Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Wedding Traditions: What We're Skipping

To continue the discussion of wedding traditions, I forgot to mention that we are also definitely keeping all the dances (first dance, father/daughter, mother/son).  As music lovers and dance machines, we wouldn't skip these for the world :) 

Now, on to the things that we'll be skipping;

Image via The Frazzled Bride
The Bridal Shower
The decision to skip the bridal shower was based solely on the fact that my bridesmaids are already going above and beyond for my wedding.  Not only am I have a destination wedding in Montreal, but I'm also having a destination bachelorette-party weekend (next week!!) in Vegas (which was of course entirely optional for anyone to attend considering the costs).  Because of this, there was just no way I could ask/allow them to throw me a bridal shower as well.

Image via Melissa Young Photography

Not Seeing Each Other Until the Ceremony
We are totally doing the "first look" for several reasons:
1) We will be spending the night before the wedding together.
2) It'll be nice to have some time alone before the ceremony, just the two of us (and our photogs of course).
3) There is no way in hell we are missing cocktail hour to take photos!
Image via Style Me Pretty
Only Dad Walking Me Down the Aisle
I know this is non-traditional in certain religions, however most of the time, it's only the father that walks the bride down the aisle.  For our wedding, I'm having both my mother and father walk me down the aisle.  I just think there's something sweet about walking with both my parents, especially since they both raised me and are luckily still together.
Image via Vadim Daniel Photography
Church Ceremony
While both of us are Christian, neither of us are very religious so it didn't seem very "us" to getting married in a church.  Plus, the cost benefit of having all the events at one location outweighed any reason to have the ceremony off-site.
Image via The Bride Link
Ring Bearer & Flower Girl
As you know, we aren't having any children at the wedding--in fact, I don't think we're having anyone under the age of 21.  Because of this and also because of the fact that neither of us have nieces, nephews, or children that we are very close to, we will not have a ring bearer or flower girl.
Image via Ultra-Luxury Brides
Receiving Line
In my opinion, this just takes wayyyy too long.  We'd like to keep the day moving as seamlessly as possible and since we refuse to miss cocktail hour, we'll have the opportunity to chat with guests at that time.

Image via Amber Marie Photography
Bouquet & Garter Toss
For some reason, I've just never been a big fan of calling out the single ladies and having them scramble to catch the bouquet.  And as for Mr. M crawling up my dress in front of everyone (especially his 88 year-old grandfather and 90 year-old grandmother!) to retrieve a garter?  I'll pass.

Image via Brides

Traditional Wedding Cake
Mr. M and I are not the biggest fans of traditional wedding cake.  Instead, we are cupcake fanatics--which is why we'll be having a cupcake tower instead (however, there will be a little cake on top).
Image via Bravo Bride
Cake Smash
I might have done this if not for the fact that I'll be spending hours (and lots of $$) on hair and makeup.  So no, you cannot smash cake in my face.
Image via Bargain Mugs
Favors
Considering that most people don't take wedding favors (unless they are edible), we decided to save some money by skipping favors.  We're having a photobooth that will print out pictures with our names and wedding date, so we're considering those as the favors.

What traditions are you skipping?
Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Wedding Traditions: What We're Keeping

I've been thinking a lot about traditions lately and how they define weddings.  You speak to some brides-to-be and there are just so many passionate feelings about certain traditional wedding aspects.  One bride may say "A wedding isn't a wedding if the bride and groom spend the night before together" while another bride may say "we sleep together every night, what's the point of sleeping apart the night before the wedding?"

I love that we currently live in a day and age where people have the option to do whatever the hell they want to do for their wedding.  Whether it's sticking to every traditional aspect to feel a connection to this experience that so many people have gone through over hundreds of years, shelving every single tradition to make the wedding entirely unique, or falling somewhere in-between, the important thing here is that there are no longer set rules on what you can and cannot do.

