Category Archives: wedding jazz

redefining our story

October 10, 2013

It’s 8:33 PM my husband walks into little man’s darkened room and snaps his fingers to get my attention.  Slowly I emerged from Caleb’s request to “lay with him” walk downstairs into a darkened dining room with the illumination of 2 candles, 2 wine glasses and the transformational bottle of Barbera wine (a symbol of our honeymoon) with an anniversary card propped delicately against the proper wine glasses on the counter.  The scene was far different 5 years ago.  Completing a rehearsal dinner with our favorite people and favorite meal (still is, although a rare delicacy in our eat-out options these days), scurrying to the reception hall to decorate and greet out-of-town hotel guests.  5 -years ago we were embracing the eve of our wedding and writing the first chapter of our life together as Mr & Mrs.  Tonight a few chapters are under our belt and our definition of a romantic evening is now redefined to an evening in the basement, drinking wine, watching baseball and hoping the kids sleep through the night!



5 years ago my focus was details for our wedding day, realizing if something didn’t go according to the 5-page itinerary, it was completely ok.  We had worked over the year to develop a day that would be the perfect start to our story with pieces of us interwoven throughout the day by making and creating all aspects of the wedding that would be future reminders of our life together.  I was focussed on the decorations, the weather, waking up on time and wondering what the next 24 hours would hold.  Today the focus is to not drop our children, remembering to feed the dog or to pick the kids up from daycare, and recognizing that 6 hours of sleep is A LOT, and there is no shame in google being is my new best friend. There is no itinerary fitting for this type of life, and no manual that will prepare you for the heart ache and joy that can happen in a 5 minute swing.


Today our story is filled with the entertainment of a 5-year old dog, a 3-year-old son, and an 18-month old daughter who keeps our story alive and fulfilling everyday.  The days of serenity are depleted to a few hours of quiet each week and our relationship thrives between the blood lines of our children and moments passing by as we prepare for the daily monotonous lifestyles we live.  And yet with each “uneventful” day we add and fill our story with moments that are more meaningful than the anticipation of our wedding could ever fulfill.


In five years we have added a few adventures of travel; a loyal dog-child who continues to greet us each day with varying levels of spunk and energy; a house which we have converted to our home filled with projects, pitter-patter of children’s feet, laughter and tears; Our son who prepared us for the un-predictable nature and complete fulfillment of children; and for our daughter who made us realize we really weren’t as ready as we thought we were.  Each day brings experiences, challenges, opportunities, and memorable stories.  I have added a photography business to the mix to help us and others capture these moments to tell the story of our life. To hectic work schedules challenging us to balance professional and personal goals while maintaining the presence in real life.  What I have learned is, I don’t know the half of what I thought I did, and I have loved learning each day with you!


My husband, Brent, deserves an award!  He is a talented man who can create whatever I ask.  He can man the house and coordinate 2 children, a dog, dinner, 2-baths, and have kids into bed (on time) with smiles and snuggles, just in time for him to drywall the basement before bed!   I am a free-spirited explorer who has a chaotic approach to life.  Thankfully, my husband grounds me and makes our life a reality.  Each vision, and dream I draft he adds a touch of reality and perception to the story to make our life “for real.” He accepts my creative endeavors, welcomes my spunk, and sometimes encourages my outrageous ideas and spontaneous lifestyle 🙂



Thank you Brent.  Thank you for being a friend, partner, father, confidant, and life-partner.  Above all thank you for being you and allowing me to be me.  It has been a splendid 5 years with events and stories that I hope we spend many more years expounding upon!

Photo taken by Matthew Murray Photography

Photo taken by Matthew Murray Photography

Happy 5 year Anniversary!  Should we celebrate and go to McDonald’s tomorrow?

Love you More,
Heidi Marie 🙂


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Filed under Deep thoughts, Let's talk about me!, Proud Parents, wedding, wedding jazz

These are the hands….

