3.08.2012

I'm Back... with a 16"x20" Canvas Giveaway!

::tap tap tap:: Is this thing on?

Let's not even go into how long it's been since I've posted. I bet some people out there still have my blog in their blog feed, and will be super confused when this pops up. "Who is the IKEA Bride?"

Well, I can't promise that I'm back. In all honesty, I've been much to busy with other endeavors for wedding blogging.

Like... my wedding photography business! :)

So, since ya'll are my peeps (please ignore that I just said that), I thought I'd fill you in on my canvas giveaway.

Now, before you stop reading, let me just say that you do not have to be a client of mine. And you can use whatever photo your heart desires to create your canvas. And you can live anywhere in the continental US to win. Seriously.

To enter, all you have to do is publicly share this video on facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=861882054510

But first, you should watch it. Because I poured hours upon hours of my time into creating this from scratch, and I'm super proud of how it turned out. I feel kinda proud of myself, actually.

If you're interested, you can see all the details about the giveaway here: http://kellybentonphotography.blogspot.com/2012/03/canvas-giveaway-contest-fort-wayne.html

And you can find out how to earn even more entries!

So please share the video. And tell your friends to share it. Because free canvases are awesome!

8.18.2011

The Last Feast

(Update on Photos: We still haven't seen a single professional photo. When I called our photographer at week 5 1/2, he said that he changed his workflow a few months back, and now it takes 7-8 weeks. This upcoming Saturday will mark 8 weeks since the wedding, and if we don't see something by then, I'm unsure how to proceed. I don't want to pester him, but I'm reeeeally anxious to see photos. It's getting to the point where they don't even seem real to me anymore... and Ryan has completely stopped caring. That's sad.)


After our rehearsal ended, we were all starving and ready for some dinner. Our large crew headed over to the Distinctive Cork, which was right across the street from my church. One funny thing I recall from that night is standing around the church lobby as everyone filtered out, and realizing I was all alone. I looked around for Ryan, but didn't see him, so I headed to my car and gave him a call.

Kelly: "Hi."
Ryan: "Hi."
Kelly: "Uhh... where are you?"
Ryan: "On my way to dinner with my parents."
Kelly: "Oh."
Ryan: "Where are you?"
Kelly: "At the church, waiting for you."

Woops. Silly me... I had assumed that my soon-to-be husband would want to drive with me to the rehearsal dinner so we could enter together. Instead, I ended up showing up behind everyone else, alone and lugging a ton of gifts, like a total weirdo.

Shame on you, Ryan.

When I arrived, the party was already in full swing. We had the entire restaurant to ourselves, and our guests were enjoying the open bar and hors d'oeuvres.


Ryan and I found a little time to chat with family and friends...






Sadly, I have no photos of the food (my photography skills were off duty wedding weekend), but it was delicious. Hors d'oeuvres were gourmet chicken and beef sliders.

Our bridal party had our own table, which was pushed off to the side a bit. It was nice having a chance to catch up with everyone that just got into town that day.






The main course was a choice of Pork Chop, Salmon, or Asparagus Risotto.


The kids got some sort of pasta (which looked delicious)...


After dinner was over, I wanted to make sure I passed out gifts before our guests started to leave. So I stood up, gave a general "thank you" to the crowd, and handed out our gifts to the bridal party and our parents. My parents received a digital picture frame, and Ryan's parents received a gift card to a restaurant back in Philly. Apparently I was too late with the gift-giving, because my brother and his girlfriend had snuck out at some point.


After the gifts were given, Ryan's mom gave a lovely toast. I wish someone had thought to videotape it, because it made both Ryan and I tear up a little. I'm very lucky to be joining such a wonderful family.

After all that, I went to grab some dessert, but it was mostly gone. Ryan's mom had ordered some mini-desserts, but the restaurant staff put them on display before any of our guests got there. So when people arrived, they scarfed the desserts while they waited for real food. Along with that, there were only enough desserts for two per person... but I saw people walking around with over 5 on their plates. Isn't it funny the little things that stick in your mind and irritate you?

Overall, everyone had a great time. Ryan's family did a wonderful job putting on such a spectacular dinner from 3 states away. There were rave reviews about the food and location.

Next up... Hopefully I get some professional photos so I can start the wedding recaps!

8.05.2011

Practice Makes Perfect

The day before our wedding was a Friday. I work up early, and headed to the nail salon.

I was just getting a manicure since I had gotten my pedicure earlier in the week (I got an airbrush tan, and they told me to have my nails done beforehand so it doesn't stain my nails). That airbrush tan is a whole other story. And the gist of that story is that it was waaayyy too dark for me. I am one seriously pasty girl. So I had to literally scrub my skin every time I showered so I looked normal on my wedding day and non super tan like this...


