Now that the holiday craziness has died down, it's time to get back on the blogging train. I hope all you lovelies had a great week and are enjoying getting back into the swing of things. I'm still off until next week, so I'm taking it easy because unfortch I feel like I'm getting a cold. Oh noes, just in time for New Year's too!
So what have I been up to? The Save the Dates are almost done and we actually assembled and handed out as many as we could over the weekend to save the postage (yah we did... great idea, I think). The rest will be assembled and mailed out this week, so we are done done done. Yes! I will definitely post about them this week.
Since some Save the Dates are out and people are starting to go to our wedding website, it's time to put some more info on there. I've also been researching hotels to try and block some rooms for our out of town guests. Do I just call and ask them to block off rooms for us? Not quite sure how that works... I'm also going to post some more info about things to do in Ottawa, bridal party details, and other events. Sounds like funsies!! (Or.... not.)
Right after (Canadian) Thanksgiving, I started doing this diet method. I was pretty good at following it for the first month, and saw great results. I have been trying to follow it as much as possible since then as well, and although there has been a bit of cheating (hello, Christmas baking!), I've pretty much stayed on track and not gained anything back. So now that it's a new year and I have that big white dress looming, it's time to get back on track! I will let you know how it goes... I am usually okay with the eating part, but it's actually working out that I struggle with. So we'll see!
Hm, what else? The macarons that my mom made as Christmas favours were a big fat fail. The tasted deelish but the cookies didn't rise properly when baking, so they were a little flat and deformed. Lesson learned is we are definitely not making them ourselves as wedding favours! But luckily, my dad knows someone who makes them for $4.50 a dozen... which seems like an AWESOME price. So we are going to look into that.
So, that turned into a bit of a brain-dump, but that's pretty much what's been going on. Now that it's almost January, we are almost at the 6 month mark, so the real projects are going to start. Hopefully some of you stuck around and are going to be here for all the craziness!
Now, I'm not sure how I feel about this whole tossing business. I know it is considered tradition at weddings for the bride to toss her bouquet and the groom to toss the garter, but I'm not sure if this is going to happen at our wedding. Honestly, I kind of want to keep my bouquet and not throw it away at the end of the night. My mom kept her bouquet (although I believe she had an extra one she tossed) and had it dried, and had it in a vase on display until one our cats ate it. Funny. Although, I'm not a huge fan of dried flowers either, so we'll see. I guess it will all have to do with how much I like my actual bouquet and if the ladies demand I toss it. If I do, it will be something impromptu and not forced at all. So we'll see! Definitely to be determined...
As for the garter toss, I'm not sure if it's my choice whether we have it or not, but if it was up to me we wouldn't. There is something so awkward about having D rummaging around under my gown in front of family and friends to find the garter. I mean, it's not like I want my grandparents and other extended family seeing that! I don't think I've ever seen a garter being pulled at any of the two weddings I've been two, so I guess I'm not sure if it can be done tastefully or not. But like I said, I don't even know if this is my decision!
So, I think that even if we might not have a garter toss, I still want to wear a fun garter just because. There are a lot of cute options out there. I could either pick something really pretty, go for something to surprise D, or even pick one of my favourite things. As you know I have an absurd obsession with Hello Kitty, so how fun would it be to have a HK garter on my wedding day? Well, fun for me, but not so fun for D!
- ceremony venue - reception venue (almost!) - photographer / videographer - engagement photos - bridal party - dress (yay!) - save the dates (almost... come on, twine!)
Still to do:
- sign the catering contract - decide on suit vs. tux for the guys - transportation - reserve hotel block - flowers & decor (have ideas but nothing's done) - book honeymoon (totally D's job) - find a dj - register - invitations (and all paper goods) - aaaand.... everything else! haha
So yah, definitely still lots to do! I can't even remember what there is to do, there is so much of it. I think I need to sign up for one of those wedding websites that hound you with reminder emails telling you everything that needs to be done on a daily basis. Definitely would be helpful.
Where do you stand with the planning process? Lots left to do? July brides, am I in big trouble?
D and I have been together for over 10 years, so over that time we have had a lot of opportunity to integrate into each others families. Things always get confused over the holidays because we both have big families and like to spend as much time with them as possible. D's parents have been divorced since he was a kid, so that gives us three families that we try and work in to every holiday. Somehow, each year, we make it work, even though we usually end up eating three turkey dinners in two days. Yikes.
