Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Cakespiration–The Tasting

The number one thing that I’ve been looking forward to on this wedding planning journey would have to be the cake tasting!!  Trying to find an awesome cake baker might be a really daunting task when you are planning your wedding in a different city, but our venue made it so easy.  The Brock House offers a reception package that includes canapés, a cocktail hour, a buffet dinner, desserts, wine with dinner…and our wedding cake!

Amazing deal, right?  We just had to go with one of two preferred cake vendors.  We opted to go with Sweet Thea because her list of cake flavours made our mouths water.  She promised to have a variety of flavours for us to taste when we came to visit Vancouver.

Our tasting appointment was the same afternoon that we were scheduled to arrive in Vancouver and as luck would have it, our flight was delayed.  It was a big rush to get our rental car and get on the road, but luckily we pulled in to Thea’s driveway right on time.  Whew!

Thea welcomed us in her house and we sat down to discuss our vision for how the cake would look.  I talked about elements of cakes that I liked – white on white texture – inspired by vintage milk glass.

large_imagePhoto by: Kristen Jensen Photography/Image via The Knot/Ana Parzych Custom Cakes, Chesire, CT

We weren’t set on a particular look for the cake, we just wanted her to be inspired.  Then it was time to eat cake!IMGP3127

Oh my goodness, some of the most delicious cake I have ever tasted, without a doubt!  We started at the top left with a white cake with passion fruit filling.  My taste buds were singing as soon as that cake hit them!  The cake was light and fluffy and the filling was so zingy, fresh and delicious.  We also sampled:

  • White cake with lemon filling and raspberry filling
  • Chocolate tuxedo cake – white cake and chocolate cake with vanilla and chocolate fillings
  • Chocolate cake with chocolate chiffon and a raspberry filling
  • Chocolate cake with mocha filling
  • Red velvet cake with cream cheese filling

Here’s what we decided on for the look:

Wedding Cake VisionMiss Gazelle’s attempt at sketching a wedding cake…

The bottom layer will have a diamond texture on it and will be chocolate with chocolate and raspberry fillings.  We loved this cake, so hands down, it was the one we wanted the most of! 

The second layer will be the white cake with passion fruit filling and will have a hobnail texture.  This cake was amazing and is a great counterpoint to the more rich chocolate cake. 

Our top layer will be red velvet!  This is my personal favourite cake flavour so without a doubt it has to be included in our wedding cake!  This will likely have a floral texture on it.  We actually won’t be serving the top layer of red velvet though.  We are planning on keeping it for later!  Perhaps back at the hotel room for a post wedding snack or later on for our one year anniversary?

Are you planning on saving the top layer of your cake for later?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Miss Gazelle Races into the Hive!

Hello hive!!!!

Is this really happening? It feels so surreal. I cannot believe that I am the newest bee to join the hive! I was checking my e-mail at a stoplight and I saw that I had an e-mail from Pengy. I opened it up and couldn’t believe my eyes. I screamed and threw my phone at Mr. Gazelle and asked him to read the e-mail. He thought something terrible had happened, but as soon as I could speak I yelled, “Oh my gawd, I’m a beeeeeeee!”

So who is Miss Gazelle? I was born in Canada, but left as a wee one to travel around the world with my parents. We moved to Australia, to England, to South America, back to England, back to Canada, to Indonesia and then back to Canada. Talk about a crazy way to grow up but I wouldn’t have changed it for the world.

Intro Pic 1Miss Gazelle in South Africa as a wee gazelle (personal photo)

After becoming an engineer and travelling a bit on my own I finally settled back in Canada. Soon thereafter I met Mr. Gazelle! Who is he? He is a computer tech geek who loves raw oysters, good food, good beer and wine and old episodes of Star Trek – The Next Generation.

Intro Pic 2Mr. Gazelle, waiting on some oysters (personal photo)

Intro Pic 3The Gazelles on a recent trip to Seattle (personal photo)

Why Miss Gazelle? Well, I love to run marathons and race triathlons! I may not be super speedy but I’d like to think that I one day may be able to run as swiftly and gracefully as a gazelle.