One of my most favorite parts of our wedding ceremony was “The Blessing of the Hands.” Everyday I am reminded of how true this saying really is to me.  Having surgery last week, everyday tasks like getting dressed, or changing my little mans diaper are difficult.  I snapped this picture a few days ago as a reminder of the all the strength, love and nurturing works that my husband (as his hands) provide our family.

The words in the Blessing are as follows… (Btw- the author is unknown, I did not write this, but modified it slightly for our reading. I’m sharing with you how it was read at our wedding.)

These Hands that are holding you on your Wedding Day, are the hands that will passionately love and cherish you throughout the years, and with the slightest touch will comfort you like no other.
These are the hands that will comfort you when fear or grief wrecks havoc on your mind, or the hands that will wipe a tear from your cheek.
These are the hands that will hold your children in tender love, soothing them through illness and hurt, supporting & encouraging them along the way, and knowing when it’s time to let go.
These are the hands that will hold your family as one, and give you strength when you need it.
These are the hands that, even when wrinkled and aged, will continue to reach for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch.

I’m grateful for theses hands everyday!

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Filed under Daily Grind, Deep thoughts, Quotes, wedding, wedding jazz

Second thoughts?

Wedding season seems to be off and running! My husband and I took The Mistress out last weekend (oh, I should note his Harley’s name is The Mistress) being the weather was amazingly gorgeous we stopped at a few parks along the lakefront.  Several wedding parties gallivanted around having pictures taken.  Being the nosey onlooker with possible classification of being a stalker I kept being drawn to see what they did that might be unique.  Still celebrating newlywed life after just celebrating our 7 months of marriage I often try to think of…if I were to do it all over would I do anything different.

I virtually made nearly everything for our wedding.  And I wouldn’t change that.. however, I’ve since seen some neat designs that I think are neat!

1. Our save the date cards were simple photo cards of us from Walmart.  I’m a huge fan of multiple pictures now…so I might do something to show a bit more of our personalities.


Image from Wedding Paper Divas

2.  Our Ceremony took place outdoors at my parents house…it was heavenly.  We rented a pretty tent with windowed sides.  Having amazing day in October we decided to open the sides up on the back so it didn’t feel so cramped, however I wish I would have also opened the front up a bit.  My husband made a neat Arbor as the focal point for our ceremony, however those sitting on the front sides weren’t able to see it during the ceremony, including those in our wedding party. You can kind of get the gist of it with our pre-wedding setting the stage picture


(when I was looking for this picture, I realized I created a share site through Shutterfly and NEVER even shared it….I guess I would do that after the wedding too. Here you go!

3.  Have a list of pictures that you really want.  While I thought I was all over that, I forgot a few.  I wanted a pose of the newlyweds on my parent’s porch swing.  I also had created a Thank you sign  painted Barn Board, similar to these:
IMG_0852 IMG_0854

The plan was to have the husband and I holding the “Thank you” sign to take a picture for our actual thank you’s.  And in the heat of the moment I was really annoyed with all the family pictures, but looking back I’m really glad I have them now!

4.  I opted to have an ipod reception over a dj.  My little brother has connections and one of his friends had all the sound equipment, so I hired him to be the MC for the night.  While I don’t regret having an ipod wedding over a DJ, I have since learned of the Itunes DJ feature which allows guests to make requests.  Would have been much easier.  I had preset playlists according to our reception time line.  Took quite a bit of time upfront creating all the playlists for the day!

And now a few things I feel I did right and would suggest to others:

1.  As a engaged couple choose what 2-3 things that are really important to you and set your budget around them.  According to everyone I talked with an average wedding in our area was around $20,000.  I felt like that was more than I really wanted to spend.  So we spoke with both our parents to see how much they were planning to chip in, and then determined how much we needed to save.  We had 15 months from engagement to wedding day.  I did my research to determine our budget.  My preliminary budget was $10,000 and our actual budget ended up being just over $8,000 (that included everything from the wedding and honeymoon reservations).  We did have a few incidents where we had to make some tough decisions, but in the end it was our day and we wanted to make sure the focus was on what we wanted.

