Archive for October 2013

The Brady Bunch gave America a glimpse into a blended family when it began airing in 1969. Now in 2014, step parents, half siblings and blended families are quite frequent. It’s not abnormal for children to share only one parent and have siblings double their age. It’s not uncommon for marriages to become divorces and then new marriages. I’m not here to judge any of the above situations but they do make family trees quite complicated.

You see, my family tree cannot be easily confined to a single tree. No, my family, well, we need a whole forest.

Many trees, blended colors. This might be close to my family forest. // Source: Etsy

Now, before I get started trying to paint my own family forest for you, I want to make myself perfectly clear: I don’t believe family is  about blood or DNA or branches on a tree. Family is defined by those who have made life-long impressions on you, those who you celebrate, commiserate and emotionally connect with and those who you couldn’t imagine not in your life, who have impacted you beyond words. *steps off soapbox*

I have three siblings – an older brother (Germany), a younger brother (Tubesocks) and a younger sister (Moo). I also am the oldest, youngest, middle and only child. Perplexed? I am the oldest of my dad’s kids (me, Tubesocks and Moo), the youngest of my mom’s kids (Germany and me), the only child between my mom and dad but the middle child overall.

Let’s take it one step further, Germany has a daughter, Beauty, who is one month older than Tubesocks. I used to babysit Beauty, Tubesocks and Moo during the summer. One day, I overheard a conversation between Beauty and Tubesocks, they couldn’t have been more than 9 at the time. They were trying to figure out how they were related to each other, if Beauty was Tubesocks’s aunt or if they were cousins. I just told them it was complicated because I don’t really know the answer to that one. I’m Beauty’s aunt and Tubesocks’s sister but Beauty’s dad isn’t Tubesocks’s brother (or half brother or step brother, for that matter). My head hurts.

I also have called 10 people grandma or grandpa in my life including a great grandma who is over a century old (yay for good genetics!). So, if we’re getting technical, I obviously can only have four genetic grandparents – a mother and father to my mother and a mother and father to my father. But my step mom has her parents, which makes two more grandparents. But they divorced when she was young and then remarried, so that’s two more grandparents. Plus, Gma R, my step mom’s step dad’s mom, is still going strong.

We haven’t even touched on aunts, uncles, cousins or children of cousins (or first cousins once removed according to Wikipedia; they’re considered nieces and nephews in my family.)

And then Mr. PB’s family. His family doesn’t involve as many steps as my does; his mom’s side is actually pretty simple to understand. His dad’s side gets a bit confusing, though, because his Gma M has been a long-time foster parent and even adopted some of her foster children. So Mr. PB has aunts and uncles that are by blood, by adoption or by association after growing up with Gma M as their mom, adoptive mom or foster mom.

Family can be complicated and crazy and a million other things. But I cannot wait for the opportunity for Mr. PB and me to celebrate with our families, our loved ones on our wedding day.

Is your family complicated as well? Are you in the same boat as me with steps and halves and lots more people to love you?

Now that I had sorted through inspiration pictures, gathered our props and picked out our outfits, it was time for us to get in front of the camera lens. I emailed Mitch some of the inspiration pictures and let him know I had gotten the props.

As for the location, I wasn’t totally sure where I wanted them to be. I didn’t want them to be too green but I didn’t want a totally urban feel and I loved the idea of a football field. I had contemplated us making the drive to Buffalo to get pictures taken at Ralph Wilson Stadium, the home of the Buffalo Bills, but the person I talked to in their front office said they don’t allow engagement photos in the stadium. I also thought about my alma mater, the University at Buffalo, but I have more ties to that than Mr. PB does.

I was totally clueless when I came to locations in Rochester. Apparently, I don’t get out enough and have no idea what my city has to offer. Maybe it can be a mission of me as a Mrs. – get to know your city! Anyways… Mitch and his assistant (aka my cousin aka my matron of honor) Sharpie were clutch! Mr. K and I met them at their house and Sharpie just started driving. We tossed around ideas and then the light bulb went off – there’s a beautiful park near our ceremony venue and our venue itself is on a college campus… with a football field. Cha-ching!

So, now that you know the who, what we’re wearing and where the picture taking will be, it’s time to see some of Mitch’s work! (Warning: Lots of photos to follow. But they’re awesome cause Mitch is awesome so bask in the awesome!)

All photos credit to mitch’studio

















And of course we had a few silly photos too…



Mitch is awesome, isn’t he? I normally really, really hate pictures of me but he managed to get a bunch I think are good.

After we took the photos, I had some time to get things organized before he was done sorting through the hundreds he took. I used that time to navigate through my family tree forest and finalize our guest list.

How did you help pass the time between your engagement photo shoot and getting the pictures back? Did you leave the location up to your photographer too?

After oogling plenty of pretty engagement photos, I needed to go on a scavenger hunt for the appropriate props and outfits for Mr. PB and me.

