Archive for the ‘photography’ Category

Part 8: Aaaand We’re Married!

Wednesday, September 10th, 2008

Part 1: Tryin’ to Get the Pretty
Part 1.5: Old, New, Borrowed, Robotic
Part 2: Please Help Me; I Can’t Dress Myself
Part 3: Poise!
Part 4: The Philosophy of the Ham
Part 5: Setting the Scene
Part 6: Moments Before
Part 7: The Gettin’ Hitched Part

Mr. Lollipop and I discussed our ceremony at our First Anniversary dinner. We both agreed that it is one of the most intense experiences either of us has had. This was probably due to the fact that we had prepared for the ceremony for months during premarital counseling and the fact that it was *our* ceremony. I like to think that maybe our guests felt the same way. We didn’t hear a peep from anyone in the pews the whole time, nothing from the dozens of young children who attended. Maybe it really was a *holy* experience.


We were allowed to have chairs placed for us at the front of the church for use during the reading portion of the ceremony. I highly recommend doing this if your ceremony is going to last longer than 20 minutes. My dress was heavy and I appreciated the break.


This is a shot of my bridesmaids during the ceremony holding their bouquets. All of them were assembled by my awesome cousin Aileen (she’s the one in the extreme foreground) and each has a baby artichoke in the center. We saved crazy $$$ by doing our own flowers. I’ll give more details about this in a later post.


This is my bouquet. It is made of almost 100% flowers from Whole Foods and more baby artichokes. (Again, thanks Aileen!) I was a little nervous about making my own bouquet, but I think it turned out well and it was fun to carry it around for a day.


This is the picture of me that is currently sitting on Mr. Lollipop’s desk.


This is my cousin Maureen doing a reading written by my cousin Mark. Mark is in the Air Force. We chose our wedding date based on his leave date, but the military canceled his days off months before our wedding. So, instead he wrote something original to read at the ceremony.

I’d skimmed the reading just to give Mark the ‘OK’ as to its quality, but the meaning and care really hit me once I heard Maureen reading it out loud. I started tearing up. Luckily, Mr. Lollipop always carries a handkerchief. I blew my nose and then crammed it back into his pocket, if full view of all of our guests. They had a good chuckle.


A year ago, our friend Keith was finishing up seminary and couldn’t perform the whole ceremony himself, so we had him do the homily. He was great.


Okay, so we made it through the first part of the ceremony. We used traditional vows from the Book of Common Prayer. Now, it was time for the vows. Mr. Lollipop did his first, and then I as I started to say “In the Name of God, I, [Ms. Lollipop], take you, [Mr. Lollipop], to be my *husband*…” And I totally choked up on ‘husband’…I’d honestly never used that word for Mr. Lollipop before, but I was able to choke out the rest of my vow. Luckily, Aileen was on point and ran up to give me a tissue. Really, I’d never imagined that I would cry at my own wedding ceremony, but, wow, thank God for waterproof mascara.

Now, a year later I’m wondering what happened to that tissue. I can’t remember what I did with it and it isn’t in any of our photos. I really hope I didn’t hand anyone my snotty Kleenex.


So, I managed to get it together after that and we moved on to the exchange of rings.


Okay, so we made it through the important stuff and now it’s time for the blessing. The Book of Common prayer has a choice of two blessings. Mr. Lollipop let me pick, so I went with the one with the line ‘Defend them from every enemy…’ mostly because that sounds awesome. I don’t think we have any enemies, but just in case…you know…

Also, I would like to point out that my Maid of Honor fluffed out my train every time I moved so that it didn’t get bunched up and trip me. This was one of the best pieces of advice we got from our photographer all day.


Yay! We’re husband and wife!


…And we kiss as my grandparents’ plastic Virgin Mary looks on! It’s okay, Mary, we’re married now!


I gave a big hug to the Maid of Honor.


Mr. Lollipop shook the Best Man’s hand.