2.  As silly as it seemed, the 3 page itinerary was extremely helpful.  It included everything I needed to do starting 2 days before the wedding, including times of rehearsal, contact information for go to people, who needed to be where and when.  In our case, almost our entire wedding party was from out of town, and I have several family members (including myself) who are ALWAYS late!  And although I may never live it down by all the men…it really was a handy tool.

3.  I didn’t do a typical groom’s cake.  Instead the wedding party had Dairy Queen Ice Cream cake.  I originally wanted our entire wedding cake to be DQ ice cream cake but I didn’t know how to prevent the whole melting situation.  Our wedding party was a huge fan of the ice cream cake as was I, since I’m not a fan of cake.

4.  Our photographers put together a slide show after dinner including 20 pictures of the groom, 25 pictures of the bride, 5 of the couple, and then picture from teh ceremony.  We had a private ceremony with just our closest friends and family so the slide show including the day of pictures was extremely well received. I was not able to buy rights to my pictures but our photographers ened up adding so much more to our package that I don’t really feel the need to have the rights to them at this point.  Plus it is still their work, and it’s amazing.  I would highly suggest them!

Photo taken by Matthew Murray Photography

Photo taken by Matthew Murray Photography

5. I’m a bit artistic so I made nearly everything and saved all my scraps.  The scraps from the programs were used as table assignments.  I am a huge scrap booking guru so all that was more fun than work!  You can check out this post, this one too, and here too, to see all the other stuff I made.

6.  Make sure to include a piece of who you are as individuals into the day.  For example my husband is into hunting so the guys wore camo and I ended up liking them in their vests over their coats much better for pictures.  He also is an avid Harley rider, so he wore his Harley boots.  He and I both made lots of little things.  I was a karaoke DJ in college so I actually sang the first song prior to dinner.  A complete surprise to everyone and just another emotional touch.  In case you are wondering I sang “When you say Nothing at all” by Allison Krauss.

7. You will be a beautiful bride no matter how much you spend on your dress.  My budget was $500 for just the dress. After a few places I became rather disgusted with how ridiculously priced they are and how you tend to get sucked in.  I had a picture in my head of what I was looking for.  I ended up finding my dress on ebay, made to fit me, from a seller in China for the whopping price of $20.  With shipping it cost $150, but even then it was much cheaper than what I was finding everywhere else.  It ended up being exactly what I was looking for…maybe a little more formal than I was anticipating, but it really didn’t bother me.

8. Have Fun!  Stuff happens, but regardless it’s still your day…soak it all in and enjoy it!

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Since my last post I have spent over 2 hours reviewing our wedding pictures…sigh.

Out of the 817 total pictures, I have narrowed it down to 178, which is only 102 over my allotted amount.  I’m not sure how I’m going to do this.  I like to feel like I accomplished something so let’s note the progress!

I somewhat wish I could give up sleep and go through them all over again…instead I think I’ll nestle up to a big bed all to myself (WORK) and have sweet dreams.  Sorry if I just made you vomit in your mouth a little, all done with fantasy land!

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Random post of Catching up

I attempted to see what I’ve been missing out on for the last few weeks and took a glimpse at my google reader account.  The sight of 214 UNREAD messages was a little too overwhelming. 

Clearly, blogging is a source of personal pleasure for me, as my hits don’t seem to overly diminish while I’m away.  I don’t aim to please daily readers (sorry folks- who am I kidding I don’t believe I have any daily followers). 

On the other hand these posts still claim my top of all time:
1. Intimate, Classy, & Economical
It was the first real wedding planning post with pictures and ideas for our color scheme and  bridesmaid dresses. Daily it gets the most number of hits.  I never wanted to be consumed with wedding planning and couldn’t bring myself to solely blog about wedding plans.  But it’s been fun to see others through the process.

2. He Completes Me!
It was our first glimpse of a Weim.  I fell in love with the breed and hence the arrival of our first born child.  Although, the picture in this post isn’t nearly as adorable as our very own Diesel…see

3. Nail biting, Heart pounding and abrupt burst of cheering and jumping in my living room!
Because who doesn’t LOVE watching the Olympics, end of story!

