Hi everyone! I can't believe it's been so long since my last blog posting, but I was so busy with last-minute wedding preps; then, before I knew it, it was my wedding day, and then the honeymoon, and then...well, you get my point! But, I'm back and I want to give you a little glimpse of our special day while providing a few tips.
Since we were having a rather small wedding (a little over 40 guests), we wanted things to be very intimate and representative of the two of us. We both studied Literature and work in Education, so we incorporated these details into our wedding decor. Although we were quite minimalist in our choices (that is, no flower arrangements, no centerpieces, etc), we wanted the few things that were included to be meaningful.
In the weeks leading up to the wedding, I bought a used short story collection that centered around the themes of love and marriage and its pages became our big day's primary motif. We carefully selected pages and using Microsoft Word, printed large numbers on each of them for our six tables. I then cut each page in a specific shape and glued them to black cardstock I bought from Dollarama. The end result was simple and beautiful!
We did something similar for our card holder box. We didn't opt for the traditional box; instead, we purchased a beautiful birdcage (to tie in with our lovebirds-inspired invitations and wedding cake) from Nic Nac, on Saint-Hubert. Again, using a page from the book, we printed our initials and "Merci!" on the page; we then cut two slits on either side of the sheet to slip beautiful wintery ribbon, so that we could tie the note to the birdcage. Once more, this was just a simple way to personalize things, but it made such a difference.
As for our seating chart, I bought black poster board from the dollar store and wrote each guest's name under their table number using white chalk; the poster actually looked like a blackboard! It was awesome! But, unlike costly decorative wedding blackboards, this was only one dollar! To make things even more personal and creative, instead of purchasing a traditional guestbook, I bought a large canvas from Michael's and painted it silver. Then, I used vintage-finish modpodge to glue book-page cutouts of our initials and wedding date onto the dried canvas. I was really pleased with the end product: our guests' personal messages to us written with sharpies on this beautiful canvas! Plus, unlike a traditional guestbook that gets forgotten in some drawer somewhere, we get the chance to see these awesome wishes everyday since the guestbook is a piece of art that we hang on our wall! Clearly this required more time and effort, but I think it was entirely worth it!
Essentially, these were the only decorations we had at the wedding. I think we were more comfortable doing so knowing that l'Auberge Saint-Gabriel provided decorative candles, which really gave the room a romantic and intimate feel. Plus, the room itself, dating from the 18th century, was impressive: stone walls, romantic lighting, impressive candelabras, a wood-burning fireplace, beautiful artwork -- what more can I girl want?
...well, a bouquet, of course! As with all the other things for our wedding, we made the bouquet; it was a paper rose bouquet made with book pages (yes, from the same book I used for the rest of the decor -- the best $4 I ever spent!). Our guests couldn't get over it! We received such great feedback about how pretty and creative it was; I was even given Martha Stewart points!
All-in-all, our wedding was fantastic! We ate a decadent meal, Harlem-shaked (!), snacked on tasty macarons, popcorn, and grilled-cheese sandwiches, and enjoyed our milkshake bar! Our guests had a blast, the music was amazing, and the room looked stunning. Yet, I can't say that I made the most of the evening; I was too busy and stressed ensuring that things were running smoothly and thinking about what was coming next (speeches, first dance, cake cutting, Harlem shake, late-night snacks, bouquet toss, etc). I know that I would've had an AMAZING time at my wedding if I would have been a guest instead of the bride. Most of all, I realised how important having a day-of coordinator (or wedding planner) really is; he or she would have been the one dealing with all of these details, not me. I would've just focused on enjoying the evening instead of juggling both tasks.
Still, our night was magical, but I know it would have been more so if you would have been there with us, Maxine. So, for all you soon-to-be-weds out there, remember my advice: this day only happens once, be sure to make the most of it, and if that means paying someone to coordinate things, do so; it's our only regret.