So Evan and I are getting married next spring, which is very exciting! However, getting married typically requires some sort of wedding, and weddings require some planning, which is slightly less exciting.
A wedding is not something that I have ever really thought about. Growing up I didn’t really envision my dream wedding. I do know that I want some sort of wedding, because I really just want to have a party with our family and friends, but I don’t want anything too large or formal.
A few years ago I was thinking my dream would be to rent a summer camp or cottage-y resort on a lake in Ontario, get married on a dock on the water, have our guests stay in cabins and have a big bonfire, etc. But after actually looking into it, that would take a lot of planning, and it would be very expensive.
I also think that might be overdone in this area these days. I don’t want something overly themed (when I was making my appointment to try on wedding dresses one of the questions was “What’s the theme of the wedding?” Theme? The theme is WEDDING.) or overly Pinterest-y. I am trying to look at Pinterest very minimally because I know how easy it is to make an event look like a Pinterest explosion. The best weddings I’ve been to are the ones that felt personal and true to the couple’s personalities.
I used to think I wasn’t a big fan of destination weddings, but after Dawn and Mark’s wedding in Jamaica a few years ago I totally changed my mind about them. As a guest, I had an absolute BLAST. Best vacation of my life.
And I have to say that I really like the idea of having an entire week with my favourite people. Since Cuba has been a big part of our relationship – we’ve been three times together and even got engaged there – it seems like the obvious choice for a destination. We fell in love with the resort we stayed at in Varadero AND Cuba is relatively cheap compared to other destinations from Canada, so it’s not like our guests would have to spend a ton of money. So this May we are getting married at the Starfish Cuatro Palmas in Varadero, Cuba! Same resort we got engaged at! It feels very true to US.
The good thing about a destination wedding is that the resort pretty much takes care of all the details for you. I literally could just show up to the party and they would handle everything.
Sign me up! Because of this I think that a lot of people think a destination wedding is the easy way out, including myself. I totally thought that. Until I started actually planning it. Let me just say that I am a very easygoing person, not a lot gets to me and I don’t really care about a lot of details. So I assumed that any wedding planning that I had to deal with would be easy breezy like my own personality (and Evan’s, too). This was also a false assumption. I have come to learn that the stress of wedding planning does not come from you, it comes from the process. It comes from the little things that come up that you have to deal with even when you really don’t want to.
For example, we worked with our travel agent to choose a date at the resort that would work for everyone coming. We have people flying in from Toronto, Ontario; Kelowna, BC; Calgary, Alberta; and Edmonton, Alberta. So to find a date that would work for all of us, where we could all fly in on the same day and leave the same day was a bit tricky. But we got it! We booked the resort and mine and Evan’s flights, I sent out our save the dates, people started booking, all was well.
Then I hear from our travel agent that unfortunately Sunwing (the company we are flying with, and our resort is Sunwing-exclusive) has cancelled the flight from Kelowna that week. The flight that my brother is on, who is in the wedding.
Our travel agent asked if they could fly from Vancouver instead, and it’s a five hour drive but they’re doing it and don’t mind (or so they told me so hopefully!). So okay, that is fine. Then a week or so later we hear that Sunwing has cancelled the flight from Edmonton – can our Edmonton guests fly from Calgary? I talk to Lisa’s sister Heather (flying from Edmonton) and she’s like “Yeah, we have to drop our dog off at Brent’s parents in Calgary, so that works better!” well hooray! All good. But then I hear that Sunwing has decided to move the flight from Calgary ahead two days, so they would be arriving two days after everyone else and leaving two days later. And that…while not a big deal, really bothered me because my bestie Lisa, my MOH, is on that flight and OBVIOUSLY I want her (and her bf and Heather and Brent) there the entire time the group is there. That was super annoying. So Evan and I decided to extend our trip for two days so we can spend time with that group, and we made it work. It’s not ideal but I think we handled it well.
AND THEN I hear that Sunwing has decided to move the flight from Vancouver three days later than the Toronto group, arriving on the SAME DAY AS THE WEDDING. Ugh. RAGE!
Again, that is my brother’s flight, and I can’t take the chance that something will happen or it will get delayed and he will miss the wedding. But what can you do? We can’t make Sunwing change their flights. We ended up changing the date of the ceremony and moved it back a day, which was a bit of a hassle because we had to coordinate with the resort and then the photographer that we had already booked.
Like, we chose that date because it worked for everyone. You have to book way out because of resort availability, and then they change the flights??? Ugh I was so mad and it was a stressful time. Thankfully that seems to be the biggest problem and it’s all sorted out now. SO FAR. Now I don’t trust that it’s not going to change again.
A lot of our family can’t make it to Cuba, which we knew would be the case, so before we leave we are going to have a family-only ceremony at City Hall followed by a dinner. In my mind that seems straightforward enough right now, but I haven’t started actually planning that yet so I’m a bit apprehensive. At least we won’t have flight problems to deal with!
Aside from the flight fiasco the planning has gone pretty smoothly. The best thing is I GOT MY DRESS!!!! I had an amazing experience at Bliss Bridal in Whitby with Lisa and Emily. I bought the second dress I tried on – though I tried on about 10 afterwards, but the second one was always the favourite. It’s perfect! Exactly what I wanted. And when I looked at the price tag afterwards it was half of my budget, so even more perfect. I actually bought a second bridesmaid dress in ivory that I’m wearing for the city hall wedding because my wedding dress ended up being so inexpensive (I don’t know how it happened and even my coordinator at the store was in shock at the price).
I can’t believe I got my dress in just one try – I have heard some stories from my friends of it taking six wedding dress shopping trips to find The One. And I was surprised that the dresses were looking good on me ’cause usually my nungas like to rebel and cause problems, but on this day they were behaving. I loved almost all of the dresses I tried. Here’s one I didn’t get (repeat DID NOT get).
Loved the skirt but the top was a bit too bling-y and the detailing was giving me a rash on my armpits, so no thanks. Comfort is gonna be key, especially ’cause it’s gonna be hot!
We got the bridesmaid dresses too. I was thinking of a simple summer dress in a turquoise and I found exactly what I was envisioning at RW&Co. It looks good on everyone (all my bridesmaids tried it on) and it was on super sale so that was just a fantastic find. My girls are gonna look so gooooood!!!
Can’t wait to see them all in it.
So, that’s it I guess. I wanted to give a wedding planning update, I’ve been meaning to for a while. Hopefully this post didn’t come across as too bitchy because I am truly so, so excited to marry Evan! Just…planning isn’t my favourite. I want to be married already 😉