Tuesday, July 22

The Dress: Olivia by Watters Wtoo

First time in the dress...
 The dress I ended up choosing for the wedding was an absolute dream.

She's called "Olivia" by Watters Wtoo. I found her at the first salon I ever visited, but on my last bridal appointment. We visited Novelle Bridal first because they carry some less conventional options by designers I was very interested in. On our first visit, this dress wasn't in the store. We decided, after about four or five other bridal appointments, to end our search at Novelle to help round out what had been an emotionally taxing experience.

I had seen, and pinned, Olivia in the past, so I was thrilled to try her on and immediately fell in love. She was just what I was looking for. When we started shopping I told everyone I wanted to look like a "fairy princess on the runway", meaning ethereal and romantic but runway ready instead of bridal, and Olivia made me feel that way! 

Not to be happy with a standard dress we decided to tweak a little. The seamstress at Novelle was very talented, she took apart the entire bodice to mold it to my chest, and while she was at it she removed the bulk of the flower embellishments on the bodice leaving just the five or so flowers along the top. I loved this change, I felt it made the whole dress a little less busy and the finished product showed off the delicate ruching. We also added spaghetti straps. 

Final Fitting.

I did struggle with deciding what kind of jewelry to wear with this dress. It's not exactly simple, and I didn't want the look to become busy.  I chose a vintage diamond heart necklace from my grandmother, and decided to keep the earrings really simple by choosing over-sized crystal studs in a pear shape to match my engagement ring.

Hilariously, I completely forgot to put on my jewelry the morning of the wedding and only remembered a few moments before walking down the asile. My sister was able to grab my earrings, but we had forgotten the necklace at my parents house! Considering the fact we had remembered the necklace at every single bridal appointment up until the day (you can see it in the above pics), but forgotten it when it actually counted, I just laughed. My mum was sweet enough to run home in between the ceremony and reception so I was able to wear it in the evening!

Another note for future Olivia brides: our ceremony was outside and for some reason every insect on the farm was attracted to my layers of tulle! At one point I had two crickets and a moth in my skirts and as guests would proclaim "I haven't seen a single bug!" I would laugh "They're all in my dress!". Bizarre and hilarious.

Also for reference, I'm a straight size 12 and had to order a 16 in this dress. They took in the bust considerably, but that's what fit my waist! I loved seeing all the pictures of brides and especially brides my size in dresses while I was shopping, so I hope this helps someone. ;)

Some more pictures of Olivia from the morning of the wedding:

You can find my recollections and some pictures from the morning of the wedding here, and I'll surely by posting more in the weeks to come.

Monday, July 21

Morning of the Wedding

My hair stylist and friend, Katy, warned me at my hair trial the Monday before my wedding that I wouldn't sleep. She said, whenever I've done a wedding the bride always tells me she didn't sleep the night before. But don't worry, you'll have so much adrenaline you won't even notice.

Katy was pretty much spot on.
My girls and I had a fabulous evening of movies and masks and piled into bed, Amy and I in one, Kristi in another, April on the couch. Morning crept up quickly and despite having only touched my head to pillow around 1AM, when I glanced at the clock next, fully awake, it was only 5. Determined to catch a few extra Z's I closed my eyes again, but soon my nose was runny and there was no tissue on my end table. Feeling as though staying in bed would prove futile, I climbed out and went in search of some tissue. As I had suspected, my Mum was already up and resting on the sofa upstairs. I made myself some tea and sat down to wait until a more appropriate time to wake up my ladies.
Knowing we had set an alarm for 8, I tip toed down around then and started loudly opening and closing doors. Haha. Waking people up is always kinda awkward. Kristi was already awake and hanging out on her phone in bed, Amy had been up and down a couple of times but woke up easy. April would have rathered stay asleep, but my door closing trick worked its magic on her as well.

