We’re Growing!

Hey everyone! Around this BlissQuarters, it’s been pretty insane lately. With an offer from Cosmopolitan UK, ELLE,multiple designers interested in adding their special touch to BlissBranch, and the final emergence of BlissBoxes (woot woot!), you can imagine we’ve been a little slammed. Not to mention the fact that we’re leaving in eight days for a month on the road! 

Luckily, we’ll get to see most of you IN PERSON on this tour, and I couldn’t be more thrilled! 

Just wanted to go ahead and address some issues that have been eating at me recently; I want to bring them to everyone’s attention then find the joy and growth that’s hidden in them and move forward!

Some of you may have noticed that BlissBranch has been receiving some comments on photos about how I should feel guilty for “ripping people off just to make a profit” or that “what [we're] doing is wrong” and that our “message is getting lost in making a business,” etcetera. 

Everyone, you are all entitled to feel as you do, and I really do appreciate the honesty. The thing is, you may merely be seeing me buying cheap clothes, throwing them on, taking photos, and handing them off to whoever just to make a ridiculous profit and laugh menacingly as I count my bills.

The reality is, at BlissBranch, we scour websites, thrift stores, wholesale shops, and our own creative minds to come up with a product that has love in it. Whether we designed a dress from the 70s or not, it does not mean that it’s lacking in our desire to bring people joy or our willingness to do anything to make our customers and readers smile.

As with any business, we do need to pay our own bills on top of buying shipping supplies, our domain, an at-home shipping label printer, clothes, sewing supplies, washing supplies, labeling and craft supplies, etc. We don’t pay ourselves for hours spent, we just put the money right back into BlissBranch, reserving a card and account solely for the business itself. 

We don’t have labor hours, we literally do this all day everyday

And I love it. I’m so grateful.

We just started this a couple months ago and are still flailing around trying the best techniques to get our job done the most effectively and efficiently, all while keeping everyone happy and replying to all the comments and emails we receive.

Doing all of this and trying to stay true to BlissBranch’s sole roots of being grateful for our bodies, happy in our skin, and loving one another. That being said, those of you with hate mail, I still love you. It wouldn’t be the real world if we didn’t have a few people attempting to shoot us down just so that we could question ourselves (despite knowing our truth) and try to improve. 

Even if you’re trying to rise above, there’s still that inkling inside that wants to impress the bullies. To show them you actually DO care about everyone, and this isn’t some selfish scheme “based off of some petty internet fame.” 

(Yes, someone said that, YIKES!)

This is just me touching base with each and everyone of you to let you know that I’m not doing this to take advantage of readers and customers at all. I’m so grateful and constantly inspired by all of you, constantly buying things I think you’ll love based off of what you’ve requested, and when it doesn’t work, I put it on sale and try try again.

To those of you with positive feedback and constructive advice, thank you. We have attempted to shift and build BlissBranch in a way that you will enjoy it the most you possibly can because you’re the ones making our dreams come true. You’re beautiful and in all honesty, you don’t need a piece of clothing to know it.

At BlissBranch, we just want you to know that it’s okay to treat yourself. 

It’s okay to get dressed up, to experiment with your style, to put yourself out of your comfort zone and try new things.

It’s okay to look yourself in the mirror and tell yourself that all of your dreams can and will come true and the only thing standing in the way is you. You can make your life happen and no one else.

The truth is, this is our living. It’s not consistent, but it’s G R O W I N G.

As long as we continue to water, feed, and tend to it, it will continue to blossom.

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So, My Cousin Got Engaged…

And he may hate me for posting this for everyone to see, but this is the most adorable thing I’ve ever seen! I cried :D

Please watch it, the whole thing, it’s sooo sweet! It just makes me so jealous we didn’t have wedding videography, and makes me so excited for whenever we receive our wedding videography! Woohoo! 

Just had to share this. I couldn’t resist. I love love! <3 :)

Good Morning!

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Do you ever have those moments where life becomes so surreal and precious that surely it can’t be your own? 

