Posts filed under The Un-Bride

The Un-Bride

By Zenija Esmits

The dreaded wedding is coming up fast (hyperventilating into a paper bag).

So far I've managed to sidestep the traditional land-mines. No wedding party, only minor issues with guest attendance & no bachelorette. I have only been subjected to an un-orthodox in it's laid back-ness, bridal shower. 

In fact, the fact that a shower was thrown at all was astounding. All my friends know how I detest parties and people and in particular, parties and people that draw attention to me. Hence not relishing the idea of a wedding period. 

But my clever girls threw together a shower, with a delicious and sensible theme (Cheese and Musicals) - they did it quickly and almost stealthily. Except I'm a genius and I can see right through them. The gifts were kept to a minimum, which is great because Boyfriend and I don't need a damn thing. We are 40, have lived on our own since the mid 90's and have lived together for 5 years. Guess what, we have cutlery. 

Anyway, the shower was great. Each guest brought a cheese, the girls went in on a wicked engraved cutting board (something we actually needed to replace) and then the cheeses were set out for all to enjoy. There were bubbles and cookies and cakes. There was a virtually impossible quiz designed expertly by my mother. Everyone failed - even me. There was croquet and my sister-in-law let me win. It began at 2:30 and we were done by 6. Very civilized. No muss, no fuss and no novelty pillows cross-stitched with life affirmations. 

And you know what? I got a shower without having a bridal party. I didn't have to not-so-subtly ram the idea down a friends throat. This is what I've come to realize. I have superb friends. They are not in the wedding and as a thank you for not making them buy a mandatory $300 confection, they have all offered to help wherever they can. This is what it's all about. So far I haven't tasked anyone with tying boutonnieres or anything, but I know that they are there when I need them. Even if it's only to rant about the Groomzilla I'm marrying. Honestly.

Posted on August 12, 2015 and filed under The Un-Bride.

The Un-Bride

 He loves me - illustration by  Zenija Esmits

He loves me - illustration by Zenija Esmits


I know I said flowers weren't important to me when it comes to a wedding spend. That fact remains true. That is, except for a wedding bouquet. Don't ask me why.

However my conversation with My Florist took maybe 3 minutes and happened during a leisurely stroll last Thursday night. 

"Hey, I think I need a bouquet."

"What are you thinking?"

"What's in season?"

"Poo Daisies."

"Perfect, one bunch of poo daisies please."



I have a hunch I am the opposite of one of My Florist's recent clients. On the same Thursday night walk she regaled me with a story about a very demanding (massive surprise) couple planning their "special day" - Lets call her Blair and her husband Chuck. 

As an example: On the morning of My Florists wedding (in ENGLAND no less) she got a terse email from Blair. It read that their wedding flowers were very nice overall, with the exception of the Pew Bows (what the hell is that?) The Pew Bows made Chuck (no pun intended) physically ill. PHYSICALLY ILL people. The little bunches of flower and ribbon at the end of the church seating made the groom want to vomit. Really? If these are the problems you need to scold someone for on your wedding day - you are doomed. 

My Florist meanwhile was in England fretting over an unhappy client. She sat in her make-up chair and began getting bride-ready. As it happened she didn't particularly like the look the make-up artist caked all over her face. What did she do? She wiped most of it off. She said thank you to the make-up artist, PAID her and apologized for wasting her time. Class. Blair pay attention. 

Roll with the punches ladies and germs. It's not the ER. No one's going to die and your friends and rellies aren't going to notice the state of the effing Pew Bows or whether you got the full or half set of eyelashes. 




Posted on July 29, 2015 and filed under The Un-Bride.

The Un-Bride

 Spoiler: This is how we'll look at our wedding - 5 inch heels and not a phonebook in sight. I don't even fit in the frame.

Spoiler: This is how we'll look at our wedding - 5 inch heels and not a phonebook in sight. I don't even fit in the frame.


Wedding photo booths are the best. Our friends had one at their wedding last week and we had a GREAT time playing in it. A couple of days ago I posted this photo from the event on facebook. Hugely popular due to being comedy gold, it garnered 'likes' like it was going out of style. 

The significance or hilarity of this image is obviously the severe height discrepancy. I was convinced it was completely un-staged and to my horror was in fact a foot and a half taller than Boyfriend. True, I was wearing 4.5 inch heels and am at least 2 inches taller than to begin with. However apparently I had more bubbles than I remembered, because it was drawn to my attention that Boyfriend was actually crouching. Hmmm. 


On their "Big Day" most brides would be wearing flats and encouraging Husband to invest in lifts a-la Robert Downey Junior. I will not. Instead I will tower majestically like a transitioning Caitlyn Jenner. I just need to find the shoes. Sadly though, they seem to be an issue for me. Despite my openness to heel height and color and all kinds of crap, Vancouver is hopelessly unequipped to satisfy my footwear needs. I swear, if I see one more glittery, stiletto strappy sandal . . . What I want is specific-ish. Thanks Pinterest for supplying me with a catalogue of ideas with zero end result. 

Today I spent the better part of the afternoon hoofing it around downtown looking for something - anything. From being sneered at in this store to to flat out ignored in that, it was only my last stop that gave me hope. 

If I may offer a bit of advice to any Un-Brides out there. Hit high end consignment. Yes, sizes are naturally limited. But when you do stumble on that pair of cherry red Prada platforms you'll be thrilled that you didn't spend the same amount at Town Shoes on yawn-worthy Steve Madden pumps. 

Here are some consignment shops to visit:


Now I just need to find a dress.


The Un-Bride

 What's great, is we got our marriage licence lady in the shot too. #strategic 

What's great, is we got our marriage licence lady in the shot too. #strategic 


Marriage licence. Check.

