Wedding Wednesday: 122 Days

Planning a wedding is a little like pregnancy. There is no rushing things then all of a sudden there is little time left and so much to still accomplish. However, unlike most pregnancies, the wedding is pretty well set in stone. Venues need to be discussed, and usually nailed down with a small retainer as early as possible – just try waiting until spring when planning a long weekend summer wedding. Although, come to think of it, two potential alternates were available if the paddle wheeler plan sank. Fortunately that was only a tiny possibility with everything quickly patched up. As the days continue to count down the much larger chunk of change looms to keep the venue.

Of course this also means checking and rechecking the guest list. With that second payment it is important to have an idea of the number of guests who will be in attendance. Which also means seeking a friendly way to track down anyone who has not responded. However, when an RSVP by is on the invitation when is it appropriate to begin a follow up? Who does the following up? Some wedding research indicates it is expected that roughly twenty percent of the invitations will be declined. Of course I did not read that it is a good idea to invite at least ten percent more to make up for those declines until I started to write about this! As if my daughter is not busy enough she now has to remind her fiancé to come up with his work related list, including full names, spouses and mailing addresses as well as doing her own local list. From what my daughter has intimated there are probably at least 10-12 more possible guests. I am standing by my estimate of 88 guests including the wedding party. Today is the deadline for those invitations. Not that this helps with the no responses.

My self-made role is to be her Personal Assistant – I have a little more time, am generally quite organized, and can act as her gentle (pretty sure at times she thinks pushy) reminder. She likes it when she can cross items off her list. A list that has to be worked around her busy work schedule, various appointments, and of course her family – including her teenager. As March approaches much has been accomplished. Which is important to acknowledge. With the dress and venue chosen early everything else should just fall into place, and despite some bridal party dress hiccoughs, this is the case. Two dates are set for alterations to the wedding dress. The first for raising the lace to shorten the front hem. The second for any fitting issues. Which must mean a third appointment to fit in a final fitting. I wonder if I will be there by then. I seem to recall this is usually done very close the the actual wedding date. How frightening!

Shirts and ties were selected for the groomsmen. All I know for the groom is that everything seems to be taken care of. A photographer has been booked. My daughter was fortunate to arrange for her win of engagement photographs to be switched to cover some of the photographer’s fee instead. It sounds like they had a great discussion, with the photographer making suggestions as to how the cost can be kept fairly reasonable. Hair, make-up, possibly even nails, have also been booked. (I may seriously consider taking advantage of these if possible – as one of the MOBs I want to look nice) Several vases, and glass pieces, were purchased. These must be bought in Kingston, there is no way I could carry thirty plus fish bowl 🐠 vases on a plane! (Just a little hint of decorations – after all, the wedding is on a boat) We keep cleaning out the stores for the DIY centrepieces so my daughter has to go back to buy more. Even chair sashes have been discussed! That was a yes. A room for the bride and groom has been booked. My daughter has chosen family and thriftiness over ostentatious. Many of us will be staying at the university. Funny note, my daughter who graduated with an MA from there will not be!

Of course, at times it does seem that crossing off one item, or moving it to another list, only makes room for something else.


Wedding Wednesday: 136 days

Although I cannot share too much – photos etc. – I thought part of the blurb on the wedding website my daughter is using was a perfect way to introduce when she and her fiancé met 25 years ago. “A long time ago, on a beautiful island in British Columbia, a young man from the East Coast laid eyes on a young West Coast girl.” It is only fitting they are getting married onboard a boat.

Some recent updates: a pair of shoes I think will be suitable arrived at me door yesterday. Wow, this ordering online is great! As my second daughter pointed out the pumps are higher than a kitten heel, and lower than stilettos, yet look subtly elegant. The only bit That do not like is the little logo stud on the side of each shoe. Which means I will mull things over for s few days before making a final decision. Until they had arrived I was still unsure they would be suitable with my dress. So I am basically ready unless I return the pumps.

Colour hint of my already purchased dress.

As for the bride’s shoes…. actually she called me to have me add to my growing list a reminder she must have shoes before March 26 when she will have her first fitting. My only concern will be how high a heel she is considering. She has to climb stairs to the top deck where the ceremony will be held. As mentioned recently the fitting for the dress this will be done in two stages. The $30.00 hourly rate sounds astronomical although it really is not. Unstitching lace, moving everything up, and hand stitching back on while still maintaining the integrity of a dress is not easy. Fortunately I still think only the lower front half of the skirt will need work. Dresses should not be made for 6 foot women only!

