emily & jake {happily ever after}

Goodness gracious, is that my name?! Has it really been a year since Jake & I got married?? I guess so!!! So much has happened that it sometimes seems we've been married longer, but at the same time, there's no way it's already been a year. 

I laughed, then sighed Monday, when I realized that Jake & I would never have a daylight photo of us because Jake gets home around 7pm every night & our anniversary will always fall after Daylight Savings until it's on a weekend. Le sigh.

At any rate, it's mine & Jake's turn to answer these questions!

Tell me about your wedding:

1. What was your most memorable moment?

Jake: The most memorable part of the wedding day was the first look. The first look was great. The anticipation of waiting to see my bride for the first time was killing me! I could hear her crunching through the leaves behind me as I was waiting to turn around. All of a sudden the crunching stopped & I felt her grab me around the waist. I almost jumped out of my shoes I was so on edge. She gave me this awesome book of letters she had been writing to her future husband since she was in middle school, the coolest gift I've ever gotten!

The most memorable part of the wedding itself was painting the unity canvas with rags. Emily kept getting mad at me for "messing it up". Gimme a break, woman, we're painting with rags!

Emily: I remember turning the corner to walk down the aisle when it hit me that this was actually happening. Being a wedding photographer, I've gone through wedding day motions so many times that, for most of the day, it felt like just another day at work. The walk down the aisle reminded me that this was NOT just a day at work & was real. I think I ended up laughing the entire way down the aisle! I remember my mother-in-law-to-be frantically calling me early that morning to see if she could borrow my makeup artist because she had had an allergic reaction to some medication, then crying/laughing when I saw how bad it was. (Thankfully it didn't show up in pictures! She was such a sport about it & ended up looking great!) I remember dancing with my dad to the best & slightly longest song ever (The One You Need by Shane & Shane).

And as for the rag thing, Jake was smudging all of the paint together! We were supposed to be painting with the spoons! (Another long & fun story!)

2. What were the inspirations for your wedding? themes? Why did you pick this time of year?

Emily: I grew up wanting a June wedding all because of the movie Seven Brides for Seven Brothers ("Oh they say when you marry in June, you're a bride all your life") but quickly abandoned that idea when I realized how hot June in Texas can be. So, fall was my next choice. My sister was getting married in July (indoors!) so we wanted to respect her time in the wedding spotlight before jumping into ours. Also, my brother demanded that our wedding not fall on a Texas A&M or Alabama football game day. It was a bye week for both! I also had to convince Jake that getting married on a Sunday was very common. I still don't understand why he thought it was weird. His grandparents got married on Easter Sunday. The Sunday of all Sundays!!

My dress had a black sash which I had picked out very early on, so I knew I needed black to be a part of the wedding scheme. I was working at Paper Source at the time & was absolutely in love with the Peacock paper, which became the second color in my scheme. I remember asking Jake if he preferred stripes or chevrons more. He thought about it for a second, then said, "Stripes. They know where they're going, they have a purpose. Chevrons...they're just like...uhh...sure I'll go this way. No wait, I'll go that way." In my experience, I knew having a theme & not just color scheme would really help when picking out details, so we settled on an Art Deco inspired theme, with gold, peacock, & black & white stripes.

We also threw in a lot of Marvel things to make Jake happy. Well, it made me happy to see him excited. Our getaway car was pretty amazing. (Custom Captain America Dodge Charger!)

3. Was there anything that was not worth fussing over? In other words, did you have a bridezilla/groomzilla moment over something that was insignificant?

Jake: The garter toss was something I couldn't really get behind at first. I just thought it was a weird concept. Once I realized I could do it in a funny, non-awkward way though I was fine. We played the Indiana Jones theme as I dove under the dress, which I thought was funny. I remember chucking the garter over everyone's head & nobody catching it. I had to try a second time....

Emily: I was pretty good at making quick decisions on things, & being ok with those decisions. Although, there were a few times my mom & I butted heads. I do remember encouraging Jake to offer his opinion, but he was pretty go with the flow. However, when he did have a strong opinion, it was for things I didn't think he cared about at all, & I remember getting frustrated. At least once I snapped at him because "that's just now how it's done!!" It all worked out though!

4. Any advice for those planning now?

Jake: Literally nothing else matters than just enjoying each other on the wedding day. The guest list, cake topper, place settings, DJ, & music all pale in comparison to the memories you will share after the wedding day ends. Wardrobe malfunctions, awkward toasts, fainting bridesmaids, & tardy pastors all turn into funny stories later on.

