Wednesday, 14 March 2012

A Green Wedding

I have been an environmental-stewardship advocator for the majority of my life. I appreciate the benefits of the environment, the beauty of a healthy wilderness and the majesty of healthy wildlife. So, when planning my wedding I have tried to plan an event that incorporates both Riley's and my values. Obviously we chose the colour BLUE for one of our wedding colours because of the Toronto Maple Leafs and we're trying to have a low environmental footprint wedding by using local resources. An Eco Wedding is a lot of fun to plan because it makes everything about your special day, special.  

Being green isn't all about using recycled materials and having a low environmental footprint. It also involves being contentious about supporting your local culture, environment and economy, also known as being sustainable.

Just remember to appreciate the tools you have around you and use them responsibly; the flowers, the water, the friends, the family, the internet, and your imagination. These tools can give you a unique, green wedding celebration.

Riley and I are inviting people via print invitations made from recycled paper and using recycled wine bottles with mason jars as our centre pieces, they'll be filled with candles and flowers from a local greenhouse.

Another initiative you can try is booking your hotel close to your reception hall so people do not have to travel a long distance from the party. Try to book one hotel for all your guests and have a transportation company bring guests to and from the reception in groups, this will save on transportation energy as well.

Monday, 5 March 2012

How to handle the maids...

One of my bridesmaids is also getting married, I'm her bridesmaid too. It's a very unique, special and fun relationship we have right now as we are both stepping into a new chapter of our lives and we both have similar problems and celebrations. Though, at times we both need to take a step back and realize that the other is getting married too. And we both have to help the other get excited, prepare and set up for her big day. 

She, along with my sisters, has thrown me an amazing engagement party. It was so much fun! Though she doesn't want an engagement party. Nor does she want a lot of fuss to be had on her part. But I would love nothing else then to throw her a grand ol' party! 

After much discussion and realization, I realized she isn't me, she doesn't want the same things as I do. We're opposites but we balance each other out.  So I told her she has to stop treating me as if she's my bridesmaid (all of the time) and start treating me like I'm hers. She has to tell me, and others in the party, to just shut up and help her with things she needs help with. She really needs to handle the maids and tell them what's what.

The thing about bridesmaids is that they're not really maids. Everyone has their own lives and schedules and though they're happy for you they probably can't make it out to every appointment, every shopping excursion and talk about colour pairing for hours on end. It's difficult to say but... the maids aren't going to help you unless you tell them too. 

Even though they're your best friends, sisters or cousins, you are the bride - so tell them what you want and don't let them run the show. They're going to help and they're going to want what's best, so let them know how to do that.  Just be smart and communicate what you want. It's your wedding, they're there to help you have your dream day and ease the stress leading up to it. 

If you can't get the message across maybe try some of these helpful hints.

Fun ideas to help get the message across:

Title them: 
At a party or a shower make up little name tags that title who's who. Make tags that say "Maids" for the bridal party. It'll be a fun way of getting the message across and kicking the party into a playful mood. 

Wear the Crown:
You can purchase 'Bridesmaid' play crowns at almost any dollar store. Make them wear it when you guys are together so they can clearly be in the 'bridesmaid' mind frame. 

Give them a calendar:
In this calendar have tasks for them to complete by certain dates. Even if the tasks are as simple as 'calling to check up on my sanity' it may help you keep in touch with them and get thing accomplished a bit more easily. 

Talk to them:
Clearly outline what you want and don't want. Usually the bridesmaids deal with the stag and doe, the shower and a bachelorette party. If you don't want something, such as strippers, then clearly say "I DO NOT WANT THAT." If they don't listen to you, perhaps they should have a name tag that says 'guest' instead... just a suggestion. 

Include them:
Include your bridesmaids in your tasks, get them to help you out when you need them. Everyone wants to feel part of your wedding, especially your laddies. So ask them to come shopping for flowers with you or help you choose your jewellery. Let them know that you want them there and that you're excited  with them. The gesture will be greatly received and be well returned.  

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Details, details...

Photographers, hair, makeup, food, linens, pastor, flowers and so much more! There are a million of things to think about when planning your own wedding. First of all, know your colours. Riley and I picked ours because of their association to us. We're using the colours blue (for the Toronto Maple Leafs of course), Sour Apple Green (my last name is Greenall and I like the colour mix with the blue) and silver (just because we can). Everything involving decorations (linens and flowers primarily) will be associated with your colours. Ensure they match, are clearly connected in different aspects of your wedding such as your bouquet, linens, centre pieces, etc. It'll make a pleasing picture when all colours and decorations coordinate to set the tone and attitude of your wedding.

Secondly, know your scheduling. It seems like everything we're doing involves five or more steps. Details that can overwhelm a bride who already has a plate full of details to deal with. Just make sure you know what you want before going to the salon.

