My Favorite Wedding Weekend Moments.

Our wedding weekend was so fun, I would love to do it all over again.  The best part of it all was having my closest friends and family in the same place for a long weekend.  Here are 25 of my other favorite moments.  D has his own list and I am sure you have yours.   Thanks for making it so memorable for me.  Please share your favorite moments with me in the comments and links to photos if I have not seen them yet.

  1. Wednesday night. Having drinks and dinner with Karla and my Mom on the rooftop deck at Saltaire (go for the view, not the food). It was a beautiful August evening with two of my favorite people.
  2. Breakfast with Jamie, Mindy, Sis and Karla in Horseshoe Bay en route to Vancouver Island.
  3. Pulling in the driveway at D’s parent’s place, Thursday afternoon only to turn around and be airlifted and bear hugged by D’s best friend from RI, Dan Reagan.
  4. Thursday night in Mill Bay – playing bocce ball with Frannie, Mike, Tall Dan and Big Dan and winning. I was on Frannie’s team.
  5. Mike & Michelle and Christina and Mark arriving at the house on Thursday.  It had been a while since I had seen them.
  6. Sitting in the kitchen on Thursday night with Christina and Mark while David tried to convince me to walk down the aisle to MC Hammer’s classic “Can’t Touch This” and Here Comes the Bride.  He said if I did, he would rent a plane and write “I told her to do that…” in the sky.
  7. D explaining the rules of the Car Rally and teaming everyone up in random groups of 3 and 4.  None of our friends and family truly knew what a car rally was or what they were in for that day.  D and his Dad organized the entire thing together and it was so much fun.  Julie M. said “Happy Wedding Day, Dan!”  He was so happy. This was his day.
  8. Seeing Karla & Kevin arrive at the BBQ/rehearsal dinner in a RV (no small feat and a whopping 50 extra bonus points), hearing all the tales from the day and seeing some pretty funny photos and videos – priceless.
  9. Playing a very eh-hemm, heated game of Thumper after the BBQ, where J shocked us all. 🙂  The group started off small and people kept joining in until everyone who was left in the house was playing the game.
  10. Saying good-bye to D in the kitchen the night before our wedding after he told me how he was going to kiss me at the altar.  Wow!
  11. Standing on the balcony with Dan Reagan, catching up and reminiscing before crashing into bed at 3am.  So much for going to bed early the night before our wedding.
  12. Breakfast at John’s Place in Victoria, BC with all of my bridesmaids and my Mom. It was such a special morning for me, surrounded by my closest girlfriends.
  13. Taking over the Fix Hair Garage while we got our hair done for the wedding.
  14. Driving back over the Malahat right into a big dark rain cloud and hearing Robin say as her windshield wipers were swishing furiously back-and-forth – “Don’t worry. It’s not raining…”
  15. Getting dressed with Jack, not my bridesmaids, in my mother-in-law’s closet.
  16. Watching Emma & Journs walk down the aisle sprinkling petals on the grass.  I told them I wouldn’t have been able to find my way to the altar without them.  They were so beautiful and happy.
  17. Walking down the aisle in the rain while my Mom and Jack both stepped on my dress.  It was real life and it distracted me.
  18. Saying my vows and listening to D’s promises to me.  I was so happy, I couldn’t stop smiling.
  19. The rain stopped after the ceremony and 3 rainbows appeared.  Dhoris said “That’s god’s blessing.  I did feel so blessed.
  20. The toasts on the back deck.
  21. Group hug with Mindy, Holly & Mirvy on the back deck.
  22. Save a Horse Ride a Cowboy – If you were there, you know what I am talking about. Our DJ, Tony was AWESOME!  The best dj I have ever seen at a wedding. If you can book him, don’t hesistate.
  23. Dancing and crying to the “The Luckiest...” and dancing with my Mom to Nat King Cole.
  24. The late night meatball sandwiches in the kitchen. Big thank you to Sis for making all 70 of them and Jon for tending to them so lovingly.
  25. Going to sleep as Mrs.Robinson and waking up to Mr. Robinson’s eggers and Boris’s hi-def bacon.

3 things I should have done at my wedding

There are always things you realize after the fact but unlike other events, a wedding is something you hopefully will only do once.  Our day was a perfect reflection of how we live life: it was joyful, loving, a little crazy and as my brother-in-law says, “it was a kick in the pants.”  I think the whole wedding weekend was incredibly fun and enjoyed by all.  But if I had to do it again, I just might:

  1. Hire a wedding planner. I have planned and catered many events but on your wedding, you don’t have time to take things into your own hands.  I would hire a planner to help with a few things and to mainly manage the flow on the day of the wedding.  If there is no person in charge, you will get bombarded with questions.  A planner can intercept all the people on their way to you, making it easier for you to enjoy your day.  Hiring a planner can also save you time and money in other areas because an experienced planner will have relationships with local vendors and should know how you can save some money.
  2. Have a back-up plan in place. We had an outdoor wedding and  it rained during our ceremony.  We pushed the wedding out by 30minutes to 1hr but had to make the call in the final 30 to move the chairs off the grass and inside the tent.  To ease your stress on the day, create two alternate lay-outs – one for rain, one for sun.
  3. Not cater the rehearsal dinner myself. Perhaps the most stressful part of the entire wedding for me was preparing the BBQ Rehearsal dinner.   I planned the menu, had to run to Costco, buy all the groceries, and do all the prep.  And at 3:00pm, 2 1/2 hours before the dinner was set to start – I discovered that the salmon and meat that I had bought were FROZEN.  Someone had accidentally put all the meat and fish in the freezer. Ack! I had to thaw it all out and get it ready to grill.  It was really the last thing I should have been doing.  My friends pitched in too – making salads, sangria and grilling up some food. And it all worked out just fine but I should have had it catered.

