Wednesday, February 22, 2012


There are not enough adjectives to describe the gorgeousness created for the wedding. I'm not going to attempt it. The following are photos taken by Barb Cameron our wedding photographer of the 'pretty' imagined and executed by Michelle VandenBosch our florist.

Winter Wedding! ....Think lace, white, icicles, snowflakes, candlelight, slate grey/plumb bridesmaids dresses, and rich, deep purple black calla lilies.....

Bridal bouquet 

The venue

The Ceremony Arbour 

The seating

Floral sculpture stationed at the entrance to the ceremony

The Head Table with the arbour as a backdrop

Guest Tables 

Three assorted floral table arrangements 


Happily Ever After .....

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


How appropriate that I can write about the wedding one last time on Valentine's Day. The lovebirds are married...yipeee! ... and on their honeymoon.  I, on the other hand am experiencing severe symptoms of wedding withdrawal!

Michelle VandenBosch
Let me just say straight up that Michelle's and Jordan's wedding was everything and more than we expected. In fact, I can honestly say, I was not sure what to expect, except that 170 people were coming to witness a 20 minute ceremony, cocktails, and reception in the Great Hall at the National Gallery of Canada.

.... 12 lessons...

1. ... champagne, either straight up or as a mimosa, is an excellent nerve calmer if consumed in small doses throughout the day accompanied by a wee toast....Father of the Bride aka FOB, should be at the ready to pop the cork(s)


2. ... the Father of the Bride MUST stay out of the master bedroom and bathroom when the Mother of the Bride is primping and preening not ask why....just accept it!

3 .... when 4 Bridesmaids, one Bride and a Mother of the Bride are getting ready, there will be untidiness, clutter, and champagne flutes scattered throughout the house must learn to ignore..... the mess will still be there tomorrow for you to tidy up (wether you are napping and/or suffering from severe wedding withdrawal)

4. ...the photographer "KNOWS WHAT SHE IS DOING...SHE IS A PROFESSIONAL" will be repeated to the FOB several times before he gets it...enough said!

Barbara Ann Studios
5....some of you may know this already.....when you are dressed in your wedding attire and feel the need to visit the ladies room, after drinking the aforementioned champagne, or because your tummy is experiencing butterflies, hold off as long as possible.  There will be fewer repeat visits and far less struggling with the SPANX etc.

6.... when walking your baby down the aisle... do not be surprised if you cry... do not be surprised if you do not cry. I almost lost it, but thought my eyelash extensions might not survive the salt onslaught , so I decided to do the closed mouthed, bite your tongue, 'I'm enjoying what I'm doing' look.  Dreading those pics!

7.....choose your MC wisely. We certainly did!  Jeff, a close family friend with many connections to many guests, made it his mission to know personally a few tidbits about every single person he introduced....he was cool, calm, funny and possibly hungry, as he was on duty all through our fabulous dinner.
I promise to feed you this weekend Jeff.

8.... If the speeches are fabulous, and go waaaaaaay over the allotted time...forget about it. Skip the traditional Father /Daughter dance ....forgo the cake cutting photo...and who really cares about the garter toss.
Move on to the PARTAY and start the dancing music. This happened and I can honestly say, not one guest questioned those 'missing' elements.

Father of the Bride
Mother of the Bride
Father of the Groom 
Mother of the Groom
Toast to the Bride 
Toast to the Groom 
Maid of Honour (sister)
Bridesmaid (sister)
FLASH MOB PERFORMANCE ...a huge success 
Best Man 
Father / Daughter Dance     cake cutting photo opp       garter toss 

9.... THE BAR.  After the ceremony, we had a cocktail/open bar. At dinner we had servers pour only red and white open bar. At the reception, we served wine, beer, pop, scotch..and it was a cash bar for mixed drinks. This was recommended to us by the vendor as a way to cut back on guests who might otherwise be over-served....a wedding faux pas. It worked.

10... do not wear your comfortable (they were for the first 6 hrs) Christian Louboutin shoes for 12 solid hours. I REPEAT....
Christian Louboutin

11.....yes, things will not go 100% according to's out of your control... do not involve the Bride and Groom with these details. Move on, most of your guests will neither know, nor care.

