My two closest cousins were getting married. They were sisters that found the loves of their lives in Atlanta and decided to bring them to Ontario Canada and marry them. The youngest got married in July; the oldest in February. It seemed love was blossoming all around me.
I had been with my boyfriend for 8 years by the summer of 2010. We had been asked to be bridesmaid and groomsman for my younger cousin. She was to have a thrifty wedding planned by her and her husband and we were to help with the plans. Needless to say by the time the wedding was over my boyfriend was less than impressed with the amount of utter turmoil and stress the wedding was on everyone. From that day and everyday after he continued to state that he wanted nothing to do with a wedding and that he was completely happy with how we could just be common law married without all the fuss. It wasn't before long that he had convinced me to think the same way!
December 24th 2010 came and we had our regular opening of one gift under the tree, sipping hot cocoa and cuddling up to watch "Santa Clause". I was more than wide awake that night, but he kept trying to make me go to sleep.
"I want to sleep so we can get up and open presents!" he saidI didn't have much for him to open or be excited about so I was very sad that he was so excited, knowing he would be discouraged once he opened his presents.
We went to bed at 4 am and he woke me at 7 am.
"I have to prepare your present, whatever you hear do NOT open up the bedroom door." He saidBarely able to open my eyes I grabbed the clicker for the television in our bedroom and began to watch one of my favorite Christmas movies "Mickey's twice upon a Christmas". I couldn't imagine what he was preparing. A present he had not yet wrapped? A wonderful Christmas breakfast? I confess I desperately wanted it to be breakfast in bed, but I couldn't see why he'd need to wake me so early for it.
Finally he walked into the room...in a full Santa costume and handed me a Christmas card.
"Stand up, read this aloud and make sure to do exactly what it says" he said from behind the fake white beard that was being held on by a thin elastic.Again I confess, I was certain now it was some weird sexual fantasy he wanted me to participate in with him. I went along and read it.
The cards had rhymes on them that led me from finding one card to the other... A scavenger hunt for the present. Finally the last card was on the tree, it directed me to turn around and be presented with my gift.
I turned around. He had taken off the jacket, beard and santa hat and was down on one knee with the ring held out. His description was that I took at least 2 minutes to say anything at all. I believe however, it was more like 1 minute. I had to try to stop myself from crying, and actually register what was happening. Since as I told you in the beginning, he had told me since July that he had no intention of ever getting married.
I started planning that day. The date was not exact but I knew I wanted it to be near Christmas. My husband thought it would be a great idea and agreed.
Honestly throughout the whole process he was pretty laid back, and just agreed with most of the ideas I had.
Being that it was to be near Christmas I wanted to have a Christmas themed wedding. So I began with a small color theme. Red, white and gold. As time went on however the colors kept coming. Green and silver quickly found it's place.
In January I went to my local Micheal's craft store for regular fun crafting supplies and was hit with a miracle! All over the floor and in two large bins were large garbage bags with a green price tag on them. I walked up to them and saw the price. $2 for each garbage bag. They weren't see through, but I was told they were Christmas overstock. I grabbed 6 bags.
Now I don't know if you are the same as I am, but grab bags make me so happy! Not knowing what lovely treasures are inside; it's just like Christmas.
Well.. the bags were so amazing that I went back to Micheal's the next day and bought another $40 of bags! Needless to say my living room floor was trashed for a good week or so while I organized all the items. In the end, I had all the decorations I could possibly need for my weeding.
Both my cousins had buffet styled weddings. The meals were all prepared by our families. My fiance and me thought since we weren't spending money on much else, we should spend the money on the meals, and get sit down course meals so that we didn't have to ask for the help.
Finding a venue was pretty difficult. Long hours were spent debating and choosing online. One of the venues I was hoping for never responded to my emails. That caused me to immediately dismiss the venue all together since I couldn't handle someone not responding to me. I begged and begged my fiance to bring me to venues. He wasn't excited, and was normally very lazy so when the time came that he wanted to bring me to one I was thrilled. I made the appointment with the venue and we went to visit it. I brought a list of over 50 questions to ask the venue and it was pretty much perfect for all the ideas I had in mind. Needless to say they were most likely annoyed with me by the end. My fiance was sold once we left. I wanted to visit many more and not rush into a certain venue so fast, but he was convinced this was the one we needed to be married in. So we began plans and set the date.
Being frugal and artsy, I thought I might as well create my own wedding invitations. The production of them was quite simple. The thing I found most difficult to complete was the wording of the invites.
Choosing the bridesmaid colors were pretty easy. Since they both had been married prior to me, I took ideas from their wedding and incorporated it into my own. The youngest cousin used golds, purples, greens and browns in her beach themed wedding. The eldest, blues, silvers and yellows. So to quote a favorite Christmas movie,
"Silver and gold, silver and gold, everyone wishes for silver and gold." ~Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer
They were pleased with the colors so we began searching. One of my cousins had bought her wedding dress online, it was beautiful. Since we knew the online store was legitimate and produced nice items, we shopped there for their dresses.
I began pretty early designing my own bouquet for the wedding. I've never really enjoyed real flowers, and have told people numerous times that if they ever wanted to get me a plant it should be a tree or cactus. Seemed like every time I ever had flowers, no matter how much flower food, water, temperature changes or sunlight I would use they always died quickly.At my cousins wedding in February we decided to create our own bouquets from real flowers. The bouquets ended up being extremely beautiful. (White roses and blue orchids) The wedding was in February and there were outside pictures to be taken. The flowers couldn't stand the extreme changes in temperature and by the end of the night had turned brown and droopy. So I decided I would look into alternatives. In late February my cousins and I attended a wedding show. One of the vendors showcased shadowboxes with wedding bouquets in them. I was sold! I was going to make my own bouquet from fabric. It took well over 3 months for me to make my wedding bouquet, but I was truly satisfied when I was done.
Photos by Sarouen Chith +Sarouen Chith
I made ribbon roses with touches of silver in them, and white flowers with white frill and swarovski styled beads. I added small white silk poinsettia flowers followed by one large one, pine cones and a single gold brooch. The handle was covered with satin ribbon and clear beads and the bouquet had two satin hanging ribbons. I had forgotten about the "Something borrowed, something blue, something old, something new." So my cousin handed me our grandmothers ring that was not only vintage and blue, but was borrowed. :)
After I had assembled my own bouquet I began working on flowers that would be used in my cousins bouquets. Once I had a ton of flowers for them to choose from, they came over and assembled them with me. :)
Photos by Sarouen Chith +Sarouen Chith
To be continued...