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How well do you know your groom?
How well do you know your spouse (to be)?
A fun survey that I got from a few brides on here and thought it would be fun to post
1. He's sitting in front of the TV, what is on the screen? Gordon Ramsey. Or It's Always Sunny.
2. You're out to eat; what kind of dressing does he get on his salad? He rarely eats salad, but Greek, Caesar or lime/olive oil.
3. What's one food he doesn't like? Vegetables.
4. You go out to eat and have a drink. What's he order? Red wine
5. Where did he go to high school? Mackenzie?
6. What size shoe does he wear? 10?
7. If he was to collect anything, what would it be? He hates "junk". Does money count? :P
8. What is his favorite type of sandwich? Hamburgers
9. What food could he eat everyday? KFC, pizza and instant soup
10. What is his favorite cereal? none
11. What would he never wear? shoes
12. What is his favorite sports team? Any zerg player from SCII
13. Who did he vote for? Too lazy to vote
14. Who is his best friend? Arthur, his best man.
15. What is something you do that he wishes you wouldn't do? Bug him when he is trying to sleep
16. What is his heritage? Persian
Done! that wasnt too bad lol!
A DIY attempt....
Sooooo I found this invite on Pinterest a while back, and fell in love with it. It's perfect... *swoon*.... not too "weddingy" and not too girly that Porya will feel uncomfortable with it. Plus it fits in with my theme perfectly!
The only problem: no one would make it for me. I tried everywhere. No one would make it so simple, yet elegant.
And believe me, I've been trying for a month now!
I have no idea what the inside looks like, so I am just sort of winging it so far. But I've managed to find someone to cut and score some dusty rose paper for me. I've ordered about 8m of ivory lace with tiny pearls, 75mm thick, from Australia. I've found a lady to do a layout for my 2 inserts, my main invite, print them, and sell me envelopes.... all under $500. Then I plan on addressing them myself on my home printer.
So all I will have to do is glue the lace (with double sided tape glue) and glue the printed invite and backing inside the pink folded invite. And tie the bow! And voila!
I REALLY hope it works! Otherwise I won't have an invite to send out!
Sooooo I am kind of a dork....
I was unsure about what my table scapes are going to look like.
It's really hard to pre-visualize what something will look like. You know the colors, you know the items individually, but will they work together? Or will it look like a bunch of mis-matched things all over the place?
Soo I took my mocha colored bedsheet, to represent our mocha linens. Then found a $3 lace table runner at a thrift store. Paired with some lace doiley's, a dark brown charger plate (that i just happened to stumble across in a craft store), and some milk glass vases, silk flowers (to represent the colors/tones and types of real flowers I intend to get), and some tea lights, I tried to create a semi-representative table scape.
What do you think?!
I'm running out of time
How did it come soo fast?
In reading other brides blogs, I am starting to really get nervous. There really isn't very much time left. And I am starting to worry.....am I going to be able to pull off the look and feel that I want for my day?
We only just booked our venue around October. I was busy photographing other people's weddings in November, and then it was Christmas. I went to Austria, and then have 2 weddings in January. Plus spring engagement sessions to shoot. Plus a full time job.
127 days to go, and I've done NOTHING. The big things are set, but that's it. I have the photographer, the B&B to get ready at, the reception main decor...... but have NONE of the small details. Nothing. :(
And I want a HEAVILY detailed wedding. Vintage milk vases littered with ranunculus, garden roses and peonies. Some sort of a vineyard arch covered in flowers and rose petals...... chair details, DIY program fans, a DIY sweets table..... I am sooo screwed.
We haven't sent a save the date, and the invites are not even in progress yet. :( I also wanted to do DIY invitations.... things are just a lot harder then I had originally planned. :(
We booked a date!
And found a venue!
Soooo after MUCH deliberation, WE DID IT!!
We had set up a time to take the family to Alton Mill to show it off. It was the fore-runner in venue choices... it had everything. A rustic outdoor courtyard with stone walls, a unique setting, and an indoor space for dancing. It was located in Orangeville, Ontario. A very beautiful area for photos.
And then last minute I changed my mind, and decided to take the families to Niagara on the Lake instead. In a last minute attempt to determine budget, Alton Mill just had too many unknowns. We'd have to bring in everything.... tables, chairs, dishes, serving staff, chefs....plus the ceremony site only seated around 120 people (and we were aiming for a min of 150 guests), and there was a noise by-law at 10pm, so after dinner everyone would have to go inside. I figured that it sounded fun, but might be a little too complicated to plan.
