Friday, January 20, 2012

It's Been a While last post was in July!? There's an explanation...I promise.

So this past summer I vowed that I had booked my last wedding ever. Meg and Adam, the coolest couple on earth and with a little bonus item, baby Keenan. Right away I knew that these were the people I would like to be sent out of business with.

The past year has been one of a bit of self discovery. When asked by my counselor "at what point did you find it impossible to relax?" a little red flag went up in my head. I knew I had been stressed and pushed beyond my limits. There are not a lot of people that can do school, be a mom, a girlfriend, a friend, a daughter, a sister, a full-time employee, a volunteer and business owner and still say they have a lot of "me" time. So in full on Brittany fashion, I threw my hands up and said "I surrender, no more wedding planning". This, despite absolutely no one thinking this was a good idea. They know how much I love weddings. The dresses, the colours, the fabrics, the lighting, the food, the drink and most of all, the beautiful people I have been blessed to work with.

I announced my retirement from the industry on September 30, 2011 (retiring at the age of 27 sounds so good!). Exactly two weeks later I was talked out of it by next up and coming super wicked couple, Geeta and Trevor. I just couldn't say no, which means there's still a part of me that knows I have something worth fighting for in the industry. Whether I do one wedding or twenty a year, I know I will have to have my finger on the pulse of event and wedding management for the rest of my life.

As for that whole "me" time might not happen any time soon, as we found out on Friday, July 29th that we are expecting our second little girl this coming March, we are so excited! And yes...ecstatic that I will have another daughter who will allow me to one day, plan her wedding.

Stay tuned for a post on Meg and Adam's beautiful October wedding!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Turning Six

Like my previous post, I obviously love a good theme party, and when it's for my own munchkin I usually go all out! I get a lot of inspiration from the internet and one of my favorite blogs is Hostess with the Mostess. I saw a Rainbows and Unicorns party featured on her site a few months ago and knew I needed to subtly suggest this theme to my little tomboy daughter, Brookie. She wants big red trucks, has aspirations to be like her daddy and play goalie in hockey and last year asked for an Iron Man mask, so I thought it might be a miss. I was wrong. Apparently, the pictures sold her on the idea and she was all for it! Hallelujah!

I must say, a rainbows and unicorns theme is so simple and I love the old fashioned birthday party feel to it. No trademarked cartoons and no birthday kit in a box here, just a lot of pink, blue and purple!

The invitations I ordered through PrintYourHeartOut on etsy, if you follow this blog, you know I am a fan. The seller charges a small price, they design you a custom invitation in less than an hour and send you the file. You take the file to a print company and voila! Beautiful invitations! Now, you will see we did not know how to make donations for the Save a Unicorn foundation as they never returned our calls, but a group close to our hearts in this family is the Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society and Brookie asked for donations in lieu of gifts for them. In turn, Loretta from AARCS came in, brought some puppies and taught the importance of "Adopt, Don't Shop!". The kids loved it and everyone felt good about it at the end of the day. Pretty proud of my little peanut for that.

The cake. Oh the cake. Now, I only have one round pan, so that was actually the main challenge here, as this cake had to be started two days ahead of time. People inquired how I got the colours so vivid, I used Wilton Gel colouring and used enough of it, but not so much it changed any flavor to the cake. I also made candy coated pretzels by just drizzling them with candy melts in pretty colours. No one ate them, maybe they looked TOO pretty. I also made unicorn horns from sugar cones and candy melts and made treat bags with cotton candy and candy necklaces. These kids' dentists have me on their hit list.

For party hats, the kids wore horns, and maybe I should have announced that humancorns should not charge at one another while wearing such fancy hats. No good comes of it. These were made with a few choice words the night before - who KNEW that making a horn would be so difficult?!

I made Brookie a custom shirt after shopping in every store possible for a unicorn shirt by painting a pick shirt with fabric glue and using fabric adhesive to attach little rhinestones.

