Wedding Wednesday: The Flowers

UD7A3402With a few photos saved from Pinterest onto the iPad and a head full of dreams, I stopped for my appointment at the local flower shop.  Initially I had planned on growing and arranging all of my flowers but when it got closer to our wedding date, I gave in!  I decided I would put together all of the flowers for the reception tables and hire a professional for the bridal party flowers.

I have lived in the small town of Wheatland my whole life.  I can’t remember too many times that I found what I needed in our small town.  Usually it required a trip to Yuba City or Roseville to get things done.  Not this time!

Every step in planning a wedding shouldn’t be a big to-do.  It will help you to treat your wedding like any other project you have.  That is what worked for me anyway.  It is less daunting if you take it day-by-day and project-by-project.  I made lists and slowly but surely attacked each project until completion.

I chose my wedding vendors based on the following: 1) family and friends’ recommendations, 2) reviews from the internet, 3) reviewing the quality of their past work, and 4) customer service starting from the moment I made my initial contact.  I had one disappointing consultation with a local florist that I had always heard great things about, which led to making an appointment with the florist in Wheatland.

I’m glad I decided to give Wheatland Florist a shot because Yolanda and her team did a fantastic job!  I only gave her about two weeks to prepare.  I shared a few pictures, gave her a list of a few flowers I cannot stand and an overall theme “simple and country”.  She took over from there and designed my bridal party’s bouquets and boutonnieres.  She also made corsages for our mothers  and grandmothers, and boutonnieres for our fathers.  The flowers were top quality and stayed fresh all day long through the 111 degree heat!  They held together and looked perfect throughout the whole event.

Before you look anywhere else, try shopping local.  Not only is it good for your community, but can sometimes turn out for the better.  Small town businesses often get overlooked.  Wheatland Florist’s prices were phenomenal and compared to the other florists I consulted and their customer service was fantastic.  The cost of the flowers was the best surprise!  They were within my budget and significantly less than the other quotes I had received.  Now I’m a loyal Wheatland Florist customer!  I hope you will give them a try too!


bride’s bouquet




groom’s boutonniere


bridesmaid’s flowers


junior bridesmaids’ flowers

Photography by Samantha Prather Photography


Wedding Wednesday: The Photographer


You want to grow old together and face it: when you get too old to remember your wedding, all you will have is the photos!

Booking the right wedding photographer is one of the most important steps in the planning process.  Whether your budget is $1,000 or $1,000, my advice  advice is to spend at least 20 percent of your total budget on photography.  It is well worth it and this is not the place to save! Here, I will even do the math for you:

Total Budget   (Photography Budget)

$1,000 ($200)

$10,000 ($2,000)

$24,600* ($4,920)   *average wedding cost in 2012

I was lucky to find Samantha Prather, a very talented local photographer.  I had done some research and looked at several local photographers’ work. Samantha married a friend I went to high school with, so I got to see her stunning work on mutual friends’ Facebook pages and always admired the photos.

Cory and I first met with Samantha in August of 2012.  We had to re-schedule our engagement session because it was too hot on the first date we had scheduled.  It wasn’t as much of a scorcher when we met but it was still a hot summer day.  The shoot was great!  I thought it may be awkward since Cory and I weren’t use to being the center of attention, but she made us feel so comfortable.  She later blogged about the shoot on her website:

Samantha is the sweetest person and just a real peach to work with.  Not only is she a talented photographer and the mother of two precious little girls, with a baby boy on the way, but she sincerely cares about her clients and jumps through hoops to make sure they are happy with her work. The first thing I told her when I saw the proofs of our engagement shoot was, ” If I never have another picture of myself, I will be happy!”  She captured our feelings for each other in ways I had never imagined possible.  We were more than excited to have found such a gem and immediately booked her for our wedding.

On June 8, 2013 Samantha showed up to the hair salon where the girls were getting ready.  It turned out to be the hottest day of the year with record high temps!  Samantha photographed the girls getting ready, then the guys, the wedding ceremony, dinner and reception.  I didn’t hire a videographer and ended up not regretting it because her photos tell the story of the whole event, from start to finish.  Again, she captured the mood and every crucial detail that mattered to me as if I had provided her with a checklist (which I hadn’t).  There isn’t a moment that went undocumented.

Although I have hundreds of photos I’d love to share with the world, I will spare you.  I’ve posted a small sampling of her work below.  I thought it was a little ironic how similar some of the engagement and wedding photo poses were.  I guess we are just too predictable!  Enjoy!






Samantha Prather Photography

Furry Friday: Lady

This is the love of my life, my dear Lady dog. Words can’t describe how much I love her. I won’t say much else because I’m looking for a book deal and don’t want to spoil it! Pictures are worth a thousand words anyway! Here are a few pictures of my Lady love at our wedding.









Wedding Wednesday: The Dress

I’ve decided to share my wedding planning experience because I thoroughly enjoyed it and got to work with some fantastic vendors. This is one of my attempts to thank them and recommend them to you! Have no fear, if I planned a fantastic event for 200+ while working full-time and going to law school at night anyone can!

(Disclaimer: I consider myself especially good at multi-tasking and had a lot of support from my husband, family and friends.)



The dress makes the wedding seem ‘weddingy’, right? I know my friend Bree at Always Elegant Bridal would agree with me!

After being engaged for less than a month, I headed to Alfred Angelo to look at wedding dresses with my friend. Generally I’m easy-going but I’m VERY picky about certain things and outright particular about a few. Finding the PERFECT dress was one of the few and I was convinced it would take some time. Here is a brief summary of how I found my perfect dress… went to Alfred Angelo, thought I found “the one”, went home to think about it before spending over 1k which exceeded my budget, visited the dress a second time to show my sister and another friend, planned a trip to go buy the dress with my mom, then stopped in at local bridal shop on my lunch break on the day before I had planned to buy the dress and found “THE ONE”.


Bree chose several dresses for me to try on after asking me my style preferences and budget. She was so helpful and made me forget that I was on my lunch break, in a rush and completely alone. It was like I was shopping with a friend. I immediately called my sister, mom and two of my good friends to ask them if I was going crazy! They all confirmed that I was already crazy and that everything was going to be ok. I bought the dress and as a bonus since it was from the sample sale rack, I saved some serious room in my budget!

From that moment on, Bree was just a phone call away to help me during the whole planning process. She helped me pick out the bridesmaids dresses for my five bridesmaids and choose the tuxedos for the groom and groomsmen to rent.


If I had it to do all over again, I would start at AE Bridal! This is the place to find the perfect dress, whether you are looking for a classic or the hottest trend. It is truly a one stop shop for all things bridal!



AE Bridal