Mission accomplished! Woo!

All photos above are courtesy of Purvis Photography.

Part 7: The Gettin’ Hitched Part

Monday, September 1st, 2008

Part 1: Tryin’ to Get the Pretty
Part 1.5: Old, New, Borrowed, Robotic
Part 2: Please Help Me; I Can’t Dress Myself
Part 3: Poise!
Part 4: The Philosophy of the Ham
Part 5: Setting the Scene
Part 6: Moments Before

Yay! They finally let us inside!


Okay. We’re walking up the aisle…I’m kind of surprised at this point. I’d been waiting for our wedding for so long that it was kind of hard to believe that it was actually happening.


Mr. Lollipop sees me for the first time.


The boys all lined up in the front.


My dad and I arrived at the front. I’ve never had this many people look at me at one time before.


At this point my parents offered me in marriage. I’m glad that my parents got their own speaking part, but this is the one part of the ceremony I wish we’d done a little differently. I really wanted my in-laws to offer Mr. Lollipop, too, but I got a straight ‘no’ from our pastor and I didn’t feel like fighting about it.

Eh. I’ll admit that it’s small in the scope of potential problems. I actually hadn’t thought about it for months until I sat down to write this recap. *shrug* I still really like our pastor.


The Pastor asks if there are any objections.


I looked over my shoulder to see if there were any takers. I think our guests took my expression as the stink-eye. Luckily, my family finds this kind of thing to be funny and everyone laughed.


My mom laughed, too.


We passed the test (Yay! We’re not related or already married to other people!) and my dad stepped aside.


Mr. Lollipop takes his place at my side.

All photos above are courtesy of Purvis Photography.

Part 6 – Moments Before

Monday, May 26th, 2008

Part 1: Tryin’ to Get the Pretty
Part 1.5: Old, New, Borrowed, Robotic
Part 2: Please Help Me; I Can’t Dress Myself
Part 3: Poise!
Part 4: The Philosophy of the Ham
Part 5: Setting the Scene

As a teenager I’d hadn’t thought much about what my wedding would be like, but I was pretty sure that I’d be calm and certain before I walked down that aisle. Everything would feel right. A decade later on my wedding day, with all of my anxiety left months in the past, I felt exactly that way in the moments leading up to the ceremony.

Our friends did a fantastic job of making sure that we didn’t see each other before the ceremony started. One of our photographers snapped these pictures of Mr. Lollipop before he was hustled out of the way so that I could leave the Rectory and make my way over to the church.

We went with an asymmetrical Dahlia for his boutonniere. As his wife, I am biased, but I think he is exteremly adorable in this picture.

Our wedding coordinator, a.k.a. Our Lady of Awesomeness, a.k.a. Emily, helped welcome people to the church. I’ll be writing more about her later.

Most people arrived early. We placed mutual friends on Mr. Lollipop’s side to even out the large difference in family size. Still, our wedding turned out to be the largest gathering of my Mother in Law’s family ever.

I couldn’t walk around without a crew of bridesmaids to help carry my giant dress. It was like being queen for a day, but not in any way I expected. I was very glad that I had a second, lighter dress to change into so that I didn’t need any bathroom helpers.

There were a few stragglers running into the church at the last minute. This is a picture of me laughing at them and yelling ‘You’re late!’ at them as they scurried into the sanctuary.

I was acting like a big goof-ball while waiting outside of the church and waved like a monkey at all of the passing cars. I couldn’t help myself; I was so frickin’ happy that I was finally getting married after waiting so long and spending so much time working for this one day. My Dad knows me well enough to but up with my antics.

All photos above are courtesy of Purvis Photography.

