It’s now less than two weeks until our wedding, and I’m like:
I’ve been following a checklist on a popular wedding website, and along with such feminism-destroying tips as “Start your wedding diet!” and “Explore teeth whitening options!”, it also informed me last week that it was time to obtain our marriage licence.
A marriage licence. Now this sounded serious. The term evoked Victorian imagery in my mind, and I pictured a court of high justice with bewigged elders bestowing this all-important document upon us. I prayed there wouldn’t be any kind of dowry involved because with this wedding I am seriously broke as hell.
We filled out a simple form online, printed it off, and walked into Toronto City Hall the next morning. Already, I was disappointed by the lack of ceremony. I would have liked to have been heralded in by velvet-coated trumpeters announcing our intention to marry.
Instead, we walked into a dreary scene and were asked to take a number. There were dozens of people in line and my heart immediately swelled at the would-be married couples. Then I realized that the line forked in two directions, and that everyone except for us was waiting for employment insurance.
So we proceeded to the front of our line and were greeted by a middle-aged balding, bespectacled man in a sweater vest. Wow, this guy really won the city worker lottery, I thought, gazing sympathetically at the sad, disgruntled employment insurance claim processor to our left.
But sadly, Tobias Fünke 2.0 didn’t seem to have picked up on his good fortune.
“ID’s please”, he said dryly.
As he looked over our IDs, I steeled myself for the long and formal interview process that would inevitably follow. After all, they don’t just let anyone get married, do they?
Instead, he looked up and said “Ok, let me just print your licence now.”
That was it? No interview? No quality control? I thought about standing up and screaming “I AM UNDER DURESS!” just to see what would happen, but in the end, thought better of it.
He walked over to a 90’s-era printer, and returned with a long piece of white paper. “Here’s your marriage licence” he said, nonchalantly.
I gazed dejectedly at the unassuming, legal-sized sheet. I had been expecting a gilded scroll; perhaps tied with a peacock feather. Couldn’t they at least have thrown in a little parchment? Give me something to Instagram here.
“Give that to your officiant.” He added, unceremoniously. “And Good luck”. Did I detect the faintest hint of sarcasm?
I walked out on to Queen Street in a daze, fully qualified to marry, and fully convinced I watch way too many movies.
Question of the Day: Are you married? Did you get swept up in the planning process?
While I am by no means a natural “planner”, I like to think I’ve risen to the occasion on this whole “bride to be” thing. Over the past few months I have somehow overcome my paralyzing laziness and successfully managed to set a date, pick a venue, order a cake and even source the perfect, realistic looking human hair extensions (seriously guys, I look like a Real Housewife in them. In a good way).
I was beginning to feel confident- dare I say, even a tad cocky- in my wedding planning abilities –
Until we met with the event coordinator at our venue last week.
We were there for our food tasting, but as soon as I took the first bite of my grilled Cornish hen, she pulled out her clipboard and launched into a line of questioning.
“Have you thought about your seating arrangement? Colour of the chairs? What time will the cake cutting be? What about favors? What about a candy bar? Everyone is doing a candy bar these days. And how many speeches will there be and what is your social insurance number and can I please have your first-born child?”
I was like:
“And what about a guest book?” She added, not missing a beat “Have you thought about what you’ll do?”
“Of course!” I lied
“Because you know there are so many interesting things you can do these days besides just a regular old, boring book for people to sign. You should really do something that’s meaningful to you as a couple.”
“Go check Pinterest,” she continued, “there are tons of ideas!”
I stumbled out of the venue like a survivor of a zombie apocalypse, visions of flowers and place cards and candy bars swirling in my head.
I spent the next couple of days in a haze of anxiety, stress eating my go-to bulk barn candy (aptly named “OMGs”). But one thing you should know about me is that I’m competitive as hell and never back down from a challenge. So I logged onto Pinterest. She wanted a unique wedding guest book? She was going to get a unique effing guest book.
I was immediately bombarded by hundreds of ideas- each more ridiculous and involved than the next. Was I really expected to compete in this world of extreme Bridal DIY? I thought I would share a few with you, just so you see what kind of intensity I’m up against.
1.”Encourage guests to sign small squares of fabric. After the wedding day, pay a local seamstress to fashion the squares into a sentimental quilt.”
2. “Hire a silhouette artist to come to your reception and create custom likenesses for all of your guests to be placed in a keepsake album.”
