Friday, April 30, 2010

Petal To The Metal!

Today marks the first official day that the Office Groom and I will start meeting with florist vendors. We've borrowed a car from Office Groom's parents and we're going to drive to different locations over the weekend, in search of the perfect Office Couple florist.

Do I like flowers? Yes.

Do I know anything about them. Ummm, no.

But I do know what "pretty" is, and I'm hoping that'll be enough to go on. Like most other brides, I've perused magazines and websites for some inspiration photos.

For my bouquet, I wanted something soft and romantic. I thought a scatter of light pink blossoms would feminize our overall colour scheme (navy and forest green) and would tie in perfectly with my blush pink heels.

For my lovely ladies, I've decided to go a bit untraditional. In lieu of a bouquet, they will each carry a clutch with a bonbonniere pinned to it. That way, they still have a flower but they can carry their lady secrets too, lol. I've just secured another Etsy desginer to create the clutches, so more details to come on that! The Groomsmen will have matching flowers pinned on their jackets.

I'm still debating on what we should do in the church. St.Patrick's is HUGE, and chances are we're not going to fill more than the first few rows! Luckily, the church was renovated just over a year ago and is absolutely beautiful on its own. So we'll probably just decorate the first few pews with something like this:

As for the guest tables at the reception venue, we've decide that using books would be the best way to carry out our theme. We might have a few rose stems lying on the top book, but we haven't confirmed anything yet.

What sort of inspiration did you find for your flowers?

Thursday, April 29, 2010

A Room Fit For A King...with a King sized bed :)

A few days ago, the Office Groom and I decided on our wedding night hotel! Although we live in the city, we wanted to treat ourselves to a night of luxury and feel like we were "getting away." God knows we'll need it after a full day of perma smiles, happy crying, and uber socializing.

We took the last few weeks to check out some hotels in the downtown core. We wanted to keep it close to the venue and also take advantage of the hotels for which I get discounts through work - one of the many proofs that I am indeed an Office Bride :)

Our first stop was the SoHo Metropolitan Hotel. This modern style hotel is in the core of all the action - theatre, restaurants, and sports. The service we got at the front desk was amazing, and they were more than happy to show us a room for which my discount applied. The room itself was gorgeous and had a great layout - a large washroom with heated floors, a huge closet (perfect to store my equally huge dress), and a nice big bed draped with clean and modern linens.

But then there was the view. When you think "south view" in Toronto, "lake" might come to mind. But because of the floor we were on, it was more like "building" and "parking lot." Yup, despite how great the room was, the view was nothing but concrete. And for two nature loving urbanites like us, that really wasn't what we wanted to wake up to on our first morning as a married couple.


We also checked the chic boutique hotel, Hotel le Germain. This 4 star hotel is absolutely gorgeous inside. But this kinda fancy came with an equally fancy price tag and when we found out how much a basic room was (even with my discount) our jaws almost dropped to the floor. Ever have one of those moments when you find out how much something is, and you pretend like it's totally cool and you let the seller know that you'll "get back to them"? Uh-yeah, we had one of those moments. Luckily, we later realized that le Germain wasn't even an option for us because they don't accept discounts during TIFF season, which is when our wedding is happening. So (pompous mouth noise) yeah, like, whatever. Too bad for them.


This of course brings me to our last and final destination! Great location, awesome service, beautiful classic interior with amazing architecture, an amazing room with an even more amazing view of the real "south" end of the city, at a very affordable price (with a free upgrade 'cause we're newly weds, woot woot) - we decided on One King West.


Honestly, my office is so close to this hotel and I've walked passed it a dozen times over but never really noticed it until now! But what a great find! Once the home of the Dominion Bank head office, this impressive structure now houses 200 units and a six-storey atrium enclosing 42 private suites.

We chose a Premium Suite way up high, which faces the south end, giving us a spectacular view of the city and the lake. The decor is clean and modern, and the King Sized bed is fit for a King...and Queen :)


There are some amazing photo opp's if we get a chance to do some in the hotel. Built directly undnerneath the building is the original bank vault. The vault features an incredible 4-foot thick steel door that weighs 40 tonnes, yet can nonetheless be moved with a single finger.


How cool is that?

So, that's one more thing crossed off our to-do list!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Gah! Another crazy day...again!

Can't blog.

Must work.

Although, this hectic day will be rewarded after 5 PM with an outting with my last Bridesmaid to pick out a dress!


Hopefully I'll have pics of the final results tomorrow :)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Great Deals Across The Border

On Sunday it was cold and rainy in Toronto - a perfect excuse to get away and do some shopping south of the border! With an early start to the day, I carpooled with my brothers' ladies (one is married, the other is dating). While we've heard about the great shopping in Buffalo, we decided to keep it close and check out Fashion Outlets in Niagara Falls, USA.

It was pure awesomeness!

The mall offers over 150 of the best designers including Anne Klein, Burberry, Coach, and Banana Republic, and the prices are up to 75% off the suggested retail prices. When you arrive, the first place to visit is the Customer Service Center. There you can purchase a Green Savings Card for $5, which can be used at most stores for different discounts. Luckily (and unbeknownst to us), we got a free card because my SIL is a CAA member (also works if you're with AAA).

Some stores had better deals than others, but it really depends on what you're looking for. I found the best clothing deals were at Banana Republic. I bought a navy silk top for $12 and pair of sandals for $10. Not too shabby.

The ladies also found some great finds at Calvin Klein - great fit jeans for only $29 and a full pant suit for just over $100.

The big surprise for me was the little gem of a dress I found at Bebe. I've only stepped into a Bebe store a handful of times, and without fail have always walked out empty handed and feeling like a heffer. However, whether it's been my recent efforts at the gym or a different sizing sytem in the USA (I'd like to believe it's the former), I actually fit into the clothes! And in a size medium on top of that.

Round of applause, please.

I ended up picking up this gorgeous silk-satin combo dress for only $39!!!

I'm not entirely sure where and when I'll find a reason to wear it, but when I showed it off to the Office Groom he suggested I wear it on our Jamaican Honeymoon. This is one of the many reasons I love this man - he gives me an excuse for my shopping habits :)

We spent over 6 hours in the mall and by the end of it we were pretty shopped-out and hungry. It was a great day for shopping and to spend some extra bonding time with my ladies :)

Friday, April 23, 2010

I feel like a "tulle" - Can't decide!

So the options for the Flower Girl dresses are down to two! (I know the white out faces look kinda creepy, but I'm not keen on the idea of putting my nieces faces online, ya know?)

In one corner of the ring we have *ding ding ding* The Ballerina! Pink tulle draped over white with light yellow and pink flower details on the top.

In the other corner we have *ding ding ding* The Classic! White organza over white with soft green flowers embroidered throughout.

Both look absolutely adorable, but are very different looks!

I think I'm leaning more towards The Ballerina. The girls look like they're having fun in the dresses...and come on. Tulle. Enough said.

But I do like the simplicity of The Classic. But are we really going for "simple"?

Regardless, we'll have to make up our minds in 8 days because that's when my brother and sister-in-law have to return one of the dresses, lol. Feedback is always appreciated!

PS - And Office Groom, if you're reading this...That's NOT my wedding dress, MWAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Ever heard of Groupon?

Just discovered it myself today through a co-worker. Groupon features a daily deal on local restaurants, shows, and general shopping. The company runs out of Chicago, and they cover quite a few major cities in the USA and Canada.

Every day is a new daily deal, and you only have within the 24 hours to buy it. First, purchase the deal through the site and then they will send you an e-mail with a printable coupon which can be used within the specified time frame.

Today's Toronto deal was a mani and pedi at Buff Nail Lounge that can be used within a year. I've been there before and the lounge takes the typical salon atmosphere to whole new level of chic. Normally a mani/pedi costs $50, but today you can get a coupon for $25! Not to shabby! Looks like all the ladies in my department bought one and we're going to figure out a day to go as a group. Fun times!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Flower Girl Dresses: Too cute for words

But I'll try anyway :)

My brother and sister-in-law went to Vaughn Mills Mall last weekend and picked up a few dresses for potential Flower Girl outfits. If you're in the area you should definitely check out the deals at VM. Everything from clothing, electronics, and hunting gear - you'll find it there, and usually at really affordable prices.

This is also the best time of year to get Flower Girl dresses because little girl dresses go on sale after Easter. If you want to save money but not forfeit quality, you don't need to go to a bridal specific store to find the perfect dress. As we all know well by now, as soon as the word wedding or bridal is attached to something, prices skyrocket. I would also suggest avoiding those upscale Children stores that sell dresses meant for special occassions like Communion or Confirmation. Again, these are stores that cater to those kind of events, so their prices tend to be higher.

My bro and SIL ended up finding these pretty little gems at Winner's! Fortunately, they had the time and patience to look through the racks to find not only pretty dresses, but matching ones in the right sizes. And the prices can not be beat!




The only requests we had was that the dresses have either pink, green, blue, white or all of the colours and that it was something the girls could wear again. They ended up picking up Option 1 and 3 just in case, and tonight, the Office Groom and I are going over to their place so that my nieces can do a fashion show for us :) Too cute!

If you're interested to find out the name brands of any of these dresses, I can find out for ya!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Handbag Bouquets

Unique. Innovative. And beautiful. Me likey!

A gorgeous Peonie Handbag from Etsy Seller, The Other Sister

Japanese Innovation from HK Wedding

A Rose Bouquet Handbag perfect for you or your bridesmaids

All photos from their respective sites.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Shoe Giveaway!

Fellow blogger, A Chocolate Lover's Confessions is having a shoe giveaway! Two lucky readers will each receive a pair of Delicate Soles - comfort and style rolled up into a very cute pair of slipper shoes! There are several ways to enter, and it all starts by checking out the blog!

Thought I'd pass on the message to you all! Good luck!

From the Desk of... Julie

I.T. by day. Icing by night. Meet Julie, one of my co-workers who's a whiz with both computers and cake flour. Julie has quite a reputation at work for her delicious (and beautifully decorated) baked goods, and it's always a good day when she brings in samples for everyone in the office to taste test. And without fail, every sample I've ever had is absolutely delicious - which is why I asked her to do our wedding cupcakes! I love that she has a good balance between work and play, and I asked her a bit more about it...

How did you get involved in making cakes?
I started taking classes at Michael’s craft store.

Who are your culinary idols?
I was able to meet and take a class from Bronwen Webber which was amazing! Lorraine McKay does wonderful figures and I am looking forward to taking a class in July. She is coming all the way from Scotland! I am also addicted to Bakerella.


How do you juggle between your day job and your passion?
I really enjoy my full time job in IT - now I have a day timer that allows me to schedule my time. It's all about organization but I could not do it without my Mom. She does all the baking. Just love her.


What is the hardest cake that you’ve made?
My first tiered cake was hard because I was so afraid it was going to fall over. Now it is like "You want 10 tiers? Bring it on!!!"


What is your favourite flavor / type of cake?
Chocolate with whipped chocolate ganache filling. There is this chocolate mud cake that is making a splash in North America coming from Australia and I cannot wait to try and make that! Maybe there might be some taste testers at work?

(Hells, yeah! Sign me up!)

For more photos of Julie's fabulous work, check out her Flickr site!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Too many choices!

Got back from lunch. And by "lunch," I mean, an appointment with our caterer to go over some details. I'm feeling a bit under the weather today, so I probably wasn't in the best mood to begin with when we met up. Office Groom's parents also joined us, since they are looking after the alcohol during reception (lucky ducks, we are). So, it was a packed house and lots of talk about everything and anything.

What kind of tablecloths did we want to use? Which colours did we want to pull from our colour scheme? Purchase our own liquor or go through the caterer? Which glass do we want to use for water? White napkins or blue napkins? Should guests enter from the main entrance or the patio? Champagne toasts? Custom cocktail to greet guests? What kind of chairs do we want? Cupcakes served to the tables or displayed on a dessert table?


Fortunately, I made it through the whole meeting without a sweat, but yeeesh, talk about too many choices! I know it's a good thing - everyone's different and has their own tastes. However, sometimes I think that having so many choices makes planning this whole thing a lot bigger than it needs to be! We get caught up in all the details, don't we? We start to stress about all the little things. Or we get stressed about that fact that we're not getting stressed (because everyone around you is getting stressed). Honestly, I don't think our guests will know the difference between "White Dove" and "Ivory Bliss" tablecloths!

(We went with White Dove, by the way)

TGIF. That's all I gotta say.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

A nice surprise! Paper craft outting next month!

Just got a call at work from my sister-in-law (married to my bro), who is also one of my BM's. She wasn't able to make the Miami trip and she wants to treat me for a night out in late May. She suggested that we take a workshop at The Paper Place (where we bought our invitation paper) to make paper pendants. What a nice surprise! And such a cool idea!


The Paper Place supplies all the material, and I have no doubt that they will have some beautiful paper to choose from. They're works of art on their own! Office Groom and I have actually purchased a large printed sheet from there before and framed it. Although *cough* we have yet to actually put the frame up on the wall of our new apartment. And by new, I mean 2 years.

Katazome Paper


If you'd like to learn more about how to make your own paper pendants, you can check out eHow's DIY instructions. And I'll definitely post pics next month when we go! That is, as long as I come out of there with something that doesn't look like paper throw up, lol.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Now I can moonwalk all night long...

...Because yesterday I found the perfect pair of dancing shoes! For those new to the blog, you should know that I LOVE shoes. Heels, platforms, sneakers, sandals - you name, I love it. When I purchased my lovely blush pink heels back in September I was filled with giddiness. And when I found these bedazzled pair of Converse shoes at Winner's yesterday, that same wonderful feeling returned.

Here's the best part - they were $20! Woot Woot!

There's a backstory to all this too. I use to attend weddings all prettied up from head to toe, but by the end of the night when I was gettin' jiggy with it on the dance floor, my poor feeties would be killing me. It eventually dawned on me that I should just bring an extra pair of (more comfortable) shoes to change into. Enter my black converse shoes. I'd bring them with me to every wedding, and change into them when the dancing began. I got a lot of thumbs up and other girls telling me that they wish they had done the same.

So when it came to our wedding, it only made sense that I should carry on the tradition. Of course, with a bedazzled version :)

Are you changing into a different pair of shoes later in the day?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

How I survived my Bachlorette

I'm back and all in one piece :) We returned from Miami yesterday afternoon, and when I got home I was giddy and exhausted all at the same time. It was a jam packed weekend full of beach time, booze, dancing, and very late nights (or early mornings, whichever way you see it). Miami is definitely the place to go for a bachlorette getaway, and I'm glad I survived it, lol. While the weekend was pure awesomeness, there were a few things I learned about myself and about bachlorette parties. And I'd like to share them with you because I think it speaks true for all bride-to-be's out there...

1. Have fun but be smart. I'll admit it - there wasn't a day without vodka, wine, or rum. The girls and I took full advantage of the liquor store to stock up our fridge, the free drinks at clubs, and the general large amounts of alcohol poured into every drink we consumed. However, while alcohol was present throughout the weekend, I made sure that I never crossed that bridge of getting beligerent, blacking out, or getting sick. I know that this is a personal choice and every person has their own tolerance for alcohol. But I think you can have just as much fun without getting to the point of no return.

2. Ignore Anti-Marriage comments. I can't tell you how many random guys told me over the weekend that I was making a big mistake, or tried to sway me into the dark side. It's not that I didn't get "Congratulations" from strangers. But I went to a lot of clubs, and let's face it, dancing is not always the main priority for club goers. I know that all these guys were just trying to be funny, but even a confident Bride-To-Be like myself got tired of the "Are you sure" and "Why get married" comments I got from guys. By the end of the weekend, I felt like yelling "I'm getting married because I found someone to love, therefore I won't be lonely like you!" But I didn't. Instead, I chose to keep my head up high with confidence, smile, and dance with my girls.

3. Watch your cash flow. It can be all too easy to pull out the plastic at the bar when you're having a good time. If possible bring enough cash with you for the night. I budgeted $500 US and managed to come back with $37 (which I passed on to Office Groom to add to his Vegas trip). It helped that we did a lot of pre-drinking at the hotel. Miami is great, but damn expensive, as are most touristy places, if that's where you and your ladies end up. However, on the plus side, when we were at The Mansion, they dropped dollar bills from the ceiling! Hence the picture above. I made $14 that night, lol.

4. Take some time to relax. Don’t feel like you have to go full speed all weekend long because this is your last trip as a “single gal.” You’ll tire yourself out, which isn’t fun for you or your friends. Just remind yourself – there will be many more adventures to come after the wedding, with your friends, your new hubby, and on your own, so no need to rush!

I'm so happy that I had the chance to get away with my girls. It was a great bonding experience and we'll have a lot of stories to share for years! Now I just have to prepare myself for the local bachlorette that my MOH is planning in August. Yes, that's right. A second one! Hopefully my liver will be back in shape by then :)

Photos from my Miami trip!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Miami + Rain = ....

One more (half) sleep until the girls and I are off to Miami! "Half" because we're up at 4 am tomorrow morning to catch our 6 am plane. Wooooooo....zzzzzzzz... I can't believe we're finally going though! it feel slike I was just posting that we bought tickets yesterday! The moment we get to our hotel we're changing into our bikinis and walking down to the beach!

At least, that was the plan until we saw the weather forcast for the weekend:


Scattered showers everyday?! Booooo!

However, I'm all for positive thinking. Hopefully (1) The forecast will be wrong or (2) It rain for all of 10 minutes and then the sun will shine for the rest of the day.

We've all agreed that as long as there isn't any lightning and it's nice and warm, we'll just run around the beach in our swimwear and go swimming :) We're also fervently researching indoor activities that we can do just in case 10 minutes of rain turns out to be half a day of torrential downpour.

Here's what we've discovered:
- We are a 5 min walk away from the World Erotic Art Museum. If that doesn't scream "Bachlorette outting" I don't know what does!

- We are also a 5 minute walk from Miami Ink, aka Love Hate Tattoo Studio. A glimpse of Ami is all I need - moreso just to find out how tall/short he is in real life, lol! And who knows, maybe one of us will come out of there with some new body art :)

- Bars close at 4 AM. Dear God, we're not going to have any sleep this weekend! So it doesn't matter if it rains - chances are we'll be sleeping through it during the day anyway!

- Spa day. Rain or shine, I'm always up for some pampering!

Regardless of the weather, I'm sure the girls and I are going to have an awesome weekend! Now if only this day would go by any faster...

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Is it possible?

Have the Office Groom and I finally decided on the official Honeymoon destination?!

Here's a recap:

We wanted to go away for 2 weeks, but we would have to do it during the Christmas holidays (3 months after the wedding). We also couldn't decided on where, and what type of honeymoon to have. An adventure trip to Peru or Egypt with Intrepid Travel? A week in an all-inclusive in Varadero followed by an adventure trip to Havana? Or maybe just a week in beautiful Jamaica with either Sandals or Couples with a possibility of a second week?

After, months of going back and forth with ideas, we finally made a decision over some sushi dinner last night.


It will be somewhere new for the both us (Yay).
OG can get his diving in and I can go on adventure day trips (Nice).
It's relatively inexpensive, so we're hoping we can stay an extra week (Awesome).
Plus, we're going to put a deposit down for Peru, and go later in 2011 (Wooooo!).

So we're both getting what we want!!

I think making the decision when we were both relaxed (and greedily munching away on yummy tempura) helped a lot. And you know what? Making the decision was a lot easier than going back and forth with ideas. 'Cause now we can get excited about the planning! The best part in my opinion :) And after the honeymoon is all said and done, I look forward to many, many more trips and adventures with my new husband :)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Dear Etsy Seller

I have been a big fan of the site for the last year, and have never had any problems... until now. You led me to believe that we were both on the same page with the bridesmaids clutches. We corresponded over several messages and I really believed that I had hit the jackpot finding you.

And then you disappeared. *Poof* Just like that. You closed your store and left a message saying you would be back in a few weeks. That was months ago.

And then I started to notice the negative feedback you were getting from other buyers. Some were saying that it took months to get their items, or that they never received them at all. Some said that you had one excuse after the other. Interesting.

I'm really sorry that it didn't work out. But I'm even more sorry that I wasted so much time with you, thinking that I had found the perfect gift for my girls. Thanks for nothing, literally.

Simply put - you suck.


The Office Bride

Monday, April 5, 2010

Religion & Young Adults

Two things that don't seem to mesh very well together these days. When I think of all of my skeptic and/or agnostic friends, it makes me realize that there's a huge lack of faith in religion among young people. And for good reasons, when you think of all the crazy messed up things that happen behind closed doors, the constant wars between groups of different faiths, and the extremists who either knock at your door every other day or preach (a.k.a. yell) on street corners.

I know that my opening paragraph might lose some readers for me, but there's a twist to all this.

While I can understand why people would either lose faith or not have any to begin with when it comes to religion - I still consider myself a spiritual person with religious beliefs.

I grew up Roman Catholic, attending church every Sunday with my mom when I was kid. In high school, I got away with joining the choir in an attempt to entertain myself (and the congregation) instead of possibly falling asleep in a pew. In university, life got hectic with work and school, and I attended church less frequently, and even less frequent once I joined the "real world." But nonetheless, I continued to pray (when I felt like it, not out of obligation) and attended mass for special occassion like Christmas and Easter.

However, despite all the years of practicing the same faith, I find that it's difficult to be honest about it or even talk about it openly, being a young adult living in a modern society. Skeptics seem to have no trouble sharing their opinions, usually because they back up their arguments with logic. But faith isn't about logic, or at least it isn't for me. It is what it is, and it's in the very core of who I am. So how do I reason with skeptics that my beliefs are based on just that - simply believing.

I bring this all up because Office Groom and I went to church yesterday for Easter - the same church where we will be getting married. We've heard a few jokes about getting married in a church, and while we've always laughed it off, a part of me can't help but feel like I should stand up for our decision. I don't ever want to make any conversation awkward, but I need to find a balance between being a modern woman and a spiritual person.

The one idea that comes to mind is to simply not say anything at all, when people are making jokes. I'm not one for preaching, it's just not my style, but at the very least I would know that I wasn't part of a conversation that contridicts my beliefs. And maybe those around me would start to notice and stop poking fun.

At least, that's my hope.

Photo from Source

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Wedding Talk Jitters

It doesn't make much sense.

I'm an outgoing person with a big social network full of awesome people. I love to laugh and make people laugh - hence why I do comedy on the side, making an ass of myself on stage for the benefit of the audience. I absolutely love the process of planning the wedding - I wouldn't be writing a blog about it if I wasn't. And I take a lot of pride in all the personal details which Office Groom and I have added to make the wedding truly "ours."

However, if someone catches me off guard and asks me about the wedding - I get tongue tied. My palms get sweaty. Total panic in a matter of seconds.



It happened yesterday, and this isn't the first time. I was having dinner with OG and my closest girlfriends when the topic of our wedding flowers came up. First off, I should state that while I love flowers, I don't know very much about them. So when they started asking me questions about what kind of blooms I wanted and in what arrangement, words seemed to escape me. I managed to put together a few cohesive sentences, but I could tell that they could tell that I really didn't want to talk about it.

When I got home, I pointed this out to OG, who had noticed it too. And I went on to ramble through my thoughts, trying to figure out why I get the jitters every time someone asks me about the wedding.

This is what I think may be the reasons...

While I’m very comfortable in front of large groups of people, it’s usually because I’m onstage being someone else, or it’s just a gathering that doesn’t have me as the center of attention. The wedding will be first time all eyes are on me - as me, and it freaks me out! Plus, the event couldn't be a better representation of who OG and I are, and it's weird to open up so honestly about myself in front of so many people all at once.

And then there's the judging. On the outside I may appear confident, but I crumble into pieces easily when people criticize. And when it comes to weddings, everyone, I mean everyone , always has an opinion on something. I've shared this feeling with OG and friends, and they all say the same thing. "This is your wedding! Who cares what other people think?" And the reasonable part of me totally gets it, but at the end of the day I still care a little bit about what others will say.

I've promised myself, and OG that I would do my best to talk more confidently about the weding when people ask about it and muster up the courage to not shy away and avoid the topic. And if anyone else reading this has felt similar about their wedding, please share! It'd be great to know I'm not alone!