#105 | Masonic Village — Elizabethtown, PA Engagement Sesh — Chelsea & Matt

Good afternoon (or morning depending on your time zone or sleep schedule).

This morning I was having quite the personal problem. It’s the kind of problem you can only have if you are female and own a furry pet. (You have no idea where I’m going with this. Sorry. Stay with me for a second.) Sometimes, when you are a girl, and you have a pet with fur, a strand of said fur somehow manages to STITCH itself into the inside of your bra, in a way that allows only a teeny tip of it to poke out of the fabric. It then stabs you in the boob incessantly, causing you to itch like a maniac. You know it’s in there, but you can’t find it. And looking for it, with your whole hand inside your bra, while at work, can make you look like a freak. So after way too long suffering through the itch, you have to run to the bathroom, strip off your shirt, and search for that one little hair. Then you find it and throw your hands up in victory, only to realize you are standing topless in the bathroom at work. #ThisIsMyLife

Luckily for me, when I returned to my desk, I remembered I had the most LOVELY engagement shoot to post for you, and my day started to really turn around (mmm smooth transition). Today’s shoot is courtesy of Tiffany Lewis Photography, and features Chelsea and Matt. Let’s hear a little bit from the bride-to-be, then indulge in some beautiful photos!

Matt and I met through a mutual friend; my best friend, and Maid of Honor, Angie. Angie and I went to Williamsport a few times to hang out with some of her friends from Penn College. On a few of our trips to Williamsport, I saw Matt, but never really talked to him. Then, during Mardi Gras 2009 (a street festival in downtown Williamsport) we finally spoke a bit.

We talked like that on a few more visits, without ever exchanging contact info, until finally, I asked Angie for his phone number. Matt was still in school at Penn college, but traveled to Mansfield (where I was in school at Mansfield University) to visit me. He asked me to be his girlfriend in May of that year. In the beginning, we lived two hours apart, but after a few months, Matt decided to move to Mansfield.

Every year for Christmas, I go to Florida to visit family. Christmas 2010 was no different. I got in the car and headed to Florida for what I thought was going to be a week and a half without Matt.

We went to church on Christmas Eve, then came home, ate dinner and opened presents. Christmas morning was no different, I opened my stocking and then laid around and watched Christmas movies all day. Sometime in the afternoon, the door bell rang. No one else was around so I went to answer it. When I opened the door, Matt was standing there with a ring in his hand. At first, I was so excited to see him that I jumped on him, knocking the ring out of his hand and on to the ground! After a long hug (and a search for the ring), Matthew got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. Of course I said yes! I was so surprised, not only by Matt’s proposal on Christmas day, but also that everyone in both of our families knew all about it and kept it a secret for over a month!

I graduated in May 2011 and I’m currently in graduate school at Millersville University, while planning our wedding. We talked to a number of photographers before we chose Tiff. We were referred to her by Matt’s mom. They worked together as photographers at Lifetouch. We talked with Tiff a few times and finally decided that her fun and positive outlook on life would make for an awesome photographer to share in our special day. We looked around for the perfect place to do our shoot and came across the Masonic Village in Elizabethtown, PA. It was absolutely gorgeous! Tiff was so much fun to work with. She made us feel so comfortable and our day was absolutely perfect! We are so excited for her to photograph our wedding day!

Planning a wedding can be stressful, but it’s also so much fun! We are very excited to start our lives together and settle down close to family and friends!

And now… your favorite part… the prettiness:

Aren’t they the cutest? I hope we get to see wedding pictures in the fall!

Enjoy the rest of your day! (ps. I hope you don’t think I’m too crazy about the dog-hair-in-bra thing from the beginning of this post).

xo

#104 | Frugal Friday Deal for the Men

TGIF! Anyone remember TGIF programming of the 90s? Family Matters and Step By Step?! Haha those were the days!

I am so easily distracted.

Today’s deal comes to us via Men’s Wearhouse and it’s a doozy. This deal is perfect if you are still looking to dress the bridal party (or just have a man in your life who needs to spruce up the professional section of his wardrobe!)

MW has suit separates on sale, with suit coats starting at $29.99. That is not a typo. Plus, you can ship to store to avoid paying shipping.

That is a Jones New York suit coat for $29.99 (regularly $349.99). That’s more than 90% off! And I saw vests as low as $10.49!

Click here to see all the clearance items. Happy shopping!

#103 | It’s Our Sixth Month Anniversary Already?

YAY Sparkly Love is back from holiday hiatus! Didya miss me?! I missed youuuu!

