Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Wedding Planning: Choosing Our Venue

I hope everyone is having a wonderful week. I have a wedding planning update!!! 

After sitting on it for almost two months we decided that we would prefer to have an actual wedding with about 40 of our fave people. We have thrown out our ideas of going to an awesome destination to get married, just the two of us. Call it eloping if you want but in my books when you inform your family and friends and throw a dinner party when you get back it's not eloping. Anyways, we seriously considered doing this but decided against it because it just doesn't feel right getting married without our family and friends there. We also consider getting married at city hall to keep things simple but that just didn't feel right either. We thought about having a destination wedding but then we felt it may be harder to plan given the distance. Sooo.. over the past week or so we researched lots of possible venues for our wedding. We considered many restaurants but in the end decided that we wanted to get married at a place that has meaning to us and that we know will also be around for well ever I guess :) We wanted a historical space.

Here are the three places that we were most interested in and decided to visit:

Balzac's Cafe (Distillery District)




I would not normally think about Balzac' as a wedding venue. It's is a coffee shop! That all changed one afternoon about a year ago when I was informed that they would be closing early for a wedding. I love the ambiance of the space, especially the chandelier and the brick walls.  A plus is that it's located in the Distillery District, a place I visit almost every other week and also a place that would be perfect for wedding photos. Another plus is that this space is small. Now that I've done my research I know how hard it is to find a nice small space for an intimate wedding of about 40 people. Many venues say they can do a wedding for 40 but in reality the space is way to big and the wedding would end up being far from intimate. It 's also walking distance from our house so obviously we would walk to our wedding. You also get the whole venue to yourself and don't have to worry about seeing other brides. A negative of this venue is that it is two floors. I am also unsure if there really is enough space for dancing. I am also not the most sturdy on my feet and walking down the stairs to meet my groom may not be the best idea!

Hart House (University of Toronto)

The second place we visited was Hart House. Hart House is located at the University of Toronto where the fiance and I both went to school and first met. Both of us have spent a lot of time at Hart House, together and separately. We have many memories of those UofT days when we both started dating. Another plus is that the architecture of the campus and Hart House specifically is absolutely beautiful. It's a lot more formal than Balzac's and the music room pictured above (where we would have the ceremony, dinner and dancing) has two fireplaces. The idea of getting married in front of a fireplace excites me! I am an art lover and there's some wonderful pieces that have been lent by the Art Gallery of Ontario. Another plus is that when you book this venue the catering is all done in house. Also, you get an event planner who is hired by the university and whose full-time job is to plan your wedding. The only negative I can think of is that this venue is very busy (several rooms you can book aside from the music room) and I may run into other brides on my big day.

Enoch Turner Schoolhouse (Corktown)

Enoch Turner Schoolhouse was the first free school in Toronto. It's a nice airy open space that we could also walk to from our place. I love the green wooden beams and the fact that you get the whole school to yourself (including the outdoor space). A negative is that there is virtually nothing in this space and everything, such as chairs and tables would have to be rented and brought in.

Stay turned to see which of these venues we have chosen for our wedding!!! Which one do you think we chose? *** If you already know please don't comment to that effect. We have put a hold on one of these venues but have not yet finalized everything. I can't wait til it's final so I can take a deep breath and move on to other fun wedding planning stuff, like finding an officient, NOT! But honestly having a venue picked and almost finalized has made it all seem so much more real. I'M GETTING MARRIED!!!!

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Hoi Bo


I was browsing in the Distillery District the other day when I came across the new Hoi Bo storefront. I have always loved the cotton wax coated Hoi Bo bags simply because they are handmade in Toronto, from start to finish. The bags look and feel really durable and eventually develop a shiny finish with use (see last picture). I have a couple of clients that own these bags and so far the reviews are good.

If you visit the Distillery District you will likely see the lines owner and designer Sarra Tang working away in her factory, which is sometimes open to the public. It's pretty interesting to see her work ... I am always amazed by how much work and attention to detail goes into making something we often take for granted. If you want to take a peak, go visit the distillery or you can see Sarra working in this video.

The store is really nice and the staff are really friendly. I noticed that they have expanded the line to also include kangaroo leather pouches and lambskin bags (made to order). My favourite are the black cotton bags with the natural leather handles and straps that will patina over time.

Hope you're all having a wonderful Thursday. It's a pretty warm November day here in Toronto and the sun is really shining. I went spinning during my lunch break and am feeling really good :)


Tuesday, 20 November 2012


Lately I have been eating tapioca pudding for dessert. I have vivid memories of my mom making it when I was growing up. I love its texture and subtle taste and I like eat it with berries. Do you like it? I am finding that not many people enjoy it. 

Sunday, 18 November 2012

This Week ...

new faux David Yurman bracelets
noticing lots of new food trucks in T.O.
It was a pizza kinda week
Also partied with my friend Shannon

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend. I spent mine at SupperWorks yesterday prepping meals for upcoming weeks. Will post about that soon :) 


Thursday, 15 November 2012

Finding THE Dress

I've been thinking about wedding dresses. What kind of wedding dress do I want to wear? What do I imagine myself wearing on the big day? More importantly, what style of dress will I look good in? I can't wait to go try on some dresses! I've done a little bit of looking around on the web but that's about it. All I know is that I want my dress to be different. I have heard people say that you should choose your dress depending on the type of wedding you are having and that makes sense. We'll see ... All I know is that you don't get many chances to try on the big poofy princess dresses so I'm totally gonna go for it!!

Monday, 5 November 2012

Four Pics

Nothing better than starting the morning with a Starbucks Christmas cup.
Already in the xmas spirit. I know . Weird!?! 
Oh ya, I was Cleopatra for that other holiday ...  
Loving my new makeup organization. It makes getting ready in
the morning so much easier!
The helium balloon bouquet we used for our engagement photos
last Saturday ... not so much helium in them now :(
We had so much fun going around our neighbourhood taking the
photos. I can't wait to see them!

Happy (almost) Tuesday!!