Part 5 – Setting the Scene

Wednesday, May 21st, 2008

Part 1: Tryin’ to Get the Pretty
Part 1.5: Old, New, Borrowed, Robotic
Part 2: Please Help Me; I Can’t Dress Myself
Part 3: Poise!
Part 4: The Philosophy of the Ham

For some reason, finding a ceremony spot turned out to be the toughest part of planning our wedding. Having a Sunday wedding automatically ruled out most of the places of worship in the area and our reception site, the zoo, didn’t allow ceremonies on the premises. I found a lovely spot due to a stroke of luck, but a week later they called to tell me that they had accidentally double booked us and we would have to find somewhere else. Aaaaa!

At wits end, I checked the map for the closest Episcopal church to the Pittsburgh Zoo, and prepared myself for some serious groveling to try and find somewhere where we could get married, even if it was on the front lawn. I called to make sure that someone would be there who would talk to me and then I went in person because I thought it would be harder to say ‘no’ to my face. I ended up meeting with the Rector of St Andrew’s, Bruce, and he listened and was helpful. It was the complete opposite of all of the other churches I had called; all were too eager to get off of the phone with me. He looked in the church’s date book, saw that September 2nd was clear and booked us with no haggling over deposit checks, no stern warnings about what we could bring or when we had to get out. It was perfect, and the church itself was beautiful outside…

and inside…

The 100 year old building was made of stone and built in the Gothic Revival style. It’s only a small donation for non-members to get married there and free for members. I’m really glad that I found it and we liked our experience so much that we became members even though it is a 20 minute drive out of our way. It’s definitely the place I would recommend to couples looking to get married somewhere beautiful and not go into debt.

We also found a few other ways to save a little money on our wedding day. My uncle was helpful enough to loan us his Jaguar to drive us to the reception. It sure beat paying for a limo.

We thought that the church was already beautiful, so we kept the decorations to a minimum. We had bunches of koi nobori (carp windsocks) at the doorway for color.

We also decided to keep it simple with the pew decorations and used simple metal lanterns on ribbons. My brother later changed the ribbons and used them for his wedding two months ago.

We placed a plastic Virgin Mary on the altar. It belonged to my Mother’s parents and stood on their hallway steps for years and served as a little memorial to them during the ceremony.

The church also came equipped with and organ and a fantastic organ player, Peter Luley. It was nice to have traditional music with our traditional church, though we were Wagner-free, and therefore wedding march-free. I walked down the aisle to Mouret’s Rondeau, aka the theme to Masterpiece Theater.

All photos above are courtesy of Purvis Photography.

The Lollipops Get Hitched: Part 4 – The Philosophy of the Ham

Wednesday, February 27th, 2008

Part 1: Tryin’ to Get the Pretty
Part 1.5: Old, New, Borrowed, Robotic
Part 2: Please Help Me; I Can’t Dress Myself
Part 3: Poise!

After looking at hundreds of sets of wedding photos, it is clear that there are many styles of posed photos. There the formal family shots, of course, with family and bridal party members arranged in rows. There are ones that look like fashion photo spreads with dynamic colors and camera angles. Others emphasize the romantic, featuring a staged kiss or a couple embracing. Finally there are the hammy pictures, the silly ones that will make you roll your eyes or giggle depnding on your mindset. I suppose everyone has some combination of these types in their photo album, varying by personality. In my mind’s eye I pictured having lots of fashion photography style pictures with Mr. Lollipop and myself looking fierce, but in the end our true personalities won out and we ended up with dozens of photos of us being wacky/weird/ourselves. It took very little to drag the rest of the bridal party down with us.

However, this didn’t start with me. When I met Mr. Lollipop at 18 I was a serious, studious teenager who rarely smiled and certainly never made faces or horsed around. After we started dating he encouraged me to smile more and more.

Eventually, a few years later we both moved to Japan and lived in neighboring cities. He would always escort me in the evenings from Seto back to Nagoya and keep me company on the train. Most of the time we would be in a car by ourselves. It would be pitch black outside and brightly lit inside the car so the opposite windows carried our reflections like mirrors. Mr. Lollipop used to make faces in them at me, and eventually he goaded me into making them back, and soon we were having facial contortion contests. All of my silly facial habits can be traced back to those train rides.

