Archive for March, 2010

I’ll be up front and admit that I’ve never actually attended a Wedding/Bridal Show. I had every intention of doing so – mainly for the rumoured freebies that are to be had. I was keen on the $100 coupon that I’d read about a certain tux vendor giving out. But then, sadly (for them; for us, I have to admit we were feelin’ the schadenfreude in a big way) Syd Silver declared bankruptcy and we were able to kit out LX like a superstar (head to toe – including cufflinks & shoes!) for less than the cost of a rental. So that, combined with the fact that I’d finished planning and booking pretty much everything by the time the show rolled around, meant I could spend my Sunday lounging about with a cat on my lap and a hot cuppa joe in my hand (a much more pleasant prospect than battling a throng of brides and their moms – just sayin’…)

Word is, though, you can win diamond rings, cruises, full honeymoon trips… even get your entire wedding paid for at these events! I’ve also been told that there are tons of vendors there who will offer greatly discounted rates if you’re willing to put down a deposit and book their services on the spot. I’m not sure I’d be keen to do that without first doing a bit more research myself. But if you have no idea where to start looking, it’s as good a place as any to start. And who knows – you may just end up falling in love with a wedding cake, dress, whatever – and be able to make a decision on the spot. You’re likely to save some money AND mark one more thing off your To Do list.
With everything represented from beginning to end, these shows seem to be replete with wedding products (invitations, dresses, flowers), services (caterers, DJs, Limos), tips and information of all kinds. Some shows even feature Wedding Celebrities (it is SO a thing!) I have a co-worker who went to the last big one in Toronto (the one I’d actually registered to attend – for free, I might add: if you’re a bride, some will waive the entry fee) and she and her sister met Jane Dayus-Hinch from Wedding S.O.S. You can’t NOT love a prim, well-dressed woman with a penchant for Harleys.
So if you haven’t the foggiest idea where to start your planning, one of these behemoth expos might be the place to begin. On the other hand, it might also overwhelm you to tears. So if you do decide to venture down that road, be sure you have a few stalwarts to accompany you along your mission (hey – that’s what BFFs and bridesmaids are for, right?)
Find a show near you and ruck up with a coffee and some sturdy shoes. But, remember – do your research, too.

March 17th, 2010 The Confessional | No Comments

(or: Why Resting on your Laurels only merits Big Fat Laurels)
This past week I began training for a 10km race. No, really. I did. And, while this has nothing to do per se with weddings, it has to do with me and my personal fitness level and well-being. And, since I’m getting married & this is my blog, it has to do with weddings (not a bad reach, eh?)

Run for the Cure 2009: the Sequel. It wasn’t official. It wasn’t fast. But it did garner my PR thus far: 5km in 35 minutes. And, YES, I’m damn proud.

My ‘career’ (and I couldn’t use that word more loosely) began 2 years ago when I decided for some ungodly reason that I was going to run a 5K. I chose the CIBC Run for the Cure and then set about trying to run. Easier said than done for a zaftig girl who couldn’t run for longer than 30 seconds without getting winded & nearly crippling herself. Enter: the Couch to 5k. This program changed my life. For real. I’ve said that countless times in the past (most often in jest) but when I say it now, I couldn’t be more earnest. I’m really not sure what prompted the notion to try running. Whatever the impetus was, though, I’m grateful for it. And Robert Ullrey gets a huge virtual High Five for putting together & posting the free podcast (that still lives on my iPod to this day, actually) I used to make it through without serious injury or hospitalization.
I went from sucking serious wind after 30 seconds of running to completing a full 5km run all in one go. I ran slowly (still do) but make no mistakes, I RAN the full distance. No walksies.
That was in October of 2008. What did I do during the off-season of that year (winter 2008/09), after such a remarkable breakthrough, you may ask? Nothing. Nada. Yep. I sat on my arse and watched it expand. I also, effectively, put myself back at ground zero. All that sweating and panting to be able to run 5km and I sat on my laurels and let it all go to seed. So when the running season of 2009 rolled around (and I thought I’d be right where I left off), I was rudely thumped back to reality when I could barely make it through a St. Paddy’s Day 5km Run (there were walksies.)

