Archive | July 2012

Engagement photos!!

Since the beginning of our engagement, I’ve known we would do our E-shoot in Chicago since our wedding would be taking place in Minnesota.  I was so excited to showcase our favorite big city in our shoot and I wanted to include one of the photos on our Save the Dates, thus I tried to move quickly.  Finding an amazing photographer was the easy part, picking a date wasn’t.  The first date fell through because of Mr. Sword’s trip to Scotland to renew his work visa and the second date fell through because Chicago was hosting the NATO Summit and things got a little cray-cray.  Finally, the third date was the charm!  Here are some of our favorite shots from our three different locations.

All photos by the wonderfully talented Jennifer Jackson.

Location number one: Oak Street Beach.  We had a beautiful but cloudy day that made for great skyline and lake shots.  This was our sexy shoot.  😉

Location number two: John Hancock building.  This was the easiest location to pick because it’s where we got engaged!  I was so excited go back and make a toast to our upcoming wedding!  This was our fancy shoot.  Side note:  You have to buy a drink to secure a table at the Signature Lounge and I most definitely got more than a little tipsy on my ONE beverage.  Clearly a breakfast fail that morning!





Location number three: Millennium Park.  Our final shoot is where we included our homemade props!  My boss helped us secure foam board, and we searched the internet to find signs we thought represented us best!  I think they turned out great and we had a blast laughing with our photographer as we walked about the park!  This was our fun shoot.




And finally I leave you with Mr. Sword’s favorite photo!

At first glance it might seem as though it’s not an engagement shot, but yes, we are in there somewhere!  Mr. Sword doesn’t really like being in front of the camera and prefers scenery, I on the other hand, well, if you can’t tell by now, I love posing for the camera!  I have to say that even though he is camera-shy, Mr. Sword was AMAZING at our shoot.  He was cute, comfortable, and many of his faces just cracked me up, like this one:


Did you use props in your engagement photos? Did you take any silly/funny photos like we did?  What is your favorite location of the three we chose?

My Bee Dream has come true!

Hi Hive!!  I am so ecstatic and grateful, (and to be honest), a little shocked to bee here right now!  When I first read my acceptance email I most definitely tripped over my own feet as I bounded into the bathroom to shout to Mr. Sword that my dream had COME TRUE!  As a self-proclaimed princess and an artist I’m always daydreaming about something, and becoming a Weddingbee blogger has been a dream of mine ever since I got engaged.

And now here I am, Miss Sword!  Mr. Sword and I are SO excited to share our wedding journey with the rest of the Hive!  But first, who are The Swords?

 This is what we’d like to think we look like all the time:
Super chic, chill, and Hollywood.
But this is who we really are:
Big dorks who love to laugh and most definitely live up to the “opposites attract” theory!
As an actor I tend to be a bit on the emotional side and I have a flair for the dramatic.  (Seriously though I’m that adult who openly sobs at Disney movies in public, yep awkward.)  I enjoy being the center of attention, but am ridiculously dedicated to all of my wonderful family and friends.

personal photo

Mr. Sword on the other hand is a shy guy who loves a good lie in (that’s Scottish for sleeping in) and a good whiskey!  Oh, did I mention he’s Scottish?  As in, Mr. Sword is from a small town outside of Glasgow, Scotland and is living here on a work visa.  He’s got it all too, the accent, the pale skin, AND the ability to stay skinny while eating nothing but meat and potatoes and zero veggies!

personal photo

But why the Sword icon?
Well, I have to say I was bummed when the fairy tale generation icons kept dwindling away, for a while I had my eyes set on Coach, but once the lovely Miss Coach  joined the Hive, it was clear that wasn’t meant to be! Mr. Sword assured me there would be another moniker just right for me in the event that I was accepted.  Soon, as far as I could tell, Sword was the only icon left, but I just wasn’t into it.  I thought it was much too masculine for this girly-girl, but Mr. Sword changed my mind in a hot second.  He said, But it’s the “claymore!”  What is a claymore, you ask?  Great question.

