Cinnamon Fun – The Photobooth

I think photobooths at weddings are a great idea, and luckily for me, Cinnamon Buns agreed. We sourced some pieces, and made a few more to fill our tickle trunk of props. We didn’t want a plain white background, so we found this great green and white oversized houndstooth fabric at Fabricland and bought up all they had. In the days before the wedding, I got my mum to sew it into a big square-ish piece (the sewing machine makes me cry, I’m hoping we can get to couples’ therapy sometime soon) that our photographers could throw over their own backdrop frame. We didn’t have any printing capability, just our second shooter with her camera on a tripod. We had plans to get these photos to our guests later, which I’ll go into in another post.

Right after the parent dances Cinnamon Buns pulled me in to the booth so we could show our guests how it is done.

Photobooth fun

We tangoed!

Photobooth fun

And then the props came out.

One of my favourite thing about this style of booth (photographer-operated) was that we didn’t just get the posed shots because someone in the photo pressed a button – we also got process shots as people set up their shenanigans, or in our case, cracked ourselves up:

Photobooth fun

Photobooth fun

Photobooth fun

I love that our photographers left all the photobooth photos in for us to see, even the ones where someone is pointing at other people where to stand. It’s awesome to see things build up from the last photo.

Photobooth fun

My high school girls modelling some more hats (my mum put that feather headdress on when the DJ played YMCA! I have a photo, but she’d kill me if I put that on the internet. Needless to say – have a feather headdress!)

Photobooth fun

The boas were also a hit – they were 3 for the price of 1 when I bought the backdrop fabric the week before the wedding, so I got two in our wedding colours, and one subtle grey one, if a feather boa can be subtle. The dino and bee felt hats were on sale at Michaels one day. And I TOTALLY forgot to put the bee hat on that night. Sadface.

Photobooth fun

We were practicing our ‘Blue Steel’ for months beforehand. The green mask thing is very cool, it’s like a pair of glasses, it’s got arms that go over your ears. Of course, that meant that I had to take my glasses off, so this is the one shot where I’m actually (mostly) looking at the camera.

Photobooth fun

The good, the bad, and….

Photobooth fun

…the mustachioed?

Photobooth fun

It took me a few moments to realize that E is not holding a mustache up over his mustache, but holding the empty end of the stick to his face. Ha!

Photobooth fun

Photobooth fun

These perfectly-imperfect photos are the ones that capture the feeling of the photobooth the best.

Photobooth fun

Photobooth fun

Photobooth fun

Photobooth fun

I love this one just for the floating hat. Can you guess what they were setting up?

Photobooth fun

I’ll spare you the entire barrage of photos we have of them building this, that have captions like : “No no, M is this way!” “A goes last!” “Which one am I?”


If you’re on the fence about a photobooth…. do it. It was a great source of entertainment, and we got some great photos out of ours.

What’s your must-have photobooth prop?

All photos in this post are by Fotograffika.

The Cinnamon Bun Recaps:

Cinnamon Fun – Dance Party!

And then the dance party started!

Wedding Dance Par-tay

I danced with my mum.

Wedding Dance Par-tay

I danced with my high school girls. Note that I’m the only one still wearing shoes in this photo! I kept my shoes on all night, and my feet only hurt when we got back to the hotel.

Wedding Dance Par-tay

Yes, we did the Chicken Dance. A friend requested it, and as we had no ‘no play’ list, he got it! It was awesome, to tell you the truth. Everyone was laughing, and it gathered one of the biggest crowds of the night.

Wedding Dance Par-tay

This one might have been Ra Ra Rasputin….

Wedding Dance Par-tay

This has quickly become a tradition – the four of us stood on a table at J (in the pink)’s wedding and danced to Eye of the Tiger the way we used to in high school. C (beside me) got a mic from our DJ and explained to everyone what was about to happen. More awesomeness.

Wedding Dance Par-tay

You have no idea how excited I got when I heard those first few beats of YMCA over the speakers – I may have hopped up and down.

Wedding Dance Par-tay

Then things got a little crazy – notice the upside-down person in the background!

Wedding Dance Par-tay

There was a kickline….

Wedding Dance Par-tay

Some singing along… (most likely Spirit of the West’s “Home For a Rest” – it’s not a wedding reception in Canada until this is played!). I remember the moment I heard “Home For a Rest” start playing… I was talking to someone in the other room when I stopped mid-sentence and said ‘Excuse me, I can’t miss this song.’

Then Cinnamon Buns proved that he was the most awesome husband-of-6-hours ever:


(guest photo above)

In the month or so before the wedding, I’d become mildly obsessed with the song “Captain Jack Sparrow” by Lonely Island. Mr CB was the first one to show me the video and I almost peed myself laughing. It didn’t help that my coworkers at the time were obsessed with YouTube (mostly Jack Sparrow and “Struttin’ That Ass” – both songs not safe for regular workplaces) so we watched it on repeat in the green room before the show. For some reason CB and I started saying ‘Giant squid!’ to each other randomly.

Cinnamon Buns knew all about this (that, and I’d bought it on iTunes and may have played it on repeat a few times) so he asked the DJ if he had it. The DJ didn’t, but ever-resourceful Cinnamon Buns pulled out his iPhone, bought it, and handed it to the DJ to plug in to the system. If I jumped up and down for YMCA, and interrupted a conversation for Spirit of the West, I screamed when I heard this one start playing. It was one of the last songs of the night, and CB and I danced to it (and sang along) the whole time. Some people (the few relatives still there that late, less You Tube-obsessed coworkers) had no idea what was going on, but the select (cool) few knew it. I heard a few ‘Is this… ohmigod it IS THIS IS AWESOME!!’s from people. This is one of my favourite memories of the night.

