A perfect day
Updated: Feb 16, 2019
One would agree that having a baby without help is a challenge. And planning a wedding is again another challenge. How about someone who plans a wedding with a 4 month old baby? You're crazy! that is exactly what my friends told me when I said I'm getting married on August ( that is exactly 4 months before the "planned" wedding ). Why so soon? they asked? My reply is simple. It seemed to be the most logical thing to do after a baby ha ha (not too romantic huh?). Actually, people were asking when were getting married, we have been engaged for 3 years and normally a wedding happens before having a kid. For us, because we are not getting any younger and due to difficulty conceiving, we decided to do the latter first.
When we finally had our daughter, we decided that we could do a simple wedding to finally celebrate ourselves and wouldn't it be so cool to have your daughter to celebrate with her parents.
so let the planning commence:
to be honest, I don't know where to begin. Some girls, at any early age, they would have a vision on how they want their wedding to be but I do not. after we picked the date (based on availability of family members abroad) I started organizing what we would need.
A.) The Wedding Dress
I went to few different shops in Vancouver but I could not find a dress that I would say "yes to the dress" until I almost wanted to give up and having a thought of borrowing a dress from a friend but my then fiancé was so patient in telling me that I will find one that I like. We went dress shopping together with our 4 month old baby in tow ( she hated the car seat and so you could imagine the horror of having her sit in the car seat for the drive). We have searched and I tried on probably 15 dresses until I found "the dress". we went to Lisa's bridal, the service was impeccable and the lady that helped me was so patient in finding the perfect wedding dress for me. After I described that I like a sweetheart wedding dress with some embellishments, she came back with this trumpet gown that so beautifully embroidered and with enough bling in my opinion. I tried it on and showed it to my husband and he loved it (Unfortunately, another challenge we had planning the wedding is that most of my girlfriends have infants and none of them could actually join me on finding my gown so it was then again my husband and my daughter that was with me)
yay! I said "yes to the dress" so we started taking measurements and whoa it was a challenge since I recently gave birth and breastfeeding, we figured we had to take measurements that is smaller than I was at that time. I am quite petrified of the thought of having a dress that would not fit me but she assured me that the seamstress are used to adjustments and that I should put my mind at ease.
It takes about 4 months to make the dress (but hey four months is the date that we also picked for the wedding) but then again, she said "you will have it by then".
during the fitting, she was absolutely right, the measurements were correct with some adjustments but was able to do it in that remaining time.
B.) The Ceremony
I wanted a destination wedding initially but we figured that if we do, most of our friends could not come and I am not ok with it so we picked Vancouver as our wedding location. Next challenge is where. Do I do it in a church? or a garden wedding. My first choice was a garden wedding but re decided because I have to anticipate the rain (duh, its Vancouver) and my husband said that if I am ok with the rain then I should do a garden wedding but I could not take the chance, so I opted for a church instead. in search of a church, having two different religions we both decided to look for non denominational church.
I watched several wedding videos until I came across to TheChapels.ca. As I watched, I got goosebumps listening to Rev. Mitchell and so the choice is clear, we will have him as our officiant (hoping that he's free that day)
All the stars have aligned and he was free despite our short notice. Thechapels.ca has been doing weddings for years and it was so easy dealing with them that it was like a walk in the park planning the ceremony. We picked the musicians, Minoru chapel, wedding songs, and the vows :). and the best part Reverend Mitchell acknowledged our religion and encouraged us to add our own touch to it. we have added our tradition of the veil, cord, and coins.
C. ) The Entourage
I wanted to have of course my closest friends on our side but it was a bit of back and forth as our bridesmaids and groomsmen either have small children or are living abroad. That is another challenge we had as it is hard to find a schedule for everyone to come in for fitting. Most of our fitting was done basically by my sister and myself and coordinated with my bridesmaids via phone or text. Meanwhile, for the groomsmen since the tuxedos were rentals from thetuxstore, most sizes are available and again he mostly coordinated with them via phone as his friends are from Europe.
