day fifteen. THE ring.

When I think of engagement rings I can’t help but hear Beyonce’s song “If you liked it then you should have put a ring on it” and invariably the song gets stuck in my head for hours…..but I digress……

The Romans adopted the custom of the metal wedding ring from the Egyptians. In early Rome, iron was the metal of choice rather than copper or brass used elsewhere. For the Romans, iron symbolized the strength of love a man felt for his chosen woman.

Ohhhhhh the engagement ring, it is one of the most exciting things (for most of us) about getting married. To me it is a symbol of love and commitment and nothing is more beautiful than that. I have never been into huge flashy engagement rings with designer names, it’s just not my style. If you have been reading along this month you will know that I am drawn to things in life that have character, that are unique, that represent a reflection of my personality. This is the same principal I held while looking for engagement rings and now for our wedding bands.  After Jamie proposed I really started to think more about what this ring means and symbolizes for us. I wanted a vintage ring, and the one that Jamie picked out for me is just perfect. To me vintage rings have timeless beauty and a magical quality about them. They have a story to tell – about romance, history, and values. I’m so excited to carry on these values and creating more stories – mine and Jamie’s – to add to the life of this ring.

Here is a photo of the ring Jamie picked out for me (I still catch myself staring at it sometimes, it’s that beautiful. corny? maybe, but it’s true!) He found it at Brilliant Earth which is an amazing resource if you are looking for vintage or ethically sourced diamond rings.

What do I have my eyes on for our wedding bands….I’m sure you are dying to know ; ) I don’t know how I happened to find them, but I am in love with every single ring made by Rust.

RUST holds firm to the concept of authenticity and craftsmanship. Our jewellery is handmade in London and our precious metals are hallmarked at the St.Paul’s Assay Office, London.
Our ideas come from the Antique markets around London, and from pictures in books about history. We love finding treasures and making them into jewellery or just being inspired by them.
‘Traditionally unusual’ is what we look for, and London is full of that!
“Traditionally unusual”?!?!? Where do I sign up!!
One of the reasons that I am so drawn to their jewelry is that each piece is handcrafted, which means not one is exactly alike. I love the notion that such love and commitment is put into making something that is a symbol of exactly that.
I also love that they are made in the country where Jamie was born, I think it adds one more level of amazingggggg to these rings for me.
My engagement ring was handcrafted in 1930, not one piece of it was casted. When we had it appraised we were shown the marks on the ring where you can see how the person who made it put it together. There is something magical about handcrafted jewelry. I would love to pair my vintage engagement ring with a modern wedding band that was also put together by a skilled jeweler with love and attention to detail for each piece. I think the combination between old (engagement ring) and new (wedding band) would be an awesome way to symbolize our past and future memories that we will be making together.
Sounds deep, I know, but I can’t help thinking like this. Especially about something that is so important and meaningful to me – a commitment to love and to be with my best friend for the rest of my life. Each person is different, but to me this is one of the most important parts of our wedding, it is something that we will wear for the rest of our lives to symbolize the commitment we have made to each other that day.
Which beautiful Rust ring would I love to put on my finger?
I love the delicate details and the milled edges (which would match perfectly with my engagement ring) I also love that there is a tiny spot to engrave something special.
If you have been reading along, I would love for you to share you engagement story in the comments below!


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kirsten - check out mine and Jamie’s engagement story and some photos from that day here —->

Amanda - We didn’t really have a cutsie little story, but it was just perfect for us.. We were on vacation in Asheville, North Carolina. We had checked into our cabin, which by the way was amazing. It had full kitchen, fireplace, a music bed, heated bathroom floors, towel warmers, grill, washer/dryer, and a jacuzzi hot tub! We had gotten settled and were getting ready to get back into the hot tub when Tyler told me he loved me and had something he wanted to give me. I said ok! I thought it was like a kiss or a new purse! lol Then he proceeded to get down on one knee, and I just froze! He then told me sweet things and asked me to marry him and pulled out this gorgeous ring! Naturally I said Yes! and started crying… It was so perfect!! I thought I might have been dreaming! I had to ask him, “Is this real life??” bahahhaa We spent the rest of the evening in the hot tub celebrating with a few drinks! Afterwards i found what he had been hiding it in.. socks!! he had stuffed them behind the bed so I wouldn’t find the ring! The ring was so perfect, and I was so pround he picked it out all by himself ;) that makes it even more special!

