S + R Engagement Photos

November 12, 2014

I really cannot sing the praises of Leslee Mitchell enough. Her talent as a photographer, master at styling, and amazing person with a killer personality has made me all but obsessed with her. Back in June when my fiancé and I got engaged, one of the first things I did was research a photographer...

 

I have long admired and fawned over wedding photography – always drawn to the work of photographers who have a way of capturing those “in between” and candid moments that really give meaning to a wedding and a family, and really just life in general. When my guy and I decided on a destination wedding, I first researched local photographers in the area, and then hit the endless archives of Style Me Pretty – a site that can literally draw me in for hours. What I love about Style Me Pretty is how you can search by just about anything to find a wedding or weddings that might match what you may be looking for. In my case, I used it to find weddings that were in the same area where mine will be. So glad I did this because I may never have come across all the Nashville-bred glory that is Leslee.

While she is not necessarily local to where we will be married (though she shoots in the area enough that she may as well be) she travels around the world to capture weddings. I fell in love with her beautiful work and knew I would do anything within my budget to make it so she could capture our day. Lucky for me, she was available!

Keep in mind that all of this happened 5 months ago. After booking Leslee for the big wedding day (spring 2015) my fiancé and I decided that since we were going to be in our wedding location in October, that we should see if Leslee was available to fly down and shoot some engagement pictures. I had been so busy with moving across the country and starting a new job that I really had not put much thought into these photos or many of the details until oh, days before. And I knew Leslee was good, because that’s why we hired her, but I really didn’t know just how good until meeting her and seeing her in action.

The girl’s got dedication (shooting digital and film), is a perfectionist (making sure her subjects and the surrounding elements are equally photo-ready), and has an eye for beauty and detail unlike any other. She can remember the details of any inspiring photo she has ever seen and truly knows what it takes to create a beautiful image and a lasting moment. She spend countless hours on her own scoping out the best spots to shoot so that my fiancé I could enjoy the process (along with a bottle of champagne she gave to us) and just be in the moment. One afternoon spent racing the clock set by the sunset and we ended with wayy more than we could have ever asked from her: gorgeous, personal, and special engagement photos.

It’s safe to say that meeting Leslee and getting to spend time with her has been kind of a game changer for both Molly and me. She’s one of those magnetic and creative people that you just know you’ve met for a reason. The excitement of seeing the engagement photos made me that much more excited for the wedding and the thought of having Leslee there to capture our day and our moments makes me giddy. But really, I just want to hang with our new-found friend again over a cocktail or two.

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Aisle Style Pinterest Sweepstakes

August 5, 2014

Since getting engaged a little over two months ago (!) I've been in a whirlwind state of planning. From deciding a date and location, to finding my dress and my fiancé finding a band, most of the big parts of the day have been determined. I'm still in shock over how well things have come together, and I have this feeling of happy anxiety as the weeks continue to count down and more details are discussed and crossed off the list, but it's safe to say that I definitely feel like a bride-to-be.

 

As much fun as I’m having with the creative process, it feels like every detail counts and being conscious of the budget and what I’m spending is always in the forefront of my mind. Hence the feeling of happy anxiety. When I heard that Helzberg Diamonds, a brand based in my hometown of Kansas City, is helping brides-to-be say “I do” in style this month with its Aisle Style sweepstakes, I was eager to help spread the word. Every dollar is important when trying to plan the wedding of your dreams and there is SO much that happens from when you first says “yes” until you say “I do.” Thanks to Helzberg Diamonds and David’s Bridal, one lucky bride-to-be will win $2,000 in gift certificates!

To enter the Aisle Style sweepstakes: 1) Start at the the entry page here and complete and submit the entry form (it’s quick and painless!). 2) Head to Pinterest and follow Helzerg Diamonds. 3) Pin your favorite wedding looks from the Helzberg Aisle Style board to your own Pinterest account (be sure to tag #HelzbergDiamonds and include #AisleStyle and #Entry in each pin). That’s it! The sweepstakes ends on August 28th at 12:00pm CST so don’t miss out!!

Because I was just sharing some of these with a girl friend the other day, I thought I would pass along five top tips for any brides just getting started in the planning stages! I’m thinking of is as a “do what I say, not as I do” that Molly will have as a reference when she gets engaged down the road…

1. You’re engaged! Yay! Now call your parents, family and friends. Then have a discussion with your fiancé about where you’d ideally like the wedding to be. Have a date range in mind that you think would be most ideal.

2. Budget. This is the most important thing to determine before anything else goes down. It can be uncomfortable to discuss but once it’s set the planning can really start.

3. Ceremony and reception spaces book fast. After calling my ideal spaces for both, their available dates determined my wedding day. Double check with immediate family and people you know will be in your wedding party before booking, then don’t delay in putting down the deposits (or they will book and your date will change – grrr).

4. Unless your wedding is more than 18 months away, you need to think about the wedding dress. It felt a little too soon for me to start trying on gowns but I found mine just weeks after getting engaged and I’m so glad I did – it will be almost 8 months before I start fittings! Many dresses really do take up to 10 months to be ready for the aisle (I thought this was a myth).

5. Photographer and band. These two vendors are not cheap and they book their schedules quickly and in advance. Do research before pulling the trigger (the band was our hardest decision yet!) and then make them sign in blood get them on board for the big day.

To me, those five tips were the biggest on the to-do list. From there all the details of invitations, wedding party attire, reception decor, etc. etc. go into a big pot of similar importance and you just have to tackle them one at a time. Pinterest has been a great way for me to determine what the overall aesthetic for my day. As a bride addicted to pinning, jumping into the Aisle Style sweepstakes was the easiest thing I’ve done since getting engaged!

