I Thought I Loved You Then

Photo by Lyndsay Undseth

Three years ago I married my best friend and have spent everyday falling more in love with him. I still love to listen to the lyrics from our first dance because Mr. Paisley put into words what I cannot.

“And now you’re my whole life
now you’re my whole world
I just can’t believe the way I feel about you
Like a river meets the sea, 
stronger than it’s ever been.
We’ve come so far since that day
And I thought I loved you then”

All my love!

DIY | Ruffley Table Runner

I find table runners the perfect way to dress up any table. I like them better than a tablecloth because they accent the beautiful furniture rather than totally covering it up. I made these table runners for the dessert buffet {pictured above} and again, sorry I do not have step-by-step pictures. I think it is a curse and if I plan to document a project step-by-step my project does not turn out to be something I want to feature because either {1} it didn’t taste good or {2} it was ugly. While there aren’t good step-by-step instructions hopefully this will inspire some ideas on how you can create your own runner. {Side note: adding ruffles or additional accent fabric  is a great way to make it longer just in case you made it a little bit to short}SUPPLIES:
– Fabric for Runner {16″ x 60ish”}
Iron-on Hem Tape
– Scissors
– 28″ of Trim
– Chiffon for Ruffles
– Needle & Thread
– Hot Glue Gun & Hot Glue
– Tape Measure

DIRECTIONS
– Cut table runner fabric to desired length, I did mine at 16″ wide x 57″ to allow 1/2 – 3/4″ fold over on the hem {this was placed onto a short console table which was only 45″ long and I wanted the runner to end up at 14″ x 55″}
– Follow instructions on the Iron-on hem box and hem all four sides of the fabric
– Cut chiffon 2 – 3x times wider than runner {mine was 30″ x 6″}
– Loosely sew thread through top of chiffon; gather chiffon to create ruffles
– Hot glue or sew chiffon ruffle to table runner {i hot glued because I am lazy and didn’t plan on keeping this thing after the party}
– Cut trim and glue to top of runner
– Place on table and admire!

xoxo

DIY | Mixer Labels

My favorite projects are those that are inexpensive AND look good. It’s even better if you can use stuff you already own because then it makes it almost free! Any do-it-yourself project must meet these requirements because no matter how cheap something is, if it doesn’t look good I don’t care how inexpensive it was to make! Similarly, if something is going to cost me a fortune to make, why would I DIY when I can probably find for cheaper and with less work?

These mixers were used at the Love Story bridal shower posted several weeks ago and I have to say they were 100% free. I created these labels myself using Photoshop and had my Mom print onto sticker paper which she had on hand. {Disclosure: I am no graphic artist and do not pretend to be – I just learn enough to be able to create unique touches to everyday parties. So the circle may not be perfectly round and areas maybe pixelly, but hopefully your guests will be sipping on the yummy champagne and not be paying much attention to these tiny flaws that most people won’t notice unless you are picky like me}.

Feel free to download.

Note: Do not print directly from the Google Documents Viewer. Please download and open from Adobe PDF (they should be in color once downloaded and opened this way).

Once downloaded, print onto sticker or label paper, cut out, and stick onto empty wine bottles. Fill with appropriate juice and drink away!

xoxo

A True Fairytale Wedding

photo credit: Mario Testino

I came across pictures from Kate Moss’s wedding and these are just to beautiful to not share! Clicking through each picture it is as if Vogue created a special wedding edition of the magazine – now wouldn’t THAT be something! If that happened, I might just have to have our wedding all over again AND win the lottery so I can hire Mario Testino or Jose Villa as our photographer! Either one will do!

Please visit the story on Vogue.com or go straight to the slideshow.

ALL HANDS ON DECK

I just returned from SF and got a chance to look at all the photos from my brothers wedding and I could not wait to post this picture. The second I took it, I knew I got what I wanted. This photo captures the essence of a wedding — a beautiful bride in a serene setting on the outside, but behind the scenes, chaos, decisions, and delegation of tasks. Three bridesmaids all working to support and lend a hand to their dearest friend and sister on her special day.

xoxo

DIY | Welcome Baskets | Beer

Several people have recently asked if I ever did a recap of projects from our wedding…the answer is no. Frankly, after our wedding was over I was SPENT! I did not want to think about another trip to Michael’s or another phone call with my wedding planner (haha…this was actually my Mom who I called Tres Fabu during this time to differentiate Mom mode vs. wedding planner mode). After our wedding,  I was officially “weddinged out”.  I never did a recap or explained each project and I will tell you, there were a lot. So, while our wedding was almost two years ago, I still think some of our projects will be helpful to potential brides and don’t worry, I am not going to go wedding crazy again and start planning a vow renewal anytime soon!!! While I do not have pictures of all of the DIY projects, I will try to weed them into the blog with as much detail as I can.