I have to say that our DJ did a good job of reading the crowd and playing great songs, which made up for some flubs earlier in the day. My music tastes run to the classic rock end of the spectrum (yes, what you might call ‘oldies’ or even ‘cheesy’) and I loved everything that was played. We just aren’t a going-out-to-the-clubs couple, and the good old songs that everyone knows means that more people will be out dancing. I don’t dance to look sexy – I spent most of the time I was on the dance floor (which was  A LOT of the reception, which was not what I was expecting) belting out the songs along with the speakers, spinning around so my dress flew out, shaking the dress with the music…. maybe I would go dancing more if I could wear my giant dress? It was great not being self-conscious of what my feet were doing.

Here are a few of the songs that Cinnamon Buns and I can remember being played:

  • YMCA – The Village People
  • Ra Ra Rasputin – Bony M
  • Eye of the Tiger – Survivor
  • Home for a Rest – Spirit of the West
  • Sweet Caroline (BAM BAM BAM!) – Neil Diamond
  • Don’t Stop Believing – Journey
  • The Chicken Dance!
  • Brown-Eyed Girl – Van Morrison

What song never fails to get you dancing?

Unless otherwise noted, all photos in this post are by Fotograffika.

The Cinnamon Bun Recaps:

Cinnamon Fun – First Dances

We danced our first dance to Jason Mraz’s “I’m Yours”. A few weeks before the wedding I’d gotten in my head that we needed dance lessons, so we contacted Dancing Till Dawn. I based the choice of teacher on which website mentioned ’emergency’ rehearsals, as we were only 3 weeks out. Dawn was a pleasure to work with, we ended up having a second lesson with her and both our sets of parents on the Thursday before the wedding as well. I wouldn’t call our first dance fully ‘choreographed’ – it was more like she gave us a few bits and told us how to string them together, and then we just went out and repeated them in whatever order Cinnamon Buns felt like until the song was over. We could move around the floor, do a spin, and a turn or two.

Parent Dances

But first, at Dawn’s suggestion, we faked everyone out like we were going to do the high school sway for the whole time.

Parent Dances

Then we danced properly! Well, Cinnamon Buns danced properly, and tried to lead me, but I was a bit flustered by dancing in a giant dress. File this one under ‘Wedding Tips a Stage Manager Should Know’ but try to find yourself a rehearsal skirt! It makes a huge difference in how close you can stand to your partner, and where their feet can go!

Parent Dances

I spent a lot of time looking at my feet (or trying to see them! Dress too big!) and Cinnamon Buns spent a lot of time telling me just to look at him.

Parent Dances

We spun! (I bite my bottom lip when I’m nervous.)

Parent Dances

See how far apart that dress keeps us?

Parent Dances

We could still lean in to kiss though, so that was ok.

As my dad is definitely not a dancer (I have to get it from somewhere!), and so all of us wouldn’t have to spend so much time being stared at by people, we did the father/daughter and mother/son dances at the same time. I think that made it way better for everyone’s nerves! We danced to The Beatles’ “In My Life”.

Parent Dances

Neither of us is looking at our feet (or my hem) in this photo. That’s pretty rare!

Parent Dances

Cinnamon Buns is a natural leader, so their dance went quite well. :)

It was lovely to do those dances, but there was also a feeling of relief knowing that all the ‘in-the-spotlight’ events were over for the night. One of the actors we’d invited asked me later what it felt like to be up in front of everyone, when I’m normally the one backstage, behind the scenery and he’s the one out in front of the people. I told him that I was very glad being stared at by people was his job, and not mine!

Are you an ‘in-the-spotlight’ person? If not, how do you plan to deal with it on your wedding day?

Unless otherwise noted, all photos in this post are by Fotograffika.

The Cinnamon Bun Recaps:

Cinnamon Fun – Family Portraits

family portraits024

I know that family portraits are tediously boring to everyone but (and sometimes including!) family, so this is going to be short and sweet. We did photos with our parents earlier in the day (when we were photobombed by angry library man), but wanted to get a few photos of us with other family members – us and everyone who came from England from my side, us with Mr CB’s dad and uncles and family…. etc. We decided to do these on the same platform we’d been married on, for a nice backdrop. After all the speeches and lots of mingling, we opened one panel of the sliding wall, and our DOC friend did a great job of wrangling family in to place. Apart from misplacing my dad for a while (who knew he’d be chatting away with my high school girlies?), it all went quite smoothly. We did my side of the family first as I definitely have less relatives (8 in attendance, including my parents) in various combinations, then a group shot of both our families combined, then the various combinations of Cinnamon Buns’ relatives. We’d made a list of which shots we wanted, and given copies to the photographers and our DOC, which is what helped it all run so smoothly.

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This is both our families combined. We have a regular (wand-less) version of this photo, but I love the waving of the ribbon wands!

Did your family portraits go smoothly? If you’re not married yet, have you made your list? If not, DO IT NOW!


Unless otherwise noted, all photos in this post are by Fotograffika.

The Cinnamon Bun Recaps:

Cinnamon Fun – PIE

I’ve spoken a lot about the homemade wedding pie in previous posts, and as I don’t want you to think I’m totally obsessed with pie (although it’s kinda true) I’m going to let the pictures speak for themselves in this post.

Previous pie posts:

The first wedding decision we made.

The secret ingredient for perfect pastry.

Post-wedding logistics tips for making your own pies.

Recipes & baking tips.

Our baking and set-up day.

Wedding Pie

Wedding Pie

Wedding Pie

Wedding Pie

Wedding Pie

(guest photo above)

My creation

(guest photos above)

Top to bottom, left to right: Blueberry, Strawberry-Rhubarb, Saskatoonberry, Apple, Cherry, Apple-Blackberry

Wedding Pie

(guest photo above)

Mum’s chocolate tart.

