I have http://www.awkwardfamilyphotos.com to thank for my newest obsession, looking at creepy/hilarious wedding pictures! Here are my favorites from their wedding selection. Hopefully this will provide a gentle nudge to consider us at Nieubreed to avoid having your photos pasted on this fabulous site…

10 reasons why you should hire us to be your Wedding photographer:

1. We believe moments like this are intended to happen off camera…

2. Yes, we think you both make a great catch. But we’re better versed in subtleties…

3. We don’t think love is a waste…

4. We are just as creeped out by this as you are.

5. We try to get in your head to capture your personality in beautifully captivating ways…but not literally.

6. We try to make you look as comfortable and natural as possible…this just isn’t right.

7. Again, we think moments like these are better left off camera…

8. We believe in fabric diversity.

9. We don’t think a ring is a fair trade for an apple either.

10. We can imagine a plethora of more romantic things to pose with.

I know that I’ve mentioned that romantic movies are often unrealistic and absurd. But even I can admit, there are parts in certain movies of the romantic variety that for reasons unknown give me the chills.  So I thought I would compile a short list of these moments that still to this day warm my heart.

Love and Basketball

I love this movie. I love everything about this movie from the characters to the writing. My favorite moment is near the end when the two main roles are playing basketball for the hearts of one another.  This only sounds ridiculous if you haven’t seen it. Each and every time I see this I am mentally and emotionally taken back to the first time I watched this. Each and every time I feel the heart-wrenching pain that Monica (Sanaa Lathan) feels, and wonder if he’s going give up on them.  When he says “Double or Nothing”, my hopes are restored immediately.

Garden State

You know, now that I think if it… this movie wasn’t actually that romantic.  But I still put this in the running as having one of the most romantic moments. Sam (Natalie Portman) is an annoying yet adorable character that jumps into the life of Andrew (Zach Braff).  My favorite scene isn’t even with just them two, but I thought it was one of the most honest and romantic pieces in a movie.  Andrew, his friend, and Sam are clad in trashbags and decide to release any anguish and inhibition and scream into a pit. This moment made me want to let go and scream in the rain with someone I cared about. I remedied that urge by screaming into my pillow. Still cathartic, less rainwater and soggy socks involved.

500 days of Summer

This is not a love story. But it’s a great movie. The most romantic part is without a doubt the scene in IKEA.  Summer (Zooey Deschanel) and Tom (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) traipse through IKEA pretending like it is their home, and It’s hilarious and all kinds of adorable. I will make it a point to do this some day…

Check the clip out here.

Notting Hill

There was a phase in my live where I would watch anything with Hugh Grant in it, and this was no exception.  Julia Roberts plays a character that closely resembles herself – a world famous actress used to getting whatever she wants. Hugh Grant plays a simpleton British Bookstore owner.  She ends up screwing this poor man over (more than once), and upon realizing the error of her ways, she comes back to him. This moment is one of the most honest moments Julia Roberts has ever starred in.

What are some romantic moments in movies that you love? Share them, I’d love to see!

Shh! Sneak Peek…

July 28, 2010

I love everything about this moment from Ali & Chafic’s wedding…

Vodpod videos no longer available.

“How We Met”

July 26, 2010

I’ve always thought it intriguing and extremely romantic to hear about how couples have met. There’s just something so divine about how any single encounter could be the catalyst to a beautiful and lasting relationship…and chances are you are all the while completely oblivious.

One of my favorite stories I can remember offhand about a first encounter were my Aunt and Uncle.  When they first met, his very first words to her were “I don’t like your purse. That is an ugly purse.” Needless to say they did not start on good terms… But it ultimately resulted in one of the most beautiful relationships I have ever had the privilege of witnessing.

I stumbled upon this article here on 5 true New York couples meeting in different ways, and it simply fascinates me.

Here’s one of my favorite stories from that article:

ON A PLANE

Elizabeth Sauer, 23, a legal secretary from Elmwood Park, N.J., and Jonathan Rivera, 23, a police officer from Union City, N.J., met on a US Airways plane.

