Congratulations! Thank you! x150

We didn’t plan a receiving line.  But apparently we didn’t need to.

After some high fives and fist pumps

Some hugs and smiles

The congratulations started pouring in.  We started with the family – of course

But things started getting crowded so we headed out to the beautiful day

And we said “Thank you” to all 150 people.

And while at some point we thought the line would never end – we were so happy to see each and every one of them.

And we were wonderfully rewarded…

Champagne and 10 minutes to check in with each other.

 “Hi husband! How was your day?”

One Giant To Do List

About 3 weeks ago I had a major “OhmygodwehavesomuchtodoIdon’tevenknowwheretostart” panic attack.

I told my friend over at A Handmade Story that I was basically freaking out and since she did all of this last year she had some words of wisdom.  Make a master to do list.  I liked the idea, but I didn’t really know where to start.  Enter Todoist.com

There’s a handy video to show you how to get started.

And get started I did. I think at the most I’ve had 110 things on my “To Do Before I Do” list.  I’ve been crossing things off and adding more things in as I think of them. And right now I’m at about 70. The tags for the list are brilliant.  I can essentially make sub-lists of “email” “visit” and “call” or “shopping” “rehearsal” and “ceremony.”  I have assigned tasks to other people – but kept them on my list using tags like “mom” “boy” or “wparty.”

 I’ve had a couple new subscribers lately that found me searching for wedding blogs, so for them I say – use todoist. The Knot, and Martha Stewart to do lists are good, but what I was finding as we get closer is there are 5 things that need to be done before I can cross off one thing from either of those checklists. I felt like I was spinning my wheels – doing all of this w-day stuff without getting to move forward in my list, very overwhelming.

But Todoist isn’t just for w-dayers.  I have Todoist lists for “Around the House”  “The Twenties Roar” and “Groceries.”  Better yet, I’ve got an iPhone app for it so I can keep my Todoist list on my phone. Though I must say, the iPhone app could use some work – you can’t sort by the tags on the app. Boo.

Anyway, I thought I’d check in and say – I’m still here. I’m just up to my eyeballs in w-day.  I’ve got some posts to come I just need some time to write them.  Blogging time is coming up… I’ve added it on my to do list!

*FYI I have not been compensated in any way for my review of Todoist, I just came across it and think it's cool. So I thought I'd pass it along.  If you find this post Todoist - feel free to compensate me - I won't mind.

Invitations and a secret identity revealed

Invitations make it real.  Invitations caused me a little bit of panic.  Mail strikes make invitations bit of a pain in the butt.  Online RSVPs make for super quick responses!

Let’s get started. I reworked a design from zazzle.ca or zazzle.com for my American friends. The price seemed right, but basically I loved the design and I loved how easy it was to rework and customize.  No unfortunately Zazzle has no idea who I am, I didn’t get any kind of bloggy discount or I would probably be singing their praises even more.  But seriously folks, $1.90 for an invitation and an envelope.  Works for me.

I ordered them on Wednesday evening and I got the notice from FedEx on Monday.  Left the “drop them at the door” note and got them on Tuesday – pretty good I’d say.

They came in a box.

Packed with care.

Is this building suspense?110 invitations.  110 envelopes.

Care for a closer look?

A teaser - love the flowers!

Okay, for reals this time.*

Okay, so it doesn’t really say The Boy, and I was going to leave the Boy’s name in and reveal it all.  But the Boy vetoed, he prefers to stay anonymous.  (Although if you zoom in you may be able to figure it out, or if you’re really bored at work today curious you can find the a past post where I revealed his secret identity) Doesn’t change anything. He will always be the Boy here.  So the identity to be revealed is our parents! You may also notice that our parents names are the same.  That’s not a typo, or a computer edit.  Dave and Carol and Dave and Carol.  I call them CD squared.

While I love the front – obviously.  The back is beautiful too.

