On Thursday before the wedding, my six favourite girls on the planet came together to create the most fantastic Bachelorette party a girl like me could ask for. That "girl like me" part is critical. I know a lot of people that have huge bachelorette parties, they travel to beach destinations, go to Vegas, travel all over the world. They have HUGE parties full of silly games, clubbing, sashes and tiaras. And there's nothing wrong with that. But, it's just not me. I have always loved quieter get-togethers. Smaller groups of people. Where you can have the heart to heart conversation over a bottle of wine and laughter so deep you feel like you might split in half to inside jokes only the circle of you understand.
And these gals did just that. All my bridesmaid came together to make a day full of my favourite things! It started out with a home spa service, complete with speciality cocktails from Aunonna. It was so relaxing, gave me a chance to chat with everyone about the upcoming day and just take a moment to relax.
The Bridesmaids also prepared some of the most delicious snacking foods to munch on as the afternoon wore on. The girls who weren't getting the nails done had the chance to help me out with little things to do/craft while they waited for their turn.
After a lovely visit from the home spa, it was time for some real fun. Inside white paper envelopes were scavenger hunt clues to take me on my next adventure. Meg and Sarah had spent a whole weekend up in Collingwood preparing these clues and exploring parts of the city I never knew were there before. There were so many cute places we found along the way that I had never been in before. It was such a fun way to show the ladies around Collingwood and why I love this town.
We headed out in the car to go to the city to start looking for the first clue.
Meg read out the rules, and I went in search for the first destination. This first one was kind of hard, and I was worried this was going to be a hard hunt. It was leading me to an old bookstore - but there are so many in town. Luckily, I got a few hints and finally I found my way to this little tiny, used bookshop. I had to look through the Art History books to find a picture of a famous married couples. There was a terrifying old woman in there who no doubt had no idea what was going on but was a excellent sport.
Finally, in a huge Art book, I found the next envelopes beside to the Arnolfini Portrait by Jan van Eyck. It is one of my favourite paintings and such a significant one for an upcoming wedding.
The next clue was a puzzle to me. It sounded like something referring to a Mexican restaurant, but I'd never seen one of those in town. We wandered down the street, near where the map was
We stopped into the shop, and the heat of the summer had us all hankering for something cool so we grabbed a few Mexican sodas and took one of the most adorable photos ever.
We headed back onto the main street in search for the next location. This one I knew right away! This was one of my favourite shop in Collingwood.
Mad Dogs Coffee & Vinyl Cafe is a mainstay for me when tooling around downtown Collingwood. It's the perfect place to grab an excellent brew and peruse the record selection, carefully curated by the owner. Here, I had to search through the racks for an album by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs where I would get my next clue.
The rest of the journey took me to candy stores, comic book shops, cheese boutiques and even a walk through Loblaws. Classic Collingswood stops overs.
The candy shop was one of my favourite stops.
After the hunt was over, we needed to kill some time before dinner. We grabbed a few drinks outside as we giggled over the pictures from the hunt and I gathered up all the notes and carefully put them away, to treasure forever.
Then it was time to grab some food. We headed down the "Iron Skillet" for some patio action and some of the best food I'd ever eaten in Collingwood.
We even got dessert poutine. Yes, that's right, DESSERT! It was pretty delicious, despite maybe not looking like the greatest thing in the world.
Once dinner was over, we headed back home. It had been a trying week for me, and my girls knew, more than anything, I needed some alone time with them.
We made drinks, and they brought out a myriad to sweet treats to snack on while we danced, soaked in the hot tub and had some meaningful heart to hearts.
As the night wore on, I doled out the gifts I had made for my dear ladies.
I made each of them a little care box filled with things for the wedding day and them to enjoy well after the wedding. The matching robes were something special they all enjoy, and we got a kick out of on the big day. But the most significant gift inside the box was a small Rose Quartz necklace, each one of them received. It was the same one as I would wear on my wedding day. Something that connected each of us to each other.
Rose Quartz is a stone of the heart, a Crystal of Unconditional Love. It carries within in the power of compassion and peace, tenderness, comfort and healing. It connects to your heart Chakra and helps all who carry it the capacity to truly give and receive love. All these girls who in their way, made me stronger my love deeper, my soul stronger and I thought this was the perfect gift to give back to all these girls.
After a few more treats, we were all beat and knew we had a long day ahead of us. We all headed to our rooms and went ready for bed. I shared my bed with Sarah Danahy that night. She truly is like a sister and we stayed up, later than we should've, chatting. It meant so much to me that she flew all the way down in Toronto from Glasgow, despite being in the middle of exams. There is no way I could have got married without her beside me.
The next morning, the girl had their surprises in store for me. I thought last night was the end of the Bachelorette, but it turns out there were a few more events in store. They told me I had to change into some comfortable clothes, and we all met on the lawn outside. There, were laid out on the grass, seven yoga mats on the very site where I was going to be wed in just 24 hours.
Katie had organised for us all to have a morning Yoga class outside. It was the most amazing way to start the day and decompress all the worries inside my heart that were going on. It totally settled me and calmed my soul. I love sharing the things I enjoy with my friends so it was so much fun to get to do Yoga with these girls.
After yoga, they all gathered in the kitchen and presented me with one of the most beautiful gifts I'd ever received. They gave me, a handmade mala bead necklace. Each of them had chosen the beads for the necklaces, each with their significance. They took turns reading notes to me of what their beads meant. Some chose symbolic stones that represented parts of me. Other choice rocks that held within them different characters they hoped I would instil in myself. Like self-love or emotional strength. This was probably the most I cried all weekend. Maybe it was because we were in private but mostly it was because I felt so much love surrounding me, and so much happiness about the union that was about to happen!