Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Gah! Another crazy day!

There are just not enough hours in a day to get my real work done and write about weddings! LOL. Unless I want to work overtime, and that is soooo not happening today.

Unfortunately, the former of the two takes precedence, mostly because my job depends on it.


Something more interesting to blog about tomorrow, hopefully.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The great Honeymoon debate

When...where...which one...and how long? A lot more questions to answer than I thought with regards to our honeymoon. Who knew picking out a destination would be so difficult? Office Groom and I have never had this much trouble with previous trips (Mexico, Germany, Switzerland - to new a few) so why now?

Because it's a honeymoon. And like a wedding, the moment you attach a certain name to something, it feels different. Even though it's really not that much different.

So here are the issues. My holidays work a bit differently from most other companies, including Office Grooms. Instead of January to the following January, my holidays start from September. We also have a "use 'em or lose 'em" policy, so I have to put on my math hat and try to figure out how to divvy up days. On the plus side, I get an entire week off during Christmas in addition to my 3 weeks. So when we decided that we would wait to go on our honeymoon in December, we though we had it aaaallllll figured out.

Oh. Wait. Someone (me) forgot that prices are jacked up during the festive season.


Plus, a few of the adventure trips we're really interested in would require us to leave on Christmas day.

Double D'oh.

There was also the option of going to an all-inclusive during that time, but I gotta be honest about something. Two weeks on a resort is a bit much for me. While I enjoy the lazy days on the beach, I love adventure, and I know that I'd start to feel closed in if I didn't get out enough. And before you point out that countries like Mexico or Cuba have plenty of activities outside of the resort - I know. Office Groom and I have been to both places. I know it's silly but I always imagined that a honeymoon should be somewhere new and exotic. Not familiar.

So - ok. The debate is mostly coming from my end, I'll admit it. And while it's easy to point out that I know that this is just another awesome trip with OG, the "H" word haunts my mind and is affecting the way I'm thinking through this whole thing! With less than 6 months left, I feel like we need to figure this out soon, but I can't make my mind up on anything! Gah!

Monday, March 29, 2010

And More?

Yesterday the Office Groom and I went for a car ride around the city, and we saw this store sign along the way...

"And More"? Like what - animals? Aliens? What?!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Wood you marry me?

Sorry - I like puns.

But seriously. Wood rings - how uniquely cool and beautiful are these? If I wasn't so worried that these wouldn't last as long as a traditional metal ring (unless they do, in which case, I plead ignorance) or that I would break it (that, I can be sure would happen, being as clumsy as I am), I'd be all for it! Office Groom and I are urban tree huggers - meaning - while we love living in the city, we equally love and respect nature, and do what we can to live a "green" lifestyle.

These rings come from Simply Wood Rings - a eco-conscious company that uses salvaged wood and other materials to create these beautiful pieces.




Etsy seller MinterandRichterDes also carries a great selection of wood rings. This one's my fave:


I love how warm and organic all of these rings look. Waddaya think?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

DJ - Just play that song!

Yeah, that’s right. I’m quoting J.LO and I’m not ashamed!

Because as of yesterday, the Office Groom and I booked our wedding DJ!

In the early stages of planning, OG and I agreed to do our own music via itunes. Between the two of us we have a wide selection of music that could work well for dinner, and get our guests on their feet for the dancing afterwards.

However, as time passed, there were a few things that came up that made us change our mind:

1. Having a wide selection of music is one thing. Putting it together into a playlist that will flow in just the right way is an entirely different thing. Creating even ONE playlist requires a lot of time, patience, and disagreements – things that OF and I either lack or don’t need any more of in our lives presently 
2. Question – Who’s going to look after the music on the day of? We have a remote that can control our laptop, but we would still need someone to control…the control. We certainly didn’t want to do it. We didn’t want to ask our bridal party or family members to do it because they should be having a good time. Same goes for our guests. If we just let it play for the night, there was no way of knowing if we’d have enough music, or if guests would “feel free” to change it up on their own.
3. Eventually, OG’s parents offered to pay for a Dj as a gift and told us that this was one thing we shouldn’t DIY and let a pro take care of.

Done, and done.

However, going the DJ route still presented some concerns for us. We wanted to avoid cheesy games, and even worse, cheesy music. I’ve been to one too many weddings with “original” games to get the couple to kiss, the chicken dance, and swirling a napkin over my head in a lame attempt to win the centerpiece. Although all of these were fun to be a part of, it’s just not “us.”

