Summer Reading

Happy first day of summer!  I’m so excited for my favorite time of year, I can’t stop thinking (and pinning) about all of the beaching, camping, swimming, picnicking, and barbecuing that I want to squeeze into these next few months! Here are some links to keep you inspired if you’re stuck in the office on this gorgeous Friday.

Kerry & Duncan beach wedding cape cod

For your summer wedding…or your summer BBQ, like me:  easy summer signature cocktail ideas

And while you’re in the kitchen, make some lemon raspberry swirl ice cream sandwiches from Annie’s Eats

For laughs: Possibly the most ridiculous wedding request I’ve ever heard

For your swooning pleasure: a gorgeous and romantic beach engagement session

For when you’re looking for something to do with all of those summer vacation photos: a fun DIY project

For jazzing up your walls: awesome summer inspired art from Scout’s Honor Co.

For those of us who still long for the days of sleep-away camp:  artsy summer camps for grownups

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We got married! – Camp Wing, Duxbury Mass

If we’ve met, you probably know that Jon & I got married last month. During the planning process, I talked about it to anyone who would listen: friends, family, clients, grocery store checkout people. Seriously, everyone. We’d been dating for nearly eight years and engaged for two by the time our wedding arrived, so we’d had plenty of time to think about what we wanted. It was so important to us to have a celebration that was truly us, and we knew right away that we wanted to find a casual outdoor venue where we could bring together all of our friends and family and have a really great party. When we found Camp Wing, we knew immediately that it was the right spot for our wedding. Its a 350 acre conservation area and summer camp, and not only are the grounds beautiful and a perfect spot for a wedding, but we were so excited to find that we’d be supporting a great cause as well.

All images courtesy of Heidi Finn Photography

We spent months working out the plans for our DIY rustic summer camp inspired wedding, and I had more than a few crazy bride moments while planning all the details.  I collected jars for the centerpieces (both vintage mason jars and regular pickle jars which I wrapped with twine), hand stained and painted the table number frames, painted a custom cornhole game for cocktail hour, and (probably my craziest moment of all) sewed 180 fabric napkins.  When the time came to pull everything together, we were so blessed to have a team of amazing friends and family who helped us set everything up on the Friday night before the wedding. They dragged furniture around, steamed tablecloths, tied twine, hung lights, and were just all around incredible. We were truly blown away by their love and support all weekend long.

Our first look below. I’ve always been a big fan of first looks from a photographer’s point of view, and now that I’ve done it as a bride, I can give you a million and one reasons why I think everyone should do it.
Our wedding cake, pictured above, was made by our awesome friend Laura and was a snickerdoodle cake. We had cupcakes for our guests (also delicious and made by Laura and her husband Scott), so we only used the cake for our cutting. We brought the rest of it with us on our honeymoon trip to Bar Harbor, and ate it with nearly every meal. It was unbelievably delicious. She was kind enough to share the recipe with me – if you’d like to make your own, you can find it at the end of the post. Thanks for reading! Even after being involved with so many weddings as a photographer, there was so much that I learned from the other side of the lens that I can’t wait to share with you all! Now, go make some snickerdoodle cake immediately. You’ll thank me later.

Snickerdoodle Cake (or cupcakes), found at Your Cup of Cake

Cake:
1 ½ cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup melted butter, cooled
1 ¼ cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon almond extract
¾ cup whole milk
¼ cup cinnamon sugar
Cinnamon Vanilla Buttercream:
1 stick butter softened
3 cups powdered sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 Tablespoons milk
Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Sift together flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
In a separate bowl, beat sugar and cooled butter until light and fluffy.  Then add eggs, vanilla, almond extract and milk. Mix until well blended.
Combine dry and wet ingredients and mix until smooth.
Spoon into cupcake liners and bake for 18-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
When the cupcakes come out of the oven, brush the tops with butter and then roll them in cinnamon sugar.
 
Buttercream:  Beat butter until light and fluffy.  Add 2-3 cups powdered sugar (taste along the way) and beat for 4-5 minutes.  Add vanilla and cinnamon.  Add milk to loosen.
Top cupcakes with buttercream when cooled.

Of weddings and omelettes

I had a busy weekend photographing a big event at UMass Dartmouth, then spent a lovely Sunday yesterday with old and new friends celebrating a very special bride friend. I took this morning off so that I could indulge in sleeping late, decompress a bit and run some errands. After a blissfully long shower, I went about the business of making myself some breakfast: a couple of eggs, some rosemary cut fresh from my back steps, and a leftover lump of fresh goat cheese all whipped into an omelette. The sun was streaming through the kitchen window, and I was humming to myself and thinking over the weekend’s events when I noticed how good my breakfast was looking. Light and fluffy, perfectly cooked, speckled with herbs; “I don’t think I’ve ever made a prettier omelette”, I thought. I was feeling pretty satisfied with myself as I flipped it over onto my plate perched on the counter, and over it flopped onto the floor. It actually hurt to watch it fall, and even though no one was home to hear me, I yelled out “NO!!” at the moment of impact.

