La Hermosa Novia!

I’ve got myself a pretty gorgeous new sister-in-law, wouldn’t you say?

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That makes two beautiful ladies that my very lucky brothers found over the years – and makes a girl with no sisters growing up (me) very happy!

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After sharing a few of my iphone pics from Priscila & Michael’s big day, I’m so happy to show you some of the first finished photos from the photographer, Luis Chiang Chang-Way of Zonanueve Studios. I did a little jump for joy when Luis gave me permission to share these with you lovely readers – and I’m sure you can imagine why!

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Just breathtaking, no?

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Luis did such an amazing job of capturing Priscila’s total gorgeousness, AND her fun & silly personality!

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How is that for an amazing bridal photo shoot to start off your day?

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Credits to Priscila’s AMAZING photography team of Zonanueve Studios and the oh-so-talented Luis Chiang Chang-Way, as well as to her fantastic makeup artist, Martin Catalogne.

Wedding Vendor Round-Up: Part 2

After sharing some of the DIY projects from our wedding (which, if you missed, you can catch up on here), I want to take a moment to share the amazing wedding vendors that helped to make our day as perfect as it was. These are the people that did everything I couldn’t do myself (or didn’t want to do myself). These are the people that gave their time and talents for five (or fifty) hours of exclusive attention to my wedding guests, my family, my husband, and me. They all deserve recognition, thanks, and great. big. hugs.

[Here’s Part 1 – on our Location & Caterers and Florist!]

Our Photographers: Focal Point Studios

Another aspect of our wedding that the hubs & I discussed long before we were actually engaged was photography. My man is about as camera-shy as they get. He gets all tense & nervous when someone tries to take his picture, and he is not a fan of being told where & how to do anything pose/stand. Luckily for us, we’d already had the experience of being photographed by our fantastic wedding photographers – Amy and Lauren of Focal Point Studios, at a family photo shoot the previous summer. Hubs loved how casual & easy-going they were, and I loved how gorgeous the photos were. And so, without even a second thought, within the first week of our engagement I had emailed & booked Amy and Lauren for our wedding day.

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We did an engagement shoot with them, which was not nearly as painful as hubby expected, and when the wedding day rolled around, they were an absolute dream. Full of enthusiasm, encouragement, and creative vision – these ladies (and Dave, Lauren’s super talented husband who joined them) just hit it out of the park.

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Compiling the photos into books as Christmas gifts for my family, printing my favorites to frame and display in our home, and sharing a mini album of some of the best pics with friends & colleagues has been such a pleasure.

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Some days, when it’s grey outside and I need a pick-me-up, I just sit at my computer and page through the hundreds of beautiful pictures from our wedding day. I couldn’t be happier to have such an amazing collection of little moments and memories, forever preserved in time.

Our Wedding Band: The Free Downloads

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One of my dearest friends from college, Sheree, is the lead singer for the most happening wedding band in Boston – The Free Downloads. You heard me right- I said Boston. If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll note that our wedding was in New Jersey – a good 4.5 hour drive from the Massachusetts capital. Yet when I asked Sheree if her *fantastic* band would consider making the trip to play for our wedding, they heartily agreed, and proceeded to provide the “best wedding music I’ve ever heard” (direct quote from a guest) for both our ceremony & tented reception.

DSC_3008-171The Free Downloads is a seven piece band, featuring amazing Sheree and the equally talented singer Neil, and a group of some of the best musicians I’ve ever heard (Sheree and I went to college together… for music… so as a fellow musician, I feel confident in my professional evaluation!)

DSC_6271The number of glowing compliments I received about this band was only trumped by the number of smiling faces on the dance floor throughout the night. From the beautiful & soulful music during dinner, to the PUMPED UP energy of the dance tunes, this group of music makers were simply incredible.

DSC_2901-134While the night was a total blur for my husband and me, we did remark on several occasions that it seemed like the singers & players never took breaks, and just got better and better as the night went on! Nothing could have been more meaningful than to have Sheree, along with my bestie/man of honor/another college classmate Eric, providing the exquisite music for our ceremony. The added experience of having such a close friend perform throughout the evening, keeping everyone on the dance floor & having a blast, was unforgettable.

DSC_3007-170By the way, I once waxed poetic on this little blog about the many factors weighing on me as I selected the music for our wedding ceremony. (I was in charge of the music, hubs was in charge of the readings). In case you are wondering, here is what we ended up with:

Preludes (performed beautifully while guests enjoyed a glass of apple cider, took a pic at the DIY Photo Booth, and then found their seats) (and while I was bursting with excitement as I listened from a distance!)