What,you don’t know a silhouette artist? I have one on speed dial, right between “Artisinal Moustache Wax Purveyor” and “Theremin Player/Reiki Healer.” Come to think of it, this is a great idea. I’ll set him up right between the build-your-own fixie bike station and the DIY taxidermy bar. Maybe I’ll even throw in a vintage ferris wheel and an organic candy apple dipping station! Adult coloring books are so 2015. 2016 is all about the adult wedding carnival!!
3. “Have guests sign decorative plates for a beautiful wall hanging for your new home!”
4. Or how about a wedding tablecloth?
“Ask guests to sign well wishes on a tablecloth you can use for festive occasions! Just be sure to buy a clear plastic cover since you won’t want to wash this baby often!”
5. Have your guests create a thumbprint work of art!
Ok, so this is actually kind of a cool idea and kudos to those brides who can make it work, but I have a feeling that instead of this splendid, beautiful peacock/hipster lovers with balloons:
I’d end up with this:
Question of the Day: Any realistic guest book ideas for me? (MINIMAL EFFORT REQUIRED)
Exciting for sure, but also a little bit terrifying.
Because with my shiny new accessory, I was thrust into the weird and wonderful world of wedding planning – a veritable parallel universe where words like “charmeuse” and “pave” abound, and everything is made from precious unicorn hair and costs $10 thousand dollars.
For a girl who has spent more time envisioning her ideal rap name than her dream wedding (“DJ Breezy Beatz”, in case you were interested), this was completely overwhelming.
So to save you from the same shock I experienced, here are 10 things that happened to me- and will very likely happen to you- after getting engaged.
1. You Will Have To Use The Word “Fiancé “
2. You Will Join The Pinterest Army
Even if you’ve never considered joining the visual bookmarking site; even if- to borrow a phrase from Lena Dunham- you think you’re “not that kind of girl”, within weeks of getting engaged, chances are you’ll be pinning your little heart out- perusing photos of elaborate centerpieces and DIY crocheted ring pillows until your eyes cross. You will feel a new-found sense of social media validation every time someone follows your carefully curated “Rustic-Modern-Victorian-Tropical-East-Meets-West Wedding” board. You will question what this says about you, but you won’t be able to stop. Before you know it you will be down a rabbit hole of mason jar snow globes and mini lights; seriously contemplating giving your guests live Maltipoo puppies as wedding favors.
RESIST the urge, ladies.
3. You Will Watch Wedding Shows with a new-found purpose and enthusiasm.
Because staying in on Friday night to watch Say Yes To The Dress is no longer sad.. it’s productive. (Ok, it’s actually still just sad).
4. You Lean More Than You Ever Wanted To Know About Flowers
If you’re a horticultural rookie like I was, prepare to be SCHOOLED in the art of wedding flowers. Hydrangeas, Calla Lillies, Amarylis, Briar Rose, Gladiolus, Sage Moonblood.
(Ok, so at least two of those are actually celebrity baby names. But god help you if you can guess which ones).
By the time you’re finished visiting with florists and decorators you will feel like you’ve received an unofficial Bachelor’s Degree in botany. And, incidentally, the perfect name for the protagonist in that Victorian Romance Novel you’ve been working on.
5. You Will Discover “The Wedding Premium”
The bridal industry is one giant racket. Like the world’s suckiest magic, whenever you attach the word “wedding” to a good or service, the price skyrockets 300%. No matter your budget, chances are you’re probably going to blow through it. Hope you like eating Campbell’s soup for every meal!
6. You Will Become an Expert At Telling Your Proposal Story
Like an unofficial ToastMasters class, getting engaged teaches you the art of telling the same damn story 17,000 times over- condensed, edited, and maybe even hyperbolized to its pithy, climactic perfection. Which is great, because for a while, it’s all you’ll want to talk about.
But no matter how amazing your story is, you will eventually begin to feel a simultaneous sense of dread and validation every time someone asks you about it. It’s how I imagine Tony Bennett must feel every time he gets on stage with Lady Gaga.
7. You Will Realize How Horrible and Sexist Most Wedding Publications Are.
Guys, I’m convinced the target audience for wedding magazines is solely Aspiring Disney Princesses and contestants on The Bachelor.
With their glossy-paged depictions of elaborate, $100,000 celebrations, and articles like: “How to Lose 6 Pounds in 6 Days!” and “Choosing the perfect scent for your big day!“, these publications seem to suggest that if you’re not absolutely losing your sh*t about your wedding 24 hours a day and dreaming of giant Kim-and-Kanye-inspired flower walls, well then my friend, you’re doing it wrong.
