#JoshWedsDan: The Dress

Hi guys!

So as a bit of a journal for my future self, I’ve decided to write a few posts about the wedding and how we came to each decision. I decided to start with what was probably the most fun, the dress!  (The next installments will probably be a couple months down the road as I would like to wait to get the rest of my professional photos back from the photographer).

At my first appointment, I tried on every different silhouette, regardless of what I thought I wanted, to get an idea of how things looked and felt on my body. I’m only 5’3″ and I’m a pretty solid pear shape (although I don’t let that dictate what I wear regardless of “the rules”).  The picture quality isn’t ideal, but you get the point!


For my first appointment, I went to Sash & Bustle followed by Becker’s (both in Toronto) with only my Mum and Mother-in-Law.  I am usually pretty sure about what I like and I didn’t want too many opinions present while I figured out what exactly it was that I was looking for. Before I had ever tried on a wedding dress, I of course had watched 10000000 wedding shows. Years ago, I was certain I wanted a fitted mermaid dress. I am in love with the silhouette and I always thought “when else would I get to wear that?” But after hearing stories of how heavy some dresses could be and the chaffing that could occur, and after the simple thought of wearing something tight and likely uncomfortable, I started to stray from that– but I tried one on anyway for fun!


That was ruled out pretty immediately, but it was fun to try!

My style has always been (described by others as) a bit bohemian. I like things to be flowy, usually neutral in colour, and always a bit interesting. So I started to lean towards a light and simple romantic dress with a flower crown.


I quickly decided that while lots of these types of dresses were pretty, they really didn’t accentuate any particular part of my body and I felt kind of “blah.” I continued to try on a bunch of other styles too to figure out what I wanted.


The Moms loved this. You can see I had four slices of pizza the night before and I WOULD DO IT AGAIN.





When I tried on dresses, I found that I really didn’t have any emotional reaction to them.  I would look at them and think “sure this is pretty,” but I found it really hard to judge something so different from anything else I had ever worn or would ever wear again. Only when I started looking at photos after the first day, was I able to decide what I was looking for.

Much to my surprise, the one dress style I never saw myself in, a ball gown, became the vision. After that first day, I realized that I am entirely in love with tulle, and a natural waist line was the most flattering and most comfortable style for my body. The last two dresses up there basically became the benchmark (okay, the last one especially) for the next 5 stores that I went to. Yes…I went to 6 stores! Both of those dresses were by designer Hayley Paige (Blush line) so I proceeded to stalk her designs and seek them out wherever I could.

The third store I went to was Something Green Bridal Boutique in Guelph. It was probably my second favourite of the 6 stores I went to (with Sash & Bustle being my favourite). They had a few Hayley Paige dresses, but I still preferred the two I saw in Toronto. This was the only other one I liked (for me) at the store (at the time), but at this point, I found I was starting to get confused. I don’t like beads and rhinestones, so not my thing, so not sure why I even put this one on! It was ruled out as soon as I got home.


Next I went to Valentina in Waterloo near my house.  I found one beautiful dress that resembled one that I had pinned on Pinterest.



It had a crazy good price point (under $800), but because of that I couldn’t do anything custom to it, aka. I would have to keep the rhinestones.  NOPE.

Next, I went to a store in Elmira called Taylor’s Bridal Boutique. I don’t have ANY pictures from that store because there were literally zero contenders.  Everything was covered in glitz and it was staffed by older women who (while they were lovely) really had no idea about current bridal fashion trends.

So after 6 stores, I was still thinking about the strapless tulle ball gown at Sash & Bustle, but wasn’t entirely convinced, and I still wanted to try on two more dresses by Hayley Paige that were coming to Sash & Bustle 3 months later for a trunk show. This was going to cut it close, and it meant that I had to pick a dress that day to get it on time, but I was sure I would. So sure that I brought my entire posse! I brought my Mum, my 3 sisters, Josh’s Mum, his two sisters, and my Aunt who VERY generously purchased my dress for me.


