Thursday, May 17, 2012

Our Wedding: Dress Shopping

First, let me preface by saying that Im a bad blogger and have zero photographic evidence of my dress shopping experience. I know! You'd think I'd have learned by now. But alas, I have not and silly internet not-quite-right photos will have to do.

If you will remember, I showed you this dress in my original teaser post awhile back:

I love the flowy, empire waist but not the sweetheart neckline or the odd straps. This dress was close, but not quite right.  Besides those particular items, I knew I wanted white and the dress had to come with some form of strap, though I couldn't decide which I preferred most. Jason doesn't much care what I chose for my dress, he just didn't want it to be strapless.

So while my mom was in town for her only visit before the wedding, we scheduled a day to go out dress shopping. I was to find my wedding dress and she, her MOTB dress. We had Owen with us and I had to pick James up at lunch time from school, so we were on a tight schedule. The day however didn't feel rushed at all. We headed straight to the mall to first grab a coffee and breakfast and then hit the dollar store to load up on toys to keep Owen busy while we shopped. Can't recommend this enough for anyone who finds themselves shopping with a preschooler!

The next step was actually a store within the mall itself. I know it's a little odd to pick a wedding dress out at the mall, but that's just how I roll. Or something.

I had found my bridesmaid's dresses here for 85% off and had browsed the wedding gowns a few times so I knew what I was in for. Immediately I picked up a flowy, empire waisted gown in what I thought was my size. Before heading to the dressing room with it, I agreed with my mom that I should at least bring one other dress in with me. So I grabbed another in a similar size that I really couldn't even tell you about.

I tried on the non-memorable one first because I knew I wouldn't like it as much. Even when I came out and showed my mom it was obvious that it just wasn't for me. So back in I went to try on the one I had originally intended to try.

It was a little like the dresses below in that it had a sweetheart neckline (not something I wanted), empire waist, flowy soft material, and a single flower strap. The bust of the first picture is very similar as well.  

                              Source                                                                                                                                                       Source

As soon as I saw it on I knew it was the dress.

Now Im not the type to worry too much about what I wear. Im equally comfortable in public wearing sweats as I am in a summer dress or business slacks. Im also a bigger girl who accepts her body and figure for what they are. I dress to flatter but don't worry too much about 'hiding.'

All of this to say that I knew I wasn't going to be too picky when it came to dress shopping. I knew I didn't want to spend very much (Im talking under $400) either. So to find a dress that I absolutely loved, not only at the first store but as the first dress I picked up with a price tag under budget? I was pretty excited. Because I bought it in a regular store I was also able to take it home right away, adding it to the ever growing closet of wedding clothing.

My mom unfortunately wasn't as lucky in finding her dress and will have to  find something when she comes in for the wedding. Here's to her having as much luck as I did!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Our Wedding: Real or Fake?

Sometimes I feel like I can't write fast enough when it comes to wedding posts. In my daily life wedding planning only accounts for such a small portion, yet I find myself thinking about it so much. Blogging kinda lets me get it out a little without driving Jason insane or doing projects too early.

Today, for some unknown reason, Im thinking about flowers. Or more specifically, our lack of flowers. We have a limited budget, and flowers just seem really ridiculous to me. Why would I pay so much for something that Ill be stuck with at the end of the night and that will die before we're back from our honeymoon? I don't enjoy them all that much (unless they're lovingly presented as a gift) and then there's the allergies to think of.

All in all, we've decided flowers are just not worth it for us. Instead, we're going with candles, vases, fake petals, and the like for our centrepieces. My ladies will be sporting fake bouquets I scored on sale at Michaels and the men will most likely skip the bouts. I don't love the look of any particular flower enough to try to make them or buy real ones.

The one area Ill actually include flowers will be for my bouquet. Im a little torn though in that Id love to be able to keep my flowers and dried ones just aren't pretty. Unfortunately, I can't really think of a way around it.

My bouquet situation is a little unique in that I will be creating it as I walk down the aisle. The children in the wedding party (my four boys as well as my two nieces) and my three nephews will line up along the aisle, right before I come down, each with a flower. As I pass, Ill collect each of them and then tie them into a bouquet when I get to the platform at the front. My MOH will have ribbon tucked into her bouquet to help with the tying, so Im hoping it'll all work.

At this point, I don't really know what kind of flowers Ill use or if Ill go with all one kind or mix it up. The flowers themselves will have to be hearty enough to last the handling from young children and also pretty enough to stand alone in a bouquet without any added greenery or other extras. Real flowers being handed to me by children just seems so innocent and precious that I don't want to ruin that with fake flowers. Is that weird?

What would you use? Should I go with fake flowers anyway or stick with the real ones?

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Our Wedding: My Shower

I've got a couple minutes before I have to pick up Micah from a birthday party so I thought Id share a few teasers from my shower. All pictures are by my friend Sherrie.

My gorgeous cherry blossom cake! It was lemon and vanilla and disappeared within a couple days. Mmmm!

Maid of Honor M, myself and Bridesmaid P

Me with friends from church

My mom and I

My great-aunt (pseudo-grandma) and I

And MOH M and I at the end of the night. She organized the whole thing and I was beyond happy with how it all turned out.

Tomorrow is mothers day so Im anticipating a large portion of 'me-time' in which to write in more detail (and drink a margarita or two)!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Our Wedding: Themes

Whatta ya say to a few pictures of a little wedding item we received this week?

Jason is exceedingly happy to have these babies in his possession:

Superman Cufflinks

And though I doubt it's still necessary, Im going to come out and actually tell you the themes for the wedding. Im not exactly jumping up and down about it, but Im happy all the same. It's awesome to see your groom excited about many of the little details that brides are known to go crazy for.
So without further ado, we'll be having a SUPERHERO themed wedding! Yes, you read that right.