Wedding Up-do tips

Picking a wedding hairstyle for me was harder than finding the perfect dress.  I am not a posh, polished or high maintenance girl.  Breakfast at Tiffany’s, while elegant and modern, is not me.  Barrel curls, please no!   I wanted to look like me, but a bridal version of me.  So, I scoured every bridal magazine and website I could find and finally found a few styles that I liked, including this one below.  My stylist listened to my suggestions, used this pic as a guide and added a few personal touches to make this style work for me.

And this was the final result:

Bridal hair tips:

  1. Find pictures of hairstyles you love online or in wedding magazines.  Try to find styles with hair that is similar to yours in texture and weight.
  2. To find the best hairstyles for your face, look for models with similar face shapes as yours.
  3. If you are getting married out of town, ask stylish locals and boutiques for their recommendations on salons and stylists.
  4. Schedule a hair trial before your wedding day and bring your veil and/or hair accessories with you.  I booked in two trials with different stylists at different salons.  These trials helped me figure out what worked best for me and what kind of stylist I needed.
  5. A good hair stylist is confident, listens to your suggestions and is experienced.  When I met with my stylist the first time, she just played around with my hair.  By the end of our meeting, I had no idea how my hair was going to look on my wedding day but I had complete faith in her.
  6. When you book your appointment, give yourself enough time to make changes if need be.  Do not be afraid to tell your stylist you don’t like something.  If you have time, you can change it.  I have had too many friends, who were unhappy with their wedding day hair, but they didn’t have any time to change it.
  7. Contrary to what most of you have heard – clean, dry hair will hold your style and curl better than dirty, greasy hair.  Dirtier hair tends to be heavier and oily, making it more challenging to work with.  For best results, wash your hair the day or the night before the big day.

Frantoia Olive Oil

Our friend’s Barb and Ross recently gave us a bottle of this premium Sicilian olive oil at our Jack & Jill party.  The theme of the dinner party, hosted by our good friends Dave & Nancy, was to bring a bottle of whatever reminded each guest of the happy couple.  Some friends brought yummy red wine, others brought things you could only find at Honey and Barb brought this luscious bottle of goodness.

Deep, golden green and rich, with lovely long legs that cling to the inside of the bottle when you swirl it around.  I used it to make Aglio E Olio pasta with broccoli for dinner tonight but I didn’t heat the oil. I knew that would destroy it’s natural flavor and as a result, I wouldn’t be able to taste the delicate fruit and almond nuttiness of this oil.  So, I cooked up the garlic separately, added some crushed red pepper, sea salt, drizzled the olive oil all over the capellini and topped it with fresh parmesan.  So simple. So good. I may just dream about it.

You can find this little gem at Whole Foods with the price tag to match.

Fix Hair Garage

I am still not sure exactly how my hair will look the day of my wedding.  I have had two trials and a nightmare or two but when I met Leah from Fix Hair Garage on Johnson Street in Victoria, BC – I knew I was in good hands.  Leah is very fun and stylish, not to mention 7 months pregnant with the cutest baby bump I have ever seen, covered in tats and has beautiful dark hair.

While I was there for my hair trial with Leah, I spotted another stylist doing a bridal do and I almost said “two please…”  It looked so good.  Seeing this other brides hair and meeting Leah made me think they have quite a few capable and experienced stylists to choose from in the Garage.  So, if you are getting married on VI, I would encourage you to book in early and check Fix out.

You can find Fix at 541 Johnson Street or call 250-386-6183

Johnson Street, Downtown Victoria, BC

Johnson Street, Downtown Victoria, BC

Vancouver Island Wine Tours

Did you know that there are more than 20 wineries in the Vancouver Island region?  I didn’t.  Not until I stumbled across a wine tour while looking for limo services in Victoria.

I haven’t tried many Vancouver Island wines yet.  Cherry Point Vineyards is in Cobble Hill, just up the street from our venue.  I have popped by there for a quick tasting in the past and left with a bitter taste in my mouth.  Apparently, they have won awards as a newer vineyard in the region, so maybe I should give them a second chance.

If you have a free afternoon, you may want to do a wine tour while you are in town.  There are plenty of reputable vineyards right in the Cowichan Valley that offer tastings and food:

Grand Wine Tours and Crush Wine Tours offer day food and wine tasting trips in the Cowichan Valley starting at around $89.  TI Executive Limo has a Grand Wine & Culinary Package via limo for $109pp.

You can find a downloadable map (above) and more info about the Vancouver Island Wine Regions at the Wine Islands Vinters Association.