February 27, 2009

Pretty as a peacock

When discussing our wedding with various women, I’ve been interested in how many times I get asked about dresses. Not just my dress (“THE dress” as some have put it) but the bridesmaids’ dresses as well. I’m asked what colour, what style, etc.

Thing is, I don’t have much of an opinion. I really just want the three ladies standing up with me to look good. I figured that I would just pick a couple of colours and let them go out and find something that looks good on them, in that same fabric and colour.

But nope, it isn’t that simple. Yet another part of wedding planning that ends up being less about planning and more about making it up as we go along.

The first question that got asked by the bridesmaids themselves was about neckline and sleeves. Did it have to be strapless, in order to coordinate with mine, which probably will be strapless? My answer was that I don’t care either way. Ok that one was easy.

Along with the strapless question came the question of tattoos. Yes, ink. Both my adult bridesmaids are inked on arms and back and they wanted to know if I wanted it covered. In particular, my maid of honour has a rather prominent upper half sleeve tattoo. But it seems fake to say they can’t be shown. Her tattoos are part of who she is and I love her for that. So I basically decided that if she doesn’t want to cover it up, she doesn’t have to.

The next question was colour. Initially I wanted brown dresses with a decorative sash. However, seeing one of my bridesmaid hold up a piece of brown fabric to herself and hearing her declare “see? I look like a big freckle!” and agreeing that yes brown was not her most flattering colour, I’ve changed my mind. So the decision now is that they decide on a specific shade of green or purple that they all like and flatters all of them as much as possible and they go with that. Or do it in a rainbow… from light lilac on the maid of honour to dark purple on the junior bridesmaid. Whichever. It will be up to them to decide.

Then there was the question of fabric. Did it have to be taffeta? I’m partial to the sheen and depth of colour that comes with taffeta. However, one of the girls has an issue with it that is tied to a childhood experience. She finds taffeta shudder-inducing as a result. So… no taffeta. I’m now hoping for satin and lace, but will happily take them in whatever fabric they choose that is reasonably dressy and looks good on them.

Finally, there was a question about pockets. My maid of honour has fond memories of her rockabilly days when her 50s style dresses all had pockets in the big skirts and she spied a dress in a bridal magazine that had pockets and fell in love. Problem? The dress isn’t easily available in Canada and the price started (!!) at $300 (!!) . Ok, so that specific dress is out, but could we find another with pockets? This started a search on the net for bridesmaid dresses that have pockets. Surprisingly, this is a developing trend. Some of the very latest wedding dresses are starting to show pockets (that’s my MOH, always ahead of the curve). This one might be doable.

So what started out as my desire to have bridesmaids outfitted in rich cocoa brown taffeta full length tank style dresses with a lace overlay or sash, paired with slingback shoes, has evolved into a peacock array of cocktail length purple satin dresses with peter pan collars, bubbley-looking skirts and ballet flats.

Lesson learned? As long as my peacocks in satin feel good in whatever they choose, they’ll shine and relax and have fun. And that is what is important.

Though their request to wear actual peacock feathers in their hair as fascinators (like this one) has yet to be resolved.

February 24, 2009

This Is War

This says it all.

Well, it's a cold and not the flu but close enough. I'm out of commission at the moment.

February 20, 2009

If I Gave You Diamonds & Pearls

What fashionista wouldn't love to slip her toes into a pair of Jimmy Choo shoes? Let's do some Friday Footwear Fawning together.

You can find all of these and more at reduced prices over at .: Bluefly.com :.

February 18, 2009

I See Your True Colours

Two sides of me are constantly at war.

One is the eco-conscious-let's-educate-the-world side and the other one is OH-MY-GOD-I-HAVE-TO-HAVE-THIS side.

This find falls under the latter of the two sides. Coloured masking tape. How ingenious! How frivolous! I MUST have it.

It's a .: brilliant invention :. but it appears it's only available in Japan. Still, a great time-waster. I also managed to find some on Etsy so keep your eyes open for it!

