Saturday, May 23, 2009

E-Pic Disappointment

I'll admit, I started looking at wedding photographers, wedding pictures, and engagement pictures before BRG proposed. Loonnggg before. I like to call it research and I don't see anything wrong with it. After we got engaged I was itching to get some pictures taken. One day a light bulb appeared above my head. Every year we go to the Outer Banks in North Carolina. We could find a photographer down there and get some amazing pictures taken on the beach!! My mom informed me that she wanted to have some family portraits done at the beach. Two birds, one stone! Thus began my search for a reasonably priced but amazing photographer.

After scouring the Internets for a photographer, I decided on a gentleman who fit our budget and had a nice online photo gallery. He wasn't exactly the style I was hoping for, but he was willing to take some family portraits and do our e-shoot afterward.

On the day of the shoot I was so excited and nervous. I love having my picture taken and I'm definitely not camera shy, but this was a big thing for me and I desperately wanted it to go right. Although I was excited, I sort of had a bad feeling going into it. I like very natural photos. Nothing too posed or fake. I love detail shots that include engagement rings and close ups that really show emotion. From the photographer's online gallery I could tell he went for a more posed look. I overlooked it, however, because of the price and availability. By now I should know: you get what you pay for. I'm not saying he was a bad photographer. I'm not even saying our pictures were necessarily bad. He just wasn't what I expected.

When our pictures went up online a few weeks later I was seriously nervous to view them. After sifting through the family portraits, I got to our e-pics. I tried to like them. I really really did. But I couldn't help but cry tears of disappointment. Everyone reassured me that they were beautiful, that we looked great, and that I was making a big deal out of nothing. Here are a few of our "favorite" (and I use that term loosely) shots. Also, these are unedited screenshots. He did not give us a full CD of images and the price for prints was OUT.RAGEOUS. (in my opinion).

Like I said, I know they're not terrible pictures. We did purchase a few prints that were retouched. We made a few copies of those to give as Christmas presents to various family members. Luckily, our e-pic saga has a happy ending. The photographer we booked for our wedding includes an engagement session in every wedding photography package. I cannot WAIT to shoot with them. I'll write a post about them soon.

Were you disappointed by a vendor during your planning?

All pictures taken by this photographer.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


*Note...this is kinda long but worth at the end!

Before I begin this post I just wanted to say that BRG is at a bachelor party this weekend (not his) out on a lake in Kentucky (or Tennessee...whatever) and I need to keep myself occupied. This might mean lots of posts. Yay! This could also mean no posts which probably means I'm drowning my sorrows in Nutella and wine. Boo (or yay depending on how you look at it). I think blogging about the wedding and our relationship would be theraputic and remind me not to freak out because I love and trust this man and I know he wouldn't do anything too stupid. That was probably a run-on sentence. Not a good sign. OK...on to the main event.

Last summer I didn't get out of school until the middle of June (damn you, quarter system), had a week off, then went back to school for a week to take a class (4 credits in 5 days? Yes please!). By the time I came home for good for the summer it was the first week of July. My favorite holiday was right around the corner...4th of July!! It's my favorite holiday next to my birthday, of course (February 19; I accept gifts year round.) I have great memories of 4th of July in my hometown. The parade, the fireworks, the fun! As I got older I thought it would be so cool to get engaged on the 4th of July. My mom has a party every year for th 4th. Perfect! I *may* have mentioned this to Josh when we started getting serious.

Let me give you some real quick background about a few things before I continue. Sometime in June I got into a really big fight with my grandma. She lives next door to my mom (blessing/curse). I did something she didn't like and she freaked out (really, it was a minor thing but my grandma can be very childish at times...I love her anyway). Also, her birthday is July 3. She likes to pick fights around holidays and birthdays. See where this is going? Right.

So July 3 rolled around and my grandma and I hadn't spoken since the fight a few weeks prior. The fam went out to dinner, I wrote her a nice card for her birthday, and I thought it was over. Her words after she read the card? "I'm coming to the party tomorrow. I'm not going to tell you why, but you'll find out." Well, that all but sealed the deal and ruined the surprise. I played it off by saying "Oh for the free food, huh?" but in my heart I knew what she meant. She not only said this in front of me, but in front of BRG, my mom, and my uncle. I didn't mention it again that night, but I think everyone knew what she meant.