So of these two new Hayley Paige dresses I wanted to try, one was a 2 in 1 that Sash & Bustle ordered in especially for me (they’re the best), it was a fitted casual gown with a tulle skirt overlay. The best of both worlds kind of thing.  Downside was…it looked terrible on me when I took the skirt off. These hips DO NOT LIE!




Cute in theory, not in real life.

Next, I was also dying to try on tulle ball gown similar to the one I had stuck in my head. It had a bit of sparkle on the strap, but I thought it was tasteful and added some interest so I had to try it too!



I loved this one too, but in the end it just didn’t surpass the one I had spent 3 months thinking about!  After 6 stores and countless dresses, I picked the first wedding dress that caught my eye, the first wedding dress I ever tried on! The Blush by Hayley Paige ‘Garland’ gown. This picture of the back when I walked away is actually what sealed the deal for me!




The belt was attached, so of course I ordered mine with no belt to forego the beading (plus I don’t wear silver, I knew I needed a belt with gold!). In the end I was so happy with my choice. Our wedding was entirely outdoors and it wasn’t too heavy and I never got too hot. It also acted as a mosquito net, HAH, bonus feature.

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For my accessories, I ordered this belt from ASOS. I removed the chain from the back with some pliers and laced a ribbon through instead to make it more feminine and bridal. I told my florist that I wanted a small  flower crown (some get huge and ridiculous looking) and she gave me some flower options. I picked one and then she sent me two flower crown options the morning of the wedding; I chose the one I liked best. I freaking loved it.



For my shoes, I wore the BHLDN edition of the Schutz simple strap heels that they have in a million colours. They were really pretty and comfortable and I hope to wear them again! I actually wore them for our wedding shower as well, hence the toe prints, hahah.


And that’s that!

No big emotional drama, just a natural progression to the perfect dress for me. I went with my gut and couldn’t have been happier!


Tell me about your experience! Were there tears? Fireworks? Anything?





New Balance #FreshFoamZante Review + #RunToAFasterBeat

A few weeks back, I mentioned how I have been running in the Altra Superior 1.5 and it hasn’t been the best fit. Shortly after, New Balance reached out to me with the opportunity to try out the new Fresh Foam Zante shoe. I was WAY excited because I had already been stalking this shoe on IG for AGES, thanks to the accounts of Canadian Olympic marathoners, Eric Gillis and Reid Coolsaet.

The women’s Fresh Foam Zante comes in 3 colourways and the struggle was REAL to choose!  I want all the colours. It turned out that I didn’t need to make the choice anyway, because New Balance can’t keep these badboys on the shelves, so they sent me what they could! I received the grey and pink combo, which I actually loved so much more in person! All the options are bomb. FEAST YOUR EYES:

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First Impression

“Damn this shoe looks goooood.”

Last season, I had a lot of success wit the New Balance Minimus zero drop shoe. The only problem was that I ran holes straight through them in less than two months! The Fresh Foam Zante is a much more substantial shoe, but it’s still very light, all while being a snug but moveable fit (they are a 6mm drop for those who are wondering!). I don’t like to have restrained toes, and the Fresh Foam Zante gives you that snug and safe feeling (do you know what I’m talking about?), without keeping your piggies from getting to the market, if they want to get there, YOU KNOW?

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I generally have found the NBs seem to fit a little more snug than other brands. I wear a size 6 or 6.5 in regular life, but I remember wishing I got a 7 in the Minimus’ (I got a 6.5). I got a size 7 in the Fresh Foam Zante, and I probably even could have gone for a size 7.5, as a blister did form on my big toe. In the shoe’s defense– in the place where I developed a blister, there should actually be what people call a “toe nail”  to protect the skin, but I don’t know what those are anymore, so whatever.

