Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Name Change Game

Ah the name change game…  To change your name or keep your maiden name, that is the question! 

Back when I was younger and contemplating the idea of marriage (and well before Mr. Gazelle ever entered the picture) I always figured that I would change my name after getting married.  In fact, when I first met Mr. Gazelle I used to think about how my first name fit with his last name.  It is quite a pleasing combination, and in fact, I actually know someone who has the same name I would have (however she spells her first name differently).

But here is the thing, I have one unique name when you put it all together.  I have never met anyone who spells their first name like mine is spelled.  Chances are if you meet anyone with the same last name as me, we are related.  My dad is originally from Finland.  The story is that my great-grandfather (I believe) grew up in a part of Finland very close to the Russian border and his last name was very Russian sounding.  With parts of Finland being ceded to Russia in the 1940s he decided to change his last name to make it sound more Finnish.

Now really, if you think of any Finnish hockey players chances are their names are not simple (Kiprusoff, Laukkanen, Niittymaki anyone?), but our last name is a simple four letters.  I like it.  My First Middle Last sound so good together (thanks Mom and Dad!).  My grandmother, mom, dad, brother, sister-in-law, niece and I are the only ones that have that last name.  Knowing that our last name is very nearly extinct makes me want to keep it. 

There is no thought about hyphenating last names or using my maiden name as my middle name and taking his last name.  Our two last names do not sound good together.  And while Mr. Gazelle thought about perhaps taking my last name, his first name doesn't sound quite so nice with my last name.  So he'll still be Mr. Gazelle and I'll get to be Ms. Gazelle.  I don't think that having a different last name will make me feel any less married.  And one of the neat things is how awesome my grandmother thinks it is that I'm keeping my maiden name.

Are you keeping your last name?  What are your reasons for keeping it or deciding to change it?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Tapering for the Wedding

Holy smokes Hive…we are less than two weeks away from the Gazelle wedding! How is this happening so fast? I have to tell you, the run to the end is a strange and crazy time. Planning a wedding feels very similar emotionally to training for a marathon.

When you train for a marathon it is something that you have been working towards for months. Then in the final two weeks you ramp your activity down to let your body rest up and gain energy for race day. You have all of this energy just waiting to be released so you are buzzing around, jittery and emotional in those final two weeks before the marathon. This phenomenon is commonly known as taper madness.

Well my friends, I have taper madness for the wedding. My mind is going in a million different directions. I'll be engrossed in work but then I'll quickly remember that oh my gosh, I need to make sure I pack a getting ready outfit! What am I going to wear on the plane to our honeymoon? I better remind Mr. Gazelle to find his birth certificate!

I am also feeling emotional and dare I say it, perhaps slightly irritable? There is one couple who still hasn't been able to confirm if they are coming to our wedding or not. Logically I know and understand the reasons for why they haven't been able to commit yet. Emotionally I'm really bothered by it as I think, "How could they not know a week and a half out? How am I going to get the seating chart done before we leave for Vancouver?" So while things like this shouldn't bother me (because surely I can figure out the seating chart regardless of if they can come or not) I find that they are. Perhaps not helping is the fact that work is CRAZY right now, so that adds on a good amount of stress.

Luckily Mr. Gazelle has seen my taper madness through training for a few marathons (and probably training for Ironman last year was the worst), so he is a good sport. He just tries to be a calming influence and offers to give me foot rubs. And truthfully, looking at my to-do list I realize just how much we've completed and ticked off in the last few weeks and how little is left to do. So we are getting there…

Are you in the last few weeks of wedding planning? Are you experiencing taper madness too? Please tell me I'm not alone!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Framing It

Way back before Christmas I was scouring kijiji to look for potential wedding decor.  I found these pieces of awesomeness for $5 a piece.IMGP2768Gold painted wood frames!

Gold wasn’t quite the style I was going for so Mr. Gazelle used Kilz latex primer directly on top of the gold paint.  He tried to sand the frames, but it was taking some of the detail away.  Instead he primed and wiped some of the paint away with a J-cloth.  He then painted two coats of an antique white semi-gloss (Martha Stewart’s Talc), wiping off a bit to expose some of the gold paint below.IMGP3618We wanted to turn a couple of the frames into chalkboards so I purchased 8 x 10 artist canvas at Michael’s at some black spray chalkboard paint.  After a couple of coats we were good to go!  I then glued them inside the wood frames with wood glue.IMGP3620I picked up a pretty mug to hold chalk and an eraser.IMGP3627Overall a simple project but these will be a lot of fun as props for photos at the wedding!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Shave and a Haircut–2 Bits

There is a lot of talk about everything the bride needs to do to get ready on the day of the wedding.  Manicures, pedicures, hair, make up…  What about the men?

Mr. Gazelle decided he wanted to do something special to make himself look his best on the day of our wedding.  He and the Gazelle Groomsmen are going to Momentum Grooming in Vancouver for a straight razor shave.

