Your Wedding Day is YOUR Wedding Day

Your wedding day should be just that, YOUR, wedding day. A day for you and your future spouse to celebrate however you deem appropriate. Your day is NOT to please other people. In my opinion it should be a reflection of your love for each other and what you value. Not what your parents, your future in-laws, you other family, your friends, or anyone else believes it should be.

My #1 piece of advice for you is to set your ground rules or share your plans early on in the process. Let those involved know how you feel and what your plans are, especially if you know that their opinions about your wedding day differ from what you plan to do. This helps to alleviate some of the potential blow ups during the process. Not to say that family or friends might not get upset but they should understand that it is your wedding and not theirs; you are inviting them to celebrate your union in a way that represents the two of you. They need to support and respect that. You also want to avoid surprises in the process especially “on the day of” revelations if at all possible. Luckily they don’t all end in disaster but heading them off ahead of time can save you a potential catastrophe.

Richard and I chose an extremely nontraditional route and it took us some time to figure out what exactly we wanted to do. We ended up having what we called a “Soiree” as our reception where we dressed up in fancy steampunk garb and celebrated our coming commitment to one another with family and friends, as a send off of sorts. This was on a Saturday and on Sunday, the 13th of April, we celebrate our anniversary and the day we chose as our commitment day. Spring forward 2 months and that is when we finally got around to filling out paperwork and having an officiant sign our licence for the silly government.

What is usually the ceremony part, our commitment day, was about us and no one else. We felt that at the end of the day no one comes home with us to make our marriage work and we wanted that to be our private event. Yes, family and friends are important and they influence our lives but they don’t live our life and so that is why we chose the reception as a way to include them in our union.

What did you do or are you planning to do that is a little or a lot out of the ordinary? Let us know in the comments section below. Next, we will take you on our journey of how we only spent about $4,000 for our whole shindig! Til next time Pengminions!

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It’s Wedding Season!

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Not my actual wedding dress

It is that time of year, spring/summer, when the weddings seem to be never ending. Every where you look there is another white dress by a costly designer, extravagant venue, artistic masterpieces for cakes, guest lists that go on forever. Bridal magazines, Pinterest, and Instagram all perpetuate this idea of what we “need” for a perfect wedding. The average cost of a wedding in the US is $35,329! You read that correctly. That is minimum $10,000 more than the cost of my Subi!

I am amazed at the amount of money people spend on their weddings. Why? Why are we spending so much money on these one day events? What does putting yourself in debt to start this brand new, beautiful adventure do for you? What is the meaning behind all of it? Are we really thinking about these things before we do them? In most cases I don’t believe we really ask ourselves these questions or give them much thought. This brings me to one of my favorite shows, Adam Ruins Everything, and I would like to share with you his comedic historical based video snippet on weddings.

When planning your wedding I implore you to question what you are spending your money on, ask yourself why, and whether or not it truly is important to you and your significant other. It is just one day, a special one but it shouldn’t put you back monetarily or be about things that don’t matter to you both. Spending more on your wedding makes it more likely to end in divorce, according to researchers at Emory University. Maybe think twice about the extravagance or pleasing others and focus on the things that are most important; the two of you.

These next few blogs I write are going to be about some of the decisions we made for our wedding day that might help you save or think a little differently and creatively when planning your special day.  Til next time Pengminions!

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Instagram: @findingfurleigh
Facebook: @FurleighFotography

Our Anniversary Wine

by Richard Furleigh

New Zealand. It’s kinda an awesome place that we may or may not have gone to on our honeymoon three years ago. Pssst, we totally did. One thing the country is know for is it’s wine.DSC_0774

Pictured is us at Greystone, one of the many excellent vineyards on the southern island. Our time at Greystone was so exceptional that we ended up buying a bottle of their Basket Star Riesling (2011) to take with us back to the US. As the bottle sat around we ended up deciding to save it and open our special honeymoon choice on our one year anniversary. It was even better than I remembered.