When Elizabeth boarded her flight between Newark and Charlotte, N.C., she was looking forward to some quiet time alone with her magazine.

But the moment the neighboring seat was occupied by good-looking stranger Jonathan, she sensed the latest issue of Cosmopolitan could wait. “First he asked me if I had gum and then he bought me a bottle of water,” recalls Elizabeth, who was immediately struck by his friendly, laid-back attitude.

“I thought, ‘Well, at least he’s not some annoying elderly person engaging me in a conversation that lasts the whole journey.’ “

However, by the time the plane reached Charlotte, the pair were chatting like old friends.

They had a 90-minute layover before taking separate onward flights and continued their flirtatious conversation in Starbucks.

“Even though we were visiting family in different parts of Florida, he suggested we meet up right away,” says Elizabeth, who had recently separated from her husband after three years of marriage.

“I thought it was crazy, but I agreed.”

A few days later, Jonathan drove more than 400 miles from Orlando to Fort Lauderdale and back to escort her to a Halloween night at Universal Studios.

Elizabeth, flattered he had made such a big effort to see her, says, “We were waiting on line for parking and I asked, kind of joking, ‘So, is this a real date?’ He said, ‘It is, as long as it ends in a kiss.’ So I said, ‘I can make sure that happens’ and leaned over and kissed him!”

The theme park visit last October was such a success they met up the day Jonathan returned to New Jersey when he introduced Elizabeth to his family.

“His mom said, ‘I hope you marry her because your babies will have the most gorgeous green eyes,'”says Elizabeth. “It was a bit premature but I guessed this was going to be a serious, long-term relationship.”

Five months on, amid talk of moving in together, the romance has truly blossomed. “I love the way that, as a tough-guy cop, Jonathan is my ultimate protector and also so trusting and kind,” she adds.

“We enjoy being together, but we also respect each other’s space.” As for meeting her perfect match on a plane, Elizabeth believes higher forces were at work. “I wasn’t looking for a boyfriend that day I boarded the flight — far from it.

“They say love happens when you least expect it. It had to be fate.”

I think there’s something strangely beautiful about first interactions, especially unique ones. Well, non-creepy unique ones.  It’s probably why I like the movie “Once” so much. It’s all about that first encounter.

(Nieubreed does “How We Met” photo shoots! If you’re interested, let us know!  We’d love to capture your love story! Plus, I’d love to hear about you met your significant other!)

This past weekend I was blessed with the wonderful opportunity of taking part in a beautiful union (of the matrimonial variety) of two wonderful college friends of mine. I was honored to be chosen as a bridesmaid, and was overjoyed to be a part of the wedding party! It was a fantastic time, and one weekend to remember forever.  While I was all the while wishing Nieubreed could have done the cinematography and photography for this charming Iowa wedding, I had a wond’rous time.

Now, this was my second wedding I have been a bridesmaid in and I really think I’m getting quite good at it. I’ve even caught a bouquet or two in my day, so feel free to call me a pro. As a seasoned professional (haha), I thought it would be best to provide some tips I would give to bridesmaids. Neither of the brides really prepared me for these experiences, and I really wish someone would have given me some tips before my first one. Feel free to steal these tips and pass them on to your bridal party, they aren’t copyrighted…yet.

