Hindsight Bride and groom sit on a garden bench

DIY Bride Published Our Anniversary Shoot | The HSB Story

Hindsight Bride and groom sit on a garden bench


In case you missed it last week, out anniversary shoot is published on the DIY Bride. This is a very high point and a point of catharsis in the process of getting over my ruined wedding pictures. You see I fell in love with wedding blogs early in the  wedding planning process. I planned our wedding with an eye for blogging about it one day.

DIY wedding cake and vintage china


I was so busy with planning. Way too busy to blog during our whirlwind, eight-month engagement during which time we planned and payed for two DIY weddings–one on each coast. I was DIY-ing practically everything, including the cake!!! But I kept careful record of all my projects and processes. I figured I’d blog about the whole endeavor in hindsight, hence the name.

Hindsight bride and groom at the NC Arboretum


When I met with a student photographer at the university I worked at, I thought I was so clever. I had every detail under control. I asked to see her portfolio, I asked her about her camera and equipment, and I gave her a stack of tear sheets to give her a feel for my aesthetic and what I was looking for. I explained that I have lots of DIY details that I wanted photographer. I asked her to find some inspiration on the web that she thought I’d like so I could make sure we were on the same page. I even told her about the blog I was planning and being published on the web with a link back to her site. You see, I didn’t just fall into blogging. I wanted to be a blogger.

DIY wedding details including wine labels and cookie recipe


The wedding day came and there were a few moments of photography worry, but not many. Deep down, I felt like I did my homework and due diligence. I did note that she showed up with a consumer DSLR Nikon D90 with a kit lens. My father-in-law, an amateur photographer, noted that she was standing too far away from the family during group shots. But by-and-large, I hate micro-managers, so decided to have faith in her ability to do the job in the ways we had discussed.

Hindsight Bride and Groom sit in afield of flowers

Iris centerpieces and vintage china

Well, long story short, the pictures looked quite similar to point-and-shoot shots my nine year old niece took with my Mom’s Nikon D90. Remember how I said I wanted to be a blogger? Well, I was devastated that I wouldn’t have wow-factor eye-candy to use on my blog. I didn’t want to put crap pictures of my wedding on the internet. (Well actually I did, but usually when I was evangelizing about professional wedding photography.)

wedding picnic at tthe NC arboretum


You see, I’m a very complex woman. On the one hand, I love me some Practical Wedding, Off-Beat Bride, and (most recently) the Rogue Bride. I think there are parts of the wedding industry that are bullshit and ridiculous. I actually do not believe it’s “the most important day of your life.” I believe the stuff that follows is the most important. No, actually, after two and a half full years of marriage, I know it. But I also love Style Me Pretty, Elizabeth Ann Designs, and 100 Layer Cake. Though I probably should, I don’t rally against the so-called Wedding Industrial Complex. Often times I “swoon” over it. (Yes that was a jab at the purple prose we wedding bloggers revel in.) As my friend Lizzie would say, I love “The Pretty.”

Hindsight bride and groom holding DIY paper pinwheels

Hindsight Bride and groom kiss in a field of DIY pinwheels

Soooooo, while I wanted to jump right in with the recaps on my newly minted blog, I couldn’t bring myself to do it. (In fact, if you look at the archives, I blogged three times between July and December of 2009.) I didn’t start blogging consistently until February 2010. Every time I looked at my wedding picture disks, I cried. I mean real, big, ugly, self-pitying sob sessions. Oprah calls it “the ugly cry” and it certainly is that.

Iris center piece


Don’t get me wrong, I loved our wedding day. It was amazing. I was present, in the moment, and enjoying every last detail from our pinwheel aisle to spending time with our guests. My wedding wasn’t “ruined.” I’m not talking about that level of self-indulgent brattiness, but I am talking about honoring what’s personally important. I didn’t do that. I wanted gorgeous wedding pictures, but wasn’t willing to spend more than $150 buck on them. You ever hear the expression, “you get what you pay for?” My immediate hindsight reaction was, “I wish I had spend the money on professional photography, not because it’s universally important to every bride, but because because it meant that much to me.”

Wedding monogram details


So one our one year anniversary, I took my half of our tax return and arranged an anniversary shoot with Two Ring Studios, a real-deal professional photography team that specialized in weddings. I was done bullshitting around. If you want professional photography, you need to hire professionals. They don;t come cheaply, but they’re worth it!

DIY wedding wine label


We recreated as many of the wedding details as possible. I made a scaled down version of our wedding cake, baked a few dozen Italian cookies and wrapped them in brown paper tied with twine, and labeled new wine bottles with left over labels from our wedding. We also brought the pinwheels, left over cookie recipe cards, and styled a few tables with home-grown irises and lipine (just like the ones we grew for our wedding.) Then we donned our wedding garb and traiped around the North Carolina Arboretum with Derek and Galen, having a wonderful time of it all.

motorcycle groom takes bride for a ride

Now, a year later, the images are finally published, and I can finally start my personal hindisght journey with you! I am so excited to start pouring over my journals, notes, timelines, and receipts with you. And, as usual, I’ll keep finding real mountain brides who will share their own hindsight advice with us. Thanks for sticking with me through this. I look forward to many more years of sharing the best hindsight advice from real mountain brides!!!

Team Anniversary

DIY Projects

  • Butterfly Cake
  • Wine Labels
  • Cookies and recipes
  • Pinwheels
  • Menus
  • Flowers
  • Table Runners
  • Centerpieces