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En Garde: The Swords Celebrate One Year

Hive, how are you all??  It’s been way too long, and I’m soooo excited to be back even if it’s just to pop in for one day.  I know there many lovely new bees reading these days so in case you’re wondering who the Swords are, take a look at these photos of our Highland Fairy Tale.  (All photos by Crystal Liepa Photography unless otherwise noted.)

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OK that’s enough photos for now but if you want to go back and read my recaps, this post has the links to all of them at the bottom.

Being married is well, great!  I will say I’m officially in the camp of those who say getting married definitely changes things.  But for us, it’s been in a good way!  I feel like our admiration and respect of each other has grown, our relationship bond is deeper, our fights (while loud and emotional) don’t last quite as long, and our intimate moments are better and more connected.

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We’ve been through a lot in one year.  Two major moves, me leaving my job as a nanny, adopting our lovely dog McKenna, Mr. Sword finding a new job in a new state, and oh yea, getting pregnant!  What what??

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That’s right, the Swords are expecting their first little dagger and we’re absolutely thrilled about it!  🙂  Baby Sword is due at the end of July and while that’s pretty exciting we’re also in the middle of house hunting.  Here’s hoping we have a nursery and a home set up by summer and aren’t living with my parents anymore!  (Gulp.)

I realize I’ve probably run out on time and relevance to give wedding advice but I truly can’t help myself.  A) I love to talk about weddings and B) I have lots to share!  So do with it what you will.  No wedding is perfect but Mr. Sword and I still get compliments on ours a year later and I get misty-eyed thinking about how lovely a day it was.  I LOVED my wedding day.  Here’s why:

1. It was convenient. We had a perfect, gorgeous, albeit average hotel wedding but because guests were able to get ready, watch the ceremony, party all night, and sleep, all at the same location, they were able to open themselves to having the best time ever.

2. It was personalized.  We had a bagpiper and a Ceilidh band.  Our ceremony was liberal but religious.  I wore a tiara and Mr. Sword wore a kilt.  We had swords as our escort cards and beer bottles for centerpieces.

3.  It was full of love.  Even though it was 30 degrees and raining Mr. Sword and I were so elated to be getting married.  If you’re in love and content and comfortable, your guests will see that and it will spread everywhere.  Of course not everything went as planned (remember when my MOH and bridesmaid got stuck in an elevator?) but our family and friends were so amazing and everyone had such a good time that all I could do was smile.  You don’t need Chiavari chairs (we had ugly ballroom ones), expensive, fancy food (we served chicken), favors or bathroom baskets (OK, so we had both of those but you don’t need them), to have a perfect wedding.

Congrats and happy planning everybody!!  I may not post often but I still love reading Weddingbee!

PS I’d love for all of you to follow my new blog, Drama Happens.  It’s a relationship-focused blog where topics include but are not limited to embarrassing stories from my life, interviews from people in those culturally not-so-typical relationships, pregnancy updates, puke, my sister, bump photos, and Mr. Sword.

Until the next time,

xoxo,

Stephanie

Rock the Frock: Sister Style

Hive, I am THRILLED to share these sister shoot photos with you.  I’ve been daydreaming about them since Sister Big Eyes told me last year that she wanted to do a photo shoot with BOTH of us in our wedding gowns.

I really want to post them without these downer disclaimers but truthfully I feel a bit self-conscious about my appearance in some of the pictures.  I’d been dancing all day at Sister’s wedding and was a bit sweaty and swollen.  Plus, for some idiotic reason I took my hair out of its side up do and it just doesn’t look right with no time or professional to fix it.  (Sorry about the whiny moment.)

That aside, these pictures are so incredibly special to me.  My Sister and I had a rough start to this wedding planning journey but in the end, there is no one in the world I’d rather have shared it with.

The location: Our parent’s backyard at their home in a southern suburb of the Twin Cities in Minnesota.

The dresses: Both Mori Lee with ruching and ruffles but hers is white, and mine is ivory.  Hers is a dropped waist, corset back, and beading.  Mine is a fit-n-flare with zip up and buttons down the back.

The men: Both of them officially our husbands now!  We actually hauled Mr. Sword’s kilt ensemble all the way from Chicago for this short shoot but it was totally worth it!

Strike…a…pose!

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This one is just of Mr. Sword and myself because we wanted a picture highlighting his sword cuff links.

