team in bringing the routine to life!

    LESSON LEARNED: If you have the budget and the desire, learning a routine for your first dance is a great way to surprise your guests, while also fostering communication and teamwork between you and your fiance. Our three dance sessions may have cost $60 per hour, but the experience we got out of them was ultimately priceless.

    What are your plans for a first dance?

    (Video Credit: Max MacIver Videography; Photo Credits: Alex Neumann Photography)

    Monday, September 20, 2010


    Though she probably felt that the past year was all about me and my wedding, today it’s my maid of honor’s turn to celebrate. You’ve read my sister Kellie’s guest posts here before, and I hope you’ll now join me in giving her a big 20th birthday shout out!

    I can’t possibly express in mere words how huge a help and what a great friend Kellie was to me throughout my journey as a bride. From putting together ideas for my awesome shower last spring to diligently reporting for “restroom duty” on the big day, she was there for me at my best and worst moments. Plus, she looked absolutely gorgeous in her glam diamond headband and Katy Perry-inspired makeup!

    When she’s not busy being a bride’s lackey, the creative and stylish Kellie rocks her own fashion blog, Playing Dress-Up, where her humor and sassy personality shine as she shares inspiration and advice with her more than 100 loyal readers. Check it out if you’re interested, and be sure to tell her I sent you!

    Who's your maid or matron of honor, and what's most special about your relationship?

    (Photo Credits: Alex Neumann Photography)

    Friday, September 17, 2010

    Topper Trouble

    Leading up to the wedding, Stephen and I worked hard to personalize our day with fun and unique details that reflected our theme and style.

    But as much as I loved our custom wine corks and bottles, tissue packets, and even programs, the cake toppers modeled to look like us were quite possibly my favorite special touch. Remember these little beauties I snagged on Etsy for less than $50?

    I was ecstatic, and absolutely couldn't wait to see them top our wine-themed cake on the big day. So, you can imagine my disappointment when I realized that since I had switched dresses late in the game, to a gown with color no less, the mini-me cake topper was no longer a perfect match.

    Was there anything I could do to fix this, short of ordering a replacement? If I had to use it "as is," would guests even still know that these toppers were custom-designed to match our attire? Luckily, my DIY spirit kicked in to save the day just in time.

    After arriving in California the week before the wedding, my mom unexpectedly discovered a thin strand of purple ribbon in a old box of hair accessories. Carefully trying  not to damage the tiny topper, with its fragile crystals and dainty details, I slowly wedged the ribbon between two rows of beads, tying a bow in the back. Voila!

    Sure, it doesn't look absolutely perfect, but in the end, everyone just loved the cute toppers, and even more importantly, they loved our entire cake!

    LESSON LEARNED: Looking back, I could have and probably should have waited a bit later into our engagement to purchase detailed items like these, to allow for any changes in things like attire, headpieces, hairstyles, and even boutonnieres. In your planning excitement, remember to take your time, and that it's not always necessary to buy something the very second the idea enters your head.

    What do you think of my fix, ladies? Have you had to make any last-minute changes to your wedding details?

    (Photo Credits: Etsy & Alex Neumann Photography)

    Thursday, September 16, 2010

    The Wedding Night: Tropical Illusions

    I had a blast planning our wedding day down to the smallest details, but this of course meant that there weren’t too many surprises waiting for me after everything was said and done. But thanks to Stephen’s best man and friends, there was a big one awaiting both of us at the start of our wedding night!

    As we walked into our hotel room, we were met with the coolest tropical-themed display ever, complete with hanging leis and streamers, twinkle lights across the headboard of the bed, coconut cocktail mugs, and blowup palm trees and beach creatures everywhere.

    It turns out that earlier in the day, while we and the wedding party were taking our “first look” photos, Stephen’s other buddies were hard at work setting up this awesome display! Though we only got to stay there and enjoy it that one night, it was the perfect way to get us in the spirit for our honeymoon cruise in Hawaii.

    Did your friends pull off any special surprises on your wedding day or during your engagement?

    (Photo Credit: Personal Library)

    Wednesday, September 15, 2010

    Dream Honeymoon Giveaway!

    How would you like to spend a luxurious week in St. Maarten, swimming, sunning, and enjoying the spa? Well, here’s your chance!