Well, I have those moments frequently, especially these past few weeks. You see, my husband Collin was apprenticing to be an electrician for about a year and I guess I’m still not used to not being afraid for his life. First, a giant structure fell like fifteen feet and onto his foot and broke the top of his foot. Then, his brother Weston got heat stroke. Great. Seriously? That’s like the most terrifying news! 

Finally, Collin had a giant nail go through his workboot and through his foot. A tetanus shot and a couple limping days later, we decided he was done. He was no longer going to shove himself into a 120 degree attic in the middle of summer to install someone’s new fancy lighting. 

Don’t get me wrong! This is a valuable job, and I really am so grateful for those who work it. I’m just also so grateful my husband isn’t doing that anymore.

Anywho, back to feeling surreal because you’re blown away by your life.

Yeah. I mean, Collin and I have come so far within the last year, it’s unbelievable. Even within the last six months! Six weeks!

Firstly, we were teenagers last summer when we decided we were going to be together forever.

He was on tour and I had flown out to see him in Denver, I believe, and I was able to travel to all these cities I couldn’t even have dreamt up. I was still living with my parents, so though I had saved some money for miscellaneous tattoos and road trips, my money was essentially for spending, and spend I did! So silly, now, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Infinite coffee from a billion different coffee shops I’d only seen in photographs and tons of authentic food and culture and scenery that made me feel like I was in a movie.

I remember we were staying at a friend’s house in Utah when he told me goodnight and that he loved me one night before he went to his bed. I was kinda flipping out on the inside the past few days with the realization that I couldn’t even fathom being with anyone else.

 Like ever.

So after he said he loved me I said, “Like forever?”

Gulp. Sweating. Barfing on the inside. AHHH!

He smiled sweetly and said, “Like forever.”

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I probably giggled myself to sleep that night, envisioning our future as husband and wife, probably having a child or six, who knows.

All I know is that within a few months, we knew we were going to marry one another and within a year we were engaged. Here we are, madly in love and have been married four days shy of three months!

In fact, we got engaged exactly seven months ago today! WOAH!

But, please, don’t think we’re flawless. We’ve had bum girlfriend and boyfriend experiences, for sure. Everyone has! Psh, my romantic history is far less than perfect. Everyone’s is. Sometimes you’ve gotta kiss some frogs before you find your perfect Prince Collin DuPree, ammiright, ladies? 

Like, a lot of frogs. But hey, those frogs are someone else’s princes, right?

I just want everyone to know that they deserve love from someone else, but they also first before all others, deserve the love from themselves.

No one completes you in the grand scheme that is your life. Rather, someone accents you, and makes you learn and find different things out about yourself that were already there to begin with, you were just blind to them. If you love someone, truly, deeply love someone, you trust them when they tell you that you’re beautiful. It’s something you have to see for yourself, however, they can’t force you to see it.

Do you know how many times I’ve had to cry and shake myself out of feeling sorry for myself or hating my body, even MARRIED?! It’s something that Collin most certainly helps me with, but the decision to stop crying and accept myself and see the beauty in the only body I’ve given is all my own.

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I still am making steps towards living a healthy lifestyle, but no one has a perfect relationship with their mind/body, we’re all unique and we all see ourselves and our plates differently whether we’re deemed clinically disordered or not. I know there are hashtags out there that are obsessed over by girls that are younger than me and older than me.

Well, check it out, I don’t have a #thighgap nor am I an advocate for #thinspo or #fitspo for that matter, but I am here to say that you can be healthy and happy without any of that in your life and that to base your goals for your own body off of the promotion of someone else’s is never going to satisfy you. 

You’re already flawless the way you are!

 Kissed too many frogs? Found your prince? Sick of negative hashtags? Learning to love yourself with what you were given?
So take this early morning rambling blog post and think about it some, comment your thoughts and your experiences below if you have anything you feel relates to anything here.

Own Domain!

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Boom! Finally taking charge and making this blog official! I feel as though I’ve neglected it in the wake of opening up our shop, but please please forgive us. I still want everyone to understand how much we still desire to relate and hear from every single one of you!

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We’re still spending our days figuring out things like tax IDs, sales taxes, most efficient postage, best packaging, best vendors and suppliers, best times to work, which days to work, what the hell to do with our kitten Prim while we work! The list goes on and on.

