January 30, 2009

Bye Bye Wedding Dress

By now you have probably heard about Trash the Dress photo sessions.  These occur following the wedding, sometimes the next day and sometimes down the road, perhaps on your first anniversary.  They are an opportunity to capture some unique and artistic images of you (and your groom if he's up for it) rocking your wedding attire in ways that you might not have felt comfortable doing on your wedding day.  I prefer to think of them as Rock the Dress sessions since the word "trash" scares a lot of people and these sessions do not have to harm your dress in any way.  I myself did one of these sessions the day after my wedding and I LOVED IT!!!  It was such an invigorating process and I couldn't have been more thrilled with the end result.  I highly recommend doing one (and no my dress did not get trashed even though we were in a lake and rolling around in sand)!  It was a great opportunity for my husband and I to spend some quality one-on-one time following the whirlwind of the wedding day and we got some stunning images that we look at on a daily basis.  (I'll post some images from my very own Rock the Dress session in the coming weeks).  

Enough about me though...the reason for this post is I am so excited about a new joint venture between Confetti Films and Edward Ross Photography that I just had to share!  These two companies have collaborated on a new project called Bye Bye Wedding Dress.  Not only will you have the opportunity to have beautiful fashion forward images taken of you and your spouse by Edward and his team, you also will receive a stunning cinematography style film created to capture your session.  Just to be clear I am not talking about videography, I'm talking cinematography.  If you have ever wanted to feel like a movie star in a major motion picture, Confetti Films is the company to go to.  They are true artists and they don't just film, they tell a story...your story.  The combined talent of Edward Ross Photography and Confetti Films is out of this world.  In fact I can't stop thinking about the images and film they created back in December.  (The four pictures featured above are from this very session.  You'll have to visit Confetti Films blog to check out their video clip...it is definitely worth the trip).  I am seriously trying to figure out how long it will take me to lose enough weight to fit back into my wedding dress so that my hubby and I can have our very own Bye Bye Wedding Dress session.  

January 26, 2009

Personalize your Reception...Part 2

We have all seen the standard guest book at weddings and well...they are just that, standard. Does anyone really ever look at them again?  If you are wanting to remember the guests who came to celebrate your wedding day why not kick it up a notch an introduce something that you will actually look back on over the years?  Get creative and have some fun with it.  Your guests will appreciate the extra effort and you will have a keepsake that you will actually treasure (and not something that just sits in a box collecting dust).

1. Engagement Photo Guest Book
This is a great way to display (and show off) your engagement photos.   Your guests will enjoy flipping through the pages selecting just the right spot to leave their well wishes.  Most photographers offer an engagement guest book option in their a la carte section.  You can also DIY at places like picaboo and My Publisher.  If you want to be really creative you can even help your guests with ideas by including headers such as: Give Us an Idea for a Date Night..., When Did You First Know that We Were Meant to Be Together..., Share Your Advice for a Strong Marriage..., etc. 

2. Photo Booth Scrap Book
Rent a Photo Booth or have your photographer set one up in a corner of the room.  Have your guests leave a copy of their photo along with their comments in a blank guest book.  This idea also works well if you want to create a Polaroid guest book.  You can provide questions (or missions) for your guests (ie. Find someone who has travelled to Calgary, Scotland and take a picture with this person).  It gives your guests something to do during the cocktail hour and allows guests to mingle who might not otherwise.  You end up with a great scrapbook as well. 
Photo: Wedding Bee

3. Type Writer 
Provide a type writer and some blank paper and let your guests fingers to the talking!  This would be great if the bride or groom was a writer or if you were planning a vintage inspired wedding.
Photo: Wedding Bee

4. Wish Tree
This is a great option as it can add a decor element to your room and can be rustic, whimsical or elegant depending on how you choose to accessorize.   
Photos: Here Comes the Guide 

6. Wish bowl 
This is the same idea as the Wish Tree just using a glass vessel instead.

7. Signature Mat 
This is another way to display one of your engagement photos and you can proudly display it in your home following the wedding.

8. Wine Bottle
Pick a favourite vintage or perhaps a specialty wine that you have selected to serve at your wedding.  Have your guests sign all around the bottle and then save it for your 1st or 10th anniversary.  If you are having a large wedding you could have several bottles available for guests to sign and then open them on different anniversaries.  This would also be a nice keep sake from your rehearsal dinner with the signatures of your wedding party and close family.  
Photo: Knottie - andrea88

9. Signature Platter
This is a great idea, especially if you like to entertain.  You can pull it out whenever you host a special get together.
Photo: Say Anything Ceramics

10. Wedding Quilt
This takes some organization and additional effort on the part of your guests but the rewards are well worth it!  Creating a quilt with different squares crafted by your guests is sure to be a family heirloom that will be passed down through the generations.  If you can arrange to have your guests send back their squares well in advance of the wedding you could have the quilt assembled and proudly displayed on your wedding day for all of your guests to see.   
Photo: Lara Swanson Photo via Life Love Lipstick

11. Cookbook or Recipe Cards
If you love to cook then how about providing one of your favourite cookbooks with beautiful pictures for your guests? Your guests could then sign on pages that have some of their most treasured recipes.  If you're lucky they might even share some of their tips and tricks for elevating the recipe to the next level.  Then each time you pull out that cookbook over the years you will be reminded of the love and good wishes of your very special guests. 

