August 19, 2010

A Time for Reflection

You may have noticed that I haven't blogged in a little while. The holy month of Ramadan started last Wednesday, and between fasting and the heat wave we've had I haven't had much energy to do much at all.

Ramadan is a month of fasting, in which Muslims refrain from eating and drinking from dawn till dusk. Fasting teaches us patience, humility and spirituality. It encourages us to practice self-discipline, self-control, sacrifice and empathy for those less fortunate that us.

Over the past week I have been thinking about all the things that I am grateful for, things that I take for granted everyday. I tend to focus on the negative things happening in my life and often forget just how fortunate I am to live the life I live. These are just a few things I am grateful for:

  • my fiancee
  • my family
  • my friends
  • my health
  • my ability to move without any pain or disability to fight through
  • my adopted country Canada
  • my freedom of speech
  • my ability to practice my religion freely
  • the roof over my head
  • my warm, comfy bed
  • the food in my fridge
  • the opportunity to travel as much as I have

I could go on and on but I'll end off here. What are some things you are grateful for? Do you take them for granted like I do?

August 10, 2010

Thoughts of my hunny bunny...

He is the Ying to my Yang, the Peanut Butter to my Jelly, the Oreo to my Soy Milk, the Cheese on my Pizza, the i to my Phone, the Cream in my Coffee, the Jiggle in my Jell-o, the Star in my Sky... he is the Love of my Life and I marry him on November 26th =D

Quote of the Day

This has served as a great reminder to me over the years... what do you think?

"I have long since come to believe that people never mean half of what they say, and that it is best to disregard their talk and judge only their actions"

Let the planning begin!

Well actually the planning started a long time ago but I just wanted to share a few websites that have been invaluable to me (and still are) during this planning process...

First up, if you are planning a destination wedding like I am, sign up for an account at Best Destination Wedding. It's chock full of all sorts of information you could ever need, and in some cases you'll find out stuff that you didn't even know you were looking for but are so glad you found. Trust me. The forum also is worth signing up for. There you can chat with other brides from all over the world who are sometimes dealing with the same issues you are with vendors overseas. They are all super friendly and more than willing to help out. Plus, you'll pick up so many great ideas from other brides! It's a wonderful tool and I for one am so grateful it exists.

Next, I don't know what I'd do without Project Wedding. It's a fantastic source of inspiration for brides-to-be; it's also a great place to find some DIY project ideas to personalize your wedding. Even if you're not a crafty bride (like me), you'll be sure to find something that you are willing and able to tackle. Also, if you sign up for an account, you'll receive an email a day with your wedding countdown and an article for you to read.

I also really enjoy browsing through Wedding Bells for articles and inspiration. They have a great wedding planner tool which is very easy to use and super helpful. Plus they're always running contest with awesome prizes =)

Another great site for articles and inspiration is The Knot. They even have this fun feature called 'My Inner Bride' where you can do a mock up of yourself in different styles of wedding dresses. Here's one I did for fun:

These are just some of the tools I've been using to plan my wedding; there are many, many more out there that I just can't remember! What are your favorites?

