Hundred Acre Wood First Birthday

Out of all the events I get to be a part of, I think Enzo's birthday each year will always be some of my favourites.

With Enzo's second birthday just around the corner (literally this weekend), I thought I'd reflect on his first birthday here on the blog.

 First Birthday Cake

The Assiniboine Park Nature Playground was (and still is) one of our favourite places to play with Enzo in his first year, so we thought it would be the perfect location to hold his first birthday party. Once I decided on the location, the Hundred Acre Wood inspiration followed.

 Assiniboine Park Nature Playground
 Assiniboine Park Nature Playground in Winnipeg

I hope you enjoy all the candid photos of this special day, captured by Victoria Anne Photography!

"Tut-tut. It looks like rain", I thought when the forecast in the days leading up to the party called for rain on and off all day. But every good party goes on rain or shine, so we decided to hold the party under a shelter instead of the grassy woodland clearing we originally hoped for. Lucky for us, the rain stopped right when the party started and we quickly moved everything out into the sun that was trying to find its way through the clouds.

 Family Photo in Rain Boots
 Boy with Balloons
 First Birthday Balloons
 Blue Balloons
 First Year Collage
 Assiniboine Park Birdhouses

All the food was made at home with some help from my mom-in-law (she's a party food wizard), including wraps, pooh sticks (breadsticks), hermit cookies and veggies and dip. My favourite snack was these adorable little acorn looking treats, simply made out of mini chips ahoy and Hershey kisses glued together with royal icing.

 Picnic Table
 Acorn Treats
Picnic Table
Garden Arrangement
 First Birthday Cake

Since we had people of all ages at the party, I needed games that were fun for everyone. I scoured the local antique shops for vintage honey tins with which we played bean bag toss. The pin the tail on Eeyore was made from a black canvas I free-handed on with white pastel.

Bean Bag Toss
 Outdoor Game
Outdoor Bean Bag Toss
Bean Bag Toss DIY
Pin the Tail on the Donkey
Pin the Tail on Eeyore
 Pin the Tail on Eeyore

Near the end of the party the kids smashed a beautiful bee hive piñata Jeff and I hand-crafted with paper mache and bubble wrap. The bubbles popped with each hit and were such a delight for the kiddos. Thankfully when it broke there were no bees inside!

 Beehive Pinata
 Hitting Beehive Pinata
 Beehive Pinata DIY

With a lot of movement around saving the bees, we sent guests home with wildflower seeds to plant in their garden. I picked up little kraft envelopes from Michaels, stuffed them with wildflower bee-blend seeds from Westcoast Seeds, and tacked on home-made labels with care instructions.

Birthday Favours
Bee a Good Friend
 Wildflower Seed Packaging

A big thank you to everyone who came to celebrate that day and helped make it happen The day was so special. (Family all the way from Regina came to celebrate)! Enzo had such a fun time, and I can't wait to make it all about him again this weekend!

Group Photo
First Birthday Cake

Melissa and Paul's Midnight Fairytale Wedding at Evergreen Village

Melissa and Paul, two absolute sweethearts, came to me really early on in their engagement. All they knew was that they wanted their wedding day two summers into the future and it had to be an outside ceremony. Evergreen Village was the perfect spot for their wedding day.

Feast & Festivities Melissa and Paul
Wedding Party

We bounced between a bohemian soft colour palette and deep, jewel toned colours for a bit until they decided that navy and purple was a must have. Oh, and gold of course! We called it a 'Midnight Fairytale' colour palette.

Wedding Reception
Ceremony Aisle
Wedding Centrepiece

Melissa wore a mermaid blush dress, complete with lace and beaded details. I love the subtle hint of pink!

Manitoba Bride
Mother of the Bride

True to tradition, Melissa and Paul chose to wait to see one other until the moment Melissa walked down the aisle. When they arrived at Evergreen Village, they took turns hiding from one another in the 100-year-old farmhouse for wedding party photos outside.

Country Wedding

The beautiful old tree on the property served as the backdrop for their ceremony. We added over 30 meters of delicate white fabric to complete the look. Sheryl Hunnie lead a beautiful, emotional ceremony. Melissa and Paul wrote letters to one another and placed them in a custom wood box to read on their first anniversary and replace with new letters every year.

Wedding Ceremony
Ring Bearer
Evergreen Village Wedding

I loved the family heirlooms Melissa added to her bouquet by Fache Floral Designs.

Fache Floral Design Bouquet
Wedding Rings

They started the reception with their first dance to Powerful by Major Lazer and Melissa sung nearly the entire song to Paul while they danced. One of my favourite moments of the day was when Melissa danced with her father. Family and friends spontaneously circled them and blew bubbles. It was so sweet!

First Dance
Father Daughter Dance

Congratulations Melissa and Paul!