I know that may seem normal to most people... but it's way too dark for me (and it was the third day of my airbrush tan... so imagine how crazy dark it was the first day!) I'm usually one of those girls who turns red, not brown... so it was definitely obvious.

Anyway. So I got a gel manicure. I would totally recommend it. It was awesome not having to wait for my nails to dry. They were a little rubbery feeling, but I got used to that. And the manicure lasting straight through my honeymoon and beyond

Joining me at the salon was my mom, my future MIL, my future SIL, and one of our flower girls...





After my nails were done, I got a phone call from my Maid of Honor that she had arrived in town. Yayyy! Ryan picked me up at the salon and we met up with my Maid of Honor to run some errands. All our decorations needed to be taken to our reception venue, and the desserts for the rehearsal dinner needed to be picked up.

After all that was done, I went home, showered and dressed, and we all headed to the church for the rehearsal. Everyone was on time for the most part, so we got straight down to business by lining up in the front of the church...


I hung tight to the ribbon bouquet from my bridal shower...


After we were all lined up, the church coordinator sent us out to practice the procession. It was the first time I noticed how alone I would be waiting out there to walk in. It was just me, my Dad, and the flower girls (who loved my bouquet). I started to get really nervous...


The bridal party member who needed the most practice was Ryan's nephew, our ringbearer. He was extremely shy with all those people watching him. So when his time came, he walked very slowly down the aisle with his shirt pulled up and his hands in his mouth...

My Dad and I practiced our walk in. I plastered a gigantic grin on my face. Everyone commented on how happy I looked, but I was just doing it so the nervousness wouldn't show. Inside, I was freaking out a little...




The Pastor ran through the ceremony, and had us practice our lines. I spent a lot of the time staring at the floor or looking around because I knew that if I looked into Ryan's eyes while saying those words, I might cry (or puke)...

  

I was thrilled when the rehearsal was done. Let's go eat!


Again with the cheesy smile...


Before we left the church, the Pastor led us in a group prayer...



The last photo at the church was one of Ryan and I with our parents. I'm so glad we got this. It's a great photo... 


 Next up... our awesome rehearsal dinner!

8.04.2011

Honeymooning in Mexico

Update on the pro photos: I called our photographer yesterday. He said he would have our photos online for viewing at 7-8 weeks. So we have another week or two to wait until we see anything ::minor sad face::

In the meantime, I'll share with you our awesome honeymoon to the all-inclusive resort, Excellence Playa Mujeres. If you're an avid reader of Weddingbee (aren't we all?!), then you'll recognize this as the same place that Mrs. Penguin and Mrs. Elephant went on their honeymoons. No coincidence... this resort is phenomenal.

On to the photos!

When we arrived at the resort, we were greeted with hot towels and champagne. I look a little beaten from the travel, but we were thrilled to finally be there...


We stayed in a Junior Excellence Club Oceanview Suite. Excellence Club is basically the VIP section of the resort. Our room had a honeymoon banner on it during out stay. I'd say about 1/3 of all the doors we saw had some sort of banner on them...


When we walked into our room, we saw a bouquet of flowers with a welcome letter...


... Along with fresh fruit and a bottle of champagne (which we never drank, because the bottle wouldn't fit in our mini fridge, and warm champagne is gross)...



Our suite had a jacuzzi that opened to our patio overlooking the ocean...


After all the wedding planning and wedding week overload, it was truly wonderful to spend a week just relaxing by the beach with a drink in hand...


 




One of the only times we set foot in the ocean...
 

I loved all the comfy beds and hammocks around the resort. I took a daily nap around 3pm to sleep off the booze and refresh myself for our evening ahead. These beds were the perfect setting for that...


As for entertainment, there was plenty of it at the resort. They had shows every night...


Ryan even got called up on stage during the Circus show (he's second from the left)...



We brought some cards and small games to keep us busy between dinner and the evening shows...


 We did take one excursion off the resort. We went to Selvatica to do some zip-lining and 4-wheeling. We don't have any photos of that (they want you to purchase them, and I just look terrified in most of the pictures!), but we have some photos of us hanging out at the base camp, along with swimming in the cenote after our 4-wheeling adventure...





 

But the best part of our honeymoon was the reason you go to an all-inclusive resort... the free food and alcohol!











 

Free room service is the greatest idea ever...



It was all totally delicious, and I ate dessert with almost every meal. I gained, NO JOKE, 8 pounds during our honeymoon. Ryan gained 7. It was ridiculously awesome. When we returned home, all I wanted to do was shove my face and drink mimosas every morning. Too bad real life isn't like that.
  
That's pretty much our honeymoon... a lot of lazing around and eating. Overall, we had an amazing time, and would recommend the Excellence Playa Mujeres to anyone. Any complaints I had about the resort were minor, and have since been forgotten.

It was the perfect way to start off our marriage.
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