It’s that time of year again: the Christmas trees and tinsel comes down and brides everywhere start girding their loins & donning their sturdy shoes for the full contact sport that is Bridal Boutique Sale Season.
Now, these events are NOT for the feint of heart or the casual browser; no, no… only the heartiest of souls with the strongest of convictions (a sturdy gait and a healthy hip check help as well) should attempt these outings. And it’s best to bring reinforcements (you have a bridal party… here’s where they’ll come in really handy!)
More than just the bog standard trunk sale, a bridal blowout (usually held at a hotel or events centre due to their sheer size) sale is ideal for the bride who’s willing to fight for an affordable dress. And when price tags can creep upwards of the 2-grand mark, it’s worth looking into attending if you have an idea in mind for your dress to end all dresses.  With prices that start at $199, it’s certainly worth a shot.
Amanda Lina’s annal event starts tomorrow (Thursday, Jan. 6) and runs until Sunday (Jan. 9). I attended this sale a few years back when one of my BFFs was getting ready to say her I Dos.  And, though she didn’t find her dream dress there, there were plenty of happy ladies who did.
Want the deets?
What: Amanda-Lina’s Sposa Boutique Bridal Blowout Sale
Double Tree by Hilton (655 Dixon Road Toronto, ON)
Jan. 6 & 7 (12 – 9pm); Jan. 8 (10am – 6pm); Jan. 9 (11am – 5pm)

January 5th, 2011 Finding Fabulous, Über Bargains | No Comments

Ten years ago, our friends Heather & Graeme were married in a ceremony that I think can only be described as One of a Kind. Yeah, I know… everyone thinks their wedding is the most unique event ever to have taken place. But they’re wrong. And I’ll tell you why.
You see, young Graeme is a giant Star Wars fan. He loves Star Wars. I mean LOVES. He also loves Heather. Luckily, for Graeme, she LOVES him. In fact, I’d go so far as to say she loves him even more than he loves Star Wars.  In fact, she loves him so much that she agreed to his casual suggestion that he’d like to have a Star Wars-themed wedding.  Seriously.
She donned a dress and hairstyle that made her more than just a Princess for her wedding day – she became one specific celluloid Princess: Leia, to be exact. And her husband-to-be made himself over to be the perfect Han Solo doppelganger. The bride’s sister was Amidala (yeah, so it messes with the time line of the movie – but you actually DO wield that kind of power when it’s your wedding.) My handsome husband (appearing in my Playbill as a mere co-worker at the time) was their best man – in the role of Boba Fett (he was asked to remove the helmet, however, during the ceremony – something to do provincial legalities or some such nonsense.) I was a guest. They held the ceremony in a park and posed for wedding portraits in a multi-coloured jungle gym.
Beat that for unique.
Fast forward ten years (plus a few months, but who’s counting, right? Ok – Heather & Graeme probably are) and the time has rolled around for LX & I to think about who we’re going to have officiate our ceremony. We both knew we didn’t want to be married in a church or with any sort of religious service. Then we remembered Heather & Graeme’s fabulous day. And we figured that anyone who would be cool with officiating a ceremony where the entire wedding party dressed as major movie characters would be a pretty awesome choice.
Unfortunately, for us, the lady who performed their ceremony had relocated to another city several hours away. However, the organization with which she was affiliated has a pretty big web presence. So a quick Google search led us to the woman would ultimately pronounce us husband & wife.

The Humanist Association of Toronto has a mission statement we felt held true to our own mindset: To promote the separation of religion from public policy and foster the development of reason, compassion and critical thinking for all Canadians through secular education and community support.
And a quick couple of email queries led us to Suzanne Peters – who was friendly, professional and had all kinds of information at the ready. And we wound up liking her as much in person as we did via email.
She gave us the option to choose our ceremony from a myriad of options she had prepared in advance or to come up with the words we wanted spoken on our own. We chose an amalgam of the two: some of the prefab structure along with our own words & BAM – you’ve got yourself a wedding ceremony!
A few sections of the ceremony are required by law and, after they were pointed out to us, we were able to write and piece together the ceremony that we wanted to have. Our officiant, Suzanne, added the perfect balance of behind-the-scenes guidance and Wedding Day participation. Her warmth & humour added just the right amount of realism to a ceremony that can, if not kept in check, quickly go off the rails and into the land of saccharine.
And if you should ever run into one of our wedding guests (Heather or Graeme, for example – he was our Groomsman, after all, and she ran around video-ing our ceremony and all the fun, need-to-be remembered bits), ask about the fabulous pause for effect that Suzanne added to my husband’s vows (that have since allowed me to bark “you have to listen to me… you swore to in front of EVERYONE”. But only in jest. Honestly.)

November 17th, 2010 Marriage Miscellany, The Confessional | 2 Comments

Okay, I’m the furthest thing from a Royal Watcher (my mom has held that position in our family for quite some time), but when I heard the announcement that Prince William and Kate Kate Middleton were officially engaged, I thought to myself, “now THAT is a televised event I’ll tune in for.”
I mean – even if you couldn’t care less about the Monarchy (I mean, seriously – I’m Canadian and even I think it’s an outdated concept… despite my heritage telling me I should swoon at its mere mention) you have to admit that there’s going to be some pretty ostentatious glitz & glamour (not to mention pomp and or circumstance) on display when those I Dos are said.
And now the latest is that young Wills has popped the question using his mama’s ring. You know the one: Princess Diana’s 18 carat sapphire? The one Prince Charles gave her when he proposed (oh, if only she’d known…) 30-plus years ago? That’s a helluva ring to be just sitting in a safe somewhere – so why not trot it out on another young, rock star princess, right?

Hopefully it’s not tainted by the previous owner’s unlucky marital history. And, hopefully, young Kate won’t also be sporting that early 80’s style worn by Diana when she walked down the aisle.
Just sayin’…

November 16th, 2010 Finding Fabulous, The Confessional | No Comments