Monday, December 27, 2010

Choosing My Vendors: Venue - This is the One!

When K & I went to check out a possible venue for my wedding I had been thinking of Six Pines, which I mentioned in a previous post, but she told me about a location that she had attended a family reunion at. I was a bit skeptical as the website pictures weren't that great and it was a little farther from the city then I had originally planned but when we showed up, with out an appointment and during the off season, I few in love! I stopped looking for other sites and went about reserving this venue.

The venue is Great Woods Park which is approximately 30 minutes North East of the city, which I think is reasonable for people to drive home from, for those that are locale, and there is camping available on site and a hotel 5 minutes away for those that don't want to or are out of towners.

{Personal photo}

They charge $9.50/person rather then a flat fee but they have a bar, kitchen and washrooms, plus tables and chairs.

Originally I wasn't to excited about the chairs as the website showed them as plastic green lawn chairs but later found out that they now have white ones. Still not my preferred chairs, which are a white resin folding chair with upholstered seat


but adding $3.25/person seems a little too frivolous when I'm trying to stick to a budget, so white plastic lawn chairs it is.
As soon as I got home I emailed and called the venue and let them know that I wanted to book them for our wedding in June 2011, over a year for then but I was prepared to hear that they were booked and was willing to be flexible on the date. My first choice in June was available but they also hosted a bluegrass music 'reunion' of sorts in their camp ground that weekend. This isn't exactly a musical choice of My Mister so I opted to take the weekend prior to save us from sharing the spot light.
After I booked our date and put down the deposit, I booked an appointment to officially check out the sight....I know, I'm a little backwards but I fell in love people, it's hard to be rational!
We made the appointment for June so that it would be approximately the same time that the wedding would be the following year, allowing us to see what would be in bloom, how the weather was and last but not terrible the mosquitoes were! And it all seemed perfect, granted the weather varies from year to year. It still might rain and the bugs might overwhelm us, so I'm planning for the worst and hoping for the best.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Making the Playlist: All the Single Ladies

I have yet to decide if we are actually going to incorporate the traditional Bouquet & Garter Tosses, as the majority of our friends and family are already paired up, if not already married.

I know I found it slightly awkward running up to catch a bouquet that was suppose to mean I would be the next to get married when my mister was standing right beside me, prior to our engagement. And I definitely wouldn't have walked onto that dance floor if the only other females there where the pre-teen cousins of the bride and groom.

So depending on how many single ladies attend the reception, I will possibly toss a bouquet. Would it be to cheesy to play Beyonce's All the Single Ladies when I do it?

Monday, December 20, 2010

Choosing My Vendors: Venue - Option #4

Cost: $950 for grounds
  • Horse shoe pit,
  • Swings for kid’s etc.
  • Viewing of outside animals at own pace, and own responsibility.
  • Tree house, use at own responsibility.
  • Paths for walking though
  • Picnic tables
  • Sheltered area for eating
  • Large grassed area for games
  • Garbage removal, parking area
  • Outhouses water stations set up for washing of hands.

Bon-fire could be supplied at additional cost of $75.00 – Bartending costs $17.00/hr per

Camping also available – add. cost – self contained units no hookups $28/nite.
After seeing that the Lower Fort Garry site would not work for me, I was convinced that this would be perfect for us. It would fit in our budget, provide a shelter so I didn't have to rent a tent but still allow for an outside ceremony if weather agreed.
I had called to make an appointment to view when my BF suggested that I check out one other location first. I had my doubts but agreed, after checking it out I was sold and I never bothered to visit this venue. I still believe that it would be an amazing venue!
The option I went with coming up next...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Making the Playlist: The Mother/Son Dance

My mister does not enjoy dancing. His choices of music involve jumping up and down, fist pumping and head banging...dancing is not part of his repertoire and so to be fair to him I am trying to limit the amount of times he actually has to dance at our wedding.

He'll have our first dance and our 'departure' dance, and I normally would think to include the Mother/Son dance, as it is a newer tradition, but he is very close with his mother. I'm not sure he would think to include this himself and his mother can be shy sometimes but I think this would mean A LOT to her, especially if its a song that gives thanks to her for loving him.

So begins the search for an appropriate song for them that captures the love and relationship they have.

I started my search on Google, like I always do, but the list that I was getting were so cheesy. I couldn't see My Mister actually agreeing to dance to them. Then I decided to go to YouTube and type in "Johnny Reid" as that is one of her favorite singers. One of the first songs listed in the search results was "Thank you" and when I listened to it I thought it was absolutely beautiful and almost perfect.