image via Wikipedia

A claymore is a double-edged or two-handed Scottish broadsword.  The claymore was used frequently throughout Medieval times but it’s become a running joke in my family that we NEED to have a claymore at our wedding.  Or all the boys seem to think so anyway!  So here I am, instead of the Princess and the Pea, I’m the *Princess and the Sword.
*Years ago I took a stage combat course while getting my degree so being that I’ve “handled” a sword myself, maybe this icon is more fitting than I originally thought!
I’m super pumped to begin this journey with you all! Thanks for having me Hive!
(for the very first time)
Miss Sword

BIG NEWS PEOPLE, I mean it, this is EXCITING

A long time few months ago I started writing a personal blog called Drama Happens.  But then I got engaged and instantly I knew I wanted to document my wedding journey on my blog.  But my readers at Drama Happens didn’t want to read an all-bridal focused blog.  Thus, Journey to “I Do” was born.  (Isn’t she pretty?)

Have I mentioned that one of my dreams was to become a Weddingbee Blogger?  That ever since I discovered Weddingbee I’ve been waiting for the moment I could apply?  That I’ve been dying to share my wedding story with all of the lovely ladies of the Hive?  (See, I have lots of dreams and some of them do come true… and some are still waiting in the wings.)  Well family and friends, I’ve been blessed to have yet another dream has come true!  My application to become a Weddingbee blogger has been accepted and I am currently in the process of joining the Hive. If you don’t know the gloriousness that is Weddingbee, please check it out now!  And look for me soon!

My icon will be a Sword and from now on I’ll be referring to myself as Miss Sword, and Mr. Scottish will now be known as Mr. Sword.  He’s pretty pumped about the name considering some of the options in this generation of icons included unicorns and fairies.  🙂

Don’t worry, the blog isn’t changing all that much!  It’s just that my story will be able to reach even more people, and I’ll be able to receive advice and encouragement from fellow brides.  I’m super pumped to have been selected since they receive tons of applications and only about 5% of those people move on to become bees.

Anyway, thank you everyone for reading!  I hope you’ll continue on the journey with me!

Note: The next post will be my first post for Weddingbee, so don’t be confused when I start by introducing myself!  🙂

A Scottish Dream Come True

Remember how excited I was when the kilt arrived?  Well, it happened in such a flurry that I didn’t get much time to process the whole thing.  As I write this, I still can’t believe we have our family tartan fabric.  I’m sitting here imaging our future children wearing little baby kilts and it makes me laugh out loud and tear up at the same time.

Ever since we got engaged I knew deep down it was a good idea to pursue the notion of a personalized family tartan but I didn’t know how hard it would be or how blessed we would end up. This was one of my first unique wedding ideas and one of my best if I do say so myself.  Mr. Sword and I have made the decision that we plan to live in the US for an indeterminate amount of time, and I intend to keep his culture alive in our household for the rest of that indeterminate amount of time.

The night after Mr. Sword tried on his new ensemble in its entirety, we were sitting on the couch relaxing and chatting before going to bed.  I looked at him and asked him if it was worth all the money, the stress, and the waiting.  He looked at me and smiled, replying, “Oh yea, definitely,” instantly making me grin as well.

Mr. Sword and I have a few weddings to attend before our own and technically his work Christmas party is cause for formal Scottish garb, but we won’t be debuting his outfit until our Big Day.  It seems only fitting that his ensemble commemorates the start of our lives together since the tartan pattern is officially named Hislastname-Mylastname.

Here is my handsome groom at last!

(all photos personal)

Have one of your far-fetched, seemingly unrealistic wedding dreams come true?  How do you feel?  What do you think of Mr. Sword’s wedding outfit?

