Sunday, 3 April 2016

March 2016

A busy, busy March

I'm not going to lie, I live in Canada, I know March doesn't always hold spring like weather but I wasn't anticipating the roller coaster we've been on. Some weeks we're hitting almost 15°C and at other times we're at -5°C. We've had snow storms, rain storms, hail storms and sunshine. It's been very difficult to plan a wardrobe around this weather. I keep packing and unpacking my winter clothes. I honestly can't wait for it to level out because my plants have been germinating for almost six weeks now and they're ready to go outside. I just can't put them out until the last frost. I hope this flip flopping weather doesn't cause any more problems for my flowers. I've got one more plant to germinate, some black Hollyhocks. They require warmer weather so I'm starting them much later than my dahlias. 

I've been back at work so sadly not much sewing has taken place. I've been sewing a kimono style top but it's been left on hiatus for weeks. It's a drag but I'm glad to be making money. Life has been expensive and I had to drop $4000 on medical expenses. I'm now learning that our wedding bands will cost in the neighborhood of $1500, so that's another thing to save up for, plus the wedding costs and the fact that my fiancé wants us to focus our energy into saving for a house. Arrrgh! 

Easter

Easter weekend was crazy for us. We had planned a trip to a few different places in and around the GTA (Greater Toronto Area). I think in total my fiancé drove for 15 hours. Unfortunately due to a fainting condition I have I can't operate a vehicle, so I can't assist in any of our road trips. I felt really bad that he drove for that long, especially since he has back and neck problems. The reason we were going on "vacation" was not actually to relax and enjoy ourselves but to scout out possible wedding venues. We aren't having a traditional wedding ceremony, we're eloping and there won't be any family or friends in attendance. We want to have a small personal ceremony where we share our vows over food and get photos taken. Sounds simple, right? I want to be able to decorate still, but I was hoping the venue would be pretty enough that I wouldn't have to do a lot to it. I also want all of this on a small budget. Wedding venues can cost between $1000-$5000, and it depends on whether it's the ceremony or the reception. Because we are doing something so different it's made finding a venue difficult. Most businesses wouldn't even considered renting out to us because we don't bring in as much money as an actual wedding party. This has been quite a challenge for me, I've had to think outside of the box and look at places that we might not have considered before, just so we can keep things affordable.

The lake in the town where we were engaged.
When we left our city at 7 AM, the sun was shining and there was some frost on the ground but as we ventured north east, through a variety of small towns, we could see a dramatic change in the weather. Apparently the northern cities got hit with an ice storm over night and suddenly there were fields and forests drenched in ice. It was really quite beautiful and I had hoped to photograph it but we had very little wiggle room for making stops. I had to settle for just admiring it as we drove by. The trees were gorgeous, they looked like chandeliers in the sunlight. Although pretty, this kind of weather can be very dangerous, especially if you're traveling. We had seen quite a few uprooted trees, falling branches and damaged power lines. Thankfully there was nothing in the road and the roads were clear of ice. We took back roads because I knew the highway would be full up and I did not want to be stuck in a traffic jam needing to pee. Thanks to our pre-planning we made it to our destination in a timely manner and we were able to explore and take time to enjoy ourselves.

Our initial plan was to look in and around the area of where we were engaged. I had accumulated a handful of possible venues but once we were ready to go I discovered that the majority of the places were actually located closer to home as opposed to the Lake Scugog area, where we had been engaged three years earlier. It just so happens that we were engaged in a town that has next to nothing in it lol. There are no public gardens or hotels. There's a gazebo which has the lake to the side of it, but in the summer there are boats docked there. There's also a pub and jungle gym located DIRECTLY behind the gazebo. Imagine getting married with screaming childs photobombing in the background and people working on their sailboats or getting drunk... hardly romantic, right? In the end I found two possible venues in the surrounding area. I don't know the cost of the one and the other is within our budget. They both have their own set of problems.