Emily: Oh, dear, where do I start??

  1. Like I said earlier, if you're really stuck & don't know where to start, or you've found that you have way too many ideas, come up with a theme, & not just a color scheme. Art Deco was a very geometric heavy art movement, not very floral, so it was easy picking out table linens, for example.
  2. Relax a few days before the wedding. I actually photographed another couple's wedding six days before my wedding, & I remember being so happy to be there. It was such a load off my mind!
  3. Start early on DIY projects. I knew exactly what my favors were going to be, but that meant stamping & heat embossing almost 300 stickers which took at least 5 hours. I knocked that project out at least 4 months before the wedding, & it felt good to have it sitting in a box ready to go.
  4. Most importantly, have fun the day of your wedding. If you didn't get to make giant rosettes for your photo booth backdrop, or you found out 10 minutes before the ceremony that you bought oil paint instead of acrylic paint & now your unity painting won't go quite the way you planned, laugh through it & move on. Remember why you are there; you are there to get married, to pledge your life to another in front of your closest friends, family, & God.

(And for the record, none of those things in Jake's last sentence happened at our wedding.)

Tell me about married life!

1. What has been the easiest & hardest parts about adjusting to married life?

Jake: Easiest part has been adjusting to living with one another. We are two peas in a pod on pretty much all aspects of life. We both are super laid back & whenever we ask each other to work on an annoying habit or something we make an effort & it's not a big deal. Hardest part has been trying to figure out how we balance time with our families. Trying to figure out how we spend the holidays & make sure everyone feels loved can be difficult at times.

Emily: We were kind of homeless for about 3 months after the wedding, so not only were we newlyweds, but we were living with our parents which was a little rough at times. (Don't get me wrong, we both have amazing families!) I remember kind of having a meltdown one day that resulted in spilled hot chocolate down the wall behind the bed & five minutes later a broken shelf that almost took out Jake's desktop computer. Still, I am so grateful for our families for taking us in!! (I keep re-reading this paragraph & I am seriously giggling so hard right now. That was a fun night...)

I've also had to learn how to live with a dog. Never in my entire life would I ever thought I would become a dog owner. I was terrified of dogs growing up, so I think I've come a long way! I've almost taught Rhodey how to roll over & play dead!

I've loved having someone to do everything & nothing with. I've loved knowing that Jake will be with me when we go somewhere. I've loved exploring a new city with him & making new friends with him. I know I sound super cliche, but I can't help it!

2. What's been the most surprising thing you've learned about each other?

Jake: She can cook! Before I married Emily I resigned myself to the fact that I would probably never get a home-cooked meal unless I made it myself. Not only has she made an effort to cook since we've been married, she's excelled at it!

Emily: He wears his socks two days in a row & sometimes doesn't use soap in the shower (yet somehow his showers are still longer than mine). We're working on breaking those habits! :)

3. What do you guys do to spend time together? Do you have weekly dates? something nightly? monthly?

We have found several tv shows that we both enjoy, & we have pretty similar tastes in movies. On nights that Jake wants to play video games, I sit on the couch & edit/design the night away, so it's a win for both of us. We've started hosting board game night at our house about every two weeks for our new Austin friends, & that's going really well! 

4. What did you do, or will you do, to celebrate your one year anniversary?

Monday was our actual anniversary, so we went to Steiner Ranch Steakhouse. Ah.Maze.Ing. It's a really beautiful restaurant & we enjoyed the view from the glass room. Bonus points for it being half a Michael Buble song away from us. This coming weekend we have a getaway to Fredricksburg planned. I'm so looking forward to it!

5. Any plans for the future? Or, what do you hope to accomplish in 5 years? 

Jake: In 5 years I hope to be debt free from student loans, living in Austin in a house we own, working in the game industry in a position higher than the one I'm in now, & with a family twice as big as the one I have currently. ;) All in all though, I hope that my plans don't get in the way of following path whatever God has in store for me. 

our first year in a few photos:

Honeymoon in Cabo.

honeymoon in cabo

Jake defended his thesis & graduated with his Master's!

Our first Christmas together.

first christmas

Our first home in a new city! Austin!

Found out we were going to have a new little niece!

Saw every animal possible in the San Diego Zoo.

Enjoyed the booths, talks, & celebrity sightings at Comic Con.

Took a stretch hummer limo ride for my grandmother's birthday.

Remembered the Alamo.

Became an aunt & an uncle!! (Don't worry, many more photos coming later!!)

Dinner at Steiner Ranch Steakhouse.