The first project I will feature are the welcome gift baskets our guests received.  Guests had the choice between a beer or champagne basket. The beer baskets included:

Photo by Lyndsay Undseth

1. Home Brewed Beer: I came up with this idea because in my research for “Welcome Baskets” most articles said to include something local from the area (New Orleans = Pralines, Vermont = Maple, etc). I could not think of anything local to include as my town is not known for much except gold mining and I could not afford to buy a vile of gold for everyone (sorry guests).   My Dad has brewed beer as a hobby for several years and I thought it would be a fun touch to have a special batch brewed for the wedding. I designed the labels and called it “Padre’s El Dorado Ale” (Padre is the nickname we gave to my Dad in 9th grade when I began learning Spanish). My Mom printed my design onto waterproof labels which were then affixed to the beer bottles.

2. Custom Map of Local Area: I fell in looooove with Laura Hooper’s custom maps and  had to have one of these but with our limited budget I knew I had to resort to the DIY version. I had my sister draw a map using a Sharpie marker which was then scanned into the computer where I used Photoshop to color in each individual area (tutorial to hopefully come).Obviously, this is a far cry from having a custom Laura Hooper map, but it was the best I could do.

3. Chex® Muddy Buddies®: Um….basically the best things ever. If you are not familiar with these, here is the recipe.I purchased mini canning jars for $.99 each at Michael’s and filled with this yummy mix.

4. Bag of Peanuts: You can’t have beer without peanuts! I purchased mini muslin bags from Etsy and purchased a custom rubber stamp from RubberStampChamp.com which I designed myself.  I stamped the bags with red Colorbox ink purchased from Michaels.

I tied everything up with red yarn and dropped off at the hotel to be distributed to the guests. Note: Please check with your hotel to make sure they will allow gift baskets, especially if they include alcohol.

I love the idea being welcomed with a little basket of goodies, because seriously, who doesn’t like an extra snack or two after a few hours of traveling!

xoxo

GIFT FOR YOU

 I have been in loooove with these hangers since they first appeared on Style Me Pretty. Fast forward a few years and yep, I am still in love! For my sister-in-law’s bridal shower gift, I wanted to get her something that she would be able to use on her wedding day and this hanger from Lila Francis was just perfect…unique, sentimental, and made my heart pitter-patter because I know how cute it will be in the photos!!

If you need a bridal shower gift for that special someone, go to Lila Francis‘s shop as she has lots of other cute items for sale, but please keep in mind it takes about 8-10 weeks for her to complete your order but she tells you this before you order, so no surprises!!

XOXO

Friday | Picture of the Week | Week 21

I tell you, veils are my fav! I could photograph a bride in a veil allllll day long! I treasure the opportunity to photograph certain moments and experiences that can only be experienced a few times in a persons lifetime such as:

1. A Naked Baby: I mean seriously, how many times in your life are you completely comfortable and totally adorable naked and can actually have your picture taken in this state without a worry?

&

2. A Bride in a Veil: Again, it’s not everyday a girl gets to walk around with a piece of magic fabric flowing behind her; and yes the fabric is magic because it turns a beautiful girl into a briddddde.

XOXO

Bridal Shower | Love Story

It seems as if from the first day she walked into our lives she became family. Corynne’s first time meeting the family was during our family portrait — yikes! Of all situations to meet your future in laws, I am sure this may be one of the worst, but Corynne was gracious, loving, and won over our hearts. There could not be a better girl for my little brother and I am so happy for their upcoming wedding in July.

We started the wedding festivities off with a “Love Story” themed bridal shower. My Mom, sister, and I started planning this bridal shower months ago, but we do not all live in the same town so coordination was key!  We wanted to incorporate many vintage details because we had leftover decorations from my own wedding so it would save on costs and fit perfectly with the venue, my parent’s home which is modeled after French country influences.

