Archive for Alison McGill

These Nail Polishes Were Designed Specifically For Brides

Fashion & Beauty » Skin Care & Makeup

Designer Reem Acra is renowned for her exquisitely detailed and boundary pushing bridal collections. Her shows are always a highlight of New York Bridal Fashion Week with her fashion-forward gowns routinely topping our best of list season after season.

Acra has turned her incredible attention to detail to the world of beauty, partnering with Essie to launch a six-shade, limited edition bridal lineup of Gel Couture polishes that are fit for a princess bride (paging Meghan Markle!). “I dreamed this wedding collection up as a royal affair—a grand party celebrating a big day,” Acra shares. The palette she created sparkles just like one of her incredible gowns but also has an element of surprise with the choice and finish of the shades.

Rita Remark, global lead educator and lead nail artist for Essie Canada loves this collection for brides because it’s unexpected. “Straying from the traditional demure sheer nudes and pinks, Reem Acra had the entire family in mind when she created her decadent collection of metallics, bold colour and shimmers,” Remark says. “It appeals to a modern bride as well as her bridesmaids, mother and guests. As an artist I love that each shade is distinctive, from a rich magenta pearl to a sheer white that twinkles with flecks of gold.”

Read on to explore the collection’s stunning six shades, which launch this April.

The Best Love Songs Of All Time, According To Our Editors

Planning » Reception Ideas

Photo by Ameris.

Whether you’re looking for some cool suggestions for your first dance song or romantic tunes to add to your Valentine’s Day dinner playlist, in the spirit of love month, we put together a list of some of our favourite sappy jams.

We asked editors from our sister publication FASHION Magazine to join us in selecting the best love songs of all time. From soulful David Bowie, to retro Sade, Coldplay and some cool indie suggestions like Teenage Fanclub, this track list is super-sweet and offers something for everyone.

“First Day Of My Life” by Bright Eyes

“I’m a total music nerd so trying to choose just one favourite love song was almost impossible. I decided to go with ‘First Day Of My Life’ because it’s one of those songs that has always given me goosebumps. I love this simple acoustic tune because it so perfectly conveys the feeling of realizing that you’ve found your perfect person — it’s an awakening. The line ‘Yours was the first face that I saw, I think I was blind before I met you’ always gets me.”—Jen O’Brien, executive digital editor, Weddingbells

“Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell

“My favourite movie is probably The Notebook and I’m a fan of just about any song or movie that tugs at my heart strings and can bring on the waterworks. I LOVE love and am a total sap. That being said, my favourite love song, Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell’s ‘Ain’t No Mountain High’, is surprisingly something a little bit more upbeat. The famous duet is a classic and the best part about it is it can be lip-synched with any loved one.”—Eliza Grossman, fashion editor, FASHION Magazine

“Your Love Is The Place Where I Come From,” by Teenage Fanclub
“This came out in 1997, the same year my boyfriend (now husband) and I first moved in together and we listened to this album endlessly. This one was an immediate fave because it’s just so simple and beautifully written. Years later we used it our wedding as our song, but rather than dance to it, we played it. Yes I played drums in my dress and heels! I also have an honourable mention, Yaz00’s “Only You” just because it so perfectly captured my angst of teen love at 14.”—Lesa Hannah, beauty director, FASHION Magazine

“Your Love Is King” by Sade

“There’s nobody smoother or more soulful than Sade and this single from her debut album in 1984 (!) is one of her very best. In addition to Sade’s velvety voice and the sexy sax work on this track, let’s for a moment consider these loved-up lyrics: ‘Your kisses ring, round and round and round my head/Touching the very part of me, it’s making my soul sing/Tearing the very heart of me, I’m crying out for more‘. Can you feel the heat? Enough said.”—Alison McGill, editor-in-chief, Weddingbells

“Yellow” by Coldplay
“Every time I hear this song, I immediately feel like I’ve been transported into a scene from an epic romance movie. From the dramatic electronic guitar chords to lines like: ‘Look at the stars, look how they shine for you,’ this song beautifully conveys the love and devotion that one person has for another. This ultimate love song finds its strength in lyrics that are not overly sappy, with a strong reliance on the instrumentals to create a romantic vibe.” —Kim Aglipay, assistant editor, Weddingbells