The Proposal

A couple nights before, Dennis casually mentioned that the partners for the company he works for wanted to have New Year's dinner with the managers. It was very last minute, but with his company, last minute notices are quite normal. I remember a year ago, Dennis called me at work to tell me that we would be going to a Canucks hockey game later that night as he was given a pair of tickets shortly after lunch. Last minute plans are nothing new to his company.
So, on December 30th we were on our way to dinner at Don Francesco, an upscale Italian restaurant downtown. Oddly enough, I thought to myself that I won't be getting engaged this year - tonight was the dinner with his partners and with tomorrow being New Year's Eve... everyone who knows me knows that I find proposals on holidays and special days (ie: Christmas, New Year's, birthdays, anniversaries etc.) tacky. So in my head, I was thinking that there goes another year! Oh well... Anyways, before we left the house, Dennis mentioned that a friend from work wanted to meet up just before dinner. He suspected that she wanted give us a present since we gave her and her husband a Christmas present the week before. During the drive he received a text from this friend to meet at the 'red thing on Robson.' A few minutes later, she sent another text clarifying where she wanted to meet. Since Dennis and I have spent a lot of time in the area, we joked around about how well we knew that landmark.
We parked at the Law Courts due to its close proximity to the restaurant and Robson Square. Even though we were running a little late, I smiled as we walked up to the street level. I was thinking about how we met at the Law Courts, and how Robson Square was the starting and end point of our annual Scavenger Hunt that we organize together for our 24Hr Relay team. It’s definitely a place we’re fond of and very familiar with.
When we got to the 'red thing', Dennis started to talk about the sculpture (which is actually called 'Spring'). He retold the story of how his father took him and his brother to this spot when they were younger and what that day means to him. I was a bit confused because he was acting a little weird. He continued talking turning his attention to 'Spring', in fact, he said the words, “our love is infinitely Spring”. I was really starting to worry about him because he looked very nervous and normally doesn’t talk like this in public. In private, he’s the sweetest guy ever, but when we’re out in public he likes to clown around. Again, I interrupted and again, he continued on saying that “our love is infinitely Spring”. He kept saying all these sweet things to me and the whole time I was thinking to myself - "Where the hell is this friend of his and why is he telling me all this now when we're running late for an important dinner?!"
Then to my surprise, he dropped down to one knee! I finally clued in - he was about to ask me the question I've been dying to hear for the past year and a half!! I got so teary-eyed that when he took the box out of his pocket, the ring was a big shiny blur.
After his proposal, he told me that there was no dinner at Don Francesco (duh!) but we did have reservations at Goldfish Pacific Kitchen in Yaletown that we were now running late for. Apparently, he had it timed perfectly but since I kept interrupting him so much, I threw him off a little. Yup, it was a typical Dilannis moment  =)

Here's a picture of my gorgeous ring; I love it!! We had it custom-made by Minichiello Jewellers. They're a family run business and have been around since 1958. They are amazing! I highly recommend them to anyone looking for any kind of jewelry. Consequently, they were highly recommended to us by both of our best friends who had used them for all their wedding jewelry needs. You can find out more about them here.

Introducing the Bride and Groom

Let me introduce you to the lovely couple...

Photo credit: RAD Studio Photography

Dilara & Dennis = Dilannis

He is: Dennis Litonjua, born in Manila, Philippines. Moved to Vancouver, BC with his family at the tender age of 7 and has lived here since. He is a graduate of Simon Fraser University.

She is: Dilara Hamid, born and raised in Rome, Italy. Moved to NYC at age 13, then Norwalk, CT, Montreal, QC, and Winnipeg, MB before settling in beautiful Vancouver, BC at age 17. She is also a graduate of Simon Fraser University.

We met in September 2006 through a mutual friend and went on our first date in November of that year. That date pretty much sealed the deal and we haven't looked back since.

Here's a little poem written by Dennis that sums up our story:

Here's a story of a lovely lady
Her name was Dilara Hamid
She was very nice, and very pretty
She was a catch indeed

Here’s a story of man named Dennis
Who was busy living on his own
Although he had friends, and great family
He still felt alone

Till the one day when the lady met this fellow
And they knew from the very first kiss,
That this couple would one day marry
And that's how we became Dilannis

- written by Dennis

August 9, 2010

Starting a Blog

So I've finally decided to give blogging a go... after many months of back and forth and in between I figure what the hell. No time like the present!

The wedding is just 3 1/2 months away. Eeek! I got engaged 8 months ago and a LOT has happened in that time - both my fiancee and I lost our jobs among other things. Don't even get me started on all the family drama!

We knew early on that we wanted a destination wedding. After a lot of research, we settled on the Mayan Riviera. This blog will highlight the rocky road towards the altar. I'm a bride with champagne tastes on a beer budget afterall ;) Stay tuned!