When you're engaged, much of your focus is spent planning your wedding day, of course, but there's so much great stuff that comes after you get hitched. Because let's be real, I've been dreaming about my future husband and my future home since I was 8. Forget the wedding dress and cake flavors, it was all about what kind of gadgets and plates my kitchen would have. So in the spirit of all things wedding + marriage, I've started a series called The Married Life. Because everything that comes after your wedding day is just as fun (actually more so), than everything before. I'm currently loving the calm, relaxed vibe that's created from a collection of house plants, mid-century furniture, a touch of macrame, indigo blues, and just about anything copper. Here's a little roundup of a few found things that I've scoped out for our humble abode.
You can also see our wedding featured here on Style Me Pretty, so, yay!
May 2nd was a pretty perfect day. On that beautiful Saturday, Jake and I were married. We were so overwhelmed to finally see our closest friends and family in one place, chowing down on tacos and sippin' margaritas by the beach. For those that don't know, we got married at our friend's beautiful beach house in San Clemente, CA (we like that friend a lot...). The lush, Spanish-style home was such a lovely and casual backdrop for our day, which was really just one awesome party with 65 of our closest friends. We feel incredibly blessed to have had the opportunity to celebrate there!
My sisters, brother-in-law, Jake and I, all stayed the night at the house before the wedding, then woke up slowly, and enjoyed breakfast and coffee together before the festivities began. I can't express how much I loved this! It was so nice to spend the morning all together, eatin' bacon and getting excited for the day. At 10am, Jake and I kissed each other goodbye and went our separate ways to get all spiffed up (girls upstairs, guys downstairs). Champagne in hand, we got prettified as I did my best to soak up every moment. Prepare for photo overload...
Jake and I opted not to see each other before the ceremony, but still set aside a few minutes to pray over our marriage together. Man, that was special, guys. If you don't plan to do a "First Look" I still highly recommend doing something along these lines, which is technically called a "First Touch" (not a fan of that phrase because it makes that moment feel so cookie-cutter, which is far from it, but you get the idea!). You get so few moments together on your wedding day so anything you can do to maximize that time is really, really awesome.
An enormous "thank you" to my incredible photographer, Danielle Poff, who captured every moment so perfectly.
It's been only a month of full-time self employment, but I get asked a lot why I left my big-girl job, risked the safety net of a consistent income and started my own venture. I must admit, it's by far the scariest thing I've ever done and the most rewarding! Is this what parenthood is like? I'm going to pretend that it's just like that ;)
Somewhere along the road , we get caught up in the tedious tasks and responsibilites that consume our days. We think things like, "Well I have to work 9-5 at a desk in order to pay my bills...", "I have to work for a horrible boss...", "I have to work at least 50 weeks per year at a job that I just tolerate...". And somewhere in the grind, I realized that I was sticking to the concept of "I have to do this, I have to do that." Where was there room for the 'I wants'"? Usually just on my weekends. There are endless reasons why I created Plum & Oak, but here are few of the most important "wants" that I knew I needed in my life.
I Wanted to Add Something Beautiful to the World
It's cheesy and cliché, but sincere and real. I so badly wanted to add something positive and in it's simplest form, pretty, to this world. I didn't feel like I was doing that where I was before, at a desk and working for someone else. Don't get me wrong, you can do incredible things in nearly any position you're in, but I knew I had to pursue my unending love for photography in order to make that happen. I knew I had to foster my creative juices on a daily basis or life would be too mundane for me. Most importantly, I had to create. Creating images was my outlet and I wanted to make it my career.
I Wanted to Add Something Unique to the Industry
In becoming a wedding photographer, I didn't want to replicate what others in the business were already doing. I felt there was a gap in wedding photography, where honesty, authenticity and real images were missing. There are a few photographers out there that are absolutely nailing this, and I wanted to add to this movement in my own way. Less posing, or at least, less unnatural posing. More depth. Less "business" between me and a bride and groom, more real connection. This is my poorly concealed way of saying, I want to be your best friend by the time you're twirling on the dance floor of your reception. No, but really...
I Wanted to Work With Good People
"Be a kind human." That's one of my favorite sentences of all time. Working in customer service for many years can take its toll on you...oh boy. It's a funny concept to work in customer service, the fact that this is an actual category of work. But it exists and when you work for someone else, you don't have much control over who your clientele is. At the end of this short life, I want to say I worked with some amazing, hardworking people. Ones that value marriage, creativity and authenticity. I want to surround myself with these types of people on a daily basis. And man, that's hard to find! While I know I can't control this completely, crafting my own business allows me, in many ways, to choose who I want to work with. Maybe not directly, but rather in the way I reveal myself and Plum & Oak's values. I want to support vendors that value professionalism, ethics and ridiculously gorgeous work. And I want to attract those earnest, lovely couples, who value a beautiful marriage over a perfect wedding day. The romantics of life. Because they're out there and I'm sure they are looking for the same type of person in a photographer. (Oh hey, here I am!)
I Wanted to Be in Charge of My Own Brand
Maybe it's the marketing and business background in me, but oh man, I love a solid, real, humanized brand! One that isn't afraid to be a little out of the box, fun or ridiculous, while maintaining their classy professionalism. A brand is more than a logo or a website. It's how you interact with people, it's what you post on social media and it's how you interact with a client on a wedding day. I've dreamt of creating a sincere and relatable brand for years! I want to be all the things I envision in a real photographer: one who will make sure you have a glass of champagne in hand right after you say "I Do", one who works with you to create an engagement shoot for the books, and shimmys (is this a word? It is now) with you on the dance floor (I can't dance, but I try...).
This is all a lengthy way of saying: I wanted to surround myself with good things and good people who value the big picture of life. Plum & Oak isn't for everyone and that is a good thing. That's a great thing! But I know who it is for: the beauty-seekers, the do-gooders and the romantics. Because life is far too short for anything less.