The First Run

I threw these on for my Saturday run and I had no issues!  I ran 17k on my first run and it was totally comfortable (I never actually felt the blister, I just saw it later). The Fresh Foam Zante is exactly the in-between type of shoe I have been looking for. I needed something more substantial than Vibrams I’ve worn in the past or the NB Minimus I’ve worn more recently, but I didn’t want a traditional chunky, oversized running shoe. I for sure need to collect all 3 colours. I would 100% be wearing these for the Ottawa Marathon if I were still running! (Surprise, I’m not). Hopefully I can wear them for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon instead!  I totally recommend these shoes!



So speaking of racing, I mentioned recently that I had stopped listening to music on my long runs, because carrying my phone is a hassle and I love saving music to fuel a race (not just a run), and give me a power-up on race day after going for a few runs without it!  For my music, I was recently introduced to an app called Spotify. Spotify is different from other music apps because you actually get to SEARCH for music, make your own playlists, etc, and it’s FREE! I made my TYS10K playlist with Spotify and it helped me run through my diaphragm pain and come in only 21 seconds off my PR!

New Balance and Spotify have come together for this awesome contest called #RunToAFasterBeat where they are giving away a trip to a North American music festival plus $1000 in New Balance gear! (YOU COULD GET ALL THE FRESH FOAM ZANTE COLOURS!) All you have to do is visit bit.ly/Fresh_Foam_Zante to create your next playlist! Check my TYS10K playlist out while you’re at it!

Hope you guys are enjoying this GLORIOUS running weather, I’ll be back with an update soon!






Disclaimer: I was provided a pair of Fresh Foam Zantes in exchange for my honest review. I did not receive any other compensation and all opinions are my own.






Marathon Monday: I spoke too soon…


’cause I’m on the ball this week.

So I spoke too soon.

Since my last post, my diaphragm has blown up LIKE WHOA. Last weekend I did my 32k (20 mile) long run, and for the first 8.5km I was in pain. Pain that was only tolerable if I ran my kilometres about 30-45 seconds/km SLOWER than I like to for my long runs. COOL. The good news was that after that first chunk, it went away for the most part and I was able to finish the run. Monday night, I had an osteopathy treatment which helped loosen things up. Tuesday I was supposed to run 16k. I gave myself an extra day of rest, and decided to try Wednesday instead. Wednesday morning I managed 4k before I decided it was pointless, since I was a few treadmill notches away from walking, and still in immense pain. DOUBLE COOL. Wednesday night I had another osteo treatment, and Thursday I missed my run again for a hair appointment…#priorities.


All the way brunette, wee!

Saturday I decided I had no choice but to suck it up and do my 34k long run, since next weekend is the Toronto Yonge Street 10K, and I really want to race that and not worry about being tired from a long run the day before. SO I DID IT. But it wasn’t pretty. My insides were in so much pain everywhere, all the time! I remembered yesterday that when this happened last year, the thing that seemed to help the most was stretching my hips a lot and doing trigger point release on my psoas. I am going to try that again this week and see if that helps.

Side note: I stopped running with music about a month ago. The iPhone 6 is way too freakin’ big to fit in any pockets, so one day I decided to ditch it, and I have done so every run since. I can’t WAIT to make a new playlist for TYS10k. It’s so fun to get used to running with no music and then next time you do, BOOM, POWER UP. 34k with no music and then 10k with a new playlist? Pretty sure I’m going to win the whole race. AM I RIGHT?

Other side note: The place we booked to stay at for the Ottawa Marathon (on Airbnb) CANCELLED on us (the THIRD place to do this), so we have no where to stay. Help me. Someone.

In  FUN news, on Saturday I had a solid crafty afternoon making flower crowns for our engagement shoot on Sunday.


I only needed one, but I made 3 different types so that once my hair was styled, I could just choose which one looked best. (Please excuse my post-34k sweat ball top knot with hair flying everywhere, mmmmk?)




There are a bajillion tutorials online and I looked at about 10 and then winged it, so hit up that Google machine if you are interested! I ended up going with the around the back one.

Can’t wait to see how the pictures turned out!

Anyway, here goes the next week of training!