“Maps” by the Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs

“I’m not super into pop music where you find most great love songs.  So ‘Maps’ was this rare female-fronted alternative song that was tortured and romantic. It reminds me of when I started dating the man I would eventually marry. I had no freaking idea what was going on, but I was smitten and vulnerable. This song leaves me a little anxious, which is a lot like new romance, right? I also have an honourable mention: “I Love You Always and Forever” by Donna Lewis. I first heard this song at a nightclub in Manila while backpacking in The Philippines. I wasn’t in love at the time but this song is pure happy times, adventure and the tropics all rolled into one. I challenge you not to smile hearing it. This is how the right person should make you feel.”—Jacqueline Francis, executive editor FASHION Magazine

“State of Grace” by Taylor Swift
“What makes this song great is the upbeat melody combined with Taylor Swift’s soft vocals. I especially love the lyrics: They range from speaking in metaphors to intricately describing what it’s like to be smitten. The song makes me feel elated and confident, a feeling akin to being in love.”—Farheen Sikandar, editorial intern, Weddingbells

“La Ritournelle” by Sébastien Tellier

“When I think of carefree, unabashed love, I immediately think ‘La Ritournelle’ by Sébastien Tellier—and I’m talking the full, seven-minute version. Tellier sings a total of eight lines in the song, but the highly-emotional instrumental, which features a symphony of strings, drums and piano is what makes this track absolutely glorious.”—D’Loraine Miranda, production editor, FASHION Magazine

“Soul Love” by David Bowie

“Since the very first time I heard the opening beats of ‘Soul Love’ by David Bowie from The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spider From Mars as a teenager in the mid-2000s, I’ve envisioned myself walking down the aisle to it one day. I adore how the song starts out slowly, with maracas shaking out a funky rhythm, builds into a luxuriant rock anthem, and then descends back into simplicity. It contains just the right amount of romance without being too corny. And yet, my heart melts into liquid butter every time Bowie sings the line, ‘Love descends on those defenseless/ Idiot love will spark the fusion.'”Isabel Sloane, fashion features editor, FASHION Magazine

Meghan Markle’s Wedding Planning: What We Know So Far


Photo via Getty Images

Royal bride-to-be Meghan Markle is just 14 weeks away from her wedding day, and by all accounts planning all is ticking along beautifully. The dress creation is underway, invites are in the mail, thought towards speeches is happening, there has been cake consideration and even entertainment speculations exist (SPICE GIRLS!)

Here’s what we know about the royal wedding as of today and how you can take some tips from Meghan and incorporate them into planning your own day.

Meghan’s Dress Design Is In Progress
Reports that the royal wedding dress design process is underway were confirmed mid-January. Meghan’s Toronto-based stylist Jessica Mulroney was rumoured to be in London with the bride-to-be where the pair hosted a few designers at Nottingham Cottage to decide exactly who would design the dress and what it would look like.

Takeaway: Going bespoke for your wedding gown is always a great idea. This allows you to create the dress of your dreams and work with a designer to ensure every single detail is perfect and what you want.

The Wedding Cake Will Be Bananas
As in literally bananas! Harry and Meghan apparently are huge fans of banana cake. It’s been said Prince Harry loves bananas and you may remember a cheeky photo from Meghan’s now deactivated Instagram of two ‘cuddling’ bananas with the caption “sleep tight” which was posted just as the news of Harry and Meghan’s relationship was breaking. The pair are rumoured to be making this untraditional flavour the star of their wedding cake, which would give an ultra-personal spin to their day.

Takeaway: Don’t be afraid to get funky, unexpected and super-personal with elements of your wedding day. That’s what makes for an unforgettable party for you and your guests!

Meghan’s Wedding Speech Is Happening
Meghan apparently  is going to break with royal tradition and speak at her wedding. To this we say bravo, every bride should speak on her day! It’s speculated that Meghan will deliver a speech at her wedding reception paying tribute to her prince.