If you can’t quite read it: Today I marry my best friend.  The one I laugh with, live for, dream with and love.  Mom and I saw this at a wedding show and she burst into tears.  It’s very true in our case.  Just less than 10 weeks to go!

*I know they seem very red in the pictures… they’re not.  They are orange and grey all the way!

The Queen and I

It’s getting closer.  We’re under 3 months and W-day is less than 12 weeks away – that’s almost single digits people!

This weekend I spent some time trying to check off some of those things that I could do at the last minute or I could get them done way in advance and seem like a crazy person who is doing things way in advance.  I say try because I really didn’t get very far.  Being uber prepared way in advance (even if 12 weeks doesn’t seem like way in advance) just isn’t in my nature.  Meh.

But one thing that was checked off the list was getting a w-day outfit for my lovely Grandmother.  Nanny, as we call her around these parts, is very excited about the impending day. Based on remarks made here and there for the last 8 years – I’d say she’s been waiting for it likely longer than I have.  She’s the only grandparent I’ve ever known and I’m thrilled that she’ll be able to be there. What’s great for her is I’m pretty sure all 10 of her kids will be making the trek East.  This will be the first time they have all been together since my youngest aunt got married 17 years ago.

The Nanny - isn't she sweet

I just asked her what she’s looking forward to the most about W-day and she said, “Seeing the bride” – so sweet, and “seeing my family.”  I’m pretty sure the other thing ranking high on her list is the Boy and I will be one step closer to bringing her great-grandchildren on the east side of Canada.  (She doesn’t know about the 10 year plan in that department).

Anyway, this weekend Mom and I took her W-day dress shopping.  It was something that was high on Mom’s to do list so off we went.  We headed off to The Bay and pulled about 4 different outfits for her.  She dutifully tried each one on, they looked nice but she clearly wasn’t loving any of them. Then she tried the last one on and we had found “the one.” It was so clearly the one that she suddenly garnered the attention of the entire store. Strangers were coming up to her and telling her how beautiful she looked.

For reals.

I can’t show you what she’s wearing I can only say she looks amazing, and I told her she is surely going to upstage the bride (generally a W-day faux pas but in this case I’ll make an exception).

She’s going to look like the Queen.  After 10 kids, 30 grandkids and 10 great-grandkids I’d say that’s fitting.

Okay, a little teaser.

That's right - we even found her shoes! CHECK!

The Countdown Continues – 3 Months!

This week’s regularly scheduled program has been interrupted to bring you this W-Day special news bulletin:

WE’RE AT THREE MONTHS PEOPLE!

You may recall the lengthy list of to dos we had for this month.  Having just reviewed it myself, I’d say we did pretty well.  No wonder I feel like we’ve been doing so much recently!

What we did this month:

  • The Boy turned 30 this month – we happily celebrated our last year, and his last birthday as a singleton
  • We had a bunch of conversations with our Priest and in the end decided to change churches.  I now feel much happier avoiding confrontation altogether, but did have an odd experience of cancelling something for the wedding – not something I would like to do more of (the person on the other end of the phone was so worried and sad for me).
  • We ordered beautiful dresses for all the maids of awesome.  A miracle dress that somehow looks amazing on everyone.
  • We solved the great tux vs. suit debate with an awesome deal and AMAZING suits for all
  • I created and ordered invitations.  They’ve arrived.  They’re beautiful.  But you don’t get to see them until they’ve been received by their intended recipients.  For now I’ll give you this tease.

HAHA Tricked You!