I hope you all had an amazing holiday season and got all the things you wanted. More importantly I hope you got to hug everyone you love (or at least Skype hug!)

Guess what a random email told me this morning! It’s my six month wedding anniversary! Seriously?! Can you guys believe it? I can’t. Time fliessss.

Well in honor of my anniversary, here’s a picture from my wedding that I found recently (there are so many pictures it’s crazy cakes) and just LOVEDDD.

Image via Linked Ring Photography

This image was on one of the unedited disks because no one in the back is even looking and Erik and I are laughing so hard we can’t even look at the camera! But seriously, I think it might be one of my favorite pictures. I think it captures us perfectly. Goofy. Ridiculous. And so very very happy!

I think I’m gonna frame it and put it somewhere in our house so we always remember not to take ourselves too seriously.

Have a wonderful afternoon loves!

xo

#102 | Real Wedding — Jenny & Matt — Middletown, CT

I have an early Christmas present for all my lovely readers… get ready, cuz we have a stunner of a fall wedding! Jenny and Matt are melt your face off adorable (I have visual proof!)

I apologize in advance for the amount of scrolling you are going to have to do in this post, but there were so many amazing photos, I just couldn’t choose (me? go overboard with photos? no! I never do that.)

See what I mean about the adorableness?

Yup, told ya so. Now let’s hear from our beautiful bride Jenny and see those drop dead gorgeous photos (courtesy of Linked Ring Photography).

How did you Matt meet?

Matt and I met 6 years ago at a local football game. I went with my best friend and she dropped her ticket when we were in line, he picked it up and thats when we locked eyes. I went to private school from 6-12th grade and he graduated from the local public high school 2 years before so this was the first we had both seen of each other. Or thats at least what we thought, as it turns out we grew up 2 streets away from one another and it took us 17 years to find each other. 17 years to find our soul mate and best friend. After the football game, everything fell into place, we both majored in art in college and we now work together at a private school. I couldn’t be happier or more lucky!

When did you know Matt was the one?

I knew he was the one after our first Valentines Day together. I was finishing up my senior year of high school and Matt was a sophomore in college. We both agreed that we would make each other gifts for the holiday. There was a blizzard that week and on the morning of Valentines Day my mom woke me up to say “go see what your romantic boyfriend has done.” I went downstairs and saw that Matt had created a 4 foot x 5 foot drawing of a rose bouquet and he built a large plywood stand to prop it up in my front yard. On the front door was a beautiful note from him. This was such a beautiful gesture, and while it seems grand, it was simple and just what I needed.

How did Matt propose?

Matt proposed at our apartment. He came home with jewelry cleaner for me claiming that I told him I needed it. This seemed fishy to me because I never recalled telling him that, and it was from very nice local jeweler. We went into our bedroom and he convinced me that the jeweler meant nothing and that he just was trying to do something nice for me by buying me jewelry cleaner. He then asked if I could go grab his tea from the kitchen. I went to get it and when I returned to the bedroom he had locked me out. I found this strange and he said he was upset that I wasn’t happy with the jewelry cleaner, so i apologized and when he opened the door, the lights were off. I sat on the bed and he said, “Come on Jen, I’ve proposed to you a million times before” and of course I responded “no you haven’t!!” and he said ” yeah it looked like this…” and at this point it was completely dark and I could not see anything, and I could just hear him saying “Jen will you marry me?” I reached out and felt his hand and realized he was on one knee! At this point I broke into tears and yelled “YES!”

What was your wedding day like? Did it feel how you expected? Were there any surprises?

Our wedding day was seriously like a story book. We spent so much time planning and making all of the little details up until that point, everything fell into place so perfectly. Not to mention that it was a sunny 65 degree day on November 26th. The moments I will always keep close to my heart are the vows and the first dance; it really felt like it was just me and Matt, crying in each others arms, so happy to have each other and to be surrounded by people we loved.

The dancing and partying all went so amazingly! All we wanted was for everyone to enjoy the day as much as us, and they did!  

What advice do you have for future brides to help them with their planning?

ALWAYS remember that this is your day. It is about you and the person you love and you want to remember it this way. All of the planning is totally worth it.  

What were the special touches/moments that really made your day?

