Friday, July 31, 2009

it's me, the PhD Candidate... I can't find the bride?!

Hey All...

Thanks for being patient while I finish my thesis...

6 days and counting!!
Things are coming together, I have decided I won't quit, and I will actually finish... MAN, it has been a TOUGH road!! I totally understand now why so many people never finish their dissertation... it's killer!!
So, to encourage me along, my '15 minutes for eating lunch' has turned into 'please oh please make me laugh... anyone... someone?!' (all comics from here)

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

2 the North Tuesdays... Edition #3

Thanks to the power of scheduled posts, I can showcase another awesome Wedding Elf from the great white north... but rest-assured, I am furiously typing away at something else while you read this... my thesis!! I am only 9 days away from submitting, which is why I haven't been able to drop in to let you all know how my bachelorette weekend was (but I am sure it will be fantastic, and by the time you read this, I can almost guarantee it WAS amazing!!). But for now, lets introduce our next Canuck:

2 the North Tuesdays - Edition #3
Haute Wedding Design

This is a VERY new company, but so far, I like what I am seeing!! The crew is based out of Calgary, but I can't say I am making a personal recommendation for their services since I don't have a budget for planning services, but for those of you looking for a modern wedding planner in Calgary, or those of you just swooning over the Canadian Rockies but don't live close enough to plan your dream mountain wedding alone, Haute Look just might be the answer for you!!

I was first attracted to Haute when I saw this: (all pictures borrowed from the Haute website)

It's a Calgary-Stampede inspired wedding, and for those of you not familiar with the CS (which is, by the way, the greatest outdoor show on earth!!), just soak it all up as a really fun country wedding inspiration board. I loved this board not only for the fun colors, but I adore the horseshoe escort cards, the carnival kisses, and come on, those hay bales are awesome!

Here's another great inspiration board from the website: an easy, breezy, and dare I say romantic bicycle inspired wedding board!! I just LOVE the bicycle graphic on the tie, and the bicycle sketch used to perfectly set the rings for a fun twist on the classic ring shot!!

So this edition was a quick intro to a new, and promising Canadian wedding elf!! I think Haute Wedding Design has a great eye for detail, which definitely comes through in their inspiration boards, and being such a new company, I figured they needed some love! Brides with a dream of having a wedding in the mountains, or a laid back but stylish wedding out on the farm set in the beautiful prairies or rolling foothills of Alberta should definitely check out Haute Wedding Design's website!

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Friday, July 24, 2009

A deep, dark hole...

(my own picture... I have a serious fascination with clouds and wheat fields, so this pic, even though dark and looming, really makes me happy!)

... that's where I'll be, in case anyone is wondering!! It has been a very difficult time the last couple of weeks, as I try to figure out HOW HOW HOW I will get my thesis done by August 5th, but I am forging ahead, and WILL NOT QUIT!! I will be back with a vengeance when this is done, cause y'all know I have to kick my wedding butt into HIGH GEAR!! Time's a tickin!! I hope you will come back to visit in about 12 days when I will have officially delivered my little baby (although right now this sucker feels like a 20 pounder... if ya know what I'm saying!!).

I also just wanted to say welcome to the new faces around here... glad to have you! sorry to leave so soon after your arrival, but make yourself at home, get caught up on the happenings of this bride-on-purpose, and I will be back even before the end of cocktail hour!!

see ya on the flip side (not married, but one step closer to being a doctor!!)

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

2 the North Tuesdays... Edition #2b

Thanks for coming back for part 2 of this weeks 2 the North... don't you all just love Kasia Fink though?! She really does deserve the whole day for herself, and so does this next Canuck wedding elf... but heh, it's like a Canadian smorgasborg of amazing talent today!!

