Married my Mr. Wright

We are back, and the main reason for our short, but needed, hiatus was that I was busy being a DIY bride who took all her resources (her maids) and used them to their extent! Seriously, I almost broke some of them…and yet they still love me!

Toni and Julia were both my MOH’s and they both, combined, were the most amazing MOH a girl could ask for. Toni took the week with me leading up to the wedding to help me with the running around, cleaning, last minuit detailing…eveyrthing! While Julia made the stationary and hand pies, which were half of our desserts at the reception.

I have written mushy and gooshy posts before about my lovely husband (gotta get used to that…husband), and how excited I am to be a Wright. I can’t wait to get all my legal documentation, to change the tag line on my emails and to officially and legally become a Wright. Because then I will never be wrong (I have been hearing that a lot lately…everyone’s a comedian! Yuk it up people, it’s getting old fast!)

So now for the details! I am so happy I have this platform to rave about all our vendors!

When Cody and I discussed our big day, we both agreed – relaxed and loving – a true representation of us as a couple! We are country bumpkins, and I have pinned so many pictures of barn weddings, bridesmaids in cowboy boots, bales of hay with burlap, lace and colour – so much colour! Based on that, our venue choice was simple – a barn.

We got our venue…now for the food!

For this I went to a seasoned expert: Cody! He wanted a pig roast, or something simple like that. Nothing frufru or with anything we couldn’t pronounce. Toni helped with this one as she connected me to Sean from Wild Boar who took our idea and created one of the best meals that we ever enjoyed (I got to enjoy leftovers, because if you have EVER tried to eat anything in a wedding dress…it’s kind of impossible). I have never had so many people ask me who our caters were, or rave about the amazing meal! The cornbread, the pork, the chicken – all so mouth-watering, and all so good! If you are reading this and are in the Waterloo area with a wedding or any event coming up, call Sean. Seriously, you will not be disappointed!

Next came the dress – I originally went to David’s Bridal in Cambridge, where I felt like my idea and my dream wedding dress was not possible, and I would have to take a dress they had and alter it, which in a lot of cases people have to do! I had a good chunk of my cheering section with me – my momma bear, two older sisters who are my maids of honour, and two brides maids Andreah and Ashley. When they saw how defeated I looked, they reminded me that I shouldn’t settle, and this was only the first store I went to. So on we went – it was a Sunday as this is the day that worked the best for me…because I was the bride…so we were limited to the stores that were open. Something about Sunday being for Jesus?

Anyways, Julia had previously posted on my Facebook timeline about a store in Guelph where a chunk of their proceeds go back to building the green belt called Something Green – I had never heard of it, unlike David’s, but they were open so we went!

It is a small store downtown Guelph. We walked in and Jess, one of the owners, greeted us with the biggest smile (fun fact: the other owner is her mom!). I told her my budget and my dream dress. As I was talking she was walking and pulling gowns, all the while telling me that I should not be settling for my dress. I tried on two dresses – the second one I tried on I was grinning from ear to ear even before the curtains were pulled open for my big debut. Jess decided to add a veil for the full effect because we both knew: this was the one. THE DRESS! Now every time one of my Facebook friends get engaged, or asks for a bridal boutique to go to, I shout from the keyboard Something Green!

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My dress, from Something Green; Nicole on the left and Kim on the right, two of my bridesmaids, dressed by EmmaPaige

Now that I had my dress, it was time for my girls! I was in a wedding in September 2014 for one of my oldest friends Kim (in the picture above!) and her bridesmaid dresses were made by Paige of EmmaPaige Designs, whom Kim and I also went to high school with. Paige was a dream – she took exactly what we wanted in a dress, within an EXTREMELY reasonable budget and created different dresses for all the girls, which is exactly what she did for my ladies! Each one had a different style, and colour. Paige, again is someone who I tell EVERY bride to go to. She is flexible and so unbelievably talented! Instead of going to a bridal store and getting a cookie cutter dress which some girls may have to order in ridiculous sizes, why not get the luxury of a custom dress which is created for each girls body type!  She also created my getaway dress – an adorable ivory wrap dress with a big bow and ruffles around the collar which I danced the night away in!

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Me with one of my amazing bridesmaids, Ashley – both of our dresses are EmmaPaige originals.

All my stationary my designed and created by my amazing sister Julia who is starting up her own business! From our place cards, invitations, thank you cards, and even our programs for the day – EVERYTHING was handmade by her! The mom of three psychos! She is also the one who made the hand pies (which are literally pies you fit in your hand) for our desserts! 150 of them to be exact in four different flavours!!

Our photographer extraordinaire is the one and only Heather Baker of Photography by Heather. (click that link if you want to see an amazing sampling of some our big day). She is amazing! She has worked with our family on so many occasions whether it was our family photos or pictures of my nieces and nephew! She usually doesn’t do weddings, but she said yes to mine! She was so relaxed, yet was able to handle the insanity of my family and Cody’s. Every picture she has shown me is absolutely perfect, and I can not believe I get these amazing memories of our day!!

