Ed and I have a fun new project! We’re about to restore my Mom’s (now ours!) right hand drive, 1968 Morris MK II Mini Cooper S into our Always Happy Life car! What could be a more perfect fun car? My mom imported this little beauty into the US from England in approximately 1972 and she used her as an everyday driver and for a little bit of rally race action. According to my mom, she can corner at 80 mph, which she told us with a smile. I’m guessing she knows from experience?!? We dusted her off in the garage where she has sat since 1977 a few months ago to get an idea of what we were dealing with. Auriel had gone into the shop for a new paint job and while there, the interior caught on fire. Since then, she’s been sitting in what was my Grandmother’s garage…and waiting for the day that someone would come along and give her some love. It’s been a goal of mine to put her back together since I was young. A 1968 Morris Mini Cooper is just too cool of a car to sit. She was pretty sad when we pulled the blankets off of her, but is in better shape than we had thought…even has her engine almost completely there, which we weren’t sure would be the case. We stopped in and talked to Doug at Mini-City, LTD for some tips and picked up their parts book and the manual he recommended. Doug actually imported the car for Mom back in the 1970’s and came out to look at her too and made some recommendations about things we’ll be needing to do. It’s great to have a knowledgeable resource only a phone call away!

We picked her up a few weeks ago from Fairport, New York and put her on car trailer for her journey to her new home in Culver, Indiana. We gave her a quick wash to remove some of the layers of dust and were surprised to find her paint job in decent shape as well. A color we can definitely live with until we’re ready to send her in for a new paint job. Our first priority is getting the Cooper running again though and then we’ll tweak her from there! Amazingly, the tires which were all flat and had been sitting since 1977 all held air when they were inflated. That made it a lot easier to roll her out of the garage and onto the trailer. It was amazing how small our little Cooper looked behind our giant F250 truck!

We made it safely home and unloaded Auriel into the Sail22 Speed Barn where we began cleaning her up. Apparently many mice and chipmunks had hung out and stashed their winter nut supply inside the car, so the shopvac was the first tool we tackled the job with. We pulled out all of the old dash insulation and any other sound proofing materials too, since they had a pretty musty smell to them and we’ll be upgrading them anyways. I sprayed her with some degreaser as well to clean up the interior body of the car and it also helped with the old musty smell. We also took an inventory of what we’ll be needing to get her running which includes a new radiator, gas tank, fuel lines and full exhaust system since these parts are all missing. We’ll need a carburetor kit as well to get her working again too and we plan to replace all wiring and gaskets, since it’s been over 30 years since she was on the road. We also plan on new tires and it sounds like the only ones we can get for the small ten inch wheels are made by Yokahama. 🙂 Of course, we’ll need to redo the entire interior as well and are planning to add new carpet and some Recaro style seats to give it the rally feel that she screams!

Just to give you an idea of the what we’re starting with, here are a few of the “before” photos that we know we’ll want to compare her to when she’s back to her old “new” self. Snapped them with my iphone, so excuse the quality. We did find her original Morris badges and her “s” for the boot and bonnet, which made her look better already!

Yesterday, we had a local mechanic at Wicked Racing come pick her up to begin the engine overhaul and restoration. He’s definitely excited about the car, which makes us very happy! I even had my first ride in Auriel, as I climbed into the driver’s seat to steer her onto the trailer. She’s going to be so much fun when we can actually take her out for her first drive!

What’s almost as great as a new baby?!? A cute future Mommy! Liza was my very first pregnancy portrait session with Always Happy Life Photography which happened to be on location, in Brooklyn, New York. She’s adorable, isn’t she? It was very special because she’s been one of my very best friends since we were in high school. I can’t wait to meet her little one in just a few months and do a newborn session too!

Always Happy Life Photography by Becky Furry is booking maternity, newborn, children, senior and family portrait sessions for Fall 2011. Contact Always Happy Life Photography to schedule your session today! I’m based in Culver, Indiana, but available for sessions throughout the Midwest, as well as other areas of the country, as I frequently travel for sailing regattas. I will be in Annapolis, Maryland; Newport, Rhode Island; Rochester, New York; Atlanta, Georgia; and Miami, Florida in the next few months.