12....THIS IS A BIGGY.....your wedding will only be as successful as the guests you invite. We invited fabulous, caring, fun loving, appreciate guests to the wedding. I cannot tell you how many compliments our guests .... gave to our guests.  Even the DJ did not want to shut 'er down.

That's it...that's all folks. I'm hoping that the 'severe wedding withdrawal' symptoms will subside quickly. I have a few clients who need my assistance and I'm also involved in.....


The Royal Inspiration Awards Gala coming up on March 2nd...  two more raffle tickets to sell


Thursday, February 9, 2012


Yes, indeedy there is a wedding. Our eldest daughter, Michelle is getting married to her cutie pututie guy Jordan at 6pm on Saturday, at The National Gallery of Canada, in front of 165 of our family and closest friends.

There has been a year of planning.

...and this is what I know...

1.... planning and executing a wedding can be stressful.....many opinions are sometimes asked for, many more are given when not asked for.

2. ... that being attuned to my eldest daughter,  ensured that I could allow her to lead the other words, she is an adult, has her own very strong opinions about her wedding, as she should.  I LISTENED to her, really listened and heard what she envisioned for the day.

3. ....that a wedding budget is a necessity. After I did some searching on line of reasonably priced weddings (oxymoron).... we decided as the Bride's parents, that we would offer a set budget....anything above and beyond would have to be accommodated by the Bride and Groom...this worked.

3..... there will always be compromises. Should we have a smaller wedding at our cottage in the summer? Or, a winter wedding in the city?  The venue and date are typically the first items to strike off the vast TO DO LIST.....Jordan and Michelle looked at many venues, but having a winter wedding has it's own special issues and the end, we all agreed on The National Gallery of Canada....The Great Hall is a spectacular glass enclosed room with views of Parliament Hill and the Gatineau Hills. ...and hopefully the light snowfall that I've personally been wishing for. The room can accommodate our guests for the ceremony and the reception and it is very close to the hotels that our out of town guests are staying at...DONE.

4..... that the Guest List bites the big one. This single item can cause the most stable of relationships to falter. We decided as a group... both sets of parents and the Bride and Groom, that invitations would go to our closest (in our hearts) family and friends...the people who had a strong, meaningful impact on Michelle's and Jordan's lives. Yes, there are many more people we would have enjoyed at the wedding, but the guest list line must be drawn in the sand early in the game.

5. ....THE another biggy. When she tried on wedding gowns, I waited for Michelle's reaction, I read her body language, facial expressions and LISTENED.... 100% of the time, before I gave her my opinion. This is key....remember, my Bride has very strong opinions, likes and dislikes.
She is wearing the most perfect wedding gown for HER, on Saturday...It is truly lovely.

6. .... vendors are key to the success of a wedding as expressed in this post,  A WEDDING ...AND... TWITTER. Together we found our awesome vendors that will add 'the icing on the cake'.

 7. .... no matter how much spending, planning, is essential to enjoy the experience full on,  especially on the days leading up to the wedding. About 6 weeks ago, Michelle and I chatted about how she wanted to have fun and enjoy her wedding. All too often the Bride later views the few days before, and during her wedding day as if in a haze, not cherishing the moments, worried about the next item on the agenda.  We were determined this would not happen. How? ... LET GO AND LET BE  became our mantra. We are now leaving the details so carefully formulated by the experts, entirely up to them...we have let go.

8. ....that someone early on in the planning process mentioned that the wedding is 'theatre', and I cannot disagree. We love fabulous 'entertaining'. We will be wearing our wedding 'costumes', there will be the 'performers' and the 'audience' and the 'stage' will be set..... 

9 ... but throughout the process, you must remind yourself, that the big expensive wedding, the grand PARTAY, so to speak, pales in comparison to the actual MARRIAGE....the true reason we will all be gathered on Saturday at 6pm.

10. .... at the end of the day, when Michelle and Jordan are MARRIED, we will have accomplished what we set out to do! I need a tissue!
...think I'll watch "Father of the Bride"

Maureen at Modecor Muses: February 2012

Maureen at Modecor Muses