8. You Will Surrender All Privacy
Wearing a ring on your left hand is like an unofficial beacon that screams “Please, come ask me detailed questions about my personal life!” Before you know it you will be awkwardly navigating questions with near complete strangers about whether you’re going to change your last name, when you are planning to have kids, and- in the case of your Great Aunt Martha- if you’re nervous for the “big night”.
9. You’re Going to Think You Lost Your Ring… Like All The Time
76% of brides-to-be suffer from (<— made up statistic) Hyper Ring Awareness- a manic, irrational condition where you constantly check your left hand to make sure you haven’t somehow lost your ring (Spoiler Alert- You didn’t. You’re just crazy.)
10. You Will Feel A Compelling Desire To Use The Bride Emoji Gratuitously
A couple of months ago, I turned 29. I didn’t make a big fuss about it because, who celebrates turning 29? It’s one year closer to 30 and, let’s be honest:
I figured I’d just pour myself a big glass of red wine, slather my face with anti-wrinkle cream and spend the day flipping through old Facebook photos, lamenting the dewy, uncorrupted skin of BreezyK past.
My boyfriend however, had other plans for me.He suggested we both take the day off work and hang out, which sounded good to me, because shameless self-pity isn’t really my best “office look”.
I knew we had dinner reservations at 9pm, so I figured we would just kick until then. We were watching old SNL reruns when he turned to me and said “I have a surprise for you, but you have to pack an overnight bag”.
“What is this, a Bachelor Fantasy Date?” I asked “Where are we going? And (more importantly) “how much time do I have to get ready?”
“You’ll see” he said, “Just pack something to wear to dinner tonight, and some comfy clothes. We’re leaving in an hour”
Suspiciously, I began to pack. I am a notorious overpacker at the best of times, but with few parameters, this reached new extremes. I literally packed everything I own; including my passport (in case we were going to Paris), 6 pairs of socks (in case it got cold in Paris), and two different hair straighteners (in case one didn’t match the Parisian outlets).
“Whoa, it’s not like we’re going to Paris,” he said, correctly reading my crazy. “We’re staying at the Drake Hotel overnight.”
The Drake, if you’re not familiar, is a boutique hotel, restaurant, concert venue and general Toronto institution. I’ve been there many times to eat and drink, and have often said, “wouldn’t it be cool to stay here for a night?”
So I was really disappointed it wasn’t Paris pumped we were going there! (No really, I was. I don’t even look good in berets anyway.)
Our room wasn’t ready when we arrived, so the concierge offered us complimentary cocktails at the hotel Bar. We sipped our Moscow mules and pretended we were fabulous people who regularly drink cocktails in hotel lobbies at 3pm.
“Sorry for the wait,” said the concierge after we had finished, “we upgraded you to our nicest suite, and were just getting it ready. Looks like you have just enough time to change before your couples massage”.
Our room had a very retro, mid-century modern feel with low light, teak wood furniture, and a big, sprawling chaise lounge. A bottle of champagne was chilling on ice. He must have mentioned it’s my birthday, I thought, adding two points to the mental tally I was already beginning to lose track of.
After our massages, he suggested we start getting ready for dinner early. “That way we’ll have time to drink champagne before we leave”, he said.
I was like,
He changed into his suit and I began the arduous process of getting ready. Two hours An hour later, with my smokey eye perfected, I emerged from the bathroom in my plush Drake Hotel monogrammed bathrobe. “I think I’m just going to wear this while we have our champagne,” I announced. “Then I can sit on that chaise in my robe and get lipstick on my champagne glass. It will be a very Elizabeth Taylor moment”.
“Ok,” he responded, not missing a beat. After knowing me for nearly 5 years, he is used to my delusions of grandeur.
I sauntered over to the chaise lounge, folded my legs up under me in my best “White Diamonds Commercial” impression, and held out my champagne flute in front of me.
He smiled and poured us both a glass, raising his for a toast.
“Cheers,” he said, “I am so happy to be spending your birthday with you this year”.
“Cheers!” I responded, clinking my glass against his and proceeding to down half of it in one fell swoop.
“Wait,” he said, “I’m not done yet”.
Something about the way he said it stopped me dead in my tracks. I slowly lowered the glass from my lips, dribblig the offending champagne back in.