After that I began to wonder, as I saw other wines at different stores I began to think back to our time abroad and got an idea. It took a year and a half of searching (mostly because our taste in wine is so different) but we finally found one that we thought was good enough for our plan. The plan: find a wine that both of us enjoy that was made in New Zealand in 2014, then buy a case and open one every five years on our anniversary.

There was just something special about finding a wine that was crafted the same year we trod the ground where they grew 7,000 miles from where we now live. These bottles get to grow in depth and complexity along side us, and for the next 50 years we will have a special reminder of one of the greatest adventures the Penguin couple ever embarked on. Happy third anniversary Kristen, PenGLAP, I love you to Sirius and back!

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Facebook: @FurleighFotography

Middle Earth: The Land of Hobbitses (pt 2)

Hello Pengminions!!! We bring you segment 2 of our New Zealand adventure! Here we have captured the last part of our stay in the north island and make our way to the south island via the aforementioned “ferry ride of death”

We start again as the penguin couple makes their way downstream on the
Tongariro River!

DSC02984Smiling with our group and Australian guide
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Oogling the breathtaking views
DSCF4678Touching a lil waterfall
DSCF4684Hitting close to home! HAHA
IMG_8062 IMG_8071 IMG_8072 IMG_8073 IMG_8113Successfully navigated the narrow seas (standing up and all) without loosing a passenger! 
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Made our way to Taupo! 
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We heard screams and looked up from our peaceful view to find…
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Skydivers!!!!
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Sunset at the great lake!
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20140426_180025The Day we met Mt. Doom!
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Yes, we hiked the whole way! and then some….
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see above: Mt Doom! (you know Lord of the Rings???) aka Mt Nguauruhoe
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There was ice and frost when we started at 7am!
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DSC_0063and FOG!
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DSC_0045what natural colored mosses(?)
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as we ascend THE MTN…clouds…
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I AM ABOVE THE CLOUDS!!! (and only half way up)
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at one point we see a lake
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once we reach the summit….TWO, THREE, FOUR?!?!!?!
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DSC_0112IT IS THE CRATER ATOP MT DOOM!!!
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WE MADE IT!!!! Successful PENGUINS
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DSC_0149Our gorgeous view from the top above the clouds
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With a great sense of accomplishment we made our way back down the Mountain 
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The shoes that helped me make it
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and we make our way on to the rest of the crossing…about 10 more km to go!
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up more mountainous terrain
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the red crater
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DSC_0191We had a great view of the blue and green lakes that are located near volcano steam vents
DSC_0196View from the “trail” on the down side of the red crater
20140427_145518dun dun dunnnnnnnn! ahhhhh 😀
DSC_0200the very white steam is from a real live active volcano!!! eeeps
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20140427_135217a panoramic picture from the red crater

Sadly after the volcano we were tired and the road was as windy as the road in the clouds from DragonBallZ AND about 7 km to the end so we just forgot from lack of energy to picture anything more. We ended up in a rain forest for the last 5 km or so. The climate changes because of elevation, clouds, and terrain were surreal.
Our SUCCESS FACES! We made it. 8pm WHEW
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Next day, in pain, we went off to check out HUKA FALLS!
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DSC_0212 DSC_0218 DSC_0220 DSC_0231The water was wicked fast and pristine blue.

real honey comb

We also checked out the Huka Honey Hive where we saw beez and tasted ALL THE HONEY! (and bought some wine 🙂
It was a lovely attraction as we made our way down to Wellington; our last stop in the north.
DSC_0232 DSC_0234A hillside view of houses
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Random art
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20140429_110150The best slide ever!!! I was discouraged to use on our rainy day walking the town…I did it anyway!!! (and was soo right in its awesomeness) 
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free face art so we made our own with it lol
(I discovered howmuch I love panoramic pictures while in NZ)
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The Museum of Te Papa (on every list of must sees)
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preserved giant squid!

