YouTube Update

Now that it’s only like a month away from the wedding, I’ve been taking practice runs of different things and one of them is getting a live feed up on YouTube.  It’s working quite well!  Here’s what I needed:

  1. I got an Elgato Game Capture box.  It was a little pricey, but I knew it would do what I was wanting.
  2. I have an HD camcorder that I bought several years ago.
  3. I bought an HDMI cable for about $6 on eBay (alway buy from trusted sellers and use PayPal) which connects from my camcorder into the capture box.  The USB cable from the laptop to the capture box came with the box.
  4. I already had an account on YouTube so to keep things separate, I created a new channel on the same account for the wedding.

If you have a YouTube account, you can learn about creating the event itself here.  It takes a little getting used to it but play around with it and you’ll get the hang of it.   I know with the software that came with the capture box, it takes a lot of playing around with it.  A couple of tips about that software and the process:

  1. You don’t need to hit the round “Capture” button if you’re doing a live stream, just hit the round button for “Stream”.
  2. I figured out that you don’t need to set up the event on YouTube first, but if you want to give people a link to it before hand, you do.  What you can do is use a service like tinyurl to shorten it when giving people the link, you can even customize the ending so it’s not a bunch of letters and numbers. Your capture software can probably set the event up if you set it up that way which is very handy while testing.
  3. Make sure your system volume is off otherwise you’ll probably get a substantial amount of feedback.
  4. Make sure your audio in the software is up fairly high, but not so high that it will deafen viewers when there are sudden noises.  One thing I hate are extremes when it comes to audio.  If I’m on my laptop (which has lousy sound) and the person’s video I’m watching is not audible or scaring me if there are sudden loud noises, I’m outta there!  NEXT!
  5. Test!  Test!  Test!  Then Test again!  Get it? :-)  Don’t wait until the last minute to do this and do it periodically so you get used to it.  That way, when it comes time, it’s easy peasy!  I’m a systems tester now (former programmer although I’ll probably switch back when the planets align haha).  It is important to test everything.  Test that volume.  Test the lag (you’ll notice there’ll be several second of lag from the time you move the camera to when it actually changes on YouTube).  Test the different settings in the software to see what you like the best.

I think that’s all I have for now.  I’ve been learning a lot with all of this but it’s fun for me.  :-)

It’s Show Time! Almost…

A month and a half away from the big day. It’s been quite some time since I last posted but this will give everyone an idea what has been planned so far…

Food

So far, not much has been done about food other than having a list of what I want to make and the ingredients I’ll need.  I did watch the sales and bought some chicken breasts (with skin and bone) for $1.99/lb.  We boiled about 12 of them and then I removed the skin and bones and froze the meat.  I saved the broth from it and froze it as well as I will use it for the soup I’ll be making for the wedding.  I’m going to start making as much as I can ahead of time.  It will be that much less to do when wedding week comes.

Butter is on sale this week for $3 so I’ll buy some and freeze it for use in the sandwiches.  I bought Ritz and Vegetable Thins when they came on sale a couple of weeks ago for $2/box and mayo.  I’ve been collecting things and storing them for the big day.

I’ll be watching for ham to come on sale soon to do the same thing.  Other items I’ll hold out for are cheese (for the deli platters I’m making and flour (I’m making the bread for the sandwiches).  Of course if there’s anything else on sale that I need and I can store it for another month, I’ll get it.

Clothes/Shoes

The wedding dress is now too big for me which I kind of figured would happen with my weight loss.  I’ll have to meet with my seamstress soon!  I will buy the shoes either this weekend or throughout the week.  I’ve decided to go with white sandals.  They’re much easier on my feet and I find sandals comfortable.

Hair/Nails/ Make up

I went to the hair dresser and she gave me some tips to achieve the hair style I want.  I plan on doing my own.  I also got my hair dyed (ombré – red to blonde).  If you plan on doing your hair, your hair dresser (if she’s good) will be a huge help to you!

I bought a fake nail kit and plan on trying it this weekend.  I’ll report on how good the experience was and the quality of the product.

Make up trials will start this week.  I shouldn’t have much problem with that since I was trained as a cosmetician/make up artist years ago.  One tip that I will give everyone right now.  If you plan on giving your skin a new skin care regime or try a different foundation, etc., don’t wait until a week or two before the wedding.  Do it early on to make sure there are no breakouts or any other unexpected results.  Also apply quite a few times since allergies develop after repeated use.  This will avoid any unnecessary stress :-)

Wine

I highly suggest having your own wine made for the wedding.  In May, we went to Defalco’s in Ottawa and had a batch of wine made.  What I opted for was White Zinfandel.  They told us it would be more like a cooler without the carbonation.  I can no longer have carbonated drinks since I had my weight loss surgery (VSG) in March so this option seemed very appealing to me.