We worked really hard to make our ceremony very personalized. I was raised Quaker and Matt was Protestant. We had our wedding in First Church of Windsor. I decorated the pews with wheat and feather arrangements to bring in the harvest feeling to the church. We had a Quaker wedding certificate made for everyone at the ceremony to sign as a witness of our commitment to each other. One of our friends is an amazing calligraphist and she wrote it for us. It has our vows and signatures and now the signatures of the 157 people who were with us to experience this special day. I will hang in our home for the rest of our lives and is truly a piece of art. The processional was performed by our good friend Christopher Brown, he played the baby grand in the church and sang Cold Play’s “Sparks” as the wedding party walked down and then he sang Priscillia Ahn’s “Dream” for when my dad walked me down the aisle. For readings we had our friend Kim read from Corinthians, my parents read an excerpt from the Quaker Faith and Practice and then Matt’s cousin Jen read a poem she wrote for us about our summers in Maine together as a family. These things combined made the water works flow easily for us both and made the ceremony leave a beautiful imprint on our hearts.

Matt and I made homemade blueberry jam for our reception favors. We picked all of the blueberries this summer (100lbs) and it took about 10 jamming days with our mom and friends help to get all 170 jars of jam done. It was so worth it. I love cooking and all of my friends and family know this and I couldn’t think of a better way to show our appreciation and love to them.

As I was a photography major in college, I love old pictures. I gathered all of the old wedding albums from our parents and grand parents and created photo collages with copies I printed. I made them on wood cross sections for each couple. I used a wood burner to burn their anniversary year into the collage as well as plants and other organic material. I was really happy with how each one came out and I was so happy to give them to our parents after the wedding. Another gift to show our appreciation and love.

There were so many other little details and touches, from the place cards that were each in their own little terra-cotta planters to the awesome Trolley with a fireplace that we had for transportation. We also had a GREAT DJ: Rob Alberti who did a fabulous job taking into consideration our particular taste in folk and indie music but also was able to make some great dance music choices for the night.

Anything you would change if you could do it all over?

Nothing, the fact of the matter is, the day was a reflection of Matt and my relationship and love. It was part of us, and I am so happy that it came together the way it did, and now I am spending the rest of my life with the love of my life and my best friend.

You are with me on the adorableness right? This much adorable can’t be legal!

Ultimate Picture in Picture!

I swore I wasn’t going to cry!!! (Failed again)

So much love!!!

I. DIE.

Congratulations to Jenny and Matt! Your day was beautiful and I’m gonna speak for all my readers (who I’m sure will also share their opinions in the comments — wink wink) when I say THANK YOU for sharing it with us!!!

Ps. Sorry again about the scrolling. See you soon lovies!

xo

Vendors:

Dress: The White Dress by the Shore, Clinton CT
Venue: The Barns at Wesleyan Hills, Middletown CT
Catering: Pavilion Catering, Connecticut Wedding Group
Floral: Jordan Florist, Windsor CT
Photographer: Linked Ring Photography, Greenwich CT
Makeup: Kimberly Zinnen , EPIC beauty
Hair: Trendsetters Hair Salon  
Cake: Kim’s Cottage Confections (The bride and groom’s good friends, who are both sculptors and potters, created the beautiful cranes as a gift and they are on display in their home now!)
Veil/Hair Accessory: Crown Head Piece (Whichgoose on ETSY)

#101 | Frugal Friday Bridesmaid Gift Edition

HOLLERRRRR!!!!!!! It’s Friday! Yay!!!!!!!! It’s also “office holiday party day,” which I believe means I’ll be leaving early. (Shh don’t tell) Before I take off though, I wanted to share a little Frugal Friday love with you.

First off, there are a lot of really frugal things happening right now. I love Christmas! Tons of sites are offering free shipping for the holidays, so if you are the “I shop online because the idea of finding a parking spot at the mall, then dealing with people inside the mall makes me want to gouge my eyeballs out with hot fire pokers” type like me, make sure you do a solid Google search for coupon codes. There are tonsssssss!

Today we are robe shopping! What is cuter than a bride and her girls getting ready in their robes?

If it pleases the court, I would like to have the following three images submitted as evidence:

Exhibit A via Tickled Sew Pink

Exhibit B via The Mauritz Family Blog

Exhibit C via Style Me Pretty

I rest my case.

Now if you’ve shopped around a bit, you know that these robes in “wedding stores” can cost a pretty penny, and sometimes the quality isn’t that great. So I found a bargain that won’t break the bank, and will look and feel great!

Kohls Croft & Barrow plush robe is regularly $50 (which doesn’t mean much at Kohls as we all know). It is on sale for $24.99. Kohls is offering a 20% holiday code (SECRETSANTA), which brings the cost to $19.99. PLUS, Kohls has a holiday free shipping offer (XMASFREE), which can be stacked with the 20% off code!!