I was curious to see where Mr. M and I fell within the "tradition" spectrum and in making this list, I'm realizing that we fall somewhere in-between, but a bit more towards the non-traditional side.  I'll start with what we're keeping (this will be a two-part post).

Keeping
Image via Deviera
White Wedding Dress
To me, there is nothing more iconic of weddings than the white wedding dress.  Also, I can't think of another time in my life where I'll be able to wear a stunning white gown, so this was a tradition I definitely didn't want to skip.  FYI, this is NOT my wedding dress above, but it is from the Pronovias line :)
Via Etsy Shop DiamondWeddingVeil
Veil
I guess the non-traditional aspect of this veil I'll be wearing is that there is no blusher.  But otherwise, I see it more as a fabulous hair accessory for the ceremony and since I got the cathedral length (108"), it makes for a really pretty train.
Image via Wedding Chicks
Matching Bridesmaids Dresses
I know this is a hotly debated topic and the trend seems to currently be in favor of mis-matched dresses, but I for one am still a fan of matching bridesmaids dresses (as long as they are pretty and the color happens to look good on everyone's skin tone).  The groomsmen will also be wearing matching suits.
Image via Kate Spade
Something Blue
I'm not sure yet if I'll be honoring the entire rhyme ("something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and a sixpence in your shoe") but definitely the "something blue" with my fabulous Corinnes by Kate Spade!

Bridal bouquet / Photo via The Sole Mates

Bridal Bouquet
At first, I was going to skip a floral bouquet in favor of non-floral one, but when we saw there was room in the budget for flowers, I decided to go for it.  And I'm glad I did, because we'll be re-using the bouquets during the reception as part of the decor.
Image via United with Love
Plated Reception Dinner
There are so many options now for wedding dinners; buffets, family style, food trucks--the list goes on and on.  However since we are having the wedding in a more traditional location (a hotel), formal plated meals are the only option.

Photo via Lovely Little Wedding
Bachelorette Party
I'm just realizing I haven't told you guys anything about my upcoming Bachelorette party weekend in Vegas.  More on that next week!

What traditions are you keeping?
Thursday, March 21, 2013

DIY Videography

Man, wedding videos have come a LONG way since the days of big ass video cameras, bad lighting and terrible editing.  These days, wedding videos are now cinematic works of art that look and feel like something out of a Hollywood movie.

After watching tons of beautifully edited wedding videos and admittedly bawling my eyes out over some, (and yes I know it's cray cray to get weepy over videos of strangers getting married but unless your heart is made of stone, it's hard to control the waterworks!) I desperately wanted a videographer at the wedding.  I started doing research into some videographers in Montreal and was pretty floored when I saw the price packages.  These Hollywood style videos certainly do not come cheap--the one company whose style I absolutely loved would have been anywhere between $3,000 - $6,000 to book.  And unfortunately we just wouldn't have been able to squeeze this in to our already bloated budget.

Discouraged, I shelved the issue for awhile and didn't really think about it again until a few months ago.  I just kept going back to the idea that there was just something so special about being able to capture live video of the wedding and I just knew I would regret not having something physical to watch afterwards.  So back to researching I went, but this time I was more interested in finding budget and "DIY" videography options.  And that's when I came across WeddingMix.
Flip cams and apps are used to capture video / Image via StoryMix Media
It's a really cool and simple concept--they send you a specific number of flip cameras which you then assign to guests at your wedding to take videos.  I know there are several companies out there starting to offer this kind of service but what sets them apart is that you can also take video on iPhone and Android devices through their free app (you just have to purchase a package).  You send back the flip cams after your wedding and then they edit all the clips into one video (which is also included in the package price).  And the best part?  The package prices range from $99 - $649, a fraction of what it's costs to hire a pro.  We decided to go with the five-camera package since we have specific people in mind that would be fantastic at capturing video (we haven't asked them yet so hopefully they say yes!)

