Wedding photos: Getting ready & bridal party

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Eric and I stayed in the same hotel room and woke up together on our wedding day. I know the superstitious would say it was bad luck, but it felt like the right thing for us. Sleeping apart just felt so unnatural. Waking up on the morning of our wedding and being able to take that time in for ourselves was so, so special.

Eric left to be with his groomsman around 9 a.m. and my bridesmaids and makeup/hair vendors started arriving around 10 a.m. Getting ready was such a fun time of anticipation and happiness. I couldn’t wait to see Eric all dressed up and for him to see me in my wedding dress.

My bridesmaids (and my friend Kelly) were so helpful and took care of everything I needed from getting drinks and food to last minute printing of the seating chart.

We had three bridesmaids and four groomsmen and I don’t think anyone even noticed the odd number. It worked out perfectly.

I’m so happy we have so many great getting ready shots. They are always some of my favorites from weddings.

Next up I’ll be posting about the ceremony and the details that made our day special.

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Thoughts on 29

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Yesterday was my 29th birthday. In true adult fashion, I spent the day working.

I felt kind of neutral about turning 29. I’m obviously grateful to be given another year to be alive, but I didn’t make any plans to celebrate and the day was mostly just like any other day. I suppose that’s just how it goes once you reach a certain age.

The day did have its sweet moments, though.

The annual birthday phone call from my parents.

Eric made me a cake—a very sweet tradition he’s being doing since my 22 birthday just a few months after we got together. He also bought me a gift card for a 90 minute massage (hurray!).

Some of my friends and coworkers from the restaurant I work at bought me a cake after I stopped in for dinner and a drink last night (Eric was working, so I was flying solo). They’re honestly the best, most thoughtful group of people any one could ask for.

There were lots of birthday texts and messages from friends and family near and far.

I’d like to spend this last year of my twenties checking a few items off the bucket list. I originally was going to make a list of 29 things I wanted to do this year, but the list might end up being smaller and more doable. I’ll save that list for another time.

I’m actually really looking forward to turning 30 next year. For now, I’ll just soak in the joy of still being able to say I’m in my 20s.

Wedding photos: First Look

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I’m so excited to share our wedding photos with you and talk a little more in detail about our day.

I’m starting with the first look because they are some my favorite photos from the whole day. I originally didn’t want a first look because I wanted everything to be a surprise as I was walking down the aisle, but we realized we didn’t want to wait until after the ceremony to get all of our photos done.

So, we decided a first look would be fun to do and would give us plenty of time for all the photos we wanted before the ceremony. It also turned out to give us some time to just be together and really soak in the excitement of the day.

Our whole motto for our wedding day is that we wanted it to be easy for everyone. We didn’t want all of the guests to be waiting around for us for an hour and we didn’t want to miss any of the reception.

It all ended up working out perfectly and we only had to do our family photos right after the ceremony. We were able to get right to the reception and didn’t miss anything.

The forecast leading up to the wedding was rain, rain, rain. So I frantically ran into Target before we headed down to West Virginia and picked up the clear umbrella you’ll see in a few of the photos. I’m so glad we did because it gave us some of our favorite pictures. It was just starting to drizzle when we headed outside for our pictures and luckily, the rain held off for the most part.

Now, prepare for photo overload. All photos are by Liv Hefner Photography.

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Wedding Wednesday: DIY Invitations

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I knew pretty early on that we wouldn’t be able to afford invitations from a professional printer or online store. The costs were just something I didn’t want to spend our budget on and they were creeping up to be hundreds of dollars. Although very pretty, I just couldn’t bring myself to pay that when I’d rather spend that on something more tangible on the actual wedding day. I figure most people just throw invitations away anyway, so why waste that much money?

I ended up buying a kit from Michaels that matched our colors of gold and light blue. It was a BRIDES kit that was originally around $40, but I had a coupon that ended up making them around $20. The kit included 30 invitations, 30 RSVP cards and 30 extra cards for things like directions. This worked out perfect since we are only sending around 20 invitations.

Invitation 2

Invitation 1

The way the kit works is you go to a website that has the templates and you can customize it online and then download the PDF to print them. You can customize the fonts/wording, etc, which is nice. I did notice that when you change the font, it can mess with the spacing. That took some trial and error and still didn’t turn out perfect.

Overall, for the price I think they turned out pretty well. They definitely aren’t the most professional quality, but they look nice. They will serve their purpose and we can ultimately funnel that potential hundreds of dollars into something else like food or the photographer, which are more important to us.

Holiday Shopping Guide to Pittsburgh

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The holiday season is officially here and I could not be more excited. This is my absolute favorite time of year and I look forward to it for months. This year I thought it would be fun to put together a little shopping guide of local businesses where you can do your holiday shopping. Shopping local and supporting mom and pop businesses is very important to me. I’ve seen first-hand the hard work that goes into running your own business and it is not easy. I love supporting people who live in my community because I know my money is going to someone who is trying to better their neighborhoods, put their kids through college and give back to the people that have invested in them.

Clothes

No. 14 Boutique

Location: Lawrenceville

What they sell: Unique, trendy styles you likely won’t find anywhere else

One Brilliant

Location: Aspinwall

What they sell: Women’s clothing and accessories

Boutique La Passerelle

Location: Downtown

What they sell: Imported clothes and accessories from around the world

Beauty products

Simple Sugars

Location: Made in Pittsburgh, but they are sold in stores throughout PA and the country

What they sell: All-natural body and face scrubs for men and women.

Una Biologicals

Location: Lawrenceville

What they sell: Homemade all-natural bath and body products

The Gilded Girl Beauty Emporium

Location: Lawrenceville

What they sell: Mainstream and indy brands of makeup.

Books and music

East End Book Exchange

Location: Bloomfield

What they sell: New and used books of all genres

Penguin Book Shop

Location: Sewickly

What they sell: New books of all genres

Amazing Books & Records

Location: Downtown & Squirrel Hill

What they sell: Used books and records of all genres

Miscellaneous

Soyil Candles

Location: Pittsburgh, but sold online

What they sell: Homemade soy candles

Pittsburgh Popcorn Company

Location: Downtown, Strip District and Oakland

What they sell: Homemade popcorn in lots of flavors

People’s Gas Holiday Market

Location: Downtown

What they sell: Tons of different vendors set up to sell their homemade products