On HWTM they said the theme of the party revolved around these gorgeous helium inflated balloons and when I see something I must have I do not give up. Apparently though, Canada Post felt like giving up for a few weeks to go on strike right before her birthday and messed up my plans of ordering these online, so I sent out a "HELP - SEEKING UNICORN BALLOONS" plea on my Buy & Sell at work and voila! Sure, I had to drive across town, place BALLOONS on hold, spend $20 on two balloons and another $15 on helium, but they are so pretty!

The candy buffet this year needed to be cut in about 1/3 from last year after it saw me buying every red and purple candy in the city. There was plenty enough to get a group of 6 and 7 year olds wired though, don't you worry! For the lollipop displays, we turned some woven baskets over and placed some faux grass over top, both purchased from the miracle store, Dollarama and these worked great as the lollipops stuck nicely into the little holes in the basket.

All in all, Brookie said she had a wonderful birthday. That's good, because next year we're going camping!

Cirque du Manique

Designer Marisna King and her models

The talented chef squadron at Sociale

The Bearded Lady

Lizard Queen!

April in her cupcake dress - cupcakes donated by The Little Cupcake Shoppe in McKenzie Towne

Beautiful florals by Sarah Mayerson at Flora

The name of my company implies that I am a one trick pony. Weddings only. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth! While I went into weddings as they are my passion, everything with the word wedding makes my heart flutter, but, I find all other events a wee bit less stressful and a lot more fun. This is because weddings are dealing with emotions, and relationships. People get flustered and act like they normally do not. This past spring, I partnered up with Marsina of MaNoKiN Design and Danielle of Death by Shoe and The Fancy Drifter and put on one hell of a fashion show.

How much fun is it to let loose and be able to hire fortune tellers and freak shows? SO MUCH FUN! In the wedding world this just would not fly, but my creativity had no restrictions on this event and it was so much fun to see it come to life.

Marsina King is the designer of this line and I can truly say these are clothes you and I would all wear, which is what I love. Fashion is one thing, but when it's completely unpractical, I lose interest. The clothes are young and sexy and can be mixed and matched and transition from day wear at the office into nighttime wear easily.

Sociale was a perfect venue for this event. It's low ceilings and classy decor attracted a perfect crowd and created a dark and intimate atmosphere. Tasty tapas was continually served and the drink special was a fluffy cotton candy martini. Swag backs were given to each guest and the smell of fresh popcorn emanated from the antique popcorn machine. People were delighted to see the cupcakes from The Little Cupcake Shoppe being served on a living table, and gorgeous arrangements from Sarah Mayerson's new shop, Flora really did add a finishing touch to the decor.

The theme of the night was dark circus and I would say this was highlighted by the opening act of Dana Kolba (Josh's talented little cousin, so proud of her!), being pushed in a century-old wheelchair while sporting long black eyelash extensions. Visions of Samara from The Ring could describe this in a nutshell.

Following Dana were two incredible zombie dancers, Brittany and Hung. They brought the energy up to open the stage for the models, some of which were dressed as freakshows. When was the last time you saw a bearded lady or a lizard queen in a fashion show?
Brittany and Hung bust a zombie move!

Gorgeous designs by MaNoKiN

This show was a labor of love for all involved, and so many people had a part in pulling it off. Even handsome boyfriend Josh got involved with this one and was the creator of the stunning posters (I keep telling him graphic arts are his calling what do you say!?).

Thank you to the team of entertainers, models, make up artists, hair dressers, all the staff at Sociale, our sponsors from The Little Cupcake Shoppe, Peel Salon & Spa, Flora, Eric Epie Photography and Pumped! Shoes and Other Yummy Things - you all were so wonderful to work with and we could not have done this without you!

Danielle from The Fancy Drifter and I

Stars and Sparkles - Renee & Tyler - April 30, 2011

Good grief where has time gone? It's mid-summer in Calgary and I am only now blogging about Renee and Tyler's gorgeous spring wedding, for shame!