Intro Pic 4Miss Gazelle on the race course (photo courtesy of Caroline Ang)

As for our wedding, we are planning a smallish get together of close family and friends in Vancouver, British Columbia. Our wedding will be full of fun, laughter and love with touches of whimsy. I can’t wait to share it with you. Thanks for having me!!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Doing the Floral Fandango

It is official, I am the bride who called shoe.  I knew I wanted purple shoes for our wedding, however when I was looking for said purple shoes there weren’t a lot of options.  I initially bought the Nine West Jojus with almost a feeling of, “oh my gosh, they are purple and available.”  IMGP3180Then I bought the Nine West Zaltas to swap out flats for heels later in the evening.IMGP3178

Unfortunately I didn’t really believe that these shoes were the ones I wanted to wear on our wedding day so I kept looking.

One day while browsing the website for my favourite clothing store, Anthropologie, I spotted them.  The heavens parted and I could have sworn I heard singing.  I present Anthropologie’s Miss Albright Floral Fandango heels.

19565597_050_bImage via Anthropologie

Unfortunately obtaining them wouldn’t be that easy.  They cost significantly more to mail to Canada than to mail within the US.  Miss Albright shoes are also inconsistent for sizing and I’d have one chance to get the right size shoe.  I didn’t want to spend a bunch of money on shoes that may or may not be the right size that I’ll be wearing for a long time on our wedding day.

So I did what any sane bride would do.  I convinced the Mr. Gazelle that we should take a side trip to Seattle on our upcoming trip to Vancouver so I could purchase the perfect shoes.  I may or may not have bribed him with promises of oysters and delicious Washington micro-brews.  But it was so worth it…IMGP3182IMGP3183

When we drove back into Canada I declared my shoe purchase to Canada customs.  The border guard’s response to the fact that we were in Seattle for shoes? “That’s a long way to go for shoes…”

Did you go out of your way to get the perfect shoes for your wedding?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


I can barely contain myself… Tomorrow we have our cake tasting!!! I can't wait to see what amazing flavours we'll get to try. I was reading through our baker's 2011 wedding cake flavours and they all sound so amazing. Chocolate raspberry…double chocolate…pumpkin Philly…red velvet (my personal favourite)…raspberry tuxedo…vanilla passion fruit… And that is only a handful of the flavours she makes!

In preparation for our tasting I've been scouring through pictures of cakes so we can not only talk about how our cake will taste, but about how it will look.  Here are a few of my favourites!

I really like the tall proportions of the layers in this cake. Plus the white texture and "buttons" running up and down are adorable!

large_imagePhoto by Antonis Achilleos / Cake by Cake Alchemy / Image via The Knot

Once again, I love the white on white texture on this cake that I found on Style Me Pretty. It is so simple and gorgeous!

The wedding of Heather Bingham and Christopher Koepenick.Photo by Jensen Larson Photography / Image via Style Me Pretty

And finally, I really love this cake! It is on a very similar ruffled milk glass cake stand to the one we'll be using. I really like how the cake has a hobnail texture that echoes the hobnails on the cake stand. So pretty!large_image (1)

Photo by: Kristen Jensen Photography / Image via The Knot / Ana Parzych Custom Cakes, Chesire, CT

I can't wait to taste everything tomorrow and to share the inspiration photos that I've gathered so far. Hopefully our baker will be inspired too!

Were you deliriously excited about tasting cake?

Big Wedding Planning Weekend Coming Up!