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After we sent the guys away it was time for some sisters only bridal portraits.  We had such a blast!

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Veils?  Yes please.  And not just to cover up my sunburn from Sister’s ceremony earlier that day…

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This next one has a good view of the differences in our bodices.

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Would you ever do a photo shoot with another bride, a sister, or friend, or otherwise?  I 100% recommend it!

All photos by Crystal Liepa Photography.

A Highland Fairy Tale: We Make Out in the Hallway

Around 10 PM two things happened, 1) The late night snack was brought out for people to munch and nibble on (definitely recommend this if it’s a possibility at your venue, we went with the bar food option cause well, it made the most sense for us) and 2) Mr. Sword and I slipped away with Crystal to take the last couple portraits of the night.

This was probably the first time I sat down in hours and boy did it feel good!

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OK. OK, so this was a bit posed but it was still fun!  Gotta love a dramatic swoon amid purple lighting.

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After sitting down for a few minutes we slipped out of the reception room and into the hallway.  I love these photos because they’re relaxed and different.  My make-up might have worn off and I might have been veil-less but I was feeling exhilarated!  Also, my dress was still rockin’ after hours in the rain and tons of sweaty dancing.

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Crystal then encouraged us to get frisky.  Normally my man isn’t into PDA but he looks mighty comfortable in these next few pics, haha.

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We also managed to get one bridal portrait taken, and shockingly this is the only full-length picture of me by myself all day!

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The last photo of the night was taken in the lobby of the Embassy Suites.  It’s definitely become a family/friend/fan favorite!  Hopefully you an see why!

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Since this photo is also Mr. Sword’s favorite I had it made into a canvas to display in our home.  Can you find it?

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After returning to the reception it was time for Crystal to leave.  Our final song of the evening was chosen by Mr. Sword, “Closing Time” by Semisonic.  He picked this song because he said it always reminds him of an American bar since it’s played so frequently at closing time.

The party kept going until midnight at which time people either left to go home or went up to their rooms to crash while others continued drinking at the bar.  And with that our wedding was over!  Mr. Sword and I rode the elevators of doom one last time to our 8th floor hotel room where we were met with this:

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It was an amazing day and a dream come true.

The next post is the final one of our wedding recaps!  Thanks for hanging in there everybody.  🙂

Did you take any sneaky late night photos during your wedding reception?

All photos by Crystal Liepa Photography unless otherwise noted.

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Skipped some of the Sword saga?  It’s OK, catch up today!

Pre-Wedding
Teaser video!
Final preparations, snow, and tears!
Ladies’ Luncheon!
Elevators of anxiety!
Rehearsing and screaming!
Burgers and surprises!
Kisses at midnight!

The Big Day
Bacon for bridal baby!
Hair and makeup!
Men in kilts!
Tiara and bouquet!
Becoming a bride!
Champagne toasts!
First look!
Cold couple portraits!
The Swords with swords!
The men pose!
The women pose!
Altogether now!
Elevator madness!
Big reveal!
Family photos!
Posing with our flower girl!
True Scotsman indeed!

Ceremony
People processing!
Bridal cry/laugh walk!
Ceremony readings!
Vows and handfasting!
Receiving line!

Reception
Cocktail hour!
The pretty details!
Grand entrances!
We get roasted!
Parent dances!
First dance fake out!
Stripping the willow!
Anniversary dance!
Dancing and drinking!

A Highland Fairy Tale: We Ditch Our Own Cocktail Hour

After I finished hugging every single guest at our wedding, this happened:

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That’s right, I sat my ass down and relaxed for a minute.  My shoes were relatively comfy but they were still tight heels and I’d been standing for a good portion of the day already so my toes and legs needed a wee break.  Did you notice what was happening on the right side of the picture?

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Yep, I was being interviewed about my post-ceremony thoughts for our wedding video by one of our awesome cinematographers.  Mr. Sword got his turn as well but we must not have said anything too exciting because these interviews didn’t make the final cut of our video. haha

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After snapping a few more pics, Mr. Sword and myself went up to our hotel room on the 8th floor to be alone and spend some quality time together before heading to the reception.

I know there are two schools of thought on this, some say, do NOT miss your own cocktail hour, it’s a great time to mingle and visit with your guests, but I’ve also heard it’s so calming and wonderful to get a few minutes alone with your new partner for the first time as husband and wife and honestly, that is what appealed to us more.