2 the North Tuesdays - Edition #2b
Still Motion Photo and Cinema

This team is another well known group of wedding elves, making themselves known over at weddingbeepro, but they DEFINITELY deserve a shout out here!! Yesterday, in the midst of dealing with a mild (read: severe) work-related panic attack, one of their a-ma-zing wedding videos landed in my google reader window... I literally could not stop the tears from rolling down my face. Still Motion makes love palpable on a computer screen, makes laughter and tears during a wedding ceremony reach out of my screen and shake me by the shoulders, makes music dance around me, makes marriage and weddings seem like a fairytale where the brides are angels, and the grooms are on white horses... these guys are wedding-videography taken to a WHOLE NUTHA LEVEL!! Definitely run over to their blog and peruse their videos (I have officially forBADE myself from going over there until my thesis is done cause I have a serious problem... you know, like the addiction-type... to their videos!!) . The Canadian Connection: the amazing Still Motion team is based out of the Tdot (that's Toronto!), but travels tonnes for their art. Perusing their site you can see that they have travelled as far as London, England, and even to Japan to shoot amazing weddings! All I can say is, if I had a big ol' budget for a wedding vid, these guys would be the dream team!! This one Canadian Team that rocks my world!!

Oh, and that's not all folks, they take some killer still-shots too... some of favs that I borrowed from their blog:

So today kinda turned into a Canadians-plucked-from-weddingbee edition, but Kasia Fink Veils and Still Motion Cinema and Photography are two Canadian wedding elves the WORLD needs to know about!!

Stumble Upon Toolbar

2 the North Tuesdays... Edition #2a

Hi All! First off, I just wanted to thank all of you for leaving messages of support (read: excitement) for this new weekly feature! I have been getting more and more excited as I continue my search for Canadian wedding elves... and have some great interviews planned for creative canucks that I think you all will enjoy!! But for today, I need to share the Canuck spotlight with two a-ma-zing wedding elves to the north... these two are no strangers to the wedding blog world, and maybe I never read the fine print, but I didn't know that these elves were Canadian. I know, I know, this in no way changes/elevates/redefines their skill/talent, BUT, I think it is important information! Why?! you ask?? Well, a couple of reasons... the go-green trend in weddings is a great one, and buying locally is often very important for the eco-conscious brides. I'm not gonna lie, we have tried to make choices along the way that reflect our love of our planet, but we have definitely trucked/flown some stuff in! While I LOVE my veil/flower from Myra of Twigs n Honey, it's also nice to know that there is a vendor closer to home that could have been used! And let's not forget about SHIPPING rates from the US to Canada, and that little devil called 'exchange rate'!!

You may also be wondering why I am sharing two Canuck elves today... well, let's face it, most of you know of them already, and this isn't their premier event on the wedding blog circuit, so I thought they wouldn't mind having co-stars!! Here we go...

2 the North Tuesdays - Edition #2a
Kasia Fink Veils

All about Kasia... well, I don't know her personally, but when you're a bee... you feel like you know them right?!?! Yes, Kasia is the infamous Mrs. Seabreeze over at weddingbee, so most of you will likely know her, and her work. She creates all the flower and veil loveliness from Vancouver, Canada (shout out WEST COAST!!), and was recently married in the Dominican Republic. That means she gets it... us, brides, weddings! And I love this quote from her website: "On the day I wore a birdcage veil and fascinator, I’ve never felt more sassy and gorgeous"... and you can see why... check out these pictures from her wedding... definitely gorgeous and sassy!! (NOTE, all pictures shown are from

My favorite fascinator is the Marisa... in all its feathered glory:

And here's some trivia... where did the Marisa fascinator get its name?!?! Well that was from bride Marisa (or as most of you know her, Mrs. Cheese, also from weddingbee) who put in a special request for a feathered number... and here she is wearing her gorgeous piece:

One other of my fav brides wore Kasia too... yep, it's Jessica (aka Budget Savvy Bride):

So, we know her bride accessories are swoon-worthy, but she also does mini fascinators for bridesmaids: (so sweet, classic, stunning!!)