Wedding Pie

(guest photo above)

Suggested serving. :)

Pie vs. cake, which is your favourite?

Unless otherwise noted, all photos in this post are by Fotograffika.

The Cinnamon Bun Recaps:

Cinnamon Fun – An Appetizer Reception

After we were married, we walked down the aisle and out the door our guests came in. Then we went in another door of the building, into the ceremony side. Our venue was essentially two large empty rooms side-by-side, with a big sliding wall in the middle that you can open to connect the two of them. I just couldn’t figure out a plan for how to get the guests nicely into the other room, and eventually my mum suggested that as we’d already done our photos and everything, we just zip around and welcome the guests into the reception half of the building, like a receiving line. It worked so well! We opened two panels of the sliding wall, and everyone filed past and gave Cinnamon Buns and I a hug and some well-wishes, so we were certain we got to talk to everyone there at least once that night.

Wedding Reception

(guest photo above)

Above you can see what I mean about the sliding wall. The platform where we got married is to the far left in this photo, you can just see one of our orchids.

Wedding Reception

The guests’ first view of the reception room, complete with big orange wall covered in opera photos. That wall made a perfect backdrop for our bar and main food stations.

Wedding Reception

You can see the chairs where everyone had been sitting for the ceremony in this photo. And a food table right behind us! When everyone was through, we closed the big panels so our DOC (and some cousins for brute strength) could move all the chairs and get the ceremony room ready to become the dance floor.

Wedding Reception

One of the first surprises of the night was finding these little jingle bells everywhere – someone had taken the ‘with bells on’ RSVP cards literally, and put bells on all our tables. They’d obviously been in touch with the groomsmen (our MCs), because they announced that when people wanted us to kiss, they’d ring the bells. Oh darn. (Note – while reading over my shoulder just now, Cinnamon Buns informed me that the mystery bell-er was his mum!)

Wedding Reception

Being married and forced to kiss your new husband is a tough job.

Then we left some time before the speeches and such for guests to get drinks and food. We had the caterers pre-pour glasses of wine, so those who wanted wine could easily grab one as they came in to the room. We chose to have one red wine and one white wine, two types of beer, and a few hard alcohols for mixed drinks. As our venue was basically an empty hall, we bought all the alcohol and our caterers provided the bar unit, mix, bar accessories, and bartender.

Wedding Reception

The bridal party headed to the bar for some well-deserved drinks.

We decided to take a suggestion from a caterer we met with but ended up not hiring, and do a ‘bar by donation’. We instructed our stage manager friend we’d asked to DOC to put up a sign on the bar partway through the night that said ‘Bar By Donation – Help us honeymoon with the sloths!’. At that point people could feel free to donate (or not) as they drank. Mum had instructed family not to pay, but we did end up with a nice amount to give to the sloth sanctuary when we get there. The bar was a bit of a contentious point – my parents suggested just beer and wine so people ‘don’t get smashed’, and it being a host bar. I wanted at least some vodka and mix there because that’s what I generally drink. We ended up doing it our way, and it worked. I think the caterers got a hefty tip as well, because for a while there was a tip jar out near our jar.

Wedding Reception(guest photo above)

The food was delicious, and a huge success! Our whole vision for the reception was people mingling and chatting and moving around a lot. To encourage this, we had small 4-person cafe tables everywhere, and no seating plan. We reserved a larger table for our parents near the front of the room, but otherwise it was open season. We also did not have a sit-down plated meal. There were lots of appetizers on food tables all around the room, and the main cooking station at the back by the bar. The idea was that guests would wander around to all the food tables (“Where did you get those meatballs?” “Oh, they’re on the table on the left side over there!”), meeting people in line, chatting as they went by. There were enough seats for everyone in the room to sit down at once, so everyone also had a home base for purses/sweaters/drinks/sitting when their feet were tired. I think it worked very well – no one was sitting alone, people would pull up an extra chair to a table if needed. There was lots of chatting and wandering around, which made it very easy for us to mingle. Did my friend MJ suddenly become best friends with Cinnamon Buns’ cousins? No, people mainly sat with other people they knew, but I still don’t feel there was any awkwardness in the whole evening. Score 1 for the ‘tapas-style reception’ with no seating plan!’ (The ‘no seating plan’ was also a bone of contention with my parents.)

Wedding Reception

(guest photo above)

And here is proof that we even got to eat! I have a baby baked potato in my hand – delicious. That was part of the cooking station, as were some delicious fish cakes.

Wedding Reception

The lady with the clipboard was our awesome stage manager friend who we asked to be our Day-of-Coordinator. Can I just say how well-suited stage managers are for the job of a DOC? It’s like we’re trained for it. (Full disclosure: I am a stage manager, one of 3 stage managers in the bridal party, and one of 8 or 9 SMs in attendance at our wedding.)

Wedding Reception

People admired my ring, which I was all too ready to show off.


(guest photo above)

People also admired my dress, which I was apparently also very eager to show off, even the under-layers! The big wide band I’m holding there is the horsehair hem of the satin layer. The horsehair encased at the bottom of it (you can see the bit I’m holding is a few inches wide and stiffer than the rest of the fabric) helps the bottom of the dress keep its shape. The wardrobe friend I got to alter the dress has made and altered wedding dresses for years, and said that that was a sign of the amazing quality of the dress, as was the fact that the tulle layers were hemmed as well, not just cut and left. She said it was one of the most well-made dresses she has ever seen, and said it was worth every penny paid for it, which was gratifying, even though the price still makes me choke a bit when I think about it. Watters, you impressed a lady who has seen it all! (My dress was Watters Lasara.)

