Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Feliz Navidad, Joyeux Noël, Merry Christmas

Greetings! In the off season, I continually am scoping new ideas, colour schemes and crafty ways to make each wedding unique and wonderful, and ensure each wedding is unlike any before it. I also celebrate numerous occasions with my friends and family. Weddings are my true passion, but special events in general excite me to the point of throwing a bowl of pistachios across my office because I can't physically contain how elated I am that there is a holiday coming. My favorite of these occasions is Christmas.
As a young child I would start counting down the days until Christmas after my second favorite holiday (Halloween) was over. There are numerous family traditions that I am hoping to pass on to my daughter - as I think we had it pretty good growing up and these magical times I had with my sisters are too special not to pass on. The traditional gingerbread house, NOT from a kit, opening a gift on Christmas Eve, the annual "wifesaver" breakfast, and going to Heritage Park to take in the old fashioned feel of Christmas and have Brookie shop for us in the "Kids Only" store, never in my life have I been so excited to unwrap a gift. In the spirit of not making Brooke's life a carbon copy of mine, I have also started some traditions of our own. Her first year as a baby I was fairly poor and all I could afford for her was a hardcover copy of "Auntie Claus". I wrote a heartfelt message to my newborn baby and the tradition has held each year for me to give her a new Christmas book with a message from her mom telling her all the things I am proud of her for.
Our Christmas cards each year are a photo montage of our family, dogs included and we have our good friend Chelsea from Shutterbird Photography snap some casual family photos. This year is our first Christmas in our new home and I was so excited to not have to deal with Christmas in a condo - but to have a full yard and home to decorate to my liking. Our living room is colour coordinated with purple and red and last year during Boxing week, I snapped up decorations to match this theme, I must say - our tree is one of the most beautiful trees I have seen!

Picking out our first real Christmas tree (thank you IKEA)

Ginger Josh, Brittany, Brookie and Maeby (and angel Dexter up on the roof!)

Our chance to pet a real reindeer at Heritage Park, I was more excited than Brookie I think!

My little girl writing her letter to Santa on Christmas Eve

And of course he wrote back!

Brookie checking out our lights

Santa was good to us!
We hosted Christmas morning breakfast, this was our simple centerpiece created with pomegranates, chestnuts, greenery from our dying tree and cranberries.

The cherple (mini version of cherpumple) I baked to finish off Christmas dinner. So good!
Tobogganing with Brookie was a fun way to start the holidays!

I hope that you and yours have a wonderful holiday season, whatever way you like to celebrate and whatever traditions you decide to integrate, and do know, that these traditions stay in a child's heart for the rest of their lives, as my Christmas memories are some of my very happiest. Love to you and yours this season and all the best in the New Year! xo Brittany

Christmas card photo by Chelsea at Shutterbird Photography

Friday, December 10, 2010

One is the Loneliest Number

Alright, alright, alright!

Apparently it's awesome videography week around the interweb this week as I can't NOT share some of these with you guys. This video is THE most amazing save the date trailer I have ever seen - I actually snorted laughing when she jumped out of the silver screen! Ha ha, so creative. She's an actress and he's a producer, so this was quite fitting for them.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Bringing the Doors Outdoors

I have always wondered what kind of pressure a photographer would be under to shoot a fellow photographer's wedding. This trailer for photographers Jodi and Kurt's wedding is absolutely classic. There are so many little details that make the wedding unique. I have never before seen doors installed in the outdoors, and the boutonniere with the camera lens on the groom? Amazing. The soft vintage colours are so romantic and her dress is stunning. The couple looks so ecstatic to be spending the rest of their lives together.

Jodi + Kurt // Wedding Highlights from Josh Gooden on Vimeo.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Wakeboard Wedding

Wow, this is pretty much one of the coolest same-day edits I have ever seen. I have to say, I am not confident my skills as a wakeboarder could risk me doing this, but what a ridiculously fun couple!

Amanda + Ben's Wedding Trailer {wakeboarding included} from Epic Motion on Vimeo.

A Wedding Hang Up

Okay brides - I know this is one of those itsy bitsy details that are often overlooked - and you can file this one under miscellaneous costs in your budget, but trust me, you'll be grateful! Hangers! Oh my goodness there have been many times that a photographer goes to do a dress shot and there is nothing but a tacky wire hanger from the dry cleaner. Yick! Here's a fairly affordable and beautifully customized way to display your dress, and you can find them from multiple vendors on Etsy.

It's all in the details, right?!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Confetti Films

These people are the best of the best. Like...THE best. Every video I watch of theirs I tear up, their videos are the most beautiful keepsake from your wedding day, and my correspondence with Nicole, the owner has been nothing but sunshine and roses, she is an absolute sweetheart. I patiently wait for the day I can hire Confetti Films for our big day.

Jenna + Ray from Confetti Films on Vimeo.

Friday, November 26, 2010

When a Groom Cries...

I cry...

Thought I'd share this beautiful wedding video with you lovelies! Enjoy your weekend!

xo B

Trash That Dress!

