Wedding Updates: Is It Over Yet??

IS IT OVER YET?!

I’ve asked myself this ten times today and it’s not even noon. Wedding planning has turned out to be one of the hardest, most stressful things I’ve ever done in my LIFE and I swear the only thing that keeps me going is knowing that at the end of all of it, D and I will be husband and wife and we can move onto the next chapter of our lives. I’m thanking my lucky stars that I was super organized in the beginning because I was able to get the majority of the planning out of the way. However, now that we are officially a month and a half away, the craziness is just getting started.

Ready for some honesty??? I feel like no matter how hard I tried to be organized and prepared for this time of year, more things keep popping up and I’ve lost my faith in my ability to pull this off. And not only am I second guessing myself during the day, but my dreams are now flooded with wedding nightmares, where everything that could possibly go wrong does, and all I do is cry. And when I wake up, I force myself to laugh because if I don’t, I’m afraid I will cry in real life too lol!

The not so funny thing is, when you first get engaged, everyone…and I mean EVERYONE that has ever been married WARNS you! I don’t know how many people told us to elope or keep it super intimate to make things easier on us, but when you’re newly engaged, sometimes the excitement takes over and you choose not to listen to those very honest and accurate people LOL. Which is why we (well……mostly I) ignored everyone’s advice and went BIG, mostly because we both have very large families and couldn’t imagine cutting it down anymore than we had. But because we are having a larger wedding, everything is 10x more work!

Although, as much as I may complain or feel discouraged, this will all be so worth it….right??? That’s what I keep telling myself. And it works momentarily, until the next issue pops up and I have to deal with it. So I’ll just be over here forcing myself to laugh and take things as they are, because that’s all I really can do at this point.

Any other brides out there feeling the same way? I want to hear your thoughts and how you handle the stress!! So send me a DM or comment below…this bride needs some serious uplifting advice right about now!! 🙂

Wedding Time Capsule

Hey everyone and happy hump day!! The wedding is fast approaching and my days are getting a little busier by the day, but I wanted to take some time to talk about an idea our MC came up with for the wedding. As soon as I heard it I immediately jumped all over it – it’s such a special and clever way to include our guests in our relationship, and I think it’ll be so fun to look back ten years from now and remember our wedding!!

Drum roll please…… we’re doing a TIME CAPSULE!!!!

To keep it short and sweet, the idea is this:

On the day of our wedding, we are asking guests to bring an item the size of their fist or smaller that reminds them of a memory they share with. The item can be anything from a small bottle of scotch, a short note filled with marriage advice, or even a photo. We’re leaving it up to our guests to get creative, and are looking forward to seeing what they come up with. However, the time capsule will be sealed the night of the wedding and we won’t get a chance to see what our guests bring until our tenth anniversary!

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing more on how we put this plan into action, including the building of the time capsule (I said I wouldn’t do any DIY projects but I’ve started doing more and more lately), the templates I made for the advice cards, and so much more!

Bye for now friends!

XoXo

Sweet Sentiments

Over the last few months I have learned some important lessons about planning a wedding, like how to organize your vendors, or how to custom make your own stationary. But the most important one I’ve learned to date is to stop, slow down, and breathe. It sounds silly, but when you’re constantly on the go and creating millions of to-do lists in your head on a daily basis, this advice is actually extremely helpful. Not only that, but it leads to an even bigger appreciation of the end goal – MARRIAGE!

Lately, I catch myself feeling more and more emotional about our pending vows. It caught me off guard at first, because throughout the last year I haven’t cried once over the thought of getting married (except the day he proposed). In fact, I felt more excited (and stressed) than anything. But now, it’s all hitting me like a ton of bricks and I Can’t. Stop. Crying. I call these moments my ‘sweet sentiments’.

Just the other day I was listening to one of my wedding playlists – it’s filled with all the sappiest, most heartfelt songs imaginable of course, as I’m trying to nail down some ceremony music – anyways…a song came on that I’ve heard a MILLION times, and I suddenly started tearing up. I was fully in the moment, dreaming of walking towards my fiancé, and not at all concerned about my to-do list. It was amazing. Since then, I’ve soaked up every sweet moment like that.

This newfound appreciation for what is about to happen in 3 months has brought D and I so much closer, and has completely calmed my mind. Yes, I still feel stressed every now and then, but now I have a reminder to remember what all of this is about and to just let the rest of it go. It has been such a blessing to have learned this lesson and I am finally enjoying our journey to the altar.

The Suit By Eph Apparel

Hey everyone!! It’s been a while since my last post but I have been so busy with planning that the blog kind of took a bit of a backseat (temporarily of course). I have so much to catch you guys up on but today I decided to switch gears a bit and talk about D’s suit shopping experience!