Wedding Reception

The ‘groomhandles’ as Cinnamon Buns liked to call them were also our MCs. They took care of various announcements throughout the night as well as cueing people for speeches. My dad and Cinnamon Buns’ step-dad both spoke, and as we only had a 2-person bridal party each, they did joint speeches. Neither of my bridesmaids are big on public speaking (just like me! BFFs!) so they really wanted to go together. The groomsmen on the other hand, were a pretty good comedy double-act. Groomsman L ended his speech with an ancient Chinese proverb:

Baochí gundòng èr shí ji suì.

Which, roughly translated, means: ‘Keep rolling twenties.’ We (and our friends) are geeks. :)

Wedding Reception

We spent very little time at the head table, so there are actually very few photos of it. We used two long tables that ended up not being the same height, but managed to disguise it with a cunning pile of books where the two joined. I also made sure there was a jar to put my bouquet in, plus a couple fanned books. This was something I didn’t plan beforehand. I knew we had extra books, that ‘LOVE’ sign, and some candleholders, and threw it together the day before. The wall behind us could have had some decor on it… it normally holds photos of all the former chairs of the board for the building, but I didn’t want ‘the old dudes’ looking over our shoulders so we very carefully took them down and packed them away, making sure to take some cellphone photos first so we could put them back again. The bare hooks really bothered mum, but I knew we’d spend very little time at the head table (literally just the speeches) so we didn’t bother doing anything with the hooks.

Wedding Reception

We had put a small platform in this room for the speechifying to happen on, and at the last minute decided to buy another green shag rug from Ikea for that platform too, to tie it in. We took our turn on the rug – I wasn’t planning on saying anything in case I started crying again, so I let Cinnamon Buns thank everyone. When he was done I decided that I could say something funny and not cry, so I told everyone the ‘Always argue naked’ policeman story from earlier in the day. People laughed! I could be an actor yet! (No, I really really couldn’t.)

Wedding Reception

I’m not sure who is dipping who in this photo, but it sure looks awkward!

Wedding Reception

This bird’s eye view photo gives you an idea of the size of the tables, plus you can see both our types of centrepieces – the book piles with candle and the fanned-out books.

That’s what our reception looked like. Fun, informal, lots of standing, mingling, talking, moving, eating (small portions, but lots of them!), drinking. I think it was a success. I did have some doubts going in to it, because we’re bombarded with photos and writing about the ‘norm’ for weddings – escort cards and table numbers and seating charts and plated meals… but our reception had none of those things and was just as awesome as the weddings that do have all that.

Do you think we bucked the reception trend in a good way, or a bad way?

Unless otherwise noted, all photos in this post are by Fotograffika.

The Cinnamon Bun Recaps:

Cinnamon Fun – Goin’ to the Decomissioned Church, and I’m Gonna Get Married

One of the surprises waiting for me on my wedding day was this sweet ride:


(photo by my mum)

Now it had been the plan all along for Cinnamon Buns’ step-dad to drive my dad and I to the venue in his car. What I wasn’t expecting was ribbons and tulle! Apparently our mums were out in the parkade on the wedding day morning, giving the car a bit of flair.


Cinnamon Buns’ step-dad also managed to take the great shot of me above, sitting in the car with door open, trying to figure out how to get myself out without messing up my ‘look’. It was extra-special that he drove dad and I to the ceremony because he was diagnosed with kidney cancer during the engagement, and with all the meds he was on at the time, not to mention the 5-pound tumor, he wasn’t feeling too perky. (The tumour has since been removed, yay! And his energy is slowly coming back.)

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One delicately-shod foot exits the car….

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….and I needed my dad to give me a good pull to get the rest of the way out!

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This photo sponsored by Canadian Blood Services – it’s in you to give. Don’t worry, we also have a portrait version of this photo without the Blood Services van, but it makes me giggle. I can’t really pretend I wasn’t getting out of a fancy car in an alley in the most expensive piece of clothing I’ll ever own, so why try?

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Beautiful sun doesn’t mean it isn’t windy, so I had to make sure to hold my veil down all the way in. I love love loved wearing my veil, I loved the style, but it just wanted to fly away with any little gust of wind!


Mum took this photo, and I absolutely love it! Then she had to run and sit down, because the bride had arrived, and she had to be seated last before the processional could start.


The dudes got into place.


And then they waited for us ladies.

We’d chosen to walk down the aisle to Israel Kamakawiwo’ole’s ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’. We had timed it in our rehearsal, and it worked perfectly for my two bridesmaids to walk down the aisle during the intro, then I would enter when the words to the song started. One of the few disappointments of the day was that our DJ was not nearly as awesome as some bridal forums made him out to be. According to the threads I read, if you wanted the best in Calgary, you wanted this guy. For me, he was late, which meant guests who arrived early were locked out because the groomsmen and our DOC friend thought it best if he was at least mostly set up before people came in (I agree). He didn’t have all the correct cables, which sent one of my bridesmaids running to work to grab a connector (luckily most of our bridal party has AV set up as a job requirement) he was plugging and unplugging things with speakers live during the reception, resulting in huge pops and bangs… a groomsdude sorted him out after that. The mix of music he played during the dancing was pretty much spot-on though, I will give him that, he can definitely read a crowd. (YMCA? Yes, please!)

But the processional song started early, when my mum walked down the aisle. Did it ruin my day? Or even my minute? No, but I do remember noticing and thinking ‘Well, not much to do about this right now!’

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before ceremony036

So dad and I walked. I tried to remember not to walk too fast, I think I remembered to smile – I’m never at my best when people are staring at me, even if they are our nearest and dearest.


And then all of a sudden I was standing on a riser facing the world’s most awesome man, in front of 65 of our family and friends.