BUT WAIT... don't leave yet... you haven't seen it all!! This is possibly my favorite of them all... the black fashion-ator (I just made that up, don't hate on Kasia for dorky plays-on-words!!). I love how the creative and talented women out there can just whip up a custom accessory for a night out on the town!! Doesn't this just scream chic?! I love it!!

So, for those of you up here in the north looking to support the Canadian bride-conomy (oops... I did it again!), get your order in with Kasia!! Beautiful work, amazing talent, and, yup, she's a Vancouverite!!

2 the North Tuesday Edition #2b coming later today!! stop by again :)

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Friday, July 17, 2009

There's a first time for everything!!

from here

YEP... I won my very first contest!! August15Bride has seriously hooked me up... with 250 custom stickers from!! I can feel my fingers relax already... nope, I will NOT be handwriting my return addresses onto my thank-you cards after the wedding!! This is some gooooood news my friends!!

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Trail Map?? Nope, it's a seating chart!!

Wahoo... another DIY item close to being checked!! OK, the only progress I have made is got the final image from one of my favorite wedding elves, SarahNWonderland (shout out to etsy!!)... but that is still progress. The DIY part will come next, but it should be simple!! OK, stop rambling, what is this all about you ask?!?! Well, remember a little while back I told you about my search for the fun, unique, mountain inspired seating chart?? And remember how I told you that Sarah agreed to do some more of her amazing work for us in the form of a seating chart?? Well, she has done it again!! Feast your eyes dear friends...

WHA-WHAT?!?! That's what I'm talking about!! I am seriously loving it!! I told Sarah I didn't want it to look like tables at all, but more like a hiking trail map through the mountains! The "tables" are represented by mountain-worthy 'items' like birds, rocks, trees, tents, and oh ya, a picnic table where we happen to be sitting!! The layout of these "tables" represents the actual layout of our reception room (yes, I have laid it out already!!), so the tables should be easy to find! Table 2 is where us, our wedding party, and our wedding party's significant others will be sitting (NOTE how we are NOT sitting at the front of the room where everyone can watch us eat!!), and the rest of the tables are appropriately marked!

(PS... wondering why that picture of the hiking groom and bride looks familiar?? She incorporated the same graphic from our Save The Date!!)

We will be using large rocks (well, not crazy huge or anything, but big enough to paint the table numbers on) which will act as our table markers. How will people know which table they are sitting at?? Relax grasshoppers... more details to come soon!! For now, just revel in the absolute personality of what could be (and normally IS), a rather boring component of wedding decor!! If anyone out there is interested in spicing things up, Sarah is definitely your girl (THIS IS NOT A PAID ADVERTISEMENT... I just really, really love her work, and she is great to work with!!). OH, and PS, I haven't seen the final bill yet... but rest assured, this girl is AFFORDABLE (think $40-ish for that custom graphic!!)!! Send some love her way, and definitely let your imagination run wild!! Even if you don't have the graphic design skills to make your wildest wedding-ideas come true, Sarah can bring them to life!! Again... her etsy store can be found here!!

What do you think?? How have you used non-wedding elves in wedding-elf type ways??

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Great White North

I've been inspired... by my new blog friend A Little Birdie! Go visit her at her blog A Little Birdie Weds. We spoke briefly about being blogging buddies from Canada. While blogs allow us all to communicate from all corners of the world, it is safe to say that most blogging brides are from the U.S. For the most part, tips, tricks, resources, and suppliers that my neighbourly brides to the south blog about can be accessed and taken advantage of up here in Canada, but there are slight disadvantages... namely, SHIPPING!! While most places will ship to Canada (at a greatly inflated price), some downright refuse to?!?! What's up with that? Anyways, this isn't a rant post, this is an introduction post... to my new weekly feature:

2 The North Tuesdays!!

Yep, you got it, it's my duty as a Canadian Bride-who-Blogs, to give props where props are deserved... to our local wedding elves! I have to be honest though... so far, I have not been the best at taking advantage of our local resources. I hear more about my southern elves, get links to more American finds, and have way more US-based blogging-brides that are downright fabulous... and it's impossible NOT to get inspired by them!! I do hope, though, that some inspiration can start flowing from the north to the south, so let's get it started...

