{real weddings} Erin & Todd – Part 1

I’m so excited to share the first part of Erin and Todd’s wedding story with you today! Erin (Caroline’s cousin) was sweet enough to share her wedding and engagement photos, as well as the adorable story of how she and her husband met. Read on for their story and shots from their engagement shoot captured by the talented Kate Connolly.

erin-engagement-1From Erin: Todd and I were introduced by a friend of mine from college. I met Brett in 1997 when I was a senior in high school visiting Bucknell University on a field hockey recruiting trip. She was my host that weekend and would soon become my teammate on the field and my “big sister” in our sorority. Who would have known that over ten years later she would introduce me to my husband! I owe you one Brett!

Brett met Todd in September 2008 at Todd’s cousin’s wedding. Brett attended the wedding as a friend of the bride and she and her date had a great time hanging out with Todd. At some point in the evening Brett texted me “I met your husband tonight!” Pretty crazy – She was right!

Thanks to the email below from Brett (We both saved the email, and Todd incorporated it into our rehearsal dinner slide show unbeknownst to our guests and to me until a picture of us as toddlers was followed by a photo of the email), Todd and I met in New York City about a month after I received her text message from the wedding.

Subject: Don’t hate me

Date: Thu, 25 Sep 2008 17:11:59 -0400

From: [Brett’s E-Mail]

To: [Todd’s E-Mail]; [Erin’s E-Mail]


I know this is weird and awkward but….
Erin meet Todd.
Todd meet Erin.
Email away!! (sorry for the lack of warning on both your parts!)
Drinks, all of us soon!

We went to a restaurant around the corner from my apartment in the West Village for dinner – Café Cluny; a restaurant we would come to frequent for brunch and dinner over the next few years. Todd and I have been together since the evening we met in October 2008 and were engaged in June 2012… at Café Cluny.

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erin-engagement-7Stay tuned for Part 2 to see Erin and Todd’s wedding photos and all their wedding details!

Photography by Kate Connolly

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{real weddings} Elizabeth & Jaryd – Engaged

Another real weddings feature for you today. This time from a fellow blogger, Elizabeth, of the very cool fashion blog, Contemperamental (here). Her style is edgy, yet contemporary, yet classic – Bottom line, she’s WAY cooler than me. But boy does this girl know how to bargain shop! She has scooped some seriously awesome buys. Really – Go check out her blog. Now.

Today, Elizabeth shares with us her engagement photos and some wedding details. Which also means you just have to come back for the actual wedding!

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Your blog has quickly become a daily read of mine. As a new blogger myself, what made you bite the bullet and start and your blog?
Thank you, I’m so glad!! I work in fashion PR so staying on top of the blogosphere has always been an important part of my job. I found myself reading blog posts and saying “I want to do that!”. I knew the longer I waited to start blogging, the harder it would be to break into such a saturated market. After familiarizing myself with the technical side of running a blog, I took the leap and launched Contemperamental. Running a fashion blog has given me the chance to act as Editor-In-Chief and Creative Director of my own “brand”. It offers me a bit of autonomy when my day job feels too constricting.

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What’s the meaning behind the name, Contemperamental?
Contemperamental is a fusion of the words “contemporary” and “temperamental”.  My blog concentrates heavily on contemporary fashion but it is important to me that the fashion be injected with humor, levity and accessibility. I tend to take a temperamental approach to fashion – some days I am consumed with trends, new collections and emerging designers and other days I couldn’t be bothered.  People who say they “live and breathe” fashion need to reexamine their priorities.

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I love how your engagement photos are a blend of romantic (with the twinkle lights) meets swagger (with the sunglasses). Tell me a little about the location of your shoot and your personal style.
These photos were shot outside Aria Wine Bar in the West Village. I am assuming that Aria has the twinkle lights up to mask the temporary scaffolding but I might suggest that they find a way to keep them – they make for such a magical entrance!  Jaryd and I wanted our shoot to feel timeless but still be an accurate representation of our style.  He tends to be more preppy while I mix in edgier pieces – we meet in the middle with a classic pair of Ray-Bans.