The robe comes in more than 10 colors and patters, so you’re sure to find something in your colors, and there is white for the bride! This thing looks so comfy, you and your maids will be wearing it longgg after the wedding day. Happy shopping! And have a great weekend!

x0

#100 | Another Reality Show Relationship Bites the Dust + A Really Pretty DIY Project

Happy Monday lovelies!

I hope you had a great weekend! I went to the Everthine Bridal Grand Opening party on Saturday night in Madison, CT. It was amazing. The wedding dresses are stunning. If you are a bride in the area, definitely shop for your bridal gown there. The building has so much character too, it’s an amazing experience! (The pictures on the Everthine site are of the inside of the store if you want to see what I mean.)

I finished up the weekend with a Sunday baby shower for one of my college roommates. (Yes, I missed football!) And a dinner date with my hubby! Good little weekend, but I was so busy I never got to relax. Oh well.

In breaking news: I just found out today that Ali + Roberto from the Bachelorette broke up. What’s that? This isn’t breaking news and everyone but me knew about it? UGH. #fail How do I always miss this stuff. For the record, this breakup really upsets me. I thought they were so adorable. Does that mean Ali won’t be coming back every season to talk about how it REALLY IS POSSIBLE to find love on ABC?

I couldn’t help but notice that this is post number 100. Are there going to be balloons and streamers and a mariachi band? Or could someone at least make some cupcakes? Post 100 is a big deal. We should talk about something really important.

Ummmm.

That was too much pressure. How about we talk about a pretty DIY project I saw on Project Wedding?

Chiffon and Tulle Flowers via Project Wedding

Seriously? How pretty are those flowers?

For this project you will need fabric – we used chiffon and tulle. Yardage needed will vary based on the number and size of flowers, as well as the fabric thickness. You’ll also need a piece of paper, a pen, scissors, pins, needle and thread, glass seed beads, and a plain hair clip or comb.

The 8 step instructions are available on the Project Wedding site, and the uses for these little pretties are endless. Decor, hairpiece, sash, favors, bridesmaid gifts… OH MY! I love these.

Well I think that’s about it for today. I’m off to do some work and mourn the loss of Ali + Roberto’s relationship (although I smell an “After the Rose” follow up w/ Chris Harrison coming!)

x0

#99 Giving Thanks (& Some Pretty Holiday Inspiration)

Happy Thanksgiving Eve! Sorry I’ve been a bit on the quiet side. I got a new job. I’m so so so very thankful that I found a new job so fast, and one that I really like!! I know there are a lot of people out there who are out of work and who have been out of work for a long time, so I feel very blessed to have only been out of work a couple weeks. I’m also very thankful that I have a loving family that supported me and believed in me. And I’m thankful for puppy kisses. They are the best when you are feeling down.

Soooo, enough sappy sap. I’m hosting Thanksgiving tomorrow, and I have YET to purchase a turkey. I don’t need a big one, so I’m hoping it won’t be a problem. Also, I don’t wanna get something pumped full of crap-o-la. Where can I get the healthiest turkey? Whole Foods? Trader Joes? (I’m in CT)

Since I’m playing hostess, I’ve obviously been researching the prettiest tablescapes. I came across a few I plan on pulling inspiration from and thought I would share with you. Even if you aren’t hosting Thanksgiving, some of these would make beautiful fall wedding decor!

Happy holidays! Oh and if you have some stunning tablescapes going on at your house, I wanna seeee!!!

From ritzybee.typepad.com via Pinterest

From pizzazzerie.com via Pinterest

via Pinterest

From hwtm.com via Pinterest

From designdininganddiapers.com via Pinterest

#98 | Wedding Trends You Love & Those You Never Want to See Again

It’s Wedding Wednesday once again and I’ve been doing wedding research all morning. YAY! My favorite. While doing research I noticed lots of things over and over. Some I liked and some I didn’t. I’ll share those things below, but what I really want to know is what’s inside your lovely brains. What wedding trends are you ADORING right now? What are you so sick of that the mere thought makes you want to puke on your keyboard as you write comments to this very post? Too graphic? Oy I went to far. Backspaceeeeeee.

OK. Now that we’ve moved on from that, let’s talk (with our eyes) about things I am loving right now:

PASTELS!

Pinterest via Style Me Pretty

Pinterest via tinywhitedaisies.tumblr.com

Pinterest via Style Me Pretty

SUCCULENTS & EDIBLES!