Takeaway: Be sure you plan to take the mic at your day just like Meghan. It’s important to welcome your guests, say thanks to loved ones and use the opportunity to have some fun talking about your new husband and your relationship.

The Royal Wedding Invites Are Almost In the Mail!
With just 14 weeks left before the day, Meghan and Harry are on track to get their invites in the post. Tradition dictates wedding invites should be delivered no later than eight weeks before the wedding date, but if there are a lot of out of town guests (which there definitely will be for this wedding) it is recommended to send them out at least ten weeks in advance, if not more.

Takeaway: Your invitation mailing is a wedding planning priority. Make sure you are on track for posting your invites as it’s one of the most important planning details of your party! Your RSVP deadline should be three weeks before the day to ensure you have enough time to finalize catering and seating.

Wedding Entertainment Plans Are Happening
Last week a post by Victoria Beckham broke the Internet when she posted a photo of the Spice Girls with the hashtag #friendshipneverends teasing a reunion. But wait, it gets better. It’s reported that Geri “Ginger Spice” Halliwell has suggested the Royal Wedding would be a perfect party to launch a reunion. Geri thinks they should perform at the reception…can you even imagine?!

Takeaway: If you want a killer reception party, you’ve got to think about entertainment and giving your guests a night to remember. While the Spice Girls may not be an option, you can hire amazing local bands, a killer DJ and some cool entertainment surprises to keep the party raging into the wee hours.

Outfit Inspo For Every Type Of Bride

Fashion & Beauty » Wedding Dresses

ten bridal styles for every type of bride - essense of australia dress

The outfit you rock on your wedding day should convey both your personality and your unique sense of style. We’ve put together 10 fashion-forward wedding looks that evoke different bridal vibes to help inspire you.

Whether you’re leaning towards an opulent ballgown with over-the-top jewels or a sleek pantsuit with retro accessories, your bridal ensemble should be one that lets your personality and fashion philosophy shine.

Photography by Ted Belton. Styling by Tara Williams. Hair by Tony Masciangelo, Alcorn Hair/ Makeup by Cia Mandrello, Nails by John C. Nguyen, CND. First published in the Spring/Summer 2018 issue of Weddingbells.

How To Take The Perfect Engagement Ring Selfie

Fashion & Beauty » Jewellery

He asked, you said yes, then naturally you snapped a selfie! However, it wasn’t until he slipped that sparkler on your finger that you realized how difficult taking the perfect engagement ring selfie is. “Hands aren’t always photogenic and tend to be tricky to flatter and pose,” says Rita Remark, the lead nail artist for Essie Canada who regularly creates fashion-forward, photo-ready manicures for Canada’s top fashion and beauty magazines.

We asked Remark for her essential tips for engagement ring selfies. From the right way to pose hands, to the best shade of nail polish. Read her expert advice before you start posting:

What are the key elements for a successful ring selfie?
“When taking an engagement selfie, it’s important that the ring is the focal point — you want to be sure it dazzles! When it comes to hand placement, never hyperextend your fingers in a star position because it emphasizes your knuckles and shortens your fingertips. Instead, try shooting your hands flat with a gentle bend in the knuckles or, better yet, holding something like a glass of celebratory champagne. Natural lighting is always best and never use a flash because it will bounce too much light off of your ring and give the image a harsh contrast.”

Are there any tricks for giving fingers an elongated appearance?
“A great illusion for making fingers look longer is an oval or almond nail shape. If you have small hands, a square nail shape can actually make your fingers appear stubby or blunted. Oval nails give elegance and have a high-heeled effect on your hands.”

What shade(s) of nail polish do you recommend to make a diamond ring pop?
“It’s important not to out-shine the ring with vibrant neon or a high-impact glitter. Make the ring the entire focus of the photo by choosing a nude like Essie Topless & Barefoot or Mademoiselle for a fresh and feminine look. You could also choose a colour that complements your ring like a playful Tiffany-inspired blue or a classic red — I love Essie A List.”