OG went on the hunt for DJs but the first few he got in touch with were either too $$ or not very accomodating. That’s when Andrew Hussey, from After Dark Entertainment, came into our lives. Andrew, aka DJ Hussey has been in the business for over 14 years and has performed for all types of events, including many weddings at our venue. In our first e-mail convo, we knew that we were dealing with a pro. Without even asking, he provided us with a professional resume, a price quote (affordable!!), quotes from previous clients, and a link to a mix session he did for a corporate event.

The real selling factors though were that he was all for no games and he’s got a great selection of music with room for OG and I to throw in a few from our own library.


So, we went the DJ route, and we’re really happy with that decision. However, I should point out that I still think that an itunes wedding could’ve worked if we had been more dedicated to the whole idea. I’ve heard many success stories about ipod/itunes weddings and I think they can be a lot of fun and really showcase who the couple are. In our case, we’re learned that we’re somewhat lazy but nonetheless, unique :)

Now I’m going to listen to a few dance sons on-line and get some inspiration before meeting with DJ Hussey in a few weeks!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Wedding sites to pass the time

You've finished your report within the first hour at work and now you have eight more hours to kill. An extended lunch perhaps? Or maybe a smoke break...even if you don't actually smoke.

Then again - you don't have to go very far to pass the time. That's where the good ol' www comes in handy.

Here are a few wedding websites to check out - some are useful, while others are just entertaining :)

Rock n Roll Bride - 'Cause even the most conservative bride has a bit of rock n roll in them :)

The Clever Bride has a great post on how to leave your guests speechless after making your own speech.

Catie Ronquillo's photos are fun and fabulous. Consider yourself lucky if she's in your area!

Wedinator isn't for the overly sensitve types. If you can laugh at yourself and the whole wedding process, then you'll appreciate this.

Partease has a cute post on everything butterflies. Love it!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

From the Desk of... Amy

My co-worker Amy proves that planning a destination wedding can happen from the comforts of her work desk...

"Sometimes an overly organized, control freak needs a well deserved break! That was my attitude when my fiancĂ© and I set out to plan our wedding. We opted for a destination wedding right off the bat – a chance to get away with our family and closest friends and a good way to sit back, relax and let other people plan it for you. Sure there was some stress, but all in all it was by far the perfect choice for us.

The first step was choosing our destination. We decided on the Dominican Republic as it was one hot spot that we both had never been to and we had heard from several people that the beaches were to die for – and boy were they right! We figured that choosing a resort was going to be the tricky part as every travel brochure makes every resort look good and the online reviews should be taken with a pinch of salt. I didn’t have to go very far to get some ideas; it was in my very own office that two people suggested a particular resort as their friends had currently gotten married there. I told my fiancĂ© right away and to my surprise he said that his co-worker suggested the exact same place! Little did we know that the recommendations would keep flying in throughout the year ahead, as more and more people exclaimed how wonderful the resort was! It was certainly an amazing feeling knowing we had made the right decision.

So what can I say about the planning? Well, it was pretty much organized all over email. In a day’s work I would be corresponding with my wedding coordinator in the Dominican Republic, sometimes several times a day. She was so quick and thorough, answering all my never-ending questions. In the end, the wedding day was summed up on a one page questionnaire which allowed us to choose everything from the ceremony site to the dinner menu. Easy peasy! Since it was so easy, even the Groom wanted to get involved. As we all know ladies, sometimes it feels like the man’s only duty is to show up. Well, not in my case. The Groom was just as pumped about the destination wedding and just how simple it was to organize that even he had a lot of say…even though I had the final one haha!

One thing I would highly recommend is having a very good and efficient travel agent. I think our biggest stress was dealing with ours. She was always slow to respond to our emails and messages and even had the audacity to not respond to our guests’ questions. It was pretty frustrating, especially when we were only a couple weeks away from our wedding trip and we still didn’t have our tickets! It wasn’t until the week before the trip that she finally apologized and mentioned that her father was recently diagnosed with cancer and she was taking care of him. Now, I’m not a completely heartless bitch, but I really wished she had told me sooner than later or maybe passed her workload on to someone else in her office. It would have definitely alleviated some stress in our lives and probably hers.

