Wedding of the Month: Meet the Cusicks!

1. How and when did you meet?

Brandon and I met during our Master’s programs in Northern Italy- YES, Italy! Brandon had been living there about a year and I had come in for a four week summer class. One day, we decided to meet outside of class to discuss a project. We ended up getting lost in conversation over espresso in the local cafe, then Brandon showed me around the town, introducing me to local shop owners- buying bread from the bakery and cherries from the fruit mart. Our conversation lasted for hours and I knew that there was something different about Brandon that was so unique and intriguing. The romance continued for the final two weeks as classes finished up and by the end, we both knew that we had something more than just a summer-fling. Luckily, it just so happened that Brandon was from Kansas City…and I was enrolled in an MBA program at The University of Kansas-which means when we returned to The States…we only lived about 45 minutes away from each other! Our relationship continued and the rest is history!

 

2. How did he/she propose?

 

Before I tell you the story, you must know something about us.  While Brandon believes that he can squeeze 28 hours of work and activity in a 24 hour day by burning the midnight oil, I find my greatest sources of energy come from getting a good night’s rest and embracing the morning.  While we may have differing sleep schedules, we find that the one place we’re able to let it all go and sink into our surroundings is down at the lake.  In this case, one of our favorite relaxation spots and earlier summer memories was at a serene, rock-bottom lake in the heart of Branson, Missouri – Tablerock Lake; specifically Big Cedar Lodge.  On the morning of Sunday, June 16th, I was awoken by Brandon as the sun was just breaking over the horizon and he had an unusual energy for such an early hour.  He claimed that he wanted to take me around to shoot photographs while the light was pristine and our day’s activities hadn’t began.  He led me to the highest point of the grounds, distracting me through photography the entire way, until we had reached a balcony that overlooked the entire lake and the rolling acres of trees basked in the warm morning light.  As I scanned the horizon, he sneakily snuck behind me and when I turned, he was already on one knee with a goofy smile on his face, hands extended.  Long story short(er), I said yes!  We took to the lake that day with his family for the first time as an engaged couple and even stopped to ‘take the plunge’ off of some of the cliffs with his brothers.  A life of adventure is what he promised me, and he continues to deliver in every way.

 

3.How many people were invited to your wedding and what type of venue was it?

 

Our wedding was a good size- around 180 people. We chose a gorgeous venue- the courtyard of a Tuscan style clubhouse at a golf course in Desert Mountain- a beautiful private club in North Scottsdale. We loved the look and feel of the clubhouse’s outdoor courtyard, which maintained a very Italian atmosphere and we couldn’t think of a more perfect venue! The ceremony took place outside, right before sunset, and the views over the Phoenix valley were incredible. The reception was at a different clubhouse located right down the mountain from the ceremony. We loved that it had a huge wrap around porch and offered guests amazing views that allowed for a spectacular cocktail hour.  The cocktail hour led into a delicious dinner followed by hours of whirlwind dancing, cake-cutting and flower-tossing with our closest loved ones.

 

4.What was the wedding theme/inspiration?

 

We started planning with a “Tuscan” theme in mind- because of course… we met in Italy! But I also wanted to include a bit of desert feel with soft colors- peach, champagne, light grey and a soft green color. In the end, we were pleased with the blend and were even able to incorporate some Chinese traditions to honor Brandon’s mother’s side of the family including a tea ceremony and personalized chopsticks for each of the guests.  In this way, we were able to honor the traditions of the east, add some rowdiness from the southwest and tie it together with some northern Italian flair.  A perfect recipe for our wedding day.

 

4. How did you hear about ii.do?

 

Brandon tends to run all the tech in our relationship, so when we decided to create a hashtag for our wedding, we wanted to go one step further.  We had seen a live feed utilized this last year at our Harvard Graduate Student Masquerade Ball and were blown away at how much fun it was to see the unique photos taken during the event.  It provoked all of our group to want to take more photos and seek out exciting little adventures during the party.  We reflected on this when we organized the social media aspect of our wedding and it was recommended to us that we check out eventstagr.am for a live feed.  As Brandon looked more closely and spoke with Jacqueline, she lead us over to ii.do for something more wedding specific.  It turned out to be perfect and we’re already planning and plotting a way to use eventstagr.am at our next event!

 

5. How did you put ii.do to use? Where did you place the hashtag information?

 

After getting a full rundown on our options via Jacqueline at ii.do, we coordinated with our wedding planner to setup the best arrangement of our ii.do live feed during the wedding.  We instructed our guests to use the hashtag, #MeetTheQ6 (a play on words for ‘Meet the Cusicks’) via our website, a welcome basket upon their arrival and by using various signs around the rehearsal dinner, ceremony and reception.  We were even setting up instagram accounts for our grandparents so they could be part of our wedding instagram photography team!  Not only were we able to capture the moments to keep forever from angles only our beloved guests could have captured, we were able to showcase them live during the reception!  We ran several televisions and a projector screen during the cocktail hour and the dancing afterwards.  The ii.do livefeed paired perfectly with our live band allowing people to dance the night away while also given them a chance to rest, grab a drink and reflect on the evenings activity through the live feed.  We were brought to tears of joy and laughter at some of the angles and photos people were able to capture, and we’re truly thankful to be able to utilize such an awesome service to compliment our wedding

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Fiance Questions: 20 Things to Ask Before The Wedding

Asking your fiance questions should be an easy task, right? Wrong. There are some questions that are so obvious you never got to ask about them, or that you don’t know how to phrase so it doesn’t seem you are troubleshooting, just curious to know the opinion the person you are about to spend the rest of your life with has about a certain subject.

