Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Our wedding

I haven't written on the blog in a long time but I have been feeling the need to write something as of late and today, I was really encouraged as my emotions about the wedding have been so overwhelming, on several aspects.

We have come so far with our wedding planning and everything has been so exciting! We have been to Dresden to arrange everything from flowers to meal plans and have almost everything figured out for the German wedding. We will go back a few times before the wedding to arrange the little details before hand of course and I cannot wait to see everything come together!

I was also in Vancouver for four weeks this summer to arrange everything for the wedding there. It was difficult not having Sven with me to make decisions. But with help from my amazing friends and my mother, I was able to do everything I had hoped and the wedding is going to be wonderful!

It is so crazy to think that we have come so far and have already been engaged for 8 months and we have only 8 more months to go! I seriously cannot wait to marry Sven and celebrate with those closest to us!

Although the wedding planning has been so exciting and fun to see our dream day come to life. It also comes with some serious headaches!

One being planning the seating. We have a maximum capacity at both venues and are about two people short of maximum capacity at both weddings, that's just with our close friends and family, no guests. Therefore, it makes it hard to figure out where everyone will go and how to say no to people when they ask if they can bring their partner (although it states on the invitations exactly who is invited).

The second thing, and this is a BIG headache, is people giving us their opinion. I of all people am one to have an opinion, but as I am an adult, I know that my opinion is not always welcome. I'm not just talking about suggesting that we have smaller center pieces or inviting that long lost cousin, I'm talking telling us that we should not have invited so and so, or that the colours that we chose are NOT suitable for weddings, or the latest, it is completely rude not to allow boyfriends or girlfriends to come to the wedding. I get it, that is your opinion, but please keep it to yourself. This is our wedding, we want the people we love most there, whether or not you like them, love them, or live with them is none of our concern. If we feel they are special to us, they will get an invitation, if not, they won't. As we are nearing maximum capacity, we want only those there who matter most to us, any partner that you would like to accompany you is more than welcome to come once the dancing starts, as we won't need to be seated anymore.

Lastly, it is irrelevant what you think of our wedding colours. It is, after all, our day and we have to do what we think will make our wedding day our dream day. Sven and I have made every decision together and we support each other's opinions and thoughts about the day, not every other persons. Of course we want our guests to have the best time at our weddings and to thoroughly enjoy themselves, but I'm sure you can still have a good time if our flowers are white and our dresses are black.

Although I strongly feel that we don't have to justify ourselves, as it is, after all, our wedding. I do feel that I have to get these thoughts out of my head, or else we will change plans all together and elope somewhere (just kidding mom..)

In the end, we cannot wait to marry each other and celebrate with all of the people we love, in both countries. These moments will not spoil the excitement of planning our wedding and we will continue do make our decisions how we have been and we are sure that our guests will have a great time at both weddings!


Monday, February 24, 2014

Off topic

A friend of mine suggested that I write some of my funny moments down somewhere as these are the things we will look back and laugh about (thanks for the inspiration Heather). If you know me well, you know I forget EVERYTHING, so I figured the blog would be the best place, although this one won't necessarily be about the wedding planning. This blog is meant as a place where we can come back to to remember the next year. So, where to begin...

This last weekend was a doozy! We went back to our old apartment (700km away) to finish up there and hand the keys over. So after work on Friday, around 5:00 we headed back to Dresden. When we got there it was around 11:00 and we started to fill the holes in the walls in order to prep for painting the next day. After filling the holes, we thought we would grab the paint from the basement just to be ready first thing in the morning. When we got down there we noticed that the movers didn't lock our basement door and one of the two barrels of paint was missing along with some painting supplies. What an easy target for someone who was painting their apartment white. Disappointed and tired at 1:00 we went to bed, on the floor as the apartment had no furniture in it. We thought we were in for it and would wake up and wouldn't be able to move but it was relatively comfortable!