We also went to the Weta Workshop: Our minds Exploded inside their work space but sadly picture taking was restricted 😦 
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The dreaded ferry
(I did not know this when the picture was taken! The ship though didn’t have balancing ballasts and we were on some pretty choppy seas….the end of my life as I knew it)

Now we have made it to…The South Island!
Our first day was hiking Abel Tasman
DSC_0270Just beautiful the whole trek
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DSC_0290DSC_0294Cricks (lil creeks) and baby waterfalls everywhere
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The ever wonderful silver fern!
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DSC_0316This is the trunk of a silver fern cut close to the base
What marvelous wood grain!!!
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DSC_0335DSC_0361DSC_0369Our stay for the evening was at a quaint hostel
Our room:
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It had a name: The Love Bug
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These are chocolate/mint love bugs!!!
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We have just brushed the surface of all things South Island of New Zealand~y!!!!
Hope you enjoyed the pictures!
More to come just keep a look out friends!!

Peace, Love, and Happiness Everyone!

The Day has Come and Gone….

We had such a wonderful day full of hard work, love, laughter, tears,
and the start to another unforgettable adventure.
Without further ado we present to you….
Pictures in the form of song!

Our Day we share with you…Enjoy!
The Furleighs

What is this about Pre-marriaging?

PENGMINIONS!!!!!
I am back again for a second time this week with…

More things all coupley:
Almost a whole week after our engagement shoot we spent 8 hours of a Saturday engrossed in Pre-Marriaging!!!
Something cool you soon to be married people/or those of you no where near engaged can keep in your back pocket for the future if you ever end up going down that aisle. (like “going down that road”, get it???) Anyway, the point being we were going to do most of our premarriage things on our own and they are going smoothly but when searching for information on a marriage license I stumbled upon this site where in the Houston area if you take this 8 hour course you get a certificate to waive the 72 hr wait period and for $60 off of your license!!?!?!? And we thought even if this is teeeerrrrrriibbblllleee we can basically get paper married for FREE! So we went in HOPING it would not be too this or too that and it was PERFECT! It was the complete opposite of a stale, stuffy, over rehearsed, book class. They had the most REAL couple leading the discussion for the day. They were well versed in their curriculum and used their own life as examples, the good and the bad, while also having us interact with them, each other, and the group.

The focus for the day was on Communication. Many of the skills learned can be applied in life period but there were a few things we took away that I think were absolutely wonderful when resolving conflict within relationships. Some things we already did but it was nice to have an outside perspective and something with a little bit clearer of a picture  that we can build on things we already do. They did not preach “this is how things are supposed to be done,” there was no shaming or finger pointing but helping by giving tools to use within each unique relationship and perhaps insight into things that may not have been thought about before. Every relationship is different and there is no cookie cutter way for navigating them. One thing that they said, I have known, and cannot say enough is that relationships are WORK and you both must always be investing in it for it to grow and be rewarding for you day after day.

There is so much more detail that I could put into this for you, so if you want to know more about the group class or want to know about the specific tools we learned don’t hesitate to reach out to us we would love to share with you!

Enjoy the rest of your day Pengminions! We look forward to next time.

Peace, love, and happiness,
Kristen Burleigh

PS: Invites are out…don’t forget your RSVP for April 12, 2014!!!!

And we may have worn our custom jerseys ;P

furleigh2014

Bringing Life to Abandoned Buildings

Hello Pengminions!!!

Kristen here with your next dose of penguin cuteness overload!
Yes, that’s right…YOU will see them right here for the first time
OUR ENGAGEMENT PICTURES!!!!
A week and a half ago we had the privilege of having our engagement pictures done by Andrew Elam! Richard ‘s sister’s boyfriend, a talented man behind the lens, went with us to an abandoned brewery that Richard and I had scoped out a few days before in Galveston. Not only was it abandoned but it was literally across the street from the police station (We try to make every adventure a Super adventure, the more risk the better, not really but it seems to find us and make everything more epic.)
The most easily accessible entrance was facing the station so we opted to venture around the building and found a window we climbed in through one by one. You will see the pictures and the answer is no I did not bring an extra pair of shoes with me to make this easier. Needless to say there were blisters later that day. After getting over my initial worries/fears of getting caught and being thrown in jail (to live out the rest of my days) for trespassing we had a blast! One of the most important things we learned is that Richard has a concentrating (focusing on being relaxed) constipation face hence the quote of the shoot, “Come on, look like you love her.” Richard was trying waaaay too hard to look “normal.” The second most common quote, “Ok, now kiss!”
The joking and awesomeness of the location made it easy to have fun.
Example here:
thug lyfe 4eva