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How’s wedding planning going? Totally stressful or totally cool?
For the most part, totally cool. I had the big picture details ironed out within the first two weeks of being engaged; I didn’t want to be limited in vendor selection because I had let too much time pass before beginning the vetting process. My parents are generously hosting the wedding but have given me full control of the planning process. I have found it much easier to make decisions with limited cooks in the kitchen. Jaryd and I tend to be more on the fastidious side so our families trust that if it meets our standards, they will love it too!

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So when can we see more? When/where is your wedding?
Our wedding is in late September at Pier Village in Long Branch, New Jersey. Jaryd and I hail from the same area, so getting married where we grew up was the first and easiest wedding decision we made. We will be married in the same church in which I was christened and confirmed and our reception will be ocean-side at one of our favorite restaurants. It will hopefully be the perfect marriage (pun intended) between our beach town roots and our current life in Manhattan!

These photos are just too cute. What an adorable couple! With Elizabeth’s sense of style, I can only imagine what her wedding will look like – and I can’t wait!

photography by Esther Jung Photography

{real weddings} Kerry & Colin – Engaged

Ask and you shall receive… I’m so excited to share my first real weddings feature with you today! Not only are the future bride & groom very near and dear to my heart, but their photographer is nothing short of fabulous. Kerry, the bride-to-be, fills us in on some behind-the-scenes details – While, Kina Wicks, captures their Chicago love story perfectly.

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Your engagement photos are gorgeous. How did you discover Kina Wicks?
Thank you!  We both are so excited with how they turned out!  As two not-so-normally-photogenic people, we were a little worried but we really couldn’t have asked for them to turn out any better.
We were really nervous about picking a photographer.  A certain style of photography for the wedding was really important to us and we had put a lot of pressure on finding the perfect one in our heads. We absolutely love the style of film photography as it has a real soft, almost antique look when it’s developed but knew that asking for film photography was raising the price bar significantly. Needless to say we were anxious to find someone who fit the bill and our budget.
I had worked with an amazing family and birth photographer (Suzy at Simply by Suzy) at my old job who shot mostly on film and had that soft, personable look that we loved.  Knowing she only does a select number of weddings each year, I reached out to ask if she had any recommendations for photographers that shared her style and love of film. As fate would have it, Suzy just opened a studio space with a wedding photographer, the lovely Mrs. Kina Wicks, and quickly passed us along to her!  We met her for an in-person consult a few days later and 100% fell in love.  Though we tried to play it cool in the meeting, the minute we both got in the cab to go home, we turned to each other with HUGE smiles and knew then and there that we had found the perfect person to capture our big day.

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Love that green dress. What made you chose your outfits for the shoot?
Ohh man…I spent hours thinking about what I wanted to wear and stalking other people’s (including yours) engagement pictures online. I knew I always wanted two different outfits — one a little dressy and one a bit more casual – but hadn’t really thought much about it outside of that.  Once we decided to do engagement pictures, I liked the idea of us wearing one “everyday” outfit so it felt more natural and less staged.
A few weeks before the shoot, I was browsing online and immediately spotted the green sheath at Banana Republic.  I love that it was long-sleeved and knew that I’d get wear out of it outside of the shoot so I took the plunge hoping it’d work out.  Luckily it did…and Colin loved the color!
I also really needed a new fall coat so what better time than now, right? I found the blue corduroy one I wore for some of the pictures while at LOFT one day after yoga and while there spotted the comfy cream and black sweater which I quickly snatched up. That sweater has actually become my favorite…it is SO soft and cuddly.
Colin didn’t really have a huge preference on what he wore so I picked up the grey sweater and plaid button up (which had some green in it to match my dress!) at Banana after work one day.  He chose the purple thermal for his second outfit from his closet that morning as we were getting ready, which turned out great.
The thing I love about the outfits is that they are completely our style and things that we continue to wear on an ongoing basis.  The more casual outfits make it feel like they don’t necessarily have to be engagement photos.  They could just be random pictures of us from a random day, which is nice to have!