We are advocates of learning about another person as much as possible before putting a ring on it.  Not to make sure sure they are 100% aligned with our beliefs, but to comb out any opinion knots that might appear afterwards, and work through them to find a consensual agreement.  Because that’s what love is all about: not finding a perfect person, but finding  the person you can spend the rest of your life for, flaws and all!

20 Fiance Questions to Ask

 

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Cute & Creative Engagement Shoot Ideas

Summer is nearly here, and with it comes wedding season. But before your big day, comes your engagement, and with that engagement comes engagement photos. We know it’s not always easy to decide on the right theme and brain-storming can be hard when you’re in the midst of planning one of the biggest events of your life so to help out, we’ve curated some of the most creative and cute ideas out there.

At Home Shoot 

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We love this casual and relaxed (but still romantic!) shoot that was shot by photographer Marissa Maharaj in the couple’s own home. If you want to stay in budget and keep it lowkey then make like Brooke and Tyler, and keep it behind closed doors!

 Train Station Shoot

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This sweet couple did the long-distance thing for over a year, and all the travelling back and forth was the inspiration behind their sweet train station engagement shoot. With fun accessories and even a little dog – these images taken and shared by a guy + a girl photography are inspiring for any couple having a summer wedding!

Zombie Shoot

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This shoot may be one of our favourites! The bride and groom wanted to “survive a zombie attack and then hug because we’re in love!” which led to this super quirky and super creative engagement shoot by Amanda Rynda. Definitely one for any fans of The Walking Dead.

 First Date Shoot

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Love is in the air! This couple staged a sweet “first date” picnic in the woods which was photographed by Blush Wedding Photography. The lace teepee and berry-coloured accessories makes this a perfect shoot.

Lake & Canoe Shoot

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We love the sweet and playful vibe of this engagement session shot by Marissa Maharaj! The couple took to the water in a vintage canoe (complete with flower garlands!) – to show their love for the great outdoors, and each other.

 Whimsical Shoot

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We can’t get enough of these outdoor engagement shoots! This wonderful image is from a session captured by Caroline Tran in sunny California. The couple wanted their engagement photos to have a “whimsical and sunny daydream” vibe and they definitely do. Love!

 

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Why You Shouldn’t Unplug

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“Have An Unplugged Wedding!” articles are popping up everywhere but it’s 2015 so let’s face it – technology is everywhere and if Instagrams user stats are anything to go by, we all love to take photos and share them! Photographers often complain that guests and their smartphones get in the way, but isn’t it possible for both the photographer to get their job done and for guests to enjoy themselves without tech restraint? Your guests are there to celebrate your wedding and live in the moment. In this day and age, living in the moment includes capturing every second with images and video clips. Stop fighting it! Embrace it and be creative with it!

More and more couples are turning to tech to save time and money on their wedding, and by integrating tech into your big day, you can make things so much easier and less stressful. When it comes to the actual big day, hopefully you will no longer be stressed but you will be busy! Between getting ready, the ceremony and greeting guests and generally just being the bride – you can miss out on a lot of moments. Moments that your guests can capture on Twitter and Instagram which you can scroll through later that evening.

So instead of banning technology at your wedding, encourage it. A great way to do this is to create a wedding Twitter hashtag so your guests can get involved and share the moments. You can go the extra mile by creating an ii.do live wedding photo feed – wedding guests can share photos from the day on their Instagram which is then shown on a big screen throughout the day, and afterwards you can get all your favourite photos put into a traditional wedding album with your hashtag on the spine! Just make sure you have wi-fi!

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21 Wedding Playlist Ideas

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Veering away from the Top of the Charts, and even playlists compiled by Spotify – we have created our own wedding playlist with a contemporary feel to give any brides-to-be some ideas for their big day! It’s always a good to keep an open mind when it comes to planning these things, and how many can say they walked down the aisle to an Icelandic post-rock band?

Songs To Walk Down The Aisle To…

“Stardust” by Nat King Cole

“La Vie en Rose” by Andrea Bocelli

“Hoppípolla” by Sigur Rós

“At Last” by Etta James

“Hallelujah” by Jeff Buckley

“It’s Your Day” by Yiruma

Songs To Have Your First Dance To…

“All Of Me” by John Legend

“These Arms of Mine” by Otis Redding

“The Way You Look Tonight” by Frank Sinatra

“Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran

“Mi Vida” by Manu Chao

“A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri

“You And I” by John Legend

Songs To Play At The Wedding Reception…

“Marry You” by Bruno Mars

“I Won” by Future ft. Kanye West

“Young and Beautiful” by Lana Del Ray

“Hold On, We’re Going Home” by Drake

“Love On Top” by Beyonce

“Drunk In Love” by Beyoncé ft. Jay-Z 

“Lights On” by FKA Twigs 

“Together”  by The XX

What will you include in your wedding playlist? Will you have a DJ or use Spotify? Let us know in the comments below! 

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