Thursday, July 30, 2009

Frugal Friday (A Day Early)

I'm catching a flight to LA tonight. So looking forward to spending a long weekend with the BF at the west coast home (hopefully most of it on the beach)! Frugal Friday comes early since there's a 30% off coupon that you can start using TODAY at Gap, Old Navy and Banana Republic. Have a great weekend!

Magazine Deals via Amazon

Marie Claire (2-year)- US $10.00

Gap, Old Navy and Banana Republic - US and Canada

Albeit Jewelery - This one end tomorrow (Friday)!

10% Off Blue Jenny Yoo Bridesmaid Dresses

  • If you live in Calgary or Vancouver, check out Frocks to see the latest from Jenny Yoo.
  • If you live in Toronto, check out White Toronto.
  • To find a location near you, click here.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

One Funky Bride meets One Funky Photographer

I've been stalking the blog of LA based photographer Caroline Tran a lot lately. Caroline always finds the best locations, the best lighting........... and the funkiest couples always seem to find her. Case in point:

How awesome is this bride's outfit? Love the fascinator.

To see more pictures from this shoot, head over to Caroline Tran's blog.

Monday, July 27, 2009


I recently stumbled across a whole slew of Canadian wedding bloggers. When I first started blogging about year ago, the only Canadian blogger that I knew of was the witty Krista, aka The Canadian Bride. I'm very happy to have 'met' more Canadian bloggers over the last year. If you're a Canuck, and are looking to read some friendly CanCon blogs, then here are some I highly recommend (in no particular order):

The Canadian Bride - Krista hails from Kingston, ON and for the past year, I've been following her adventures in wedding planning. Right now she's in the midst of doing her recaps, so head on over there to see the fruits of her labour.

Nicole and Jesse (Get Married) - Nicole hails from the Waterloo area and is having her wedding in a children's museum! How cool is that?! Oh, and somehow Nicole finds a way to run half-marathons/triathlons when she's not working or planing her wedding.

Something Weddings - Brandy and her mister of 9 years live in the as well. Her wedding planning has taken on some twists and turns over the last several months. She recently announced a 'game changer' decision - she and mister are going to elope in Montreal. Will she do it?? Stay tuned.

And Stanley Makes Three..... - BEL's blog is a recent discovery for me. She's planning a 2010 wedding in Northern Ontario from Vancouver, BC. Her venue is by far the most interesting one I've heard in a long time - The Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre. You're curious, aren't ya?!

- Also a recent discovery - Tiffany will be getting married in the Canadian Rockies. Check out her weekly feature, "2 the North Tuesdays", which spotlights Canadian wedding vendors.

A Little Birdie Weds - I found Steph's blog via bride-on-purpose. Steph is a post-grad student in event management. Her and her finance are currently living in England and are about to come home to Canada to plan their 2010 Haliburton, ON wedding.

The Marry Melodies - This lovely wedding 'obsess-er' from Ottawa has the best wedding candy around. Head on over there if you need some inspiration. You won't be disappointed.

A Vancouver Bride - In less than 2 months, this Vancouverite is getting married in Whistler, BC. Um, can you say 'jealous'?

Marie-Eve in Montreal - This 'practical' bride hails from one of my favourite cities - the city of poutine, smoked meat, and amazing shopping. Marie-Eve was so 'practical' that she actually cooked her own wedding feast! I know, incroyable!

And finally, although she's not Canadian (but she is within the Commonwealth), I have to mention Anna and the Ring. This Londoner and her tales of planning a "shabby-chic luxe" wedding often has me in stitches. Anna's lovely sense of style and equally lovely sense of humour will make you an instant stalker. Luckily, Anna posts so many times a day so you can always get a fix.

If you're a Canadian blogger (wedding or not), let me know and I'll add you to my blogroll. Now go on....go blog stalk a Canadian, eh? ;)

*FYI-Those vendors or blogs that are Canadian are marked with an asterisk in my blog roll.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Enjoy the Silence

How was your weekend? It rained, no, it POURED all weekend here in the Really, it was miserable. The highlight of my weekend was when I saw Depeche Mode Friday night. Knowing that I've never seen DM live before, the BF got me two tickets to see them. Unfortunately, the BF was not in town to see them with me but fortunately, my friend Erin was! She's LOVES, and I mean LOVES Dave Gahan. Erin had been practicing her DM dance moves for a week straight. Well, Dave did not disappoint.