Although we were able to split up all the dinners so we could fit everyone in, we still struggled with splitting up Christmas. D would spend Christmas Eve and morning with his family, and I would spend it with mine, and then we would meet up at some point during Christmas day and fit in a family lunch and dinner. Busy, busy. So, last year, we decided that since we would be getting married soon-ish, it was time to start actually spending time together during the holidays. So last year, we split it up so we spent Christmas Eve with my parents and woke up there on Christmas morning, and then headed over to his mom's in the morning, had lunch with his dad, and then dinner with my family. Still crazy busy, but doable. This year, we are doing the opposite - spending Christmas Eve with his mom and sleeping there, and then heading to his dad's for lunch and my parents' for dinner. That's the plan for this year. But next year, once we are actually married, I can't help but think things will change again. Who knows. It's difficult after growing up with all of our own traditions, to pick and choose which ones we are going to follow and what we are going to make our own. Obviously we are lucky because we have so much family to spend time with and everyone is nice and close... it just makes things busy!
Now, there is another thing to consider - Today is D's family Christmas dinner, the one with ALL his extended family , and he can't go (he's going to his roommate's bachelor party instead). So the question is - Am I obligated to go even though he can't? I definitely know everyone who is going to be there, and genuinely like them. But is it awkward that I go since they aren't technically my family (yet) and D won't be there? Or on the flip side, is it rude if I don't go considering I have been 'part of the family' for 10 years. Seriously, this is our tenth Christmas together, so it's not like I won't know what to expect. What do you think I should do? Right now I'm thinking I should go, because I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings. I just won't have D there as my buddy if no one wants to talk to me... oh, well, at least there will be wine!
I'm definitely not a girl who has a green thumb, but I do love me some flowers! I've been gathering inspiration for what type of florals I want in the wedding, and am starting to research vendors. I think flowers are going to be scary expensive, so I'm still not sold on the whole 'flowers as decor' concept, and might just consider using flowers for our bouquets.
My absolute and definite favourite type of flower is peonies. Love peonies! There is something about peonies that just scream bride to me, and I love the way they look in a bouquet especially if there is a mix of open and closed peonies. Trust me, I didn't even know what a peony was until I started to plan this wedding, so if you have no idea what I'm talking about, don't worry!
So pretty! This is an all-white peony bouquet. I think if I did this I would get rid of all the greenery, and make it just a bit fuller. I love the look of this, especially the ribbon wrapped stem.
For the ladies, I'm thinking this is where we'll add a pop of colour. Since our wedding colours are black, white and yellow, I love the idea of either an all-yellow or white and yellow bouquet. I'm not a huge fan of roses, so I would want to mix all different types of yellow flowers.
All so lovely. I really like the look of succelents as well, and for a while was obsessed with incorporating them into our centrepieces. They don't really match our wedding look though, so we'll see. I love how everything is constantly changing... I am so bad at making decisions!
As of right now, the centrepiece look I'm going for is fairly simple. We will have long rectangular tables, with white table cloths and a black runner down the middle. I want our centrepieces to be different sized hurricane vases and jars with tall white candle in them, like a lot of them, all in a row down the runner. Then scattered around them will be hydrangea flower petals. I have a picture in my mind as to how I want this to look, but I haven't done a mock-up or anything so I'm not sure what it will look like. Any thoughts?
So at this point, the florals on our table decor will be very simple - just the hydrangea petals. Paired with tall and short vases, do you think that will be enough for such a large room? I don't want it to look empty. If I did do floral arrangements on our tables, they would likely be a variety of yellow and white flowers in shorter vases - I'm not a fan of those super tall arrangement that take over the whole table. I guess I will have to look into pricing and really think about what I want before making a decision. I just think candlelight will be so romantic and elegant, and since our venue is such a large, industrial space, candlelight will really liven it up.
Picture something like this, but with a black table runner.
Did you know what type of florals you wanted right away, or was it a tough decision?
1. I'm dumb. D and I went to his mom's house for dinner on Sunday, and she was showing us something on her camera so I started scanning through the camera looking for pictures of me trying on wedding dresses. Duh, why not? So I found a group of pictures that was from our very first shopping trip back in April. And what was the first dress in the picture? MY dress. Like, the dress I ordered and am patiently waiting to come in. I have NO memory of trying on this dress during this trip, but I obviously did, and it left zero impression on me. Is that something I should be worried about? How can MY dress have been the first dress I ever tried on and it left no impression on me? Ugh, bridal brain.