Ahhh…the wedding trip. There was no disappointment here. The resort was spectacular and the wedding day was truly one to remember. I figure it’s a great compliment when all of our guests asked if we could all go back again in a few years to renew our vows. I sense another destination wedding to plan? Definitely!"

From the desk of Amy

Monday, March 22, 2010

A Book Lover's Haven

A couple of days ago, on the same day we met our photographer, Office Groom and I dropped by Nicholas Hoare- a bookstore and neighbourhood favourite at Front and Church Street.


And it's the latter for many reasons - not only does the store carry an impressive collection of books but the interior design makes all the big name bookstores look like storage facilities. Books are treated as unique individuals; one copy for every title is prominently displayed on shelves. Gorgeous wood material is used from top to bottom, front to back, and the comfy couches set in front of a classic fireplace invite any customer to sit back and relax.


We had been debating for some time where to do indoor shots (for variety and just in case of bad weather). The moment we stepped into the store we knew that we wanted to take some of our wedding photos in there. It's minutes away from our reception venue and so perfectly suited for our book themed wedding!

In typical Office Bride-Let's-make-this-happen fashion, I immediately asked to speak to the manager, a friendly and approachable woman whose name I can't for the life of me remember right now! She loved the idea of us taking wedding photos there and was honoured that we had chosen the store as a location. We booked the day and worked out the logistics right then and there. And the best part - since we're taking photos during store hours, it's free for us to use!

If you're stumped for locations for your own wedding photos, don't rule out local businesses or places that you and your significant other have special memories. A coffee shop, a pet store, the ideas are endless! It will make your photos more personal and can also tie in any themes you might have. You'll be surprised at how accommodating most businesses are - after all, you're also doing them a favour by creating some buzz. Just don't forget that they are still running a business so you need to respect the space and their rules.

We left the store feeling really good about having one more thing confirmed! If you happen to be in the neighbourhood, I highly suggest stopping by and checking out the store! They also hold special events that might be of interest.

Happy reading!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Photographer in the flash...err...flesh

So last night, Office Groom and I met our wedding photographer for the first time in person!!! After months of messages back and forth via Facebook (oh, how technology has changed the way we communicate), we finally found an opportunity to meet up.

The oh-so-talented Shannon Lepere resides in Thunderbay, Ontario. We found out about her through a mutual friend who used her for a corporate photo shoot and has also partied with her on several occassions :) OG and I wanted to be sure that not only would our photographer be amazing at their craft, but also fun to be around with. After all, it's one of the few people you will hire for your wedding who will be there for most of the day, and often at the most intimate moments.

When we saw her photos online for the first time all those months ago, we immediately knew she was the one we wanted to work with. We had met up with a few local photographers beforehand but most of their work looked the same and just didn't feel like us. We decided that bringing Shannon down for the weekend was definitely worth it!

We love her unique style and sense of "fun" in every photo. Shannon has an amazing eye for detail and use of light, and whatever magic she does in post is exactly what we want for our pics! And meeting her in person last night just confirmed it even further for us that she's going to be fun to work with. She's small in size but her personality's big and full of friendliness and good humour. We talked a bit about the wedding - there are still six months to go, so plenty of time to work out details. But we spent most of the conversation talking about her new hobby: Roller Derby.

Come on, how cool is that?!

So needless to say, our first meeting went really well, and we are really looking forward to being her models in September :)

You can check out her work at either her official website or on Flickr.

Oh! And the reason she was in town was to be with her boyfriend, Jean Paul De Roover, who is doing a music tour around Canada. You can also check out his music video, for which Shannon did the stop motion animation.

Again - too cool.

Photos from Shannon's website and Flickr site.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

A nice break...

Just got back from lunch with the Office Groom. The weather is really nice again (then again, anything above freezing point in March is considered "nice" in Canada ) but I've been in a bit of a rutty mood all morning. Not feeling particularly productive and creative - two qualities needed to get my work done. So I thought a lunch outside of the office was in order and with whom better to spend it than my better half? It's so great that his office is just a 15 min walk away. I'm so happy that OG is working dowtown now for this very reason!

We had some wings at Watermark; a nicely decorated Irish pub with a great view of the lake. We chatted about work, wedding stuff, and random stuff. We also talked about meeting our photographer for the first time tonight! I'm going to keep the details on the down low until I can write up a post all about her, but she's a friend of a friend, and her work is amazing! She resides in Thunderbay, Ontario, so the trek down to Toronto isn't a quick or frequent one she makes. She's here for a day or two because her boyfriend's band is playing here, and we're going to check out the show. We're really looking forward to meeting her in person finally, and we're crossing our fingers that the vibe between us is good.