We woke up on Saturday at 6:00 to start painting, we thought it would be early enough to have everything finished by 4:00 as that was when our 30 guests were to arrive for our engagement party. Again, to celebrate in an apartment with no furniture. When I opened the paint barrel I realized that the paint had been sitting for the last three years and was seriously separated. No wooden mixing stick could tackle this number. Sven struggled for about an hour using his hands and metal sticks to break it apart but eventually we gave up and decided to paint using the what was mixed and the clay chunks at the bottom wouldn't deter us. Saturday was great, Sven painted and I cleaned, we were very optimistic. We were finished around 11:00 which gave us plenty of time to collect the furniture we had rented, the balloons, the cake and to finish the decorating. Our guests arrived between 2:00 and 4:00 and had no idea that we had painted earlier on, it had already dried and the weather was great so we left the doors and windows open to air the place out. It was a great party, everyone mingled, ate and drank and I believe everyone enjoyed themselves. It was such a nice way to finish our time in Dresden with family and friends.

Our last guests left around 2:00 and we cleaned up a little and went to sleep, again on the floor. As the Canada vs. Sweden hockey game was on on Sunday at 1:00 we thought we would get up at 7:00 to do some touch ups on the walls, which we had been previously painted, and be finished before our friends came over to watch the hockey game with us. The day started slowly, we had a little bit too much fun on Saturday and what we thought was a great day of painting on Saturday, wasn't really so, we really had a lot of work left to do! Sven started to take down the light fixtures and I started to finish off some painting. As the liquid Sven had mixed on Saturday was running low, all we were left with was a clumpy clumpy mess! I did what I could, which wasn't much and Sven decided to take over. We tried to sift out the clumps using numerous gadgets, we tried to add water, anything to fix the clumpiness, nothing worked. One might ask at this point why we didn't just go out and buy more paint -valid idea, which we would have done in a heart beat, but everything in Europe is closed on Sundays except for the odd restaurant and coffee shop. So we were stuck, with clumpy paint. We also quickly realized that we didn't have enough paint to paint all of the walls and the ceilings, this was a serious issue as on Saturday we thought we would do all of it so Sven wasn't particularly careful when it came to the edge of the roof, we had to figure out what to do with the numerous bright white spots on our off white ceiling. The solution was to scrub the paint off of the ceiling, which actually worked quite well, with a lot of effort. Needless to say, we were not finished by 1:00. But our friends came over at 12 and they were more than willing to help us, thank goodness!

We took a break to watch the game, of course, and had pizza and beer, sitting on the floor, watching it from a laptop- I never said it was a luxurious weekend. Regardless how we watched it, it was a great game and I am so proud to be a Canadian abroad, way to go Canada!

Shortly after the game we were back to work! Sven finished painting, our friends Carsten and Marcus and I scrubbed the ceiling and the floors and around 4:00 I realized that we had another issue arise. As Sven had taken down all of the light fixtures, we had no light; so once the sun set, we were doomed! We rushed as fast as we could and really put in all of our efforts and finished around 6:30. We were all full of paint, Sven was practically white, Marcus and I were dirty from scrubbing paint off of the floor and Carsten was almost spotless, although he had a hard job of doing the scrubbing. At 6:30 one of Sven's groomsmen came over as he had just finished his weekend at the army and wanted to help. Sadly when he came we had just finished but we all enjoyed one last beer together, in the kitchen, in the dark.

We loaded up the car and left Dresden around 7:00, which was really late, we were hoping to leave at 4:00 to get home before midnight but got home shortly after 1:00. We unpacked and headed straight to our comfortable, warm bed, I can do without sleeping on the floor for a while.

When I look back at the weekend I am so proud of everything we did, we pulled off an amazing engagement party with little sleep and overcame hurdle after hurdle with painting the apartment. We really could not have done it without our friends help though, so Marcus and Carsten, thank you so so much! Ihr seit die beste!!

As we finished in Dresden so late and had no lights in the apartment, or course we could not shower or anything to get the paint off of us so we just started driving, We probably looked like the biggest weirdos ever, especially when I had to go to the washroom at a FULL McDonalds with my painting clothes still on and paint in my hair.
It was a bitter sweet weekend to remember. We left Dresden with so many great memories and good friends. There will always be a place for Dresden in our hearts.Thank you for the wonderful last 3 years, Dresden.

Here are some photos of our engagement party. Sadly we had so many guests I wasn't able to keep up on the mingling and photography, but I managed to get a few. Thank you again to everyone who came and celebrated with us.

