Tag Archives: weddings

30 years later

16 Nov

I’ve been kind of fascinated with the Royal Family since my Mom pointed out the date similarities in our own families –  Di and Prince Charles were married a month before my parents and Prince William was born a month before me. So naturally with all these intersections (as a kid, mind you) I thought he and I would meet and have a good time laughing about the dates and see we were perfect for each other. (That little thing about me being an American is just a pesky afterthought we could surely cast aside! Edward VIII did it for Wallis Simpson …)


At least, with today’s announcement of their engagement, there will be a Royal my age who has sound fashion tastes (YES!!!!) and great style (Who made that gorgeous blue dress she’s wearing? It’s stunning!). Can’t wait to see her wedding gown … Maybe Joe and I should send them a sample of our work! London would be so much fun!


Photo Albums

29 Oct

Working for Joe Appel Photography is a lot of fun. Not only do I get to set up and tear down lights and cameras, but I get to do a lot of behind the scenes work, too.

All summer long I have been taking the beautiful shots that Joe captures and putting them into huge books. Most would call them albums, but because the photos are printed into the book and not stuck in like the 3 x 5 photos you get from Kodak or another printing agency, the work I do is extremely fun. It’s almost like a puzzle, except there are no pieces that fit together with their cut out and you can change the size of the pieces at your whim.

This first album is one I recently did for Joe. The full scale of the page is 9″ x 24″ which is great. I have a half page with of 9″ by 12″ to work with but can do huge 24″ spreads should the image dictate it.

Joe Appel Photography

This is a page out of Allison & Brennen’s Album which I did for their Christmas present last year. The album is 14″ by 14″ so I had plenty of room to play. Pages like this absolutely amaze me because, as I scale photos, I want to make sure they’re not too small, but when all was said and done, those 3 inset photos are 5″ by 7″ – Incredible.

Joe Appel Photography

This last example is a page for an album I’m finishing up right now and has turned out to be one of my favorites. Robin DeNoma and her husband (name?) were the photographers and, even though I wasn’t there the day of, I really feel like their photography captured the day. I know there is a lot going on, but with all the bright colors, I think it works.

Robin's Album

Pages like this are great to lay out because I get to really do puzzle work – not only do I have to be mindful of sizes and shape, I have to watch out for the dreadful center line. Looking at it, you would think the book would fold in half right though the middle, but the photos are actually offset enough that the crease runs a little to the left of where you would think it would be, while remaining balanced.

It’s so meticulous to lay these pages out and make sure that everyone appears in the album, but I love doing it. It’s such relaxing and enjoyable work.


27 Aug

driverVhen vas the last time you vent vahoo?

Mine was just about 10 minutes ago. And I’m still pumped!

Working with Joe Appel has been a lot of fun. As I’ve written before, not only is it a crash course in what to do and not to do when it comes to planning a wedding, this past Saturday, I had another crash course with Joe – he had me shoot!

Now, I was a little scared at first – probably because he handed me the camera, showed me three things to do and said “Go!” – but I got over it. I remembered the first few things I was taught in college about and shooting – thank god! – And when it looked like I was going to have to shoot some super important shots, I said a little prayer that I wouldn’t disappoint Joe or the bride and started pushing that shutter button. Turns out, I did alright!

The wedding was at Green Oaks Country Club and, at one point, we were able to load up a few golf carts and take the new Mr and Mrs to an overlook of the Allegheny River and get a few dozen gorgeous photos. I was kind of psyched – ok, really psyched – to get to drive my first golf cart and Joe captured that on film, too.

When Joe posts the gallery (lot of work to tone all those photos!) I’ll show a couple shots of my handiwork. Until then, I’m gonna bask in my little “hidden talent glory pool” until my hands get all pruney.

Just Batty

25 Aug

If you’re going through hell, keep going. -Winston Churchill

Things have been a roller coaster ride lately. Up then down. Then back up. Then one of those downs that you have to let go of the roller coaster and try and get rid of the fear and enjoy the “look ma, no hands” moment.

