Monday, April 30, 2012

The Wedding

 Danika and I
 The Doily Chandelier
 Walking down the aisle with my dad
 Nick trying not to cry
The Lightsaber Fight
 The Wedding Party
 Rain Boots!
The Groomsmen Cuflinks
 Reading our vows
Kris giving his moving speach
Danika singing us "Ours" with a few changes
Photos by:

So now that the wedding is over, I kind of want to go back and write a little review on the whole process – the best parts, the good parts and a few ugly (I would have said – the good, the bad and the ugly, but I don’t believe that my wedding was more ugly and bad verses good, just a few minor hick-ups). I found a little questionnaire online and I thought I would fill it out as my review.

Q. What was the best part of your wedding day?
The best part of my wedding day was that I got to marry my best friend and the man that I love so much. 

Q. What would you change, if anything?
There is nothing I would change. The whole day ended up being perfect. It was just so magical, romantic, sweet, stunning and amazing! Yes – I am using all of those words to describe my wedding, as I don’t think there is just one word that can describe how it felt for me.

Q. What was unexpected that you loved?
When I first started planning the wedding, the first thing that I really wanted to do was a sparkler send off. Well on the actual wedding day, when Nick and I were leaving the reception and everyone had lit their sparklers, everyone started to sing “Nah nah nana, Nah nah nana, hey hey hey, goodbye!” They sang that over and over again until we had driven off. It was so touching and unexpected and just made that moment so much more special. 

Q. What are your fondest memories of your wedding day?
I have a few...
- Seeing Nick for the very first time while walking down the aisle. You could tell he was just trying so hard not to cry.
- Getting ready at the Salon with my girls. I made sure we had lots of time to get ready so we weren’t rushing. It was just nice to hang out with the girls and relax before the big moment. I think the most fun I had was jamming in the car with Bev because we were early arriving to the hall and they weren’t ready for us.
- Feeling so much love from all of my friends and family that day.
- Reading our vows privately after we finished most of the photography. I wanted to exchange some personal promises with Nick, but he did not want to exchange them in front of everyone. I still wanted to capture that moment, so we decided that when we finished taking the wedding photos, but before we headed back to the hall for the reception, that we would exchange our personal vows, but have Jennie (our photographer) take photos of us doing so. I think it was the best decision we made and it was our one private moment that we got to share together. (Well, almost private... Crystal and Bev were still there to help me with my dress and so I’m sure they heard some of our vows. At least I have witnesses!)
- Kris and Danika’s toasts. All of the toasts that were given were amazing and special to us, but everyone will have to agree with me that it was Kris’s speech that moved everyone to tears, and Danika singing us a song that was truly memorable.
- Sparkler Send Off. See above.

The whole day was truly memorable, but these were the moments that really stick out in my mind.

Q. Is there anything you wish you had spent more time or money on?
I wish I had time to do all of the crafts that I wanted to do. Pinterest is a terrible invention as you see so many cute ideas and you just want to do them all, but unless you have tons of time and money, it’s nearly impossible to do everything you want to do. You just begin to prioritize what you think is really important and you just get those tasks done. It’s kind of funny how the one thing we spent the most time on – the ruffled wood letters, was kind of the think people really didn’t notice, but the things I spent the least time and money on were what people really noticed. Everyone complimented me on the cupcakes - which we made the day before the wedding, the table numbers – which I spent probably only 1 night doing and the paper doily chandelier. The Doily Chandelier was more of a last minute thing, and yes it did take some time to make, but compared to the ruffled letters, it was nothing.

Q. Is there anything you wish you had spent less time or money on?
Invitations! Well I wouldn’t have actually changed what they looked like, or how they were made, but I made way too many. I pretty much made one for each guest, when really you only need to make one per family! I probably could have saved a lot of time and a little bit of money with that knowledge. Oh well.

Q. Were there any unexpected surprises or issues?
Haha – I think the only issue that came up during the wedding was the kids found the sparklers early on at the reception and got a little carried away. Bianca set them out about 7:30pm and the kids would not leave them alone, so she had to go put them away again and not bring them out till just before our sparkler send off. It was kind of funny because my grandma was guilty of lighting some of the sparklers herself and handing them to the kids. Other than that, I can’t think of anything that went wrong. To me the day went perfectly thanks to my amazing mother, wonderful mother-in-law and my best friend Bianca being so awesome at running the entire day. I also have such amazing friends and family who all pitched in to help set up and take down throughout that entire weekend – Nick’s parents, siblings, Aunts & Uncles, cousins, my parents, my siblings, grandparents, and bridesmaids.