2. The Save the Dates are in progress. The magnets are supposed to arrive tomorrow, and I've finally collected all the supplies I need to make the cards (after literally, about 5 trips to the craft store). So yesterday I decided I couldn't procrastinate any more and it was time to start putting it all together. Starting with envelope liners. Ugh, how annoying are envelope liners? But at least they are pretty... So yesterday was spent tracing, cutting and folding envelope liners. Tonight I am taping those suckers in, and then it's time to start the little tags that will be stamped with our wedding date. Save the Date tutorial still to come. Why am I wasting my time with all these details that people will likely not notice? Hopefully you all will appreciate it!
3. D is home for the holidays! I'm a happy girl. He came home last Thursday, and is here until early January. He was lucky to finish his exams super early and just has to finish a paper by the end of this week. It's weird to have him around all the time now, but awesome. And it was awesome when he cut out half the envelope liners last night. And even MORE awesome when he called our venue coordinator to 'lawyer' her. Oh, yes... story about that drama to come!
What has been going on with you all? I'm off to save-the-date it up! Jealous?
I think the groom's cake is more of an American tradition - I've definitely never seen one at a wedding I've been to. But they seem super fun and like a good tradition to have. The bride typically surprises her groom by ordering a groom's cake. It traditionally was a chocolate cake decorated in a more 'manly' fashion, but nowadays they can be decorated like anything, and typically are fashioned after some of the groom's favourite things. I think this is such a fun idea, and is definitely something I wouldn't mind incorporating into our wedding (although the last thing we need is more sweets!).
Here are some pictures of grooms' cakes I've stumbled upon in various places online. They range from traditional, to fun, to downright bizarre. See for yourself!
So because having an edible favour isn't enough for this sweet-toothed bride, we will also be having a late night dessert table. This was actually my mom's idea. I think she really just knows our family and what to expect from them when it comes to eating (hey, we like to eat, okay?). So, the plan is to have an assortment of delicious treats put out later in the evening.
So the only thing is, we would be making all the desserts ourselves. I have a fairly large and close-knit extended family, so everyone would be pitching in and adding something to the mix. I'm hoping to have a mix of cookies and squares, a chocolate fountain with fruit, and some different candies and treats. Oh, yum! I'm a sucker for desserts.
So advice time... How should we execute this? Since it is something we are doing ourselves, we would be responsible for set-up and clean-up. I don't want people (namely, my mom) to take time during the reception to set everything up. I think the best thing would be to set it all up the morning of, and then either cover everything up and then drape a cloth over it. Or, we could set it up and then hide it behind a curtain or partition. I guess it's difficult because the caterers won't have anything to do with it, but I don't want it to be too much work for those involved. And obviously I want to be able to just enjoy myself all day and not have to worry about what's going on with it. Hm... this seems stressful.
Has anyone done something like this before? I think it is a great idea on paper, but the actual logistics are a bit more difficult. Any tips or tricks?
Let's talk about favours! There are so many options out there for wedding favours, but I think the best option for us is an edible favour. I don't want to buy hundreds of little knick-knacky things only to have them left behind and have it be a huge waste. Plus, I couldn't really think of anything non-edible that I would want to give out as a memento of our big day. At least with something people can eat, I will be guaranteed that there will be nothing left. Trust me... if you met my family you'd understand!
So, edible favours. There are lots of options out there. One of the first pictures that I bookmarked very early on in the process were these:
These are so cute and obviously very appropriate for the occasion. And how easy would they be to make on our own? On the website they are listed as truffles, but I thought we could even make them as cake pops. Yum. So this is one option.
My next idea actually came from when I took our parents to see the venue. The day we went in they were setting up for another wedding and this was their favour, so it's totally stolen from that couple. Oh well!
Macarons, so adorable! So, for these I was thinking we could make them ourselves (ugh, DIY! What am I doing?) and then package them in clear boxes with a ribbon. Very cute. And obviously they would be made in our wedding colours (I'm thinking white/yellow and yellow/white macarons, with a black ribbon on the box). The only thing is, I've never tried a macaron. Are they good? And also, they are apparently very difficult to make. So there might be something better and easier out there.
These are really cute too. They are sugar cookies piped with icing and stacked into the shape of a wedding cake. I don't even like wedding cakes that much but I like these. And again, we can stick them in those clear boxes with a ribbon on it, and we can probably make them ourselves.
So those are my three ideas. Which favour do you like the best? Which one is just meh?
And just another note about the macarons (because I think, still, these are my fave!). D went to a dinner party a few weeks ago and these were served for dessert. And he loved them. So now he is a little obsessed with macarons too. Also, my mom is making candy cane macarons as favours for Christmas dinner, so that could be our trial run to see how hard they are to make. What do you think? (Okay, enough. I'm done trying to justify the macarons!)
