Thursday, October 28, 2010

Burning River Wedding: Stressful Family Fomals

Family portraits made me really anxious. Having everyone together, posing for pictures, on time, dressed...all of it just seemed like a recipe for disaster. I timed things very specifically and gave every player instructions for when they were to arrive. The pessimist in me knew something would go awry.

We arrived at the site where we were to take family formals and immediately my MIL told me Josh's grandma would not be joining us for photos. To be honest, this didn't really surprise me, but it didn't help with my nerves. I quickly moved on and took pictures with Josh's wonderful family.

And Josh got some really cute pictures with his sister.

Next we moved on to pictures with my dad and brother/sisters. I struggled with whether to put these pictures up and ultimately decided against it. This particular part of the day was difficult. Here is one really cute picture that I can show.

My adorable little brother/ring bearer. He is, in a word, delightful. 
Just the most pleasant little boy in the world.

My dad, probably trying to be funny, made the whole thing uncomfortable for me. At one point (in the MIDDLE of taking pictures) he said in reference to the photographers, "Where is their tripod?" Trying to be as patient as possible, I calmly said, "They don't work with one, Dad. They don't need it." Could he leave it alone? No. "Wow. Well, they must have really steady hands. Hope they're good."

I'm sure you can imagine my, um, displeasure with this comment. I could go into a really long tirade, but out of respect for my family, I'll refrain. By the end of pictures with my dad, brothers, and sisters, I was SO done. But we still had to take pictures with my mom and grandma.

The look on my face says it all. "I'm f*cking OVER this."
Check out my mom's bling! 
It's a mega-pricey cuff that she borrowed on the cheap from the website Rent the Runway.
Oh, Grandma. Why are you holding my stomach as if I'm with child?

These are, unfortunately, my least favorite pictures of the day. I felt incredibly rushed, irritated, and generally unhappy during the 45 minutes we took these (and I know it shows on my face.) Also, I made a very specific list of photos that we needed to take and I don't feel like we followed it at all. I honestly blame myself for this. My emotions got the best of me and as soon as I felt like we needed to be done, I ended things.

Ted and Rachel asked Josh and I to post for one final picture, and I reluctantly obliged.

I can literally hear myself saying, "Are we done now?"
Also, wtf is going on with my hunchback? 
And with that, we headed inside to prepare for the ceremony.

Burning River Bride Tip: People are probably going to disappoint you on your wedding day. Handle it with as much grace as possible. No one likes a bratty bride. I tried my hardest to put on a damn happy face and soldier through everything that was happening. Although my discomfort was probably sensed by some people, I hope I succeeded in handling it to the best of my ability.

How did your family formals go? If you're still planning, what is your strategy for making them go as smooth as possible?

As always, all photos by the saints of Linczak Photography.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Burning River Wedding: Sunshine and Surprises

We arrived at Windows on the River a little before 3pm, our scheduled time for family pictures. Our fabulous DOC, Brenda, greeted us with a huge smile. I immediately knew she had something exciting to tell us. The conversation went a bit like this:

Me: HIIIIIIEEEEEE!!!!!!! I'm so happy to SEEEE YOUUUUU!!!
Brenda: Hey! Good news! Since it's no longer raining we can do cocktail hour outside!

I was really confused because I knew the schedule of events and I knew the DJ would have already set up his equipment inside due to the rain earlier and the florist probably had the cocktail tables set up inside, too.

Me: Wait...isn't everything already all set up inside?
Brenda: Yep! But I'm making them take it down and bring everything outside. It's not a problem. They're doing it because I told them that's what we're doing.

LOVE. HER. To me, she has the most important quality a wedding coordinator can possess: think on your feet and make decisions in the best interest of the bride without having to ask.

Because I told myself repeatedly that it was going to rain on our wedding day (which it did) I also told myself that cocktail hour would be inside (which would have been FINE) so I wouldn't get disappointed. Well wouldn't ya know, I got to have a beautiful outdoor cocktail hour due to a change in weather and a fast-thinking DOC. Needless to say, I was a happy bride.

We had a bit of time to kill, so while the wedding party took a much needed (and well deserved) break, Josh and I headed to the waterfront for a few pictures.  I really wanted some pictures with my fabulous green clutch.

 I look like I'm in a purse ad or something.

The water behind me is the inspiration for the name of this here blog! It's the Cuyahoga River (I'd love to hear some of you non-Ohio folk pronounce Cuyahoga) and has caught on fire twice, hence burning river. It's a bit more clean these days.

Josh and I used the boardwalk thing as our own personal catwalk. Work it!

