View Posts By:




Tulsa Wedding Film from PenWeddings

As I sit down to write an introduction to this wedding, I find myself speechless. It’s just too special. It’s the kind of day that brings tears to my eyes as I remember just exactly what a wedding is. It’s the beginning of a marriage. The blending of two lives, two families, into one. For better or worse, for sickness or health. PenWeddings captured a magical day for this special couple and we’re just lucky enough to get a little peek.

Photography courtesy of the lovely Andrea Murphy Photography.


From the beautiful bride … Sometimes, life doesn’t go quite the way you planned it.  Sometimes, that’s the best thing that could ever happen to you.

We’d planned an April wedding – in fact, had life gone according to “our plan”, we’d be getting married next Thursday, April 18th.  We’d planned for beautiful blooming trees and gardens.  Not too hot, not too cold.   The bigger details had been completed, the venue, the dresses, the tuxes, the photographer, and invitations were printed.

Ironically, the same month that Darren proposed is the same month I started showing increased signs that something was not quite right.  In October of 2012, we became offically engaged and for the first time I was struck down in pain, literally brought to my knees.  For the next four months, I’d be planning a wedding in between work, children and the pain I would experience and come to know as a daily part of life.

January 30th, I experienced what I called a flare up and decided it was time to try again to find out what the cause was.  Most days I suffered from facial and eye pressure.  A flare up would include that but more extreme, headache, nausea and extreme light and noise sensitivity.  I’d tried five times before to see if someone could figure it out with trips to a doctor, my dentist and my optomitrest.  I went to my doctor, who, after hearing my symptoms and everything I’d done to try and figure it out, told me – “It’s time to start looking for zebras”.  He explained that in medical school your taught when you hear hooves you look for horses.  If you don’t see the obvious horse, you start looking for zebras.  He sent me for a CT scan that same day.

On January 31st, at 12:55 p.m. I got the call from him to let me know, they found a zebra.  Over the next week, we went through a rush of scans and doctor’s appointments that resulted in the final diagnosis:  I had a brain tumor, one of the more common, non-cancerous kind (whew!).   A pituitary tumor and due to the size and location, it needed to come out quickly, within the next month.

February 7th, Darren asked me to marry him again, before the surgery so he could absolutely ensure I was taken care of.  (I’d gush about how amazing this man is, but if you watch the video, I think you’ll get it).   I gladly accepted and after contacting the venue we settled on a new date, February 18th.  We put the word out to friends and family via emailed copies of our wedding invitations we’d ordered… with some slight handwritten modifications.  In my mind, I’d given up on having meaningful details.  We expected that we’d maybe have half the people we’d invite be able to attend.   I wondered how in the world I was going to do this because at this point, I was on pain medication and sleeping through most days.

Something amazing happened though.  It was the beginning of the most beautiful and difficult journey we’ll probably ever go through in our life together.  When people heard about my diagnosis and the change in date, our friends and family began to surround us and lift us up with love, prayer, and their time.    We began to learn how to be receivers, a topic that we studied about in church the months before and had struck both of us as something we needed to learn.  We are givers by nature and we are not good receivers. We needed to learn how to allow people to feel the blessing of being a giver, by accepting offers of help.

In ten days, because of the people surrounding us, every meaningful detail I’d envsionsed, they made happen.   The phrase “What can I do to help”? was heard over and overa again. There were only a small handful that couldn’t make the wedding that day.  We had numerous friends who flew or drove across the country or state to be with us.

The morning of the wedding was my first appointment with the ENT who explained how the surgery would be done.  Not what a bride wants to hear on her wedding day, how your face is about to be rearranged and where incisions would be made.  Darren and I took a moment in his office and he held me while I cried.  Once we walked out, I put the surgery out of my mind and for the rest of the day, I walked on air and my cheeks hurt from smiling so much.

That morning, we were incredibly blessed to get the message from our photographer, Andrea, that Sarah from PenWeddings wanted to take part in our day.  For months I had watched her work and swooned.  It was an answer to my hearts desire and what both these women created that day has become a pivotol part of the Testimony this has become regarding love, faith and the power of prayer.   They both have an incredible gift.  The video was far reaching and not only provided us with more prayer than we could have ever imagined – prayer that literally saved my life in the weeks to come.

My surgery went wonderfully.  I had surgery on a Wednesday and to everyone’s amazement, was well enough to go home on Friday.  Unfortunately, the following Tuesday I was readmitted with some complications and on Friday, was taken to the ICU in anticipation of what was expected to happen.  My sodium level dropped to what we’d later be told was an unheard of low of 99.  “Incompatible with life” was used to describe it.  My heart rate dropped to 52 beats per minutes and my blood pressure to 60 over something.  They were waiting for what typically happens when you hit 120-115… Coma, seizures, heart attack, brain swelling… death.

