Wedding

  • I found that being a bigger man in Winnipeg left me with only a few options when looking for a suit off-the-rack.  I really didn't like their tendency to arrange two piece suits with the jacket 2 sizes larger then the pants, and buying one piece at a time really made the price jump.

    Ultimately, I started researching local tailors in Winnipeg last December, and had shortlisted down to Giovanni Custom Tailor Shop within a couple weeks.  Some of the tailors I had called were quite expensive, and I found Giovanni to be quite reasonable; barely 1/3 more than the limited off-the-rack choices.  I also found the interview in his Winnipeg Free Press Article to be very good.

    Today, I visited Giovanni's shop, and really had a great vibe from him as a person and really valued his opinions as a tailor; quite professional and personable.  The hard part was picking out the material to use; simply too many awesome choices.  Below I have the initial two I was contemplating on the left, then the ultimate pick on the right; which my eye caught while the love of my life continued flipping through the samples as I was deciding.

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    Once Giovanni knows the fabric is in stock and has it ordered, we'll be able to start the process with taking my measurements.  Exciting!

  • While we were wrestling with different music ideas for our wedding, we had quickly settled on playing light jazz throughout the reception/evening.  We had thought of harpists and other live musicians for our ceremony early on, but had dismissed the idea assuming it to be too expensive for our humble wedding.  Now five weeks before the wedding, we have returned to the harpist idea, and found that (for those we checked out) their prices are actually quite reasonable; circling both sides of $300 for playing a ceremony set.

    Here is the list of the Winnipeg harpists that we considered for our wedding ceremony (prelude through to signing and postlude):

    • Leslie McInnis
      Leslie was the first harpist we found online, and the first to call us back. We really enjoyed the layout of her web-site, listening to her many music samples, and pictures of her beautifully carved harp. However, contacting our harpists with only one month before the ceremony revealed its first feared (yet expected) scheduling conflict, so we had to cross Leslie off our "selection list" as quickly as we had started creating it.
    • Anita Durksen
      Anita contacted us next.  The layout of her website was also very well done, but the samples were a bit more limited compared to the other sites.  What Anita's samples taught us though is that the Paraguayan harp has a distinct sound when compared to "traditional" Concert harps.  This difference didn't sound right for us, but I have no doubt others would select it for their various events.  While Anita has a page devoted to her Repertoire, I would have appreciated an additional category devoted to grouping together wedding song choices.
    • Erica Schultz (who we booked)
      Like many of the good things in life, saving the best for last lead to Erica's introduction.  She also has an easy to navigate web-site, with the only constructive criticisms I have being that her vast Repertoire page would be much easier to read as a bulleted-list then as a paragraph, and I would have loved to see more pictures of her with her harp.  One read through her About page though was all one needed to know that they were dealing with a professional of exceptional experience playing the harp; reinforced by listening to her many samples.  You just knew that her fingers were gliding confidently and effortlessly across her harp strings.  The hardest part now will be picking what songs are played when.

    Hopefully these links and information are helpful to you if you're seeking a harpist in Winnipeg.

    I'll make sure I post updates after we have the opportunity to meet Erica in person, and after the wedding ceremony of course.

  • I went to get my suit measurements taken on January 30th after Giovanni confirmed that the fabric we ordered was delivered from Montreal. Two weeks later I receive a voice message that enough of the suit was assembled for the first (rough) fitting; wow, awesome progress!

    I should have moved quicker when Betty Anne suggested that the glare was pretty bad, but I didn't want to interrupt the master at work as he chalked out the few spots that he wanted to adjust before completing the suits assembly.  These aren't the best quality photo's I've posted, but still wanted to share the incredible progress being made.

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  • We have been buying gluten free desserts from Goodies for a few years, but had tended to avoid them lately with the switch to Paleo; to keep the sugars and grain flours away.  Our thought was to make a Paleo exception for our wedding reception meal and dessert, and our original idea was to order the individual sized desserts from Goodies for each guest and forgo the traditional wedding cake. So we went to Goodies today to order our desserts, and ended up walking out having ordered wedding cakes! What we were surprised about was that the price difference between the individual desserts and wedding cake was really negligible (less than $50). We liked the new trend of not layering the tiers to make one big cake, but rather staging them individually on the cake table. The image on the left represents the basic style that the cake will be decorated with; except that all of the chocolate shavings/logs will be purple.  The image on the right is shown just to illustrate what I meant by making tiers on the cake table.

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  • Our first order from Bulk Apothecary arrived today!  The intention of this order was to set the stage for making our own household cleaning products, shampoo, soap (also to be favors for our wedding guests), body sprays, lotions, lip balms, etc... and containers to hold them in.

