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!