  • Bring a back up pair of shoes.  This is for a majority of reasons including: You deciding last minute that the vertically challenged man you’re walking down the aisle with would prefer you not tower over him like an amazon warrior–in that case bring flats or shorter shoes! Or, perhaps you realize that blisters are beginning to form caused by your spankin’ new peeptoe Manolo Blahnik stilettos (or in my case, Target’s…times are hard!)–in that case bring a more comfortable pair to wear for the reception so you can get your groove on. Additionally, if it’s an outdoor wedding and the soil has been softened by recent precipitation and you don’t want to sink down with every step wedges or flats are an excellent option! There is nothing fun or attractive about getting stuck on your way down the aisle with your escort.
  • If it’s an outdoor wedding, wear and bring: Sunblock and BUG SPRAY! No one will care if you reek of spf and Off! because they’ll all be jealous of your healthy non crispy and bite-free supple skin. I swear Mosquitoes have an affinity for weddings, they were in full attendance this weekend (they didn’t even RSVP! rude.) If you are really concerned about the bug spray and sunblock smell, look for unscented kinds. Also, Vanilla is a natural and sweet-smelling insect repellent. Goodbye Bath and Body Work’s bug friendly scents, hello Vanilla Extract! Trust me, it works and still smells great.
  • Don’t bring that guy that you just started dating to the wedding. If you have a plus one as a bridesmaid or groomsman, let it be a friend that already knows other people at the wedding or a significant other you’ve been with for a while. There’s no one I feel more sorry for than the poor strangers that agreed to have their second date at the wedding their woman or man is in. They look bored/sad/pitiful/lonely the entire time because you’re doing wedding party things like pictures, eating first, and having a good time with the bride and groom while they’re sitting with a fake smile pretending to have fun in a room full of strangers. It’s cruel, really.
  • Eat before. You’ll smile more. You’ll thank me later.
  • Bring Ibuprofen. There were at least 4 people last week that asked me if I had any last weekend, as wedding days are long and sometimes stressful.
  • Keep hydrated, especially if it’s an outdoor wedding. One of the bridesmaids last weekend became extremely ill because it was scorching hot and she wasn’t drinking enough water. Poor gal, she didn’t get to enjoy the reception!
  • Don’t get drunk. You know your limits, maintain them! I know this seems extremely obvious, but there has been someone in the wedding party at almost every wedding that I’ve been to that has been completely tanked during their toast at the reception…and it looks sad. Save that for nutty Uncle Hank who never quite got off his feet, or Crazy Aunt Hattie with all the cats.
  • Don’t forget to HAVE FUN!

Image Courtesy of the groom's fabulous parents! I'm the "tan" one...

And the winner is…

July 20, 2010

I know you’ve been shuffling in your seats wondering who has been declared the official winner of this exclusive MIZU Salon Contest.  Without further ado, I am honored to announce Amy Pantano as the winner and recipient of the $130 Mizu Salon gift card! Amy arrived to our office with a smile to brighten even the gloomiest of days (with this fantastic gift card to such a fine salon as MIZU, who could blame her for being so excited?)  Our photographer, Madison “Champagne” Gouzie, conducted a brilliant photo shoot to commemorate the moment.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

This is the start of something new.  We at Nieubreed enjoyed our partnership with MIZU for this contest so much, that we want to make this national! So stay tuned, you never know when you’ll have the opportunity to be the next winner of a gift card for a Salon or Spa in your area!

Bachelorette Predictions

July 14, 2010

As you might not know, one of my guilty pleasures is watching “reality” shows (I’d like to think I’m pretty selective about it though, no Jersey Shore here!)  My summer favorite is The Bachelorette. Now, before you judge me, I understand that this show doesn’t really make actual sense. One woman (or man) is placed with 25 or so ABC-selected men (or women).  After they weed out all the aesthetically unpleasing people and obvious crazies in the first round, they start to go on a slew of unrealistically grandiose “dates” (I don’t think it’s a real date unless it’s only 2 people present) that are sparked with the glitter of Hollywood. They don’t at all prepare them for a real relationship. Additionally, they’re on national television. Being on TV changes people, making most of them into fame-hungry contestants. That’s right, contestants. It is a CONTEST.  People tend to want to win, naturally. None of this is formula for a lasting relationship leading to marriage, which is why it comes as no surprise to me when almost every relationship on the show has ultimately ended in a dramatic break-up. This show just isn’t natural…

That being said, I still watch it and always manage to get somehow emotionally invested to it each summer. It’s that ABC drama magic, I just can’t fight it. The last episode broke my heart for the first time this season/cycle(I don’t know what they call it) as she tearfully let a man that she was clearly falling for go home. I didn’t even realize that I was a fan of the guy until she let him go! So I thought I’d analyze and predict the results of the show here, since we at Nieubreed are all about weddings and love and capturing them on camera…