Up we got, I used my borrowed tooth brush and face wash, stole some moisturizer, and got to the bustling around of the slightly disorganized. Before long people were shouting downstairs at me that my hair and makeup people had arrived. Katy worked magic on my hair, as usual, and makeup artist Amy Robertson made me look gorgeous! She was even gracious enough to do an extra bridesmaids eye makeup while she waited for me to finish up with hair. Katy also did a last minute bridesmaid updo that turned out gorgeous. Somewhat awkwardly, I found myself braiding Amy's hair under Katy's gaze for a few minutes before she went off to get ready. Good thing, as her excellent hair skills are bad for my hair skills self confidence. Ultimately,  I was pretty proud of how Amy's hair turned out! All my ladies looked gorgeous!

Hair and makeup done, delicious peach waffle scarfed and enjoyed, we were beginning to become short on time and it was time to put on the dress!

I cannot espouse enough about how wonderful it was to have a dress with a zipper in the back. Not only a zipper, but a low back so that I could zip the whole dress up on my own. This not only helped me stay cool on a super hot day, but allowed me to visit the bathroom, and put on my dress all on my own! Haha. Low backs and zippers come highly recommended. My mum did the tiny clasp at the top of the zipper, and tied a lovely bow for me. My bridesmaid Amy then did me the honour of being prince charming for a moment and put on my heels.

Second tip, shoes first.

With attire all accounted for (not counting a few accessories we completely spaced on) we piled into cars (I got a back seat to myself thanks to my dress pouf) and headed to the ceremony site. Thankfully, the car was air conditioned. Man, our day was hot! Only a couple of days later when the temperature climbed over thirty did I fully appreciate our 27 degree weather. Driving to the site I was thrilled to see our road signs directing traffic off the Manning, but the best moment was when we pulled into the drive way and I saw our groomsmen milling about for the first time. I teared up with relief, haha, they turned out so handsome! Maybe that sounds mean, but we had given the guys carte blanche with their attire excepting matching vests, so seeing them all magically look exactly as I envisioned was a great moment.

I'll write a bit about the rest of the day, but most of the pictures will have to wait until our photographer completes her edits. Waiting patiently is easy knowing Genevieve is so talented and wonderful!

Many thanks to Amy Sarfinchan, my dad Doug Petry, and my sis April for being my morning of photographers. It's handy having such talented folks around.

Thursday, July 17

Wedding Rehearsal

Saturday night was our wedding rehearsal! We started by setting up some decor to see how things would come together and it was such a special moment. Seeing all of the things I've dreamed of, purchased or envisioned over the last year be assembled made me so excited!

We had our musicians, officiant and bridal party there to do some runs through the ceremony and we decided not to practice our vows to one another, keeping them a surprise instead. It was a very beautiful, frantic, and exciting time.

After the rehearsal we shared a delicious meal together, and went our separate ways for the night. My girls came with me to stay the night at my parents house, and the boys went with Nick to spend the night at one of his groomsmens house. Lola stayed at the farm with my in-laws. It was during this hubub that I made my greatest error of the weekend, small as it was, haha. I forgot my makeup bag with cleanser, toothpaste and brush, and all of those little essentials! Luckily I had my lipstick for the next day, and some hair ties and face masks in my overnight bag and clutch.

We girls did face masks and watched My Big Fat Greek Wedding, finally hitting the hay around 1 AM. My mum loaned me some face cleanser and my Dad produced a new toothbrush.

The boys, I hear, played board games until about 2.

It was a fantastic, joyous night!

French Connection dress from ASOS, Birkenstocks from Modcloth

Friday, July 4

Sharing is Caring: Han and Leia Wedding Prints

Well, the countdown is officially on and the wedding is just nine days away!

Lots of DIY projects to wrap up and a ton of picture frames to buy.

I've always dabbled in graphic design so I have a lot of design elements and posters I've made over the last few months that need to be printed and framed. I thought, just for fun, I would share my latest creation with those who might be interested.