2 The North Tuesday - Edition #1
Ecoware Biodegradable Utensils

Now, before you think that I first found these elves in my backyard, let's clear this one up... I got connected to Ecoware Biodegradable by the infamous Budget Savvy Bride. I mean come on... who doesn't think these are adorable:

from here

I knew these utensils would be perfect for our welcome BBQ, and our day-after-Danish-brunch, so I straight away got in touch with Darrel at Ecoware, and when I realized they were from Canada... holla... yep, I was excited!! Every small victory is celebrated, and when I knew I wouldn't have to pay crazy shipping, that the price quoted was in CAD$$ (wahoo!!), and of course, the main bonus, that these babies were green-green-green, I was raising the roof!! Giddyup and sign-me-up! I will post again soon with the details of my utensil package, but just check em out... LOVE IT!! (PS... personal pic taken during the assembly process)

So, whether you live in Canada or not, Ecoware Biodegradables are a great option for disposable utensils... that are friendly to our environment! We are using them for day-before and day-after parties, but if you are having a more casual/rustic/homegrown wedding, I think they would be perfect for that too!! The only reason we aren't, is because our caterer is taking care of all things utensils!!

Do any of you Canadian brides know of awesome local vendors the rest of us brides should know about?? If you are a Canadian vendor that wants to share your product as part of the 2 the North series, comment below and we can get the word out!!

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Monday, July 13, 2009

Should the drama stop the wedding?!... PART ONE

image from here

This post is/has probably been my most dreaded post to date... oh wait, that didn't sound right, it's the ONLY post I have been hesitant to write. The basics are this:

My disclaimer... drama is inherent in relationships, and I am certainly not going to say I have been dealt a bad hand of cards when it comes to my relationships (especially with my dad). I have been dealt my own hand, and I have NEVER felt sorry for myself, nor have I ever used my history/reality as a crutch in how I conduct myself in my personal/professional/emotional/spiritual/... journeys. BUT, every person's reality plays a part in defining their experiences, and I hope that my experiences with weddings/family/etc can shed perspective for some/all of my readers. This post (and the follow up) will contain my honest feelings/perceptions/experiences... no judgement required (please!).

  1. I have a very hot/cold relationship with my father... and have had for as long as I can remember

  2. My parents were divorced when I was 1-ish

  3. I lived with my mom full time, and for the first few years, my dad lived in another province... he drove/flew to see us every other weekend, as part of the visitation schedule; he later moved to the same city as my mom, and we saw each other on a similar schedule... maybe even a bit more

  4. My dad and step mom (oh ya, and new half-brother) moved to an acreage in Alberta, about 2 hours away from my mom, when I was 11-12-ish (don't remember the exact timing)
  5. Seeing my dad at his house on a regular basis made our relationship very sketchy... why? Because my dad is an alcoholic, and it wasn't until the farm that he stopped 'hiding' it from us... oh no, the booze started flowing quite openly

  6. I learned the concept of BOUNDARIES... yes, at the ripe age of 12ish (maybe even earlier!), I learned NOT to speak to my dad on the phone when he had been drinking, I could tell the differences in his voice (sober/not-sober), and maintained very strict boundaries on our relationship

  7. I quickly grew into a VERY strong, determined, and somewhat emotionally unavailable little girl

OK, fast forward to 2003. I move from Alberta to Ontario, and my dad helps me make the 40 hr drive across country. Things go OK, until we get to Toronto, and he goes out and gets drunk, asks me to pick him up, and when I call him out, he says some extremely hurtful things... I don't think I will shock you with the details, but suffice it to say he crossed a line never to be erased again. From there, the relationship looks more like this:

  1. I only speak to my dad on the phone under controlled circumstance.

  2. We start to rebuild the trust

  3. When I tell him about a cycling trip I have planned, he asks if he can join me... and I say yes

  4. At the start of the trip he gets drunk, drives my car drunk, and I tell him to leave, find his way to the airport, I will NOT continue the trip with him (I told you I have some serious conviction when it comes to boundaries!!)