Straight-Razor-shave-1024x881Image via Atomic Toasters

store199cropImage via Momentum Grooming

A straight razor shave is the manly men’s version of a facial.  It is a bit of a dying art sadly and there aren’t many barber shops that still do straight razor shaves.  So far Mr. G hasn’t had any luck finding a place in Calgary.

shaveImage by Charles J. Van Schaick/Wisconsin Historical Society/via Art of Manliness

They get hot towels, and they get lather, lotions and tonics.  Apparently it is very relaxing.  The one time Mr. G had a straight razor shave he said it was the closest shave he’s ever had.  So why should the girls be the only ones who treat themselves to pampering to prep for the wedding? 

Is your groom doing anything special to get ready on the morning of the wedding?

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Fondue and Pianos - The Stagette

Saturday was a night I was eagerly anticipating – my stagette (i.e. my bachelorette party)! I had no idea what was planned, I had just asked the girls to keep it classy and they told me I was to be ready by 4:30 pm.

We started the evening off at the Laurier Lounge, a fondue restaurant in a

100 year old heritage home in downtown Calgary.

Image via Open Table

I was excited since I’ve never had a chance to try this place before! I met my friends in a room upstairs and found this awesome sash waiting for me.

Yup, that’s right, Bride to Bling!

Everyone was dressed up and looked beautiful.

We had cheese and wine.
And we played the “Guess the Panties” game. All the girls brought a pair of panties and I had to guess who brought which pair. There may have been sips of wine involved depending on whether my guesses were correct or not. Many thanks to the girls for all of the gorgeous new pairs of undies!!

After enjoying the beef, seafood and chocolate fondues it was time to head on to our next destination – the Aussie Rules Dueling Piano Bar! I’ve never really been to a dueling piano bar, but wow we had a good time!
BM-D brought along an inflatable guitar which was seriously the hit of the night.
We also had glow sticks!
We lucked out and had a ton of our requests played – Journey’s Don’t Stop Believing, Bohemian Rhapsody, Walking on Sunshine…so many good tunes. There was singing and dancing…
and plenty of goofy pictures…
I closed out the night with a trip to Tubby Dog for a Cheetah Dog with sauerkraut, cheese, mustard and relish.
Boy it sure was tasty.
And messy!
And then my camera battery died! Many thanks to all of the girls for an amazing night out. I couldn't have imagined a better evening out with my friends. You all are the best.
And many thanks to MOH-T and BM-D for all of their hard work organizing this!
What did you do for your stagette? Was it a surprise?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Marrying Kind of Music

We’ve made decisions on our ceremony music!  It feels good to tick another to-do off the list!

Back in high school I used to play in the orchestra.  It was the first time I heard Pachabel’s Canon in D and I fell in love.  It has been used in so many weddings, but I wasn’t going to let that deter me.  Unfortunately when Mr. Gazelle hears Canon in D all he can think of is this:

So….maybe I could find another piece of music that I loved just as much?  Enter So You Think You Can Dance and the first time I saw the Legion of Extraordinary Dancers.

Is that Coldplay’s Yellow?  By the Vitamin String Quartet?  I absolutely love this version!  I think we’ve got the piece of music that will play as I walk down the aisle!

What about for when our parents are seated and Mr. Gazelle and his groomsmen walk down the aisle?  Mr. G loves the Princess Bride and can quote the movie line for line.  The theme from the movie, Storybook Love by Mark Knopfler, is a beautiful and appropriate piece.

I think we need a piece of music for when we sign the marriage license.  If so, our front runner is Vitamin String Quartet’s All You Need is Love.

And finally once we are pronounced husband and wife it will be time to joyfully recess down the aisle.  The song that we plan to boogie back down the aisle to? 

Katrina and the Waves – Walking on Sunshine!  Should be fun, right?

The other day I was listening to these tunes in the car and imagining walking down the aisle to Yellow.  It totally made my eyes well up with tears.  These tunes are perfect.

Did you decide to go a little out of the box with your ceremony music selections?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Crafts on a Stick Day!

This weekend it was time to knock off a few items on my to-do list.  If it was a craft on a stick, it was on the list of things to accomplish!

First up, ribbon wands for our recessional!

ribbon-wands-wedding-1-e1287947301742Photo by The Schultzes/Image via Ruffled

I went for gauzy purple and silver ribbon for our ribbon wands.IMGP3595IMGP3597I think these should look really neat as our guests wave these while we recess down the aisle.

Next up – moustaches and lips on a stick for our photobooth.DSCN5051And finally, something for our flower girl!  Rather than having her carry flowers I decided to make a flag for her to announce, “Here comes the bride!”  I made it out of black felt, sparkly letter stickers I picked up from Michaels and a long dowel.IMGP3554I used two layers of felt, glued together around the dowel to create the flag.  I stuck the letters on with Fabri-Tac to make sure they would stay put.IMGP3557I think she is going to get a kick out of waving the flag as she walks down the aisle.IMGP3572IMGP3592In action!IMGP3569My niece and our flower girl, practicing her flag waving skills.DSCN4815Yup, she’ll be adorable.IMGP3594Did you decide to tackle any craft on a stick projects for your wedding?