Kate Cuedek - The proposal… Let me start off saying the Mike has driven over a couple thousand miles combined to see me every weekend while I was in training prior to my deployment to Afghanistan. He’s so dedicated and it really helped getting through all the BS during the week, knowing I was going to see him on the weekend. Well, one of my last weekends I was flying to IN (only a 4.5 hr drive for Mike from TN) to start the last of my pre-deployment training. I was told that I was flying Saturday morning, so he planned on taking me on a “formal date night”. He was even holding up my dress/shoes/jewelry when we Skype’d to make sure he was bringing the right attire. But once I got my itinerary, depression hit cause I wasn’t flying until 6pm, which put me @ the hotel @ midnight. No formal date night. That didn’t stop Mike… When I called him on my way from the airport, he said that he found a wine bar that was open until 2AM that we can still have a date to dress up for. I was shocked that he still brought all of our formal attire, and I agreed, excitingly.

So we met at the hotel and rushed up to my room to get ready, which was record time for me getting all dolled up. When we went downstairs he started leading me another direction instead of exiting the main lobby. I was confused and asked him why he parked on the side of the hotel, and before he could answer he opens a door to a conference room that he had all set up for a candlelit dinner for two. I’m talking, he set out the Italian meats and cheese, crusty bread and crackers. And of course, some of our favorite wine. He told me that he talked to the manager and they helped him set up everything, and she even found a floral arrangement to put in the center of the table. I’ve never had a candlelight dinner, and it was very sweet that he even brought down his laptop so we could slow dance to some of our favorite songs. I had some suspicion as to what would be happening next, but during one of our conversations, he started talking about deception and I was so confused, I interrupted him and asked what he was talking about and where this was going.

All I remember next is him getting on his knee and asking me to marry him. I of course cried and we hugged and kissed. We actually didn’t get to bed until about 4AM cause we just couldn’t sleep due to the excitement. He actually gave me a “combat ring” because he still hasn’t put my mother’s diamond in a setting, and I told him I wouldn’t deploy with any jewelry. But he still got me a nice solitaire to wear while I was over there.
Now that I have returned, he did something very personal and special to replace that combat ring with his true engagement ring that holds my mother’s diamond <3

Rochelle - Rob and I had been dating for about 5 years so to say that I wasn’t expecting it everytime we did something out of the ordinary is a lie. I had gotten a groupon to stay at a hotel close to our house in Lake Las Vegas. We had planned on taking a gondola ride so since I knew everything that we were doing I kept telling myself it wasn’t going to happen. Rob surprised me by booking a couples massage in the spa before we checked in to the hotel. After our massages we checked into our room and got ready pretty quickly for our gondola ride. As we were walking downstairs I didn’t see a ring box in his pocket so I told myself again it wasn’t going to happen so that it didn’t ruin my night when it didn’t. We were enjoying some champagne and chocolate on the gondola and as we got about halfway out onto the lake Rob asked the gondola driver to take some pictures of us. After she took some photos Rob got down on one knee and asked me to marry him, he said some really sweet things, I cried and we have it all on camera which rocks. The ring is beyond perfect for me. He took the diamond from his moms ring and had it set in a custom setting he created!! We had looked at rings and he created one that was a combination of a couple of my favorite antique looking settings.

day fourteen. etsy should be your new best friend.

I love browsing through etsy, it’s another one of those sites where you can just lose yourself in all of the beautiful handmade goodness. However, just like most things on the internet it is easy to get overwhelmed with everything that is available on etsy, and sifting through to get to the things that are really relevant to you can be difficult as well.

The first thing I would do is subscribe to etsy wedding a blog that features “the best artists, DIY resources, and handmade wedding finds.” Content is regularly added to the site and is a good starting place for finding truly amazing wedding resources.

If you don’t already have an etsy account, what are you waiting for? Sign up for it! Once you head over there you can check out the handmade wedding section of the etsy blog for posts that feature handmade weddings – these are great for inspiration and to get to know some of the wedding vendors on etsy.

I would definitely sign up for etsy wedding e-mail newsletters. They are like a little beacon of beautifulness delivered to your email once a week. The resources, ideas, and inspiration that is contained in these weekly newsletters is really invaluable. To join the mailing list log in to your etsy account and follow these steps:

  1. On any Etsy Blog page, scroll down until you see the Etsy Finds field, and then click the See Our Other Newsletters link.

