Our Wedding: Getting Ready & a Few Small Details

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I’m continuing with my wedding decor posts! I had such a great time planning it all that I want to share in a few more back to back posts. You can read more about my ideas for my wedding theme here.

We got married on July 4th, 2015 and chose that day as it was the closest Saturday to the anniversary of when we started dating, July 1st, 2007. We got married at a beautiful golf club on Lake Ontario. I had wished for good weather for our outdoor ceremony and was lucky the day was sunny with a nice breeze!

Setting up for the wedding was a true highlight for me (a time I did not think would be a highlight!). I will never forget spending that morning with family members and my bridal party. We had bins upon bins to unload and I was worried we would forget something or not have enough time. I was so surprised how calm the morning went. The setup was done so fast (many hands make light work) we even had time to stop and take everything in. We walked around the grounds, and I was able to really ‘de-stress,’ and live in the moment. We got ready on the second floor of the main building and there was a balcony where we could look out to see the whole ceremony space, I remember the quiet calm there was to the morning, just looking out at the trees and the water, it was a surreal experience. There wasn’t a huge staff there that early in the morning so it felt like we had the place to ourselves.

When choosing a venue it’s really hard to reach a decision. I had always wanted to get married in cottage country overlooking a lake but knew that wasn’t an option logistically. I set out to find something a little less remote that overlooked the water and had some charm and history. We had our heart set on a local resort close to where we live but due to renovations it wasn’t available. I was pretty heartbroken as I had really envisioned that space for months. I started to research more and I stumbled upon our wedding venue online. It isn’t advertised as a wedding venue and both of us grew up in Toronto (Scarborough to be exact) so it started to make sense for many reasons. It’s a smaller space and the beauty in that is there is only one wedding at a time, so we were the only ones there. The main building isn’t visible from the street, you can really only see a glimpse of the golf course through dense hedges. When you drive down the long, winding tree-lined driveway, tucked beside a forested area is the historical main building right on the lake. It was a beautiful setting for an outdoor wedding.

My maternal grandparents were born in Toronto and my grandmother had grown up on a farm (acquired by our family in 1834) at Warden Ave. & Eglinton Ave. exactly North of the main intersection of the site which is Warden Ave. & Kennedy Ave. I know my grandmother would have loved it, and I always wondered if she had ever known about the property. I always heard her talk about the nearby Scarborough Bluffs and Rosetta McClain Gardens so it was nice to think about my ancestors having been in that area.  I live over an hour away but it was a nice feeling to get married near to where I grew up. That morning I felt connected to my family and rooted in the space we chose. Here are a few shots of some of the small details and flowers for the special day!

There are so many things you forget when planning a wedding. You can plan and over plan but ultimately there are things out of your control. We were grateful to have so many people help us, a beautiful place to get married and great weather. We really couldn’t ask for anything more! I knew our venue provided drinks and lunch for us while getting ready but was so thankful they had coffee & tea brewed and drinks available all morning. To be able to offer your vendors and others helping a drink made everyone comfortable. This made the whole process feel like we were true hosts, almost like we were entertaining at home. I know one of my bridesmaids found the groom downstairs and brought him a little snack too! It’s the little things that make the difference!

Pre-wedding champagne toast

 

My bridesmaid’s went way above and beyond for our special day. They were so thoughtful leading up to the wedding and on the big day, were my right hands. This little lady (below) also showed up on the day of! She floated around and it brought some fun to getting ready. Two of my favorite photos are one I have with an umbrella that one of my bridesmaids brought me from her wedding and beside this little bride which one of my bridesmaids brought as well! I still have her to this day, she’s a little deflated but I just can’t part with her.

 

At the wedding my photographer did an amazing job using what was already at the venue as a great backdrop in the photos. This shot with the pink pillow is perfect as the color and logo of the club matched my theme to a tea!

One of my favorite photos!

 

Below is a photo of my shoes, I wanted to take the chance to note how much I underestimated the importance of heel stoppers! The whole day my heels were getting stuck in the grass as it had rained a few days before. I ordered them online but they didn’t arrive in time and I thought it wouldn’t be that big of a deal. If you are a bride please, please buy these! I tried them out after and they really do work as they say they will and you can walk freely on the grass as you would on pavement!

I wanted my shoes to have a ‘pop of color,’ and found these pink ones with a manageable heel height. I really loved my little clutch with its pink lace detailing over a gold metallic surface. I knew no one would really see these items so I didn’t go for off-white to match my dress. The idea was to be able to use them again, which I have!

Wedding shoes

 

When purchasing items for my wedding I really tried to think through my purchases as I didn’t want to regret any of them afterwards. It is easy to get swept up in the moment and buy unneeded things when you are surrounded by such cute things and great ideas in magazines, stores and wedding shows. I have a wedding bin in my basement where I kept some of the things I really wanted as keepsakes. I have also used some of the things (picture frames, vases, candle holders) in my house and have sold some things online. These hangers were definitely something I got caught up in when seeing them over and over on Pinterest. I fell in love with them and bought them on BHLDN. They were so beautiful and looked so old fashioned just like the venue. I am happy to say I found another use for them. I have them on hooks in my closet as a decorative accent and every day I can look at them as a reminder of the special day.