On Sunday I wanted to do something productive, so I made a list of all projects (both large and small) to improve our house.  I explored good starting to points to signify adequate yearly progress.  I realized I had some spare cash so I mustered up enough convincing to get Brent to go to The Man stores (Menard’s, Fleet Farm- you know) to get some supplies…really anything that suggested progress towards A project on the house.  Nothing was going our way so I jumped to the biggest project- finishing the basement.  We bought an area rug, looked at tile for the floor, discussed lighting then went home and at 9 PM on Sunday we reorganized all the boxes left in the basement from moving that were neglected. Brent also took a stab at vacuuming (Oh, sorry dear, did I just infringe on your manhood with that testimonial?!?).   Last night I went through 3 boxes of STUFF and posted my first 2 items on Craiglist.  Today I had over 15 contacts for them.  1 negotiation has been completed, the other is in the works!

I finished the honeymoon scrapbook album this weekend.  Maybe some day I’ll share a few favorite layouts.  It may have taken a few more hours than the initially proposed, 3 weekends later the project is completed and it turned out fabulous! I believe it is still a record time to work a scrapbooking from start to finish. 

I’m finally sitting down to determine which 75 wedding pictures will make our storybook album, and any additional pictures I NEED to have. So with that I leave you to daydream of my fairytale day! 🙂

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Filed under Daily Grind, Flow of Creativity, Random thoughts, wedding jazz

Per Favour (or thank you, rather)

Don’t you love my french…I was trying to be all creative until I realized that our favors at the wedding were to say “thank you,” not “please!”  Can’t hate me for trying! 

I want to make a disclaimer that I neglected to get any pictures of the favors prior to the wedding, or at the reception so this was all I could scrape up.  It’s not as “pretty” as most other favor examples I would have shared had I been given the choice, or prepared to take pictures before the wedding.

As you may remember, our wedding morphed into the fall outdoorsy-themed conglomeration of decorations and colors. We were fortunate of hitting peak season for the color of leaves and thus it helped create the decor.  When it came time to deciding our favors it seemed logical to keep them in tune with the decor.  I despise anything useless and nonfunctional, so I wanted something that people wouldn’t just leave laying around after the reception….something practical.

What did we decide? I can sense the anticipation…

Cut out cookies.  All of them were frosted with different fall colors…burgundy, golden rod yellow, and deep orange.  Our local bakery made them for us….although I considered baking them myself at one point.  I provided the cut-out that I wanted $3.99 at Michael’s or Jo-Ann Fabrics (I forget which now).  When I realized how cheap they were I couldn’t pass up the offer:  $0.31 per cookie.  We had 250 cookies made…our total was $79.00 for the cookies, cut out and frosted.  If you notice they were each packaged in a cellophane bag…I ordered 2-100 pack bags from Paper Mart (4 x 2 1/2 x 9 1/2) for $8.28

And because I’m a dork…our little creative memo was:


We had lots of scraps of cardstock and the ivory linen paper I used to make the invites.  Thankfully I had access to a cricut, and the font that comes with the cricut has a tag template that cuts out as many as I tell it too.  So 8 sheets of 8 1/2 by 11 cardstock later I had enough tags (I only made 200 tags).  In word I made a 1 inch text box to write our little saying…copied pasted enough times to fill the page, printed and cut into squares.  I used a bit of Tombo scrapbook adhesive (I buy it in bulk) to attach to the tag. 

Finally to put it all together, a few more details were added.  I wanted to have guests upload their pictures to a site online so I could have access for future newlywed projects (such as blogging) following the wedding.  So I once again made a little postcard using the chocolate chip cardstock scraps and white 21/2 inch mailing labels.  I stamped the big pretty swirly stamp I used on the invitation envelope to add some color to the postcard.   Each postcard had the website, user name and password to upload their pictures too, but it also provided a mat for the cookie, since none were brown!