I say 'almost' because of one line, that is repeated more then once, that seperates it from a song about anyone to a song about your signficant other. That line is "Thank you for laying down beside me tonight" and he is a very articulate singer so it would be hard to miss what he says.

What do you think? Could this still work or would it sound creepy, like a son and a mother have a 'different' relationship?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Choosing My Vendors: Venue - Option #3

Option 3: Fort Gibraltar

Cost: Ceremony $350 + Reception $32/person for food.

Capacity: 120 max

I think this location is gorgeous and unlike Lower Fort Garry it is inside the city so there isn't as far a distance for guests to travel, but I would be forced to cap my invites to 120 for the sit down dinner and I don't have the option to do my own catering, including my cake. Apparently ONLY licensed bakers allowed to make your cake.

Beautiful but I think this venue is a no go.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Making the Playlist: Cinderella

I'm still trying to figure out what my father/daughter dance should be. I did come across Steven Curtis Chapman's Cinderella, and although it's the father talking about dancing with his daughter I really liked it.

It could have something to do with the fact that I use to dress-up as Cinderella as a child and clean the kitchen floor, singing to my imaginary mice....


When I sent it to my mother, she agreed so it looks like this will be the song!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Choosing My Vendors: Venue - Option #2

Option 2: Lower Fort Garry - Picnic Shelter (south of the historic grounds, near the visitor reception centre)

Cost - $490/day

Capacity - 150+. They supply picnic tables at no extra cost. Tables & chairs I would have to rent myself.

The picnic shelter is electrified and lit. Not sure on how cater-friendly they are though.

For all facility rentals, guests would get free entrance to visit the historic grounds and you would be able to have wedding photos taken on the historic grounds at no additional charge. Additionally, there is the opportunity to have some heritage programming by Parks Canada staff incorporated into the event (such as a special guided tour just for your guests)

I love the idea of letting my guests view the historical grounds/reenactment between the ceremony and receptions.

My issue with the location:
- When I actually went to see the site I realized that the picnic site didn't offer as much of a shelter as I had expected, leaving little room for a dance floor. Not to mention that if it rained my guests would not be happy.

-The picnic shelter is located very close to the highway and the main interpretation center. Not as close to the historical site as I had hoped.

So it probably wouldn't work for our wedding but I still love the idea of having it at a historical site like this so it made the list.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Making the Playlist: Dancing with My Father

I am currently trying to determine the perfect song to have my father/daughter dance to. Unfortunately I am having a really hard time, as I really wanted the song to be from the daughter to the father and most are the reverse.

I like Carrie Underwood's Mama's Song but that really won't work unless I'm dancing with her!

Any ideas?

Monday, November 29, 2010

Choosing My Vendors: The Venue - Option #1

I've been searching online for over 2 year now (yes...prior to my engagement!) for venues in and around where I live, as I've decided that I will not be going back to my home town to get married as its a bit of a drive for the majority of people (approximately 6-8hours) and my sister already did a gorgeous wedding in my parents' yard. So unless I want to duplicate her wedding there isn't many options there. With that said I've found only a few options that I think are viable, both for capacity and cost, as well as, esthetically pleasing.

Option 1: The Peace Gardens at the ERRICK WILLIS PAVILION
Cost: $620 for the day
- Tables and Chairs provide, must provide your own linens, silverware, glassware, punch bowl, and dishes.
- Capacity 125 (I think I could squeeze more though)
- Campsites and Dorm rentals available for guests - very affordable.
My issues with this location:
- It site's on the boarder of Canada & the US, so although you don't require a passport to get in you will require one to leave. I think this will make some people shy away for the event.
- It is approximately 3 hours away from Winnipeg. Although it is close to a lot of MY relatives there will be travelling for most of our friends and his family. This also will limit who I can use for a caterer and possibly increase my costs if I need to transport things so far.
-Capacity is 125...although I would love to think I could squeeze more, my guest list is over 200 people and I don't want to run the risk of not being able to fit everyone.
Although there isn't the best option it is a beautiful one so I'm keeping it on the list.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Making the Playlist: Banana Pancakes

One of my favorite musicians that inspires the same feeling in me as eating comfort food like homemade mac and cheese or curling up with a warm cup of coffee and one of my favorite novels, is Jack Johnson.

This may have something to do with the fact that I had his "In Between Dreams" album on repeat when I was at my best friends cabin one summer...

Regardless Banana Pancakes might not be ideal for my wedding playlists but something from his discography will probably make to my Cocktail or Reception playlists. Like this...........

Monday, November 22, 2010

When to Honeymoon?

When we got engaged, the honeymoon destination was a no brainer for me - New Zealand.

