August 26 – Wedding Cake

I Thee Wed

Yesterday, Mrs. Sip and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary. With that in mind, I’m reflecting back to our special day last year. Weddings are a funny thing to plan. You put so much energy and effort into one day (a day you’re too busy to enjoy every detail of) and before you know it, the day has passed. I wouldn’t consider myself a wedding coordinator expert and I know every person has their own desires and budget, but for my money, these are the must-haves for your nuptials:

Live Band

While a DJ will get the music job done, I will never regret shelling out a little extra to have a live band at our wedding. Mrs. Sip and I are classic rock fans, so we picked a local band, The BobCats, which specializes in covers of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, CCR, Van Morrison, and others. We’d seen the guys perform multiple times before and were thrilled when they were available to work our wedding and rock the joint to the early hours of the morning.

Electric Mayhem

These guys were my second choice to play our wedding!

Photographer

This one is pretty obvious and I think very few couples get married nowadays without a professional photographer documenting their special day. Our photos are amazing and will provide instant memories of our wedding as we review them over time. Magnolia Photographic was the perfect choice for our wedding and I’m particularly fond of the stunning shots of Mrs. Sip, who looked drop dead gorgeous that day (and all other days!).

Videographer

When Mrs. Sip and I first started the wedding planning process video was not a priority. Hell, it wasn’t even on the list. Then you start talking to people who fully recommend getting a videographer and you start looking at videos and it suddenly becomes a must-have. We buckled and hired a great little company (RF Weddings) that provided us with an amazing video of highlights from the day. The way they blended song and images together was truly masterful and guests loved watching the same day edit during our reception.

Candy Bar

This was another idea that wasn’t initially on our original list of ideas, but I threw it on the “to do” list last minute after attending a friend’s wedding in Toronto which featured one. Choosing all the candy to put into the bar was a lot of fun, but tracking down containers to display the treats was a little more daunting (we wanted drink-themed glasses like martini and goblet styles). Still, we got it done (thanks to an extra shopping trip by Ma Sip) and the creativity of the friend I put in charge of setting up the station.

Candy Bar

This was our actual wedding candy bar… looks pretty sweet, am I right!?

Entertainment during Photos

Mrs. Sip and I didn’t want to kill the buzz of guests between ceremony and reception, when most couples now disappear to do off-site photos with their wedding party. We had a strings band (Musical Occasions) play between the two events, while beverages and snacks were available and we also had a group come out that does magnetic photos of your invitees, which they can take home. On the subject, you also don’t want to force your guests to kill too much time between the ceremony and reception… keep that in mind.

Buffet

Not to take a shot at plate service for dinner, but I prefer buffets, which allow guests to grab exactly what they want, enjoy a variety of options, and eat until they’re about to explode. With all the craziness going down at our wedding, I only managed to load up my plate once and never even got to the dessert edition, although it looked spectacular. The folks at the Shaughnessy Golf & Country Club sure know how to put a spread together.

funny-buffet

Limos

It’s your special day and you might as well be travelling in style. Unless you have a cool and unique car for transport, a limo is the best way to achieve this. Ace of Spades Limos worked diligently to get everyone where they needed be when they needed to be there. We used four different limos during the day (one for the bride and bridesmaids, one for the groom and groomsmen, one for the wedding party for photos, and one at the end of the night for the happy couple) and there wasn’t a single issue to deal with.

Hotel

In my books, it just doesn’t seem as special if you go through the whole wedding process, only to return to your normal home that night. Indulge in a little pampering and take off to a nearby hotel. We checked into the Pan Pacific along Vancouver’s waterfront. It was a mch needed respite as it allowed Mrs. Sip and I to get away after the wedding, digest the events of the day together, and enjoy some quality one-on-one time. Couples can also achieve this much needed getaway by immediately leaving for their honeymoon, which is a good way of forgetting all about any post-wedding issues!

Drink #238: Wedding Cake

Wedding Cake Drink Recipe

  • 0.75 oz Gin (I used Tanqueray)
  • 0.75 oz Amaretto
  • Splash of Pineapple Juice
  • Splash of Orange Juice
  • Splash of Milk
  • Garnish with Wedding Bands (if you got them!)