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What’s the significance of the locations of your engagement photos?
The only place we really wanted to make sure we had pictures at was where Colin proposed – Diversey Harbor.  Over our years here in Chicago, we’ve developed a love of the city skyline view from this harbor and it’s really become a special place in our hearts.  Before we got engaged, we even bought a painting of the view because we love it so much.  That always makes Colin laugh because at that time he knew it would become an even more significant place for us a month later when he would propose.
The other locations we left up to Kina.  We told her we wanted some “downtown” looking ones so she brought us along the river on Wacker Drive where we got some amazing shots with the buildings behind us and some of our favorite “artsy” ones on the bridges down there.

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What made you decide to get engagement photos?
Going into the photographer hunt, we really had no thoughts about engagement photos.  I always thought they were really cute but didn’t see them as a necessity.  Kina’s packages always include engagement photos so that’s really how ours came to be.
Looking back, we’re really glad we did them for a few reasons.  They really gave us and Kina the opportunity to get to know each other and how we act in a photo shoot environment.  For most, you’re not used to getting your picture taken professionally and since you’ll be in the same situation on your wedding day, it’s nice to have a “dry-run” of sorts where you figure out what’s comfortable, what’s not, what angles you like of yourself and what works for the two of you.  For Kina, I’m sure it also gave her a better idea of how to get the best pictures out of us on the big day.
I also really like having nice, professional pictures of us that aren’t of me in a wedding dress and him in a suit.  Don’t get me wrong, I cannot wait for the wedding pictures and will for sure have a billion of them around the apartment, but these provide us with something that’s a little more typical or representative of us in daily life.

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So, when can we see more? When/where is your wedding?!
We are getting hitched on October 4 at The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum here in Chicago and we couldn’t be more excited!
While it’s an out-of-town wedding for most of our friends and family, anything but a Chicago wedding just didn’t feel right to us.  We likely won’t be out here forever so wanted to have this be a really special day to celebrate our time here.

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Thank you Kerry for giving us a glimpse into your gorgeous shoot! (and thanks brother!) Be sure to stay tuned for more on their wedding journey!

note: I’m off for a little winter break – Back to blogging on Monday. Don’t miss me too much!

Photography: Kina Wicks Photography

You’re engaged! Now what?!

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We are, without a doubt, in the middle of engagement season – That time between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day when everyone seems to be getting engaged. Why? Because love is in the air during the holidays – and it’s cold out, real cold. Which means we stay inside, cuddle under the covers and act all lovey-dovey (well sometimes).

But after that pretty, sparkly ring is on your finger, where do you begin?! Here’s where:

1. Congrats! Soak it all in. Stare at your hand – and stare again, and again (It’s still there). Drink that champagne. Just enjoy it!

1a. Get your ring resized, if need be. Trust me, you’re not used to it yet, so your finger won’t feel weird without it there – and it will just be a couple of days. You won’t want to give it up later on.

2. Take your time. There’s no sense rushing into planning and making any quick decisions.

3. Make a guest list. In a perfect world, who would you want to be there? You can’t pick a venue without knowing about how many people you’re going to invite.

4. Discuss your budget, your ideas, your likes & dislikes. It’s good to get on the same page – and know what elements of the wedding are important to you both.

5. Research venues. Make appointments to check them out. Discuss what you each like/dislike about each venue. Narrow your choices down.

5a. If you’ve decided you want to get married in a church, make sure your church and venue are available on the same date.

6. If there are vendors you already know you absolutely want to have (say a photographer or a band), cross-check their availability with the venue’s availability to help narrow down a date. If you haven’t researched those vendors yet, don’t stress! There are plenty of vendors out there to choose from. Pick the date that works best for you and your fiance – whether that’s based on the time of year, work schedules or other family obligations.

7. Set the date!! And then call and email your VIP’s to make sure they mark their calendars!

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