TELLING STORIES. SHARING LOVE.
Los Angeles fairytale engagement // ©2017 Sun & Sparrow Los Angeles fairytale engagement photographers
From the groom: I never imagined that any of my teenage dreams would come true, let alone my dream of marrying my high school sweetheart. From the moment I laid my eyes on her, I knew she would be the one that would forever change my life. And, if I might add, she has changed my life for the better. For many years Crystal and I had dreamed about the idea of marriage. We planned about our future home with children and how we would grow old together. Unfortunately, in the midst of our dreams, we had news that would change our lives forever. When we heard the diagnosis that Crystal had breast cancer at such a young age, our dreams were put on hold to fight for her life. We battled and had an up and down fight, but Crystal finally won! After 8 years of loving my girl, through all the pain, and a hard fight with breast cancer, I knew it was finally time to take hold of our dreams of marriage and a family that we had put aside.
My plan to propose was simple, but stealthy. I contacted her aunt and asked if she would take us out to a field and take photos. I posed to Crystal that her aunt just wanted to “try out her new camera.” But in reality, I wanted to have the moment when I get down on one knee and ask Crystal to be my wife. The day we went out, it was a beautiful spring day with the flowers for miles. Now, I do want to mention that I had the whole event planned out, but none of the plan happened. Ten minutes into our “photo shoot” I couldn’t contain my composure as my nerves had been getting to me. Before it was time, I dropped down to one knee and the question had come out, “Will you marry me?” To my surprise, she (and I) was absolutely shocked! She had no clue that I would pop the question! But without a beat, she answered, “Yes!” My heart pumped at one million beats per minute and everything was blurred. I couldn’t come back to my senses and even put the ring on her finger. I would almost say I was in shock, but to more accurately put it, I was in complete awe. The day and my proposal could not have been more perfect. I can’t wait for the day to come, to give our vows before our family and friends and officially become Husband and Wife.
Fairytale wedding at Oak Canyon Nature Center // ©2017 Sun & Sparrow Orange County wedding photographers
FROM THE BRIDE // I was actually surprised at how calm and aware I was. When I saw Robert for our first look, I thought it was so funny that he looked more nervous than me! I was super blessed to have a great wedding coordinator, my mom, my maid of honor and my bridesmaids (and bridesmen) who took care of me and made sure I had nothing to worry about. Robert and I loved that so many of our friends and family could be there, especially since a lot of them are from out of town. We can’t imagine a better day.
One thing that I remember best was our first dance. I absolutely loved that moment of pure bliss. All of the stress of the wedding had completely melted away and it was just us for that moment. I sigh just thinking about how special it was. Robert says that our first look did the same for him… But I beg to differ. 🙂
When considering my wedding day, I wanted all of my decor to have a whimsical and woodland feel. I’m from New Jersey originally, where there are lots and lots of trees. When I showed some Californians my hometown on Google Earth, they said, “you lived in a FOREST!!” I would have never called it that myself, but I guess that explains why I like trees! I guess that’s what I loved about this venue – all the greenery and the way it plays with the light. Robert and I also got to know each other in the beginning while hiking and biking in a lot of Orange County’s parks, so the park scene was very meaningful to us in that way.
If I could offer brides one bit of advice, I would love to offer one thing, definitely go with your gut, and stick with it. Don’t go on Pinterest late at night. And make sure you carve out time for just you and your new husband on the Big Day! We are so thankful for our first look and our private limo ride!
First off, let me just share how happy and grateful I am to be a guest blogger here on Sun and Sparrow! I had the pleasure of meeting Tiffani over five years ago and have loved every moment of our friendship. When she started Sun and Sparrow, I excitedly followed her success and looked forward to the day when she would photograph my marriage. My husband and I have done four separate shoots with Tiffani, each one being more fun and magical than the last. When she asked me if I would like to come over to the blog and share some wedding and marriage tips for her current and future brides, I immediately said YES!
What I would love to share with you all today are my tips for creating the perfect personlized wedding day. There is nothing quite like having a wedding that is so uniquely you and your fiancé. Not only will you feel at home in the beautiful design that you create, but your guests will absolutely love all the little personalized details. Here are some tips that helped me and my husband (Miles) as we planned our big day.
1. Become familiar with Etsy : My husband is a tattoo artist, and I am a home baker and amateur needle felter. We are always creating little pieces of art with our hands. We wanted to make sure that our wedding day highlighted our love for handcrafted art, and what better place to find amazing artisans than on Etsy? Let me just break down how much my husband and I used Etsy for our wedding day: I worked with a jeweler to create a custom necklace and pair of earrings. I had a custom tie clip and cufflinks created for my husband. We a needle felter from Bulgaria create our cake topper. I had two custom return address stamps created for our invitations and save the dates. I ordered a customized wax seal for our invitations. I purchased my garters from an artist in China. We had a customized guest book created for us. We also had customized table numbers, favor stickers, rehearsal dinner invitations, and programs created by a number of incredible graphic artists. Bottom line… if you want to have beautiful, handcrafted items at your wedding that you can be sure no one else will have, Etsy is for you!