The Book Of Love [Peter Gabriel]

She is Love [Parachute]

Send me the Moon [Sarah Bareilles]

(the links take you to YouTube versions performed by the original artists, but my personal (and slightly biased) opinion is that the renditions by Sheree & Eric were even better!)

DSC_2552-22My parents & bridal party came down the aisle to the James Taylor song, “The Secret of Life“. This is my mother’s favorite song (and she passed down the partiality to me). It even features the lyric that inspired the title to this blog!

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My processional tune was an instrumental-only rendition of “Here Comes the Sun” (Beatles), performed on acoustic guitar by the talented George of The Free Downloads.

Our recessional was the light & happy “Everybody” by Ingrid Michaelson.

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Since music is easily four-fifths of my life (with the final fifth split between my love of the beach, crafting, travel and bacon…) the music provided by my dear friends and the talented band members was very, very special to me.

I just might be crying a little bit right now, but don’t worry… it’s the good kind of crying.

Thank you once again to the fabulous Free Downloads, to my amazing photographers, florist, and caterers! I am also so grateful to the additional vendors who contributed their talents to our wedding day. See the whole list of amazing-ness at the bottom credits portion of this feature post.

[all photographs courtesy of Focal Point Studios]

A Lovely Feature // WeddingLovely Blog

I couldn’t be more excited today if I tried. Our little wedding is being featured over at the WeddingLovely Blog today!

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I was tickled pink when the wedding guru Tracy Osborn, founder of the online wedding planning app WeddingLovely, decided to share our autumn love-fest with her readers. Tracy is all about weddings, and her service  is amazingly helpful for brides everywhere. WeddingLovely helps keep you organized in your planning, and helps couples find amazing local vendors that specialize in the kind of wedding you want to have. (Personalized recommendations means less time wasted wading through loads of overpriced DJ’s when what you really want is a band).

The WeddingLovely Blog features wedding advice, vendor spotlights, DIY projects, and real wedding inspiration. Based on the totally drool-worthy weddings that have come before mine, I can only say I am honored to be among them! Thank you, Tracy & the talented ladies behind WeddingLovely!

So hop on over to the WeddingLovely Blog to see the work of MY amazing local vendors (another HUGE shout out & thanks to the geniuses behind the camera- Amy, Lauren and Dave of Focal Point Studios!) And if you’re new to Some Kind of Lovely Ride, stay a while! Check out instructions and stories behind our DIY & DIT wedding projects here, or visit the archives for some doable-DIY projects for the home, delicious recipes, and other random musings!

Gratitude.

If you live in the Northeast right now, I imagine you are biting your nails and counting your cans of tuna as we wait to see the impact Hurricane Sandy will have on all of us. As nervous as I am for the imminent approach of the storm, I am still riding on the most incredible high after Saturday, when I married the man of my dreams on the most perfect day of my life.

I’ve got big plans to make up for neglecting my blog over the past several weeks. I absolutely cannot WAIT to share more pictures, provide tutorials for my many DIY projects, and tell stories of our perfect wedding weekend. The approach of Hurricane Sandy forced hubby & I to cancel our planned mini-moon to Williamsburg, Virginia- yet we are cozily holed up in our home prepared for a night or two of candlelight dinners of wine, cheese & crackers (and hopefully not a more difficult fallout from the storm). As long as the power & internet hold out, I’ll take some time in the next few days to begin to share wedding projects & posts. For the time being, the primary emotion still overwhelming me at times is the gratitude I have for every single person who was a part of our day.

The love & happiness felt by all throughout the weekend was absolutely palpable. Tim and I were blown away by the outpouring of joy & generosity from our families and friends. Our wedding was filled with “vendors” who were actually friends- from our incredible photographers and wedding band to my hair & makeup stylists. We were married by a dear family friend (and the pastor who baptized me), and our wedding party was the most fun & giving group of friends and family imaginable.

The people who surrounded Tim and I as we said our vows to one another were the greatest collection of the most important people in our lives. I simply could not imagine a more perfect day if I tried.

While I prep my forthcoming posts, I would like to leave you with a taste of our wedding, with thanks to our amazingly gifted team of photographers from Focal Point Studios. This blog post, written by friend (and former high school classmate!) and photo-genius Lauren really sums up the way we all felt on this beautiful fall day. So go read it & revel in the skills of Amy, Lauren & Dave of Focal Point Studios.

I hope that you enjoy- and please keep safe if you are in Sandy’s path!