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Ways to Keep the Romance Alive During Wedding Planning

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By Shannon Lochwood

Engagements are blissful and filled with days of showing off the ring, telling the story about the proposal and buying every bridal magazine in sight. Those first few weeks are the Honeymoon phase of engagement…and it’s all about the giddy newness of the moment. Then the ring settles on the left hand–still catching your eye, but not in the same “I can’t believe I’m engaged’ way as before—and the wedding planning begins.

Some couples designate who plans what for the ceremony and reception, while other couples dually plan everything. In some relationships, one person just clocks out. It happens. But no matter who plans which details, you need to make sure that the planning doesn’t overshadow the love and romance of the relationship.

Planning a wedding is work, and the planning can become extremely overwhelming and stressful. Sure, it’s fun to pick out a dress, taste test the menu and nibble on cake slices. However, there is a reason why many engagements last a year—it takes that long to get the details just perfect. And that hunt for wedding perfection can quickly sour a relationship.

Don’t fall prey to planning stress, and don’t let the details eclipse what’s really important: your love. While ironing out the details might seem important, take time to reconnect with your partner and nurture the relationship. Keep the love alive—and the chemistry explosive—with a few healthy relationship habits:

Hang Up to Hang Out

When the planning gets tough and the wedding vendors are hitting up your cell nonstop, hit pause. Call your partner and plan an evening out—or in. Binge watch Netflix or go to dinner. Spend time together and don’t talk about the wedding. Don’t mention the vendors. And just enjoy each other.

Go Zen

The constant need to go, go, go is the story of our lives. And it’s so tempting to just keep going with the planning to map out all those little details…those loose ends that just need to be tied up for the wedding. When you’re constantly in go mode, it’s time to stop and enjoy the present. Yoga and meditation help center the body and mind. By focusing on mindful breathing, the body learns to focus on the here and now. Turn down the lights, pull out the yoga mat and let the postures flow. You’ll feel refreshed, rejuvenated and ready to curl up next to your beloved.

Don’t Forget to Say ‘I Love You’

 Planning turns into business. And somehow this big life changing event has morphed into a debate on whether to choose red roses or pink tulips. Your relationship begins to be defined by the wedding, but the wedding should be defined by the relationship. Pull back the reins and remember one simple phrase: I Love You. Say it daily and mean it. Because that’s what the wedding—the vows—are about.

Take a Holiday

Grab your partner and head out for a weekend getaway. Go on a glamping trip, escape to a nearby bed and breakfast or travel a bit farther. Take a vacation together to get a break from the wedding business. Even if the budget is strapped because of the big day, you can still pitch a tent in the woods, curl up together in the sleeping bag and cuddle under the stars.

Stay Intimate

You’re not an old married couple…yet. Your love life should not have to be planned out and scheduled. Keep the fire on by staying spontaneous. Don’t take wedding planning into the bedroom, and definitely don’t pull out bridal magazines in bed. The bedroom is for fire…not tulle and flowers. Swap out the planners and glossy magazines for the Kama Sutra.

Wedding planning can be fun, but those details also may take a toll on your mood…and maybe even your relationship. Take back the love and dial down the stress. A wedding is about the love between two people…not the color of the flowers or the lace on the dress. Stay connected, stay sane and make love not wedding planning war!

Check out more articles written by Shannon Lochwood for more wedding planning tips: His and Hers Vintage Style, Wedding Workout to Look Flawless on your Big Day and Potential Problems for the Allergic Bride.

(Photo credit: Blush Sky Photography)

Katie & Carl | Bridges Restaurant Wedding

How has a year gone by since Katie & Carl’s wedding? I LOVED working with this couple and their vendor team!  When I first met with Katie I knew their wedding was going to be beautiful, classic and ton of fun! You’ll get to see from the photos that it was just that.

Usually, these blog posts are written by us; sharing the details of our couple’s special day. But, this time I’m going to share with you what my bride had to say!

