Wedding Details

Baker Wedding - June 2014 -Beth York Photography
Baker Wedding - June 2014 -Beth York Photography
Baker Wedding - June 2014 -Beth York Photography
Baker Wedding - June 2014 -Beth York Photography
Baker Wedding - June 2014 -Beth York Photography
Baker Wedding - June 2014 -Beth York Photography
Baker Wedding - June 2014 -Beth York Photography
Baker Wedding - June 2014 -Beth York Photography
Baker Wedding - June 2014 -Beth York Photography
Baker Wedding - June 2014 -Beth York Photography
Baker Wedding - June 2014 -Beth York Photography
Baker Wedding - June 2014 -Beth York Photography
Baker Wedding - June 2014 -Beth York Photography
Baker Wedding - June 2014 -Beth York Photography
Baker Wedding - June 2014 -Beth York Photography
Baker Wedding - June 2014 -Beth York Photography
Baker Wedding - June 2014 -Beth York Photography
Baker Wedding - June 2014 -Beth York Photography
Baker Wedding - June 2014 -Beth York Photography
Baker Wedding - June 2014 -Beth York Photography

All photos by Beth York Photography.

One of the very first things we decided on after we were engaged was where we wanted to have our wedding because the availability of the venue would more or less determine our wedding date. We knew that we didn't want to get married inside a church and preferred something outdoors. We are actually crazy for wanting to get married outside in the Summer but after you've been dating for seven years it's hard to wait any longer! The Enterprise Mill in Augusta, Georgia ended up being the perfect fit for our personalities and also the size of our wedding. Our ceremony was outside underneath a covered gazebo and the reception was inside so that people could cool off and not overheat while getting down on the dance floor! I'm obsessed with the exposed brick so we played off of the rustic, unfinished look when it came to choosing our decorations.

We are a pretty untraditional couple, but I wanted to include elements that were timeless with an organic feel to them. Our color scheme was white, green, and gold. We also played off the letter B and had some bumblebee logos and honey-colored accents.  We made, thrifted, or doubled up on coupons to save money on almost everything we purchased for decorations because we knew we weren't likely to use them again. It just seemed like a waste to spend tons of money on the decorations. Our logs, vases, and chalkboard actually ended up getting multiple uses because we had a few friends get married after us that borrowed them. It's awesome knowing that they had a second (third, and fourth) life and brought someone else as much joy as they did us!

To pay tribute to Alex's Scottish heritage, he and my brother-in-law wore tartan bow ties and suspenders. My nephews were our groomsmen and they wore little kilts. My mother-in-law even had a corsage with a tartan ribbon.  

My uncle's 1938 Oldsmobile served as our getaway car and stole the show! I'm so grateful that he let us use it and that he was our chauffeur to our hotel room that evening.

We put together packets of wildflower seeds to send home with our guests that had our wedding date and Best Day Ever stamped on the front. Alex spent hours creating ribbon wands for our sendoff.

The groomscake was topped with a gold bear, fox, wolf, and deer figurine to symbolize Alex's longtime screenname. We used an old chalkboard to display our menu for the evening and the outdoor patio was decorated with photos we'd taken together over the years and a cornhole game area. 

My mom filled the panniers of the tandem bicycle that we rode to Alex's senior prom with flowers and we hung little signs to guide guests to our ceremony and reception areas. 

We didn't have the most lavish wedding ever, but it was simple and true to us. Even now three days later I can't imagine doing it any differently! My advice to any brides-to-be out there would be to start planning early and book your vendors first! The rest of the details will fall into place, but it helps to not leave it all to the last minute. 

Our Wedding Day - June 28, 2014

All photos by Beth York Photography.

Can we talk about how one of the best days of my life was probably also the sweatiest? Don't worry, that's not my one take away from our wedding day! I just thought I'd start out this post by keeping it real. 

Everyone says it but it's true -- Our wedding day was one of the best days of my life. What could be better than having a huge party with all of your closest friends and family? Sure, there were little things that went wrong but I don't really remember them or they obviously didn't matter enough for me to notice. 