  • We picked the Readings for our ceremony.
  • We bought everything for the bathroom baskets
  • We’ve almost picked all of the music for our ceremony
  • We picked a location for our rehearsal dinner but won’t have a date until our Priest can check the new church’s schedule
  • Still collecting ideas for centrepieces – and will likely do our warehouse tour in another few weeks
  • The Boy called Steamwhistle (his favourite beer) and booked a delivery of kegs

  • I got W-Day shoes and the Boy’s W-Day tie!
  • Booked my hair trial
  • We had our engagement pictures done last weekend, we haven’t seen them yet – so I’ll post once I’ve got evidence of how beautiful they are.  But another sneak peak they involved this beauty:

PPC Streetcars were used in Toronto in the 1950s

It’s getting down to details time so here’s what we still need to do:

  • Mail the invitations
  • Set rehearsal date, book restaurant and invite the peeps
  • I’d like as many things done as early as possible which means printing the rest of the stationary items
  • Hotel welcome bags
  • Make a wine decision
  • Another party! Hooray!
  • Finalize rentals and choose appetizers
  • Shop for wedding bands
  • I think I should be able to visit my dress soon!
  • Start thinking about thinking about day-of and week-before timelines
  • Under the dress shopping
  • Shop for W-party thank you gifts
  • Order ties for groomsmen
  • Finalize ceremony music
  • DJ Play and Do Not Playlists

I think there’s more I want done this month… but this is inducing enough panic for one day.

92 Days to go!

It was all going a little too smoothly

Well, we all knew it was coming right? I thought maybe we could have the very first hassle free wedding.  No glitches.  No problems.

Didn’t quite make it.

We had our first only I setback. It was kind of a big one, but luckily we’ve got people in the know.

I was trying to find out what to do about Wedding Banns – having them read in the church versus paying for a license.  I couldn’t find that, but I did find a bunch of new rules for wedding ceremonies in this particular church.

To be fair, it appears as though they are trying to be progressive and inclusive – but the language they use misses the mark.  It comes across as simply rude and offensive.

Highlights include:

  • My Dad cannot walk me down the aisle as I’m “not a commodity to be traded in exchange for a dowry as it was in ancient times.” I didn’t know I was a commodity until someone told me I wasn’t one.
  • Keep your wedding parties small – preferably simply a Maid of Honour and a Best Man.  Additional bridesmaids or “extra virgins for the groom to choose from should he tire of the bride are not appropriate.”  What?  This is brutal. First of all we have already asked our wedding party to participate.  Second, I can’t speak for the Boy but this was not what I had in mind when I chose my bridesmaids.  Third, WTF?
  • Small children should be no younger than 4, younger children can disrupt the ceremony. Take Ann Landers advice and eliminate these small people altogether.  WHAT?! We don’t have small people, but this made me want to go find some just to stick it to ’em!

So, I called our Priest (who is not at this church but was coming in to marry us).  I talked to him about what I found upsetting.  He assured me we could work around it.  These were not guidelines he agreed with – our wedding would be a reflection of the Boy and I, and he is a firm believer that the church part of the wedding should not be stressful at all.  I then asked him if we could change churches.  To which he answered, “Wait.  You haven’t sent out your invitations yet? Oh that changes everything! I’ll call you later this week.”  

Calls were made, but churches were booked so we had another conversation.  Our priest asked me again what specifically I was upset about.  I said while I knew he could take care of the details, I still found it rude and offensive.  He assured me he would take care of everything, when he is saying a mass he runs the show for that mass.  We would get what we wanted and even if someone through some sort of Coup I as the bride would never know.  Then he asked how I was feeling.

I said, if he says it will be fine, then it will be fine. But that I found it upsetting. It made me nervous. But I trusted him.

Then he said the greatest thing I could have heard at the time.

“How’s 3:00 at Our Lady of Grace?”

Perfect.

This actually works out really well. Our Priest is actually moving to this church so it will become our home church in a few short weeks. Next thing to do is actually go to this new church to see the place we’re going to be married in.  And tell all of our vendors that we’ve made a significant small change.  And now that we have a church we can print invitations. And cross our fingers that the impending mail strike won’t last long.

If there’s one thing I love more than telling off people who make me angry – it’s avoiding confrontation altogether!

Crisis averted. Back to calm waters.


Tuxedos or Suits? That is the Question

We have gone back and forth. Back and forth. Tuxedo or suit.  Tuxedo or suit.

