Welcome to August Vows

This blog started a year before the big day, and chronicled the wedding-planning from a bride's perspective. I considered closing it and starting a new one as a Mrs., but you know... our vows were the most important part of the day, and will be our backbone as we develop a life and family together. I can't think of anything more appropriate than continuing to call my blog August Vows, and so it's here to stay.

Monday, December 29, 2008

That Veil Again

There was one important task to be done over the holidays, and that was to take my bridesmaid Hannah to the dress shop to get her measurements done. I was definitely looking forward to this trip because I thought Hannah would actually fit the sample dress in the shop, and it was very exciting to see it on her!

So about that veil... I took it with me to see if there is any chance that it goes well with the dress. It does, and I think it's beautiful. Everybody seems to love it. I'm going to post pictures as soon as I can get some to get further opinions, because I worry that its a simple case of everybody's enthusiasm being cued from mine. But I do adore it. And I've now been told twice that I simply HAVE to keep the vintage headpiece intact.

I have to get it cleaned. It's been sitting in my mom's closet for almost 30 years, and it has to be cleaned. I worry about two things here:

1. That it will be TOO white once it's clean. My dress is not white, and really, an ivory piece would be a better match.
2. That cleaning will somehow damage the delicate lace. 

The owner of the dress store I'm dealing with, Michelle, gave me a card for the dry cleaner she recommends. I'm going to take the plunge and do it. Fingers crossed!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Scents and Sensibility

Why has choosing a wedding perfume consumed me for months, to the point of being the most difficult decision I've made?

Choosing a special cologne for Dan to wear was simple. One late evening at a Shoppers Drug Mart he tried a squirt of Dolce & Gabbana Masculine, and we both liked it. I even liked it a lot. We decided there and then that this would be what he would wear on our wedding day, and it felt right. We didn't buy it right away, but he did buy it soon after when we learned it was being discontinued -- a fact that still annoys me now that I'm certain it will become an addiction.

Picking a perfume for me, however, could not have been more complicated. I wanted something that felt out of the ordinary and special. Burberry wasn't going to cut it no matter how much I loved it. I wanted something pretty -- the very bottle that was going to later sit on my dresser reminding me of my wedding day had to be simply gorgeous. And importantly, it couldn't be bothersome to my father, who abhors most perfumes and would be walking me down the aisle.

I became obsessed. EVERY time I walked through a drug store or a department store I would spritz the scent du jour, sniffing it frequently throughout the day, running it past Dan and sitting near my dad while he watched T.V. to see if he would complain. He usually didn't. I would research online and in wedding magazines the perfect top notes to compliment my gown, and get more and more confused. I fell in love with many scents -- Dior's Cherie, Nina Gold, and more than one by Chanel -- but none of them felt right. I realized that most of the scents I truly adored smelled fantastic in the cold of the fall and winter, but would likely be too heavy and nauseating in the August heat. And I'm not kidding you... this went on for months.

My most recent obsession was Vera Wang's Princess. Ordinary for a bride, perhaps, but so classic. How could one resist the charming purple heart under the wedding queen's label? And has anybody noticed that you can get anything in this scent, right down to wedding-eve bubble bath? I still don't love it quite as much as Nina Gold, but it seemed to have a higher approval among my many consultants (Dan, Mom, Michelle and my unaware Dad).

The deal was sealed on Christmas morning when I unwrapped a lovely small package from Dan. Perfection in a beautiful purple bottle with a crown top, and I couldn't be happier about it.

I still wonder why I became so overwhelmed with such a small task, when choosing a dress was so easy. They say scent is the strongest sense associated with memory, and I know that is certainly true for me. I can still smell Tommy Girl and I'm in my 14th summer again (hello California!), Chanel Allure and I'm in Paris for the first time. 

Maybe choosing a scent for my wedding IS in fact a big deal that will be important and memorable forever. And maybe I'm just an escapist who needed something to take her mind off more complex realistic matters.

Monday, December 22, 2008

The problem with Christmas shopping

The problem with Christmas shopping this year, is that I'm officially a bride. I'm officially planning a wedding, and I officially have projects to do and things to buy. And the real problem with Christmas shopping is that I'm in the stores finding these things.

