The Bride’s Diary – Getting Married on A Friday

Family Time, Just for Fun

The Bride's Diary

People who get married on major holidays, Fridays, or Sundays are the freaking worst! Or at least they were until I became one of them. Here’s the thing, in order to book a Saturday night at the hall we fell in love with, w need a minimum of 200 confirmed guests. You already know that our guest list is at a firm 150 people so a Friday or Sunday would be our only options. We chose a Friday that way our guests would at least have the Saturday off to recuperate.

The only issues I have with not getting married on a Saturday is the obvious fact that not everyone we invite will be able to make it. First of all, people WORK and I would never expect anyone to take the day off. Secondly even if they decided to come to dinner (which will begin promptly at 6:30) and skip the ceremony, it might be one heck of a hassle to try to make it on time. I know that I want an intimate wedding but with such a tight guest list I am still hoping that many of them will be able to celebrate our day.

In the end,  we knew that getting married on a Friday wouldn’t be convenient for many people but for us, it works. If you’re planning your wedding and for financial/emotional/logistical reasons you decide to wed on an “unconventional” day, be prepared for a lot of eye-rolling, questions, comments, or RSVP’s with the unable to attend box checked off.

Love Always,

Vanessa Xo

The Bride’s Diary – The Guest List

Family Time, Just for Fun, Lifestyle/Personal

The Bride's Diary

I’ve dreaded the guest list from the moment I said yes. I never fantasized much about my wedding but I was always under the impression that I wanted a very intimate wedding (let’s say 50 or so people). The only major problem with that is not that I’m European and as such a big wedding is expected, it is that I have a huge family. My mother’s side is fifty-three people and that’s just immediate family; aunts. uncles, and cousins.

With my intimate wedding idea out the window, Alex and I had to pick a number that would work for us both financially and mentally (he wants a small wedding too). 50 people is far too little, 100 people isn’t quite enough, and 200 is more than we could imagine. 150. That would have to be the magic number.

Thankfully our parents are supportive of this and understand why we don’t feel the need to have a huge wedding. We want to be able to enjoy our wedding and to know the person behind every hand that we shake and every cheek that we kiss.

The trouble with any guest list is that there are always people who are going to be left out or offended. Alex and I had one golden rule for the guest list: do not invite anyone we don’t see at least once a year. This means that only family and the closest friends we have are going to be invited. As of right now we have 149 people on the list and we’re pretty happy about it. We refuse to budge on the number and although the names on the list might change slightly, the number will not. Who wants strangers at their wedding anyway? I don’t.

If there’s one thing I recommend when writing up your guest list, do it with your fiancé and then have your parents put in their opinion. At the end of the day it is your wedding.

Love Always,

Vanessa Xo

The Bride’s Diary – The Bridal Party

Family Time, Lifestyle/Personal

The Bride's Diary

Before I got engaged I promised myself that I would never have a bridal party. It is a HUGE honour to be in someone’s bridal party and to have a special status on your cousin’s, sister’s, or friend’s special day but it’s also time-consuming, expensive, and sometimes a pain in the ass for the maids. I’d complained enough times about being in a bridal party that I thought it would be hypocritical if I actually had one. There’s also the whole choosing people to be in your bridal party without offending anyone else.

As with many things I’ve encountered during the wedding-planning process, I had a change of heart and mind. Originally our kind-of-bridal-party consisted of my sister, brother, and two of Alex’s closest cousins, but I have two cousins that I’m especially close with. Cousins that I consider to be more like sisters. The memories we share are countless, the laughter unparalleled, and fights the epitome of epic. I grew up with them and the more I pictured our wedding day, the more I realized how much I needed them by my side.

If you’re an avid reader of this blog, you’ll recognize the faces below. If not, I’d like to introduce you to my lovely little half of the bridal party. From left to right: my sister, me, Sarah, and Ashley. These women are my go-to for support, fun, and gossip and I am so happy that I changed my mind.

IMG_4937When choosing a bridal party I would suggest keeping it small and intimate. Pick people who know you better than anyone else, people you can count on no matter what. Pick women and men that bring out the best part of you, the people who love you for being weirdly awesome. Pick the baddest bitches you know.

bridesmaids-quote

Love Always,

Vanessa Xo 

The Bride’s Diary – The Dress

Fashion & Beauty, Lifestyle/Personal

The Bride's Diary

Every girl dreams about is the moment they put on a white gown and are so overcome by emotion (and their own beauty) that they weep incessantly. Every girl except me. I’ve never dreamt about my wedding nor the dress I would wear that day. I’ve never obsessed about it and had no idea what style I even wanted. I also had no idea that I had to look for my dress at least a year in advance. Call me the Clueless Bride I guess.

