Monday, August 31, 2015

Pure Magic

Hello from the other side!

On Saturday Mr. Narwhal and I got married and the day can only be described as magical. I woke up on our wedding day knowing that it was going to be the best day of my life, and really, I couldn't have imagined what that would have meant.

Our hearts have been so full, and there were numerous times yesterday that we broke down in tears reminiscing on how wonderful the day was. We were blown away by the love and support we received from our friends and family. Love and magic was in the air and everyone felt it.

It ended up raining all day and as I walked up to meet Mr. Narwhal for our first look the clouds parted and not a drop of rain came down after that.

So really, without this post turning into a total sap fest I will share with you a few of our sneak peaks from our photographer, and some guest photos.

All photos courtesy of Isos Photography unless otherwise noted

Guest photo 

Guest photo

Personal photo

To anyone nearing the end of their planning and doubting it all, just trust. It will all be worth it.

I can hardly wait to get these recaps started - I have a few posts planned while we wait for our professional photos, but we have a honeymoon to worry about first ;)

Much love,

MRS. Narwhal

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

The Final Timelines and Logistics

While in many ways I'm over planning and preparing for our wedding, this is far from the time to sit back and just stop caring about all of the details. We've put many many hours (and dollars) into making this day happen, and the things left to be done at the end will make or break how the day goes.

I'm talking about timelines and the logistics.

There are a lot of moving parts that go into making a wedding day happen, and when you're running the show on your own property, there are many more pieces of the puzzle you need to think about in order for the day to go smoothly.

Over the last couple of weeks I've been putting together some extensively detailed timelines in order for everyone to know when and where things are happening.

The Week of Schedule
There are a lot of things going down next week. Hair appointments, nail appointments, rental arrivals, invoice settling, flower picking, vendor visits, guests arrivals, set-up, final preparations. It's madness people. MADNESS. The schedule for next week helps me breathe knowing it's all doable. I'm so excited! It's going to be nutty but so much fun.

So many lists / Personal photo

The Wedding Party Day Of
There is a stark contrast between the boys and girls day. The boys have four hours of free time, and the girls jump right into appointments. I'm so excited for spending the day with my favourite people getting ready anticipating everything to come. Having a solid schedule in place helps everyone know when and where we need to be and helps me relax a little. I know things don't always go according to plan, but when things get off track we will know where we can speed up the process in other areas to make up for the timing.

Screen shot of part of Bridal Party schedule*

The Photographer Timeline
We sent our photographers a detailed timeline including the order of photos before the ceremony,  the ceremony details and wedding reception timelines. We also gave them a list of the photos that are important for us to capture during the day.

Screen shot of part of Photographer schedule 

The Wedding Timeline 
This is the same for the entire wedding party, a breakdown of the ceremony, speech order, dances and the remainder of the evening.

Wedding Timeline / Personal photo

Day of Coordination List
A good friend of MOH Cass accepted our offer for her to act as our day of coordinator. She has tons of experience in the wedding world, and I already know she is going to be our saving grace for the day. I have a detailed list of the things I'd like for her to take care of, timelines of when vendors arrive and other general logistics so she can become the keeper of all wedding knowledge.

What were the important details in your final week of logistics and day of scheduling? 

*Note: There will be plenty of snacks available between breakfast and their late lunch as well, it's a just a reminder for us to have a meal of sorts since the food doesn't come out until 7:30 in the evening. 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The Narwhal Ring Process - Part 1

We have somehow managed to be quite the procrastinators in several areas of wedding planning, and our ring design was one of them. You may recall that Mr. Narwhal went down the custom path with the design of my moissanite branch engagement ring last summer from Danielle Goulet Jewelry Design. There was no question that when it came time for a wedding band that my ring would be made by Dee again.

Personal Photo

The part that we were unsure about for awhile was whether or not Mr. Narwhal would have a ring. From the beginning he has voiced that he didn't want a ring, and particularly noted that he can't wear one at work. While the idea of him not wearing a ring bummed me out initially, once we decided to go down another route for our ceremony I was completely okay with his decision. My parents have been married for 35 years, and my dad has never worn his ring. With the whole "With this ring I thee wed..." business out of the way, I was open to Mr. Narwhal exploring whatever option he felt comfortable with. I did however sentimentally note that there is just something about a guy wearing a wedding ring that warms my heart. 

Well, I guess that comment pulled at Mr. Narwhal's heart strings because eventually he started talking about what he wanted his ring to look like, and fast forward to us being entrenched in the process of designing two rings! 

My Ring
My ring was sort of a no brainer. I wanted it to match and fit into my engagement ring. The only request I had was for the band to be slightly thicker (1.5 times) than my engagement ring.  I wanted to be able to see more of the branch design on the band, and I wanted the band to have a stand alone size for the times I chose to only wear my wedding band. 

Last week, we got photos of our wax molds, and this week the actual rings are being made! Dee made a few refinements to my band (the curve in the branch was going to be shaved down a bit). I was able to try on the mold when I picked up my ring* as well and I'm so excited to be able to wear them as a set! 

Image courtesy of Danielle Goulet Jewelry Design

Mr. Narwhal's Ring
We talked about a lot of design options for Mr. Narwhal, and from forest tree lines and a masculine version of my own and we landed on a happy medium. I love the design Dee came up with (as does Mr. Narwhal!). His ring will be a rough yellow gold with some black coming through in the bark elements. 

Oh how I can't wait to see this beauty on his hand. 

Image courtesy from Danielle Goulet Jewelry Design

Did you go the custom route with your wedding bands? 