Alternatively you could ask guests to bring their favourite recipe (on a recipe card you mailed out with your invitation) and leave it in a recipe box provided on the welcome table.  You could have some spare cards available for guests who don't bring a recipe card with them...perhaps they will be inclined to share their recipe for a successful marriage.  Following the wedding you can try out the recipes your guests so thoughtfully shared.

12. Travel Book
Why not pick up a coffee table book featuring stunning images of the destination you plan to honeymoon at?  Guests can sign pages of the book or leave comments or suggestions about the best sights, sounds and eats if they have travelled to the region before.  It is sure to be a great keepsake that you will look back on fondly over the years.  

January 19, 2009

Winter Engagement Photography

For all of you out there planning an engagement photo session during this snowy time of year take advantage of your surroundings and have some fun!  Play up the season by wearing some brightly coloured accessories such a toques, scarfs, and mitts.  If you're feeling particularly adventurous you could even engage in a (playful) snowball fight which always makes for some fun photographs.  Still not convinced?  Check out these Calgary photographers who captured fabulous images of couples braving the elements to create some unique and colourful winter engagement photos.

Above two photos credit: Claire Cocheme

Above three photos credit: tlaw photography

Whimsical Hair Accessories

One part whimsy, one part drama and all over style is how I would describe these amazing hair flowers designed by K Autumn.  If you haven't discovered K Autumn yet stop by her site and check out her amazing work.  These hair flowers are perfect for brides seeking an alternative to a veil or as a complement to either a birdcage or traditional veil.  If you are a style savvy bride and are looking to make a statement on your big day then this may just be THE accessory for you.  I love them so much I'm thinking about doing another Rock the Dress session (yes I have already done one and LOVED it) just so that I can sport one of these babies!  

Any Calgary brides out there planning to wear one of these amazing creations on your wedding day?  If so, we'd love to hear about it and share a picture of you rocking your very own K Autumn floral hair piece with our readers.  Drop us a line and tell us all about it.  
All photos from K Autumn's website.

January 14, 2009

Whimsical Bouquets

I love the above bouquet and these boutonnieres from Katie Elfers.  The vivid colours and mix of textures is simply divine! 
Check out this other amazing bouquet from Katie Elfers.  Again the mix of textures and unexpected elements make it equal parts elegant and whimsical.  I just adore the addition of the peacock feathers.

If you're looking for something other than a traditional bouquet made of fresh flowers then feast your eyes on these amazing button bouquets and boutonnieres from lil fish studios.  They offer up the perfect whimsical and vintage vibe for the bride looking to make a distinct statement.  They are just too cute!

January 9, 2009

Whimsical DIY Inspired Wedding Ideas

If all this winter weather has you dreaming of warmer, brighter days then perhaps you'll enjoy these images that I think are just perfect for those looking for both simple DIY wedding ideas as well whimsical wedding elements to incorporate into their special day.  If not for your wedding then perhaps a birthday party, baby shower or other upcoming celebration.  

Check out these delightful flowers.  These would be a simple DIY flower project.  You can grab shot glasses (to use as mini vases) as well as the taller slim vases at the dollar store making this a super affordable project.  Add some coordinating ribbon from your local craft store and viola, you are done!  Flowers can be ordered inexpensively from places like COSTCO or even your local super market.

Above 3 Photos credit: Rae Leytham Photography via Elizabeth Anne Designs

How about incorporating some colourful signature drinks.  These are sure to delight your many thirsty guests.

Blue Cocktail Photo credit: Meg Baisden Photography

What would be better suited to a whimsical theme than one of these delightful cakes by Pink Cake Box?
Is there anything more precious than a fairy flower girl???  Photo credit: Anna Kuperberg

January 7, 2009

Contest Winner

January 7th has finally arrived and it's time for me to announce the winner of the contest for the 16 Personalized Out-of-Town Welcome Bags.  Before I do I just want to say that I appreciate all of the wonderful entries I received.  The entries rolled in at an astounding rate and I was so touched by all of your stories and inspired by your amazing and unique wedding day visions.  Choosing just one winner has been such a difficult task.  For all those who entered and did not win the prize I am offering 20% off the cost of any items from the boutique (until the end of February 2009) which would make up the Out-of-Town Welcome Bags.  

Since the contest was so popular I have decided to continue the giving by offering periodic contests in the future so check back regularly for your chance to win fantastic prizes from Inspired Occasions.

Now to announce the winner.  Drum roll please...

Congratulations to Hero and Kurtis who will be married on June 6, 2009!  I was so moved by your story and all of the amazing personal touches you have incorporated into your special day to make your guests feel truly honoured and appreciated. 

January 5, 2009

Winter Weddings

For all of you out there dreaming of or planning your perfect winter wedding, I hope you have the wonderful snow-blanketed backdrop you are dreaming of.  Winter can be such a romantic time of year...everything (if you're lucky) is covered in sparkly white snow and the addition of candles during your ceremony and reception is sure to set the perfect mood by casting the softest of glows.  Even if you don't luck out with snow on your special day, if your pocket book allows you can always have some created just for you.  Check out these gorgeous winter wedding pictures!
Snowy Backdrop: David Barrs Photography via: The View Point Inn
Snow in the city: Genevieve Albert Photography
Snow Angel and Heart photos: Shandro Photo
Outdoor Winter Wedding Guests: HeiBlog
Winter Wonderland First Dance: Alan Maudie