Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Moonbeam says Goodnight (because Goodbye is too hard)

Well Hive, this whole wedding process has certainly had it's ups and downs, but the positivity of this place (as ethereal as it may be) has helped me to focus on the ups.

Pictures taken by John & Whitney Canales, Aunt Annie & Uncle Chris, edited by me

So, thank you, Hive, for forcing me to find the positives.  It's pretty embarrassing to put it all out there pre-game and then be too unhappy with the end result to put it up.  Blogging forced me to focus on the stuff I was happy with, and since weddings are never perfect, it's a great thing to focus on.

We've had a pretty full life since our wedding(s) and I'm excited about all we have in store over the next few years.

I got a job (like a week after the wedding, perfect timing)!  And it takes me to far-flung places sometimes.

iPhone shot of my morning run in front of the Louvre on a business trip

We did the Malibu triathlon last year, Mr. MB's second, my first.

 Another iPhone shot right before the race started and we had to get in the cold, cold ocean, I'm not showing you the 'after' picture, I have standards (I mean, they're not high, but still)

We went to Europe for 2 weeks to see some of our friends tie the knot.

So, so fun

We moved to a new apartment and got to paint!

Some beachy California colors for the new place

We celebrated both of our anniversaries, because it's fun to have an extra one.

After brunch by the beach for our summer anniversary

And, we even negotiated Christmas between two families and two cities this year, no small feat.

That's right, Hive, Christmas morning bed-head! (See, the standards aren't that high)

Anyhoo, you can follow along at my post-wedding blog.  My Name is Eileen: And I'm a Girl With Too Many Interests.  As you might guess, it covers a bunch of different things.  So far I've got travel, baking, paper crafts, sewing, running stuff, decorator-type things and this...

because he was shaving and I couldn't resist taking a picture.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Compare and Contrast

Since I've got two weddings under my belt (both to the same man and within 6 months, in case some of you forgot, or never knew) I thought I'd do a little comparison of the two.

First, we had a small ceremony at Point Dume in Malibu.  It was casual, quick and pretty inexpensive.

The pluses for this day all stemmed from it's simplicity.  Yes, there were stressful moments, but the stresses weren't even blips on the radar in comparison to some of the stresses of our big wedding.  So, some people were late, or lost and Malibu has no cell reception, everyone eventually made it so I didn't care.

Everybody, yes everybody

The wedding was small enough that we didn't need any beach permits, I went and bought my dress for $100 at Anthropologie after texting pics to Momma MB, the 'reception' was lunch at a restaurant with cakes made by my uncle, the invites were 1-sided cards printed at home, most of our decorations came from Chinatown, our officiant filed our marriage license paperwork for us, and I had way fewer vendors to deal with (which meant fewer vendors to give me trouble, our officiant and photographer at this wedding were phenomenal, and those were the only two vendors).

See, I just care 'bout kissing and hugging.

If this had been our only wedding, there would have been some definite negatives.  Most of them stemming from the fact that many people that are very important to us wouldn't have been there.  And since I had ideas about my wedding when I was younger and this didn't match those, I would have felt as though I'd lost some of that.  But if you have a small family, and no childhood dreams of a different kind of wedding, then rest assured that this kind of wedding will still give you that special feeling.  There was still that emotional charge of confirming that forever is now with this one other person, and we were still totally blissed out.

All beach wedding photos by Leasa Eisele

Second, there was our large, family oriented, Catholic wedding in Castroville, Texas.  It was still somewhat casual (we're just not black-tie people), decidedly not-quick and still budget-friendly.

Photo by Aunt Annie

This wedding gave me all of those things I always expected.  A dress made by Momma MB, being married in  a pretty church by our family priest, having all of our family members there (we have huge families), carrying a pretty bouquet with Daddy MB walking me down the aisle, seeing Mr. MB at the end of that aisle dressed in his finest, feeding each other cake, being twirled around in a pretty dress by my new husband and Daddy MB and some flower girls.

Photo by Aunt Annie

But with all of that came stress: stress about what to cut from the budget, stress about pleasing all of those family members, stress about planning from another state (I didn't see my venue in person until a month before the wedding), stress about my over-ambitious DIY projects, and stress of dealing with vendors (seriously stressful).

