Archive for Alison McGill

2019’s Best Wedding Dresses Shot On Location in Amazing Anguilla!

Fashion & Beauty » Wedding Dresses

Dress by Paloma Blanca. Earrings and stacked rings by Jenny Bird. Engagement ring by Spence Diamonds.

When it comes to destination wedding bridal style in 2019, the vibe is sexy, easy and breezy (you may even want to opt for a chic one piece bathing suit paired with tulle skirting, trust!). For our Fall & Winter 2019 issue, we jetted to the CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa in Anguilla to showcase sizzling destination wedding looks. Anguilla is a tiny island paradise in the Caribbean, situated north of St. Martin. It’s renowned for its unspoilt beauty, serenity, some of the most spectacular beaches in the world and the luxe CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa. This heavenly spot, which is one of Anguilla’s most exclusive addresses, is located oceanfront on beautiful Rendezvous Bay and features stunning Mediterranean-style architecture, making it a picture-perfect backdrop for a stunning wedding party in the Caribbean.

From short romper suits to shimmering mermaid gowns and slinky sheaths with sky-high slits, our island-girl vibe is sexy and seriously chic. You can also see this story called “Ticket to Paradise” in our new issue hitting newsstands and Apple News Plus this week!

Photography by Alvaro Goveia. Editor & creative production by Alison McGill. Hair & makeup by Sheri Stroh, The Detox Market/Plutino Group. Styling by Tara Williams. Nails by Liliya Leheta for CND, using the “Yes, I Do” collection. Model, Jackie from Sutherland Models. Shot on location at the CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa, Anguilla. A very special thanks to Christina McGoldrick from VKPR; Angelique Peterson & Tashanna Connor from CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa; Anguilla Tourism; and Jesson & Co. As first seen in the Fall & Winter 2019 issue of Weddingbells.

Dress by Pnina Tornai from Kleinfeld Hudson’s Bay. Earrings & ring by Jenny Bird.

Dress by Valencienne. Earrings and necklace by Jenny Bird. Shoes by Schutz.

Caftan by & For Love. Sunglasses from H&M.

Blouse by Di Carlo Couture. Earrings by BaubleBar.

Dress by Catherine Langlois. Earrings by BaubleBar.

Swimsuit by Visual Mood. Skirt by Catherine Langlois. Jewellery by Jenny Bird.

Romper by Justin Alexander. Earrings & bangle by Dean Davidson. Shoes by Schutz.

Dress by Eddy K. Earrings by Biko. Bracelet by Dean Davidson. Ring by Jenny Bird. Shoes, stylist’s own.

Dress by Di Carlo Couture. Earrings by Baublebar.

Dress by David’s Bridal. Earrings by Jenny Bird.

Top and pants by Mani Jassal. Ring by Dean Davidson. Shoes by Schutz.

Plan A Romantic Mini-Moon At The Fabulously Refreshed Fairmont Royal York

Travel

Toronto’s Fairmont Royal York is one of Canada’s most historic hotels and it’s celebrating a huge milestone: its 90th birthday! Over the years, this storied hotel has played host to countless royals and celebs and this city landmark has always been one of our favourite spots for a romantic escape. With its extensive and luxurious renovations now complete, we love it even more!

A luxury suite on the hotel’s Fairmont Gold level.

The hotel bathroom of your dreams in a Fairmont Gold suite.

All of the Fairmont Royal York’s guest rooms have been revitalized and restyled with a cool, urban residential vibe—the décor will definitely have you rethinking your at-home stylings! There is also the addition of 106 new Fairmont Gold room and suites and for a mini-moon or pre-wedding getaway this is your choice sleep. Fairmont Gold is like a boutique hotel within the hotel complete with it’s own reception and lounge on the 18th floor (Fairmont Gold rooms are found exclusively on floors 13 through 18). The expansive lounge space is housed in a former ballroom and has much to explore. Breakfast is served here daily for Fairmont Gold guests who can also enjoy an honour bar, nightly cocktails and special culinary experiences.

Fairmont Gold guests have an exclusive check in located on the hotel’s 18th floor.

The ultra-chic Fairmont Gold longe.

In addition to all guest rooms in the Fairmont Royal York, all ballrooms and common spaces have also been retooled with a fresh new look. Most notable is the lobby area which kept all its grandeur and historic charm, but has been updated for 2019 with the chic new CLOCKWORK Champagne and Cocktail Lounge (this is officially the coolest hang in Toronto at the mo) and the new REIGN Restaurant + Bar + Bakery. Also of note, of course, is the towering new art-deco inspired lobby clock. Over the years an iconic clock has always had a home in the hotel’s lobby space and it has been a special romantic meeting place for generations of couples.