So we skipped our cocktail hour and we went off alone without any photographers or videographers to relax and cuddle in newly married bliss.  It was a great way to regroup and I recommend it if you have a reception that will be on the longer side because trust me, you’ll still get plenty of time with everyone later on!

Of course our cocktail hour was still pretty awesome!  We had FBIL playing guitar and singing, and there were passed hors d’ oeuvres and lots of drinking because the bar was on us for the full hour!

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Our signature drinks: a whisky sour named after Mr. Sword’s last name and a vodka sprite with chambord after my maiden name.

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MOH/Sister Big Eyes even joined in the fun and sang with her future groom!

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These are the only food photos I have from the entire wedding (thank goodness I’m not a foodie or I’d be seriously annoyed) and they are from cocktail hour.  Since we skipped it, once we arrived to our reception we found a HUGE plate of appetizers had been saved for us and was sitting at our sweetheart table, YESPLEASEANDTHANKYOU.  Everything was delicious!

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I’ll spare you multiple pics of guests you don’t know and leave with you just one, my friends (and both honor attendants) posing for the camera during cocktail hour:

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From the looks of it, everyone had a blast, but I don’t regret anything and I was happy to have had those few moments alone with Mr Sword.  Plus, we had more energy for the reception and dancing the ceilidh, which was probably similar to performing in a circus (I speculate).

Finally, I wanted to save these pics for the end of this post because hive, seriously, these are my FAVORITE ones of Mr. Sword and I, mostly because I can’t get enough of the gorgeous lighting and the stunning fountain.  We took these before sneaking away to our room.  Our first portraits as husband and wife.

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All photos by Crystal Liepa Photography.

What are your thoughts on skipping the cocktail hour?  Did you or do you plan on attending yours?

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Pre-Wedding
Teaser video!
Final preparations, snow, and tears!
Ladies’ Luncheon!
Elevators of anxiety!
Rehearsing and screaming!
Burgers and surprises!
Kisses at midnight!

The Big Day
Bacon for bridal baby!
Hair and makeup!
Men in kilts!
Tiara and bouquet!
Becoming a bride!
Champagne toasts!
First look!
Cold couple portraits!
The Swords with swords!
The men pose!
The women pose!
Altogether now!
Elevator madness!
Big reveal!
Family photos!
Posing with our flower girl!
True Scotsman indeed!

Ceremony
People processing!
Bridal cry/laugh walk!
Ceremony readings!
Vows and handfasting!
Receiving line!

A Highland Fairy Tale: We Cuddle With a Cutie

After our families had left the lobby to finish getting ready for the ceremony, Crystal was able to snap a few more pics of Mr. Sword and myself indoors.  By this time, I had fully thawed and was happy to continue smiling for the camera.

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We decided to switch things up and move locations and I’m so glad we did because I love these next few pics.  So romantic and bridal looking.  And for reference, this location is a tiny hallway near a window on the second floor of the hotel.  Nothing special about it in real life but a great spot for some lovely photos!

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On my photography shot list I had also made time for a mini photo shoot with Littlest C, because well, she’s pretty damn important.  I’m pretty sure I was picturing her as my flower girl before I’d even met Mr. Sword!

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We went outside and Littlest C got to wear her beautiful jacket.

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The next three pictures tend to make me tear up!  Notice our matching tiaras?  🙂  I had this idea for a pose that we should both hold her flower girl basket and I’m so glad they turned out as well as they did!  If you are taking pictures with your ring bearers or flower girls, I recommend getting down to their height level, it makes for better photos!

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I love how much we look-alike (even though we’re obviously not blood-related) and I’m just reminded of how grown-up and beautiful Littlest C looks!

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Did you see the purple petals?  Those were cut from fake flowers I purchased at JoAnn’s when shopping for boutonnieres.  So easy, and so much cheaper than real petals!

All photos by Crystal Liepa Photography.

Did you take extra pics with any of your little ones?

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Skipped some of the Sword saga?  It’s OK, catch up today!

Pre-Wedding
Teaser video!
Final preparations, snow, and tears!
Ladies’ Luncheon!
Elevators of anxiety!
Rehearsing and screaming!
Burgers and surprises!
Kisses at midnight!

The Big Day
Bacon for bridal baby!
Hair and makeup!
Men in kilts!
Tiara and bouquet!
Becoming a bride!
Champagne toasts!
First look
Cold couple portraits!
The Swords with swords!
The men pose!
The women pose!
Altogether now!
Elevator madness!
Big reveal!
Family photos!

