A Bridesmaid's Worst Nightmare

Brides mean well, they really do. Whether it be the color scheme or the invite list, most soon-to-be-wed ladies are simply trying their best to pull together an event the likes of which they've never done before (and hopefully never will have to do again!). However, there always seems to be a few stumbling blocks along the way. Case in point --- the bridesmaids' dresses.

Bridesmaids' outfits are a tricky thing. Not only do they have to match your overall "theme" for the wedding, but they also have to look good on a number of differently-shaped bodies AND (hopefully) not be jaw-droppingly expensive. Add to the stress the future-thinking bride who's only wish is that her girls be able to wear their dresses again, and you've got a recipie for distaster. It seems like such a simple thing to do when you are outside the actual confines of planning a wedding (I, too, used to scoff), but once you are embroiled in it, hold on to your hat! (or taffeta-pink dress, as it were).

I have recently been given the esteemed honour of being a bridesmaid in my friend Mandy's wedding (Mandy of "The Bridal Diaries" fame, posted below). I'm excited to see what she eventually chooses for us as she's renowned for having great taste, but I sympathise with her current situation. The process of finding dresses for MY girls still lingers in my nightmares when I sleep, even though it happened almost a year ago.

While most brides eventually do a great job at finding just the "right" outfit for their maids, there are always a few who definetely strike out. The fine individuals at People Magazine have a new hommage-of-sorts on their website dedicated to these tulle disasters. As part of the lead-up to their June 15th "Real Life Weddings" edition, they are posting images and comments about the ugliest bridesmaid dresses ever. Unfortunate ladies who have had to don such hideous creations are being asked to send photos of themselves in for all to see. My three favorites are posted here ... the top and bottom ones fairly speak for themselves, but the middle dress is actually not HORRID, save for the scorching your retinas receive upon viewing it. I think thats what makes it the most shock-inspiring, don't you?

Since this will be their first-ever "Real Life Weddings" edition, People Magazine is still in the process of collecting photos and stories for six different sections: ugly bridesmaid dresses, wackiest ceremonies, wedding disasters, proposal stories, destination weddings, and inspired by a celebrity weddings. If you've got a great story to tell, make sure you pass it on! This could be your one chance to get featured in People Magazine, so dream big, girls, dream big!

*all photos courtesy of People Magazine*


Give Your Man A Helping Hand ...

... and direct him to this great website I just came across. Groom 411 is kindof like The Knot, except its (a) for men and (b) not stupid (did I just say that? Oops, I guess I did). Seriously though. This is a humorous, non-threatening, and exceedingly helpful little website for your husband-to-be. Filled with useful sections relating to such things as the bachelor party, budgeting, style, tools and more, every ounce of this site is packed with unique ideas that will even appeal to you. Written with the tone of a dry-witted men's magazine (think "Maxim" or "Men's Health"), your fiance is sure to like it. I only wish I known about it before I hubs & I tied the knot. Might have come in handy ...

I particularily enjoyed the sections "For the Bride", with tips on delivering the help-me-damnit message to your groom (see the manuals for the Short-Attention Span Map and the Middle Manager), and "Tools", with its Thank You Generator, Wedding Bingo (not what you think), and the Average-ator.

This is truly a cool website to take a peek at ... now if you can only get your fiance to do the same ...



I'm having one of those moments where I wish I could get married all over again ... simply because I found another great vendor who I wish I'd known about on my big day. *sigh* But atleast I can pass the knowledge on to you ladies!

I struggled and struggled to find just the "right" jewlery to wear on my wedding day. I knew what I was looking for, but it seemed that either items were ridiculously over-priced ($120 for FAKE pearl tear-drop earrings? Puh-leeze) or ridiculously outdated.

Fast-forward eight months .... I recently stumbled across a great little on-line company out of Edmonton called Pink Polka, where they hand-make the most gorgeous jewlery items specifically for weddings. The best part? Their prices are super-duper reasonable!

I fell in love with just about everything they have listed. They have some seriously fabulous items for sale, most with a healthy dose of Swarovski crystals sprinkled within (love, love, LOVE Swarovski crystals). Many of their products can be customized in your requested colors, and again ... GREAT prices! They currently sell a variety of earrings, bracelets, neckalces and garters, so make sure you do a thorough perusal of their website. If you're looking for jewlery, you won't be disapointed!
* all photos courtesy of Pink Polka *


Goodwill Of All Kinds

Well, hubs and I went to the charity dinner for Doctors Without Borders on the weekend, and had an absolutely splendid time.

Because I'm a bit of a foodie, I have to tell you what we ate. Dinner began with Roasted Beet Salad on Butter Leaf Lettuce Frisee & Raddichio with a Lemon Dijon Vinagrette and Toasted Fennel Seeds. The main course was Striploin of Alberta Beef served with a Root Vegetable Flan, Roasted Garlic Potato Puree with Chevre & Truffle Oil, and Thyme Infused Seasonal Vegetables, and the inspired dessert was Tarte Tin Tin with Cinnamon Creme Anglaise. Yummy? You bet!

The night also included international entertainment -- my favorite was the Portuguese Folk Group of Calgary, who's bright costumes and fluid dance steps were ridiculously enjoyable. An eye-popping silent auction rounded out the evening, of which husband & I won two (two!) items. Hello whiter teeth and a two-night stay in Banff!

I was so pleased with the way the table numbers Epiphany Designs made looked in the overall scheme. Its not very often that I get to attend an event I've "worked on", so this was a great treat to see! Feedback from the event organizers was blush-inducing, so overall it was an amazing experience for the company to participate in.

So whats a gala event like? In so many ways, very similar to a wedding. Elegantly-dressed people wander the room. A band plays melodious music softly in a corner. And service at the damned bar is always slow. Ah, beautiful memories.


Ever wonder what you're going to do with your wedding gown once the Big Day is over? Sure, some of us are the sentimental type and so, with visions of our daughters wearing the wedding gown on their Big Day, carefully clean, press, and pack it away.

However, there are also many brides who recognize that, most likely, the dress will never again see the light of day, and so are looking for a different option. Some will turn to Ebay, some will sell it to a consignment shop .... if you are one of these brides, here is a different suggestion for you!

Out in Toronto is a wonderful shop/charity that will work wonders with your dress. Called The Brides Project, this little store collects wedding dresses donated by brides, sells them at cut-rate prices to new brides, and takes most of the proceeds to donate them to various cancer programs (ie. camps for children suffering with cancer). Can it get any better then this?

In a nutshell, here's the way The Brides Project works: you (or any other bride!) donate your wedding dress to the store (it can be shipped there no problem). Another bride comes in at some point, sees your gown, falls madly in love (and why wouldn't she? Its gorgeous!), and purchases it at a fraction of the cost of what it would be in stores. She is then encouraged to send you a Thank You note to acknowledge the great contribution you've made, and your name goes on a list of donors on the website. With the money they make in the sale of your dress (and many others), The Brides Project contributes as much as possible to the Canadian Cancer Society and Breast Cancer Foundation during the year. This is done through events that their clients volunteer for (ie. a walk-a-thon). If you're willing to participate, they're willing to contribute. Typical contributions are $1000 per event to sponsor YOUR effort! Holy cow!

Ladies, if you aren't sure what to do with your dress, please take this great charity into consideration. I've known quite a few people who've both purchased from and dontated to The Brides Project, and it really is a win-win situation for everyone involved.

Keep it in mind!