February 17, 2009

Flowing into spring

The old adage about time and flight seems apt for me lately. The month of January seemed to melt away and February is also already half over. Time is indeed flying, right into spring and right up until the time that MM leaves for overseas duty in April. Then it will probably crawl. I'll just have to make sure that wedding planning doesn't crawl. So time to get into it!

He and I are trying to get a lot done before he leaves. Not all of it is wedding stuff of course: even in a rental, there is always little fix up housework waiting to be done. But some of it is indeed wedding stuff. Some examples: how many people on his side of the family does he want to allow to show up to our day? Does he feel that a traditional tiered wedding cake is an integral part of the wedding ceremony, or can we skip it in favour of other kinds of dessert (e.g. sundae bar)? Does he have the right style personality to pull off a pale purple shirt?

For me at the moment, the latter is my preoccupation. Put simply, I'm wondering about colour. Originally, when the date was in October, then November, colour was easy for me. I love deep saturated rich shades, colour that has a strong punch and mood to it. So it was going to be all about eggplant purple, burnt orange and chocolate brown, with strong warm metallics (copper, bronze and hits of mellowed gold). Now that the wedding date is in May, though, I'm been trying to find a less autumnal palette that still speaks to me and of me. That means it can't be pastel or sweet or airy and it can't include the colour pink in any form. It still has to be part of spring though.

Then I found this wedding bouquet at TheKnot.com:

And bam! I was inspired.

Many wedding magazines and paint strips later, I've decided. I'm sticking with my all time favourite colour, purple, in two intensities: lilac and eggplant. I'm thinking of layering with chocolate brown and dulled silver, and then punching it up here and there with both bright and light green (think celadon and tiny bits of lime). The idea would be that light green and silvered brown is the colour of nature herself at that time of year, and purple is the colour of one of my favourite flowers, lilacs.

I can see this flowing out into lilacs and tulips and violets (or crocuses , if possible... as homage to my Manitoba roots), mixed up eccentrically with orchids, simply because I love them. We're hoping to be outdoors for the day so it will be a bonus if the venue (wherever it ends up being) happens to have lilac bushes on site. It isn't much of a stretch to hope for, given how abundantly they tend to grow in Ontario. And the smell is divine!

I can see this palette lending itself to all kinds of interpretations. For example, for invitations, I can see dark brown paper with lilac and silver writing. The girls' dresses would be eggplant with lilac sashes, and the guys suits would be either dark brown or charcoal grey with silvered lilac shirts and green/purple ties. Accessories around the venue would be clear glass and silver (making them easy to find and hopefully purchase on sale!).

Ok now I'm excited again!

February 13, 2009

So That I Can Walk Home

Looking at shoes with bows this week! Enjoy :)

God Bless Christian Louboutin :)

And my favourites ...

February 12, 2009

New York State of Mind

Since purchasing my ticket to NYC the other day, I've relentlessly been thinking of places to visit and things to do. In my surfing, I came across some incredible pictures of NYC photographer, Jason Groupp. Check out his .: over here :. In the meantime, here are some of the images that caught my eye ...

February 10, 2009

Flour Confections featured in BRIDES magazine!

We are excited to announce that the new issue of BRIDES magazine has now hit the stands - it features some incredibly stunning cakes, including one by none other than Flour Confections!
Be sure to pick up a copy of the March/April 09 issue of BRIDES magazine or visit their website http://www.brides.com/brides/ (that's our cake on the feature page)

I Went For A Walk ...

It's a gray today today so in an attempt to feel warmer virtually, let's explore Etsy in FELT! :)

I'll start with something wedding related to keep the brides-to-be happy ...

This cake topper by .: emiliefriday :. oozes cute and whimsy!

For those on the crafty side, .: buggabugs :. sells patterns to make these wonderful pieces of food art. Be sure to check out all the designs!

.: stitchella :. knows the value of a warm cup of java ... as well as protecting our hands from the cup.

How cool is this?! Send .: whispylove :. a photo of a pet and in turn you'll receive a felt re-creation!