Do you recommend an accent nail on the ring finger to make the bling really pop?
When considering nail art for an engagement selfie, remember to keep it simple and chic rather than bold and distracting. I love blending colour and metallics with classic nail art looks for a trendy, yet timeless, look. Try a blue polish with a silver moon. I also recommend a two-tone French manicure like the one seen on the runway at Wes Gordon in New York. The mattified red with a shiny burgundy tip was very sophisticated. If you’d like to keep it simple, try a ring finger accent nail with a small crystal near the cuticle.”

What’s your favourite Instagram filter for engagement ring selfies?
My favourite filters are Valencia and Nashville. I love Valencia because it brightens the photo and gives a warm glow that’s both flattering and romantic. I love Nashville because it also brightens the photo, but gives a slight hint of blue that brightens and whitens everything from teeth to the tips of your nails. It’s important to remember to choose a filter that doesn’t deepen, or over-colour to make it distracting (like the Kelvin filter) and to always forgo the frame option to keep the focus on the photo.”

The Most Dazzling Three-Stone Engagement Rings

Fashion & Beauty » Jewellery

Since Prince Harry proposed to Meghan Markle, three-stone engagement rings have officially become the hottest new style of wedding bling. Meghan’s gorgeous yellow gold ring includes a dazzling centre cushion cut diamond Harry sourced from Botswana (the couple have gushed that they fell in love on a special trip there early in their relationship) and two shoulder diamonds taken from Princess Diana’s private collection (they are rumoured to have been part of one of her tiaras). Created by Cleave and Company, a jeweller who has a longstanding relationship with the Royal family, the designer of the ring admits it was the biggest and hardest secret he has ever had to keep! Cleave and Company has also made a statement that they will not offer replicas of this piece, making Meghan’s ring truly one-of-a-kind.

The three-stone ring is a perfect ring choice if you want something a little different and mega-dazzling. It’s a modern classic and wearers love the style as the three stones are thought to represent the past, present and future. Here are eight amazing three-stone engagement ring designs we love.


We Shot Our New Cover & A Real Wedding Feature With An iPhone!

Planning » Photo/Video

Dress by Randy Fenoli. Jewellery by Maison Birks. Photo by Alvaro Goveia. Hair and makeup by Sheri Stroh for Clove and Hallow/Oribe/Plutino Group. Styling by Tara Williams. Bouquet and shoot location From The Potting Shed.

That’s right, we shot our cover AND a real wedding inside our Spring & Summer 2018 issue with an iPhone! We love nothing more than getting creative, and as technology continues to evolve more photographers are mixing up the tools they use to capture impactful imagery. We thought it would be fun to get creative with some of the photos in our latest issue and used the iPhone 8 Plus to capture some pretty amazing images. Toronto photographer Alvaro Goveia captured our cover image beautifully using just an iPhone—the colour, clarity and boldness of the image blew us away!

We also worked with Toronto wedding photographer Barb Simkova from Tara McMullen Photography in this issue who photographed Kristen and Robert’s romantic Toronto wedding day. “I feel that the most important part of creating high-quality wedding images is to try to get everything right at the moment the photo is being taken rather than relying on your ability to edit later,” Simkova says.  Here she outlines some of her favourite features and tips for shooting with an iPhone 8 Plus (and below are some of our favourite photos she captured for us).

1. You can easily control your exposure.
“Most people are unaware that you can control the exposure of an image on a phone but it is a feature that I use the most on the device,” Simokova explains. “To access it you touch the part of the image you’d like to expose for and hold down until you see the small “sun” icon, then simply slide up to brighten the image or down the darken the image.”

2. Learn about burst mode.
“Burst mode is hugely helpful for important, high energy, fast moments. It is an ideal way to capture a great shot of the first kiss, when a couple walks down the aisle or other moments you only have one shot at.”

3. Use the grid system.
“For people who don’t shoot very often, the camera screen grid can be hugely helpful in creating strong images. You can use it to take images that are more straight by aligning the grid with lines you see (corners of rooms, walls etc.) additionally it can help you to centre, practice the rule of thirds and creatively compose your images.”

4. You can work in any light.
“The HDR mode is very helpful when you have mixed lighting scenarios in an image or are shooting at sunset or sunrise and hoping to capture both the sky and the subject in front of you.”