Happy Anniversary Katie & Carl!

From Katie – The Bride:

We wanted our wedding to be romantic and intimate, and we knew Bridges Restaurant in Granville Island, with its classic West Coast views and elegant dining room, would be the perfect backdrop for our wedding celebration. From there, all the other little details just fell into place and reflected who we were as a couple.

It was important for us to incorporate traditional Chinese wedding elements to our wedding. We did this firstly with our locally designed wedding invitations, which we individually wax-sealed by hand with a Chinese “double happiness” symbol. On the wedding day, Carl arrived at my parent’s house to find a series of tasks he and his groomsmen had to pass (including eating hot chilli peppers!) in order to meet his bride. I got to watch the entire process through a window looking onto the front porch. This was followed by a tea ceremony, where I had the opportunity to wear my mother’s very own red and gold wedding Cheongsam.

I then changed into my wedding dress, Hayley Paige’s “Lourdes” dress, which I loved for being both timeless and unique with its daring straps and champagne underlay. I wanted my bridesmaids to wear what they wanted, so they each designed their own dresses in varying shades of grey. Carl and I met in a nearby park for our first look, surrounded by lush greenery, and headed to our Bridges Restaurant for our wedding ceremony in our friend’s Lincoln ’64 as our getaway car.

We said our vows on the terrace of Bridges, followed by cheers and bubbles from our family and friends while a string quartet played classical and contemporary music. From then on, it was all about celebrating. Our planners, Sweetheart Events, made sure everything ran smoothly. Our photographer, Mathias Fast, captured our important moments flawlessly, from the big moments (our first dance) to the small (our flower girl peeping over someone’s shoulder). Our florist, Garden Party Flowers, designed the most magical lush pieces that adorned our seating chart and tables. We also incorporated DIY elements, including the handmade gold table numbers and the flower girls’ fairy wands.

From our first dance beneath an incredible navy sky, to cutting of the delicious wedding cake made with love from my new sister-in-law, everything was perfect. For the second half of our wedding reception, I changed into a red dress by the designer Sachin & Babi, to toast our guests, toss the bouquet and dance the night away. As for the food… we couldn’t forget the incredible dessert buffet of mini cupcakes, macaroons and fudge cookies catered by my talented second-cousin’s summer catering business (she’s in high school!) and Bridge’s midnight snack of blue cheese sliders and poutine.

When the night was done, we said our goodbyes and strolled through a quiet Granville Island to our hotel where we happily awoke the next morning, grinning ear to ear as husband and wife. We were so lucky to have a wonderful wedding celebration that was easily the best day of our lives. Then it was off to our first adventure as a married couple: our honeymoon in Morocco!

Vendor Team:

Wedding Coordinator: Shawna – Sweetheart Events // Ceremony & Reception Venue: Bridges Restaurant //  Photographer: Mathias Fast // Florals: Garden Party Flowers // DJ: Beyond Sound // String Quartet: Musical Occasions // Hair & Makeup: Margaret Lai

 

Caroline & Clark’s Pemberton Wedding

 

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Happy Anniversary to Caroline and Clark!!!

Ready to revist this special day? Caroline and Clark’s Pemberton Wedding was a true highlight of the summer. The jaw dropping backdrop, the personalized details and their love story was every planner’s dream! Coordinated by our fabulous planner, Caitlyn.

How they met:

Having just moved to Vancouver from England, Caroline found a local bar in her new neighbourhood (Kitsilano)- little did she know that the cute bartender serving her would become her husband! From the moment they met, their relationship felt right. A few years later, Clark asked Caroline to be his wife and without hesitation she said yes!

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The Wedding:

With most of their families coming all the way from England, Caroline and Clark wanted to make sure their guests experienced British Columbia in all of its glory. Nothing spoke to them more than the stunning backdrop of Big Sky Golf Course in Pemberton, BC. Not only was the view fairy-tale-like, the rustic beams and patio terrace were so romantic!

