10 Tips From A Bride That Was To Be (NUDE pictures enclosed)


Made you look! Fully clothed. I promise you.

Well, the rumours are true.  I got married this past year. Hitched up. Tied the knot. Hooked. No matter how you put it, I wore a beautiful dress with the most amazing shoes and celebrated with family, friends and  a candy bar that vanished within 5 minutes. What I learned from my year of planning and prepping and stressing Oh My! is that IT ALL COMES TOGETHER and if it doesn’t? It does. In more ways than one.   I learned a few tips along the way that helped me create a unique and fun day. Hopefully you’ll take a few pieces of advice when planning yours. You might  read this and think, “ah man she’s full of poo”. And that’s totally fair.  I am full of  poo some days but I had a FUN day and for me, that is success right there.

1. PUT DOWN THOSE CORNY BRIDAL MAGAZINES . Do not even touch one. Put down those scissors.  From the satin strappy heels, bedazzled dress to rhinestone body jewellery and bridal headgear, there is some really REALLY scary stuff out there when it comes to the vision of “the perfect bride”. Who wants to be perfect? I’ll admit, I glanced through one only to discover it took me less than a second to cringe. Out loud.  “EWWWWW”. Quickly dropping it to the floor in exchange for a copy of British Vogue I was stealth at hiding it very well behind the wrong magazine  rack.  The thought of pulling out my tiara from  my costume box accompanied with a diamond sash made me chuckle. Believe me I’d love nothing more to look  like a 6-year-old in a poofy taffeta dress in a character performance. But I opted out for this occasion. Stay true to what suits YOU. A lot of dress inspirations that I gathered were from favourite designer collections as well as Pinterest and fashion blogs.  Know what works for you and find  styles that you admire. It will cut out a lot of CRAP.  And you’d surprised as what you’ll find in a copy of the latest British Vogue. There is nothing worse than watching a bride not look anything like herself.


2. COLLABORATE . I was in LOVE and still am with designers Jenny Packham and Delphine Manivet. But my bank account wasn’t. I avoided all bridal boutiques to not further harm my addictive personality. Once I fall in love with something its hard for me not to have it. Nor could I  justify taking out a bank loan for a dress that I would afterwards pack up for storage. And by storage I mean my costume box. Let’s get real here, Fall is coming and my love for boots and future travel is a huge priority. It’s the perfect excuse to save the extra money. So I thought, Who do I know that would let me collaborate with them on MY dress? I want an original “Sicoli”.  None other than Vancouver Designer, the talented and awesome, Isabelle Dunlop. From the hand-picked french lace to the roughing and intricate detailing, she graciously allowed me to be hands on every step of the way over coffee and carrot muffins.  This was AWESOME. I reassured her that if I was annoying in any way to let her know, as I love to be hands on. Drawing the dress, sending images and talking it out was the way to go. We basically improvised our way in making my gown. Best part about it is no one else owns one, just little ol ‘ me which made me even more over the moon. I also had a blast collaborating on my wedding invitations with the talented art director and graphic designer, Natalie Pagnucco. I was lucky to have a pal who was gracious  enough to allow me to illustrate my image and general idea. She had creatively complied a list of fonts, colours and layouts for us to play with and together we were able to agree on what I believe to have been the perfect personalized invitation for David and I. Thanks ladies for allowing me to brainstorm and work closely with you and your talents.


3. CHOO’S YOUR CHOO’S WISELY . CHOOse a pair of heels that you will wear again. Because I went with a simpler, classy  and more elegant dress I decided to splurge on the shoes. Yes, I’m a shaddict and for my special day I decided to treat myself.  Saving on the dress and getting an AMAZING deal on these shoes I had no reason not to buy them.  I wasn’t expecting to go sparkly  but when I saw them I just knew. And when I tried them on sans Prince Charming I was convinced. Surprisingly enough I lasted in them all night. They were tres comfortable and best part, I can wear them to any event over and over again. With a different dress of course.


4. TAKE SOME TIME OUT FOR YOU . It’s a big day. EVERYONE wants to pull you every which way. There are a lot of emotions going on and one important piece of advice given to me was to take a TSN TIME OUT. I wonder what he was thinking….”WHAT THE HELL AM I DOING?????” I, on the other hand was trying to get to the candy bar.


