Designing a wedding dress

After I got engaged, one of the first things I wanted to do was find a wedding dress. I loved looking through magazines and finding ideas and inspiration of what I wanted. Even though we would not be getting married in a traditional setting, I still wanted a 'traditional' long white dress. I didn't want a huge train, and I preferred simple over ornate. Beyond that, I was open to suggestions.

One afternoon, my mom and I hit up a bridal store near our houses. It was a nice store, with nice staff, however I was a little overwhelmed by it all. All of the dresses felt 'cheap', even though they cost thousands of dollars. I'd never spent more than a couple hundred dollars on a dress before, and I had envisioned beautiful fabrics that would feel smooth and silky on my skin. Instead, most of the materials were polyester and felt scratchy on my hand. I tried on a few and wasn't blown away by anything. Getting undressed in a tiny fitting room, and then waiting in line behind other brides for a turn at the mirror felt a little anti-climactic. I wanted to be sipping champagne and relaxing! Not fighting for mirror space.

After another ill-fated attempt at shopping in a boutique, a friend recommended a dress designer based in Vancouver. I was apprehensive at first, fearing that the cost would be astronomical, but she relayed that her friend had confided it was actually cheaper than many bridal stores. Since I was visiting Vancouver a lot, in preparation for my wedding, I booked an appointment.

Immediately when entering the studio I felt comfortable and relaxed. The designers dog greeted me, and she was one of the cutest little things I'd ever seen! The space was airy and bright, and I was invited to sit down and flip through some of their past designs. My friend was with me, and we had such a great time flipping through photos and learning more about the design process. I tried on a few samples to get an idea of fits or fabrics that suited me, and those that did not. After a couple of hours we had a rough idea of what kind of dress I would like, and I left feeling happy and excited.

Several weeks later I received sketches of some dresses - I really wish I still had them! The designer and I emailed back and forth as we discussed options and pricing. A great part of the design process was the amount of control I had. I was offered many fabric choices, ranging in price, and was given a detailed explanation on how the fabrics would 'perform' on my wedding day.

Once I finally decided on a gown, a muslin mockup was created. I tried it on about a week before my wedding, and some minor changes were made. Then, I held my breath and prayed it would be ready in time! Actually, the designers assured me that sewing the actual dress would only take a couple of days, and they were only working on my dress. We did have a little wiggle room had something gone wrong. Luckily everything turned out great, and I had a dress that was unique and beautiful. It was comfortable to wear and I felt very confident in it. (I've even tried it on in the years since... and it still fits!)

The price was cheaper than many dresses I'd looked at. I believe I paid around $1500, and that was five years ago. It was a fun experience and definitely something I recommend to brides who are having trouble finding the gown they want.


Five years ago - Wedding prep

It's our five year anniversary on friday, and our computer has been on the fritz lately - which is preventing me from uploading new photos. So... I've dug up some old photos on our laptop and decided to do a little re-cap of our wedding. (I didn't have a blog back then!)

We got married on the sunshine coast, so the start of our wedding week involved a 25-hour drive across the country. It was actually really fun, as it gave us a chance to unwind and reconnect before a hectic few days. I had baked a few hundred chocolate chip cookies to use as wedding favours, so I had the trunk full of frozen cookies in coolers. When we would stop for gas or for the night, I'd change the ice and make sure nothing was getting soggy. The drive also gave me a chance to work on my seating plan - something every bride knows is not a lot of fun!

Once we arrived we met up with my family, who had flown out early to help us get ready. My mom and I are collecting rocks in the above picture, to use for various centrepieces. Five years ago pinterest did not exist, so most of the decorations had been thought up by my mother-in-law. She's a great designer and event planner, so I knew her visions would turn out well.

One of the best things about having a destination wedding, I think, was the fact that I felt like we were on vacation as soon as we'd left home. I couldn't stress out about every tiny thing and worry about extra projects to pull off during the night. There were definitely some issues, like forgetting to make table numbers until the day of the wedding, but for the most part I felt like my honeymoon was the entire two weeks we were away - not just the week after the big day.

Next up... designing a wedding dress!


Pumpkin is back!

I believe that technically one might be able to buy canned pumpkin year round… but I pretend it only arrives in the fall. In the same way I pretend that cadbury mini-eggs are only available for the month or so leading up to Easter. If I catch a glimpse of them in the grocery store in the summer, my blinders go on.

The big arrival of the PSL (pumpkin-spiced latte) is back, as per instagram, so I thought it was time to do some pumpkin baking. Last year I made delicious pumpkin cookies (and look at Poppy's teeny baby clothes!!). Two years ago I made pumpkin chocolate chip muffins (Awwww... Baby Soren!). 

I followed a recipe I found on Pinterest, and halved if to just make one loaf. Big mistake. The kids absolutely love it, and I'm pretty sure it's going to be gone within 24 hours. The best part was how great my house smelled as I was baking it. Cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves are the quintessential fall smells.


Food trucks - fun in the city

This past weekend I heard about a festival called manyfest, which was a downtown street festival that included music, kids games, and tons of food trucks. We were in! We've had so much on this past summer, it was nice to relax at home and do something in the city. Although the weather ended up being so nice, we kind of wished we'd headed to a beach. Oh well, you can't have it all.

The festival was great! I donned the camera which is why there are actually photos of my husband, although I neglected to charge the camera, resulting in a very small number of photos before it died on me. Oh well, again. Soren thought being downtown was really fun, and wanted to see the golden boy up close. For non-winnipeggers, the golden boy is a statue atop our legislative building. While we couldn't get as close as Soren wanted, we did manage to get inside the impressive building and had fun climbing on the front steps.

On many days, especially in the winter, I long to travel to other parts of the world. Instagram and blogs elevate my wanderlust, and I often find myself dreaming of where to go 'next'. Sunday was a wonderfully perfect day with not a cloud in the sky. As we sat on a curb and listened to music, nibbled pizza, and people-watched; I felt very content. I am where I am supposed to be right now, surrounded by my little family. If only they could keep their shoes on!


Week-end in BC

Last weekend we travelled to BC to attend my brother-in-laws wedding. The weekend was full of activities, and the bride and groom did a wonderful job of planning lots of events that really highlighted the beauty of the area. The Sunshine Coast is located about an hour north of Vancouver, but while it is on the mainland it is only accessible by ferry. This makes it seem a little more remote than it actually is, which adds to the charm of this coastal region. My in-laws have a house just outside of Sechelt, and that's where most of the wedding took place. On friday night, however, they invited everyone to a local pub for beer and fish and chips. It was a gorgeous setting to unwind and watch the sunset. Our little dudes stayed up past their bedtimes, but they didn't mind a bit. And for once… neither did I!