I am bursting at the seams with excitement because we are off to Vancouver tomorrow for a crazy busy weekend of wedding related things! Here is what we've got going on:

- Arrive in Vancouver and head straight to our cake tasting. Can you say yum?
- Food tasting at the Brock House!
- Meet with our Day of Coordinator (What? We have a DOC? I haven't mentioned that yet, have I?)
- Stop by and say hi to my grandma!
- Pick up my wedding shoes! That's right, I'm picking up my wedding shoes. Don't I already have shoes? What about those adorable Fluevogs I showed you? Are you curious as to which ones I picked? I can't wait to show you! They are absolutely gorgeous...
- Perhaps take a detour to Seattle?
- Have my hair trial
- Eat copious amounts of delicious food
- Splash around in the rain. It looks like it is going to pour this weekend in the Pacific Northwest, but that has to be better than all of the snow we've been dealing with in Calgary this week.

And after that flurry of question marks and exclamation points punctuating my sentences...stay tuned!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Glowing in the Dark

I am slowly but surely getting ready to start making our invitations.  I’ve ordered the paper supplies, RSVP postcards, and various bits and bobs.  Everything should be here in the next week or so and then it will be time to get to work!

I decided on a covert plan to identify any RSVP cards that may come back without any respondents’ names.  I ordered a black light pen!  I plan to number each RSVP card in invisible ink and keep a numbered list of our guests.  That way if we get any blank RSVPs back we’ll know who they belong to.

I bought mine from Glow Products, a company located in Canada.  It retails for the low, low price of $2.25 (+ tax and shipping) and it is a pen and light combo all in one.  Apparently it comes in a variety of fun colours?

Well, my pen just arrived in the mail and I had to chuckle as I pulled it out of the envelope.IMGP3125It has a crazy looking goat (I think?) on it.  And bananas?IMGP3117IMGP3118The goat is saying, “Hellow!!~ MY Friend”  Hee hee!

Of course I had to test the pen out and make sure it works.IMGP3120Yay, success!

Are you jumping on the black light pen bandwagon for your RSVPs?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Dressing the Groom–Decisions!

Mr. Gazelle has made his decisions on what he is going to be wearing for our wedding!  I’m so excited because I think he is going to look amazing!

Back in March I was walking through the mall on my lunch break and I spotted this sign inside Holt Renfrew:

mtm-ENImage via Holt Renfrew

A special made to measure shirt event was going on.

As I mentioned before, Mr. Gazelle has a body shape that is tough to fit with off the rack items.  He has a broad chest and shoulders, then narrows through the waist.  He also has longer than average arms.  Typical off the rack shirts that fit through his shoulders then tent out through his torso.  A made to measure shirt event seemed perfect for him to get a well fitting dress shirt.DSCN3275

We popped by the store that weekend.  Holts had many different fabrics to choose from – stripes, solids, you name it!  Mr. Gazelle went with a solid white shirt with a subtle paisley texture to it.  It is really nice!  There were so many options to choose from – collar spread, placket, cuffs…who knew?

collar pileImage via Rare Splendors

Custom Dress Shirt CuffsImage via Rare Splendors

Mr. Gazelle also had some decisions to make about his suit.  He kicked around getting a suit made online but ultimately he really wanted a good suit as an investment piece that was going to fit well.  He decided to go with a three piece made to measure suit from Holts in an amazing grey pinstripe pattern.IMG_0200Unfortunately all I have is a crappy iPhone picture, but the tie looks amazing with the fabric.  The sales associate at Holts worked hard to find the best measurements for the most flattering cut of suit.  The suit will be made here in Canada and should be ready in about a month or so.  He decided to go with a three piece wool suit so that he can wear the vest instead of the jacket as the evening goes on, plus he can use each piece separately in the future.

And finally the last touch – awesome socks!  Mr. Gazelle picked up these awesome argyle style ones:

thomas-pink-socks-purple-and-grey-clifton-argyle-mens-socks (1)Image via ShopStyle

that he’ll be wearing with these shoes:

compositeImage via John Fluevog, but sadly, sold out…

I’m so excited, I think he’s going to look so handsome!

Did your groom decide to buy a suit as an investment piece?

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Never Give Up!