It started with my beautiful ring bear, moved onto a few GREAT deals on jewelry, and headed right into the shoe store today.

That's right, I bought shoes and I love them. What am I wearing? 4" heels? Strappy sandles? Kitten heels? No no my dear reader... I have bought myself a beautiful pair of ivory Skechers, complete with lace detail and a perfect prim bow.

I admire Skechers often by the dozens, but buy them rarely. These summer shoes were on clearance though, and a bride can't pass up a good sale. So I bought them. It is still possible that I will find that perfect pair of kitten heels, but if so I'm happy to become a two-shoe bride (or to relegate my ivory flats to weekend wear with a great pair of jeans).

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A Ring Bear for my Ring Bearer.

I have this totally adorable ring bearer, and tonight I bought him a bear. The little guy who will be carrying our rings is very young, and I've decided that I'm going to give him a "ring bear" to carry instead of a pillow. Cute idea, right? And since our colours include chocolate brown, it was just too easy, and too hard to resist.

So tonight I bought a beautiful, soft curly haired bear. I actually bought two, because I want to keep one for ourselves and make sure our little guy gets to keep one as well. He already has a beautiful brown organza ribbon, and I'll be sewing on some thin peach ones as well.

I can't wait to see how this idea pans out!

Monday, December 15, 2008

I've Fallen In Love...

With a veil. My mother's veil, to be exact. So here's the scoop. I've been away in Vegas, with my dad, schmoozing with clients. While we were there, Dan & my mom were cleaning out the master bedroom in preparation for new carpet. I'm talking MASSIVE cleanout, everything must go, right to the back of the walk in closet.

They found her veil, and I adore it.

My parents got married in the late 70s, and, while mom's veil fit perfectly with her 70s dress, I think it is truly a classic. It is double-layered, waist-length with a simple rolled edge. It is exactly the fullness and length I wanted with my own dress. I love the slight vintage look of the lace appliques scattered throughout. I love the sentiment behind wearing my mom's veil.

Here I admit that Dan has seen me with it on my head, completing an outfit of jeans and a hoodie. I was on my way out to meet my MOH Michelle, and my hands were otherwise full. He laughed at me when he looked at me strangely and I simply said "I'm going out," but I assure you I did NOT wear it to the shopping mall.

So, what's the problem? It's a little old and dusty, but that can be fixed. It's also very white, and my dress is not white. I'm trying to figure out whether it can be dyed, but I don't want to risk ruining it either. I'm conflicted -- do you have any advice? Do I have myself a project, or is this beyond what I should attempt?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Easiest Shopping Ever

So... I'm shocked.

Selecting bridesmaid dresses is literally some of the easiest shopping I've ever done. I really didn't expect it to be, I thought it would be one of the more difficult tasks. Looking through www.realbridesmaids.com, I was worried to choose something that the gals hadn't all managed to try on. I'm aware that most bridal shops don't carry much in a range of sizes, and knew that we couldn't go by catalogue picture alone.

I knew what I wanted for the basics: deep chocolate brown, tea length, summery material like chiffon.

A couple of the girls knew what they wanted for sure: straps that provided a bit of support (and who can blame them, really?).

We tossed around ideas including having them made, but it turned out to be much simpler than that. My friend & bridesmaid Heather & I stopped at the bridal shop to put the deposit on my dress (YAY! Another post coming soon!). I literally pulled this chocolate brown, chiffon little beauty off the rack and said "see, I was thinking about something sort of like this."

She tried it on, and it looked fabulous. We both fell in love with it right away. We wanted to capitalize on the same sale that I was taking advantage of for my gown, so we had to move fast. Within a couple of hours, photos had been shown to the other 3 girls online, and we had unanimous approval! Deposits were placed the very next day, and I even had measurements ready to go all the way from Newfoundland.

Did anything you expect to be hard turn out to be really easy? 