A trend that I am not yet one hundred percent comfortable with is the TTD sessions. Trash the Dress sessions are becoming more and more popular and maybe I am uncomfortable with it because I can't see myself being cool enough to do this myself. I mean, you really have to detach yourself from the item at hand here ("the" dress) and me being the person that thinks Christmas Trees have feelings and as a child gave each stuffed animal equal snuggling rights in my bed, I tend to really attach myself to non-living objects. Seeing that weddings are something I wake up and go to bed thinking about, could I really destroy that focal point of my big day? I have gathered here some examples of these daring brides and give them so much credit for several reasons: One - you have realized that your dress does not have feelings (unlike the Christmas trees that don't get picked at the lots!). Two - you are willing to step out of the box, and possibly take criticism from your grandmother amongst others. Three -you have braved elements such as mud, cold and swamp water in order to get that killer shot!

What do you think? Could you do it? I mean, look at these stunning images, including some local talent - check out the credits if you're interested in taking the plunge (like...literally!).

Urban Vows Bride Rhodora, married this past November! Photo Credit Abby Photography

This one looks chilly! Photo Credit to the "godfather" and master of Trash the Dress sessions John Michael Cooper
(do yourself a favor and check out the rest of his signature images, wow!)

I love her dress, and it reminds me of the Bow River, something like this could be done in Calgary, if you're okay with frozen toes! Photo Credit Varia Lebiadzenka

This bride is gorgeous, and is that the mud that makes her eyes pop like that? Photo Credit Sheila Hannus

Yes! Why should the bride have all the fun?! As much as I think this is an outtake, I am a huge fan of sun flare and this image to me represents that married people have fun too! Photo credit Normy B

I am in love with this image - it almost looks like a painting. Photo Credit Chugach Peaks Photography

Some how Calgary's very own "As I See It" gets super models for every single wedding they do! This session had so many amazing shots it was hard to choose! Photo Credit As I See It Photography

I love the rings of water around her, looks like perfection. Photo credit Funky Town Photography

I love the vintage feel of this photo! Captured by another talented Calgary photographer, JT Images

This shot was captured in Alberta's Badlands, which was so unique and the other images from this shoot were to die for. This one caught my eye because it wasn't only about trashing the dress, the couple looks so much in love. I love love! Photo Credit to another talented Calgarian, KH Photography

The shots from this series were so moody, vivid and dramatic, I bet the bride was thrilled with the final result! Yet again, another Calgary photographer, Northridge Photography

Friday, November 5, 2010

FRD - Autumn Perfection - Lisa and Danny

Oh do I ever have some eye candy for you guys! A great looking couple and an absolutely perfect wedding, stunning colours, beautiful setting, and photo's by Olivia Lauren that yes, Lisa, your daughter will fawn over without a doubt.

Lisa and I went to St. Francis High School together and I still see her around town quite often so I am so excited to share their big day with everyone. When she first posted pictures I was so excited to go through them that I went checked them out first on my iPhone since I wasn't at home (a shattered iPhone at that) and let me tell you, that did not do them justice. The red dresses are my favorite bridesmaid dresses I have seen to date, as the colour is like candy apples and the actual style looks gorgeous on all the girls. Lisa looked stunning, so classic, the hair, the little sparkly clip - no details were overlooked.

All the best in your new life together Lisa and Danny!
P.S. The proposal story? Amazing.

Lisa and Danny, September 25th 2010

Overall Feel For the Wedding:
-Ever since I was a little girl pouring over my parents photographs of their wedding, I’ve always had the picture in my head of a classic Fall wedding, complete with bright rich colors of reds, oranges, and greens, combined with the more classic rustic colors of bronze and gold. The dresses, the flowers, the pew decorations, even the wedding cake and the favour bags all consisted of a fall theme, which (in my opinion) made for some amazing pictures that I can hope my own daughter will fawn over one day!
How we met
Danny and I met the unconventional, but all the more common way, via online dating. I was currently away at school in Lethbridge but knew I would be moving home in the upcoming months and was looking to expand my social circle and to meet new people. I didn't have any expectations about meeting someone I would actually consider dating (let alone marrying!) but I thought if I could make a few new friends and possibly go out on a couple of dates, why not give it a go? Little did I know I would wind up meeting the man I would spend the rest of my life with...thank you,!

The Proposal:
We were on a Caribbean cruise in the winter of 2009 when the weather turned sour. We were especially upset that we were unable to dock in Jamaica, Danny more so than I. He pouted the entire day, and I didn’t understand why until we were in our stateroom getting ready for dinner. Danny, being the quiet country soul that he is, was singing along to the ipod to a Dirks Bently song, “My Last Name.” He was dressed in his tux for dinner, and when the line of the song came up, “darling if you’re wondering, why I brought you here tonight, I want to be your husband, I want you to be my wife...” He got down on one knee and pulled out the ring of my dreams!! He had been planning on proposing on top of a waterfall in Jamaica, but I think this improvisation was so much better!