Did all your vendors live up to expectations?

Unless otherwise noted, all photos in this post are by Fotograffika.

The Cinnamon Bun Recaps:

Cinnamon Fun – Wedding Photos, on Location

After we’d played around in the park, we decided to play in traffic:

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Ok, we’re not actually playing in traffic, but Vanson suggested we wait until the crosswalk changed, then go out and kiss in the middle of it while he took photos from the middle of the road! Luckily, it’s a very long light because the road the traffic is on is a main one, and the one we were crossing has very little traffic. In some of them though, it still looks like we’re about to be hit by a car!

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Luckily, there were some breaks in the traffic so we did get some without cars going by.

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Then we actually crossed the road to take some photos on the steps of the church. I’d say those are to send to the relatives who disapprove of us not getting married in a church…. but we’re lucky enough not to have anyone like that!

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It’s still fun to have that traditional-looking wedding photo though!

This church is kitty corner to the park we had previously been shooting in, and opposite the church is…. a bookstore! As we’d been denied (and shoo-ed off the premises) at the library, I wanted to go to the bookstore. First, Vanson sent us across the street to take photos outside the store, while Lisa went in and checked with the booksellers to see if was ok for us to come tramping through.

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I love the urban feel of this photo. Mum has said a few times about some of the photos ‘oh, it’s too bad that power pole is in there, can it be taken out?’ but the way I see it is that we got married in a city. Downtown in a city. There’s going to be power poles, wires, moving trucks, people on the park benches. It’s representative.

The bookstore people were much nicer than Mr Grumpy at the library, so we got a few fun photos in there:

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At this point, we’d had enough of photos, and it was only 3-ish, so we decided to head back home. We let Vanson and Lisa head off too, to see them later at the venue. The bookstore and the park are quite close to our house, so we all just walked back. On the short walk back home, the Funniest Wedding Memory Ever occurred.

Funniest Wedding Memory Ever:

We were just walking along home, all six of us looking very snazzy, and unmistakeably a bridal party. As we were walking, a police car coming towards us pulled over and rolled down his passenger-side window. We stopped, because he obviously wanted to talk to us. He said “I have one piece of advice for you.” Yes officer? “Always argue naked.” As he drove off, we all just about died laughing. I have to say thank you to CPS for providing us with such fun moments on our wedding day!

We got home, and all had some water and some granola bars, because it was well past lunch time and granola bars are not messy or drippy. Groomsman L took a few photos with his phone:


Really not sure who he was phoning….


Also really don’t know what I was so concerned about, but look at that hand! It’s a blur!

Then Groomsman E drove us girls back to the hotel, and felt no compunctions about pulling in to the ‘no parking zone’ in front of the hotel. He did after all have a bride in the car, and at the first sign of the white dress the valets didn’t seem to mind him being there. Once back in our room, the girls decided to go for Starbucks. I asked them to get me my favourite summer Starbucks drink, a pomegranate lemonade. I didn’t go with them because I was a little tired of wrangling the dress, and there’s only so much spotlight I can take. It was nice to have a few minutes alone in the room too. I used the time wisely… taking iPhone photos of myself in the mirror.


And I also took the time to read my vows out loud to myself, hoping to stave off any crying fits later when I had to read them in front of 65 people. Reading out loud by myself helped, but (sneak peek) didn’t stop me crying.

When the girls got back I realized the mistake in my order. I’d ordered a hot-pink drink! And I was wearing a white dress. I solved the problem by putting my white shirt from earlier in the day on over the dress, and leaning very far over to sip from my straw. So far no photos have surfaced from that moment, which is probably for the best.

We’d left ourselves so much time in the schedule it was nice to have those downtime moments, like our time at home, and relaxing with my ladies in the hotel while the guys were doing last-minute fixes/greeting people at the venue.

What’s the best piece of advice you received on your wedding day? Do you argue naked? 😉

Unless otherwise noted, all photos in this post are by Fotograffika.

The Cinnamon Bun Recaps:

Baking Pies
Girls Getting Ready
Guys Getting Ready
First Look
Photos in the Park

Cinnamon Fun – Photos in the Park

Otherwise known as ‘how our family portraits got photobombed’.

After our first look, we wanted to do parent photos, and then get all the photos of the two of us and the bridal party. We were hoping to be able to take some photos inside the library, but our photographers let us know that they’d talked to the people at the library and they’d said no, we could not take photos inside the library. Fine, oh well. We did decide that the outside steps of the library would be a nice place for family photos though, so we got set up and took a photo of us two and my parents:

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Then we shuffled around and got Cinnamon Buns’ two sets of parents up beside us….

angry library man

And Angry Library Man told us to shoo! There was no one trying to exit or enter the building at the time, we would have been 3 more groupings of people, but no. So we went around the side of the building, and did group shots there.

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Symmetry. Our bridal party has it. Shorties. Our marriage has two!

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Then we really just got to play in the park, with two photographers trailing us. You know, the usual thing for a Saturday afternoon. 😉 Any time we got close enough to the road for people to see the big white dress, cars honked, which was fun. Another police car ‘BLOOP’-ed at us.  We separated for a brief time, and I got some photos with my ladies:

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Oh what’s that? You want a close-up of the paper bouquets I made? I suppose I can indulge us both:

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Worth every minute, every paper cut, every glued-together finger.

Then the guys looked dashing together:

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Still shorter than Groomsman E, even standing on a step!