We bottled it June 24 and got 28 full bottles and a partial bottle (about 3/4).  We were able to drink it right away.  It doesn’t need time to age in order to drink it, although it’s supposed to get better with age.  It will have aged sufficiently by August 15th.  If you want a more traditional wine, please make it earlier because apparently it really does need to age! ;-)

Last Friday, we decided to open the partial bottle and give it a try.  I like it!  Mmmmmm very fruity and sweet :-)  I’m looking forward to finding out what it will be like in August.  They come with the little shrink wrap tops and I was able to put them on using a blow dryer.  I bought customizable labels for it, printed out how I wanted them to look and stuck them on.  In the end, it will cost about $5 for each bottle of wine!

Party Favours

I remember when my cousin Lorraine was getting married back in the 80’s, a bunch of us sitting around a table assembling party favours for her wedding.  I did something similar.

I bought plastic shot glasses at Dollar Tree (20 for $1.25).  I bought a roll of tulle at Walmart (I forget how much it was but it wasn’t that expensive and there’s a lot in the roll).  I bought 50 white shipping tags at Staples for under $5.  I had some Avery labels (10 per sheet) and played around in Word in order to print on the lables.  The printed text is “Elaine & Brad August 15, 2015″ and I changed the direction on the label so it was going upwards; this way I could get it 3 times on one label.  Then I cut the label to give me 3 “Elaine & Brad…” and stuck each one on its own shipping tag.

I went to Bulk Barn and bought silver cola balls, small “power mints” which are like Scotch mints but smaller and a little stronger, and red cherry jelly beans.  I mixed all the candy together and started filling my shot glasses.  I placed 2 crossed strips of tulle over the top, tightened the tulle to kind of pull it together on the bottom of the shot glass and twisted it.  I tied it off, put multiple strands of red and white ribbon on it making sure to have a strand of ribbon go through one of my shipping tags.  I tied the ribbon strands together and then curled the ribbons with scissors.

They’re cute!  The look like little bells. :-)

Venue

As I mentioned before, we are planning to have the wedding at the farm.  It’s beautiful and it’s no charge :-)  Brad worked very hard getting all the flowers we bought in.  They’re growing well and it should look lovely!  This is the first year that I’ve been able to help as far as the grounds are concerned since I’ve lost so much weight.

I bought a grass trimmer at Lowe’s a few weeks ago and have cleared all the weeds and grass that was thickly growing on the road side of the fence.  There is a lot of fence!  I managed to get it all cut down spread out over a couple of weekends.  That first weekend was a killer, my arms were sore for days!  But it’s done and if it keep at it regularly, it won’t be a big job again.

Plan B Venue

In the spring at the farm, the water table was low and we had no water.  Well, we had a bit but it was murky.  I’m a little worried about that happening for the wedding because the water tables are low again.  I also was starting to worry about other uncontrollable scenarios that could play out.  What if there was a power outage?  What if there were unforeseen plumbing problems?  A whole list of things that could go wrong at the farm.  It forced me to consider a venue in case something happened that the farm couldn’t be used.

I contacted the church I used to go to when I was a kid.  I found out that I could rent the basement of the church (it has all the tables and chairs, etc.; even dishes if I need them) for $100 and it was still available!  It turns out that if I don’t use it but just want to hold it as a plan B, it’s only going to be $25!  Wow!  I jumped on that :-)  So now I have a back up venue.  $25 is definitely worth all the peace of mind it gives me!

Music

I went through a ton of music that I have and have a collection that I want to have played specifically for the wedding.  As it turns out, there’s a port on my Pioneer audio receiver that I can hook my mp3 player to.  I haven’t tried yet, but I think I can  hook my laptop’s headphone jack to the “in” on the receiver and play songs directly from my laptop.  I’ll be trying it this week sometime.  If it doesn’t work, I can use my mp3 player, but I think it will work :-)

Wedding Party

Sharon almost has the bridesmaid dresses done.  They’re very nice!  She’s throwing a bridal shower for me on Sunday.  Although my sister’s not in the wedding party since she won’t be at the wedding, she’ll be having a mixed pre-wedding celebration for us at the end of the month.

Wendy won’t be in from Calgary until about a day before the wedding.

Photography/Videography

Yesterday at work, a friend of mine was asking me if I had a photographer lined up for the wedding.  I said, “No, they’re too expensive so I’m doing it myself.”  She agreed that they were expensive and then she said something that almost knocked me over!  She told me that she has a Nikon DSLR camera and that she would take my pictures as a gift to me!  Wow!  She’s done 3 other weddings and she gets some good shots.  That was so nice of her.  I took her up on her generous offer and now I don’t have to take my own pictures :-)

The day before that, my cousin emailed me on Facebook and said that her significant other was offering to record the wedding on video for me!  Wow, no charge either, it’s a gift!  I’ve been blown away this week :-)  I’ll still have the camcorder going for the live YouTube feed though.