*Dee needed to borrow it to ensure the mould matched my ring.

Monday, August 10, 2015

One Year of Planning

One year ago today Mr. Narwhal proposed. There is something about the full cycle of one year that always puts me into a state of reflection.

All photos personal, unless otherwise noted. 

Mr. Narwhal and I have never been the anniversary types.We always agreed to wait until it was a wedding anniversary. But, I can't help but feel all of the mushy sappy feelings today because it's been one full year of preparing for the important day of our relationship.

It's been a wonderful season of our lives. We've definitely hit that point of being over the planning and ready for the marrying.

I don't know what it is, but almost being there is causing a sudden influx of a full range of emotions, and yesterday it hit us both that this whole thing is actually almost past us, and we'll be on the other side of it all and finally married.

While Mr. Narwhal has been referring to me as his wife for well over a year now, the fact that I will actually be his wife is giving me all of the feelings.

So, one year into this planning thing. It's been one heck of a whirlwind!

We've done a whole lot of planning and preparations.

photo courtesy of isos photography

One engagement photo session. 
One full day of dress shopping. 
A couple of hours suit shopping. 
2309 decisions made (okay, I'm exaggerating, but I am seriously over decision-making!).
One Stag and Doe.
One bridal shower.
One crazy epic Bachelor party camping weekend*.
Five visits from a machine.

Twelve loads of sand and fill brought in.
Countless hours of planning.
42 photo wood blocks completed.
Six signs made (a few more to go there).
Hours and hours of help from friends and family.
A few hiccups and hurdles.
Endlessly full hearts.
Nine vendors secured.
Fourteen people invited to be part of our wedding party. 
87 invitations sent. 

Two rings being made.
One wedding license acquired.
One ceremony written and ready.
130 guests (and 15 children) coming to join us. 
One honeymoon waiting. 

and that's only part of the story! It's been a lot of work, but in a few short weeks, I get to marry my very best friend in the entire world. All of the love, sweat and tears put into this day has been worth it all.

We're ready**.

*My Bachelorette is this weekend!
** In the emotional sense, the list is still mighty long!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

The Month Of

Holy hannah you guys. We're getting married this month.

This month.

Image via ReactionGIF

I move through waves of disbelief, excitement and panic over our painfully long to do list. Mr. Narwhal would tell you he is constantly worried over how much is left to be done.

Last weekend I decided to allow myself to have one weekend of the summer to escape and forget about the wedding at our annual family reunion. It was our 17th annual reunion and as one of the few members of the family with an impeccable record I prioritized making it happen. So worth it.

I mean...

All remaining images personal

BM Megs, BMan TLW and me / The glorious view 

Mr. Narwhal stayed home and worked on some of the final preps up at the wedding spot because he leaves tomorrow on his four day Bachelor party/camping trip. I'm so excited for him to get away and relax, because last weekend was so good for my soul. I feel recharged and ready to make it through this final stretch of preparations.

The last time I gave you all a list of all the things we were working on was four months ago! There was still snow! Disbelief. Utter disbelief.

So, what does the list look like now?

Signs and Photo Blocks
I'm working on finalizing a few signs and am in the final stretch of finishing our wood photo blocks. Let me tell you, procrastination is not your friend in wedding planning. Those wood photo blocks have become the bane of my existence. I just started another 20 photos, and I can't wait for those suckers to be done. Big thanks in advance to BM Mel for coming to help me finish them this weekend!

Signs / Endless paper peeling

Chairs and Benches
The front row (parents and grandparents) at our ceremony will be a collection of random chairs. I've found ten, and have one more left for the signing of our marriage license. For the remainder of our guests we've been working on building benches from old barn wood on our property. I'm not going to lie, I have visions of us sanding and putting together benches the week of the wedding.

I just dropped off my engagement ring with our jeweller, and she's just finishing up the design of Mr. Narwhal's ring and starting mine this week. I'm so excited to see how they turn out! This will have a post of it's own in the near future.

Jars Jars Jars
We have around 500 candles, and a massive collection of jars. People have been giving us jars for months and I've been putting them in the basement. For the last month or so, I pull up a box at a time to clean. I cannot describe the excitement I have over how the forest will look lit up with candles everywhere. Insert heart face.

Jars on jars on jars

Ceremony Finalization
We're meeting with our officiant this week and finalized our ceremony draft. I am so happy to have that task off of the list.

Random Projects
Before we left for the cottage last weekend, my aunt came over to help me with a little project restoring this old desk for our signing. I honestly cannot believe that it's the same piece of furniture.

Before / After

The Final Stretch of Outdoor Preparations
We're so close here, the ceremony spot is basically done, the reception area has a bit more work and we have some more bush clean up and tree pruning left to complete. This all should be done in the next week or so. While Mr. Narwhal is away I have lots of help coming. I can't wait to show him what we accomplished when he's back on Sunday night!

Momma Narwhal about a month ago working away on the clean-up*

Lists and More Lists
Working on finalizing lists and schedules is high on the priority list. Final week schedule, day of schedule, day of coordinator list, must have photo list, playlists and to do lists. There's a lot of organizing to be done in the final stretch, but we're getting there!

While we certainly have a lot left to do, it's all coming together. More than anything, at this point I'm just excited to get married and share our day with loved ones. Saying goodbye to my family on Monday morning and saying, "See you in a few weeks at the wedding!" just feels so so weird. I cannot believe the day is almost here!

What did you final month list look like? 

*She's wearing a leaf blower, just in case anyone was confused!