Why I am a wedding-advising hypocrite

A newly engaged co-worker asked me for some wedding planning tips (ok, he didn’t ask me for tips. He asked me how it was going), and I in turn, sent him this (in my opinion) very well-stated advice:

I’m doing pretty good – 11 days!  So as far as sanity goes, here is my #1 tip for [your fiance.] When planning your wedding, you can get lost in a myriad of details. When making decisions, ask yourself the question, “When I look back at my wedding will this ‘thing’ truly make my day better if I have it or worse if I don’t?” If the answer is no, then you can safely eliminate it/skip it. This is how I skipped church flowers, overdoing the centerpieces and a host of items that would have taken more of my time and budget.

 Tip #2 – Delegate and let others help you when they ask! If you can relinquish control of little details, you’ll save many headaches trying to do it yourself. For example, my fiance’s aunt is doing the room gifts for out-of-town guests (A detail that probably wouldn’t have made my budget, but she offered to do this.) I am letting her run with it.

 Tip #3 – Have fun making decisions together that reflect your styles and personalities. We did a movie theatre themed wedding b/c it fit our venue and our personalities. We had a blast thinking of ideas to make this come together! (But you don’t have to have a theme) It’s fun to go out for drinks or dinner and talk about your wedding together. “Wouldn’t it be fun if we did this or that.”  

 Tip #4 – www.blueruestudio.com – that’s my photographer. I heart him.

Now where’s my Martha Stewart gig, because that’s pretty stellar advice right there?

But the truth is, I’m a hypocrite because last night I almost lost my sanity.

It happened after I had gone to bed. The Fiance was in our office, poking around on the computer. I was lying there thinking about my wedding dress and all of a sudden, it hit me.

He might not like it.

I mean, I love it. Really love it. But what if that’s not what he envisioned when he pictured me that day. What if he hates the fabric, the cut, the pick-up style or the way it fits me. (What if he knew what pick-up style meant? This would be an entirely different post.)

I jumped out of bed because at that moment we needed to discuss this.

“Babe. What if you don’t like my dress?”

He looked at me dumbfounded.  “Of course I’ll like it. It will be on you, silly girl.”

Not willing to accept this sweet statement as fact, I pushed the issue.

“But no, it’s kind of different, not really traditional and what if you hate it? ”

“I won’t hate it!”

I pushed some more. Until finally he said, “As long as it doesn’t have a swan head and feathers coming off it, I think you’ll be fine.”

And then I went to bed, and may or may not have worried about a million other things left undone.




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Viewing weddings through a quirky lens

Copyright 2009 Aaron Newell Blue Rue Photography

When I was looking for a wedding photographer, it was really important not only to find a photographer who could work with my budget, but one who would truly get our quirks.

Kansas City photographer Aaron Newell was a referral from a co-worker.

And he was the perfect match for our wedding.

I’ve really enjoyed getting to know Aaron (and his family) through the planning process. Aaron’s down-to-earth, personable personality compliments the chaos of wedding planning.

He brings a very unique and artistic touch to his photos and conceptualizes fantastic epic shots.  I’m really excited about some of the places we have planned to shoot on our wedding day.  But I’m not going to tell you now. You’ll have to wait and see for yourself!

In the meantime, I asked Aaron to take a minute to share a few things about him on Quirky Wedding. Here’s what he had to say:

1. How did you get into photography?

As far back as I can remember there’s been a strong influence of photography in my family. My grandmother took pictures all the time and I remember her giving me one of her cameras back in the day to shoot with. In high school I had a really awesome photography teacher whom helped shape my interest and encourage me to think about photography more than just candid pictures.
2. What is your favorite thing about shooting weddings?

I love several different things about shooting weddings. The connection and the love between the bride and groom, the opportunity to capture photographs that will help them remember their day and that connection. Every wedding is a beautiful event that affords the opportunity for amazing photographs.
3. How would you describe your style of wedding photography?

I label myself as a fine art portrait photographer with a touch of photojournalism thrown in for good measure. I feel I’m the best of both worlds (portrait and photojournalism).

4. Show us your quirkiest photo.

See photo above. It’s not totally quirky but I really like it alot…

5. What are you looking to most about my wedding?

It’s you! My wife and I have amazing times with all our couples as we develop a great relationship/friendship with our clients. So in the end I can’t wait to hang out with you and Adam and work my tail off!
6. When you aren’t taking pictures, what do you enjoy doing?

I enjoy family time, computer games, board games, college basketball, darts, movies, drinking and making good beer…
7. Where is your favorite place in Kansas City to have a date with your lovely wife?

Ohh, date nights… I wish we had more of these but with two kiddos it’s tough sometimes. Dinner and a movie makes for a great night for me… Dinner and a bookstore for my wife
8. Any marriage tips for me?

Tell each other that you love each other everyday, be yourselves and don’t be in a rush for that next great milestone! Take it easy and have a good time!

