Our Wedding

Hard to believe it’s already been 4 months since we said I-do. It’s so true what they say – the day goes by so quickly! It’s unreal. I tried to put to use all the words of wisdom we got leading up to the day, and I’m so thankful for those tidbits of knowledge. We had the most incredible day ever and were so happy to hear our guests say it was “the best wedding I’ve ever been to – hands down.” What a compliment!

We couldn’t have re-lived the day without our beautiful photos taken by Christine Reid. Everyone loved her. She knew how to jive with us and our guests and was such a pleasure to work with. Christine was wonderful at capturing important details, including our handmade decor, candid moments, and so much emotion and personality of all our guests.

I hope you are able to enjoy our day as much as we did, at least a little, through our photos.

I was determined to have our wedding outside as planned. I put all my thoughts, wishes and hopes out there into the universe and asked for no rain during the ceremony and photos. I said  “after 7pm the weather can do whatever it wants because we will be in the tent.” It did exactly that. At 3pm the skies cleared just in time for the pre-ceremony photos, the ceremony, and remained that way until part-way through the dinner service, at which point it poured rain on and off for the evening. We were lucky it wasn’t windy and our guests loved that it added to the atmosphere.

Tom and I poured our hearts into DIY’ing almost every detail we possibly could, not only to save on costs, but to ensure it reflected us as individuals and as a couple.  If it was wood or paper – we made it! Clearly love a good challenge.

Photo credit | Maid of Honour

We both had the most incredible day and couldn’t believe how amazingly everything worked out. The entire week called for rain on the day of, with (very) warm temperatures. We learned afterwards that there were warnings for hail and a tornado!

Photo credit | Maid of Honour

If I could relive the day (minus the planning part), I would. Over and over again.

Tent + Rentals | Encore Tents
Washroom Trailer | Harris Septic
Florals | Dahlia May Flower Farm (custom made boutonnieres + bouquet. DIY centre pieces, aisle chair decor + arbour decor)
Caterer | Farm Girl Food
Cake | Dufflet
Dress | Handmade by the Bride’s sister
Wedding Party Shoes | ALDO (Pinterest “Inspired by I Do” contest grand prize winner)
Bridesmaid dresses | Twobirds found at LoversLand bridal store in Toronto, ON
Bride’s rhinestone belt + clutch purse |
ALDO (Pinterest “Inspired by I Do” contest grand prize winner)
Music | DJ Paul Martin
Officiant | All Seasons Weddings
Coach Bus | Tripps Unlimited

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Why It’s Rude To Ask “Are You Pregnant?”

I don’t make it a habit of publicly venting about things, but this question is starting to get under my skin. I apologize if this post comes off a bit harsh and negative.

Tom and I got married (yay!) on September 10th this fall (post and photos coming soon), and from the get go there was talk about us getting pregnant. I know this is a commonly expected occurrence to take place after a couple gets married, if they’ve chosen to follow this order of events. At first it was easy to laugh off, but now it’s just annoying. From the sneaky ways of asking, assumptions, and demanding that we “get started now.”

I’ve never asked someone “are you pregnant?” And I try not to insinuate the possibility to couples. My reasoning is simple and considers the situation of others’, not just my own.

BEFORE ASKING “ARE YOU PREGNANT” CONSIDER THESE THINGS

Does the couple want to have children?

Do you know whether the couple intends on having children or whether they have changed their minds about the idea? If a couple has chosen not to have children, this could become quite annoying – to have others assume you will be having kids when you are not planning on it.

Miscarriage

How do you know that this couple hasn’t been trying, managed to succeed, only to have miscarried? This question can be quite hurtful and bring up memories of a very tough and emotional time.

Ruining the surprise

If you’re asking someone who is pregnant but still very early on in their pregnancy, you’re putting them on the spot to either lie or tell the truth. And if someone ends up telling you they are pregnant very early on, you’ve ruined the moment for when they are ready to share their big news, especially if they haven’t told their family and close friends.