The next day I was actually extremely calm. I thought that maybe it was something else she was talking about (ha, right) or maybe he would postpone the proposal because of what she said. Regardless, I didn't know how or when during the day he would do it so that part was still a surprise. The guests arrived, every one was eating and having an all-around fun time. Next thing I knew, BRG was standing in front of me with a sparkler. "Hey, BRB, want a sparkler?" I looked at him with a puzzled face. " Why would I want a sparkler?" For a split second I thought that maybe there was a ring on the sparkler, but there was nothing. So I waved it off as him being silly. Big mistake. He responded with "Well, what about a different kind of sparkler?" Next thing I knew he was down on one knee, saying something about marrying me. I think responded with a few "shut ups" a few "NO NO NOs" and finally with a "YES!" We hugged, we cried, and I put that ring on my finger! Here are a few pics from that day:

Look at my mom in the background! I was a little upset that he didn't wait until she was out there to ask, but I don't think he could have waited one second longer.

My mom's best friend Jenna is in the background. I love her face!

Hugging one of my best friends and bridesmaids, Nikki. We've been friends since kindergarten...18 years!! She had no idea this was happening. I was so glad she was there :)

Notice the subtle left hand placement.

Two families, coming together. I wish my FSIL Bree had been there, but she was on tour rockin' the east coast with her band.

And of course, the gratuitus ring shots:

I took these with my mom's super nice camera.

I love love LOVE my ring. Borderline obsessed. OK, that's a lie...DEFINITELY obsessed. One carat center stone, 3 smaller stones on each side.'s perfect.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Sparkly Sparklers

We started ring shopping in January of 2008. It happened MUCH earlier than I expected. I originally didn't want to get engaged until after I finished school in November 2008. I just felt that we should wait until I was out of school and we were no longer long distance. Well, BRG didn't want to wait that long and who was I to say "no" to going ring shopping?

Our first trip to the jewelers was extremely emotional. I thought I would be OK, but walking into that store did something to me. Overcome with emotion, I told the sales woman that we were *sniff* there to *sniff* look at some rings *sniff*. The very nice and understanding woman told me that I couldn't just look, I had to try on. "Rings are like shoes. You HAVE to try some on to make sure they fit!" OK then! I tried on a lot of beautiful rings that day, but nothing stood out. I thought I knew what I wanted, but a lot of what I liked in magazines or in the case just didn't look right on my hand. I LOVED Tacori rings and their intricate settings, but once I tried some on they just didn't seem right.

A few weeks later, we went to another store. They had a really great selection and we worked with a fantastic woman. She was so attentive, so knowledgeable, and not pushy at all. After trying on a bunch of settings, I found one that I was head over heels in love with, and 2 more that I liked a lot. The settings didn't have center stones in them, so the jeweler brought out a few 1 carat stones to look at. I never really thought too much about the 4 Cs, but BRG definitely did. And after seeing two stones of different colors and clarity I understood how important this decision was.

We put the better diamond in the settings, and the one I was head over heels in love with was made every better with this diamond. It was perfect. It was me. It was simple yet stunning with just the right amount of sparkle. I liked the other two well enough, but I knew which one was the one for me. Nonetheless, I left all 3 out on the table and said he should pick from those. I wanted him to at least kind of feel like he had SOME say in the decision.

The store was running a sale through the end of February that I knew he wanted to take advantage of. By the end of February I had a feeling that he bought it. He didn't tell me, but I had a feeling. Months and months went by with no proposal, but I was OK with it. I was finishing school and really didn't have time to think about getting engaged. Once summer started, though...I started getting a little anxious. Up next...the proposal!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Absence makes the heart grow fonder and the mind go crazy

BRG went to Indiana to visit a friend for the weekend, leaving me to fend for myself. Usually I enjoy my alone time immensely. I grew up as an only child (kinda...I'll get into it later) so I spent a lot of time just me, myself, and I. For some reason, though, this weekend was different. All of my local friends were out of town or they have babies. So it was just me and the cats...and did I ever feel like a freaking cat lady.