We had a traditional Episcopal wedding ceremony (except that it was outside.... and we served communion outside a church). It was really important to us to have a traditional ceremony even though we didn't get married in a church. There's just something about going through the same rites and reading the same words that people for ages before us have. We listened to readings from Matthew 5:13-16, Song of Solomon 2:10-13; 8:6-7, and Colossians 3:12-17. Alex and I decided to serve communion to our guests which was honestly so powerful! I can't put into words just how special it was to have that split second to greet every single person who attended our wedding and to serve them. That alone was the biggest gift. 

Our friends Becca, David, and Stephen of The Ramblin' Fevers entertained our guests inside with their music while we were taking group photos. We decided not to see each other before our ceremony so we had quite a few photos to squeeze in. I had been to weddings where we had to wait forever on the bride and groom so it was so important to us to have something to entertain everyone while they waited patiently for us to arrive. 

We had a sit-down dinner for our rehearsal where our family members gave toasts so our reception was a lot less structured! We had an open bar and buffet line filled with all our favorite snack foods (including a French fry bar, of course)! We only really got a taste of our wedding cake and grooms cake. Anyone who's gotten married can tell you there's no time to eat! Take advantage of having your caterer pack a doggy bag to take home that night. We didn't eat ours but it was a nice gesture anyways. We used a mini soccer ball for the garter toss which didn't work at all so my nephew ended up with my garter. There may have also been a little discrepancy over who actually caught my throw-away bouquet but no worries, they're both married now! 

Our wedding day was a blur but at the same time, I remember every little detail. It all went by way too quickly and I wish we had just a few more hours to spend with each other and all our guests! Our DJ started to announce that we were leaving before Alex was even finished changing his suit. It started to rain a little when we left for our bed and breakfast and we completely forgot to put our bags in our getaway car so my sister had to bring them to our room. It's all the little things that make for the best stories. 

We are so lucky. We honestly had the most incredible wedding day. It took tons of time, energy, and planning but at the end of the day, the only thing that really mattered was that we were finally married!

Getting Ready for the Big Day

Baker Wedding - June 2014 -Beth York Photography
Baker Wedding - June 2014 -Beth York Photography
Baker Wedding - June 2014 -Beth York Photography
Baker Wedding - June 2014 -Beth York Photography
Baker Wedding - June 2014 -Beth York Photography
Baker Wedding - June 2014 -Beth York Photography
Baker Wedding - June 2014 -Beth York Photography
Baker Wedding - June 2014 -Beth York Photography
Baker Wedding - June 2014 -Beth York Photography
Baker Wedding - June 2014 -Beth York Photography

All photos by Beth York Photography.

It was hard for me to pull myself away from our friends and family the night before our wedding but I made sure to arrive home before midnight so I didn't turn into a pumpkin. Alex and I didn't want to see each other on our wedding day before I walked down the aisle. The morning of our wedding started with brunch and a gift exchange with my girls before we had our individual hair appointments. We all met at the Enterprise Mill around lunchtime to fuel up on sandwiches and chips. I can't say that I ate all that much but I knew I wasn't going to eat again that day so I wanted to be sure to get a quick bite in before the ceremony (the only thing we ended up eating that night was cake and french fries topped with poutine gravy out of a milk jug thanks to Uncle Steve and our Canadian family) . I did my own makeup with my sister's supervision and my mom and sisters helped me get dressed. If you want to feel really pampered, just get married! I'm kidding, but I really did feel like a princess having so many people make sure that every detail was perfect. Before heading outside to do some group photos with my bridesmaids, I opened my gift from Alex. We had decided to exchange gifts and letters to open on our big day before the ceremony. Our incredible videographer, Ben from Grain & Key Weddings, recorded me fighting back tears as long as I could to read the letter Alex wrote me out loud for our film. I just remember reading the sweetest words and feeling so calm, sure, and happy for what was about to come. I received the most incredible Pendleton Woolen Mills blanket, an American brand, that we plan to pass down in our family for generations to come. Affixed to the corner was a Luckenbooth, a Scottish wedding brooch that later is meant to be pinned to a baby's swaddle or child's clothes to protect it from harm. (How could you not cry at the tenderness of that symbolism... I mean, come on!) The Luckenbooth was just one of the small ways we were able to incorporate Alex's Scottish heritage into our wedding day.  The hours we spent getting ready flew by. There wasn't even a moment to think about get nervous before I was being whisked away to line up to walk down the aisle with my dad and see Alex and our guests for the first time!

