A mini hiatus

Well, it’s been a bit longer than usual for the blog, and the reason for that is there has been a little bit of a lull in the wedding planning, much to my mom’s chagrin. 

As far as I know, the wedding is still going smoothly. My sister bought the dress that my mom doesn’t really like, but at least she got a dress. The bridesmaids dresses have arrived, and we should be going to pick them up sometime after Easter, and I talked to my sister about those gold shoes. Needless to say, they won’t be happening (yay!) 

So for now, there isn’t much to report. Now that my classes are over, I have more time to dedicate to being involved in the plans and my sister has asked me to design her invitations, which I’m pretty excited about. We will be going tomorrow to pick out the paper and envelopes. I finally get to use my mail merge skills!  It’s all very exciting.

I’m really pleased that Bonnie trusts me and my skills enough to ask me to design her invitations, and I love using the creative programs that Adobe has to offer (like PhotoShop and InDesign) for that sort of thing. I can’t wait to get started!

Anyway, I promise there will be more fun to report next time.

The Next Appointment

It’s 4 p.m. on Saturday. I had survived the trip to Caledonia and now all I have to do is survive this one final appointment. We arrive at the store and go inside where we are greeted by one of the ladies who work there. 

“Ah, welcome, Bonnie and guests. Let me just get that dress for you.” 

While we wait for the saleslady to retrieve this illustrious dress, the four of us begin to talk about the night before, when Bonnie was previously at this store, when Ashley mentions other dresses that Bonnie had tried on. 

“Oh,” I said to my sister and her friend, “Did Ashley come with you last night?” 

“Yeah, we went to a few places,” was my sister’s response.

As hurt as I was that she didn’t ask me to join her the night before, I decided it wasn’t the right time to say anything about it. My mom, however, was not as astute as I was about the tension of the moment.

“Why didn’t you ask Lauren to come with you, she’s your Maid of Honour, you know.” My mom said huffily to my sister.

“Well, I just didn’t think of it,” was my sister’s equally huffy reply. Still not a word from me.

She didn’t think of it?!  This is where I began to question my position as Maid of Honour even more, and this one question swirled through my brain:

Why, if I’m not the first person she thinks of to help her out, am I her (expletive deleted) Maid of Honour! 

So my sister went to try on her dress and I had to sit there with little-miss- I’m- better-than-you and I still wasn’t saying a word. As my sister came out of the dressing room in her gown, I watched quietly. My mom, being the temperamental woman that she is, comes right out and says she’s not a fan of this dress. The dress my sister had already pretty much decided she was going to buy. 

Tears well up in my sister’s eyes and she looks like she’s ready to cancel the whole wedding. Now, I decide, is my time to shine and make my sister feel super guilty about what she did to me. I know it’s petty, but I wanted her to feel as bad as she had made me feel. 

“I really like it Bon,” I lie through my teeth. “I think it’s really beautiful, and it’s even more you than the original dress you had bought.”

Crisis averted. The tears stop and my mom apologizes. Bonnie asks me to see if I can find a nice veil for her to try on with the dress, but Ashley is already doing it. I’m feeling pretty defeated by this point, and I just wish my sister would put her friend in her place, but she doesn’t. 

After Bonnie removed the dress, she came out and walked over to where I was standing; which was as far away as humanly possible without leaving the store. 

“I’m really sorry about yesterday, Lauren. I just didn’t think to ask you.”

“Well,” I replied, “If I’m not the first person you think of to help you with these things, then really, why am I your Maid of Honour? I’m ready to step down and you can give the job to Ashley, because you’re letting her do it anyway.” 

“I don’t WANT her to be my Maid of Honour!” Bonnie said.

So, instead of arguing with her in the middle of the store, I merely told her calmly that she and I would have to sit down and talk about my role in her wedding and our expectations of one another. 

I know my last three posts have been based on one day, but this was an upsetting day for everyone involved. I just want to wrap this story up by explaining what happened in the end.

After we went home and had a major blowout fight (instigated, unfortunately by my mom) my sister and I actually talked. We sorted out some of our issues, and I told her how I felt. She explained to me that Ashley was being really pushy, and wasn’t listening to her. And I told her she needed to stand up for herself. It really sucked that the day had to end the way it did, but I think it happened for a good reason.

