My Top Ten First Dance Songs for 2019
 
Styled Greek Wedding Session by  GreenHouse Creative

Styled Greek Wedding Session by GreenHouse Creative

If your’e just interested in my song picks for wedding first dance songs, you can keep scrolling down. If you want to read more about my own love story, you just keep reading, grrrrlll.

Brett loves coming up with hypothetical situations. So, I asked Brett what song he would pick as our first dance song if we were getting married this year. He told me he’d still pick the same song we danced to seven years ago.

That sweet goober gives me the sweetest slobbery emotional feelings ever. Of course he’d choose that song.

Music moves me so deeply and connects me to moments. So I knew choosing a first dance song for us would be one of the biggest decisions I made for our wedding. I’ve learned, after photographing many weddings, that music isn’t as important to some couples. And I’m over here happy to say, “you do you, but I’m gonna be as intentional as I can be with my music choices”.

Styled Greek Wedding Session by  GreenHouse Creative

Styled Greek Wedding Session by GreenHouse Creative

I’m a big sucker for choosing songs that are unique to my story or circumstances. So when Brett and I chose our wedding song, we chose a song that talked about being long distance for two years. Because, well, a two year long distance relationship was the chapter we were closing on our wedding day (YAY NO MORE LONG DISTANCE!). The song also mentions “waiting for two years” which, for me, really tapped into the value we had to wait to have sex until we were married.

We chose Summer Song by Wavorly. A song most people are unfamiliar with. Which is why I loved it. Here are some of my favorite lyrics:

Two years ago, I had no idea that you were so perfect/As we wait so long, until we join hands/You make the wait worth it/I haven't stopped falling in love/Haven't stopped falling/Now years down the road/Still hasn't gotten old to sit and laugh the day away/There's one thing you should know/My love for you grows even more every day

It’s another year and if you’er dancing to Ed Sheeran’s “Perfect” at your wedding this year, I’ll still love you anyway. I love that song. But when you’re a wedding photographer, and it plays as the first dance at almost every wedding you photographed last year, you start to lose that special oopy goopy feeling you had when you first heard it.

Here are my 2019 Star-crossed lover songs that have made me weep at one point or another. Or have pushed me to fall more in love with my husband. If you just NEEEEED this playlist to put on shuffle, keep scrolling, I’ve put together a Spotify Playlist for you. Keep those stars crossed! XOXO, Stacie

  1. Grow as We Go by Ben Platt

  2. The Trouble With Wanting by Joy Williams

  3. No Place Like You by Joy Williams

  4. Rainbow Connection by Sleeping At Last

  5. I Will Spend My Whole Life Loving You by Imaginary Future

  6. As Long As I Have You I’m Home by Imaginary Future

  7. Hold My Girl by George Ezra

  8. You by A Great Big World

  9. To June This Morning by Johnny Cash, performed by Kacey Musgraves and Ruston Kelly

  10. Love Is A Wild thing by Kacey Musgraves



Finding Community and Belonging at Lubbock Con | Portraits

What do you get when a wedding and lifestyle photographer shows up to a comic con?

I didn’t know what to expect from my own photos, but I knew to show up with mad respect for the fandom. Even though I didn’t know who most people were dressed as (and any time I asked who they were, I got the How do you not know who I am? face), I was fascinated by their devotion to their homemade costumes and emotional connections to their cosplay character.

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Much to my surprise, Lubbockon also wasn’t solely dedicated to one particular niche… we slipped into some Panels on Disney Princess trivia, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (The Comic Books and the Netflix series), and we even found ourselves photographing a renaissance orchestra (everyone dressed up as a character they invented themselves! This seemed so deeply creative and therapeutic for some of them, I could have sat with each of them for hours listening to their story and how they came up with their own characters).

If I had to pick three words to describe my interactions with the Lubbockon community, I’d choose: Community, empowerment, and acceptance. There was a real sense of belonging and admiration in this Comic Con world. And I really loved that. You can love what you love and it’s alright. No one’s judging. Everyone’s encouraging and cheering you on to be and connect with the character(s) you love.

