Our Wedding (The Ceremony)

All photos in this post are courtesy of my amazing photographer Lew D'Souza of Engaging Images

I am writing about our wedding in three separate posts.  Last time, I wrote up us getting ready.  Today, it's all about the ceremony.

When Corey and I decided to have our wedding at our old summer camp, I think even we thought we were crazy.  There had never been a wedding there before and there were no real facilities to host a ceremony.

Still, we decided that the sentimental connection we had with the location and the naturally beautiful setting at Crestwood would make it worthwhile.  We were right.

After scouting the perfect spot and choosing minimal decorations, I drew Corey a diagram and sent him and our brothers to set up on the morning of our wedding.

One of my bridesmaids helped me with our signage and our brothers and moms coordinated setup.

Our guests sat on the benches used for lunchtime at camp.  It was casual and unfussy!

We had a covered tent for the bridal party to get ready, which we opened up to guests afterwards for cookies and refreshments before heading to our reception.

We may be biased, but I'm fairly certain we had the most adorable ring bearer and flower girl ever!

Our processional song was The Book of Love by Peter Gabriel.

I met Corey at the back of the aisle so that we could walk together (with Barkley and Cheetah) as a family.

I paused at the front quickly when I saw my mom because I needed a hug.

 Our ceremony included no scripture or religious quotes.  Only a passage by Louis de Bernières,  author of Captain Corelli's Mandolin

“Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just being "in love" which any of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident.

In the coming years, may you find that you have roots that grow towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossoms have fallen from the branches, may you find that you are one tree and not two.” 

In truth, I had copied the idea from my cousin's wedding earlier in the summer but the passage really spoke to us and it seemed especially beautiful and moving as we stood under the trees.  I cried the entire time.

I was so swollen that I was worried my ring wouldn't fit.  My hands and voice were shaking as we put them on while reciting the last line of our vows (which is also the inscription in the rings): My Love, My Life, My Friend.

Our wedding was inter-faith and so we had our officiant explain the significance behind the breaking of the glass so that everyone could follow along.

I was so jittery and excited when it was over that I left my friend, Sara holding my bouquet.

We had light refreshments and some laughs after under the big top tent.

It gave us time to mingle a bit before heading off to the reception.

Do you remember your own wedding ceremony?  Did you cry like I did?  What was your favourite part?

Grout Expectations

While still not finished, the bathroom is fully functional.  After the kitchen and nursery are complete, Corey will go back to frame the window and door, paint and add the finishing touches but for now we're using it like a real bathroom.  NO MORE FAMILY ROOM SHOWERS!!

Looking at these pictures makes me so glad we opted for the look of white grout with our subway tiles.  The light bevel adds enough definition to the tile and the white grout keeps the look clean.

See the difference between where the grout has been added and where it hasn't?

It's all done now and my pregnant self has been soaking in the tub, which Corey hooked up.  Another tip we learned along the way was to cut slivers of a hockey puck to use as padding under the clawfeet to support the heavy tub.

Our thermostat is now also working and we have programmed it so that our floors are toasty in the morning and at night.

And Corey also added a pot-light above our shower.

We'll paint later but for now, we just love having a fully functional bathroom!

Push Presents: Yes or No?

Push presents, baby baubles, pregnancy perks, third trimester trinkets... what do you think of this tradition?  Is it an obnoxious sign of our consumer-driven society or is it a nice acknowledgement of the work and sacrifice required to carry a baby?

Honestly, I was undecided about how I felt until my morning sickness returned in week 21 and I was in bed upset about it one day (I'm in control of it now) when Corey said something sweet and perceptive.  He said that after I delivered, I'd have a new baby and I would no longer be pregnant so a push present would probably be redundant at the time because I'd be so happy to have my baby and no longer be pregnant.  However, with months to go and terrible symptoms, he thought I could use a little something shiny now... to make me smile during the bad days.  We call it my "Puke Present"!

Jewelry is pretty out of character for me... Remember when I asked Corey to buy me a sensible ring so that we could put more money towards our renos?  We're also generally pretty frugal and prefer to buy things used or make them ourselves.  Still, this little trinket makes me smile... especially since my fingers are too swollen to wear my engagement or wedding rings.