It looks like a pretty little package and it's actually soap. Contact .: ArtemisArtemis :. for more details (all the way in New Zealand ... one of my favourite places!).

These shoes are just a quick glance into the shop .: sugarplumbtree :. Make sure you look at all of the wonderful goodies for the little ones in your life.

In dreary winter times, it's nice to spruce up a jacket with a little fun. This brooch by .: starzselection :. will do just that!

Now a bit of a necklace theme ...

This one by .: mariagotijoyas :. is just awesome. I can't wrap my head around how she comes up with the designs!

.: rosetutu :. takes a bit of more flowery approach to its designs :)

And for my dear photographer friend, Jessica, a Holga necklace by .: bikimiki :.

But my pick of the week? Something extra soft! This pillow by .: thelittlestitch :. Love it!!!!

February 9, 2009

This Call to Arms Means Hold to It and Hold Tight

Just a quick bulletin to all of you incredible readers. I'm volunteering my time until and including March 26th to Epilepsy Durham Region to put together a cocktail reception and silent art auction for them.

Here's where you come in ...

We're looking for artists! If any of you have a flair or know someone who does, please keep reading for a very important call to action ...

A Dream Inspired
Cocktail Reception and Art Auction


On Thursday, March 26th, 2009 Epilepsy Durham Region will host the first annual ‘A Dream Inspired’ Reception and Art Auction.

All artists are invited to submit an item of their choice which represents, hope, inspiration and courage. Artwork must be presented in either a frame with matting or presented on a proper canvas frame, include shades of purple and must be original. Artists will supply easels and model displays to showcase their piece. The deadline for submissions is March 25th, 2009 and must be delivered to the event's venue in Pickering.

Each item will be auctioned to the highest bidder. Proceeds will be shared 50/50 with the agency and the artist. Art and artists will be featured on Epilepsy Durham Region website.

On March 26, 2009 Epilepsy Durham Region will host Purple Day events, which are dedicated to promoting epilepsy awareness worldwide. The campaign founded in 2008 by nine-year-old Cassidy Megan of Nova Scotia, who had a dream to create an event where she and other children living with epilepsy could relate to one another. Remove stigma, mystery and fear of the unknown that surrounds epilepsy continues to be her dream.
Epilepsy Durham Region along with epilepsy agencies coast to coast have joined Cassidy to ensure that her dream is continued, ‘not another moment lost to seizures’. The Dream Inspired campaign endeavors to heighten awareness locally about epilepsy and to raise funds to ensure that a sustainable future is in fact possible to carry forth Cassidy’s dream. All funds raised throughout the campaign support local community programming and family support.
For detailed information about the event, please visit, www.purpleday.org and www.epilepsydurham.com.
Melissa McBride, Event Co-ordinator
Epilepsy Durham Region
850 King Street West, Unit 20
Oshawa, ON L1N 8N5

Tel: (905)571-2099
Email: epilepsy3@epilepsydurham.com


February 5, 2009

Tips For Saving Your Top Tier

Since a cake by Flour Confections contains real butter, it is at it’s best when eaten at room temperature. Therefore you should remove your cakes from the refrigerator at least 60-90 minutes before you plan to eat it. If you are going to keep a cut cake, make sure you have plastic wrap up against the exposed cake, keep it refrigerated, and consume within 2-3 days.

Saving the top tier:If you want to keep to tradition and save your wedding cake for your 1st anniversary, you need to follow a few simple instructions in order to ensure that you will be eating the best tasting cake possible. You can store your wedding cake’s top tier or a slice in your freezer, and keep it for up to 1 year.

1. After the wedding reception is over, remove any fresh flowers or gumpaste keepsakes, and place the top tier of your wedding cake in the fridge overnight.
2. The following day, tightly wrap two layers of plastic wrap around it. Then place it in a zip top bag, label it, and put it in the freezer. Keep it in a box if possible to avoid any damage.
3. Be happy – you married your true love!
4. A day before the anniversary date, take the cake package from the freezer and place in the fridge to thaw 12-24 hours.
5. The following day, un-wrap the cake and place on the counter. Allow 2-4 hours for the cake to come to room temperature.

