17 day wedding countdown

I have been letting Shannon do the heavy blog lifting as I have been quite distracted with the whole wedding she-bang. Which is in 17 days. NOT THAT I AM COUNTING.

I won’t lie, I have been a bundle of nerves. Some days I can’t eat. I’m not worried about marrying the dude (he’s the best), but I’m worried about being the centre of attention. I’m worried about people staring at me all day. I’m worried about not being a good, gracious host. I’m worried about people being disappointed in me because I wasn’t fun, or vivacious, or the life of the party. I’m a shy person so thinking about this makes me feeeeeeeeeeel a lot of pressure.

Plus there are all the normal wedding related worries – vendors don’t show, guests don’t come, the priest gives a terrible homily.

But exciting things – I will be MARRIED to my best friend in 17 days. All my friends and family are coming to town and I am so happy to see them. I am almost finished my projects, and the to-do list is getting smaller.

ALSO! A few good things have come from the wedding planning.

1) I have realized that exercise is the best and I’ve moved towards a healthier lifestyle. I feel so much better about myself and I have the tools to make some great changes in the coming year.

2) When I started wedding planning I dismissed myself as not creative, or not able to do stuff. This is not true. I am creative and I am able – so I’ve regained some faith in myself. I used to paint and draw all through school. It stopped in university, but now I feel like it might be fun to play in watercolours and pastels again.

Here are some pictures of wedding DIYs (some wins, some fails) that I have been churning out.

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We’re Back!

Oh, um, hey you guys. Did you think we forgot about you? Don’t be ridiculous. We could never forget you. We just needed a little time a part so we could remember how much we love you. Absence makes the heart grow fonder and all that.  But, now we’re totally back and committed to writing hilarious posts about fashion and pop culture and our lives. What’s happened since we last talked, hmm? Let’s see…

  • This season of the Bachelorette is the most painfully boring thing reality TV has ever offered us. Google says so. Seriously, no one (no one) loves a trashy reality show like us and we both quit watching. I mean, Emily didn’t even do the fantasy suite right.
  • Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge wore this. And this. And also this. They’re all, eh, fine, I guess. I must say I’ve been a little bored with her choices of late. I still love her though. Plus, I’m sure she’d be just gutted to know that I’m bored. She has literally nothing better to worry about. Also, photos of their honeymoon have surfaced. While I love to be a voyeur, this does seem a little weirdly invasive, so I won’t post the link. Let them have some frolic on the beach time, GEEZ.
  • Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes are getting divorced. And now there is an epic billion year battle to the death to save her soul from the Sea Org…Or something?
  • There’s a new Kardashian! And it’s a girl! And her name doesn’t start with a’ K’. (Really it’s a Disick, but whatever)

That’s um, pretty much it right?

Stay tuned for more on my 1970’s wedding. I made a choice. By myself. Like a grown up. Am still very concerned that it’s the wrong decision.

I’m Sorry To Do This To You Again…

But, I have another wedding to go to, and this one is a doozy. It is well documented that we both love a wedding. However, I don’t really know how I feel about the heavily themed wedding. It’s a princess theme and everything is pink, and glass carriages and castles? Ew. It all just seems sort of heavy handed and unnecessary and odd. I can get behind colour schemes and recurring motifs. But to dedicate yourself to making sure every element of your wedding commits to some detached theme is just…I don’t know, icky.

The wedding I’ll be headed to in July is a 1970’s theme. Not only do I find this troublesome because of the appearance of a theme at all, but the 1970’s is truly the last decade I would like to see emulated. I can’t really think of a single of my personal fashion icons who looked amazing in the 70’s. The movies, the music, the television, none of it has every really spoken to me. So, dear readers I need you to help me figure out how I can comply with the theme (I’m not a complete wet blanket. I can see the fun here, I want to participate) while still being fashionable and true to me. I want to still feel comfortable and not feel like I’m wearing a costume.

Here, some things from the 70’s I can stand.

