December 30, 2007

Out of Office

Happy holidays to all of you!!!

Just a reminder that our office will be closed (to partake in good cheer and eggnog) until January 3rd. Check back then to see our updates! :)

December 18, 2007

In the news!

Last week I received a lovely email from Jacquelyn (of the below wedding) saying Wedding Bells has done a two-page spread on her day! I've had a sneak peek and it looks FABULOUS!!!

I'll be sending out a reminder for sure but watch for it in the Spring/Summer 2008 issue of Wedding Bells magazine :)

December 15, 2007

The one (or not)...what they dont tell you

Wow! See what I mean about this whole "ignoring all things wedding" phase I'm going through?I've been ignoring you, the readership! I never really thought that would happen. In my defense though, I've been housebreaking a 7 week old puppy, I'd go on about that (partly because he's so cute, partly because it would be a good stall tactic in addressing wedding matters) but you came here to read about weddings, not puppies.

Part of the reason I don't think I've posted much about the wedding stuff is that there really aren't that many interesting developments going on recently. But I suppose for the sake of giving you something to read, I'll get comfy and think back to a busier time in the planning.

I think the single decision that took the most time and energy was the dress. And I think that was one of the most interesting experiences in this process to date Now, through the experiences of others and various forms of media, I felt well prepared for how this was to go. I was going to walk into a store, and try on a handful of dresses ranging from hideous to mediocre before I emerged from the dressing room saying "this is the one!" and all would be well. Or so I thought.

In reality, I went to five stores, most of them I visited twice. I either went with Mom or a friend. Trying on the first few dresses were surreal and just plain weird, but I was surprised at how quickly it became old! Old became overwhelming. Each of the dresses were different, but in a way, felt almost the same. I mean, they each had their own variation of "wow" to offer. The dresses ranged from mediocre to wow. And I was surprised at just how many "wow" dresses we encountered making the decision virtually impossible.

And then, I found the dress I thought to be "the one". I didn't have a "Oh my goodness, this is the one! Pass me a tissue!" moment, but then again, I don't get terribly sentimental about such things either. Mom, a friend and I all agreed. And the fact that even other customers in the store (that's right! Strangers!) commented on it. (Going forward, this shall be known as Dress A).

Before actually committing to it, Mom suggested we go to a store that was having a sale. I should point out that this particular store is reasonably priced on a good day and that the sale would be the cherry on top! I went into the store with the mindset of "I'm just looking. I 'have' my dress already." and in doing that, I obviously wasn't very open to the possibility of finding a dress there. I tried one on that Mom really liked (We shall call this one dress B). I liked it fine. Just as I liked the dozen other dresses I knew I wasn't getting just fine. Mom agreed with me that dress A was ultimately nicer. but on the drive home, Mom said some things that made me see reason. She said three things that resulted in me changing my mind and running back to buy dress B.

1. Although the two of us would know that dress A was out there and nicer than dress B, my guests would not know. They would see the dress for what it was and appreciate the wow factor in whatever dress I chose.

2. From her "been there, done that" perspective, she said, "When you buy that dress, and it's the one hanging in your closet, it becomes your dress, and the other dresses you tried on don't matter."

3. (Keep in mind dress A was about $900 and Dress B was about $400) When I was dwelling on the argument that dress A was indisputably nicer than Dress B, she said "Is it $500 nicer? I mean, there's the cost of your invitations right there!"....that was a light bulb moment for me.

I think there is so much hype about "finding THE dress" and "once in a lifetime" and "you don't want to regret..." that common sense escapes. Now, I know, there are brides out there who would have regretted such a choice. But I think its important to realize that not every bride is going to regret it. I think I'm a lot like my mom in that I'm the bride who brings her dress home and it doesn't matter how many other "wow dresses" I left at the store. The one I bought is MY dress. Its gorgeous, I look great in it and its going to be the one in my pictures. And thirty years from now, when I'm looking at those pictures. I'm sure I wont be able to tell you what dress A looks like if a million dollars depended on it.

December 11, 2007

Rita & Eric - August 18, 2007

Rita & Eric first came to me at the turn of the new year with an email that I clearly thought was a joke or spam. I’m paraphrasing but it basically said, ‘we live in Turkey, are from Barrie & Markham and got engaged at the Eiffel Tower in Paris’. Huh? I contacted them though and wound up meeting two of the most laid back, like-minded clients ever. Through the following eight months we went from no wedding plans to putting together something they were thrilled with.

This couple wanted a family & friend reunion feel to the wedding because they only come home once a year. They’re both teachers overseas and when they’re home, they’re busy visiting everyone they can. For the wedding they wanted everyone to come and spend the day to socialize, play games outside and have a big old BBQ after the ceremony. It was a blast pulling this unorthodox one together!