The bakery did an amazing job with our cake. Unfortunately, it split coming home, but it still looked great.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Not what I had in mind

I haven't written a post in a few weeks, for one because we just moved, practically to a new country, 700kms away from our old city, we have 2 apartments to manage at the moment, trying to get settled at the new one while get rid of the old one isn't the easiest thing to do with such a large distance in between. Aside from that chaos, I have had massive amounts of university to catch up on which I procrastinated about for the last 2 months, so needless to say, the last 2 weeks has kicked me in the butt!

Apart from that, this wedding planning has taken a turn, it is so hard to find venues that we love yet don't break the bank, like, REALLY break the bank. We want our day(s) to be really special and something we will never forget but we also want to build a house and have children in the future so we cannot justify some of the prices that are out there (keep in mind, we are paying for both weddings completely on our own) so we've had a bump in the road in the venue department for the last week.

In the end we have committed to two gorgeous venues. The venue in Germany isn't actually that which we had most recently thought about but a place that has always had our hearts, this place is seriously elegant and we have had many great memories there. When Sven and I first met, we knew we had something special and of course tossed the idea around about getting married, he told me he had this vision of us getting married at a specific castle in Germany where they had a beautiful vineyard where you could walk up to the top of it and see the whole city. I couldn't imagine it so thought nothing of it, really. Fast forward 6 months, we were invited to a birthday celebration at a restaurant in a castle in Dresden. Sven told me nothing about this place beforehand other than it had good wine. As soon as we got there, I fell in love and told him we had to get married there. He laughed and told me that this was the place that he had told me about the previous year, and he had always envisioned it for our wedding. However, Dresden has A LOT of castles, more than I could ever imagine, I fell in love with so many castles over the last 3 years that I forgot the charm this one had, you simply cannot describe the feeling there. So after talking to their wedding coordinator we have decided that this will be where we will get married. It has more meaning to us than just being a beautiful castle, this was 'our' castle before I even got to see it.

With having chosen a venue for Germany, we knew roughly our budget for the venue in Vancouver. We have justified spending more than anticipated for the venue in Vancouver as it will be more stress to plan it from afar and this venue can provide all services and really has a lot of experience in weddings. It is so important to us to get married on the ocean and so, it will the the Brock House Restaurant. It is such a beautiful venue right near the ocean with a view of the mountains, it really presents everything that Vancouver is about. It has had great reviews and is voted one of the top 10 venues in Vancouver. It is everything that we wanted in a location in Vancouver.

We cannot wait to have the dates booked (at the end of the week)! I think everything will just feel more organised with official dates and places, rather than trying to imagine something without a vision of the venue.

In two weeks we are having our engagement party in Dresden with friends and Sven's family, it will be so nice to celebrate with everyone as well as say goodbye to our old apartment. We have had so many memories in that city and it will be so nice to finish our time there with 50 of our close friends and family.

So much has changed this year already, but I think there will be more changes in the year to come.


Thursday, January 23, 2014


Originally I thought navy blue would be a perfect color to pull off a classic wedding. However, since we're getting married in May, only navy itself is too dark for a Spring wedding, in my opinion. After discussion with Sven, of course, I think we've decided on gold and white with some black accents..mainly the suits and bridesmaid dresses. We want a color that's timeless and classic and I think white and gold are nice colors for the Spring.

The difficulty I'm facing at the moment is whether or not to use the same colors for both weddings. Overall gold and white work for both a castle and the beach but I think navy details at the wedding in Vancouver and black details for the wedding in Dresden would be nice. On the other hand I want both weddings to be somewhat similar so our guests here and there feel like they were a part of one big wedding. I also think it will help Sven and I feel like we have one wedding and 2 celebrations rather than 2 different weddings. Although it is such a small detail, navy vs. black, I feel like it could have a big impact on our lasting impression of 'our day'.

I really like the idea of only white flowers with baby's breath spray painted gold for bouquets and boutonnieres. I also really LOVE hydrangeas and luckily they look gorgeous white.

Some inspiration I've found

Gold baby's breath

Table inspiration, less black though

I love the idea of gold maple leaves. Suits the color theme and adds a Canadian charm.