On a personal level, this overall sense of belonging was confirmed for me this month on Netflix’ Queer Eye (Season 3, Sloth to Slay). The Fab Five collided with a gamer and anime lover who was struggling to find community and friends outside of his online gaming world. They encouraged him to seek out already established anime communities who gather to meet other anime lovers. He did. And He connected with other humans. In real time. They welcomed him in so quickly and kindly. It was beautiful (and of course made me cry because I’m all about humans connecting with other humans and finding belonging).

So thanks Lubbockon, for showing me it’s okay to have a niche interest, and it’s okay to show up as you are… or as someone entirely not yourself.

XOXO,

The Chilling Adventures of Stacie Stine

P.S. I mainly connected with women in cosplay. Some of my personal cosplay favorites were these beautiful pin-up Super heroes (Lisa from Songbird Pixel Art with her favorite piece of her own art and Rebecca from Cooper Creative with her favorite makeup bag), Zombie snow white, and Zombie Dobby (Why is Dobby a zombie?? Because that’s awesome and could totally be a thing in some alternative zombie Harry Potter universe).

We're Moving
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After so much waiting, praying, pro and con weighing, and decision-making… we’ve finally decided to move to New York City. Brett will be starting a Classics doctoral program at Columbia in August. While I haven’t fully landed on what I’ll pursue while we’re there, I’m pumped on the options I have (continuing my business will definitely be something I will keep doing… I love working with star-crossed lovers on their weddings and vows).

I’ll cry if I start writing about closing out our chapter in Texas, so for now I wanted to share about our love story unfolding in New York. A lot of people don’t know this, but,

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1) My brother has been living in New York for years upon years, so it holds a special place in my heart already.

2) One summer in college, my brother flew me out to help him move, and, as I explored the streets of New York and journaled in the coffee shop down the street from his house, I was considering and praying about my future with Brett.

We’d been dating about one year and I was considering what a future with him would look like. I was simultaneously crazy about him and afraid of marrying him.

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Our society doesn’t talk much about doubts and fears we have before getting married, but it was important for me to process through them and ask myself whether or not my fears were really deal breakers. It was a sweet time for me to also tell God my fears about Brett and to ask Him to give peace to my fears and doubts. And He did. Meanwhile, I walked the city, without the need to be a tourist, and accidentally fell in love with it. I fell in love with the culture and activity. I fell in love with those humans of New York. I fell in love with Falafel.

The next summer I went to New York with my best friend, Amber, for our senior trip. We visited that same coffee shop I had journaled and prayed over my relationship with Brett in, and much to my surprise, as we were talking, I looked over to see Brett walking up to me (Wait, what is he doing in Brooklyn?!) with a ring next to the cupcake I’d ordered (Wait, am I getting proposed to right now?!). Spoiler alert, I said yes.

So we love this city. We’re cautiously optimistic about loving this city throughout every season (like, the cold ones we aren’t so sure about). But for the most part, we’re here for it. And grateful for such a cool opportunity. You can catch us there Mid-August.

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When a girl meets boy, life can be a joy; But the note they end on Will depend on little pleasures they will share. So let us compare:

I like New York in June, how about you? I like a Gershwin tune, how about you? I love a fireside when a storm is due, I like potato chips, moonlight And motor trips, how about you?

I'm mad about good books, can't get my fill. And George Clooney’s looks give me a thrill. Holding hands in a movie show When all the lights are low may not be new; But I like it, how about you?

I like Mindy Kaling’s jokes, to a degree. I love the common folks, that includes me. I like to window shop on 5th Avenue. I like banana splits, late supper at the Ritz How about you?

I love to dream of fame, maybe I'll shine. I'd love to see your name right beside mine. I can see we're in harmony, Looks like we both agree on what to do. And I like it, how about you?

I'll Have What She's Having | APRIL

April is full of awesome movie releases (looking at you Shazam and Avengers), summer music releases, and April showers (duh). What are you loving lately?

  1. Grow as we Go, by Ben Platt (also, the entirety of his new album is amazing). This song during this season of life. Also, this song during every season of life. Also, the song stands alone amazingly. But if you need a sad music video to go with it, Ben doesn’t let you down.