Personal dietary choices

Just because someone chooses not to drink alcohol or eat a certain food, doesn’t automatically mean they’re pregnant. Myself for example, I’m not much of a drinker and so I usually will have a cranberry and soda if I’m not feeling like a Cesar. I also stay away from certain liquors and wine since I seem to have an allergic reaction to them. Combine that with asthma, and it’s no fun. I’m also not a fan of runny eggs – so no, I don’t get excited about eggs benedict. Don’t forget, some women might actually just be bloated due to something they ate.

Bodies take time to recover

If a woman has just had a baby, chances are her body is going to take a while to recover. I don’t know what grueling workout regimes and diets celebrities put their bodies through post pregnancy, but for regular folk, it can take more than a few months for a woman’s body to return to “normal.”

Unable to have children

Assuming that all women and men are capable of having children, is ignorant. Asking if someone is pregnant who cannot have children, can be very upsetting.

Not your sex life. Not your Fertility. Not your business.

I can only speak for myself on this one, but I’d rather not get into the details of my sex life with my family, friends, co-workers, no one. No one needs to know how often we’ve been having sex and what superstitious methods we might or might not be using to conceive. At the end of the day, this topic is no one else’s business other than the couple themselves, whether they are adopting, trying to conceive naturally, using a surrogate, etc.

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What To Wear To An Office Holiday Party

officeparty

 

Deciding what to wear to the office holiday party is always somewhat of a challenge. At my office, what we do each year is always different, and this is what makes it’s a bit of a chore to figure out what to wear, especially if you go straight from the office into your celebration. I also have to decide on what to wear to Tom’s company party, but they do the same thing each year, so the “dilemma” here is going with a look that’s different than the year before.

Here are a few basic rules I follow when I’m trying to figure out the perfect ensemble for a company holiday party:

Time Of Day. Weekday Or Weekend.

The time of day and whether your event takes place on a weekday or on a weekend determines a few things. If your holiday party is during the day, on a weekday or weekend,  you are probably safe in wearing what you would regularly wear to the office, but this is also dependent on the venue and any activities planned.

If your party is in the evening, during a weekday, then you will most likely need to already be dressed for it when leave for the office in the morning, or bring a change of clothes and shoes. If your event is on a weekend, then you’re lucky to have the day to prep and get ready without the extra hassle of packing a change of clothes.

Do: Up The Wow Factor
Don’t be afraid to wear a skirt, pants, blouse or dress with a metallic finish or some sparkle.
Venue

You never want to be over or under dressed for the venue where your celebration is being held. Wearing jeans where they are not permitted or getting decked out for a pub dinner,  might leave you feeling a bit out of place.

Don’t: Bare It All
Avoid wearing a mini skirt and plunging neckline together. Do one or the other.

Will There Be Any Planned Activities?

If it’s a night of dancing, you want to be sure you are wearing items that are comfortable to move in. That doesn’t mean lose baggy clothes and ballerina flats, but opt for clothing items with some stretch and softness and invest in a pair of gel shoe pads that cushion your heels, toes and balls of your feet.

Do: Have Fun With Your Accessories
If you want to have fun and go bold with your accessories, choose one statement piece paired with simpler items.

 

Top Photo | ELLE

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How To Survive A Blended Family

modern-family

 

My parents divorced several years ago when my siblings and I were all in our adult years. My father recently remarried and there began our blended family. His new wife has children who range in ages from 7yrs to early 20’s, while my siblings and I range from age 28 to 34 – it’s quite the spread!

The adjustment hasn’t been difficult for me, personally. Having been an adult when my parents divorced and when my father remarried, made it a little easier to adjust. After all, I no longer lived at home, and had a life of my own. While we all got along and seemed to settle into this new dynamic, a smooth transition isn’t usually the case for all blended families. There are many factors, people, relationships, and bonds to take into account when attempting to meld both families, whether you are the parent, child, or new spouse.

Keep communication open

It’s not always easy to speak your mind without offending someone else – communication is the one thing seldom mastered. By establishing a method of communication that works best between you and each family member, you can address problems or gritty situations before they snowball or avalanche out of hand.

Start with an open mind and be genuine

Regardless of your role in a blended family, don’t push yourself onto new step-family members. I know it’s natural to want to form a strong bond immediately, but this could actually work against you if you push too hard. Take it one step at a time, be yourself, and let your relationship flow naturally.