At the time I didn't know a lot about the country, just that everyone that I talk to about it would say "It was amazing" or "I wish I could go there", and that the Lord of the Ring trilogy was filmed there (and as my Mr is a huge fan I figured this would be the lynch pin in convincing him to fly halfway around the world)..

I also knew that it would be an expensive trip that we would probably find a hundred excuses as to why we should go if it were just a normal holiday trip, where as a honeymoon is different. People are gifting you money to put towards your future (I am signing up for a honey fund account).

But now that I'm taking the time to research this trip the price tag is a lot higher then I was truly prepared for. Some may suggest that we should just pick a different location, something more affordable but I don't want to go on just any trip, I want it to be a dream vacation. I still think that its doable but we now need to make some decisions based on the following information:
  • Planning to leave between November and February is twice the cost of going in July or August as their seasons are the reverse of ours. We are talking thousands of dollars more

We agreed that we would rather travel in New Zealand's off season and save, as neither of us care for extreme heat and their winter temperatures sound more like our fall season here (Highs of 16C & Lows of 5C). It will still be beautiful.

  • It costs 50,000 aeroplan points to fly us from our home to Vancouver BC (where we could get a direct flight to Auckland), as I just redeemed points for my bachelorette trip, I need to collect 40,000 points before I can purchase the tickets or end up spending $500+/ticket.

I normally collect 2000 points a month but if we went this summer I would need to collect double that, and although the additional wedding costs will help I don't know if this is realistic. We might end up paying for at least one of our domestic flights if they need to be purchased in the next 6 months.

  • Leaving in August 2011 does not give us a lot of time to save since we will be paying for the wedding in June. Not to mention my Mr doesn't have the same flexibility on vacation time as I do so it will be harder for him to take off time the same summer as the wedding.

Looking at the facts, the smart and responsible thing to do would be to plan our honeymoon for the summer of 2012. Its just weird for me to postpone it for that long after it. I know other friends that had a mini honeymoon immediately after the wedding, like getting away to a cottage for a few days, and then leave on their international honeymoon one to two years later but I don't want a "mini' honeymoon prior. I think that would BE the honeymoon then and the other trip would just be a trip.

But if I skip the mini and still wait a year to go on the honeymoon is it still a honeymoon? Will it feel special or just a trip?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Looking After the Pennies: Table Wine

As the saying goes: "Look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves" and since I would like to stay as close to my budget as possible throughout my wedding planning this is advice that I need to continually remind myself of.

Where I live alcohol is regulated, distributed and sold through a provincial liquor commission which means I don't have the option of going to a Costco or other wholesaler to purchase bulk quantities of alcohol to serve at my wedding. (And making my own wine is not a project I'm ready to tackle)

But something they do offer for the budget savvy is Bottle & Cork which is a bulk wine facility that is fully-equipped for bottling a selection of wines which are all priced at only $6.29/bottle. You need to purchase them in multiples of 12 but you can mix and match up to two types in one case.

For a case of 12 x 750ml Glass Bottles it would only cost $9.95 more per case, which means I wouldn't have to bother tracking do and cleaning dozens of bottles making it completely worth it.

As most inexpensive bottles of wine run at least $10/bottle, going this route will potentially save me $35/dozen.

And because these are going into labelless bottles, using them to identify table numbers seems like a perfect fit. I really like the simplicity of these...

{via The Bride's Cafe}

The next step is to decide what white and red taste the best. The choices are:

  1. Chardonnay
  2. Torrontes
  3. Shiraz
  4. Cabernet Sauvignon
  5. Merlot/Cabernet

I this is a perfect excuse for a wine tasting party!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Making the Playlist: Adding a little Metal


My mister and I are self proclaimed geeks, not that we need to tell you that, merely get us talking on our favorite obsessions and you will know.

My love falls more to romance novels, Joss Whedon's television shows, and EXCEL (I love me a good spreadsheet with IF statements). But my mister's heart falls for video games, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings and....... Heavy Metal. He doesn't own one black t-shirt with a metal band on it, he owns close to 40 (in fact I just asked him and he said he'd have to count as he isn't sure if it's 30 or 40). He has an entire shelf dedicated in his dresser for these shirts.

With that said, Heavy Metal is not a typical wedding song music, regardless of the sub genre it isn't the type of music you expect to here on some one's wedding. But because this music means so much to him I really want to incorporate it in our day. So I decided to ask trusty Google for help and was pointed to forum threads similar to my question. Sadly, not being a fan myself most of the bands and titles are Greek to me.