Have a Sweet Anniversary!

February 4, 2009

Periwinkle's top tips for where to save on your floral budget

Jess- In these trying times of financial gloom and doom, many brides are feeling they need to tighten the budget somewhere. So with that in mind, here are Periwinkle’s top tips for where to save – yes, you can still have the wedding flowers of your dreams, just with a few minor adjustments!

Tip #1-Cut the number of bridesmaids you plan on having (obviously you can't do this if you already asked the girls, don’t want to cause any friendship rifts here, so see tip two!). The bouquets are second only to the centerpieces in how much of the final budget they take up if you have a large bridal party. Having only a maid of honour stand with you means only two bouquets as opposed to the seven or more it may take to cover all your dearest girlfriends, sisters and future sisters in law.

Tip #2- Alright, so you already asked your Friday night party girls to be there with you. Change your vision of what this gaggle will carry! Paring down can still be elegant, and works well with a larger number because of the repetition effect. Instead of a full bouquet for each girl, try doing a staggered cluster of three flowers, or even a single huge headed bloom such as a rose or peony with some gorgeous ribbon in a contrasting colour. See-that cut the budget and no one got hurt!

Tip #3- Consider not decorating the ceremony area. If you are getting married outside, you don’t really need anything anyway- you can’t beat Mother Nature for background. If you are in a large church or synagogue again, the scope of the building and the architecture may be able to hold its own without any adornment. You need to remember that the typical ceremony is only about an hour long and everyone will be watching you the entire time (don’t get nervous now!) so they are unlikely to notice that you don’t have any florals here. Most florists are also charging you for the delivery, set up and transferal of these pieces, so you will see some savings elsewhere too.

Tip #4-Going back to the number of bridesmaids you have- if you are having more than a couple, use their bouquets to decorate the head table. Periwinkle sets up a line of short simple vases filled with a simple tropical leaf (partly so they look cool before the reception begins but also so no one mistakes them for drinking glasses and chugs the floral water down!) and the bridesmaids just set their bouquets in them as they arrive- instant décor!

Tip #5- Find containers yourself for the centerpieces- scour the dollar stores (seriously!) and large stores such as IKEA that can buy in bulk and offer discounts deeper than a regular florist can. The only very important thing here is that you have to choose a vase that isn’t going to take a fortune to fill- the larger the vases opening the more it will take to fill, so try to find something unusual in shape or structure with a smaller opening. We usually ask our brides to bring one in first before they buy 50 of the wrong thing.

Tip #6- You don’t have to have a full arrangement on the table. If you go with a more unusual design you can often get away with less. Let’s say you can find three glass vases of different heights- you could submerge a different flower in each and space them out on the table for the same visual effect as a full arrangement, but with a nice modern edge to it. Or how about a low ceramic tray you can easily pick up in china town for pennies- have your florist fill it with a “carpet “ effect of deep green moss with a diagonal line of three large rich toned open roses, gerberas or peonies flush with the moss- unusual, but dramatic.

So you see, there are ways to get around a tight budget if you are prepared to change your vision a little, without settling for anything less stylish!

Now of course once this “massive world financial crisis” is over I’m going to post again urging you all to fill the ceremony with swagged garlands of orchids and such, so be prepared, but for now there is still style to be found in a recession!

February 3, 2009

Simply The Best!

Congratulations Flour Confections!!!

I'm proud to add to Lisa's thunder. I received notification that I had been selected for the Wedding Wire Award in the Consultant Category and our very own decorator extraordinaire, Vivian from Vivian's Décor & Design, has been as well!

You know you're reading a blog with the very best of vendors when you see this happening. It also goes to reiterate when your time is finished with a vendor, please make sure you give them a review and testimonial. One never knows what kind praise will come along and it really does further our businesses ... not to mention it makes us feel warm and fuzzy inside ;)

And again, if you have used any of our services in the past, please head over to .: Wedding Wire :. and help us out. Almost all of the guest authors on this blog have a profile!