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First off, let me clarify what we have hinted at in previous posts: Collin and I did quit our jobs to do BlissBranch full time! 

It may seem crazy and impulsive and irresponsible, but we have never taken anything more seriously in our lives (and we also never would have suspected we would have been able to make as much, if not more, than our previous jobs).

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So, here we are. A couple of newlyweds throwing out whatever makeshift future we had envisioned and embarking on a journey bigger than we could have ever imagined. 

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All with the small hope that someone will feel understood and loved by us complete strangers, and will realize that though we sell clothes, we don’t sell self worth or beauty. You have that all the time, and you’re beautiful just the way you are. We promote comfort in the cheesy sayings and quotes that are deemed “inspirational” but should actually just be called “natural” or “factual”.

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Most nights we spend figuring out the best quotes, ways to utilize our stamps and tags, and sitting around eating watermelon and watching Netflix.

 

 

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Since we’re actually coming up with better and more efficient ways to do everything, we’re hoping to finally dedicate some “Me-Time” to the blog! DIYs, recipes, everything we’ve been requested! 

_DSC0366So this is just a post to let you know that we’re here to stay! We’ve invested our time, money, and love into BlissBranch and we are so incredibly inspired by everyone buying our items and leaving positive feedback! 
_DSC0375Also, this guy is a hunk and I just am so in love with him. He constantly inspires me everyday, believes in me, and tells me how grateful he is to have this opportunity together.

That’s our secret. We have nothing but hope and gratefulness for what is to come and what we’re doing now. 

The biggest secret is that it isn’t a secret at all. You can do it too! :)

 

Fun Facts About Me!

I just thought it could be somewhat hilarious to do a post on a few little things very few people know about me. Here it goes!

1. I’ve cleaned up more strangers’ poop in the bathroom than I can count.

2. My husband and I spend our evenings mostly eating watermelon and watching controversial political and philosophical documentaries.

3. I graduated high school at the age of 17 and finished early at a school for delinquents because it was the only way I could get away with finishing within a month.

4. Back to the bathroom topic, I’ll never use a handicap bathroom for fear someone who’s actually handicapped needs to use the restroom while I’m in there.

5. I’m going on the Sucre tour in September and it’s cute because literally that’s all Collin and I listened to in the car whenever we first started dating.

6. I briefly worked at a yoga studio before Collin and I started dating.

7. I still try to do yoga everyday; it’s the only form of exercise that doesn’t make me feel like I’m trying to burn calories, but makes me feel comfortable and strong.

8. I’m almost always scared that every slight ailment is like a killer disease. Collin makes fun of my for it, but my anxiety takes off at the smallest sign of sickness.

9. I make southwestern quinoa like every night and it’s my favorite dinner.

10. I didn’t grow up in a church or anything close, but sought my own spiritual path once I was in treatment.

11. My favorite class in college was World Religions.

12. For the record, I thought Collin and Christie were dating the first time I saw an inkling of their band on the internet. Lol oops.

13. I’m filling this out in the car and Collin is rapping to old Eminem.

14. I saw Collin picking his nose the night we met.

15. He’s probably going to kill me for number 14.

16. I LITERALLY have eleven siblings (unless you add my siblings in laws spouses, then I have 16).

17. I didn’t graduate college, but I when I went, I was majoring in art.

18. I took printmaking and it was the hardest thing ever. Hats off to whoever finds that fun.

19. Collin and I live in a triplex next door to his parents. Once again, lol oops.

20. I grew up in a house with three cats and four dogs.

21. I didn’t get a job until I was eighteen, so if you feel like a loser because you’re seventeen and haven’t ever had a job, DON’T.

22. I used to party hardy every weekend and abuse drugs and alcohol.

23. I smoked cigarettes from fourteen to eighteen years old.

24. The reason I quit was because I was going to Colorado and I was terrified I wouldn’t be able to breathe. Sooooo glad I did.