And while I know of course the video edit won't have the same Hollywood style look and feel that caught my eye in the first place, I think there's something unique and even special about having people who actually know and love you capture the events of the big day :)

Anyone else going the DIY videography route or have you decided to hire a pro videographer?

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Personal Touches

So with many major to-dos recently crossed off our list, it was time this week to start working on some small details and personal touches for the wedding.  First, remember awhile back I mentioned that instead of the traditional guestbook, we will have guests "autograph" vinyl records of our favorite artists?  Well being the obsessed Amazon Prime member that I am, I was able to find all the vinyls save for Bloc Party's "Silent Alarm" for pretty great prices.  I ordered the albums and two days later Mr. M got this nice big box delivered to his office;
Love getting packages from Amazon! / Personal Photo
Clockwise from top: Radiohead In Rainbows, M.I.A. Kala, Yeah Yeah Yeahs Show Your Bones, Arcade Fire Funeral / Personal Photo
The records, same order in the picture above.  Guests will use the gold sharpies in the middle to sign / Personal Photo
I've never owned a vinyl record in my life so it's cool to now have 4 (well technically 5--the M.I.A. one came with two!)  These artists are also very special to us because we've seen each live at least twice and consider many songs off these albums as part of the "soundtrack" of our relationship (I know it's cheesy, but it's true!)  After the wedding, we plan on framing the records and hanging them on the wall as a keepsake.

We will also be having a cupcake tower instead of a traditional cake but the top of the tower will have a 6" red velvet mini cake.  The image below is what we sent our baker for inspiration;
Of course there's a peacock feather! / Image via Cake Central
So to mimic the style of the top cake layer, I ordered the below items on Etsy to give to the baker;
I'm not sure which one to choose so I ordered the Rhinestone Buckle Sample Pack / via Etsy Shop Doo Me a Favor
Champagne Colored Ribbon, 1.5 inches / via Etsy Shop Doo Me a Favor


Described as Parrot Blue so hoping to get away with this being Teal, 1 inch / via Etsy Shop Sweet Ideas By Janet
The rhinestone buckle and ribbons will be used to decorate the bottom of the cake layer, like in the picture.

Also, on our recent visit to the venue we learned that the aisle length will be about 50 feet, so I started researching some 50 foot aisle runners and decided to purchase this one below--it was only $25!
50 Foot White French Lace Aisle Runner / Purchased on Koyal Wholesale
I have a ton more things left on the list to purchase but I think I'll wait until I receive some of the current items before purchasing other things.

Are you currently in the process of ordering items for your wedding?  Did I pay too much for the aisle runner or is that a good price?

Monday, March 18, 2013

Hi-Fi Weddings Feature

Our engagement shoot has been featured on Hi-Fi Weddings today!  It's a niche wedding site that focuses on weddings/engagement shoots with music themes, and since the first part of our engagement shoot was taken in a theater, it was a natural fit.  Check out the feature via the link below;

http://hifiweddings.com/2013/03/18/chris-martines-montreal-engagement/

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Hair and Makeup Trial Reveal! (Part 2)

With the makeup perfected, it was time to move on to the hair.  My awesome stylist, Priska from Priska Coiffure in Montreal is also the same person who worked her magic on my hair for the engagement shoot back in July.  So with the picture of Tyra in hand, she set to working on a similar style.  I didn't want it to be an exact replica of her style, but something that worked with my hair length and type.

We ended up working out 3 versions of the side wave.  The versions may not seem all that different but trust me, they were.  This is a very pic-heavy post, so apologies in advance!

*All photos are personal unless otherwise noted.
 
Here was version #1--the wave was swept totally to the side of my head;
Here was version #2--she did a little lift in the front of the wave, which reminded me of a '40s updo:
And last but not least, version #3--the side sweeps down near my eyebrow;
And the winner was....version #3!  Something about the way the hair comes down slightly above my eyebrow had us thinking this was ultimately the best look for me.  So we actually took MANY more pictures just to make sure we captured all the angles she would need in order to recreate the look on the wedding day.  Since my hair isn't very long, we decided that the side bun needed some more volume on the wedding day, so will be using some extensions for that.