Frank – I think this is a sweet guy, but I don’t think they would ever actually been dating in real life outside the show…He definitely wins the award for most emotional and sensitive on the show. I think Ali is his dream girl, and he can’t believe he’s living his dream! Come back to reality, Ali…

Roberto –  This guy is the complete package, hands down. He’s smart, suave, funny, extreeeeemely attractive, and seems like all around a good guy. I thought from the very first episode that he was going to be a front-runner in this competition. I think there is a great chance that Ali will choose him, but honestly…he’s not my first pick anymore. I think that for them the roles are reversed, Roberto is HER Dream guy and he needs to come to reality. Sorry Ali…

Chris L – Honestly, I didn’t really notice Chris until the last few episodes…and I don’t think Ali did either. I think the great thing about their relationship is that it started off with a friendship, they didn’t delve into romantic relationship the minute the show began. It seemed like the most normal interaction out of all of them. They progressed in the most normal time period you possibly could such an odd situation as the Bachelorette, and it looks like they are starting to develop real feelings. It’s just an added bonus that he’s from Massachusetts (home of Nieubreed and AFM!) Anyways, he’s funny, sweet, adorable, and seems…real. Plus the whole mom thing kindof tugs at my heartstrings, I must admit. So my hopes and ultimate prediction rest on the shoulders of Chris L.

Make the right choice, Ali!

I feel like that was the reality-tv-love version of ESPN’s PTI, and I love it.

Flowers take part in integral moments in our love lives.  They are of extreme importance in a wedding, they really seem to bring things to life. I’ve always been interested in the historical meanings associated with flowers, and have compiled some research on these beautiful living things.

Baby’s Breath – These small clusters of white flowers represent festivity. There are also symbolic meanings tied to it of sincerity and a pure heart.

Carnations – Although they get a bad wrap because of their low cost, they speak a multitude of meanings.  Pink represents gratitude, red – flashy, striped – refusal, white – remembrance, yellow—cheerful.


Daffodil – Chivalry is the historical meaning, but because of the vibrant yellow color it also issues a message of wellness.


Daisy – Innocence is the meaning most tied to the daisy. Also, it communicates loyal love and purity.


Delphinium – This flower is commonly known as a larkspur, and historically represents boldness.  Open heartedness and lightness are also common symbolic associations with this flower.


Freesia – Spirited is the historical meaning for this flower, but also convey innocence and friendship.


Gladiolus – This flower derives from the Latin word “gladius”, which means sword.  The historical symbolization is Strength of character.  A bouquet is said to convey to the recipient that they “pierce the giver’s heart with passion.”  Rawr.


Hydrangea –  This flower was first discovered in Japan, and derives from the greek words “hydor” and “angos” which respectively mean water and jar. The historical symbolization is perseverance, and it is the 4th wedding anniversary flower.


Iris – Inspiration is the historical meaning of the Iris, but faith hope and wisdom are also symbolic ties to the flower.


Lisianthus – This flower looks similar to a rose when in bloom, and symbolizes calmness and appreciation.

Rose – The most popular American flower has several historical meanings associated with it, based on color.  Pink represents friendship, red – passionate love, red & white – unity, white – purity, yellow – zealous.


Sunflower –  The sunflower were first grown in Sentral and south Emerica, and were used for providing oil and food.  Their utility was the reason that adoration is the historic symbol of this flower.


Tulip – the various colors hold different meanings. Pink represents caring, purple – royalty, red –declaration of love, white –forgiveness, yellow – hopelessly in love, violet- faithfulness.


