Thank you all! And a few wedding thoughts

Thank you all for such thoughtful, kind comments on Monday’s announcement! Pretty amazing to see over a hundred comments of congratulations coming from all over the world – making it the most-commented post ever! You guys are wonderful. Thank you! It’s a great feeling to have support and encouragement coming from people who only know me online through blogging and sewing. I feel loved and happy, and I’m so lucky to have amazing people in my life, both online and in real life! So thanks again for all of the comments, tweets, Facebook posts and emails. I truly appreciate it!

To answer some of your questions… (and yes, I painted my nails red after the proposal! I’m not usually a bright nail polish girl but when I put on the ring, I felt like it deserved a little extra sophistication.)

Am I going to make my dress?

Well, at first I thought, of course! I have a couple of inspiration photos picked out, and I seem to be drawn to the same silhouettes and details so they must be the right ones for me.. Then again, it all depends on when we’re getting married. Ambitious me says ‘you can make it AND do everything else, no problem!’ Practical me knows that when I take on too much, nothing gets done well. I’m an extremely budget-conscious, practical person and I know I can make a dress for less than I could buy one. Although, I don’t want to be crying over the dress, desperately trying to sew it every weekend and late at night. (Alone at the office, while it’s dark out.)

The two most important factors that make me want to sew my wedding dress – well, three? Fit, fabric, and cost. I’m pear-shaped, so there’s no way I’ll be able to buy a dress off the rack. And I detest alterations. I’d rather start from scratch! Fit is the main attraction of making my own dress – besides being able to customize the design! Fabric is also an important consideration. I prefer natural fibres, and I want it to feel soft on the inside! I can pick the loveliest fabrics for my own dress if I make it. (Plus, who hasn’t wanted an excuse to buy over-the-top expensive cream lace – even just as a detail fabric or inset? I’m dying to take advantage of the opportunity to browse the bridal fabric section!) And cost is a huge factor. I’d want to be able to choose my favourite dress in the shop and I just know I have expensive taste! I sew, so I know I could make a dress for less. And luckily I don’t want a strapless dress, so I won’t need to sew in tons of boning and structure into my dress. But I barely have time to sew for myself at all these days! Am I crazy for thinking I could sew a wedding dress and do everything else that I do?

Have you set a date yet?

No, we haven’t set the date! I never realized that when you get engaged, the planning starts right away, but a lot of people are already asking about the wedding itself! The date is the most important thing I’m guessing, as everything else depends on the wedding date. If it’s a year away, that’s plenty of time to organize a big wedding. If it’s in January, then it will have to be a smaller affair. We’re pretty excited to get married though, so it may be sooner rather than later!

Big wedding? Small wedding?

You might be surprised that Mr Sewaholic and I are not centre-of-attention party people. The thought of a big wedding makes both of us want to run for the hills! Watching the royal wedding I remember thinking if I’d been Kate, the whole time I’d have worried about tripping, crying, forgetting my lines – and just waiting until I could breathe a sigh of relief when it was all over! So it’ll be a small affair no matter what we plan. And I’m not one of those girls who’s been dreaming of her wedding day since childhood. (To be honest, I’m more excited to plan the honeymoon!)

Before we got engaged and people asked about my future wedding, I always said ‘City Hall, and a plane ticket out of here!’ Which we found out you can’t actually do here. You have to pick a venue even if it’s just a tiny thing, there is no imaginary City Hall hall or room where someone marries you and you’re done. (Vancouver locals – please correct me if I’m wrong!) Though I’ll admit I went out with my sister and bought a ton of bride magazines the next day. (Because you’re finally allowed to buy those when you’re engaged, or helping someone plan!) And with all of the countdown calendars and etiquette tips, the thought of planning a wedding seemed a little less daunting. (Just a little less than before. Planning is still scary and a ton of work!) And both of our families have been amazing and supportive, telling us that whatever we decide is fine with them! (And so have all of you who offered advice, tips, and even local venue ideas! Thank you!)

So we’re still undecided – plan a proper wedding? Get hitched somewhere small, since you can’t do it at city hall? (Can I still wear a pretty white dress if it’s super-small?) Again, my extreme thriftiness makes me not want to drop a lot of money on one day. The most important thing is that I’m getting married to the love of my life, not centrepieces or catering. And for at least the next week, we’re not making any plans yet. We’re trying to enjoy being engaged and focus on that – one thing at a time!

I will be sure to keep you posted on all things wedding-related! And there will still be plenty of sewing content like usual. It won’t turn into Weddingaholic over here – I promise!

Thanks again for the outpouring of comments, well-wishes and encouraging thoughts! I’m excited for Mr Sewaholic to officially be my Mr, no matter what kind of wedding we have. This has most definitely been the most exciting and fun year of my life – I can’t wait to see what happens next!

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78 Responses to Thank you all! And a few wedding thoughts

  1. Judy Park October 26, 2011 at 6:47 am #

    My very best wishes to you both, I hope that you will be very happy ( I’m sure that you will)
    I am looking forward to hearing about your wedding plans and seeing some of the photographs.
    When I read the lovely news that you were engaged I felt that the sun had just come out.

    Yours sincerely

    • Tasia October 26, 2011 at 11:14 am #

      @Judy Park: Hi Judy! That is the nicest thing to say, like ‘the sun had just come out!’ Thank you! We’re super happy to be together and make it official. And I will be sure to share my wedding plans and dress ideas and all of that fun stuff here!

  2. Ella October 26, 2011 at 6:53 am #

    Tasia, you are going to find that an engagement is filled with pressure and questions from those around you. Take at least a little bit of time for yourself and your fiancé before you begin planning to just enjoy this new part of your relationship. There will be plenty of time for planning. I got married less than 6 months after getting engaged, and managed to do it while working full time, travelling quite a bit for work, and taking a month at the beginning to plan NOTHING. When you are ready to get planning let us know, and I would love to share some great resources I used, some of them local in Vancouver, and some online.

    • Tasia October 26, 2011 at 11:16 am #

      @Ella: Yes! It certainly is filled with questions and pressure. I had no idea that would all start right away! We’re trying to ‘not plan’ but it keeps bubbling up, I keep asking wedding questions when I know we’re not supposed to be planning yet. That is impressive that you did it all in less than 6 months while keeping the rest of life going! Thanks also for the offer to share your resources – I will certainly let you know when I’m ready to start planning for real!