2009 Bride's Choice Award for Flour Confections

2009 Bride's Choice Awards presented by WeddingWire | Wedding Cakes, Wedding Venues, Wedding Photographers & More

WeddingWire, the nation’s leading wedding technology company, just announced that Flour Confections has won the 2009 Bride’s Choice Awards™!

In its inaugural year, the Bride’s Choice Awards recognizes and honors vendors from the WeddingWire Network that demonstrate excellent quality of service, responsiveness, professionalism, value of cost and flexibility. This year’s recipients represent the top three percent of WeddingWire’s vendor community, which includes over 100,000 wedding vendors from across the US.
That means Flour Confections is one of the very best Wedding Cake Vendors. Unlike other awards in which winners are selected by the company, the Bride’s Choice Awards are determined exclusively by recent newlyweds through surveys and reviews. “We are excited to launch this annual award program to honor high-performing vendors based solely on the experiences of our WeddingWire community,” according to Timothy Chi, WeddingWire’s Chief Executive Officer. “This year’s recipients have set the bar high, exhibiting excellent service and expertise in the wedding industry.”

Flour Confections would like to thank our past clients for speaking on our behalf and helping us win the 2009 Bride’s Choice Award! Your continued support is always appreciated, if you would like to write your review, be sure to go to WeddingWire

February 2, 2009

Have A Cuppa Tea

Today’s question comes from a meeting I had yesterday. They are two of my favourite current clients … incredibly sweet couple.

Since the meeting was informal and the question wasn’t sent in, this is more of a recollection than anything else. It’s a query I’ve received many times though so I thought it would be a great topic.

Michelle and Jay are getting married later this summer. The wedding is looking to be a classic and elegant affair and they’re genuinely excited about it (as am I!). Yesterday their question stemmed from being a bit surprised that their families are asking to have a Chinese Tea Ceremony included in the day. As they’re both young and haven’t been through one before, they’re a bit nervous. Hopefully I put their minds at ease though because the tradition is not only beautiful to watch but very simple. For those who don’t know what it entails, here’s Wikipedia’s definition …

"To express thanks to your elders on one's wedding day: In the traditional Chinese marriage ceremony, both the bride and groom kneel in front of their parents and serve them tea. That is a way to express their gratitude. In front of their parents, it is a practice for the married couple to say, "Thanks for bringing us up. Now we are getting married. We owe it all to you." The parents will usually drink a small portion of the tea and then give them a red envelope, which symbolizes good luck. Another variance is for the to-be daughter-in-law to serve tea to her to-be parents-in-law, symbolizing that she is to become a part of the latter's family.”

And …

“To connect large families on wedding days: The tea ceremony during weddings also serves as a means for both parties in the wedding to meet with members of the other family. As Chinese families can be rather extended, one or two hundred people, it is entirely possible during a courtship to not have been introduced to someone. This was particularly true in older generations where the patriarch may have had more than one wife and not all family members were always on good terms. As such, during the tea ceremony, the couple would serve tea to all family members and call them by their official title. Drinking the tea symbolized acceptance into the family. Refusal to drink would symbolize opposition to the wedding and is quite unheard of since it would result in a loss of "face". Older relations so introduced would give a red envelope to the matrimonial couple while the couple would be expected to give a red envelope to younger, unmarried relations.”

These days the latter is celebrated a bit less. The average groups during tea ceremonies I’ve been a part of are around twenty people and honestly run like clockwork (no nerves needed!). The women in the bridal party will usually be asked to collect the cups, pour the tea and then hand it to the couple. The couple is generally kneeling in front of the elders in the family (although not always) and they pass the tea over to them. Elders drink the tea, red envelopes are exchanged, the teacups go back to the bridal party and then the cycle starts again. If it lasts more than a half hour, it’s a long ceremony ☺

Don’t let my simple rundown discourage you from taking part though. If you have any cultural traditions in your background whatsoever, please embrace them. Not only does a tea ceremony (and other traditions) make for beautiful pictures but the memories are priceless. It really is a stunning thing to watch.

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