Things from the 70's I can stand

Top Row L to R – Allie McGraw, Vogue Magazine, Bianca Jagger
Bottom Row L –  to R Liza Minelli, 70’s bike girls – one with rooster t-shirt (!), Farrah Fawvett

So, where in the world does one go to find a modern, but somehow 1970’s inspired dress?! HELP!

HELP!

Anyone who knows me (and I feel like we’ve been at this blogging thing long enough now to say that you know me) knows that I don’t like to make decisions. I don’t mean big life decisions. I picked a university and a career path, I’ll move cities at the drop of a hat. I just don’t like to be in charge of day to day piddly things. Where do you want to go for dinner or which movie do you want to see can literally stop me in my tracks.

Oh, I know, you must be thinking how wonderful it would be to date me or be my best friend. Ask anyone who has occupied these positions and they’ll tell you it’s downright wonderful to get to be my buddy. That is until decision time comes.

I don’t do it to be difficult, or as some weird test to see if people know what I like and will pick accordingly. It’s just that for the most part I’m wildly apathetic. I truly don’t care if we have chinese or pizza. I LOVE THEM BOTH! How could I choose? Seriously, the chinese vs. pizza debate is like Sophie’s Choice in my heart. (stomach?) I could care less if we see Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis fall in love or watch Jason Statham blow shit up. Love and explosions, they both appeal to me, so I make my loved ones choose.

So here’s the point. I have a wedding this weekend. I love a wedding. The dresses, the flowers, the romance. The potential for free booze and food and bad decsions. Sadly, attending a wedding presents me with choices I’m not prepared to make on my own. What will I wear?

I’m one of those people who likes to change between ceremony and reception. I feel like at the ceremony one should be a little more conservative and day time appropriate and the reception is a time to pull out all the stops and really pull out your nightlife attire. This wedding is at a casino so I feel like the potential for swinging nightlife dresses and jewels is off the charts.

So, dear readers, below I present to you my outfit options for this wedding. I NEED YOU TO DECIDE FOR ME.

Thanks.

To sleeve or not to sleeve

I love the colour and unusual silhouette of the sleevless one, but I really like the idea of a sleeved dress at the ceremony. Plus, it looks like its going to be freezeing here this weekend. Discuss.

boobs or legs?

As for the reception, these aren’t the exact dresses I own, but they’ll do the trick. My version of the blue (boobs) is actually only blue in the bust with the rest being a body hugging black pencil skirt. Ooo la la. The strapless black(legs) that I own is sort of a black and gold brocade. They both make me feel wonderful. So, I cannot decide. Boobs are legs, people. BOOBS OR LEGS?! I’m of an age that I can’t do both.

Seriously, I need you guys to do this for me in the comments

Wedding Attire: Night and Day

We are back to weddings this week! Last week we talked about all the accoutrements you’ll need to keep warm at those chilly evening receptions, dress code etiquette, and Hubert weighed in on casual and formal wear for men.

Today it is all about the dresses. I am going to make a huge assumption based on our  combined wedding attendance experience (which is actually A LOT of weddings) that you probably won’t be attending many black-tie or white-tie weddings this year. It is likely that most of your weddings won’t even have a stated dress code. Besides following Martha’s advice for these events, you can also take cues from the time of the ceremony, the  reception or ceremony venue, and even the couple themselves.

For less formal events, lay off the glitter, sparkle, and stiff shiny fabrics. Lace is fine, but keep it a bright colour like coral, blue or yellow. Need some ideas or inspiration? Here you go:

Day wedding dresses

For the more formal events, glitter away. Dark coloured lace, metallic embroidery, beading or sequins are all good. Ideas and inspiration below:

night wedding

Wedding guest attire – keeping warm

Hello Darlings. Stephanie here. Hubert is resting tonight – a full day of dog wrangling and house sitting has made him extremely tired and needing to recharge with a good book. So you will have to wait until later in the week for his thoughts on formal wedding guest clothing for your boyfriend. Don’t be surprised if he suggests a monocle or a Mr. Peanut costume.