  3. Wag Doll October 26, 2011 at 6:59 am #

    Aw I missed your announcement, so congratulations to you both, wonderful news. Just remember the wedding is for the bride and groom so do what feels right for you, and enjoy! x

    • Tasia October 26, 2011 at 11:16 am #

      @Wag Doll: Thanks so much! We will definitely take your good advice and do what feels right. :)

  4. Shelly October 26, 2011 at 7:21 am #

    I can’t believe that I never even thought to ask you if you were sewing your dress! I am currently working on mine, well, muslin 3 technically, and it’s really more exciting than I imagined. I really am so happy for you. . . and wouldn’t you know, my fianc√© proposed this week too. (Which may have you scratching your head and wondering how I’m on my third muslin??) One of the websites that’s REALLY helped us out with planning has been You should go and take a peak if you haven’t already. :-) And congratulations!

    • Tasia October 26, 2011 at 11:18 am #

      @Shelly: Ok Shelly – I have to ask, how are you on Muslin #3 already? There are no clues on your blog. :) Did you get a running start? Are you just that fast? Tell me more!
      Thanks for the link to – someone suggested it yesterday and I finally checked it out over breakfast. I already found plenty of interesting posts and comments so thank you! Practical, that’s my middle name. :)

      • Shelly October 27, 2011 at 2:42 pm #

        @Tasia: Oh, right! Well, none of the muslins have made it to my blog because I didn’t want to seem to presumptious, since he hadn’t QUITE proposed yet. But, my mom and I started working on muslins about a month ago. . . pretending that they were Christmas party dresses, etc. I’ll post them in the next week or so. I’m still reeling, and it doesn’t feel quite real yet. I can’t believe that it’s been almost a week. I still keep looking at my ring. Are you doing that too?

        • Tasia October 27, 2011 at 2:50 pm #

          @Shelly: Yes! I keep looking at it. Although, it seems very real because *everyone* is asking when the big day is! But even then, I still can’t believe I’m engaged! I wanted to be, and now I am, and it’s just so wild to think about. I’ve found something that wants to be with me, just how I am, and wants to spend a lifetime having adventures with me! It’s truly exciting. Congratulations to you!
          Ha, I love it, pretending they are Christmas party dresses. So sneaky of you! I know, it’s been a week here too. I can tell because the roses are starting to fade. ;)
          Oh, and THANK YOU for the recommendation on A Practical Wedding. I’ve been reading it non-stop and there are so many intelligent, thoughtful discussions and open, honest sharing of everyone’s experiences! It’s such a good read. It’s really opened my eyes to the fact that everyone’s wedding is unique, and can be whatever we want, and we don’t need to live up to someone else’s imaginary dream day, we can have OUR dream day. So thank you! And good luck with the dress!!

          • Shelly November 8, 2011 at 1:15 pm #

            A Practical Wedding is addictive, isn’t it? The week that I found it, I read the entire backlog of posts. I’m not proud of that, but there it is.

            In other news, I finally got around to starting the wedding dress posts! I’m going to do just one muslin / attempt at a time to bring it up to date. The first is here, where you can see the Christmas dress gone wrong.


  5. Tasha October 26, 2011 at 7:31 am #

    So exciting, all those questions to think about! Here’s my $.02. On the subject of sewing your own dress… the only thing I can say is that I heard the horror story of my good friend and her aunt up until the wee hours the night before her cousin’s wedding, both scrambling to hem her cousin’s dress that her aunt sewed, because they just couldn’t get it done sooner. i imagine the size of your wedding and the amount of planning you do may dictate how much time you could conceivably invest in sewing your own dress. Lots of great reasons to do it, but I can totally see how you wouldn’t want it to turn you into a crying mess, either!

    In terms of size… You don’t have to do a big, expensive wedding if you don’t want to! It can be small an intimate and equally or more fantastic. When we got married in June we went really small and non-traditional, and I am so, so glad we did. I hate being the center of attention so no way was I going to stand up in front of 100 people (even 50!). And I see no reason why you can’t have a glamorous white dress no matter what type of wedding you do. ;)

    I’d say go with your heart! Because in the end it’s about what the two of YOU want, not your family, not your friends, or any expectations that anyone else might try to put on you. It’s your day! :)

    • Tasia October 26, 2011 at 11:21 am #

      @Tasha: Thank you Tasha! Your wedding looked lovely, I remember the photos! Non-traditional is more my thing. Small and intimate, yes! I don’t hate being the centre of attention, but I feel immense pressure not to screw things up, cry, trip, fall, or say something dumb by accident. I’m rather clumsy so all of those things could happen! I’m exactly the same, even 50 people seems like too many to me and too much pressure. It’s not supposed to be scary!
      Yay for the glam white dress – or ivory, or cream, or whatever we’re calling not-quite-white! Thanks for the awesome comment and words of encouragement!

  6. Kerry October 26, 2011 at 7:48 am #

    Congratulations on your engagement!

    My wedding advice for you is just trust your gut and do what you like. You’ve said you don’t like the idea of a big wedding so take your time and decide what’s best for you both. I got married last year and hated the thought of being centre of attention all day and having to organise the thing. We had 9 guests at our ceremony (close family) and then went for lunch and to the planetarium. It was a fun day and with no stress at all. My dress was thrifted – I think it would be lovely to make your own, as long as it doesn’t add any pressure to proceedings! You could definitely do it, but depending on how much else you have to organise.

    • Tasia October 26, 2011 at 11:23 am #

      @Kerry: I love the idea of nine people having lunch and going to the planetarium. Sounds like a fun, stress-free day! Without having to make a big fuss over things but still taking time to celebrate. That’s awesome that you found a thrifted dress! All I’ve seen around here are scary, eighties-era dresses with massive sleeves. (Though I suppose the sleeves could be easily removed.)
      I will trust my gut and do what we like – thanks for the kind thoughts!

  7. Kathy October 26, 2011 at 8:01 am #

    I really don’t think you need any advice. You seem to really have your head on straight and I know you already know inside you what is right for you. You are getting married for all the right reasons and the rest will just fall into place.

