Beauty

WEDDING BLOG

Alex Breen writes about her journey towards the altar


WEDDING BLOG
Alex Breen writes about her journey towards the altar

 
 
Dress

THE PROPOSAL
FINDING A VENUE
WEDDING DRESS HUNT
CATERING
PHOTOGRAPHER
RENTAL MELTDOWN
FLOWERS
INVITE ONLY
MAKEUP TEST RUN
ROMANTIC GETAWAY

THE PROPOSAL

 
 
 
Ruby and diamond ring


 
Ruby and diamond ring

PROPOSAL We had talked about getting engaged sometime this year. As the year was coming to an end, our 3rd anniversary, Christmas and my 30th birthday were quickly approaching. I had a feeling he might pop the question sometime soon. He knew my suspicions were soaring so he didn’t want to plan anything out of the ordinary. He ended up doing it totally unexpectedly – I was at home in my yoga gear getting ready to go to the gym. He asked me to marry him and then we cracked open the champagne (after making a few key phone calls, of course). He scored huge points by personally designing me a ruby and diamond ring that I totally love!

FINDING A VENUE

 
 
 
The Miller Lash House


 
The Miller Lash House

FINDING A VENUE I like to get things done pretty quickly and avoid any headaches. So, I’m trying to be very decisive with this whole wedding planning thing. I’m hoping to make it as pain free as possible. I’ve heard a lot of horror stories involving bridezillas and loads of drama. I’m going to skip out on having bridesmaids and get my friends involved in some other way—maybe do a reading in the ceremony or something. That way they won’t have to spend their cash on a dress they will never wear again. And, I don’t have to worry about dressing them. In terms of the planning, I think I’m on the right track so far. After a couple of days of checking out locations on venuesource.ca, and a few on-site visits to various locations in the city, we decided on a venue. We’re going to have our ceremony and reception outdoors at The Miller Lash House on July 19th. One thing down and dozens to go…check back with me next week for more!

THE WEDDING DRESS HUNT

 
 
 
Vera Wang Dress


 
Vera Wang Dress

THE WEDDING DRESS HUNT I was tossing around the idea of going to New York with my mom to look for a dress. Then, I was thinking of asking my friend Romy to design me a dress (he works for Diane Von Furstenberg in New York). But on a whim, I decided to call Vera Wang in Toronto and book an appointment. They had one opening and I grabbed it. The next morning, my dad dropped my mom and I off at the boutique and said he’d call in an hour. When I arrived at the store, I had a brief consultation. I basically had to describe my venue and the look I was going for. Easy enough. I said that I wanted something flowing, modern and simple—something suitable for an evening garden party kind of vibe. The saleswoman proceeded to pull 7 dresses. The first one I tried on was pretty traditional. The second one had a whimsical boho chic thing going on with ruffled layers—I wasn’t feeling it. And the third one was IT! As soon as I tried it on, I knew it was perfect. It’s strapless, silk chiffon, to the floor with a train. It has an airy kind of modern goddess feeling to it—very simple and classic. So, basically 20 minutes after being dropped off by my dad, we were done. So, we paid for the dress, and headed across the street to the Park Hyatt hotel to celebrate over some Mimosa’s and lobster grilled cheese.

The dress is pictured above. You can also checkout the Vera Wang website. My dress is part of the Spring 08 collection. It’s not featured on the site, but you can get a sense of its overall kind of goddess vibe by looking at her collection.

THE CATERING

 
 
 

HORS D’OEUVRES

Cold
Smoked Salmon Rolls
Sushi

Hot
Coconut Shrimp
Mini Spring Rolls
Sun-Dried Tomato & Feta in Phyllo
Mini Beef Wellington

3 COURSE PLATED DINNER SERVICE

Salad Course
Caprese Salad

Entrée Course (Choice of)
Spinach Pesto Chicken
Beef Tenderloin Diane
Mushroom and Leek Filo

Dessert Course
Mixed Berry Pavlova
Gourmet Coffee and Tea Service
And Cappuccino and Espresso

LATE NIGHT TABLE

Wedding Cake
Grilled Cheese Station
Chocolate Fountain

THE CATERING The Miller Lash House is a do-it-yourself kind of venue. In other words, it’s a lot more work. However, the nice thing is that we get to customize everything. We’ve basically been given a list of 5-6 preferred caterers and we’re on our own from there. After contacting four of them—Jewell catering, Enville, Catered Affair and Daniel et Daniel, and attending two tastings, we decided to go with Jewell Catering. Their customer service is exceptional and after a lot of back and forth via email and two in-person visits, we decided on our menu.