This is definitely something that I will need to get him to research. I am thinking that our pre-ceremony music and possibly the bridal party and my procession down the aisle can be a playlist of Metal. And before everyone starts thinking I'm planning to head bang down the aisle here is an example of the type of metal I am referring to (although I would probably stick more to the instrumentals):

Monday, November 15, 2010

Choosing My Vendors: The Main Course

Originally...before my engagement even became a reality...I had thought that I would cater my own wedding, which I've written multiple posts on (like this one) but since I am having a potential 200 guests and the logistics of bringing all of the food to the venue, not to mention warming it, turned out to be a little daunting.

The first caterer that I contacted was the Tallest Poppy, a local restaurant that sources their locally and are just plain delicious. Unfortunately they only cater a maximum of 130 people due to their kitchen capacity.


After I got over my disappointment (well I don't think I'll ever be completely over it because I really do love them) I started my search for a caterer that:

  1. Could handle my guest list size
  2. Would travel 40 minutes outside of the city to my venue
  3. Serve delicious food
  4. Charge a reasonable price
  5. Most importantly, 'get' my vision for a family style meal.

Luckily my best friend is wonderful and tracked down a local BBQ caterer online and sent me their contact information.

Tailgators BBQ Pit are amazing. When I emailed them they got back to me quickly and were very responsive to all of my requests. They were very accommodating to all my ideas and are willing to adjust the menu for my vegetarian guests & kids. The only thing I needed to confirm was whether their food was delicious. Conveniently our office has catered lunches brought in every Friday for our staff of 25, so I arranged for them to prepare a 'sample' spread plus a few additional items for me to take home for my mister (who loved everything). On top of trying their food I was able to survey my coworkers on what they thought and everyone loved it.

Currently my main course menu goes like this:

  • BBQ Chicken & Smoked Ribs
  • Creamed Corn
  • Smashed Potatoes
  • Guinness Baked Beans
  • Cranberry Coleslaw
  • Buns

And the cherry on the top...they are very reasonably priced.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Let's Get Physical...

Like any bride, I want to look fantastic on my wedding day and in pictures. One of the most obvious areas I feel I need to work on is my weight.

(Let me note: I am only 20lbs overweight and my ideal weight is maybe another 15lbs less then that. I am healthy and don't have a huge complex about my body but I would like to eliminate the extra bits of fat that will gather around the bodice of my wedding dress and back, no double chin for me please!)

One of the many perks of working where I do, is that I attend a gym with personal trainers for free as this is one of the companies my employer owns. They tailor a workout program and diet plan for me specifically.

I actually started working out in October 2009, months before I was engaged, because I wanted to be healthy and fit for me not just my wedding day, and started to make a noticeable difference to my physical appearance, losing inches off my waist among other places. Unfortunately I am NOT great at maintaining weight lose. It's the DIET restrictions that do me in every time. (I had attempted the U Weight Loss program in October 2007 and lost 20lbs by January 2008...once I stopped following the diet though...)

I LOVE to eat and manage to talk myself out of eating healthy in lieu of donuts, pasta and pizza. I am quite aware that I'm an emotional eater and that when times of stress come up I grab something full of carbs.

This time though, I had stuck with my workouts even though I've been indulging in sweets. I've just eaten so poorly that I've gained back most of what I had lost. So when I look at my calendar and see that I have approximately 7 months to fit perfectly into my dress I figure I better start getting back in gear so that I lose the weight in a healthy way rather then rushing around 2 weeks prior to the wedding to find a quick fix diet that starves me and has me fainting while I walk down the aisle.

So here is too months of healthy eating and using you to keep me accountable!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Making the Playlist: At Last

Because of we would like to stay as close to budget as possible and cutting the guest list isn't an option with the size of my family, other costs need to be trimmed. One of those items is hiring a professional DJ. Although paying the extra money to have someone else look after everything is extremely tempting and I'll be honest...I may still cave and hirer one...the savings of doing it ourselves currently out weighs the other option.

My plan is to compile playlists for the entire event and have one of my close friends monitor the mp3 player & sound system for the night.

(Please note that this close friend does not enjoy socializing with what he terms 'parents' even though we are now old enough to have our own families, so he is more then happy to be responsible for this task - I will, though, have someone set up as a backup so it isn't too much like work for him!)

Currently I have broken the playlists down as such:
  1. Pre-ceremony - 1 hour
  2. Beginning of Ceremony
  3. "Here comes the Bride" - but something different
  4. End of Ceremony
  5. Cocktail Hour - 2.5 hours
  6. Announcing the "New Couple" Pre-Reception
  7. Reception - 3 hrs
  8. First Dance
  9. Father/Daughter
  10. Lets Dance the Night Away -5-6hours

I do not actually have any songs picked for these playlists though and that is what I need to start working on.

