Lauren and Jeff: A Vintage E-session by Ashley Rose

I've been holding onto these images by Ashley Rose for... well, way too long. Between my new job and my other blog, I've definitely neglected poor little Mason Jar Bride.

But in addition to being Mother's Day (love you Mom!), it's also my birthday (!), which means I've had absolutely zero obligations today and I finally had the chance to sit down and share this beautiful Engagement Session with you.

I first met Lauren back when I was working at The White Dress. She was one of the kindest, sweetest, and most adorable brides I ever had the pleasure of working with. I helped her choose her gorgeous Cymbeline wedding gown and I know she is going to make an absolutely radiant bride. I hope she and Jeff will let me share some pictures from their upcoming wedding too!

Lauren is also one of the luckiest brides you could ever meet, because she has a rockstar team behind her. She hired my coordinator/co-designer/florist/all-around-wonder-woman Jesi Haack, plus she's got the talented eye of Miss Ashley Rose behind the lens.

Lauren and Jeff are obviously smitten with each other and they have style to boot! I know y'all are going to LOVE their Engagement Session. Enjoy :)

Lauren, Jeff, and Ashley: Thanks so much for letting me share these gorgeous pictures! Can't wait to see shots from the wedding day!


It's Been 6 Months

...and I still have my bouquet. How many brides can say that?!

It's hard to believe it's only been six months since our wedding day... it feels like we've been married for years! Even after such a short time being married, our love for each other has deepened in ways I couldn't have predicted or imagined. It's awesome.

And... I have a bit of an announcement to make. I don't know if any of you have been wondering why my posts have been so scarce around here, but yes, I do have a good reason, and no, I'm not pregnant. (We're gonna wait a few more years for kiddies.)

The thing is, Curt and I started a new project together a couple months ago. I'd like to introduce you all to...

I won't try to describe it here because it really can't be summed up... but I'll just say that it has a little something for everyone. So go check it out, leave us a comment, follow us on twitter and be our fan on facebook! pretty pretty please?

So there ya go, that's why MJB has been getting quieter and quieter. But I do have the rest of my recaps and a few other things lined up. So stay tuned, and come visit me over on GBM too!




Wedding Day, Part 2: The First Look

There seems to be a lot of debate among brides when it comes to the First Look/No First Look debate. Some couples want to save that moment for when the bride walks down the aisle. Others want to allow more time for pictures. It's totally a personal decision and I don't think that one way is necessarily better than the other.
We opted for a first look for several reasons: 1. Plenty of time for pictures 2. Plenty of daylight for pictures 3. A chance to spend time together and really enjoy the exciting lead-up to the ceremony 4. No need to feel rushed 5. We wouldn't keep our friends and family waiting post-ceremony 5. Opportunity to hang out at Union Station and grab some rad pictures... etc. etc. Clearly, we were very committed to getting lots of great pictures and for us that was the primary reason for doing a first look. In any case, we're both so glad we ended up going this route! I feel like it gave us the chance to really absorb the wide range of emotions we felt that day, and to have some fun and laugh off any remaining jitters.

Did you/will you take any pictures before your ceremony?

*all images by the amazing Sarah K. Chen


Wedding Day, Part 1: Getting Ready

Waking up on the morning of my wedding was kind of surreal. I was feeling so many intense emotions, but mostly I was just so ready to finally marry Curt. And that feeling kept me grounded (and surprisingly relaxed) up until the moment I started walking down the aisle. But that's for another post...

After the rehearsal brunch on Saturday morning, I packed up my car full of stuff for the wedding and drove up to our apartment in L.A. Curt and I spent the rest of the afternoon making sangria and organizing last minute details. Oh, and I baked a carrot cake. And some brownie pops. For the dessert bar. Yeah I'm kind of crazy. But baking is like my zen thing... so it was all good.

That night, we gathered everyone who was in town for an impromptu pizza party at the Standard's outdoor fire pit. It was the perfect chance for everyone to relax. And at that point I was like eff eating healthy because come on it wasn't going to make any difference. So I ate my pizza and it was delicious. Everyone hung out in our hotel room for a few hours and then parted ways. Once I realized my grandma (who, bless her heart, sounds like an engine revving when she snores) was going to be sharing our room, I decided to crash with my in-laws at their hotel across the street. I need my sleep, yo! Thankfully, Corrie is the best sister-in-law ever and she shared her bed with me. Thanks, Corrie :) Surprisingly, I slept like a log. Probably just the result of sheer exhaustion, but I was grateful for it. Even though I didn't have to be ready until noon, I ended up waking up around 8:00 because (eeep!) I still hadn't quite finished writing my vows. But I woke up feeling so refreshed and clearheaded that I perfected them in about 20 minutes.