5. DIY BRIDESMAID DRESSES .  Everyone has their own personality and their own sense of style. There is nothing worse than begrudgingly paying for a dress that you may NEVER wear again. Add on the fact that you may not even like it. So, in respect to all shapes and sizes and a love for a garden party flair and good material (of course) I asked everyone to think “vintage” “garden party” “soft colours” and “PLEASE no satin”. AMAZINGLY enough the dresses all complimented each other and everyone was happy with their selections. Despite my bombarding them with vision boards (sorry ladies) I think it worked cause they all looked gorgeous.  And the guys? Well..a handsome bunch I might say. We opted for the traditional rented tux that is worn by many over and over…and over again. They must have good dry-cleaning rates on them. Sharp, classy navy suits were chosen on their own and we tied them all together with pink and blue polka dots. Get it? Tie(d). I am goooood!




6. GET CRAFTY . I love craftersizing and I wanted to add as much personal touch to our day. Instead of buying a typical wedding book for guests I decided to pull out the Polaroids and put together a sketch book which would allow guests to draw, sign and write unique messages to us.  I don’t just want your signature, I want you to be creative too. Accents, details, quirky things that you love should be added to the day. And considering that I’m part nerd part goof and all class it seemed to fit the occasion.


7. FLOWER POWER & CAKE . Keep it simple and eat your cake. I only remember cutting the cake and then didn’t see it until the next morning.  So take the time to eat your cake! As for flowers, choose something that’s not only lovely but delicate enough for guests to take home conveniently. I chose a mixture of english roses and lavender to which I found  was just the right size. It wasn’t  overpowering by any means as some bouquets are. Sometimes I find a bridal bouquet to be an array of over the top lustre including weeds, flowers and bejewelled roses. Go simpler (and more cost-effective). Mason jars with lavender and hydrangea allowed guests to take them home instead of being thrown away  at the end of the night.  I still have bundles of lavender around my place…mixed in with the lavender I’ve been stealing from people’s properties late at night. Stealth.



8.  JUST SMILE & HAVE A DRINK .  YOU MAY NOT KNOW EVERYONE .  It’s true. Especially if you’re in the bridal party. How fun it was for the entire wedding party plus our parents  to greet ALL of guests in a small amount of time (at least I thought it was fun).  I wish I had a camera recording the line of awkward moments,  new faces, an array of characters, funny conversations, intimate moments and a few new impressions.  A tray of wine and of course water is just what the doctor ordered to keep us hydrated and  for the  line  to move along  in a speedy fashion. Of course things were delayed but it was great to see such excited faces. And WOW! All of the love in that room! My cheeks never hurt so much from smiling. If you ever need a cheek workout, smile for about 2 hours. You can also practice “greeting” beforehand. Here’s how.

photo-3 copy


9.  KNOW YOUR HAIR & MAKEUP .  For those who know me, my hair obsessions are out of control. I love hair. I love the way it changes a look. I love luscious locks on a man and a woman. I love hair.  Loose and luscious. I love hair. I knew I didn’t want a french roll or a loosely coiled ringlets at the sides of my head circa prom ’97.  I honestly didn’t know what to do with mine. Up or down? Down or up? Because my dress and jewelry were simple I wanted something a fuller and au natural with a bit of sassy class. So, I turned to a few hair inspirations and fortunately enough my hair stylist knew what she was doing. Since the wedding was out-of-town I was panicking as to who to call considering all the amazing hair & makeup professionals that I knew out here.  Realistically, I couldn’t pack them in my luggage. The overweight fees are ridiculous these days.! So, with the right suggestions and research I was happy with whom I chose. And I hope the bridal party was too.  As for makeup, I brought my own. You’re the only one who knows what works best on your skin. Trust yourself. Trust your makeup. Trust is truth. Makeup is pretty. I love hair.



10. HAVE FUN CAUSE IT’S OVER  JUST .  LIKE  . THAT. I started planning a year before the wedding. From designing the invites to making sure everything from the ceremony to the party was going to characterize us as a couple we wanted to make it as FUN as possible for everyone involved. It was the first time a lot people met, and there were a lot of moments where my emotions were flying (my family, friends and hubby can attest). But they love me just the way I am.  I thought if I could produce, create and perform a solo show I could plan a wedding (with help of course) . Sometimes it’s hard to let go and ask for help (at least for me. I like to be in control) but I’m learning slowly but surely to let go. Of course there were times where I yelled, “I don’t want to do get married anymore!!!” OR  sang, “I knew we should have eloped!!!” But it wouldn’t have been the same. Weather you sing it,  yell it, rap it, you are IN IT ALREADY. The most important lesson was to MAKE IT FUN and not to get caught up in the whole hoopla of what a wedding is supposed to be. It’s not a wedding unless its yours. Don’t listen to anything that doesn’t make you feel comfortable and stay true to what you want.  The amount of love, joy and beautiful moments can’t be described here. The most intimate moments are left in the heart and for my eyes only. But there’s nothing wrong in sharing in the FUN.  I hope this was as enjoyable for you as it was for me – CS XX



photo-4 copy


Friday I’m In Love.