The newly renovated Fairmont Royal York Lobby and stunning new art deco inspired clock.

REIGN Restaurant + Bar + Bakery is a new Fairmont Royal York must try.

While checking out all the sparky new features of the hotel, be sure to put old favourites like Benihana and The Library Bar and on your Fairmont Royal York itinerary as they complete your quintessential getaway package in the heart of the city. Afternoon tea is served exclusively on Sundays in The Library Bar is is one age-old tradition of this grand hotel that’s not to be missed.

100 Front Street W, Toronto, 416-368-2511, fairmont.com/royal-york-toronto

Why Meghan Markle’s New Eternity Band Is the Hottest Wedding Bling

Fashion & Beauty » Jewellery

Photo via Rupert Hartley/Shutterstock.

Meghan Markle returned from maternity leave to the royal spotlight for a few hours last weekend to celebrate the Queen’s birthday at Trooping the Colour. The most buzzed-about detail was not what the Duchess wore (custom Givenchy), but the subtle pave diamond ring tucked under her three-stone engagement ring and Welsh gold wedding band. The ring, it has been reported, was an anniversary gift from Prince Harry and it’s one of the most popular presents for milestone anniversaries. We spoke to Dalia Lash of Toronto’s Mark Lash jewelry to learn a bit more about this iconic ring and why it’s also a perfect choice for non-traditional engagement piece.

Can you share a little history on the eternity band?
“An eternity band—also known as an infinity ring—is circular and set with a continuous line of identical cut gemstones, usually diamonds, or precious stones such as emeralds, rubies, and sapphires or a combination of stones. The history of the eternity band can be traced as far back as Egyptian times. They were said to offer the bands as a token of both eternal love and life. In the 1960’s, DeBeers developed and marketed the modern day eternity band, which has become the most popular choice to mark any milestone or occasion and has become the go-to wedding band. The continuous line of identical cut diamonds or gemstones symbolize the never ending love, making it the perfect celebratory gift.”

Photo courtesy of Mark Lash.

Are there different styles of eternity bands and what is currently the most popular?
“There are many styles of eternity bands. They can be created with any cut and size of diamond or gemstone. Traditionally, round cut eternity bands are the most popular style. One can create a unique band by designing and selecting their preferred shape, size, and diamond combination. Currently, baguette and emerald cut diamond eternity bands are on trend. There are a few ways one can create a beautiful eternity band, for example pave setting is a great way to set small diamonds, giving off a lot of sparkle, and a shared claw setting can maximize the brilliance of the diamond and reduce the amount of metal shown. When it comes to colour, platinum and white gold tend to be the most in demand. However, bands are usually selected based on the metal of one’s engagement ring.”

Photo courtesy of Mark Lash.

Is this a ring style some opt for instead of a traditional engagement ring?
“Some choose an eternity band as a commitment ring or as an alternative to a traditional engagement ring, as they feel it is more wearable, comfortable, and suitable to their day-to-day lifestyle. Alternatively, many choose to wear their eternity band along side their engagement ring or with their wedding band. Stacking eternity bands is very much in fashion, creating a unique look.”

Photo courtesy of Mark Lash.

As the eternity band is not a new ring style or tradition, why do you think the world is so enthralled with Meghan’s new bling?
“People are definitely interested in the Royals so it is no surprise that it was quickly spotted, all eyes were on her finger and the story behind her new ring!”

 

Should You Include Injectables In Your Wedding Beauty Regime?

Fashion & Beauty » Skin Care & Makeup

Photo by Lily & Lilac.

If you are considering going under the needle(s) before your wedding, you are a truly modern bride. Looking wedding-ready these days comes down to coming up with a full-service beauty plan, which may include some high-tech treatments and no-downtime, non-invasive procedures. We asked dermatologist and medical aesthetics physician Dr. Julia Carroll of Toronto’s Compass Dermatology for her advice on what treatments to consider in advance of your wedding day and what you should know before signing on.

What are the top five most popular treatments you recommend for brides-to-be in the run up to wedding day?
“For a bride around the age of 30 I would suggest focusing on a mix of face and body treatments. I love CoolSculpting which is a non-invasive fast removal perfect if you have a dress that is particularly form fitting. In essence we help shape the body to look it’s best—we can sculpt excess fat from the abdomen, arms and flanks. Basically if you can squeeze it, we can freeze it! For the skin, I am obsessed with microneedling. It’s really great for refreshing the skin and lots of my younger patients are doing this. It helps with pores and fine lines, and its collagen induction therapy, which helps to thicken the skin and make the skin more resilient. It also helps with acne scars and some pigmentation. Laser treatments are also amazing because they make skin glow. For wrinkle-relaxing injections it’s about softening those very fine lines. Often I’ll do what I call ‘millennial dosing” which is just a little bit of an injection to ease the edge of crow’s feet which happen when you smile in all those wedding photos.”