5. Portrait mode rules!
“Portrait mode is certainly the best thing to happen to iPhone photography since Instagram. It is astonishing what kind of depth you can create without the use of a DSLR camera. I find that portrait mode works best in bright, evenly lit areas. One thing to be aware of is that in order to get the depth effect activated, you must get close to your subject and make sure the “Depth Effect” bar is highlighted in yellow.”

All real wedding photos by Barb Simoka for Tara McMullen Photography

Designer Christos Costarellos On How To Create A Luxe Boho Bridal Style

Fashion & Beauty » Wedding Dresses

Greek designer Christos Costarellos is not new on our wedding style radar—his incredible gowns have been taking our breath away for a few seasons now. He may not be quite a household name yet in North America but trust, he is well on his way.

Costarellos made his first trip to Canada with his dreamy 2018 dresses for a recent trunk show at White Toronto, exclusive Canadian retailer of the line. We caught up with the charming and uber-talented designer to learn more about what inspires him about designing bridal, his favourite looks and what he believes makes for a bride’s perfect dress.

Weddingbells: What is your bridal style philosophy?
Christos Costarellos: “The brand’s philosophy in bridal can be described as luxury-bohemian-modern-classic.”

WB: Who is the Christos Costarellos bride?
CC: “I believe my work combines a classical, understated elegance with bold femininity and sensuality. In that sense, I design for women who have a strong personality and are not afraid to show it — women that are both classy and edgy and have a new, modern perspective.”

WB: What is the most important thing for a bride to consider when wedding dress shopping? 
CC: “When the time comes for the future bride to go shopping the important thing when looking in the mirror is to see herself and feel beautiful. Because when a girl loves herself and the way she looks then she radiates confidence, elegance and beauty.”

WB: Your dresses are modern, luxe and a touch bohemian…where do you find inspiration for your designs?
CC: “The Greek landscape, history and tradition are at the heart of each of my collections and my bridal line is no exception. Moreover, art, theatre and cinema, literature and even a walk through a city functions as a source of inspiration.”

WB: Do you have a favourite celebrity bride? Who and why did you love her style?
CC: “Currently, I am in the process of developing a custom design for a very well-known lady, but I cannot reveal any more at this moment! Selecting a favourite celebrity bride is difficult as I believe every woman is unique and her distinct personality and style identity is reflected on her wedding day.”

WB: Complete this sentence: “A bride’s perfect dress is…”
CC: “…the one that reveals her real self and inner beauty.”

What Body Language Says About Your Relationship


Photo via Getty Images

We were treated to our first glimpse of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle as a working royal partnership Friday as they made their first appearance in Nottingham, England for a World AIDS Day event. Four days after the biggest engagement news of the year, the pair looked relaxed, happy and definitely rocked a just-engaged-glow.

We couldn’t help but do a little analysis on their body language as this often speaks volumes about the state of a couple’s relationship (something to definitely keep top of mind for your engagement photos and wedding day pics). Let’s break down a few things we noticed in this photo about Harry and Meghan:

They are focused as one.
No doubt the crowd was shouting their names in all directions, but note how the pair are focusing their attention in the same direction. This is a typically a clue that a couple is on the same wavelength.

They are majorly into one another.
An arm around the waist usually signals a person is marking their territory—the pair are walking arm-in-arm which means they are clearly besotted with each other.

Harry’s heart is full.
It could be that he is keeping bundled up against the December chill, but we think Harry’s hand reaching for his heart signals how he’s feeling about his life right now and bride-to-be Meghan…swoon.