Baby Carter is another adorable little guy I’ve had the chance to work with recently for Always Happy Life Photography. I love newborns. There…I’ve said it. There’s something about their tiny fingers and toes, squished little noses and wrinkly skin that gets my heart. Back when I was in nursing school, I worked in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and rocked many, many, many babies. I can swaddle and soothe with the best of them! It’s coming in handy as I work with the newborns at Always Happy Life Photography!

I’ve known Baby Carter’s parents for years and am so excited to finally meet their new addition! We met up in Annapolis, Maryland when we were both in town for a regatta and squeezed in his newborn photography session. He wasn’t all that into having his photos taken and fought pretty hard to stay awake for most of the time! I did eventually succeed in lulling him to sleep, but it was definitely on his terms.

Contact Always Happy Life Photography to schedule your session with your newborn, family or children today! I’m available for sessions throughout the Midwest, as well as other areas of the country, as I frequently travel for sailing regattas in Annapolis, Newport and Miami.

I love that my travel adventures allow me to work with families from all over! While visiting Rochester, New York last week, my good friend Jen scheduled in a photo session with her three adorable little girls. They each have A LOT of personality and we had so much fun during their session!

DSC_0164The Elsey kids are adorable as always! They had fun in Culver this summer and came out to the farm for our photo session. Love that they are now my nephews and niece too! Their personalities definitely shine through in these. 😉

Shy Mr. Luke

DSC_0176Sweet Miss Elizabeth

DSC_0178Very Busy Ben…He insisted on taking off his shirt!

DSC_0237These little guys love their big sister soooo much!

DSC_0221Sweet Siblings

S22_7066Full photo session gallery

S22_7259My biggest family photo session yet (18 family members!!!) to officially kick off Always Happy Life Photography was with the W Family. It’s great to be home in Culver, Indiana and work with families to capture their special moments in and around Lake Maxinkuckee.





S22_7341I’m thinking of you W Family and am glad I was able to capture your family before your recent loss. You are in our thoughts.

We had an amazing visit to Napa for a wine tour July 9-16th to celebrate our friend Brent & Sarah’s 10th anniversary, as well as our other friends, John & Johanna’s 18th anniversary and our two week anniversary. 😉 Brent organized everything and did an awesome job coordinating our trip. It does help he’s in the wine and spirits industry. Definitely the way to do a wine tour!

We visited, dined and stayed at so many amazing places!

Rombauer: Our first stop in Napa. So pretty and the vineyard is very down to earth. We had a tour of the caves and a great tasting. I’m not a chardonnay drinker normally, but theirs is amazing. My favorite of any I’ve ever had. We took two bottles of the Chardonnay with us as a group and they didn’t make it into the “bring home” for later supply. One of my favorite stops!


IMG_0653Cain: Way, way, way up on Spring Mountain. We were lucky enough to spend the night here in their private guest houses. We brought a picnic dinner up the mountain to have overlooking the vineyards and valley. Gorgeous view and the fog rolling in (and staying until morning) was spectacular. Private tour and tasting in the afternoon. Later, numerous bottles of Cain Five, Cain Cuvée and Cain Concept were consumed that evening by the pool playing cards. We hiked through the vineyards in the evening and had hoped to do a longer hike, but the fog was so dense in the morning, we were unable to since it didn’t clear in time.



IMG_0671Louis M. Martini: We didn’t have a scheduled tasting set up for here, but Brent knew we’d like it and we had some extra time to fit it in. Very pretty garden area where you can bring your own picnic and do a tasting. We did ours in the tasting room. We really liked their 2008 Gnarly Vine Zinfandel and also their 2007 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. After, since we were in the neighborhood, we stopped by the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone and browsed around for a little while.



IMG_0681Stags’ Leap: We arrived here early in the afternoon after a delicious meal at the Rutherford Grill. We had a private unscheduled tasting at the Manor House. They know how to take great care of their guests! We sipped their Napa Valley Viognier as we toured the grounds, then had a great tasting in the old Speakeasy in the Manor House. We spent two nights staying in the guest cottages here. We had the whole place to ourselves in the evening and played our never ending game of Rummy on the porch of the Manor House. Ed and I headed out for an early morning walk the second day we were there and checked out their beautiful vegetable garden and the vineyards. Very peaceful!