To put it all together, I picked up 3 rolls of the chocolate double satin ribbon from Hobby Lobby (20 yards for 99 cents in the wedding section).  This is the ONLY DIY wedding project that I requested a few hours from my girls.  On the Tuesday before the wedding we gathered to stuff and assemble the favors.  One person cut ribbon, 2 threaded the tags and 2 tied around the packaging.  We just did a square knot- save time, ribbon, and sanity…and really nobody was really going to notice if they were in a bow or knot as they feverishly attempted to get that darn package open to eat the cookie after a few beverages….so I was fine with a the knot. ( I have mad square knot tying abilities too).

Tada.  Each favor was placed on the plates of all of our guest by the site coordinator (that was very nice of her) the extras we placed into a basket and later in the evening was set out for guest to grab as they headed home.

It was a really yummy way to stay in budget ( each cookie cost $.40 to make) stay with the decor and add a pop of color to each table setting….and the guests loved them.  It was hard to scavenge any stranglers at the end of the night.

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Rock the Reception…Ipod style

In my opinion I’ve never seen an “outstanding” DJ…they are all pretty much the same, some just have a few more bells and whistles.  Thus, a  DIY bride who hates DJ’s and on a budget.  Thankfully this girl had some connections.  What might they be???

An ipod+brother’s sound equipment+brother’s friend= Ipod reception.  Cost $236

A few tricks to keep in mind- Ipods don’t take requests so well the night of the reception.  I sent out a request inquiry to friends and family to gather feedback. What songs did THEY want to hear or dance to at our reception?  Lucky for me I already owned the ginormous ipod (40 GB).  When I received some request for the good ole 80’s music I thought I better scavenge through my own collection of cd’s and search my existing ipod library before purchasing any songs.  Much to my delighment, I had almost every song that was requested.  I only ended up purchasing $16 worth in itunes (and I don’t know if I even included all those into the playlists)

The difficult part was creating the playlists.  Being the controlling bride I was (or not) I needed to organize the songs in the order I wanted them played, keeping in mind that my hip-hop might not be the best way to start the party and get my “older”relatives on the dance floor.  Also keeping in mind I needed to add some song that perhaps I didn’t like, at the request of others…my concession was the Chicken Dance.  I organized my playlist in “time frames.”  For example, dinner music was 1 playlist, first dance until 8 PM another, dollar dance to Grand March, Grand March until the end.  I interspersed slow songs for all the couples to gallivant to the dance floor in each playlist, also kept in mind who my audience would be throughout the night (the younger rowdier crowd is more likely to stick it out through the end).

The next piece, having a brother who was in a band and has connections, helped.  His friend works for a music store…his friend also being our MC…scored all the equipment we needed.  I did end up renting some fun lights to add to the party for $20.  Throughout the night the MC and I gauged how we were doing with time and occasionally skipping over a few songs to stay within our time frames playlists. 

Now with out any further ado…here’s the reception (amateur style) and a few songs from our playlists.


Electric Slide a wedding classic

I don’t know the song- but who cares, gotta love how cute my brother and his family are 🙂



Unchained Melody believe it or not.  Megs and I have classy dance moves for sappy romantics songs.  There might be more to this story- but not significant enough for you to find the humor that we do in it.
All Summer Long
apparently we are fond of Kid Rock

Could this be Vanilla Ice?  Or just 2 of my lovely yahoos sporting moves from the early 90’s.

Girls, Girls, Girls…
yes indeed these are my girls!

Sometimes you don’t even need music to dance!  Aren’t they so precious 🙂

Men In Black  The official start to our Grand March.  As a word of caution, while the sunglasses might add the desired touch, it also adds an element of danger.  The guys were quite blind when trying to sport their greatest dance moves.   Bring on the ladies…



As you may recall the playlist from grand march to the end allowed for some good times with the younger crowd (although I must add the accoustics were perfect for those who chose to do this instead…)


Last but not least…


Some good ole’ fashion drinking songs….Pretty sure this was Family Tradition

Paradise by the Dashboard Light  No party is complete without a kick line or the attempt!

It was a long day and some crashed and burned before the party came to an end…

(Photos displayed were taken by Beth Van de Loo, Rich Jun, and Holly Waterman)

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