First of all, it meant so much to me that he wanted to include me in the decision making process of buying his first suit – I’ve been trying not to be the over-bearing bride and to give him some leeway with making his own decisions regarding what him and the groomsmen wear, what song they enter the ceremony to, etc. I made a promise to myself the second we started planning that I would let this experience be fun for him, and less painful as some grooms put it lol!

Before I talk about the suits, let me go back to the end of last year. D had heard of this suit shop opening called Eph Apparel and did some research on their grand opening party. A few weeks later, him and two of his groomsmen attended. I think it’s safe to say D was sold when they handed him a scotch.

Fast forward to the beginning of April and it was time for us to make some decisions. At first, I just thought I was there for moral support (and to help pick out the colors of course). But I was SO wrong. Turns out, we got to pick every single detail of this custom made suit, down to how many buttons on the cuffs, the cut of suit and the fabric, and the style of the vest. But the best part is, the groomsmen got to pick out their own lining AND had the option to add a little custom embroidery FOR FREE within the lining of the suit jacket!! It was so much fun and honestly a little overwhelming (who knew there were so many details that went into designing a suit?!!), and the staff at Eph Apparel was so helpful. We were even served a few cocktails, which is GREAT customer service if I do say so myself 🙂

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This was such a personalized experience and I know that after looking at a few other suit places, we were not going to get this kind of service anywhere else. It was also so fun hearing about the fitting and what a good time everyone had, which makes all of this work worth it.

No matter what, my biggest priority is making sure D and I enjoy every step of this journey so when we find places, like Eph Apparel, that enhance our wedding planning experience, we can’t help but talk them up! We are so thankful we went this route and want to thank the staff over there for doing such a great job so far! I know I speak for both of us when I say we are REALLY looking forward to seeing the finished product.

Until next time! XoXo

 

 

Tips for Creating the Perfect Registry

Hey friends!! And Happy Hump Day!! We’re halfway through the week and I’m finding myself doing that countdown to the weekend again. I am feeling so exhausted lately as we have so much going on but I love checkin our items off our to-do list! Like our registry for example 🙂 Last weekend we had an awesome time “shopping” at Bed Bath and Beyond and The Bay and we are so excited about the amazing registry we got to create.

Although it was a long day and a bit of an overwhelming process, we still had a great experience at both places. The customer service was probably my favourite part though! At Bed Bath and Beyond, we had our own personal shopper that followed us around and was there to answer any questions we had. She was so helpful and super nice and I don’t think we would’ve gotten our list done as fast if we were on our own. She was also very informative regarding sales and discontinued items – you don’t want to put your dream toaster on your registry then come to find it’s been discontinued five months later so this was extremely helpful and saved us a ton of hassle.

At The Bay, our consultant was also very helpful (she even showed us what NOT to add due to poor quality) however, she did not follow us around. Which, if I’m being honest, we didn’t mind. We had already created a huge registry at Bed Bath and Beyond, so we kind of knew the drill and it was nice to go off on our own so we could enjoy the day just the two of us.

After 5 long hours, we were finally done…for now. We still have to go back and finalize our list, but we are also able to do that online for both places which will save us a ton of time. And since we have checked this item off our list, I thought I’d share some tips for other bride-to-be’s on creating YOUR perfect registry! Have fun and thanks for reading 🙂

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1. Choose A Store You Already Shop At

I frequent Bed Bath and Beyond often, so I already had some ideas on items I wanted to add to our own registry. It was also easy navigating our path throughout the store because I have been there multiple times and knew the layout quite well. At The Bay, it was a little more time consuming because we had never shopped there for home decor, so we didn’t know what kind of items to expect to find. Choosing a store you already shop at will help give you a better idea of what to expect, therefore making your appointment a little easier!

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2. Take Some Inventory

In order to ensure you don’t receive something you already have, it’s a good idea to take some inventory on your household items before you create your registry. That way if you already have plenty of linens, you’re not wasting someone else’s money, and wasting your storage space!

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3. If You & Your Partner Don’t Agree, SCAN IT!

It’s common to disagree on home decor items or kitchen gadgets, so to make the appointment go a little smoother, if you find something that you and your partner don’t agree on, scan it anyways! The great thing about registries is that you can go online and add or remove items at any time. This gives you time to do some research on the item and possibly convince your husband-to-be that the Kate Spade kettle is a must-have (I’m speaking from experience here lol!!!).