    Weddzilla and Relentless Bride have teamed up with Westin Dawn Beach Resort & Spa to give away a fabulous seven-night stay for two, complete with an outdoor cabana couple's massage, breakfast daily, and a Sunday champagne brunch.

    Ready to try your luck? Just fill out the entry form, and the next thing you know, you could be kicking it on a gorgeous Caribbean beach!

    What's your favorite island getaway?

    (Photo Credit: Westin Dawn Beach Resort & Spa)

    Tuesday, September 14, 2010

    Love, Marriage & Work-Life Balance

    Last year, I had the honor of attending a speaking engagement featuring former White House Press Secretary Dana Perino. Though she shared a lot of valuable advice about life in D.C. and how to succeed in a hyper-political environment, the one story that most stuck with me pertained to her marriage.

    During the Q & A session, a member of the audience asked Dana how she found a healthy balance between her incredibly demanding job and her life outside. Dana’s answer? She didn’t. As White House press secretary, she devoted herself fully to that position, and even now has had to make a New Year’s resolution to start taking her husband’s phone calls while at work.

    As I left that evening, all I could think was that as much as I hope to achieve professional success in my life, I absolutely refuse to do so at the expense of my marriage or family.

    Like me, I’m sure you’re very often heard couples describe marriage as being a 50-50 partnership. But in my eyes, this isn’t truly the case. I believe being married actually means giving 100 percent of myself, 100 percent of the time. Does this mean I have to give up all of my independence or that I’m no longer supposed to enjoy time by myself? Of course not. But it does mean prioritizing my marriage above any and all other commitments in my life, including work and outside projects.

    Here on Capitol Hill, there are congresswomen who will step out of a hearing or meeting when they receive a call from their children or families, making no apologies about doing so. I respect and admire this, mostly because many people wouldn’t have the guts or the professional standing to do something like that. After all, it’s one thing for a congresswoman to set such an example, but in most workplaces, getting up to take a personal call during a meeting would be severely frowned upon, especially when done by a woman. Yes, I feel there are sadly still a lot of double standards when it come to issues such as these.

    But finding my own balance and defining priorities has honestly been easy, since I have a very clear picture as to what I value most in my life. If Stephen calls during a meeting, I do most often have to call him back, but I do so immediately afterward. He also knows that if it’s urgent, he can call our main number and ask someone to come get me right away. And when we’re out to dinner or spending time together, I try to avoiding checking my email or taking calls.

    After all, when I made a commitment to Stephen, I didn’t only commit to being there part of the time or when it was convenient for me, my bosses, my friends, or anyone else for that matter. I committed to being there all the time, and to giving 100 percent of myself to this marriage. Hopefully, I will never need a New Year’s resolution to help me reaffirm that promise.

    How do you achieve a balance between the professional and the personal?

    (Photo Credits: Alex Neumann Photography)

    Monday, September 13, 2010

    Presenting...Our Professional Video Trailer!

    I've shared with you the fun stills and snapshots, but now, after three months of anticipation, it's finally here! What, you ask?

    Our wedding video!

    As I've said before, I'm a huge believer that every bride and groom should budget for professional footage, even if they don't want to take the full plunge and go all out. Our video is definitely not as elaborate as some of the ultra-cinematic versions out there, and was shot by an up-and-coming videographer who gave us a fabulous deal.

    But it captures our day beautifully, helping recap all the key moments and details, including some I either missed or couldn't fully take in due to all the excitement. Plus, our videographer Max was completely unobtrusive and respectful throughout the day. In the end, we're so grateful for the awesome video he put together.

    All right, enough talk, and on with the show! First up is a trailer featuring highlights of our day, including some special moments I haven't yet had a chance to share with you. Of course, now that I have the footage, full recaps will be coming your way very soon!

    Untitled from Heather Walrath on Vimeo.

    Do you agree that a videographer is a must? If you've already received it, were you happy with your video?

    (Video Credit: Max MacIver Videography)

    Friday, September 10, 2010

    Ceremony Snapshots

    Like any bride, I just love our traditional ceremony photos, which include all the classic shots of the vows, the exchange of rings, and of course, the big kiss. But just as much, I love the creative, non-traditional images our photographer captured, which reveal tons of great behind-the-scenes action, plus unique perspectives of all that went on, both before and after we were pronounced husband and wife.