You're going to meet with the pastor probably a minimum of 3-4 times prior to your wedding, depending if you're doing marriage counselling. The seamstress must see you at least three times before the big day to ensure the dress fits and you know how to get dressed properly the day of. The photographer you should really pay attention too. Those pictures last forever, you want to make sure they're good and in the style you prefer. I'm meeting with my photographer a bunch of times. Andrea's Impressions in St. Catharines is doing our wedding. I like her clear colourful style as she incorporates the backdrops in the mood of the picture. You're going to want to meet with your caterer about twice before the wedding, minimum. The caterer has all the skill and craftsmanship to make you a delightful meal, but if it's not done to the way you want it then it's a waste.

Last but not least; make sure you have everything written down. All of your appointments, all of your discussions you have with the venders, details you assume people understand sometimes need reiterated and you always want to make sure your wedding planner has all the contact information for everyone involved with the planning and organizing of your big day.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Start Planning

So we've started to plan, plan and do some more planning. It's getting pretty crazy around our house. We spent the entire weekend (last weekend) searching out venues... and holy cow, weddings are expensive! After extensive research and talking to wedding planners from different venues, pricing everything out, and discovering different options, we finally have found our DREAM venue! Honsberger Estate is the perfect wedding spot if you want to have a rustic country wedding in a renovated barn. Oh we are ecstatic! It is absolutely gorgeous!

We've even decided to get married in my parents backyard garden. It's going to be gorgeous! 

So we've accomplished the where. Now, we have to figure out who's going to do what, when, how and how much. EEKS!

I've started a bit of a checklist for things that can be helpful when planning a wedding. 

Planning tips

Know your budget. There are no excuses. You must know how  much you are willing to spend on each aspect of your wedding. Price everything out, get an idea of what things cost and how important those little extras are to you. Remember taxes and gratuities usually are not included in original prices quoted. 

Know the picture. What do you want your wedding to look like? Do you want it formal, informal, fun, flirty,  dramatic, or something out of the ordinary. Every aspect of your wedding should follow whatever format you're going for. My wedding is not formal, but we're still expecting everyone to dress up. There is no theme really. We're ensuring the bridesmaid dresses are pretty and flowing dresses, to go with the garden theme. The flowers are going to be bright and fun, nothing too formal either. 

Know your backup plan. If you're having your wedding outside, ensure you have a backup plan incase the weather turns ugly. 

Talk to everyone. Don't necessarily get everyone's opinions on what you should do for your wedding, that'll just get overwhelming. Get to know tips and tricks to help you save money, ideas for making your wedding unique, talk to people about details you may have forgotten. I actually forgot to budget in the wedding rings. Opps! It helps to talk to people who have gotten married before (and in the last 5 years.)

Happy Planning!

Monday, 6 February 2012

My Dress!

I found my gown!

Oh, it is beautiful! I went to the bridal store with my mom a few days ago. We just wanted to have some fun and shop. I really wasn't looking for 'the dress', I just wanted to see what was out there and to try different styles. It was supposed to be a fun night out with my mom, that's all. 

So, I tried on about 10 gowns. Each and every one of them was beautiful - Absolutely stunning. However, they all had their little quirks. One dress was too stiff, the other was too plain, but the last one was PERFECT! I tried it on in the fitting room and was immediately surprised at how it fit. It needs a bit of adjustment, but for the most part it fits perfectly! So, before I looked in the mirror I sauntered out of the change room and called out to my mom saying, 'look, it fits!' 

As soon as I looked at my mom I knew something was different about this gown. My mom stood there and gasped as her face turned white. I hadn't even looked at myself yet and already knew something felt right about the gown. As I walked to the stage part of the store (the part with all of the mirrors) I caught a glimpse of my reflection. WITHIN A SECOND of seeing it on me I started to hyperventilate!  

 I've never done that before... 

I started to cry, my legs started to shake, my face went all red, my make up became smeared... Then my mother started to cry. Oh, looked beautiful! 

I never thought I'd be that emotional when I found my dress. I really didn't want to get my dress on the first shopping experience either... I mean, the dress is what every girl dreams about, isn't it? I wanted to try on more and more and more!  So, as I was standing there, gazing at myself in this beautiful gown and I heard my mom say  'it's perfect!' 

But I just couldn't buy it, not yet. I just got engaged. I wanted to try on more dresses and go shopping with my friends and buy all of those really expensive bridal magazines. 

So after about an hour, I changed out of my gown and left the store without my gown. 

The next day I went to St. Catharine's Bridal Show. I saw all of the gowns in the show, the gowns on display and the gowns in the magazines. I went shopping with one of my bridesmaids and tried on more gowns. NONE of them matched the elegance, the beauty, the perfection of my gown. I tried on more and more, each time thinking, 'this is nice, but it's not my dress.'
So the next thing I know, my father called and told me that the woman from the first store had phoned him and said my dress was going on sale. My dad asked if that was the store my mom came home from crying because we found a beautiful gown. I answered, 'yes, that's the store. The dress is perfect. I think I want to get it.' 
My dad replies, 'Well good, I already gave them my credit card number!'

