Finding a gift for your bridesmaids and groomsmen isn’t always easy. I found this article that has some great ideas and suggestions for buying gifts for your guys and gals. Personally, I bought my groomsmen fossil watches, which fell into my budget nicely and insured that everyone would at least be sporting one piece of jewelry (and hopefully show up to wedding day on time!). Get creative and think about what they might like, along with what you can afford, of course. Happy hunting…
These photos were captured during several different photo sessions this year at the beautiful Laguna Gloria, a part of the Austin Museum of Art educational center, located near Mount Bonnell in West Austin off of Mopac and 35th Street. The AMOA Laguna Gloria web page states that the grounds include a 1920s style flat located on 12 acres of park land with approximately 1 mile of water frontage on the Colorado River. It’s a beautiful place, inside and out including statues, lots of plant life and a feeling of calm just around the corner from the bustling downtown Austin.
About Laguna Gloria…
“I have placed in what I consider a proper setting a number of really beautiful and graceful statues, which I was fortunate to obtain from one of the finest gardens of Old Italy, this to give an Old World touch to an incomparably beautiful Texas landscape and contribute a little dignity and formality to the riotous caprices of this violet crowned vale. ” – Clara Driscoll
According to the official AMOA – Laguna Gloria Brochure, Laguna Gloria offers a selection of historic sites, including…
A. Historic Wrought Iron Gates from the Texas Capitol
B. Putto Fountain from Rome
D. Wishing Well From Tuscany (c. 1925)
E. Location of Old Cannon
F. Location of Old Sundial
G. Mission Bell
H. Garden of the Four Seasons
I. Sunken Garden
J. State Archeological Landmark (Native American Site)
K. Temple of Love
L. Historic Wrought Iron Gates From The Texas Capitol
[See Map at AMOA Laguna Gloria website]
As the Austin Museum of Art’s original home, AMOA-Laguna Gloria Offers a unique experience of history, art and nature. This beloved site has been declared a national treasure and is on city, state and national registries of historic places. Visitors are encourage to tour the restored Driscoll Villa, stroll the lush 12-acre grounds overlooking Lake Austin and view the outdoor sculpture.
Inspired by Clara Driscoll’s Italian travels, her passion for gardening, her love of antiquity and her native state, the grounds of Laguna Gloria have been revived to Driscoll’s landscape plan of 1916. The interest in aesthetics over function in the garden is in keeping with an 18th century notion that landscape gardens be appreciated as three-dimensional, living works of art. In the early 20th century, it was fashionable to organize gardens around a particular concept with poetic references to antiquity meant to stir the intellect and emotions. In this tradition, Driscoll filled her garden with classical references to the passage of time – including the Garden of the Four Seasons, the Sundial Garden, and the Wishing Well, as well as the bas-relief Aurora, which originally hung over the exterior of the Villa above the east doorway.
Driscoll also transformed the site from its rough natural landscape to a carefully designed garden laid out in two distinct manners – the “beautiful” and the “picturesque.”
Information on booking and tours:
Public tours occur each Saturday and Sunday at 1pm
Austin Museum of Art – Laguna Gloria
3809 West 35th Street
1. Dress up every now and then.
2. Take time to stop and smell the roses.
3. Always find time to laugh and enjoy life.
4. Spend time with family and friends.
5. Sometimes you have to give a little love in order to get love back.
6. Ice Cream is good for the soul.
7. Never underestimate the power of a nap!
8. Be ready for new adventures.
9. Try new things and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Over the years I’ve seen lots of different wedding cake toppers. Some have been funny, some have been traditional and others have been unique. The wedding topper is like the flag that a ship flies; it sort of sets the tone and mood for a cake.
The old traditional topper was usually a depiction of a happy, in love bride and groom or of wedding bells. But these days there are a few new ones to choose from that give your cake a little personality and set it apart in some instances. What will your cake have on top?
Check out some of the memorable or favorite toppers that I’ve photographed over the past few years…
If you do a Google search for “Americana” and you click on “photos” you get images like American flags, barns, flags on barns, stars, eagles, Lindsey Lohan (Ok, so she’s not really Americana, but I guess she just pops up in most searches! 🙂 – you get the idea though.
When I think of Americana, I think of what might be considered the Golden Age of the 20th Century – a time when life was simpler and slower. American Heritage Magazine considers America’s Golden Age to begin around 1870 and to end in 1970. Although it’s probably still a little too early to write the history on this particular topic it’s still fun to speculate.
Here are some ideas that I have about what is Americana:
Scene 1: A family huddles closely to a radio in the living room of their tiny wooden house to hear the weekly broadcast of The Lone Ranger.
Scene 2: An old man dressed in dusty overalls and a hat sits on a bucket under an oak tree and plays the blues on an old, out-of-tune acoustic guitar.
Scene 3: A uniformed U.S. Sailor disembarks his ship returning from a long deployment and runs to embrace the woman who anxiously awaited his return.