Quite a few years ago I was watching a Celebrity InStyle Wedding Specials on TV and they played Etta James's "At Last" while they showed the couple leaving the church. I don't know or more specifically, remember whether this was a song choice of the couple or if the producers just dubbed it over these shots but I do know that I have since thought that that would be a great song to walk out on at the end of the Ceremony.

It is also a possible first dance...and if all else fails...Cocktail hour music! What do you think?

Monday, November 8, 2010

Choosing My Vendors - Let's Eat Cake!

When deciding on my wedding cake I knew what I wanted. That was simple, delicious and NO FONDANT. I really don't like the stuff and think that 'messy' butter cream icing looks and tastes much better.

Then I saw these adorable mini cakes from Leslie & Jamie's wedding featured on Green Wedding Shoes and knew this is what I had to have.

{Via Green Wedding Shoes}

Because I am trying to stay as close to the $10,000 budget as I can (so much harder then I originally thought) having them professionally done was out of question. So I started to brain storm with my best friend on how we could logistically make this work as a DIY project. Not impossible but definitely a lot of work. Something I was willing to do though.

And then my sister generously offered to pay for the cost of professional cakes! Have I mentioned how awesome she is before?

So then I set out to find a delicious baker that wouldn't rob us blind. My first inquiry was a bust. I sent them pictures of the exact cakes, explaining that I wanted each cake to serve 2 people and how I wanted them decorated. They emailed back with what they did, which was a smaller cake in fondant, serving one person and costing twice what I wanted to spend. They didn't even comment on what I asked for, completely ignoring it. They were out. I was starting to doubt that I would find what I wanted and would have to make them myself when my future mother-in-law mentioned that she was talking to her vet about our wedding and she mentioned her friend that just opened a cake bakery called Cake-ology and I should contact her.

I sent her the same information as I did the previous companies and she responded with enthusiasm that she could definitely make what I wanted and what was even better was that she would charge me an extremely reasonable price. We met to go over details and do a taste test and were absolutely sold! She is wonderful and I can't wait to see the final product.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Back from a blogging hiatus

Life has gotten busy but I didn't realise that I had been missing for more then 3 months now. Writing posts haven't been my only hiatus, I've also fallen behind on reading other people's posts. My Google reader has been sitting at 1000+ new items for months now.

As my wedding day gets closer I figured I need to get my thoughts organized so that I am not frazzled in my last month. What better way to sort out my plans then through my wedding blog. Funny that when I was waiting to become engaged I had more then enough time to write about my wedding and now that I actually am engaged I haven't written in months.

Time for a change!

Monday, July 12, 2010

My wedding day nemesis

Having an outside wedding, the mosquito is a bigger concern for me then the weather. My venue is large enough that I can do the ceremony inside if I have to. I won't be happy but at least we'll be dry.

I am currently deciding on the best way to combat the unwanted mosquitoes. Since the venue is at a private park they don't fog but will let my father do so on the wedding day, they aren't happy about it but they didn't say no so we're doing it.

I'm mainly concerned about the ceremony as its on the grass, as well as late at night when the mosquitoes tend to come out more. So I am planning on providing a basket of bug spray for people to apply liberally through out the night.

And my mister's parents just bought a Off! Power Pad that seems to be working for them and I noticed that a few other friends have them so I thought I'd pick two up for our yard and gather up as many as I can on the wedding day.

Here's one of my budget loop holes; I do not think I should have to account for the actually cost of the Off!Power Pad lanterns ($15/each), just the refills that I will use the night of the wedding. I don't think I'm being 'tricky' as I actually will use the lanterns at home this season and going forward. I don't think it should matter that my main objective for these are my wedding!

Friday, July 2, 2010

My weakness

I love gorgeous stationary and would order letter press in a heart beat for my invitations if my budget didn't loom over my head constantly, forcing me to be responsible. So I am left envious of the brides that got to have theirs professionally designed for their weddings...

...And hope that I can be creative enough to DIY my own like these brides...

So I'm considering buying a used Gocco kit either through eBay or a wedding website like Weddingbee so that I can hand draw/write them and also print them on kraft paper or something different. Just trying to decide if its worth the investment.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Newest Purchase

I decided that since we will be sending out a lot of mail in the near future; save the dates, invites & thank yous, I wanted to get us a custom made stamp. So, I started my search on and came across Letter Girl's shop.

Unlike the rest of the stamp shops hers looked unique and not like the addresses were just designed on Word or Photoshop with interesting fonts (don't get me wrong, those shops were nice but they were not what I was looking for).

I chose the 'Wedding Vintage Address Stamp with Wooden Handle' style.