    • Tasia October 26, 2011 at 11:27 am #

      @Kathy: Thanks Kathy! I hope you’re right and the rest falls into place – I know what I want, it’s just putting it all together!

  8. Meghan October 26, 2011 at 8:08 am #

    Of COURSE you can wear a pretty dress at a small affair! Take a deep breath and stay focused on what matters. All you really need is the license, the groom, the officiant and a ticket to your honeymoon destination!

    Congratulations and best wishes!

    • Tasia October 26, 2011 at 11:28 am #

      @Meghan: Exactly! Me, Mr Sewaholic, a license, someone to marry us, and a plane ticket out of here! Thanks for the thoughtful comment. It’s easy to get carried away by magazines and the idea of what a wedding should be, rather than the reason we’re doing it in the first place. I hope I can stay grounded throughout the planning process!

  9. Alicia October 26, 2011 at 8:10 am #

    You can get married wherever you want. My friends had a large wedding in India, but to have a legal marriage in Vancouver, Canada they had to be married by a wedding commissioner. So they got married in their living room, wearing their slippers, with only my husband and I and their immediate family members present. It was quite funny because the groom couldn’t stop laughing because every time he looked down he could see his bride’s slippers – and at the moment, he thought it was hilarious :)

    For the process – you need to get a marriage license too (which you can pick up at London Drugs I believe)

    Here is info on marriage commissioners: and then you can go here to find one:

    If you want my advice (which please feel free to ignore if you want – I don’t want to be one of those people that adds to the stress by saying that there is only way to do wedding planning) the first thing I would do if I were you though, is choose a general date (month/season, day of the week), and then find your venue and specific date (if you do get married at a venue, they might not have your ideal date available). If you want to get married in a back yard, that is great too – and it will save you on having to pick a venue and maybe choose a less great date because it is already booked.

    Whatever you choose just choose what is best for you and don’t fall into family pressures or anything to have a big wedding if you don’t want one! Choose a place to get married, whether it be in your living room in your slippers or at a super fancy hotel, that suits you and will make you feel the most comfortable and happy :)

    Good luck!

    • Tasia October 26, 2011 at 11:32 am #

      @Alicia: Thank you Alicia! I love it, getting married in the living room with slippers. Believe me, we’ve considered it! (No sore feet or blisters to deal with!) Thanks for all the links. This is super helpful! Can you really get a license at London Drugs, along with your cereal and batteries? Crazy! :)
      I like the idea of picking a general date first, because that helps with seasonal things (outdoor or indoor?) and lets me know how much time there is to make a dress and if it’s even possible. Smart plan. That much I can handle! That kind of helps me get started. Baby steps!

      • Alicia October 27, 2011 at 12:02 pm #

        @Tasia: No problem! Yes, we picked up our marriage license at one of those insurance booths at London Drugs! Definitely nice to get something done wedding related at a store around the corner :) Go here to find one near you closer to the date: (Can you tell that I love supplying links?!)

  10. Vicki Kate October 26, 2011 at 8:31 am #

    Wear what you like, to wherever you want to get married. As you say you’re not marrying centre pieces and canapes! You’re marrying each other and the day should reflect that – I’m glad both your families are being so supportive of that as it can easily turn into a bit of a circus…

    I married Husband nearly 8 years ago (as of 29 November) and in comparrison to the wedding my brother-in-law is planning (route master buses, helicopters, 4 bridesmaids, 2 best men, a page boy (my boy)…) it was a tiny thing. But it is what we wanted and reflected us and planned in 9 months. Not for *that* reason, just that we were engaged in late January and wanted to be married when my husband wasn’t on call for work and that’s how the dates worked!

    My dress was rented from a lady who hand made them and she altered it on a number of occassions so that it fitted me perfectly. I found this a perfect middle ground as I did not want to spend thousands of £ on the dress (which is what it would have cost to buy) but I wanted it to be fitted and perfect for me. £250 back then was an absolute bargain considering the embroidery and beading detail that was all over the bodice.

    Enjoy it – the research can be a LOT of fun!

    • Tasia October 26, 2011 at 11:34 am #

      @Vicki Kate: I can totally see how it can turn into a circus – that’s so not my thing! Helicopters? Buses? Two best men? Too much for me! That’s pretty cool that you could rent a dress AND get it to fit you. What a brilliant idea! Were you terrified to spill on it? Were you sad to give it back?
      I like how you said the research can be fun – if I don’t think of it as ‘oh my god, so many decisions to make’ and more like ‘oooh, bride magazines, finally an excuse to read these!’ it will be so much more fun. Thank you!

  11. Stephanie October 26, 2011 at 8:48 am #

    Lol I totally bought a wedding planning book and was on wedding websites before I got engaged. (I knew it was coming though!)

    Enjoy your wedding planning. Mine was a small affair that I planned (pretty much on my own) in four months and for under $2500 so it certainly doesn’t have to be pricey.

    • Tasia October 26, 2011 at 11:36 am #

      @Stephanie: Four months! Wow! Ok, you guys are certainly helping me to see this doesn’t need to take years to pull off. Thanks for letting me know it can be done affordably and in a shorter time period if that’s what we want!

  12. Janice Bear October 26, 2011 at 9:03 am #

    I missed the post yesterday, but am here today to offer my full and happy congratulations! Girl, you can totally wear whatever you want no matter the size of the wedding. To ease the strain a bit have you considered separates? It might be easier AND you can wear the pieces again for special dates and anniversaries without being conspicuously bridal, you know? Also, if you make one piece and decide the time frame and stress is just not going to allow you to make the other piece you can buy it and your ensemble will still cost less than buying a dress new.

    You have such fun ahead of you – planning, marrying, honey mooning and being married! Wee!

    • Tasia October 26, 2011 at 11:38 am #

      @Janice Bear: That’s a good idea, making two pieces instead of one – and I wouldn’t have thought of that! Thanks for sharing!

  13. Sue October 26, 2011 at 9:30 am #

    Tasia, You have a really good attitude to your wedding! It is the marriage that matters more than the wedding day itself. Your wedding will reflect your own style; practical, economical and beautiful! The only way you will get the dress you really want is to make it yourself. I made my own wedding dress in 1976 when we were living in a tiny caravan and working full time! We were married on a budget and we had a wonderful day! I would not have changed a thing. And we are still happily married today! Follow your heart and do it your own individual way! Best wishes.

