Sunday, October 31, 2010

Officiant Success!

With the help our superhero photographer, we finally found an officiant!

This morning at our home we had the pleasure to meet with Miriam (Mimi) Phillips from Personally Spiritual Wedding Ceremonies.  Before her visit, Mimi and I were in contact through email, where I gave her some basic information about our ceremony.  While here, our conversation was able to flow very easily and smoothly and we were helped to realize that there are quite a few areas of planning that we had not considered before.  Mimi asked us questions, let us tell her information that we wanted to share, and she gave us a lot of materials to look at when we have some time, including copies of ceremonies which she has performed in the past and also a book about planning wedding ceremonies.  Mimi also provided us with documentation of her reverend status and explained the process she went through to be ordained.

We felt very comfortable with her and knew right away that we want to work with her.  (Also, her fees are extremely reasonable, especially considering the costs we had been quoted from other officiants!)  Our plan is to have a simple rehearsal, for which we are not being charged extra because it will only include three people or so.

One of the best things we liked about our meeting this morning is that Mimi did not push us at all to make a decision today, and even offered to provide us with references for other officiants if we felt that she was not right for us.  She did not want us to sign a contract today and wanted us to think about it for a little while first.  Ultimately, we spent about 30 seconds thinking about it after she left before we decided that she was perfect for us - which is probably not what she had in mind, but this is the way we work.  I've learned throughout this planning process that we can almost always tell right away which vendors and professionals are right for us, usually within the first five minutes of meeting with them.  Follow your gut has been our rule all along, and I think it is some very sound advice.

Overall, we are thrilled to have found Mimi and we could not be happier that she will be the officiant for our ceremony!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Help us win our wedding invitations!

My Design Sensations Custom Handmade Stationery is giving away a $350 gift certificate for a couple who needs wedding invitations!  Couples submit an engagement photo and then people are able to vote.  The couple with the most votes at the end of November will win.

Right now we are in 4th place!

Please help us to reach the top!  Our budget is extremely tight.  If we were able to win our invitations, then we might have a little extra money leftover to add something nice to our reception.

All you have to do to vote is follow these simple steps:
  1. Go to the My Design Sensations facebook page.
  2. LIKE the company's page (at the top).
  3. Go to our photo in the album entitled "Holiday Giveaway 2010."  Ours is photo number 4 (Kristen & Ryan).
  4. LIKE the photo.
That's it!  Thank you!

photo by Tiffany Wayne

Monday, October 25, 2010

No one wants to (re)marry us...

Of all the many steps involved with planning a wedding, I never thought finding the officiant would end up being the hardest part!

The first thing we did was try to contact the judge who married us the first time at the town court.  After emailing and sending a written letter (because I didn't get an email response after a week), then waiting another week, we finally got the following response through email:

"Unfortunately Judge S******** in not available to do the ceremony next year.  She can only perform civil ceremonies if there is a valid marriage license.  Good luck." 
[spelling error left in on purpose]

I had never heard of such a thing, but I didn't want to fight it, so I moved on.  I googled "wedding officiant near North Creek, NY" and was directed to a few different places.  I looked at several and picked three to show Ryan, then we narrowed it down to two that we wanted the contact.

The first people we contacted were the Reverends Mary and Denis Cole.  Mary was extremely fast, courteous, and professional in her email response to me, but I was shocked to find out that they would charge us $400.  This fee includes consultations, preparation, and the ceremony, but is way out of our budget.  We aren't looking for anything extremely personalized, and we really felt that $400 was too much for 30-60 minutes worth of work, so we moved on...

The next was Victoria.  We really liked her blog, especially one post where she described her joy at helping a married couple with their vow renewal ceremony.  Again, she was quick, polite, and professional in her email, and again we were horrified at the fee.  This time it was $650!

Are we wrong to think that a judge or minister for a simple vow renewal ceremony should not cost this much?  We are stuck now and do not know what to do next.  Does anyone out there on the web have an idea?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

A Package in the Mail = Excitement!

Everyone loves to get mail, but it is even more exciting to get a package in the mail... especially when you have been waiting for your pictures to arrive from a photo shoot!  Even though I only had to wait less than two weeks, the anticipation was almost more than I could bear.  I looked at Tiffany's blog almost every day to ogle over the scattering of photos she posted as a preview, because I just couldn't wait to see the rest.  When I finally got the box it was even more fun than I imagined, because she packaged it so beautifully...

Even after I carefully slid off the ribbon and removed the lid, there were still more surprises...


For about an hour and a half's worth of time shooting pictures, we received a disc with 88 amazing photographs, with which we can now do whatever we please.  This is really important to us, because it bothers me when photographers force people to order prints through them, instead of being able to print them out on their own.  Here are a few of my favorites from the day (that I didn't already steal from Tiffany's website)!

Monday, October 11, 2010

You know your photographer's good when...

...she posts a blog less than 24 hours after your photo shoot!
AND, you both look amazing!

Here are some of my favorite shots of both of us, just from what was posted on the blog.  I had to make them smaller to fit my blog template.  To see more, visit Tiffany Wayne's blog post about our "I Love You" shoot.


I Love You: A photo shoot with Tiffany Wayne

What do you call an engagement photo session for people who are already married?  You call it an "I Love You" shoot of course!  That's what we did yesterday with our amazing photographer Tiffany Wayne.

In keeping with our obsession with being outdoors, Tiffany had the great idea to shoot us in an apple orchard at the peak of fall foliage in our area.  After scouting around, she came up with Indian Ladder Farms.  I had heard of it before, and I know a lot of people who enjoy picking their own apples here, so I figured it must be good... and it was!  Although, I can honestly say that I have never before seen such a wide variety of people at a farm before (and I had never seen anyone wear a dress to go apple picking until yesterday)!  In looking at past blogs I discovered that I have actually expressed my thoughts on this before!  (see "Clothes Shopping")

We were a little nervous and a lot stiff when we first got started, but Tiffany gave us a lot of directions and made it really easy for us to loosen up.  Right away we left the crowded area and found a quiet place to acclimate to our environment.  Tiffany took some photos of things around us to get started, while we doodled things that were meaningful to us on a dry-erase board (which was later used as a prop in some of the photos).  The doodling was a great idea, even if it wasn't going to be used as a prop, because it gave Ryan and I a few quiet minutes together to remember some of the things that brought us together and some of the things that we both share a love for.

We took shots all over the place on the farm for almost two hours and Tiffany allowed us to act like children (which is how we really are anyway), so we had a lot of fun... even when I got too close to a cow and it horned me in the hip bone!  Apparently those signs that say "Watch Out For Horns" aren't joking!  I can't wait to see the photos and I am really glad that we were able to have this photo shoot.  It was definitely one of the things that I feel like we missed out on when we eloped, and I have a great feeling of satisfaction that we had such an awesome time.  ♥

PS:  This place even has Fainting Goats!  Mike Rowe from Dirty Jobs would love it!

photos from the Indian Ladder Farms page on Facebook