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I sat on the ground a few times during the hour or so we were wandering around the park, and the dress did not suffer. I tried not to put too much weight onto the actual dress, so I wasn’t pressing it into the ground with my own body. In some shots I’m actually more hovering above the ground, supporting myself with my legs or arms. The advantage to a pouffy skirt is that you can’t tell where my legs are and what they’re doing! But the pouffy skirt needed wrangling every time, to look nice:


(photo above by my uncle Peter)

I needed a small herd of people to help me out on my wedding day. Couldn’t do up my own shoes, couldn’t wrangle all of my dress at once… I could decide if I felt like I was 5 years old, and needed the help, or if I was a billionaire, and had hired all this help. I know I couldn’t have gotten through the day without it all though! And it was nice to be out on the dance floor and say ‘I need a water….’ and someone would run off with me actually asking the question. But I get ahead of myself.

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I swear that someone was hidden somewhere watching us and playing with these ground fountains. We were trying to get pictures with them, and they’d go really small. Then two steps away and OLD FAITHFUL ERUPTS! It was hilarious, and we kept trying to figure out where they were controlled from, because I’m sure there wasn’t a pattern to them.

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Then, as happens often in our group of friends, there was a sword fight.

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Although our sword fight was much less cool than the sword fight at Groomsman E & Bridemaid K’s wedding, because they had actual swords. And pirate costumes. And then the police came because someone reported that there were weapons being used in a public area.

The last two photos from our shoot in the park sum up the male half of our party perfectly:

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I would say that picture #2 is their natural state. :)

At that point, we had taken a lot of photos, but also had a lot of time left before the ceremony, so we decided to change locations for some more interesting backdrops! I hadn’t really planned this portion of the afternoon very much because I just wanted to take advantage of whatever we came across or whatever the photographers thought up.

Did any of your wedding photos get photobombed? I want to hear more!

Unless otherwise noted, all photos in this post are by Fotograffika.

The Cinnamon Bun Recaps:

Baking Pies
Girls Getting Ready
Guys Getting Ready
First Look

Cinnamon Fun – First Look

We decided quite early on that we wanted to do a first look, so we wouldn’t have that odd gap between ceremony and reception. This was especially important for us because there was no travel time between the two events – everything was in one handy building. We knew we wanted to do the photos in the park near our house – it has a great old library building, fun fountains, and neat old war memorials. We left it up to our photographers to decide where in the park would be the best place for us to be.


We think the groomsdudes look like the wedding mafia in this photo. Just imagine a violin case instead of a black shoebox! (photo by my mum)

The guys walked over to the park, and us ladies and everyone who was at the hotel hopped into a couple of taxi vans. Someone (I can’t remember who now) on the day was concerned when I said I hadn’t booked them ahead of time. I said that that’s what the taxi stand and the valets outside are for – and it worked out just fine. I phoned down to the concierge, and by the time we got down there there were two taxi vans awaiting our beck and call.

Note to brides – make sure someone has cash for the nice taxi driver! I got into one van with Lisa the photographer and my two bridesmaids (my Watters Lasara dress took up the other seats) and various assorted parents and family members got into the other van. When we got to the park (only a $5 ride away, but still) I had to send a bridesmaid running to the parents’ cab to get someone to pay for the taxi. We didn’t think we’d need our purses!

As we were getting out of the van, a police car drove by. As I was getting my dress out of the van I heard a ‘BLOOP!’ of a siren, then a voice coming through a bullhorn said ‘GOOD JOB. CONGRATULATIONS.’ It was awesome and hilarious. Hilarious because it was said in the same tone of voice that a cop would say ‘PULL OVER. GET OUT OF THE CAR.’

Then we made sure Cinnamon Buns was turned around (thank goodness for a 2 photographer team with cell phones!) and Lisa shielded me with a huge umbrella until I could make my approach.

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watters lasara wedding dress

(photo above by my mum)

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I’m the big white blob in the back. 😉

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(photo above by my mum)

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watters lasara wedding dress

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I was fine until we looked at each other, then I needed my first hankie of the day.

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I love that we did this first, it was great to have that moment NOT in front of 65+ guests. We weren’t alone by any means:


(photo above by my mum)

The bridal party was there, and all of our parents, because we wanted to do those formal photos in the nice park setting too. Not to mention all the people enjoying a Saturday afternoon in Central Memorial Park. And the people in the library. I loved the idea of doing a private first look with just the couple and the photographers, but it wasn’t going to work for us. And with a 5pm ceremony…. I couldn’t have waited that long to see Cinnamon Buns! To give you an idea of the timeline, this was sometime between 1pm-1:30pm.

Are you planning on a first look? Who else will be there besides the couple and the photographer?


Unless otherwise noted, all photos in this post are by Fotograffika.

The Cinnamon Bun Recaps:

Baking Pies
Girls Getting Ready
Guys Getting Ready

Cinnamon Fun – Dudes Getting Ready

While us ladies were at the salon, Cinnamon Buns and his dudes…. were probably still sleeping for part of it. Then they went for a hearty breakfast at the diner that is quite close to our house. Here, they practiced their magic tricks:

eric at breakfastPhoto from GM L’s iPhone

And decided that Cinnamon Buns needed his sideburns trimmed. He decided getting them even on the day of the wedding was not something he wanted to attempt on his own, so we arranged for him to stop by the salon while all us ladies were still there so Jordan could meet him outside on the street for a quick trim. Remember that thing I was coordinating via text? Yup, making sure I was hiding in the back as the salon has great big windows out front. And that’s how my groom had his sideburns trimmed on the street outside a shisha bar on his wedding day. :)

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There’s an awesome series of photos of the guys getting ready in our living room. It starts with this one:

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And ends with this:

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Despite not owning a tie until after we bought his suit, Cinnamon Buns seemed fine on his own. :)

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You always need some help with cufflinks though.

