I Love Him More

10525883_10152274400016819_2846397825118188319_nLast weekend Jeremy and I went to one of his friend’s weddings. Jeremy was actually IN the wedding, he was part of the sword arch.

Every wedding I go to I always reminded of my own vows, the ones that I made to Jeremy 5 1/2 years ago. When the new bride and groom are up there exchanging their vows and rings, I imagine that I’m saying those words to Jeremy again.

I’m often overwhelmed by how much I love him in these moments; when I really concentrate on my feelings rather than just experiencing them under the surface of all the other responsibilities of my daily life.

I honestly think that I love him more now then I did when we got married. I’ve experienced and lived those vows with him now; they aren’t just words.

My First Wedding! – Milagro Farm Vineyards & Winery

Yesterday I got to photography my first wedding! Although it’s not as exciting as it sounds…it was more like a couples session since the couple was eloping. It was just them, the official and me! Heather and I went to graduate school together and she and her new husband were on a budget for the wedding, so they asked me to be their photographer. I was so happy to get to try my hand at a wedding!

The location was out in Ramona at a winery (Milagro Farm Vineyards & Winery). Since it was February, the vineyards were dead, but we found a beautiful orange orchard with some trees that were just beginning to blossom

ImageImageThere were also some fully ripe orange trees, that made for a beautiful backdrop as well


I’ve posted a few of the shots on Facebook for a preview, and so far the most popular one is this. I was nervous about this shoot because it was mid-day, not my ideal time to shoot because I’m a big fan of backlight. But this photo goes to show that you can get some nice flare even at 12 noon!

ImageOverall, I’m very happy with how the photos came out, and the bride and groom seem pleased so far as well! I love being able to take photos for people who will treasure the memories.

Congrats Heather & Kenny!


TBT: The Elopement Part 2

Jeremy and I made the 8 hours drive up to my hometown on the Friday before we got married. I had the day off from class and he took leave to have a three day weekend. We both had to be back at school/work on Monday, so no honeymoon for us!


We woke up Saturday morning, February 14, 2008 and got ready together for the big day. I wore my off-white summer dress that I had originally bought for the wedding, and carried my wedding dress with me to the courthouse. We had made an appointment for the morning since apparently Valentine’s Day is a popular day to elope at the courthouse!

We met my parents at the courthouse, along with my sister, my brother and his fiancee, and my BFF and her husband (who brought me a bouquet!). There were a total of 10 guests at our wedding, all of them being my immediate family except for my BFF and her husband (I had actually been a witness for their courthouse wedding a few months before). None of Jeremy’s family had the time or money to fly out to CA for our wedding, which is why we were planning our vow renewal for Wisconsin, so they didn’t have to spend money to travel anywhere.


Getting married at the courthouse is kind of awkward, especially when you are wearing a full on wedding dress! I changed in the bathroom of the courthouse, and then had to wait around in the lobby in my dress before we went into our room. Jeremy stayed in another room because I didn’t want him to see me all dressed up until I walked down the aisle. I am glad I did that, because the look on his face when I walked in was amazing. What I remember most about that day was the smile on his face and when he whispered “you look beautiful” to me when I got up next to him.

My Dad walked me down the aisle, like he had always wanted to. He cried both times he walked me down, at my wedding and my vow renewal.


The ceremony took place in a very ugly gray room. There was a awesome tacky archway they had put up for Valentine’s Day, that really classed up the place haha

It was a simple ceremony, short and to the point. We exchanged rings and when they asked me to say “I do” I spoke too soon. Apparently she wasn’t done reading. Funny thing is, I did the exact same thing when we renewed our vows haha. Apparently I was eager to get married!

We took some pictures in the lovely gray room and then headed out to lunch for the “reception”


After lunch most of my family parted ways and my Dad came with me and Jeremy to the hotel so he could check us in and take some photos for us (my Dad has an art degree). I changed back into my wedding dress and we wandered around the hotel taking photos. It is a beautiful winery, and a lot of people actually pay big money to have their weddings there. My Dad knew the owner, so they let us take photos for free and use the ground as for our impromptu photo shoot.

I love the photos my Dad took and I am so glad that we have beautiful memories of our wedding day.


Too be continued…

TBT: The Elopement!

So Jeremy and I were officially engaged as of December 26, 2008!

I posted it on my Facebook that day (of course!). Remember when Facebook statuses had to start with “Alison Hettema is….”? Yep, old school! My status read, “Alison Hettema is ENGAGED!”

We drove back down to San Diego after the Christmas holiday and started to talk about picking a date for the big day.

We knew we wanted to do it fairly soon, for a variety of reasons.

Firstly, we wanted to live together. My lease was up in May and Jeremy and I were ready to move in together, and since he was an E-4 at the time, we had to be married in order to get BAH (housing allowance).

We thought about having a small wedding in April over Spring Break, but that was shot down because Jeremy’s brother was deploying to Afghanistan in January for a year, and if we were going to have only one wedding, we wanted his brother to be up there with him. But that would mean having to wait at least a year and a half, and we didn’t want to wait that long to live together.

So we decided to just go to the courthouse and elope, and then have a big wedding the next summer when his brother was back from deployment. It seemed like a fabulous idea to me at the time, best of both worlds! We get to live together and start our lives together, but have time to plan a “real” wedding where all of our families could be there to celebrate with us.  (If you’ve read my previous post, I have come to somewhat regret that choice). But at that moment in time, it sounded like a perfect plan, and I was 100% on board.

I started planning a small elopement. I bought an off white summer dress, Jeremy got some slacks and a dress shirt. We found a nice restaurant to go to lunch at with my family after the ceremony. We set a date for Valentines Day, 2009 (which sounded super romantic at the time, 100% regret that decision now lol. Ever tried to go out on Valentines Day?! Everything is over crowded, over booked and over priced!)

My family, however, were not on completely on board. My Dad expressed that he was disappointed that it wouldn’t be a “real” wedding. He said that he had always dreamed of walking his daughter down the aisle in a white wedding dress. He laid on the guilt hard core. I see now that he just wanted to give me a perfect wedding so I didn’t have any regrets, but at the time I couldn’t appreciate that and I found his opinions to be incredibly frustrating and “unsupportive”.

But as a result of his incessant comments, I caved and bought a wedding dress off the rack a few weeks before the big day (which I am forever grateful for since our photos from that day turned out like actual wedding photos thanks to that dress and my Dad’s photography). I also let him get Jeremy and I a hotel room at a fancy winery for our wedding night.

So less than 2 months after we officially got engaged, Jeremy and I drove back up to my hometown and eloped at the courthouse on February 14, 2009.

To be continued….

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMy last minute off the rack dress + the winery my Dad got us a room at + a bouquet from my BFF/Maid of Honor = amazing wedding photos ❤