Saturday, February 15, 2014

Wedding Shoe Redux

Alright, ladies.
There's something we need to talk about: your feet. That's right, feet.
Remember how I stressed over THE shoes? I was seconds away from ordering a custom made pair from Milk and Honey before I realized that I was just shy of the 4 week lead time. Knowing customs and knowing the issues I had had with shoes up until this point it wasn't worth the risk.

I found a pair of not too high heels here in town by a coveted British designer. They weren't the initial style I fell in love with, but they matched my dress and surprisingly, the venue. They were also on sale.

But seriously, I should have been looking for a pair of padded slippers. You know why? Because those beautifully detailed white shoes with gold accents were on my feet for 13 whole hours.
That's right.13.
Two of my toes are still numb and my wedding was nearly a month ago. I could hardly walk the next day. You will never know the sweet relief that was the moment I finally ripped those suckers off and slapped a pair of sandals on my feet. Never. Know.

That's the point really. Make sure you never know what it feels like to have nerve damage from the total distraction that is your wedding. Meaning: even though your feet might be killing you, it's easy to forget because at first you are so freaking busy and then you are so freaking happy (and still busy) having the time of your life. You'll be all: Feet? What? Let's party!

Sure, every photo blog shoes the shot of THE SHOES. Frankly I had so many layers of crinoline the only time anyone saw THE SHOES is when I was crossing the street to get photos done.

Our photographer did an amazing job, and I really liked her, but she clearly did not scout before our shoot and towards the end there was a lot of  "let's walk over here...I think I know this place..." which is not what you want to hear when you've already been at it for a couple of hours.
Having a "first look" is great, but it meant I had those damn things on a lot longer than I might have otherwise and I had no contingency plan.

Finding suitable flats felt like an impossibility, but ladies - for the sake of your feet - find a way!

Update: my toes stayed numb for three whole months.  I had an inkling when standing around getting my dress hem pinned. Don't ignore your gut!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Stop the ShoeSanity

It's happened. I have officially spent more time shopping for wedding shoes than my wedding dress.
What's the problem you say?
It's two fold: first I'm a size 8. That's right, the world's most commonly shopped out size.
Why don't they make more 8's? Do they think they're aren't enough to support the shoe trade? Lies I tell you. They would still sell out. I dream of size 6 feet so I could shop the shoes of the world without worry.

Last pair in...size 6! Right here!

The other issue is that all the lovely shoes happen to be at least 3 inches high.

From here

No, this is not a problem per se, but I will tower over my husband to be while we stand face to face exchanging vows.
I actually blindfolded him while I tried on my lovely brand new pair of electric blue Colcci's (sadly no photo available) which I mistakenly  thought were the ones. We looked ridiculous.  Ridiculous enough that when I took the blindfold off him he too was laughing in agreement. I also realized in my shopping fever that a size 7 is really not a size 8 and that the shoes were cutting into my feet in a most uncomfortable way.
Back to the store they went and now all I have one of those irritating store credits and no shoes.
The biggest issue (which I clearly avoided when I said it my problem was only two fold) is that I love shoes. Not just any shoes but seemingly those that cost five hundred dollars and up. Oh yes, the more expensive they are the more I seem to gravitate towards them. I don't buy them, unless they are crazy on sale. You can wear just about anything from H&M and make it look amazing when you add a great pair of shoes.

I'm not telling where these are from because you can't have my size 8.
See these shoes? I love them. By the time I pay for the taxes and shipping they will likely cost more than my off the rack wedding dress. Would you do it? Would you spend more than your dress on your shoes?

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Bridesmaids in Black: Funereal or Chic?

Please, let me credit you. Not sure where I got this from.

Oh my.
I've been silent this week because after an intense tasting with a potential caterer, my fiancee and his mother, there wasn't a whole lot to say. I was in shock for a good 24 hours after being verbally steam rollered on repeat for god knows how long. I'm not going to go into extreme detail, so a lot of this won't really sound that bad because it's out of context.
If you were there in person and got the full picture, let me tell you - it was something else.

 First question after sitting down with the caterer is: why are we having a caterer? Why aren't we getting married at one of the places where you don't have to rent the table cloths, the plates and the napkins? Don`t I know how much work this will be to organize?
AlI I can think is why didn't we have this conversation in the car or better yet, before I confirmed the tasting. She then starts asking about how much we paid for the venue and if we can get our money back, just keeps going.

To be fair to her: she is not in the loop about our plans because we haven't seen her lately.

To be fair to us/me: I didn't know she wanted to help pay until well after I started planning - which was two whole seconds after the engagement because despite not being a wedding person, I just want to get the sh*t done.