Meanwhile, what were worries are now being nailed down and a calm period seems to have arrived. The guest list seems to be under control, and the deadline I have set to remind the bride and groom to hand deliver invitations that had to be held back while waiting for RSVPs is approaching. I suppose I should let them know when that is. The other worry was decor, what is the budget, what will work on a moving venue, what is or is not allowed, has the colour scheme been finally decided? Of course, once we had bought out a few stores to gather everything according the bride’s ‘look’ the colours and decor was decided. Adding to my reminder list will be for the glass receptacles to be purchased. Which reminds me, I now have a whiteboard and an erasable calendar.

Not having candles opened up more choices of what can used. Bottom heavy vases in the event of the boat rolling. (Hm, is this really a good idea? I get seasick. Fortunately, I have been on the vessel a couple of times) Rather than candles, not even LED, my daughter chose fairy lights, and they really are quite lovely. The colour scheme will enhance the look of an aquatic connection without appearing kitschy. I keep going back to subdued elegance. As I go over what seems to be included in decor for weddings I can see how the cost rises. The only pressing decisions now seem to be a runner for walking down the aisle and chair swags.

Then the topic of transportation came up. My fault, I mentioned that Harry and Meagan (I am not fixated – their nuptials just keep being in the news) will have a carriage for after their ceremony. I thought my daughter’s idea of a trolley to the wedding was far more fun, if not (we discovered) original. She then informed me she was looking into a carriage! Very Victoria. Perhaps both will be used. Or she could arrive on the back of her father’s motorcycle.

What is important is that, despite some early OMGs, the next 136 days are fun. After all, it will be a celebration of two wonderful people who want to share their special moment 25 years in the making.

Wedding Wednesday: Dress shopping for the rest of us

Planning seemed to be relatively quiet over the holiday other than confirming a weekend in Toronto to shop for dresses for the wedding party, have a ‘girls’ weekend and see a show. We spent about five hours at the Easton’s Centre Mall checking out all of the dress shops. I was rather disappointed in the lack of choices. By the time we made it to Le Chateau I was exhausted, the bridesmaid (another daughter) had ducked into a make-up shop, and we thought we were done. However, another look ended up with us taking up another hour I. The store. My daughter had been waffling over her colours until her sister found a dress she liked. Plus shoes! With that decision made there is no going back. I hope. The matron of honour also picked a dress then returned it some hours later after looking at photos of her wearing it. Although she did look stunning in it I did understand her concern about it rising too high when she moved – and she had not even tried to sit down. We are now looking, as originally decided, at a shade lighter than navy with silver as the complementary colour. I think it will be quite elegant. Not wanting to take away from the bridal party I chose to only take a cursory look for a dress.

Little did I expect to find something in Kingston! I was on my own so shared a photo with my youngest daughter who was still in Japan but at the airport to return to Canada. (She did not like the cold – good thing we live on the westcoast) She approved and said I should just buy it without her sister’s approval. Sticker shock had me convinced I really should get the opinion of the bride. It also provided me time to decide if I could really afford it. My youngest did offer to buy it for me, we even looked into ordering it online – the final difference, with delivery, would have saved me perhaps $30.00. I told her she can buy the shoes. The bride loved it, I bought it, and will wear it every year to justify spending around $290.00, with tax, on a dress! I do understand that is not unreasonable. It s now hanging up in the closet in Kingston. I do not have to worry about packing it now and can most likely find shoes in the week leading up to the event. No photos allowed yet.

As for other activity leading up to the big day I think I might have suggested they could always elope. When my already married daughter had her wedding there was not time to panic – we had two weeks to plan after they decided waiting a year was ridiculous. (She swears it was three weeks) The wedding dress had already been purchased so it was a matter of finding a venue for a cozy ceremony and reception, ensuring the parents, siblings and a few very close friends could attend, then figuring out the budget. As with that wedding the upcoming nuptials are being paid for by the couple. The bride seems to have all of that under control although she does worry at times. January has been her minor panic month.