As I want to be able to use this stamp now and after we are married I decided to only put our first names. I'm very excited to receive it!

*How bad is it that I don't want to send any mail, including a RSVP to a wedding that's due this month, until I get this stamp (which won't be for a month)?!

My growing list of DIY projects

Perhaps it is because I've looked up to Martha for 10 years now on what makes a beautiful wedding or maybe its my stubborn insistence to do as much of this wedding on my own as possible, but my list of DIY projects is by no means small.

Let me state right now that I DO realize that DIY means a lot of work. I am not naive, but I believe with enough time and planning anything is doable.

Now for the list:

The Ceremony
  1. Writing our vows
  2. Programs
  3. Refreshment table
  4. Signage

The Reception/Dinner & Dance

  1. Venue Decorations
  2. Table Centre Pieces
  3. Supplying cutlery, dinnerware & glassware - I've got a quote on rentals and am just comparing the price to buying the supplies at yard sales.
  4. Guest Book
  5. Cocktail 'hour' - appetizer table
  6. Mini cakes for dessert
  7. Music - one of my best friend's laptop and ipod is a strong contender for DJ; we may still hirer one though.


  1. Invitations and other stationary
  2. Alterations to wedding dress and addition of a little jacket
  3. Bridesmaids' gowns
  4. Groomsmen vests
  5. My hair fastener/veil
  6. Bouquets & boutonnieres
  7. more to come I'm sure....

Saturday, May 29, 2010


Yesterday I was spraying odour remover into my gym bag and running shoes, when my mister asked what I was doing. When I told him, he thought I said "Order Remover" and laughed because he thinks that is what I order remover.

And he's not too far off, which I'm sure foreshadows the chaos that will be my wedding planning for the next year.

I actually envy those people that organization and structure comes so easy to, perhaps that is why I fell in love with him. I have such high hopes for myself but the follow through never seems as structured as my original vision. I get distracted by details and go off in tangents.

An example would be this blog. I would love to write posts based on the linear path in which a wedding is suggested to be planned in and yet that isn't how I think so one minute I'm fixating on the menu and the next I'm planning pretty aprons for my servers to wear and then what kind of lawn games I can set up for the guests. These thoughts are all connected and make sense to me but they lack the order I strive for.

So please bare with me if I take little detours or seem a little scattered. I actually plan multiple events a year through my job so I do know what I'm doing...for the most part...and things will fall in place, its just going to be a work in process.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Bridal Shower - To answer your question, yes...

My mister's mother has no daughters and has been 'patiently' waiting for one of sons to get married so that she could get one...or at least that is my now that that day has come she has requested to throw me a bridal shower which I gratefully accepted.

With my mother and three out of my four bridesmaids living out-of-town it would have been difficult for them to organize and my best friend that is the other bridesmaid has enough to help with since she's the only one who lives here.

With that being said once she started planning it, she called me for names of people that my mother would like to invite and mentioned that she was already at 80 guests. That would be 80 women that I probably have never met! Women who, for the most part, won't even be invited to the wedding. I was a little surprised and doubted that these people would be interested attending a party in my honor and give gifts if they didn't know me but I've been assured that this is okay and that she's been to countless showers that she didn't attend weddings for.

And I still have to give her the names of my female friends and family (remember who large my guest list is)!

So I've decided that I'm just going to go with the flow and allow her to plan this massive shower that means a lot to her and hopefully people come!

It won't be until next spring but I should probably get around to creating my traditional registry.*

*I am planning on have a Honeymoon Registry as well for people that don't mind the nontraditional, since we don't really require a lot of 'stuff'...but that's for another post.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Managing my budget

I originally planned to have a wedding for $10,000...yeah that is so not going to happen. I am currently working very hard on keeping it below $15000.

With my 3 major expenses being variable costs depended on the number guests that attend it will be awhile before I will know exactly what I will spend so I've decided to play it conservative and budget on 200 attending (There are 230 possible guests but 30 are children which I plan to negotiate pricing on).

I can see how easy it would be to spend $20,000+, as I'm really don't have a lot of expenses; wearing my sister's dress, mother-in-law to be is sewing the bridesmaid gowns and groomsmen vests, my mister's cousin is a professional photographer and has offered to do the pictures for free, and my best friend and I are baking the cake(s) and doing a lot of DIY decor.

And technically of the $15000 budget my parent's have offered to pay for the food, which will probably be around 1/3rd of it, and since I live in Manitoba where pre-wedding socials are very common I will be throwing one of those a few months prior to the wedding date and my goal is to raise enough money to pay for the alcohol. So that only leaves my mister and I with approximately $7500 to look after which is still below the original $10000 budget.