A Highland Fairy Tale: We Pose With Swords

I first blogged about purchasing swords for our wedding last Halloween and I’m thrilled to report we incorporated those swords in both our couple portraits and bridal party photos.   If you’ll remember from my first WB post, I wasn’t really into being a sword (too masculine and violent) until Mr. Sword helped me realize just how well it fit for us (it looks like a Scottish claymore, it’s powerful, sleek, and totally awesome).  I also lucked out that my moniker is so fitting for a fairy tale wedding. Win Win.

So after some serious couple posing we whipped out our swords and had some fun (oops, that sounded dirty).  Can you believe these are just cheap pieces of plastic??  They look kind of amazing.

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After a few shots, Crystal told us to really use them to fake fight each other.  But pretending to attack Mr. Sword with my cheap plastic sword while simultaneously shivering just made me giggle.

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Then Crystal asked me to pose with Mr. Sword’s sgian dubh in my mouth, not sure how I feel about this one.  Sexy AND weird?  Thoughts?

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After our sword play I stole Mr. Sword’s kilt jacket for a few shots.  Yay, warmth!!

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I love our genuinely joyful smiles in this next photo.

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And to round out our couple portraits, here are a few more shots from a different location, but still under the large bridge.

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All photos by Crystal Liepa Photography.

Do you like it when Bee Bloggers incorporate their monikers?  Did you use props for photos on your wedding day? Coming up, our bridal party joins the fun!

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Skipped some of the Sword saga?  It’s OK, catch up today!

Pre-Wedding
Teaser video!
Final preparations, snow, and tears!
Ladies’ Luncheon!
Elevators of anxiety!
Rehearsing and screaming!
Burgers and surprises!
Kisses at midnight!

The Big Day
Bacon for bridal baby!
Hair and makeup!
Men in kilts!
Tiara and bouquet!
Becoming a bride!
Champagne toasts!
First look
Cold couple portraits!

A Highland Fairy Tale: We Try Not To Freeze During Couple Portraits

The next few posts will be very picture heavy (aka I will shut up already)!  🙂

After our first look Mr. Sword and I spent the next 45 minutes taking couple portraits outside while attempting to avoid getting soaked.  In between shots my lovely Sister was rubbing my arms to keep the blood flowing and we were all blowing warm air into our hands.  In some of the pictures you can actually see the precipitation!  The weather was serious.

Despite having to stay under the bridge (or an umbrella) most of the time, I think Crystal was able to capture a lot of great moments.  She said a cloudy day gives the best lighting and I have to agree.  Enjoy!

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This next one is a favorite of mine cause I’m posing like a bad ass.

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I LOVE all the smiling photos (Mr. Sword’s accent smile is the first thing I noticed about him the night we met) but of course we had to try out our dramatic model poses as well.

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Note: I had my engagement ring on my right hand all through pictures so I wouldn’t forget to switch it before the ceremony.  I have no opinions on the matter either way, just thought it was worth sharing since I did notice it!

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These next shots are very special to us.  Boss Lady had made me a heart of tartan with both of our last names sewn on it, and then Family Friend L (my seamstress) sewed the heart into the bottom layer of my dress.  It was mostly our little sentimental secret but I had to get a few pics of it!

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We also squeezed in a few bridal portraits (a MAJOR regret I have is not getting any bridal portraits at the hotel in my full ensemble before entering the elements, but oh well, live and learn!):

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I am obsessed with how awesome my bouquet looks in these next few photos:

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You can see a wee bee in the next one if you look closely!  It’s such a fun tradition and a great way to feel connected to Weddingbee and this amazing community.

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All photos by Crystal Liepa Photography.

Did anyone else brave the elements to get outdoor pics?  I scheduled in a lot of time to take couple portraits which I highly recommend!  Up next, we add SWORDS!  🙂

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Skipped some of the Sword saga?  It’s OK, catch up today!

Pre-Wedding
Teaser video!
Final preparations, snow, and tears!
Ladies’ Luncheon!
Elevators of anxiety!
Rehearsing and screaming!
Burgers and surprises!
Kisses at midnight!

The Big Day
Bacon for bridal baby!
Hair and makeup!
Men in kilts!
Tiara and bouquet!
Becoming a bride!
Champagne toasts!
First look!