Pinterest via bollea.com

Pinterest via weddingwhimsy.tumblr.com

Pinterest via Martha Stewart Weddings

METALLICS!

Pinterest via bellethemagazine.blogspot.com

Pinterest via Martha Stewart Weddings

Pinterest via Wedding Decor Blog

Things I don’t like: We’re going pictureless because who wants to look at pictures of things I hate. Plus, it’s more general.

  1. Weddings that are WAYYY over the top to the point where it starts to look tacky. More is less… less is more… you feel me?
  2. Weddings without ANY personal touches. Whose wedding is this? It should be distinctly yours!!
  3. Weddings without a cohesive theme or style. Too many different things going on makes me dizzy. Keep it simple lovelies!

So… YOUR TURN! Sound off in the comments. What do you love and what do you not love even a little bit? Also if my loves are your hates, lemme know, and then meet me in the parking lot at 3pm. HAHAHA I’m kidding (or am I?)

xoxo

#97 | My Wedding Video is Here!!!!

OK, I’m going to start off today’s post with an apology. I have been WAY WAY M.I.A. and I’m very sorry for that. But there’s very good reason for it. Some of you remember that I found out a few months ago that I would be laid off on October 31st. Well that was a week ago. The day that I left the office I felt very anxious. I was out of work, and I hadn’t found a new job yet. I had a few months of severance to soften the blow, but I know how hard the job market can be. (My dad has been out of work for almost two and a half years after 25 years with the same company.) Well, over the last two weeks I finally started getting lots of call backs on my applications (and in a couple situations I actually got calls from HR recruiters for jobs I hadn’t seen yet.) I was starting to get really excited. But leaving one job without an offer from a new job was definitely wearing on me. I tried to blog a couple times, but I would start thinking about not having a job and would end up filling out applications instead.

Then, Friday, it happened. A real, honest to God, OFFER… more than that. An offer at a company I actually wanted to work for. Close to home. Great opportunities. I could finally breathe a deep sigh of relief. We are going to be OK. Adding to my excitement was a post that had gone up on the Serendipity Studios blog on Thursday. A post that included my WEDDING HIGHLIGHTS VIDEO!!!! Holy luckiest girl everrrrrrr!

You all may remember a post I wrote last spring when I offiicially booked Travis from Serendipity Studios to shoot my wedding video (if you don’t remember, it was about being so excited that I almost peed my pants… ringing any bells?) Well I got double the pants peeing excitement when Travis’ wife Candice was able to assist him for the wedding. She’s an absolutely AMAZING photographer and I knew that having the two of them together was going to make for the most INCREDIBLE wedding video everrrrr. Well, I may be biased, but I think I got just that. Check it out lovelies. I hope you love it as much as I do!!

Janna & Erik | Wedding Highlights | 7-4-11

Are you a nearly-wed? Have you booked a wedding videographer/cinematographer yet? If you didn’t, umm, did you watch my video? I almost didn’t have video and after seeing mine, I can tell you that it would have been the biggest mistake of my whole wedding.

We didn’t have room for it in our original budget, so we both took on a couple freelance jobs to be able to afford it. It wasn’t easy, but we knew we couldn’t go back in time and do it over if we DIDN’T book it. I can honestly say that it was worth every single cent. In fact, for how happy this wedding video makes me, I think it was worth more than we paid.

I’ve had multiple friends tell me that my video changed their ideas about wedding videos and now they want them. That makes me feel so happy. It was seeing one of Travis’ videos on another wedding blog that made me need him to shoot my video, so being able to do that for other soon-to-be-brides has been an amazing feeling.

I’ve also heard brides (not shouting anyone out) say, “I loved your video, but I’m gonna try to find someone cheaper.” It’s your budget, and NO ONE should tell you how to spend it… BUT, be careful! You know that saying, “you get what you pay for” ??? Yeah, it exists for a reason. Just keep that in mind and do your due diligence. (Or just call Travis so you don’t need to worry about any of that.)

YAY! I hope you guys love my video and that my wedding video advice is helpful to someone out there. Love you all!!

xo

#96 | A Bold Inspiration Board for Your Wedding Wednesday

I’ve been feeling rather bold today, so I put together a bold inspiration board for your eyes to fall in love with. Happy Wedding Wednesday lovelies. Don’t be afraid to be bold!

Assembled via Pinterest:

1. Invites
2. Tablescape
3. Shoes
4. Design Inspiration
5. Wooden Hearts
6. Gown