How far in advance of a wedding day should you start thinking about any of these treatments and receiving them?
“I think as soon as that ring hits your finger you should be calling your dermatologist, if not before. Ideally, I love if I have a year because I really like to do things methodically and plan them out. Just like you want your brows to be perfect and your hair colour at its freshest for your wedding, it’s the same thing with treatments. To line it all up perfectly, I love a year. For example, something like CoolSculpting you’ll want to do at least six months out. Microneedling is something you can do closer to the wedding day. You can do it within a two-month range but if you do it four months out, you’re going to realize the full benefits. With wrinkle relaxers, four weeks is nice but usually, with my brides, I’ll do something four to five months before the wedding much like you would try out your hairstyle or your makeup, and then we plan to top it up just before the wedding. With lasers, if you can give it four to six months you’re going to see the immediate benefits but also the long-term results. In general, a year is ideal, six months I can work with, but two weeks is tough.”

Why is it important to seek a cosmetic medical pro for treatments (i.e. there is a lot of injectables happening outside of medical cosmetic clinics)?
“We have to remember that neuromodulator, commonly known as Botox, is a drug and should be administered under the supervision of a physician. Fillers are a medical device and as much as they have long-term safety records, things can go wrong. It’s imperative to have a physician if not doing the procedures, at least present on the facility so if something goes wrong you have the reassurance they’re there. Also, there’s an art to these procedures and you don’t want someone who just took a fly-by-night course. I’ve been doing this since 2005. It’s been a journey—trends change and things go in and out of style within this world. It takes a long time to be able to analyze a face, see what people need and make them look natural. If it seems like a too good to be true deal, then it’s probably too good to be true. Buyer beware.”

Any other words of professional wisdom when it comes to pre-wedding beauty treatments and procedures?
For brides, less is more. I think you really want to have movement and emotion in your face. The skin is so important—if your skin is in great shape then you’ll need less makeup and you can go for a more natural look. As a dermatologist, one thing that I’ll also often do for my brides is a full skin check including checking moles. I’m concerned about skin health because you want to start this new chapter of your life with a clean bill of health, so it’s important to make sure all your moles are okay and there’s nothing concerning going on. I’ve found cancerous lesions on these routine checks and I was glad we found them earlier rather than later as this person goes into their new chapter of life. As you’re sitting down and forming a relationship with your dermatologist, it’s a good time to focus not only on the wedding and the wedding photos but your long-term goals. What are the things that are important to you? It’s important to make a long-term plan to keep your skin the best it can possibly be.”

 

Why The Monstera Plant Is The Coolest Wedding Greenery Trend

Planning » Bouquets & Flowers

Photo via gardenista.com.

What’s the most buzzed about greenery in wedding floral and décor design? Monstera has not only taken over your Instagram feed (hello #monsteramonday) it is taking over weddings too. The oversize, bold green leaves are being used for everything from centerpieces, bouquet greenery, arch installations, place setting accents, invitation motifs and cake designs. We spoke to Phoebe Lo, founder of Toronto’s Blossom and Bloom, to find out why monstera is having such a moment and why she thinks it’s a botanical trend that’s here to stay.

What is it about this monstera that has captured everyone’s imagination?
“If the name ‘monstera’ wasn’t intriguing enough, then their bold form and versatile natural capabilities sure have a leg up when it comes to floral and design. More sophisticated than a banana leaf and charismatic with its unique heart-shaped leaves, monsteras have captured the curiosity of a progressively non-conventional generation of weddings and celebrations.”

Can you share little more information on the plant itself?
“Here’s a quick 101 on the monster plant. It is from the flowering plant family of Araceae. The plant is native to the Americas with origins in Southern Mexico, Central America and Columbia. The holes in the leaves are not only part of their charm, but also have a function. The holes in the leaves help combat all sorts of tropical weather allowing rainfall and wind to pass through. Variegated monstera plants can give off a white or yellow colour amidst its lush green tones. Monsteras also grow a fruit which is quite delightful to enjoy. The light green pinecone fruit has a peel that is to be removed. Its flesh exhibits the taste that is similar to a cross of banana and pineapple.”