Prince Harry And Meghan Markle Are ENGAGED!


prince harry and meghan markle are engaged

Photo via Getty Images

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are engaged! That’s the news we gleefully woke up to this morning. The pair have made it official and the royal wedding is to happen this spring. The news was announced by Prince Charles from Clarence House. The official statement read as follows:

His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales is delighted to announce the engagement of Prince Harry to Ms. Meghan Markle. The wedding will take place in Spring 2018. Further details about the wedding day will be announced in due course. His Royal Highness and Ms. Markle became engaged in London earlier this month. Prince Harry has informed Her Majesty, The Queen and other close members of his family. Prince Harry has also sought and received the blessing of Ms. Markle’s parents. The couple will live in Nottingham Cottage at Kensington Palace.

prince harry and meghan markle are engaged

Photo via Getty Images

A few hours post-announcement the loved up couple had an official press call at Kensington Palace where we had our first glimpse of the ring. It was designed by Prince Harry and featured three diamonds: one centre stone from Botswana and two flanking it from Princess Diana’s personal collection.

prince harry and meghan markle are engaged

Photo via Getty Images

Another little personal detail of Meghan’s we spied at the couple’s photo call and loved? The earrings she wore were from Birks, a wonderful nod to her adopted Canadian homeland. The delicate earrings from the Plaisirs de Birks collection featured white opals set in 18K gold.

Read all about Prince Harry’s proposal here. And keep following us for all things Harry and Meghan wedding related!

What Could Meghan Markle’s Engagement Ring Look Like?


meghan markle engagement ring

Photo via Getty Images

As we continue to sit tight for news of a royal engagement, we’ve had loads of time to immerse ourselves in imagining all the amazing possibilities for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s day. Will the wedding be in London? At Windsor Castle? Will it be epic like William and Kate’s, or more intimate? What will she wear? And since we’re now firmly in the midst of engagement season, what about the ring?

We thought we would have some fun speculating about what Meghan’s engagement bling will look like and asked Toronto jeweller extraordinaire Mark Lash for his thoughts on what he would love to see her rock.

“This ring will obviously become an instant hit and style classic,” Lash says. “I predict it will be especially trend setting because I see this ring being rather unique, balancing effortless casual chic with show-stopping glamour which Meghan herself embodies. The ring will sparkle with her everyday jeans and tee look—neat and tidy, but not without the added luxury and elegance fit for royalty.”

Here Lash shares five of his ring designs which he thinks would be a perfect match for Meghan.

5 Details We Love From Kate Upton And Justin Verlander’s Wedding


Supermodel Kate Upton and newly minted World Series champ Justin Verlander were married this weekend in what can only be described as the PERFECT destination wedding in Tuscany. Verlander and the Houston Astros clinched their World Series victory last Wednesday night, and on Saturday the all-star pitcher was looking oh-so-dashing walking the down the aisle with his stunning bride.

There haven’t been a ton of pics released from the wedding, but Kate posted this beauty and her wedding décor and dress got us all kinds of inspired. Here are five ideas we spotted and loved from Kate and Justin’s day.

1. The Modern Rustic Florals
Kate and Justin incorporated tons of greenery into their wedding decor and we love how things look wild, rustic, but also elevated and chic. The oversized café-au-lait-hued dahlias are a particularly beautiful floral element.

2. Kate’s Romantic Lace Gown
This Sport Illustrated cover model is famous for showcasing her killer curves and barely there bikinis. We love that for her wedding day Kate kept her look sexy, but completely covered up in a stunning Valentino gown with a high illusion neckline, sleeves and full floral lace skirt.

3. Kate’s Easy Beauty Look
Kate opted to wear her blonde waves down, pinned behind one ear with a simple veil. We love that her hair looks like a more special version of her everyday style. She kept her makeup pretty, romantic and natural.

4. Justin’s Tuxedo
Though suits have recently been the fashion choice for grooms, we have always argued there is nothing like a sharp dressed man in a tux. This proves our theory. We suggest steering your mister-to-be in this fashion direction.

5. It Was A Secret Wedding!
The couple had announced their engagement but not their wedding date. We love that the couple kept their romantic Italian wedding in Montalcino off the radar (even if a few paparazzi did show up to snap some pics before the bride had a chance to share her own on Instagram).

Why You Need To Create A Social Media Strategy For Your Wedding



Photo courtesy of Genevieve Albert.

Getting engaged in the age of social media means there’s one more thing you have to add to your wedding to-do list. Creating a wedding social media strategy is a relatively new concept, but that doesn’t mean it should be overlooked as something that will organically roll out. How your event is presented on social is something you definitely want to have as much control as possible over, which means starting to think about Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat the moment the question is popped.