I made an appointment at Ritche Bridal and brought along my mother, sister, and future mother-in-law to help me decide on a dress. I came prepared with ideas, photos, and a do not ever put me in a dress like this list. As usual we were a little early for the appointment so my sister took the opportunity to pull out a few dresses she thought would look good on me. One of which I wasn’t 100% sure of.

In no time my bridal consultant ushered us into the room with a few questions; budget? style? colour? The first dress I tried on just so happened to be the one that my sister pulled out. It was gorgeous. Simple. Sweet. Classic. Stunning. Even though I didn’t want to get out of it, we put it to the side while I tried on about 6 or 7 more gowns. None of which suited me the way the first dress did. Even the bridal consultant couldn’t get that dress out of her head, so just for fun, I tried it on again. Immediately a smile rose to my lips; this is my dress. For the finishing touch my consultant put a simple veil on my head which lead to an intense crying session starting with me and ending with my mother-in-law. Cue hand waving and mascara running.

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“Are you saying yes to the dress?” asked the consultant. 

“YES!” I replied. 

And THAT is how I found the dress, the dress I didn’t want to take off, the dress that I pictured Alex seeing me in when I walked down the aisle, the dress that my parents would “give me away” in, the dress that I would dance the night away in. I’d like to thank Ritche Bridal and especially my consultant Naima, for making dress shopping easy, memorable, and relaxing. Thank you for listening to me, for sticking to the budget, and for really understanding the kind of bride and person I am. I would recommend you to anyone!

Love Always,

Vanessa Xo

The Bride’s Diary – The Planning Begins

Lifestyle/Personal

The Bride's Diary

I’ve been in at least one bridal party a year for the last five years. I’ve been apart of the entire planning process from invitations to guest list to DJ to dress shopping and everything in between. In all honesty, planning a wedding seemed both mentally and financially exhausting. It wasn’t until Alex proposed that I started thinking seriously about what I wanted our wedding to be like. We’re a simple, no-fuss couple who isn’t into the huge traditional Italian/Portuguese wedding.

So after a few weeks of deliberating, discussing with our parents, and maybe even a few heated arguments we decided on a Friday ceremony at a hall with a 150 person guest list. We decided on a four-person-informal-bridal-party and an open bar. We agreed that our wedding didn’t need to be a show, a celebration yes, but not a spectacle. That is what we are going for. The trouble is that even a celebration comes with an excessive TO-DO List…

  1. Hall
  2. D.J.
  3. Photographer
  4. Officiant
  5. Cake
  6. Invitations
  7. Guest List
  8. Dress/Suit/Shoes
  9. Flowers
  10. Makeup and Hair
  11. Rings
  12. Honeymoon
  13. Transportation
  14. Bridal Shower
  15. Wedding Gifts for guests

I’m sure I’m missing a few things but you catch my drift. Thankfully, we have so many people around us that are ready to step in and help. The next year is going to be a crazy one so stay tuned.

Weddings are important because they celebrate life and possibility.

— Anne Hathaway

Love Always,

Vanessa Xo

Let it ride

Lifestyle/Personal

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There are moments in your life that are challenging; they put you to the test and leave you tired and broken. These moments are the ones that make you. You can give up or you can push through. If you’re lucky you’ll have people in your life that motivate you, that believe in you. People who lift you up and keep you stable. If you’re smart you’ll believe them when they say that it gets better, that everything will be okay, that you’ll be fine. All you have to do is let it ride.

“And yet, anything real, anything strong, was never easy. She’d been taught from an early age that the things that mattered most were the hardest to obtain.” ― Nora Roberts

After weeks of agonizing anxiety and paralyzing self-doubt I finally feel like I’m back to my old self. Words are finally flowing; slowly but with intention. My mind is churning over new ideas for this blog, for a few side projects, and even for some new short stories. My heart is full of joy and excitement for everything that’s coming this year. Wedding plans are in full swing and I’m thinking about documenting the journey on here. I hope you’ll stay tuned. 

Love Always,

Vanessa Xo 

 

 

Reunited but it’s not the Same

Family Time, Just for Fun, Lifestyle/Personal

While on vacation for a week, we left our puppy with Club Paws. It’s a boarding house that finds the perfect match for your puppy. Waffles stayed with an older couple for an entire week and he finally came home yesterday.