Dress #2

Where was I?  Oh yes. Saturday. Doomsday. At first the day went fairly smoothly, but one thing that is important to remember is that my sister’s one bridesmaid and I don’t really get along and she wants to step on my Maid-of-Honor toes. On the Friday night before we were to go on our adventure, my sister came home from work and said to my mom and I, “Don’t be mad… but I got off early from work and went to look at dresses in St. Catharines and I think I found one I like better than the one in Caledonia.”

Well, I wasn’t really mad, and I don’t think my mom was either. I think, in fact, we were a bit relieved. We had some stress off our shoulders for Saturday! She had taken pictures of the dress, and showed it to us. As I was looking at the picture on her little camera screen, I didn’t really say much. I was hoping the camera wasn’t doing this dress justice, because I thought it was terrible. 

Keeping my opinions to myself, all I said to my sister was “I can’t wait to see it in person.”  She told us that she had made an appointment at that store and that store only for 4 p.m. the next day. Doomsday. I could only hope that dress looked a lot better in real life.

Saturday morning arrives and my sister, mom, her bridesmaid and I have a 10 a.m. appointment in Caledonia. We are in the car and on our way. 

When we get to the bridal store, the owner is apologetic about the situation and Bonnie gets ready to try on her dress to see if she should take the risk and keep it, or search for a new one. While we are waiting for her to come out, I decide to talk to my sister’s bridesmaid about what colour of shoes she was thinking about buying for our Bordeaux-hued bridesmaid dresses.

The conversation went a little bit like this:

ME: “So Ashley, Bonnie was telling me she would prefer us to have black shoes for our dresses.”

HER: “Oh really? Because she told me they could be whatever.”

ME: “Oh yeah? In that case, I was kind of thinking that silver shoes would look really nice.”

HER: “I was thinking gold.”

Forgive me, but in my opinion red and gold only go well together at Christmas. At that point I decided to end the conversation and walk away. I made a note to talk to my sister about it later. We needed to get this horrible mess straightened out a.s.a.p!

I digress. After a few more minutes of minor aggravation, my sister came out of the change room in her original dress. Unfortunately, it was what we all expected: the dress was still too small. The owner tried to encourage my sister by saying she’d already lost about an inch and could probably order her new dress in a size smaller, but she would have to lose 20 more pounds to fit into her dress.

My sister was honest with herself and knew it wasn’t worth it to starve herself for the next six months so that she might possibly fit into her dress. I was pretty proud of her for making that decision because I could see the sadness in her eyes and I knew she had made a difficult choice. 

After she had made that judgement call, my sister spent the next hour at the Proper Topper trying on other options. Many of these dresses were just as beautiful, if not more so than her original dress, but they just weren’t right. So, we left and headed out for lunch. 

It was 11:30 when we got to the restaurant. We didn’t have to be back in St. Catharines until 4, so we had some time to kill. We had lunch in a restaurant and then ran a few errands in Caledonia, then we decided it was time to head back to St. Catharines.

By 4 p.m., the day had gone fairly smoothly, and I didn’t feel half as annoyed by my sister’s friend as I usually do, so I was feeling pretty positive about our next appointment.

A wrench in the plans…

Well, I didn’t even get to finish telling you about how long it took my sister to find her dress, and now I have to blog about new events in the wedding world. It took us weeks to find the perfect dress for my sister. She ended up finding the right one in a little store in Caledonia at the beginning of December. Remember, she started looking for dresses November 1st, so it was a month of weekends spent dress shopping.

After she found her dress, everything was going smoothly, she had even won some prizes at the bridal show: a $250 gift certificate toward her flowers, and a $500 gift certificate towards a videographer, not to mention some other prizes. Luck seemed to be on her side. Until last week, that is.

Last Wednesday, my sister got a call from the owner of the Proper Topper: the Caledonia store where my sister bought her dress. She was told that there had been some factory unrest at the place where her dress was being made, and they could not make her dress. This was a big problem.

The dress my sister tried on was about two sizes too small at the time, but other than that, it was the right colour, the right everything. The owner advised my sister to come in and try it on again to see how the dress fit now, since my sister has been losing weight. She did warn, however, that another girl had ordered the same dress the same day in the size of the dress in stock, the only difference with her dress was that she wanted it in white. The dress in stock was ivory. One good thing was that if my sister felt she could lose the weight to fit into the dress and still wanted it, she had first dibs.