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Guest blogging from Dan: 

Having now done the engagement photo session with our photographer of choice, I have come to the conclusion that some couples must get married just to have their pictures taken. It's surprisingly fun! Someone follows you around all day oohing and ahhing over how good you look together, what a great couple you are (etc. etc.), and basically makes it their mission of the day to make you look like the perfect pair of people. What's not to love?

Done right, the whole experience becomes an affirmation of your decision to get married. By the end of it all, with a photographer as great as ours, you and your intended should both be feeling chipper, refreshed and more on track toward wedded bliss than ever. Or you might just find yourself exhausted with straw in your pants, but either way it's worthwhile.

Notes from Kate:

I loved doing our engagement shoot! I had so much fun with this whole day, and am grateful to Christine for making it such a great day. We started out in Fort Langley with the requisite train station, tracks & coffee shop shots. We then spent some time at the Fort Wine Co. (one of my favourite places for a rainy afternoon), and headed over to my family's farm. Dan's quip about straw in your pants is not much of an exaggeration.

We don't have any official photos to show you yet, but Dan & I played around with my camera phone (I know, I know) before the photographer arrived, so here are a couple of shots of us being our usual goofy selves.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Searching for China

I have a secret. I adore dishes. It really does border on obsession. I love pretty homey things in general, and beautiful dishes are just about one of the most wonderful things I can think of. Ranks as high as having pretty stationary.

I've started my gift registry (fairly early, at the good advice of one of my bridesmaids), 
and so far finding my kitchenware as been the most pleasing task. I already have started to collect a set of casual dinnerware, because my grandmother thought it was important to start this collection off years ago. So yes, I picked dinnerware at 18, and yes, I still love it. It is Royal Doulton Cinnabar (see right), and here it is in all it's glory. Doesn't it just call up images of home-cooked casseroles straight out of the oven? I still think it was a wonderful choice.

So, I really only needed to find formal china to complete my collection. I've looked through almost every Mikasa, Noritake & Royal Doulton pattern we could find. The first one we chose 
was this lovely set by Noritake. It's called "White Palace" (see right) and I still adore it. In addition to the beautiful gold rim, this set has a cream textured border. Texture really is important to me, and it was definitely the selling point on this set. That all said, I thought it was a little too formal and a lot too expensive for what we needed. 

Next, I fell in love with Challinor by Royal Douton (see left). If for whatever reason I ever needed to choose a second set, this would be it. A rich blue and gold, it's beautiful and luxurious. I especially loved how every piece in the setting was a little bit different. Even with the blue it was still a very warm set, as the border was a lovely cream colour. It was a very close choice, but it wasn't quite right. 

We finally settled on Noritake's Glenrose Platinum. I love it. It reminds me just slightly of my mom's pattern (she chose Noritake when it was still new and unknown), but is different enough too. Silvery blue with a textured rim, I think it will be perfect for all occasions and can be set with many different colour schemes. It is truly perfect for us in every way, and I am excited about our choice. And here it is, in all it's beautiful glory:

Did you have a hard time selecting your dinnerware, or was it an easy choice for you? Do you think you picked the right one?

Monday, October 20, 2008

I Won!

I already mentioned that I adore Weddingbee. Well, one of the cool things about this website is that they have great giveaways to enter! I was pleasantly surprised this morning to have received an email from Mrs. Bee herself. I won a giveaway draw I entered last week -- a custom canvas print by GeeZees!

Mr.s Bee connected me right away with Stephanie, the owner of GeeZees. I'm super excited to be working with her! We'll talk about what I'm looking for and create something really special. GeeZees prints words, pictures, or a combination of the two onto their canvas. I swooned when I saw all their beautiful colours. I think their work is just beautiful.

So, what am I doing with this wonderful prize? I'm not telling. Dan, Michelle, and Mrs. Bee know... the rest of you will have to stay tuned until the surprise is unveiled.

Oh, and exciting news for YOU, my dear readers. Stephanie has been kind enough to allow me to offer you 5% off an order from GeeZees! Just let her know you found her through my blog, augustvows.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Say Cheese!

We have a photographer. Christine Vantol from Bluehaze Photography will be recording our big day, and I think she's absolutely wonderful. Please check out the Bluehaze Blog for a sampling of her talent. I am ridiculously excited about this.