    The Etsy E-mails page opens.

  2. Click the check box next to etsy weddings.
  3. Save and done!
Look forward to newsletters like this arriving in your inbox in no time!
Etsy is a great resource while planning your wedding, I hope these tips help you make the best of all the site has to offer!! : )


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day thirteen. a stop motion save the date and 3 inspirational DIY wedding invite ideas.

I’m all about details that make your wedding special, unique and a reflection of who you and your fiance are as a couple. Although I have personally never been a huge ‘do it yourself-er’ I have always been drawn to typography and design. For that reason, I have contemplated making our own wedding invitations and have been lately scouring the internet for inspiration. While I will be the first one to admit that nothing beats a well designed invitation made and printed by a professional I am drawn to the idea that something so special and intimate as inviting our guests to our wedding is something that I might try to tackle myself.

This year I also took on a special project with one of my couples. Rob and Rochelle wanted to do a unique travel inspired save the date. Rob is a charter pilot and they are having a destination wedding in Florida next  year so Rochelle came up with the idea of making a stop motion save the date using the jet that Rob flies as our prop. We did some research and brainstorming and I think you are going to love the result. Rochelle put the save the date up on her wedding website and the whole thing looks fantastic.

I love working with my couples to make these things happen. My best work occurs when I collaborate with my couples and the end product has their personality written all over it.  It doesn’t get better than that.

I also wanted to share my favorite resources and inspiration for creating your own wedding invites.

These invitations are the most beautiful DIY project I have seen yet. While these invitations were extremely labor intensive it is a great source of inspiration, I would love to do something similar to this with a bit of my own twist to it.

Jodi, the bride said: “I knew once we got engaged that I wanted something new and creative for our wedding invitations, something that hasn’t been done before, but also something to reflect the style of our wedding and allow our guests to have a “sneak peek” into the actual day.  We wanted our invites to be personal and completely handmade and really give our guests something special.

Check out all the details and more photos of these beautiful invites at Love and Lavender!

I am in love with this amazing faux wood-grained paper! Add a beautiful hand drawn type and these are perfect combination of rustic and simple.


Both the RSVP and enclosure cards are printed on a “paper” made entirely of discarded Costa Rican banana stalks. The stalks are cut during the yearly banana harvest and would otherwise end up as agricultural waste. I just love this paper – not only is it environmentally friendly, but it is beautiful.

Check out more images and find more information on Magpie Paperworks.


These invitations featured on OnceWed are yet another mind blowing example of DIY wedding invitations done right.

We made our invitations, an elaborate package of formal invite, photographs Jasper took of Palm Springs during our visits there, a CD for the road trip out there and a Tom Robbins quote we felt summed up our relationship; we put the entire collection inside of felt pockets my father sewed and topped it off with a feather.  I scoured eBay for vintage 60s/70s stamps, even finding a photography stamp.




I would love to document and be a part of your special and unique day. Check out my portfolio and please contact me – let’s make it happen : )




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Friday’s FAB 5 | Fly Away Bride - [...] An Airfield Stop Motion Save The Date – Fly me to the [...]

day twelve. do what makes you happy – unique wedding ideas.

I have been so excited to write this blog post because it is what I love most about weddings – making them a reflection of who you are as a couple. More and more we are seeing a shift away from the traditional wedding. When once elopements were rare and even looked down upon, couples are scaling back and taking a look at what a wedding really means and how that reflects their relationship. I love alternate wedding ideas, from destination weddings, to “weddingmoons”, to elopments, to backyard celebrations – nothing gets me more excited than a couple who has a unique idea and does things that are a little out of the norm – outside of the box.

Jamie and I started planning our wedding as a destination wedding in Costa Rica, and that has recently changed to renting a house in Big Sur and having a small ceremony followed by dinner and drinking. To be honest, I always have eloping in the back of my mind. To me there is something so beautiful about sharing that intimate moment between you and the person you are choosing to spend the rest of your life with. No bells and whistles, just you and that person. It’s the epitome of romance.

What it really boils down to is doing what makes you happy. At the end of the day you have to be able to sit back and think: yep, that exactly how I envisioned it and I am so happy with how it all turned out. That’s what it is all about.

