Archive for Alison McGill

Balloon-Sleeved Wedding Dresses We Love for 2020

Fashion & Beauty » Wedding Dresses

Dress by Ines Di Santo. Headpiece by David Dunkley Fine Millinery. Earrings by Rita Tesolin. Rings from Carole Tanenbaum Vintage Collection. Photography by Carlyle Routh. Makeup & hair by Ashley Readings for Nudestix/Kérastase/Plutino Group. Styling by Joan Balda. Model, Annapurna at Sutherland Models.

You may have noticed the biggest thing happening this awards season on the red carpet are sleeves. As in oversized, seriously ’80s feeling puffy and blouson sleeves. Beyonce, Jodie Comer, Olivia Colman and Cate Blanchett all wore gowns with grand, over-inflated sleeves at the Golden Globes. The fact is bridal designers hit the mark with this trend early last year when gowns started flowing down the runways featuring this distinct design detail that took as way back to the 1981 royal wedding of Princess Diana and her iconic gown. (See all the best bridal trends for 2020 including the ’80s-inspired one seen above in our 2020 Wedding Trends Guide).

Puffy sleeves are girly, romantic and dramatic. We love the volume the give a bridal silhouette and they look great on literally everyone. The trick to wearing a puffed sleeve is to keep the rest of your look a little simpler to let this design detail soar. Here are some of our favourite designs for 2020.

Dress by & For Love.

Dress by Rime Arodaky.

Dress by Theia.

How To Include Cats & Dogs In Your Wedding Day


Photography by Scarlet O’Neil as seen in this real wedding.

Pets are family, so it’s a given you will want them involved in your day. But it’s not as easy of a task as it would seem.

Dogs are more likely to be on site for the day and play an active role in your day. Cats are no less important but can be a challenge to have in your actual wedding party—if you have one, you know they do what they want most of the time, not what you want or need them to do. Wrangling your fur squad can be a challenge, but here are some suggestions on how to beautifully and meaningfully incorporate them in to your day.

A Boho DIY Wedding in Nova Scotia - Bride and Groom

Photography by Chelle Wooten as seen in this real wedding.

• Include them as part of your first look photo session. That way they can can be a part of the family fun, but you don’t need to worry about him or her being at your ceremony and worrying how they will act and who will care for them. This is a big role for cats especially, as they are less likely than dogs to be on-site for your ceremony.

• Dogs can make excellent ring bearers but do require a little practice so they know the drill of how to walk down the aisle. Have a friend or family member who your doggo is comfortable with be their handler on the day to see they deliver the rings in good order.

• Give your pet a star role in your wedding video. Have your videographer include your feline or puppers in the mix of your video, whether it’s during the first look or if you have a moment with them during post-wedding photos together.

• Incorporate your cat or dog into some fun elements of your wedding. Have them included as part of your stationary package, as an element that decorates your wedding cake, or mention them in your ceremony. This ensures that they are an integral part of the day.

• For your wedding favours, make a charitable donation to an animal-focused charity in honour of your beloved pet.

Where To Stay For the Ultimate New York City Honeymoon


Room views over Central Park from the incredible Mandarin Oriental, New York.

A honeymoon in the Big Apple is always a good idea. With so much to see and do, and emerging neighbourhoods to explore, your challenge will be editing your itinerary to fit it all in.

As for what’s new and cool, Hudson Yards is the hottest new area. Located on the westside of Midtown Manhattan, you can eat, shop (the city’s first Neiman Marcus is here) and play in this ’hood. A visit to Thomas Heatherwick’s Vessel is essential for amazing views of the city and the Hudson River—but be warned you have to work to see them, as there are 154 interconnecting flights of stairs, 2,500 individual steps and 80 landings in this landmark interactive artwork.

The views from inside the Vessel at Hudson Yards.

When it comes to hotels, Manhattan is brimming with incredible options, but one that definitely headlines the must-stay-on-honeymoon list is the Mandarin Oriental, New York. Located in Columbus Circle, adjacent to Central Park, the hotel’s best rooms offer sweeping city views. Choose your room to suit your preferred view—our favourite features both the park and city skyline, and you’ll find this in rooms on the 40th to 43rd floors.

