I Said Yes To The Dress!!!!!!!

21 01 2010

Ahhhhhhhhhhhh!!! So my first official purchase towards this wedding is DONE!!! With all the other drama that comes with planning a wedding, I decided at least dress shopping was something I could do that was fun!  I started my search on December 31st 2009. I know – of all the days to do this, I chose New Years Eve. The thing is that I wanted my sister Zahra to be with me the first time I went, and she was leaving for Van the next day.  I didn’t realize that most Bridal shops closed at 3pm on new years… except for one – Alfred Young Bridal on McLeod Trail S. It’s not an overly fancy shop like Ethos or Cameo and Cufflinks, but it was open!!! I tried on a few and then I found one… it was just perfect. I would describe it, but I think this is part is supposed to be somewhat of a secret.

Wedding dress shopping really is a great experience to have with your close friends and your family. I even dragged my dad along with my girls and my mom on one of our dress days. Poor guy… I think he was more exhausted than I was. I caught him getting a little shut-eye closer to the end of  the second hour of him just sitting there so patiently. And that was only the first store of the day!!

I knew that I couldn’t just buy the first dress I saw without at least going to a few stores to see what else is out there. So over the next month I must have tried on at least 30 dresses at 6 or 7 different stores… every style out there, I tried them all.  I even did a little shopping in Vancouver (as most Ismaili brides do at least once during their wedding shopping experience).  I actually debated quite a bit if I was even going to get a wedding dress at all. I had that big inner debate with myself that most brides have… ‘Im only going to where it once! What am I going to do with it after that day? It’s not like I can wear it to a club or to a fancy dinner? And like most brides… I did cave.   In the end, I came back to the very first one I saw… and I couldn’t be happier with it!! You know your dress is ‘the one’ when you just want to stay in the store forever because you don’t want to take it off…


Formally Engaged!!

23 12 2009

On December 23, 2009 – Farhan and I finally had our ‘formal enagement’ also known as a ‘private sherbat’ ceremony. Basically, this is a cultural event where the groom’s side of the family comes to the brides family’s house and asks for her hand in marriage. It’s also a chance for both sides of the family to get together and hang out and it signifies the ‘beginning of the next step in our lives’… ooooooooh). I think it’s more of a tradition than anything actually binding. According to our parents though… a couple isn’t technically engaged until this ceremony takes place – and now it has!!!!

I’m not going to go into a lot of detail about this one aside from the fact that everything went really well, despite my last-minute planning to get myself together. I bought an ‘outfit’ on Monday, took it for alternations on monday evening, , made a last-minute hair appt on Tuesday afternoon, got a fluke appt for a mani/pedi on Tuesday evening, picked up my outfit Wednesday morning, hair done early Wednesday evening (at Madison Ave Salon – great place!)  and managed to be somewhat presentable by the time the big show began on Wednesday at 8:00pm!!

The ceremony was really nice because it was pretty intimate – just our immediate families and that’s about it. It’s a rarity for an indian event to consist of less than 5000 people (insert sarcasm), so being able to get it down to 20 was a huge feat! Hooray for us!!!! After his family arrived at my parents’ home, and I came to greet them, Farhan got down on one knee and asked me to marry him all over again… so sweet, and semi embarrassing when you have 20 sets of eyes watching you. They all took turns wishing us well and feeding us some sweets… and we ended the night with some great indian food of course! F and I are now publically and privately engaged!!!

That’s a wrap… first event of 1000 is now complete!!

Our Story…

8 11 2009

The Proposal Story…

When two people get engaged, the first question is usually…. ‘Well, tell me how it happened, I want to hear the story.’  As much as I do love to tell it, I thought that this would be an easier and maybe more pleasant way to tell ‘The Story’ of how we got engaged… It is rather lengthy, so if you would rather not read it all… maybe just skip to the end where I say ‘Yes’ 😉

 On Friday November 6th, 2009 at about 9:30am I arrive at work to meet my boss, Marietta, as she had insisted the night before that we must meet first thing in the morning to go and see a client together. Of course I was a few minutes late, so naturally she was rushing me out the door as soon as I got there in order to get to our ‘client’ on time. As we are about to drive off in my car, Marietta turns to me, hands me an envelope and says ‘I don’t know anything, I’m just supposed to give this to you.”

 The front of the envelope reads ‘Farah Kanani, Note #1.’ I look at Marietta, waiting for a response, and as she stares at me with a slight coyness about her, I open the envelope. Inside is a letter that starts out… ‘Don’t be alarmed, everything is okay. I love you very much and I decided that you deserve a day full of surprises, gifts and a little pampering thrown in their as well for good measure. Don’t worry, your day off from work has been taken care of. Throughout the day you will be getting different notes handed to you in which there will be clues telling you what to do next…exciting isn’t it?’ I was reminded several times, in capital bold letters to be “on time” for everything and just to be sure, my watch that I thought I had lost weeks ago, was enclosed in the envelope. I was instructed to turn on my GPS, and in the favourites section, there were several destinations already programmed to assist me in my journey for the day. First stop… ‘Impark Parking Lot.’