So we switched last minute to check out a few vineyards in Niagara.
One of them being Ravine Vineyard. I had fallen in love with it from the first blog post I'd ever seen from Style Me Pretty. The way that I did a lot of my venue searches was to use google images to pull up photographers blog posts from weddings shot at venues, since i find the venue websites to be pretty useless. This way I could see the way that the bride pulled all the details of the day together, and what it would look like on camera. Being a photographer this part was SUPER important to me.
So yes, Ravine had been perfect. A rustic house, set on a rustic field (which at the time had a few hay stacks lying around), with a few harvest tables under some cute canvas stick-tents. A fire pit off to the side (having a camp fire at my wedding? YES PLEASE!), with rows of vines going down a small hill, and a view of the entire escarpment to the lake. I envisioned doing a dinner under the stars, with white lights strung everywhere....a campfire in the distance...... an outdoor dance floor. *sigh*. The one downfall was budget. No matter which options I omitted, or how I worked the meal courses, it kept coming out to between 10-25K over budget. :(
My hopes were that both of our parents would fall in love with it as much as I had, and somehow money would fall from the sky.
However, my dad didn't like it. "You want to pay 25 THOUSAND dollars extra to eat OUTSIDE?" were his exact words. Apparently he and I don't share the same vision of a perfect evening. Apparently most of my inspiration blogs are from California....where it doesn't rain...... and where it's not damp or chilly at night.
Ontario is a different story. If it rains, we're toast.
So we saw a few other venues. Inn on the Twenty in Jordan was another front runner. It was quaint, indoor, and I LOVED the vineyard ceremony location. However, the dining room sat 140 MAX with dancing in a different room.
Last stop of the day. Chateau des Charmes. Just pulling up to the driveway I could tell that everyone was impressed. The sprawling grass, the impressive French style mansion with fountain in front. It took me back to the first time that I had ever seen it. It really is a beautiful spot.
Walking into the front foyer, Porya's mom and my dad were sold. "This is it!" they kept saying. Without even asking for prices, they knew that this was the place. I couldn't argue with that!
So the next few days were stressful. It turned out that Chateau could only host ceremonies after 6:30pm, AND they were completely booked for every single Saturday in 2012 except for July 7th.
I didn't like a 6:30pm start because that would mean a 6:30-7:30 ceremony, a 7:30-8:30 cocktail hour, an 8:30-10:30 dinner, and the bar closes at 12. It just seemed like a lot to cram into a few hours, and I wanted my day to last longer! :P
Secondly, July 7th meant that the photographer that I had wanted to hire, Kristen Weaver, was unavailable. Additionally, Porya's brother was getting married 2 weeks later. It was just too much in a short period of time.
So after HOURS and HOURS of planning, e-mailing, calling, scribbling notes, and obviously complaining to anyone that would listen, I got Ravine vineyard to agree to allow me to host my ceremony there. :)
We decided to go with a Friday date....... we are hoping that people won't mind taking a day off to join us.... it was the best option we had. So we booked June 1st, 2012. The ceremony at Ravine, and the reception at Chateau des Charmes. The good thing is that they are literally 5 mins down the road from each other. :)
EEEEEEeeeee!! It's like the best of both worlds!
I had been debating what to do for our engagement photos for a while. Because we had decided to fly a photographer in from Florida (I know, right?), it was impossible to have her shoot the engagement photos for us. Although a quick week-end trip to Florida did cross my mind, it just wasn't in the budget unfortunately.
So I contacted a bunch of other local photographers, but most of them charged a pretty hefty fee for shooting an engagement session without a wedding package.
I run my own photography business, so I just couldn't bring myself to do it. My brother generally second shoots for me, so I put the camera in his hands and off we went. I had been conceptualizing what I wanted for months before.... collecting outfits, thinking of locations, practicing poses....... I want to make a photo guestbook for the wedding, so I wanted to stay in line with the theme of our wedding.
So we did the photos over the course of 2 days. It was a good thing, since the first day was warm and sunny, the second day dark, cold and miserable....which gave us a mix of lighting conditions. So 3 hair styles, at least a dozen locations, about 9 outfits, and a whole lot of freezing our butts off later, I present to you our photos!