The break away from the office was exactly what I needed, and as soon I got back, I e-mailed OG and thanked him for a great lunch :)

Now I have to actually get some work done!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Dude - I'm getting MARRIED!

Here's another post just for the guys!

If your man is feeling a bit envious of all the great advice and ideas you're getting from Wedding Bee, than maybe it's time you share this with him!

Dude I'm Getting Married, is a social networking wedding website just for grooms. The site has all the tools needed in order for your man to successfully fulfill his role in the wedding planning process.

'Cause, let's be honest ladies - most of our guys have no idea how they fit in all this, except for showing up to the ceremony and saying "yes."

And who knows - maybe your guy will make a few new bro friends online :)

The Perfect Guy Shirt for Vegas

When "The Hangover" first came out, bride-to-be's everywhere laughed through clenched teeth. I thought the movie was hilarious (anything with Zach Galifianakis has my stamp of approval) but it didn't stop me from wondering what OG's weekend in Vegas will be like. However, I'm not one to talk, as I'm heading to Miami with the ladies in just a few weeks! Woooooo!!! So it evens out :)

OG and his guys are still in the planning process but I know he's really excited to get away with his boys, and I'm excited for him! And when I stumbled upon this site, I knew I had to get him this "Hangover" inspired shirt before they go. This is the perfect shirt for any guy heading down for some mischief in Sin City:


You can pick this baby up at Nerdy Shirts. Somehow, imagining OG in this t-shirt makes me a feel a lot better about his Vegas weekend, lol.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


One of the perks of being an Office Bride is that I sit in front of a computer all day, which gives me easy access to all the wonderful wedding sites and blogs out there, and I can correspond with vendors easily through e-mail.

The only problem is - because I sit in front of a computer all day, I am somewhat obsessed with checking my e-mail account every hour to see if I have received new messages. And when there aren't any, I "grrrr" and shake my fist in the air (in my head of course. I think I'd get weird looks from my co-workers otherwise).

So what's a cyber web obsessed woman planning her wedding to do?

Pick up a phone or speak in person. Oh...right.

I often forget that back in the day we used to communicate in ways that didn't require a keyboard. And more often than not these methods were and still are much more effective. E-mail tends to do a few unwanted things: the tone of the message can me misinterpreted (which is why I am a big fan of "!" to be sure the recipient knows my e-mail if lighthearted), it gets lost in junkmail (or that's what we tell ourselves when we don't get a reply), and although it gets sent out immediately doesn't mean it will be read immediately.

So here are a few things to I need to do the ol' fashion way. I've got to ring up a potential florist who promised me to give me a quote last week - and that's after promising me to get it to me the week before. Office Groom and I need to meet up with our photographer in a couple of days just to actually meet because all of our correspondance have been through Facebook of all things. And I need to speak with my contact at ABC Canada to be sure that we are all good to go with the donation and guest gifts, and to be sure that my contact still works for them!

I just hope I still know how to use a phone...

Monday, March 15, 2010

Good way to start the week!

I've been featured on another blog! Miss Ashley (who's actually a Mrs) from HI-FI Weddings loved my workout music playlist post, and wanted to share it with her readers! If you haven't checked out her blog yet, you should! Especially if you're really into music and putting together your own playlists. I've gotten some great song ideas from her site, and I'll definitely be incorporating them into our big day, and for just about any other occassion when I can turn up the beats and have a good time.

Great way to start this drab Monday morning! Thanks Hi-Fi!

Photo from HI-FI Weddings.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Post Wedding Getaway

I know what you're thinking. Don't you mean "Honeymoon"?

Nope. It is what is. A post wedding getaway for a couple of days to chill out and have some one-on-one time after a crazy day (and weeks leading up to the wedding). Office Groom and I have decided that the actual honeymoon won't happen for a few months, mainly because of how my work holidays work. On the plus side it also gives us something else to look forward to.

However, the thought of just going back home after the wedding didn't sit well with us either. So we quickly decided that a few days away right outside of the city was just the ticket. And once we decided that, where we were going was a no brainer - Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Office Groom and I enjoy a glass (or two, or three...) of wine on our downtime, and we've been to the Niagara wine region several times to visit different wineries. We've always had a great time and it's a quick getaway that still feels like we're far enough away from home.