Some good unexpected surprises was my parents gifting me with a little charm to remember the day by, and they had the charm and my grandmothers ring (my something old and something blue) inserted into my bouquet. My dad also gifted Nick and I with a book that he made that was filled with my family history. He then gave us the task of starting the Irvine side. The only other surprise that I can think of was the gift that Nick’s brother Kris gave us. Kris is currently taking his welding apprenticeship and he welded us this penguin sculpture with a rose set in the middle. It was so thoughtful and we can’t wait to display it in our new home.

Q. What's your number #1 tip for future engaged couples?
It’s the special details that you will remember. Weddings do tend to get generic, so try and insert your own flavour. Some details that we did were:
-     Star Wars Lightsaber Fight. Nick and I both love Star Wars, so to surprise him I bought like 8 swords, and after the ceremony when we started the photography I brought them out and handed them out to the guys. It was kind of fun for the guys to all play around and fight each other. Plus Nick and I got to have our “first fight”.
-       Superhero Cufflinks. Nick loves his superheroes and comic books (we even featured comic books into our engagement photos), so for Nick’s gift to the guys he bought them each a pair of superhero cufflinks to wear for the wedding. It was subtle and unique, but it was just enough for Nick.
-      Rain Boots. I did see this idea somewhere, but as soon as I saw them I knew that it was something that I wanted to do. Due to getting married in April and knowing the weather was going to be unpredictable I wanted to give the girls a pair of rain boots to wear for photos. I think at first the girls thought it was a little weird – but I am sure they have changed their minds and are glad because it was a little cold outside and the ground was very soft. Had they worn high heels for all of the photos – I’m sure many of them would have ended up with dirty shoes. Plus it helped to keep their toes warm.
-      Private Vows. I really wanted to exchange some personal vows with Nick, but he did not want to read them out loud in front of everyone. I still somehow wanted to capture the moment so Nick agreed to read them to each other at the end of the photography, but before we headed back to the reception. I am so glad that we did it this way. It was just a great way to have a somewhat private moment throughout this crazy and hectic day.
-    Penguins, Penguins, Penguins. Nick and I really love our penguins and they do have some meaning to us, so we decided to incorporate them into the wedding. I didn’t want to go overboard with them as the wedding was in early spring – not winter, but I still wanted do something. We ended up getting hand painted penguin cake toppers that we ordered from Esty that were a little expensive, but they were adorable and we got a lot of compliments on them. I also put them on the bottom of our wedding programs, wedding advice sheets, toonie bar signs, as well - I will be putting them on our Thank-you cards. I think people got the hint that we like penguins, but they weren’t overbearing and I think they just added a little cute touch to the wedding.
-     Pokerchip Wedding Favours. Now I hated this idea from the beginning, but this was the only thing Nick wanted and would not budge on. When we were discussing what we would like to give as wedding favours, I wanted to do something like handmade soap or a jar of jam. To me those ideas seemed a little more country. However, Nick found these pokerchip magnet favours online and you were able to put a picture in the middle as well as a message around the outside. The reason Nick wanted to do the pokerchip magnets was because we got engaged down in Vegas and thought that people would like to put it on their fridge. In the end I’m still not a huge fan of them, but Nick was happy and our guests did like them and thought they were very unique.
-     The Band. Almost every wedding I’ve been too has had a DJ, and no one ends up dancing for very long and it’s the same music playing on the radio. Now don’t get me wrong, I do love this music, but Nick and I have very different music tastes. Last summer I went to my Aunt Wanda and Uncle Ben’s summer party and they had this band playing some awesome music. Nick wasn’t with me at the time, but I as soon as I heard them I knew Nick would love them. So when it came time to book some music, I called up my Aunt Wanda and got the name of their lead band member Sean McGee. They did such a wonderful job and they were so easy to work with. Sean was always there reassuring me that everything would go smoothly. He helped us pick out music for the wedding and gave us tons of suggestions. He was so patient with me and always answered the many emails that I sent him. Sean even ended up meeting with my sister a couple times before the wedding to work on secret song to sing to us at the wedding. They both did such a great job and he totally helped my sister when she stumbled on few of the words. I seriously got so many complements on the band and everyone was just amazed at the variety of music they played. The band played everything from Keith Urban, Lady Gaga, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Rush, Kiss, Eagles, Bloodhound Gang, Beastie Boys, Cheap Trick, etc. The list seriously goes on and on. All together they played 3 sets with very short iPod breaks in between. They even played one encore song at the very end when everyone was screaming for one more. I am just so happy that we ended up choosing to go with this band, and that everyone had a fun time dancing to them.

