So Much Love: A sweet surprise.

During the madness of the wedding morning, it dawned on me that we had absolutely no plan for how the rings should be held while they were to be passed in our ceremony (we did a ring warming ceremony - each guest handled the rings... more on that later). The rings arrived to the wedding in their boxes, but other than hidden in those, the rings would have to be passed on their own - an option that didn't seem safe. My bridesmaids worked on constructing a ring pillow out of a fabric flower I made that wasn't being used, but nothing seemed to work just right. Caroline, a dear friend from high school was in the room at the time and mentioned that she may be able to have her mom bring a ring pillow for us. Her brother had recently wed, and her mom, brother, and sister-in-law were to be joining her in Julian for the day before the wedding started. Caroline thought they could bring the ring pillow from her brother's wedding. Just before I left for my hair appointment, though, Caroline got word that her brother and sister-in-law no longer had their ring pillow.

I thanked her for the offer and put the ring pillow out of my mind - I trusted the situation would be remedied somehow. Later, when we were taking photos in downtown Julian, we ran into some familiar faces.

photos by Sarah Shreves.

Caroline and her family were enjoying the sites downtown - it was exciting to run into friends while in my wedding dress but outside the venue and wedding atmosphere.

It turns out that Caroline's mom had brought us a ring pillow. She actually hunted one down at a bridal salon in San Diego and bought it for us - her wedding gift to us. It was such a wonderful surprise, and quite the life saver.

guest photo.

Here she is in action - we don't have any good pro pics of the pillow alone, but it sure saved us a lot of grief by doing its job well.

Have there been any important little details that others have lovingly taken care of for you like this?


So Much Love: Going Downtown.

Downtown Julian is made up of no more than two city blocks of old-fashioned buildings - including a fire station, town hall/info center, bank, and many shops and eateries. I love day trips to Julian where I can look at some fun antiques, walk around town, and get a nice slice of apple pie. Walking around Julian in my wedding dress was even more fun!

We got a lot of stares, some honks, and many congratulations as we walked down the street.

Julian was hosting some kind of auto show that day, so there were tons of fancy schmancy race cars and such lining the streets. We went over to a few and posed by them.

We all hoped/half-expected the owners of the cars to invite us to sit inside for some pictures, but no dice. Apparently a bride and groom in all their glory on their wedding day are not actually the center of the universe. No really, I thought for sure someone would take one look at my wedding dress and jump at the chance to invite me inside their ridiculously expensive, rare, and prized vehicle. Wouldn't you? Anyway, after not being invited to take photos inside the cars, we moved on to my favorite spot in Julian - Mom's Pies.

David is not big on sweets, and I could prefer many other treats over pie in most cases, but we're both gaga over Mom's pies. We're sure to grab a slice of apple crumble a la mode every time we're in Julian, so taking pictures inside was an obvious choice and so much fun.

I was so tempted to grab a slice of pie right then and there, but I resisted and held off for our cake and pie buffet later.

At this point, we were ready to connect with our bridal party for some group photos, so we headed over to our meeting spot.

I love this picture of me walking with Sarah. It's not just an awesome behind-the-scenes type shot - it's a beautiful photo of a moment I shared with a dear friend on my wedding day. Definitely a plus side of having a friendor for a photographer.

* Of course, all photos by Sarah Shreves Photography.


So Much Love: Some more shots.

After snapping this - my current most favorite photo in the entire world (although many of our other wedding photos come pretty darn close) - Sarah had us move away from the tree and uphill a bit into the field. I asked David to take off his hat for some shots since he'd been wearing it all this time, but I have since decided that I love the shots with his hat on. These photos, to me, almost seem like they're from an entirely different wedding. I love love love them, but the style seems quite different, no?

I don't know - mybe it's just the hat. Funny story, that hat was in no way a part of the plan for David's wedding ensemble. He bought it from Target a few days before the wedding while shopping for our honeymoon (the boy didn't own a single pair of shorts until the week of our wedding and we were about to go to Jamaica!) So yeah, he called and told me he bought a hat for the honeymoon. The next thing I know, I'm approaching my groom for our fist look, and he's wearing the hat. Thank goodness it ended up looking great in photos. He's basically been inseparable with the hate ever since.

So, David put his hat back on, and we began trekking back through the field to the car. Sarah wanted to get some photos of us in downtown Julian before our wedding party joined us for some group shots.

I can't decide if I like this photo better in color or black and white. What do you think?


So Much Love: Portraits by the tree.

After our first look, Sarah snapped a bunch more photos before moving us to the next location. I absolutely love this tree and landscape that Sarah found for us, and adore the following photos. I hope you don't mind me just throwing a bunch of pictures at you now, as there is not much else to say. I know I sure love wedding re-caps that are choc-full of pictures, so I hope you'll enjoy.

You can see that we had a photographer in front and another behind us from the different angles of these shots (ie: sometimes I'm on the left and sometimes I'm on the right) - I'm amazed at how they didn't each get the other in any of these photos. I wish I could remember which lovely lady was on which side so I could give each proper credit. They both clearly did a fantastic job, and I sure love Sarah's editing skills. Many of these photos were snapped while David and I were still connecting from our first look and before we officially started taking directions from the photographers. I love how real and in the moment they are.

And if this wasn't enough photo overload for you, there are more portraits to go!

* all images by Sarah Shreves and her assistant.


So Much Love: Looking first.

I am so glad we decided to do a first look. After getting all dolled up, I was so excited to see my groom. After I climbed the stairs to my ride, we followed a groomsman's car with David in a blindfold. We drove way out further into the countryside to a beautiful location that Sarah had scouted out for us.

David stood waiting for me. I snuck a peek while Sarah and her assistant led my handsome groom to his spot.

I started walking through the field - and very quickly gave up on trying to hold my train off the ground.

As I drew closer to my groom, I couldn't control my excitement. My dress kept getting caught on twigs and weeds and my heels stuck into the ground, but I pressed on - pausing only for a moment to soak in the moment and keep David in suspense.

When I reached him I couldn't help but grab him and hug him from behind - I needed to be in contact with my love NOW. The whole turn and reveal thing would have to wait.

David, of course, was still waiting in anticipation to see me. "Is this some kind of cruel joke?" he muttered.

With that, I let go so he could turn to me. There are no words to describe this moment. There were so many thoughts - the awe and wonder of how amazing the other looked, the surreal fact that we were here - on our wedding day - this was it, the pure joy, oh, and the freezing cold Julian weather.

Sarah and her assistant let us have a few moments to ourselves to soak in the moment and truly connect for the first time on our wedding day. I am so grateful for this time - once we got back to the lodge and things were in full wedding mode, we we constantly whisked around to talk with one person or another, so having this time - just us - was wonderful.

Once we had our mushy/kissy/so-in-love-can't-believe-we're-getting-married moment, we told Sarah we were ready for some portraits.

Next up, more awesome photos in the Julian countryside and then a run through town.

* all photos by Sarah Shreves and assistant.