Our Wedding Fun Facts


This weekend, we are traveling to Montreal to celebrate our one year anniversary. Having been there before, we knew it would a be a place that we could go and just enjoy. More importantly, natural disasters shouldn’t be following us there. 

You may be wondering what the importance of that statement is, huh? And, no- I’m not making any sort of reference to anything happening in the world right now. I realized today that I never blogged about our honeymoon. And, then I realized that there were SO many moments of our wedding that I want to remember.  So, in order to re-emerge into the writing scene of this blog, I thought  “what better way to break the ice than talk about my wedding? Self indulgent, yes. But, people love weddings!” So, here we are.

  1. There were TWO Hurricanes the week of our Wedding- both were names in my family

Hurricane Matthew was the first one leading up to our wedding day. It was hilarious because my brother and his fiancé are both “Matthew”, AND, rumor had it they were looking at that weekend to get married. The day of our wedding it rained like no other. The whole day, my friends and brothers were watching the radar to see if we would be able to have the ceremony outside. In the end, I made the decision to have it inside since it was cold. One of my favorite moments was when Mark and I snuck outside to do portraits and the sun came through. 

So, it rained. I can’t control the weather, and neither can you, future brides. Just go with it. 

2. The Second Hurricane followed us to Bermuda

While booking our honeymoon, we were told “Go to Bermuda- it’s great this time of year.” History has it, that Bermuda hadn’t been hit with a Hurricane in 10 years, so we thought “that sounds great.” I also love Bermuda, I knew it was fun, and I was excited to do all the fun Caribbean things with Mark. (It was his first time out of the country!) 

As we boarded our flight, there was a tropical storm, Nicole, in that area. “Nothing to worry about.” we were told. By the time we got to our hotel, Nicole was upgraded to a Category 1 Hurricane headed straight to Bermuda. We tried to enjoy our time anyway, so we went to the beach. Well, you couldn’t go swimming because the tides were so strong. Which meant no snorkeling, no jet skiing, no casual dip- no fun Caribbean activities. By the time we went to sleep that night, Hurricane Nicole was a Category 3 and it was projected to make landfall within a day and a half. Needless to say, we got the f on out of there. We got on the last flight out of Bermuda, in the last two seats. We flew to Philly, got a connection to New York, and basically never spoke about our 43 hours in Bermuda, ever.  

And, the family member, you ask? A cousin who didn’t attend our wedding. 

3. I didn’t like my hair by the end of the night.

If there was ONE thing I could re-do about our wedding, it would have been my hair. It fell from the heaviness of my veil and by the end, it just didn’t look great. It’s my hope and dream to re-wear my wedding dress one day and have my favorite photographer do portraits of us on the mountains in Colorado. 

4. The After Party was Lit.

I forgot to do one thing for our wedding- book us a car service to get to the hotel that we were staying at for a few hours before going to the airport (early flight, ya know.) So, we ended up taking the bus we arranged for our guests staying at the hotel. From there, we ended up hanging out with a few family members and friends in a hotel room. We stole 3 boxes of our own favors, which were La Marca bottles, popped them, and got ridiculous. Halfway through, we decided we were hungry. We walked to Wendy’s, in my wedding dress, walked through the drive-thru, they gave us food because, well, I was in my wedding dress, and as we were leaving, the guy who drove us to the hotel saw us, picked us up, and drove us back. 

It’s Top 5 memories for me. 

5. I Wouldn’t Do It Again

I do not regret our wedding day, at all. I poured my heart into every detail of that process- as Mark will tell you, I’m not great at telling someone how much I love them, but, I try to show them through actions. Our wedding was a joy to plan (even with the drama that always comes with a wedding).  Lying awake and planning the “Verity” in marquee lights for the bar, or, putting my books in the library as a cute detail, or designing the table “Names” (no numbers- good tip for any future brides- numbers create hierarchy, names are just names), was my escape.  

The day itself was an absolute dream. Sure, it rained and my brother was at the wrong table. Sure, two people showed up who didn’t RSVP. But, none of it mattered. I knew why I was there and it was because I truly believe in marriage and I believe that marrying Mark was one of the best decisions of my life. Through hell and high water, I believe we have something that can get through it. And, that’s why I wouldn’t do it again; I won’t need to. 

ariel levy

September Book Suggestion- Part 1


While I know it’s only September 6th, this month I have a goal of reading at least two books. It seems like a small, easily achievable goal, right? Unfortunately, this thing called “adulting” is so time-consuming that it’s hard to allocate time to do things other than complain about how hard it is to adult. 

I spent most of my summer reading essays; the shortness of each “chapter” made reading seem entirely achievable and not some crazy, unabashed goal. 

While browsing Amazon the other day, I came across a memoir titled “The Rules Do Not Apply”.  There was something about the cover, the way the “box” doesn’t exactly fit the bold text, that was alluring, so I ordered it and gave it a try. 

Holy shit, this book did not disappoint. Ariel Levy weaves you into the tapestry of her story the way an old yiddish woman tells you the story of her early days while knitting another blanket for the cold winter. Her words are not repetitive, her feelings are human, and yet, told to the reader like a true reporter. 

One of my favorite aspects was how she described her journey with pregnancy. While most women complain about the aches, pains, annoyance of carrying a human, Ariel made it seem like it was superhuman. Like it was the most beautiful gift ever given to another human. The way she talks about her son in the womb with such joy and pleasure, it changed my perspective of pregnancy in so many ways. (and, no I am not looking to get pregnant any time soon. We do not have baby fever, we did not convert a bedroom to a nursery, we use protection, we do not want to be parents right now. Capeesh? good.)