Jewelry

I’ve finished making the necklace I want to wear for the wedding.  It’s quite nice!  It’s made of white shell beads, red fossil beads, silver seed beads, and small round silver beads.  It’s got the red and white theme but the silver gives it a little bling :-)

I made a necklace and matching bracelet of red plastic beads, white howlite beads, and white seed beads for Brad’s 14 year old daughter who’ll be attending.  I hope she’ll like it; it’s similar to mine as far as the technique that was used, but looks quite a bit different than mine.

I’ll be making jewelry for the bridesmaids as well; I’ll be starting that this coming week and making myself a matching bracelet and earrings.  I’m also going to make a headband for myself using a brooch that belonged to my grandmother (father’s mother).  It’s both old (but pretty!) and blue.  I think it will be quite beautiful.

Invitations

I bought a blank invitation kit at Michael’s.  I found the grey ribbon a bit boring so I cut my own red ribbon an used it for half of them.  I used red font to give it a splash over colour.  They turned out quite nice!  If I sent 2 separate invitations to 2 people at the same address, I sent one with red ribbon and the other in grey so they had distinctive invitations :-)

Fabric Shopping

Last week, Sharon (the bridesmaid that lives in my area) and I went to Fabricland to buy the material for the bridesmaid dresses. I brought Brad’s tie that he’ll be wearing so we could try to match the red in his tie to a suitable red fabric. We found a really nice taffeta that was a close enough match to Brad’s tie. It took a good bit of looking, but we finally found a winner. $4 a meter! It was boxing week so they had really good sales on. Sharon got a little over 4 metres, I got 2 metres because I will want to incorporate it into the wedding dress. I got some elastic to make a garter and white tulle to make the veil and bows.

After fabric shopping and a bite to eat, we headed back to her place. She showed me what she had made so far of the dress. It was made out of an inexpensive material since it’s a dry run. It looks like it’s going to be really nice! She will wash the taffeta before making the dress. I’m getting kind of excited about it :-) My besties will have dresses that cost about $10 each for supplies, but look like a million bucks. I’m really happy their dresses will be low cost which was a priority for me.

YouTube

After discussing it and a little research into it, since there will be some people who won’t be able to attend our wedding for one reason or another, Brad and I will be having a live YouTube feed of our wedding. How cool is that?? I’ll have more information on it in the spring or early summer. I’ll try to embed it on this site as an access point or at the very least, a link to the live feed. I’m such a geek, this is something I’m really going to have fun with.

The Bride’s Wedding Party

I didn’t decide to go with a maid of honour and bridesmaids.  I just went with bridesmaids only.  Why?  I couldn’t have one maid of honour when I couldn’t choose between my two best friends.  They are my wedding party.  One lives in the Ottawa area (Sharon, my friend of 20 years), the other (Wendy, my friend of 27 years) moved to Calgary a couple of years ago.  My sister won’t be travelling for my wedding so she won’t be there. Continue reading

Deals, Deals, Deals!

The one thing about having months to plan a wedding is that it gives you an opportunity to look around for deals. I love a good deal! Although I’m not a fan of shopping (unless it’s for furniture… don’t ask :-) ), but having the time to shop around for a good deal will save you a lot of money. Continue reading

The Dress

White-And-Apple-Red-Wedding-GownWell, if you have been looking for a dress and are plus-sized, you probably have noticed that wedding dresses are expensive and the dress of your dreams often does not come in your size. Looking through the hundreds of wedding dress pictures (yes, hundreds!) on the net is mind-numbing. Having said that, it was a good way for me to find out what I really liked. I like a white dress with red of some sort on it. Continue reading

Welcome!

Another blog! :-)  This one is dedicated to my wedding (obviously!).  A bit about me…   My name is Elaine, I’m 44 years old (will be 45 on my wedding day), I’m a geek (which is why this isn’t the only blog I have :-) ), I have a great job, and I’ve found a prince (his name is Brad and he just turned 53 the other day) amongst all the frogs out there…  Neither of us have been married before, but we’ve both been to weddings ;-)  He asked me to marry him June 7th, 2013 (on my birthday!) and I said yes (I think…  Ummmm yeah, I said yes haha).  I didn’t actually decide until recently on a wedding date.  I hadn’t really expected him to ask me and I was happy with the way things were going, but I wasn’t all that surprised either when he asked.  We’ve been together 2.5 years and I couldn’t ask for a better fit.  He’s never once made me cry and that alone tells me a lot about a person right there!  One other thing about me…  I’m a big girl!  What???  Plus-sized brides exist???  Of course we do!  I wish dress makers would take into account that we all don’t fit into a size 26 (and a small 26 at that from what I hear!).  Maybe in the next life, I’ll come back as a clothing designer for plus sized brides of all sizes…

Continue reading