  5. Pretty much the last straw that broke our relationship's back!! (NOTE: many many many hurtful exchanges excluded from this brief summary)

  6. Dad barely knows my groom-to-be... in fact, has NEVER been to visit me since I moved back to AB... we have only seen each other at family functions, or when I have gone to his house for one of my lil brother/sister's birthday, etc.

OK, hopefully you're still with me, and are not too uncomfortable with the candidness of this post... I know it is a bit selfish of me to lay this on you, my cherished readers, but I hope that for any of you struggling with wedding/family issues, you can see my perspective on one way to deal with them!

Switching gears a bit, this is how I have felt about weddings until about 1.5-2 years ago:

  1. I did NOT want to have a wedding... EVER!!

  2. I did NOT want to get married... EVER!!

  3. I imagined myself living alone, as a single mom... HAPPILY!!

Then, after meeting my man, learning (a long, sensitive road of discovery) to love and be loved by a man, who, sidenote, wanted to get married... wedding and all... my thoughts on weddings started to evolve:

  1. I am a STRONG WOMAN

  2. I have a MAN that LOVES ME

  3. WE deserve to get married in front of our friends and families

  4. The only reasons I didn't want a wedding (or at least the MAIN reasons) was because I didn't want my dad walking me down the aisle, I didn't want to dance a father-daughter dance, and I didn't want my dad to get on a microphone in the reception

  5. I want to honour my mom, and the amazing support, guidance, love... unconditional love... she has provided me my ENTIRE life... I wanted my mom to walk me down the aisle!

  6. If I stayed true to my personal beliefs, and we created a wedding that would be an authentic experience with no farces or fake impressions, a wedding could (WOULD) be an amazing celebration of our love

  7. I WANTED A WEDDING... an authentic one!!

So, obviously we decided to have a wedding... that meant one major thing: My dad had to be brought up to date on the fact that my mom would be walking me down the aisle. This emotional journey will be shared in the follow up post... I hope you come back!

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Don't forget about the Inkubook Coupon

Inkubook has generously offered all of you, bride-on-purpose readers, $10 off your inkubook order! Considering how reasonable their prices already are, this is a screaming deal!! All you have to do is enter the coupon code BRIDEOP (get it, BRIDE On Purpose) when you check out, and you get 10 smackers off an order of $30 or more!!

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Photobooks... What I have learned!

I have purchased 3 Inkubook photobooks in the last couple of weeks, and thought I would share with you some of my experiences. The first book I bought was the guestbook. I used our professional engagement pics and some casual, fun, personal pictures, to create what I think is a pretty great guestbook. I also recently purchased two books documenting the surprise trip my mom and sister planned for me to New Orleans. These two book are identical except for the dedication page at the front. In creating this book, I used the easy photo-editing program Picassa to get vivid colors in my pictures, and I think my ladies are going to love them!! So, here is a breakdown of what I love about them, what I have learned about them, and the changes I will make in the future...

FRONT COVER: below I am showing you the front covers from the two books. In the guest book I used a pretty bold graphic that wrapped around from front to back, and was part of the "Modern Guest Book" background options in Inkubook. This is totally customizable, but I really like the boldness of it. Compare that to the front of the N.O. book, which I used a soft pattern as the background. I really like the soft pattern with the Comic Sans font... it creates a casual feel, and I think the background works well to pop the photo I took at the N.O. airport! The other main difference between the two books is that the guest book cover is matte, while the N.O. cover is glossy. What I learned: I definitely prefer the glossy cover; I like the bigger text I used on the N.O. book; have fun with the background... I thought they both worked really well.