Picking a photographer really wasn't that hard for me. I was really looking for somebody with a photojournalistic style to their wedding photography, and with this vendor more than any others, I felt it was extremely important to choose somebody we got along with. After all, our photographer will be with us all day long, so I figure we should like each other! Dan and I both liked Christine as soon as we met her at the Milsean Shoppe in Aldergrove. She spent a good hour chatting with us, really taking the time to get to know who we were as individuals and as a couple. We did some checking around, got good feedback on her work, and enjoyed looking at the photos from weddings she's done in the past. Bonus, her package was a pretty good deal! However, Dan (ever the responsible one) thought we should shop around a little. Many websites and one short meeting later he was totally convinced, and I booked my dream photographer!

Since I was already deep into investigating photos, I've also been stalking other blogs (I particularly adore Weddingbee), and collecting files of photos that inspire me. The one here is by Rock the Wedding Photography in Victoria, and it felt so much like fall on our rainy West Coast. Isn't it beautiful? I just love it, and I'd really love for our engagement photographs to have the same cozy feel.

Speaking of which, we're planning our engagement session for November 1st! I really can't wait. The only big decision left to make... what do I wear?

Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Bridal Circus

err... wedding fairs, that is. Seems that the fall brings on the new season, and I attended my first one of the year tonight (yes, I've been before, but was on hiatus while we came up with the date). 

This evening's event was the Welcome Wagon show, which I think is pretty wonderful. It's small and local, which means there aren't a lot of competing vendors. Basically one from each category, which is easy on my memory! I attended with my mom and maid of honour, Michelle. Before we go any further, let me assure you all that I have the world's best maid of honour. No really, she could do this for a living. I lucked out, I only bought her dinner.

Michelle comes with me to these things, she carries my look bag, and she listens to all my strong opinions on everything (no over-sugary first dance songs, no kitschy heart motifs). She cried when I tried on wedding gowns. I think she likes to think of herself as my big sister, and I'm okay with that. She even called me prior to our outing to check on what I was going to wear, lest she "accidently outshine the bride." Which of course she does anyway, but nobody can hold that against her because she doesn't mean to. She's just beautiful and lovely, and can't help it.

Enough goopy stuff, it's clearly too early to be emotional. So, let me let you in on the real secret. Brides go to wedding fairs for the good deals, and the loot. Especially Welcome Wagon ones, where they hand you the bag at the door (no need to collect table to table)! Want to get in on my amazing stash? Read on for a sampling of all that was received:

PartyLite candles. Appletini mixer (I've never had an appletini, but see no reason not to try one right away). A dish towel. Some sort of red candy, which ironically came from a fitness company (aha! I see their evil plot!). A compact mirror. Recipes from the Pampered Chef. Sparkly body lotion. Really, really good chocolate. I should have figured out what it was before we ate it, because now I want more. Gorgeous lavender bath salts from Nectar Lingerie. A whole bunch of magnets and pens, and a key taped to a postcard from a realtor (admittedly, this one is a little odd). 

The fashion show was great (though I've already picked my dress), and I got to talk to lots of interesting people. Among others on my long list, we haven't chosen vendors yet for stationary, music, flowers, or clothes for the gentlemen, so it was a great opportunity to get some ideas. Most of all, it really was fun, if not a little exhausting. And I get to do it all again on October 8th.

Until then, appletini cheers!

Friday, August 22, 2008

The "Negative Anniversary"

Before I say anything else, an entry today would be entirely incomplete without wishing my grandparents a very happy 55th anniversary. We'll be getting married on their 56th next year, and I don't think I could possibly think of a better date.

This morning, my father pointed out that today is our "negative one" anniversary. He's right of course, so the official countdown begins!

So, where are we as of today? We have a venue booked, our bridal party set, and a vague guest list. We've talked about roughly 4000 ideas, and need to start narrowing it down. We finally have a good picture of the two of us, and we've talked to a couple photographers. I've tried on a few dresses, and want to try on a whole bunch more.

Beyond that, we're basically acutely aware that this year is going to go by in no time, and thank you for joining us.