After that, it was just a matter of relaxing and killing time until I had to start getting ready. Eventually, the girls started arriving and Jesi stopped by the hotel to drop off the bouquets. Before we knew it, Sarah and her team were there with their cameras ready!

My lovely maid of honor Sarina did a fabulous job with my hair. Why pay someone $100+ when your best friend can do it for free? My sister/matron of honor Heather let me borrow her "bride" robe to get ready in. It's not usually my style to wear anything bedazzled, but I have to admit it made changing into my dress super easy.

Our room at the Standard had this huge window which was the perfect place for doing my make-up. It was already shaping up to be a nice sunny day so the light was perfect!

Sarina did Heather's hair, too, and it was gorgeous! That girl's got skills, I tell ya.

Ok, this one requires a little explanation. No, my mom is not crying because her baby girl is all grown up and getting married. Nope. She's crying because she almost lost my engagement ring. See, while I was busy applying my makeup I handed her my ring and a little toothbrush I use for cleaning it. I wanted to make sure it was nice and sparkly. Well, there she was, scrubbing my ring to a shine when --oops!-- right down the drain it goes. She's panicking, crying, freaking out... I'm completely oblivious. My brother-in-law Michael was able to get it out in a matter of seconds, so it really wasn't that big of a deal, but my mom apparently didn't stop crying for about 10 minutes. Speaking of Michael...

...best brother-in-law ever! Throughout the day he was there making sure I was ok, seeing if I needed anything or if there was anything he could help with.

Ok, can we talk about these bouquets for a minute? Jesi is a GENIUS, y'all. I can't believe she convinced me that she could turn kale into a gorgeous bouquet, but I'm so glad I trusted her because they were amazing! A few days before the wedding, my mom and I met her at the flower district in downtown L.A. and we were like kids in a candy store picking everything out. It was so much fun, not to mention a huge savings! Total cost of ALL the florals, minus the succulents, was about $200. And when I post all the detail shots you'll see that we got copious amounts of flowers. If you're having a SoCal wedding I'd definitely recommend going this route. By the way, how cool are those leaves? They're actually eucalyptus leaves that happened to be dyed the perfect shade of plum. Those were a very lucky find.

When I told Jesi I wanted to incorporate succulents in my bouquet, she totally ran with it. I love that she added the peacock feather and baby's breath too! My mom carried baby's breath when she married my dad so it was a really meaningful touch. The pearls are my dad's mother's, who passed away when I was pretty young. I don't remember her very well but I've always loved the classic simplicity of her pearls, and they were the perfect "something old."

And the perfect "something new"... my shoes. LOVE them.

The girls picked their own dresses from Melissa Sweet/Priscilla of Boston. A word of advice: don't be a dress Nazi when it comes to your bridesmaids. Nobody likes looking like a clone. Just sayin'.

Mom zipping me up. Super-freckle-y back. But my arms are toned! woo-hoo! Thanks Jillian!

Finishing touches...

Oh la la! This one was just for fun... sorry if I blinded anyone with my thighs.

I love this shot that Sarah captured. Aren't my sister's sandals cute?

Ready to go! This picture pretty much sums up how I felt the whole day. I couldn't stop smiling!


San Diego Brides: This one's for you!

Justine Murray is a bridal accessory genius. I could sing her praises all day long.

I felt so lucky to wear a few of her fabulous creations on my wedding day:

So, if you live in the San Diego or Orange County area, don't miss Justine's trunk show this Saturday! Here are the deets:

Saturday, Feb. 27 (call for appointment)

Chez Bride Moderne, La Jolla, CA

*Mention Mason Jar Bride and Justine will give you 10% off any of her amazing designs!

Can't make it to the San Diego event? Don't worry, Justine will also be showing her collection in Orange County and L.A., and she's making a special trip to the Bay Area April 30-May 1! Check out her website for more details.