    • Tasia October 26, 2011 at 11:42 am #

      @Sue: Practical, Economical and Beautiful – my wedding’s tagline. :) love it! I know it may not be spectacularly cheaper to sew it, but I agree, I really want to make my dress myself. Just knowing I can control too-tight armholes and get the neckline exactly right is reason enough to me! That is wonderful that you can look back on your wedding years later and know you wouldn’t have changed a thing! That’s what Mr Sewaholic asks me when I say I want things to be small – are you sure you won’t regret it? And I say, of course not! I’m not a regrets kind of person. I certainly never look back on prom and think, hey, I wish i’d worn something different. Life goes on! I don’t remember details, but I always remember how I feel. And I know I’ll remember if I felt stressed and panicked, or happy and relaxed.
      Oops, I got a bit rambly there. Thanks so much for the encouraging comments! I will certainly follow my heart and do it our way.

  14. wundermary October 26, 2011 at 9:33 am #

    First, let me wish you both the best!

    My husband and I planned our wedding over the course of a year. We did it at our home (we have a large place in the country) so that we could afford what we wanted. We did a big cookout. I hired someone to come in and grill everything, so that I wouldn’t have to deal with that. Everything else was done by us and wonderful friends. I made my dress (for all the same reasons you just listed!) and a good friend and I made the cake. That same friend got ordained online, so that she could marry us. It was great!

    All in all, we did the affair rather inexpensively and had a great party with our family and friends. My largest regret is that I did not hire a photographer. We left point and shoots on all of the tables and of course, guests brought their own cameras. The light was less than ideal and I got very few really good photos. The best came from a couple of friends and a nephew, all armed with their own SLRs. If I had it to do all over again, this is the one major expense that I would spring for.

    That said, plan what you want and do what makes you happy!

    • Tasia October 26, 2011 at 11:46 am #

      @wundermary: Thanks! I think if there’s anything we spend a bit of money on, it’s photography. I want to be able to look back and remember what everything looked like! I’ll remember how we felt (and hopefully still feel!) but that’s the one thing that seems like a good spend to me. The rest we can do cheaply! No tripod-and-timer for us! I take all of my photos on the blog myself but taking them of your own wedding is where I draw the line. :)
      Sounds like you had a wonderful wedding celebration! Thanks for sharing!

  15. Anna Powell October 26, 2011 at 9:40 am #

    I love the way your are going about your wedding! So many women are so focused on making the day perfect that they forget what is really important; getting married to the man you love!

    Reading your post makes me all giddy! It’s so romantic and refreshing!

    • Tasia October 26, 2011 at 11:48 am #

      @Anna Powell: Thank you! It makes me giddy and happy to write and babble on about this stuff. I’m glad it’s not boring to read! :)
      I’m way too practical to worry about making it a ‘perfect day’ according to someone else’s definition of the perfect wedding. We’re going to make it *our* perfect day instead!

  16. TM October 26, 2011 at 9:51 am #

    Congratulations! So exciting. On the whole big wedding hoop-la, we also opted for just a small wedding – immediate family only. We got married in the morning at a small local church, had breakfast at his parents home with the family, and had homemade apple pie for our ‘cake’. Then by 2 p.m. we were off on our own for the rest of our wedding day. When it comes to the dress, and the stress making it can include, you could look in stores first, and if you find something go for it, but if you don’t find something that you feel good in, don’t get it. I wanted to make my own dress, and my mother insisted I wouldn’t be happy with the product if I did. Looking at stores (Manitoba isn’t one for fashion), nothing was perfect, and I bought a dress that seemed just fine. I wanted one with straps too, and those are hard to come by. Alteration issues later, I still wasn’t happy with it. I regret not just making my dress myself. And it didn’t even need to be elabrate – just think how cute your picnic dress – long or short – would be in a rich fabric, with pockets, and a birdcage veil.

    • Tasia October 26, 2011 at 11:53 am #

      @TM: Oooh.. I’ve already thought of using the picnic dress as a starting-point for my dress, great minds think alike! With pockets! (And potentially, something that could even be worn again!) I agree, it doesn’t need to be crazy or complicated. Simple is just as pretty, and sometimes even more pretty and elegant.
      I like the sounds of your wedding – small ceremony, then breakfast, and then free to do your thing! It’s so refreshing to hear that many people have small weddings. Television, movies and Say Yes to the Dress have led me to believe that everyone drops a fortune on this one day! :)

  17. RobinDenning October 26, 2011 at 9:58 am #

    Ah congratulations!! Isn’t it surprising how fast people start asking questions?!
    I sewed my own wedding dress and it was a really lovely experience to sew something so meaningful for myself. That part was sweet.
    I would think you can CERTAINLY sew your own dress because you have such a good sense of what looks good on you and you can fit yourself. It’s a matter of keeping the construction simple enough to avoid getting overwhelmed. I ran out of time on mine! I didn’t foresee that I would be hand basting every single seam, underlining it and all that sort of thing. I was very lucky that I found someone to finish for me while I sold my house and moved into a new one with DH. But, heck, that is just one person’s opinion.
    I know you will come up with something just right for you!

    • Tasia October 26, 2011 at 11:56 am #

      @RobinDenning: Thank you! I love that – ‘a lovely experience to sew something so meaningful for myself.’ That’s a great way of putting it! I think if I keep things simple, like you and TM said, it’ll come together just fine. Will be sure to keep you posted!
      Do you have any photos of your wedding dress? I’d love to see it!

  18. Sherry October 26, 2011 at 10:49 am #

    Ooh how exciting! I missed yesterdays post too, and just want to wish you big congratulations!
    I love your approach too – enjoy the process and keep it simple. Plus, you really don’t need half the things people try to sell you!
    Dress hint – finish most of it well in advance, but leave the zip out until a couple of days prior. You’ll lose a couple of kilos in that week, almost every bride does!
    Best wishes!!