How can you monstera your wedding? What are some creative ideas for including it in your day?
“Thanks to majestically large heart-shaped leaves, the monstera plant makes way for an even larger possibility to style your wedding design with less material than traditional florals and botanicals. Monsteras also have hearty long stems that can allow for all sorts of installation styles. The malleable stems can bend in a variety of ways to allow one to sculpt a design quite easily. Those hearty stems also allow for the plants to sustain after harvesting for a much longer duration than regular stemmed leaves and floral. The monstera leaves ought to maintain its freshness without the use of a hydration foam bed when being used for arrangements. In addition, pieces can be hung easily and without the hassle of a superstructure for watering or cladding. We recommend using the leaf as a focal point piece of your floral décor. Its lush green tones command attention in an open and airy space. The leaves are also a great option to embellish as a spectacular contrast for regular sized flowers and botanicals. Some fun ways to incorporate monstera leaves in non-floral designs include catering, stationery and accessories. Imagine using monstera leaves as a charger plate or place mat. As for stationery, instead of your typical paper and pulp offerings, make use of the monstera to be your place card, invitation, signage etc. Lastly, why not use the monster as an alternative to your aisle runner? On a hot day, guests can also make use of monstera leaves as fans for shade and cooling.”

Do you see the monstera trend continuing to grow?
“Monsteras are so classic to the boho and tropical design look, we are very confident they will stick around for a long time. Given the constant need and interest for materials which are sustainable, green and unique, the monstera definitely has longevity and freshness in wedding design.”

Plan Your Dream Honeymoon in Hong Kong

Travel » Honeymoons

A sail on the Aqua Luna junk boat around Victoria Harbour is one of Hong Kong’s most romantic experiences and the best way to see the incredible skyline of Hong Kong Island. Photo by Alison McGill.

For a bucket list honeymoon, there are few better destinations to plan your dream trip than to Hong Kong. When it comes to the world’s most eclectic and international cities, nothing compares to Hong Kong, brimming with history, culture, incredible landscapes, architecture and food. Though it’s a compact geographic area—7.4 million people live in a 1,1046 square km area—there is so much to explore and as you are going the distance to travel there, make sure you do it all!

Towering high in the sky is Cordis Hong Kong, one of the city’s poshest hotels. Photo courtesy of Cordis Hotels.

Hong Kong is described as the world’s most vertical city because of the incredible amount of skyscrapers which permeate the skyline (there are 317 towers taller than 490 feet!). Hong Kong itself is comprised of several areas with Hong Kong Island, the Kowloon Peninsula, the New Territories and Lantau Island being the main ones. It’s surrounded by water and mountains, many of which have intricate trail systems making it a hiker’s paradise. For a Hong Kong honeymoon our hotel of choice is the Cordis Hong Kong, which sits on the Kowloon side in Mong Kok—known as one of the world’s busiest districts. This 42-story hotel has 665 rooms all of which feature modern, light and bright styling with incredible floor to ceiling windows so you can take in panoramic city views.

Indulge yourself with a honeymoon stay in one of Cordis Hong Kong’s incredible suites. Photo courtesy of Cordis Hotels.

The service and hospitality at this hotel are best in class—the staff is dedicated to making your stay the best it can be. A big part of this hospitality is dining, which is a next-level experience. There are four diverse restaurants in-house, each with its own unique style. For traditional Cantonese dishes, Michelin Guide recognized Ming Court as a must—it has one of the best wine collections in Hong Kong with over 400 wines from 100 regions. For a cool urban vibe, Alibi offers a global menu in a slick and chic space. Personal wellness is also a focus at Cordis and at the Chaun Spa you can get your Zen back via a treatment menu heavily influenced by elements of traditional Chinese medicine and Wu Xing (the powers of the five elements). Daily Tai Chi classes poolside on the rooftop is also an incredible self-care exercise.

The rooftop pool at Cordis Hong Kong is high above the city on the 42nd floor! Photo courtesy of Cordis Hotels.

Cordis is perfectly positioned for exploring all the markets, shops and street foods in Kowloon. The Ladies Market, Flower Market Road, Sneaker Street and the Langham Place Mall (it’s attached to the hotel!) are all steps away.

The bustling Ladies Market. Photo by Eng C. Lau.

Exploring Hong Kong Island is a quick subway ride and it’s in this district you will find some of the most iconic travel musts like the Star Ferry, the Hong Kong Trolley (or “Ding Ding” as the locals say), the Peak Tram and Victoria Harbour. Seeing the Hong Kong skyline from the water is essential, so book an evening cruise on the Aqua Luna, a tradition Chinese wooden junk boat—the light show you’ll experience set against the towering skyline is magical.