P1000006Berringer: We headed to Berringer for our scheduled tasting (notice…we are back on schedule!). A very large place, but beautiful. Easy to take tours for the public. We did a private cave tour and then went up to the private tasting room. No White Zin for us here! We mainly tasted their private reserve wines which were great. We had a great dinner at Mustard’s Grill after our tasting later in the evening.




IMG_0692Chateau St. Jean: Another beautiful vineyard! We had a private tasting on the Chateau Patio overlooking their famous palm tree. A great tasting experience and really enjoyed their red wines. Good thing, since Brent & Sarah gave us two bottles of the 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon Cinq Cépage which were signed by all of our guests at our wedding. They’ll be stored until a future anniversary! We picked up lunch from the bistro in the tasting room and brought it with us for our next stop…



P1000052B. R. Cohn: Our first Sonoma vineyard and it definitely had a very different feel. Much more relaxed and low key. The owner, Bruce, has been the manager for the Doobie Brothers for many years. We had a chance to talk with him and also extensively chatted with Tom, the wine maker. We enjoyed our lunch under the olive trees (they make their own delicious olive oil from them…yummy!) where Tom brought us out some 2010 San Luis Obispo County Rose and Panel Wagon Pinot Noir. We later went inside to the tasting room and tried several more wines, my favorite being their Port, which was rich and smooth and perfect with chocolate. We bought a bottle of it and sipped it as we continued our endless Rummy game later in the evening.



P1000086Etude: We ran a little late for our scheduled tasting and just made it before they closed the main gate! Oops! A very modern and clean looking tasting room. Some might say a bit pretentious and stuffy. A big contrast from our prior vineyard. They had a very beautiful ironwood table in the tasting room which was for sale for around 28K. Ouch. They made the recommendation we go to Cole’s Chop House for dinner, which was delicious and went very well with the bottle of their Heirloom Carneros Pinot Noir we brought there.

P1000096Chandon: We were treated like royalty here and it was by far my very favorite on our wine tour. The grounds are gorgeous and the architecture very subdued. The design was meant to not detract from the landscape and it flows naturally. We already knew that Brent had great connections, but this was amazing! We started off with a tour, which was different from our other tours, since we saw how champagne was made. We saw the bottling process in action and were fascinated. We then had a private tasting in a secluded patio area of all of their champagnes, as well as their great still wines. Brent, Sarah, Ed & I had enjoyed several bottles of étoile when we celebrated New Year’s 2011 and it was wonderful. After our tasting, we had a champagne lunch in their restaurant, also called étoile. It was a five course meal complitmented by three bottles of champagne and two bottles of their still wine. The food was fabulous!







P1000220Gundlach Bunschu: Pronounced “Gun Lock Bun Shoe”. This wasn’t on our original schedule, but since we weren’t able to reschedule our Opus tasting from Thursday, Johanna suggested this vineyard as a possibility for Friday morning. We had a limited time (and at this point were a little over-wined…note to readers…on day 5 of a wine tour, DO NOT schedule a 10 am tasting), but we did enjoy our visit. The property is beautiful and they have many vintage vines still used in their wine making. A very green vineyard, which I personally liked. They commission an artist to design their Vintage Reserve wine labels and had some of the prettiest labels of any vineyard! Definitely on my list to go back and do their vineyard excursion in their cool Pinzgauer’s and see more of the property! Remember the Gundlach Bunschu sobriety test, “If you can’t say Gundlach Bunschu Gewurztraminer, you shouldn’t be driving!”




P1000252Gloria Ferrer: Another champagne tasting and gorgeous view! Ed ended up sitting this one out after our 10am tasting for a nap, but it was definitely worth checking out. We toured and tasted. They have a large robot that crates their bottles, which was very cool to watch. The view is breathtaking of the vineyards and I loved that you could bring your picnic and sit on their patio, enjoying a generous pour of their bubbly.



P1000265Jacuzzi Family Vineyards: This was another one of my favorites, as well as the group’s. Great Italian style wines. We toured and then had a private tasting in the main tasting room with delicious cheeses and chocolate (their port in the chocolate shot glasses was wonderful). The vineyard is owned by the same family who owns Cline across the street. A very different feel though! The vineyard was set up for a wedding and looked beautiful, so we had a quick tour. They also have a pretty neat family history worth reading. I loved that they keep the family history alive with labels with old passport photos of the original family.