Q. How did you feel after the wedding?
When Nick and I drove away from the ceremony we asked each other if we felt any different, and we both said no! We’re both just extremely happy to be together and we’re so excited to move into our new place and “play house” as Nick would say.

Q. Lessons Learned?
While planning this wedding, I learned a few things, and when trying to plan for the perfect day, there were a few tears shed along the way. I am an emotional person, but I swear I was extra hormonal while planning the wedding. I use to joke that if this is how I am planning a wedding, I wonder what I’ll be like when I’m actually pregnant!
I know everyone always says that the wedding is about the couple and it’s your day so don’t worry what other people think, but it just isn’t as easy as that. Nick and I come from two very different families, so when planning a wedding, it couldn’t be just about Nick and I. Even though it was our day, even Nick and I had different opinions on what we would like to see. I think the biggest issue was alcohol. Nick’s dad owns a liquor store that happens to be 3 doors down from the wedding hall and all of his family likes to have a drink or two, and most of my family does not drink, however I do have family and friends that like to have a drink too. This was probably our first big obstacle. My family was a little unhappy that we were even considering having alcohol at the wedding, but less than two years ago my sister held her reception in the church where alcohol was not allowed, and her husband’s family definitely drinks and so guests just ended up drinking out in the parking lot instead. No matter what, if people want to drink, they are going to find a way. So instead of people sneaking it, and it taking away from the wedding, we decided to compromise and have a small toonie bar open after the dinner. We charged $2 for alcoholic drinks, and all other drinks like pop, juice and water were free of charge. I think it ended up being a really good decision. We only had a handful (well – that I could see) of people that got a little too drunk, and most of them ended up being my guests! Overall, I think everyone had a really good time. I just really learned about compromising, and that families love to have their input.

Q. What did you not expect would happen while planning the wedding?
People not giving me their RSVPs! Gosh, this was probably the most time consuming and stressful part of the entire planning process! My wedding was catered, so because of that we had to provide numbers to the caterer. As well, I wanted to do a seating chart to make sure that all of our family sat close to the front. It was just so annoying trying to track down and call everyone to find out who was coming and who wasn’t. I don’t care if you’re not coming – just tell me!

 In all, planning a wedding is not easy! Someone told me awhile back (in the middle of a meltdown) that it’s during those big moments in your life (weddings, births, funerals, divorce, etc) that you truly find out which friends and family you can actually count on. Relationships are tested, but in the end everything works out for the best and everyone did come together to make sure that our day was perfect

Sunday, April 29, 2012


Me and Bianca
Bev and Nick
Birthday Girl Danika (as a sexy sailor)
Birthday Girl Bev (as a badass pirate)
James and Bev (aren't there costumes amazing!!)
Nick, Austin and Kris
Randi and Danika
Crystal and Ashley
Megan and Me 
I just love her costume

Me and Jennifer
Christine and Me
Birthday Girls

Me with my family - Austin just loves to ruin photos...
Almost a decent one...
Me, Bev and Bianca

Sword Fighting!
Dancing the night away
Randi and Danika
Bianca, Me and Nick

Crystal and Jennifer
The Girls
Kris jumping in on our photo
Me with Sherri
Randi and I

My sister Danika and best friend Bev both celebrate their birthdays on April 26. This year because everyone would be in town, we decided to hold a big birthday party for the both of them. There was a tie on what theme should be, so they combined a few of the top contenders and it became a Shipwrecked Party. Basically, everyone had to come dressed up and they could be anything from a Pirate, to a Hawaiian/Island Native, or a savvy Survivor or a sexy Sailor. It turned out so well. Some people put a lot of thought into it and we had some people show up in amazing costumes. Nick went as a tacky Hawaiian tourist, and I went as a luau girl. A few people didn’t come dressed up, so we just threw a lei on them. Bianca took each girl’s photo from our bachelorette photo shoot and put into a frame and then had everyone at the party sign it. Crystal did such an amazing job in decorating and helping Bianca and I put everything together. We made tons of food and had laid back music playing downstairs and dancing music playing upstairs (thanks to Crystal for putting together the awesome play lists). I’m really not sure how many people ended up coming, but I’m sure there were at least 35-40 people there. The party was seriously so much fun. I’m sure both girls had a lot of fun and I am glad that a lot of their friends came to celebrate their birthdays with them.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

sunset walk

Down in Huatulco I decided that I would like to do a photography session because I wanted to capture this trip, so these are the photos that we got done at the resort on their beach. I love how they turned out!