Hi friends! As you may already know, the SHE team is absolutely obsessed with the beauty the Pacific Northwest. Natasha & David celebrated their love at the Fraser River Lodge and all we can say is that it’s truly one of our favorites.
How Their Love Story Began
It wasn’t necessarily “love at first sight” but this one has a great story that proves timing is everything. Natasha and David went to high school together and would bump into each other on occasion in class or through mutual friend outings. They gradutated, went their seperate ways and years later, at a UBC party, Natasha noticed David from across the room. The lightbulb went off and he recoginized her too. They became friends again and soon after began dating long distance as David lived in Alberta.
Natasha soon moved out to Alberta and on a trip out to Ireland, David bought her a Clatter Irish ring while waiting to customize the engagement ring together. After five years of dating, David proposed to Natasha on a beautiful snowy day in January, during a walk along their favourite path with their dogs Maya and Peter.
How They Wed
While living in Alberta, the couple quickly realized they needed someone supporting their vision and executing it perfectly in BC. They hired Stephanie for True to You custom package and full decor and design. Natasha’s vision was blush and ivory, west coast backdrops and romance but still casual, inviting and lots of fun.
Stephanie scoured the warehouses of Niche Event Stylists, Past Pieces, Sitka Studios and Flowerella Event Florals to bring this beautiful vision to life. The reception tables were dressed in white floorlength linens, dove grey chiffon runners and many blush blooms.
To create an intimate but inviting atmosphere, we added additional seating to the tables to allow guests to mix and mingle and create new friendships during the dinner reception. Plus, it was a great spot for the couple to sneak in and say hello.
Above, was a cluster of globe lighting that created the ultimate romantic environment and the perfect lighting for all night dancing. Creating and executing this wedding with a couple from afar was an exciting and creative inspiring challenge.
Last week we introduced you to one of our favorite couples of all time, Jake & Taylor – the power couple behind The Relationship Project. They gave us insight as to who they are as a couple, what the Relationship Project is all about, what they love and admire most about each other and shared their favorite fall date night ideas. They literally make our hearts melt.
If you missed part one, click here to check it out – and if you’re here for more amazing advice from these two, keep on reading! 🙂
How do you use your strengths and differences to navigate through your relationship?
T: We have so many differences! From morning person to night owl, we are almost complete opposites. I think what helps us through is knowing that at the core of who we are we do have the same values. We’re also trying to learn how to use our differences to strengthen our relationship and sharpen each other rather than dull us and pull us apart. His strengths are my weaknesses, and vice versa, so when we approach situations we try to keep that in mind and pass the ball to each other when we can.
J: With the resources that we’ve accumulated over the years of figuring out how to grow ourselves and with each other, we’ve managed to find a common ground of compromise and willingness to “dance”. What I mean by that is that our relationship is always moving, always fluid, but with certain boundaries. We’ll try our best to communicate to one another our differences and how we can navigate through it as a team instead of us being on opposing sides. We’ve found that by doing so, we end up with a more successful outcome regardless of what differences we come across.
When you got engaged, what preparations did you take to ensure a beautiful marriage after the wedding day?
T: We actually didn’t plan our wedding at all—we hired wonderful planners to take care of everything and that special day so that we could focus on planning all the days after. We really looked at our wedding day as the start of our marriage and often couples look at it as an end to an engagement. The finish line. For us, it was the starting line and we wanted to set ourselves up for success. We really believe that your wedding day won’t be the happiest day of your life. It should be all the days after that, you know?
J: We did quite a bit of prepping for our marriage, both logistically and spiritually. We talked about everything to do with finances, living situations, regular day to day habits, and family connections. Some of these topics were hard to cover because of our own insecurities! We also talked about spiritually growing together.
Photo Credit: The Relationship Project
What should newly engaged couples discuss/plan for before saying I Do?
T: We took online courses together, attended events, read all the books, learned new things together, did long term and short term planning, worked out budgets and household roles. We had hard, honest conversations about sex, family, children, health, and emergencies. We learned how we communicated, our conflict habits, and our egos. We discovered how we both learn best and fail hard. And, most importantly, we made time to play together. We knew we wanted a marriage full of fun, security, and love so we worked on cultivating and practicing those skills before we said I Do.
J: We did this because we knew that we were going to be together for the rest of our lives, and growing together as a team will be something we needed to practice every day. I personally think that these topics are ideal to discuss with one another before saying “I Do” since both your lives will be intertwined from that day forward–the forward part is what matters.