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4. Don’t Focus On Cost

While it’s great to be considerate of your guests and take budget into consideration, DON’T! This is your “wish-list” and your one chance to get a bit of help stocking up on household items, so if you see something you LOVE and you know you’ll get some good use out of it, SCAN IT! If people see a more expensive item on your list, it’s common for a bunch of them to get together and pitch in for the item. With that being said, don’t fill your registry up with all of the most expensive items – spread it out a bit and get some variety so that your guests have options!

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5. Think Long Term

The goal is to create a registry full of gifts that will last you and your partner a long time, so think long-term. I was scanning things like turkey roasters and serving dishes, and even though I don’t host a lot (we still live in a tiny condo), I foresee myself hosting a lot of family dinners down the road, so of course I added items that fit that goal. It’s also important to consider the quality of all of the items to ensure that they actually will last you a long time, even if it means going for something a little more expensive.

Well friends, I hope this list was helpful. This is the fun part of planning and shouldn’t be too stressful so remember to take some time to have fun with it. Good luck with your planning, fellow brides ❤

 

The Reception: How to Keep Your Guests Engaged

Making sure our wedding guests have a good time is extremely high on our list of priorities, so much so that we have been brainstorming fun ways to keep our guests engaged throughout the day. It could be something as simple as adding a receiving line after the ceremony, or playing games during the reception. Either way, we have come up with some pretty good ideas of how we are going to incorporate our guests into our big day! Afterall, most of them will be taking time out of their busy schedules to travel to see us tie the knot, so it’s the least we can do :).

Below I’ve put together our top 3 fav ideas (but I won’t tell you which ones we chose…it’s a secret!! lol).

1. The Shoe Game

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This first idea seems to be pretty popular as we’ve found a lot of printables and templates for this game on Pinterest. It’s a simple, yet fun way to get the attention of your guests after dinner while the caterers are cleaning up. The game is simple: the bride and groom take a seat with their backs facing each other in the middle of the room and each hold one shoe of their own, and one shoe of their spouse. The MC will then ask a couple questions that go something like “Who is the most likely to…”. Once the question is read out loud, the bride and groom hold up the shoe that answers the question. For example, if the question is “Who is most likely to cry during a chick flick?” and the answer is YOU, then you would hold up your own shoe. It’s quick, it’s entertaining, and it also provides your guests with the opportunity to get to know the two of you as a couple!

2. MADLIBS!!

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I’ve always been amused by madlibs and think they’re hilarious no matter what the occassion is, so what better way to get your guests laughing by leaving a few at each table. I found a great website with free madlib printables perfect for a wedding, including a ‘How They Met’ theme.

They’re especially good if you have time you need to fill up, or if you’re doing a buffet style dinner – it gives your guests something to do while they wait for their table to be called. You could even turn it into a competition and see which table has the funniest answers…maybe even include a prize for them!

Side note: this is an awesome ice breaker if you have guests that don’t know anyone at their table.

3. Bride & Groom Trivia

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Just like the madlibs, this is another great opportunity to showcase who you are as a couple, and individuals as well. This is also extremely ideal if your partner hasn’t met your whole family yet, or if your guests don’t get to see you guys often. Plus, it’s an awesome way to engage your guests and add some competitive spirit to the night.

Here’s how it works: With the help of your MC, you would come up with a list of questions to ask your guests – try to keep it generally easy so that the game isn’t impossible, but don’t be afraid to throw in some tougher ones for those closer family and friends. Then, during or after dinner, your MC would start asking questions. Whoever shouts out the fastest gets to answer. If they’re correct, their table gets a point. At the end of the game, the table with the most points wins a prize…or a drink on the house! Sounds like a gaurunteed way to wake up your guests and get them involved!

Side note: You could also play without teams – the individual who answers the question correctly wins a prize, rather than rewarding the whole table at the end of the game.

If you know any other games or have some suggestions it would be much appreciated as we are still trying to put together our timeline for the reception!!! Until next time 🙂

 

Wedding Planning & Learning How To Say NO

When I first got engaged, everyone told me how stressful planning a wedding would be and suggested we elope. Quite honestly, at first I was totally against the idea – I didn’t want a small wedding because I thought “how can I possibly eliminate half of my family from my list?!”…

Fast forward to May and we are less than 5 months away from the big day and I catch myself WISHING I would’ve gone the more intimate route. Why? Because planning a wedding is bloody stressful!! No…it’s a FREAKIN PART TIME JOB! If I’m not at work, I’m still technically “working” on everything for the wedding. When I crawl into bed at night, I go over my 5 page long checklist. When I finally fall asleep, I dream about my checklist. And when I wake up, I get to start all over again. On top of that, I still feel like there are not enough hours in the day to go over all the things I need to. But hey…I’m type A so the obsessing is mostly my fault, right?