Themed parties are amongst my favorite parties to attend and participate in, why not a wedding? I’ve never been to a themed wedding, my only knowledge of them stem from the extraordinary library of weddings in movies and tv shows I’ve seen. So I decided to do a little research, and I discovered a few of shockingly outlandish themed weddings:

Couple Goes Green – as Shrek Characters – for Themed Wedding| Weddings, Shrek, Shrek Forever After

When green weddings come to mind, nothing about it in my mind screams Ogre… I was shocked to find a very recent Shrek- Themed wedding! They really committed to this theme, green makeup and masks and all!

“When friends told Welsh couple Tracey and Vivian Williams they resembled characters from the popular animated Shrek movies – you know, those green ogres – the two weren’t insulted. They embraced it. ” See the rest of the article here.

There is no question that America is officially obsessed with vampires, so I wasn’t even surprised to find an ample amount of vampire-themed wedding strewn across the endless abyss of cyberspace.

I love a good video game at the end of a long day, but this Halo themed wedding really takes the cake! Although the bride and groom were dressed in the traditional wedding garb, they were married by a man dressed as the Master Chief–helmet at all!

I’m hoping Nieubreed will have the opportunity to do a themed wedding, I’m absolutely fascinated…

Now, I don’t actually listen to NPR- I’m more of a This American Life person myself. However, I ran into this awesome radio clip here and cringed as they talked about some of the Least Appropriate wedding songs…everrr.

A wedding couple enjoys their first dance.

The Least Appropriate Wedding Songs Ever

June 11, 2009, NPR

Judy Collins' 'Judith'

Send in the Clowns

Artist: Judy Collins

Album: Judith

At my first wedding in Tahoe, we quickly found a minister to perform the ceremony without discussing the details. Everything seemed fine as I walked up to the preacher, except that the bridesmaid was doubled-over in laughter. I was only vaguely listening to the lyrics… —Darol Allen In 1978, my sister walked down the aisle to “Send in the Clowns.” My mother picked it out, and to this day defends her choice. —Carrie Yankello Wow! Someone else chose “Send in the Clowns”? That was the best laugh my date and I ever had at a wedding. —Teresa Labella

The Righteous Brothers' 'You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin''

You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’

Artist: The Righteous Brothers

Album: 20th Century Masters: Millennium Collection

My husband has been a wedding DJ for over 20 years. He has lots of stories about weird wedding song choices, but my favorite is the couple that requested “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ ” for their first dance. Stunningly oblivious to the lyrics, or even just the title, they explained: “But we love Top Gun!” —Dana Robb

Louis Prima's 'Wildest'

Just a Gigolo/I Ain’t Got Nobody

Artist: Louis Prima

Album: Wildest! [Expanded]

During the ’80s, one of my cousins got married for the second time. Since her first was an elopement, she did a nice job with a church, harp and flute with organ for the music. It was all quite dignified; her father performed the ceremony. The reception was on the ocean, also very nice. When the master of ceremonies introduced the couple for the first time as Mr. and Mrs. XXX, the wedding band played “Just a Gigolo.” Everyone under the age of 30 erupted into hysterical laughter. –Elisabeth Powers

Frank Sinatra's 'The Capitol Years'

The Lady Is a Tramp

Artist: Frank Sinatra

Album: The Capitol Years

At our wedding party with a live band of musician colleagues of my husband, Howard was persuaded to get on stage and sing. He serenaded me with “The Lady Is a Tramp” in the style of Tom Waits. Unbelievably, we’re about to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary. —Jennifer Hollingsworth [Editor’s note: Some people find this song touching. But, as subtle and sophisticated as the lyrics may be, repeatedly singing the word “tramp” in the direction of one’s new wife isn’t to be encouraged.]

Carlo Bergonzi's 'The Sublime Voice'

Verdi: ‘La donna e mobile’ (Rigoletto)

Artist: Carlo Bergonzi

Album: Carlo Bergonzi: The Sublime Voice

I attended a wedding where La donna e mobile from Verdi’s Rigoletto was sung. I couldn’t believe it! The translation from the Italian is “Anyone who trusts her is always wretched; he who opens his heart to her is lacking in caution.” Did they really understand the lyrics? —Mike Comer