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Sharing Some News

June 16, 2014

A little over two weeks ago I got engaged to the love of my life and boyfriend of seven years. The proposal was magical and special – something I will never, ever forget – and while I’ve been screaming with excitement and sharing the news with friends and family, I’ve wanted to keep this monumental life moment to myself and those nearest and dearest to us for a bit. Planning has already gone into full effect (big thank you’s to my parents and future in-laws for this!)…Yes we have selected a date and venue, and yes I have already found…

A little over two weeks ago I got engaged to the love of my life and boyfriend of seven years. The proposal was magical and special – something I will never, ever forget – and while I’ve been screaming with excitement and sharing the news with friends and family, I’ve wanted to keep this monumental life moment to myself and those nearest and dearest to us for a bit. Planning has already gone into full effect (big thank you’s to my parents and future in-laws for this!)…Yes we have selected a date and venue, and yes I have already found my dream dress. I may reveal bits and pieces of the wedding over the next several months but I’ve already assured Molly that this won’t turn into a wedding blog and that I won’t turn into a bride-gone-wild with “me, me, me!” postings. I’m full of excitement and love – and as excited as I am for the wedding I’m even more excited for marriage with my best friend, and don’t want to over-share such a special, personal day for my fiancé and me. On top of getting engaged, I will be moving to San Francisco this August with our two pups to join him on his current West Coast adventure and I couldn’t be more excited for what’s in store. Lots and lots of amazing changes have transpired over the past few weeks that I’m still wrapping my brain around them!

One detail I’d like to share: my fiancé designed my ring with the help of Dallas-based jewelry designer Cannon Lewis. Not only did she help him find the perfect stones and create something he loved, but Cannon kindly sized my ring multiple times till we got the right fit and she’s now become a close friend. Molly and I have always loved Cannon’s jewelry and I can’t wait to work with her on designing the future wedding bands.

My sister, best friend, and future maid of honor went to Biscuit after the engagement and scooped up some wedding books that now adorn our coffee table and will most definitely serve as inspiration over the coming months…

Images taken by SAM for A Piece of Toast 

(Vogue Weddings Book // Style Me Pretty Weddings // The Big Book for Your Big Day // Kate Spade Eat Cake for Breakfast Journal – similar)

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The Sample Sale at Warren Barron

January 25, 2014

It was in our first few months of living in Dallas when Molly and I were told of the then fairly new bridal salon, Warren Barron. That was almost four years ago and since then we have continued to hear the name from various friends who have found the dress at the boutique. Just this past summer, the store moved locations into the beautiful space you see in the photos above. Clearly the Dallas wedding market has been treating them well, and its no surprise seeing as they carry some of the best designers in bridal – Lela Rose, Elizabeth…

It was in our first few months of living in Dallas when Molly and I were told of the then fairly new bridal salon, Warren Barron. That was almost four years ago and since then we have continued to hear the name from various friends who have found the dress at the boutique. Just this past summer, the store moved locations into the beautiful space you see in the photos above. Clearly the Dallas wedding market has been treating them well, and its no surprise seeing as they carry some of the best designers in bridal – Lela Rose, Elizabeth Filmore, and Monique Lhuillier to name a few. Its pretty much the place that you dream of buying a wedding gown.

Tomorrow, January 26th, Warren Barron is hosting a Sample Sale (!!) from noon to 4pm. Bridal and evening gowns will be on sale starting at 40% off, which is huge. I only wish that I had been engaged over the holidays so that I could have an excuse to shop their amazing bridal selection. Even if you aren’t looking for your dream wedding gown, the boutique sells some pretty incredible evening gowns – like the one pictured above. Definitely a good time to scoop something up so that you aren’t left empty handed when the next event comes up on your calendar. The sale is one day only and no appointment is necessary, but I have heard that the good stuff goes fast! Molly and I are hoping to pop in right when it starts to take a little peek of our own:)

(Images via Warren Barron)

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Claire Pettibone

August 21, 2012

No, neither of us are engaged.  But with all the recent engagements happening it’s hard not to have weddings on the brain sometimes… And what I like most about weddings is the dress. Do any of you watch Say Yes To The Dress?  It’s on TLC Friday nights and since my social life is sad, I’m typically catching up on episodes of it while curled up on the couch responding to emails.  Living the dream.  So now there is this new bridal show called Randy To The Rescue – featuring Randy from Say Yes To The Dress as he travels…

No, neither of us are engaged.  But with all the recent engagements happening it’s hard not to have weddings on the brain sometimes… And what I like most about weddings is the dress. Do any of you watch Say Yes To The Dress?  It’s on TLC Friday nights and since my social life is sad, I’m typically catching up on episodes of it while curled up on the couch responding to emails.  Living the dream.  So now there is this new bridal show called Randy To The Rescue – featuring Randy from Say Yes To The Dress as he travels from city to city with a semi truck full of wedding gowns for brides across the country.  I watch this show.  Again, don’t mind me while I live the dream.  I get genuine entertainment when I watch brides-to-be try on tons of gowns and narrow down choices to find “the dress.”  I get to judge from the comfort of my couch and dream about my someday big day.

Long story short, on the episode of Randy To The Rescue when he was in Dallas (holler!) he helped a pretty Dallas Cowboys cheerleader search for a boho gown to match her laid-back no-fuss personality.  What she ended up with was a design by Claire Pettibone – a slender silhouette with dainty layers of fabric, all with a different detail at their hem and tiny crocheted cap sleeves. I’d never heard of Claire Pettibone so I hit the internets to see what other designs I could find… Sort of amazing.  Even though she is a new-to-me designer, her gowns have dressed brides like Emily Schuman (Cupcakes and Cashmere) and Mark Zuckerburg’s wife, Priscilla Chan.  Adding her to the list of dress designers to lust after… The gorgeous backs and vintage-esque details are just too good to forget.

(Images 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12)

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