And don’t get me started on the questions I’ve been asked since people found out we’re engaged.

“I’m not seeing anyone right now but hopefully I will be by your wedding so can I have a plus one?”

NO.

“I can’t find a babysitter so is it okay if I bring my kid to your ‘adults only’ wedding?”

NO.

“Can my daughter be your flower girl?”

NO.

“Did you invite your fourth cousin twice removed?”

NO.

“Can I say a few words at your wedding?”

NO.

“Why isn’t my husband a groomsmen?”

EYEROLL.

And my favorite…

“Don’t you wish you just eloped?”

!$@&$!

On the plus side, this experience has taught me how to stand up for myself and say no to people. It’s something I’m not always brave enough to do but I’ve realized it’s crucial when you’re planning a wedding in order to make sure you get the day you deserve.

So now all I can do is drink a lot of wine and keep reminding myself that we are “halfway there”. Anyone else currently planning a wedding and going through the same thing I am??? If so, comment below! I want to hear your stories!!

Top 5 Venues For Your #YYC Wedding

Choosing a venue for our wedding was one of the things D and I went back and forth on quite a bit before finally making a decision. It’s not easy finding a venue that meets ALL of your needs, and sometimes you have to adjust your expectations in order to find the best venue for your big day. That’s why I thought it’d be a good idea to share some of my favourite venues that we looked at during the early phases of planning :).

1. The Lakehouse

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The Lakehouse was my absolute favourite venue I found when looking for the perfect place to host our wedding. Imagine getting married to your bestfriend right in front of that fireplace, surrounded by your closest family and friends! This rustic, yet elegant room had me so excited – and check out those chandeliers! Unfortunately the size of the rooms didn’t work with our larger guestlist, however if I was looking for a space to host an intimate and romantic gathering, this would be the place!

The only downside to choosing a place like this is the fact that you HAVE to use their caterer and bar service, and they can be quite picky on bringing outside vendors in for things like decor and music. With that being said, the location is amazing with a view of the lake that is to die for, and the rooms are already visually-appealing, which means you wouldn’t need to do much with your decor!

2. Bow Valley Ranche Restaurant

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Speaking of visually-appealing, my next choice was the Bow Valley Ranche Restaurant in Fish Creek. It’s also a very intimate location, with an outdoor area for your ceremony and inside dining for your closest family and friends. They have their very own wedding coordinator who is there to help you plan your perfect day, from the menu all the way down to the smallest details imaginable. This would’ve been such an awesome choice for our wedding, but again our guestlist was too large to accomodate.

3. Meadow Muse

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Meadow Muse was the third venue I looked at. To be honest, I was very hesitant to have an outdoor wedding because of the unpredictable weather we often get here, so this was the perfect compromise for us! Located in the forest of Fish Creek Park, the tent provides you with a great view while keeping you and your guests sheltered! You can even close it off in case it gets a little chilly. Again, there will be a limit on the vendors that you can bring in, but that seems to be the case with most venues we looked at.

4. The Wedding Pavillion

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The Wedding Pavillion has been my dream location for a wedding since I was a little girl. I actually was a flower girl in my cousins wedding and this is where it took place. Since then, they have completely renovated it and turned it into one of the most elegant venues. And the best part is, the building not only has this beautiful spot for a ceremony, but also a very nice and spacious dining room to hold your reception. Now that’s convenient!

5. The Baron

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The Baron is totally different from all the other venues I looked at because it didn’t have a rustic theme. In fact, if you’re going for more of an industrial look, this is the place to be! The Baron offers a more intimate setting, lined with brick walls and darker tones…super romantic if you ask me!

Every single one of these venues has something for everyone – the key is finding what meets you and your partners needs specifically. Once you pick a location, everything else kind of falls into place. Happy planning everyone 🙂

What To Expect When Choosing Your #BrideTribe

It’s been seven blissful months since D proposed, and what a whirlwind it’s been! This is probably the craziest time of our lives and we are so busy with planning that we often have to remind ourselves to slow down to appreciate and enjoy our engagement. One thing that we can appreciate is our amazing friends and family who have been nothing but helpful throughout this whole process.

So with that in mind I thought I’d share some tips for choosing your very own #BrideTribe. I would love to say that this was a smooth process but that would be a lie because this was something that was extremely difficult for me to do. D will agree with me on this, which is probably why we both ended up with six people in our wedding party lol! Seriously though, it’s hard to narrow it down when you have so many amazing people in your life. So I decided to share a few uncomfortable truths I learned throughout this whole process.