Inside a City View room at Mandarin Oriental, New York.

The Mandarin Oriental is all about the wow factor, and its incredible views, sleek decor and chic vibe are, of course, a big part of the dining and lounge experience. Enjoy pre-dinner drinks in The Aviary, where you’ll have a bird’s-eye view of the city, or sneak away to The Office, a sweet speakeasy space tucked away from the main lounge action, featuring stunning interior design and inventive cocktails. Asiate is the hotel’s main fine dining restaurant, and not only is the menu incredible (the wine collection boasts more than 1,300 bottles), it’s one of the most beautiful, breathtaking rooms in the city.

The Aviary offers sweeping view of the city and is perfect for drinks and apps.

Asiate at Mandarin Oriental, New York is one of the prettiest and romantic dining rooms in NYC.

The Office is a speakeasy space tucked behind the Aviary that is an renown for its inventive cocktails and incredible decor.


Everything We Know About Ashley Graham’s New Bridal Line With Pronovias

Fashion & Beauty

Photography courtesy of Pronovias.

Some big bridal fashion news for 2020: our favourite body-positive activist Ashley Graham has just launched an amazing collab with Pronovias!  Available early this year, the Ashley Graham X Pronovias collection will feature 16 designs, all available in sizes 0 to 34.

“From shopping for the perfect wedding dress to the big reveal on your special day, women should feel confident and empowered throughout the entire process,” Graham says. “When I shopped for my wedding dress ten years ago, I had difficulty finding a style in my size that fit well and made me feel special. It’s necessary for the bridal industry to be an advocate for inclusivity and body diversity.”

Here’s a look at the Ashley Graham X Pronovias lineup!

The 15 Biggest Bridal Fashion Trends For Fall 2020

Fashion & Beauty » Wedding Dresses

Bridal designers are working well into next year, presenting looks for Fall 2020 at New York Bridal Fashion Week last week. While 2019 saw a turn towards minimalism with wedding fashion, designers are getting back to gowns that are more detailed—shimmering sequins and crystals, pearls, intricate laces, textural tulle, feather and ruffles are just a few of the major trends we spotted. As for silhouettes, truly anything goes! The ‘80s and ‘90s are featuring heavily in collections. Puffed sleeves and balloon hemlines pay homage to the ear of excess while satin fabrics and sheath gowns are on point as 1990s throwbacks. Here’s s our hit list of the 15 biggest and boldest trends for bridal fashion Fall 2020.

















The Best Canadian Honeymoon Destinations

Travel » Honeymoons

The view from Marcus Restaurant + Terrace at Four Seasons Montreal. Photo by Carrie Macpherson.

Your dream honeymoon location may be closer than you think. Our home and native land has some incredible romantic spots that are perfect for a post-wedding getaway. From the wilds of the western coast Rocky Mountains to historic city locales and bustling urban playgrounds, Canada has some amazing places to explore and as Instagram-worthy as popular European or American destinations. Whether you and your new hubby are outdoor enthusiasts or city slickers, there are an endless array of options for every type of honeymoon (or mini-moon) here at home. Here are seven of our favourite places across Canada to plan the romantic trip of a lifetime.

Why A Honeymoon in Madeira Is Perfect For 2020


One of six pools on property at Savoy Palace. All photography courtesy of Savoy Palace.

If you are looking for paradise, Madeira is it! This Portuguese island located off the northwest coast of Africa features a landscape very much akin to Hawaii—volcanic, green, rugged, filled with floral, fauna and breathtaking waterfalls—and a subtropical climate that’s practically perfect 365 days a year, thanks to its yearly total of over 2,400 hours of sunshine. Known as the “Pearl of the Atlantic,” Madeira is THE location to head to in Portugal for privacy and romance.