Images: Sugar & Soul Photography | Planning and Design: Feast & Festivities | Floral Design: Fache Floral Design | Venue: Evergreen Village | Videography: Michael J. Scott Productions | Sweets: Laugh Love Cakes | Marriage Commissioner: Marry Me Hunnie | Linen: Planned Perfectly | Chairs: Bel Ayre Rentals



9 Manitoba Made Holiday Host and Hostess Gift Ideas

Whether you're joining a holiday party or simply swinging by a friend's to catch up this busy holiday season, a small gift in hand goes a long way. Today I've rounded up some of my favourite gifts for any host. The best part? They all support local Manitoba makers, so it's like two gifts in one.

Beeproject Apiaries - Neighbourhood Honey

Beeproject Apiaries is doing some amazing things for our city with sustainable urban beekeeping. What's cooler than honey from one of Winnipeg's backyards? Nothing. Each Neighbourhood Honey has it's own distinct flavour, so you can choose a honey from the host's neighbourhood, or an area close to their heart.

|  find Beeproject Apiaries at these retailers and the neighbourhood honey exclusively at the Dec. 17 @luckygirlpopup

Coal & Canary - Candle

What's a gift guide without Coal & Canary? These candles come in so many fun (and cheeky) options, and they smell ah-maze-ing. My personal favourite is 'That Hot Barista' somehow. I don't even like coffee. Coal + Canary is THAT good. Photo by @jenniferbiancacalligraphy.

|   where to find Coal and Canary


Mud + Stone Studio

These two hardworking ladies are making beautiful hand thrown ceramic dinnerware, serve ware, mugs, and pots, among other things perfect for everyday use. You may have even noticed their wares while eating at a local restaurant. Pictured here are some of their one-of-a-kind serving trays.

|   where to find Mud + Stone Studio

Cheese Mongers

Fairly new to Winnipeg's food scene, the Cheese Mongers are sourcing trending and long-time favourite cheeses for the foodie in all of us. They'll even pull together a full-on cheese board, complete with a wine or beer pairing, knives and accompaniments. Photo by @murlifestyle.

|   custom order from The Cheese Mongers

Smak Dab Mustard - Flavour Pack

Look for their new gourmet mustard flavour pack. It's a generous sampling of their top four selling flavours in one. I love the Canadian Maple Mustard, especially since it is vegan and gluten free, something we all need to be conscious of.

|   where to find Smak Dab Gourmet Mustard

Kate + Norah - Scandinavian Bead Garland

Known for their modern children's play tents, Kate + Norah just introduced some minimalistic wooden bead garlands to their product line. Sign a bead with the year and they make for a cute addition to any Christmas tree.

|   Find Kate + Norah at the Third + Bird Forks Market Pop-Up

Fat Lye Soap

Handmade. Vegan. Beautiful. Plantable Labels. So much goodness in one little package, and especially perfect for the conscientious hostess. 

|   Find Fat Lye Soap Co. at the Dec. 17 @luckygirlpopup, @hutkshop and @shop_public

Rogue Wood Supply - Sacred Ground Smudge Stick

The perfect little gift to bring along to that housewarming holiday party. This handsome bundle of white sage and cedar is an all-natural incense for cleansing and energizing the the home.

|   where to find Rogue Wood Supply

PipCreek Farm + Studio - Un-plastic Food Wrap

I came across these amazing all-natural food wraps this year and just had to get them for our kitchen. The un-plastic food wrap is beeswax-based, compostable, and reusable for up to one year. Use it to wrap granola bars, cheese, leftovers, or whatever you keep wasting plastic wrap on.

|   where to find PipCreek Farm + Studio

How to Choose Your Wedding Theme

Aside from some overall financial and logistical planning, you'll want to choose a wedding theme in the early stages of planning your wedding.

If you already have a location selected, design your theme around its existing character. If you're still open to a variety of venues, you can use your theme to eliminate any venues it wouldn't jive with.

A well designed wedding balances colour, texture, and mood to create an overall theme. That theme extends into every detail from the venue to itineraries, to flower varieties and linen texture, to stationery fonts and tableware. There becomes so many opportunities for personalization with the theme that consistency is absolutely key.

You may find it surprisingly difficult to narrow down a theme you are going to be happy sticking with in the long run. With Pinterest, Instagram, blogs and publications, there is so much inspiration out there to get caught up in and flip flop you from one theme to the next.

So, how do you choose your theme? Make it your own!

Find inspiration from:

  • Your venue (this is important!)
  • Favourite colours
  • Hobbies and interests
  • Places you love
  • An era you wish you could travel back (or forward!) in time to
  • Seasonal surroundings
  • Your personalities
  • Your style
  • Trends in fashion, pop culture and interior design

When you've struck inspiration, take a moment to elaborate on it. Brainstorm the colours, textures, mood, era, objects, and experiences associated with it. Create a new Pinterest board and save items from your list to visualize it all together. Now you have a wedding style to work off of!

If you still don't know where to start, or you've found inspiration but are stuck when it comes to turning it into a complete wedding style, get in touch with me. I'll work with you to create your very own visual mood board and pull together the perfect team of vendors for your one-of-a-kind wedding.

Let's chat about your wedding style!

Why I Didn't Hire a Wedding Planner

Thinking back to when we were planning our wedding, I'm not even sure that I knew there was such a thing as a wedding planner in Winnipeg. Regardless, I was more than happy to take on the tasks of researching and selecting vendors and sourcing all the decor.