  1. NO MATTER WHAT YOU DECIDE, SOMEONE’S FEELINGS WILL BE HURT.

What can I say? Women AND men can be emotional! Sometimes it can be difficult to pick between your friends, so hopefully most of them will understand and accept your decision, but there may be a few who don’t. The best thing you can do is be honest with them and try to make them feel better about the situation. Afterall, it is YOUR day, and no one can tell you who to pick to stand up for you.

  1. YOUR FRIENDS CAN SAY NO..

You hope it won’t happen but let’s be honest, your friends DO have the right to say no. Life is busy and can be unexpected sometimes, so try not to take it too personally if someone turns you down. Contrary to what some people may think, it’s a BIG time commitment to be a bridesmaid, especially if you’re a bride that wants your girls to be heavily involved in the planning process (like me). In the long run, you’ll want girls who will be available to calm you down when you’re turning into bridezilla, or to tag along to your cake tasting when your fiance can’t make it. Either way, that friend that just told you no will still be there to watch you tie the knot, and that’s what’s important.

  1. EVERYONE IS BUSY – WHO WILL MAKE TIME FOR YOU?

Like I said before, being a bridesmaid is a BIG time commitment, so take that into consideration when choosing your tribe. If you have a friend that has four jobs and is a single mom, chances are she won’t be available every single time you need someone to talk you off the ledge, or to attend every appointment you make. It’s important to be up front about your expectations regarding the level of commitment you’re wanting so that you’re not disappointed.

  1. SIZE MATTERS!

Cost and budget might play a bit of a factor when choosing your bridal party. The bigger the party, the more expensive it can become. You have to take into consideration things like the bridesmaid proposals, ‘thank-you’ gifts, accessories, dresses, hair and make-up, etc. and whether or not you’re planning on splitting costs with them or paying for it all. I’ll be honest, I didn’t think about these things when we decided to have six on each side BUT we’re still excited about the people we chose and wouldn’t change a thing! If you’re willing to make it work within your budget like we did, then go for it!

On the flip side, small bridal parties are just as awesome.

  1. DRAMA, DRAMA & MORE DRAMA

Sometimes girl drama is just a part of life, which is why taking into consideration friend groups and who gets along with who is sometimes necessary. I’m not saying all the girls need to be besties, or even know one another for that matter, but if you have a friend who is constantly looking for drama and stirring the pot, maybe it’s best to pick someone who won’t cause you anymore stress than necessary!

Once you have your #BrideTribe, the fun begins!! I have been enjoying sharing this time with my wonderful bridesmaids/besties and am so thankful for all their help!

Until next time…

The Story Behind the Photo

Hey everyone! Now that we have all of our engagement photos back, I thought it’d be fun to share some of my favourites, as well as a few stories from that day.

If you’ve been following along then you already know we had a last minute location change from Kananaskis to an at-home shoot, THANKS CALGARY WINTER!! BUT we are so thrilled with how our photos turned out and are so excited to share them with you!

Side note: If you’re in the market for a photographer, I would highly recommend Janine! Scroll all the way to the bottom for the link to her website 🙂

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This was one of the first poses we tried. At this point, D and I were feeling a little nervous and slightly uncomfortable – it’s not everyday that you’re asked to amp up the PDA in front of a camera. But it didn’t take long for Janine to make us feel comfortable and get us laughing.

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Next we moved to the kitchen. This is one of my favourite shots from this section because there’s a little story behind it. Janine asked D to whisper in my ear and tell me something that makes him proud of me and this was my genuine reaction to his answer. Seriously, I melted and giggled and then slightly teared up. It’s awesome that I will always have that memory when I look at this photo!

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When we moved to the stairs I was a little apprehensive because I didn’t think it would be a very flattering angle for me (sorry I can’t help it…I’m a girl!). But Janine told me to tuck my left leg under my right and just like that I lost 10 pounds LOL! Tips like this are awesome because they take away that little hint of doubt or self-consciousness you may be feeling in front of the camera. I was super thankful that she was able to help me out and reassure me when I needed it.

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This next photo was another one of those genuine moments where I was reacting to something. My dad totally busted us during one of our more intimate shots. He came home a little early and I felt like a 16 year old girl again, all embarrassed that my dad caught me kissing a boy. So naturally, I busted out laughing and this was the result.

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And then, in true dad fashion, he stuck around to oversee how things were going. But it worked out because he inspired the following shots.

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It really was such a fun day and we got SO MANY photos back. And since I had a hard time only picking a few for today’s blog post, I will share a few more below. Thanks so much for reading! Don’t forget to check back on Friday for some more fitness tips!

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Photos By: Janine Deanna Photography