So, wedding wear! One of the questions we received was how to keep warm at an afternoon/evening affair. We’ve all been there. Spring or summer wedding and it is hot as blazes during the ceremony but after the speeches and dinner, the sun is down and there is a chill in the air. And you aren’t wearing 9 zillion layers of taffeta or a smothering polyester bridesmaid dress so you’re cold.

It’s all about the cardigan or the wrap. Keep it in your car until you need it, or just carry it around with you. It makes an excellent chair saver too.

Below are some cute ones I found – all neutral enough to go with a variety of outfits.

Shawls and Cardigans

Guest Post: Steph’s boyfriend, Hubert, on casual wedding wear for guys

Good morrow fair readers! As you can tell, this post isn’t being written by Steph or Irene. I’m Steph’s fella but you can call me Hubert (largely because there aren’t enough people called that anymore). I’m in town visiting her all week and I couldn’t resist writing a guest post on her wedding theme: specifically what you can wear to a casual or semi-formal wedding. I chose these largely because they’re the least rigid and they give me the most opportunity to show off in front of Steph with my awesome fashion knowledge (this is not actually a chance to show off as all I knows about fashion is essentially regurgitated like half chewed worms from the mouth of a particularly well dressed mother bird—i.e. Steph).

Nevertheless ladies, think of this as a chance to play dress up with the grown up equivalent of Barbie dolls (i.e. your boyfriend). You can sell it to him with the following sentence: “Yes I got it from a fashion blog. But it was written by a boy. Who likes girls. He has a beard, too.” Well, it’s worth a try…

Ladies, speaking as a a guy I can safely say that there is one thing that men love: that’s right, the plaid flannel shirt (editor’s note: the sound you hear is Steph yelling “NOOOOOO” across the interwebs. Never fear, it’s not what she thinks). Now, you can’t wear such a fabulous garment to a wedding for fear of upstaging the bride or groom but you can wear a pair of plaid pants. Not pajama pants or those weird things that your guy friends wore to ska shows in high school because they thought it was “so spirit of ‘77” but actual plaid dress pants. Essentially, you can use one of your man’s favourite patterns to trick him into being stylish. It’s the perfect crime!

After you perpetrate this fashionably spectacular ruse your guy will feel as though he has pulled one over on you. This gives you a chance to move in for the sartorial kill. He will be vulnerable and in the mood to try and give something back to you (editor’s note: when guys feel like they’ve fooled their girlfriend the guilt kicks in and you can ask them to do almost anything). This is when you choose a shirt in a complimentary colour that he would not usually wear for himself. He feels like he’s doing something nice for you and you get to be seen in public with a man that looks like he knows how to dress himself. Everybody wins!

Finally we have the tie. Chances are your boyfriend has had to dress up for something at some point in his past and probably owns a necktie or two. The possible problem with this situation is that they will likely be hideous (use the comments to ask Steph about some of the things I have worn in the past. She still has nightmares). Once again though, you have a surefire method of getting your way. Remember those plaid pants from the first paragraph? The ones that made your guy feel all sly and crafty like? They’re your ace in the hole. Not guilt. Not this time. Simple practicality is what will win the day. Plaid is a pattern. A strongly defined pattern. It takes a keen fashion sense to find things that will match them without looking hideous. You know it. He knows it. He’s not going to want to look ridiculous after seeing how hip he’s looking in the threads you picked out. In this particular case, a solid colour is probably best (but that doesn’t meant you can’t have fun) but if you feel really ambitious (read: confident) you can go for a complimentary pattern. I’m not going to elaborate. That is a regurgitated chunk of sartorial bird food from Steph. She’s gonna help me find the pic. I hope.

Hubert

See you tomorrow (read: Whenever Steph says it’s ok) for the semi-formal post!