P1000314Cline Cellars: We stayed in the Cline Guest House Villa for two nights in their beautiful and huge guest house. Every couple had their own suite that led out into the common pool and spa. Definitely a wonderful place to stay! We played more Rummy and enjoyed many bottles of wine in this great house. 🙂 Our last tasting of our wine tour was at Cline. We did a mini tasting when we arrived in their tasting room on Thursday, but our final one was on Friday afternoon. We toured the property, which has lots of historical significance and had our tasting on the porch. Relaxing and pretty laid back overall for a large scale vineyard!




P1000226So that was our wine tour of 2011! We definitely plan to do more wine tours in our future as we celebrate more anniversaries with Brent, Sarah, John & Johanna! Cheers!


I love Chicago and newborn photo sessions, so meeting baby Zach at 10 days brand new was perfect. He’s such a cutie! Congrats Tanya & Jake, so happy for you guys! I’m looking forward to seeing this little guy grow! Here’s a few of my favorites…

Final -513In honor of our one month anniversary (Whohoo!!!) I wanted to write up a post on all of the details from the wedding to share and to help us remember everything for the future. When Ed and I became engaged January 3, 2011 we immediately agreed on several key details. The first detail was the wedding was going to take place on our farm because we couldn’t think of a better place to have it. We also knew we would be spending time, money and putting sweat equity into our own home to improve it for the wedding and it would always be ours. The second thing we agree on was the date. We decided on June 25th because neither of us felt the need for a long engagement, our calendars are both pretty full and we wanted as many friends and family to be able to join us. Ed’s extended family traditionally comes to the lake for the Fourth of July and my Mom has started to join the tradition. We figured, everyone would just come a little earlier to celebrate with us this year! We also wanted to keep our costs reasonable and do as many things ourselves as possible (DIY Wedding here we come), as well as being environmentally friendly.

Anyways, we wanted a fun wedding and worked hard to deliver that for ourselves and our guests. I’m know we succeeded! Bear with me on this, because it’s a long detailed post…

Save-the-Date & Wedding Invitation:
Keeping with our goal of being green, we emailed out our Save-the-Dates (which we designed too) and asked guests, if they requested a mailed invitation (we had them press printed on linen paper), to let us know their address. We had less than 10 people make that request. 🙂 We posted wedding details on a special page we set-up for the wedding as well.

This was one of the areas where we had the most fun! We chose Vineyard Vines clothes for the guys and little guys. They wore the Summer Twill Club Pants in Asparagus…yes…green pants and the little guys all wore the shorts. Ed picked out the Whale Shirt in Cochrane Check in Asparagus and Ed wore the Whale Shirt in Simmons Check in blue. All the guys, big and little wore the Whale Flip Flops too. Vineyard Vines was great to work with and they gave us a discount and free shipping for our wedding party order as well! We also gave each of our guys an ” Always happy. Never satisfied.™ ” belt which matched our wedding colors perfectly! Ed made our adorable “Ring Bears” a “Here Comes the Bride” banner out of vinyl which they proudly carried down the aisle. They were too cute!

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Final -327Ed and I agreed my dress budget was $350. I did some research and found OnceWed.com and RecycledBride.com. I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted to wear…simple, strapless and off white. I found my perfect dress (new with tags) for $275 shipped. I knew I would need alterations and I wanted to add a sash to the dress (thanks Janet!), so all in all, it was $350. I wore some cute wedge flip flops and borrowed my bridesmaid, Liza’s veil. Megan searched and searched for a great dress for Elizabeth. In the end, she borrowed her best friend’s dress which was perfect and Janet also made her a sash to match mine. The girls picked dresses in individual styles from David’s Bridal in Pool chiffon fabric that were tea length. They wore cute J.Crew flip flops.

Final -79The Prep Work:
We wanted the farm to look it’s very best for our wedding. We added new gardens around the barn with perennials we scored from Lowe’s at 3 for $10 and some clearance plants that we revived with a little bit of care.