 I arrive at the parking lot and as I turn off the ignition, I text Farhan to inform him that I’ve arrived at my destination. He then instructs me to cross the street, enter the Oasis Spa which is in Mount Royal Village, and to give the front desk my name. The friendly receptionist then escorts me to the ‘Queen’s Chambers’ in order to get ready for my 90min body wrap, followed by a 60min massage. I would be lying if I described these 3 hours as anything but heavenly… absolutely heavenly (minus my stomach making extremely loud and embarrassing grumblings throughout my massage). The masseuse kindly walks me to the change room and before we part ways, he hands me an envelope which reads… “Farah Kanani, Note #2.”

 “Hey baby.. I hope your spa treatment was spectacular and that you are fully relaxed. Onto the next part… hope you’re hungry.” The note continues on and guides me to a restaurant called ‘The Coup’ – a vegetarian restaurant Farhan and I love. The restaurant is only a block away from my present location, and the note states to give the hostess my name upon my arrival.  As I was about ready to leave, I call Farhan in response to a text message I have just received from him. He lets me know that it was his intention to be waiting at the restaurant for me so we could spend some of the day together. However, because this place only seats full parties, and there is a long wait, we won’t be able to complete this part of the plan. (Unfortunately, this couldn’t be avoided or foreseen since the restaurant doesn’t take reservations). Lucky for me, Farhan is patiently waiting for me at the corner of the street just outside of the spa. The two of us still managed to have a fabulous lunch together on trendy 17th Avenue (well… what Calgary considers trendy anyway).  The day was bright and the street was a little quieter than usual which made it all the more lovely.

 Of course Farhan is being cognizant of the time and just as he walks me back to where we initially met up at Mount Royal Village, he hands me yet another envelope – #3. Although I am told only to open it once he is completely out of sight, I obviously ripped it open the minute his back is turned. Before I am able to read the note, yet another watch falls out of the envelope. This one I have been meaning to change the battery to… but just haven’t been able to get around to it for a while (this may explain my seemingly innate lack of punctuality). The note kindly points out that the battery is now fixed and is also a helpful reminder to please be on time for everything else. The note explains that the remainder of my afternoon will consist of a bit more work than just relaxing and eating. I get into my car, and click on ‘Library’ in my GPS as directed. It leads me to the Cardel Library, just a few moments from my home.  I am given a specific time to arrive at the Library… and much to my surprise; I am actually a tad bit early!!

 Letter #3 tells me to go into the library and head to the Science Fiction section closer to the back of the library. “Search for the book with the call number listed as ‘FAR.’ – I am given the title of the book as well as a description of what it looks like. I find the book with ease and am then told to turn to a specific page. In order to get to that page I am to add up all of the numbers of the date… 06/04/2008 (June 4th 2008)… which was our first date. In my over excitement, I add up 4 + 6 + 2008… 2118!!!! But this book only goes up to 1000 something. WTF! Oooohhhh I am supposed to add up the ‘Single’ digits of the date… 4 +6 + 2+ 8 = 20!!!!! I add a zero to the number I calculate, as the note outlines to do and then turn to page 200.

 HOORAY!!!! Embedded in the crevasse of the pages, my next clue is waiting for me. Unlike the other typed notes, this one is hand written in order to fit into the book. It says… ‘Good Job on finding this note!!! Don’t you feel like you’re in a Nicholas Cage or an Indiana Jones movie?”  The note then tells me to quickly go home, turn on the TV and press play in order to watch the first minute and forty seconds of the movie which has already been set up and is ready to go. This movie is ‘Kung Fu Panda” which is what we watched on our first date on 06/04/2008.  After I am done watching, the note tells me to text message Farhan’s cousin, Aadil; he will ask me a question about the movie, and if I get it right, I get my next clue. The response I am supposed to give is to quote Farhan’s favourite line of the movie. Although I later found out that Farhan had instructed Aadil to give me the answer even if I got it wrong in order to save time… I did get it right on the first try!  

 Power is a funny thing I tell you… when people get just a little taste of it – they just can’t help themselves! Knowing that I am pretty much at his mercy in order to get my next clue, Aadil tells me that I have to ‘hop on one foot five times’ if I want my next clue. Naturally I say “you are such a liar. I so do not have to do that.’ Although Aadil swears I do and that I can’t get my next clue until I do this… I know he is lying. I text Farhan to ask if I really have to do this, and with no support at all, he tells me to do whatever Aadil says. Yes… it’s true, I did do it only because nobody was watching and I was completely alone. Mind you… I have just posted it online that I actually followed through with it, so I guess that is as good as having an audience watching me make a fool of myself. Once I’ve done that, Aadil finally tells me to go to the other room and open the top drawer. There I find my next note… #5!