    • Tasia October 26, 2011 at 12:00 pm #

      @Sherry: Brilliant! Thanks for the tip. That is such a good idea. I’m so going to do that – sew up the entire dress but leave the zipper for last. (Or make it lace up – that’s probably why they do that, so it’s adjustable!)
      With all of the food and dinners and celebrating, plus Christmas coming up, I can’t imagine losing any weight, but I hear that all brides do!
      I want to go back and peek at all of your wedding dresses now to get me pumped! ps. I’ll remember your sneaky trick in case I prick my finger and get it on the dress too! You are full of useful suggestions! ;)

    • Tasia October 26, 2011 at 12:03 pm #

      @Sherry: Hey, you redesigned your blog – I like it! The lace and the soft colours are very ‘you’ – looks great!

  19. Laurel October 26, 2011 at 10:51 am #

    Congratulations! I love your blog and having gotten engaged recently myself am excited to hear about your wedding plans!

    On the topic of sewing your own dress – when we first got engaged I said there was no way I would make mine. Then I went shopping (all the way from David’s Bridal to Vera Wang) and realized that the dresses I liked I could make myself, so why not! A word of warning – unless you want something very simple or don’t care about the fabric you probably won’t end up saving that much money. Granted I didn’t spend as much as the $5K Vera Wang I loved (sigh) but I definitely could have gotten a cute JCrew dress or something similar for less than the fabric cost me. I’ve really enjoyed making it so it’s definitely been worth it!

    • Tasia October 26, 2011 at 12:07 pm #

      @Laurel: You’re probably right! I probably won’t save money compared to all wedding dresses. I have a girlfriend who bought her wedding dress for $99, brand new! For sure it will cost me more to make. I do want something very simple, but I do want really nice fabric too. So it’s a balance! All of the dresses I liked online and in magazines were $5k and over – and that’s not including taxes, shipping possibly, and alterations. (Yikes!) I can do better than $5k, but I won’t do better than a hundred or so.
      I’ll be completely honest with you all if I make my dress and let you know what it costs! (Because aren’t you curious about those kind of things? I know I am!)

  20. Layla October 26, 2011 at 11:08 am #

    Congratulations. I’m currently helping one of my students make her own wedding dress, she’s having a small thing, and her dress is simple but its still made out of beautiful cream satin and lace. My advice would be that you dont have to have a complicated dress, but make it special by using amazing fabric.
    and by the way getting married is really fun, i did it last year (ran off, just the two of us and did it in cyprus) and it is lovely.

    • Tasia October 26, 2011 at 12:09 pm #

      @Layla: Thanks! I like your suggestion – simple dress, amazing fabric. And how wonderful does your wedding sound – just the two of you, running off together, how romantic! No catering or centrepieces to deal with! :)
      Thanks for the kind thoughts!

  21. Lucy October 26, 2011 at 1:03 pm #

    Congratulations again! I had a flip through one of those bridal magazines not long after I got engaged and it freaked me out (they seem to assume I care about so many things I really don’t care about, and it starts to seem so much more daunting) so I put it back in horror and almost a year later we’re still saying, ‘y’know, we really should get onto this wedding thing…’

    We’re pretty sure we’d like a beach wedding, we live a couple of hours from the Coromandel Peninsula in New Zealand, which I think is one of the most beautiful places in the world. With that in mind, I’m definitely thinking tea-length, possibly 50s style, and probably lace. Don’t know if my skills or nerves are up to making it myself (I’m still checking out eBay and etsy to see if anything suitable comes up there) – but I’m seriously considering making my own navy satin Lonsdales for the bridesmaid/s :-)

    • Tasia October 26, 2011 at 2:25 pm #

      @Lucy: Yes! Those things are scary. I couldn’t care less about centrepieces or party favors or those signs that go on tables with people’s names on them – and the thought of buying them and figuring out what to do with them seems like a ton of work. I’ve flipped through them a few times and while I like looking at the dresses, it seems very disconnected from the important part, my relationship with Mr Sewaholic. I’m glad I’m not the only one who’s read wedding mags and thought.. am I supposed to be interested in *all* of this stuff?
      I google-searched the beach you mentioned and yes! it looks amazing. You would have the most beautiful photos ever! And you can go barefoot! Your description of your wedding dress sounds like the one my sister made for her friend last year (talk about a nice friend!!) It’s a 50’s vintage pattern, ivory lace, tea length. The style itself is super simple, only a few pattern pieces! It’s working with the lace that’s the hard part – that and getting the fit right!
      Navy satin Lonsdales! Someone did that – let me find it!
      That would be so lovely – either long or knee-length! Good luck with the planning when you get started!

  22. Zena October 26, 2011 at 1:05 pm #

    Do it how you want! There are no rules other than to have a licence and marriage commissioner.

    Our wedding was held in my mom’s back yard with a handful of people (close family + 3 friends from Japan). My dress was red. We rented the hall at the community centre a block away for the reception for friends. We had a little bit of catering, supplemented by a bunch of food made by family. My husband, who is into medieval European martial arts, held and participated in a tournament.

    It wasn’t perfect, but it was us – and I’ve never seen anything like it :-)

    • Tasia October 26, 2011 at 2:17 pm #

      @Zena: Yes! Love it. ‘Do it how you want’ – and why on earth not? Your wedding and reception sounds like it was exactly right for you – I love the idea of a red dress! And a martial arts tournament? How cool. Thanks for sharing!

  23. Wendy October 26, 2011 at 1:14 pm #

    Missed your previous post too, but big congratulations on your happy news!

    When I planned my wedding, I organised the whole thing in about 3 weeks, as I had to fly home from the UK to New Zealand for another family wedding a month before my own, which was back in the UK.

    We were engaged for four months before we married, because we decided if we were commited to getting married, why wait? (And no, it wasn’t for ‘that’ reason, despite what my father-in-law thought!!)

    • Tasia October 26, 2011 at 2:12 pm #

      @Wendy: Three WEEKS! Holy crap, that’s impressive! I know the feeling about wanting to get married right away, because you’re right, we *are* committed to getting married, that’s why I said yes! Why wait? Thanks for the well wishes!