  2. These jumpsuits are WAY out of my price range, but WAY mesmerizing and beautiful.

  3. It’s Coachella this week, so I thought I’d share this Mushroom print by my fave Etsy artist, Shannon Kirsten. Also, on carousel display are my OLLLDD SCHOOL Coachella Instagram snapshots from 2012. I didn’t even know what Coachella was when my brother invited me to go. I had the time of my life.

  4. The way Bri Larson enters The Store in a subtle rainbow of light in Unicorn Store. Now I want to buy a light in every color of the rainbow and have fun colorful photoshoots.

  5. It’s summer time… and in Texas, that means Half price shakes at Sonic!!!

  6. Hannah Beast is the Bachlorette and I’m here for it. My favorite Bachelorette contestant from “the first rose ceremony” wasn’t any of the men. Hannah’s awkwardness is a contestant in and of it self. And honestly, I love that. The fact that she didn’t know what to do or say made her the most authentic Bachlorette yet in my opinion. Bring on this season.

Galentine's Giveaway | You CAN sit with us
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This month I’m practicing what it looks like to be for women. Specifically the women around me. And specifically with words of affirmation and acknowledgement. To friends and strangers alike.

One of my favorite lines from Mean Girls (one of my all time favorite movies and musicals) is when Gretchen yells at Regina “YOU CAN’T SIT WITH US!”.

That line is so iconic. And hilarious. And Ridiculous. And you’ve probably had it yelled at you before by someone sarcastic like me.

But the “you can’t sit with us” mentality is totally something I see in my generation and the generation I mentor.

I've blocked out, judged, or put down other women by verbally and silently communicating they can’t sit with me, compete with me, or have power over me. I've also been on the one blocked out, judged, or put down.

This month I want to be an advocate for change- in the regular every day moments I have. Specifically when it comes to interacting with other women.

I want to encourage women I see at the gym who are working out. I want to smile at other women when I’m walking on campus and if I sit down next to one of them, ask them how their day is going. I want to listen— really listen when I ask women questions about their lives. I want to tell other female entrepreneurs or creatives why I value what they contribute to our field. I want to listen to and befriend more women of color whose experiences might be different from mine. And most importantly— I want the women around me to feel like they’ve been invited to a seat at the table— a seat everyone CAN sit at.

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I thought it was ironic that Camila Cabello came out with her song “Real Friends” this past month. All she wants is some authentic, caring, real friends. And even though I’m not famous and questioning everyone’s motives for being friends with me. I get it. I think we all want that at some level. We want trust-worthy, encouraging, kind, and honest real friends. We want and oftentimes need someone to BE a real friend.

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I wonder what would happen if we all gave some true friend love to the women around us? I wonder what deep rooted message we would communicate with a woman when we tell them they CAN sit with us?


Short Impactful Sentences | Enneagram 9

Words for my life. Based on my enneagram nine.

This is a prayer. And a self-affirmation.

That I wouldn’t fall into busy-ness, but that I would seek out sweeter and deeper quiet. That I would work really really hard to be quiet in my mind… not numb or asleep to my feelings or circumstances.

That I would live life, and not laze through it.

I do not need to be extreme to function… I’m not a workaholic or a sloth. There is a healthy in between.

Work is good and I can work hard. I’m competent to do hard things in my personal and professional life.

Planning and boundaries are good and I put them into place for my benefit, not my detriment.

Turn off to-do lists and choose not to be overwhelmed by “should’s”.

Stand up and live life— even if it’s slower than how I think I should be living it.

Engage with and trust God. 

Praying I wouldn’t fall into busy-ness, but that I would seek out sweeter and deeper quiet. That I would work really really hard to be quiet in my mind.

To turn off to-do lists and “should’s” and to really just sit and live life— even if it’s slower than how I think i should be living it. the most important part is that I’m living and trusting God. 

Amen

P.S. These self-portraits of myself were taken about a week ago, before the snow, on a warm day at the Texas Tech Horticulture Garden. I’m wearing a Target cardigan, Madewell (similar here) Collared Shirt, thrifted black tie, and thrifted plaid skirt. My kneesocks are from Target and my shoes are Lotta from Stockholm.

P.P.S. If I can take such quality self-portraits, I’d love for you to consider hiring me as your photographer for life’s celebrations and jamborees. :)