Unnerving, inspiring, enlightening. It was so human, and so easy to read. You will go through every emotion with Ariel through this book and you will finish it before the weekend ends. 


What are some of the books you’re reading? 



The First Day


It’s the first day back to school for a lot of people today, including Mark, who after 3 months, is getting back into the groove of his life.

The house is still. I am writing to you from my antique desk; a desk passed down from me from my great grandfather. It’s old, tired wood still maintains its dignity, while the surface has marks from its’ past. I imagine my own grandpa sitting at this desk; going over his bills while his 5 young daughters ran around his house. I imagine each of my aunts and mom sitting at this desk, doing their homework, quickly, so they could take their dog “for a walk around the block”. A ruse they used to meet their boyfriends. As I sit here, it’s almost as if I can feel the history of the small chips; a timeless piece that somehow, gives me peace.

Emmett’s soft breathing echoes in the office as a car drives by the front of the house. Admittedly, the street can be noisy at times, but, no noisier than my upstairs neighbors who, I swear to you, definitely used their apartment to practice bowling.

After a month of living in this home, it does finally feel like I’m beginning to get my routine back. Something I felt I lost over this summer. From entering a contract, to not knowing if we would get a mortgage, to moving quickly because our lease was almost up, it felt like we, as a family, were never quite settled. We felt nomadic, in a sense. Never quite knowing where would land until the day we finally closed.

It was during those 12 weeks of angst and anxiety that it took us to close that we spent time envisioning what this house would be like. At night, we would sit on our couch in our tiny apartment and talk about all the stuff we would finally be able to use; our stainless steel pots, for example, that we used Sunday to cook family dinner. We looked at furniture, beds, and talked about our ideas. In my head, I knew what I wanted each room to look like. The office a warm blue that felt like it was giving me a hug as I worked. As I peak around, that warm blue we finally settled on is doing just that. I imagined the living room to be warm, inviting with straight lines and pieces to give it a softness. A neutral palette that we can change as we change. For the last 4 weeks, we have made our vision a reality; or, at least, we are getting to that reality.

Now, with Mark back at work, it feels only right that I, too, get back to work. In the past 4 weeks, along with moving, I have been hard at work building my photography portfolio, again. Having spent so much time over the last few months attempting to figure out what I was missing, a random text from a stranger, who was recommended to me by a friend, helped clear everything for me. There are too many times in this world where others see our talents before we do. It’s unclear why we are our own harshest critics; standing in front of our life mirror nitpicking every aspect of everything we do. Perhaps we should all spend more time looking at our reflection in other people’s eyes.

Revisiting this blog today, for the first time in 4 weeks, had an interesting affect. Re-reading my musings, I was proud of the words I spewed, however, looking at the pages gave me a different feeling. A feeling of trying too much. It was as if I had been running on this hamster wheel trying, and trying, to move forward, and I just stopped and realized this wasn’t the way.

I have always been envious of those who know their path; They have this resolute feeling in them that this is what they will do, this is who they’ll be, they’ll make a nice living for themselves, and that is that.

My feeling is much different. From a young age, I carried a journal around writing everything down. An observer of the world around me. A young woman with feelings, thoughts, ideas, and a pen- just looking to share my perspective of the world. Soon, I stole my brother’s Kodak camera’s and just took pictures of everything, much to my mother’s chagrin. I can still here the echo of her voice saying “Leanne! These cameras are not cheap!” when I am behind the lens, a memory that makes me giggle when I think of how much my own camera costs. The amount of shoeboxes my mom has of my random pictures of Matt’s room when it wasn’t clean (evidence I would use when my own room wasn’t clean), or of our dog, Buddy, digging a hole in the backyard, is plentiful.

While I used my Kodaks as evidence against my own incrimination, I never realized that they served a greater purpose; evidence to my future self that taking pictures is sort of what I do.

In January, I had my palm read, as well as, my natal chart.  Since January, I have used this reading as a map to decide what exactly is “next”. To clarify, I am not unhappy where I am, but, my goal has always been to have something of my own, and if we forget what our goals are, we may never get there.

There were two poignant points that I cannot seem to forget. One, that I am an observer. I watch people when they think I’m not, and if I see a shred of evidence that they follow the same ethos as me, I wrap them in my bubble and do anything I can to support them. But, I do this in a quiet way where people do not realize that I am watching, observing, analyzing, because I am “warm” and “welcoming” to just about everyone. The second, is twofold; I have two destinies that always align and eventually will deviate from one another, and, that later in my life my job or world will be something creative.

After the first text from a stranger, I received 3 more.

“I saw so & so’s family pictures and she said you did them! Can we please book a shoot?!”

“I saw so & so’s engagement pictures. My daughter want’s to be a model- can we book a shoot?”

“So & so recommended you to us. Would you be willing to shoot our wedding in Minnesota? We love your work!” 

A week later, I was in a meeting at work where I was told I would officially (after 2 years of begging for it) have Sunday’s off. “A perfect day to book photoshoots” the thought crept through my head.

This isn’t to say I’m quitting my full time job and only doing photography. But, it is to say that while I sit here, on the first day back to school, it feels like my first day off the hamster wheel. I can finally stretch, rest for a minute to recover from burning myself out, and embark on the path that has been right in front of me for over 20 years.