He reached behind the champagne bucket, and pulled out a jewelry box. Before I knew it, was down on one knee. He said a few sweet things, all of which I’m sure were carefully planned but now are a complete blur, before hitting the punchline:
“Will you marry me?”
And how did I respond? Did I jump up and down? Cry beautiful, heartfelt, mascara-stained tears as Liz Taylor undoubtedly would have done?
And laughed. To say I was surprised was an understatement. After about 30 seconds of solid giggling, I caught a glimpse of his face, which was registering pure terror, and I realized I still hadn’t actually SAID anything.
“Oh my god yes!!” I responded “Yes of course!! Sorry, it’s not funny, I’m just happy!”
We decided to keep it just between us for the night, and to let our friends and families know the next morning. We went for a lovely dinner where we were so distracted by the enormity of what had just happened that we could hardly enjoy the delicious food. Just a note to newly engaged couples- TELL EVERYONE. Seriously, MILK that sh*t. We stupidly didn’t mention it until after our meal was over and had paid, and the chef literally ran out of the restaurant after us saying “Why didn’t you tell us! We would have given you free champagne and treats!”
When we arrived back at the hotel, a long line was snaked outside of the Drake for their annual Halloween costume bash. We walked right to the front with our room card, and told the bouncer we were guests of the hotel. “Of course,” he said, lifting the velvet rope.
“You know,” he said, once we were back in our room, “with our reservation, we have access to everything in the hotel, including the party. I think we should go- but we need some costumes.
…….. Good thing I brought some!” to my utter disbelief, he pulled two costumes out of his seemingly endless bag of tricks- for him, a Mountie, for me, a Chef. (which was a relief, because I worried for a split second I was going to be The Pioneer Woman).
Laughing, we switched into our costumes and made our way downstairs where we danced to 90’s hits and partied with kids too young to remember them. Although I had never imagined the night I got engaged to end like this, it was, strangely, perfect.
So, in the end I guess I did get my Elizabeth Taylor moment-just not quite the way I had planned it.
Question of the Day: Are you engaged? Tell me your proposal story!
It’s still in law, but no longer in private practice… so I expect the quality of my life to improve drastically to have more regular hours and thus more free time for blogging. (When my busy schedule of grooming and beauty related appointments permits, of course.)
Those pictures were completely gratuitous.
Anyway, I know I owe you guys a real post (and to read and comment on some of the great stuff you’ve been writing), but as mentioned above, I’m in panda-mode. So in the meantime, I thought I’d give a little update on my life through my favourite fleetingly popular social media platform: instagram.
(You can see my first installment of My Life Through Instagram here.)
If you don’t follow me on Instagram, then you definitely should: @BreezyK1. I am extremely self-absorbed and post a lot of pictures of my manicures. Who doesn’t like that in their newsfeed??
2. See, I told you. (Hey, when it takes as long as this did, it deserves to be instagrammed)
3.Summer BBQs. If you can believe it, there was actually way more food unpictured.
4.We clean up aiight
5.Sunset over Sugar Lake
6.Wine and Cheese with a view.. oh you fancy huh
7.This album has been getting me through a lot of tough runs lately. Kanye- you may be a crazed egomaniac with questionable child-naming skills, but your beats are solid and your lyrics genius. So thank you for that.
9.I challenge you to name me a treat more delicious than s’mores
You just peed in your pants a little, didn’t you?
10.So I joined a softball league this summer- considering the ability to play softball entirely irrelevant. The only thing worse than my batting average is my attendance- but I do contribute to the team by taking glorious, sunset candid shots like this one.. so I think I’m pulling my weight.
11.My lovely friend Danielle looking fierce at her wedding
13.Do you… canoe? (Ok that was lame. Forgive me guys, I’ve been out of the game for a while)
14.Little father’s day tribute to my pops.. (and some inadvertent product placement. Mmm. Veggie Thins)
15.Delicious Sangria by the pool… I am just noticing now how many of these pics involve alcohol.
16. A lifesize “The Claw” arcade game set up in the financial district as part of Toronto’s Luminato festival for the arts and creativity. There was actually a dude inside who, when you put money into the machine, tried to retrieve a toy for you with oversize claw-like implements. Everyone cheered when he got one, and when he missed they played the sad fail music from the Price is Right.
Umm this Youtube video has had over 3 million views. I don’t know why, but that’s awesome.
Question of the Day: What has been the highlight of your summer thus far?