As a wedding photo prop, I created this Han and Leia collage print to celebrate our geeky sides!

For this collage I used silhouettes found on Google Images from Doodle Craft Blog (Natalie even did all the hard work and provided a PNG with the backgrounds removed). I also used clip art from  Creative Market. I used 'Folk Doodles' by Mia Charro, and 'Watercolor Floral Seamless Patterns' by Depiano. I love purchasing clip art from Creative Market and I've used it heavily as a resource for wedding stuff. I bought a bunch of watercolor flowers from there and used them on my wedding invites! These two particular pieces were free for limited time downloads.

That's about it! I changed the colour of the flowers lightly for each image, and the fonts I used (for the whole wedding) are Mathlete and Blackjack which can both be downloaded for free.

Tuesday, July 1

Best in Bathing

As a follow up to my earlier post on the Bikini Body Myth, I thought I would share some awesome swim suits to help you find, you know, the one! Having the right swimsuit with the right amount of support can really change how you feel in said swim suit, and I know shopping can seem like a daunting task, so here's some inspiration to get you started.

If you're looking for a one piece, consider tan lines, support, ruching and colour to find the most flattering fit! If you're looking for a dash of whimsy with your summer I am enamored with the flamingo swimsuit from Modcloth (they're having a huge sale right now), and the hourglass coloring would be very flattering.

Best One Piece Swim Suits

If you're going to be really brave this year and look for a two-piece then, man, I have a treat for you! There are so many amazing styles out there right now in a variety of fun patterns and shapes. I am killing myself over the shirred waist of the pink and navy bikini at the bottom. How unbelievably cute is that? If you're not into the cutesy, there's a variety of funky (galaxy print!) and retro styles as well. If you can't decide between a high waist or a lower waist bikini, check out the first one here that converts into both!
Best Bikinis

As for myself, I was looking at bulking up my swimsuit compliment for the summer so I took advantage of the sale at modcloth and bought a new black top with frills, and a white one piece so I can feel like a bride on my honeymoon. ;) Here's my summer beach essentials at a glance:

Honeymoon Swimwear

Happy swimsuit shopping!

Monday, June 30

June Puppy Photo Dump

It's probably no surprise to anyone that most of the pictures I take are of my pup, Lola. In fact, we've had a few very eventful, fun weekends this past month and all of the pictures I have to remember them by are of my dog! Haha. SO, here's one big fat Lola photo dump to immortalize June.
 The weekend of the 21st we spent our Saturday at Nicks parents acreage. The puppies played themselves silly, running and chasing balls till they passed out on our laps happy as clams.
In the car on our way to the BBQ

 It was the longest day of the year, the summer solstice. At 10:30 we were still out and about with sun left in the sky so we stopped off at a friends BBQ and despite the presence of a strange cat and a lot of people she had never met Lola still passed out on Nicks lap and, of course, in doing so she won over everyone's hearts. ;)
 Sunday we participated in Pets in The Park, put on by the Edmonton Humane Society. We really enjoyed all the agility games and such for the puppies, Lola loved the frozen yogurt, and we also walked the 2.5K fun walk sponsored by our pet insurer, Pet Plan.
 All the sun and abundance of treats didn't seem to agree with poor little Lola, haha. She spent the next day a bit under the weather, sleeping off all the excitement.
 This passed weekend Nick was away for his bachelor party weekend so Lola and I were on our own! We missed him very much Friday night.
 Saturday we had an adventure, we walked all the way to the Grand Trunk Off-Leash park and Lola got to meet some new puppies and I got to hang out with a friend and her pup! After, we walked back to my place and played video games while the pups slept off the long walk. It was precious.
Is that Bandana killing anyone else as much as it is me? I'm trying to get her used to wearing one so she doesn't try ripping off the one I bought her for the wedding. ;)