Probably the biggest piece of pressure on me as a planner was the venue. Since Rita & Eric wouldn’t be here until June, I had to find and secure a spot for them … and hope it was what they were looking for. After a LOT of research and going back and forth we wound up at a quaint Inn on the waterfront in Coboconk, Ontario. Saucy Willow Inn has beautiful Victorian rooms inside and also cabins in the back of the property. This was a must as the whole bridal party and some other friends and family were to stay for a couple days. We wound up finding a little treasure far away from the hustle & bustle of everyday life. Of course, I never really found out what the couple thought until June so for 6 months I was crossing my fingers!

The next months were spent planning the food, the flowers, the décor … everything you can think of. I’m proud to say I not only took care of the planning for the wedding but also for all of the table centerpieces and bouquets. Talk about a blast! Everything was colourful and no one colour was repeated.

Before the wedding, family took part in a quaint Chinese tea ceremony. Elders sat nestled in the garden of the property while the bride and groom served traditional tea. After that it was off to get dressed for the marriage ceremony right in front of the water. Complete with a Best Woman and Man of Honour, the nuptials went off without a hitch.

The food was a hearty BBQ taken care of by KmK Catering. Burgers, chicken fingers, ribs, sweet potato salad and raspberry cheesecake brownies were just some of the food guests devoured.

Some highlights of the night including the giant apple tree guests tied their wishes for the couple to, family pitching in and helping to do everything from playing music during the ceremony to bar tending, the ice cream cakes the bride so desperately yearned for and the special message Rita had engraved on Eric’s wedding band without his knowledge (it read: Put It Back On).

The end of the night was capped off with a bonfire (everyone changed back into their camping clothes), sparklers, fireworks and a traditional smoking pipe from Turkey. All in all, a very successful time!

December 10, 2007

The Bridesmaids

I have five bridesmaids in my bridal party. A number that is so unwieldy and unlike me. But when I sat down to think about who I wanted to stand beside me, the choices were obvious and there was no way they could be pared down. It was all or nothing, so I chose all!

Three of my five bridesmaids including my Matron of Honor are living in London, UK right now. I knew it might be difficult when I asked them to be a part of the bridal party. But with the help of email, they are all up to speed on everything and are participating as sounding boards on all of my choices, just as though they live next door.

When I chose my dress, I missed them. But I took alot of pictures and they gave their 2 cents, and I'm lucky enough to have a great gaggle of females friends in the city, so I certainly wasn't lonely that day (The Dress blog is a whole other post!)

Technology is wonderful but I have reached the one obstacle it can't over come. My overseas bridesmaids are all going bridesmaids dress shopping this Sunday, without me, for major geographical reasons, aka the Atlantic Ocean. I'm so very sad that I can't be there with them! Luckily, they are all friends, and will make a fun day of it. I hope they all find a style that they love. I have given them loose guidelines (designer, colour, length) the rest is up to them.

I seriously hope that the store allows them to take pictures or I may actually cry.

My same city-based bridesmaid indulged me and went shopping for her dress. She tried on everything I threw at her. She knows what she wants and I love it on her, so I am happy for that.

Thanks for sharing in my little pity-party. I'll let you know how it went when I get their update next week!


December 3, 2007

Jacquelyn & Peter - July 28, 2007

I knew I was going to love Jacquelyn from the moment we sat down to dish at a trendy little café on Queen Street. She’s unconventional, knows very much who she is and beams whenever she talks about Peter. As we talked we found out we had quite a bit in common, too. She’s the Executive Editor at FASHION magazine though. That meant not much time to talk and a lot of planning to do!

The wedding was held outdoors in Toronto using the backyards of her sister’s and of her mother’s houses. How much more of a loving environment can you get?!

Jacquelyn is refreshingly proud of her heritage and didn’t forget it. The cuisine of the night was from a local Indian caterer. Served in copper pots it was spicy and full of flavour! The caterer even churned out some eye-popping fruit displays that rivaled the four hundred pound cake. Okay, it wasn’t 400 pounds but it was NOT light.

Making the wedding their own was something that came easily to this couple. I fawned over Jacquelyn’s custom dress and fragile centerpieces that were lovingly placed in family heirlooms ... but my very favourite part of the wedding was a little corner in the backyard reserved for the guests. It was there that they placed two funky yellow chairs in front of a backdrop and hired a photographer to snap pics of any friend or family member that wanted to drop by. What resulted was a collection of special photos that everyone will have a great time looking back on for years to come. Even me ;)