The one problem with essentially the "DIY photoshoot" is that I am left with the files to edit/sort though. This is both a blessing and a curse. A blessing, since I can hand pick the ones that I really like. A curse because I see ALL my angles, good and bad.
All in all I am super happy with the way they came out! And I can't wait to find some time to start laying out the guestbook! :)
Wedding venue search
Ok, now I seriously want to pull out my hair. Sometimes strand by strand, sometimes in giant chunks.
THIS....IS....THE.....HARDEST.....THING.....I'VE....EVER......DONE! Period. In my life. All those years of undergrad, the physics course that I flunked, my master's thesis, photographing my first solo wedding. All a walk in the park compared to this.
Maybe I am exaggerating just a little bit..... but not really.
Trying to co-ordinate the details, making everyone happy, finding a place that seats enough people, with a budget I can live with, with dates available, that correspond to when the photographers have an opening?
Oh ya, and did I mention that we decided to go with a 2012 wedding instead? In talking with my family, we decided that it was best to do it sooner rather then later. There were certain family members that we feared may not be as able to attend my wedding in 2 years time.
So seeing that it's already late September, a lot of the venues are already completely booked. :(
You don't want to know how many e-mails I've sent, phone calls I've made, websites I've visited, and budget's I've calculated.
Some venue's make it easy and post their price lists, or will e-mail them to you. Others ask you to come in for a consult. Some answer their phones/e-mails right away, but many leave you hanging for days.......
So after COUNTLESS scrap paper budgets and pro/con lists, I've narrowed it down to these:
1) Alton Mill, Orangeville
2) Ravine Vineyard, Niagara on the lake
3) Cave Springs, Jordan
4) Chateau des Charmes, Niagara on the lake
5) Navy Hall, Niagara on the lake
6) Belcroft Estates, Barrie
7) Grand Victorian, Niagara on the lake
8) Fields on West Lake, Prince Edward County
9) Balls falls, Niagara on the lake
10) Fermenting Cellar, Distillery District
11) Steam Whistle Brewery, Toronto
12) Legends Estate Winery, Beamsville
13) Miller Lash House, Scarborough
14) The Doctors House
15) Herdner Estate Winery, St. Catherines
So as you can see, I am sort of all over the map. I am torn between a winery, a barn, a field, or a few other spots.
Picking a date!!
It's harder then you think!
So, I've got the ring.......and the SECOND question that I am constantly asked (behind "how did he do it???") is SOOOOO have u picked a date??
I am always baffled by this question. Just a month ago I had noooo idea that I was going to be getting married, so no! Clearly I have yet to save money, discuss with all of the family about potential dates, co-ordinate with friends, and of course FIND A VENUE.
Yes, there are a LOT of factors that go into picking a date. Soooo many in fact that I often want to pull out my hair.
Here are the main things that I want to ENSURE:
1) I get the photographer that I want. Jasmine Star, Kristen Weaver, Candice Benjamin, Jeremy Clay, Dave and Charolette, and Craig Luster are the top runners.
2) Peonies MUST be in season. So ideally June.
3) Porya's brother is getting married in July, 2012. So not around then.
4) It must NOT be a banquet hall. I'd prefer something outdoor.... like a barn, field or tent. It must also have AMAZING scenery for photos.....
5) It needs to have a nearby hotel for guests to stay in. I don't want drinking and driving, and I certainly don't want guests not drinking and leaving early!
6) It needs to fit around 200 guests.
7) It needs to be on a Saturday, so that teachers can make it.
8) It needs to fit the budget.
So we are thinking about late May, 2013. This way we have our pick of dates, venues, photographers, ect! Let's see how it goes!
I'm getting married! :)
It was a typical Wednesday at work. I was counting down the days until our trip to Denver, and making countless lists of all the things left to do before our Friday morning departure. *ping*! I get a message on gchat from Porya ..Do you want to go golfing after work? Of course I dont. Who else is going? Hoping he is just asking me to be nice. Just us! Oh dear..I guess I cant just say no and make him go alone. Fine, but as long as you order me a chicken greek salad to eat in the car Might as well get a free meal out of it since we have no food in the house. Sure! So its settled. I have a million things to do, and golfing is now one of them. For him.
And then shit hits the fan. Things at work are running late, and I fear that he will be super disappointed when I tell him I wont be home till 7. Surprisingly he says its fine, and I should just text him when I am leaving so he can order our food.