Did you have a hard time choosing your wedding favours? Did you go for edible or non?
So after looking at, finding, and booking our perfect reception venue, D and I are changing it up!
Let me back it up. In the summer, when D was still living here (oh, the memories!), we planned an impromptu day date to a newly renovated museum in Ottawa. This museum is one we both visited a number of times growing up, and is located right in the city in an old castle. The museum itself is stunning - high ceilings, marble floors, and really cool architectural details. Well, as we were waiting to pay our admission fee, I noticed a pamphlet about hosting events at the museum. I'm sure you can see where this is going.
The rooms that are available to rent for events were locked to museum patrons, but we peeked through the windows and liked what we saw. So we went home and contacted the museum event planner to schedule a visit. We went, we saw, and we loved! Out of the rooms available for rental, we chose an empty gallery that takes up an entire wing of the museum. It is very industrial - cement floors, exposed ceilings, and plain white walls. I love it! We both did. So we scheduled another visit so the parents could see it. And they loved it as well. Yes!
I don't really have any pictures of the space since they don't have any on their website, but here is one the event planner sent to me. What you can't see is that it's not just one room, it's an entire wing, so we get two rooms attached by a doorway (you can kind of make out the doorway in the middle of the wall in the picture). So I'm thinking one room can be for pre-dinner cocktails and after dinner dancing, like a chich lounge-y space, and the other room will be set for dinner. Oh, and one final thing (can you tell I'm excited!?). See those uplights? We get to use those as well. Oh, yes! I'm a happy girl!
Renovated 'lantern' skylight
Hopefully, I can get some more pictures as we continue on in the planning process so you can all see how amazing this space truly is. Going into this wedding, I thought it would be a low-key affair and our original venue would be perfect to achieve the feel we were going for. As the months went on, our guest list got bigger and bigger, I chose my dress, and things just seemed like they were getting a bit more 'grand scale' than I had anticipated. Not that we are having an elaborate, over-the-top wedding by any means, but the museum just seems like a better fit to what our wedding day has evolved into. And I couldn't be more excited!
Luckily, after pricing out the rental costs for the venue and meeting with some caterers, it looks like we will be able to pull this off for about the same price as the restaurant would have cost us. So now we are just waiting for the contract to come through, and we are good to go. I'm so excited!
Did you change up your venue halfway through the wedding planning process?
When we first starting planning the wedding and determined how much money we had to spend on it, we decided to prioritize what was most important to us. Hands down, the most important thing to both of us was wedding photography. So, we started looking.
One of the first things I learned was that D and I are super picky when it comes to photography. There is definitely a certain look we are going for when it comes to capturing the big day, and unfortunately a lot of Ottawa photographers didn't have that look. Or if they did, they were WAY out of our price range.
So the hunt was on. What we pretty much did was I looked up various photographer websites and made a list of the ones I liked. Then I sent the list to D and he vetoed the ones he didn't like. We went back and forth like this until we narrowed it down a bit. Then we contacted and scheduled to meet a few.
After meeting a few Ottawa photographers, none of them really clicked with us and we decided to keep looking. One of my classmates, who got married this past summer, recommended the company who would be doing he wedding videography (she hadn't got married yet at this point). We looked at their website and LOVED them, so we decided to set up a meeting.
Now, after having a few unsuccessful meetings with photographers, this one couldn't have gone any better. The owner of the company is a young guy, and his business partner is his fiancee. They are about the same age as us, so we just clicked instantly. To make it even better, we had our puppers Rylee at the meeting with us (because we were roadtripping home for the weekend), and the photographers' dog was there too, and they were instant besties. It was so cute.
But back to the meeting... So, we were already pretty much sold on the photography when we met them, it was more to see how our personalities clicked and if we felt comfortable with them doing our wedding. While there, we had a chance to look at some of their wedding videos and the type of work they were able to do. They were so accommodating to our needs, and we were able to work out a custom package that included photography and video for the full day for an awesome deal! They are even traveling from out of town to Ottawa (they live near Toronto) and are only charging $100 to travel. Amazing. So now fingers crossed that they do a great job with our wedding too!
Anyways, here's what you've been waiting for: the pictures! All photos were taken from their website and is property of Empty Cup Media.