My bridesmaid Kim did all the decor, including the centrepieces using silk flowers. She made it so I…*we*…could set up the night before and leave it. But I wanted fresh beautiful, full, wild-flower bouquets for all my girls! Krista from Flowers…More Often met with me, looked at all my swatches, listened to all my crazy ideas and then took those ideas and ran with them! I trusted her wholeheartedly as she has an amazing talent! When the bouquets were dropped off the morning of the wedding at the hotel room, I cried. Okay, I bawled! They were perfect. Absolutely amazing. They were romantic, full of colour and EVERYONE said that they were beautiful!

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Photo credit : Photography by Heather; Bouquet – ALL KRISTA at Flowers…More Often!

I literally look back on the day, and see all of our loved ones who came, all of our family and friends who worked so hard to help us out, all the late nights, the running around hunting for the perfect touches, everything, and it was so worth it. I would never do it again in a million years, but it was totally unequivocally worth every extra grey hair on my head.

~ Jacqui

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It’s contagious

At this point in our blogger/reader relationship, you should know that I enjoy living a healthier lifestyle.

From the whole and healthy food that I use to nourish my body, to the addiction I have to movement, to the thrill I feel when I tackle and triumph over a new challenge – I love it and crave it.

Pinning exercise

For a while, my fitness journey was shared mostly with my good friend and previous trainer, Julie. While a new career path has changed our relationship slightly, I will forever attribute the beginning of this love affair to her pushing me to be better than myself.

I can tell you honestly that the change I love the most is not in the pounds shed, the firmness found, or the satisfaction of needing an entirely new wardrobe because nothing fit anymore. The change I love the most is how proud I am at what my body is capable of – the natural amount of energy I have,  how fast I can go, how long I can go, how much weight I can carry, that people are surprised at my strength based on my size – it’s all a thrill to me.

Running late

Up until about 10 months ago, this shift in lifestyle had been purely selfish and the thing I was doing for me. I never imagined that I was affecting or influencing the women around me. Slowly but surely, I was joined regularly by my girlfriend Chantelle whenever I would head out for a run, bike ride or workout. Her determination was impressive and her desire to be better for herself was inspiring. It pushed me harder, made me work more and reach new goals of my own. I was so excited that she saw what she wanted to accomplish for herself.

And then one day, my older sister Julia asked what I was still doing to stay fit. When I told her, she wanted in! We did things as a threesome when our schedules worked and in pairs or solo when it didn’t. It was awesome! There is nothing like finding a group of women with the same goals and desires as you. It made me feel normal, accepted and so proud.

And then my mini-me Jacqui asked if I wanted to workout with her one day, and then go for a run with her another. It made my heart fly. We quickly became a foursome of sisters-in-fitness. While hectic schedules, rotating turns to have the end-of-the season cold, or rough and sleepless nights don’t always and rarely allow us to all be together, the extra accountability was just what we needed.

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And then our adopted sister Kim heard about how much Julia was loving it and decided one evening to join us. She was hooked! We pushed each other, read and researched, gave suggestions when we needed some help to overcome an obstacle or plateau – it’s been incredible to watch. Seeing each one of these women find what works for them – Chantelle’s new found love of hot yoga, Julia, Kim and Jacqui’s love of running and finding their stride, our mutual love/hate relationship with HIIT and burpees –  it must be how parents and teachers feel when lessons are not only learned, but applied and new milestones are reached by their wee ones.

Burpees

Julia’s lovable friend Sara, whom I have known since my pre-teen years, has just recently been inducted into the TLT (an acronym I refuse to spell out for its sheer embarrassment – thanks ladies!) group of incredibly supportive women. While I wouldn’t consider what we do a class or bootcamp, and I am no body builder or personal trainer, I am incredibly proud of the example I set because of the fire that was found in me by my trainer.

~ Toni

P.S. Julie is now in the real estate market and loving her new career. If you’re in the market for sale or purchase of a new home or investment property, contact Julie Belanger at realtorjuliebelanger@gmail.com.

Sisterhood Spotlight: Greatist.com

When it comes to finding support for leading a healthy lifestyle, it’s hard to find a reliable source that isn’t pushing their own agenda or selling their own brand of get-fit-quick propaganda. While information is accessible everywhere from Google to Pinterest, I’ve come to know and love one particular fitness blog that seems to satisfy all areas of a healthy me – mind, body and soul.

Greatist.com is a blog that covers all areas of living a healthy lifestyle. It’s not focused on being skinny, losing weight, pills, quick fixes or fads. Greatist.com strictly focuses on over all health be it mental, physical or spiritual.

Greatest.com home page, May 23, 2014

Greatest.com home page, May 23, 2014

This specific blog is suited for anyone who is looking to live and maintain a healthy, active lifestyle. Every post is vetted to make sure the facts are based on a legitimate scientific study, that they are fun and easy to read, and that the information you are receiving is real. If you are interested in yoga, crossfit, running, healthy recipes, tips on how to manage stress, depression, a bad stroke of luck, tools to train your brain and help you ace that test, or even a daily workout, greatest.com is the site for you.

Personally, I opted in for the daily email – it’s a daily digest of posts containing an array  of topics and I find it a great reminder to get up and do something physically active, everyday (yes, even though today’s daily email was about drinking…).

The daily email - May 23, 2014

The daily email – May 23, 2014

I recommend greatest.com to anyone looking for tips, tricks and support on their journey of improving their overall health – you won’t be disappointed!

Happy, happy Friday from the Sisterhood!

~Toni