 Because I was successful in my last task and got the question right… I get a present!!! I go into the guestroom and on the couch is a big pretty jewellery box (that I have been insisting I NEED for the last little while… I’m also interpreting this as a sign that there may be more jewellery to come in my futureJ).  Due to the time constraint that has been placed on me, I don’t really have time to take my present out of the box. I am told that I need to pack an overnight bag and ensure that a pretty evening dress is included in my suitcase. I have to be out of the house and in the car by 4:15pm. “TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE” I am told yet again!!!  Luckily, by this time, it is only 2:50pm. I have loads of time!!! I take a shower, get ready, straighten my hair, pack my bag and a dress… okay fine I couldn’t decide which dress so I packed four instead of one. An hour and 25min actually goes by a lot quicker than one may think… 

 It is now 4:15pm… ish. I get into my car, about to make a turn on the solid green and a massive semi flies by me. Instinctively I slam my breaks and of course… the car behind me hits me and I have now officially been rear ended! It was more of a hassle than anything because both cars appeared virtually untouched. But I knew that when I retold this story, if I didn’t say somewhere in there that I took the guy’s information, I would be hearing it from my dad for a week.

 Sooo I am now back on the road and life is beautiful once again! I call Farhan to let him know that I am fine and the delay is not my fault!! He tells me to turn on the GPS and click on ‘parents house’ – of course this is just a code for the actual destination. Once I have been driving for about 10-15min, I am told to open my glove compartment. Here I find a CD that says ‘play this on your way to your final destination’. So I put in the CD and the first track is the sound of Farhan’s voice… “Hey babe, I hope you’ve had a great day. For the next hour and a half you are going to be driving to… you guessed it – Banff! I’m so sorry you have to drive alone, but this is my way of giving you some company on the way up.” Something you may not know is that Farhan used to be a D.J for a local radio station when he was younger.  The entire CD was made up of tracks of his voice as ‘Doctor Bubby Funk…that’s B- U-B-B-Y- FUNK (exactly how he introduced himself on the first track) and some great old skool  music. Half way through the CD, Farhan says ‘When you are listening to the next few songs… imagine how they would be if used for our first dance.’  I know you are probably thinking “She must have figured it out by then!” But the truth is that I really just didn’t want to let my mind go there. It’s true, every so often throughout the day I did think ‘”Maybe this is it” – but I really just wanted to enjoy the day for what it was and expecting anything more would have just been setting myself up for possible disappointment. And this was simply too great of a day to allow that to happen.

 I have now been driving for nearly an hour and a half.  I hear an instruction on the CD saying to reach my hand into the side pocket of the driver’s side door. Here I find note #6. It tells me that the GPS is leading me to the Rimrock Resort and once I get there, I should give my car to the Valet attendant as he is already expecting me, and then take my bags to the concierge and tell him my name as he is also aware of my near arrival. Side note – everytime I started to feel a little uneasy about what was going on or what I was supposed to do next – within minutes I would get a clue or some sort of instruction that would ease my worries… funny how things just ‘work out’ the way they are supposed to like that.

 Before I introduce myself, the concierge looks at me as if he already knows who I am; and as I mention my name, he hands me an envelope… note #7! This note states that I should give my bags to the concierge, as he already knows to take them. Then I am to go up to room 902 and knock on the door 5 times. So I make my way up to the 9th floor and I knock as suggested. On the other side of the door I hear ‘Can you knock a little louder please. As I do this, the door opens and I see a long path of rose petals along the ground forming the shape of a heart at the end of it. Just beyond this there is a beautiful bouquet of sunflowers (my favourite flower) in a vase just sitting so perfectly.

 Farhan and I are now standing in front of this beautiful view that this particular room is known for. As he tells me that I am his very best friend and he loves me more than anything in the world, I turn around and there he is, on one knee, ring in hand asking me to marry him. Though I managed to get out a ‘yes’ amid my tears and he had a few tears of his own… minutes later the ring was still in the box! After all the trouble he went through to get to this moment, Farhan was too nervous to put the ring on my finger. He said he didn’t want to ruin anything because the ‘ring maker’ had done such a nice job of putting the ring in the box and it was so clean and pretty. After gently explaining that this isn’t the way it works and that he had to put the ring on my finger, it finally became official!  The night ended with us dining at the Eden, an amazing five diamond restaurant at the Rimrock … great food, great service, great ambience and of course great company. We had the whole restaurant to ourselves! We spent the next morning enjoying some chocolate covered banana bread and coffee, and spent the rest of the afternoon/night in Banff on our very first day of being officially engaged… it was a perfect ending to a fabulous weekend… and that is our story.