Friday, June 10, 2011

Can there be too many spreadsheets?

As we get closer and closer to wedding day my instinct to start making lists kicks in.  During times like these I have those moments of “I must remember this!” but my brain is going in a million different directions so I promptly forget.

Enter Google Docs.  It is awesome for creating spreadsheets that I can then access on my home or work computer or on my phone.  Plus I can share them with other people which helps get around people having a different version of Excel (or perhaps no Excel at all).  I’ve created a timeline and shared it with our Day of Coordinator and photographer for feedback.  I’ve created a list of DIY projects left to do and ranked them by importance and ease of the project (so if anything is less important and too difficult it can fall off the list).  I’ve even started creating a list of things to pack.  The last time I went on a trip without making a list I packed way too many tops (that didn’t actually go with anything) and I did not pack enough underwear.  Enough said.

Yesterday I was driving home listening to some tunes and thinking about whether this song would be a good one to play at the reception, and oh my gosh, we have to play Dire Straits’ Romeo and Juliet because I love that song! 

I need to create a spreadsheet as soon as I get home!

As soon as I was home I excitedly told Mr. Gazelle my idea.  He looked at me and said, “You know Miss Gazelle, I know you are an engineer, but there may be a thing as too many spreadsheets.”

Really?  Can there ever be too many spreadsheets?

Are you somewhat forgetful like me and therefore a chronic list maker?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Tallying the RSVPs

Remember the Gazelle invitations?  If not, that’s okay.  Here are a few pictures to refresh your memory.IMGP3279IMGP3308I promised to come back and tell you why our RSVP date was so far in advance of our wedding…IMGP3311…an to break down the costs for you and to share some fun tidbits about our RSVPs.  Plus we can now chat about our RSVP stats!

It was a lot of fun checking the mail every day from the the moment our invitations went out, all the way to when our RSVPs were due.  A few guests left us a little message on the card exclaiming how much they are looking forward to our wedding.  A couple folks got out their markers and sent their RSVP back with a bit of flair.IMGP3552How many blank RSVPs did we receive?  Three.  When the first one arrived I gleefully exclaimed to Mr. Gazelle, “Get the black light pen!  We’ve got a blank one!!”  That black light pen totally paid off.  The only downfall was when one guest grabbed their roommate’s RSVP card, didn’t sign their name and sent it back.  It was awhile before we realized the mix up.

So why was our RSVP date so far in advance?  Because we had to make a full prepayment to our venue one month before the big day.  I wanted to have fairly firm numbers so that I could feel confident writing a cheque to our venue knowing that the number would be unlikely to change very much after the fact.

How did our numbers work out?

  • Total number of people invited: 74
  • Number accepted: 54
  • Number declined: 18
  • Number we are still waiting on: 2

The local versus the out of town equation:

  • Number of locals accepted: 13 (17.6%)
  • Number of locals declined: 0 (0%)
  • Number of OOT accepted: 41 (55.4%)
  • Number of OOT declined: 18 (24.3%)

Our farthest guest is 4000 km away in Kentucky, although Sarnia, ON (3900 km) and Dallas, TX (over 3800 km) are close contenders for farthest away.  Our closest guest is only 20 km away from our venue. 

Our invitations wound up costing $202.70 for 40 invitations ($5.07 each).  With postage we were around $280 ($7.00 each).

There we go, the final breakdown on the Gazelle invitations!  It is so hard to believe that we are getting married NEXT month.  Where has the time gone?

Did you calculate the stats on your RSVPs? Smile

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Numbering…er…lettering the tables

We decided to do something a little different to number our tables.  We love the Zinc Letters at Anthropologie

77415_zin_bimage via Anthropologie

How to incorporate letters instead of numbers?  I thought about picking a letter from different cities we visited together, but then we’d end up with a random mish mash after the fact.  It would be better if we could pick some letters that would be fun to display afterward.

And oh yeah, we will have six tables at our reception, so we needed six letters that don’t repeat.  We decided to go with “ME & YOU.”

I procured the letters from Anthro, but I wanted to do something a bit more with them besides just plunking the letter on the table.  I enlisted the help of a friend to take some pictures of Mr. Gazelle and I holding each letter.IMGP3489In case you are wondering, yes we totally coordinated the colour palette of our outfits.  LOL!IMGP3497And we took some close up pictures of the letters.IMGP3487There may have been a little goofing around…IMGP3506Then we put the whole phrase together.IMGP3507I put the pictures in the TOLSBY frames from IKEA – a picture of the letter on one side, a picture of the whole phrase on the other.  All together with the letters and our milk glass bud vases.IMGP3537IMGP3543IMGP3545IMGP3547I’m so happy with this project!  I think that all together with some flowers in the bud vases it will look great!  I also have a plan in mind for our seating chart to tie it all together.

Did you decide to do something a little different to number your tables?