September 25, 2008

Oh, Let's Go Back To The Start

Somehow, this one blog entry (my first ever) has taken me about a month to write. I just could not figure out what I could blog about first, but I realized the best thing would be an introduction!
So here I am.

My name is Nicole and I am a second year student at the University of Guelph. I am in commerce, for Tourism Management. No, I'm not going to be a travel agent. I am (as of now) going to be an event planner.
I know that you can take courses, or specificaly take "event planning" at college, but I am a pretty indecisive girl, and thought my best bet would be to get a BCOMM to at least keep my options open and learn all about business. And I REALLY want my work to include travel, so I think it fits perfectly.
So how did I decide on this? It was a huge step for me, and if I decided when most of my friends did, I would be going to OCAD for art design. But I decided to take a year off after high school, and ended up planning my prom. And I realized that I can put my creativity and organizational skills together perfectly through event planning. The more I researched it, the more I loved it.
I finished my first year, and found out how great the field of hospitality and tourism is. Just imagine having about 200 students and teachers who are dedicated to making other people happy and comfortable. How jealous are you now?

When summer came, I started looking for a job. I really wanted experience, but I didn't think there would be much available in the Durham area. But after a search on google, I found some great hits. The company I was most impressed by was Moments That Shine.
After looking through the site and the stunning portfolio, I contacted Susan who agreed to meet with me. We really hit it off and she (and Sophie and James) let me shadow at their wedding. It was an amazing experience and I was luckily asked back to continue to work with Susan. My summer with Moments That Shine confirmed my thoughts about event planning, and I'm even more excited to be back at school working towards my goals.
And that takes us to about now (however, leaving all those great weddings out). Before I left for Guelph, Susan asked if I would be interested in blogging and I thought it would be a great idea. This is a field that is slowly becoming more popular, but still needs some exposure. So as I learn more about it, I would like to help others learn too. So for my time here, I'll be the "rookie" and hopefully I will be able to pass on my new-found-knowledge about this wonderful industry!

I'm Thinking About Eternity

Registering for your wedding gifts can be daunting. Many couples head of to HBC (no offense), grab the scanner and start aimlessly picking objects just to get it done. Fear not ... there are options out there! I'm talking about other big department stores, either. In fact, I'm going to completely shift the focus over to eco-conscious ways to register.

There are many stores in the GTA where you can register for linens, bath items, candles and even furniture and they're environmentally friendly. A great one is called .: Organic Lifestyle :. located in the heart of Yorkville.
They have bamboo towels, hemp shower curtains ... even clothing if you feel so inclined!

This isn't the only green store in the area though. Try doing a Google Search or use a great directory like .: Ecosource's Green Guide :.

A few other favourites of mine are placing a note on your invitation (or good old-fashioned word-of-mouth) saying you would be honoured if people donated to a specific charity in your name. It will make your guests feel good and you'd be contributing to cause near and dear to you.

For those who are budget conscious, set up a registry with your travel agency. Most agents are experienced in this now and are only too happy to accommodate. The great part for you is your honeymoon is a lot easier on the wallet. Do something special for your guests though. Designate each thing as something Jane or Bob contributed to an snap a photo. When you get home, tuck that in your thank you note.

And lastly, if you have everything you need and really don't wish for your guests to give anything, say so. This isn't easy for everyone but it's worth a shot!

Belles, bubbles and...ballet?

As I said last week, guys can surprise you. They will have opinions on things that you’d never expect and then be completely unconcerned about other issues.

The wedding dress is one of those things. I never expected MM to care much about what I’d wear, short of seeing me in some sort of dress on The Day. Being a typical Canadian guy, I didn’t think MM would really have many opinions one way or another of how I should look.

Yet again, I was wrong.

He caught a glimpse of my computer screen the day after our wedding planning chat. I was browsing a few of the big Internet bridal dress retailers, and had one dress in particular zoomed up on my browser window.

MM: “what IS that?”

Me: “Um.. it’s a wedding dress?”

MM: “What? Really? Where is the rest of it?”

Me: “Rest of it? What do you mean?”

MM: “There is no top on it!”

Now, this dress I was looking at was no Vegas-themed cut-down-to-there and slit-up-to-there sexy backless and short number. By today’s bridal dress standards, it was pretty normal. Done in pale gold silk taffeta, it had a strapless sweetheart beaded bodice, shirred waist, trumpet skirt with swirls of embroidery at one hip and along the hem and a lace-up corset back with chapel length train.

Somehow though, this fairly standard and current wedding dress style bothered MM. His “no top” comment was my key to understanding this newly perplexed man.
Me: “No top? Oh… you mean it’s strapless?”

MM: “Yeah. Strapless is slutty. Whatever happened to modesty at weddings?”

MM then looked directly at my face, down to my chest, then back to my face, ending up staring once again at the dress on my computer screen.

I got the confusion. Given that I’m busty, I too have worried about how I’d keep the girls “locked and loaded” as they say on one of my fave TV shows, What Not To Wear) in a strapless gown. But I’d seen plenty of wedding pics online by then to know that somehow women manage. I’d also read the stats in the wedding magazines that said something around 80% of gowns made today for brides were strapless. But, while I, too, found it a bit odd, I don’t think I found it as scandalous as MM apparently did.

Since then, he’s looked at dozens of dresses with me, online and in magazines. He’s commented on many of them, in very vocal terms, and he apparently has a whole repertoire of ways to describe female bridal fashion.

For a silky slinky charmeuse number:
“Too nightgown-y”.

For a full skirt confection made of multiple layers of tulle:
“Wow! ballet princess”.

Upon assessing a gown with gathered pickups all over the skirt:
“Why is the skirt torn up like that? Or … dented? Yeah, dented… it looks like iron kept getting caught in all that material. What is the deal with that?”

For a very lacey A-line with full crinolines underneath:
“Looks like a knitted toilet roll cover, like grandmas make”.

While I laughed at more than a few of these observations of his, they also stuck with me. Now, as I head out today to try on wedding dresses for the first time at a Maggie Sottero trunk show, I’m going to have a little MM devil on my shoulder, giving me a running guy commentary on each dress as they show it to me or try to coax me into it.

And I’m going to be worried about straplessness and whether anyone will notice the colour of my eyes or my earrings if I wear a strapless gown.

Thanks luv.

Photo credit: Toilet doll by Etsy seller lkscraftcreations

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