Monday, February 28, 2011

Our Engagement Picture

Since my fiance' and I are planning a wedding many miles apart, one of the "miles apart" planning issues was deciding when and where to have our engagement pictures taken and which photographer to take them. We decided to have them taken when I was in New York visiting Craig and his family for Christmas. We chose Rich Anderson of Anderson Photography  in Binghamton, NY. He is a fantastic photographer and  I highly recommend him for any of you with photography needs in the upstate NY area. We decided on a traditional engagement portrait in his studio. We arrived to have our pictures made and when he began taking our picture, I noticed a movie poster on the wall facing us for "West Side Story", a favorite movie and musical of both mine and my late mother. On a day when I so wished my mother could have been there, what an amazing sign to receive that she was, in fact, there in spirit. I commented to Rich about the poster and he responded, "My parents grew up on NYC's West Side". I love our engagement portrait and I love the memory of the snowy NY day in December when it was taken.        

Friday, February 25, 2011

My Engagement Ring

Craig gave me a family ring for my engagement ring that took my breath away the first time I saw it. I treasure the memory of the day Craig first showed it to me and let me try it on, in May 2010. He thought at the time I would like to have it as a ring after we were married. I remember the feeling of how magical it felt when it fit my hand perfectly, no re-sizing needed. I was taken aback my its beauty and I knew I had found my engagement ring. I am so honored to wear a ring that has so much family love and history behind it, and to come. Their family ring tradition began with Craig's 4-great (or great-great-great-great) grandparents Lawrence and Catherine Swackhammer Dufford. George have the ring to Catherine when they were married in New Jersey during the Civil War era. Since then, the ring has been passed down from grandmother to grandchild, and most recently to my fiance' Craig Alpaugh by his paternal grandmother, 94-year-old Ruth Alpaugh of High Bridge, New Jersey. I am so honored to carry on this family tradition and wear this beautiful piece of history.      

Angela and Craig: The Proposal

When Craig and I reached the point in our relationship that we knew each other was "the one" and that marriage was in our future, I began looking at engagement rings. I looked at many rings from several of my favorite places and although I thought every one of them was beautiful, none of them had the feeling that it was THE engagement ring for me. When I visited Craig and his family in New York in May 2010, his paternal grandmother Grandma Ruth had  passed down a diamond ring to Craig that has been passed down grandmother to grandchild in their family since the Civil War era. Craig told me that one day after we were married that he wanted me to have the ring if I wanted it. When I saw it, I was taken aback by its history and beauty. I asked him if I could try it on and it FIT MY HAND PERFECTLY! I immediately knew that I had found the ring I wanted for my engagement ring when that day came, and I told Craig right then and there.
Craig and I arrived on Friday, July 3, 2010 to celebrate the 4th of July with his family at his family’s beach house at Beach Haven, Long Beach Island, New Jersey. He told me how special Beach Haven and their family’s house there was to him because he had so many wonderful memories there since he was a young boy. He told me how happy he was to bring me there and show me the place that was so special to him. When we arrived, his father told me, “We are going to have a great 4th. We’re going to have lots of sparklers.”

On the 4th of July at dusk, Craig asked me to take a walk with him and we began walking toward the bay overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. We stopped at an overlook deck and almost immediately a family came to the deck area. Craig seemed almost upset and he asked told me he wanted to keep walking to another area. He took me to the next deck overlook and asked me what I thought about it. I said it was nice and I would be right back because I was going to run back to the house and get my sunglasses and a hair tie. He laughed, took me by the hand and said “You don’t need any of that right now. Come on!” and began slowly pulling me to the overlook deck. He said, “There’s something I want you to have. I have a question I want to ask you.” Then he reached in his pocket and pulled out a ring box. He got down on one knee and asked me,”Will you marry me?” I exclaimed, “YES I WILL!” and I jumped into this arms and he lifted me off the ground in an embrace. So on the 4th of July 2010 at 8:00 p.m. on a deck overlooking the Atlantic Ocean at Beach Haven, Craig asked me to be his wife and I said yes. As we embraced, I looked up to the beautiful summer sky full of the fluffy white clouds my late, great mother Jan loved and a pretty blue sky my late, beloved Grandma Cleva always loved and in that instant, I felt them watching me and Craig from above in our moment of bliss. I looked up toward Heaven and smiled the smile my Mom always said would light up the room in the dark.

We walked back to the house and his parents embraced me first, then their son and we all cried happy tears. His parents had a seafood feast dinner for us to celebrate our engagement. We walked as a family down to watch the fireworks by the sea at the yacht club. 
Craig and I certainly did “ring” in the 4th! 

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Welcome Y'all!

For those of you who've yet to make my acquaintance, my name is Angela. I'm the Southern Fried Bride, and I'm just pleased as punch that you've stopped by today. Today, the day I begin this journey this journey sharing my bridal blog with you, marks 100 days until my wedding day on Saturday, June 4, 2011. I will tell you right off that my fiance' Craig is a Yankee and that couple combination makes for the most interesting of conversations between us. He is the man of my dreams and I am very happy to share our love story and my wedding planning journey with all of you as Craig and I prepare to begin our lives as husband and wife and continue to share our journey with you as The Southern Fried Bride becomes a Mrs.! 
Besides our wedding plans, I will be serving up heaping helpings of some of my favorite wedding inspiration from all over, and when I say that, I mean all the way from here to yonder! My college studies were in journalism and I am blessed at this time in my life to be doing a job I love very much: writing for a newspaper as a recipe columnist. I'm looking forward to interviewing some of my favorite wedding experts and sharing all about their fabulousness with you. I love good food, and The Southern Fried Bride will be sharing with you some of my favorite recipes I have stirred up and whisked together in my kitchen. I hope you will find some inspiration in my recipes as I found inspiration in the person who first taught me the joy of cooking and was my foremost inspiration in the kitchen and as a true Southern lady, my maternal grandmother Granma Cleva. I also will be "mixing in" some fun giveaways every now and then.

Again, I want to welcome y'all, and I'd be much obliged if you'd stop by to visit again soon!