If you're married, were you nervous on your wedding day? I know this sounds unbelievable, but it's probably the most calm and sure I've ever felt.

Our Wedding Playlists

I can't believe next week is our T H I R D wedding anniversary! I also can't believe that I never really blogged about our wedding! If you don't L O V E love or you hate weddings, you might want to skip reading my blog for the next week. I'm going to be recapping all the details of our big day this week, starting with a Tuesday Tunes playlist because I haven't done one of those in a while!

We worked with the most incredible local DJ leading up to our wedding day. Mike from M&S Mobile Productions is the cream of the crop. This guy seriously knows his stuff and is so organized. Not only did he listen to our music requests and make sure to keep the energy level up on the dance floor, he made sure that our wedding day stayed on schedule by creating our day-of timeline. I can't recommend his team enough if you're in the Augusta area. Our #1 request was NO line dance songs. I absolutely hate when people play those types of songs at weddings because it causes this huge chain reaction where everyone starts to request them and you just can't escape the cycle (I'm looking at you, Electric Slide, Wop, Cupid Shuffle, etc.). We also specifically requested NO Kesha or Hotel California. I just can't.

 We wanted our wedding day to be a reflection of the things we love as a couple. Music is such a huge part of our life and I think Mike was able to incorporate a lot of the Indie music we love into our wedding day. I hope you love these playlists as much as we do!

Ceremony Songs

Seating of the Mothers - Falling in Love in a Coffee Shop by Landon Pigg

Bridesmaid Processional - Heartbeats
by Jose Gonzales

Bridal Entrance - Til Kingdom Come
by Coldplay

Recessional - Into the Wild
by Lewis Watson

Reception Songs

Wedding Party Entrance - Islands on the Coast by Band of Horses

Bride & Groom Entrance - Midnight City
by M83

First Dance - Take Care by Beach House

Father / Daughter Dance - Sweet Pea
by Amos Lee

Mother / Son Dance - In my Life
by The Beatles

 

Cake Cutting - Campus by Vampire Weekend
+ Flowers in Your Hair by The Lumineers

Bouquet Toss - Fancy by Iggy Azalea

Gater Toss - Business Time by Flight of the Conchords

Final Dance - Ho Hey by The Lumineers

Exit - Last Night by The Shins

Happy Father's Day

Dad in the Bahamas

I'm grateful for a dad who taught me the importance of hard work, always being nice to others and making sacrifices. Because of my dad's selflessness, my sisters and I have been offered so many incredible opportunities. We are truly the lucky ones. 

Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there (and to those who have to take on their roles too)!

Savannah River Bluffs on Film

Savannah River Bluffs Heritage Preserve
Savannah River Bluffs Power Lines at the GA/SC state line
Wild Thistle growing at the Savannah River Bluffs Heritage Preserve
Wildflowers at the Savannah River Bluffs Heritage Preserve
Savannah River Bluffs Heritage Preserve
Savannah River Bluffs Heritage Preserve Spanish Moss
Savannah River Bluffs Heritage Preserve

About a month ago we went out to the Savannah River Bluffs Heritage Preserve to take advantage of some unseasonably cool and sunny weather. I'm finally getting around to sharing some of the film scans from a roll I took on my trusty Nikon FG. I love the way the light peeks through the leaves in the woods and creates these great cast shadows. It makes for an interesting challenge to try to capture it all just right on film! I think I've mentioned in some previous posts that I mostly shoot with Kodak 400 film because it's relatively cheap and easy to find at the drugstore still. I personally like the way that it picks up greens and reds. If you shoot film, let me know what film I should experiment with next!