Or this post could alternately be titled:Picture1You may remember that a couple of weeks ago I decided to make a mock up of our invitations.  The only thing that I wasn’t happy with was my attempt at embossing.  Just to refresh your memory, here was the result that I wasn’t please with:IMGP3086I used white embossing ink with opaque white embossing powder.  I didn’t like all of the flecks of white embossing powder that clung to the black cardstock despite a vigorous tapping on the table and blowing on the cardstock.  I didn’t want to give up on the bicycle stamp because this was going to be my attempt to tie a lot of our paper products together.

My friend Julie suggested stamping with regular silver ink which sounded like a good compromise.  BM-D encouraged me to not ditch the embossing completely though because she really liked the raised texture.

I decided to try two different embossing powders – a purple and a pearly white.  First up is purple!IMGP3095This definitely looks a lot cleaner.  It is a little dark on the black cardstock in real life, although it does photograph really well!

Next up I tried a translucent pearly white embossing powder on white ink.IMGP3113This one also turned out pretty well.  I like the contrast between the white picture and the black cardstock.

I’m a lot happier with how these two different powders turned out.  The big question now is which one to go with?  Which do you prefer – the purple or the pearly white?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Two Left Feet

I *love* to dance.  A few years ago my perfect night was going out and shaking my booty.  Now I’m old and I get tired at 9 pm so my perfect Friday night involves jumping around our living room and playing Just Dance 2 on the wii.

But just because I can rack up the points on Just Dance 2 doesn’t mean that I can actually dance well!

Back in university I took swing dancing lessons with my friend Gord.  I may have convinced him to take lessons with me by telling him that it would be a sure fire way to meet girls.  We were total keeners and we practiced all the time.  Then life got busy and that was the end of dance lessons.

Mr. Gazelle and I have decided that we do not want to middle school sway for our first dance.  As soon as I googled “dance lessons Calgary” last week I realized that we better hurry up with those lessons.  Time is ticking down quickly to the Gazelle wedding and we don’t have much time to get our dancing skills on!  We decided to enrol in West Coast Swing lessons at Alberta Dancesport.  What does west coast swing look like?

Our first lesson was a lot of fun…but naturals we were not.  My previous lessons covered a different type of swing dancing.  I’m sure with plenty of practice we’ll get there!  Regardless, it is something really fun for us to do and learn together.  I’m pretty excited about that!  Are we going to go for some kind of serious kick butt first dance routine?  I have no idea, but we are learning how to move and get comfortable with each other on the dance floor at the very least.

Did you and your significant other decide to tackle your two left feet?

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Tasty Food Tout Suite

Less than two weeks from now the Future Hubs and I will be in Vancouver for our food tasting at the Brock House!

The Brock House sets aside two Thursdays a month for food tastings for upcoming weddings, although if that schedule wouldn’t have worked with us we could have negotiated another day.  We are also allowed up to four people at the tasting and we each get our choice of one soup or salad, one entree and one dessert from their choice and buffet menus.  Since we can have up to four people my parents will be joining us at the tasting.  This way we’ll be able to sample as many different dishes as possible!

We have a fairly good idea of which buffet we’ll be choosing so we worked within that menu.  Here is what we’ll be sampling:


  • Seafood Butter Lettuce Salad (lobster, mini shrimp, served on a bed of butter lettuce with a light spicy lemon dressing)
  • Jericho Salad (mixed greens, dried cranberries, cherries, almonds, and feta served with olive oil dressing)
  • Warm Mushroom & Asparagus Salad (served on mixed greens with hollandaise sauce and light balsamic soy dressing)
  • Classic Caesar Salad (roasted croutons, homemade dressing, fresh parmesan)


  • Honey Roasted Duck served with seasonal greens and mashed potatoes
  • Baked Maple Glazed Wild Salmon with matchstick pomme frites
  • Baked Halibut with a lemon & coriander sauce, served with asparagus and mashed potatoes
  • Mushroom Ravioli with a cream sauce


  • True Tiramisu: A true Italian “pick-me-up” drizzled with Tia Maria Liqueur
  • Profiteroles: cream filled puff pastries, garnished with chocolate & strawberries
  • Crème Caramel: made in house, individually baked and garnished with seasonal berries
  • Homemade Cheesecake, served with a strawberry purée

Sounds pretty tasty, right?  You many notice something interesting about our menu choices.  No chicken or beef.  We’ll be going with our favourite foods and staying away from traditional wedding chicken and beef.  I can’t wait to reveal our full menu to you once we make a few last decisions after our tasting!