Photos from our first visit to the wine region together.
Wine & cheese? Yes please!

On our first trip down years ago, we stayed at this amazing B&B and have only been to that once since then - when you find a good B&B, you don't go anywhere else! It's so great in fact that we've kept it a secret from everyone, and yes, sadly that means you too :)

But that's not going to stop me from describing it lol. The B&B is surrounded by 20 foot spruce trees encompassing a half acre of beautifully landscaped garden. "Our room" is on its own private floor and has a charming bedroom with a king size bed, a separate living room with a view overlooking the spruce trees, and two washrooms, one of which has a claw foot tub! The service is spectacular and it's nearby all of our favourite wineries. Oh - and the bonus: the B&B also provides free bikes. There are one too manys stories of OG and I riding our bikes half in the bag....sigh...good memories :)

Another added plus is that we will be heading down during the middle of the Niagara Wine Festival! The Festival takes place from September 17-26 and has over 100 events including winery tours and tastings, concerts, Niagara cuisine, artisan shows, wine seminars, & live entertainment.

We actually booked it all this morning so that's one big thing to cross off our to-do-list. And now we have something else to look forward to... :)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Inspired during my lunch break...

Another warm day in Toronto, and I couldn't NOT be outside at some point in the day! Just before lunch there was an office baby shower, and after refusing a slice of oh-so-tempting banana chocolate cake, I was feeling pretty empowered and thought a walk outside for lunch was in order.

Since Office Groom started his new job, his office is just a 15 minute stroll from mine, so I thought I would pay him a surprise visit. I grabbed some street meat (that's Toronto talk for a hot dog from a street vendor) along the way and made my way down to the lake. Yup, his office overlooks Lake Ontario, lucky bum. Unfortunately as I was heading down, I realized I didn't have my phone (so I couldn't call him in advance) and when I did get there, I learned that he wasn't even in the office. Geez.

Yup, so it's suffice to say that I'm not very good with surprises :) However, the walk wasn't a complete waste. First off, it's beautiful outside, and that's enough of a reason for me to be out and about. Secondly, I happen to have my camera on me, so I took a quick snapshot of the waterfront:

Although this photo doesn't do our lakeside any justice, it suddenly occured to me that this was where I wanted our wedding photography to take place. Office Groom had been real gung-ho about the Distillery District for the last few months. Although it's a beautiful area, we both checked it out last weekend and we realized it just wasn't us.

Doing it by the lake was another idea we both had, and after my walk today, I was certain this was where we should do it. I retutned to the office feeling energized and proactive, so I did a quick websearch to find out about permits for wedding photography. Guess what? No permits are required at Harbourfront as long as it's outside! Zing!

I just had a quick call with OG and he's all for it! Double Zing!

If you happen to be in the Toronto area, and are intersted in locations that don't require permits, here's are a few suggestions:

Cherry Beach, Toronto
Features: Situated on Lake Ontario (East end of Toronto), featuring Sandy beach, wooded areas and a boardwalk.
Location: at the south end of Cherry St.

Humber Bridge, Etobicoke
Features: Situated on Lake Ontario (West end of Toronto), featuring sandy beach, parkland & trees, and walkways
Location: Lakeshore Rd. and South Kingsway

Front Street/Esplanade area, Toronto
Features: Nice architecture, shops and outdoor cafes, greenspace with flowers and water fountain.
Location: Front St. & Market St.

Harbourfront, Toronto
Features: Toronto’s newest waterfront park.
Location: South side of Queen’s Quay Blvd. West (between Spadina Avenue and Bathurst Street)
Phone: 416.392.1111

Alsol most outdoor public area in Toronto do not require a permit, but it's always safe to check beforehand. If you're not from the Toronto area, check out your municipal website for information on permits.

More details to come as we confirm locations!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

More than one job?

I love my job. I get to be creative all day long, I work set hours, the office is downtown, and I make decent wage.

However, when the reality of paying for a wedding, and everything else that will eventually (I hope) come after that (buying a house, having a family, etc), all I see are dollar signs and I start to panic.

Even with Office Groom's share of the income, it makes me worried that we can't afford the things we want and the lifestyle we like to live once we start paying off for bigger stuff. We're not extravagant spenders by any means, but we like living in the city, having a cat, going out for dinners, and discovering some part of the world, near or far, at least once a year.