I couldn't help but be on the brink of tears for most of the weekend. I'm unemployed (again, more about that later) so I spend all day by myself while he works. The last thing I need is a weekend alone. I know he was just spending time with his best friend (and best man) and I really do encourage him to have a life outside of me, but I didn't like it. To top it off, he's going to a bachelor party over Memorial Day weekend (Thurs-Mon). Like I said, I love when he does stuff with the boys, but I can't help feeling a tinge of jealousy.

Our history with separation would suggest that I should be used to us being apart for extended periods of time. See, BRG and I did the long-distance thing from June 06-Jan 09. He graduated from OU in 2006, a mere 6 months into our (official) relationship. I literally thought my world was ending. We made it through the summer just fine as we were only an hour away from each other. We saw each other almost every weekend and had date nights on Wednesday to break up the week. When it came time for me to go back to OU in September, again I thought my world was ending. That first quarter was pure hell. We fought about the littlest things. We were irritable. I was jealous over the most ridiculous things. It wasn't because I didn't trust him, it was because other people (family, friends, co-workers, the cashier at the grocery store, etc.) got to hang out with him and I didn't. Immature? Yes. Irrational? Probably. But to me it was serious.

How we managed to not kill each other during that first quarter I'll never know. My living situation made it hard because my roomie (and now bridesmaid) had a boyfriend who was basically living with us (and who I didn't really all). To me it wasn't fair that she got to see her boyfriend every single day and I didn't. Again, it was immature but something that I couldn't help but feel.

In my opinion, you truly don't know what it means to miss some one until you're in a long distance relationship (deaths notwithstanding), whether that means you're in a long distance friendship, romantic relationship, or even far from your parents.

Obviously, we got through it. We cherished the weekends we had together. I tried to not take seeing him for granted. While I wish we hadn't gone through all of that, I wouldn't change it if I could do it all over again. It made us stronger and it made us appreciate moving in together even more. I was so happy when I could stop living out of my duffle bag. The best feeling, though, was felt during the first few Sundays we lived together. It was a feeling of "Oh my god...I don't have to leave." I still tear up thinking about it.

Here's the thing, though: I think sometimes I need to be reminded of just how good I have it. I live with him and see him every day. The occasional weekend away is nothing compared with women who have boyfriends/fiances/husbands in the military. This past weekend reminded me to really enjoy the time I spend with him. Aww I'm getting all mushy now. Next post: back to sassy pants.

Friday, May 8, 2009

It all started with a message: The first meeting

As soon as school resumed that fall, BRG started asking if I wanted to hang out. He was constantly asking "Wanna have dinner?" "Wanna watch a movie?" "Wanna come over?" My answer was always no. I felt bad because he was trying SO HARD, but I had a long-standing lunch and dinner date with my best friend that I didn't feel comfortable breaking for some guy I met on the internet.

One day we were talking online while he was in class. The building his class was in happened to be right by my dorm. His class was about to end and I was about to go to dinner so we said our virtual goodbyes. It was at that point that I think fate stepped in. As I exited my building I saw a guy approaching me who looked vaguely familiar. Remember, I had only seen pictures of him. In those pictures, he had facial hair (something I was instantly attracted to). This guy...did not. We both smiled awkwardly and I said "Josh?" as he said "Emily?" It was him! I'm not going to lie, I was a little disappointed in how he looked. It turns out, he shaved for a career fair he attended that day and he hated it as much as I did. YAY!

That first meeting was brief. I'm sure he remembers better than I do, but I think we went out for the first time later that week. After a few drunken bar nights (I told you things at OU get crazy) we had our first (drunken) kiss. I pretended not to remember, and I think he did the same. A bit later, he asked me to come over and watch "The Notebook." Sneaky sneaky!! We had our first "real" kiss during the movie. He's a sly one, I tell ya.

The rest is history. We had our first "real" date in late October, become "official" on Facebook over Thanksgiving, and have been together ever since!