I just wish I could actually have the wedding I want and pay that amount I want!

Well here's to a year of penny pinching planning! Luckily I'm an accountant by trade so I hope I can manager a simple budget.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Shoes for the Guys

My mister does not have great feet. He wears custom orthotics and does stretches every morning because his arches are too tight and he will be in pain otherwise.

Because of this his favorite footwear are New Balance Runners...stylish they are not but they work for his feet and I don't have to listen to him complain so I'm good.

But these are not appropriate footwear for the wedding day, or so I thought, until my best friend found out that they have a casual/retro line of shoes that look a lot like Converse shoes, which I do think are completely acceptable for wedding day footwear.

Personally I like these:

But I could be convinced that these are better:

{via New Balance Toronto}

We'll see what works for him and his four groomsmen but when I told him and his best friend that New Balance was still an option today, they were very excited. Nothing like catering to my husband to be...hello married life.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

I'm a little behind but I don't care

It's almost weekly that I see a new 'real wedding' featured on one of the blogs I read with the color combination of Yellow and Gray but regardless of the fact that my wedding will be a year from now I have decided to go with this color combo myself. I think it's gorgeous and lets be honest, just because this combo will be pretty common by my date in the wedding blog world it will not be so in my city. I don't live in California or New York where fashion moves quickly. I live in the province of Manitoba and purple seems to be a staple for many weddings in the last decade, or at least at the ones I've attended or been a bridesmaid for, so I think I'm safe.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Dilemma #1 - To invite or Not to invite

It's been over a month and a half since I've been engaged and yet I haven't managed to blog regularly. Something I did not think was going to be a problem for me since I've managed to write about all the things I would do when I finally got engaged for so long. I think what it is, is a writer's overload. I didn't know where to start since I have so many things on the go.

I've booked the venue, Great Woods Park, I have a dress, and solidified a date, June 18th 2011.

But alas, my first dilemma...who makes it onto the guest list.

First, I come from a large family, a large and close family, so I knew going into this that I would not be having one of those "less then a 100 guests" weddings. I didn't, however, expect to exceed 250 possible guests but I did.

Second, I took for granted my mister's smaller family would mean a smaller guest list on his side, and so did he. Currently we are at 70 adults & 11 children for him.

Third, I work in a relatively small office of 25 people. 25 people that I actually like and consider friends for the most part. Unfortunately 25 + guests brings the list up another 50 which I just can not justify as I'm trying to maintain a reasonable budget and my venue, as well as the food & alcohol, is a variable cost based on the number of guests rather then a fixed cost like many other sites would have been.

Since I can't cut out our families from the guest lists and we were pretty particular about who counted as close friends, I'm stuck putting my colleagues on a waiting list. I've decided to invite my three employers, as well as 4 other women + their significant others that I work closely with but everyone else is in limbo. I'm currently still holding out hope that I will either figure something out in my budget or I'll find out that more then the average 30% of invitees will decline and I'll have room.

I am struggling with the idea of a B-list of guests though. Is that poor etiquette? I won't be sending out invites until a few months before the wedding date so I have time to decide but it is one that is bothering me.

And who knows, maybe none of these people actually care if they are invited and I'm just stressing myself out for nothing!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I have a dress

Previously I mentioned that my sister offered to let me wear her wedding dress.

{My sister & brother-in-law}

This weekend my sister was visiting and I was able to try on her dress. I was initially worried that it might not fit the bodice as we are not the same size (she has a wider back but smaller breasts then me), as well as the length as I am almost 4" taller then her and want to wear heals while she wore flip flops.

I was pleasantly surprised to find out that it fits the bodice and I have room to loose some weight if I want (since it looks like I have a back bum I think its more of a must then a 'want') and although the dress is shorter on me in my heals only the toes peek out so I might not even bother altering the length as it doesn't look bad.

I've talked with my 'future' mother-in-law and she is going to track down material and pattern to make me a little jacket with a high collar, which will make the dress look a little different then when my sister wore it.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Let's get it started!

So my first step, before I can decide on anything specific, is to secure a location so K and I are planning on a little road trip this Sunday. We'll hit up a few of the venues I mentioned previously but she came up with one that I didn't even think of...Christmas Tree Farms! They have large, clean barns and lots of space.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

I said yes, and then I cried.

Yesterday we decided to go for breakfast, just the two of us, after he got back from the gym. When we were in the car he turns to me and says that we were going to take a little bit of a detour as he had a surprise for me. He then pulled out a scarf from his pocket and told me to blindfold myself so I would not see where we were going. (Of course my first thought is OMG he's going to propose! My second thought...shut up, you always think he's going to propose.)