  24. Megan October 26, 2011 at 1:24 pm #

    Having been through the desire to get married at city hall myself – you are correct, there are no marriages at city hall in Vancouver. However, we got married with a marriage commissioner last year on Vancouver Island (at Point No Point Resort on the beach, with only 14 people present in total) – and really, it’s very simple to set up. There are tons of marriage commissioners and you can just have them come to your home as long as you have two other people present as witnesses. It doesn’t have to be a big deal. The marriage commissioner will give you some options for a service and vows, unless you want to write your own.

    Total cost for our wedding – this included putting our parents up at the resort in cabins for the weekend plus our stay, dinner for everyone, marriage commissioner, dress – Under $4000. Having been married twice – once at a larger, more formal wedding – the second time as described? I would *never* do a larger, more formal wedding unless that is something you have really wanted in your lifetime. Why do I say that? It’s really stressful, and you won’t remember almost anything about “your big day” when it is full of dozens of people, when there are multiple wedding functions leading up to it, when you have to do a receiving line for two hours or when the photos take forever to get every configuration of family on film.

    The smaller wedding? I remember every single moment of it. I remember the moment I said “I do”. I remember the words our moms said at our wedding. I remember how great the dinner was afterwards. It was such a perfect day – and to include our friends, we followed up with a fun and casual party at our house a month later. Obviously we are all different in what we want out of our weddings – but if you have reservations about doing a large wedding because of stress and cost? I would say, start out by determining what is really important to you about your wedding and go from there. If you say “getting married to the love of my life” then nothing else really matters except for doing just that! Good luck!

    • Tasia October 26, 2011 at 2:08 pm #

      @Megan: Hi Megan! I told myself ‘no more comments, it’s back to work time’ but your comment made me jump back in and reply. I absolutely loved your comments on the smaller wedding – it almost made me teary! It’s wonderful that you remember every single moment of it! I completely agree, I’ve never wanted a big wedding and I thought that’s what most people did! Reading all of the comments today makes me realize that weddings are incredibly personal and unique to the couple who’s getting married. There is no ‘one way’ to do things – it’s whatever is right for me or you! A receiving line for two hours sounds like absolute doom to me. (But that may be someone else’s fantasy day.)
      Thanks for the thoughtful comment and for sharing your experience with weddings. I’ve been to a handful but never thought this much about all of the planning that goes into them until faced with the reality of planning my own! It sure helps to hear from people who’ve been there, done that, and will share how they felt about the whole thing!

  25. Monica October 26, 2011 at 3:24 pm #

    Congratulations to you! I just wanted to share my experience of making my own wedding dress earlier this year. At first I thought, of course! Then I thought, no way, not with all the late night sewing sessions and so much else to plan. I am not that crazy. But I did it anyway, for many of the reasons you listed above: cost, fit, and getting to play with lovely ivory Chantilly. The real tipping factor for me was going to a few bridal shops and trying on the dresses…it was only strapless as far as the eye could see! Most of the dresses I tried were some sort of poly-satin, and made in China, and that just made them unworthy of the price-tags they had. Good luck with whatever you decide to do, me and all your followers will be excited to hear about it!

    P.S. my dress had pockets and I seriously don’t know why more dresses don’t!!

    • Tasia October 26, 2011 at 4:03 pm #

      @Monica: Yes to dresses with pockets! Although I’d be worried about extra hip bulges, it would depend on the fullness of the skirt. It sounds like you had the exact same thought patterns as me on making the dress. First yes, then ‘am I crazy?’ I’m glad you ended up doing it – I agree with the poly-satin strapless thing, not for me! And you’re right, made in China or elsewhere, for a fraction of the price. Thanks for sharing! I want to play with ivory Chantilly too. :)

  26. Nat October 26, 2011 at 3:44 pm #

    Wow, slow down! Enjoy the engagement phase. You will only do this once so take the time to enjoy it. When people ask “when’s the wedding’ say “dunno, only just got engaged!” A small wedding is great. Mine only had immediate family, but still managed to come to 100 people (he has a huge family!) We got married in the local community centre hall, then had our reception there too. All in one room, just moved the tables a bit.

    There are lots of fabulous places in Vancouver to get married, so think about somewhere that is special to you and do it there. Vancouver is used to people wanting to marry in lots of venues and there isn’t usually a problem arranging it.

    Re Wedding Dress. Do you have a friend who sews who could help you with it? That way you still get to choose fabric, design etc, but don’t have to be up all night sewing and stressing. I’d help out, but Maple Ridge is a bit far away!

    • Tasia October 26, 2011 at 3:58 pm #

      @Nat: Thanks for the comment! It’s tricky to balance excitement with planning stress, you know? On one side I’m like ‘yay! let’s do this thing!’ and on the other I want to relax, not rush, not think about planning. 100 people is still pretty big to me!
      I like your note about finding a place that’s special to us. I’ll think on that and ask Mr Sewaholic what he thinks too! Special places, hmm. I like that!
      My mother sews and so does my sister but I don’t know, something about doing it myself seems kind of fun. Still plenty of time to think, plan and figure it all out! That is so thoughtful of you to offer to help – thank you! That is so nice!

  27. Linda L October 26, 2011 at 4:02 pm #

    Well I am behind on my reading so just finding out that there is a wedding in the future. Congratulations to you both!

    • Tasia October 26, 2011 at 4:05 pm #

      @Linda L: Thank you so much!

  28. Ashlee October 26, 2011 at 4:51 pm #

    A belated congrats on your engagement – the ring is so decadent!! You’re going to have such a blast planning every day detail, so be sure to just enjoy each and every moment!! Cheers :)

  29. Rachel October 26, 2011 at 5:30 pm #

    It must be so exciting for you! Can’t wait to hear more about your plans as they evolve. It sounds like a smaller affair might be what you’re hoping for, as then the dress doesn’t need to be too elaborate either.

  30. STL Mom October 26, 2011 at 6:07 pm #

    The best wedding advice I read was to plan your wedding in this order: first, decide who you want to have at the wedding. Second, figure out your budget. Third, choose a date and venue based on the first two criteria.
    I’ve heard many stories about people who do this in the opposite order. They choose a destination wedding, then regret that an elderly relative can’t travel to join them. Or they choose their favorite restaurant, but can’t fit all their friends and start cutting back their list and feel bad about it. It’s great to have a small wedding because you want one, but it’s not fun to leave someone out because you ran out of seats.
    Anyway, that’s my tip! I was engaged for about six months before we set a date, but then we had been dating for over five years so everyone knew we were not in any hurry!