In the prop department, I needed:
- balloons
- an ampersand
- a football
- cupcakes

The balloons were easy, peasy, lemon squeezy. I just went to my local Party City and ordered a dozen balloons in the wedding colors.

balloonsThat was easy! // Source: Party City, put together using Picmonkey

The ampersand was a bit more difficult. I did a lot of online searching for a wooden ampersand and was striking out. I found some on Amazon and Etsy but they were either too small, too expensive or a font I didn’t like. (I’m sort of a font snob.) During a day of window shopping, I stopped at Marshalls and was looking through their home decor department. Low and behold, they had a fuchsia ampersand. I was originally looking for a white or charcoal colored ampersand so it was momentarily disappointing. I even purchased charcoal colored spray paint but opted against potentially ruining my only shot at having an ampersand. But the more I thought about it, the better the fuchsia ampersand was. It meant Mr. PB and I could coordinate our outfits with blue and purple and then the fuchsia ampersand would be the final piece to representing the entire color palette. I’d like to say I planned things that way and sought out a fuchsia ampersand but all the credit for this one goes to fate.

ampersandPretty pink ampersand. // Personal Photo

For the football, I just went to Walmart and picked one of the many options. (This is the one I chose.) My only concern was that it had one of its panels blank for me to write the date on. I have a slight Sharpie obession so I knew I didn’t need any marker. I could have preplanned the date but instead, I went cRaZy and freehanded it. Could it have been more even and perfect? Sure. Does it really matter in the end? Nope! It did its job.

footballcollageRegular football becomes personalized after just a few minutes and a date with a Sharpie marker. Belle wanted to be the one to show the finished product off :P // Personal Photos

I contemplated baking cupcakes for the engagement photos but for the sake of time and my mental sanity, I opted to head to Wegmans and buy some premade ones. (Side note: If you don’t live near a Wegmans, I highly, highly, HIGHLY recommend stopping at one if you are ever near one. You may think I’m crazy for advocating visits to a grocery store but this place, well, it’s magical.) Despite taking the easy route and buying cupcakes, I decided to make things a little more difficult because I didn’t like the way the frosting was piped onto the cupcakes nor did I like the sprinkles they used. So, I did what any level-headed, carefree person would do – I scraped the frosting off of the cupcakes, put it into a frosting piping bag, redid the frosting and then used sprinkles I had in the house. (Maybe you can add frosting snob to my font snob title.)

cupcakecollageAhhh, so much better! (like anyone else would have cared or noticed…) // Personal Photo

As for our outfits, I had decided I wanted three: one neutral colored outfit, one wedding color outfit and one outfit with the jersey shirts. Seeing we were going to be in a public park for the photos, outfit changes needed to be as easy as possible without us getting tickets for indecent exposure. I decided that we could keep the same pants on (jeans) for all three outfits and stay in the same shoes as well (sneakers for him, zebra print flats for me).

For me: a tank top with love or something similar written on it but in a neutral color and a black cardigan; For Mr. PB: a black polo // Source: Etsy, Target and Kohl’s

For me: A gray sweater with a pop of blue using an infinity scarf; For Mr. PB: a purple polo // Source: Target, Target and Kohl’s

For our last outfit, I needed custom jersey shirts. I could have ordered the shirts from a website like Vistaprint or CustomInk but I knew it was something I could DIY using my Silhouette. I bought dark gray shirts and dark shirt printable iron-on transfer paper from Hobby Lobby. Using the Silhouette, I cut out the numbers and our future last name for the back and a Mr. for him and a Mrs. for me for the front. After they were cut out and carefully lined up, I ironed them on and voila! Our shirts were complete.

jerseyshirtcollageTotally worth the DIY // Personal Photos

Now if all the props, clothes and ducks were in a row, it was time for the engagement photos!

Did you round up props for your engagement pictures? How did your coordinate your outfits?

There are plenty of fabulous engagement photos out there, many of them can be found on Weddingbee by previous Bees. (Shoutout to a few of my favorites: Miss Pyramid, Mrs. Camel and Mrs. Wallaby)

I knew that I wanted to have engagement photos taken with Mr. PB and our photographer Mitch was totally down with that. We were engaged in September 2012 and I didn’t want to do the photos that fall or in the cold winter or the icky sorta spring in Rochester. I decided that late summer 2013 would be the best bet plus it gave me plenty of time to seek out inspiration.

I put a couple in the original inspiration post but here are a few more that lingered in my mind before we stepped in front of the lens.

I love balloons. I always say it’s not a party without balloons. They’re just so fun and colorful and bring a smile to my face. // Source: Adrienne Gunde Photography

What a cool way to show off what we love and the beautiful ring. Mr. PB and I aren’t baseball fans though, so a football would be a better option. // Source: Cory Ryan Photography

Love the kissing shadows – adorable! // Source: Embrace Life Photography

Mr. PB and I are big football fans, so save-the-date jerseys only make sense! // Source: The Studio B Photography

The date on a football? Yes, please! // Source: Krista A. Jones Photography

Our relationship started with cupcakes so this would be a great idea! // Source: Steven Gosling Photography

Now that I have my ideas, I needed to find a way to get the props, clothes and everything ready for our time in front of the camera.

What were you biggest inspiration photos? Did you find some inspiration on Weddingbee as well?