Venue #1
The Historic Centre

The historical centre has three areas available for wedding ceremonies, the gazebo, the old church and the school house, as well as the grounds itself. There were no photos available of the building interiors. It's the off season so no one is around and the church and schoolhouse are all shut up. This wasn't a big problem for us because we were only interested in the gazebo. We would go into the church or schoolhouse if the weather was an issue but I'm not sure how accommodating the historical society is with that... It seems like you have to choose one or the other but you couldn't have access to all three. I'd have to get some clarification on whether that's true or not. Perhaps because they thought they might get two weddings in one time slot they restricted access? It seems odd. I'd be awfully disappointed if on our wedding day it was raining down hail and they'd refuse us access to the church or school. This isn't the only uncertainty with this location. The historical centre offers usage of the site on their closed days and you have to pay more after staff hours, but to my understanding there's no staff on site. I don't know how you access the buildings if no one is around and there's a much bigger issue to contend with, and that's the neighboring park.

There's a park that's butting up against the grounds of the historical centre and there are no dividing fence lines. People can come and bring their dogs and fuck around and quite possibly ruin our wedding. If there's no security, there's no way to protect our belongings from being stolen or vandalized. If you have a wedding planner then they'd probably tend to your shit, but when it's just the two of you how can you watch after your things while you're decorating, assembling the tea party, or putting on your dress? Do you see my dilemma? When we were visiting in the off hours there was a guy flying a little plane, some people letting their dogs run everywhere off leash, and some people doing...questionable things inside their truck. This is the problem with a public park, which would not be an issue if there was some measure of security protecting us from it. Since anybody could walk in and photobomb during our expensive photo shoots, or eat my foot or steal my shit, I need to know I have some degree of security protecting me. I'm going to shoot them an email with my inquiries but I'm nervous the answers won't be to my liking. That being said, I'm not banking on this location.


Venue #2
The Mausoleum

I love the architecture of this building. It's gorgeous and despite it's purpose I find something romantic about it. I'm not as concerned about security with this venue. Unlike the last place, this one would have to have an employee in attendance to unlock the building and allow us access. It gives me some peace of mind. There's an adjacent cemetery but I can't imagine that would pose many issues as it has a separate entrance. The mausoleum does attract visitors, probably not many, but people do stop by to take photographs of it. We would have to put up a sign on the door that said something like "wedding in progress, please do not disturb" and hope that would be sufficient enough to detour people from bothering us. Maybe there's a lock on the door, I don't know. I also don't know the cost to rent the place, which is fairly important.

The real problem here is that my fiancé is totally creeped out about by the whole thing. I've tried explaining to him that many churches (especially in Europe) have bodies buried underneath them, it's natural, even our church downtown has two children buried in front of it. He complained that someone could be having a funeral while we're trying to get married, which I pointed out could still happen at any other church. His other concerns are picnicking in or near the mausoleum as well as how to decorate the inside of it, if we're even allowed to. The inside is very art-deco with mosaic tiling everywhere. It's dark. A lot of the photographs I've seen online are doctored to look bright and colorful but the colours are much more drab in person (photo here). Think Addams Family mansion. It was built with natural lighting in mind but I think there is some artificial lighting inside. I don't know how good it looks when it's lit up as we were there on an overcast day. The indoor furniture (chairs and candle holders) are a little blah looking as well. This doesn't fit my imagined garden themed wedding. If we were to use this venue I think we'd push back our wedding date and probably make it Halloween themed. A respectfully decadent Halloween/Goth wedding, mind you (not cutesy or horrific). I'm not sure how down with that my fiancé would be, though lol.


Oshawa Zoo

We were totally exhausted from scouting venues that we decided to have a stellar lunch and visit our favorite bakery. The next day we visited the Oshawa Zoo, a place we thought could be a wedding venue but after visiting it again and smelling the animals we decided it wasn't the right place for that lol. I had a blast feeding goats, sheep and piggies, and listening to the crows as well as seeing the new foxes. My fiancé knew I wanted to come back here. We thought to see if maybe the zoo was open and as luck would have it they were! He bought me a little plush lamb which I brought a long with me. I had wanted to see my favorite sheep but it seems they retired him. Booo! I'll miss his black fleece and thick horns. There was a cool new sheep though, with two sets of horns. He was super sociable and would let me pet his nose like a dog. I loved it, it helped alleviate the stress of finding a venue. 