So I text him when Im in the car at 6:38. Traffic is smooth sailing, so I am home by 6:45. I decide that since I have time, I might as well leave the car in the 5 min parking to go up and change.
I walk into a clean house. This is a shock. Our house is never clean and it certainly wasnt when I left for work. All of the doors are closed, and there is a giant grey box with a red bow on the table. Beside that is a bottle of wine, some cheese and crackers, and a sign that says Open me. Call me crazy, but my first reaction was I wasnt suppose to come upstairs. I wonder who this is for? Did I walk in on something I am not suppose to? There is no way that this is for me!
So I send him a text. Here. and I stare at the box with a look of confusion.
My friend is driving, park and come eat upstairs .hes coming in 10? is his response. OK phew it IS for me. But why? My birthday is in August .. maybe he forgot? Maybe he was REALLY excited about buying me that chicken greek? Regardless, I tear open the giant box .with no idea what is going on. Doesnt he know that we are already late for golfing as it is?
Inside the box, I find a note and another box. I dont even think I fully read it, but it said something about relaxing, having some wine and snacks, and I glance at the 4 month old wine, and the stale crackers. Cute.
I text him back Did u order the food? clearly there is no food here so I want to try and gain some insight.
Ya I already picked it up, come eat.
He clearly wants me to come upstairs and open the boxes, so I tear through each box, only to find a smaller and smaller box inside. FINALLY I get to what looks like a ring box. OHMIGOD its a ring box. Or maybe its just earrings? Yes, its probably just earrings. There is no way its a ring.
So I text him again. If your friend is going, then Im not. Ill just go do errands if you dont need the car. He still doesnt know I found the boxes.
Are you going to eat first? At this point I know he is squirming. Teehee. Serves him right for promising me a chicken greek and not delivering.
So I take a deep breath and open the box. I let out a sigh of relief when I find the box is empty. At the very top of the box is a small note. Pisanos, 8pm under Rajabi. Order yourself a bottle of wine.
8pm? Its only 7 by this point. My heart is racing. What just happened? I quickly throw all of the boxes back together for a photo. If this is really happening, I need a photo.
I text my best friends photos of the empty ring box with the message ummmmmmmmmmmmm. I waste about 20 mins on the phone freaking out a little. I even asked if I could go hide at her house. Yes, of course this is what Ive been asking for persistently for the past year. Yes, this is why Ive gone to jewellery stores on countless occasions. Yes, this is why Ive left 5×7 images of the type of ring I want taped to his orange juice container. But thats because it wasnt really going to happen. And now it is. Id laugh if its earrings I tell her.
At 7:20 I realize that I probably smell bad and look like a train wreck. I have 40 mins to transform myself into someone worthy of what belongs in that empty box. Luckily I have an arsenal of dresses in my closet, and I know just the one for this occasion. If we are going to a restaurant most likely everyone will be watching, so I have to make it chic, classy but still a hint of sexy.
7:55. Good enough. Black dress, black shoes, black purse. He left walking directions on my desktop but its like a million degrees outside, so I opt to drive. The car is still sitting in the 5 min parking anyways. So I grab the ring box and head to the restaurant. I will need the ring box .for the pictures
I arrive and Im super nervous. Do the waiters know? Are they going to slip the ring in my wine? Will there be musicians? Will people clap? I order a bottle of red and check the glasses throughly before I take a sip. Wouldnt want to shallow it by mistake. He texts me to ask if Ive left yet. Im here drinking alone I tell him. He was certainly making me wait. He asks better then golfing? to which I reply I guess, but I really wanted that chicken greek.
He finally shows up at about 8:30. By this time Ive drank half the bottle of wine. We order dinner, and make chit chat. I am on edge anytime a waiter approaches, or the front door opens. I am usually an eater, but I hardly touched my meal. We pack up our feasts and he pays the bill. Lets go home he says. What?? Im thinking to myself. Was it all a big joke? I must look like an idiot. I text my friend in the car Worse then earrings. I got nothing.
We get into the elevator, and he asks me to close my eyes. He takes my purse so I can use both hands to cover them. Little did I know that he needed my purse to get the ring box that I wasnt suppose to take with me. It was suppose to just be waiting for me when I opened the condo door.