2. Embrace symbols & your wedding brand: Using symbols is a great way to personalize your wedding. It can take a little bit of time to find something(s) that is relevant to your relationship. Luckily, this came pretty easy for my husband and I. His (and now my) last name is Foxworthy, so as you might imagine, we have a thing for foxes. Because of our love for our last name, we knew that we wanted it to be a large part of our wedding. As I mentioned before, Miles is an artist, so he painted our last name’s initial and turned it into an awesome sticker that was placed at each setting. We also gave subtle nods to foxes throughout our wedding. Our cake toppers were adorable needle felted foxes. Miles’ tie clip was a silver fox. I had a beautiful embroidered “F” on my handkerchief. And the finishing touch on all of our wedding invitations was a golden, wax sealed fox. These small details did not go unnoticed by guests, and we were complimented on our attention to detail all throughout the night. It is so worth the little bit of extra effort!
3. Do it yourself : As brides-to-be, we all scour Pinterest looking for easy DIY projects that can save us a buck or two. I absolutely LOVED DIY projects when I was getting married, and I encourage all brides to embrace their crafty side! Your guests will be so impressed to know that you created some of your awesome decor with your own two hands. My husband and I created our escort card display over the course of a couple of weeks. I made our chocolate pretzel favors the day before the wedding. I crafted our table number holders. I painted the box for our wedding cards. My husband and I handpicked over 45 different cigar boxes to serve as our centerpieces. I purchased (or made) all of the candy, popcorn, and decor for our popcorn bar. And Miles painted each name in script on our escort cards. Customizing your wedding takes a lot of time and effort, but the pay off is so awesome. I encourage you all to do as much as you can yourself, whether that be making your own favors, creating signs, making your own invitations, or even creating your own centerpieces. I personally went so far as to write our ceremony (with the exception of my husband’s vows of course). The most important part of all of this is that it feels like you and your fiancé, so always keep that in mind while planning.
4. Think outside the box. : How many weddings have you been to that were almost a complete repeat of another wedding? All weddings are special and beautiful, no matter how similar they are to other weddings, but if you really want yours to stand out from the rest, you have to think outside the box. There are certain things that we have all come to expect at weddings: photo booths, mason jars, roses, black tuxes… you guys know what I mean. Let me make myself clear–there is nothing wrong with any of the things I just listed. You cannot go wrong with the classics! However, if you want a customized wedding day, you will want to try something different. Consider switching a few things up, like wearing a blush dress or having your groom try on a blue suit. Maybe try some exotic flowers or do away with the cake and go for pie instead. Do not be afraid to try something that veers away from tradition. This day is all about you and your fiancé, not everyone else. My husband and I opted for a flip book photo booth instead of the traditional photo booth. We also hired an amazing silhouette artist to hand cut our guests’ silhouettes throughout cocktail hour and our reception. As I mentioned above, we used cigar boxes to hold our florals instead of vases or mason jars. At the end of the day, we were able to look around at all of our hard work and say, “Yes, this is us.” Think about the wedding that you truly want to have, and don’t be afraid to have it! -Flip Books by Pink Shutter https://pinkshutter.com
5. Don’t give up on your dream wedding : When thinking about your dream wedding, it’s very important that you look for your wedding vendors wisely. When you are spending so much time planning all of your details, it can feel overwhelming when trying to make the right choices with your decor and your vendors. Make sure that you choose vendors that you connect with, especially your photographers, florist, and wedding coordinators. Your photographer, florist & coordinator will really make or break your wedding experience!! Make sure that everyone has the same vision as you do. When your vendors love your vision and can really look forward to seeing your dream wedding come true, that will ensure that you can AND WILL have an awesome wedding day.
MY FAVORITE VENDORS :
phototography // Sun & Sparrow Photography
wedding coordinators // In Love Events
florist // Flower Allie http://www.flowerallieweddings.com
Lastly, Prepare for the post wedding-blues : I loved planning my wedding so much that I felt completely lost for a good month after the wedding. I had no idea what to do with myself after the madness had come and gone. My advice to you all is to breathe it in and enjoy every second of the planning process, even those rip-your-hair-out-moments. You will only get to do it once, and surprisingly, you may miss it when it’s gone.
All photos ©2015 Sun & Sparrow Photography
©2016 Sun & Sparrow Photography // Barn wedding at Strawberry Farms in Irvine
FROM THE BRIDE // Over the years I have always been fond of rustic weddings and weddings in barns, so when I got engaged I already knew I wanted a rustic wedding/décor. When I went to look at Strawberry Farms Golf Course and saw the barn, I knew right away that that’s where I wanted Ryan and me to get married. I loved the idea of having a fall wedding and using navy and burnt orange as our wedding colors. I used all of these pieces to help inspire me while I was planning and creating the decor for our wedding.
I could not have asked for our wedding day to have gone any better than it did. The day was filled with so many amazing moments it’s hard to just pick out one moment that was most memorable. But if I had to choose, it would probably be walking down the aisle and seeing my future husband standing at the end, waiting to say our vows in front of all our family and friends.
When I started the wedding planning process I knew that picking the right photographers was top priority. I knew the day was going to go by fast, because of this, I wanted someone that would be able to capture all the priceless moments of our special day. A friend recommended Sun & Sparrow after using them for their own wedding. After looking at their work and seeing how amazing all their pictures looked, I knew that they were the ones that I wanted to be our photographers on our big day.
My advice to future brides would be to don’t let the stress of planning the wedding get in the way of you enjoying how amazing it is to be marrying the one you love. Also make sure to enjoy the day of the wedding because it may sound like you have heard it a thousand times, but it really does go by in blink of an eye. So don’t let the little things get to you, relax and remember that the day is for you and your future husband, so enjoy it.
Ryan and I were together for 7 years prior to getting married, so it is so nice being able to call him my husband. It still puts a big smile on my face every time. I love everything about being married and knowing I get to spend the rest of my life with such an amazing guy.