Did you decide to stray from the norm with your menu?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Our Cake Topper: Revealed!

I’m so excited you guys, our custom cake topper has arrived! 

Krista at Bent Branch was phenomenal to work with.  Once she finished up our birds she sent some pictures for us to look at:

get_convo_image1Image by Krista Eytchison of Bent Branch

get_convo_image2Image by Krista Eytchison of Bent Branch

We absolutely love them.  How great is the top hat on the little guy?  It wasn’t on her list of add ons for the birds, but when I asked about the hat Krista said that it wouldn’t be a problem.  The hat turned out great!  I also love the subtle trim on the wood base.  Before gluing everything down Krista changed up the glasses just a little bit by curving the bridge.

finalImage by Krista Eytchison of Bent Branch


The birds arrived well packed in tissue paper and secured to a cardboard base.  I slowly picked the pieces of tissue fluff away.IMGP3092We are so happy with them!  Not only will they be perfect on top of our wedding cake I think they will be something that we will treasure for a long time.  Thanks again Krista and Bent Branch!

When have your vendors blown you away with their awesomeness during your wedding planning?

Monday, March 7, 2011

Embossing Fail

This weekend I finally got around to making a mock up of our invitations.  I ordered supplies ages ago from the absolutely amazing Paper Circle.  Paper Circle is based in Canada, has fantastic prices and some of the most amazing customer service I’ve experienced.  Plus their products are top notch!

I wanted to make a mock up so I could know if:

  • The design in my head would translate into the real thing like I hoped.
  • I could print on beautiful shimmery paper with our laser printer.
  • My ideas would work without having to sacrifice oodles of supplies.

All in all I was really happy with how my mock up turned out.  The laser printer did a great job on the shimmery paper.

There was however one thing that didn’t work out.Picture1Embossing was a bit of a fail.IMGP3086I love the idea of a white embossed graphic on black, but check out how messy it looks.  The edges are not crisp and there is white embossing powder flecked around the image.  After using the embossing heat tool to set the powder the cardstock warped.  I was not pleased with the result.

I’m worried about wasting a lot of cardstock to make the embossing work.  I’m also a bit of a perfectionist and I’m not so keen on sending the invite out if the embossing is going to look like this.  I’ve tried this stamp on different surfaces before (envelopes, magazines) and it turned out really well so maybe the powder is sticking to the cardstock?

I’m leaning towards ditching my plan to emboss something on our invitations.  Do you have any suggestions on what I can do to make this work?

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Going the professional route

In the beginning of our engagement I decided that I might attempt to do my own make up on our wedding day.

This is a pretty funny notion if you know me considering that I very rarely wear make up.  And I’m going to attempt to do it myself on what will likely be the most photographed day of my life?  Perhaps not the brightest idea.  I had googled a few make up artists in Vancouver but I wasn’t in love with their portfolios so I figured I’d just do it myself.  I really want to look natural, to look just like me!  But maybe with some false eyelashes?

Thank goodness for my photographer who asked if I needed a makeup recommendation.  She really has been a great resource for advice and recommendations.  She suggested ML Makeup Artistry.  I poured over her portfolio and everyone looks so naturally beautiful.  Plus not only is she good, but apparently she is wonderful to be around.  Luckily she was free on our wedding day so I booked her right away.  She’ll come to the house to do my makeup along with my MOH and BM as well.  I imagine our photographer will come by just as I’m getting my make up done. 