In today’s society, and divorce being almost too easy, how do you succeed? What advice can you offer to couples?
T: That’s a great question, it’s hard for couples these days when we’re told that relationships are convenient, easy and disposable. Because, let’s be honest here, a REALationship is the opposite of those things most times. It takes hard work, it’s not always convenient to put in that work, and there’s no way to succeed by throwing it away. How can we succeed unless we acknowledge those expectations and communicate them?
J: Taylor and I talked about “divorce” many times even before we got married. We came to the same page that divorce is not an option for us, so we’ll have to make it work! It takes practice, over and over, to see our mistakes, and have second chances at it to better the relationship and better ourselves. If it takes 8-10 times of trying before we get something right, we’ll do it.
T: Everything changed for us when we decided that it was okay to try and make mistakes. That we would still stay together and remain patient even when it was hard and we were learning. I think by being generous with your partner and committing to being learning partners takes away those expectations that often force us away from the growth a REALationship requires.
J: If there’s any advice I could give to other couples, it would be to give your partner the benefit of the doubt. They are trying their best at that time, and so are you. You can always communicate and look back at what happened, figure out a strategy “together” as a team, and execute that strategy for the next time.
Anything exciting happening that we should know about?
T: We have an exciting new event we’re bringing to Vancouver that’s happening on October 26, 2017. It’s a date night Panel Discussion Event for REALationships featuring 6 relationship experts and we’re PUMPED about it!
J: We’ll be diving into the nitty gritty of REALationships and answering all kinds of questions. And with free wine, we know we’re going to have a blast!
T: We’re so thrilled to be bringing something different to Vancouver and seeing this different vision for events come to life!
Interested in their event? Click on the links below to grab tickets and to receive more info! And if you’re looking for more amazing tips, advice and relationship inspo – pop over to their social media pages below and tell them we said hello! 🙂
Hi friends! Have you ever met a couple that was so in love that you just instantly knew they were absolute #relationshipgoals?! I recently met them for a Starbucks coffee date and not only did they totally have me running to update my online dating profile to find something true like them but I wanted to join their friend circle immediately- you’ll soon see why! Meet Jake and Taylor, a Vancouver based power couple behind the “Relationship Project”.
Over the years of their relationship, they’ve seen their share of highs and lows. They believe in marriage and think relationships are delicious–a lot of work–but so very worth it. The Relationship Project is opening the doors and giving others a behind the scenes look into what successful relationships practice. They want to expose the mistakes and triumphs, and personally share how they’re growing and learning together–and how you can, too. Because, let’s be real. Relationships are beautiful and messy. It’s time we see (and share!) it all.
Meet Jake & Taylor: the couple behind The Relationship Project
J: Our story began in a local hip-hop dance studio in Edmonton AB. We started out as friends until a spark ignited. We took things at our own pace (aka slowly… very slowly!) and our friendship grew into more as we were nursing this flame. It grew into wildfire just before we toured internationally to China with our dance company together. We ended up moving to Vancouver together weeks after the tour where we hopped onto this rollercoaster of our relationship together.
T: This is where we really started to discover the real side of relationships and how it’s not always easy. We had all the issues; commitment issues, trust issues, communication issues. So we started to get to work on ourselves and on our relationship. Over those years working hard together, we got engaged, then just under a few years later, got married, and a few years later, still doing the work! We’re enjoying this journey of marriage now and doing life together.
What is the Relationship Project?
T: The Relationship Projectis a platform to showcase behind the scenes to real relationships and how we can all build one too. We serve our audiences through our blog, hosting events around Canada, and hanging together on our socials. One of our biggest challenges in our relationship was managing societal expectations and pressures. You know what we mean; Disney Movies, Romcoms, and fairytale love. We were constantly questioning if we were normal and if other people go through the same struggles that we go through. After talking with our friends, peers, and family, we realized that this idealized fairy tale relationship was a sham!
J: We discovered that all relationships have ups and downs. We realized that all relationships are different, and have their own unique sets of challenges and successes. That’s where the Relationship Project was born.
T: We wanted to further this mission of showcasing the real side to relationships and sharing resources to help us all learn, grow together, and build a successful real-ationship!
J: As for the future, we’re winging it. We never intended this to be a business, it was just a platform to share this info and knowledge to our peers, friends, and family, and now it’s this business that’s taking off and we’re rolling with it! We thoroughly enjoy hosting events and keeping up with the blog is a lot of fun as well. As for the rest? Stay tuned!