Flowers for the Barn Gardens

We wanted the gardens to have some barriers, since they are around the barns, so we grabbed some landscape timbers and some 2′ stakes and made 3 new gardens around our Sail22 Speed Barn. Ed’s Dad found some good sized rocks and made three other gardens around the Bus Barn…my future photography studio and office. We filled them with black dirt, flowers and mulched. We also filled some large planters we picked up at Walmart and strategically placed them.

We looked into the cost of a dance floor…and ouch! We had been talking about adding a new concrete pad space for boat work, storage and a basketball court (we do live in Indiana) for the past two years. We decided to go for it and although it wasn’t a do-it-yourself project, we were very involved. We’ll use it for years and years…for both work and play. With all of the concrete work came a lot of dirt moving. And it rained…and rained. I looked around and made a bit of an executive decision that we weren’t going to have a mud pit at the wedding. It is a farm, but still!

So, I priced out the cost of sod and was pleasantly surprised that we could buy it for $1.25/square foot. Apparently the expensive part of sod is the labor. Ed’s cousin, Bill and I picked up the first load of sod and brought it back to the farm. Key things to know about sod: It’s heavy. It really should be laid the day you pick it up. It dries out quickly, so you have to water, water, water and water. And you are going to need more than you originally planned on because it looks so great. I don’t think I’ll ever grow grass again! Anyways, I went to a local sod grower, Red Hen Turf and they were wonderful. So, two days of sod laying, 1900 square foot of sod (thanks Bill & Judy for all of your help!) and a bit of a farmers tan/sunburn for me and we no longer had a mud pit. It looked great! Ed’s Dad kept it well watered and it looked beautiful for the wedding.

We also had gravel brought in to redo our driveway and the area by the concrete pad. Again, not something we couldn’t really do ourselves, but pretty reasonable to do and it made a huge improvement.

Ed’s Dad has been working on the Bus Barn siding for several years. Ed was a stickler about it and we pushed pretty hard to get it done. It came out great thanks to both Ed’s Dad and cousin Bill.

Bus Barn exterior finished!!We also wanted our back field where the ceremony would take place to still look like a field. It was mowed for weeks, but we left the edges all tall so there was tall grass too. We decided that we only needed about 60 chairs, which we rented to create an aisle. Most of our guest stood during the ceremony.

Final -206Flowers:

Final -64I couldn’t justify spending tons of money on flowers when the view was so pretty. Plus, they die…which definitely didn’t fit with our investing in our home part of wedding planning. But, we did need some for decoration and for bouquets. We saw a photo of a center piece with three wine bottles and a tall calla lilly in each one and were sold. It worked with our conscious desire to be as green as possible by using recycled wine bottles for vases and wwas budget friendly since we didn’t have to buy vases. We almost had to drink a few extra bottles to make sure there was enough though! One thing to note, the calla lilly stems were very tall and were very thick. We had to cut off a lot of stem to get them in the bottles.

Final -24I also wanted the girls to have white rose bouquets since their dresses were such a fun shade of blue. With my wedding dress, I wanted some color to match the fun of the guys and girls colors…so mixed roses it was for me. Enter Costco Flowers. Yes, Costco. Even at wholesale pricing, I couldn’t come close to their prices. We ordered 75 Calla Lillies, 100 Mixed Colored Roses and 100 White Roses…for drumroll please…under $300 shipped! They were gorgeous and perfect. A friend of ours (thanks Patsi) who had floral experience offered to help me make the bouquets and any arrangements. I found some fun polka-dotted ribbon in the wedding colors too to wrap the stems. Thanks to our groomsman, Jason, for his help de-thorning and de-leaving 200 hundred roses!

Final -383We ended up having more flowers than we used. We made arrangements for the serving bars and also decorated them with the bouquets in mason jars. Looked great. We used mason jars and small canning jars as well for mini lanterns and hanging vases which we hung from the trellis (thank you Uncle John!) we had for the ceremony. So pretty and so easy!

Final -402Decorations:

I mentioned the trellis above that Uncle John built for us for the ceremony. We saw a trellis in a Pottery Barn store that looked like it was made from old ladders. Uncle John used some old barn wood and built us a beautiful one that we loved even more! The mason jars full of roses hanging from the trellis made it a perfect backdrop for us to stand in front of.