I’m proud to say that – to the doctors astonishment and amazement – none of those things happened.  When my neuorsurgeon said to us last week “I can’t explain why none of those things happened” it felt pretty awesome to look at him and say “I do… we were covered in prayer.”  I’m home and recovering more every day.

This journey has included our love, the love of our friends and family and the love of strangers.  Through the photos, the videos and sharing my thoughts of this journey on Facebook we’ve come to find it has been life changing in the best way not just for us but we are receiving numerous stories and seeing where it has been life changing and impacting to others as well.  Hearts are healing, marriages are mending, people are finding God… finding hope and my relationships with the people around me have strengthened.

If someone told me six months ago what would happen – all of it – and give me the option of going through it again or not.  I’d say yes…. sign me up.  I’ll go through it all again, in a heartbeat.

My name is Annalisa Neal and the best thing that ever happened to me was that life didn’t go the way I planned.

Cinematography: PenWeddings | Photography: Andrea Murphy Photography | Venue: Harwelden Mansion | Florals: Mary Murray’s Flowers | Cake: Merritt’s Bakery

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
View Portfolio
Tulsa, Oklahoma Ranch Wedding from Imago Vita Photography

Not all signage is created equal. Some signs have that extra sparkle that add a big dose of personality to an affair. The kind of signs that announce “we’re awesome, we’re married and we want to sing it from the mountaintops.” And when a Bride owns the most adorable invitation company we ever did see,  and infuses every ounce of her big day with country charm and sparkling declarations on wood and paper alike, it looks a little something like this beauty captured by Imago Vita Photography. A backyard affair as pretty as they come and a gallery that proves that statement right here.

From the Bride… I married my best friend on a family friend’s beautiful private ranch in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma right outside of Tulsa. I knew from the first time I visited the ranch with Anthony, before we were even engaged, that it was the perfect place for our wedding. After the proposal we were over ecstatic that they agreed to let us celebrate our big day there! Immediately I started crafting, and crafting, and crafting. With the help of my mom, sister, stepmom, aunts, cousins, and many friends, we created about 900 feet of bunting made from fabric that belonged to my grandmother and great grandmother. The favors were kitchen towels from IKEA that were hand stamped, ironed, and tied by my sister and stepmom and used as napkins as well as custom designed koozies requested by the groom. We did our first look in front of a large 8′ folding wall that my Dad built out of old picket fences. Many hands helped paint our names and sweet love verses across the wall and it turned out even better than I had hoped! I bought all the flowers for the centerpieces to DIY, which turned out much harder than I had originally thought. Thankfully, Anthony’s aunt showed up and saved the day, creating jars and jars of beautiful arrangements!

I own a custom stationery business, so paper details were important and abundant. Our invitations reflected our personalities perfectly. Simple, clean lines, and a little gold foil for me with Kraft paper and western fonts for Anthony. For the back of the invitations I designed a pattern using all the things that reflect us, both individually and together… antlers (for my deer hunter), arrows, softball, fishing, banners, our J/A wedding logo, an envelope, paper airplanes, etc. I created paper flags to go in the centerpieces that incorporated the same graphics. During the ceremony, guests wore custom designed buttons in memory of Anthony’s father and they folded their programs into paper airplanes that were tossed in the air as we walked down the aisle as husband and wife. Menus and a thank you to the guests were placed in white IKEA frames at each table and paper tags were tied around each and every napkin. One of my bridesmaids lives in New York and wanted to help with the crafting, so I gave her the task of cutting and gluing paper hearts to little sticks that were used all throughout the wedding. The morning of the ceremony, all of the bridesmaids created a path with the paper hearts to lead the guests through the pasture to the ceremony. It truly was the perfect touch to our fairytale setting!

Aside from all the DIYing, Anthony and I wanted a wedding that was comfortable, fun, and completely full of every person that we love! My wonderful brother-in-law married us and it was absolutely perfect. Instead of choosing between all of the kids in our lives, we had them all in a “kid parade” down the aisle holding flags and signs. They were so adorable and did such a great job! My bridesmaids each got to pick their own navy blue dress. The groomsmen each picked their own shirt and wore gray vests, jeans, and boots. If you ask anyone who knows me, they will tell you I’ve been dreaming of and planning my wedding day since the day I learned to walk. Anthony, however, was less about the little details and more about everyone having a good time and just being themselves. Overall the day was filled with everything that was important to the both of us and it all blended together better than I could have ever imagined!