So what's a girl to do? Get a second job? Not a completely crazy idea. After all, at some point in my life I was working three jobs to pay my way through school, so it's nothing new to me. However, that was years ago, and I've gotten pretty comfortable with my weekly routine: Going to the gym in the morning, working from 9-5, coming home to chill out and play some Wii, and then have a few too many glasses of wine on the weekend.

Regardless, it's something I'm seriously considering. If I can find something that's casual, part-time, and easy, I might take it. I definitely don't want to do anything that's just going to stress me out more - I have enough of that in my life lol.

Anyone else have a second job? And how do you find balance?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Opt for a 'Stache

I woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. I didn't sleep very well (my cat running around in the middle of the night may have had something to do with that), and the moment I got up, I knew I was grumpy.

I took a nice long shower and used some Bath & Body shower gel, hoping it would relax me. No dice. I decided to pretty up and pair up the outfit with some power heels, but again no dice. By the time I was out the door and on my way to work, I still couldn't shake off the grrrs and umphs.

When I got to my desk, I did my best to stay quiet and hoped that I could get through the morning without biting someone's head off. Unfortunately, I had a meeting at 11 that couldn't be avoided, so I put on my best pleasant face and sat quietly through the hour. Not easy, but at least everyone kept their heads.

Then I returned to my desk and found an e-mail from my co-worker and I finally cracked a genuine smile.


Created by Humunga, it's a toy for your dog, and endless laughs for you! And if you're one of those cool offbeat brides who are planning to incorporate moustaches into your wedding, hopefully you'll have a dog available who can partake in the fun.

Regardless, wedding or no wedding, this is still pretty damn funny, and just the remedy I needed!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Quality time with MOH

If your weather was anything like Toronto's this passed weekend, chances are you were out taking in the sun and enjoying the early Spring weather. We Canadians covet a nice warm day anytime we can get it :)

With Office Groom busy with a convention all of Sunday, I thought it'd be a great chance to get together with my MOH and spend the day out. Since she's got wheels, I suggested that we head out of the city for a mini break-away, and she was all for that idea.

We ended up in Unionville, Ontario. If you've never been and you're in the area, you should definitely pay a visit. It has a small town appeal with loads of charm. There are some great little shops and restaurants along the main street - just perfect for the kind of quick get away we were looking for!

In the first boutique we dropped in, I found a great pair of black cowboy boots for $20! Hellz yeah! After a swipe of a my debit card, and a new pair of shoes in my possesssion, we continued along the main street. When we caught site of a couple of bridal boutiques, we knew we had to go in! MOH hadn't picked out her dress yet although she had a few ideas after looking through the Dessy website. As I've mentioned in a previous post, I've decided that girls would be S.B.D. - Same But Different. I picked out the line (Dessy), the colour (Midnight Blue) and the fabric (Matte Satin) and the rest is up to them!

The first shop was a total flop. I won't mention the name because despite the constant "Fails" I saw on the clothing rack, the women were really friendly. However, I can't understand how so many hideous dresses could all be in one location.

The second shop was different though. At first it didn't appear to be a bridal store, but in the back of the room the walls were taken over by formal gowns. AND - Dessy gowns on top of that! By chance, a few of the dresses that MOH was interested in were there, so I hurried her over to a dressing room to try them on! I was surprised at how much fun it was to sit back and have someone else model dresses :) She tried them all on, some were better than others, and when she came out of the dressing room in this one, we both knew she found the winner:


Absolutely stunning, isn't it? And to think that we just happened to walk into the store, not knowing that we would find her MOH dress! Although she didn't buy it then and there (it wasn't the right size or colour) she at least knows that this is the one for her, and I couldn't be more happy about that! It's gotten me really excited about the other girls now!

And this morning, an e-mail from her at work confirmed it even further for me:

"PS: I can’t stop thinking about the dress. It makes me feel like a movie star! I don’t know that anyone on earth has ever said that about a bridesmaid dress before…LOL"

One dress done. Four more to go!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Cheers Boys!!

Another set of gifts taken care of yesterday! Some plans fell through for me yesterday after work and I had some time to kill before meeting up with some friends later in the evening, so Office Groom met up with me for some early dinner. After our yummy Movenpick sandwiches, I still had an hour left, so we thought a visit to the brewery, which is only a hop & skip away from our offices, would be a nice time killer.