In my original w-day vision, I saw all the boys in suits.  They didn’t match.  They were all grey.  I figured what better time for the Boy to get a suit that fit him well, than for his wedding.  I even considered made-to-measure.

My mom’s original vision was tuxedos.  “It’s a formal wedding and you’re in a traditional white dress – the guys should all be in tuxes,” she said. “Boys will not want to buy a grey suit, if they’re going to buy a suit they’ll want a black one,” she said.  I listened.

I considered the tux option.

Then w-day expenses started creeping up and a quick look into a made-to-measure option for the Boy quickly threw that idea out the window.  And I found a grey tux.  Hmm… decision made?

We decided we would do some investigating into the tux option.  We went to Moores – they did not have a grey tux option.  They had grey vests under black tuxes – would that work?  No.  We went to Tip Top Tailor who is partnered with Freeman’s Formalwear and had this picture in their brochure.  I asked if they had one that we could see – for colour and to get a better idea.  No.  We would have to order it from the picture. I asked if they had orange ties to go with it.  Yes!  Our sales person then proceeded to show me swatches of peach, pink and brown all the while trying to convince me that what I was looking at was orange.  As I continued to veto what he showed me he really won me over by asking, “Does she ever say yes?”

Not to you jerk.

We were on the fence given the cost of renting (for this particular tux we would be looking at about $250 by the time we added a vest and shoes) and that we weren’t really finding something we loved.  The Boy ended up vetoing the entire tux when I showed him pictures from a Style Me Pretty blog of a wedding party in this tux.  Too light he said.  I agreed.  While September 10 is still very much warm weather – this dove grey is a summer colour.  We’re getting married in the fall.  We wanted a darker grey.

Back to the drawing board.

This week I heard on the radio that Moores was having a sale.  So I checked out their site and not only was it a sale – it was BOGO – for suits! The Boy and I went in on Thursday night to see what we could find.  We found 3 different options for him and learned that EVERYTHING was BOGO in the store, so all of the groomsmen could get a suit for half price. Only hiccup – the sale ended on Sunday.

The Boy made several calls and sent many text messages but we were able to get all of the groomsmen measurements, 2 of them in person and another was able to meet us virtually at Moores in London BOGO shopping with the Boy’s dad. After much debate back and forth our wonderful sales person Liz (she was awesome if you’re in need of a suit in York Region – she’s worth the drive to Newmarket) was able to pull a suit for all of the groomsmen and a different one for the Boy.  She then pulled shirts and gave us a wonderful tip – since I’m not wearing true white the boys should not wear white shirts since my dress will look dirty when standing beside them.  Brilliant.  I never would have thought of that.

"Umm... you two aren't standing right beside each other during the ceremony are you?" ~ our sales associate Liz

At the end of an hour all 5 boys plus the Boy’s dad had suits and shirts for w-day. For the groomsmen they ended up with a $525 suit and $80 shirt for $342.  SCORE!  $90 more and they get to keep it.

The best part?  The 8 different items I got to check off the website checklists.  Grooms and groomsmen attire – researched, decision, purchased and ordered.  Check Check Check and Check!

These boys are SUITING UP! I couldn’t be happier with the result.

Did somebody say 4 months to go?

I know I’ve said this before – but honestly I feel pretty okay with wedding plans until I get to these countdown/update posts.  And then, my panic attack kicks in.