He leads me down the hallway, as I cant see a thing, and opens the door. I open my eyes, and there are candles glowing. The old wine has been replaced by a new bottle I picked up from Niagara that Ive been saving for a special occasion. He gets down on one knee and presents the box .this time with a shiny new ring!! OHMIGOD! I manage to say I guess so? before he shoved the ring on my finger and gave me a big hug and a kiss!
I had been sitting on a sparkling new diamond ring for about 5 weeks, but was unable to put together an exciting plan on how to present it to my girlfriend. I obsessed excessively on the perfect way to propose, but see-sawed between grand gestures, epic surprises, and romantic settings. The internet was of little use despite some of the most incredibly though out proposals, the ideas presented there were neither reproducible, nor unique for me after I had seen them. I tried to focus on the core idea of a proposal and think about what would make the strongest impact. What will make it an unforgettable experience for her that is special and exciting? I came up with two necessary ingredients: unexpected and suspenseful. I needed this to hit her out of left field so no booking any get aways or setting asides dates or piggy backing on special occasions. I also needed her to become aware of what was happening so that there could be some suspense an unknown anticipation that gets her heart pounding. I would save the adventure and romance for our honeymoon and the public displays of affection for our wedding. This was something different, it was something exciting.
The core of my plan boiled down to this very simple concept: let me pick a time where she is in her weekly routine and on mundane autopilot and present her with a message, I am going to propose to you tonight you have one hour to get ready. Instant adrenaline. You know its coming because I just told you, but its so fast that it catches you off guard. You are left with nothing for the next hour except your own racing thoughts and your pumping pulse. Thats the suspense.
Over the next few hours I put together some of the details to achieve this. I picked an evening after work to schedule a golf game for us something that is not out of the ordinary. Once she gets home, I am no where to be found, and instead she is greeted by a spotless condo, and inside, sitting on an empty table is a giant wrapped box with a bow and a sign that reads Open Me!.
Whats in the giant box you ask? Its a series of smaller and smaller boxes each with a quick note hinting about the contents of the boxes and encouraging her to relax and indulge in some wine and cheese sitting beside her mystery box. The final box is the engagement ring holder and instead of the ring waiting for her inside, she only finds an address to a restaurant and a time. The plan is for her to have enough time to get ready and expect to be presented with the actual ring during the dinner awaiting her. Or so she thinks and instead, the dinner is just that a nice dinner at a local restaurant. The real surprise is waiting for her back at the condo. On the way home shell be thinking, surely there is nothing waiting for us back home, I was just there and there is nothing there. Little does she know I snuck back in right after she left the condo and replaced the boxes with some candles, flowers, and the engagement box except this time the ring is actually inside. Surprise!
The reality turned out a little bit differently however. You see, other people are also capable of the unexpected and there are many parts of this plan that strayed off the main path or simply were just never thought out. For instance, she took the engagement box with her to the restaurant (but more on that later). My main problem was that I had no way of knowing when she would leave the condo and hence, when to sneak back in and create my new setup. One of the key concepts was that I wanted her to be alone in her thoughts, so any communication between us was out of the question. The other issue was that I needed to get into the condo as soon as she left so that the time between when she arrived at the restaurant and when I came would be minimal. In the end, I convinced our security guard to keep an eye out on the elevator cameras with a detailed description of my beloved. At 8:05 PM I caved and texted her for fear that she was already waiting at the restaurant and I had missed her. She wasnt but it was even worst, she had taken the car and was en route. This took away my plan B which was to use the car to drive the 1km stretch and gain some time. I rushed to do my new setup, only to find the next disaster: the engagement box missing. With the ring now stuffed in my pocket and beads of sweat dripping down my back in the 40+ degree weather, I raced towards the restaurant without any clear plan on what I would do with the ring.
The restaurant, with its heavenly AC, was a nice break. I got to enjoy a pleasant meal, relaxed to think up a new plan, and mischievously smiled every time I saw my fiance to be squirm or fidget in her seat. After a wonderful meal, we packed it up, got in the car and made our way home. My new plan was put into effect where I asked her to close her eyes from the elevator ride up while I dug through her purse to find the missing box. In the mean time, my off key humming served as a distraction to cover up the sounds of the clasping box; in retrospect, I dont think my cover was too successful. The rest as they say was history since I had no intention of further delaying the anticipation and wanted to enjoy a night of celebration. Kneeling down on my knee, I happily accepted her I guess so response and we held a deep embrace while I slipped on the main attraction onto her finger.