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The chalkboard frame was purchased from the Santa Monica flea market. The actual chalkboard was made using masonite and chalkboard paint purchased from Home Depot. (If you measure your dimensions beforehand Home Depot will even cut the masonite for you!)

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From the beginning, I knew I wanted to work with vintage books. I fell in love with the cupcake liner pomanders and decided to incorporate books into the design.  Here is a tutorial on my pomander process.

As for the books, I searched several antique shops in the area and came home empty handed. I tried a used book store and found  several linen covered books with the dust jacket still on and therefore not the “old” look I was going for. To give them the vintage distressing they needed, I used sand paper to give the edges a worn look. This saved me a lot of money because I was not paying antique prices.

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The bride arrived driven by her fiancé in my Mom’s 1940’s MG TC. An MG TC is actually the car that Ryan O’Neil drove in the movie “Love Story.”

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One of the games we played was titled “Crazy Little Game Called Love” in which celebrity wedding photographs were used and the faces of the celebrities were replaced with the face of the bride and groom using Photoshop (Yes, they take as long make as the sentence to explain it!). Each guest received a packet of “playing cards” and a sheet in which to write down their guess.  It was great to see the Mom’s who all knew Grace Kelly’s wedding but were completely clueless when it came time to guess Carrie from Sex and the City.

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I spent the first part of the year learning to master the craft of french macaron’s so that I could make for this event. My Mom bought Annie Rigg’s Macaron book from Anthropologie for me and I am proud to say I successfully made 30 vanilla ganache macarons!  

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Each guest’s place setting was set with a vintage paper flower. I bought the flowers from Jardin de Papier on Etsy and assembled them myself. My Mom purchased the pink “Love” plates during Valentine’s Day from several TJ Maxx’s around the area.

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Instead of a “Marriage Advice for the Bride” we decided to make a “Love Story” book where guest were asked to describe their own love story or write the love story of Corynne and Nick.  This was really sweet for the bride to be able to have all of her guests, including her Moms’ Love Story on paper for her to look back on. 

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The best gift of the day goes to Michele, the bride’s Mother, who decided to give her daughter this book…naturally it provided for some good show and tell and lots of laughs!

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I also wanted a champagne infusion station where guests would be able to mix together their favorite champagne drink. My Mom bought champagne and peeled the labels off to make our own “branded” bottles. I made labels which read “Love Story”, “Once Upon a Time”, and “Happily Ever After”. We used old wine bottles for the peach nectar and orange juice and used a corresponding design on the juice labels.

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We ended the day with mini homemade chocolate mousse desserts and a 3-tiered pink cake masterpiece created by Shirley a San Juan School District’s ROP bakery teacher! 

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Wedding | Kristen & Jake | Newcastle Wedding Gardens

It is no secret that I love weddings. Something about weddings just make my heart pitter patter – veils, shoes, ruffles, crafts just bring out everything girlie in life and I am all for that!  Here is a wedding I photographed with Kevin George Photography. Enjoy the pics!

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Ummm….pretty sure angelic looking brides melt my heart and Kristen was just about as angelic as they come!

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EEEEKKK – Kristen killing it in these!!

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SPACE

XOXO

DIY | Vintage Book Pomander

I made these pomanders for Corynne’s bridal shower a few weeks ago and everyone fell in love with them! The bride liked them so much she is borrowing them for her wedding! Since having them completed weeks before the bridal shower we got to enjoy them around our house for a bit and we plan to put them in the office once they are safely returned.  Warning – this takes a bit of time, hot glue, and patience, but it was well worth it! 

Friday | Picture of the Week | Week 16

Isn’t she looooove-ly (in Stevie Wonder singing voice)?! Best part of all, she is my sister. She is a fierce, beautiful, little bundle of compassion and love. She does not care what the rest of the world thinks about her decisions and in fact, I am not sure she even cares what she thinks about them. She is decisive (something I cannot even remotely relate to) and lives with that choice whether good or bad.  Although she is my little sister, she teaches me things she does not even know — such as thrill of living for the moment and not thinking about saving for tomorrow or the joy of messy Jeep hair.