Dressing my girls

It still shocks me how easy, fast, and lucky we were with picking bridesmaid dresses.  During my second whirlwind planning trip I had made time to go bridesmaid dress shopping with MOH Big Eyes and BM L Dawg while Mr. Sword and I were in town.  BM Jo (my cousin) couldn’t get away from work in North Dakota but lucky for us her mom, Auntie B came along to share in the experience and offer insight into BM Jo’s preferences.  Unfortunately, BM Wee Sis (Mr. Sword’s younger sister) lives in Scotland and would be trusting us to make the decision for her, but she is very understanding and easy-going and we sent her pictures to keep her informed.  She has great taste so it was no surprise to me that she loved the dress as well!   Finally, Mom Sword rounded out our crew!

I had scheduled one appointment at the Wedding Shoppe for bridal gowns and another appointment for bridesmaid dresses the following day.  It was at that appointment where we not only found the girls their dresses but I was able to try on my lovely gown, Evie, for a second time, pay for her, and get fitted for the strapless bra that will be sewn into the bodice once it arrives.  All in all it was a BIG last day in town!

Before I do the big reveal, a little back story…

I had always thought I’d want short dresses for my girls, that is until I got engaged.  As soon as the details of the wedding began simmering in my brain it just hit me!  My bridesmaids must wear long dresses!  Suddenly I couldn’t see it any other way, and thus the search began for the perfect long gown.

Now I LOVE the fad of wearing different style dresses of the same color/fabric, but when all of your groomsman are going to be wearing completely different kilts I think it’s important to have uniformity on the other side.  In our case it’s the men that will vary in style and skirt (haha) as opposed to the ladies!

After scouting the internet for ideas I was pretty set on this dress by Alfred Angelo for my four lovely ladies:

image via Wedding Shoppe Inc./Alfred Angelo

Here is MOH Big Eyes wearing that exact dress and while it looks great on her, the texture and cut didn’t seem to mix well with my dress.  We were able to compare their dress options with my wedding gown since we were buying them from the same store at the same time!  It was extremely helpful to see the dresses side by side.  This also means I had to crop myself out of this photo.

It felt like only minutes before everyone was gushing about how we had found THE DRESS.  Sister Big Eyes loved it, BM L Dawg loved it, Auntie B thought BM Jo would love it, and we all knew Mr. Sword’s Wee Sis would look good in practically anything.  I was actually a little overwhelmed at this moment.  I was trying to process the fact that I was purchasing my own dress while making sure that the girls were happy and wondering why no one was worried that the bridesmaid dress of our dreams was 195 dollars!?!?!  We all ended up with a 10% discount because of a same day purchase making them only 175 dollars, but I was still concerned.  I do not want to be that person who forces her loved ones to spend more than they can afford on a dress for one day.  That said, the girls were adamant and completely smitten.

After a quick pep talk from Mom Sword (aren’t Moms great?) I was able to commit to my bridesmaid dresses.  I’m still not sure how many they tried on or why it was so easy, but I’m not going to question it!

(drum roll please)


image via Wedding Shoppe Inc./Kennedy Blue

again, I had to be cropped out!

We have since decided on no sashes, but this is a good photo regardless!

The designer is Kennedy Blue and the color is eggplant.  Yes, the oh-so-important decision of color was left undecided until the kilt arrived.  In the photo above it looks like MOH is wearing a sash similar to eggplant and BM L Dawg is sporting one that closer matches our other option of wine.

(all photos personal unless otherwise noted)

So there you have it!  What do you think?  I wish I had more pictures of them in the dresses but once they arrive I’ll be sure to take some more.  Did anyone else find a dress for their girls at the first place they visited?


This is such exciting news!!!  The kilt we ordered months ago has arrived and now so many things are set in motion!  The most important thing being that Mr. Sword has something to wear to our wedding!  But this also means that the extra fabric is here which consequently means my awesome Boss Lady can begin making the bow ties and sashes for the rest of the bridal party out of said extra fabric.  The arrival of the fabric also means I can pick a color for the bridesmaids dresses and I’m happy to report that it will be eggplant like I had hoped for!  Eggplant is the darker of the two purples options we were given and will go perfectly with our dark wedding colors.