The place to headquarter your honeymoon is in the capital city of Funchal, and it’s the incredible Savoy Palace, a sprawling 352-room that is lush and luxe at every turn. Opened in late 2019, the hotel features a luxe, old-world interior style, with all rooms boasting incredible ocean or garden views. There are eight restos on property as well as six pools (there are two infinity pools on the hotel rooftop!) and is home to the largest (33,000 square feet) and most state-of–the-art spa in Portugal. Inspired by Madeira’s Laurissilva Forest, a UNESCO World Heritage site, the spa has 11 treatment rooms, a halo therapy room, sensory showers and a Turkish Hammam. It’s positively decadent!

The grand lobby inside the new Savoy Palace will take your breath away!

Book a spacious ocean view room for a honeymoon stay to remember.

Inside the Savoy Palace’s incredible and immersive spa, the biggest of its kind in Portugal.

How To Get There: Fly direct to Lisbon then hop on a connecting flight for the one hour trip to Madeira.

When To Go: The wonderful thing about Madeira is that it’s practically perfect all year ’round! The very, very best time to visit is said to be between May and August, when temperatures are steady in the mid to high ’20s and rainy days are next to nil.

What To Do: Madeira is an island, but you don’t go to here for the beach scene. The landscape is rocky and romantic—it’s situated in the middle of the Atlantic, 400 kilometres north of Tenerife. Madeira has an incredibly unique landscape as its the top of a shield volcano, which rises 6,000 metres from the bottom of the ocean (1865 metres of which is above sea level).

Fun Fact: The island is of course home to Madeira wine!  There are four main styles of the tipple and sampling them all is of course essential when visiting the island.

The Slip Dress

2020 Wedding Trends » Style

The iconic gown made famous by Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy, for her 1996 wedding to John F. Kennedy Jr., is back in a big way for 2020. An effortless and easy silhouette, this may be the most comfortable and chic bridal style of all time. Accessorize with minimal jewels and low-key beauty, finished with an audacious red lip.


Sustainable Florals

2020 Wedding Trends » Flowers

Being eco-friendly continues to be huge into 2020, and every couple will be thinking of new ways to incorporate ideas into their celebration. One way to do this is with a chic centrepiece made entirely out of paper flowers that look so real your guests won’t notice the difference. Bonus: you can keep the flowers for decades afterward to remember your special day!

Instagram Installations

2020 Wedding Trends » Flowers

Having a display built at your wedding locale to capture Insta-perfect moments is essential. Living and floral walls have had their day; for 2020 it’s all about creating freestanding floral structures. This incredible asymmetrical colour block is festooned with tinted baby’s breath, roses, anthurium, lisianthus, tulips, delphinium, carnations and mums—perfect for guests to strike various poses with and around.

Marigold Bouquets

2020 Wedding Trends » Flowers

This is one of the biggest colours currently happening in fashion and for weddings we’re backing it as the floral shade of the year. The hue brings a hit of brilliant colour and imbues a warm, sunny mood. We especially love using it tonally in bouquets like this one, made of golden mustard roses, marigold-coloured roses, mums, ranunculus, yellow and cream strawflowers, yellow spray roses, yarrow, tansy and bunny tail grass.

Mini Cakes

2020 Wedding Trends » Sweets & Eats

Instead of a towering confection anchoring your sweet table, treat guests to a teeny cake of their own served as a dessert course. Keep the motif simple and stylish—we love the idea of white cakes decorated with a Swiss dot pattern, which looks especially chic if it matches your dress design!

Retro Sweets

2020 Wedding Trends » Sweets & Eats

We can think of nothing better than to give guests a nostalgic throwback with reinvented sweets that pay homage to their childhood years. Ask your cake designer to put their spin on faves such as Pop-Tarts and funfetti cookies—trust us when we say that Ruffles treats are the new Rice Krispies squares!


2020 Wedding Trends » Décor

When it comes to your wedding this romantic detail is for more than just your dress. Take inspiration from your bridal gown and include ruffles in every aspect of your wedding, from invitations to reception linens. Stick to nudes and neutrals for your palette to create a sultry and chic vibe.