We’re In Business

As most of you know (if you don’t read down two posts) Sarah and I got engaged last weekend and we haven’t been wasting any time with the planning. This weekend we spent Saturday afternoon visiting several sites to get a feel for what we might want. We had done a pretty good amount of research throughout the week and made a list of several places that looked promising and were in our price range.

Turns out we only had to visit 3 places before we were ready to decide where to get married. We visited the Lindley-Scott House in Azusa, the Old Ranch Country Club in Seal Beach and the Meadowlark Country Club in Huntington Beach. Right off the bat we liked the Lindley-Scott House and by the time we left I had pretty much made up my mind. Old Ranch was appealing but I just don’t dig the “country club” feel. Meadowlark was out of the question as soon as we walked into the banquet room (a little small and very hotel-ish). We spent the rest of Saturday and most of Sunday debating between Lindley-Scott and Old Ranch, trying to weigh the pros and cons of each.

Since we have been together for over 5 years there aren’t any reasons for a long engagement and were looking at this summer. We figured we were a little behind the curve in terms of booking but it turned out there weren’t any Saturdays open at either places and Sundays were even a little scarce. That took most of the trouble out of choosing a date. Fridays were eventually ruled out because of the inconvenience to our guests having to leave work early and battle Friday traffic and a Sunday gives us more time to enjoy the day.

So as of this afternoon we are having our ceremony and reception at the Lindley-Scott House on July 22 at 4:30pm. Ceremony will be outside in the shade and reception will be inside the “Carriage House”. Woohoo! One big thing down and now just smaller stuff to take care of.

Looks like I’m getting married

Sarah and I have been dating for over 5 years and I’ve been working full-time for the past 6 months so I decided that it was time for us to begin to take the next step in our lives together so I popped the big question Saturday night and she said yes of course. So in short here’s how it happened:

She had been watching me like a hawk and was waiting for me to go buy the ring so I knew I had to be quick about it. I called up her dad Saturday a little before 11am, asked his permission and his help in going down to the jewelry district to a jeweler their family goes. He parked his car at the police station and I picked him up to avoid any suspicion. Went downtown, bought the ring and headed back home to continue “getting my oil changed and putting a new stereo in my truck”. Getting my oil changed was a lie but I did but a new stereo in my truck. Back in town by 12:30pm.

2:00pm rolls around and jeweler calls, diamond has been set and the ring is sized and ready to go. Head down to downtown again with my dad this time, pick it up and back by 3:30pm. At this point Sarah thinks I’ve gotten my oil changed and am now just working on my truck and is a little bitter that another Saturday has gone by without me going to get a ring. So she is clueless at this point that I have in my possession her engagement ring.

That night we were scheduled to go to separate holiday parties, Job’s Daughters for her and little get together at the Clutterham’s for me. This also worked out because when 10:45pm rolled around I had an excuse to come by and see her and go for a little drive to talk and show off my new stereo.

I pick her up and start driving towards the Embassy Suites (our first kiss was in the parking lot of the Embassy Suites) and parked. At this point she has a suspicion that something is up but her belief that I have no ring misleads her and keeps the element of surprise in my favor. I ask if I should put in a CD and begin to reach into my center console. As I do this I tell her that I love her and want to spend the rest of my life with her. I then bring out the open ring box from the center console and ask if she would marry me. I got an immediate yes followed by hugs and kisses and to my surprise took well over a minute to actually look down at the ring.

I was forced into proposing in this spontaneous manner because trying to do anything else (my actions were under extreme scrutiny) would have completely ruined the surprise and I can’t think of another way I would have rather done it.

My happy new fiance

I have to figure out why I get squinty eyes when I smile

3 stone princess cut setting in white gold

New Wedding Pics are up

Last weekend Sarah and I crashed my brother-in-law’s sister’s wedding. Previously I have had 2 chances to take photos at weddings with my Nikon D70, one at Lori and Angelo’s with the on board pop up flash and then at my brother’s wedding with my newly acquired SB-800 flash on the hot shoe. First time my results were adequate but really didn’t look much better than a point and shoot. Second time around my results were much better but I still hadn’t really grasped some of the basics like balancing background exposure and fill flash.

This time I’m definitely more pleased with the results and it is easy to see, here are the latest pics.

Paul and Grace’s Wedding (10/7/2006)

And for quality comparison:

Nathan and Stacie’s Wedding (7/9/2005)

Lori and Angelo’s Wedding