So amazing! I am so excited for that to be US in the pictures! Also, once we saw what they could do with the video, we were sold on that as well. I didn't think I wanted video until I saw their work - amazing. Now I'm completely, 100% sold. So excited. If you want to see some of their video work, click here. I don't know how to imbed video unfortch... Oh, and if you want to see the cutest thing ever, check out our photographer proposing to his girlfriend/business partner here. It is such a great idea and so perfect considering they LIVE for video.
There is a Father of the Bride marathon on TV right now (can it be a marathon with only two movies?), and it got me thinking about my favourite movies with weddings in them. There are a LOT out there. Of course, what movie isn't better with a wedding scene in it?
So what are some of you faves? Mine would have to be...
1. My Big Fat Greek Wedding
This is probably one of my favourite wedding movies out there. I think because I have a big fat Maltese family, so there was a lot of things in the movie I could relate to. Plus, it's hilarious.
2. The Wedding Singer
Who doesn't love the 80s? This movie has great music and Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore pair so well together. And Billy Idol on the airplane? Love it!
3. The Princess Bride
This was probably THE movie of my childhood, but can you believe I didn't see it until I was in university? A friend introduced me to it and I fell in love. There are so many amazing one-liners in this movie, and it has a really great storyline. And how cute is a young Carey Elwes? Please watch this if you haven't yet.
4. Love Actually
This is probably my favourite movie of all time. Not only is it perfect for Christmas, it also has the most amazing wedding scene in it. So, although the movie isn't technically about weddings, the overall theme of love definitely makes it a win in my books! And who hasn't imagined themselves walking down the aisle with their groom while a live band pops out of the audience and plays "All You Need is Love." Love.
There are so many more out there, but I didn't want to take up my whole wall listing movies for y'all!
What are your favourite wedding movies? Or, movies with weddings in them?
Last night we had a girls' app night, and my cousin/BM N brought the yummiest cupcakes! From browsing all the wedding blogs, you see that cupcakes are very in right now. I know I mentioned my thoughts on the cake already, but after tasting these cupcakes, they are definitely back in the running!
I guess what also makes me excited is that since Ottawa is a pretty small and boring town, I didn't think we'd even have any small cute cupcake shops to get delicious cupcakes from. Maybe it's just something that hasn't been on my radar until now, but I am definitely excited to go and see what's out there!
Did you get wedding cupcakes instead of a wedding cake? Were they super delish like these ones?
Oh, and in case you are wondering, I had a cookies and cream cupcake (with actual chunks of cookie in it), and we also had PB & J, toasted coconut lime, and maple brown sugar. Yum, yum, yum!
Get it? DIY? DIWhy? Aren't I clever? (And for those of you not in the 'know,' DIY means Do-It-Yourself)
Sooo, I feel like I am going to be a big, fat fail when it comes to DIY. I have all these grand plans, but when it comes to execution, I fall flat.
I'm a craft-a-phobe. I like to think I have artistic skills, but I walk in to a craft store, and immediately get overwhelmed and unsure of what I want and/or need. I even make sure to prepare myself with a list, and go into store with a notepad and pen to makes notes on what I think I need. And I still freeze! Am I the only one? I think I could literally browse for hours and still not find what I'm looking for. Luckily, this hasn't happened yet, but hey, we're still 8 months away from the big day!
So, case-in-point: Last weekend, I hit up Michaels to look for supplies to craft up our Save the Dates. We ordered magnets from Vistaprint and had to figure out a way to package them. So, after searching for some online inspiration, I decided to do something with cardstock with our wedding website on it, decorated with some swirly stamp, and then put in an envelope with a cute envelope liner. So, supplies needed were:
- cardstock - double-sided tape (or something to stick the magnets with) - stamp - ink - envelopes - paper to line envelopes with...
Pretty easy, right? Nope, not for this girl. I went in, debated for a while, picked up random things to carry around the store with me that I didn't even need, get totally distracted by other things. It was brutal. They totally didn't have what I was looking for, and what they did have, I was too cheap to pay for and couldn't make a decision on it. Boo. Then, as I was leaving, I ended up grabbing some random stuff from the dollar bin thinking I could make it work. I think I'm hopeless!
So, my big plan for this wedding was to DIY as much as possible to save money and to get personal touches in as much of the wedding as possible. I just don't want to take this all on and then mess it up - you know what I mean? I want to do Save the Dates (which are currently in progress), invitations, cloth napkins (oh yes!), other paper goods (signage, etc.), and some decor. I know I can do this!
I think my next step is having someone come supply shopping with me to get what I need and be that deciding factor. I really just need to focus on what I need and I know that, with the specific vision of what I want to do in mind, I can definitely work it out.
What do you think? Is DIY as scary as I think it is?