Since last Wednesday – the 19th – I have been trying to get it together and write a post but I’ve had too much going on to even begin to think about turning on my home computer – it was a record that ended last night at a whopping 18 days.

Wednesday morning – back to the 19th – while I was getting ready to leave for work I set my hair straightener down on the bathroom sink and somehow hit the cord just right to send the iron flying through the air. My bathroom has barely 3 feet between the plug and the sink – situated on opposing walls – so I’ve knocked the iron off before and survived – but somehow, in a death defying leap I landed with the hair straightener around my foot, top and bottom. I have no idea how I didn’t burn the bottom of my foot, but that’s where saving grace ended. I got a whopping 1 inch by 3 inch burn on the top of my foot.

I went to workout as normal that evening and the pain was pretty minimal. I had already made an appointment for Thursday morning with the dermatologist to tell me how bad it was, but I was feeling pretty good and needed to clean up. So I decided to take a bath.

*chorus sings* MIS-TAAAAAAKE!!!!!

I put my right foot in and I screamed out loud. I jumped out and turned myself around. And – Oh hot damn did that hurt, and the water was barely even tepid. Lesson No. 1: Do not submerge a burn in water with a temperature above freezing.

After my dermatologist diagnosed my now swollen foot with a 2nd degree burn, he said I would need to keep it under wraps for a while. Past the point of blistering and even if the skin turns black. Wait. What?? My skin is going to turn black? (At that point I didn’t believe him, but a week later I consider a genuine possibility.)

After a bit of self-medication (only in moderation. I swear.) that evening, I started to doze on the couch. I have a nice couch. It’s big. It’s white. It’s an L-shape. It’s even a sleeper sofa. And I love it. I also had a candle burning. Needless to say dozing turned into 26 winks and I woke up to realize the tv and all the lights were still on, not to mention the candle. I turned everything off and blew out the candle and went to bed. The next morning I woke up to find that my reflection looked a bit different in the mirror than usual and that’s when I realized that, having fallen asleep while a candle with a lead wick burned black, my nostrils had taken some of the soot. Yuck.

And that’s when I started thinking. If my nose was black from the candle, what else was? And the answer was two white couch cushions, the base of the white couch cover, a white throw and a purple silk sweater. Damn. After a lot of washing, almost everything is back to normal. But that’s Lesson No. 2: Do not burn candles while self-medicating. Do not fall asleep while burning candles with untrimmed wicks.

Saturday was a fairly good day and I really felt like I was on the up and up. Joe and I got to shoot another lovely wedding at the Green Oaks Country Club. The photos turned out ridiculously well because – well, Joe is a pro, so of course they did – but the overlook portion of the golf club, over the Allegheny is In. Cre. Di. Ble.

After an evening of dancing and drinking – erm – photographing all that – I left Joe to head to my moms place. Armed with the directions and a full tank of gas, I missed the first lousy turn and ended up in New Kensington – she lives in Plum, total opposite direction – and then somewhere out near the Beaver Run Reservoir. Over an hour and a half of faulty driving only to learn that, at one point – after New Kensington but before Beaver Run Reservoir dueling banjo extravaganza – I was just two measily miles from where I was supposed to be. But the roads aren’t labeled well and it’s Pennsylvania. Lesson No. 3: No driving new routes after dark. E-V-E-R.

I was so frustrated by the time I got to my Mom’s place that pizza and M*A*S*H took longer to work than normal. I finally said screw it and got into a good mood. But then I woke up Sunday with a huge swollen foot. I could barely get my flip flop on. Yikes! The rest of sunday was fun but relatively normal – cupcake fiasco later – and Monday seemed like it was going to go off without a hitch.


Late in the evening, clearly past my bedtime, I was laying on my freshly cleaned couch trying to get drowsy by watching some late night show when out of the corner of my eye I saw something. Fly. Of course I freaked out until I realized it was a bat and then I just freaked out more.