Alright, now on to the good stuff…
find the ligh

all about her

where to standin the light

I am IN LOVE with this next sequence of pictures!!!

 come on, it will be fun  create.lovelook what we can createseeeeegraffiti win

 It is like a little story!

made for the movies all the love we create DSC_0759-5

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Having some fun and submitting to American Horror Story

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Editing magic for a silhouette photo:

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This one is Richard’s Favorite:

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I had fun taking pictures in this “window”

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the blissful end
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And that my friends is what we spent our time doing on an early Sunday afternoon. Hope you enjoyed them. Share with us what you think or more adventures we should go on.
🙂
Kristen!

APRIL 12, 2014

What is so special about this date?? Hmmm, let us think for a minute…. Well. For one it is so special we in fact forgot to include it in the most important identifying material for the spectacular event that is to be held that day…OUR SOIREE!!!

Yes, we did FORGET to include the DATE in our Soiree INVITATIONS!

So, thank you to everyone who was kind enough to come peruse our blog in hopes of finding out this tiny, little, insignificant detail. In the future we will have 500 eyes check these sorts of things out before we go about mass mailing anyone. Our 4 eyes were obviously not enough with everything else going on.

Oh and since you are here I’ll go ahead and give you a peak into our recent engagement photoshoot! 😉
Thanks again Pengminions!!! Spread the word, April 12th!!!
Leave comments, ask questions and we will be back again soon
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❤ Kristen Burleigh

All things Soirée and…..We need YOUR help!

Pengminions!

It is I, Kristen, the lady of this duo you will oh so soon be able to refer to as: The Furleigh’s!
Hello you all. Hope everything in your world is going gloriously. It is going very much so here for us. We are head over feet in planning and work and projects. It is grand. I love being this busy!

It has been a little bit since updating you all on planning and things soiree related. It has been interesting trying to organize everything on our own since this whole thing is a little foreign to us but we are managing it. LISTS are our best friends, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND them a.) for life and b.) for an undertaking such as this. It will probably be what saves our butts in the end because if we just tried to “remember it” all we would not have anything to show come April 13th.
We went to check out our venue a couple weeks ago and it is plain but it has potential. They provide tables which actually are perfect for our theme. They are kind of a brushed metal top. *perfect* The chairs we might have to change up somehow but we will work with them. Lately we have been on the hunt, stopping in many Goodwill Stores and thrift stores and just recently started going garage sale shopping, to find the perfect trinkets to put together for interesting centerpieces and decorations around the venue. My parents so graciously and thoughtfully sent us gift cards to Michael’s for our Christmas presents (I can’t tell you how excited I was when I opened it) and got a few things to start the process of Invite Construction!!!

Oh my, oh my. Shame shame shame on me. Did I share with you all that my custom designed dress is in the process of being made…as in…decision made and deposit PAID! Eeps, It all just keeps becoming more real.

A couple of other big things we are working on is food, flowers, cake.
The food we are trying to keep reasonably priced and MAN flowers are EXPENSIVE oh and so are cakes. Which we have been tossing around the idea of making it ourselves. Yes you read that correctly. Home-made-cake for our reception. The key to this decision being made will be based on us deciding we will spend a day in the near future and do a cake test run. We will let you know how it goes. If successful, it will save us so much money.

Some thing that we have to remind ourselves throughout this process is to stop and KISS! Keep.It.Simple.Stupid. A little acting nugget you can take with you and use in all of life. Try it. Please. It works wonders!

And here is where you all come in:
Whilst in the midst of all this planning we have come to realize that we also have to come up with a list of music to fill hours of entertaining. We have started a so far short list with a collection of songs that range all over the music spectrum. For the shindig we would love to know some of your favorites when it comes to music so we might stay ahead of the curve because I am sure we are going to miss some good ones by just not thinking of them. Anything! We would love to hear it. We want some ambiance music but we also wanna get people out on the dance floor when the time comes! What would get you up and on the dance floor? What are some songs or types of music you have heard at a reception that you thought were spectacular choices? We appreciate any and all input from you.

