Amber and Dan: Wedding invite

Yipee! Dan and Amber's wedding is this weekend. So I figured it was a good time to share their wedding invitation. And because I love me some stationary and invitations.

I blogged their wedding save-the-date awhile back. The wedding invitation follows suit with the unique blend of traditional and modern.

The script font of the W and their names feels very 'old English'. And the two little love birds shilouhettes brings in a little modern feel. This photo is a little too far away to see, but there's a little green heart below the two birds that finishes it off.

I love the contrast of the angled ribbon with the straight edge of the card stock. And I love the fact that they took the extra time to loop the ribbon through so even the back looks 'finished'.

Getting the invitation always makes me even more excited for the wedding. And now it's just a few days away! There's going to be a candy bar - my first. And I'm way excited about it. Not to mention blue glass mason jars and skeleton keys.

Stay tuned - you aren't going to want to miss it!


My little guy

He jabbers non stop. He has rolled over, but got lazy. He's only done it a handful of times since. He has two teeth. His nickname is Yoda. Stick out his ears do. He plays peek-a-boo. He blows bubbles with his drool.

And he's six months old.

It's so amazing to watch him figure out new things. Cannot wait to see what's next! I just hope it doesn't go by too fast.



This post is going to be really... random. It's just that I've been so inspired lately! By really random things.

Oh, life is good. For a lot of reasons. It's getting warmer! Last week it was 67 degrees. Yeah, that's right. 67 degrees. In Iowa. In FEBRUARY! And March is right around the corner. Needless to say the warm temps have my trigger finger itchin'. Cold winter months can be realllly long for a photographer without a studio.

My cousins benefit a couple weeks ago really put things in perspective. I've always felt very lucky to have been blessed with a terrific family. And it expanded when I married Ryan. But it was indescribable to watch them come together in support of my (second) cousin and his family. Not to mention I've been thinking a lot about my first cousin - Xavier's mom. I've been trying to wrap my brain around what it would be like to watch your baby go through chemo and bone marrow tests and spinal taps on a regular basis. I've only been a mom for six months, and my heart just aches for her. Because I cannot even imagine... or maybe I don't want to. The biggest 'problems' in my life right now are merely pebbles compared to the boulder their family is trying to move right now.

I continue to be inspired by the members of the Iowa photographers Facebook group. I joined less than a month ago. I appreciate the friends I've made, the things I've learned, the discussions we've had, and the things we've shared. The support I feel from that group is incredible, which is uncommon among a group of people many would consider 'the competition'. The members of the group make me question the way I do things, offer ways to improve my current work flow, and provide unparalleled support. It's truly an honor to be in their company.

I am in love with my life. Completely, positively, surrounded by love. And it's a good feeling. I have a great husband. I'm not exaggerating. He loves me despite my indecisiveness, puts up with my OCD, and even does the laundry once in awhile. I am falling more in love with my son every day. I watch in wonder as he discovers new things and experiences everything for the first time. I live for his giggles and cherish the rare seconds he wants to cuddle. I'm trying desperately to hold onto them but try as you might it's impossible to hold onto the past and look forward to the future at the same time.

Catching up on photography blogs. And wedding blogs. There are a lot of great things happening industry wide. the ideas and creativity has me really excited for wedding season. The first one in NINE days!
Life. Is. Good.


The day BEFORE Valentine's day

Today is Valentine's day. Hearts. Pink and red. Cupid. A day of love. However, yesterday I felt more love than I think I may have ever experienced in my life.

You see... this eight-year-old boy is my cousin. Second cousin if you want to get technical.

The week before Thanksgiving, he went home sick from school. Less than 24 hours later he was fighting leukemia. Our family brought Thanksgiving to the University of Iowa Hospital cafeteria.

Yesterday a benefit was held for him and his family in my home town organized by a few of his teachers at my alma mater. One teacher raised $1400 by raffling off chances to cut his shoulder length hair, which was featured on the local news. Held at the church I attended as a kid, the confirmation class organized the breakfast as one of their service projects.

I posted about the benefit on my Facebook page a couple of times and the response was amazing! Friends from all over where buying raffle tickets, donating silent auction items, and contributing to the fund established at the bank.

Yesterday, I looked around Xavier's benefit and saw nothing but love. Fitting for the day before Valentine's.



I am completely in 'like' with the engagement photo guest book I posted yesterday. It's classic, elegant, and a fabulous way to preserve your engagement photos.

But I have a secret.

Are you ready for this? I didn't get it printed at a professional photo lab. *gasp!*

It came from of all places! And it was only $25, which is what most people would pay for a guest book anyway.

While I do really like how it turned out, I'm just in 'like' with it. Not quite in 'love'. Why? The biggest reason is the 'leather' cover I ordered at a slightly higher price wasn't exactly what I expected. It looks nice but I've seen high quality textured paper that's pretty similar. I imagine this book will show its age in 50 years.

But considering we're talking about a grand total of $25 in the first place, I think my expectations were too high.

The other downside is the fact that the pages don't lay flat. It will be slightly annoying when people try to write their personal messages to the bride and groom.

But even more than the slight annoyance, the saddle stitched pages make for a pretty big gutter. Not the things that hang off the roof of your house. But the binding of the book at each spread. Because it doesn't lay flat, a portion of the design on the pages gets sucked into the stitching.

On most pages it isn't a problem because the design is either a pattern across the whole page, or the design elements are focused on the outside edges. But there is one page where the graphic elements fall in the gutter. Lesson learned and something to keep in mind.

Other companies make lay-flat albums, but they come at a premium price. Just like almost everything involved in wedding planning a bride and groom has to choose between quality and cost effectiveness. And that is often determined by where their priorities lie.

This is a great option for budget conscious couples. Offers the same product at a lower price point so they can splurge on real flowers versus silk, the killer decorations in the perfect shades of blush and bashful (name that movie!), or two more hours of photography coverage.


I have been waiting...

SOOOO long for this! Not in the sense that shipping took a long time. But I've been waiting to actually get a chance to put together a guest book using a couple's engagement photos.

And I'm smitten. I love the idea of preserving your engagement photos. Sometimes people get them taken just to have something to publish in the newspaper announcement. But it's important to remember the two of you. Before the beautiful chaos of your future life together starts.

Whoever thought to combine that with a wedding guest book is a genius! And I was so excited to take a look at Ariell and Jared's for the first time, I took a photo of every. single. spread.

The font is a little hard to read in the photo from this angle. It says "The Funks - Ariell and Jared"

And they lived happily ever after! :-)