Cortney and Alex’s New Year’s Eve wedding designed by Christina Leigh Events was absolutely fabulous, and we’ll be posting their highlight film soon. But before that I wanted to share her stunning bridal portrait session that they brought us along for. (Check out her amazing bridals by Lisa Dunham here) Cortney’s dresses (yes, I said dresses, plural) were amazing. She actually had three; one for the wedding, reception, and after-party. For her bridal session she went with the first two. This girl has amazing style, which is fitting since she owns her own clothing boutique, Ketch The Spirit, featuring cute collegiate teamwear. We spent a lot of time inside the gorgeous Mayo Hotel since it was crazy windy outside (hello Oklahoma). But we did get out in the sunshine for a trip to the Philbrook Museum of Art, and to get some shots with a vintage Cadillac El Dorado brought over by the girls at Zinke Design. And in addition to the over-the-top florals Anne-Marie with The French Bouquet made for their wedding, she also put together a beautiful bouquet for the bridal session. One of my favorite things was looking over my shoulder a couple of times and catching Cortney’s sweet mom Cindy getting a little choked up. It was such a fun day. Thanks for asking us to come along!
So, Anna is kinda’ crazy… in an adorable I want to run up and hug her kind of way. I mean, how can you not love a bride who is willing to play in water in her wedding gown? These two are so cool, so fun… and so willing to go with the flow when things don’t go exactly as planned. Their first reception venue is a new ballroom that ended up not quite being ready in time for their wedding. Not to worry, they could set up a tent in the beautiful Myriad Gardens for the party, right by where their ceremony would be and next to the building where dinner would happen. Cue Spring in Oklahoma… a bad weather system moved in that caused tornadoes all over Oklahoma and the Midwest the day before the wedding, and Saturday looked like much of the same. So the amazing Robyn Martin with The Wedding Belle found a new ceremony location in the OKlahoma City Museum of Art (keep in mind, this is the DAY BEFORE THE WEDDING). High winds meant no tent, so the entire reception got moved into the dinner room. Amazingly it all worked out perfectly, and short of some crazy winds it really was a beautiful day.
p.s. Anna and Drew own In The Raw in Oklahoma City, so you two can bet you’ll be seeing us many more times in the future. You’ve been warned.
Cinematography, PenWeddings | Photography, Aaron Snow | Planning & Coordination, The Wedding Belle | Ceremony Venue, Oklahoma City Museum of Art | Reception Venue, Oklahoma City Myriad Gardens | Accommodations, The Colcord Hotel | Catering, Cheevers Catering | Florals, Hydrangea Floral | Rentals, Decor & Linens, Marianne’s Rentals | Cakes, Mishelle Handy Cakes | Musician, Wade Tower | DJ, Dante | Lighting, Innovative Event Solutions | Bride’s Gown, Pronovias | Makeup & Hair, Jennifer McLaughlin | Invitations, The Paper Lion | Transportation, Brickshaw Buggy
Prepare yourself, I’m getting personal in this blog post. Originally I was just going to write about family heirlooms. I had planned to sort of “gloss over” the reason behind the post because I know most people are more private than I. If you’ve not figured it out already, I’m pretty much an open book… probably too open sometimes. Haha. But I asked my mom for permission to share a little more. So here goes. Grandma Lulu, this one is for you.
As I write this, I’m listening to a steady rain just like I was a year ago today. Tonight, we’re in a hotel room; on the road for a beautiful wedding. One year ago today, we were in a hospital room with my mom, cousins, aunts and uncles. It was my 30th birthday, but that was the last thing on my mind. My grandmother Louise, or “Lulu” as we called her, had suffered a stroke months earlier and we knew it wouldn’t be long before she saw Heaven. I took a lot of pictures during our time there, and this one always seems to touch me the most. I still can’t look at it without crying. That’s my mama, kissing her mama.
Lulu died in the middle of the night. We’d been at the hospital for days (some family members, months). My mom, aunts and uncles took “shifts” making sure someone was always there with her. That night was no different. But those who were there eventually gave in for a short time and dozed off in their chairs. That’s when she left us. The next day, someone said “You know, she did this on purpose. She would have wanted it this way.” So strong, so independent, Lulu was never one to want people to fuss over her.
It’s amazing how fun the next day was. Of course it was emotional. Of course we were sad. But looking at family heirlooms, going through old photographs, and sharing memories in the house where my mom, her sister and two brothers grew up truly was a happy time.
That night, I got an unexpected treat; a little impromptu birthday celebration at the dinner table with one of the best gifts ever. My aunt, I believe, had the idea to pick out one small thing from Lulu’s house that they knew I would love. I’ve always told my mom how much I like her antique pink transferware collection, and my grandma just so happened to have a couple of pieces too. So they picked this out as my gift, and said, “happy birthday from Lulu.” I cried like a baby.
As you can imagine, the larger family heirlooms went to Lulu’s immediate children, but they did allow the grandkids to make “requests.” Somehow I actually ended up with the one thing I’d always wanted from my grandma’s house… a pew from the church where many members of my family grew up, and where my mother and grandmother got married. They moved to a new building years ago, but the old church still stands. This is the best picture I could find of it online.
The antique stained glass window hanging over it, not sure where that came from. Haha Although I am very interested in trying to track down its history. It was a Christmas present from my parents. Someday it will be passed on to my kids, who will pass it on to theirs. Heirlooms have to start somewhere, right? 🙂
I am in love with this inspiration shoot we did for the guys at Bridalifestyle. Skelly Lodge was the perfect setting for a chic vintage design. Major props to the awesome wedding pros who pulled this together in just a couple of weeks. The golden autumn leaves made for the perfect backdrop for bird cages filled with bright yellow flowers. Grace with Paper 8 made some fabulous custom stationery and even the “Mr” and “Mrs” signs on the back of the chairs. And one of my favorite things was the cake table, featuring an amazing cake by Ann’s Bakery that was surrounded by all kinds of goodness including moon pies, caramel candy, and Jones Sodas. We were so thrilled to be part of this styled shoot along with some of our good friends. It was a fun and fabulous day. Cold. But fabulous. 🙂
Cinematography, PenWeddings | Photography, Artworks Tulsa Photography | Venue, Skelly Lodge | Florals & Design, Mom & Me Events | Stationery & Design, Paper 8 | Cake, Ann’s Bakery | Rentals, Party Pro Rents | Makeup Artist, Ashlee Bivins | Hair Stylist, Heather Valentine | Bride & Groom, Jill & Jaffe Newlin
One of my favorite things is when a bride & groom write each other little notes on their wedding day. But with Whitney and Tyler it was a bit different. Tyler’s note to Whitney wasn’t exactly “little.” And Whitney’s note to Tyler wasn’t a note at all, it was a fill-in-the-blank book where she wrote all the things she loved about him. Throw in kettle drums, bagpipes, and some of the best wedding pros in the state, and you have one fabulous day.
Cinematography, PenWeddings | Photography, Aaron Snow | Planning & Coordination, The Wedding Belle | Ceremony Venue, Crossings Community Church | Reception Venue, The Skirvin Hotel | Catering, The Skirvin Hotel | Florals & Decor, The French Tulip | Cakes, Mishelle Handy Cakes | Band, Groove Merchants | Lighting, Innovative Event Solutions | Bride’s Gown, Reem Acra | Makeup Artist, Jennifer McLaughlin | Hair Stylist, Rebekah Regouby | Coffee Bar, Cafe Evoke | Candy Bar, 42nd Street Candy Co. | Transportation, King’s Limousine