Nonetheless, here it is for better or worse:

  • I’ve finished our wed-site
  • We learned some ultimate party survival strategies at our Engagement Party
  • Sista and I went dress shopping and made a decision about b-maid dresses (first official outing – one dress) all the girls have yet to try them on, so I’ll post about that at the end of the month
  • After looking in bridal stores casually – my Mom waltzed into a Non-Mother-of-the-Bride store and bought the first dress she tried on.  She’s going to look STUNNING!
  • We asked all of our readers to participate and they all graciously agreed – now to choose some readings for them.
  • We’re in the middle of a tux vs. suit debate for the boys… details to follow once a decision is made.
  • We made a decision to go Pro-cake. Still haven’t emailed our baker about a flavour.
  • We taste tested a local restaurant as a contender for our rehearsal Dinner.
  • I got my ears pierced – so I can look like a grown-up on W-day
  • I’ve been gifted my W-day earrings – but still yet to see them
  • I made a decision on W-day shoes, they’re not orange, but they’re pretty!
  • After much debate I made a decision about changing my name
  • I booked a make-up artist for the day, but am still not convinced I made the right choice.
  • I celebrated the last birthday of my roaring twenties, and the last as a single lady.

On the To-Do List:

  • I REALLY need to order invitations
  • A friend of my mom’s has offered to do our centrepieces for us – it is going to involve a trip to a wholesale warehouse and an overwhelming feeling of information overload I’m sure.
  • These boys need to get together and make a decision about what to wear – but it largely depends on what a suit will cost for the Boy (an example of when being a giant is not so handy)
  • We have an Engagement Photo session coming up in early June – they’re going to be awesome and I’m so excited to tell you all about it.
  • Choose readings and songs for the Ceremony and Reception
  • Meet with our Priest to see how far we can push Catholic traditions – I just read the overview on our church’s website and I’m having a small anxiety attack.
  • Thinking about thinking about gifts for our w-party
  • Choose a date for our rehearsal, and a location for a rehearsal dinner.
  • Go b-maid dress shopping and make the order
  • Celebrate the Boy’s big 3-0 and his last birthday as a single gent.

 

Photo from here

To Cake or Not to Cake

The Boy and I have gone back and forth about cake.

Pro – who doesn’t like cake?

Con – people at weddings – there always seems to be so much left over (I rarely eat cake at weddings – too busy dancing)

Pro – It’s a wedding, there is cake at weddings, therefore we should have cake at our wedding.

Con – Seems like a ridiculous amount of money for flour, sugar, eggs and butter.

Pro – our caterer isn’t charging for cake cutting or plating – dramatically decreasing the overall cost of tradition.

Basically we ended up with more pros than cons, so we went ahead and asked for quotes… and a tasting.

Pro – Cake is delicious and we are REALLY happy with what we’ve picked.

Pro #2 – I remembered that I’m a blogger and this time I took pictures.

We asked for quotes from 3 bakers that were either recommended or we had already personally enjoyed one of their creations.  I heard back from 2 of them.  I told them all the same thing, when we are getting married, and that my big fear is that it will go to waste so we wanted to know if having a small decorated cake and a sheet cake that can easily be transported is the better way to go. I also let them know that we wanted something really simple and I hate fondantButtercream only please.

The first of the two that I heard from – not going to lie, gave me a bit of email attitude.  I didn’t like that. I had forgotten to say our date, so she asked when we were booking for because “I’ve been 80% booked for 2011 since January.”  She also said she prefers fondant – “but there is buttercream underneath” because it looks neater and cleaner and therefore better. I got back to her with a polite(ish) response stating September 10th is our date, and that if she was that booked I presumed she was likely booked for that date.  I heard back “You’re in luck I have one more space available.” Convenient.  While she may have been completely honest with her schedule it came across as email pressure. I don’t like that.  She also wouldn’t give me a firm quote. Only a range – $3.50 – $5.75 per piece.  That’s a pretty big difference.

The second that got back to me was Amy of A Cake Occasion.  Amy’s cakes I had enjoyed before – delicious. I asked if we could have a tasting.  Amy said we could try three flavours, for a small fee (should we book with her the fee would be deducted from our final cost). I sent the flavour list to the Boy and asked him to pick his favourites… he didn’t.  He got overwhelmed by the options.   I asked the Boy about carrot cake – since orange is one of our colours.  He vetoed.  Apparently he still has vivid memories of a slight overindulgence of birthday cake several years ago.