In terms of my sister having to get another dress, it’s crunch time. Typically, a bride is advised to order her dress at least six months before the wedding date.  My sister’s wedding is to be Sept. 12, 2009 which meant that if she didn’t feel confident about the Proper Topper dress, she had to find one that very weekend. As I remembered how challenging it was for us to find the first dress, I was not looking forward to the following Saturday.

The Wedding Dress Hunt

It all started on November 1st. The hunt for the perfect wedding dress for my sister, that is. Now, there are some things you need to know about my sister before I get into the long search for the right dress. My sister is the jeans and T-shirt type. She barely ever wears any colours other than black and navy blue, and she is a big fan of wearing her fiancee’s hoodies. She hates even putting on nicer clothes for job interviews, and the last time I saw her in a remotely fancy dress was her prom back in 2002. From day one, I said to her that it was hard for me to picture her in any wedding gown, let alone THE wedding gown. 

So, on November 1st, my mom, my sister, one of her bridesmaids and I all ventured out to some of the bridal stores in St. Catharines. At first, we were all kind of lost as to what to look for that would suit my sister, so we just pulled a bunch of dresses in her approximate size off the racks and set her up in a dressing room. I’m pretty sure she tried on at least fifty dresses in the first store alone, and I salute the girl who was patient and helpful at the store.  The first store (Divine Designs), however was not a pointless venture. We learned that she looked better in ivory coloured dresses compared to white ones; that a drop-waist style was not a flattering style on her, and that she preferred a lace-up back over buttons or zippers.

One of the wedding gowns from the first store

One of the wedding gowns from the first store

 On to the next store, called Heida’s where she now had some goals in mind, but again, 20 or so dresses and hundreds of pictures later, we were all pretty tired and “dressed” out. 

 

The first day of dress searching went fairly smoothly, although there was some tension here and there between both my sister and I and my sister’s second bridesmaid and I. She is a nice person, but I got the distinct impression that she was resentful about not being asked to be Maid of Honor, and was slightly controlling and overbearing. It was a hard and trying day for me, because I was still questioning my position in the wedding, and my sister siding with her friend made me feel bitter and pushed me to question my role even further. Suffice it to say, I wasn’t looking forward to the next dress hunt venture.

A change of blog

After a couple of weeks of blogging and talking about it with my peers a bit more, I’ve decided to change the theme of my blog. After reading about everyone’s hobbies, passions, favourite things and adventures, I felt that my blog wasn’t really personal enough. I’ve decided that my blog would be a good outlet for my thoughts and feelings about my sister’s wedding, and my role in it.

Back in October, my sister’s boyfriend proposed to her, and she said yes. Ever since then, it has been a whirlwind of wedding dresses, flowers, DJs, guest lists and one bridal show. It has been pretty exciting, but talking wedding all the time is kind of tiring. 

When my sister called to tell me that her boyfriend had proposed, she also asked me to be her Maid of Honour. Although I said yes, I was surprised that she had asked me. I figured I would be in the bridal party, but never would have guessed she would ask me to be the Maid of Honour. It’s not that we don’t get along, but we’re not exactly the best of friends, and we have definitely had our issues and some major arguments. Our issue were usually based around who got the car and petty things like that, but I feel the older we get, the further we grow apart. I’m looking forward to spending more time with her during the planning process.

Tea for Two…

There is a large push from the media and other organizations out there to recycle more frequently, use our green bins, and, generally become more “green” as a whole. I thought in this week’s blog, since there are so many tea lovers in our class, I would talk about some different uses for tea bags. You may already know some of these uses, but some may come as a surprise to you, as they did to me. Some of us may already know that tea bags can reduce puffiness around our eyes, all it takes is some cold wet tea bags placed on our eyes for about fifteen minutes. Another use for tea bags in the beauty department is as a natural astringent or skin toner. All you have to do is wipe a wet tea bag over your face. The tannin in tea is what makes it so effective. 

You may know about these tea bag beauty tips, but did you know that adding a tea bag and a cup of water to cook a turkey gives the turkey long-lasting moistness?

It’s surprising what uses you can find for everyday household items, and now you know just a few more uses for that tea bag you throw away.

For more tea bag uses visit: http://www.gomestic.com/Homemaking/15-Wonderful-Uses-for-Tea.54172