What do brides worry about? Turns out, a lot! Even in the 21st century. We packed in a lot during the very short time I visited. The wedding dress – I had seen pictures of it but not in person. One late morning, as I was doing something in the kitchen I turned, and there was my daughter in her dress – with an ever so slight worry line and lots of smiling waiting for my reaction. I think she looked beautiful in it. Being from a family in which the women are on the short side it is of course too long but otherwise it is a gorgeous dress and she will be stunning. Then my daughter started to worry, what if her fiancé did not like it, did it flow enough (I admit that has me somewhat mystified), did I really like, would it fit properly by the wedding…. oh my, I had not expected such doubt from her.

The guest list was another concern, she was worried people were not responding soon enough. I refrained from saying that Prince Harry is getting married in May and those invitations will not go out until about eight weeks before. Of course there is venue to consider when counting numbers, I believe a 60% positive response is pretty good. However, being a practical mother I asked if she has a back up plan. Well, sort of. There are two smaller boats she can choose from instead of the paddle wheeler. I suggested she not worry about that until one month before the next deposit needs to be put down.

Brides need lists. They need spreadsheets. They need a personal assistant. Brides need to put a big sign on their workspace and repeat, like a mantra, Keep Your Sense of Humour.

My C3 Canada 150

I find I need to explain my title. C3 refers to the three ocean coasts that touch Canada, the 150 refers to 150 years since the signing of the Constitution in 1867. I hope to stay from the politics of the event while still talking to anyone I meet who is travelling this summer. I had hoped to make it to the Atlantic Ocean during my June/July trip – so far not on my itinerary. Instead I opted to head north. The following is just a taste of the month I spent preparing this trip.

Of Course I Can Get There 

It took some effort, frustration and doggedness to finally sort out my mid-June trip in Canada. One flights, six train trips, and three hostel stays booked – one will be a repeat – but I am set! It does pay to collect reward points whenever possible. What should have totalled over 1200 CAD for all the transportation came to 73.82 CAD – and that is how I manage to travel. I even managed to have Airmiles and Via points left over to build up for other Canadian trips. 

Victoria to Toronto to Kingston: air and train ✈️🚞

Kingston to Toronto to Winnipeg: two trains 🚞🚂

Winnipeg to Churchill to Winnipeg: two trains🚂🚞

Winnipeg to Vancouver: Air🛩

Vancouver to Victoria: ferry (hurray, the ferry!)🛳

Technicality: I did pay for a flight to New York, that stops in Toronto. The airline made some changes so I decided to take them up on their offer to make a major change rather than request a full refund. That one way trip was about $228, paid way back in January! However, when breaking down my month long trip I did not factor that trip into total fare. So, approximates for two flights, six trains $1450+, paid $300. Still an excellent saving.
Where to and what I will do. I will leave Victoria to fly out of Vancouver, fantastic because it means I can take the ferry. I have said this before, leaving the island by boat makes my trips seem like an early start to my adventure. It is unlikely I will take the brand spanking New V2V Empress as it goes to downtown Vancouver. Another time. I am thinking budget all the way. I love that I will have a non-stop, overnight flight. I am hoping I will be relatively refreshed and ready to hit the tracks to Kingston. Another travel must for me when I fly east, land in Toronto, take the train to Kingston. I will take it back mid-July also, then board another train for Winnipeg.
A week of emails and UWinnipeg Hostel has finally been booked.

Definitely no V2V Empress, I did not even get my free trip – it was supposed to be offered at a later date, never happened. Rather disappointed.

Update, it is never a good idea to plan two trips. It seems I am flying out of Victoria, no ferry trip. I also had to re-confirm UWinnipeg Hostel is booked for two different stays. If I am having this much trouble booking at a university in Canada I wonder if it is even feasible to consider universities in some cities in China.

Why Planning Ahead Is Not Micromanaging! 🗓🗒💻📞

I like to plan everything as far ahead of time as possible when it comes getting to where I need to depart from – airports, train stations, ferries, buses – they all need to be got to. So glad I do this as even so close to home things change. I was working on getting to the airport by local transit ($5.00) only to discover the route and buses used have had significant changes. Rather than two buses I will now have to take three, the last is at the McTavish Park ‘n Ride that is basically in the middle of nowhere – fortunately, so long as I work everything out properly, I should be able to catch the last community bus and still get to the airport 1 1/2 hours before departure. So there is absolutely no room for error! I can see making the decision to leave earlier just in case. There is no standing room on the community bus. It carries fewer passengers, no idea what is suggested if there are too many passengers all vying for the last trip.