What do you love most about each other?
J: What I love most about Taylor is that she understands my growth and values, and she gives me the benefit of the doubt to offer myself a second chance. Of course, I make mistakes, and I’m hard enough on myself, but she’s there as my teammate that cheers me on through it and not just leaves me behind to fend for myself or give me, even more, heck than I already do.
T: I honestly love how different Jake is from me. In this walk through life, I couldn’t imagine being beside another me. The fact that he is so unlike me is hard but it’s also so wonderful. He’ll always see the world differently from me, have different ideas, and different perspectives and I love that. (If I’m being honest, I need that, too!) We are committed to filling up our tanks for each other and ourselves.
J: We incorporate each other’s love language by asking each other what we need. That doesn’t necessarily always mean what we want. We’ve both been clear on what fills up our tanks so we can offer that to each other when something is off (like a cheat sheet, but the good kind!)One of Taylor’s love language is touch, and when we’re not near each other, I’ll text her in bullet stars (*) what I would be doing to her to if I was there physically to fill up her love tank. As an example, I would say… *gently rubs your back while holding you close*… Instead of “I love you.” She hears the physicality way louder.
T: Jake is all about the words so I try to make it a point to tell him a higher ratio of positive things, things I love and appreciate, every day. I also ask him specific questions every day so he can feel like we’ve had a real connection. Things like when did you feel appreciated today? Did you struggle with anything today? Did someone tell you something great today? Things like that!
What are your favourite Fall date ideas?
T: I love the fall season, I know this sounds corny, but I really do like pumpkin patches in the fall. It’s such a quintessential memory and is always a good time stomping around with rubber boots. I also really love the beaches in the fall, there’s no one there! Also, anytime when we can stay and home and cook together is a good time and that’s perfect for fall, too!
J: One of my favourite fall dates is when it’s a colder night, we’ll go and visit a coffee shop (mainly a Starbucks inside Chapters). We’ll have coffee together while browsing around looking for books and decor and all the other fun stuff that they have in the store, and then sit down and play with a deck of cards, usually Big 2, Go Fish, or sometimes if we’re up for it, Speed!
Photo Credit: The Relationship Project
Can’t get enough of this inspiring couple? Come back and check out part two later this week to hear what Jake & Taylor have to say about how they use their individual strengths and differences to grow their relationship, how they prepared for their wedding, their thoughts on the big D word and exciting events coming up! This is one date night event you don’t want to miss (oops spoiler alert!).
To see more of what Jake & Taylor are up to, visit their social media pages below and tell them this sweetheart sent you! 😉
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.
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.
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:
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!
Hey friends! I’m Caitlyn and one of the SHE girls that has the huge honour of planning your happily ever after. Read more below to check out more about me to ensure I am the right fit for you. Thank you so much for considering me!
Your journey to wedding planning:
At the age of 10, I witnessed my first wedding – you could say it was love at first sight. My dream turned into a reality upon graduation of Capilano University and BCIT. With my diploma’s in hand, I set out and began my journey by volunteering and interning for local companies. Not long after, I took a position at a local Golf Club as Day of Wedding Coordinator. In 2012, I had the pleasure of meeting Stephanie through a mutual friend. Since then, I have been a proud member of the SHE team!
Your favourite part of the wedding day:
My favorite part of the wedding day is when the party starts! I love seeing my clients relaxed, happy and celebrating their love with their closest family and friends!
We’d be a great fit if:
My ideal clients are easy going, creative, sentimental and have a sense of humor. They want their wedding to truly represent them.
Describe your typical Sunday:
A typical Sunday in the Domijan household starts off with a big homemade breakfast followed by a family stroll down along the Shoreline Trail in Port Moody with our daughter, Charlie, and two pugs, Bubba and Memphis. We love to end our weekends over a glass of wine with our friends.
When you meet for a coffee date with a client you’ll be drinking:
Tea. All things tea!
Your favourite fur baby:
Our little family consists of our daughter, Charlie, and our pug babies Bubba and Memphis.
When can I find you doing a happy dance?:
When I’m listening to someone’s love story, enjoying a glass of wine or getting more than 2 hours of sleep in a row #newmomprobs.
Your current love story:
My husband and I met when we were 17. Since then, we have created a beautiful life together. Just this past year, SHE helped us get engaged and married! If that wasn’t enough, we recently welcomed our daughter into the world. Check out the details of the amazing proposal and wedding that the SHE team helped put together for our own fairytale.