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Our Story: Laurie Mascia and Kemal Ajan

Our Story Laurie Mascia and Kemal Ajan

Our Story: Laurie Mascia and Kemal Ajan

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How We Met (First Date was March 29, 2011):

Kemal and I met at our previous job. We worked at a marketing agency, and I was the proofreader, while he was the IT guy. A coworker told me that “someone liked me” in the company. It was pretty funny; it felt like high school. I found out this someone was Kemal. I debated on adding him on Facebook, and a friend convinced me I should. He accepted and asked me out for coffee. I told him that all I could promise him was coffee; I wasn’t looking to date anyone or be in a relationship. We went out for coffee. Then for lunch. Then dinner…and well, the rest is history!

How We Got Engaged (March 23, 2013):

Anyone that knows me well knows that Sadie (my dog) is very important to me. I rescued Sadie several years ago, when I was living alone in Boston. Kemal learned early on that Sadie had to be a part of the family, no matter what! And Kemal loves Sadie now, too.

While we had a mild winter, it was still rather chilly on March 23, 2013, but Kemal really wanted to take Sadie to the dog park with me. Even though the sun was out, Kemal and I were freezing as they stood in the dog park and watched Sadie play. After enduring the cold as much as we could, we decided to see if another area of the park was a bit warmer.

Dog

We drove to another section of the park, and discovered a nice area with a dock surrounded by beautiful trees (my favorite). They got out of the car, and I immediately began taking pictures of the trees and the other scenery (something I always do ha). There was no one else in this part of the park. We all made our way to the dock and looked out at the beautiful, glistening lake.

Then, all of a sudden, Kemal fumbled around in his jacket and said he and Sadie had a present for me (our two-year anniversary was coming up on March 29). He took out a small box that was wrapped up in a doggie poop bag (haha — don’t worry, it was unused!).

I asked, “What is this???”

“Just open it!” Kemal said.

I ripped open the bag (which was tied with ribbon, by the way) and saw a small jewelry box. I looked at Kemal nervously as he got down on one knee and asked if I would marry both of them (Kemal and Sadie, of course!).

I opened the jewelry box and was stunned by the gorgeous ring inside and immediately began freaking out. In all the excitement, I hadn’t even answered his question! But I said yes, of course!

And at that very moment, on the lake that was previously empty, with no human or animal in sight, a white swan appeared right next to us at the dock. We didn’t realize at the time how significant this was, as swans are a symbol of love, and a reminder of the blessings found in our relationships. Not to mention, swans mate for life…Ever since the proposal, swans have been following us around, too!

Our Wedding (June 1, 2014):

We had a rather long engagement, I suppose. But we wanted to have an early summer wedding, since I am in graduate school and very busy during the school year! My goal for the wedding was to keep it simple and sophisticated. I also wanted to add a personal touch to everything I could. The two weeks leading up to the wedding, I slightly regretted this (haha), but once I saw how much everyone loved everything, I realized it was all worth it.

Our Story: Laurie Mascia and Kemal Ajan

Luckily, when our wedding day arrived, the weather was perfect. We had a very long day. We had two ceremonies, and several Bosnian traditions to uphold (Kemal is originally from Bosnia). I started getting ready around 8am, and our night wasn’t over until 1am the next day! It was all a blur, really. But at the same time, I was able to savor a lot of the special moments. The day really does fly by though.

DIY Bride:

My Aunt helped to create our wedding invitations. She also helped me create all of the “Day Of” printables, including programs, menus, table numbers, and thank you notes. Everyone loved these!

For our guestbook, we decided to do a quilt. The actual quilt is still in progress (thanks to my Stepmom!), but at the wedding, we had everyone sign pieces of fabric. I can’t wait to have this keepsake in our home!

I painted and glittered a lot of items that were on display at the wedding, including signs for our card box, guestbook, our initials, and a Mr & Mrs sign at our table. I also created the display for our escort cards, and my other aunt wrote the names on them.

Sweetheart table

I had a special “In Memory” table with pictures of my grandfather, and Kemal’s grandfather and grandmother who have passed away and couldn’t be there. It meant a lot to my grandmother and his parents to see these pictures there. In addition, I had a picture of my grandfather on my bouquet, so he could “walk down the aisle” with me, even though he wasn’t there.

I crafted my own card box, and painted my own “Happily Ever After Starts Here” and “Pick a seat, not a side” signs for the reception.