The incredible views from The Peak. Photo by Eng C. Lau.

 

Taking a trip on the Star Ferry is a Hong Kong must! Photo by Eng C. Lau.

There are some standout eateries on Hong Kong Island which you will want to book in advance. Hexa is located on the water in Harbour City and is the cool place to hang and dine and enjoy spectacular views. Also hit Zuma in The Landmark for incredible Japanese—this spot is always buzzing with hip and haute locals. And don’t forget to try the local delicacies of egg tarts and milk tea!

Milk tea is a traditional Hong Kong delight. Photo by Eng C. Lau.

Travel bonus: Hong Kong is also an connecting point to several other of the world’s most romantic travel hot spots like The Maldives—read our story on honeymooning in this dream destination and how to get there in style traveling Cathay Pacific Business Class.

Where To Experience Pre-Wedding, Haute Couture Skincare In Toronto

Fashion & Beauty » Skin Care & Makeup

All photos courtesy of CHANEL.

A CHANEL facial in your very own private sanctuary of Zen inspired by the CHANEL au Ritz spa in Paris. Sound like a dream? It absolutely is and is now available exclusively in Toronto at the new CHANEL Beauty Boutique, which has opened as part of Holt Renfrew’s new Beauty Hall.

An expertly curated menu of facial services—all of which use CHANEL products exclusively—is available Wednesday through Sunday at the CHANEL Beauty Boutique (call to reserve your appointment). There are only three bookings per day to ensure your experience is indulgent, luxe and allows you time to linger post-treatment in the dressing and makeup area and even have a light touch up to boost your rosy glow.

The private treatment room is located behind a secret door in the boutique. Here you will change and enter the sumptuous treatment room which is soundproof and has a bed outfitted with luxury linens in which you are swaddled in as you cozy into your service. There are four treatments to choose from, each with a different skin goal—replenishing, toning, radiance. The ultimate service comes in the form of The Sublime Treatment, a 90-minute complete skin regeneration which will leave you looking ready for the runway (or in your case, the bridal aisle!). All facials are focused on deep cleansing, massaging, masking and hydrating the skin to perfection. There is no steam, no extractions and no stress at any point during your treatment, just pure relaxation and pampering. If you want to take your treatment up a few notches, there is also a list of add-ons which target the eyes, hands and a deeper skin cleansing.

Post-treatment you can shop the boutique which features each and every CHANEL beauty product. Everything is beautifully displayed and encourages interactive shopping (you can even test drive lipstick shades on iPad). Particularly impressive is the display of CHANEL’s complete line of fragrances, from the classics to the exotics of the cult Les Exclusifs line, making it the perfect spot to shop for your wedding fragrance.

CHANEL Beauty Boutique, Concourse Level, 50 Bloor St. West, 416-960-2937.

Get Inspired About All Things Wedding At The Bayview Village X Weddingbells Wedding Pop Up!

Local Finds

The Weddingbells’ Something Blue Lounge at the Bayview Village wedding pop-up! All photos by Katherine Holland.

We are officially taking our show on the road for the month of June to Toronto’s Bayview Village where for the entire month we are co-hosting the BV X WB “I Do, I Do, I Do” Pop-Up! For 30 days we will have our own storefront in the shopping centre and be running a full calendar of wedding planning events touching on everything from bridal beauty, style, décor, food, florals and some really super fun presentations featuring our Editor-in-Chief Alison McGill which will run every Wednesday evening. Click here to see the complete schedule of events (there’s also weekly wedding movie nights, yoga sessions, psychic readings with High Priestess, cake tastings, cookie decorating classes, wellness and nutritional chats, the Kissing Booth to capture a perfect IG moment… we will basically be living there so we don’t miss a moment!).

At the BV X WB “I Do, I Do, I Do” Pop-Up, the following partners will be offering their expert wedding planning advice and inspiration to help you plan your dream day: Blossom and Bloom, Pop-Up Flower Shop, Humble Bee Candle Co., Valencienne, Felishcia Bridal, NARCES, Cameilia Wedding GownBrøsche Bridal Couture Lab, Big Love Ball,  Capeli Bayview Village, MAC Cosmetics, Aveda, Hammam Spa by Céla, Kings Crown, Downtown Dough, Bayview Village Wellness Centre, Linea Intima, Lindt, Beauty Bar, The Body Shop, Ellevate HeathFinespun Cakes & Pasteries, Joni & Cake, Glory Hole Doughnuts, Ladurée, Monica Smiley from Eighty Seventh St., Scotiabank, RachelBies Nutrition, Arthur Murray North YorkLOLË, Elixir Juice Lab, Bread and Roses Bakery, leaveit2her and Berani Jewellery Design. Veuve Clicquot is a very special event partner who will be on-site for the month during events and activations to we can cheers to you in haute style.