How to Stock the Perfect Bar Cart

Alex and I decided to stock our bar cart as an early wedding anniversary gift to each other this year. We're not very traditional when it comes to gift-giving (last year we got Aengus) and we're horrible at keeping secrets from each other so it seemed like a good fit. We went to the liquor store on a whim on Friday after work and decided since we were there we'd go all in! We've never had a fully stocked bar cart since we've been married so the summer seemed like a good time to finally fill it with all our favorites. Our bar cart was a wedding gift from our friends Christine and Autumn. I absolutely love it! It fits our style so well. We've always had a bottle or two of whiskey, a cocktail guide book, and way too many growlers and beer glasses on hand but it was lacking the staples.

Before you get started, the first thing to remember is that you should only stock your bar with liquor you enjoy drinking! It can get expensive and you won't want to waste it. Of course you'll have people over from time to time that you want to impress, but let them bring their own bottles! Some of our favorite liquors are really cheap while others stretch our pockets a bit more. All that matters is that you have fun mixing!

Here's what you'll need to stock your bar cart:

Vodka
High WireDistilling Co. Hometown Vodka
Burnett's Sweet Tea Vodka

Gin
Anchor Old Tom Gin
St. George Gin

Whiskey and/or Bourbon
Buffalo Trace Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey
High West Campfire Whiskey

other favorites: Old Forester, Knob Creek, Bulleit Bourbon Frontier Whiskey, Jameson, and Nikka Pure Malt (can you tell this is our favorite liquor?)

Rum
British Navy Pusser's Rum
Captain Morgan Parrot Bay Coconut Rum

Tequila
Olmeca Altos 100% Agave Reposado Tequila
Espolon Tequila Blanco

Mixers
Dolin Vermouth
Fever-Tree Tonic Water
or Jack Rudy Classic Tonic
Club Soda
Ginger Ale
Coca-Cola
Grapefruit Juice
Cranberry Juice
Tomato Juice

Garnishes
lemons
limes
olives
salt
hot sauce
ice

Tools
Cocktail Shaker
Jigger
Muddler
Bar Spoon
Strainer
Bottle Opener
Corkscrew
assorted glasses
your favorite drink recipes

Stocked-Bar-Cart-14.jpg

Now that you've got the basics, it's time to mix your favorite drinks!

Here are ours:

His-- Gin & Tonic, Old Fashioned
Her-- Classic Margarita, Whiskey Sour, Tom Collins, Dark n Stormy, Paloma

What's your favorite drink? Leave us some recipes to try out this summer in the comments!

Brick Pond Park

The Brick Pond Park in downtown North Augusta, South Carolina is a 40 acre restored wetlands that was developed to improve the environment through storm water treatment. The wetlands naturally filter and remove pollutants that travel through storm water runoff. Today the park is an oasis for native species and wildlife, making it a hot spot for local photographers. I know this because I work with a pretty badass boss lady who runs the show. 

Alex and I set out to the Brick Pond Park on Sunday afternoon to get some test shots on the Canon Snappy 50 film camera he picked up from CMONA. We spent our time walking around the various ponds and birdwatching along the way. I spotted a crawfish claw, a Purple Gallinule, and a Red-Winged Blackbird. Alex brought my attention to Anhingas, a Great Blue Heron, a few little Green Heron, and a baby alligator. I didn't get good pictures of any of those things because I don't have a zoom lens. That's okay, though. Life's more about the memories sometimes. 

10 things I wish I knew before we got a dog

IMG_4972.JPG

Happy Gotcha Day to Aengus the Airedale! I can't believe we brought home our puppy for the first time a year ago! To be honest, it seems like longer. Thank goodness for the Snapchat memories feature because I'll be able to recall how cute and teeny Aengus was forever! Aengus (and now Keltie) is very much a part of our little family. I mean, why else would they have first AND middle names?