Jewelry

Invitations

For the most part, if I saw something online, I tried to make it myself instead of just simply buying it. I saved some money this way, and it made everything more personal. I did buy some things like the 100 fabric flowers we wanted to pin on each of our guests. The Bride Box gave me so many great ideas as well – I had my photographer take some fun shots of the I Do shoe stickers and me wearing the “I Do” Promovizion Sunglasses featured in The Bride Box! It expanded my original ideas, and really helped tie everything together. I loved receiving packages every month with wedding related goodies! I love trying out new things, and I really didn’t know some of these things even existed!

Promovizion Sunglasses featured in The Bride Box

I’m very happy with how everything turned out, and I am super grateful to have worked with such an incredible photographer. I now have these gorgeous pictures to stare at, since the actual day goes by so quickly!!

I Do shoe stickers featured in The Bride Box

Bride and groom

bridal party

VENDORS

LONG ISLAND, NY

Photographer: Lindsey Light Photography lindseylightphoto.com/index2.php

Flowers: Sayville Flowers www.sayvilleflowers.com

Venue: Mansion at Timber Point lessings.com/corporate/venue_home.aspx?ref=10

Wedding Dress: Designer, Mori Lee; Purchased at Bridal Suite of Bay Shore www.bridalsuiteofbayshore.com

Tuxedos: Rented from Black Tie Tuxedos www.blacktieofny.com

Bridesmaids Dresses: Designer, Bari Jay (girls could pick their own style in chiffon), from www.bridesmaids.com

DJ: Tommy’s Tunes tommytunes.com/main.html

Hair and Makeup: Sadaf Mahmood (sister in law of one of my bridesmaids)

Limo: All Star Limo www.allstarlimo.com

Invitations and Printables: Anne Marie Mascia Design and Illustration www.behance.net/annemariemascia

Laurie Mascia is one of The Bride Box’s featured brides! If you would like your wedding featured, please fill out the online application here: www.thebridebox.com/submit-your-wedding

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What to Wear for an Engagement Shoot

What to wear for an engagement shoot

What to Wear for an Engagement Shoot

One of the best parts of my job is styling engagement sessions. They are each so unique to that couple’s own style and love story. I am often asked, “What is the best thing to wear during an engagement shoot?”

Lauren Louise Photography

Consider Location and Climate:

I live in Florida, which means as much as I love pea coats and cozy sweaters, they are hardly ever the practical choice. Think about what will make you feel pretty and handsome, yet comfortable for at least 3 hours. As far as location goes, if your vision is to climb the tree where the proposal took place, a mini skirt may not work. Consider instead a maxi dress that is easy to move in, while still providing a dramatic or ethereal element.

Consider Your Style:

Think about your personal style. What does your home look like, what would you be excited to frame and hang on your wall? I’ve seen everything from bathing suits, jean shorts and a striped v-neck, to formal gowns. I love them all. Having your picture taken for 3 hours isn’t always the most natural feeling, even if you know the photographer. If I wore heels during my session I would have been so focused on not toppling over that going barefoot was the practical choice for me. If you feel confident in what you are wearing you’ll be focused on the moment rather than that tight itchy waistband.

Lauren Louise PhotographyConsider Your Partner:

Do not match. Instead, compliment. A formal gown wouldn’t make sense with a pair of cargo shorts and a white t-shirt. Maybe one of the stripes in your partner’s check is the same color as your flower crown. Having subtle similarities can add cohesion to the pictures, without risking a prom moment.

Micah Kvidt PhotographyConsider Your Props:

The styling doesn’t end at the clothing. Many shoots I have styled feature furniture, textiles such as blankets, pillows, flowers, books, chandeliers, you name it. When we shot our engagement session I knew I wanted to evoke the whimsy found in the pages of my mom’s old fairytale Golden Books. The book’s illustrations and the props I brought along were colorful and graphic. Therefore, Glen and I chose to wear neutral colors of cream, blush, grey, and khaki allowing the props and the fairytales to shine.

Consider Going Bridal:

How many times in your life do you get to wear white lace head to toe and have it looked at as perfectly normal? Not often. I always encourage brides to embrace their bridal style throughout their engagement. Intricate beading, lace, white dresses, tulle, diamonds, full skirts, and sashes are all items and textures I strongly support.

Lauren Louise PhotographyConsider a Flower Crown:

There’s just something about flowers wrapped in a circle and placed on top of your hair that will make almost any girl happy. Skeptical? Just try it; you’ll begin to wonder if wearing one to work is within the dress code.

At the end of the day remember that this session is supposed to be an adventure in love. You are capturing the beginning of your lifetime together. Soak it all in and be sure to wear something you won’t find in your closet – a smile.

Jenny of Jenny Does Weddings is a blogger, wedding planner, and stylist who can be found spending her weekdays blogging and her weekends’ thrifting.