Tuesday, June 24

Things About Me

I don't really do selfies...
1. I'm 5 foot 4 and wear a size 8 shoe.
2. I love photography, am learning and feel pretty comfortable with my DSLR these days, but have yet to master the mirror selfie. It's bizarre. I'm looking the wrong way all the time and how the heck do you hold the camera/phone so you can actually see yourself?
3. After my family cat passed away when I was in elementary school, we ended up rescuing a kitten from an abusive home. We changed her name from cookie to Mischief. She's the best cat, really sweet. She's had diabetes for about five years now, but remains the sweetest thing. If only I had known how mischievous cats could be we would have named her something else. Haha, Tommy is the real mischievous cat in the family.
4. My father wanted to name her Indiana Jones.
Little Mischief under the Christmas tree. 
5. I always had cats growing up and never had a family member with a dog so I assumed I was a cat person, in fact I thought for a long time that I was scared of dogs just because I had never been exposed to them! When I met Nick he very much wanted a dog so I had to change my mindset and realize that there was no reason to be afraid of something just because I didn't have any experience with it. Now I know the truth. I'm totally a dog person! ;)
6. I've seen every episode of Star Trek Voyager at least twice.
7. Same thing with Third Rock From The Sun! I watched it every day after school as a kid and then as a teenager we bought all the DVD box sets and watched them as a family. It was way more fun when I was older!
8. Before blogger I was very very active on LiveJournal. All through high school and College I was on LiveJournal for hours every day! I learned all of my photo editing skills through icon making! 
9. The first blog I discovered was Delightfully Tacky! I'm obsessed with Elizabeth's hair!
My current obsession seems to be with this little one.
10. I don't really have a favorite show, band or artist at the moment. I'm chronically obsessive, when I like something I LOVE it to the point of being horribly annoying and absorbed. I guess I'm obsessing over Lola right now. 
11. Previous obsessions include: Lord of the Rings, Xena Warrior Princess, Orlando Bloom, LiveJournal, Firefly. 
12. Speaking of these things, between the two of us Nick and I have four copies of Serenity, three copies of the Firefly box set, and three copies of each of the Lord of the Rings films. When we combined DVD collections I knew he was the one. 
13.  Before Nick and I said the 'L' word we would just say 'Rawr' 'cause Rawr means I love you in dinosaur.
14. I have never owned an Apple product. I was the only person in Canada to purchase a Microsoft Zune. Probably. I remember I saved up and saved up and purchased one and a week later they pulled it out of Canada.
15. Nicks top baby name for a girl is Kathrine, and mine is Isla. Nobody better steal that now you guys. 
16. My favorite girl name used to be Sadie and then my cousin stole it so.... I'm paranoid. ;)
17. I love love love to bake and cook for other people but when it's just me I make Kraft Dinner. I just can't be bothered unless there's praise attached... 
18. I am fortunate enough to have a great friend who basically has the soul of a nomad. I was lucky that she chose me to be her travel partner and the two of us visited Greece, Italy, Albania, France, Wales, and England. 
19. I fell in love with Nick while I was in Paris. We had just started seeing each other the day before I left for three weeks and in Paris I was suddenly home sick. We started these long email conversations and despite the time difference he would send me emails back almost immediately, I would get them timestamped 3AM and be like what are you still doing awake? It's hard to be in such a romantic place without your sweet heart!
20. I bought a vintage polaroid camera from Goodwill once and ordered film from the impossible project to test it out. I still have all of that film in my refrigerator because I'm afraid of wasting it on a camera that doesn't work. One day I will be brave and try!

21. (BONUS) My favorite band of all time is Queen. I fell in love with them in Junior High and it might have had something to do with Brian Mays genius 'fro.  Turns out he's also a super awesome guy. He crafted his own guitar, the red special, and is also an astrophysicist. The sounds he gets out of his guitar basically rock my world. I feel incredibly lucky to be seeing surviving Queen members Brian and Roger live in concert TONIGHT! WHOA!


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