We spoke to Toronto-based etiquette expert and columnist Karen Cleveland to get her take on social media at weddings. Here are four things to consider as you map out your strategy.

To selfie, or not to selfie.
It’s become the calling card of an engagement, but is posting an engagement ring selfie really necessary? “There is something a bit showy about in the ring shot, but it’s ubiquitous,” Cleveland says. “If it doesn’t feel right to you, don’t post it. You’re taking a very intimate moment — one of the most important in your life — and trying to reduce it to a Facebook or Instagram photo: No matter how beautiful the shot is, it won’t do the moment justice. Rather than post a picture, get in touch with your friends and family who may be asking to see the ring on social and thank them for their excitement (relay that you’re thrilled too!) and that you can’t wait to see them in person and share your new sparkler.”

Create a hashtag…like, immediately.
As soon as you’re engaged, put some thought to what the hashtag for your wedding will be and start using it. The best hashtags are short, smart and easy for your guests to remember. “A hashtag also helps consolidate all guest photos related to your wedding,” Cleveland says. “Again it’s a great idea, but not one that each and every one of your guests will embrace, so realize that. As a traditionalist — though of the modern variety — I think hashtagging takes an intimate event and turns it into something really, really public. But hey, it’s your party, you can hashtag if you want to.” The best way to get the word out about your wedding hashtag? Include it in your wedding invites and save-the-dates, or like any good social media campaign, seed it with strategic influencers within your circle of family and friends.

Appoint a social coordinator.
On you wedding day, you are obviously going to be busy and likely won’t have a lot of time for Instagram or Snapchat. Consider appointing someone in your circle who is very social savvy to handle it on your behalf. They can snap photos, then have a quiet meeting with you to edit shots and decide what you want posted. “Having a person to steward your posts will take the pressure off you while also giving you the confidence that it is being handled correctly,” Cleveland says. Let your guests know who this person is and that they’ll be around to help out with any questions about hashtags, Instagram handles, etc.

Make social sharing guidelines known.
There’s something to be said for living in the moment so know that if you don’t want your wedding on social media, it’s absolutely acceptable—after all it’s your party. “I was at a wedding recently where the bride and groom asked, via their officiant, that everyone please stay present, and that meant putting phones away and no taking photos of the happy couple,” Cleveland reports. “It made the event feel much more intimate, and the later the bride confided in me that she and her groom wanted to pick the wedding photo that they shared online. There’s something very special about your wedding being witnessed by only those you’ve chosen to invite.”

Have A Honeymoon Bed-In In John And Yoko’s Hotel Suite

Travel » Honeymoons

All photography by Stephane Brugger

If you love pop culture as much as we do, there is a super-cool new spot in Montreal you should definitely consider for your wedding night, honeymoon or pre-wedding romantic getaway.

Suite 1742 at the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth has been one of the world’s most famous hotel rooms since 1969 when John Lennon and Yoko Ono made it the site of their second Bed-In for Peace.

The hotel recently closed for a year to undergo a top-to-bottom renovation, reopening in July 2017 with modern, mid-century modern interior style. The last space to re-open was the John & Yoko suite, which the hotel took great care to preserve and retool in the spirit of the iconic couple.

Preserving the original character of the suite was paramount. Furniture was positioned in the same way John and Yoko had it set up for the bed-in—with the bed moved  in front of the suite’s living room window. Above the bed are reproductions of the Bed-In’s famous handwritten messages “Hair Peace” and “Bed Peace”. The suite’s eclectic décor is inspired by the places the couple lived or visited, including London, New York, Tokyo and New Delhi.

The suite is home to a host of original and distinct artwork to give guests a fully immersive experience. Installations produced and designed by Montreal art direction agency MASSIVart found in Suite 1742 include a cabinet containing photos, videos and historical items. The suite also has a virtual reality angle—you can don headsets placed on the nightstands next to the bed, which immerse you in John and Yoko’s world.

We vote giving peace a chance and checking into this iconic suite—it’s an experience that’s bound to be almost as special as your wedding day itself.