D.) The Reception
like I said initially, we wanted to do a small wedding but as soon as we talked to our parents, we decided we should invite people that are close to us. Any filipino would know that being close means all your first, second, and third cousins :) plus their neighbours too ha ha. We started to make the list and send invitations. I was expecting about 50 people max as my relatives are all in the states and my fiancé's are all in Europe. To our amazement, Our count grew from 50 to 100 guests :). We were both pleasantly surprised as our friends and family are making an effort to join and celebrate with us.
My theme initially was more like Yachting kinda like vintage style since my then fiancé loves boating. After careful consideration of our daughter and some kids that will be attending, we figured that a hotel would have been a better choice in case my daughter and kids want to nap during the reception.
so for the theme, I still opted for vintage, elegant kinda style so after I saw the ballroom at the Rosewood Hotel, I knew it would be the perfect spot because it has that European kind of feel and its quite elegant and Lenka has been nothing but amazing. She was very patient in answering our questions and catering to all our needs.
D.) The Food
this was quite easy as both my then fiancé and I would like to have a sit down dinner. after the taste test, we knew we made the perfect choice.
E.) The Decor
I think this was the one that I spent the most time of. it consumed all my time because I kept on changing my mind depending on what I see online as my inspiration. I was on a budget and I was not willing to spend a lot on flowers. I also could not afford a wedding planner so I did everything myself. I came across Divine Decor, the proximity of their showroom to my place was one of the reasons why I picked them. I scheduled an appointment and on one of our stroller walks, my daughter and I visited the place. to my surprise, prices were reasonable and the mock table set up was absolutely how I envisioned it. She helped me picked flowers, decide whether its vase or chandelier? long or short? sparkly or embroidered table linen, the floor, the lights, the curtains, every detail has been thought of.
another addition last minute was the Photo Booth, as I was checking Photo Booth companies online, I came across a wedding that had the white floor with their own logo in it, when I showed it to my then fiancé, we both agreed that this will highlight the place. I found Liting of Paradise events last minute, but she is just experienced in her field and she knew exactly what I was talking about. in a matter of hours, she has emailed me logos and colours to choose from and Voila before the end of the day, we had a deal.
F.) Music - Band or DJ
we opted for a band as a friend told me that this was the best decision she has done on hers and I have to agree, our band was amazing. everyone enjoyed dancing during the reception. I found our band The Swing Soul from Gigsalad and it was great that I got a quote within a few days and have booked them online after I watched several videos from their YouTube Channel.
G.) Make up artist
I didn't realize that you have to do a test make up prior the wedding and it takes at least 2 hours. It makes sense though because you want to look your best on your wedding. I am just so happy that a friend recommended the love team by Coa and loved my do instantly. that definitely saved me so much time :) and being at ease knowing that I would look great on my wedding.
in addition to that, we had to do our guest book, wedding programs, food menu, and update our RSVP here and there. we also have to coordinate with everyone that are travelling from across the globe ( we booked airbnb, airfare, and tours for some guests )
on top of that, we started moving on to a different apartment ( a week before) as the place we have at that time has been sold. to tell you the truth, at that time, I am a momzilla and bridezilla at the same time. thank you to my family; my aunt and most especially to my sister that came all the way from the philippines to help me. My mom came early too to help look after Mia and help us with the guest list and table sitting arrangement. To all my friends and family that helped decorate the reception while Oli and I are having our pictures taken. I have to special mention our wedding "friend" photographer, Mr. Soulmate that calmed Oli and myself down prior the wedding. Both of us were extremely exhausted and stressed out that we almost wanted to call it off. Lastly, I would like to give kudos to my husband now that stayed level headed and was able to handle all the upswings and downswings I had during the entire planning phase.
I honestly did not anticipate how hard it is to plan a wedding on top of looking after an infant at that time. Looking back, I was still astonished that we were able to pull it off in that short time.
..... And on the Day of... What can I say? it was perfect! What mattered the most are the Family and Friends that celebrated the day with us.