Sigh...I want to be America's next top model. I really love to pretend I'm working the runway. 

Burning River Bride Tip: Today's is simple: hire a day-of coordinator. Find room in your budget. Look online for some one just starting out. As Tim Gunn would say, make it work! It was so nice to have Brenda there for those important game-time decisions. Had she not been there things would have been "okay" but "okay" is not really what I wanted for my wedding day.

In my last post I said family formals and stress were up next, but this was a bit longer than I thought it would be. NEXT up (for real this time) will be the stress of family pics.

As always, pics are by Linczak Photography!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Burning River Wedding: Big Balls and East 4th

Hope you guys are ready for a few more bridal party pics. I swear these are the final ones!

After the theater district, we headed to Quicken Loans Arena, or The Q as the cool kids call it. Actually, I'd like to go old school and call it The Gund, (it was Gund Arena before they SOLD OUT to a corporation). There are these big ball things surrounding the perimeter, and apparently Ted and Rachel thought they'd make for some cool pictures. Seriously, how they see these things is beyond me. That's why they're the pros, I guess :)

Oh and check out a fabulous pic of my hair:

We rallied the troops for a few more group shots...

and then took off for our final location!

Ps, we were still on time. I was elated and silently patting myself on the back. Go me!

The one place I *really* wanted to visit for pictures was the East 4th St. neighborhood. It's probably the cutest area of downtown Cleveland. In fact, we ate dinner there for my bachelorette party! In a really fun coincidence, Josh and I took a few pictures at that same restaurant.

So cute, right? Ted and Rachel wanted us to pose with champagne, but the restaurant only had wine and this was the closest thing they had to champagne flutes. But really, if I hadn't told you would you have known the difference?

I tried to down that glass of wine, but ended up leaving most of it. Very uncharacteristic of me, but we had a timeline to stick to! And of course, more pictures to take. Josh and his boys were up first.

So handsome :) Now the girls and me.

I was trying to do that hunched-over editorial pose...not really pulling it off.

My friends are SO PRETTY!

 See that "Lola" sign above us? Ever heard of Iron Chef Michael Symon
Yeah, that's his restaurant. One of the few awesome things to come out of Cleveland.

And of course, we had to get a shoe shot.

Those Green Devils may look fab, but just wait til you see what they did to my feet. You'll have to wait a few more posts for that story.

As we finished up at East 4th St., it began to hit me that we were under 2 hours from our ceremony start time and, you know, the whole getting married part of this thing. With amped up nerves and aching feet (on both my part and some of the girls', as well), we loaded into the limo and made the short drive to Windows on the River. 

Next Up: Stress during family formals.

Burning River Bride Tip: What I really loved about our photographers is that they were never intrusive. Even though they were with us all day, I never felt like I had a camera shoved in my face. When choosing a photographer, be sure to discuss their approach to photography. Will they be all up in your grill or will they shoot from a distance? I really appreciated the breathing room Ted and Rachel gave us.

All photos by Linczak Photography

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Burning River Wedding: More Bridal Party Hottness

When we left off it was raining so we sought refuge in the limo. I was determined to do the rest of our bridal party pictures outside, though, and a little rain was NOT about to ruin my parade.

Ted instructed the driver to take us to Playhouse Square, Cleveland's theater district. I used to intern right down the street from where we took the pictures, which was kind of cute and nostalgic....or something.

All fourteen of us managed to squeeze under this doorway/overhang thing at the B.F. Keith building. It was cozy.

Come to think of it, I think those are the doors I walked through every day to get to my job from the parking garage. Ah, memories. Anyway.

The marquee at Playhouse Square is somewhat iconic so I was excited to take a few pictures under it.

Ha you totally can't tell we're under the marquee in this one. Sorry about that!

Putting on our best "fierce" faces. Except BM Bree...she's all smiles :) 
Also, notice how it says "Diva" above us. Love it.

My girls picked their own dresses/shoes/jewelry and look how truly stunning it turned out.

After these shots, I took individual pictures with every BM and Josh took individual pictures with every GM. Those are boring so I won't show them. But then the boys took some suave looking group shots that I just love.

Our friends were getting a bit...antsy at this point. I'm not sure they were aware of how many pictures we would be taking and the amount of locations. While Ted and Rachel did a FABULOUS job of giving everyone direction, some of them were confused by the whole "act natural" aspect of everything. Well, these are not your mama's wedding photos, kids!

To give everyone a bit of a break, we decided to take a few more bride and groom shots. Again, it was raining so I grabbed Linczak's reflector cover, hiked up my dress, and walked to our next location.