So, during our pre-ceremony pictures we were in separate places, but we each individually decided to ham it up with other bridal party members. If you’re inclined to be a little bit silly, I highly recommend it before the ceremony. I would have been a lot more nervous and snippy if I had to squash the impulse. Instead, we had some good laughs and the final moments were happy and relaxed ones.
Photographic evidence can be found below.

Mr. Lollipop makes the Best Man uncomfortable:

Ham-tasticness runs in Mr. Lollipop’s family.

Some of my ladies were more game than others.

Oh no she di’nt!

Oh yes she did.

Penguin is not the only Bee who likes boobs.

I forget the sentiment that were supposed to be displaying here. It was probably something like ‘Hell, no!’

My cousin and I pointed at the plastic Virgin Mary on the altar. It once belonged to our grandparents.

…aaand some normal pictures to balance it out:

All photos above are courtesy of Purvis Photography.

The Lollipops Get Hitched: Part 3 – Poise!

Monday, February 4th, 2008

Part 1: Tryin’ to Get the Pretty

Part 2: Please Help Me; I Can’t Dress Myself

There was a weird bit of time between getting ready and finally entering the ceremony. We needed to take a few pre-cerenony pictures, but at the same time I wanted to be seen by as few people as possible, and I especially didn’t want Mr. Lollipop to see me before the ceremony. My bridesmaids and family members acted as guards and messengers to clear each room before I could advance like a king piece on a chessboard.

All photos below are courtesy of Purvis Photography.

We waited on the landing until the front hall cleared. I can’t remember what was said to give me that facial expression, but it was probably something scandalous.

Meeting up with my dad for the first time after getting dressed:

Each of the mothers recieved fragrant gardenia corasges. Coincidentally, the bloom is a favorite of both of our mothers.

The groom and wedding coordinator gave out last minute directions and smoothed unexpected kinks.

Me with my abuelita:

This is one of my favorite pictures of me with my dad.

My mom gave me her wedding ring as my ‘something borrowed’. I was expecting her to loan me a different, less sentimental ring, so I was surprised and honored.

We snuck a few pictures in the chapel before the guests were seated.

I can’t believe how gigantic my dress looed from the rear. It never seemed that big in the garment bag, but after putting it on it appears that I could hide my own pretzel cart under the train. Mmm…pretzel.

My husband likes pictures of me making funny faces. I did my best Bridezilla for him in this photo.

The Lollipops Get Hitched: Part 2 – Please Help Me; I Can’t Dress Myself

Sunday, December 9th, 2007

Part 1: Tryin’ to Get the Pretty

Ah, it’s been a while. A month or two ago I managed to get a promotion at work. The good news is that I get to run my own project and hire people. The bad news is that I work longer hours and have less time for blogging. Wah! Still, Mr. Lollipop and I had a wonderful wedding day and I really want to share our pictures.

All photos below are courtesy of Purvis Photography.

My arrival at St. Andrew’s Episcopal:

My lovely $100 dress, a garment I learned to love again:

My mom and I puzzled over my broken iron. No steaming for us.

Here is the full view of the wrinkles. We never did get the iron functioning and after five minutes I said ‘screw it’ and put on my dress. Luckily, it was a warm day so the wrinkles fell out on their own.

Sadly, I couldn’t put my own shoes on without falling over. Wedding dresses are heavier than they appear.

My mom looked great!

Me with my veil over my face during adjustments:

My veil attached to my comb using tiny neodymium magnets. We did this so I could take it on and off without disturbing my hair.

Finally, a look in the mirror…

a hug from my mom…

…(She did get a little weepy.)…(Aww.)…

…and I’m on my way.