 

I found these little lockets online and got one for myself and the two mothers’ bouquets. We shrunk sentimental photos on the computer and just printed them on paper and cut them in circles. I chose some childhood photos, one was from the cottage we had growing up. It was a special touch that really added meaning to the bouquet.

 

I loved my bouquet and these shots really capture it. I have one in a frame displayed at home. I have a posed bride and groom shot in a frame as well but I like using photos like this that are just a subtle reminder of the big day.

It’s been fun walking down memory lane, I really enjoyed making sure there were lots of details that were fitting to the theme and colors of the wedding! Thanks for reading!

Lv, Julie♥

*All shots are from Silverlight, based in Toronto

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Valentines Tablescape & Why I Love Setting a Nice Table

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This year we decided to stay in on Valentine’s Day and cook a nice dinner together. We’ve decided to wait to celebrate on the weekend so we have more time! In the spirit of the 14th I’ve put together a Valentines Day tablescape so it is ready in advance, allowing me to be a bit more creative with it. I wrote more about tablescapes in another post which you can read here.

I’ve always heard of people getting special dishes when they get married but hardly using them or ending up not liking the pattern they chose. I get it!  It’s a lot more work to drag them out, wash them by hand and put them away properly, not to mention the fear of breaking these expensive pieces. The special dishes I have are definitely not dishwasher safe and get stored between felt disks in special zip-up containers. They are not exactly easy to just ‘whip out.’ However, I really enjoy and value the tradition of using them at least 2-3 times a year as part of a special table setting. My blog tagline is “enriching everyday life,” and to me, putting more effort into special occasions is part of a well-balanced and rich life. Memories are created when you set aside time to spend together and are more vivid when you put creativity and work into really making that time different than your every day routines.

My mom works for a charity and these roses are from their annual event, The Great Valentine Gala. I enjoyed volunteering this past weekend and got to bring these beautiful flowers home!

Setting a beautiful table can be done inexpensively when you think outside of the box. When I look back at old photos I love to remember what I was thinking ‘creatively,’ when I set a table (some of my ideas have been ‘hit,’ or ‘miss,’ so it can be funny) . In some photos there were definite budget concerns. I have photos where a houseplant was my centerpiece or when in the summer a few wildflowers were picked and thrown into a water glass. Budgets can really allow for more creativity and a more unique result, just out of necessity.

It has taken me a long time to collect all of my china and crystal and I try to take good care of them. My first sets of china (Royal Doulton ‘Harlow’) were bought by my mom when I graduated University. This is an odd graduation gift for some but china is something we both love. Her aunt started her on her set when she was younger and she wanted to continue the tradition. Slowly over time she would give me a place setting or a few pieces to keep adding to the set. I really value the idea that the collection formed slowly as part of a long family tradition. I remember picking them out when I was in my early 20’s and knew then, that I should choose something traditional not trendy. I am happy I somehow had that figured out.

I love the creative process of setting a themed table! The right atmosphere is just as important as the dinner!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Lv, Julie ♥

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Our Wedding … DIY Seating Chart

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Last week I started to share details about the decor from my wedding. Its fun to share my ideas as so many people online inspired my ideas when it was time to think about the big day. I can picture so many brides right now scurrying around finding just the right decor accents and ideas for upcoming spring and summer weddings. I’ve been there! Although it can be stressful, I really enjoyed the planning as a creative process. You can read all about the decor inspiration for my 2015 wedding here.

Today I wanted to share my DIY wedding seating chart! I had seen similar versions on Pinterest at the time and loved how unique they were. This seating chart was made mostly of antique finds. We had our reception in a historic space that was built in 1911, using some antiques seemed fitting! 

We found the frame at an Antique Mall (Roadshow Antiques North if you live near Toronto), and it was an old wood frame that used to have a mirror. It was very heavy and may have been attached to a dresser or vanity table at some point. The size was perfect and since it was in need of some TLC we got it at the bargain price of $30. I didn’t feel bad painting it as the wood was pretty damaged. In the back there were a few areas we tightened up to make it square again. I wish I had a photo of the before but here is a close up of some of the pretty detailing, spray painted gold!

 

First we cut a piece of plywood to fit the opening. I ordered some fabric online and measured a piece of cotton batten to go under it so it had a bit of cushion. We then stapled the fabric to the plywood evenly. I chose a pink and white toile in an upholstery grade so that it was less likely to fray when the nails went in for the plate hooks. 

 

Once it was all assembled I started collecting plates. I wanted lunch sized plates with a gold rim or a scalloped edge so that when the seating chart cards were attached there was a bit of detailing. I used a few of my own, borrowed a few from my mom and picked up some inexpensive ones at a local antique shop. I bought plate hooks online in small and medium sizes so that I had a variety. Antique plates can change in size from a typical lunch or dinner size up or down depending on the pattern and age. I used a small bread and butter plate for my husband and I as we sat at a sweetheart table. We liked the idea that our bridal party could sit with their significant others.