On top of it, I would rather get married at a place where they already have everything. I don't care about napkins and silverware. The thought of picking that stuff out gives me a headache, except that the places I liked either came in at $250 a head or don't fit my oversized immediate family.
Yes, I always thought that if I ever got married it would be at City Hall followed by dinner or lunch at a great restaurant. Guess what? The thought of cutting out most of my family and friends from sharing that with me broke my heart. So here we are, at this weird diner in an industrial area tasting our potential wedding menu.

Anyhow, let's skip ahead. This is about bridesmaids in black after all.
If you want to read the best wedding rant ever check out The Ranty Bride (Liz Lewis).
It encapsulates 99.9% of how I feel and frankly I started this blog to be positive, not to rant (I know, too late...).
Saying yes is about being open to things you never thought you would. Sound cheesy? To quote a certain NDP member: f*ck you. Seriously. I struggle against my own negativism every day and want to enjoy this.

Fast forward to: wedding colours. As I've mentioned before, the colour of the hall is this:

What matches with salmon? Not a whole lot, in my opinion. Sure, you could go matchy-matchy but it might look like a pepto-bismal disaster. Worrying about pictures and the future re-use of bridesmaids dresses, I chose black with a few accents for the florals.

As an alternate, I have been considering a midnight shade of navy blue (along with the rest of the internet it seems...).

I know, subtle difference, right? I'm a designer, these subtle differences matter and maybe that blue has a little more pop than black. Nothing is set in stone - yet.
The response:
Black?  Black?  What is this? A funeral? Why black? 
This is after being told we are apparently having a "casual" wedding because we are serving poutine as a late night snack. Who knew?

What do you think? Is black chic or too sombre? These ladies look pretty happy.

Manolo for the Brides
Bizarrely enough, after the wedding inquisition she emailed my loving fiancee to tell him that she thought we had made a good choice with our caterer and that she only wants the best for us.

(if you just didn't get enough)

Money. It can make things uncomfortable.
I spent a long time paying my own way through school and an even longer time paying it back. I have one loan left. My fiancee and I also want to buy a house, after sorting out the wedding.
My family may contribute, but it's unlikely to be in the form of large sums of money.
My fiancee's mother is in her seventies, doesn't own her house and doesn't have a pension.
She still works.
She wants to help us, but frankly we are uneasy about it. We didn't ask, she offered.
We feel she should save her money for her and we should save money on the wedding wherever we can -  despite her desire for everything to "be the best".  She is critical and questioning because she wants it to be exactly that: the best day her son ever had.
I think it can still be amazing without blowing wads of cash, but am finding it a struggle in this city and with 100 guests which is why, to quote the Ranty Bride my house looks like Hurricane Michael's came barreling through (right now, it's a Category 3)
There are worse things in life than having someone who wants to help pay for your wedding, so instead of being upset at the critques and challenges I received, I'm strategizing for the next tasting...

Friday, November 11, 2011

DIY Wedding Trial: Paper Flowers

Did I make these? Yes.
Would I make them for my wedding? Undecided.
Sure, these are easy enough to make compared to deciphering instructions for the Kawasaki Rose, but don't mistake easy for quick and depending on your choice of paper, these lovelies aren't necessarily cheap. I bought a combination pack of chiyogami paper because I couldn't resist, but $25 worth didn't make a whole lot of flowers. I also bought a pack of origami paper from the art store for $2.99 and I'm sure that from a distance you wouldn't be able to tell which was which.

I am attracted to the idea of paper flowers for a few reasons. Mainly because I can prep them far in advance without having to stress over centerpieces or floral arrangements on the day of my wedding.
I have many friends who could assist on this (provided they had enough wine to drink) and my fiance is half Japanese, so it could be a nice way to tie in a bit of tradition, even if it is just the paper. I also like that I could do centerpieces as blocks of colour seeing as I'm having a hard enough time figuring out what works with salmon and happen to love colour. But...I do really love cut flowers.
I still may use these to make kusudama balls, maybe for our ceremony.
Or I might try for more of the tissue paper look or just an increase in scale. How amazing are these:

Chanel Couture Spring/Summer 2009

A few tips for aspiring brides:
- Pre-cut origami paper is the way to go. I love the chiyogami, but had to cut it all down which is time consuming unless you invest in a handy-dandy paper cutter.
- Get an assembly line going. This isn't true origami, you need glue. Someone can be folding, another gluing, and if you like the fancy paper like me, someone's bound to be cutting.
- If you do involve your friends, make it fun. A little wine and some snacks go a long way to making helpers happy.

If you want the flowers but don't want to do the work, head to Etsy!


Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Wedding Centerpiece: Do it Yourself Inspiration- Paper

 Wreath by:
Since Pinterest seems to have a waiting list, I'll make my own inspiration board right here on my very own blog. I guess people re-posting pictures of cute dogs and boys takes priority over planning a wedding. To each their own frivolities... I'm just miffed I'm not on the inside.

Getting engaged has opened a whole new world of the internet up for me. I now spend a ridiculous amount of time searching.
For anything.
And everything.
In the process I've discovered some amazing and lovely things, and I've only just begun.

My venue has a sparkly chandelier. A gas chandelier. Meaning: no votive candles or any other kind of flammable sort of candles for me. While racking (wracking? decide) my brain over paper or real flowers, I've also been thinking about centerpieces and centerpiece alternatives in general. I could just get some LED lights and dump them into a votive holder, but it would be more fun to do something creative with said holder (don't you think?).

This is the part where I admit how madly in love I am with Ruffled. There are so many do it yourself projects and inspirations on this site I can hardly decide! Thanks to weddinggawker for bringing Ruffled to my attention.  Here are a just a few of the many great ideas I am hoping to test out over the next few months before I make my final decision.

  Ruffled: DIY Paper Cone Art Installation

I love this backdrop! Unfortunately I can't hang anything at my venue, but I was considering modifying this idea into a centerpiece for my LED lights. I think light coming through this would look amazing. I can imagine it being a combination of the image above and the wreath at the top of the post by
I feel it would be a nice variation on all the paper wheels floating around.

 Of course, it's equally as hard to decide between using paper and these elegant lanterns, also from Ruffled.

Ruffled: DIY Aluminum Vases + Lanterns
Ruffled: DIY Aluminum Vases + Lanterns

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Photo Booth

Image: Smilebooth, Warby Parker 7

You want it, don't you.  That's right, you know what I am talking about. A photo booth. At your wedding. See how cool your guests can look through the eyes of  Smilebooth . Don't you want these people at your wedding? Oh wait, you probably want your friends at your wedding...but did I mention how cool they will look?

Are you sad because you live in Canada and think the Smilebooth is inaccessible to you?
Not so, my friends.  The lovely peeps at Mango Studios here in Toronto (amazing photographers in their own right) can hook you right up.

Now, if your wedding budget is starting to creep and you are looking for something a little more, shall we's a Groupon that's right up your alley . It doesn't have the same hipster vibe, but I am more than certain you could personalize it with a small amount of elbow grease and a touch of creativity. This booth prints out on the spot with one copy for your guests and one copy for your guest book. Saves you from getting favour gifts like these.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Your Dress for Less

Dreaming of Vera Wang on a shoe string budget?
I wasn't. I wasn't even sure I would wear a wedding dress. I thought I might find a designer frock at Holt Renfrew or on Saks Fifth Avenue online, something along the lines of this George Hobeika Fall 2011 gown:

Georges Hobeika Couture Fall 2011

I confess:  I didn't spend my childhood imagining my wedding day let alone my wedding dress, and the sea of white splashed across the pages of bridal magazines was freaking me out as much as the potential price.
After making a trip to Holt Renfrew and trying on a beautiful $3000 gown by Wayne Clark I decided it was time to hone in on the budget. $3000 being more than double the budget. 
After waxing poetic about vintage gowns and ordering online, a few smart married ladies told me that regardless of what I thought I wanted, I really shouldn't rob myself of the experience of the bridal salon - so true.

The  Brides' Project
As one of my best ladies pointed out, it was smart to come here first.  Why? Aside from the proceeds of your purchase going to a good cause, it's self serve. You and your ladies can select whatever you'd like to try on at will. Selection is limited to whatever is on hand, but I was lucky enough to find two potential gowns and set one aside for consideration. 
They also have lovely headpieces by Lilliput Hats . I definitely recommend going with friends. You'll need help getting in and out of all those gowns, and putting them back where you found them. I am considering donating my dress to the cause after my wedding.

Despite a fruitful day at The Brides' Project, I found "the dress" at Becker's Bridal.
Biggest way to save on your dress?  Be open to buying a sample. I got my dress for less than half the sticker price. Yes, it needs a little repairing and closer to the day if I determine it needs dry cleaning I may not have saved as much as I would have liked, but  so far I am happy that I found something well within my budget.  I also asked about samples at White, a store which houses some of the top designers, and tried on a Monique Lhuillier that I could have purchased for a fraction of the original price. 

Several online sites now have used wedding gowns for sale. If you have your eye on a $10 000 gown but have a meager budget it's a worthwhile consideration.  
The one catch was having to bring the dress home earlier than expected. I had nowhere to store it! Happily some friends of ours have offered to keep it safe within their closet instead of it hanging like some kind of wedding specter in the corner of our room.

Happy hunting...