Thursday, March 10, 2011

Our First Engagement Shoot

When we won our photography engagement & wedding shoot with Daniel Woolf, we were so excited!

However, before we won this we had already booked an engagement shoot with a friend of a friend named Chloe of Life Tree Photography.  She seemed really fun and creative with all of her shots, so we didn't want to cancel our engagement shoot with her just because she couldn't do our wedding.  We figured the more pictures the merrier!  She offered us an incredible rate that we just couldn't pass up,and it was a chance to bond together and just have some fun..

Our engagement shoot was this past Tuesday (March 8th)... and it was like a dream.
Could it have gotten anymore Old Hollywood than the Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee?
Chandeliers, ballrooms, velvet couches, pianos, scenic views.

We weren't sure how it worked at the Pfister when we asked permission if they would allow us to have our engagement photo session in the hotel.  Let's admit it.  We were a little intimidated by the fancy and beautiful aura of this place.  We were so blown away that the staff went out of their way to accomodate us on our special engagement shoot! They gave us a tour of the hotel, and all the areas that might inspire us.

The lounge on the 23rd floor (Blu) that overlooks the entire city of Milwaukee was locked, but a helpful associate at the Pfister went all the way up to the top floor with us.  She unlocked "Blu" and we had it all to ourselves.  We posed on the bar, stretched out on the piano Old Hollywood style.  We sat on the velvet blue lounge furniture.  So "Vanity Fair" circa 1940.

The whole experience was pretty amazing, and flawless.

Then there was the reveal of the photographs--a sneak peak--on Facebook from Life Tree Photography.
And just seemed like a dream. ♥  We can't wait to see the rest of the photographs from Chloe! She said we'll get a CD in about 2 weeks.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

We Had Fun Creating Our Wedding Registry!!!!

In about 5 months, we will be Husband & Wife (Mr Dan & Mrs Amanda Eberhardt)!

We woke up Valentine's day morning to  find out we *won* a free photography package with a very talented photographer named Daniel Woolf. We jumped up and down with joy in our pajamas when I read his blog about us the first thing Valentine's day morning:  Click here to read it.

After jumping up and down, we cuddled and ate the cinnamon rolls & donuts Amanda made from scratch for Dan to eat on Valentine's Day morning. (If you didn't know, Amanda is the owner of her own little cupcake catering company Amanda Cupcake and Dan is her taste tester!! She made the donuts out of love for his belly).

To win the contest, we had to submit a story about our romance. The deadline was February 10th.  Amanda heard about the opportunity on February 8th, submitted Our Love Story February 10th, and we won the photography package the morning of February 14th! We are so excited, and so thankful for a generous gift like this. We'll share some clips of our photo shoot in future Amandahardt blogs. :)

We were so excited and elated about everything, that we decided to start registering for gifts today.

Registering for gifts isn't just about *receiving* gifts.  It is about dreaming of our life together...creating a home with each other. Living our lives together as best friends. Cooking meals together in the kitchen, the warm smell of dessert, and eating at our dining room table together.  Cuddling up by candlelight on a cold evening, capturing photos and memories on vacations together, hosting family get togethers in our *new* house, or even inviting some friends over for a dinner party or a BBQ. ♥

Since we have old fashioned ideals, we haven't moved in together before we are married.  So when we are married, we are going to start a brand new home together.  What we that we both have the same taste in home decor, and have a lot of the same hobbies.  Dan enjoys cooking.  Amanda loves to bake. We both love music, movies, dancing, fashion design, sushi, and good old Wisconsin BBQs.  Amanda loves a bubble bath after a rough day, or a foot massage.  Dan loves to go fishing and camping, but he also loves the city life.

The sales associates that helped us with our registry at Williams Sonoma & Target thought we did a great job picking items.  Our helper at Williams Sonoma was so inspired by our selections that she wished that she could get married all over again! We told her to renew her vows. ♥

A few of our favorite registry picks:

An electric fondue pot from Williams Sonoma. This is really sentimental to us because after Dan proposed, and Amanda said yes..we went to The Melting Pot where we discovered a mad mad love for all things fondue!! This is a must for our kitchen. ♥

Our wedding is going to be red, black & white. We love the red color of the La Creuset pots at Williams Sonoma. And the pots inspire Amanda to make hearty & delicious meals like her mom cooked. Not to mention....they last beyond our lifetime..we could pass them down to our own children someday!

We registered for a random selection of "Stress Relief" CDs at Target.  Both Dan & I tend to get anxious. To calm the nerves, we enjoy kicking back, drinking wine, listening to music or watching movies..and just RELAXING together. So we thought a selection of these CDS would be rewarding. There are more themes that we enjoyed too like Jazz, Christmasy music, Daydreams of Mexico, etc.

The Twist & Sparkle from Williams Sonoma! First of all, how can you not adore the dreamy name?!!? This was a suggestion from the sales associates, and we even tried it with an engagement "toast" in the store.You can add fun & magical "bubbly" to any of your drinks with this.  Anything from water to apple juice to margaritas are more fun with this neat little kitchen toy.

Williams Sonoma's All Clad Stainless Steel pots & pans. They last a they are a great investment. And Dan LOVES to cook.