Photo by Uncle Chris

If this had been our only wedding, then Mr. MB wouldn't have gotten his dream of a laid back day spent barefoot in the sand.  Mr. MB really enjoys laid back, his dream is to have a job that will allow him to wear flip-flops, shorts and a t-shirt every day.

If there are any ladies out there on the fence about what kind of wedding to have, I can tell you one thing for certain.  Both days were great, whatever you choose will be the right choice.  There were really big pluses and some minuses to both of our weddings.  And if you feel like you can't have two, I sort of disagree.  What's wrong with keeping Church and State separate?  What's wrong with the bride and groom finding a way to both have what they want?  What's wrong with accounting for the fact that many young people move far away from where they grew up and start new lives?

There are members of our family that simply couldn't have physically come to our wedding in California, but it's the wedding that Mr. Moonbeam always dreamed of.  Planning a wedding in Texas when you live in California is difficult, but it's the wedding I always dreamed of.  And the funny thing is, Mr. Moonbeam and I each loved the other's dream wedding too.

Just for the record, not one person got upset with us for having two weddings.  I didn't even hear of anything being said behind our backs, and word travels fast in our families.

In conclusion, we did what was right for us, and hopefully this lets a few people know that doing what's right for them will be just perfect.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

After the Fact

So, we all know how I felt about our wedding photography, and I'm not going to rehash all of that, but I did still have to make parents photo books for Christmas (I used MyPublisher and the parents loved them), which meant I had to get some pictures done right.  I found Peter Steinhoff on a photography forum and contacted him to see if he could work some magic.  He did what he could to reduce some of the noise, remove the red lines and worked on correcting the color.

 I'm not going to show the original photo, because, quite frankly I feel that would be a bit mean, so I've shown a small portion of the following (from top to bottom) original, edited by John & Whitney Canales and edited by Peter Steinhoff.

The original is super dark, grainy and has that damn red line.  Their edit is black and white because they wouldn't give me color edits, even after I expressed my unhappiness with all the black and white photos.  The edit from Peter is clearer, sufficiently lightened and the color is true, the line has also been removed.

 Edited by John & Whitney Canales.  The line is still there, it's just white and the picture is super grainy.

Edited by Peter Steinhoff, no it's not perfect, but in my opinion it's a miracle considering the starting point.

Because of the cost associated with editing, I only got the pictures of the bridal party walking down the aisle, I did my best to edit the other photos on my own.  I got these photos back after I recapped this portion of the wedding so they didn't get to make their blogging debut until today.

Another edit by Peter Steinhoff

No, it's not the ideal way to get wedding photos, which is why I would certainly recommend finding a reputable and experienced photographer in the first place.  Please, learn from my mistakes, but know that if you find yourself in the same situation, there is hope.  Miracles can't happen, but pictures can  get to a place that makes you happy.

If you'd like to contact Peter, he can be reached at pst@telia.com.

All images taken by John & Whitney Canales, editors are noted.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Under the Harvest Moon: Wrap Up

Sorry about the hiatus, I had 2 whole weeks off for Christmas.  So I fled to Texas for a whirlwind visit, San Antonio, Austin, Houston, Galveston, breakfast tacos!  So good, but anyway, I digress.

After the first dances, the reception slipped into that period of chatting, hanging out, photoboothing and some intermittent dancing.

And I got to dance with flower girls and guest girls, this was my favorite part of weddings growing up, so I loved this part.
Photos above taken by John and Whitney Canales and edited by me

Oh, Uncle James!

Then the Mr. and I headed over to Hotel Alsace to read cards, open a few gifts and crash.

And Mr. Moonbeam was determined to take the least flattering pictures of me, c'est la vie.

The next morning, we met up with the out-of-towners for brunch at the hotel and actually got to talk with some people.

I wish I got to see these ladies more often, but at least I made it to London last year and am planning on Seattle next year.

Sorry, I had to throw in a picture of Mr. Moonbeam holding his cousin's newborn.  Ahh, someday (far, far away Mom).

Then we spent a couple of days hanging out in Castroville and relaxing until we headed back to LA.