    Our video footage is on its way, and I can’t wait to share with you more details about the ceremony, which was short and sweet, but also incredibly sincere and heartfelt. Until then, I’ll keep the recaps coming with this fun batch of stills.

    Stephen and best man Brian gave an enthusiastic thumbs up just as the ceremony was about the begin.

    As our final bridesmaid and groomsman made their way down the aisle, my dad stood hidden behind a column, awaiting the moment when he and my mom would escort me.

    The videographer’s camera captured all the action from the church balcony.

    The Sound of Music filled the church during my processional.

    “Reflections” of our ceremony, plus a bird’s-eye view…

    Just married!

    It wouldn’t do to leave all of our papers lying around for the church to clean up. Thanks for lending a hand, Meg!

    Guests greet the newlyweds!

    Do you love behind-the-scenes and unique shots just as much as traditional photos?

    (Photo Credits: Alex Neumann Photography)

    Thursday, September 9, 2010

    Aloha & Goodnight

    For several reasons, Stephen and I decided to skip a traditional grand exit at the end of our reception. For one thing, we planned to be the last ones left, enjoying every final second of the celebration we had planned. Plus, with all of the venue’s restrictions against sparklers, noisemakers, and other potentially messy or loud options, we knew we’d be better off coming up with a unique plan of our own.

    And that we did. After the final dances of the evening had played out and our guests were gathering their things to leave, we had one final surprise for them, and one last opportunity for them to wish us well as we prepared to head off on our Hawaiian honeymoon adventure. At the DJ’s announcement, best man Brian and maid of honor Kellie slipped colorful leis over our heads, and the remaining guests gathered around as we danced to Elvis’ “Blue Hawaii” with our engagement slideshow playing onscreen in the background.

    Since our photographer and videographer had already left for the night, our guests were kind enough to snap a couple shots of us sharing these final moments of our party, and to then wish us “bon voyage” as we at last headed out the door. Though there was no shower of streamers or glow of fireworks, plus no long tunnel of guests to run through, I couldn’t have been happier with the way this ending worked out.

    What are your plans for a grand exit or special last dance?

    (Photo Credits: Personal Library)

    Wednesday, September 8, 2010

    I’m A New Woman…

    As daunting as changing my name was at the beginning of the process, as a self-proclaimed compulsive organizer, a project like this was right up my alley. For one thing, as part of my day job, I organize and track information for a sizeable staff, updating and implementing changes as needed. Name change? It might be a hassle, but I knew I could take it.

    The week after I got back from my honeymoon, I set about updating all of my records at work, as well as requesting a few copies of our marriage license. I also ordered my kit from Name Change Express, which definitely saved time by providing many of the forms I needed. Next up, it was time to apply for a new social security card, made that much easier by the fact that there’s a liaison office right in our work complex.

    Within a couple weeks, I had my new identity, and throughout the month, I began to make contact with all the necessary agencies and companies. Then, at right around the two-month mark, I followed up with everyone who failed to follow through the first time. And now, three months after the wedding, I’m thrilled to say that I am officially done with every last thing. It feels great to officially be a Mrs.!

    LESSON LEARNED: As you head into your name change, hit the ground running and just get it all out of the way. Yes, it will be pain. Yes, you will have to follow up with those who lose your forms or don’t remember to send you the information you need. Don’t let it bother you. Just treat everyone as nicely and politely as you can, stay positive, and before you know it, you'll be a new woman! Plus, as you implement the change, don’t forget to update your info with doctors, utilities, magazine providers, and other smaller companies you might not initially think about in the beginning.

    Did you start your name change right after the wedding? When a looming project is less than exciting, do you tend to dive right in or take things one piece at a time?

    (Photo & Graphic Credits: Alex Neumann Photography & Google Images)

    Tuesday, September 7, 2010


    In keeping with our “California romance” theme, Stephen and I initially considered staples like Jelly Belly candies or wine stoppers as favors for our guests. But when family friend Joann told us about a local company that created edible white chocolate boxes, we just had to check them out.

    And upon first glance, we knew we’d found the perfect favors. Not only were these Creations by Sharon boxes lovely, with an intricate design on each lid, but they were also filled with Jordan almonds and available in a variety of designs, all of which we loved.