Our lineup of Wednesday events in the Wedding Chapel are must-sees and kick off with June 5th with a celebrity wedding chat and gossip sesh with Elaine “Lainey” Lu of LaineyGossip.com, etalk Senior Correspondent and co-host of CTV’s The Social. June 12th we will celebrate food and fashion featuring the best in wedding style, hor d’oeurvres, sweets and entertainment (also there will be swag…!). June 19th we’ll be chatting something new with a haute Weddingbells wedding trend rundown complete with an epic sweet table; And on June 26th we’ll be hosting an all-star panel of wedding planning experts who will share how to plan your dream wedding. Featuring: Angel Spendlove, head designer for & FOR LOVENikki Strachan, lead makeup and hair artist on Your Morning and The Social, and bridal expert; Roxy Zapala, event planner and florist, One Fine Day Event Planning & DesignErin Leydon, photographer; and, Natalie Ho, Director, Event Sales for Oliver & Bonacini Events and Catering. Tickets for these events available via EventBrite so book now to secure your front row seat!

Scroll through the gallery to take a look inside our amazing space! See you there soon and watch our social channels for updates on all the action! All photos by Katherine Holland.

The Best Fragrant Flowers For Your Wedding Bouquet

Planning » Bouquets & Flowers

fragrant_wedding_flowers_lavender

We bet you want your bouquet to look amazing, but shouldn’t it smell otherworldly too? A bouquet with a light, bright and feminine fragrance is a beautiful touch on your wedding day and it can also have a therapeutic effect! Scents like rose and lavender are known to soothe the soul while greens like eucalyptus can have an amazing energizing effect.

We asked Alex Cole, creative director and owner of Toronto’s Patchouli Design, for her favourite aromatic blooms for brides. Her picks may surprise you!

Anguilla Is Perfect For An Ultra-Private And Romantic Honeymoon

Travel

Rendezvous Bay Beach is one of Anguilla’s best. Photo courtesy of CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa.

Want in on a best kept secret of the Caribbean? If it’s a private honeymoon paradise you seek surrounded by dancing turquoise waters, white sand beaches that feel like velvet underfoot and incredible local hospitality, Anguilla is your perfect getaway.

You’ll feel like you’re miles away from anywhere and anyone in Anguilla. Photo courtesy of Anguilla Tourism.

Situated north of St. Martin and east of Puerto Rico, this island is famed for its unspoiled beauty and serenity (the best way to access the island is to fly to St. Martin then hop a 30-minute boat ride to Anguilla). It’s only 26 kilometres long, five kilometres wide and has a population of just over 14,000. Anguilla is a very cozy and quiet island and the resort properties here echo the island feels boasting a calm, luxury vibe. If you’re looking for all-inclusives, this is not your place! Anguilla is loved for it’s elusiveness and exclusiveness—Beyoncé, LeBron James and Justin Bieber have all travelled here to hideaway and getaway from it all.

The Pool Deck at CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa looks out to the ocean and the mountains of St. Martin beyond. Photo courtesy of CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa.

The CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa is Anguilla’s most exclusive address located oceanfront on beautiful Rendezvous Bay. The iconic Mediterranean-style architecture of the property gives it a chic Euro vibe (and makes an amazing backdrop for destination wedding photos!). There are 91 suites and seven villas on property—for your honeymoon, book a suite with sweeping views of stunning Rendezvous Bay set against the lush backdrop of the mountains of St. Martin.

A luxury junior suite king, CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa. Photo courtesy of CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa.

At the resort you can choose to simply chill on the beach or poolside; hit the spa to enjoy body and skin treatments with a local Anguillan flavour; or get your golf on at the properties 18-Hole Greg Norman Signature Design championship course. CuisinArt is also renowned for it’s culinary offerings with four restos on property—Tokyo Bay is a particular treat as it marries Japanese and Caribbean flavours. We visited the CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa to shoot a bridal fashion feature for our Fall & Winter 2019 issue which is on newsstands in July—watch for it!

Nighttime magic at CusinArt Golf Resort & Spa. Photo courtesy of CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa.

Why Paper Flowers Are An Artful And Amazing Wedding Option

Planning » Bouquets & Flowers

All photos courtesy of BOUQ Paper Flowers.