I met Tyler and Renee last summer in Starbucks and instantly enjoyed their personalities, how they complimented one another. Renee had really great ideas for their wedding, something unique and to my excitement, sparkley! She showed me a few images of where she wanted to go with colours and theme and they were of stars and mixed metallics, which I had a feeling was going to be big in 2011. Finally, a girl doesn't have to choose between gold and silver!

A glittery collage of stars was the basis of this wedding, and saw my basement turned from a grey drab concrete to a kingdom of Rose Quartz, Copper, Crystal, Yellow Gold and Sterling metallic sparkles! Even my dogs sported the glitter look for a while. Did you know you can use WD-40 to remove spray adhesive from your hands? True story! *disclaimer: if your skin melts off, I am in no way liable* Renee and Tyler's ceremony was held at Century Hall in Cranston, which was a perfect compliment to the dark hardwood and modern feel of Siraia, and very close proximity (ten minute drive). I would vote this as one of Calgary's more upscale community centers and for the simple effect that Renee and Tyler seeked, it was perfect. Renee and Tyler chose one of my favorite venues for their reception in Calgary, Siraia restaurant at Sirocco golf club. I have done several weddings out there now and each one has a completely different feel to it, as I have done summer, fall and spring receptions and the valley the room overlooks is beautiful in every season.

For floral arrangements, I was so happy to be able to re-use centerpieces from Ali and Graham's wedding last June, as seen here:

And they had a whole different appearance at Renee and Tyler's wedding, you wouldn't even know they were the same base! This saved the couple a lot of money as the cost was for the flowers only! Check out their spring make-over:
Thank you to Renee and Tyler for all your input into your big day and placing such trust in me for one of the biggest events in your lives, it was so great to see it all come together! And thank you to Chelsea from Shutterbird for her talent in capturing the gorgeous images, you never fail to amaze me!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Update on Urban

So as it appears, I have either lost complete interest in blogging - or I have been so busy that blogging has fallen low on my priority list. I ensure you it is the second option. Life has been absolutely crazy busy the past month. I am a person that does beyond weddings, even though I may not chat about it here, so I will fill you in on all the fun happening the past month!

The end of May I helped plan and organize, with the help of three other lovely ladies, a beautiful shower for one of my best friends, Ashley. It is so much fun planning for something so exciting and I think the day turned out perfectly, and the beautiful mommy-to-be was glowing. We picked a few main colours, dark purple and buttermilk yellow to go along with the baby girls nursery colours.

I am a volunteer event coordinator with a local dog rescue, AARCS and spent the past 5 months planning their first ever golf tournament with fellow AARCS wonder woman, Paula. It was my first time doing a not-for-profit event and was a lot more work than I initially thought it would be, but at the end of the day (being the end of the tournament day, June 6th) it was very successful. Everyone had a great time, the rain stayed away and the dogs got some much needed funding for medical bills.

The following weekend, for the second time, I was riding in the Rona MS Bike Tour. This year was very challenging, with torrential rains and gusting winds, the already difficult 180km "uphill, both ways" bike ride was not only physically but mentally very hard. I rode with a team of 23 from my work and we raised over $40,000! So, again, a lot of work but for a wonderful cause!

This coming weekend has been one in the works for months as well. I absolutely cannot express how thrilled I am that this will be my biggest and most exciting event I have been a part of. Cirque du Manique is a dark, circus themed fashion show with surprises around every corner. Portions of ticket sales are benefiting the Red Cross in aid for the Tsunami ravaged country of Japan. We have a live local singer, Dana Kolba (her music can be heard here), dancers from Pulse Studio, a real live fortune teller, old-school circus freak show living models, carnival goodies, tapas delights and cotton candy filled boozy delights. There are still limited tickets available so get them while you can!

And just when you think that was the wind-down for all of my events, the most important yearly holiday is coming up July 3rd, and that would be Brookie's 6th birthday. One thing she'll never have to worry about is having a boring birthday, this years theme? Unicorns.