It’s Friday. Are you in love? I am. With a lot of things. I don’t think you ever stop learning the different levels of love. And as you get older they affect you even more. Maybe these are my hormones yapping away. Weather it’s with your significant other, friends, family, a crush (oh get real we all have em), or a new pair of  boots that you shouldn’t have bought. I love a sweet smile that makes my heart beat and a hug that tickles my spine. You have lust, romantic feelings, physical attraction (boom boom) and emotional attachment. The beauty of this recipe is that they blend to make one long stroke of love. It took me less than a minute for my heart to melt and my eyes to mist. This is the game of love. – CS xx

Young love is the sweetest . Old love is the deepest – unknown


Friday’s dance selection. I dare you to prance around and dance it off!



CHELSEA BROOKE ROISUM – photographer extraordinaire. Seriously! This gal is one talented, beautifully charming human being! She made me forget about my stuffy, snotty nose for one afternoon. I chucked my Vick’s Vapour Rub out the window (I didn’t. I just wanted to sound dramatic), threw on a medley of clothing, makeup and brought my imagination. Together we collaborated on amazing creativity and captured some fine moments of the deliciously unexpected. My kind of afternoon, when work is PLAY. Well, when anything is PLAY. I’m having a moment here ……beat beat beat…… Alright! I’m back. This was one fine afternoon of magical gifts, a camera and two gals!. – CS xx


If you missed 60 Second Tips With Sicoli last week, check it – TIP: How To Make Simple Crafts On A Budget. 


Bridesmaids gone wrong.

Do you ever have those nights where you plan something and then those plans totally flip unexpectedly? I had one of those on Saturday night. My man and I were going to go on a date night….Tojo’s (I have yet to be) and then off to see Bridesmaids. After getting home from an action packed hour at Costco (never go on a Saturday)…we decided to forgo Tojo as we both felt a bit off (and I don’t think sushi would have done the trick to feel better). Instead we opted for homemade chicken soup and Bridesmaids. After arriving at the theatre I suddenly felt nauseous seeing the lineups and could throw up at the thought of having to sit in the front row (my worst movie nightmare). I was a bit bummed because I was thinking about this movie all week BUT was relieved to not sit in a jam-packed theatre. I don’t enjoy it as much as settling in to a matinée where you have more breathing space or at night when it’s full but not so packed that you are forced to the front row! NIGHTMARE!!  So, I’ve decided to wait until the hype is over. I remember seeing the SEX AND THE CITY films in packed theatre and was so annoyed at the teeny boppers dressed up like a group of hoochies heading out to da club squealing at absolutely everything….OR maybe I was just annoyed at the fromageness of the script. Good lord tell me you agree. It should have stopped at the first movie. Anyhoo my point was…we discovered something else that interesting, the chinese night market! It was fun to walk around the kiosks, trying some shrimp dumplings and chicken skewers and enjoying the people watching and of course the company. I even went to the library (I’m a library nerd) and rented “Chaplain”. Sometimes the unexpected can be just what you need. – Christina XO

Someone got a little too excited over the DUMPLINGS.

"Mmmmm Dumplings...nom nom  nom".“Mmmm dumplings..nom nom nom”.

Ooodles of people.

Me likey China Town.

Uh no comment. Actually…AMAZING character shoes!