~ I Run Because I Can
It’s an adage I’ve seen on T-shirts and read countless times in Runner’s World Magazine. At first it didn’t mean much to me, beyond a bit of wanky power-of-positive-thinking self- aggrandizement. But, then last March, I took part in the Achilles St. Patty’s Day 5km run and had the full scope of that statement demonstrated for me in living colour.
The Achilles Run is an annual event that raises funds for physically challenged runners. Now, I’d known about deaf or blind runners running with guides in order to stay on course. But I had NO idea the tenacity and spirit that was embodied in some of the other athletes who benefited from this organization. As per their website, they welcome runners with “…cerebral palsy, paraplegia, arthritis, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, amputation, cystic fibrosis, or those who suffer from stroke, cancer, traumatic head injury, and many others.” Pretty much quashes any “oh, but I’m too old, fat, (insert excuse here)” whining any of us can come up with, doesn’t it?
I’d been feeling pretty sorry for myself and the slowness with which I crossed the finish line (really, what did I expect, I barely ran at ALL for months), but when I was passed by a runner with no feet (yes, you read correctly: No Feet) I knew that there really was no excuse I could come up with that would hold any amount of water. Granted, that epiphany didn’t quite hit me immediately. It took a few more runs followed by some pretty whiny, self-indulgent self-pitying because my thinner and more fit girlfriends were finishing with far better times than I. Well, of COURSE they were! They’re in better shape and they trained harder. Duh!
Then I figured out the Zen of Running. No great spiritual realization hit. I simply (and finally) figured out & eliminated the stressor that seemed to follow me on every single run: Time. If I ran at a pace even 2 seconds slower on Monday than I had on Saturday, I beat myself up over it… for days. Where’s the enjoyment in that? Well, exactly – there wasn’t any. So I started running and leaving my watch at home. And guess what? I started to LOVE running. Do I still care about times? Well, sure – who doesn’t want to improve upon something they enjoy. I just don’t obsess over it anymore. Battles are meant to be chosen carefully. You pick one all willy nilly and you will have your ass handed to you. I spent the majority of my life excelling in the art of couch potato-ing. So I know that, in order for me to succeed at running in any capacity, it needs to be done in tiny, wee baby steps. I can only win one battle at a time. And that’s fine by me.
Right now – I can run 5km and not die. That, in and of itself, is pretty impressive considering my starting ground. I have a respectable number of 5km finishes under my belt and I’m proud of each and every one. Now the prize I’m eyeing is crossing a 10km finish line. I don’t expect it to be fast. I don’t expect it to be easy. But I do expect to do it with a metric tonne of pride.

March 8th, 2010 Finding Fabulous | 1 Comment

and I cannot stress enough: RESEARCH.
There is such a glut of information out there with regard to… well, everything, really. But, when it comes to weddings, there are dollars (and usually plenty of them) to be shelled out. And wherever there’s money to be made, there’s money to be scammed.
Billed as the Boston 411 Home and Bridal Show 2010, a recent event bilked around 5,000 people (vendors & guests, alike) out of their hard-earned cash.

Hopefully some of these folks will be able to recoup what they’ve lost and the asshat organizers will get what’s coming to them (it’s called Karma, people… she can be your best friend or a complete bitch: treat her nice or she’ll make sure there’s hell to pay.)
Unfortunately, these clowns managed to have reputable websites advertise for them. But there are ways to make sure you’re not taken advantage of. Talk to people. Don’t just see a website and decide a vendor is for you. Ask around. Join online forums and speak with folks who may have used these services. Find out if what’s being offered is actually what you’ll receive. Don’t be shy. And don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as you need to to ensure you’re comfortable with what you’re paying for. You’ll be happy you did.

March 2nd, 2010 Wedding WTF | No Comments