Conclusion

At this point we're looking at other possible towns and cities for our wedding. It's sad to think we won't use the town we were engaged in but it's nice to make new memories too. We're still really attached to the idea of having a beach or garden themed wedding. I don't want to compromise on that, not unless I have to. I'll share whatever findings I come up with on here. Hopefully I'll get a break from work so I can start sewing again. I still have all those knit projects on hiatus and it's bugging me that I've not gotten to them yet. Also, I bought two new vintage dress patterns so I can make sundresses for the summer. I'm excited to get working on them as well as the wedding dress (my purchased gown has been sent to the dry cleaner - fingers crossed it works out). All in all it's been a very busy month. How have you been?

Best,

10 comments:

  1. We were married in a historic park district building. The way the pricing worked out is you had to pay for the rooms you were using... So we paid for 2. Lol even though we didn't pay for the grounds we went out to take pictures and no one stopped us. Maybe you can pay for both the gazebo and the interior location. You need a place for guests to mingle anyway. That was my initial mistake... I just paid for the ceremony room. Later I tagged on the second room for a place for mingling.

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    1. Thanks for sharing your experience, I kind of wondered if each individual room would have a cost. I'll have to inquire about the additional rates, maybe they'll give us a deal on having more than one room. :)

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  2. You have been very busy! That was a long day! 15 hours! For the ice storm, I had to ice pic our driveway, so the people coming over for Easter, would be safe! Now we are getting a major snow storm! LOL! Personally, I think it's going to be cool, till the end of April, so take care of your plants!
    I wish you all the best for your wedding plans! So stressful! I hope you find something, that just clicks in all the right ways, that you don't have to worry about anything!
    I don't know if you came back to my blog, but I wouldn't dye your hair. I am so happy I stopped! It made my hair very brittle and it damaged it a lot! Just keep smiling and be your beautiful self! You will do great!
    Take Care of yourself! Hugs!

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    1. Thank you! :) I was very concerned about frying my hair and having it fall out. At the same time, I thought perhaps dyeing it blonde would make the thinning less noticeable but it's not worth the risk. I figure I'll keep eating healthy and taking my meds and see where things go from there!

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  3. Oh, I hate these transitional months...Sure, the weather is nowhere neas as extreme here as it is in Canada, but it's been way crazier, than what we're used to and I'm sick of it...Fortunately our garden didn't suffer the weather changes.

    We're planning a small outdoor wedding too. That gazebo would be perfect, but...uhm...yeah, it's a shame for the surroundings. I hope you'll find the perfect venue soon.^^

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    1. It's been pretty bad here in Canada but I suppose we have had snow this late in the past. Last year we had snow storms at the end of April, it destroyed the apple crops. I just hope things pick up quickly. It's bad enough when it affects my garden but it's far worse when it drives up grocery costs!

      That's awesome that you're planning your wedding, too. How exciting. :) I hope you have good luck securing a venue. I love gazebos, I'm into that whole shabby chic look, so I'd like to use a pretty one that I can hang flower baskets in.

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  4. I feel you about the wedding location issues, as we had a bad time finding a place we could afford and we really liked for the ceremony.

    From these options, I think the mausoleum is the best. I imagines they won´t care too much about a couple of ivy or floral arrangements (and they could look gorgeous in the columns). Also, if you use candles, and some kind of chair covers, blankets and so on it will look great!

    The first option is more traditional, and I am sure it can look quite good on a shabby chic style, but maybe people passing by is not what you want on your wedding day...

    Well, I am pretty sure you guys will figure out what you truly want. And don´t think choosing a different town is a failure. Maybe you can find some unexpected and pleasant surprise simply moving a couple of kilometers.

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    1. Thanks for the feedback. :) I thought maybe the mausoleum could look really pretty dressed up with large flower bouquets and some ornate rented furniture. I still like the gazebo, but perhaps we can find one located in an area with less local activity lol. We're definitely expanding to include towns we didn't consider before. Who knows, maybe I might find a hidden gem somewhere in one of the small lakeside towns. Wouldn't that be romantic?

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  5. The weather was the same over here in Germany, horribly cold to temperatures when I left my coat at home. The only plants that found their way out so far were my ivys because they can handle a bit of cold weather... Slowly though it is getting warm.
    As for the location for your wedding, I hope you will be able to find an affordable place that makes you happy!

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    1. Thank you! I hope so too. :) Things are brightening up around here, but there's frost every morning. Maybe in a few weeks I can put my plants outdoors again.

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