Renovations inside the brewery are looking really good and a lot has been done since we last visited only a month ago. They are building an entire floor above the retail store, which will be used as a lounge (and lucky for me, it will also be used as the bridal party powder room for our wedding!). But we were there for one (ok two) things. Beer steins for the groomsmen and a free sample glass to down while we waited :)

Source can almost taste and smell the yummy beer, can't you?

We thought the steins would be a nice memory keepsake for our big day, and it's definitely something that all of our beer guzzlin' groomsmen can use long after the wedding. The glass will also serve as the "gift box" as we will be stuffing some other fun and fab items inside.

More to come as we keep on shoppin'!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Stain Glass Goodness

One more gift purchased this week! For Office Groom's mum!

Knowing how much she loves stain glass windows, Office Groom and I had a look through Etsy (that's right ladies, my man is an Etsy shopper!) looking for unique stain glass gift ideas. Overwhelmed by the 567 pages to go through, we realized that we needed to narrow down the choices.

At first we thought a small art piece that she could hang on the wall was the way to go, but that seemed like the obvious choice. Plus she already has quite a few pieces hanging up at their house. We wanted something that was different and unexpected but still fell under the same theme.

So we started perusing different jewellry pieces that had stain glass pieces and we struck gold! This appeared on the first page of our search and we knew it was the one!

The artist, Anne-Marie, owns an Etsy shop named Color Shoppe Studio. According to her page, she's a member of the Stained Glass Art Association, and Self Representing Artist, so you are guaranteed that all her pieces are handcrafted by her in her studio.

There were so many other pieces we loved like the stained glass leaf and "Solitude" (OG actually wants that one for himself!), but we decided on this one because of the colour combination and the way the glass seems to reflect different shades in the light.

We're very excited to receive the necklace in the mail and even more excited to give it to his mum at the rehearsal dinner!

Now on to my mum's gift. Ugh! Pressure!!!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The "Budge" in "Budget"

If yours is anything like ours, it's not budging anywhere anytime soon.

I had a few hours to kill this morning while I was offsite from the office, and luckily I brought my lap top with me. Two hours later, I found myself with two lists - the LISTS OF ALL LISTS.

One of them is a complete breakdown of our budget. The estimated cost. Deposits. Actual Cost. Once I had all the numbers infront of me I was a bit in shock.

"It's costing THAT much?" I thought to myself, panic stricken.

The estimated total was a bit daunting, but it wasn’t factoring in what our parents have and will contribute. It’s just to give us an idea of what this whole thing could cost. But, nonetheless, it’ll give us a good idea of what we’ve spent so far, and what we should aim to spend. The latter part being the most important of all.

What do we dish out the cash for? And what do cross off the list and save for a rainy day (or maybe for our 10th year Anniversary?!). It's a tough call when you want everything, isn't it? We get it in our heads that without every single detail, somehow the day just won't be at it's full potential. Or that people will notice something's missing.

While I'm not quite ready to give up and face the fact that we may not get everything we wanted, I am sure of two things, and laying out the budget confirmed it for me - As long as we have enough to spend on good food and good music, then at least we're guaranteed a good time. Those are two items that would definitely go noticed if missing! If we can't afford the extra candles, washroom baskets, and Out Of Town Guest Giftbags, than at least we'll know that all of our guests were well fed and boogin' on the dance floor :)

If you are currently looking for a budget template, you don't have to look much further than Google. Google Docs, that is. Everything from budgets, schedules, to do lists - they're all there, and free to download and use.

There are also some great inexpensive wedding planning books that help with budgets. Within the first week of our engagement, my MOH bought me "Wedding Planning on a Budget." It had a As Seen on Oprah sticker on it, so she knew it had to be good, lol.

I ended up making one of my own (I'm not the Office Bride) for nothing, mostly because there are unique items to purchase (mainly books, and book related things). However, I'd be happy to share with anyone, if it will help you create a budget of your own. Whatever you use, I strongly suggest that you get one sooner than later, as to avoid surprises or disappointments later.

And who knows? Maybe we'll be able to afford custom made stamps and a projection screen. Just maybe!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A music playlist that'll get you pumped

A while back I did my annual check up only to discover that I was officially over weight. Needless to say, the news bummed me out and I promptly went to the hive to pour my heart out to the ladies. Afterwards, I made the decision to make better health choices - regular physical exercise and good eating habits.