We even added the veil for good measure....
yea, yea I know it's wrinkled--it's been crammed in a box for 3 months.  Gotta figure out how to get those wrinkles out for the wedding...
And so the hair and makeup trials were complete!  There will be a few tweaks on the wedding day but other than that, I'm sure I'll be cheesin' it up the day of like I am in the photo below :)
 How did your hair and makeup trial turn out?
Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Hair and Makeup Trial Reveal! (Part 1)

Aahhhhh, to have your hair and makeup professionally done every day...what girl wouldn't want this kind of pampering??  Sadly I'm neither a rock star nor a gazillionaire so I'll just have to settle for getting beautified on this one special day in May :)

While up in Montreal this past weekend, it made sense to schedule my hair and makeup trial at this time to determine the looks for the big day.  As I mentioned in a previous post, my "hair-spiration" was a fabulous Tyra Banks updo and for makeup, some kind of semi-smokey eye look.  Ladies, do yourself a favor and make sure to schedule a trial before your big day--the last thing you want is to be (unpleasantly) surprised the morning of the wedding because you hadn't previously given your looks a test run.

My trial started with makeup first--and I even remembered to take a few "before" pics specifically for the blog;

*All photos are personal unless otherwise noted
No makeup in either pic as I'm sure you can tell
The fabulous Kat from Kat & Lea Artistes Maquilleurs (translates to Kat & Lea Makeup Artists for you non-French speakers out there) started with a natural foundation base by blending two colors I had (one from MAC, one from Sephora, both slightly different shades).  For the eyes, she toned down the smokeyness and used a slightly darker color on my outer lids and a lighter color on the inner part.  For my cheeks, the blush she used had a slightly pink hue (something I've never done before and surprisingly worked well on my skin tone!) and lastly for lips, used a slightly coral/pinkish shade.  And voila!  The idea was to go for a look that highlighted certain features but didn't look too heavily made up;

I absolutely love the makeup (if you couldn't tell by the huge smile on my face!)

Next up, the hair style reveal!
Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The (Delicious!) Food Tasting

Hey hive!  Just got back from a fabulous weekend in Montreal and spent the past few days crossing off a number of items on our to-do list!  It was so great to get out of town for a few days and start seeing the wedding details come together.  After the family guestlist drama from a few weeks ago, this trip really helped me release the stress and get SUPER excited again for the wedding! 

Mr. M and I decided to drive up to Montreal since it's only about a 5 or 6 hour drive from where we live.  As soon as we got to town, we checked into the hotel where the wedding will be and immediately met with the event manager and chef for an incredible food tasting. 

We started off by tasting the canapes that will be served during cocktail hour;

*All images are personal unless otherwise noted
Starting from the left and going clockwise; Mushroom arancini, smoked salmon blinis, crouton w/ blue cheese and honey, chorizo arancini, chicken satay w/ dipping sauce, crab served with cherry tomatoes (in the shot glasses) and in the middle, prosciutto w/ melon
The mushroom arancini and chorizo arancini (fried rice balls) were phenomenal.  The crab was amazing--however because this will be served during cocktail hour, we asked the chef to serve the crab in either a tortilla or wonton since guests would need silverware if eating out of the small glass.  The chicken satay was cooked very well and the accompanying sauce (called Soya sauce) was delicious--it was like a peanut sauce but not as thick.  The prosciutto with melon was really good as was the smoked salmon blini (it was served almost tartare style on a soft pillow of bread).  For our cocktail hour we were able to choose 6 of the 7 items pictured above and while the crouton with blue cheese and honey was good, the cheese was very strong so we felt it wouldn't appeal to all palates, so decided to nix that option.