Thanks, Aaron! See you in 12 days!

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Quirky Guestbook

A few weeks ago, I had a horrible realization.

I had no guestbook.

And as per usual, no concept for a guestbook.

Lucky for me, Etsy to the rescue! I put out a request for a guestbook for my Old Hollywood/Movie Theatre wedding and a creative soul who calls herself GertieDot had some fabulous design ideas. (I’m also partial to Gertie’s) My only suggestions were to use my red and black colors with the theme (title) of the wedding. And Gertie, well she she took it to a whole new level.

It’s finished and on its way. The idea is to put a sign by it asking people to “Please leave your names along with your wisdom, tips or well wishes for us as we build a life together…”  (Haven’t finalized that wording yet.)

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People might not want to leave their rooms at our wedding…

Because they are getting this fabulous loot! (You can’t see it all.)

I’ll keep some elements secret so guests will still be surprised, but the concept here is the popcorn bucket filled with movie goodies including a romantic movie DVD to take home.

Isn’t this fun?

The fiance’s aunt is doing these for us and it’s such a great idea that I wanted to share it.

Now, for those guests who are all of a sudden clamoring to get a hotel room, the $89 rate at both hotels expires on January 27. And: You have to tell us where you are staying.

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Coming to a wedding near you: cake.

I don’t think there is much to say other than to quote the fiance’s mom who called me (actually, she called the fiance b/c she couldn’t find my number) after I left our champagne and cake tasting last night: “This is going to be my best cake ever.”

It’s true.  It is going to be fantastic. First – the flavors:

We picked four flavors. And let me just start by saying that no one will want for cake at our wedding. Bottom layer: carrot cake with cream cheese filling. Next layer: Spice cake with maple butter cream filling .  Next layer: lemon cake with lemon butter cream filling. Top layer: A repeat of the lemon which will go in our freezer.

But wait! Don’t worry chocolate lovers. There will also be an extra sheet cake of chocolate with chocolate butter cream filling. 

It is all so delicious that guests might want to go back for seconds.

But what will be really spectacular is the design of this cake. We are looking at a four-tiered square cake.

The bottom of each layer will be surrounded by this fondant film strip with pictures of the fiance and I through the years.

First layer – baby/toddler. Second layer- school/child. Third layer – teen/adult.

Instead of icing here, fondant will depict the theatre rope.

Where the corners on the mini-demo cake connecting the film reel on each side are blank, they will each be covered with a black fondant “pole” and across the entire side of the cake tier, will be a red fondant “rope.” Much like a theatre.

The magic happens on the top tier where there will be a  fondant red curtain pulled back on each of the four corners revealing a full-screen picture of the fiance and I together.

We’ll be topping the cake with the top of an old-fashioned popcorn box (with the scalloped edge top) filled with red roses.

I am absolutely in awe of the fiance’s mom. Did I mention she is making this thing? Also his dad, who is responsible for somehow printing the photo strips that get incorporated into the fondant film around the base of each layer.

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Math was never my strong suit


Last night I was boasting to my team captain (Maid of Honor) DD Girl about my centerpieces. 

Won’t that look cool?

Isn’t that a great idea?

Isn’t $142 a great deal for 12 centerpieces?

“How many centerpieces did you order?” she asked.

12? I said. Ten for the guests and two for the head table.

“How many at each table?” she asked.


“That’s 100. Aren’t you having like 200 guests?”

Long horrific realization pause.


Math never was my strong suit.


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If the dress fits

Huzzah! It fit.

I kept asking the (very nice) saleslady, “Are you sure it’s zipped?” It was. The corset is the perfect 4 inches wide at the bottom and 2.0 to 1.5 to the top. I guess that’s how it should look, or so they say.

Once I saw the dress with the broach and the shoes all pinned up to the right length, it was breathtaking.

There was a  bouncy little eight-year-old girl in the store with her mom who was busy having her dress fitted.  The little girl was staring at me in the mirror. She told me I looked too pretty to wear a necklace. Of course, I was instantly endeared to her.

After we finished complimenting one another on our beautiful dresses,(she was wearing a flower girl dress) she wanted to see my shoes. I asked her what color she thought they were.

She said “white.”

I pulled my hem up and showed her the bright red shoes and she exclaimed, “Oh my!”

 She told me she could live in the bridal store and that she would wear all the wedding gowns and then the kid dresses.

I said that sounded like a great idea. 

She elaborated that she could get her food at the nearby Hy-Vee. I asked what she would do at night and she told me she would have the TV people bring a TV so she could watch the Disney Channel. (Um, hi TV people? We’d like a new flat screen for our bedroom. And could you throw in HBO? Thanks!) 

Standing there looking at my dress, with my new BFF (who by this time was rolling on the floor and finding amusement that the petticoats under her dress caused it to poof out even when she was on her knees), I decided  I could live in it.  

I like the way my friend thinks.

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