Tag Archives: catholic church

It’s bridal show season! Part 1 of 2. How to score bargains

6 Jan
Canada's Bridal Show

A model shows off a wedding dress on the catwalk at Canada’s Bridal Show in Toronto in January 2011.

Hunting season has begun! With the holidays being a hot time for people to get engaged, it’s no wonder wedding shows use January as their prime season to target those sparkly-eyed brides excited about planning their upcoming nuptials.

We went to about 6 shows all over the Greater Toronto Area so we became veterans of this exhausting circuit. Seriously, you will be overwhelmed and tired, but it’s well worth going to score some money-saving deals.  Sure, you walk around meeting endless vendors, picking up heavy brochures, filling out prize ballots, watching fashion shows, and testing out limos. Everything will start looking the same.  But you do at least get a sweet reward when you go to the bakery booths and get to taste wedding cakes!

Here is the first of a two part series: How to find deals at the bridal show. Next instalment will be a survival guide!

  • Some wedding shows are free. Others make you pay. Some are free for brides only, but since they don’t ask you to prove whether you’re getting married, if all your friends and even your mom are conveniently brides too *wink wink* they will also get in for free. Your fiance will have to pay, unfortunately (ridiculous)
  • Paying to get into a wedding show sounds dumb, but going can help you save HOURS of Googling and phone time by exposing you to hundreds of vendors all at once. You can get a general idea about pricing, and if you keep your eyes peeled, you can snag some deals there too.

Here’s how to save money through the wedding expos:

  • Be an early bird. Look at the bridal show websites in advance. They often have a $5 off discount or 2 for 1 admission coupons. I have seen Canada’s Bridal Show in Toronto do this several times.  If you buy online, you can skip the lines which can be brutal. (We once waited 1 hour just to get in!)
  • Wait until the show to open a wedding registry. The big department stores give you some kind of incentive for signing up for a registry at the show. When we signed up, The Bay, Home Outfitters and Sears were offering $10 gift cards and entering couples into draws for thousands of dollars in appliances. If you’re going to sign up for a registry anyway, you might as well wait for the show, and get $10 bucks for it, right? And bonus if you win a food processor!
  •  Don’t spend a dime on bridal magazines or planners. You will get about 4 issues of popular ones for free at these shows. In Canada you usually get the fall and winter issues of both ‘Today’s Bride” and “Weddingbells” and “Wedluxe,” not to mention wedding magazines specifically for your region.  These can go for as much as $7 each.  Collecting these on your way out of the show can potentially save you up to $45.
  • Look for the wedding show specials. If you find vendors you like, check if they offer a “wedding show special.” We were very close to booking a particular photographer, but we saw that they had a “wedding show special” of a free photo album. We were going to book with them anyway, so it was nice to get a little bonus for signing up within a few weeks of the wedding show. This bonus was worth $600!
  • Look for cheap accessories: If you know exactly what kind of accessories you want, buy them at the show. Shoe and jewelry vendors often do clearance sales at wedding shows. We saw bride and bridesmaid shoes for $20 and bridesmaid dresses on for $30 (these can cost $200). So if you don’t care if you get last season’s shoes, and your bridesmaids don’t want identical dresses, you can snag a great deal.
  • Look for freebies. I got a free garter, some feather boas for the bachelorette party, and bridal organizers that totally saved my butt a few times. These organizers are gold. They’re like day planners, and they have handy checklists and give you tips on what you should do, and when, when planning a traditional wedding. You can buy them for $20 at the bookstore, but why should you when you can get it for free at the show?

Anyway ladies, I wish you luck at the wedding conventions! They can be exhausting but they’re a great way to save money.

Models at the fashion shows show off everything from gowns, hair and makeup vendors, shoes, and even bouquets like this one.

Some wedding shows in the Toronto area: Canada’s Bridal Show. The Total Wedding Show. The Wedding Co. Show. The Wedluxe Wedding show, the National Bridal Show.

Next instalment: a wedding show survival guide


One day until wedding! Good news all around

7 Jul

My friend is out of the hospital and feeling better!

We’re getting tons of “good luck” and “can’t wait!” messages from our guests!

I’m worried I will cry at our wedding and mess up my makeup, I’m crying just thinking about it (happy tears!)

What do I do to prevent this?

Seriously? You lost our papers. Fix it. We can’t deal with it

6 Jun

So remember that appointment that took 4 months to get with the Catholic Church?

Might as well have never happened. They lost our papers.

Now they want us to head there at 3 p.m. on a weekday. Like regular people, we work. How is this going to happen? How DID this happen? Why is it so hard for these people? Luckily they didn’t lose our marriage licence or there’d be hell to pay.

So seriously, how am I going to do this? We BOTH have to go. Fiance lives in another city.

This weekend he is in Boston for his rescheduled bachelor party.

The weekend after that we are going to the Catholic marriage preparation course. I had to give up the bachelorette party I wanted to do this requirement and they won’t marry us unless we do this.

The weekend after that is my second choice bachelorette party.

The weekend after that we move into our new place.

The weekend after that is our wedding.

Please, church, are you going to pay me to take a day off work because you couldn’t figure out our paperwork that it took you months to even do?

