Home » Blog

Holi-Date Night Ideas | Christmas 2017

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Hi friends! With the holiday season fast approaching us – we couldn’t be more excited! We love spending time with our sweethearts decorating Christmas trees with old and new ornaments, Christmas music playing in the background, twinkling lights sparkling inside and outdoors, fireplaces being turned on and peppermint hot chocolates… mmm. Major swoon. Christmas time in Vancouver has some of the coziest date nights that we are totally all about and they are all super affordable! If you want to see some of our favorite holi-date recommendations, keep reading below!

Cozy Christmas Markets

Vancouver Christmas Market
Location: Jack Poole Plaza
Date: November 22, 2017 – December 24th, 2017
Price Point: $
What you can find: Over 75 huts stuffed with sweets, treats, and treasures and authentic German delicacies: sizzling sausages, mulled wine, old world confections, and so much more! Yummy! They also have a glittering carousel, a 30-foot tall walk-in Christmas tree boasting 36,000 twinkling lights, live entertainment, and a multitude of festive family activities.

Be Merry & Bright

Glow Christmas
Location: Milner Village Garden Centre, Langley BC
Date: November 19, 2017 – December 30, 2017
Price Point: $$
What you can find: Glow is a crafted and curated Christmas event for the entire family! Bring together the people you love and explore four Christmas-themed light gardens, a Christmas market, and food trucks! Take a stroll through their musical light tunnel, where you’ll feel the warmth and wonder of the Christmas season, under the glow of over 500,000 lights.

Bright Nights at Stanley Park
Location: Stanley Park, Vancouver BC
Date: November 30, 2017 – January 6, 2018
Price Point: $
What you can find: Enjoy a night cuddled with your sweetheart as you sip hot chocolate and ride the Stanley Park Train! Then head over and take a picture with Santa! Bonus: they have partnered up with BC Professional Fire Fighters’ Burn Fund and the Greater Vancouver Food Bank! All proceeds and non-perishable food items will go towards their partnered charities.

VanDusen Festival of Lights
Location: VanDusen Garden, Vancouver BC
Date: December 1, 2017 – January 7, 2018
Price Point: $
What you can find: Air France carousel, dancing lights paired to classic, disco and soul music, Storytime with Santa, a fireside lounge, Make-A-Wish® – Candle Grotto and Lego Room of Joy, and lots of Instagram worthy places to take cute holiday photos!

Home is Where the Heart is

Some of our absolute favorite Christmas date night ideas are really the ones you can do at home. Bring out your matching jammies and light up your holiday scented candles and enjoy a cup of mulled wine! Here are a few of our other at home holi-date night ideas!

  • Set up the Christmas tree with personalized ornaments
  • Make gingerbread houses (have some fun and make it a competition!)
  • If snowy weather permits… build a snowman or go tobogganing!
  • Head to a local ice rink and skate hand-in-hand
  • Indulge in a Christmas movie night – some of our favorites films include Elf, Home Alone, Love Actually, The Holiday, How the Grinch Stole Christmas… the list goes on!

Want more fun date night ideas? Sign up for our newsletter and seasonal romantic ideas will land in your inbox! We would love to see what holiday date night ideas you and your hubby come up with! Follow us on Instagram and tag us! T’is the season, sweethearts! 

Amanda & Lucas | Whistler Marriage Proposal

Photography Credit: Christine Pienaar Photography

Earlier this year, Lucas reached out to us to help him plan and execute the perfect proposal for his girlfriend (spoiler alert: now fiancé!!!), Amanda. These two people are beyond beautiful and perfect for each other. We are so honored to have been apart of this special proposal for them! Check it out!

How Their Love Story Began as Told by Lucas

“We started dating about a year and a half ago, and I think we both knew quickly into our relationship that we had something special. I am a neurosurgery resident (Amanda likes to practically call me Dr. McDreamy) and she is a practicing dentist, and we met on Tinder, although it almost wasn’t to be. I hadn’t used the application very much after being signed up by some friends, but my one rule was I never “swiped right” on people that only had photos. I liked at least something clever or intriguing in the statement to really peak my interest. However, she is a dentist and had a photo with a surgical mask on. I am also in the medical/surgical realm and forever reason I deemed that enough to investigate further. I’m glad I swiped right.” 