  31. Caitlin October 26, 2011 at 6:21 pm #

    What lovely news!

    I look forward to seeing what you decide and if you end up making your dress. I loved the idea of making my dress but in the end decided my skills weren’t quite up to it at the time.

    I definitely support the idea of deciding what is most important to you and focussing your effort and budget on that. We did that for our small budget wedding last year. For us it was some good food and wine for our band of merry friends and family, a professional photographer to record the day and an old fashioned swing band (a small one!) as a nod to my grandparents dinner dance wedding during WWII and often recounted to me with great delight when I was a little girl. We picked locations with meaning to us and realising that this was quite a special thing we were doing we tried to make it a suitably special day rather than just any old party we might normally thow (which – I must say was my first instinct along with eloping in my jeans and winter coat for a mountaintop wedding in New Zealand!) but we also wanted low-key and relaxed and simple. Most importantly we just wanted to be married at the end of it! It worked beautifully for us – as did not taking it all too seriously and expecting it to be the perfect best day of our lives. We went with the unexpectedly freezing and misty spring day and my Dad and I having to walk the aisle twice. It was all part of the suprise of the day. There is a little peek here – I was asked to write something for a wedding blog, which I did – flying in the face of my need to not be the centre of attention – but was great exposure for our wonderful photographer.

  32. LunaLoo October 26, 2011 at 6:57 pm #

    This says it all:

    “The most important thing is that I‚Äôm getting married to the love of my life, not centrepieces or catering”


  33. Cynthia October 26, 2011 at 7:25 pm #

    Tasia, my wedding was super small (15 people including us and the officiant). It was beautiful, meaningful, and I wore the dress I wanted with the long veil I wanted. I had just the most important people there. Do what feels right and enjoy marrying your best friend :) Congrats!

  34. Sue October 26, 2011 at 7:42 pm #

    This has been an exciting year for you. Congratulations and I love the new pattern.

  35. Brea October 26, 2011 at 8:17 pm #

    I had my wedding for about $500, it was lovely and had about 15 people. Ebay dress (heavy beaded silk) for $50, simple rings, family and friends made the food, bouquet and decorations made from stuff we bought at a craft store, and had it in my college’s chapel. My mother is an amazing photographer, so we have lovely pictures too.

    You can have an absolutely amazing dress in any venue you like. Just spend what you would have spent on a fancy venue on photography instead!

    As to the dress, my recommendation is that you do what you can’t not do. If you will look back in 10, 20 years and regret that you didn’t make the dress (as it seems you might, since sewing is so your thing) then make it. If you are worried about planning too much and having too much to do, delegate the things that are not super-crucial to you (your fiance, mother, and maid of honor can all have a big role in wedding planning). Focus your attention on those things you will remember and care about most in 10 years.

  36. ms. modiste October 26, 2011 at 9:40 pm #

    I’m not able to read all the preceding comments so forgive me if I repeat anything! I just wanted to say two things! First, you’re right that you can’t marry at city hall; however, you can marry anywhere you like! If you decide to go with a government commissioner, you can meet them in a public place, such as a city park. And, if you have less than 25 people, you don’t need a permit from the city to do so. Also, if you have smaller numbers, some local commissioners even offer up their homes as venues. (I can think of one woman who made that offer to me, but I’d have to do a little googling to remember her name!)

    The other thing is regarding buying wedding dresses… have you ever tried them on? The sizing really surprised me. I usually have SO much trouble fitting ready to wear (as I’m a rather pronounced hourglass – 38-30-40 – who wears a 34F-G bra) but in bridal I fit without ANY alterations. (In fact, my measurements were the gown’s recommended measurements for a size 10.) So, as a pear, you might be surprised in that you might actually have no problem finding a dress that fits your waist-to-hip ratio, but you might need to take in the bust (or just pad it.) But I think sewing it sounds like way more fun :)

  37. Sarah October 26, 2011 at 11:51 pm #

    Congratulations Tasia, what a wonderful and exciting time for you in so many ways. I was out on the west coast at a wedding on the beach…in October. The bride put the wedding together in about a month. The bride and groom, two witnesses and the wedding commissioner and us two photographers were the only ones at the wedding on the beach. After the ceremony, the four members of the wedding party went out for dinner. And, the bride wore a lovely long white wedding dress and had a gorgeous bouquet. Beautiful, relatively stress free, simple and inexpensive. You really can go as small as you want. So, go ahead and just enjoy the ‘engagement’. You have plenty of time to relax and have fun planning your wedding, whatever the size.

    And, Congratulations on the new pattern! It looks great.


  38. Karin October 27, 2011 at 1:32 am #

    I am travelling and missed your first post. Congratulations!

  39. Eline October 27, 2011 at 1:58 am #

    Hey Tasia,

    First and foremost: Congratulations!

    I got ‘married’ last January. (technically we signed a contract that states that we’re partners – not exactly the same, but it comes close.) We decided all of this in September and had just enough time to get everything done by January. It was a small party (only family and best friends) in an old barn that had been redecorated and is used in the summer as a small restaurant. We had a cheese and wine buffet and a lot of home made deserts afterwards. (Yum!)
    With all the planning and only having a short amount of time to get everything done, I didn’t make my dress myself. I don’t regret that because the dress I bought was just perfect :-)
    What I loved about January (instead of a summer wedding): lots of snow! (very beautiful and picturesque) The cold has a certain charm to it and I loved having a glass of champagne outside around a bonfire and afterwards being able to warm up with some pumpkin soup inside.

    So, knowing how much time you’re going to spend planning your wedding, I wish you the best of luck! And a very very very nice and relaxing honeymoon afterwards!

  40. Steph October 27, 2011 at 4:03 am #

    Hi Tasia,

    Congratulations on your engagement! I’m so happy to hear your considering making your own dress. I know it’s not any easy decision, (I’ve been there), but I thought I’d drop you a line & let you know my experience – hopefully it won’t scare you off!