-Hubert McOppenheimer

Putting on the Ritz: Black-Tie, White-Tie and Casual wedding attire

I received word that a wedding invitation is currently on its merry way to my mailbox. Its arrival ushers in the 2012 season of weddings! The season that was once typically June to September now seems to have stretched itself from May to October (at least based on my own experience as a bridesmaid and wedding guest).

We have had a few questions related to wedding guest attire (What do I wear to a casual lakeside ceremony? Can I wear black? Can I wear white? How do I keep warm in the evening? Are sparkles appropriate?) so we think this week is the perfect time to answer some of those questions! Spring and summer collections are hitting stores this month, so it is the perfect time to go out shopping.

The first thing we will deal with is required dress codes. Martha Stewart, with from help from Emily Post, breaks it down like this:

Informal (casual)

Separates like dress pants, dress shirt, and tie (sport coat optional) is fine for men. Sundresses are appropriate for ladies, but not in dressier fabrics or with elaborate embellishment.

Semi-Formal (Black-Tie)

Dark suits (or tuxedos if the invitation states Black Tie) for the menfolk, fancy cocktail dresses for the ladies.

Formal (White-Tie)

This is the fanciest of the fancy. We’re talking Mr. Monopoly or Mr. Peanut levels of fancy. We are talking tailcoat, white shirt, white vest and tie, white or gray gloves, and black opera pumps. Do you know what black opera pumps are? Shoes without laces. I know. That is why you and I don’t get invited to White Tie events, baby!
Oh yeah, and the ladies must wear floor length evening gowns.

And what if there is no stated dress code on the invitation (as has been my experience)? Martha Stewart Weddings says that a dark suit with shirt and tie is appropriate for men. For ladies, suitable attire is a cocktail dress or dressy separates. I agree with Martha – if there are no stated dress codes, you can’t go wrong with these guidelines.

Here’s a cute example of something me and my guy might wear to a summer wedding with no defined dress code…

Wedding Guest Attire

Memo to Celebrities: Stop wearing white dresses

So, one of the things that I (and everyone else in the world) noticed about the Oscars on Sunday night is that white, bridal-esque dresses were a trend. It wasn’t as bad as the Globes where celebrities actually wore wedding dresses that had been sent down bridal runways by Reem Acra, Vera Wang and Romona Keveza. But still…so many white or white-ish gowns were worn.

I think all of you celebs need to step off the white dresses and let us plebes have our moment in the sun, be-gowned in a flowing white confection. A girl’s wedding day is supposed to be HER DAY, but now with celebs running amok in wedding dresses at award shows it all seems a little less special.

You celebs get your Say Yes To The Dress moment many times a year. We girls get one ONCE (well, maybe twice) in a lifetime. So be gracious. Pick another colour. Please. Let us have our day, complete with a big, fabulous, white dress, without competition from people who have a team of beautifiers on retainer.

My fellow plebes – what are your thoughts on the trend of white dresses at award shows this year? Are they super classy, or best left at the altar?

P.S. I’m kidding, of course. But really, what are your thoughts on the trend of bridal-esque dresses?

Monday is an Awful Way to Spend 1/7 of Your Life

It really really is. The revelry of the weekend is but a hazy memory. It’s clouded by whatever it is drinking half a dozen beers at the ‘country themed bar’ your friends are obsessed with, or inhaling a tub of ice cream while watching the Sandra Bullock/J.Lo/Amy Adams extravaganza the W network happens to be airing does to your memory. At least for that’s how it is for me. I’ll try not to project my tendency to spend the weekend inebriated or over-eating onto you.

On Monday, the next 5 days are laid out before you. Nothing but a soul crushing gauntlet of errands and dead lines and alarm clocks and ‘getting to work on time’. For a lot of us the work week also means a crummy dress code. As we’ve noted before, Steph and I are pretty lucky in that we don’t have a ton of restrictions as far as work wear goes and actually get to have a lot of fun with it.

However, whether it’s a casual Sunday afternoon or Friday night drinks there are somethings we want to wear that we just can’t get away with Monday to Friday.

So here it is, a look at a weekend in the life of your favourite Gals…
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