Final -401We bought 40 galvanized lanterns from Ikea (super affordable) and strung them between the barns with LED candles in them. The LED candles last for over 100 hours, so the guys turned them on when they hung them up the morning of the wedding. Extra lanterns were used on the trellis as well. We bought a few solar lamps and Chinese lanterns as well at Ikea and used them to decorate tables and hang in trees. We’ve already used our decorations for other parties and know we’ll get a lot of use out them.

Final -389We used 36″ bar top tables (12) which we rented to give our guests a place to eat, drink and talk. We also rented white table cloths. We found some green, blue and white polka-dotted fabric at Jo Ann’s and put that over the tables to add color (thanks Krista, Megan & Susan for cutting it up!). We also hung fabric over the windows on the barns to make them a little more appealing to the eyes.

Final -110Being that we are sailors, the Ed decided the morning of the wedding to hang up our nautical signal flags to create a little bit of a nautical flair and functionally create a barrier. I didn’t see them until I arrived at the farm for the ceremony, but they worked great and definitely added a splash of color!

Final -388I found another photo while planning the wedding of some directional signs, but it was pretty primitive. We had recently asked local Culver artist, John Bickel of John Bickel Signs to design us signs for the Sail22 Speed Barn and the Boat Barn…so we added the directional signs.

Final -207The top sign pointed to the field and said “Ed & Becky’s Wedding”. We picked places that were important in our lives (ie. born, lived at, visited) and then we added one for Ed’s Aunt Susan who traveled all the way from New Zealand to come to the wedding. 🙂 We originally planned to hang the signs later in the Bus Barn, but now we like them so much outside that we’re going to weather-proof them and leave them where they are.

Final -209Food & Drink:
Keeping with our goal of a fun wedding, we decided to have heavy appetizers. We used our local favorite restaurant, The Edgewater Grille to cater our wedding. Their chef, Dave, was great to work with and ran with our ideas. We had fruit and veggies (thanks Mark & Becky Damore!!!), cheeses, breads, crackers and crab dip in one serving area. We had another serving area set up with a mashed potato bar served in martini glasses (regular and sweet potatoes and lots of toppings) and a grill with fresh skewered steak and chicken with sauces at another station. We also had an ice cream sundae bar and it was a huge hit!

Sunday bar!We set up a long bar and a serve-yourself kegerator with Stella Artois for our guests. Dana and Lily did a great job as our bar tenders, with wine and moijitos flowing all night long. We opened the bar a half hour before the wedding started and encouraged our guests to take a drink with them to the ceremony…and no surprise…they did!

Final -381We asked our very good friend, Marie to make our cake. She referred to it as our “suitcase cake” because she made it in Annapolis, then flew out with it to our wedding. She frosted and decorated it when she got to Culver. I know she was nervous, since she’d never made a wedding cake, but we were confident in her! She’s an awesome chef and caterer and she did not disappoint. It was perfect in every way, including the 22 on top! Thanks Emily for all of your help with it too!

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Final -61Music:
We decided to have a local guitar player, Justin Ross for the ceremony and the cocktail hour. We booked him from 6-8pm and he was so easy to work with and we highly recommend him. Ed says that the song “Marry Me” by Train was what did him in as we drove across the country in January and so we decided to incorporate it in the wedding. Justin played it as an instrumental for the girls and guys to walk down the aisle and then he sang it as I walked down the aisle with my Mom. Perfect choice for us. We wanted a fun song to walk out of the ceremony with and I kept hearing Colbie Caillat’s “I Do”…so we asked Justin if he could sing it. For our wedding song, we had a very special request. Jason Mraz’s “Lucky”. Neither Justin or our band felt they could do it justice since it’s a duet. I thought about it and then asked our bridesmaid, Laurie if she would consider doing it. She agreed thankfully and as I heard her finally get a chance to practice with Justin about three hours before the ceremony…it brought tears to my eyes. Thanks Laurie, it meant so much to us!

The MothersWe kicked off our band, Musical Saw, with a rendition of James Taylor’s “How Sweet It Is” as we both danced with our Moms. They took it from there and played for hours.