What are the wedding must-haves that you insist on? Have any issues with my list? Too bad, it’s written in internet stone!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
I already made the Wedding Cake Shot, so now it was time to try the martini edition. There are other versions of this drink, but I wanted to see how all these ingredients would work together. The Gin doesn’t overwhelm the taste buds, which surprised me and nothing is out of place at all with this cocktail. Getting the wedding bands to sit just right for the photo was a pain, but it was one of those ideas I just had to see through.

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February 2 – Groundhog’s Shadow

My Nightmare

Nightmare

In the 1993 movie Groundhog Day, Bill Murray is forced to repeat the same day over and over again until he gets it right. Here’s a version of that same premise starring everybody’s favourite superhero, The Sip Advisor.

I’m awoken abruptly, voices coming through the thin walls of our resort hotel (I know, a resort hotel isn’t the best setting for a nightmare, but just wait, all will be explained). The clock reads 7:30am and I can never understand why people feel the need to have loud conversations that early in the morning. Seriously, when my wife and I wake up that early on the very rare occasion that we have to, it’s like we communicate in sign language. I motion that I’d like a little morning action, she shoots me down swiftly with a wave of her hand and I’m off to the bathroom to get ready for the day!

Next part of the nightmare: We get to the 24-hour buffet and every food item is out and the staff has no plans to replace them. There are rumours of a revolt, guests storming the kitchens to take whatever they can find. One basket of tortilla chips is brought out and the server is ambushed. I try to get my hands on at least one chip, but my efforts are fruitless. I walk away with multiple chips cuts and the salt stings my wounds. I suffer a black eye as well, as Mrs. Sip Advisor takes the opportunity to get a shot in, probably for all the attempts at morning fun over the years. She doesn’t understand that I would have shared the chip I was fighting for with her.

A news brief comes on the TV informing us that all kittens in the world have been eliminated, thanks to a new worldwide law passed by the pro-dog lobby (actually made up of famous dogs, including Lassie, the ghost of Old Yeller and Eddie from Frasier). I shed a tear, but the worst is yet to come. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking: there could be something worse than no more kitties!?!?

Kitty

So, no sleeping in, no food, and no kitties, but I’m still not panicking yet. I head over to the bar and, you guessed it, they are all out of liquor!!! There’s not a drop in the house. My pupils dilate, blood pressure rises and I go into fight or flight mode. I’m throwing bartenders into the nearby pool, smashing bottles over my  head and squirting lemon and lime juice into guest’s eyes. It’s complete chaos as I go on my rampage.

Finally, I am subdued, thanks to a clubbing blow to the back of the head. When I wake up, it’s 7:30am again and the neighbours are yelling… or are they just having a normal conversation. It’s so hard to tell when you can’t understand what they’re saying.

I am released from the Groundhog Day cycle when I learn to embrace a world with no liquor, early wake-ups, a lack of buffet food and a kitten-less existence. That’s the real nightmare!

Drink #33: Groundhog’s Shadow Shot (a Sip Advisor original creation)

Groundhog's Shadow Shooter

  • Pour a dollop of chocolate syrup at the bottom of the glass
  • Stick gummy bear (acting as gummy groundhog) in syrup
  • 1.5 oz Galliano to fill glass

I tried finding a Groundhog Day-themed drink that already existed, but when none satisfied me, I made my own. Sounds like a euphemism for most people’s sex lives. The chocolate syrup is the earth, the groundhog’s home and the Galliano is the sun greeting the little critter, encouraging him to rise to the surface. The gummy bear is the tiny fella sticking his nose above ground to meet the brand new day.

Did he see his shadow, causing him to retreat to his underground dwelling and making humans believe they will have to suffer through six more weeks of winter? Or did he stay above the surface, signaling an early spring to come. With this shot, we’ll never really find out, so that means eternal winter… kind of like Game of Thrones! Awesome, drinking with Tyrion Lannister!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (2.5 Sips out of 5):
Where to begin with breaking down this drink? I tried a couple different mixes and ways to get that damn gummy bear to look decent and kept on getting tripped up by various issues. The Galliano make-up of the shooter might have completely saved it.