Meanwhile…

Take Your Photographer to the Zoo Day

Wednesday, October 31st, 2007

Some of you might remember that I fired our original photographer one month before our wedding. In hindsight, it was probably one of the best things I could have done to make our event less stressful, mostly because we ended up hiring a wonderful photographer, Mike Purvis. Instead of fighting us about how/when/what of our pictures, Mike listened and did his best to give us exactly what we wanted. While his services and those of his partner, Summer, are more expensive than our original guy, I feel like it was money well spent on two photographers who really clicked with us.

Plus, as a bonus, Mike did a walk-through with me for both of our venues. Both were new to him and there was a good possibility that the Pittsburgh Zoo’s Aquarium, our reception location, would be a challenge to photograph. So, I met him one day last August and we spent an afternoon at the zoo.

More than anything, it was good practice for me. I am not used to being photographed and it was nice to have a chance to get used to being in front of the camera.

I’ll admit that I had fun trying to act casual while Mike snapped dozens of pictures.

He managed to get some good location photos and we might use a few of these to round out the album. I especially liked this shot of the underwater tunnel,

and this shot of the aquarium’s indoor jungle.

Mike also caught some great shots of the animals. For instance, this peacock peaking in the window on the aquarium roof,

or this curious fish,

or one of the impassive bears in the exhibit just a stone’s throw from the aquarium.

Mike also had a chance to visit our ceremony venue and talk to our officiant, Rector Bruce Robison. It was a huge relief to me for them to work out the photography rules ahead of time. I wanted great photographs, but ones that wouldn’t annoy or distract our pastor, a man we greatly respect. I am pleased to report that I didn’t notice either photographer during the ceremony. Good job with the ninja skills, guys!

Photos from Friends and Family

Sunday, October 7th, 2007

I admit it, we totally stole Ms. Lemon’s idea to collect photos from friends and family using flickr. We printed our account information on the back of our seating cards, and while they weren’t as pretty as Madame Lemon’s, they did the trick. Well, it helped to have a bridesmaid willing to cajole people by email. (Go Aileen!)

We ended up with some wonderful photos that have a slightly different perspective than our professional ones. My favorite is the shot below of us immediately after the ceremony.

Some photos captured memorable moments even before our photographers arrived. We made the boys wait in the basement after I ran home to get my dress. I didn’t want Mr. Lollipop to see me after I’d had my hair and makeup done.

Other pictures revealed the point of view of our friends and family. Along side our professional pictures they provided a more complete record of the day.

I needed lots of help getting my shoes on.

My ladies looked fabulous as they waited for pre-ceremony pictures.

We took a long ride up the zoo escalator to get to the aquarium shuttle.

The best man served as guardian over our plastic Blessed Virgin Mary as we moved her from the ceremony to the reception.

Some of our friends clowned around in the tunnels around the stingray tank.

There are many more photos still to come once our professional shots are ready for release. Stay tuned!

Hijacking an Art Exhibit for Engagement Photos

Monday, August 6th, 2007

As you can probably tell by now, we tend to do things our own way. And that way tends to be the cheapskate way. So, instead of hiring someone to pose us on the Monongahela Overlook we decided to take advantage of one of our favorite places in Pittsburgh, the Mattress Factory Art Museum and do it ourselves.

The art museum was built out of (as you might have guessed) an defunct mattress factory. It’s a highly interactive museum for one geared towards adults; most of the exhibits are ‘experienced’ rather than viewed. One of the permanent installations is a set of two rooms with polka dot floors and mirrors on all the walls and the ceiling.

We spent a Saturday morning last December laying on the floor of one of the exhibits trying to get something we could send out with our Christmas cards. Since we weren’t planning on sending our photos to the newspaper for an announcement we decided that we could afford to be a little unconventional. I made the dress in the photo myself, adapting a shirt pattern into a full length shirt dress.

We sent a few different versions to friends and family:

This one is my favorite, but I screwed up the exposure timing and not even Photoshop could save it from the resulting weird coloring: