Thursday, May 28, 2009

various plans

So today I sent the first draft of the guest list off to our respective mothers. I am HOPING it goes over without any upsets or quarrels. I wouldn’t normally expect quarrels, but weddings tend to bring out strange emotions. That said, both of our mothers have been really great with letting us have our space and do what we want. I know my own mum is being purposefully silent about guests, and I find myself having to encourage her to say more! We are trying to keep numbers relatively low, and I think are looking at between 100-125 people (I really don’t want to go over 125). It may be less, as some of our guests live across North America and some are quite old, but I don’t know.
Now that I have a venue picked I am starting to think about decorations. Fortunately the park is so beautiful and woodsy that it doesn’t need much help, but I want to do something so I’m mulling over ideas to create a little piece of fairyland in the woods. Something with windchimes and gauzy fabrics... I’m hoping my Auntie Debbie can help with forming my ideas into a reality—she’s very creative and a whiz with fabrics. I haven’t asked yet, tho’—the date is far off and mum and I are still going over ideas. Whatever it is, I want it to be something that can be put up quickly and not take away from the natural beauty of the trees and river.
David nixed my cupcake-instead-of-cake idea, so I think my brother will be sad. The man wants a giant cake, and since he doesn’t ask for much I’m hardly going to complain! So I’m looking for cake options in Port—I have a couple already—and hopefully when I’m back in September I’ll be able to go looking and tasting. We won’t be going for anything super fancy, of course, but it will still be nice to have a giant iced cake. No sheet cake!
I’m really looking forward to being back home in September. I emailed the store that sells my dress, and the owner said it would definitely be available to order in September. So I’m going to make a trip down to Victoria to order it, so that she can measure me, and I’m going to bring my veil(!!!) so that I can a) see how it looks with the dress and b) see how long the friggin’ thing actually is. I’m also hoping to get my headpiece then—she had a lovely rhinestoney one that I tried on and the price wasn’t bad. Plus it is something I would wear again...
We also finalized colours the other day, a lot of which is thanks to the very helpful woman at the bridal salon I’m going with. She suggested going with a darker blue for the bridesmaids than the blue David will be wearing, so after much thought and opinion asking, plus a visualization thanks to David’s Bridal, we’re going with navy for the bridal party. Everything else is going to be lighter and brighter, because I don’t want sombre colours at my wedding, but I don’t mind the dark dresses as long as there are things around to lighten them up! Plus I think everyone will have an easier time finding a dress they like in this colour. And mum likes the idea because the navy dresses will match my dark sapphire ring.
With dresses, colours, flowers, and venue picked, I think the next thing to start doing is worrying about the food. Although it’s a potluck, we still wanted to provide a base (both to cover our asses in case people don’t participate, and to be hospitable. Also because the whole Ukrainian thing means we want people eating twice their weight in food). So that is something I need to go over with mum. It is tradition in my family, at least to some extent, that the women and their mothers do the cooking for their wedding. I’m actually excited to see what all mum and I come up with, as we are both amazing cooks, but we’re trying to keep it easy to manage and easy to make ahead. So it should be an adventure! Mum’s also looking into hiring caterers or serving staff to dish it out on the day.
Lots of plans and it is quite exciting, at least for me!

Monday, May 18, 2009

dress shopping trip

I’m sitting on the ferry on the way back from a very wonderful and relaxing vacation in BC. I’m looking forward to life becoming a little more relaxing again—I know that there will be stress, as that is part of life, but I think that the pressure and stress from this last year will slowly disappear. I don’t remember being this stressed all the time in Edmonton, which I think is because I could take breaks there without worrying that I had work to do. But, we’ll see.

One important part of the trip was organizing wedding stuff, of course. I already wrote a little on here about the fun day I had going around Port Alberni to find a reception venue and talk to the church. Two days later my mum and I headed down to Victoria to go wedding dress shopping. It was a really great trip, and actually one of my favourite things that I did on vacation.

My mum is essentially adored/idolized by many of the girls/women who know her, so I always have people telling me nice things about one on one time with her. I mention this because mum and I figured on our trip that this was the first time just the two of us have really spent any time together! There is always someone else around, usually John, Dad, or David. So first of all it was really nice to just have that time away to talk about both life and the wedding.

Our first stop was at Michael’s in Nanaimo, in order to get ideas for the wedding flowers. We made up some very bare mock-ups, and those coupled with some pictures and the aid of Sue will hopefully make something beautiful. We then went to Victoria where we picked up David’s mum and showed up half an hour late for a dress appointment (I forgot the time and then we were late on top of that!).

That was my favourite appointment. It was one on one and the lady was incredibly helpful with telling me what kind of dresses would work best with my body type, although of course she let me try on what I wanted, but she was seriously perfect. So I tried on six dresses, and then put my favourite back on while we talked over details like headpieces, bridesmaid options, colours, and alterations. Mum and Jen really liked her as well and we were all quite impressed.

The three of us left all liking the same dress a lot, but we decided to go to two more salons on Friday just to make sure. So Friday morning we met my cousin Tara and went to a fancy salon downtown, where the service was not nearly as good and the dresses were more expensive and nothing quite hit the mark. It was becoming quickly obvious to me that I had found The Dress the day before, and although I liked a couple of the dresses it wasn’t the same. But the store did have dresses in my size, so it was good to see what they’d look like when they fit properly.

Both of the salons I went to allowed me to take pictures, and after comparing those and how I felt in the dresses I’d made my decision by the time I got back to the car. I drove with Tara, and mum and Jen drove in mum’s car and they picked the same dress as well. They are both quite impressed that the dress comes with both a purse and a shawl in the price, and kept commenting on it (I find this hilarious—it is such a motherish thing to be impressed with).

So, The Dress. Neither of the places I went to had any of the dresses I’d picked. The dress I’m getting combines elements of them, but it does not really look like either of my favourites. I stepped away from chiffon, which felt too much like curtains, and am going with taffeta and lace. Strangely enough, it is very similar to a dress that I had a dream about, and which I had assumed was my subconscious revealing my dream dress to me. Go subconscious! I won’t be putting pictures up of the dress, because I don’t want David accidently seeing it AND I want must people to see it new on my wedding day. So ya’ll can wait and wonder. I will say that it is corseted and I don’t have to wear anything under it—that was a big selling point with me. Here’s to being braless on my wedding day! Woohoo!!!

Styles aside, most importantly I feel like an absolute princess when I wear it. I kind of like I did when I was a little girl playing dress up and imagining I had a princess dress, and feel the same way I did watching Cinderella or Belle in the ball scenes in the Disney movies. I love it! It also is so incredibly ME, with beautiful little details and all that. Love it! So that is that. I’ll be ordering the dress when I’m home in September, and I’m really looking forward to trying it on again then (if she still has it there) and having that total LOVE moment.
Other things learned on this trip—I have very nice shoulders (according to one salewoman) and I am also the perfect height for wedding dresses (5’9”) and thus my dress won’t need alterations. Yay!

One thing I insisted on with the dresses I really liked was that I see them with a veil (thank you, Say Yes to the Dress). And this naturally led into discussions of veils and me wondering what to do. The only veil I tried on that I liked came with a $200 price tag, which is a bit excessive. The plan all along had been to fix up mum’s veil and wear that, but she is getting more and more certain that it is going to be trashy after 30 years of poor storage, so we’ve been going over options. She had made her own, but was telling me the problems with that. I guess she was complaining about veil prices to her friend, because the next thing I know her friend offered me HER veil, if I wanted it, to do what I want with (the headpiece being some giant flower thing from the 80s)...

So we took the veil home to look at it. It was perfectly pressed in a sealed box, and looking into the box I didn’t think I’d like it—it’s pretty but looked dated. But we pulled out and it turned out to be PERFECT. We can easily remove the flowered headpiece and the veil itself—love! It has the same lace idea that I wanted—just a few flowers along the edging, and to top it all of it is a cathedral length veil, meaning it is really fucking long, which is what I wanted. It also, unlike the mantillas I looked at, has the second piece to cover my face, like I wanted. So now all I need to buy is a head piece, and the place where I’m getting my dress sells those too and they are fairly reasonable.

So aside from needing to pay for all this those aspects of the wedding are pretty much settled. It’s starting to feel a lot more real now, and I’m quite excited!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

yay for Bridesmaid!--ceremony, venues, and dresses

Two posts in one day! Today was my big wedding planning day, in which I toured the town to find my outdoor venue, and set things up at the church. My cousin Tara, also one of my bridesmaids, ended up coming with me which was awesome.

I'd originally thought of doing our reception at Blair Park, because it has a covered area where we could set the food up. But we went there and decided that it was way too exposed and playgroundy feeling. It was too sculpted, I guess. Plus the playground area isn't really separated from the picnic area, which means we can't really have our reception separate from the locals, and the dike pathway is really close to the picnic area, so we'll have people walking by. I could make it work if I had to, but I don't want to!

The other place we went was Roger's Creek Park, and I fell in love with it as soon as we got out of the car! I'd never seen the group area before and I love it. It's really separated from the playground part of the park, and it's down a little hill on the sides that border the road so that we'd be really cut off from traffic. It's got big trees providing lots of shade and enough open space that we could set up croquet and bocce (and Tara says softball). Its covered area is a little more rustic (haha) than at Blair park, but it has nice ledges that we could put the food out on. The bonus for me, however, is that Roger's creek runs along one side and it's just beautiful and natural and woodsy and great!

I am going to drive out to Sproat Lake park tonight but I don't think we can have our own area there, so it probably won't work. But we'll see! It's nice to have backups in case those other parks are booked by the time we set a date.

The best part of all this is the price. The park rental fee is only $25! I will also need alternatives in case we need to move the wedding date to a non-summer month, in which case we're looking somewhere between $200-$500 and indoors and the costs of decorating on top of it. So I'm really hoping I can get time off for end of July/early August next summer! I took some pictures but they're on my brother's i-phone. I'm going to take more tonight when I go in to church so that I can post 'em online and show David and his mum.

We also stopped at the church and I got to tentatively reserve a date (YAY OMG!!!) and Tara knew all the right questions to ask so we ran through that with the office manager. Unforunately Fr Marek is away right now, but hopefully I'll be home in September and can talk to him then. We'll have a better idea of things by then.

I'm really looking forward to my trip downisland with mum at the end of this week. I did end up having to change one of the stores where I wanted to shop for a dress because the one salon wasn't answering their phone or email! So in changing stores I started looking at the designers at the new store, and I also fine-tuned and changed my dresses. I scrapped the two-tone dress idea and have been looking at ones that play with fabric a bit. It will certainly be interesting to see what I end up with!

I really like the skirt on this one.
I love the way the bodice moves into the skirt, and I do like pickup skirts. But I wonder if the slightly wrinkled look would drive me nuts.
I promise to forgive everyone who burst out laughing at this dress. I *think* I showed it to David a long time ago and he said it looked like a cake. But when I saw it yesterday I loved it--it's weird and different and I like the contrasting directions of ruffles. It's over budget and perhaps a little too fancy for a mid-morning wedding, but I really love the uniqueness off it! So we'll see what happens. In the end I'll go with what I feel comfortable in, even if it is totally bizarre.

Monday, May 11, 2009

invites and colours

Wedding plans are coming together, when I force myself to think positive and be excited about it. I've been under so much stress this year that I'm having a really hard time feeling excited about anything unknown/uncertain, and the wedding keeps being pushed off to after x, y, and z in my thoughts. But that doesn't stop me from looking for ideas.

I've had numerous offers for help with diy stuff, which I appreciate but which distance makes it hard to utilize. I've been wondering how to do our invitations. I have ideas, but as usual things that I am attracted to aesthetically don't necessarily feel like me completely, just an aspect of me. One thing that I find underutilized in the invitations I've seen is the use of paper types/digital printing. Because of my background (I guess I can call it that now) in printing, I've been exposed to a variety of paper types and ideas, and I think one thing that will make our invites stand out from the crowd is the use of printing/paper in the diy realm. I wanted to avoid the scrapbook or stamp look because it is too popular. Buying a fancy invite kit is beyond our pricerange, and I considered creating ones that really brought digital printing to the forefront but did not want to put the effort into graphic design, nor do I think that full colour invites will be that cost effective. I'd considered buying parchment cardstock and drawing on there, but parchment was really my first foray into stationary and I feel that my knowledge of paper options has grown since then.

One paper I really like is vellum. Vellum nowadays is not HIDE, but a translucent, almost plasticy feeling, thin paper. What I love about it is the way black writing seems to glow off the page on it. I'm not sure how well, if it all, it will run off inkjet, but printing black on one side at a print shop if need be won't set us back too much. The other day I was browsing in Staples for ideas, and I found something that just screams ME, at least at the moment. It was indian cotton paper with pressed flowers in it as the backing, the text part written on vellum, and the whole thing held together by a ribbon. It resembles this:

I'm think of doing some variation on this. If I can buy the papers myself it will hopefully save some money, although the indian cotton paper gets pricey. I *think* mum and I are going to stop at Michaels on our way to or from Victoria to look at wedding stuffs. We're going to see about putting together a flower mock-up.

I think we've settled on the colours for the wedding: a lightish blue (somewhere between periwinkle, serenity, and cornflower depending on how you seen colours) and yellow accents (like flowers). It should be bright and fun and summery.

That's it for now!

Monday, May 4, 2009

dress porn


Ok, so I finally had a chance to show my dresses to my mum. I'm not going to post all the ones, just our top four at the moment:

The back of this one is stunning. However, the front is really plain and that's why I'm not totally sold on it. But I always come back to this picture, so we'll see. This dress is also way over my budget, I think.

This is my "princess" dress. I really like it, even though it is satin and doesn't have the flow I mentioned. However, it's not quite "me", at least in the picture. I'm not one, usually, for stiff fabrics like that.
When I look at this one, I melt. Mum and I both had the same reaction--that this dress reminds of us Grandma. Not just that, it completely fits with my love of vintage clothes and the pre-fifties eras. And it is simple with just little touches of detail, and it flows beautifully to the ground. BUT neither of us is sure how the fitted bodice will look. If i get this I will probably need to be corseted, which is something I would probably do anyway... and I pointed out that my breasts are the perfect size to pull off the plunging neckline. So this is top pick #1.
This is top pick #2, and this one is mum's favorite. I love the off the shoulder look with bell sleeves, and the way the chiffon falls to the ground. It also has little designs all over it and some silver beading. My reservations: a) that it may be too hot for August, b) that the finishing in the close ups didn't look perfect and I'm wary that the dress may be too cheapy feeling to wear, and c) that it is too predictablely "me".

So that is that. Right now it's really close between the last two, and I think it will end up coming down to fit... or coming down to what they find for me at the salons! I may end up with something totally different. I do know that I'm excited!

Friday, May 1, 2009

random thoughts connected by wedding

I am heading home for a vacation on Saturday. I’m really looking forward to it. I know I’ve mentioned this numerous times, but!!! Having lived away from home has really made me closer to my family, more appreciative of seeing them because there is no longer that idea of them always being there. And my extended family on mum’s side is so close that I really miss being away from everyone, and see them a lot less.

David was very thoughtful and made sure that he proposed to me when we were home for Christmas so that I could share it with my family before leaving. But we only had a day or two to be excited about it, so I’m really looking forward to having a longer time to enjoy it with them. It’s also nice having a proper ring now that I can show off.

My dress shopping trip has its members adding up and it’s subsequently taking me out of my comfort zone but in a way that I’m really excited about. I’m not someone who is comfortable with people seeing me “as is”--I think one of the reasons that the internet is a chosen means of communication for me is because I can constantly edit and ’perfect’ what I’m saying. I know that on my wedding day I am going to be too full of joy in the face of the one who knows the real me (and loves her) to be anything but that person. My whole vision is just focused on making my vows to David before God.

Anyway, dress shopping. So the original plan was to go shopping with my mum, because it seemed to me like this is the sort of thing mothers and daughters should do together (and I think my mum is almost happier for me than I am). But then through various thought processes and people being around, I now have an entourage of my mum, David’s mum, and [probably] two of my bridesmaids. (Julia & Tara). Which is CRAZY, at least as far as I’m concerned, because I’m someone who does not do girly things like this at all, ever. I’m learning to change, to become a softer person, but it is still weird to me. I’m actually disappointed that Madeleine and Sarah won’t be there.

Having bridesmaids is weird. I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do with them, actually. We each live in a different city, which makes working on wedding DIY stuff hard to orchestrate. My original plan of slave-driving my MoH won’t work as well now that I’ll be living thousands of miles away from her.

Hmmm… internet research tells me that my bridesmaids are to be my MoH’s bitches. This could be fun, except I think Madeleine is too kind to exploit anyone. It also tells me that they have to help decorate. THAT is good news--they have much more flair than I do. Ah internet, where would I be without you!
One thing I’ve been mulling over in regards to the wedding ceremony is the problem of communion. We’re having a Catholic mass, of course, which means that we will have communion…which is only open to practicing Catholics. This leaves about 75% of our guests out of receiving it. I’m thinking of putting a special invitation at the front of the wedding program to invite our guests to come up and receive a blessing on our special day. I’m also hoping I can convince the priest to phrase this nicely before the ceremony… I don’t want people to feel left out, and although I realize that a blessing may not be the same for my Christian family as receiving communion would, I hoping people get behind the idea. The question really is about how I can inspire everyone to see this as a beautiful way of participating in our ceremony, instead of seeing it as something they are being left out of.
Finally, we are probably going to do silk flowers and make them ourselves. I’m going to go over ideas with Sue when I’m home, because she offered to help. These are ones I like:

I like the size of this one. I don`t want anything massive.

This one I love for the colour explosion.

It is so bright and cheerful, I love it. And it got me thinking about doing something with sunflowers.

Simple but bright.

This is maybe more traditional. It might be too large for my tastes...