Jason and his groomsmen have all been assigned a superhero from DC comics and will be dressing accordingly. They'll still each be wearing a tux but underneath they'll be sporting a tshirt a la their superhero logo. We're also getting each of them matching DC shoes/rings/shot glasses in their assigned character. Instead of a bride and groom signature drink, we'll have drinks named after each of the heros to accompany a fantastic, surprise, late night snack.

On top of all of that, we're incorporating a lot of the culture from our province, Newfoundland. I don't think I've ever come out and said that's where I actually live, but there ya have it. Im not originally from here but Jason is and we have a number of guests coming from away. As an island that sits quite a distance from the rest of the country, there are a lot of unique traditions and cultures that have survived here. We want our guests to have the full Newfoundland experience, so we're incorporating it wherever we can, without going overboard (the superheros do that all on their own).

Ill save the specifics of the Newfoundland traditions and touches for another post though. In the mean time, have you ever attended a themed wedding? Would you consider it for yourself or are you more of the traditional type?

Monday, May 7, 2012


The past month has seen a number of exciting gifts around here. Not the least of these were all the wonderful items I received for my bridal shower on Friday, but that's a post for another day.

After picking up a few gifts for three of my brothers' kids birthdays, one of the kids was invited to a classmate's party. So I had a little wrapping night: 

Noah and I share April as our birthday month so my parents suprised me with these flowers/chocolates/balloon when I came home from running errands one day. It was left by a delivery guy, as my parents live thousands of kilometers away from me; so thoughtful of them.

But this post is about a different gift. One that I had asked for one day while browsing some flyers that had shown up in my mailbox. All I had said to Jason was "I really like this, can you make it?"

And he totally did! It's a new kitchen table and Im so happy with it!

First Owen helped Daddy clean and move the old table:

Then they got to work putting the legs on, this time with Jamie's help too:

And voila, my pretty new kitchen table!

Of course Owen had to try it out right away.

This gift wasn't intended as my birthday gift, but given our recent luck concerning vehicle repairs ($2000+) and our upcoming wedding, I think this counts :)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Gardening in Hopes of Spring

About a month ago I was anxious for spring to show up in our cold, wintery climate and decided to get a start on our garden. Last year, I waited way too long and paid the price with an unproductive garden.

We don't necessarily plant food for any reason other than the experience. I want my guys to enjoy the satisfaction of sitting down to a meal that they helped create from seed. So, this year we started our seeds indoors in these large $7 tubs. This particular day we were planting cucumbers.

We added the dirt, then placed a seed or two in each pod, followed by more of the dirty stuff. We watered generously and added the lid. Within a week they looked like this:

And unfortunately, that's where they ended. We had a few really nice days and because the plants were growing out of their container, we decided to place them outside in the direct sunlight. Which would have been a great idea if we hadn't forgotten them out there for an entire night.

So we started again and now have a different container with the beginnings of watermelon and pumpkin. We'll have to replant the cucumber as no amount of TLC has been able to bring them back.

Do you plant directly in the ground or start your seeds indoors? Does your location/climate influence your decision? 

Going Professional

I mentioned yesterday that I hired a professional photographer to shoot Noah's birthday.

The reasons for this are many, but I'll focus on two.

First, there were so many moments during the party that as a host, I would have missed.

Like this one:

Or this:

 More than that though, it took the stress off of me. Hosting a party, especially for kids can be a difficult endeavour. Add in the desire to actually visit with your guests, trouble shoot AND take great pictures and you're in for it, big time!
Hiring a photographer that I trusted, allowed me to do what I needed to do without even thinking about the pictures.

She was also fantastic at just capturing the kids being together. This is James and his cousin Jaylen just playing around on the couch. I have no idea when this was or the context for it, but I would certainly have missed it had I been trying to get pictures all day.

The second reason is more specific to me. I've had many a comment lately regarding my parties and going professional with them. Last week I finally decided to take the plunge and begin an event planning business with a focus on children's events. When I was planning Noah's pizza party, I had begun thinking about this and decided that given my main reason for wanting a professional photographer, coupled with the possibility of needing good pictures in the future, I couldn't go wrong.  Thankfully I was right and some of these pictures will end up on my website in the near future.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Pizza Party: A Different Kind of Cake

It may be obvious from Noah's choice of party theme that his favorite food is Pizza! While this is absolutely true, he also loves Pizza in all other forms. So when he first asked for a Pizza Party, his only request was that he have a candy pizza as well.

Because there were a number of people invited that may not enjoy such a treat, I also decided to make cupcakes. Coupled together and our unusual cake table was born:

The cupcakes are of the homemade apple cinnamon variety with store-bought cream cheese icing. I had originally planned to put little slices of gummy pizza on top of the sticks, but I like how these turned out.
I had ordered striped paper straws from an etsy store and the owner included pdfs of a bunch of straw toppers. I chose the ones I wanted and printed them out at home. They were also really easy to put together. The paper wrappers went with the checkered tablecloths, and mostly matched the color scheme.

The candy pizza is a treat that Ive made Noah before on his birthday. This is a kid that doesn't like cake, or pie for that matter. So, we improvise. The base is a giant chocolate chip cookie spread with cream cheese icing (usually there is a layer of cherry pie filling, but I skipped it this time) and topped with candies of your choosing. We used nerds and runts.

Noah's silly face. That child never just smiles for the camera!

James enjoying his cupcake

The sign reads "Noah says....Who wants cake when you can have pizza?" I had different signs made from paper plates around the house all beginning with "Noah says..."

Have you ever created a non-cake? What was your favorite?

All pictures are by Enlightened Photography