I love nothing more than when a wedding day truly reflects the couple. From start to finish, I could see a part of Caroline and Clark in every moment; the numerous handmade items showed Caroline’s delicate and creative side while the fun photo booth and busy dance floor reflected Clark’s upbeat personality.

Want to see more from the big day? Click here for photos from Melissa Skoda.

This day left me feeling complete. It made me so happy to watch Caroline, Clark and their wonderful families celebrate true love.

Wishing these two many, many years of love and happiness!

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Wedding Planning: Sweetheart Events (Caitlyn Domijan) | Photography: Melissa Skoda Photography | Hair and Make Up: Glossed Studio | Florist: Bathtub Gardens | Officiant: Tracy Kerr | Venue & Catering: Big Sky Golf Course | DJ: DJ Pemberton | Transportation: VIP Whistler | Photobooth: Cheesebox Photobooth

Dance The Night Away Like a Pro: featuring Alex Bleim, Vancouver Wedding Choreographer

Photo credit

A couple’s first dance is always a fun moment. Better yet when the first dance is choreographed! It’s also a great excuse for a date night.

I personally spent my childhood as a jazz dancer (don’t ask me to prove it because I was terrible) but recently took part in a professional class for couples. So much fun! It was a pleasure chatting with Alex to learn more about her passion.

Meet Alex:

Hi! I’m Alex and I grew up in North Vancouver, BC. My Mom put me in my first ballet class when I was four years old and I’ve been hooked ever since. I danced all throughout elementary and high school, participating in dance competitions and completing my RAD ballet exams. After high school, I moved to Toronto and completed four years at Ryerson University. I received my BFA in Performance Dance and was awarded the Nadia Potts Heart and Soul award and scholarship upon graduation. In 2016, I moved to London, UK where I worked as a professional dancer, teacher, and choreographer. It was an amazing year abroad filled with life-long memories!  

Throughout it all, teaching has been a constant in my life. I’ve been teaching dance for about eight years and have loved every moment. I’ve taught everything from ballet to hip-hop, two-year-olds to adults and beginners to professionals. Teaching dance is my passion and I love sharing everything I have learned to all my students.

What inspired me to start wedding choreography?

The first wedding dance I ever choreographed was for my cousin Nathan and his wife Marie. They are a fun loving couple, full of life and humor, who wanted to surprise their friends and family with an over the top dance on their big day. I had so much fun with them and the experience was so different from teaching young kids or dance fitness to adults. I was instantly hooked!

When I moved to London, I was hired by a company called Start the Dance, run by Jessica Brichto. Jess is an amazing woman who I love and admire. Her company specializes in first dances and in the high season, I would have FIVE couples in one day! It was an incredible experience to work with so many different couples and it gave me the confidence I have now. When I recently moved back to Vancouver, Jess suggested I continue my wedding choreography and with her blessing, I started Alex Bleim Dance.

My favourite part about working with couples:

Dancing is a very vulnerable and intimate experience, especially if you’re uncomfortable in any way. I love in the first lesson when couples start to relax… and dare I say, have a little fun! After a few lessons, I usually feel bonded with a couple and it’s always tough to say goodbye. It’s so rewarding to receive pictures, videos and texts weeks (sometimes months!) after our lessons and hear “we nailed it!” It makes my job so fulfilling.

The process & what to expect:

Everyone’s process will be a little different depending on what type of dance they are after – and that’s okay! Someone who wants a very simple and elegant routine will only need 1 – 2 lessons. If you want something a little more stylized, 4 lessons are my normal recommendation. There are exceptions to every rule though! It totally depends on how fast couples learn and how often they practice. 