Planning our wedding would be fun and my fiancé and I would get to make all the decisions, down to the tiniest detail. I had an hour or two free every week to chip away at our big day that was yet a year and a half away, and this way a planner wasn't another expense to save up for.

 Rose Gold Wedding Rings at Fort Garry Hotel Wedding Winnipeg Manitoba

Why I Wish We Had

Being the host and planner is hard. It means you don't get to fully appreciate all the little details and surprises from your own party. I find great pleasure in planning beautiful celebrations, including our family's, but honestly, there are times when even the planner wishes they had a planner.

1. Wedding planning takes time. Evenings and weekends were spent building our wedding website, designing and proofreading stationery, responding to vendor emails that I didn't yet know the answers to (my only source of information for planning a wedding at the time was from magazines), reviewing contracts, managing our budget, and spending countless hours on DIY items that I now know much faster and cheaper ways to do. If you have a demanding job, children, or hobbies that you'd rather not get pulled away from, planners are your personal assistant for all things wedding.

2. It's not always fun. Sure, browsing Pinterest for ideas, eating cake, and flouncing around in sample dresses is fun; but there's not much to smile about when building a budget and tracking payments in Excel, reviewing vendor contracts, and going down a list of rental companies to call for that one thing you need. Turns out that handing your wedding over to a professional doesn't take the fun away, it makes it more fun. Wedding planners are a filter for keeping the process of planning a wedding enjoyable while still leaving you in control with final decisions.

3. Someone needs to be the main point of contact on your wedding day. Without a wedding planner, it will (most likely) be the bride. I remember running to the reception hall to make sure the centrepieces were in place and the cake had arrived, being asked where cables were for the DJ, and getting pulled off the dance floor to respond to questions from the venue coordinator. Thankfully we had a great MC and venue coordinator that kept to my carefully plotted evening itinerary, but needing to be involved in everything distracted me from fully enjoying the day.

 Newspaper Wedding Program at Fort Garry Hotel Winnipeg Manitoba
 Winnipeg Winter Groom in Tiger of Sweden Suit at Fort Garry Hotel Winnipeg Manitoba
 Winnipeg Winter Bride in Justin Alexander at Fort Garry Hotel Winnipeg Manitoba
 Winnipeg Winter Wedding at Fort Garry Hotel

4. A wedding planner can save you money. When we got engaged we didn't know what things cost. We started with a budget of $18,000 and later realized our vision needed a budget of something more like $30,000. Since some details were already booked, we ended up locked in on spending more than we hoped. A professional planner is another line item on the budget, but a good one will cater their services to fit within your budget, start you off right with a realistic budget that balances what you want with what you can afford, pass along exclusive vendor discounts, and avoid costly mistakes.

5. Something will go wrong. On our wedding day I scheduled bridal portraits to finish half an hour before the ceremony (which is fine), but we ended up doing the photos close to where guests began arriving and some saw me before I walked the aisle. It was stressful trying to escape through an excited, small crowd with a 10' veil and 5' train, something a wedding planner would have calmly assisted with in sneaking me away. Thankfully nothing major went wrong on our wedding day, but what if something had? There are always last minute decisions to be made and often little emergencies. If something goes wrong, a planner will deal with it and it's likely that you (or your guests) will never even know of those little emergencies that went on behind the scenes on your perfect day.

 White Groom Boutonniere by Fache Floral Design Winnipeg
 White Cascading Bouquet by Fache Floral Design
 Winter Wedding wtih White Dress Bridesmaids

6. Help is limited. The helpful venue coordinator included in your reception rental fee often isn't available to go beyond managing the logistics of the venue. They are there to ensure all aspects of the contract between you and the venue are executed, and that the venue's policies are followed. They may supply a list of preferred third party vendors, but they will not advise on vendors that fit your budget or style, schedule and attend vendor meetings, review resulting contracts and ensure they are adhered to on the day of the wedding, setup wedding decor, create a timeline, ensure your meticulously planned wedding day itinerary is followed, or quickly stitch up a tear in your groom's suit. That's what wedding planners are for!

 First Dance at Fort Garry Hotel Crystal Ballroom

7. It's a big day for family and friends, too. And you probably want them to enjoy celebrating, right? Our family and wedding party worked their bums off the night before our wedding, hauling rentals and decor to the venue, setting it all up and then taking it all back down at the end of the night. In hindsight, I wish we had just left it to a professional to oversee our day. Loved ones play an incredibly important role in the wedding, and that is to be 100% present in supporting your life-long commitment.

Your wedding day can't be repeated and having a professional on hand can be a real lifesaver in so many ways. If you're considering tackling your big day all on your own, take some time to meet with a professional wedding planner. I always recommend, at the very least, hiring a wedding planner for month-of coordination (also known as day-of). It's one of the best investments you can make. You deserve an amazing, stress-free wedding day.

Feast & Festivities offers everything from full-service planning and design to month-of coordination and hourly consulting. Wherever you are in your planning stages, get in touch with us for a free initial meeting. Let's chat!


Photos by Sugar & Soul Photography