While I can't imagine our life without our two pups, there are quite a few things I wish I knew before we got a dog. Here's my list of things to consider before buying or adopting a new furry friend:

  1. They need a lot of attention. Our cats are pretty self sufficient. The dogs on the other hand really rely on us to keep them happy. They like when we spend time with them playing and taking long walks. 

  2. They get jealous. Aengus cannot stand for us to pet Keltie. Poor little girl needs some love too! Keltie also gets a little overprotective of her food when Aengus is around. They have their own little personalities.

  3. They cost a lot of money. Between shots, check-ups, dog food, and monthly flea, tick, and heartworm prevention, those bills really start to add up! They also go through toys like they're going out of style  we have a hard time finding toys that they can't rip to shreds in an hour.

  4. There will be no more alone time. Sometimes you just feel like being alone. Having a dog is just like having a baby. You can't let them fend for themselves. Sure we can crate them for a little while, but I'll never have 100% alone time anymore.

  5. Puppy training can be frustrating. Trying to teach them not to bite, potty in the house, or steal things off the counter is not for the faint of heart. It requires a lot more patience and consistency than I can provide sometimes. We're still working on how to greet people without jumping up. 

  6. Your travel plans will change. My mom, sister, and mother-in-law are the absolute best for keeping our dogs fed and happy while we're out of town. It saves us a ton of money on kennels. We've yet to take the dogs with us on vacation because it limits the places we'd be able to visit since we'd have to bring them along with us everywhere.

  7. Having a routine is key. We're so lucky that I can come home and let the dogs out at lunch every day. Otherwise, I'm not sure what we'd do to make sure these two get plenty of time for potty breaks, meals, and exercise throughout the day.

  8. Everything you love will be destroyed. I can't tell you how many things we've had broken, chewed, or stolen between our two dogs. We only have one toy left from the first month we brought Aengus home and it's on its last leg. Nothing in our house is ever clean. Our rugs and sheets always have puppy prints and our windows have tons of smudge marks from nose kisses.

  9. They never get tired. You'd think after a trip to the dog park these two would be tired but they're ready to immediately go outside and play around in the backyard. The only time they've been tired recently is when Alex had them walk over 5 miles.

  10. Your puppy will make friends for you. People are always so interested in what kind of dog we have. He's an Airedale but we've heard everything from a Schnauzer to a Doodle. We usually forgive them for not knowing their dog breeds. It's always a conversation starter, that's for sure! I think they're always surprised to find out that Aengus is indeed a puppy. 

If you're a dog owner, I know what you're thinking... yes, this list is totally obvious but worth reiterating to anyone considering getting a pet! I grew up with a dog but it's easy to forget just how much work it can be with an already busy routine.

What tips do you have for making life with dogs easier and less stressful?

A Guide to New York City for First Timers

N E W   Y O R K   C I T Y

It's hard to believe a year ago we were in New York City to celebrate my little sister's high school graduation. We had a great time on her Senior Week away from the beach exploring a new place. While I'm far from being an expert, here's a recap of what we saw, ate, and did while in the Big Apple. I hope this guide will help you if you're visiting New York City for the first time like we were last year. Take a look back at my old blog posts from New York City here!

Here's how we managed to see it all in less than 6 whole days:
Monday - flight in + Central Park
Tuesday - Flatiron District + Washington Square Park   
Wednesday - The Met + Beyonce concert at CitiField
Thursday -  Chelsea Market + The High Line + SoHo + Top of the Rock + Times Square
Friday - Brooklyn + Little Italy + Chinatown + Ground Zero
Saturday - 5th Ave + Rockefeller Center + flight home

Tips:
Do everything you can for free. Check to see if you can pay what you want for admission to museums. NYC has tons of great parks that are open to the public. There are also some breathtaking buildings that you can photograph for fun!