25. I bought a Magic Bullet at Target like three days ago and I bet I’ve used it like twenty times already.

26. Bananas are some of my favorite foods. That sounds dirty.

27. Erase number 26 from your memory.

28. Collin and I eat so much salsa and make it different every time.

29. I’m obsessed with air popped popcorn.

30. Collin is walking around the house singing “Rich Girl” by Gwen Stefani.

Busy Bliss

So, as some of you may’ve noticed, we’ve been exceptionally busy around here the past two weeks! Literally within this small amount of time our life has taken on an absolutely incredible and refreshing turn, and it wouldn’t have happened without YOUR help!

I wanted to post this thank you alongside with a few answers regarding various emails and comments I’ve received with the hopes of clearing up some of you inquisitive shoppers/readers. I’m sorry I haven’t posted more of a variety of sizes past S, M, L, and XL. I swear I’m trying! I’ve bought several things but they’ve sold so quickly that I haven’t gotten the opportunity to stock up just yet. Since this business is so fresh and shiny new, we’re still working out the kinks and always taking suggestions and constructive criticism. We’ve received some not so sweet emails regarding Bliss doing the opposite of it’s mission which is to make people feel good about themselves, and frankly, it leaves me broken-hearted! Just know that we ARE trying every time we go scoping for new garments to find plus sizes and smaller sizes to style and have available for everyone :).

Regardless of clothes, I hope everyone recognizes that we still are promoting mindfulness, positive self worth, and body image. This can be taken into consideration by anyone, despite their size, because it’s based on your mentality and your feelings about yourself. I want you to know I’m still open for emails with questions or any struggle you may be having, and I want everyone to know the sole purpose of this blog has not been forgotten!

Even these days I still struggle with my own set of body-image issues and food-related problems. I’ve been facing things that have hidden from me, things I guess I thought would vanish with my past once I got married. We’re all human and we all have our beef with ourselves, hiding it and projecting it in unhealthy ways onto ourselves or others. I’m just here to say we can work through it and we can all encourage one another!

We are so grateful here at the Bliss Headquarters that you’ve given us a chance and let us into your life in such a relatable and honest way. We love and appreciate every single one of you! <3

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Instagram Official

Yesterday marked my first attempts of selling clothes on the internet and I was very pleasantly surprised by the positive feedback I received from my readers! If this is something that a good amount of you guys are interested in, then let there be a sale!

I’m planning on purchasing and reworking several different things so that everyone who’s looking for a good pair of overalls or high waisted shorts or just a granny maxi dress can have it! I had loads of fun yesterday styling and putting together the outfit bundles for those who purchased items I posted.

I also started BlissBranch an Instagram yesterday, whoop whoop! I would love everyone to follow both accounts because I’ll be posting different material on each :).

I was wondering if there’s any specific item anyone’s looking for? Sizing? Extras? Accessories? Comment on this post or on the Instagram @BlissBranch and I’ll do my best to make it happen :)!

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Married Life!

I just want to begin this by saying thank you to all of the exquisitely kind words in regards to our wedding and everything about it. In all honesty, I wish I could go back and relive the whole day, which is not abnormal. Everyone who’s been married has shared with me this similar desire, and I’m so blessed to have a video of our wedding come our way rather soon!

Let me just express that being married is literally the most fun I’ve ever had. Collin and I laugh until we cry, watch marathons of True Blood, and eat whole watermelons as often as we can, declaring our gratefulness all along the way.

Lately, things have been a little tough. The future is looking uncertain with our current jobs and the stress of what that could mean is intimidating. Recently, my job reduced my nine hour shifts to four hours, bringing me in at a whopping sixteen hours a week. It really hit hard.

After several nights of unloading my anxieties on my husband, I realized that though I was anxious and fearful, I was still the happiest I’d ever been in my life. He agreed, and with that, I’ve since continued to count my blessings and look toward the larger picture that is our life!

Before we know it, we’ll have babies, dogs, our own multi-bedroom house, and the struggles of today will wash away.

And lemme tell y’all, I cannot wait to have a baby! But I will. Sigh. We don’t quite fit the monetary criteria we believe is necessary, and frankly, we want to travel and live our “couple life” for a weeeeee bit longer! ;)

Also, we drive a Fiat. If that’s not Birth Control, I don’t know what is!