Since I am into alternative wedding ideas, I wanted to share with you a few ideas and resources that I have found along those lines for you unique alternative wedding idea seeking brides to be. : )

Before Jamie and I even got engaged, I fell in love with Becca and Nate’s (fellow wedding photographers) wedding in Salerno, Italy. They dubbed their ceremony as “weddingmoon” and traveled Europe for a week and a half before exchanging vows they had written themselves. It is honestly the most romantic wedding I have ever seen (check out her post and photos here) and their idea of such a personal ceremony really resonates with me. On Becca’s blog Life as an Artistpreneur she explains the whole concept:

For those confused by it all, we decided to have a very private wedding. We also decided to do it completely how we wanted without any concern for what was traditional, normal, or expected. We signed the official papers before we left the country (which is why there is no minister with us in any photos) and had this special vow ceremony where we read each other vows we had written and exchanged rings. It was perfection. The venue was decided the morning of our wedding date. The hotel we stayed in was directly across the road from the bed and breakfast I had stayed in when I was in Salerno in college so the view we had from our balcony was the same view I had for 6 weeks. The view overlooked the mountains, the coast, and a little golden castle on top of one of the peaks. We told the cab driver to take us to the castle. We had no idea if it would be accessible until we got there. There was a path around the side facing the water so we walked over there. There was no one around and the spot we found was perfectly positioned on the side of the mountain with the water to our left and castle to our right.

Please go and check out her whole post to see the whole story and their beautiful photographs.

A destination wedding was another option that Jamie and I considered. This idea still lends itself to be an intimate celebration attended by your closest family and friends. Jamie and I envisioned renting a villa in Costa Rica where we could hold our ceremony and our guests could stay there with us. The site that I found while researching this idea was Welcome Beyond – it is mind blowing. If you are thinking of doing a destination wedding I would definitely check this out. The collection of properties on this site is out of this world. You can search by location, interest, how many people you need to accommodate (they even have a “wedding venue” category!) They feature everything from rooms to private estates around the world, so it could also be a honeymoon idea resource as well. A little more about the concept behind Welcome Beyond:

We hand-pick places that we feel are truly original. Many reflect their owners’ passion for distinctive architecture and design. Some border on quirky (and may have crossed over the line). Several are quite posh. And a few are downright rustic. But what all of our properties have in common is that they’re exclusive – in the best sense of the word. Each is singular, memorable and definitely worth writing home about. Or at least a tweet or two…

Above all, Welcome Beyond is about venturing beyond. Not just geographically, but beyond the obvious, the predictable, the expected. It’s about gaining new perspectives on regions, on cultures, on places of incredible beauty. On what really matters in a holiday — and in our lives.


Did you have a unique wedding or have any unique wedding ideas? Please share!

Are you having a unique wedding or elopement? I would love to document and be a part of your special and unique day. Check out my portfolio and please contact me – let’s make it happen : )

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day eleven. communication is key.

The fifth, and probably most important way to make a huge impact on your wedding photography is to have a great relationship with the person taking your photos. Communication between you and your photographer is key. That being said, I truly believe that there is a fine line between communication and over the top expectations.

I am not one to write out a complete list of shots that “need to be taken” – I would rather document the day as it goes. When Jamie and I get married, I want our photographer to feel comfortable documenting our day however they see fit. I know that I will be able to trust their artistic and professional judgement.

There does need to be good understanding between the photographer and the couple they are taking photos for. For example, the last wedding I shot was for Brandi and Carlton. Throughout the year leading up to her wedding Brandi and I communicated through email, facebook and pinterest. I developed an outstanding relationship with her and by the time her wedding rolled around in November, I had a clear understanding of her style and expectations. Not because she made a list to give to her wedding planner to give to me, but because we had worked on it together throughout the year. Through conversation I learned that her dad was very important to her, that their twins were only going to be at the ceremony for a short period of time, their was a death in the family (and that loved one had a special PBR pin in the bouquet her groom made!), she had poured her heart into planning and organizing the details of her wedding – so throughout our conversations I made sure to focus on these aspects at her wedding. Without that communication I would have been less likely to know what was most important to Brandi as a person. Sure she could have written a list, but my understanding of the situations, I believe, lent itself to some fabulous photos.

If photography is important to you, if you want an artistic and journalistic approach to your wedding photography, communicate with the person telling your story in a genuine and real way. You won’t regret it.





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