Looks like I have to cancel that bachelorette now. Who loses again!? It’s bridezilla.

And I was so excited that we were almost done the major things and I was going to be picking up my dress tomorrow.

Too many wedding decisions. Brain explodes. I’m decision paralyzed

1 Jun

Decisions are hard for me. They always have been.

I saw a card at Carleton Cards that says brides have to make 277 decisions for their wedding. Do you have any idea what this is like!? Ten decisions are hard. I’m going bonkers.

I am all decisioned out. I can’t make anymore.

Organ or violin and harp combo?

Invite coworkers or not?

Which makeup artist to choose?

I am drowning. With so many decisions to make and only a month to go, I feel paralyzed and I’m not making any decisions at all. I have a long to do list. And I stare at it and don’t know what to do or where to start.

And then I start second guessing things I was very happy about. Like our photographer and our DJ.

Fiance says I should just move forward with the remaining decisions and pick something that makes me happy. Well how do I know which would make me happy if I haven’t hired them yet? What if the makeup artist does a bad job? What if the organ sounds elegant and regal on Youtube but sounds like transylvania in the church? 

Fiance says that I won’t remember the music anyway. And he’s right. So why is it still so hard for me to decide?

I know all these details ultimately don’t matter in the end, but I don’t know how to get over this decision-making slump.

I just googled “too many wedding decisions” and this New York Times article about the difficulty of too many choices came up.

Look at our silly first world problems.

The one thing that I’m not second guessing though is the thing that matters most. I am so happy that at the end of this process that I get a happily ever after with my love.

And you know what makes me even more sure of it? He is looking for a place for us to live and will only let me visit three locations. He doesn’t want me to be even more overwhelmed with the 278th wedding-related decision I’ll have to make in just seven months.

Going postal (strike)!! Please return those RSVP cards NOW

25 May


Man mailing a letter

Please do what this guy is doing and mail your RSVP cards before a potential postal strike!

We mailed out invites a while ago. Six weeks to be precise.

We got a lot of replies right away, but suddenly two weeks ago, that stream of replies stopped. We are still missing replies from 55 per cent of the guest list! There are 5 business days left until they are due. A lot of them are seniors so they don’t use email or anything like that so they will be sending by mail.

I will join the chorus of brides who complain about how long it takes for people to reply. We even pre-stamped the envelopes!  These people live on the other side of town! People on the other side of the world replied before they did. 

The only reason I’m antsy about this is that Canada Post could go on strike as early as Monday! That’s only two business days. If those people don’t mail their card TODAY, it could be caught in mail bag limbo and we might not get it until after we’re married. 

So now that people still haven’t mailed their  cards, with less than a week to go, we’ll have to make a ton of phonecalls when we are away at Catholic marriage preparation camp.

I.e., we are confined at some retreat centre in the country and aren’t allowed to leave. I somehow doubt we can sneak in phonecalls. How will we make the calls? 

I’m gonna start bugging people tonight. Dear readers, anyone else have replies come in at the deadline (or past the deadline?)

Violin and Harp vs. Organ wedding music showdown

25 May

We’re going to book musicians for our wedding ceremony this week.

We’ve narrowed it down to a violin and harp duo, or organ. I was pro violin (I played it for a few years) but now I’m thinking “when is the next time we’ll ever have an organ playing for us?” And it sounds pretty pomp and circumstancy.

Fiance is leaning towards violin but said he doesn’t care that much. Here’s some samples so you can hear our dilemma. For the entrance music, I prefer violin/harp. For the exit, I prefer church organ. LOL. Of course.

Here comes the bride, or Wagner’s Bridal Chorus

File with harp and 2 violins (couldn’t find a single).


There goes the married couple, or Mendelsson’s Wedding March

Violin and Harp:


Let’s be funny! Inviting Mickey Mouse and Barack Obama to wedding

16 May

I stumbled upon some links that say the Obamas will actually reply to you if you send them a wedding invitation. Obviously, they’ll say they won’t come, but supposedly you’ll get a congratulations letter. How nice.

We had like 10 extra wedding invites, so we thought we’d send one to Barack and Michelle Obama for fun. Don’t think they’ll be in Canada at the time, and apparently the crazy security costs for Barack Obama what led to them not being invited to the Royal Wedding, but that’s alright.

And even though I’ve whined about Disney’s princessification of weddings, it doesn’t mean that I don’t think Minnie and Mickey are adorable, so we sent them an invite too.

Apparently, they’ll send you this:

Mickey and Minnie will supposedly send us this congratulatory photo

Here are the addresses:

Mickey and Minnie Mouse
The Walt Disney Company
500 South Buena Vista Street
Burbank, California 91521

The Honorable Barack Obama and Mrs. Obama
The White House
Greetings Office Room 39
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20600

And a link to more  including the Queen and the Pope

If you live in the United Kingdom, the Queen will also supposedly reply, though not sure if she would reply to us in the Commonwealth. Canada IS a colony, I guess.

I’ve looked for William and Kate’s address to mail them a wedding invitation but can’t find it. I thought they might like to attend a small intimate wedding instead of the media circus they had lol!

Our invitation to Mickey and Minnie in California