Wedding Photography: Imago Vita Photography / Venue: Private Residence at Rockin Horse Ranch in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma / Floral Design: The Floral Touch (918-760-3324) / Catering: Fat Jack’s BBQ / Wedding Cakes: Ann’s Bakery  / Music: DJ Connection / Rentals: Party Pro Rents and Events / Stationery: SwellMail Designs (the Bride) / Wedding Dress: Custom Design via Abelina’s Boutique / Bride’s Veil: Bridal By Teri / Bride’s Shoes: Dillard’s / Bride’s Boots: Corral Boots via Cavender’s / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: J.Crew + JC Penney + Maurices / Groom’s Vest + Jacket: JC Penney / Hair: Ashley Franke of AnnaLivia Styles / Makeup: Ashlee Bivins

Tulsa Wedding from Erin Goodrich Photography + Erica Weddings

If ever there were a wedding that was made to grace the pages of our little blog, this is it. The color palette consists of some of our favorites – gold, pink, blue – the style is perfectly chic with a little touch of handmade love, and the couple tying the knot is gorgeous as can be, both inside and out. Not to mention the coordination from one of our faves, Erica Weddings, the beautiful images from Erin Goodrich Photography, and the sweet as can be film from PenWeddings. It’s a wedding that has prettied up our pages here AND in our gallery!

Click here to see the full image gallery!

Prior to getting engaged I had never really dreamed of my wedding. I was just so excited to marry Michael! Due to my grad school schedule, we had a year and a half to plan. All that time proved to be a blessing and a curse. It was wonderful to be able to take the time to browse for inspiration on Pinterest and various wedding blogs, but after a while it was easy to become overwhelmed with all the ideas! I really tried to stick to our vision for the night. We both wanted a wedding that felt intimate, elegant, and most of all, fun. We also really tried to blend our different styles together. I love a vintage/Anthropologie type of look and Michael is more of a streamline/modern guy.

From the beginning we wanted to honor the beauty and charm of our gorgeous venue, Dresser Mansion. It was the perfect place to cast the intimate feeling we were hoping for! We didn’t want details or colors that would seem out of place at the historic 1920’s home. The palette consisted of soft blush pinks, antique gold, galvanized silver, and pops of a tealy-tiffany blue (which I could never adequately describe to anyone. Ha!). Instead of a traditional monogram, we opted for a more fun and modern way to personalize the wedding. After seeing Laura Condouris’ work on a wedding blog, I contacted her to design the invitations and she created a silhouette motif using our actual profiles. I think I was obsessed with the way it turned out because our silhouettes ended up on anything it could be printed on. I also chose flowers that reflected the vintage look I was after. One of my favorite things was the soft baby’s breath asymmetric arch our florist created over our ceremony area. It was the perfect frame for such a special moment!

Despite my hectic schedule I really wanted to have some handmade touches, so I focused on things that would have big impact. I think I drove Michael nuts doing things like ripping up strips of fabric to create bunting, glittering hundreds of clothespins, painting picture frames, cutting up old pages for paper chains, and gluing glitter flags on the drinking straws. Anything I couldn’t do/didn’t have time to do, I found on Etsy or Ebay, and at BHLDN. My gorgeous headpiece, our thumbprint guestbook, and cute silhouette cake topper were great Etsy finds. I purchased a ton of hot pink bunting at BHLDN which really livened up the dance area. My mother was a huge saving grace since we were planning the wedding from a different state. She ran around Tulsa coordinating with vendors, collecting objects to use as vases and cake stands, and sewed the canvas drapes and put together the paper chains that hung over the outdoor entrance. All these details combined to create the personal and fun event we were after.

The day of the wedding was such a blur, but in our memories it was absolutely perfect! It was so touching to have family and friends come earlier in the day to help set up. Their willingness help put together our vision is something I will never forget. And our vendors…my goodness! Something I do not regret are the vendors we chose to make our day a reality. It was wonderful not having to fret about how something would turn out because we trusted each and every one of them. From the flowers to the food to the music to the pictures and video with which it was all captured, everything was perfect! Oh, and to all future brides, having a day of coordinator is a must. It really allowed us to sit back and enjoy the day without worrying about it all coming together.

Despite all the planning that went into the wedding, some of my favorite moments have nothing to do with the details. Like our first look… nervously waiting with my dad before I walked down the aisle… hearing Michael’s vows for the first time… walking back down the aisle with my new husband on my arm, giggling the whole way… and rocking out to Jamiroquai surrounded by all of our loved ones during the final dance. At the end of the night, we felt so blessed having all of our favorite people together in one place, and most importantly, so thrilled to finally be married!

Photography: Erin Goodrich Photography / Coordinator: Erica Weddings / Cinematography: PenWeddings / Venue: Dresser Mansion / Florist: Petite Fleur by The French Bouquet / Caterer: Palace Cafe / Cake: Icing On The Top / Rentals: Party Perfect Linens / Invitations: Trial By Cupcakes / Transportation: Golzern Pedicab / Bride’s Gown: Watters from Abelinas Boutique / Bride’s Headpiece: Etsy / DJ/MC: DJ Connection / Hair & Makeup: Shirin Hillis at V’las Salon & Spa

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
For membership information, click here