As I write this, I know she is busy working studying for law school with her little pups by her side hoping to achieve what we all know is possible for her….Elle Woods glory! Entertainment Weekly said she is “blond, bubbly, and carries a a tiny Chihuahua…” and I am pretty sure they were talking about my sister (although we will swap out Bruiser for her lhasa apso and bullenese).

I love you sis and thanks for posing for this beautiful picture for me taken with FILM! 

_______

Wedding | Megan & Chris | Lucchesi Vineyard

I am beyond excited to share with you this wedding that I shot a few months ago with Kevin George Photography. Megan began her morning with her bridesmaids at the Holbrooke Hotel in Grass Valley.  The hotel was filled with lots of historical character and beautiful lighting and made a fantastic place to take pictures.

Again the beautiful lighting and historical furniture set the stage for these beautiful images of Megan. These are some of my favorites of the day!

Chris and Megan opted for a “First Look” which allowed us plenty of time to take pictures before the ceremony. We did this in the Holbrooke Hotel lobby.

The next series of pictures were taken while walking around Grass Valley.

Next it was off to the Lucchesi Vineyard for the wedding ceremony and reception.

 

Congratulations to you both and thanks to Kevin George for letting me second shoot for him!!!

SPACE

SPACE

Costa Rica | Vol. 4 | The Wedding Finale!

Andy and Katie’s wedding at ‘Casa de Capitan’ was an incredible event and the finale of our trip. We had looked forward to the wedding day the whole week and we were happy to see that the event would be set in absolutely perfect weather. As the sun began to set we gathered on the beach and watched Katie, the gorgeous bride, come the down the aisle.

Sarah, Katrin, Vivian, Alexandra and Shan

Charlie and Me

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SPACE

SPACE

Anthony & Alex, Sarah and Brian

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The newly engaged.

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SPACE

SPACE

For the reception dinner, Shan and I were assigned to the “pantera” table.

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After the ceremony, the group enjoyed drinks and appetizers on the beach.  There could not have been a better setting.

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Fitz played a few a songs.

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The ceremony amongst the palms, the circular arrangement brought everybody close the action.

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The groom, very happy obviously.

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Mr. and (very soon to be) Mrs,

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And they’re married!

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First steps of many in a life together!

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Brian, Sarah, Katrin and Sten

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Shan, Kim, and Suzi

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The Father-Daughter dance was all time, a full, intense swing dance to Free Bird.  An instant classic.

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The Punta Coco clan, those who live together, party together and eat ‘Gallo Pinto’ together:

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This is scene looking towards the beach from the house and swimming pool, Marty, myself and Kevin.

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Flor de Cana a local rum,

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Dinner was first class, also first class were the “Shot-skis,” here the Curtis’s give a lesson in teamwork.

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Andy’s brother Erik, delivered a great speech.

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Some ‘Shot-ski’ races.

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The happy newlyweds.

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At midnight, Katie surprised Andy (and all of us) with a firework show! We were blown away!

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I really like the shot on the right here, it’s the Grand Finale on 20 second exposure hand held.  What you’re seeing on the bottom is the tent illuminated by the fireworks and framed by palm trees on both sides, quite an experience!

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Congratulations to the new Mr. and Mrs. Curtis!!!

Wedding | Louie & Danielle | Beverly Hilton

On Saturday night, Louie and Danielle were married in a beautiful ceremony held at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles. Yes, the Beverly Hilton, site of the Golden Globe awards show! It was a perfect November night, filled with endless love and friendship! Louie was Ryan’s fraternity brother at UCSB, so the night was filled with lots of laughter, smiles, and hugs!

Since, I love a great wedding (well, just about any wedding), I couldn’t help myself and had to take a few pictures of the gorgeous evening! Enjoy!

Not only was the wedding gorgeous and super fun, but they topped off the fun with a photobooth! Honestly, those things just NEVER get old!!!

Congratulations Louie & Danielle and thanks for inviting us to join in the fun! Have a fantastic honeymoon!!!!!

Hyatt Sacramento Wedding | Nicole + Zach

Yeeeeeeah – I have been looking forward to posting these pictures since I took them!!! A few weeks ago, I got the chance to be the second shooter for my dad, the man behind Kevin George Photography!!!!

Nicole and Zach had a beautiful ceremony and reception held at the Hyatt Hotel in downtown Sacramento. They were a fantastic couple to shoot and I was blessed to spend the day with them. So lets get to the pictures!!!!!

