First look at wedding photos!!!!

Steph sent us our pictures the day of my parents’ 32nd anniversary. So cute!
We had a great time doing the pictures with Steph and Ben of Taylor Clark Photography.
With my parents
Our wonderful wedding party
My amazing bridesmaids
Mackin’ out lol

July Favourites!

A tray of favourites!

 I love my IKEA Idelisk tray. It currently sits on our coffee table to hold the coasters and stuff. Last year I kept it on my vanity with jewelry.

I saw Kraft’s chocolate-peanut butter spread, and it’s phenomenal. In two weeks the jar is almost gone. Oops.

The jar on the left is “Beeswax Skincream” from Little Rock Honey. My mom found it for me at a Christmas market last year, and it’s been really helpful for eczema. I’ve been getting heat rash in my elbows since there’s been so hot in Toronto.

Sweaty face makeup (plus my favourite summer lipstick)

I don’t wear makeup every day, since I’m still job-hunting. Yoga and meditation at home doesn’t require makeup. When I do decide I want a little coverage, I always wear my Garnier Ombrelle face sunscreen, which feels mattefying like a primer. Then I use the Body Shop’s Vitamin E Cool BB cream. If I’m not being active, I can use this Clinique Line Smoothing Concealer, which I don’t have specific thoughts about, but the colour only matches me in summer. Eyebrows are Annabelle 020 Blonde. Lashes are Maybelline’s waterproof “Pumped Up Collassal“. The best part? Revlon’s Lasting FInish by Kate Lipstick #110.

This month I decided to try meditation. I figured that since I’m not working yet, and I’ve been lying around doing yoga and reading, I must have time to try meditation. I searched online to find Android apps that are good guides, since previokusly I’ve never liked the apps  found. I found Calm, which has some guided “courses” for learning how to meditate, timers for once you’re comfortable, and sleep guides. The guides I’ve done so far have been very calming and encouraging.  They even have a calendar that tells you if you’re on a streak (I’m 6/6 so far!). I can’t tell if it’s relaxed me that much, since I’m not stressed right now, but I look forward to continue doing it.

Our amazing clock
This tree trunk clock was a wedding gift from my Oma. It was made by a man named Henry Neufeld. He is pretty “famous” in the Mennonite world for his carpentry. So obsessed.
Glass box of honeymoon souveniers

Today I found a beautiful glass box from Urban Outfitters to put the little things we found on our honeymoon. Yeah, maybe they tell you to not take anything “except pictures” but we grabbed some shells, rocks, seaweed, driftwood, and a claw. 

Our Honeymoon to Nova Scotia

Nic and I had an awesome time on our honeymoon in Nova Scotia. We decided we wanted to go to the Maritimes to go camping together, do lots of hiking, and hang out in Halifax.

On the plane to Halifax!

Stormy Cheticamp, NS

Searching for whales on the Skyline Trail in Cape Breton



Sunset at Presqu’ile in Cape Breton

Canoeing at St. Mary’s Boat Club in Halifax
Lobster, scallops, shrimp, and salmon at McElvie’s

My Engagement Ring

Finding an engagement ring I loved took a while, since I wanted something with a little personality and that I could continue to wear for a long time. If there had been a vintage ring in either of our families, I would have preferred that, but that wasn’t an option. I also knew I wanted white gold, since I generally wear silver jewellery with my skin tone. I also wanted a solitaire, and something that I would feel more comfortable wearing out and about. 

I found this ring at Peaces of Indigo’s Etsy site, and fell in love. This is the most similar listing she currently has on the site. 
The photos below are from our engagement shoot with Taylor Clark Photography.

Engagement Pictures with Taylor Clark Photography – Wedding Episode 4

This August Nic and I got our engagement pictures done by Steph and Ben of Taylor Clark Photography. I thought I would share some of our pictures since they turned out so well! We ended up doing our pictures at the Toronto Harbourfront because it was most convenient for us to meet them since they had a client meeting right before in Toronto.

What to Wear for you Engagement Pictures:

  • Plan your outfits together so that they work well
  • Make sure you have backup ideas for rain or snow etc. Don’t ruin your beautiful heels in mud.
  • Have a casual and a fancier outfit
  • Keep your personalities in mind. What do you like to do? How can you incorporate your interests into the pictures?
    • Nic and I had wanted to do some photos in a rented canoe, since we love canoeing, but when we got to the location we realized that it would be too complicated, so we stuck with our other idea of getting the ice cream. 
  • Make a shot “wishlist.” If you’re on Pinterest, take advantage of that, and find pictures that you like. If your photographer is also on Pinterest, let them see that board. They can do their best to get the shots that you want, and will understand your style better.
Here are some links to check out:

My engagement ring is from Peaces of Indigo, and Etsy site
We couldn’t get our pictures IN a canoe, but we used the bright colours behind us anyway.

There was an outdoor salsa concert going on, so I had to dance.