We have friends who have decided that both mom and dad deserve push presents and we have friends who have ignored this new trend all together.  What's your take?  Do you like a little bling with your baby or would you rather spend the money on a fun date night before the baby comes?  Perhaps a newborn photoshoot with a professional photographer, a prenatal massage or something practical for the baby would be nicer than a little blue box?

Tile Update

 So, I've been holding out on you guys.  I've been enjoying nightly baths for weeks now... WEEKS... and yet I still haven't shared any more bathroom updates.

I'll admit that part of the reason for this is that, while functional, our bathroom still needs some drywall patching and a coat of paint before it's actually ready.  That's a poor excuse though because there are enough perfect rooms all over pinterest and I promised this blog would be real so I'll post progress photos now and you can see the finished product when it's ready.

Remember when we chose our tile last spring?  I remember being really excited about the marble mosiac that we chose for our accent strip.  Not only does it tie in nicely with the flooring, but it adds some depth and interest to our tub surround.  At $25 per tile, this was a great example of choosing an expensive accent to add elegance to more budget-friendly finishes.

This pictures shows quite clearly the bane of Corey's existence last spring and summer.  I think the frustration of tiling those shelves is what prolonged our reno by so many weeks.  Corey hated those shelves with such a passion that we almost had a party the day he finished!

I'll leave you here for tonight but I'll post soon with some photos of our tub and shower as they appear today.  If you're looking to start a similar project, we found this advice to be pretty helpful.


Our Wedding (Getting Ready)

All photos in this post are courtesy of my amazing photographer Lew D'Souza of Engaging Images

It has been nearly two months since our wedding and I'm so excited to start sharing some of the details of our big day.  I was worried that this blog was a little wedding-d out this summer but now I have tons of reno news so I don't feel guilty for peppering in a few wedding posts. :)

Considering we are in the midst of renovating our own new/old house, when Corey and I were touring reception venues, we felt most at home in a stately old heritage house which was situated right in the heart of the neighbourhood where I grew up.

One of the nicest things about The Heintzman House was the upstairs dressing rooms.  They allowed the bridal party lots of space to get ready and hang out in the morning before the ceremony.

You may recall the challenges I had in choosing a style for my wedding dress as a pregnant bride.  I happened to be particularly swollen on my wedding day but I still loved the dress and the French lace and crystal details made me feel pretty despite my cankles. 

My wedding shoes turned out to be a brilliant idea.

Remember the fabric I chose for my bridesmaids dresses?  Well, they each had a dress made to their own taste and ended up looking fabulous.

Cheetah was a naughty boy and ate an entire pack of gum which he found in my friend's purse that morning.

Corey looked dapper in a suit he already owned with a new shirt and cuff links.

He asked his groomsmen to wear white shirts with light or medium grey suits and he gave them each a tie.

The necklaces I had made for my bridesmaids were a little long but they were (luckily) adjustable and they looked sweet on them and sort of tied their looks together.

We waited for "first look" photos, which were nice but I think I would have preferred if Corey had helped me get ready.  I missed him so much during the emotional (and hormonal) morning that I almost called him in early several times because I just wanted to talk to my best friend.

Corey's identical twin (Jeff is on the left) flew in from Australia to help us with the big day.

I was thrilled with the way my bouquet turned out.

We all toasted (I had a tiny bit too.) in our own vintage champagne flutes which I've been collecting at thrift stores for ages.

Barkley and Cheetah just had water.

I was totally Bridezilla when it came to a secondary location for photos with Corey.  I chose a place on the opposite side of town, which would be difficult to drive to and difficult for my pregnant self to hike to and I refused to back down when friends (and our photographer) offered alternatives.  Looking back, it was actually pretty crazy of me but Corey and I were both thrilled with our photos and so was our photographer!

On our way to the ceremony, Corey and I stopped for iced coffees (and so that I could use the washroom) and enjoyed a half hour of just reflecting on how the day was going so far.  I put my feet up in the back of the car and for a few minutes, it just felt like a normal day.  It was lovely to come back to reality together before the actual ceremony.

I'll share some ceremony details next but I hope you enjoyed the pre-wedding festivities.

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