Final -623Toasts:

Final -375We were roasted and toasted by both friends and family, as expected. Thanks to Brent & Sarah Ducker for our guest book wine bottles. We can’t wait to drink them to celebrate a future anniversary and the messages on them are wonderful. Katie, Greg & the boys also had each of our guests place their fingerprint on a painting to create a tree. We are so lucky to have all of these great creative ways to document our wedding guests!

Fireworks, Bonfire & S’mores:
They are legal in Indiana and we do them every year for our 4th of July Party but wanted to do them for the wedding too. We had planned to have Bill Becker pick them up for us, but he was consumed with the huge project of finishing siding the Bus Barn. As Drew & Sarah were driving from Virginia and would be going past the Phantom Fireworks factory, we asked them to take a detour. $200 gets you a pretty good fireworks show!

Final -649A party at our farm is not complete with out a bonfire either, so we broke out the s’mores and some sparklers too later in the evening!

Photo Booth & Photography:

Final -632We have been reading Young House Love’s blog for about a year now. They had a photo booth at their wedding and we thought it would be fun to do. We looked into a rental and it definitely wasn’t in the budget. Luckily for us, the iPad2 came out with a camera and the Pocket Booth HD app proved to be exactly what we needed. Ed thought he would build an actual curtained booth, but it proved to not be worth it. We used our ipad mount and our utility light tripod. We asked our friend Karen to help with props. She rounded up a whole bunch of fun ones (hats, mustaches & lips on sticks, giant sunglasses, etc) and we set up a table next to the photo booth area. It worked out great!

Final -385Being a photographer, I was a little bit picky about what we wanted for our wedding photos. We also wanted it to be a reasonable expense, but I understand the amount of time and effort involved in the photography business. We did some research, asked for recommendations and decided that some were way over budget. We chose Pete Nagy of Peter Jonathan Images and he was excellent to work with. One of my requests was to have both our edited full sized images and our straight out of the camera versions as well with full printing rights. I have ideas on designing our lay flat photo books and am excited to start working on them.

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We decided to do the majority of our portrait photos of the two of us and our bridal party before the ceremony. We knew we wanted to spend as much time as possible with our guests at the reception and since it was only a few steps away from the ceremony, it made sense. The moment we saw each other was perfect. Just the two of us…and our photographers to capture it. We did casual portraits with all of the adult members of the bridal party at the Culver Academies. We had a blast!

Final -344Ceremony Readings & Vows:

Final -473We asked Alex Rogers if he would officiate our ceremony and he was wonderful. He’s known Ed since he was little, so it had extra meaning and was very personal. We asked my God Mother, Patti to do a reading, as well as Terry, who is Ed’s God Mother’s husband. We struggled a bit with the readings, as they had to fit us. Dr. Seuss’ “Oh the Place You’ll Go” in a modified version was a great fit, but we needed another. I searched and searched. Finally, I found a reading from “Union” by Robert Fulghum that said exactly what we wanted. If you don’t know who he is, Google “All I Ever Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten”. Alex read Apostle Paul’s Letter to the Corinthians which fit perfectly in between Patti & Terry’s readings and the vows that we wrote. Alex then read an Irish Blessing before introducing us as Mr. and Mrs. Furry!!!

Since people have asked, I’ve included the readings:

From Union by Robert Fulghum

You have known each other from the first glance of acquaintance to this point of commitment. At some point, you decided to marry. From that moment of yes, to this moment of yes, indeed, you have been making commitments in an informal way. All of those conversations that were held in a car, or over a meal, or during long walks – all those conversations that began with, “When we’re married”, and continued with “I will” and “you will” and “we will” – all those late night talks that included “someday” and “somehow” and “maybe” – and all those promises that are unspoken matters of the heart. All these common things, and more, are the real process of a wedding.
The symbolic vows that you are about to make are a way of saying to one another, “You know all those things that we’ve promised, and hoped, and dreamed – well, I meant it all, every word.”

Look at one another and remember this moment in time. Before this moment you have been many things to one another – acquaintance, friend, companion, lover, dancing partner, even teacher, for you have learned much from one another these past few years. Shortly you shall say a few words that will take you across a threshold of life, and things between you will never quite be the same.

For after today you shall say to the world –
This is my husband. This is my wife.

