Do you remember when my husband and I shared a post on our 3 year wedding anniversary? I didn’t mention at the time that this year is also another huge anniversary for us. On 21st November, 2011, my husband and I will have been with each other for an entire decade. It’s quite a milestone for us both!!
Ten years ago, I went on a blind first date with someone who I met on ICQ (wait…did I just age myself? What happened to ICQ anyways?), and let him back into my apartment at 3 am in the morning when he was coming back from the hospital. When he was on his way home from dropping me to my place, an armored truck ran into his car on the highway ramp. He was taken to the hospital, his car was totaled and he had walked from the hospital to my place so that he could call his father to pick him up.
Romantic eh? Not really.
But, because of that accident, the date of our first date was memorialized on his insurance history. So we know when we met. And then, approximately seven years later, I was planning a Trinidadian wedding from Toronto.
That’s right. I got married in Trinidad. I put the wedding together while I was in Toronto…in school…yes………not advisable in the least. And yes, because of the logistics of my family, I did it mostly by myself (ahem thank you thank you.)
In the end the wedding was the most spectacular wedding ever (if I don’t say so myself). How’d I pull it off? I depended on references from friends and acquaintances that I trusted who had gotten married the year before, or the year before that. I also spent a lot of nights up all night researching wedding vendors in Toronto because, even though the wedding was in Trinidad, a lot of the materials and accessories were purchased and discovered in Toronto.
For example, my dress was bought at Vogue Sposa on the Danforth (after trying on a million dresses in Chinatown). I bought pounds and pounds of white chocolate covered sunflower seeds at A1 at Yonge & Summerhill (which retrospectively is actually an Interior Design store but I digress). I bought small nests for my tables at Bridal and Beyond in Mississauga. I bought my wedding jewellery from Only One Jewellery from (at the time) North York. My two pairs of shoes were bought in Vaughan. I hired a personal trainer at the Extreme Fitness at Yonge & Sheppard and I did my microdermabrasion and facials at Clear Day Spa and Rain Day Spa.
I have to say it took me FOREVER to find these things because there were not that many reviews available that I knew I could trust 100%. I had to go to each of these places and physically check them out after finding them and searching for reviews to make sure that they were worth my time. I was after all, in the middle of my final projects at school so needed to designate time REALLY WELL.
The Trinidadian vendors were easy to find – not only were my friends very willing to help out by suggesting people that they had good experiences with, but I also met with a really intelligent woman who had a website that connected brides to vendors. That was amazingly helpful.
And now? Now I’ve discovered the Canadian version of that website (3 years too late for me!) – Bridetastic.ca (an FYI there is also a Bridetastic Phillipines)
This is THE place to go for real world advice on wedding vendors in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).
I love the open, casual feel of the site and the friendliness of the proprietors and the subscribers. The service is free and you can find referrals to vendors or ask about your potential vendors on the group forums. It is still quite a new service, so bridetastic is currently concentrating on the GTA only, however, as the site grows, they will be expanding to include the rest of Ontario, and eventually the rest of Canada!
I do everything in my life by referrals, so having real world, accurate advice from former brides and brides-to-be is so valuable to me that I had to share it with you.
I actually spent a bit of time on the site going through the forums, checking out the reactions of members, seeing who was joining and even reading their fantastic blog that had me so reminiscent of weddings that I think I’m about to call my hubby and remind him that we said we’d re-do another wedding at 5 years….(hint hint hubby). I loved that the site was welcoming to EVERYONE, not just to brides. A lot of bridal sites that I have been to “forget” you once the wedding is over. This one, however, has the makings of a strong, supportive community for everyone, no matter what stage of “bride” you are in. I love that.
In this contest you can win a Spa Lunch Package for you and 3 girlfriends worth approx. $250 from Sweetgrass Spa!!!
If you’re already married, or are not quite at that stage of life yet, this is STILL AN AMAZING DAY TO SPEND WITH YOUR BEST GIRLS!
The giveaway is open to anyone. That means YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE A CURRENT BRIDE OR A BRIDE-TO-BE to enter! All you need to be able to do is to write a decent review of any bridal service or vendor in the GTA….and we all have friends, cousins, sisters etc. who have gotten married, even if we haven’t. Go rack their brains if you weren’t involved. Offer them one of the spa spots ;P
Isn’t it awesome that anyone can enter?!
That means that even I have a decent chance even though I’m an old smug-married!
Just an FYI, this is what the Spa Lunch Package for 4 at the Sweet Grass Spa (which was awarded the Best City Spa in 2010 by Chatelaine) in downtown Toronto entails:
- A Lunch Special from George Restaurant
- Daily Special with a Side Salad
- Sweetgrass Manicure
- Includes Nail Detailing, Hand Massage, Polish Application
- Sweetgrass SWAG Bags Plus an OPI Nail Polish
- Swag bag with spa treats (nail file, lotion, etc.) and a choice of Nail Polish
- Unlimited Access to water amenities
- Ozonated pool with an underwater treadmill, infrared sauna and whirlpool
- Refreshments and Fruits
- Flavoured water, herbal teas, coffee and fresh fruits during your visit
Here’s How To Enter the Contest:
Pay attention – these are different from the normal requirements on this blog.
It is the only way we will be able to track the eligibility of your entry.
The contest started on the 28th October, 2011 and runs until the 13th December, 2011 – so get cracking gals – hop on over and enter!
Winners will be chosen randomly via random.org from the 20 top reviews chosen by the Bridetastic team.
For more information, please see the contest page here, say hello to Bridetastic Canada on Twitter or contact the Bridetastic team via email at firstname.lastname@example.org