When we arrive at the location and he opens the car door I can hear the train and the noises of the market, I was 99.99% sure we were at the Forks Market. (And of course I think OMG he is totally going to propose, he's going to take me to the top of the tower that we had our first kiss and propose. My next thought...shut up, you always think he's going to propose.)

He guides me to his destination, up an elevator, and takes off my blindfold. I'm right with the destination, we are at the forks at the top of the tower. He then asks if I remember what happened here and I say of course, it was where we had our first kiss. He then kissed me again and pulls out a ring box. Bending down on one knee he asks me to be his wife and I say Yes!!!! Yes, yes, yes. And then as I'm hugging him I start to cry.

To add to how awesome he is, he never actually went to the gym before we left. He drove to the forks to make sure the tower was in operation and not closed. He even left with his gym bag and came back and took a shower like he usually does. I didn't suspect a thing. I love that he's such a planner.

So now I can plan my wedding with out looking like the crazy girl.


Sunday, March 28, 2010


I went for brunch today at a local restaurant with my best friend and have decided that they would be a prefect cater for my one day wedding. Now here's hoping that they won't charge a fortune when the time comes.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Adding alittle something

I will probably wear my sister's wedding dress so long as it can be altered to fit my larger breasts and extra 4" in height. But I still want a collar and sleeves. I have seen a few designs for jackets that I have posted previously, and figure that I could get made easy enough but then I saw these sweaters from Anthropologie. They aren't cheap but it would be a lot easier then making something from scratch, not to mention I could where these again.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

2nd Chances

I have been addicted to romance novels since I was 13 years old. What can I say? I love a happy ending. And this addiction has probably plan a small part in my pre-engagement wedding planning obsession.

One of the authors I use to read was Nora Roberts but I had shelved her 9 years ago due to the repetitiveness of her characters, especially series where one woman had red hair, another blond, another brunette/black; also one was feisty, another serious/perfectionist and the last wounded emotionally - possible bad relationship in the past. Anyways you get the point. I had assumed I wouldn't read her again until I realized that her newest series the "Bride Quartet" is about 4 best friends that run a wedding planning business. Hello! Someone combined romance novels with Wedding planning? I am there! So I've bought the first two, the other two have yet to be released and I'm enjoying them regardless of the fact that one has red hair, one has blond, another brunette and lastly black.

If you like romance novels and can't get enough of weddings then these books are for you:


Thursday, January 7, 2010

I almost forgot

This year for Christmas my mother got me a steamer as she thought I could use it for my business clothing but I'm excited for another reason....steaming table clothes!

One of my many pet peeves about wedding receptions and other events is wrinkled table clothes on tables, or even the folded crease in the clothes that have just come out of the package.

I realize this is ridiculously nit picky but I figure if you go to the trouble of having a table cloth why not make it look nice. It's all in the details!

Decorating the venue

I'm catching up on my blog reading today (I'm having a procrastinating afternoon but that's a whole other entry!) and saw this picture on Snippet and Ink. Previously I posted venue possibilities in my area and although none of them are exactly like this I think draping curtains at the entrance of either Option #2 or Option #4 look awesome. Where to find fabric that won't cost me a fortune is a different matter!

Another Year

Life, more specifically work, has been nonstop for the last two months hence my absence. I haven't even had time to read other people's blogs! My google reader has 1000+ unread entries.

I did get my 2010 Winter issue of Martha Stewart weddings and wasn't that impressed. A few nice ideas but since it was their anniversary edition they just recycled what they've published in the past and since I have read those already it was nothing new for me. Disappointing.

I then picked up a InStyle Wedding magazine at the grocery store on Tuesday, receiving the question "You are getting married?" from the cashier and a "Nope" from me. (Why does he think its his business? I don't even know him! Not that I care, I've been buying wedding magazines for years with out an engagement ring so what's to stop me now!) I finally got a chance to flip through it last night and again...disappointed. OMG, I basically bought a magazines of advertisements for wedding gowns. There was a section in the back on Real Weddings that was nice and I found a really nice dress option for my busty bridesmaid (or me!) that is bra friendly and slimming as well.

Lastly, next weekend the local annual Wonderful Wedding Show is on and our limo service is in it again so I'll be there working. Having gone for the last 3 years I don't have high hopes that I'll be seeing anything new and exciting but it's always fun to look.

Now if only my man would get off his butt and on his knee to propose to me already! I am sooooo ready to plan a wedding! The longer I have to wait the more likely my ideas will fall out of fashion or someone else close to us will have gone that route. Is it too much to ask for an original event?

On a side note, tomorrow my best friend and I are off to see Leap Year. Yahhhh for wedding/engagement movies!