If you are looking for a very unique and bespoke option for your wedding décor, paper florals are something we are majorly obsessed with at the mo and should figure high on your consideration list. You can outfit your whole wedding with paper flowers (bouquets, boutonnieres, centrepieces, backdrops) and if done right, you guests may have a tough time believing they are not real blooms.

Catherine Oxley is the owner of Toronto’s BOUQ Paper Flowers. She started her business in 2018 and has quickly become a go-to for couples looking for interesting and incredible décor elements with a twist. “It is a challenge to reproduce flowers true to their organic counterparts and it’s a challenge I get a lot of satisfaction from,” Oxley shares. “I decided my focus would be on creating realistic flowers by hand-colouring and tinting the papers to achieve the subtleties of real flowers in order to make them as authentic as possible.”

Oxley says it took her the better part of a year to hone her flower making techniques and it’s a skill that is ever-evolving. “I focused my attention to learning, practicing and exploring various techniques to create my flowers as each and every one is different. When people first interact with paper flowers, they are in awe! It is an appreciation of the craftsmanship that goes into each stem that is unlike their silk or faux relatives.”

When it comes to working with brides, Oxley says she loves the process and her clients love the amount of customization available to them. Flowers can be tailored to the theme and colour scheme of the wedding which is one of the main benefits of using paper flowers. Flowers which are very delicate, difficult to obtain or simply out of season, can be recreated to suit any size and colour. For brides, the concept of retaining their bouquet for years to come, or having a reproduction of their bouquet made to cherish, is another wonderful benefit of paper flowers.

“Creating floral sculptures has become a favourite for me as they add drama and interest,” Oxley explains. “Since the flowers do not need to be secured in water, you are able to hand, affix and suspend flowers with more freedom than working with the fresh variety. Giant paper flowers in particular are an amazing décor piece that always get incredible attention. Use the to create vignettes within your venue, to line the aisle to the alter. I love the idea of a giant peony floral sculpture paired with your dessert table or reception entrance—it really sets the tone for a unique wedding.”

If you are considering any DIY décor elements Oxley stresses paper flowers are a must and can be prepared well in advance of your party. She suggests weaving the blooms into garlands of preserved eucalyptus or olive branches to create pretty swags on the backs of guest chairs or the alter.“Paper flowers offer versatility to achieve the same look as real flowers but with a lasting impression. No matter the season, flowers species or colour, paper flowers will help you achieve the look and accentuate the beauty of your wedding day in a way that is uniquely you!”

10 Gorgeous New Gowns Inspired By Meghan Markle’s Iconic Wedding Dress

Fashion & Beauty » Wedding Dresses

Photo via Shutterstock.

One of the things we love most about a royal wedding are all the incredible trends the event inspires. When it comes to royal brides, their wedding style becomes instantly iconic the moment the dress is revealed to the world and the fashion implications of that dress are far reaching. It’s been eight years since Kate Middleton stepped out in her impeccably tailored, Princess Grace-inspired Alexander McQueen gown and the effects of that are still being seen on runways with designers continuing a love affair with lace sleeved gowns. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are celebrating their first anniversary on May 19th and there is no doubt her Clare Waight Keller for Givenchy gown is the main source of inspo for so many of the collections we saw at New York Bridal Fashion Week for Spring 2020. Meghan’s sleek minimalism featured pretty much everywhere. Designers are also embracing bateaux necklines, dramatic veils, halter gowns (Meghan’s second dress style), simplistic fabrics, minimalist features and soft structured silhouettes.

The Meghan Effect is still very much in effect and likely will be for several fashion seasons to come! Here are 10 gorgeous gowns that pay homage to the Duchess of Sussex.

Meghan Markle’s Makeup Artist On Creating The World’s Most Famous Wedding Beauty Look

Fashion & Beauty » Skin Care & Makeup

Photo via Getty Images

Can you believe it’s been a year since the royal wedding? We are looking back on the day and the impact Meghan Markle had (and continues to have) on bridal style.  On her wedding day The Duchess of Sussex didn’t just ignite a trend in bridal fashion with her elegant and minimalist Givenchy wedding dress, she also made a major beauty statement with her fresh, beautiful and unfussy wedding day makeup. Her glowing skin (with freckles on full display), softly smoked eyes and flawless pink-nude lip instantly became the new standard for bridal beauty.

Meghan’s longtime friend and makeup artist Daniel Martin, who is a Dior brand ambassador and Honest Beauty creative colour consultant, was the architect behind her now iconic wedding day look and we had a chance to chat with him about how the two decided on her bridal makeup and how you can easily emulate her gorgeous no-makeup makeup look for your wedding day.

