April 19, 2010

And life is like a song

Posted in Planning, Reception at 9:37 am by Andrea


Awhile ago, The Guy and I reached a compromise wherein I got to include the “Blessing of the Hands” in our ceremony so long as he got to choose our first dance song. I have to say, in all honesty, that relinquishing any control over the first dance song was actually strangely liberating. I felt that, regardless of what The Guy chose, no matter how un-slow the tempo and inappropriate the subject matter (he seemed to have a thing for songs about death), it would be good because it would be ours. Even if it was all wrong, it would at least make me laugh. And if it was right then, well, it would probably make me cry – the good kind of tears.

And right it is. So very right.

The plan was for the chosen song to be kept a secret until we stepped onto the dance floor on the big day. But on Saturday we were driving home from Toronto, having chosen our formal china and me having picked up my dress (more on that later), feeling blissfully wedding-y and The Guy mentioned that he’d chosen the song. I knew he’d been thinking about it, as last week I came home and found he had his iTunes open, and my iPod on our docking station. Evidently, he’d been working feverishly to find the right song.

Our conversation on Saturday went something like this:

The Guy: You’re going to like the song I chose. I did a good job.

Me: I’m sure I will. It will be a wonderful surprise on the day of the wedding. Is it one of the songs that you’d mentioned before?

The Guy: No. I chose an older song.

Me: *smiling* That’s good. We should have something classic, that’s our style.

The Guy: I can tell you what it is.

Me: No, you don’t have to. I like surprises.

The Guy: No, it’s okay. It’s “At Last” by Etta James.

Me: *welling up*

Now, I know that At Last has become a bit of a first dance standard these last couple years. But The Guy doesn’t know that. He doesn’t read wedding blogs or participate in online wedding planning communities. All he knows is that this is a classic song about two people finding their counterparts. About life being better with that person around. Colours brighter. Music more joyful. The happy days happier. The sad days more hopeful. A dream that I can call my own.

And when he hears those lyrics he thinks of me, of us. That is perfect. And that is all that matters.


April 15, 2010

The DIY project that wasn’t (also: Why I don’t DIY)

Posted in Ceremony, Flowers, Planning at 5:13 pm by Andrea

Back in December, right around the same time I found this pretty little number, actually that same weekend, I decided to start my first DIY project. The plan: to make tissue paper pomanders to line the aisle in the church. They looked so pretty when other people did them and seemed like a great place to save some funds.

Pretty, no?




The problem is this: I forgot that neither me nor anyone else in my family is crafty. And not only are we not crafty, we have no interest in being crafty. Every time I walk into Michael’s (and by every time I mean once every five years) I get overwhelmed and have to leave because, other than the glue guns, I have no idea what any of the stuff is and I start to panic that I’m supposed to know what to do with all of it!. Make my own shower gel? No thank you! So that was a minor oversight.

Luckily, my mum’s best friend (AKA my MOH’s mum) happens to be a crafty genius. We invited her over under the guise of having tea and then we ambushed her with foam balls and floral wire and sheet after sheet of tissue paper. HA! She was more than happy to oblige, so we got to work.

Our one crafty participant demonstrating her mad pomander-making skillz.

Me pretending to enjoy crafting in order to keep team morale high.

My mum and I with looks of extreme concentration on our faces.

(Morale is dropping rapidly)

So we cut and attached wire and fluffed out tissue paper flowers and two hours later we ended up with a partially finished pomander. Three people. Two hours. Partially finished. Also, it was bigger than my head. And then we quit for the night.

See? For reals. Ridiculously gigantic.

In the months that followed our forays into craftiness, I started receiving calls and emails from my mother that said things like, “I found a vendor on the weekend who sells pew bows. Have you thought about those?” and “When are you going to take all these foam balls and tissue paper out of my laundry room?”

Then, in early March, we went to meet one of our potential florists. The pomanders came up in passing and she pretty much put the kibosh on them. She told us that her contract stated that no other floral decor was to be used, as she didn’t want people to think that tacky DIY projects (my words, not hers, she was much more diplomatic) were her work. So she included pew decor in her floral quote. My mum was ALL over it. She’d been looking for an out for months, and if it meant paying an additional $400.00 for pew decor, she was ready to pay cash on the spot to put an end to her craft-induced agony.

And that is why we won’t be having any tissue paper pomanders, or really any DIY components to the wedding. Am I jealous of people who can DIY? You betcha. Am I planning to follow in their footsteps? Absolutely not! My sanity is worth far too much to me.

So, if you know anyone who needs a stupidly large, half-finished tissue paper pomander, be sure to let me know.

April 11, 2010

Choosing china: An unexpected impasse

Posted in General wedding, Registry, Vent at 8:15 pm by Andrea

Earlier this week there was a thread on Weddingbee about what strange thing(s) (in the wedding planning process) your fiance has had a strong opinion about. The first thing that popped into my head was The Great Compromise of 2010, wherein I gave up any say in our first dance song. But wait! That’s not all! (Do you like how I totally just channelled my inner infomercial voice there?! “Fettucine! Linguine! Martini! Bikini!” Okay, I’ll stop). I thought when it came time to choose our china The Guy would be completely disinterested. I’m not sure if it’s because he’s as much of a foodie as me, but it turns out he was not willing to sit idly by while I (okay, and my mother, let’s be honest) chose our china.