This will allow for amazing pictures like this…dockside-restaurant-wedding-1

Image via Sakura Photography

Does anyone else see pictures like this and think, “Wow, I need a cute robe to wear while getting ready”?18658294_041_b

Image via Anthropologie

Or is that just me?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Advice for the newly engaged bride

If I could share one piece of advice for a newly engaged bride it would be:Don't buy anythingWell, not right away, anyway!

Shortly after Mr. Gazelle and I had booked our venue we were wandering around IKEA one day.  We were in the candle section and I spotted these long white metal trays.IMGP3078

Me: “Oh honey, look!  These long trays would be awesome for building a centerpiece on for our tables.  And look!  They are on SALE!” 

Spurred by the bright yellow tag on the shelf that actually said, “Hurry, this item won’t be around much longer!” we grabbed 12 of them.  We wandered around the rest of the store, talking about placing tea lights in them and filling in the tray with small dark rocks.  Okay, I mostly talked about it, Mr. Gazelle mostly listened politely.

Perhaps this was a good idea, but at the time we didn’t have a clear vision for our wedding.  I had barely looked at inspirational photos.  Worse, I hadn’t really thought about the layout of our room or how big our tables are.randal kurt.jpg.crop_display

Photo by Randal Kurt Photography / Image via Brock House

I found a photograph of a typical set up of the tables in our reception room.  Wow, there isn’t a ton of room on the tables between the glasses!  I’m not really sure that there is a good space to put several of these long white trays out.

As the vision for our reception space developed there was less and less room for the trays.  I fell in love with milk glass and there will now be simple bud vases along the tables instead.  It is so easy to get those bridal goggles on and everything sounds like such a good idea.  However I now realize that impulse purchases relating to the wedding are a terrible idea!  Sure those metal trays were on sale, but now they are hanging out in our basement next to the coffee and Brita filters with no concrete idea for their use.  Maybe not such a good deal after all…IMGP3076Have you made any impulse purchases relating to your wedding?  How have those purchases worked out for you?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Saving the Date–Part III

In case you missed it, catch up with Part I and Part II first!

I decided to use Vistaprint to make our postcards.  I had made address labels and stickers through Vistaprint beforehand and I’ve been pleased with the results, value and the customer service.  My timing also just happened to be right for getting the postcards printed up because they were on sale.

How much were they on sale for?free

100 postcards for free?  We just had to pay the cost of shipping.  Sweet! 

We didn’t actually need 100 cards, but that was the minimum order.  I went with the standard glossy finish paper and kept the graphic on the back in black and white in order to keep our costs down.  Vistaprint printed them up quickly and they arrived in the mail a short time later.  We were really impressed with the quality when they arrived.  They turned out exactly as I had set them up on site.  Our picture on the front was so vivid!  The card was thick – exactly the perfect weight for a postcard.  All in all I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Vistaprint if you are looking to print up some postcards!

So what did we choose for the front of our postcards?Picture1blogSTD - Back Block1

Photo by Sakura Photography

There was something about the colour of the buildings and the sidewalk in the background, the streetlights, the texture of the bricks on the sidewalk.  It was the winner – both Mr. Gazelle and I agreed!

One last detail was the stamp – our postcards to the US got a baby fox on their stamp.

101352Image via Canada Post

Our domestic postcards within Canada got the super adorable kissing baby bunnies stamp.

101351Image via Canada Post

I wanted to show the stamp graphic on the back of the postcard a bit so I may have intentionally put every stamp on slightly crooked.  I dropped them in the mail box on Valentine’s Day.  Seems appropriate, no?  In addition to sending these to our guests I also sent cards to our wedding officiant and to our photographers.  We are so excited that they will be a part of big day that I wanted to make sure they knew that with a note on our postcard.

As for the cost breakdown, here we go:

100 postcards – $9.45
Postage – $24.95
TOTAL – $34.40

Not too shabby for a personalized yet simple save the date!  How did you decide to ask your guests to save the date?