I ran into the kitchen to grab a colander, which I now recognize as totally ridiculous, but when you see this:


doing figure eight death swoops in your living room late at night, you’ll grab just about anything that you can think of as a possibly sane implement to take the bugger down. I opened all the windows and hoped like hell that he flew out one while I wasn’t looking – and waiting for my rescuer! – but I stayed up til 4, completely expecting another death swoop. Lesson No. 4: When you’re going through hell, keep going.

So now, it’s Tuesday. And I’m really hoping that when I get home, I have no visitors. I’d like to sit and fold laundry. Maybe even put it away. I dunno. I don’t wanna do anything too crazy. Who knows, though. All these crazy things happening might just mean something good is on its’ way to me. Crossed fingers.

Birthday Cake

11 Aug

I was promised Chocolate Cake. And it was good.


Mom has the pictures but more details on my birthday later … I’ve been a wee bit lazy with the blog because lots of things have been developing!

Right now, though, I am calling the next breakout wedding dance song … I think it’s going to be Michael Franti and Spearhead – Say Hey. It’s really cute and has a great tempo – perfect for a breakout first dance. And plus – who doesn’t love a music video with multiple happy dog cameos?

For the latest in what Joe Appel and I have been up to on Saturdays check out his website. It’s all new and improved. Like your favorite pair of shoes back from the cobblers all shined up and resoled, raring to go!

They say our love won’t pay the rent

20 Jul

So pay the bills before you accrue debt … groundhog day

Repeating things in life begins to feel like the ultimate deja vu – groundhog day. And then there is repeating things multiple times within a short time span making it feel even more so.

Joe and I had another wedding this weekend and I think the thing that kept it from feeling like all the rest was the devotion that the bride’s father put into their wedding favors. He’s an avid wine connoisseur and made bottles of wine for each guest to take home with them. I didn’t get a chance to try it – yet – because it’s a little difficult to hold a flash steady when you’re not.

But some of the repetitiveness of weddings is getting to me a bit and I’m starting to notice only those parts of the day which set them apart from other weddings – the things on which they’ve spent thoughtful time – not money they didn’t have. Each one is nice in it’s own right, but I’ve come to realize that, at a wedding, guests care about very few things: Food, booze and music. Oh, and Cake.

Yes, it’s your family and friends there to support you on one of the biggest days of your life, but really, it’s more about the two of you and the commitment you’re making than the money you spend or anyone else in attendance – how else do explain some guests skipping the ceremony and heading straight for the reception venue?

Being on a plastic fast – which is still going very well by the way, more in a minute – is making me notice the things you should and shouldn’t spend money on – even for a once in a lifetime event such as a wedding. My mother went to my cousins wedding almost 8 years ago and to this day, the only thing she can remember – and raves about – was how fantastic the food was.

It’s the parts of the wedding that people participate in that they remember most.

I guess what I’m saying is don’t buy the expensive dress, no one will really notice, but go for the prime rib carving station – guests will cheer. And throw your bouquet. Not a similar, smaller “tossing” bouquet. What else are you going to do with it? Dry it out and let it collect dust for 15 years while it slowly breaks apart and you have to throw it away anyway?

These are the kinds of things I think about while waiting in line to pay for items in retail stores anyway. And yesterday I actually thought so long and hard about what I was waiting – forever – to pay for, that I actually talked myself out of everything because, even though the items were a good deal, $40 towards the fast vs. two gorgeous leather belts just sounded even better! I did buy a shirt, but that was because a staple item – such as the white button up in question – can very rarely be bought for $6.99 on sale.

A girl has to have at least something to wear to the wedding …

I’m making slow but steady process on the debt and have paid off roughly $1500 since I started this in March, which is pretty good considering I haven’t really cut down on eating in restaurants or nights out. It’s simply cash only.

If I don’t have the cash to pay for it, I don’t buy it – but the key to method is remembering to pay all the bills first so I don’t suddenly think I have cash. And then have no cell phone service.

The Shermanator

22 Jun

Congratulations Kate and Ross!

Here are a few pictures from the Shermanator’s wedding last weekend. Be sure to check out the custom cake topper… And Jeff Gandee’s hair ; ) Enjoy!

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