    As seen above, we chose two different shapes, a butterfly and heart, which meshed with our romantic vibe and allowed our coordinator to alternate between favors at each place setting. And for a special touch of personalization, we placed an order at a local party store for dark purple ribbons featuring our names and the wedding date, which Joann later delivered to Sharon for assembling.

    Finally, to give guests just a little something extra, we ordered  a bag of buttercream mints, which each had either a bride or groom cartoon on the wrapper, from the site My Wedding Favors. Our coordinator set one of these next to each guest’s wine glass to help everyone freshen up after enjoying our hot and spicy Mexican buffet. And judging by how close we all got on the packed dance floor later in the evening, I think this was a definite plus!

    What types of favors do you plan to give your guests?

    (Photo Credits: Alex Neumann Photography, My Wedding Favors & Personal Library)

    Monday, September 6, 2010

    Making Your Party ‘Pop’

    Candy and dessert tables have become a tried and true staple at events of all types and sizes, but another fun and affordable option – the popcorn display – often flies under the radar. For years, this has been one of my all-time favorites, and it’s easy to see why.

    With just a little research, you can find tasty options online through sites such as Popcorn Papa, which offers tons of choices in colors and flavors to match your theme or d├ęcor. From jalapeno or dill pickle, to vanilla or watermelon, the sweet and salty flavors can be as classic or crazy as you wish.

    At the Wish Upon a Wedding DC launch party in June, blue candy-coated popcorn, along with classic butter and cheese corn, made for a fun display near the entrance, plus a simple take-home snack for guests.

    Plus, while cupcakes and custom-made treats can become costly very quickly, a 6.5-gallon bag costs less than $8 on Popcorn Papa. Just pick up a few clear containers and scoops, plus DIY labels and favor bags, and you’ll be good to go! Candy-coated popcorn can be a great addition to a candy or dessert table, as well.

    Or, if you prefer to serve your popcorn up fresh, plenty of rental companies can hook you up with an onsite machine sure to add a touch of carnival-style fun to your wedding or birthday party.

    What’s your favorite buffet-style table?

    (Photo Credits: Wish Upon a Wedding DC & Weddingbee)

    Friday, September 3, 2010

    Working Hard Or Hardly Working?

    One busy afternoon, the week before I was scheduled to leave town for my wedding, a colleague summoned me to her office in a panic. Our boss, she said, had just discovered some major damage to the stately wooden table in one of our conference rooms, where a huge meetings with VIPs was scheduled to take place the following morning.

    Feeling anxious and nervous about scheduling repairs at such late notice, I quickly followed her down the hall so that she could show me exactly where the problem area was, kicking myself for not doing a walk-though on my own earlier in the day. What if I couldn’t get it fixed and the boss was furious?

    “I’m so sorry about this,” she said, shaking her head as she pushed open the door. It was dark, but I could immediately tell that something wasn’t quite right. There were shadows lurking throughout the room. They looked like people…


    The lights came on, and I couldn’t stop laughing as at least 20 of my coworkers – both guys and gals – looked on with cheers and smiles. A cake sat on the table, along with refreshments and appetizers. I was touched and truly shocked, especially since I am usually a tough person to surprise. But with all the craziness of my final wedding preparations, plus my colleague’s very believable story, at least in our workplace, everyone caught me completely off-guard!

    The next hour was a complete blast, with everyone wishing me well and asking for all the up-to-the-minute scoop about our upcoming day. The one thing I regret? That we were all having too much fun to snap any pictures!

    Did your colleagues throw you a work shower prior to the wedding, or do you expect them to? Have your colleagues ever surprised you by playing a great joke the way mine did?

    (Photo Credit: Google Images)

    Thursday, September 2, 2010

    Sharing An Umbrella…

    Though there wasn’t a cloud in the sky on our wedding day, one of our favorite moments was spent huddling beneath the “love” parasol I’d purchased from Etsy seller iDoOriginals.

    These shots, courtesy of Alex Neumann Photography and one gorgeous California sunset, left us entirely elated.

    LESSON LEARNED: A parasol makes a fun prop that can allow for some absolutely beautiful photos, all for less than $50. This is one accessory that is definitely worth working into your budget.

    Are there any special wedding day props or accessories you plan to use?

    (Photo Credits: Alex Neumann Photography)