They wanted to hold it over me, but I insisted this would be easier. 
Plus it made for a great shot!

Because doorways are apparently *the* place to take pictures in the rain, we found another and started posing!

One of my absolute faves from the day.
Rachel is behind us w/ a spotlight and you can actually see her arm to the very left of my back.

Next up, we head to our final 2 picture spots! (Yes, we went to 4 locations for our bridal party pictures.)

Burning River Bride Tip: Communicate to your bridal party how the day will go down. Handing them a timeline isn't enough. Get your groom to explain to the boys they might have to suck it up for a few hours and pose for more pictures than they may be used to. The girls will appreciate knowing how much standing is involved when they pick out their footwear.  Most importantly, keep and upbeat attitude. If the bride and groom are having fun, everyone else will (hopefully) follow suit, if for nothing else than to keep the bride from having a b-zilla moment. 

How did your bridal party handle formal pictures?

All photos courtesy of Linczak Photography.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Yes, that's me growling. Why, you ask? (At least I assume you're asking. I would.) Well, Blogger and I are in a bit of a tiff.

I'm trying to finish these gosh darn recaps, but apparently I've run out of space for photos. The problem is the size of my pro-pics are HUGE. Like, really REALLY huge. Even scaling them down doesn't work (I've tried.) I can upload pictures that I took from my rinky-dink point-and-shoot, but nothing from Linczak. Google told me I could buy more space, but that hasn't seemed to work either (I bought the extra space for $5 but it's still not enough apparently.) A friend of mine suggested hosting them on Flickr, but that just seems like way to much work and I don't really want to do it that way.

So. Where does that leave me? I have a few options:

1. You lovely people give me ideas on how to solve this issue.
2. I pick up recaps over on my new newlywed/lifestyle blog, A Leap Begins. You didn't know I had a new blog? Well get on over there and catch up!

What do you think? Have any of you Blogger users encountered this problem? Do you think recapping over there would muddle things too much? Uuuggghhh HALP MEEE! This is frustrating :(

UPDATE:  Thanks to everyone who offered advice! Laura helped me figure out how to use the pictures I uploaded to Facebook on here, so recaps will remain on Burning River Bride :)

Guest Post!

My dear friend Amy got married over the weekend and now she's on her honeymoon. Guess what that means...I'm guest-posting for her! So please head on over to her blog and read about what I think brides *really* want to hear on their wedding day. Oh, and wish her a big congratulations, too :)

Burning River Wedding: Pics at the Big Red Thing

As I said in the last post, the bridal party was all set to go in the limo, awaiting our arrival.

The boys :)
*Photo by BM Claire

The gals! And Tyrone minus his head.
*Photo by BM Claire

My dress was extremely tight, so getting into the limo was definitely a challenge. I basically had to hike up my dress above my hips and sort of dive headfirst through the door. Graceful, I am not.

Hi, there!
*Photo by BM Claire

Truthfully, I'm just thankful I didn't have a bigger dress. How to brides with big ass dresses fit in their limo?? Don't get me wrong, I love me a big ass dress just as much as the next gal, but man, that's gotta be a rough wedding day. 

After putting on some lip gloss,
*Photo by BM Claire
and posing for a quick pic,
*Photo by BM Nikki

we were off to the first location!

The only instructions I gave Ted and Rachel as to where I wanted to take formal pictures was "downtown Cleveland, city, urban." I knew they would pick fantastic locations and they certainly did not disappoint. Our first stop was this big, red sculpture thing somewhere downtown. I'm only going to show the best of each set because there are SO many and let's face it, that's kinda boring.

We took a few pictures of us as a couple to start.

Then some of me because I'm so hot.

Then FINALLY our awesome bridal party got in on the action.

Whoops, BM Despina is blocking GM Chris (or maybe GM Mike. They're twins.) w/ her massive hair!

See the sky in the background of those photos. Those, my friends, are rainclouds. And they were beginning to open. So back to the limo we went, hoping the rain would end by the time we arrived at our next location.

Burning River Bride Tip: Rain will not ruin your wedding day. It rained on and off until about 3pm on our wedding day. From the day I got engaged I said to people "I know it will rain on my wedding day and I'm ok with that. If I prepare myself for it now, I won't be upset when it happens. And if it doesn't rain, well that will just be a happy surprise." Everyone said "Oh Emily, stop that. The weather will be beautiful on your wedding day." WHO WAS RIGHT?! Me. And yes, I was totally fine all day. I was just happy to be marrying my man.

Unless otherwise noted, all pictures by Linczak Photography.