Although Club Paws took great care of him and Waffles had a wonderful time with the couple, I was a little jealous when I heard that he loved cuddling with his parents-for-the-week. He’s my puppy – don’t cuddle. I think my entire family was scared that when he came home he wouldn’t recognize us or that he wouldn’t want to come home.

Cheryl dropped Waffles off at home early in the morning yesterday and at first he was extremely excited but then he just walked off by himself and ignored all of us.

Cheryl said that it is normal for your dog to snub you a bit for the first few days, considering that we literally abandoned him for a week I understand how he feels. I cannot wait until he’s back to normal though. He was so mopey last night and refused to give me kisses!

I definitely recommend Club Paws if you find yourself in a situation where you need your dog to have a little vacation – he was treated well, the couple fell in love with him, he was treated the same way we treat him at home. However, I don’t think I’ll be able to leave him with someone else again – with my sister gone this house already feels too empty for my liking!

Hope you have a Happy Tuesday and remember to give your pup a kiss!

Love Always
Vanessa Xo

Reunited but it's not the Same

Family Time, Just for Fun, Lifestyle/Personal

While on vacation for a week, we left our puppy with Club Paws. It’s a boarding house that finds the perfect match for your puppy. Waffles stayed with an older couple for an entire week and he finally came home yesterday.

Although Club Paws took great care of him and Waffles had a wonderful time with the couple, I was a little jealous when I heard that he loved cuddling with his parents-for-the-week. He’s my puppy – don’t cuddle. I think my entire family was scared that when he came home he wouldn’t recognize us or that he wouldn’t want to come home.

Cheryl dropped Waffles off at home early in the morning yesterday and at first he was extremely excited but then he just walked off by himself and ignored all of us.

Cheryl said that it is normal for your dog to snub you a bit for the first few days, considering that we literally abandoned him for a week I understand how he feels. I cannot wait until he’s back to normal though. He was so mopey last night and refused to give me kisses!

I definitely recommend Club Paws if you find yourself in a situation where you need your dog to have a little vacation – he was treated well, the couple fell in love with him, he was treated the same way we treat him at home. However, I don’t think I’ll be able to leave him with someone else again – with my sister gone this house already feels too empty for my liking!

Hope you have a Happy Tuesday and remember to give your pup a kiss!

Love Always
Vanessa Xo

Best Medicine

Family Time, Just for Fun, Lifestyle/Personal

“If laughter is the best medicine, then this weekend cured me of all that ailed me.”

This weekend I hosted my sister’s bachelorette party and I have to admit that I had an amazing time! It’s not very often that you get 20 women in a room and they ALL get along!

Friday night mission to Wal-Mart - time to prep!

Making cakes after a long day of work!

Limo full of ladies!
Thanks Diamond LIMOS!

The beautiful bride-to-be ready for some belly dancinnnn!

All the ladies upon arriving at FLIRTY GIRL FITNESS...

... I wasn't included in that last picture.

After our hour of belly dancing!
Good times ladies 😉

After dancing it was time for pizza, drinks, games, and CAKE!!
I helped make them!

A few drinks and a game of Kings later - Vanessa is ready for sleep.

As you can probably tell, I spent the entire weekend at my sister’s house and I can’t explain how surreal it was. On Friday we went to Wal-Mart and did all of the prep work for the next day. While icing the penis cakes, I found myself thinking “Wow, I’m icing cakes for my sister’s bachelorette… in her house!”

And then this happened…

It was really amazing to hang out with my sister all weekend but now that the bachelorette is over, I realize that she is getting married in only two weeks and six days! WHERE DID THIS YEAR GO?! I could’ve sworn that I was just helping Richard pull off the-best-proposal-ever and now it’s almost time for me to write my wedding speech, help my sister move out of my parent’s house, and watch her walk down the aisle.

WTF! Time, can you please slow down a little?

I think I should stop this post now, before the waterworks begin. But first I’d like to thank all of the ladies who attended the bachelorette for making it an amazing experience! I cannot put into words how much you all made me laugh and how great it was to spend the weekend with all of you! Thank you for being there for my sister and for being good sports when the dance instructor said we were AMAZING and HOT – even though we knew she was lying ;). And thanks for teaching me how to play KINGS, you all have great singing voices :P. With all that said, I’m sure Jessica appreciates it even more so than I do – so thanks!

And Jess, thanks for trusting me to plan such an epic party! I love you and we will have more sister-bonding-sleepover weekends soon!

Hope you all had a great weekend and a happy Monday!

Love Always
Vanessa Xo