Can you describe Meghan’s wedding makeup look? What was important for Meghan and for you?
“Meghan’s look was about pulling out and showing the world what her internal beauty represents: a confident woman comfortable in her own skin.”

Meghan’s wedding look has been described as the ‘no-makeup wedding makeup.’ As the architect of this now famous look, did you know when you were creating it that it would become so iconic?
“The only concern I had about her makeup was that she feel comfortable and confident in it. When you’re comfortable in your own skin, wearing makeup you feel beautiful in, that confidence shines through and that’s what resonated with so many people around the world. Her makeup was effortless but truly captured the essence of who she is rather than a mask covering up what’s underneath.”

Can you describe the techniques for the look? How did you create glowing skin? Lush lashes? The perfect nude lip?
“For Meghan’s look, I focused on selectively buffing in her foundation allowing her natural skin to come through. Cheeks were flushed with a wash of a cream blush as was the highlighting to achieve her glow. Corner lashes were added to create the depth in her eyes and the her lip was a sheer lipstick.”

For brides (and makeup artists) who want to emulate the look, what are the key things to consider?
“Focus on understanding the skin and finding their favorite feature to accentuate! By doing this, it creates a ‘safe zone’ for the makeup wearer building their own confidence around your work.”

What are the five key products you believe a modern bride needs for her wedding day?
“My top five favourite products for any bride are very similar to what I would use for an actress for red carpet because the two are very similar. You’re dealing with long wear and budge proof makeup. I love Dior Backstage Foundation; Honest Beauty Everything Matte Primer; Tatcha Original Aburatorigami Japanese Blotting Papers; Diorshow Waterproof mascara; and the Surratt Beauty Relevée eyelash curler.”

How important is it that a bride have a relationship with her beauty team before the wedding?
“Its extremely important for the bride and her glam team to understand one another and her needs and wants. This is a moment in time you will always remember and you want to look back at your wedding photos with pride, rather than be shameful of a trend that dates you.”

Finish this sentence: A bride’s perfect wedding day makeup needs to
“… represent her true self!”

Ireland’s Adare Manor Is The Ultimate Honeymoon Destination

Travel

All photos courtesy of Adare Manor

Imagine a honeymoon getaway so grand you feel as though you’ve landed in the midst of a royal fairytale set in rural Ireland. That is exactly what’s on offer at the incredible Adare Manor.

Located in bucolic County Limerick, in the darling Adare Village surrounded by medieval ruins, Adare Manor is an absolute gem of a destination. The renowned castle property, which dates back the 18th century, closed for an extensive multi-million-dollar renovation in January 2016 and just re-opened in November 2017 debuting an ultra luxe new look and vibe embodying everything you want in a dream honeymoon.

Located on 840 rolling acres of parkland with walled gardens and walking trails, everything from the original Adare structure, which dates back to the 18th century, was restored and refinished including the intricate stone work, furniture, woodwork and windows. A new 42-bedroom wing was added on to the original structure bringing the count to 104 guest rooms.


For a truly memorable stay we recommend booking your honeymoon stay in one of Adare’s Signature Suites. With a spacious 1076 square feet of living space, you will have your own sitting room, an incredible oversize bathtub stocked with Acqua Di Parma amenities and panoramic views of the property’s stunning formal French gardens and tranquil River Maigue and a bedroom with the plushest king size bed.

Other new additions to new re-imagined Adare Manor include an in-house cinema, and a luxury spa serving up state-of-the-art La Mer treatments and products. We recommend trying a taste of something local with your service and booking the Sleep Sound massage, which incorporates four magical Irish Ogham stones into the mix of this therapy designed to help you kick jet lag and rejuvenate. It is also now one of the world’s most exclusive event venues with the addition of an incredible luxury ballroom that can hold up to 350 guests. Adare Manor is truly one of the world’s most magnificent spots to host a destination wedding!

Everything about Adare Manor is perfection and you’ll feel as though you’ve stepped straight on to a movie set. From falconry, hiking and exploring to incredible cuisine (the Oak Room, The Drawing Room and the Carriage House are where most meals are served and afternoon tea is served in The Gallery) and the awe-inspiring grounds (Adare is home to a new Tom Fazio 18-hole gold course), it is truly an idyllic country escape, trimmed with the most luxurious bells and whistles. From the moment you arrive in the magnificent Great Hall Reception you will be swept away in the romance of Adare Manor and never want to leave.

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