Mine’s probably a tossup between drinking that Sangria and watching the new season of Big Brother.. but I expect that to change when I head to Nova Scotia this weekend!
This past weekend I flew home to Halifax, Nova Scotia to attended the wedding of my good friends Alison and Kevin.
The ceremony, which took place at a yacht club overlooking the Halifax Harbour, was truly gorgeous, and I was so happy to have been included in their special day. At the risk of getting all sentimental and spoiling my jaded, sarcastic persona, I have to admit that I really do love weddings. There’s just such a sense of occasion about them: getting dressed up, catching up with old friends, throwing rice around. (I mean come on.. who throws rice around?)
But despite all of my enthusiasm, I actually get invited to relatively few of them. This wedding was the only one in my roster for all of 2012. This hardly seems proportional, given that I am almost 27, and for all intents and purposes should be right at the apex of my wedding-attending career.
In an effort to identify why I keep getting left off the “A” list, I started thinking back to my previous history as a wedding guest. Yeah, there were probably a few missteps along the way…. like that time I slow danced inappropriately with the groom, assaulted the bride and pushed a pregnant lady. Awwwkard. (just kidding. That was her)
I decided that after all the antics I had pulled in my time, I probably wouldn’t invite me to my own wedding either. And to be honest, neither should you. Here’s why:
1. I’ll probably be late for it.
Although I have no problem making my bi-weekly nail appointment, or rushing home in time to catch the Season Premiere of Bachelor Pad, for some reason it’s the one time, monumental events that I just can’t manage to be on time for. This past wedding was no exception. After getting lost en route to the ceremony and arriving 15 minutes late, I saw from the parking lot that the bridal procession had already started. Since the actual ceremony was still about 400m away, and down a steep grass hill, I decided to do what any self-respecting girl would do: whip off my 4 inch heels and pull a Usain Bolt straight down the hill in my cocktail dress, in direct view of the entire audience. I think even the bridesmaid walking down the aisle turned to see the crazy woman barreling down the hill at 100 km/hour.
I finally made it to my seat (after almost taking out the photographer, the flower girl and more than a few pew markers along the way) just in time to see my friend walk down the aisle. Can’t say I don’t know how to make an entrance.
2. I’ll make you rue the day you ever decided to have an open bar.
Free booze is a saucy temptress. Despite my best efforts to act like a responsible, 26-year-old woman in the face of unlimited free alcohol, instead I usually end up behaving more like a contestant on “cash grab”, attempting to beat the clock by imbibing as much as possible in the limited time I have. So word to the wise: Unless you want 80 bottles of grey goose and 145 sour puss shots* on your bar tab at the end of the night, maybe consider leaving my name off the invite list.
3. I’ll probably dance.
Although I am a woman of many talents (writing, running sub 3 hour marathons, generally winning at life), dancing, unfortunately, is not one of them. I think my dancing skills (or, lack thereof) can best be described as a formula of one part Elaine Benes:
One part Carlton Banks:
Two parts Ron Swanson:
One part Paull Rudd from the 80’s:
Three parts Napoleon Dynamite:
With a few jersey shore fist pumps thrown in there.
Although generally self-aware enough to save the world from having to endure this agony, coupled with the effects of the aforementioned grey goose + sour puss shots, I pretty much lose all control of my actions.. and appendages. And let’s face it- nobody wants to see that.
4. I will likely harass your DJ and/or Photographer
Because I live in a universe known as Self-Absorbtion, I think everything is about me. Unfortunately for you, this goes for your wedding too. If I feel like listening to Urrrrsher or Mr. Worldwide Pitbull instead of Kool and the Gang, then so help me god, I’m going to. Even if it means harassing, haranguing and/or bribing your DJ along the way. And as for pictures: there better be a lot of them. Of me. I didn’t spend 3 hours doing my hair and makeup for nothing.
5. I don’t understand portion control.
When you decided to order those delicious grilled cheese sandwiches and donuts as a late night snack at your wedding, you probably anticipated each guest having one of them, right? Au contraire bonjour. At least not if I’m one of your guests.
I’m not gonna get into exactly what went down that night… but lets just say there was one very full belly, and more than a few hungry mouths at the end of it.
6. I’ll probably write about it on my blog
When all else fails, you can count on me to exploit our close, personal relationship for shameless blog fodder.
Because after all, what are friends for??
Question of the Day: Do you like weddings? Do you make a good wedding guest?