Since then I've been going to the gym 4-5 times a week (with the Office Groom - best motivation I could ask for!) and opting for walnuts and soda water over chocolate bars and beer. While I still indulge from time to time, I don't binge. And you know wat? I feel great! My biggest challenge was on Sunday when I was at a pub with my friends watching the Canada vs USA Hockey game (YAAAAY Canucks!!!!) and I didn't have a single pint of beer. And trust me - that's big for a beer guzzlin' Canadian chick such as myself :)

I also found that setting goals has helped. Obviously the wedding is a huge incentive to get fit but that's just one day of lookin' good. I've decided to set myself some physical challenges as well. This coming April I will be participating in my first CN Tower climb. That's 1776 steps to the top! And I'd like to accomplish a 5k run this summer too. And way beyond the wedding day, I hope I will continue to set myself new goals and challenges!

But enough jib jabbin' about all this! You're reading this to get a kick ass music playlist for your workout! I usually start out with 45 minutes of cardio; 30 min on the treadmill and 15 min on the eliptical. Since I go in the morning, I need an extra boost of energy, which I get from music. It gets me pumped and motivated and helps "kill time" (instead of constantly looking at the timer and thinking "Oh God, 10 more minutes...uuuugggghhhh").

Here's the playlist that'll get you pumped! And if you've noticed, it's in alphabetical order because the itouch automatically lists it that way when a playlist is created. It just so happens to work perfectly!

"Acceptable In The 80's" - Calvin Harris
"Are You Gonna Go My Way" - Lenny Kravitz
"Baby Got Back" - Sir Mix A Lot
"Bad Boy For Life" - P. Diddy & The Bad Boy Family
"Bang" - Rye Rye ft. MIA
"Block Rockin' Beats" - Chemical Brothers
"Business Time" - Flight of the Conchords
"Canned Heat" - Jamiroquai
"D.A.N.C.E." - Justice
"Funky Cold Medina" - Waxing Off
"G-Stro" - Busta Rhymes
"Gettin' Jiggy Wit It" - Will Smith
"Give It to Me Baby" - Rick James

Put on your headphones and get ready to move your bootay! And have an awesome workout!

Photo from Fitness Health Zone

Monday, March 1, 2010

Micro Managing (a wedding, that is)

When the wedding planning began, one (unsurprising) quality about myself became very apparent: I like to plan.

Parties. Dinners. Shows. Outtings. I like to plan 'em all whether it's for myself or someone else.

However, with a love for planning comes one slight drawback - I like to control.


I can't help it. I get this idea in my head and I am determined to get it done myself. Not that I don't trust the opinion or talents of others - far from it! But I like the doing part of it. I consider myself a jack of all trades (master of none) and I love the satisfaction of completing a task.

The thing is, when the Office Groom and I decided that we wouldn't be having a small wedding, I knew that doing everything on my own would be impossible. Once that realization sunk in, we worked out a To Do list to divvy up the tasks. And - so far so good! We have rarely stepped on each other's toes but have always made sure to keep the other one in the loop. This, however, doesn't mean that I won't have a post in the future about all the silly squabbles we've had over the last year and a half of planning :)

The real challenge for me was how to let someone other than myself or OG do something for us. Working with professionals is one thing, but having a friend or family take on something is something else.

And after a few admitted slips on my part, I drew these conclusions:

- Ask them to do something they're good at. Your friends and family or more likly to get the job done and do it well if they themselves enjoy the task and have knack for it. If your MOH has never stepped foot into a kitchen, you probably don't want to ask her to make 150 cupcakes for your guests.

- Don't micro manage. If you truly can not let a friend or family member do the job without micro managing then either get a pro do it, do it yourself. Remember - they are doing YOU the favour, so ease up! Checking in every so often is fine. Breathing down their neck as they make your bouquet, is not.

- Be realistic with your requests. If it's a big job, get more than one person to help out. Folding 200 origami Swans needs many skilled hands.

- Know your place in the wedding planning. The day itself is all yours to plan. However, Bachlorette parties, Jack and Jill's, wedding showers, are not. While you can certainly hint that you would like or not like any one of these (or all) and provide a guest list, the actual planning is not up to you. It should be the honour of your Maid of Honour to plan this for you with the help of others. As is the case for the Best Man - he is what he is because he's the best man for the job :)

- When all else fails, remember that you have a whole slew of other brides to vent with at the hive!