wedding // that first look.

I want to say a big thank you to chelsea for having me as a guest while she is away getting hitched at her amazing wedding (although i would have liked to be on the beach with her right now too)! i am sending her all the best wishes for a wonderful wedding and an even better marriage, and i can’t wait to hear all about it when she gets back. lots of love to you and your new husband!

there are so many wedding traditions that i love. the vows || the father-of-the-bride speech || the first dance. all wonderful. all full of love and emotion and meaning.

but my favorite tradition by far has to be the first look between the bride and groom. there is something about the couple laying eyes on each other in all their wedding glory for the first time that just gets me. there is so much meaning in that tradition; to me it signals the official start of the marriage, the start of their new journey. it’s the first time that they are looking at the other person as their husband or their wife instead of just their boyfriend/girlfriend/fiancé, and it’s really sinking in that this is the relationship they will have with them for the rest of their lives. it’s the moment it becomes real. after all the planning and the stress and the waiting, it’s finally real.

wedding us

my first look is one of my most vivid memories from my wedding. i will never forget the feeling of walking out towards my husband-to-be (i call him Mister Man), and being so nervous to see his face when he turned around.

and when he did, my goodness did my heart swell. you know that feeling when you’re on a roller coaster and you come up and over the first hill and start to fly down? it was like that times a million. there is nothing that can compare to having someone look at you with that kind of love and awe in their eyes, and i would never trade that memory for anything.

wedding first look

wedding first look

at the end of the day, the wedding day is a big milestone, it’s huge. but it’s really just the start to the journey and the traditions are there to remind us of that. the first look, whether it happens before the ceremony or as the bride walks down the aisle, is a reminder that from this moment on, you are looking at your love in a new way. in a forever way. and that is a beautiful thing.

wedding first look

wedding first look


the week in photos.

hello friday.

I am happy to see the weekend upon us, but I can’t complain much about how the week went. it was a great week.

it all began with a trip to [my home state] iowa. for a good friend’s wedding. [we worked together in college, so I was reunited with people I haven’t seen in years.]

say hello to the beautiful bride & groom [+ our good friend/old boss, lindsay].

the wedding was purple + silver. and the reception was gorgeous. our group of friends were at table 1, aka the table nearest the bar. holler to the bride for the best seat in the house. [kind of a joke.]

we tore up the dance floor.

[the couple on the left: it’s their wedding next. cannot wait!]

on our way back to illinois, we stumbled upon antique archaeology. ya know, the home of history channel’s american pickers? I knew they were from iowa, but I didn’t know where exactly. well, we were in search of a gas station we got off the highway and stopped at our first option. I looked up and BAM: antique archaeology. what a pleasant surprise :)

like I said on instagram: “there are few things better than retrieving your loved one at the airport. even if its only been a weekend.”

[J] & I took the train into the city. [which resorts to random photos].

on wednesday night, we made drinks [pomegranate vodka + white peach sparkling water] in red solo cups, sat outside, and watched the storm roll in.

if that is not the epitome of a country song, I don’t know what is?

[‘the thunder rolls‘ garth brooks + ‘red solo cup‘ toby keith].

noodles & company had pop-up picnics scattered around the country yesterday. they were handing out their new summer salads. [J] & I found the nearest one to us, and we were off. he got: spinach & fresh fruit. [I usually don’t go for salads with sweet + savory toppings, but my oh my that salad is scrumptious. topped with: strawberries, blue cheese, bacon, balsamic]. I had: chili-lime & ginger. [equally as delicious]. they have one more out: the backyard bbq chicken salad, which we didn’t get to try. BUT they gave us two free salad coupons for our next visit. speaking of, I’m kind of hungry now …

[J] & I had a mini celebration last night. accompanied by bbq & cocktails [from famous daves]. what were we celebrating? visit on monday, I’ll divulge then!


have an amazing weekend.

give the people around you a big hug. and for those far & dear send them an “I love you“. every moment of every single day & every person we get to share this life with are so precious. & meant to be cherished.

[a couple of the recent tragedies have hit really close to home for me. the two missing little girls from right outside my hometown. and the theater shooting right down the street from my brother’s house. in my thoughts & prayers].