We checked out the department store where we registered. We also looked at a local, independent department store that has a lovely china department. But to no avail. The Guy couldn’t find anything that met his (evidently, very high) standards. So next weekend, we are off to Toronto to enter into the labyrinth of china that is William Ashley (AKA the store with North America’s largest selection of china patterns — over 8,000 from which to choose!) with high hopes of finding a pattern on which we can both agree.

You know what the most frustrating part of this whole roadblock is? That we aren’t coming from completely opposite ends of the spectrum. It’s not like my style is French Country and his is American Classic (points to anyone else obsessed enough to get that reference!). No, on the contrary, we are about a millimeter apart in our tastes and preferences.

Let me give you some idea of what I mean.

This is our everyday china (well, except that we got the mugs instead of cups and saucers, but, you know, tomato tomahto):


Gordon Ramsay Everyday by Royal Doulton

The Guy would like our good china to be virtually the same a our everyday dishes. I’m not kidding. He wants the same pattern with a platinum/silver line around the outside border of the plates.


Gordon Ramsay Platinum by Royal Doulton

I, on the other hand (but not really the other hand, because we’re both only talking about white plates with silver borders, maybe the other finger?), think that good china should be just a teensy tiny bit more special. So I lean toward these:


Lace Couture by Lenox


Pinstripe by Jasper Conran for Wedgwood

I know, you probably fainted with all the colourful excitement above. What can I say? We like a modern look with minimal embellishment.

So we are officially splitting hairs now.

When I made our registry appointment at William Ashley, the Sales Associate asked me if we had chosen a pattern. I said, “No, we are of separate minds on the matter.” He assured me that they dealt with that regularly and would be able to help us find common ground. Little do they know that the common ground we’re looking for falls somewhere between a 2mm silver border and a 4mm silver border with the tiniest bit of embellishment. Hail to the nit-pickers of the world!

Which white and silver china will reign supreme? I’ll be sure to report back with the results.

April 7, 2010

Something blue: The redux

Posted in Attire, General wedding at 8:21 pm by Andrea

Remember all that talk about blue shoes? And how I couldn’t seem to find the perfect blue shoe? Well, I found them. And they have arrived and are tucked away in my closet, sleeping soundly.

Want to see? Let’s build to the big reveal.

I wonder what’s in the box?

Note the 9.5. Normally I wear a size 9 in Stuart Weitzmans, but due to some seredipitous glitch in the universe, Zappos was all out of size 9s. I went with a half-size bigger because I figured I could add insoles if really necessary.

Nearly ready for their big debut.


Ignore the weird indentations left on my feet by my new sandals, and instead focus on the drool-worthy, fantabulous prettiness that I’m wearing!

So, it turns out that this style seems to run a little small and  the 9.5s fit perfectly. It’s like they were made for me! Oh, and get this, I was all worried about the fact that I’m 5’10” and The Guy’s 5’11” (it seems like our math was wrong on this…either that or The Guy has had a growth spurt. That’s plausible when you’re 31, right? No?!) and therefore if I wore too much of a heel I would tower over him. Well, I tried on the shoes and with me in the  (2 3/4″) heels and The Guy in sock feet I’m only about a 1/2″ taller than him, so once he puts his dress shoes on we should be about the same height. Double score!

I was honestly giddy like a school girl when I finally got to try these lovelies on. Now I can’t wait to try them on with my gown when it comes in. Not to mention that I extra super-duper can’t wait to wear them on our wedding day (as evidenced by that ridiculous hyperbole that I just used). 199 days and counting!

Anyone else find shoe heaven with their wedding shoes?

April 5, 2010

Photos fit for foodies

Posted in Photography at 11:08 am by Andrea

Who doesn’t love a little alliteration?!

Last week I had the pleasure of finally having a face-to-face meeting with our photographer Krista. We’d been emailing back and forth since October, but this was our first “real life” meeting. It was great to finally connect, share some ideas and get to look at some of the beautiful albums Krista has produced for her brides.

Possibly the most exciting news from our meeting? We’ve finally set a date for our engagement photos! We’ll be getting all posey and model-esque on Saturday, May 8 and I’m pretty pumped.

We want our engagement shoot to be reflective of us and our interests. The biggest thing we have in common is food. We cook together, we shop together, we read way too many cookbooks together and, of course, we eat together. It’s just what we do and how we bond, so I wanted to make sure we could incorporate that aspect of our relationship into our photos. Our plan at the moment is to take our photos at the Saturday farmer’s market.

With that concept in mind, I started collecting some delicious food-centric inspiration shots.







I can’t wait to get out there and create our own foodie engagement photos. I have just over a month to put together the perfect outfit!

Are you incorporating any shared interests into your engagement photos or wedding planning in general?

April 1, 2010

Etsy Find: Florrie Mitton Couture

Posted in Attire, Etsy, General wedding at 10:49 am by Andrea

I’m still not 100% sold on the idea of wearing a garter. After all, we aren’t having a garter toss. And I can’t help but think that having, what is essentially, a big rubber band around my thigh might be less than comfortable. But I kind of think The Guy might like the idea. And then I do things like stumble upon these lovelies in the Florrie Mitton Couture shop and  I started to think that I would be crazy not to have a garter if they can be this pretty.

Goddess Beaded Garter

Je T’aime Lace Garter

Forever Lace Garter

Aphrodite Beaded Garter

The prettiness is overwhelming, no? If I do wear a garter, I’m pretty sure I’ll be paying a visit to this Etsy shop to purchase it.

If you aren’t doing a garter toss, are you still wearing a garter? Anyone else feel like maybe it’s just another cog in the wheel of the Wedding Industrial Complex (but such a pretty one!)?