I took a few deep breaths, wiped my breakfast off the linoleum, and headed back to the fridge. As I went through the steps again, it occurred to me just how much my egg debacle was like my wedding planning experience. Just at the moment I thought I was about to sit down and enjoy myself, something threw a wrench in my plans, and I had to start all over again. We’ll have been engaged for a little over two years when we finally get married, so there have been many flopped omelettes along the way, so to speak.  It can be so difficult sometimes to watch your plans shift and change from your initial vision of your wedding day, but ultimately you have to learn to breathe and let go, then start back at the beginning. At the end of the day, I’ll be married to a man that I adore, no matter the color of the linens. Part of why I love photographing weddings so much is that I get to hang out with other brides who are going through all of the same things that I am, so I know I’m not crazy when I start seeing symbolism in my breakfast.

My new omelette wasn’t nearly as pretty, it was a little overcooked and lumpy, but I think I may have enjoyed it more because I had to work for it.

Has anyone else out there dropped their omelette lately, literally or figuratively?

5 things I’m obsessed with this week

Oh hey there. You’re probably wondering where I’ve been for so long. Its been a looong winter/early spring, and I’ve been very busy planning my wedding, making some changes to my website & blog, and editing weddings and engagement sessions, including a very cool (oh, puns) winter wedding in the mountains of New Hampshire, and another Fenway park engagement session. There’s lots to come in the next few weeks, but in the meantime, here’s a list of things that are keeping me awake and inspired this week.

The Muppet Show on DVD –  I’m a huge Muppet fan. I watched the show & movies as a kid and love everything Jim Henson ever did. True story: I cried within the first four minutes of the new movie, I was just that excited. Don’t judge. Jon gave me the box set for Christmas this year, and they’ve been getting a lot of use lately.  I used to watch nighttime TV before bed, but then figured out that more often than not, it was stressing me out rather than helping me decompress. (I’m looking at you, Private Practice. Please. Please. Puh-lease. Stop showing horrifying murder/death/cutting people open scenes at 10:58, then leaving me hanging for three weeks waiting to find out what happens. Its bad for my brain! Could you maybe go back to being a fun show about doctors who are all sleeping with each other? Kthanks.) I started watching the Muppet Show at night instead, and I’ve been much happier. Its the little things.

Joy the Baker – both her blog and her cookbook. Joy is awesome. I love everything about her blog – she’s funny & totally relatable, her recipes are amazing, and she has a giant orange cat that I’m totally jealous of. She’s the kind of gal I could definitely be besties with in real life. When I bought her cookbook a few weeks ago, I sat down to mark the recipes I wanted to try, got about a quarter of the way through, and realized that I’d marked pretty much every page. Her recipe for peanut butter cream cheese frosting inspired a major change to our wedding cupcake flavor lineup.

Jewelry from 31 Bits –  a very cool company that sells gorgeous 100% recycled paper jewelry to benefit displaced women in Northern Uganda. My only problem is deciding which piece to buy. Feel free to vote on your favorite in the comments.

Iced Coffee – Ah, iced coffee season. Some people drink iced coffee all year long, but it just feels wrong to me. Plus, what’s better than that very first sip of iced coffee after a long winter? How else will I know that spring is here? I get my fix from a local place called Mirasol’s in Dartmouth – (if you’re a Southeastern Massachusetts person and haven’t yet experienced their magical iced coffee concoction called a “Chippi” – get on that. Like, yesterday. And order yourself some huevos rancheros while you’re at it. You’ll thank me, I promise.)

Mercy Bell & her CD “All Good Cowboys” – Mercy and I were in a college voice class together many moons ago, and have remained friends since. She’s an amazingly talented folk singer/songwriter with a haunting voice and is just the sweetest soul you’ll ever meet. I’ve been listening to her CD on repeat all week while editing photos. She’s competing for a spot at Bonnaroo and is currently in the top five, so if you have a minute, you should go vote for her – and definitely listen to her music. Its gawjus.

So, what are you all obsessed with this week? Pinned anything good lately? Tell me about it. (Follow me on Pinterest  if you want to spy on what else I’ve been checking out this week.)

Hello!

Hello friends! Just checking in to let you know that I’m still alive and kicking. This last month has been my busiest ever. You heard it here first, folks: September is the new June when it comes to weddings.  I’ll be back soon with new wedding and engagement photos, including a session at Fenway Park!

And just because no post is complete without a photo, here’s a favorite shot from the amazing wedding that I’ve been working on most recently.