I plan on attempting to write my book this year. It’s not something I don’t have time for or am not interested in, I just need a good lead. It’s tricky; if I want to write about eating disorders, do I include my personal journey, or exclude it with awareness of the triggers it will cause?

Do I write a novel? If so, for children? Adults? Whatever it may be, I plan on illustrating it and pouring my heart into it.

(Also, if anyone knows how/wants to help me make writing/blogging my living, send me an email, I’m definitely interested!)

With all the time I’ve been dealt not working, I’ve been able to write music and revisit the piano, which has been sooo fun. There’s nothing like having your own home, and someone to share in the fun with you.

This was merely an update because I’m home sick. Green snot is really cute, huh? :P

Here’s some shots of our life as of late:
We both got some lovely tattoos, we welcome a lovely kitten into our home, and Collin’s birthday is in two days!

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Here Comes the Blog…



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In case you missed it, I got married to Collin Ashton DuPree exactly one month ago.

(Weird, I literally am just realizing today is June seventeenth..! Please envision me dorky dancing in my kitchen and texting my husband right now.)

Just warning you: this is going to be as detailed as it gets. (Well, up until we left the venue. Nothing past that! Nunyabinness!)

I don’t even know where I could possibly begin with this post. There were so many people involved in every intricate and delicate detail of our special day that to begin naming would take all day. Essentially, Collin and I are SO incredibly blessed to have such loving parents and willing siblings to not only envision but also conjure up such a magical soiree in our honor.

Here’s some rehearsal dinner shots.

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Rehearsal dinner wedding prep!
Rehearsal dinner wedding prep!

More rehearsal dinner prep.
More rehearsal dinner prep.

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The day itself was honestly bizarre. My entire family was in town in addition to Collin’s, yet I spent the night before my wedding by myself. I didn’t want a slumber party, or spend the evening reminiscing on childhood memories with my parents; I wanted to be alone. Honestly, I was sort of terrified I would stay up too late and then have to wake up early, leading to becoming a walking headache all day. Collin stayed until I fell asleep, and I slept through the night.

I woke up calmly and quietly and had yogurt and berries alone.

I had coffee alone.

I did yoga alone.

I took a shower and fixed my hair and makeup. I couldn’t help but think, “Uhh…can I do normal makeup? Like, am I allowed? Does it break some sort of unspoken bridal tradition? Aren’t you supposed to let some kinda-girlfriend pluck your mustache and pinch your eyelashes? Can’t I just save the poor girl a bridezilla moment and do it myself? I’m doing it….”

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All the while praising the Lord for this time alone. The last thing I needed was some champagne-toasted, giggle-induced anxiety attack from too many “So are you nervous?!” -s.

(So, I MAY have sneakily texted Collin the morning of…I HAD NO CHOICE! He was going to get ready at our place but I had slept there, so it was like this big cluster of when my ride was picking me up mixed with make sure you eat your lunch mixed with don’t be late! mixed with stop texting me omg you’re breaking the rules!)

My mom showed up twenty minutes late and I chastised her gently, but couldn’t manage to be annoyed. I was getting married in three hours!

The finishing touches were performed at my aunt and uncles house, where I remained relatively quiet aside from replying whenever asked how I was doing. I ate a snack and drank champagne. I was pretending like I didn’t notice I was late.

My aunt was running around making sure everything was ready in addition to herself and her children, and she was my ride to the venue. We finally left and sang (and videotaped ourselves singing) No Doubt all the way out of town.


_mg_0987Upon arriving, I texted Weston, Collin’s brother to make sure Collin was blindfolded or put in a corner somewhere so that he wouldn’t even catch a glimpse of me in my pajama shirt and fancy hair. (Also, I wished Weston a happy birthday because we suck and stole his birthday thunder with our wedding).

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My girls were all there getting ready and looking SO stunning. I didn’t stop smiling or hugging people for the rest of the day after I opened that door. Christie and Sherri had bought me an iced latte and I sipped it while I scoped out our cute bungalow, it’s rustic charm masked by its shabby exterior. Lucy was eating a Starbucks cake thing and watching the iPad while everyone hustled and bustled around her, laughing and crying because they were all practically high on hairspray fumes and excitement.