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I love the contrast of the teal and green shirts in this photo, it completely validates my idea of coloured shirts, apple green in particular. Everyone thought I was crazy for this (including Cinnamon Buns, for a while) but I think the whole look turned out awesome.

guys get ready027We’re ready, who’s this guy in the middle?

guys get ready036The precious black shoebox full of parent flowers!

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I loved that we got these photos, as I got to see a sneak peek into what their morning was like, as I was busy getting my hairs did.


Unless otherwise noted, all photos in this post are by Fotograffika.

The Cinnamon Bun Recaps:

Baking Pies
Girls Getting Ready

Cinnamon Fun – Girls Getting Ready

Our day started out with the girls and I waking up and heading to breakfast on the top floor of our hotel. The room had been upgraded to some super-duper level of service with fancy breakfast included. Then we headed around the corner to the hair salon at a respectable time (9am). This is the same place Cinnamon Buns always gets his hair cut, and where I have my hair cut too…. every few years.

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I had gone for my trial about a week before the wedding, and decided to get both my make-up and hair done there. They were also going to do the bridesmaids’ hair, my mum’s hair and nails, and Cinnamon Buns’ mum’s make-up. We were planning on being there for about 3 hours, but didn’t want the photographers to get too bored being there with us, so we had them show up about halfway through the looong appointment.

girls get ready008I knew I wanted my hair up, I wanted some volume/texture on the top so it wasn’t just like I pulled my hair back in my usual bun, and I wanted some curls showing. Jordan did an excellent job! And before you all start asking, because so many people did on the day – yes that is all my own hair. I have a lot of hair. Well, not anymore, but I did then.

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The trial helped us both because I have some ‘wispies’ at my hairline that only like going in certain directions, so Jordan knew where to part my hair for the real deal. On trial day they were a little wild because the part was a little off (I have no idea where my part is because I always used to pull my hair straight back into a bun).

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I think I texted Cinnamon Buns at this point…. working out logistics for something you’ll see in the next post. 😉

girls get ready064Jordan did both my bridesmaids’ hair as well. Here she’s putting in the blue book-paper flowers on bobby pins that I made. We brought a whole shoebox of them to the salon. And by we, I mean we got to the salon, realized we’d forgotten them, and sent Cinnamaid K  (above) back to the hotel. Luckily, the salon and the hotel are only a block apart, so it wasn’t far to go.

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Then I got my face painted with nice non-glittery eye shadows. She had tried out some glitter shadows at the trial, and I felt like I was 16 again, so this time we went matte, with a bit of shimmer. There’s a big difference between glitter and shimmer, let me tell you!

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The we put my veil on, in a handy little extra-teased spot to keep it in. It blew out in the one-block walk back to the hotel after this, but it gave us all a good idea of where it should sit. Calgary is a windy city and there isn’t much to do about it.

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Then the moment I’d been waiting for – putting on the fanciest dress I will ever wear! (Watters Lasara) After I unzipped it, I had the realization of ‘How do I get into this without getting naked in front of everyone?’ Everyone being my mum, my bridemaids, and Lisa the photographer. As you can see, there are bra cups in the dress, and while I would be ok with bra & undies in front of people, topless + undies is different.

Mum came to the rescue and told me to slip into it in the bathroom, then come out and be done up.

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Just like that!

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My ‘borroweds’ were mum’s pearl studs and pearl bracelet.

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While this was going on, the girls were getting ready, doing their own make up.

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We had a zipping-everyone-up-party!

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Mum put my shoes on me because all of a sudden I couldn’t see my feet any more.

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Lisa took advantage of the sun coming in the window for a few portraits. The sheer window curtains mean you can’t see the apartment blocks and train lines that are out there!

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Seriously, Lisa must have had some sort of magic lens, because I am only 5’3″, and I swear I’m not standing on an apple box or anything under that dress!

With that, we were dressed and ready for our first look. We were a little behind schedule, but we’d planned on first-looking at 1pm, I think we gave the guys a call when we got back from the salon and told them to push it until 1:30pm. Everyone else was meeting us at the hotel, so they just waited. We purposely built in a lot of cushion into our timing, so while we were behind schedule, it wasn’t a huge worry. Do this if you can for your own wedding!


(Photo by my Uncle Peter)

How tight was your morning-of schedule?


Unless otherwise noted, all photos in this post are by Fotograffika.

The Cinnamon Bun Recaps:

Baking Pies

Cinnamon Fun – Rehearsal

We scheduled our rehearsal partway through our set-up. We knew we’d need a dinner break, and we didn’t want to call people in for a rehearsal at 9pm, plus we also weren’t really sure when we’d finish all our decorating. Cinnamon Buns’ mum was in charge of our ‘rehearsal dinner’. She brought in some lasagnes and a couple salads for everyone, plus paper plates and utensils (and cream puffs for dessert!). It was great to tuck in to a hearty meal after working all day!

We’d also let our photographers, Fotograffika, know when we’d be rehearsing in case they wanted to come in and scope out the venue. They showed up, which was great, but even more exciting was that they included some of the pictures they took that day with all the rest of our wedding photos! I thought they were just taking test shots to try out the light in there, but it’s so much fun to see our rehearsal documented by professionals.


Waiting to process in with my dad and my ladies. This is about where we realised it’d be a good idea to put up curtains in this hallway/storage/closet space, as it was also the guests’ main entrance too.