This picture was taken of Nicole in front of the only window in the room. This little amount of light in the room was a treasure and helped to get these beautiful images of Nicole glowing.

This is Dean, Nicole and Zach’s son. Dean was such a trooper and wore his little tux like a gentleman.

Again, here is more of that beautiful light we were able to capture Nicole in. All of the flowers were crafted by Mom’s Wholesale Florist in beautiful oranges, reds, and fresh greens.

Nicole and Zach got ready in the hotel room together, so that sure made things easy because no first look was required! After everyone was finished getting ready, we headed over to the Capitol to continue the pictures. This is one of my favorites of the day – Nicole looking amazing and Zach gazing at his bride. STUNNING!!!

Nicole had fantastic bridesmaids — I think I snapped this one after Nicole had everyone rolling with her contagious laugh!  She even had me laughing for no reason!

This guy knew how to have a good time, this was just his warm up to the dance floor!

I love to get a glimpse of the parents during the ceremony and I just love this picture I captured of Zach’s Dad during the exchange of vows.

I love this little boy at the bar – I promise, he was buying Roy Rogers for him and his brother.

This was taken from the balcony of the Hyatt downtown which has a fantastic view of Sacramento and the Capitol.

And lastly, here is a beautiful picture to end the perfect night, the bride and groom enjoying a dance with the Capitol brightly lit in the background. Congratulations Nicole and Zach and thanks to my Dad for letting me join him in the fun!!

 

published!

Yesterday, we  got the great news – our wedding was published in “Our Wedding” magazine!

Ryan and I were contacted about this several months ago and we were so happy about the possibility of being in a magazine, but I wasn’t sure if we were “good enough” to make the final cut! So, after several scheduling conflicts, we finalized a time to be interviewed by Marie Rood. Back in February, over Saturday morning coffee, we had our telephonic interview with Ms. Rood.  We chatted with her for over an hour, which was actually a lot of fun to relive the day again and hear Ryan’s take on things! Due to the long interview, and my tenancy to tell all,  I was pretty nervous about what she would actually write up!  Ms. Rood and the magazine did an amazing job and we have our photographer, Lyndsay Undseth, to thank for making this happen!

xxxx,

Shan

never too old to play dress up.

In order to get a few new pictures for my Dad’s photography website (www.kevingeorgephotography.com), I decided it would be fun to organize a mini-photoshoot! I recruited a few picture loving girls, picked up some of my favorite spring flowers, created a few amazing accessories (check out the flower headbands!), and told my Dad to snap away at all the beauty!

Here was the inspiration board created to give everyone involved the overall vision of the shoot: * sorry, I did not keep track of where all these images are from, but I know some are Jose Villa, Duet Weddings, Style Me Pretty

The day was filled with sunshine and lots of girlieness which always means lots of laughter! I think all the pink, flowers, and hairspray scared any potential snakes away because, thankfully, they all decided to stay home that day!

Although this shoot was set-up for my Dad, I just just couldn’t pass up the chance to take a few pictures myself! These girls were definitely channeling their inner top model and really poured on the fierceness!

See why I was so excited to share! These girls looked totally stunning and everything turned out beautiful! A big thank you to Corynne, Melissa, Kelsey, and Mom!

Wait, I have seen this dress before…..On me!!!!

Photo Credit: Getty Images

I spent countless hours and tried on hundreds (seriously, hundreds) of dresses to find my wedding dress. During all of the fittings, veil matching, and coordination of jewelry and shoes, I had learned every detail of my dress.  I know the lace pattern, the thick netting in the lace (this I learned because my Mom hated this part of the dress), the way that the lace grazes the top edge of the dress, and the bottom scalloped edge! I even know what the lining under the dress looks like!

So, last night I happened to look over at the TV to see Paula Abdul presenting at the American Music Awards. The first thing I saw was this black, lace, mermaid dress that looked strikingly similar to my wedding dress. I hit rewind and watched her walk out again – Yes this was my wedding dress! I knew it was but I needed proof to seal the deal.

This morning on Perez Hilton I found this:

Confirmed, ENZOANI gown!

Thankfully, my life-long supporter, my Mom, told me that I looked better in it! That’s what Mom’s are for right?!

UPDATE: My husband just told me I looked better in it too! 🙂