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.
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