"Tour of the Universe" supports the band's 12th studio album, Sounds of the Universe. I first got into Depeche Mode when I was 10 or so as my aunt, who is only 9 years older than me, was a huge fan. I remember her playing Music for the Masses non-stop and parking herself in front of the TV to catch DM's music videos. And since I wanted to be cool like my aunt, I listened and watched along with her. I can't believe it took me this long to see DM live. They lived up to all my expectations. Dave Gahan is the ultimate showman and for someone who is approaching 50, he is in incredible shape. I was tired after dancing two hours straight!! I couldn't imagine doing that nearly every night! Anyways, here are some pics I took with my point and shoot. Check out Martin Gore's rockin' outfit.

Which artist have you been a long-time fan of but still haven't seen live?

Friday, July 24, 2009

Wedding Etiquette: How to Gift When there is a Cash Bar?

Someone recently asked me the appropriate amount to gift if there is a cash bar at a wedding.

My response?
Cash bars are a bit tacky in my (and Emily Post's) opinion (especially if the bride spends thousands on a designer gown - can you tell I'm jaded?) if you're having a full sit-down dinner; but not every couple can afford an open bar and they certainly shouldn't be punished for that. A wedding gift should be a token of your affection and well-wishes for the couple. Not a token of what you estimate is the value of your meal and drinks. I mean, otherwise, using that logic, does that mean the kid with the birthday party with the bouncy castle, clowns, petting zoo would always get the better present!!??

Also, I think it's important to keep in mind (me included) that cash bar can mean many things nowadays. For example, there may be wine/beer served with dinner but afterward guests are on the hook; or there may an open bar up to a certain point in the evening.

What do you think? Should a cash bar factor into the value of your gift? What about if the wedding is a brunch or a cocktail event? What's your take on cash bar? Discuss.

Frugal Friday: Tidbits from the Interwebs

1. More Magazines!

Happy Friday! If you missed out on the $5.00 Real Life Simple magazine subscription last week, maybe this will soften the blow. Subscribe to Marie Claire for 1 year for only US $8.00! Or even better, subscribe for 2 years for US $10.00. Click on the links below to take you to Amazon. Sorry fellow Canadians (and other nationals), this one is only for our American cousins.

Marie Claire (2-year)- US $10.00

2. Win 3 hours of Wedding Photography.

If you're located in Southern Ontario and are getting married in 2010 or 2011, then this is the contest for you. In Boom Photography is awarding 3 FREE hours of wedding photography to one lucky couple! The winning couple will also receive:
* unlimited shooting locations throughout that time
* all photos edited with minor touch-ups
* access to an online gallery with shopping cart for 3 months
* all unmarked photos on a DVD in high-resolution format

How Do You Enter? Click here to take you to the In Bloom Photography blog for more details. Hurry! Contest ends July 31, 2009.

Here is some photo candy from In Bloom's portfolio:

3. Calgarly Boudoir Marathon by Tait Boudoir

Thinking about doing a boudoir session? Don't really have the funds? Photographers usually offer 'marathon' sessions (they shoot sessions back to back in one location) which allow photographers to offer reduced pricing to their clients since the location costs are shared.

Tait Boudoir Photography is holding a boudoir marathon on Monday, August 3rd at the Hotel Arts. For more information, head over to

4. Portrait Special at Fuller Edge Photography

Looks like the deals are happening in Calgary! Fuller Edge Photography, another Calgary photography company, is have slashing its portrait session fees by 50%. For more information, head over to Full Edge Photography's blog. You may be familiar with Fuller Edge as they have been featured on Style Me Pretty and Rock 'n Roll Bride. Here are a few of my favourites:

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Opening Soon in Toronto......

As you know from my previous posts, I've been anxiously awaiting for Cynthia Martyn (of Toronto-based Cynthia Martyn Events) to open her bridesmaids atelier. Cynthia announced yesterday on her blog that her newly named store, Sash & Bustle, will open its doors this September! Cynthia's original idea to provide chic bridesmaid attire has expanded to include
"bridal alternatives" for brides who are in the market for non-traditional gowns. As such, Cynthia also announced yesterday that Sash & Bustle will be the exclusive retailer of Stephanie James Couture dresses in Toronto. To my knowledge, Sash & Bustle will be the first Canadian retailer to carry Stephanie James' vintage-inspired dresses. So exciting. Make sure you check Cynthia's blog regularly for updates on Sash & Bustle. The opening of this new and edgy boutique is a welcome addition to Toronto's bridal gown market.

photo by Victor Sizemore via Cynthia Martyn Events blog

Monday, July 20, 2009

Photo Candy by Jessica Claire

Jessica Claire, a SoCal based photographer (who was named one of 2008's top 10 wedding photographers in the world by American Photo Magazine), just recently posted photos from this wedding held at a gorgeous historic theatre. Jessica did an amazing job of capturing the grandeur of the theatre, especially in this shot. In Jessica's recap of this wedding, she mentioned that the couple had a private dinner while their guests enjoyed the cocktail hour. While their guests sat down to dinner, they went from table to table to greet their guests. What a great idea! I know so many couples who don't get the chance to eat the delicious food they've chosen (and have usually eaten nothing all day!). To see more photos from this wedding, click here to take you to Jessica Claire's site.