Thank you so much pengminions! This is going to be a most glorious occasion so, many thanks to you for helping make it so special.
So much love,
Kristen B

The ever delicate balance of relationships

Hello once more pengminions!

The larger of the two penguins, Richard (in case you’ve never actually looked at our photos) here with an issue that anyone in relationships hear and deal with on a regular basis.

Fairness, especially when it comes to relationships is a delicate topic for sure. Everyone wants to feel like they are being listened to and that they aren’t the only one putting forth effort into keeping the relationship running smoothly. Now, within the confines of any relationship these things always fluctuate one way or the other. Both in terms of who among the partners is taking the lead on any one issue or feels more adamant about a topic, and also how issues are reacted to and dealt with. Now no two people are the same, so no relationship will function exactly the same as any other. One week someone might be giving a little more of their time, understanding, or patience when dealing with their partner, and over the next couple weeks they themselves may need a little more of a delicate touch because of difficulties they are having with work, or their family, or anything else.

What I have come to discover more and more is that it isn’t always about being right, or needing to get your way all the time. It’s not the small issues that make up who you are. Let those go! If they want to buy an extra bag of chips when shopping or spends a little more time than you would like playing a game or on a particular web site try not to let it bother you. If it’s not affecting your overall relationship, how you function together, your communication, and as long as it’s not turning the other person into a complete sedentary slob, then have a little understanding. If all you do is bog yourself down in the tiny details of your life and relationship it becomes all too easy to lose sight of the big picture, to stop enjoying your life and relationship. Now in the same breath I’m not saying that you should ever feel like you’re being walked over all the time. Just as you should strive to be compassionate and truly listen, it is your partners responsibility to do the same thing for you. To let small things go and to make sure you feel as though your thoughts, feelings, and concerns are being respected as well. In a way, that is the key to making sure things are balanced, by simply discussing it. Having an open line of communication, letting your partner know your reservations and if you feel as though your feelings aren’t being given their proper credence is the pure and simplest way to make sure that you are feeling like an active participant and not just a passenger being drug along.

In the same vein of being an equal partner across a relationship I find myself not so secretly hating a particular phrase I’ve heard repeatedly since we’ve begun planning for our soiree reception.

The day is all about her!

Growing up in a society where this is a generally accepted truth makes for an interesting idea to fight against. In a world where little girls are supposed to grow up and think about their dream wedding and what dress they want and vows at sunset and… and……. and………. Where little boys are more concerned with, bugs, or something. For me however, looking at this screams as an exceptionally unfair situation. In a ceremony where two people are joining together as one for the rest of their lives in this mortal coil, it should be both of their days. Neither one of them should lord over the decisions and proceedings of the day. If you have been married then you likely know the massive undertaking that is putting together a wedding and reception. For those of you who haven’t let me assure you it is a gargantuan undertaking to iron out the thousand little details of when, where, food, music, clothes, etc… These details are compounded even further when you are in charge of making all the decorations, invitations, flower arrangements, food, and more yourself instead of paying to have it done for you (yay having a minuscule budget!).

This single event, the exchange of vows and the celebration after, is a kick start into the rest of your lives. It is a gateway for how the two of you will spend the rest of eternity together, and for one person to exert their influence over the other is something that I simply abhor. It is all a partnership, and in this case, with Kristen, I feel as though I care just as much about the tiny details, like which plate we will place with which napkin, as she does. We want to put on the best event we can and so only by working together to make our joint vision come true will we both be happy with the outcome. The more we enjoy the process of it, the more it will show through our work in a way that will make the whole day shine. So in this way, it will not be her day. It will always be our day

Well I will leave you with that for now pengminions as I step down off my soapbox. Hope you have a great week coming up, and make sure to check out my “shameless self promotion plug” this week and look at our What is Steampunk page for a brief discription and a link to our Pintrest page where you can get some inspiration for your outfit!

Until next time my friends! Keep sliding!

Richard F