BACK COVER: Again, two totally different covers. For the guest book the same background graphic wrapped around from the front cover... but I love love love the picture I used here, along with the whimsical font. I think that is my favorite part from the book! For the N.O. book, I used a full bleed picture, with a small caption of thanks. I really like the impact of this picture, and the quality is great... I am just not in love with how the background pattern from the front wraps around the spine... that's just being picky though! What I learned: Well, again, I love the finish of the glossy cover in the N.O. book, but I think I prefer the smaller picture of the guest book.

LAYOUT: There are so many layout options available at Inkubook, that it really is only imagination that limits you. While it is definitely possible to create your own layouts in Photoshop or other programs, I really liked how easy it was using the pre-set layouts. If you have great high-res pictures (ie. from your professionals) definitely do the full bleed layouts... they are dramatic, and look fantastic (check out the one below from our e-pics). The layout on the left page of the spread shown below, though, could use some work. I really love the picture-on-picture that I used, especially since the inset pictures contrast the full-bleed picture, but it would have been better if I put the inset pics on the right, so they wouldn't get lost in the gutter. Another thing I found that I loved, was using a background picture behind detail pictures. In the shot below from the N.O. book, my sis took a great black and white shot of one of the cemeteries we visited, and I think it worked really well as a background for a couple detail pics from us touring the grounds. What I learned: keep pictures out of the gutter so as not to lose any details; when using background pictures, make sure there is enough contrast between them and the detail pics sitting on top; have fun with your layouts, and mix up how you combine the left and right pages... keep it interesting!

COLOR: There are many background color and pattern options available to you in Inkubook, and for the most part, I am loving the freedom to choose. I tend to gravitate towards white and black backgrounds, as I find the pictures really stand out against them, but I have definitely used some of the color and pattern options available. You can see in the picture below that I used the yellow background... out of all of the ones I have used, I found this one to be the most bright (read: distracting!). It's not horrible or anything, but I would just be careful of how bright you want to go... the softer colors seemed to add enough visual interest without overpowering the images. What I learned: definitely play around with color and pattern... just be careful not to draw attention AWAY from your images!

So, that's my experience so far... I am definitely learning as I go, but can say for sure that Inkubook is my go-to-spot for photobooks. I looked at a bunch of other options, but it was the ease of use of Inkubook that really worked for me. You can get creative and create your own layouts, or you can simply drag-and-drop to their many preset layouts! The quality of the books has been great (but I don't have anything to compare it to), the colors and quality of the pictures have all met my expectations (but be careful... if a picture looks grainy on your computer screen, it definitely will in print too!), and the customer service is really useful. Hopefully they will find a printer in Canada too so we can enjoy lower shipping rates, but since their book prices are so affordable, they are definitely the most economical option I have found... shipping to the north included!!

I hope this has been helpful! I also hope to hear back from you all if/when you take advantage of the coupon code we are offering here!! I always love seeing the creativity of the brides out there with their photobooks!!

Stumble Upon Toolbar

DISCOUNT... INKUBOOKs for bride-on-purpose readers!

Hey All!! So, I was about to jump up and down shouting "my first contest my first contest!!", until I realized this is even better... "it's a coupon, it's a coupon, for all of you, my dearest readers!!". Whew, got a bit lightheaded there... it's too early in the morning to jump up and down shouting about contests! But, I hope I got your attention!!
Inkubook has generously offered all of you, bride-on-purpose readers, $10 off your inkubook order! Considering how reasonable their prices already are, this is a screaming deal!! All you have to do is enter the coupon code BRIDEOP (get it, BRIDE On Purpose) when you check out, and you get 10 smackers off an order of $30 or more!!
I have already told you about the inkubooks I made for our guest book, and then as a gift for my mom and sister for the trip to New Orleans they surprised me with... and yes, I did get a bit giddy with the whole inkubook widget! The project that started it all has yet to be revealed, but trust me, the bridesmaid gift books I have made (and just ordered) will be shared with you all soon!! I am sure many of you are waiting to hear about my review of the two books I have already ordered, so stay tuned... real live review coming up today!!
Go on, run over to inkubook and take advantage of this awesome offer!

Stumble Upon Toolbar