Anyway..dreaming is fun, and although planning a wedding is busy... it is really exciting to plan our life together. ♥

You can view all the other fun stuff we picked out .. and maybe get inspired by your own dreams by looking at it! Here are the links to the two places we registered today. Click on them to view our registry items:

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Save the date!

We finished our save - the - dates and will be sending them out to our loved ones this month.
This special save the date is not just any postcard.
It tells our entire love story!

Our first date.
Our second date at Disneyland.
The first time Dan revealed his love.
Our first time mini golfing in Southern California.
A trip to Universal Studios.
Our first official Valentines Day together.
Going out in Hollywood. Glamorous.
The night Amanda realized she could marry Dan.
(When he built her a big fort they could hang out in and watch movies from!)
Amanda's 31st birthday~a night at a murder mystery party.
And of course...the Laguna Beach cupcake proposal where Amanda said YES!♥

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Dan proposed on two adorned cupcakes...

He was so nervous. 

His parents were in town.  Dan asked me to dress up for a nice dinner with his family.  I slipped on a bright red dress that hugged my curves. I loved the little rhinestone straps - a touch of "bling." 

Dan drove his Mazda down the scenic Pacific Coast Highway, it is all a blur now.
California is hilly, with rough terrain. Dan found a parking spot at the top of a hill in the midst of Laguna Beach.  I was wearing the highest red heels I could possibly wear.
I teased, "Why didn't you tell me to bring my Uggs along?"

My glamorous red dress and cropped leopard print fur coat didn't blend in with the beachy crowd.
Not to mention the shoes that I had already removed.  I was walking barefoot, toward the beach in my tights.

Dan was carrying a cooler. His sly grin before he told me "There were cheese and crackers inside the cooler for a snack later on" made me wonder what he was up to. 

Dan was all dressed up too, and wearing a red shirt! He had no idea I was going to wear red~which made the day feel like destiny.

We entered Treasure Island Park-a beautiful Park with entry ways to some magazine worthy scenic beaches. Only the glamorous, rich, or even famous were lucky enough to stay..or even wed at The Montage which overlooks all of Treasure Island and the Pacific Ocean.

Dan & I strolled along, dreaming of a day that perhaps we might be lucky enough to have a beautiful "mansion" of our own. Maybe like the ones we saw in the hills overlooking us?

..But I sensed Dan's rigid nervousness.  He was cracking his knuckles and his eyes wouldn't meet my eyes.
There were a lot of pretty benches to sit down on and watch the beautiful landscape, but Dan wouldn't sit down on any of them for very long. I kept laughing, and in between my nervous giggles I would exclaim,
"Dan! Sit Down! You're making me nervous!"

After a lot of staring at the beautiful cactus plants Dan seemed to point out many times during his nervousness, we finally sat down on a charming wooden bench.  We were away from the crowds of people, and I had a feeling something was coming.  Dan's anxiety rubbed off on me.  All I heard was the ocean crashing on the shore beneath the cliff in front of us.

That's when he turned to me on the bench and it went a little something like this...

"Amanda, I don't know if you noticed but the name of this park is Treasure Island.  The reason I brought you here is because you are a treasure to me, such a special gem.  I love you so much. You are my best friend and you are so beautiful. I want to spend the rest of my life with you."

Somewhere in between the time that we sat down and he started telling me all these wonderful things a girl can only dream of, he had placed a white box in my hands.  This must have been what was in the cooler. 

He asked me to open the white box.

I am not the kind of girl who cries, screams or "freaks out" externally. 
But I hated to hope that this was a proposal and be wrong. I would be so disappointed if it wasn't. At the same time, I loved to think that this was a proposal and how it would be my dream come true!  So I sat there for awhile, frozen like a statue, unable to open the white box. I was completely silent, but every once in awhile the mystery and uneasiness of it all I blurted out to Dan,

"Should I really open the box now?"
"Are you sure I should open it right now?"

He laughed at me and insisted I open the box.
Open the box Amanda. Just do it. Open the box.

Hands shaking, a second later, the box was open.
Inside the box, one of my many loves!


I loved what they said more than anything else!
The frosting was white, and tiny little red roses framed the most important letters I've seen on a cupcake.

Dan got down on one knee, in front of one of the most dreamy backgrounds for a proposal!
Palm trees blew in the wind, The blue ocean waves crashed up onto the cliffs and the sand.
Deeply saturated exotic plants swayed like they were dancing to the music of this moment.

Dan and his beautiful blue eyes matched the exotic and special magnificence of this place.

I remembered a time when I used to cry from past heartbreaks.
I used to tell my mom that I deserved to find a man who loved me the same way I loved him.
I would actually would tell her that I was a "treasure" and I deserved a man who treated me this way. 

This is the moment when he opened up the ring box to ask me to marry him.

I smiled, and my eyes gleamed as bright as the 21 diamonds in the ring he was now sliding on my finger.
I had replied with a Yes and suddenly all of the beautiful houses in Laguna Beach seemed a possibility.
Our whole life together was a beautiful novel waiting to be written.  Starting here.

I even envisioned us as an old couple, coming back to Laguna Beach, our wrinkly hands clasped together. Still in mad love. Like the "cute" old couples that hold hands on the street and give us hope that love lasts forever and ever.