Here is a picture of us on our first Halloween. Also, Halloween is HUGE at OU. Google it.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

It all started with a message

On MySpace. Yup, BRG and I met on the internet in one of the creepiest ways I can imagine. Let me set the scene for you. It was summer 2005, I was 19 years old, had just gotten out of a 1.5 year relationship, and was S-I-N-G-L-E. For the first time in a long time I actually had time to focus on myself and not be wrapped up in some stupid boy. And let me tell you, I enjoyed every minute of it. I flirted shamelessly, I kissed boys I had only known for a few hours, and I wondered why the hell I stayed in a shitty relationship for so long.

In early July, I recieved a message on MySpace from some guy named Josh. He was 23, he went to Ohio University (like me), and he lived above Subway. For those of you who are unfamiliar with OU, living above Subway is kind of a big deal. It's located in the heart of Uptown Athens, surrounded by bars, bars, and more bars. See, OU is known for it's love do I say this...drinking/partying/debauchery. So the fact that I now "knew" a guy (and an older guy at that) who lived above Subway (notorious for it's parties) who was interested in ME was just the coolest thing in my 19-year-old mind.

Thus began our correspondence. We started off with MySpace messages, which led to messages and IMs, which led to our eventual meeting. More on time!!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Dress Search, Gazillion Dresses: Part 3, The Final Chapter


I just got so sick of typing that ridiculously long title. Anyway, after finding some great dresses, and possibly "the one" at Doreen, I went with my mom to Catan Fashions to check out a Tara Keely trunk show. There was a Tara Keely dress I found in a magazine a few months prior that I wanted to check out. Unfortunately, they didn't have it as part of the trunk show. It's probably better that they didn't have it because the Tara Keely dresses were more than I wanted to spend. And to be honest, I wasn't too impressed with them. We managed to sneak a few pics on my mom's iPhone, though!

Ok, now that I think about it, I'm not sure if all of these are Tara Keely. They were in the "couture" section of the store, though, so I know they were pricey. Anyway, I really loved the top of this one. It was so flowy and bouncy and it just felt expensive. Ultimately though, it didn't come close to the one that was still in my mind.

This one felt amazing on my skin. I could have worn it as a nightgown. I was swimming in silk...mmm. My mom thought it looked like a MOB (albeit very sexy MOB) dress. I agreed, but it did wonderful things for my backside, so I can't hate on it too much.

This dress is all over Tara Keely ads right now. Beautiful dress, the sample just about fit me (minus length), but again, it wasn't for me. I love the little ribbon around the waist, though. Little details always get me.

After figuring out that these ultra-pricey dresses weren't for me, we went to the main part of the store. Our consultant Brenda was a great help to us. She found the dress I wanted, along with another similar option (that also didn't hold a candle to "the one"). Since I can't seem to figure out how to do the "read more" option (I'm not as computer savvy as I thought), I'll link a picture of the one I ended up buying. I don't want to risk Josh coming across this as I know he'd be crushed. Here it is! I hope it works.

Even though I bought it with over a year to go until the wedding, I'm confident in my purchase. I've completely stopped looking at dresses online, and I try to not pay too much attention to dresses in photos. So many wise women before me have already said it, but it bears repeating: once you've bought your dress, stop looking! I can't wait until my dress arrives in July!!

Friday, May 1, 2009

You got me feelin' emotions

Mariah? Anyone? Anyone? It's old school, before the craziness. Anyway.

Last night I cried for what is probably the most ridiculous reason ever: we received a wedding invitation and my fiance opened it. He came home from work, mail in hand. I was in the bathroom when I heard "Baaaabe! We got something in the mail you might want to seee!" It was an invitation to our friend's wedding (we have to RSVP "no" unfortunately) that I'd been anticipating. Why did I cry?

Because he opened it and not me.

Seriously, how ridiculous is that? I guess it's because I'm a bride and invitations mean so much to me now, but I just couldn't believe that he didn't even wait for me. I know how much time and energy is put into invitations. From the design and wording to the addressing and's a long process! Brides want it to be noticed and appreciated, even if it's just by one person. And to be honest...I'm that person! I will appreciate it! Josh...WILL NOT. Anyone who reads this, feel free to send me an invitation if you want some one to "ooh" and "aahh" over it.

I'm definitely embarrassed that I was so emotional over this, but I guess I just really wanted to be the one to open it. Josh was definitely a little confused. Blah, emotions. I'm a woman, I can't help it.