AHHHHH!! Isn't that exciting! My dad is pretty awesome like that. 

So now I have my dream dress. It's Mon Cheri's 'Jolie' gown. It is absolutely stunning. 
I love it, love it, love it!

Me in my beautiful dress! 

Saturday, 4 February 2012

The Dress

Okay Ladies, let's talk about The Dress!

The most important factor about the entire wedding day is The Dress. Oh the colours, the fabrics, the lengths, the cuts, the beading and the lace. What is a girl to do? There are so many things to think about; so many ideas, so many choices, so many beautiful fairytale ensembles to chose from.

When you go to try on a wedding gown for the first time, don't fret, everything will be okay. 

It is so overwhelming! You will go into the bridal salon with all of these ideas of what you want, and then suddenly will be told that you have to describe your ideas. That's the hard part. How do you verbalize what you're looking for, especially when there are so many designs to choose from. 

This is where I come into handy. I have formulated a 'know how' for main designs and silhouettes for wedding dresses. 

Dress Descriptions

There are a few different cuts you should know about before you go into a bridal salon and try to explain what you're thinking of. 

When you start trying dresses on you will instantly realize the dresses look so different in reality than on the internet; the fabric flows and sits differently on each gown. When you start trying them on you will realize that they are actually very heavy. The weight of a gown is something to keep in mind when you're deciding on a fabric, style or design. 

Mon Cheri - Tiana
The Ball Gown

This photo is Mon Cheri's Tiana (112215). This is a sample of a ball gown wedding dress. The Ball Gown has a full skirt, typically the skirt's poof starts below or at the waist. It is a fun and romantic silhouette. It is fantastic for brides who want a dress that is either fun, formal or even casual. It is what most princess dresses are designed as (in my opinion.)  

The A-line Dress

Dennis Bosso
The A-length dress has a silhouette as an 'A'. The top of the dress is fitted on the torso, then the skirt poofs out around the hips. If the dress has a dropped waist the skirt wont start until under the hips. A-line dresses are very romantic and show off your body a bit more. Still maintaining the fun, formal or casual look as the ball gown, an A-line gown can provide you with a bit more formal or sexy look because it is fitted to your hips.

On the right is a Dennis Basso A-line dress. As you can see, it shows off the model's body more than a ball gown dress. In this picture the waist line is shown, not all A-line dresses define the waist by beading or stitching.
The A-line dresses are beautiful, one of my favourite cuts.

The Tea Length

Tea length gowns are always fun. For some unknown reason, tea length gowns make me think about Alice in Wonderland. The length of the tea length is typically below the knee. These dresses are great for girls getting married with a theme that suites or on a very hot summer day. The style adds a fun, flirty look to the entire wedding. Not many girls can pull a dress like this off, especially on one of the most photographed days of her life! 

The Mermaid

Oh the Mermaid! So beautiful. The entire body is outlined perfectly in this design. Ideally a mermaid gown fits a curvy girl who has something to show (breasts, hips, butt... you get it.) It is an elegant design that will add a definite sexy vibe to your day. The skirt doesn't start until the knees or even your chins. You may have a bit of difficulty taking big strides, but it's not like you're going to be running on your wedding day!
Alvina Valenta's mermaid design has the skirt starting at the knees, so you'll have a bit more ability to stride. 

The Trumpet

In my opinion, the Trumpet and the Mermaid are very similar. The Mermaid has the skirt starting around the knees, whereas the Trumpet has the skirt starting only slightly higher. Alita's Trumpet silhouette allows full movement of the legs. It is a beautiful design for any style. 

There are probably so many MORE design styles I can't even begin to diagnose each and every single one of them, but it's nice to go over the main styles of gowns. 

So ladies, what design are you looking for? 

I started looking for my wedding gown when I first learned how to Google! I love wedding gowns. They are beautiful, fun, unique and completely princess-like! Who wouldn't want to gaze at beauty all day?

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Who we are

Riley and I have been dating since we were 16 years old. We met in high school; actually, we met on the school bus in grade 9. We're high school sweet-hearts. We have been dating for over seven years and are best friends. We are planning our wedding with the main focus of fun, love and well, more fun... We love to have fun whether it is snowboarding, playing cards, going to comedy clubs or just watching a funny show on T.V. We’re fun-loving people.

We absolutely define the word love. We can argue until our faces are blue, we can laugh until tears are in our eyes, we can talk until the wee hours of the night and we can even just sit in silence, always knowing that there is no other person in the world we’d rather do these things with.

We are extremely excited to be planning our wedding day.  I'm pretty creative and Riley is pretty handy, so throughout this blog I’ll be posting some fun ideas for wedding planning. I’ll be posting at least once a week, letting you know the in-depth details of wedding plans, the dress, the food, everything. It’s going to be fun!