Weekend Lowdown

This past weekend, I was lucky enough to have a 'ME' weekend. It started with an hour massage which I SO needed. I didn't realize how much I needed one until afterword, I noticed that my shoulders weren't up by my ears. My company benefits cover massages so I didn't have to worry about the cost. Thank you employer! If you live in Toronto, go to the Adelaide Club Spa and ask for Cindy. It's a bit of a no-frills massage (i.e. no fancy robes and slippers) but Cindy works wonders and the prices are very reasonable.

After my massage, I hit up the newest arrival on the café scene in Toronto, Petite Thuet. This is the latest venture for Chef Marc Thuet and his wife Bianca Zorich. The mini cafe is filled with lovely French pastries and savoury items like sandwiches, soups and salads. I noshed on a veggie pizza made on a croissant-like crust and a latte. Delice!

I was drooling over the macaroons but was too full to have one.

After my petite déjeuner, I had a facial and pedicure at Beauty Buzz Studio, which is right by the famous King Edward Hotel. I don't have facials on a regular basis but I'm starting to think I should - my face felt so smooth and refreshed after I came out. (The next day is always a different story, as you're a bit red from the extractions and the pre-facial hidden zits come out to play - thankfully this passes within a couple of days. Keep that in mind if you're having a facial before a special occasion.) After my facial, I relaxed in a massage chair and had my feet pampered. I haven't had a pedicure in so long. Let's just say, the beautician had her work cut out for her. Have you seen these new disposable foot files that salons are now using? Check it out.

The file part just peels off. Cool and sanitary! I think I may need to buy this for myself instead of purchasing a new foot file every several months.
The rest of the weekend I spent cleaning, watching really bad reality TV and reading. I'm on the second book of the Sookie Stackhouse vampire series by Charlaine Harris(which "True Blood" is based upon). Such a good read.

via Amazon

Finally, I just want to say that today is my blog-a-versary! A year ago, I started this blog partly due to me wanting to delve into creative writing again, and partly due to me being exasperated from the trials and tribulations of being in 5 weddings (after August, I'll have 7 under my belt). Over the last year in the blog-o-sphere, I've learned that weddings come in all shapes and sizes, you can totally buck tradition, and as a "professional bridesmaid", I can (need to) pass along your sage advice to "my" brides. A lot of "my" brides have been very overwhelmed and stressed out by the planning process and I think it's because they weren't aware of the many resources/support (especially blogs) available to them. Lucky for them, once they're married, it's over for them. For "professional bridesmaids", it's an ongoing process. ;) Anyways, thanks for reading and supporting my blog. You've all given me great ideas to become a better "professional bridesmaid" and I hope I've been able to provide you some helpful advice in return, and some pretty pictures too drool over.
Ok, enough of the mushy stuff. Have a great day!

If you want to check out my first post, click here.

A Midnight Calgary Engagement Session

Happy Monday!

Who says engagement sessions have to be during the day?! Rafal of Calgary based RW Photography recently posted these awesome pictures of Liya and Thomas' session. I love how Rafal incorporated the city into these images. To see more, click here to take you to RW Photography's blog.

If you're a photographer looking to hone your wedding photography skills and you live in the Calgary area, then take note. Rafal is hosting a workshop in October. Click on the image for more details.

(Psst. That's Rafal's wife in the photo!)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Harry Madness!!

Are you a fan? Did you see it? I saw it last Wednesday and loved it! It inspired me to read the last book again.

Speaking of which, how cute is this engagement photo that Susan from en pointe Photography took of Anna & Alan?

FYI - The books Anna & Alan are holding have the American artwork. Below are the UK & Canadian versions. Pretty different no? The different artwork is due to the Harry having different publishers in different countries.

Hope you're having a good Sunday.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Frugal Fridays: Tidbits from the Interwebs

Click on the images to take you to the sites/coupons.

Found this one via weddingbee. (Sorry if you're already seen it). Such cute necklaces. I so want one !

Don't forget - 1 year subscription for US $5!! (US only)

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