Once we had a final number of who was attending we assembled it all a week before. I laid out all the plates and played around with them until they fit as best as possible. We measured and attached picture hangers in the right spots all along to hold the plate hooks. Each plate represented a round table at the venue. I created card stock circle cut-outs with everyone’s names. At the venue we attached these cards with foam circular stickers (see the very first photo). We used a substantial easel that my mom had at work as the whole seating chart with plates was very heavy.

I really loved my seating chart, it was unique, fit my theme and looked at home in its historical surroundings. I had never thought of what I would do with it afterwards! I took all the plates off and it is waiting in the basement for a special future project! I know this item can be re-purposed, something will eventually come to me, its just not an item I would get rid of!

Thanks for visiting,

Lv, Julie ♥

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Our Wedding …DIY Swatches to Help Communicate Color

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This on-the-go color kit was so helpful & went everywhere with me during the planning process!

When I got married I had a real vision. It was unique and I really didn’t have too much to compare it to except some great inspiration photos on Pinterest. I knew so much of it had to be made by hand because the elements I wanted to include either didn’t exist or existed in the wrong color. This gave me the chance to make personalized items at a price that didn’t break the bank. I started 1 1/2 years before getting married, slowly sourcing materials and working away at all of these items. I’m going to do some wedding décor posts throughout the next few months of my DIY items and other elements that I found to complete my vision.

I got married on July 4th, 2015. It was an outdoor ceremony overlooking Lake Ontario. We were so lucky with great weather, it wasn’t too hot, just a warm 24 degrees Celsius with a cool breeze from the lake! The whole ceremony was shaded by huge mature trees creating a day made for an outdoor wedding. It was filled with so many fond memories and the planning of it all was just as amazing as the day of.

My vision is tricky to put into words but I will try! It was sort of an enchanted forest meets whimsical garden theme all with classic traditional elements. I wanted to include so many natural elements while keeping everything on the formal side because we were in a historic building. The natural elements were woodland themed that stuck to a color palette of pink, green, purple and gold. Using rough cut gemstones and crystals in the wedding colors brought in a natural element in an unexpected way. I had moss, faux mushrooms, and fresh flowers with ferns in keeping with the theme.  I used lots of mercury glass from candle holders, pew arrangement vases and the vases on the table. I really liked the seersucker fabric I sourced in pastel colors that I used throughout, from the ring bearer’s bow ties to the candy station bunting. This was a nod to being near the water. I used this same fabric to wrap our Balsam Fir tree sapling favors.

The vision sort of just came to me and it wasn’t the most straightforward to execute. I could be accused of having too many ideas jumbled into one but I just went for it, the fun for me was to really use my creativity. I love the outdoors, while always having envisioned using my favorite colors which could easily be stereotyped as feminine. At the time I got married people were using tons of whites with hints of blush and gold, which is a gorgeous look but in the end I had to stay true to myself, and not think too much about what was trendy and dial up the color.

To begin, I got thinking about the challenge of communicating my color choices to vendors. Most brides only have one or two colors for their special day and can carry around their bridesmaid’s dress swatch or easily explain their colors. Seeing that I had four colors that were pretty specific, I knew sharing my palette might be difficult. If I were to say pink, green, purple and gold I could imagine what hues each person could conjure up. Instead of the warmer hues of these colors in a pastel tone as I’d envisioned a person may also think of hot pink, lime green or a blueish purple. I knew I had to create a visual to quickly show the direction I was going in. I also wanted to be able to see them together for myself so that I knew it worked. I came up with an awesome idea! I decided to head to our local Home Depot and get paint chips and craft a few little color sample kits that I could throw in my purse!

Checking out linen colors at the the rental showroom

I really loved having this throughout the planning process. I made multiple kits so my mom could have one in her purse and if she saw something at a store she could reference it.  I laugh at myself now that I actually gave these little kits to a few vendors who possibly thought I was nuts. Every bride is allowed those moments where you morph from normal to obsessed! Truth be told, it’s an immense amount of pressure and trying to get what’s in your brain out and communicated properly can sometimes be difficult. Having a visual aide helps. I do think it helped my cake decorator the most as the layers of my cake were almost exactly the color of my paint chips!

In addition to paint chips, I used a scrapbook page so that I could include gold in the color kit                                       

 

First I trimmed the samples with a scrapbooking cutter

 

What doesn’t look cuter than a little rounded corner!

 

I hole-punched each paint chip and found these plastic rings in the same section at Home Depot!

 

Having my colors accessible helped me when I was shopping around for ribbon, invitation stationary, flowers, signage colors and so much more. Reflecting on the planning process, I’m glad I put the effort into making these color kits, they were invaluable!

Thanks for visiting,

Lv, Julie ♥

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