    This order consisted of:

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    • Beeswax
    • Black Fine Mist Sprayers and Cobalt Blue Bullet Bottles
    • Borax
    • Castor Oil
    • Cocoa Butter
    • Glycerin
    • Golden Jojoba Oil
    • Kaolin Clay (white)
    • Lime Essential Oil
    • Lip Balm Jars (white, 0.25 oz)
    • Rose Soap Stamp
    • Shea Butter
    • Silicone Rectangle Soap Molds
    • Sodium Hydroxide (lye)
    • Sweet Almond Oil
    • Witch Hazel

    Unfortunately, we had some lessons to learn with this order:

    1. The Bulk Apothecary rep I called questimated that this order may have as many as seven packages.  This deterred me from using Mike's Parcel Pickup who charges $5 USD per package.  As the shipment only came in three boxes, Mike's fees would have been much better.  Oh well, I guess the rep guestimated high, which would be the preferred choice to guestimating low.
    2. UPS offering to broker packages from the US is stupid expensive... like add $50 to $70 dollars on top of your government taxes.  I wished I had known about this and declined their offer to broker the package for me; choosing to self-clear it myself.
  • These pictures are of the ice at the transition between the sloped yard and the deck where I slipped and fell on my back while unloading the car into our chalet. They represent the before and after I asked for grit/salt to be laid down to prevent further incidents. I'm pretty sure the initial lady behind the counter was staff, but I ensured I made a second appearance and met who I believed to be one of the owners, and all I can say is that she came across very unapologetic and unconcerned. I guess the fact that I was standing in front of her instead of laying on an ambulance stretcher precluded courtesy and concern. Little did she know how much time I spent in the steam shower and jaccuzi to get enough comfort to be present. Our chalet is amazing, but apparently the people... not so much unfortunately. Don't they know their liabilities? Maybe that's my purpose here... education...

    There are definitely some chiro/massage appointments in my future to help healing and lessen my aches and pains. I'll be sure to keep my receipts I think.

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  • Knowing that we were going to receive our wedding pictures from the photographer (Anders with Valhalla Studio) on Sunday (yesterday), we had popped into Michaels the day before to look at some frame options to bring together the matte we had our guests sign as our "registry" with our favorite wedding photo.

    As luck would  have it, Michaels has a sale going on until this Thur on their custom framing.  Because of the "collection" we picked from, the sale kicked in at 70% off!  The advice given to us from Johanna (wonderful Michaels' employee) was to bring in the photo and matte together before deciding on a frame and completing the transaction.

    Anders took almost 900 digital pictures (3.9 GB) of our wedding which he supplied burned onto DVD media.  We had a tonne of fun working through them on Sunday, picking our favorites to print for ourselves, our wedding party, parents, and as an insert to our thank you's.

    Today, we took a USB with our digitals to the Costco Photo Centre for printing.  Sizes we printed ranged from 4x6 to 12x18, and the pricing was incredible!  The only lesson learned here was that the ordering kiosk slurps in all the photos (from all subfolders), so don't use folders/directories as your sorting mechanism for what sizes you need to print; as the folder names will not be displayed.  I had to run back home to write out a paper list of the image names, sizes and counts; which also made a great checklist as we printed over 80 photos.

    We returned to Michaels with our 12x18 print and matte, lined it up with our 5 previous frame selections, and the obvious choice simply jumped up above the rest.  Johanna's advice was bang on! We picked the top frame from the picture below.

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    Now that all the initial printing is done we can complete our Thank You's as our next task.

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  • After only eight months of marriage (thanks to twelve months of eating Paleo), I have had to resort to switching my wedding band over to my right hand.  Apparently within the 100+ pounds I lost, there must have been a rather significant lost from my fingers as well, because the ring can now easily fall off my finger.

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    I've visited a few local jewelers  over the past couple weeks, and none can size the ring without creating a seam in its design; something I'd prefer to avoid.  They are giving me options like springs and soldering in bars or blobs of gold... all of which would make it lopsided.  I'm no goldsmith, but it sure sounds simple (coming out of my mouth anyway) to ask that one lay a nice even layer of gold inside the ring to convert it to my new size.  I've gone from a size 12.5 down to a 10.25, and can envision a simple mathematical equation to figure out the delta in the radius of the before and after circles... which should indicate how thick the new gold layer needs to be.

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    Does anyone know of any goldsmiths that believe like me that adding a layer of gold onto my ring should be straight forward to do?  If so, please reach out and let me know.

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