We had a friend who was our DOC, although she couldn’t be there while we were rehearsing. It didn’t make too much difference because we gave her a script of what should be happening when. We picked her because she’s a stage manager, and stage managers have all the same skill set that wedding planners do. How we got through the rehearsal without her? I’m a stage manager, so is Cinnamaid A, so is Groomsman L. We had it covered. :)


It’s fun for me to look at these photos of us in our scruffies and then compare them to very similar shots from the next day! You’ll see those soon too. 😉


This was actually one of my favourite moments of the whole weekend. Our officiant Paul had asked us who was going to read their vows first. He had copies of both in the script we’d given him, but there were no notes about who was first. Immediately and without speaking, Cinnamon Buns and I did rock-paper-scissors to decide, then cracked up when everybody else burst out laughing because it was such a reflex movement on both our parts. I beat Cinnamon Buns, so he went first. :)


Then we kissed, processed out, and got back to work with the decorating. We finished up around 8pm, and by this time my brain was a bit fried. I took no part in the very confusing conversation about who was driving which car where and dropping off/picking up what/who on the way. I told them to figure it out, and then tell me which car to get into. We drove home, I gathered all my stuff (overnight bag, toothbrush, shoes, DRESS, flowers) and got picked up out front by Groomsman E and my two bridesmaids, us ladies were dropped off outside the hotel, and we went to find our room.

We ran into some of my relatives in the foyer, and it was nice to see them before the actual wedding day – these are people I hadn’t seen in 9 years! Then we found our room and ordered nachos, very important.


We were impressed by the fancy cart the nachos came on. And yes, after I took this photo with my phone we moved the nacho cart very far away from the wedding dress you can see hanging up in the background.

The one awkward thing about our hotel was that we thought we were getting a room with a pull-out couch. There wasn’t one, just a king-sized bed and a couple armchairs. Awkward, as there were 3 girls who needed to sleep in there that night. We phoned and asked for a cot to be brought up, but all cots were in use. They phoned neighbouring hotels, and all their cots were in use. We decided to make a bed out of extra blankets and pillows and the two arm chairs, so we settled in, ordered our nachos, and let my family know what room we were. After we’d done that, someone came by and said they’d found a room with a couch, so we could move in there. But because we’d settled in and sorted out who got the chair-bed (Cinnamaid K, as Cinnamaid A has a bad back), plus family would look for us here, PLUS THE NACHOS, can’t let those get lost in a move…. we decided to stay where we were. It wasn’t ideal, but we all survived and K said she slept fairly well when we got up the next morning.

Did you relax the day before your wedding, or was it go go go?


Unless otherwise noted, all photos in this post are by Fotograffika.

The Cinnamon Bun Recaps:

Baking Pies

Cinnamon Fun – Baking & Set-up

The day before our wedding was a busy day. Cinnamum and I started off the day bright and early by getting into my car and driving to Cinnamon Buns’ parents’ house. This was where we were going to bake the wedding pies. We could have stayed at our house, but their kitchen has a much bigger oven, plus we’d stored the frozen pies in their spare freezer.

To keep us occupied while the pies were in the oven (two batches at about 1.5 hours each), I had kept back a DIY project – framing the photos for our family wedding photo display. We’d loaded up the car with all the frames, photos, and scrapbook paper, so we were all set to mat all the photos and put them in our collection of frames. We also took the time to lay them out and match up the name cards I’d made for each one, to make sure we hadn’t missed anyone. We had! Somehow I had never printed the photo of Cinnamon Buns’ dad marrying his step-mum! We prepped a frame for them and I made a call to Cinnamon Buns (back at our house, tidying/loading up the groomsmen’s cars) to put that picture on a CD and bring it to the venue.

I also did a couple other errands while pies were in the oven, just little things like you know, picking up all the guys’ shirts and Cinnamon Buns’ suit from the drycleaner!


Photo by Cinnamum

Once we’d put the pies in (labelled) boxes which we left open, as hot pies will steam themselves into sogginess if left in closed boxes, Cinnamum and I headed down to the venue. Cinnamon Buns’ parents were going to bring the pies after they’d cooled, as they had their own set of errands to run that morning.

By the time Cinnamum and I got there (around 1pm or 2pm I think?), the caterers were already there doing their set-up – they were providing us with all the small round tables for our guests to sit at, plus the white linens for all the tables we were going to use. Cinnamon Buns and his guys had done a great job with the set-up so far, and when I arrived they headed off to go pick up some more things we needed (beer chiller thing for our mini-kegs, and some lighting gear from work).

Once we had dragged our boxes in from the car we started unpacking them, and figuring out just how we were going to set up all this stuff. We’d drawn up plans before, but things are always slightly different when you get into the space so I think one big wedding tip would be to be flexible with your plans. There might not be an outlet where you need an outlet, or tables might be longer or shorter than you thought. Rest assured that it will all work out.

wedding setupPhoto by Groomsman L

We were all very glamorous all day long, in our sweaty scruffy clothes.

These are times when people are going to look to you to delegate – use them! It was great to have tasks like ‘put a paper table topper on every table’ for all our helping hands to do, while I mainly focused on setting up the photo display. I delegated the task of going to the London Drugs around the corner to print our couple missing photos too! Also, while I knew I wanted pies on cute stands and stacks of books, I wasn’t bothered about how exactly it was set up – that was a great task for Cinnamum – ‘make the pie table pretty with these stands and these books. Go.’

weedding set up

Photo from Groomsman L's iPhone.

Look at all those family wedding photos! I had no idea we’d get so many – the whole idea was a bit of an afterthought, but it was the hit of the wedding!

My parents were hanging bunting, Cinnamon Buns’ stepdad was putting out business cards I’d printed on our home printer telling people where to to post the photos they took (we used KnotPic, I’ll write about that in another post), the odd family member popped in to say hi… it was a good day. At some points I felt a little stressed, but it was fun to be hanging out and work with some of our favourite friends and family. It was great to see them working to make our day the next day wonderful, coming up with solutions for problems I hadn’t even thought of… I felt very loved that day, if a little rushed.

Did you set up your decor, or was that someone else’s job?