My man is jacked. And look at those dimples. 😉

Wedding Dress Shopping!!! – Wedding Planning Episode 3

I have been so excited to actually go gown shopping, because since I was little I have been sketching ideas of what my dress would look like. When I was a pre-teen it was more of a ballgown, with a corset back. A decade later, my tastes are more relaxed. (I would love to wear a huge tulle princess gown, but I know that it’s too out of character, so I’d regret it later.)
Originally I had been looking on Etsy for dresses, because they’re often a lot cheaper. Unfortunately, every time I fell in love with a dress (and it was usually around $100 + shipping) the sketchy Chinese Etsy store would disappear, and so would the listing. I realized I was going to have to shop in a real store so I knew that gown wouldn’t go away.
I also had a smaller budget than many brides, so I looked at designers that sold long bridesmaids gowns in ivory. I knew I wanted chiffon, a-line to highlight my waist, and some sort of sweetheart neckline. I found a few Jim Hjelm dresses I wanted to try, and found out that the only Ottawa store that carried them was White Satin Bridal in Bell’s Corners. I made an appointment.
For my entourage, I took my Mom, and my best friend from childhood and maid of honour, Kelsey. I knew I could trust them to be honest but gentle about their opinions on how the gowns looked on me. I also knew that Mom would not let me spend or try on something out of my budget and try to justify it (especially since my gorgeous Badgley Mischka shoes were a leeeetle more than I had planned on paying for-but they’re stunning, and I’ll wear them for years).

Looking through the bridesmaids racks
I posed with some bridal gowns so it would look like I was actually wedding dress shopping, even though the gown I ended up buying was a sample in blue. It was a little hard to envision it that way, but the Ivy & Aster gown I bought is also a bridal gown, so I could at least see it, with a slightly different fabric.
Kelsey and I, happy after I “Said Yes”

I was a little surprised that I didn’t cry when we decided on the Ivy & Aster bridesmaid gown, but I think that might be because it was blue, and not ivory. I’m sure once I get it in the right colour and it is sized to me, it will be more emotional.

Wedding Dress Shopping Advice:
  • Make an inspiration board, either online on Pinterest, or in a binder. You’ll see which characteristics you like
    • Look in your closet for what necklines, waist details, fabrics, etc. you are drawn to, and are most comfortable in.
  • Make a budget, and remember that taxes on expensive things are really big, and you will also have some alterations. (With my 4″ heels, the length won’t be a problem, but I’ll probably need my bust done, and they said that would be about $40, but it could be up to $100 for some brides)
  • Choose an “entourage” you can trust. If my other two bridesmaids were in town, I probably would have taken them, but it felt very comfortable with Mom and Kelsey. They both understood my vision and could be more critical.
  • Stick to your guns- I didn’t have a problem with this, because Kelsey and Mom were right about which one looked best on me, but too often on wedding shows the bride crumbles under critiques. The dress is yours, and you’re the one who has to live with the pictures. (I’m glad I’m not an 80s bride with a bustle and bow on my butt.)
  • Relax and enjoy the experience.

My first red cup of the season!

Afterward, we went to Starbucks to talk about the experience and some other things. When we got out of the cars, Kelsey ran up and said that it had hit her then that we had just bought my dress, and I agreed. I hadn’t gone into the appointment expecting to buy a dress, so it was nice that I found something flattering and flowing that I could see myself walking down the aisle in. It was also cool to have Mom and Kelsey hang out like that, because they are two of my favourite women,
226 days until I get married to Nic!!!!

Planning a Wedding | Episode 2: The Photographer

One of the most important things for a wedding is the photographer, because that’s how your children will get to tease you when your outfits go out of style. Even though it’s a ridiculous idea to print out all the pictures your photographer takes, you still want to like what you’re paying for. Do you want to save on the photos by going under $1000 but have awkward compositions and over-exposed pictures? Do you have a friend or relative who is a freelance photographer and would be willing to do it for free or at a discount? (Or would they prefer to enjoy the day?) Are the pictures extremely important to you and you want to budget more for them?
When Nic and I were researching photographers, we found that there were some in our area that were under $1000 but they had an older style that did not fit the vibe of our wedding or relationship. In Ottawa, the nicer photographers start closer to $2000 including the engagement pictures, so make sure you feel their prices are reasonable.

How to Find Your Style:

  • Search through wedding sites, or even Pinterest’s wedding page, and see what sorts of pictures jump out at you. Are they more formal, candid, or relaxed? Do you want the pictures to be portraiture, journalistic, or candid? Do you want all the little details captured, like buttons on the dress, and the invitations? Not all photographers are good at changing the styles, so when you start looking at their blogs remember that you can’t ask them to change their usual technique. 
  • What is the colouring of the photography like? Is it more realistic, black and white, or some sort of vintage-y vibe? Those differences are easier for photographers to change.
  • Create a collage board or a virtual board like on Pinterest. This way it’s easy to compare people to your style.
Once you’ve determined as a couple what you want your pictures to look like, start searching for photographers in your area. You can very quickly determine if their pictures fit your style by looking at the first page of their site. I also vetoed any page that had music playing in the background, because that fad is so over. 
Create a spreadsheet that includes their name(s), website, email address, what is included in the package you can pay for with your budget, and any other comments you may have. This comparison is challenging because everyone puts their packages together differently. A good idea would be to break down the total by hour so that you know what you’re getting out of it. Don’t forget taxes! Start looking as soon as you can, because when we were emailing people in March 2014 for our June 2015 wedding, many of them were already booked.

Question Guides:

Who is our photographer? Steph from Taylor Clark Photography. Her pictures are stunning, and I am so excited to work with her. I discovered her when I was searching for pictures at the Britannia Yacht Club–I fell in love with her pictures and the BYC.
She got married to her husband Ben this past summer, and it’s the wedding I wish I could afford, so I know that she understands the feel Nic and I are going for with our wedding. Nic and I drove to Kingston at the end of April and had a lot of fun hanging out with her at Starbucks. We ended up not doing our engagement pictures then, because it was pouring rain, but we’re excited for August 9 in Toronto when we’ll try again.