Rehearsal Brunch

Kathryn, Sarina, Michael (bro-in-law), and Heather (my sis)!

I really wish I had more pictures from this day. But I much prefer the role of "hostess" over "photographer" so I was buzzing around all morning, making sure everyone tried my cinnamon rolls... and I barely remembered to pick up my camera.

And it seems that hardly anyone else took pictures... maybe they were distracted by how delicious the cinnamon rolls were. Hmmm.... well, in any case I have a couple of my own, and the rest were shamelessly stolen from my sister's facebook page.

When Curt and I were trying to figure out what to do for a rehearsal, we threw around a lot of ideas... we knew the chances of an actual rehearsal at Marvimon were pretty slim, plus even if we could reserve the space for an hour on the morning before the wedding, it seemed silly to drag everyone over there just so they could walk down an aisle. It's not that hard. They're all smart people and I had faith in them. So we decided to have a small, casual brunch at my in-laws' house on Saturday morning, and do a quick little rehearsal in the backyard. Easy peasy.

my Maw-Maw and my Dad

Pastor Ryan showed up and I introduced him to my family members who had come from out of town, while simultaneously handing him a plate of food... maybe playing hostess helped me feel more in my element and it calmed me down, I don't know. But I honestly wasn't stressed out or nervous at all about the wedding. I was just uncontrollably happy and full of adrenaline!

my momma and me!

Once everyone was stuffed, we gathered in the backyard and Jesi and I got everyone organized. Leland, one of our good friends from college, was going to be playing acoustic guitar for the processional, and I completely trusted him to improvise and still sound amazing. He offered to come up from San Diego for the rehearsal but I didn't want him to have to make the drive two days in a row. It didn't matter, he was absolutely perfect, just like I knew he'd be. No one had to worry about memorizing a certain spot in the music, they just walked when Jesi said "go" and Leland played along. He's the best!!!!

not really sure what's going on with Ryan's face here...

So we walked through the processional, and once everyone was in the right spot, Ryan talked us through the ceremony. I won't go into any details right now because the ceremony was HANDS DOWN my favorite part of the day and I'll be writing a nice hefty post on it... but anyway we talked through the main points and practiced our kiss....

sneak attack! haha

And that was it! Simple, fun, and delicious. That's the way (uh-huh uh-huh) I like it.

Next: The morning of the wedding! Getting ready at the amazing Standard Hotel.


First Things First

let's get caught up...

I mentioned that Curt and his buddies did something pretty non-traditional for his bachelor party. Over Labor Day weekend, the guys kidnapped Curt and took him up to Big Pine (close to Bishop, CA) for a camping/fishing/hiking trip. They slept in tents and bathed in a stream and made a Craps table out of cardboard, and Curt had a blister on his heel the size of a golf ball when he got home. No joke. But they had a lot of fun. And come on, this is a much nicer setting than a Vegas strip club (I guess that depends on who you ask. but whatever):

My bachelorette party was a bit more typical, but none of the standard penis-shaped accessories. Thank God. Instead, Sarina and Kathryn made me a really cute veil headband, which was far less embarrassing. We went out to one of my favorite spots, Nick's in Laguna Beach, the Friday night before the wedding (remember, our wedding was on a Sunday).

Even my grandma got in on the action... that's her in the middle, and my mom on the right.

Corrie got me some granny panties and wrote "10th Anniversary" on the butt. Or was it 5th?

The girls had to throw in at least one traditional make-the-bride-do-something-embarrassing move... at some point one of the bartenders brought me a "BJ shot." I'm sure you can guess what the rules are when downing this particular drink...

"Look, ma! No hands!"

I know I'm going to regret posting this next shot, but for the sake of full disclosure...

Ok, yeah. Moving right along...

This is Betty. I'm pretty sure that wasn't her real name but somehow that's what we ended up calling her. She was really drunk and she really liked Corrie. And she bought shots for the whole table. Oh, Betty. You are one crazy lady.

The whole group: Corrie, Kathryn, Me, my grandma, my mom, my sister Heather, Rachelle, and Sarina.

LOVE these girls. So much.

So there ya go! Nothing too crazy, but it was still crazy fun. Stay tuned for the rehearsal brunch... unfortunately I only have like 2 pictures of it, boo :(

After that, wedding day recaps! So excited!