According to Wisegeek, an online source of information,
“Americana refers to cultural artifacts, cooking, art, architecture, and history that distinctly reflect the US culture. In essence, Americana expresses those things that would be most associated with Americans, even if they were beloved in other countries. For example, the apple pie, though made in a number of other countries is thought a perfect example of Americana cuisine. Statements like “It’s as American as baseball or apple pie,” suggest that Americans in a sense “own” certain cultural developments and most associate these things as part of their cultural heritage.”
Americana is also considered a genre of music and is defined by the American Music Association as,
“… music that honors and is derived from the traditions of American roots music. It is music inspired by American culture traditions which is not only represented in classic man made / roots based sounds but also through new and contemporary artists whose music is clearly inspired by these great traditions. It is a great genre, vast, like jazz which encompasses a wide range of music. Like jazz, which spans from Miles Davis to Harry Connick to the Preservation Hall, Americana’s range includes artists like Gram Parsons, Soloman Burke, The Band, Lucinda Williams, Lyle Lovett, Mavis Staples…”
Wikipedia goes further by defining Americana as,
“artifacts, or a collection of artifacts, related to the history, geography, folklore and cultural heritage of the United States. Many kinds of material fall within the definition of Americana: paintings, prints and drawings; license plates or entire vehicles, household objects, tools and weapons; flags, plaques and statues, and so on. Patriotism and nostalgia play a defining role in the subject. The things involved need not be old, but need to have the appropriate associations. The term may be used to describe the theme of a museum or collection, or of goods for sale.”
I think as simple and mundane as Americana can be, I like it because it evokes a genuine spirit of our United States heritage. Every little item that embodies what Americana stands for reminds us of our past and of our family’s heritage. And I don’t think it really matters if you’ve lived in this country for 1 year or if your family has made a home here for hundreds of years. Every one of us feels the comfortable kinship that Americana inspires.
Austin Americana Photography Studio strives to provoke the same kind of spirit – the Americana spirit that lives within all Americans. With the camera lens we capture all that is American and Americana culture.
- Library of Congress Photography
A few months back I blogged about how excited I was to announce a new addition to my wedding camera family: the Canon 5D Mark ii. While it probably doesn’t mean much to my wedding and portrait clientele that I’ve upgraded, to a photographer it means a lot. To the photographer it’s the difference in a full frame and partial frame sensor; greater flexibility in low-light situations; the ability to capture high-resolution HD video and more. Ultimately for my brides and grooms it means that they’ll be getting more great shots than ever with an increased quality in images that can be seen in the printing process.
I recently read an article that President Obama’s official portrait was taken with the Canon 5D Mark ii as well, which really surprises me. So now I’m telling my clients that if the Canon 5D Mark ii is good enough for our American President, then it’s definitely good enough for their wedding photographs. It’s definitely an exciting time for photography in America as we watch things change and evolve so quickly. I’m proud to be an American Photographer!
Where do brides go to find a caterer, photographer or other wedding vendor? In the past they’ve used the Yellow Pages, visited brick & mortar stores, attended bridal extravaganzas or asked a friend. But today the answer is clearly “The Internet”!
Jeff Kear and the gang at My Wedding Workbook (an online resource for wedding planning) recently conducted a poll that surveyed over 800 brides. They discovered that when searching for wedding ideas and information, brides go online. In fact, the top three kinds of pages that brides visit when researching for their wedding are wedding websites, wedding blogs and search engines (like Google).
Here’s some great information taken from the My Wedding Workbook article:
Generation Y and the Millennials have been using computers and the Internet practically their entire lives, so it only makes sense that these are the first resources they use when they start planning a wedding,” said Jeff Kear, owner of My Wedding Workbook.
In fact, when brides were asked what will be their main source of aid throughout the wedding planning process, the Internet (17.8%) ranked just behind brides’ fiances (28.4%) and their mothers (21.3%) – one of the more interesting statistics from the survey.
And what do brides specifically look for when they are surfing the Web? The top items are wedding advice and how to’s, planning tools, wedding attire, floral and decor, and photography/videography.
“It’s no surprise that wedding guidance and shopping are definitely the two areas of most interest for online brides,” says Kear. “However, the recent recession has made brides even more reliant on the Internet for assistance in these two areas. Brides are more budget conscious than ever, so they are planning more events and details themselves and need more guidance. They are also spending more time comparison shopping and browsing for bargains, and the Internet has become the default venue for comparing prices and vendors.”
Likewise, it’s also critical for brides to do their homework in evaluating vendors they have discovered online. “Don’t just rely on the ratings on websites, as they might be unfairly weighted toward positive or negative reviews,” says Kear. “Instead, ask your friends who have planned weddings, pose questions in local online forums and even talk to vendors who you have already found and trust. I guarantee a caterer has already worked with a florist they admire, or an officiant knows of a great wedding coordinator who they would recommend. The Internet can be helpful, but there’s no substitute for word-of-mouth.”
The complete online system for planning a wedding, My Wedding Workbook offers a step-by-step process for planning and sharing your wedding, from the proposal all the way through the honeymoon. Included in the system are dozens of wedding planning tools, a wedding website, guest email communications center and dozens of tip sheets and checklists that walk you through the whole wedding planner process.
You can contact Jeff by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 1-877-266-3885.
Source: My Wedding Workbook