Anyway, he finally made a choice.  Chocolate with chocolate buttercream filling.

I agreed that we would try the chocolate/chocolate.  But I was thinking that our dessert is already molten chocolate lava cake and that’s just too much chocolate.  I picked the other two flavours.  Vanilla cake with strawberries and white buttercream, and Vanilla with Lemon.

We arrived at Amy’s house – just down the street from us in Newmarket and were greeted by three mini cakes.

We had small tastes of all three – and happily took the rest home to extend the deliciousness.

We tried lemon first. Delicious.

Then strawberry – good but since it’s not strawberry season it was a little lacking in strawberryness. But September will be fall strawberry season – generally very sweet and delicious.

Then chocolate.  Oh, the chocolate.  This chocolate cake is quite possible the darkest, richest, fudgiest chocolate cake in the history of the world.

We had a winner.

Next we had to pick a second choice – because let’s be honest that IS a lot of chocolate.  I couldn’t do it.  We’re leaning toward lemon – but every time I look at that flavour list – I get tempted by another flavour.  Vanilla/Vanilla anyone? Or Chocolate and Peanut Butter? Oh wait, we’ve already got a chocolate. Maybe Vanilla and raspberry?

The Boy says I need to make the choice…. it’s killing me.  Luckily Amy says if I want to try others I can and we don’t need to actually tell her what we want until a month before. Awesome.

We talked design with Amy, and decided on something that is clean, simple and she’s going to bring boxes to pack up whatever doesn’t get enjoyed so we can snack on it the next day.

We are super happy with our decision to go with Amy.  She’s young, just starting out exclusively on her own, and a local business.  We like supporting the locals.  We like it even more when the product is DELICIOUS!

Cake – done.

If you need a CAKE for any OCCASION – call Amy! Did I mention it was delicious?

TA-DA! WED-site!

It’s here! I still have a couple small things to add to it – but it’s mostly done.

It’s our WED-site!  If you like the name – I made it up.  If you think it’s goofy – I had nothing to do with it, it seems to be some kind of industry standard.

I went back and forth about having a wed-site, I obviously decide for it.

5 Reasons why I decided to do a wed-site:

  1. There’s so much information that our guests need to know – from directions and accommodations to registry information websites just make sense
  2. Gives us a way to introduce our wedding party before the wedding
  3. Let’s everyone start getting as excited as we are while they learn some fun facts and stories they may not have known prior to the big day
  4. Not everyone knows about my blog – they will once they read the wed-site (that’s right shameless promotion was definitely a factor)
  5. We’re saving paper.

Now that last one might seem a little odd but it’s true.   Nearlyweds.com  (one of MANY wed-site template options out there) has a handy feature that is well worth the service fee – online RSVP.  We are foregoing the traditional pocket invitation complete with 15 million pieces of paper, and cutting our stationary bill to a fraction of the cost.  Our guests will be receiving one piece of beautiful paper in a lovely envelope with the basic information.  They’ll be directed to our website for maps (still to be added), accommodation information and to RSVP.  Brilliant.  No getting lost in the mail.  Simple, easy and the complete list can then be exported to Excel.

LOVES IT!

As for a short review of nearlyweds.com – I love it.  There are so many more templates than other sites, definitely something for everyone.  It’s easy to navigate, SUPER easy to add content.  Absolutely no html knowledge necessary – though you can upload your own CSS file if you want to. It’s so easy even the Boy could do it – he didn’t, but he could have if he wanted to.  Mostly, I chose it for the RSVP feature although there are other sites that have that as well.  So the feature that tipped the scales? The page designs.  So many pretty ones it was definitely hard to choose.

The extra treat for you today? The Boy’s anonymity ends.  But don’t worry – I still refuse to use his name here –  it’s just funnier that way. 

W-Party – don’t fret, I took your last names off to protect the innocent!

You can find our wed-site here

Did you (or would you) build a wedding website?