Going The Distance

Yesterday, my guy and I planned to take  a little road treat to Seattle. Although plans were a bit shifted we made the best of it. Isn’t is always the way? You plan a trip and BOOM something comes up. Oh well….We went with it. So we took advantage of the time we had and across the border we went. First stop,  my all time favorite grocery store, Trader Joe’s. I have the worst ADD when it comes to stores, the bright colors, the tunes blaring over the stereo system, the free coffee, the people, the giant liquor section and the deals. It’s such a shame that we don’t have them in Canada. You can find everything for CHEAP!! Not to mention, the quality of products that you get. I’m a bit of a health nut so I tend to buy a lot of yummy healthy eats. The bonus of the fruits and vegetables is you don’t feel like you bought a small island when purchasing fresh organic food. Seriously, a bag of organic apples were $2.99 which I think is tres reasonable. I don’t have much of a sweet tooth either but if there is something with chocolate and peanut butter in it I am a sucker! Therefore, we HAD to buy these mini chocolate chip peanut butter cups. OMG!!! buy some frozen yogurt and dump some in! YUMMMMMYYYYYY!

Our second Stop was the Buffalo Exchange in Bellingham. WOO HOOOOOO Vintage heaven. WOW! I usually take my consignment to a few stores here in Vancouver but from now on I am taking everything here. They didn’t hesitate with barely any of my items and I ended up with either $65.00 to spend in the store OR $40.00 to take with me. I opted for the $65.00. So basically, I got a credit of $65.00 and bought a pair of vintage cowboy boots for $25, leather back boots for $25, a cute dress for $10.00 and 5 pairs of brand new Betsy Johnson socks for $11.00….I paid the extra amount. I was a very happy camper.

Next, my main purpose was to search for my HUNTER rain boots which are about $50.00 cheaper than in Canada. (And I bought them with my birthday money) Like I say, when it comes to boots, shoes…I will pay for quality. And considering they are a durable boot why pay $15 for a pair that will fall apart? Especially living in Vancouver I will use them all of the time. So we went on a goose chase for them, we couldn’t go as far as Seattle due to time but I ended up going to two Nordstrom’s. First one they didn’t have my size in the black. My boyfriend at this point wanted to leave me at the side of the road. The lengths a man will go for you in order to get a pair of rain boots is the test of a true man. He went for a beer at this point because I was driving him crazy. Then we zipped to the second Nordstrom’s where he was adamant about me getting them considering that was the main purpose of going to the States. We zipped there and I got the last pair! YES!!!!!  Again a happy camper.

Then I got caught at the sale rack! Shhhhh.

Last stop before home, The Casino. He lost. Booooo.

Anyhow, had a great day and look forward to an overnight where we can spend more time in Seattle. I’m pooped. – Christina XO



Gas Town Shop Hop

Last night I prowled Gastown with a friend for the Gastown Shop Hop. It is our tradition to do this. We catch up in the few hours that we have while smelling fresh leather, touching outrageous fabrics and catching up on our life. The Shop Hop is  an event where all of the local boutiques in the area are open until 9 pm with an extra 20 % off on all items. I must have been deathly ill because I didn’t buy a thing. Or maybe I felt the need to buy something because there was a sale OR I was just being extra specific with my purchasing. But I had a lovely time in my absolute favorite stores with one of my favorite peeps! Thanks Miranda! Did anyone go to the shop hop? – Christina XO


The Wing Nuts Bowling League

The past weekend was pretty busy, I took in two fantastic theatre shows, “Lobby Hero” at the Havana starring the talented Loretta Walsh and “Thunderstick” at the Firehall Arts Center staring another friend of mine, the very funny Craig Lauzon (Royal Canadian Air Farce) and Lorne Cardinal (Corner Gas). I also managed to squeeze in a night of bowling. WOW! I haven’t bowled in years. I remember when I was younger I would go to bowling birthday parties in my home town. The smell of smoke would fill the air, bowling shoes were not too clean, and plates of pizza and fries would be passed along the score sheets.

What a difference now! The bowling lanes were CLEAN! No smoke (phew!), you can’t eat while you play, almost new shoes (as far as they looked), I even bought a pair of socks for $3.00 because I forgot mine. I thought I was renting them at first thinking, No way could rental socks be $3.oo! So I took them. Then realized I had bought them. Next time I should remember to bring my own socks! A few friends of mine and I went to the Commodore lanes and Billiards for an hour of F-U-N. I didn’t realize how much aggression one could take out on that 5 pin. Maybe that was just me. You’re not supposed to bounce the ball on the lane right? But I even placed second with a few strikes that helped me raise my game. To rent for an hour was $30.00. Round up some friends, have a beer or two and you are set. I’m starting to think I want to start a bowling night, get into teams and dressing up in proper bowling league attire is a MUST. The name, “The Wing Nuts” came to mind. Hmmm…What do you think? – Christina XO