This picture pretty much sums up the attitude of Castroville: weathered wood and not so firm business hours.


Newlyweds! Sort of.

I've got just a couple more posts in store for y'all, but this post finishes up the wedding!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Under the Harvest Moon: First Dances

I would like it to start this post out by letting it be known that Mr. Moonbeam did enjoy himself, see proof below, he may 'hate' dancing, but that smile on his face makes me think otherwise.

After the Grand March, we began our first dance as husband and wife surrounded by all of our guests.

Photo taken by Aunt Annie

We chose to dance to 'This Will Be Our Year' by The Zombies.  It's two and a half minutes long (a short song was a big want from Mr. Moonbeam) and I'm in love with the lyrics.  'The warmth of your love is like the warmth of the sun' would have to be my absolute favorite line.

I don't know if it's warmth or confusion with dance steps in his face, but I'll take it.

Mr. Moonbeam also loves all things Zombies (the walking dead kind, not just the band), so it was kind of perfect.

We never got around to dance lessons (maybe Mr. Moonbeam refused to do them), but I did convince him to follow along to some online foxtrot tutorials in our living room  We learned enough to move around the dance floor and execute some twirls rather than just sway for 2.5 minutes.  It ended up being just fine, and check out my dress in action!

Then Daddy Moonbeam and I danced to 'It's a Wonderful World' by Louis Armstrong.  Daddy Moonbeam narrowed it down to a couple of classics and I picked this one.  It's just lovely.

Mr. Moonbeam and his mother danced to 'You Can Never Hold Back Spring' by Tom Waits.  Mr. Moonbeam chose this one all by himself.  I don't really think it had much sentimental meaning, it's just a danceable song by his favorite singer of all time.

Photo taken by Uncle Chris

Then we had a dance with all of the bridal party paired off and guests joined in towards the end.

All photos taken by John and Whitney Canales and edited by me unless otherwise noted.

Miss Anything?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Under the Harvest Moon: The Grand March

Our first anniversary is this Sunday, and while it doesn't look like I'll finish my recaps by then, I am close and I'm really happy my favorite part of the night is up next in the recaps.  It's been quite a year and I'm really glad to look back on this extremely fun half hour.

I have a feeling 'The Grand March' changes itself up for various cultures around the globe, but Mr. Moonbeam is part Czech and it's that part of his family that partakes in this fantastic tradition.

Mr. MB's Aunt and Uncle led everybody throughout the dance.  All of the ladies lined up behind Aunt Debbie and all of the gents lined up behind Uncle Mark.  (Leaders first, then bride and groom, then bridal party, then the guests).

The only real rule is to follow the person in front of you, and it's not terribly necessary that there only be ladies in the ladies line or gents in the gents line, or that there even be a pair of people in each section.  As you can see, we had all kinds of links in our chain.

They snaked us around the dance floor by simply marching to a polka beat with an occasional twirl for the ladies.

Then the ladies line diverged from the mens line and we had two lines snaking around the dance floor.  The lines got a bit tangled, but I think that's supposed to be part of the fun.

After a bit of that the two lines met up again and started making a human tunnel.  Go through the tunnel and add a piece to it, once everyone has gone through the leaders start unmaking the tunnel and going through what is left.

For those who have never done this, apparently pinching and mildly inappropriate patting is the norm, especially if you're the bride and have on a huge skirt that no one can actually feel your anatomy through.

Then a little more snaking around the dance floor until the bride and groom are pushed into the center surrounded by an inner circle of the bridal party, then an outer circle of guests.

The bride and groom dance around in the center and the circles of guests keep dancing around, occasionally raising their arms and moving inward to crowd the bride and groom for a bit before moving outward again.

At some point, the first dance song comes on and the guests stand around and allow the formal dances to start.

Photo taken by Aunt Annie (and definitely my favorite picture of the night)

The whole thing takes about 20-30 minutes and is a great way to get everyone in on the fun.  There's no real skill involved, so even non-dancers can partake, but I was still twirled a lot and was therefore supremely happy.

All photos taken and edited by John and Whitney Canales unless otherwise noted.

Miss Anything?