Take the Subway to save on time and money. You can buy a pass for a few days for pretty cheap! Plan out where you're going to go better than we did so that you go back and forth on the subway less. We could have planned to see things closer together and spent more time at each location that way. 

Ask a local where to eat before you go. We stumbled upon some great places to eat but we probably could have eaten at some real gems if we had done our research beforehand. One of the best places we ate while visiting with our friend Parth was Nanking in Times Square (an IndoChinese restaurant that is now closed). They had dry chili paneer and we haven't been able to get it in our hometown to try again!

We are by no means experts at NYC after just one trip, but here's our guide to seeing New York City as first timers!


Where to Eat


Souvlaki GR

Midtown - 162 W 56th St - $$
Chicken Souvlaki Pita + Hand-Cut Greek Fries

Shake Shack

Madison Square Park - E 23rd St & Madison Ave - $$
Seasonal Shake

Shake Shack NYC

Da Gennaro

Little Italy - 129 Mulberry St - $$
Eggplant Parmesan + Spaghetti

For more Italian, try Patsy's Italian Restaurant or Angelo's Pizza in Midtown. 

Eggplant parmesan at DeGenarro in Little Italy NYC
Ravioli at DeGenarro Little Italy NYC
DeGenarro Little Italy NYC
DeGenarro Little Italy Cafe Chairs

Serendipity 3

Upper East Side - 225 East 60th St - $$
Frozen Hot Chocolate + "Can't Say No" Sundae

Serendipity 3 in NYC
Andy Warhol hanging in Serendipity 3

Le Pain Quotidien

SoHo - 100 Grand St - $$
Paris Ham & Cheddar w/ mustard trio + hummus
raspberry lemonade

Le Pain Quotidien

Pick a Bagel

Midtown - 891 8th Ave - $
Sausage, Egg, and Cheese on Everything

Laduree

SoHo - 398 W Broadway - $$$
all the macarons
coffee + lemon + salted caramel + orange blossom + lemon + pistachio

Laduree Soho
Laaduree macaroons

Dos Caminos

SoHo - 475 W Broadway - $$
guac + tacos + rice & beans

10 Below

Chinatown - 10 Mott Street - $
oreo rolled ice cream w/ oreos & golden grahams

10 Below Chinatown NYC
10 Below oreo rolled ice cream in NYC

Bareburger

Hell's Kitchen - 366 W 46th St - $$
byob (build your own burger) + fries & o-rings + root beer

Bareburger

What to See


Central Park

Central Park
Boaters in Central Park

The Guggenheim

Guggenheim

The Plaza Hotel

The Flatiron District

Flatiron Building NYC

Washington Square Park

Washington Square Arch

The Met

(go through the line and pay what you can)

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC
The Met

The High Line

(get on at Chelsea Market and kill two birds with one stone)

Chelsea Market
The High Line NYC
The High Line

Top of the Rock

Top of the Rock
Top of the Rock NYC
Top of the Rock

Times Square & The Theater District

(the lights are more impressive at night)

Times Square at Night
Radio City Music Hall

Brooklyn Bridge

Brooklyn Bridge
Water Taxi NYC

Little Italy + China Town

Little Italy
Chinatown NYC

9/11 Memorial

The Oculus at Ground Zero
Ground Zero NYC

5th Ave + Rockefeller Center

Saks Fifth Ave in NYC
Topshop NYC 5th Ave
Rockefeller Center

The Queen Bee

(Sorry... I ain't sorry...)

Beyonce at CitiField in NYC

So that's it! That's how we managed to walk 40 miles in NYC while taking the Subway. It was a jam-packed week and I'm ready to go back. Just don't tell my sister that I want to go back because I tell her all the time that I love Chicago more. It's true though, I'm ready for another trip to the Big Apple now that we know what districts we like best. I'd also like to do some things we weren't able to check off our list like actually walking across the Brooklyn Bridge, going inside more art museums, and tasting beer at Brooklyn breweries. 

Have you been to NYC? Leave me all your tips for our next trip!