At last, boyfriend and I visited the most magical place on earth: London Drugs.

Bursting with romance the abrasive blue and flickering neon greeted us as we wandered into the Cambie location. With enormous signage shouting Insurance Services, we knew we had come to the right place. 

Armed to the teeth with ID as per official sounding instructions via the website state:

Primary identification such as birth certificates is required to confirm the identities of the couple, but if you don’t have that, then the following documents will work:

  1. Driver’s license
  2. Passport
  3. Credit card
  4. Bank Card

Right. So essentially a scrap of mail with your name on will do. Honest to god. 

10 minutes later we were done. I'll say one thing, it was painless - however tacky.

ps. Oh Canada.



Posted on July 1, 2015 and filed under The Un-Bride.

The Un-Bride


It’s gone from 160, down to 100 and back up to 120. So what’s more important? Inviting everyone we find somewhat near and dear or not going in debt? There's an answer somewhere, but I don't have it. 

The invite list is tough. The good news is I don't have feelings and I'm practical-ish. So sadly I'm making cuts where cuts need to be made. So instead I distract myself with still looking for a dang wedding dress. 

 A baby. Ruining MY DAY! 

A baby. Ruining MY DAY! 

My mom is currently visiting so we could do a little pre-wedding bonding. Only child, almost 40, really it was a once in a lifetime thing I couldn't deny her. So I made another appointment at another bridal boutique. Because two just simply isn't enough. The full intention being to not buy. The appointment process was 10 fold. Brides-to-be were to request an appointment online with preferred date included. An email containing a few time choices on the requested date was received and in turn, Bride-to-be sent back a preference - this went on for a couple of days and several more emails. By the end of it Bride-to-be is asked for a credit card number. Incase she's a no-show $50 will be charged to her - she is now instructed to call and confirm her appointment. Question: Why not just call in the first place? 

I did as I was told. Calling and specifically asking (as per email) for either "Brenda or Kelly" (not their real names). "Donna" called back asking me about my dress preferences. I blathered on about simplicity, which I imagine fell on deaf ears. I then said "I can tell you what I don't want; ball gowns and ruching."  "What's ruching?"  answered back. I should have hung up. 

I didn't hang up. I kept my date like a good girl and tried on my fair share of dresses. No closer to a decision people. Although helpful tip: don't bring a baby to your wedding dress appointment - they totally steal your thunder.  

Posted on June 17, 2015 and filed under The Un-Bride.

The Un-Bride

 Feeble proof that I'm climbing the stairs in my building. 

Feeble proof that I'm climbing the stairs in my building. 


I have to work on my fitness. 

Actually I don't have to. But it's good for the ol' ticker, plus I'm not getting any younger. 

The real question is why now? Vanity. That's why. In actuality I should be taking cardio and crap very seriously all of the time. But I have succumb to vanity and for those fleeting hours on that special day, where flash bulbs will be going off in blinding urgency I would prefer to look tip-top. 

Having a wedding in warm weather means less sleeves, cover-ups and what have you. Arm strength has never been my strong suit - so that's one thing I'm working on. 

Also since I've been desk-bound for the last 3 years I notice my knees aren't what they used to be. This is also something I need to sort the hell out, alternatively - I could just wear a ball gown. 

So in an effort to look and more importantly, feel my best, I have begun doing the stairs in my apartment building (Hycroft Towers) That means 4 stairwells, 8 floors and roughly 400 stairs. How often do I do this? One to two times a week. This is not enough. Because I dislike running into people on my "route" I have taken to flailing around my apartment like a crazy person, adopting all of the latest it-exercises and am doing them almost religiously. 

Remembering of course what happened last time I began routinely exercising, I'm taking my life in my hands all in the name of looking my 40 year old best. Just to increase the ways I could die pre-wedding, I've also begun my unhealthy tanning process.

Here goes nothing. 

The Un-Bride

 Wedding suite by  Zenija Esmits  - photograph by  Helena McMurdo

Wedding suite by Zenija Esmits - photograph by Helena McMurdo


Picking up where we left off last time:

Next on the list of importance is wedding invite wording. The problem is I’m insensitive and will say exactly what I want and/or don’t want. I’m afraid tact will go out the window when it comes to the invitations fine print. The good news is I’ve been doing the ground work for this since almost birth. My years of turning my nose up at children, getting to know people and revulsion to useless crap is finally going to pay off. So when something like . . .

“Please be mindful of the following allergies:

  • Children
  • Fish (Boyfriend is actually allergic - I had to give him one)
  • Unwanted Guests
  • Shitty wedding gifts

Don’t bring any of these things.”

. . . appears on the bottom of the wedding invite, friends and family will say “Ha ha ha, that Zenija, what a card. She sure dislikes kids (more chuckling). Hey, Inconsequential Person I’m Dating, guess you need to find alternate plans on (insert date) because there’s no plus one at this shindig.” 

The Un-Bride


With weddings, there are a few details that are incredibly important.  

Boyfriend and I need a wedding hashtag. Obvi. This is going to take some thought*. We’ve brainstormed and covered the predictable (#MandZSayIDo) & the Brangelina (#MacEsmits2015). This unimaginative hash taggery gave way to the sarcasm infused options: #MandZSayPffffWhyNot  #TillDeathOrBust.

It needs to be pithy, it needs to be memorable and it needs to be thought of lickety-split because it’ll have to go on invites. Double obvi. As it stands, our search has come to no avail. Wait! #ToKnowAVeil2015!


*Currently accepting suggestions – you will not be credited for your cleverness.

Posted on May 6, 2015 and filed under The Un-Bride.