I am having difficulties deciding on chair covers, whether I like them or whether it looks classier to have a nice cushion rather than chair covers. I worked at a gold course that had weddings 3 days a week so I have seen my fair share of crazy weddings and I saw some hideous chair covers that ruined them for me. If they are good quality they can look very classy but overall I think I'm leaning towards no. With the added color and hideous bow at the back, I just can't see the appeal, plus, by the end of the night they're half on half off and look EXTREMELY tacky, I don't want that vision to be my last thought of how our wedding finished.
Theses are the chairs that one of the venues has. I think they look good with a plain white cushion. It also matches our color scheme. Chair covers would just be too white, maybe?
Is just a cushion too simple for a wedding?

Overall, I feel like planning 2 weddings hasn't been too difficult. Everyone keeps telling me how crazy I am to be planning 2 but I feel like I have it under control, at this point. Perhaps when the day gets closer it will become more stressful and draining but I am having fun with it! When I research an aspect of the wedding I always look into both Vancouver options and Dresden options at the same time, that way I won't forget little details here or there. I know some people think 2 weddings is too much, but to those people I ask.. How many of your loved ones were at your wedding? Did you have to have certain people there, such as grandparents, parents, siblings and childhood friends whom you could not have imagined your special day without them there?

If we had only one wedding in Germany my guest list would consist of 5 family members and maybe one friend as most friends are pregnant or have little children who cannot fly yet. If we had only one wedding in Vancouver, Sven's grandparents, who mean the world to us, would not be able to fly as they are 80 years old. Therefore, two weddings is the only way that we can spend our day with everyone who matters to us.

Next on the list, photography!

Friday, January 17, 2014

First Things First

We had already thought of a few places where we knew we wanted to get married so the decision was already clear we just had to see which locations had the dates we wanted open.

We definitely want a May wedding as all other celebrations clump together and May is the only month which is free from any celebrations, other than Mother's Day. We also have decided to have both the Germany wedding and Canada wedding a week apart so it feels like one celebration rather than getting married twice. The official wedding will be in Canada although we will have a ceremony in Germany as well, it just won't be with the Standesamt. After debating and getting into contact with the locations, we have decided a beach wedding in Vancouver and a Castle wedding in Dresden. Both locations are beautiful and have enough space for our guests.

That was the next issue, the guest list! I have a very large family who of course I want all to be at the Vancouver wedding. Sven's family is relatively small and we have a relatively small group of close friends we would like to invite. Originally our list was just short of 200 guests, however, after considering all aspects and costs of budgets we have had to cut out list down to 90 guests for the wedding in Vancouver and 70 guests for the wedding in Dresden. We will be inviting a small group of family and friends to both weddings, although in no aspect do we expect people to travel here nor there. We just would like to extend the offer to those who mean the most to us.

I have also had a hard time deciding on plus ones and children. Since we've had to cut our guest list in half, I don't feel that I would be comfortable with cutting a family member off of our list so a plus one (who I may have never met) can come to our wedding. There is also a question with children, I love children and do believe they are wonderful to have around, however I think I will only allow close family to bring children seeing as we've had to cut our guest list.

I keep thinking of how people will feel after our day is over, if someone is upset that their son can't come or if their boyfriend of 2 weeks isn't invited. But at the end of the day it is OUR day and what matters most is we are confident in our decisions and happy. I do care a lot about our friends and family and I hope they can understand the difficulties with planning such a large event. I would love to have everyone there, however it isn't realistic.

Next step, colour theme!

These are from the location in Vancouver.

These are from the location in Dresden.

*Photos are not mine, they were taken from the locations websites.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Our Story

Sven and I met online. He had just moved to Vancouver from Germany and started an online account to meet friends and I had just fallen down an escalator and had spent way too much time in a hospital alone so I too started an online account to pass the time in the hospital, not thinking I would ever meet someone off of the internet.

When we first started talking I was still in the hospital and we had planned to meet when I was able to walk again and wasn't stuck in a wheelchair. The day that my cast came off of my leg, we met at a Canucks game downtown Vancouver -yes, I was still limping and wasn't able to wear heals yet so I thought this was only going to end up being a friendship, not the love of my life.