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After hugging everyone I went into one of the bedrooms with my aunt, the videographer, and the photographer to slip into my gown.

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It wasn’t real! None of it! Where was I?! What was this?! Who am I?! WHAT I’M GETTING MARRIED?! AHH! *dancing, laughing, and crying on the inside*

(I actually didn’t cry at all my whole wedding day, I was too nutty and giggly.)

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My bridesmaid Addie and our friend Alex Modisette (both of which work at Moss, a beautiful floral shop in Tyler) showed up with my bouquet and my bridesmaids’ peonies. They were perfect! I was practically drooling, only drool couldn’t come out because my smile was too tight, I guess.

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Everything was perfect! Besides everyone in the world coming in to say hello. That, I’ll admit in my own bridezilla way, that made me crazy. Literally forty people came and went in the span of like twenty minutes and I just wanted to get my hair resprayed and my pins readjusted! But I do love you all, if you’re reading this! I just kinda threw up in my mouth every time someone asked if I was nervous at that point, or wanted to hug my hairpins even looser.

Oh, yeah! It’s all coming back now. I didn’t know wtf I was supposed to do, by the way. I never asked! Does someone come get me? Do I lead the bridesmaids to the door? Do I wait until they’re gone? Did someone already tell me and I completely forgot?

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Thankfully, our Aunt Parrish came to the rescue and confidently told me what was up and that everyone would be waiting on me, I could take my time. That sounded so nice. I felt like a badass in a lacy dress. QUEEN KARSYN! Muhahaha!

Only, screw waiting, let me kiss the groom!

Parrish asked if I was ready and she smiled very sweetly. I said yes before I began to panic, but that was all forgotten as soon as we made the trek to the barn door. I could have easily puked. It’s kinda what I would imagine being shot while wearing a bullet-proof vest would feel like. Very clear, yet not lethal pain.

My girls were tearing up, I was peeking through cracks in the door, straining to hear the music and if everyone was walking when I envisioned they would. (The song I chose for them to all walk to was “Get it Wrong, Get it Right” by Feist, so please hear that in your head now.)

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The girls left me and Parrish told me Collin was literally on the other side of the door I was leaning against. He was right there and he had no idea.

My stepdad, Michael opened the door for me. (Okay, my whole stomach just plummeted even thinking about this moment) My heart was in my throat, my chin was tucked and my eyes found Collin instantly. “Light Up” by Sucre began to play and I began to walk, I guess. Who knows. I just know Collin was crying and I was still going to throw up through my huge smile.


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Michael stopped about four steps to the stage and handed me off to my dad, Jeff, to give me away. Shortly after, I was on the stage. Terry, the man who married us, began to speak and I couldn’t squeeze Collin’s hands tighter. I remember saying, “Hi.”

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All things were said and then Collin began his vows. No one heard them but me and I know everyone was probably pretty annoyed, but it was perfect. He could hardly say them as he read his perfect little torn card I left him that morning with instructions to write your vows. My vows followed and then the rings, I think? The unity candle thing happened somewhere in there, but you guys, I can’t remember where.

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It was time for Terry to pronounce us and I leaned back and tucked my chin again, just gearing up to launch myself into wifedom, I suppose!

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He could kiss me! And let me tell you, he did. He grabbed my face and held me close for the perfect amount of time. Everyone cheered and “I Will” by Paul McCartney began to play.

We ran down the aisle to the back door and screamed! We smiled and jumped before we kissed and hugged. Being married made us even dorkier.

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Once we came back in the hugs and smiles began in full force all over again, and the remainder of the reception was nothing but a hungry, thirsty, sweaty, busy, perfect blur.

We forgot to do our toast and ALMOST forgot the garder/bouquet toss. Good thing other people have brains n stuff, because those things never even crossed my newly-wedded mind.

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All the perfect photos were shot by our talented friend Bliss Katherine Braoudakis, and there is a video coming soon shot by our friends Brad and Monica Eggerton.

It takes FOREVER to upload and resize everything, but more pictures will accompany this post ASAP, I just had to put some on while I could.