I think the box looked pretty good after traveling to us from Scotland.  What do you think?

OK so the night we got the kilt I was hanging out late with my nanny kiddos and decided to bring them over to my house for dinner.  We were waiting until Mr. Sword got home before we opened anything and I decided to have Nanny Girl play photographer as we opened our treasures.  I think she did a pretty good job for a 5-year-old!  Here are a few of the highlights from that “first look.”

I love that everything comes as part of a complete set.  It just makes life so much easier!  His sporran (the man purse thing that hangs in front of his err, guy parts) is one of my favorite pieces!  But everything looks beautiful and while I am keeping my wedding day look a secret, Mr. Sword and I were too excited to wait to see his special outfit so he tried everything on the night we opened it up!  But you’ll have to wait a little bit longer to see how dashing and handsome he looks…  🙂

(all photos personal)

What is your partner wearing to the wedding?  Anyone else take a peek before the big day?

Kids and Ushers

Here’s how it is, I’m having kids be the ushers at our wedding and I’m super pumped about it.  Well, that’s not entirely true.  Cousin Frankie is technically the Head Usher and an adult.  He will be walking my Mom and the Grandparents to their special seats up front as well as rolling out the good ol’ aisle runner, but he won’t be seating people or handing out programs.  I know it’s bit un-traditional to have young ushers but I can’t think of anything better than having my two cousins and my nanny kiddo all dressed up and taking part in our ceremony.

My Mom’s brother has two kids, Cousin Singer, a boy age 14, and Cousin Dancer, a girl age 11.  Together with Nanny boy, age 10, these three will make up our adorable group of ushers.  Now I know we aren’t talking about little little kids here, in fact we’re talking about a teenager and two tweens, but I think their energy and charisma is just what we need in an usher on the day of our wedding.

We definitely won’t have seating sides due to our high out-of-town guest ratio and because we have a ton of mutual friends that wouldn’t know where to sit!  I haven’t decided if the ushers will be showing people to their exact row or merely pointing out open and available seats after handing over a program.  Cousin Singer and Nanny Boy will be in black suits and I’m thinking Cousin Dancer will be in a black dress.  Ideally, all the ushers including Head Usher Cousin Frankie will have some of the tartan fabric on their person, but what that will look like all depends on the amount of extra fabric we receive.

Enough blathering, lets put some faces to the fake names I’ve made up!!  (Blathering is a word I’ve heard my FMIL use about herself in Scotland and I have decided to incorporate it into my vocabulary; it means to talk long-windedly without making very much sense.  Obviously, it’s a word made for me.)

I LOVE LOVE LOVE my family.  They are talented, hilarious, loving, forgiving, and always there for me when I need them.  Here is a photo of all the cousins with Grandpa and Grandma at a recent gathering to celebrate G and G’s 55th wedding anniversary in Fargo, ND.

Cousin Singer is front and center and next to him is Cousin Dancer.  Cousin Frankie is standing in the back next to Mr. Scottish.  You’ll also recognize BM Jo (who is sister to Cousin Frankie), myself, MOH Big Eyes holding my nephew pup, FBIL, The Glue, and course my Mom’s lovely parents.

Mr. Scottish, BM Jo, Cousin Frankie, and Cousin Dancer

Cousin Singer spraying The Glue during a family water gun fight, yep we’re one fun family

Now, here are some photos of me and my Nanny Boy.  I’ve known him since he was 5 and it’s been amazing to watch him grow up.  He’s one of the smartest kids I know and truly challenges me to think deeper.  He’s goofy and shares my ridiculous sense of humor.  And the best part is?  He is going to have so much fun hanging out with Cousin Singer and Cousin Dancer at the wedding!

At a restaurant in Chicago.

Hitting the pool!

We’re awesome and we know it.

(all photos personal)

PHEW!  Anyone else doing something unique with their ushers?  Anyone else lucky enough to have the best family in the world too?!?!