Next up for the tasting were the options for the first course that will be served at the reception (after the green salad).  We had a choice between goat cheese and grilled vegetables or smoked salmon served with lettuce/cucumber wrap and a horseradish cream sauce;
Goat cheese, grilled veggies, arugula, balsamic vinegar and oil
Smoked Salmon, lettuce wrapped in cucumbers and horseradish cream sauce
The goat cheese was by far our favorite--the cheese was absolutely delicious and the veggies were grilled to perfection--cooked through but still a little bit of crunch to them.  And what I didn't realize was that there was goat cheese between each layer of veggie, giving it a creaminess and burst of flavor that was pretty amazing.  The smoked salmon was good but because of how hearty the smoked salmon canape would be for cocktail hour, I thought it would be best not to have yet another salmon dish.

Last but not lease, the main course!  The options were either the grilled Angus beef sirloin served with mashed potatoes and asparagus with a black pepper sauce and the sea bass filet served with polenta and asparagus with a sweet red pepper sauce;

Grilled Sirloin
Inside of Sirloin
Sea Bass
Both dishes were divine--the steak was cooked medium with a slightly pink inside (generally I like my meat with no pink or redness whatsoever but this was perfect) and the black pepper sauce really complemented the dish.  The sea bass was also amazing--so tender and light.  I'm not even sure which one I will choose for myself the day of the wedding--both were so good!

Oh and we had also paired each dish with different white and red wines (our package includes half a bottle of wine per person for dinner).  Needless to say I was pretty tipsy by the end of it all!




Monday, March 4, 2013

Focusing on the Big Picture

Hey guys, sorry I've been MIA for a week or so.  I needed to take a break from ALL things wedding related (including blogging) after a huge blowout with someone in my family over the guestlist.  Remember my surefire way to ensure that no uninvited guests are included?  Well, let's just say things don't always go according to plan (no matter how much of a planning control freak you try to be or how crystal clear you try to make things for guests).  Needless to say, it was a VERY stressful week.
Pretty much how I looked all week / Image via Wedding by Color
Now that things have calmed down (famous last words...), I've decided to not let shitty situations get me down.  It's less than 3 months until the big day and up until last week, I've actually been quite happy planning this wedding for the past 14 months.  Since these last few months are bound to include all sorts of drama and stress, I'm choosing to keep calm, carry on, and focus on the big picture (which is getting married of course!) 

Mr. M and I have a big weekend ahead of us--we are going up to Montreal for our final wedding planning trip in a few days and have a jam packed schedule which includes food tastings, a final hair & makeup trial (for me at least) and meeting with people who will be directly involved with our big day (including our wedding planner, photographers, etc.).  I'm reallllly excited to be heading up there, as the last time we visited was in July.

We also plan on doing some "us time" activities such as the spa (we're obsessed with this AMAZING spa called Bota Bota -- it's an old ferry boat that's been refitted as a world class spa), checking out two restaurants we haven't been to yet and going on a Brewpub tour.  I'm looking forward to getting stuff done while having a great time in this city that we love.  And I plan on leaving the drama behind--at least for the weekend.

So fess up, people.  Anyone dealing with some insane wedding drama as your big day draws near?  Anyone else wishing they had eloped instead (or finally understand why people decide to)?
Friday, March 1, 2013

Freestyle Fridays

Hey folks!  Apologies for slacking on my Friday mixes the past few weeks--I was sick with a pretty bad cold for over a week and have also been up to my ears with wedding stuff.  Speaking of weddings, FH and I are starting to put together some ideas on what specific songs will be played at the wedding.  Since we have so many indie rock favs, the best time for these songs will be during dinner (since many of them aren't really dancing songs).

This week, I want to focus on some oldies (but goodies) from two favorite bands--Vampire Weekend and MGMT.  Enjoy!

Freestyle Fridays - 3/1/13 by Primp My Bride on Grooveshark