How He Asked The Girl of His Dreams

Lucas hired Stephanie on to execute a full proposal in 9 days. He was planning a ski trip to Whistler with his girlfriend Amanda and he wanted to propose but needed the assistance to fully execute it. Lucas had mentioned that one of his favourite dates involved going for dinner and exploring an art exhibit. It was their first time in Whistler so a trip to Lil Wat Cultural Center in Squamish was a must.

It was January 24th, 2017 and after a morning of exploring the city, they arrive at the cultural center. Lucas suggests going in but he desperately needs a coffee before they start. While walking downstairs to the cafe, they hear music coming from the Istken Hall and peek behind the black curtain. Lucas leads Amanda to a rose petal circle with a vinyl sticker quote: OUR FOREVER STARTS NOW with their proposal date. He whispers those four little words and Amanda, in complete shock, says yes! Following the proposal, Christine Pienaar takes the couple out for a mini engagement session while Stephanie flips the room to an elegant table for two with Future Hubby/Future Wifey champagne flutes and bottle of Veuve Cliquot champagne. On her place setting is a calligraphy love letter of everything Lucas shared when on one knee. That forever keepsake! 

Take a look at some of our favorite moments of the day!

The Vendor Team:

Photographer: Christine Pienaar Photography | Venue: Lil’Wat Cultural Center | Rentals: Lonsdale Event Rentals | Vinyl Sticker: Branch and the Vine | Proposal Planning: Sweetheart Events 

How To Get Your Engagement Ring Through Airport Security

Photo Credit: Simply Sweet Photography by Nomo Akisawa

Hi Sweethearts! Alright – this one’s for you guys! You got the ring. You planned a trip to your dream destination wedding proposal location. And now you’re ready to propose. But wait… how do you get the ring through airport security without blowing your cover? This is a very common question with our clients. Keep on reading as we guide you through logistics so you can focus on your dream destination proposal!

How to Pack the Engagement Ring

Keep the ring safe by having it in maximum cushioning. We suggest leaving it in a plain box, that provides the ring support and security from moving around and potentially getting lost. Our favourite spot to hide it is in the floss container. I mean, have you ever looked inside there? Your Sweetheart won’t suspect anything. Plus it’s a great item to always have on you! 

Keep Calm & Carry-On

To minimize ruining the surprise, pack the ring in your carry-on versus checked bag to avoid the risk of losing it. Just think – how many luggage get lost every day?! Following all TSA security rules to a tee is the best way to stay low key – because that means the less chance you’ll get pulled aside for inspection. If you do get flagged, ask for a private inspection. Avoid stashing the ring with anything that might potentially trigger the metal detectors like toiletries or electronics. And if you’re worried about TSA blowing your cover, leave a discreet note, letting them know what’s special inside (fingers crossed they’ll keep it a secret!) 

And if all else fails….

Propose With a Fake Ring

A fake ring?! Why would I propose with a fake ring, you say? Well, proposing with a fake ring can actually turn out to be a lifesaver when you’re out of the country. Don’t get us wrong – we totally still suggest going for the real thing for your engagement but with a fake one in hand, you don’t have to worry about losing the engagement ring of her dreams (which you could totally design together after the proposal!)

If you’re looking to propose in Vancouver as your wedding proposal destination, we would love to help you plan out your vision for the perfect engagement! Just click here to get in touch.

Happy traveling and happy planning, sweethearts! 🙂

Let’s Talk REALtionships: Meet Jake & Taylor Part Two

Photo Credit: The Relationship Project

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! 🙂

Event Tickets | Eventbrite
Facebook Event Page | Panel Discussion For Real-ationships

Website | relationshipproject.org
Instagram | @relationshipproject
Facebook | facebook.com/relationshipproject

Let’s Talk REALationships- Meet Jake and Taylor

Photo Credit: The Relationship Project

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 Project is 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! 😉

Website | relationshipproject.org
Instagram | @relationshipproject
Facebook | facebook.com/relationshipproject