fireflies and cottonwood

our wedding blog

This Magic Moment: Recap 1 February 23, 2010

We need to begin some sort of recap. We have so much to say!  We also want to post our wedding play list, our budget, and other behinds the scenes details– the sorts of helpful details I scoured wedding blogs for, in ideas for ours.  But first, we have to recap it!


Where to begin?  When I think back, I remember being in St. Louis the week before, with friends and family.  Some snapshots:


1. Staying the night with Amy, while Mike went to the bachelor party.  We had Mexican food, went to Target, and watched girly movies while finishing up bridespeople gifts.  Too fun.


I was too excited to sleep, even though we went to bed late. I got up and kept writing notes to the bridespeople, and was awake when Mike stumbled in at around two o’clock in the morning.  He had some funny stories, or the beginnings of stories, to share, and then he went to bed.  Then, I went for a walk.  And got lost!  In Affton!  But the roads are so curvy!  While I walked, I prayed a little, especially praying that I would be able to stay present for all of the beautiful parts, and that the wedding day wouldn’t go by too quickly.


When I got back to the house, darling Buttons the dog pictured me as an intruder–everyone else was asleep!–and growled at me, and wouldn’t let me past the dining room. So I lay on the couch until he went away. And then fell asleep, finally, at 6AM, in Maeve’s sweet pink butterflied bedroom.


I woke up a little before 10AM. Nick was supposed to come grab me for brunch, but he–shall we say– had had a long night at the bachelor party.  So I hung out until Matt could come get me–we had a noon meeting with the photographers. Who we hadn’t even met yet, incredibly!


2. The photographers. Amazing, and so meant to be.  Our previous photographers had fallen through, and I had been a fan of Jodie and Kim for as long as I’d known about their photographs online.  The week before we left for St. Louis, I e-mailed Jodie– hoping that they might do weddings. I was beginning to think I’d have to fly someone down from NYC!


The initial meeting with them was beyond, beyond. Our energies met and took off immediately, and they were really excited by my “vision.” I told them about the Green World, and all of my beloved friends, and how I love old photographs, and the Edwardians, and the Victorians… I said, “I want it to be like we’re in the middle of a grand dinner party. It’s the middle of a great war, in England perhaps, and everything is rationed. No butter, no sugar, no candles. But we’re pulling everything together, for one brave and merry night. We’ve gone up to the attic, and dragged down everything fine: candlesticks, mirrors, furniture. We’re dressed, and candle-lit, and having a time.”


Their creative minds were amazing to see in process, thinking out loud, and throwing back and forth ideas, and immediately making calls to see how we could get props and make this happen.  You’ve seen the result.  Breath-taking.  Kim said, of those sneak peeks, “Those pictures came right out of your brilliant head.”  Not my head– the hearts of me, our loved ones, and Kim and Jodie.  But yes: they seem unreal.


Then!  After our lunch meeting, we ran across the street to my beloved Pearson House, to take some “engagement” shots. We had been disappointed by the ones we had taken here, and Jodie and Kim wanted to make that up to us. We had thirty minutes.  Thirty minutes, and it was very cold!  We waltzed, and laughed, and shouted across the lawn at one another. And, another testament to their genius, those results are also incredible.


Then, Matt headed to the hotel, to meet up with the Varnons (at large), and check-in.  I met four of the bridespeople for nails– and saw Jodut for the first time in a while, as well as Jennifer and Erin.  That’s when I started to get the sensation of, “Oh my goodness– my friends, my best friends, the women I love… they’re here in this salon, with _me_.”  It was strange, like Christmas or a birthday…but more.  I kept shrieking, “Jodut!” “Erin!” “Jennifer, you’re here!”  Oh, the goodness.


Then, Eric and Tom came to pick me and Jodut up, and take us to the hotel. I walked into the lobby, and started seeing Varnons.  So happy!  We had dinner in the restaurant at the hotel.  While we were eating, I got a text, “Is this Stephanie H.?”  I texted back, “Yes…”  The reply: “Do you recognize the man in a Yankees cap sitting in front of you?” I looked, and saw, John T.!  A boy I went to eleven years of school with, first through twelve grades, and was close friends with–a pack of us–in high school.


Then… up to the hotel suite, the Sky Cove, as we called it.  Posh!  Spacious (bigger than our NYC apartment)! Amazing view!  A platter of treats waiting for us.  I don’t know how I slept at all in that beautiful room, with all of the exciting thing going on around me.


This must have been New Year’s Eve, because there was a big party going on in the hotel that night, and Mike and Amy came downtown to it. So I joined them for a while, and drank wine and danced with Amy. And looked at all of the crazy dresses people had on, and met some DJs.


And then, I finally went to sleep, in the Sky Cove bed– so big that Matt and I could barely find each other in it. When we would awake, it’d be the day of the rehearsal.


Photography LOVE: Fresh Art Photography December 23, 2009

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We had some wonderful news last week.  Our plans with our original photographers fell through, and I was wondering if I knew anyone else who did great photography in St. Louis.  I was even thinking we could fly down someone from here in NYC.

Happily, Jodie and Kim from Fresh Art Photography had the day free, and are thrilled to be doing our wedding.  I’d been a fan of Jodie’s work for a while– she’s a talented photographer, artist, and young mother. Her mother is an old friend from Emmanuel who I’ve known for years, and I started following Jodie’s photography blog over a year ago.  I wasn’t sure if they did weddings, but thought it wouldn’t hurt to ask.

Check out their site and blog for breathtakingly gorgeous, and totally creative photos of babies, families, couples, and some incredible actions shots of the local football team, and more beauty than I can describe.  We are over the moon that they’ll be capturing all of us on the wedding day.


Photography LOVE: Mirah Curzer Photography September 4, 2009

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Long before I met her in person, I had been a huge fan of Mirah Curzer Photography.  In my lucky small world, Mirah is the wife of Josh, with whom I co-founded the inter-religious journal last year.  I first saw her portfolio while they were still in Israel, and looked through it, looking then for images for our website and journal.

And THEN I started noticing her engagement pictures, her wedding shots, her bridal portraits.  She is one talented woman.  A force.  She takes reception shots like no other photographer I’ve yet seen (including the ones I hired for our wedding this winter.)  And I am over the moon that she’s offered to take portraits of me, and of me and Matt together.

Here are some of my recent favorites of hers– but do check out her blog and online portfolio. Every time I look at it, the beauty and immediacy of her photos inspires me and reminds me of how in love I am with Matt.

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(All images copyright Mirah Curzer Photography)


My little sister’s wedding! September 6, 2008

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Oh, oh, oh!  The most amazing photos.  Isn’t she gorgeous?  Aren’t they beautiful together?  And isn’t the setting dreamy-strange-amazing?

During the ceremony.  I love that someone built an all-white Chapel, with pillows and natural light, in the middle of the desert.


The minister is the Reverend Ludo, a Celtic officiant.


With Katherine and Paul, their witnesses, a lovely couple from the UK.



How beautiful and unique.  I know many, many couples talk about eloping, but I have to say: Jamie and Jeremiah did it right–she has a dress, and it took money to pay for gas to drive to Nevada, but once they were there…it was organic, spontaneous, and true.  The photographs weren’t done by a professional, but they couldn’t be more amazing, and the setting is just unreal.

I’m so proud of her, and thrilled for them.  I can’t wait to see them in person.  Congratulations, Jeremiah and Jamie!