THE PHOTOGRAPHER

 
 
 
Wedding Editorials


 
Wedding Editorials

THE PHOTOGRAPHER Steve and I have been relentlessly searching online for a wedding photographer who doesn’t do posing-like pictures under a willow tree. Finally, we sort of stumbled upon a company we think is a perfect fit—Wedding Editorials. We fell in love with their documentary-style photos online (you can check them out at weddingeditorials.ca). So we decided to give the owner a call, and have him over to our house to view the portfolio and discuss pricing. After about an hour of chatting, we pretty much made up our minds that Wedding Editorials was the way to go. To be honest, I would have felt a bit more comfortable going with a photographer who was personally recommended, but Steve and I both loved their work too much to pass them by.

RENTAL MELTDOWN

 
 
 
Loft pattern cutlery


 
Loft pattern cutlery

RENTAL MELTDOWN I officially had my first wedding planning meltdown. We’ve been working so hard trying to get things done efficiently since we got engaged. And, for the most part it has been a lot of fun and relatively stress free. But, let me tell you, it’s not easy competing for bookings with women who have been planning this day since they were five. We’re not getting married for like six months, yet when I called the rental agency to book tables and chairs, they were all out of the chairs we wanted. Apparently, they’ve already ALL been booked for that day. Luckily our caterer came to the rescue. He has the exact chairs (white wood folding chairs for the ceremony) we want in stock. Problem solved. All of our rentals are supposed to come from Excusive Affairs because they have an exclusive agreement with Miller Lash House. So, we went to their website and decided to book square tables that seat 8, antique silver chairs, the Loft pattern cutlery (pictured) and Soho dishes. We’re sticking to a modern, minimal look to contrast the country setting. Checkout our selections at www.exclusiveaffair.com

FLOWER POWER

 
 
 
Bloom Flower Company


 
Bloom Flower Company

FLOWER POWER When we order flowers here at Flare, we often use Bloom the Flower Company. So naturally, when it was time for me to look into a florist, Jim at Bloom came to mind instantly. I set up a meeting with him and showed up without a clear vision of what I wanted. Basically, the only concept I have nailed down for our wedding is that I don’t want it to be too traditional. No fluff, no puff. I narrowed this down for Jim and told him we wanted to have a modern, airy, garden party vibe. He told us to leave it with him and basically spent the next couple of days researching our space and drafting a proposal. When we came back the next weekend he had sketches of flowers for every inch of our space. It’s so exciting to be working with someone with such a clear vision. The only revision we need is to my wedding bouquet. The proposal Jim suggested seems a bit heavy for my dress, so I gave him a photo of my gown and left it with him. We’re sticking to a green and yellow colour palette—something that will compliment the surrounding nature.

INVITE ONLY

 
 
 
Invitation


 
Invitation

INVITE ONLY I went to a paper store downtown to look at wedding invitations and it turned out to be one of the most painful wedding experiences I’ve had to date (other than deciding on the number of people to invite: 144). There were so many books and samples to look through, and nothing really stood out. The staff was swamped, and we didn’t think to book an appointment so we were pretty much left on our own. We didn’t last more than 30 minutes. So, when we decided a couple of weeks later to conquer the invites again, we made an appointment at Ashley’s. We came prepared this time and had a clear idea of some invites we liked online from the Vera Wang and Kate Spade collections. We wanted square invitations with our initials on the top (something modern and clean to fit with our theme). Now we just needed to choose a font and color. We decided on a cream invite by Vera Wang with a silver trim and green writing. Green is my favorite colour and we’re using it throughout the wedding as an accent color (our center pieces are composed of a tight bundle of lemon and lime coloured roses and our square tables will have lime green runners).

MAKEUP TEST RUN

 
 
 
Makeup Test Run


 
Makeup Test Run

MAKEUP TEST RUN When it came time to choose a makeup artist, Associate Beauty Editor, Carlene Higgins, was my go-to girl. She recommended Mona Sharma. Mona used to intern at Flare and she did Carlene’s wedding makeup last summer. She’s currently the trainer for Bobbi Brown Canada and prior to that she was the in-house makeup artist for Sony BMG. I set up a trial session with her. Steve’s not a big makeup person; he’s already told me that he wants me to look like myself—curly hair and all—on the big day so I’m going to keep things natural.

ROMANTIC GETAWAY

 
 
 
Restored castle surrounded by olive groves


 
Restored castle surrounded by olive groves

ROMANTIC GETAWAY Steve and I have decided to go to Italy for our honeymoon. Steve has never been and I’ve only ever spent a couple of days there. We’re taking two weeks off work and leaving the evening after our wedding. My brother in law’s father has an apartment in Rome steps away from the Coliseum that he’s very generously letting us stay in as a wedding gift. We’re going to spend our first 3 nights there (you can check it out @ the vacation rentals by owner site. Next we’re going to Siena for four nights and staying in a restored castle surrounded by olive groves. Our final 4 nights will be spent in the Amalfi coast in Praiano at Hotel Le Sirene. I can’t wait!

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