  • I generally teach in the comfort of your own home, however, we can always book a studio near your home or work if you want more space.
  • What makes me unique to some other choreographers is that I don’t pre-plan my choreography. It is super important to me that a couple feels connected to the dance and to each other, so I like to create the dance while in the space with my couples after really listening to what they want. I will suggest moves but if a couple doesn’t seem sold, I can quickly change it. I think fast so even though I’m improvising on the spot, there’s not a lot of waiting around. It’s one of the skills that I get the most comments on and seems to create the best results!
  • Another service I offer is music editing. If your song is too long, or if you want to do a medley, I can edit your music for you… and it’s part of my rate! This opens the door to a huge range of songs that couples otherwise wouldn’t use.
  • At the end of every lesson, I always film what we have created. This way, you can practice between lessons and not feel overwhelmed about the choreography. I also talk and give notes in the video so when you practice, it’s like I’m still in the room with you! All my couples have noted that this was the most valuable tool during the whole process.

Rates:

For last minute emergencies, or pay as you go lessons, my rate is $75/60mins and $100/90mins. I also offer 3 packages:

  • 2 lessons x 90 mins ($175)
  • 4 lessons x 90 mins ($350)
  • 6 lessons x 90 mins  ($500)

What other services do I offer?

I am mostly known for choreographing first dances for weddings, however, I also offer a wide range of choreography services! I have choreographed Father-Daughter dances, Mother-Son dances, surprise wedding party performances, flash mobs and corporate events! 

Where to find more:

For testimonials and example videos of my work, please check out my:

Website
Facebook Page
Youtube Channel 

If you want to wow your weddings guests and pull off a total show-stopping routine or even just to explore your inner dancer and add some new moves to your repertoire (yes, we know how hard it is to ditch the beloved “shopping cart” and “sprinkler” moves) – make sure to follow Alex on Instagram or send a friendly message to her inbox and tell her this Sweetheart sent you 🙂 

And if you’re looking for a planner to guide you through all your wedding steps and join in on all your happy dances, we’d love to celebrate your love and get in touch!

Insert happy dance here!

Sandra & Tony’s Heritage Hall Wedding

Exactly one year ago today!! Wishing these two a happy first anniversary!

How they met:

Sandra and Tony met in Whistler where they were staying at the same hotel during a volleyball competition. They chatted in the hotel hot tub after a long day and then continued that conversation when they met up again at a nightclub later that night. A couple months went by and then they ran into each other again at a friend’s party. They exchanged numbers and have been inseparable ever since.

How he asked:

Sandra & Tony have a beautiful baby boy, Sam. One quiet Sunday morning while they were in their bedroom enjoying the morning together, Tony got up to open the curtains.  He came over to Sandra & Sam, got down on one knee, pulled out the ring and asked Sandra if she would marry him. Of course, she said yes!

Their Heritage Hall Wedding:

Sandra and Tony had their siblings as their Maid of Honour and Best Man. So they spent the morning getting ready with family for their special day!.

They met with their lovely photographer Jen, from Blush Sky Photography at Queen Elizabeth Park for their first look, just the two of them. Their family then joined them for photos before heading to the Ceremony & Reception at Heritage Hall.

Their beautiful custom ceremony crafted by Marcia from Modern Celebrant was the most special part of the day. It was personalized, funny, sentimental and built around the commitment Sandra and Tony were confirming not only to each other but also their son, Sam.

Sandra selected the month of July knowing that she wanted to have lavender in season for her wedding so the colour and bloom themselves were very present in all of their décor.

After a fantastic buffet dinner by The Butler Did It, Sandra and Tony danced the night away with their family and friends!

Thank you Sandra, Tony & Sam for trusting me with your special day!

Happy Anniversary!

Our fabulous vendor team:

Wedding planning: Sweetheart Events | Photography: Blush Sky Photography | Bridal bouquet: Flowerella | Hair and Makeup: Kyla G Artistry | Officiant: Modern Celebrant | Catering: Butler Did It Catering | Cupcakes: Cake & The Giraffe | Venue: Heritage Hall, Vancouver