Aunt Patti Reads First ReadingOur Vows
I, Becky/Ed, promise you Ed/Becky to be your loving friend and partner.
To talk, to listen, to trust and appreciate you; to respect
and cherish your uniqueness; and to support, comfort
and strengthen you through life’s joys and sorrows.
I promise to share my hopes, thoughts and dreams
as we build our lives together.
May our lives be ever intertwined and our love keep us together.
May our home be forever filled with love, laughter and happiness.

Oh the Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss (edited to fit our wedding)

Congratulations Ed & Becky!
Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourselves
Any direction you choose.

You’re on your own.
And you know what you know.
And you are the guys
Who’ll decide where to go.

Out there things can happen
And frequently do
To people as brainy
And footsy as you.
And when things start to happen
Don’t worry. Don’t stew.
Just go right along.
You’ll start happening too.

Oh! The Places you’ll go!

You’ll be on your way!
You’ll be seeing great sights!
You’ll join all the sailors
Who sail to great heights.

Except when you don’t.
Because, sometimes you won’t.
I’m sorry to say so
But, sadly, it’s true,
That Bang-ups
And Hang-ups
Can happen to you.

But on you will go
Though weather be foul.
On you will go though
Your enemies prowl.
On you will go
Though the Hakken-Kraks howl.
Onward up many
A frightening creek,
Though your sails may get holes
And your boat may leak.

So be sure when you sail
Sail with great care and great tact.
And remember Ed and Becky that
Life’s a balancing act.

And will you succeed?
Yes, you will, indeed!
98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed!

Kids, you’ll sail oceans!

So…be your name Bazil, Charlie, or Daniel Furry,
Or Benjamin, Luke or Elizabeth Elsey,
Or Ed and Becky, the new Mr. and Mrs. Furry,
Today is your Day!
Your ocean is waiting
So…sail on your way!

Final -90Irish Blessing:
May the road rise to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face, The rains fall soft upon the fields. May the light of friendship guide your paths together. May the laughter of children grace the halls of your home. May the joy of living for one another trip a smile from your lips, A twinkle from your eye. And when eternity beckons, at the end of a life heaped high with love, May the good Lord embrace you with the arms that have nurtured you the whole length of your joy-filled days. May the gracious God hold you both in the palm of His hands. And, today, may the Spirit of Love find a dwelling place in your hearts.

The weather wasn’t ideal…so we practiced quickly…and opened the bar up early! We decided to have a cruise after the actual rehearsal on the Culver Academy’s 3 Masted Square Rigger, The Ledbetter and invite our guests with children on a family cruise and our adult guests on a later cruise on the lake. Then afterwards, Ed’s parents offered to host a casual pasta dinner at their house. The cruise was a little chilly and it rained a tiny bit, but everyone seemed to enjoy it. Dinner outside and toasts from our friends and family were a highlight of the evening!

Bridal Luncheon & Pier Fun:

Final -203I was very lucky to have a beautiful bridal luncheon hosted by Ginny Gibson, Maryanna Swennumson, Mary Lehr and Jeanne Barnes. All I can say about it was wonderful & thank you so much!!! The guys and guests enjoyed time on the water hanging out on the Becker Pier, one of our favorite activities and from the photos, it looked like a great time!

Final -239More details with video and photo slideshow can be found in our other wedding blog post in case you haven’t had enough yet!

Final -508

Final -286

We had a an absolutely perfect wedding day on June 25th. I may be a bit biased, but I haven’t heard any complaints. 😉 Best. Day. Ever.

Ed’s brother, Greg, did a great job as Best Man and recorded our ceremony for nostalgia’s sake in the future (Click the link for it if you’d like…it’s all said and done in under seventeen minutes!) and also created this cool time lapse video of the wedding and reception.

A special thanks to our photographer, Pete Nagy of Peter Jonathan Images for the beautiful slideshow he created of our photos (click play below). He did a great job capturing all of the festivities! Believe it or not, I did not pick up a camera the entire day!

Laurie, my best friend from 3rd grade has a blog post up on Welcome to the Madd House about our wedding too if you can’t wait for my detailed wedding blog. She and her six year-old son drove 26 hours round trip to come see us.

Perfect Day!