If you’re the new spouse, remember not to impose a “parent” role onto young or adult children. Keep in mind the kind of relationships that still exist between birth parents. Not all children of divorced families have a parent who is MIA. Where children experience the divorce of their parents in their adult years, there will very likely still be loyalty and strong bonds to your spouse’s ex.

Make room for one-on-one time

I think it is important to allow your spouse the space they need to have time alone with their children, young or old. It’s important to respect the relationships and bonds that have formed between them before you, and allow room for that relationship to continue to grow. Unfortunately, that may mean spending time together that may not include you. On the flip side, take time for you and your spouse to reconnect, and, most importantly, take time for you.

Don’t Interfere

If you’re an adult child with a parent who has remarried, be mindful not to meddle in your parents’ relationship, give them space to adjust to their new lives as a couple, and try to be as supportive as you can. If your newly-wed parent is happy, why interfere with that?

Plan group get-togethers

This is a great way to create bonding and relationship building between both families. When you become more comfortable with each other, your time spent together is more relaxing and fun!

 

Are you a part of a blended family? What advice do you have for children and parents in this type of family dynamic?

 

Top Photo | Just Watch

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Paperless Greeting Cards

send someone a love letter

 

With Christmas only 46 days away, I’ve started thinking about all the details I need to check off my list in preparation for the holidays. One thing that’s taken a regular spot on my “to-do’s” is mailing Christmas cards to close family and friends.

While sending a hand signed card in the mail is more personal, it can become costly if you have a large group of recipients. Paperless cards are free, and for more premium designs, they cost less then purchasing cards and paying for postage (especially if you live in Canada), and they are more environmentally friendly.

E-cards have a come a long way from what they used to be and definitely have more “pretty” appeal than when they first hit the scene. Here are a handful of my favourite e-greeting card sites:

Pingg

Pingg is a one stop shop. Here you can select between sending an invitation and keeping track of rsvp’s, sell tickets to an event, send and e-card or choose a design to send by mail. Pingg works with a community of over 250 designers (they are like Etsy for online greeting and invitations) to bring you the most stylish and eco-friendly greeting cards and invitations. There are various membership tiers available ranging from free to $70USD per year.

Evite

Although Evite is primarily for sending out party invitations and managing rsvp’s, it’s still a great option to sending out physical invites in the mail or by regular email. Evite also has thank you card designs to thank your guests after your party. They have free and premium designs to choose from, and if you don’t like anything, you can create your own. 

Downside to sending paperless cards
May end up in junk mail
Could be accidentally deleted (I do it all the time!)
You send it to the wrong email address
Not as personal as a mailed card

 

greenvelope

Greenvelope

Um. DROOL. Greenvelope is a whole other kind of eye-candy! This site leaves me speechless from their site layout, their story, and their designs. I could look at this site all day just because or for creative influence. They are a one stop site for sending invitations and managing rsvp’s, including details such as meal selections. The only downside is that it’s a fully paid service, there are no free options. However, I really like that with the more cards you send you get a bulk discount.
Image | Colin Cowie card design, Greevelope.com

Upside to sending paperless cards
Saves time + trees!
Can send to multiple recipients at once
Zero or low cost
Last minute “fix”
Good option for international friends and family.

Canva

Canva isn’t specifically for sending e-cards but it’s a great site for finding templates which you can customize to make your own greeting cards. It does also have an iPad app you can use to create your cards on the go. It has both free and paid options.

Smile Box

If you prefer animated greeting cards and invitations, this is the site for you. You can also create and share slideshows and collages. It’s a free service, but you will need to download the software to use it.

Paperless Post

Paperless post is an online stationary shop which allows you to send greetings and invitations, free or for a cost depending on the design. It lets you easily track rsvp’s and keep multiple events organized. My only dislikes about the service is the “coin” currency used to purchase premium cards and that it’s a bit tricky to navigate when you want to remove the paid features from your card or invitation design.

How do you feel about paperless greetings and invitations? Are there any noteworthy sites you use to send e-greetings not mentioned above?

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