We spent the whole hockey game chatting and getting to know each other and afterwards went for dinner. We both knew after that night that something was special between us. When I got home I realized I still had his jersey and gloves in my purse, I swear, I didn't do this intentionally!

After a few weeks of random texts and failed plans to get together to give him his stuff back, I set up a casual night with some friends to get together at my place. When he arrived he brought a bottle of wine from Germany that had the same label as my name. Keeping in mind this was the second date, I was thoroughly impressed. We continued dating and as Christmas approached we were struck with a dilemma. His family was coming to Vancouver for Christmas and shortly thereafter he had to go back to Germany.

After only knowing each other for a month when his family came, we decided to play it by ear. If I got along well with his family we would see what the next step was and if it was a disaster, well, we knew what was coming.

Having his family stay with us was a complete delight. I got to know Sven on a whole other level and it really amazed me how sweet and sincere his family was. We celebrated Christmas in Canada together with a German twist. After New Years Eve Sven and I decided that we couldn't spend the rest of our lives not knowing what could have been between us. That it would be unbearable for us to say goodbye after the short month we got to know each other. Our solution was for me to move back to Germany with him.

We broke the news to our families and it came with mixed emotions. Not everyone believed that we were doing the right thing but we truly felt inseparable. I quickly managed to sell and get rid of all of my belongings in one month and on February 5th I moved to Germany with the love of my life. We both thought our love was unstoppable.

After some weeks in Germany our 'honeymoon phase' was over and reality set in, bills, grocery shopping, annoying habits and just plain life got in the way. This difficult time really made us question our decision and worst of all, each other. We had many long discussions about whether or not we had really thought about what we were doing before we moved here. However, through it all we both felt something was keeping us together and knew that we shouldn't and couldn't give up on us. After about a year our relationship turned and we really remembered the reasons why we loved each other. We leaned on each other when we were stressed, we became each others biggest supporters and motivators and really devoted time and patience to our relationship rather than giving the best of us to others. Our rough patch really made us appreciate our love for one another and now, without a doubt, we know that we are in it for the long haul, there's no stopping us!

For the last 3 years we've been talking about getting married and starting a family, however, we were both students and could not afford our dream wedding, let alone a ring. At the end of last year, Sven got a dream job offer that would start a new chapter in our lives. Never once did I think this new chapter would include a wedding. We had so many things to do and other places to budget our money, I was not expecting him to pop the question anytime soon. Plus, I had always thought I would know when he was planning it as I thought he would be nervous before hand, and I would be able to tell what was happening.

Fast forward to last Wednesday, January 8th 2014, my 25th birthday. He had planned a surprise dinner at my favorite restaurant with our close German friends and German family, it was a great dinner with great company. After dinner I opened my gifts from everyone, I got gorgeous thoughtful gifts from friends and family and from Sven I got socks, an electrical cord and a pair of pants. All of which are very practical gifts that I had mentioned I needed, but for my 25th birthday?! After dinner he went to his jacket and said he had one more gift for me. It still never crossed my mind that this was what he was doing. He asked me to stand up and started a speech with my favorite song, our favorite song, playing in the back round. I STILL didn't think anything of it! He started to get really nervous and said I was the woman he wanted to spend the rest of his life with, THIS was when I knew and I couldn't stop the tears from pouring! It was such a surreal feeling that I never want to forget, the man of my dreams, my best friend, openly devoting the rest of his life to me. It could not have been a better night, he had every detail covered. Not one person other than him knew of the proposal, everyone thought it was a gathering for my birthday, he had asked a friend to videotape his speech which I am SO thankful for and he had the diamond in my ring sent from a mine in Canada to Germany where he had it set so it has a mix of Canada and Germany in it.

Truly an amazing man, I cannot imagine my life without him in it!

Wedding blogging

I wanted a way to remember this crazy time in our life. A way to document the preparation, stress, excitement and joy of planning a wedding, well, not just a wedding, but two, in COMPLETELY different locations in the world, one week apart from each other.

I figured that a blog would be the best way to document all of the chaos, leave my thoughts, get advice from other bride-to-be and keep family and friends included and up to date on the wedding details. I am so excited for the next months and what wedding planning has in store for us!

I can't wait to marry my best friend.xo