Wedding Drama:
We had quite a bit of wedding drama, but thankfully it all came about long before the wedding. We ordered the bridesmaid dresses via the world wide web, and it turned out the color swatch (which we had checked in the store before ordering) was about 5 shades different than the one I had wanted! To top that off, one of the girls could barely even get hers on, as it was definitely not in the size she had ordered! Thankfully, the dress was alterable, and I was still able to change my linens to compliment the colors of the dresses. It turned out bright red of the girls dresses was a blessing, as they look amazing in all the pictures, but it was definitely a lot of drama we did not need!
Then there was MY wedding dress. I went to get it altered, and it turned out the lady who had ordered it measured me wrong, and the hem of the dress was about 6 inches off the floor! I had already bought my wedding shoes, and it turned out I had to go and buy a new pair as I couldn’t have a very high heel! After 2 consultations and a lot of freaking out, the seamstress was able to rip out the inseam to make it longer, but it took a lot of creative thinking in order to avoid a major bridezilla meltdown. I also couldn’t find a white wedding shoe that I liked, so 2 days before the wedding I decided to go with a bright red shoe to compliment the girls’ dresses. Alls well that ends well, no?

Church: Ascension Parish
Reception: Calgary Winter Club
Formal Photo’s location: Confederation Park
Photographer: Olivia Lauren Photography
Linen: Exquisite Events/ Great Events Group
Dress: Bridal Centre
Florist: Petals N Blooms
Shoes: Browns
Cake: Cakery Bakery
DJ: First Entertainment DJ

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Vampires, Cupcakes and Candles

Happy Halloween my fellow wedding and all-things-fun friends!

Even though my business is solely focused on organizing and executing lovely people's nuptials, one thing you may not know about me is I should probably star on that show "Party Mama's", but maybe alter it to "Party Mama's on a Budget" since there is no way I am blowing my mortgage on a big bash!

I absolutely love theme parties, and once I pick a theme I go all out, and it's a force that cannot be contained! A lot of people ask where this obsession with theme parties comes from and I finally realized, I got it from my momma! My mom always put some serious effort into holidays and birthday's. I vividly remember my sister Meagan's panda themed birthday party: it was 1988 and the Giant Panda's were being lent to the Calgary Zoo from China and my mom took that and went with it. I remember the Panda cake and ice cream, games and masks, I just thought it was so awesome, we had THE coolest parties ever. I don't know if my mom realized how much this meant to us, and apparently helped me choose my career path, if not, thanks ma. I hope Brookie loves all her parties just as much as I loved mine and all my sisters', who knows, maybe she'll be my partner in party crime one day!

Last weekend I was honored to host the monthly ladies "book club" (see: ladies drinking copious amounts of wine, eating delicious food and acting like we just got fake ID's). It is always hosts choice for what book we will be reading and I took full advantage of this privilege and made it a Twilight Party - that's right, yours truly is a major Twi-hard. Thank you in advance to my fellow Twi-hard friend Danielle of Death by Shoes and Chelsea of Shutterbird Photography for most of these wonderful pictures, Chels - the food pictures actually made my tummy grumble!

When I first decided on this theme I searched far and wide on the wonderful world wide web for a classy and creepy way to celebrate my favorite vampires and werewolves. Thank goodness for the queen of theme parties Hostess with the Mostess for her delightful Twilight Party post . It really got the blood flowing (like that? ha ha...) and the ideas just fogged up my mind for weeks before the big bash.

First on my agenda were the apples. I sent Josh to the store to pick up "the shiniest, most Twilightiest apples you can find". He was so nervous about this ever so important mission that he came home with a huge bag of Red Delicious as well as a huge bag of Spartans, both very pleasing to me, such a gem that guy is.

I hosted this party at a perfect time of year, the Halloween decor is on sale and there was Christmas stuff coming out as well - I found thick, wired satin ribbon which I weaved into my blinds and draped over the table to re-create the look of the cover on Eclipse. I places the apples everywhere, in vases with floating candles and water, up my front steps, and in the sangria I made - danger juice! There were candles everywhere to create a classy but haunting appearance and frames the quotes that HWTM provided.

Now, the food, a very important item to the book club. I did a lot of googling and research into what foods were mentioned in the Twilight series. My first find was mushroom ravioli, so I homemade (I will NEVER do that again!) them the night before and fried them up in a sage brown butter. I also made lasagna, Caesar salad, garlic bread, red velvet cupcakes with both blood splattered and sparkly cream cheese icing and vampire bite cookies! I have to say, the red velvet cupcakes were a hit, and I will certainly be making those again, yum!

The success of a theme party is dependant on how dedicated you are to it, and most are created starting from one single object or colour and then expand from there, in this case a simple apple.

I hope everyone had a safe and happy Halloween and yes, we did discuss Team Edward and Team Jacob and came up with a very sensible solution - Edward in the summer to keep you cool and Jacob in the winter to keep you warm. We're such intellectuals!