    My husband & I got engaged in mid-September 2009 & were married the following March, we were engaged for less than 6 months & because we didn’t get around to actually planning anything until November I really only had about 4 months to organise a dress. I went dress shopping with my Mum & some friends & unfortunately many of the store assisstants were really rude to me, and complained that I’d left my wedding planning too late & that I’d have to pay a 10-20% surchage for a ‘late’ order. Add to that the cost of alterations (I have size 10 bust, 8 waist & 12 hips :S) & you can imagine what the bill was looking like.

    On a whim my Mum & I decided to go look at wedding dress patterns & after spending a few hours in fabric stores with amazingly lovely & helpful shop assisstants I decided I wanted to make my own dress. It took me another two weeks of pure stubborness to convince my Mum though….

    I didn’t want to be the girl up the night before my wedding still doing the hem so I created a week by week plan. Each week I had a series of tasks that needed to be done & I pushed myself to follow through. I also took a week off work over Christmas & spent it at my parents house making the final dress (I modified my plan to have a day-by-day plan for that week). I set a target to have the dress completely finished one month before the wedding so I could just relax. I finished making my dress at the end of January & had all of Feb to relax.

    I won’t lie to you, it wasn’t easy. It was hard & there were some really stressful moments. Like the day my Mum & I were pinning the skirt to the corset & the corset was so stiff & the skirt so soft we kept pricking our fingers & then we’d get a drop of blood on the dress & then we’d have to clean it & then we’d be stressing about water stains on the silk. In hindsight I think that if I wasn’t so stubborn & angry at the bridal shop ladies I probably wouldn’t have followed through with it, BUT I’m extremely happy that I did, it was worth every second. My mum helped me every step of the way & it was truly wonderful to be able to share that with her, (particularly since we are both such keen sewers). It felt wonderful to complete such a huge project – especially since it didn’t end up looking like a white sack & I learnt more than I ever have from any other sewing project. Finally, I did save a lot of money.

    Congratulations again & best of luck with your wedding plans (regardless of what you decide about the dress). Both my husband & I really enjoyed the lead-up to our wedding, we were both so excited & it was so much fun to be able to share that with our friends & family.

  41. Claraines October 27, 2011 at 4:15 am #

    Dear Tasia,

    In france, superstitions say : the bride should not sew the dress !

    Exemple of superstitons about wedding in france : someone are very funny and interesting !!!: Good reading !!!!

    ‚Ä¢ It’s the bridegroom who must close and lock the door before go to the Bed.

    • old usage to carry his wife at the residence comes from all these kidnapped women who were brought against their liking and who searched to go away.

    • An usage wants if the bride breaks a glass pitcher on the soil, the number of glass pieces to point out the number of year without quarrel. If the pitcher is pulverized, marriage will be very happy.

    • During the supper of party, it is definitely to break of the dinnerware and porcelain, it is favourable.

    • If the procession crosses a funeral, the sex of the deceased will point out which bridegrooms dead in first.

    • The marrying must keep the wedding morning coat for his funeral, and put three grains of salt or three rooms of silver money in the left pocket of the jacket. He must slip a room silver money into shoes who offert to his women.

    • The bride should not sew the dress.

    ‚Ä¢ The red is strictly forbidden for bride’s dress and the slightest small appearance of this colour lets foresee of terrible harbinger. Also, the green is disadvised because it’s the colour of the fairies.

    • The dress must be silk, because the satin carries misfortune and the velvet is a harbinger of poverty.

    • forms and embroiderings of birds carry misfortune.

    • For happiness and fecundity, is good of carrying the dress of his mother or an other very married woman.

    • It is not necessary that the bridgroom sees the wedding dress before the ceremony.

    • You should not show the dress to old women, they could throw the poor eye.

    • If a thread of costume shows, it is necessary to burn it with a blessed candle.

    ‚Ä¢ If the dressmaker’ s hurt by sewing the dress, it is necessary to leave the stain of blood there because it’s the check predicts.

    • The bride owes range on her something old (representing the happiness of the parents), something new (representing many goods to come), something borrow (coming by a fecund friend) and something blue (to move away poor minds).

    • The voile serves in hidden the beauty of the young woman to prevent evil-minded minds from coming abduction

    • The cordons which encircle the bunch of the bride represent wishes of happiness.

    • On the way, if bridegroom loses a heel, this points out a faithless marriage.

    • The procession must enter and go out of the church by the same door.

    • They throw of the rice on the new bridegrooms as a sign of fecundity.

    • These poor predict when confetti touch the skin of the bridegrooms.


    • Lucy October 27, 2011 at 1:53 pm #

      @Claraines: Superstitions are so interesting! I didn’t know what the old/new/borrowed/blue tradition meant (never thought about it really). But why are some of them so morbid?!

  42. Elisabeth October 29, 2011 at 10:23 am #

    I’m sorry, I’m a little behind on my blog reading so I’m a little late to the party but I wanted to say congratulations!!! It’s so exciting to be engaged and planning a wedding!

    The advice I give to everyone I know who says they are getting married is that a wedding is all about getting married. If, at the end of the day, you are married, it was a complete success and everything else is gravy! That said, your wedding should reflect your (and your finace’s) style and personality. If you pay attention to that, you will be absolutely happy with whatever you choose to do!

    • Tasia October 31, 2011 at 1:32 pm #

      @Elisabeth: I like that. At the end of the day, if you are married, then it’s a success! So simple! Thanks for the practical words of wisdom.

  43. Sarah October 31, 2011 at 1:27 pm #

    Congratulations again!! It’s so exciting to be starting a new chapter! My boyfriend and I are similar to you guys. We’re not center-of-attention people either. Well, he is a little more than me. But I attribute it to my slight social anxiety and awkwardness. The thought of all those people staring at me for that long… makes me nervous! Haha! I’ll definitely be interested to see how the planning goes since it sounds like you’ll be having a smaller wedding (ideal for me!). I’d much rather plan an extravagent honeymoon than have a huge over the top wedding. But that’s just me! :)

    • Tasia October 31, 2011 at 1:30 pm #

      @Sarah: Oh, me too! I feel the exact same way. Honeymoon, yes. I will have fun choosing a place with Mr Sewaholic that looks relaxing, peaceful, and romantic! The rest makes me anxious and stressed – so we’ll see how it goes! Trying to ignore the scary wedding-planning thoughts and wrap my head around the exciting thought that he just said he wants to spend the rest of his life with me!