Friday, October 31, 2014

the ol' officiant search

Often the ceremony is low on the wedding planning list of things you have to do. A lot of the time it's planned for you.  The ceremony is a small portion of the day that many couples often don't have a ton of control over. So in the adventures of planning your day, I can totally understand why the ceremony gets knocked to the bottom of priorities.

For us, it's at the top. Early on in our relationship it was established that we wanted to write our own vows, play a role in writing our ceremony and discussed having a friend marry us.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

the quest for a photographer

Photography is a big one for most people when it comes to wedding planning. A lot of people place it as a number one on the wedding planning list, and for me, I am no different there. The pictures help the day live on and capture some of the greatest moments.

When it came to finding a photographer, I knew that it was going to be a big decision and something that was going to eat up a good chunk of our budget.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

we heart food

I feel pretty comfortable calling myself a foodie. I love trying new recipes and entertaining friends and family. Every time we have my parents over for dinner my mom asks for nothing weird. When it comes to our wedding, we aren't doing the whole formal dinner, or even the casual relaxed dinner. We're doing the appetizer thing. While I love to cook a meal, my favourite food is definitely of the appetizer variety.

Monday, October 27, 2014

my approach to planning decisions

When it comes to decision making, I don't tend to hum and haw over things. Once I know something, I know it. I feel pretty confident in my decisions once I've made them. Sometimes I search forever, and sometimes I get it on the first shot... but once I have it figured out, it's generally set in stone.

For example, with our venue search, I looked at many possible options, but once we decided on our property, the decision was final and there was absolutely no looking back.

Friday, October 24, 2014

somebody's missing

The period of planning a wedding and marriage is such wonderful time of your life. It's full of excitement and anticipation. Your wedding day is spent surrounded by the ones you love most in the entire world as you vow to one another your forever.

The thought of this just makes my heart burst with love and gratitude.

It also fills a part of me with pain and grief.

You see, somebody really important will be missing on our wedding day, and that person is my brother.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

our people

Whenever we talk about our wedding with people, the lack of tradition is about the last thing that seems to get the shock factor. The thing people have been reacting strongly to? Our wedding party.

The night after our engagement Mr. Narwhal and I were laying in bed and starting naming off who we wanted to be in our wedding party and we quickly realized that it was going to be big.

Monday, October 20, 2014

looking at traditions

Okay, I'm sure if you have learned anything about the future Mr. and Mrs. Narwhal, it's that we want our wedding to be a representation of us. We want our backyard forest wedding to be filled with little touches everywhere of who we are as a couple.

So, it might not surprise you, that we're skipping quite a few traditions when it comes to our wedding. I love reading about how others use and eliminate certain wedding traditions, so I wanted share ours! I think that's the beauty of weddings today, they're certainly becoming an opportunity to make them your own and do whatever you want to do. Fortunately for us, both of our parents are 100% supportive of this.

Friday, October 17, 2014

planning a wedding in the world of pinterest

I'm not going to lie, finding our own way of doing things at our wedding has been important to me us. I absolutely love weddings. I've been addicted to Wedding Bee far longer than our engagement, and definitely have been planning my wedding for as long as I can remember. 

When Pinterest was first introduced, I jumped right on board (no pun intended). Pinterest very quickly was becoming a hub for wedding ideas and along side many a woman not yet engaged (and ahem, single at the time) I became pinning wedding inspiration ideas.

That's so clever, somehow though, became "That's so Pinterest!" with time.

In a world filled with so many unique ideas, it can be hard to not overwhelmed by that pressure to be unique too.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

planning a cocktail reception timeline

I have previously mentioned that we are planning our wedding with a cocktail reception. Way back in 2007, I attended a family wedding that started later in the evening (after dinner) and I absolutely loved it. First of all, we were out of town guests that were able to travel down the day of (one night hotel costs versus two nights). Secondly, we got to go out for dinner before the wedding, and then show up ready to party celebrate. Not having an entire Saturday dedicated to the wedding is nice. Summers are precious, and once you hit your late 20's you start going to a lot of weddings.

When Mr. Narwhal and I discussed the idea for us a year or so ago, and it became our goal. Whenever we would mention the idea to friends and family they loved the idea.

Planning your timeline is a little difficult when you're going outside the norm. So... I figured it would be helpful to share how we came up with our date and timeline.

Monday, October 13, 2014

when you decide to get married at home

When you decide to get married at home there are a number of things you need to think about in your planning lists that don't typically make the traditional wedding to do list.

So once the decision was made, there were quite a few things we had to think about from the get go. There are also several other things, that I'm fairly certain I'm still missing from this list. So, backyard bees, help!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

the backyard forest wedding

We left off with our two day crazed wedding search leaving us fairly defeated. With Muskoka becoming a destination wedding location, the costs were high and nothing was fitting into our vision. I'll admit that at this point in our search, I was beginning to believe the wedding wasn't worth it. What was the point if nothing felt right?

Instead of excitement and celebration over our engagement, I was already in a wedding planning funk. As someone who was dreaming of the days when I could finally plan our wedding, I was feeling pretty disappointed by this road block.

Two days after our engagement and no viable location options in sight*, I went for a little walk to clear my head on our property.  This is a pretty typical practice. Since I work from home, I will often grab Nelson and just go for a walk in the bush.

Nelson's idea of clearing his head // personal photo
Mr. Narwhal was up in our chicken coop tending to our laying hens (yup, we have chickens!) and I walked up the path through our little forest wishing that our property could be a viable option.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

the quest for the perfect venue in muskoka

Muskoka* is a top tourist destination. Actually, in 2011 it was listed as the top summer trip location by National Geographic Traveler Magazine. 

my family cottage // personal photo 

Known for it's lakes, Muskoka's population grows massively every summer filled with cottagers and tourists. The busy crowded summer can be something us small town locals grumble a bit about; however, we cannot deny that our tourist season provides a livelihood for a large portion of the area. I swear a good chunk of Toronto moves in every summer. Continuing to grow as a tourist attraction, it might come to you as no surprise that weddings in Muskoka are quickly becoming a top destination location.

Monday, October 6, 2014

the great elopement debate

It's been established that I love planning and have been envisioning my wedding day since I was a little girl; however, the adult version of myself is here today to talk about eloping.

The elopement debate came into play a little over a year ago. Mr. Narwhal and I were discussing our future wedding on the regular and what we saw as a vision for our wedding. You see, a part of us struggles with how big weddings have become. Something has shifted in the last generation or two, and since the dawn of Internet, Facebook and Pinterest weddings are bigger than ever.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

so you're engaged, now what?

After all of the set the date pressures in the early days of engagement, it can be really difficult to figure out where to begin. Proposal and then boom suddenly in the throws of wedding planning. Mr. Narwhal and I hit the ground running after our engagement in August, and I think it can be attributed to following a few key steps post-engagement.