Archive for Alison McGill

Every Dress From Ines Di Santo’s Stunning New Bridal Line

Fashion & Beauty » Wedding Dresses

Ines by Ines di Santo Wedding Dresses - Posey Wedding Dress

Ines Di Santo is renown as one of Canada’s superstar bridal designers who crafts dream dresses that are beyond exquisite and ethereal. If you are looking for glamour, drama and a couture confection, a gown by Di Santo is it.

“My design style is typically toward the side of glamour,” the designer shared with us. “It’s a place I am happy in as it allows for femininity with a good dose of strength. Women, given the opportunity are both lovely and strong. I love to play to both sides!”

We spoke with the designer about her thoughts on bridal fashion and her beautiful new line Ines by Ines Di Santo (see all the gorgeousness in the attached gallery).

Weddingbells: What is your bridal style philosophy? 

Ines Di Santo: “I have found over the years that listening for thoughts both spoken clearly and expressed subtly has been the single thing that has had the greatest influence on my design. If you focus your attention on a women, she will express what is important to her. It’s up to me as a designer to interpret who she is and design a gown that reflects her beauty and personality.”

WB: Who is the Ines Di Santo bride? 

IDS: “She is a woman that not only loves to wear beautiful designs, but also understands that her allure lies in her personality and that which she brings to the world that is unique to her.”

WB: What is the most important thing for a bride to consider when wedding dress shopping? 

IDS: “To select a gown that is completely you! Too often, a bride’s voice is diminished by well-intending relatives and friends. Feeling a connection is important so that she is able to find a gowns that reflects her taste and desires.

WB: Tell us about your new line Ines by Ines Di Santo? How is it different than your signature line?

IDS: “We wanted to create a line that featured on point designs and what brides want now. Ines by Ines Di Santo was created so I had the freedom to move my collection forward in a way that was perhaps not as safe as I could have in the past. I want to be able to be a visionary in this industry that I love so much, and this has allowed me to push forward and take chances. This collection also allows us to work with a wide variety of budgets, which is important for today’s bride.

Why Chanel’s New Fragrance Is A Wedding Must

Fashion & Beauty » Skin Care & Makeup

Your wedding fragrance will be one of the most memorable scents of your life; it’s one that you will have an intelligible bond with, forever linked to your day. It will become an iconic aroma in your life.

Chanel, a fashion house synonymous with iconic scents, has just launched a gorgeous new juice, Gabrielle Chanel (she was known as Coco only to her nearest and dearest), the latest addition to its fragrance hall of fame. Perfumer Olivier Polge wanted to create a perfume that embodied the most gorgeous white bouquet. The flowers selected are emblematic to the House of Chanel—ylang-ylang, orange blossom, Grasse tuberose and jasmine. The scent has a beautifully feminine depth that is a little unexpected with such a full floral bouquet.

“I put the emphasis on floral notes to find a new realm of expression,” Polge explains. A hint of sandalwood gives Gabrielle its subtle sexiness—sounds absolutely wedding perfect, right?!

The packaging is almost a beautiful as the juice it houses. A simple square bottle crafted of feather-weight glass lets the warm golden hue of Gabrielle shimmer and shine. We are smitten with this fragrance not only for brides but for bridesmaids too—a bottle of Gabrielle Chanel is the perfect gift for your girls, a beautiful memory of your day.

The Folksy Wedding Accessories Every Free-Spirited Bride Needs

Fashion & Beauty » Veils & Accessories

folksy accessories you need for a free-spirited bridal vibe - shay lowe pink tassel earrings

The new free-spirited bridal vibe is less romantic dreamer, more folksy bohemian princess. And let’s face it: an effortless, carefree spirit is one that every bride should aim to evoke on her big day. Incorporating fun, trendy accents into your bridal look is one way to do this.

Add some whimsy to your wedding style with tassels, embroidery and accessories bursting with colour. Our folksy wedding accessory favourites include pineapple-adorned sandals, tasselled earrings and turquoise cocktail rings that will instantly add interested to your overall look.

Photography by Carlo Mendoza. Product sourcing by Tara Williams. Off-figure styling by Breanna Gow/Judy Inc.

This Couple Met on Jeopardy! And Had A Gorgeous Canadian Wedding

Real Weddings


All photos courtesy of Shannon-May Photography.

You never know where you’ll find your love match…it may even be while you are a contestant on Jeopardy! That is exactly when cupid’s bow stuck for New Brunswick native Maryanne Lewell. She met Michael Townes from South Carolina when the two were contestants on Jeopardy!’s Teacher Week in 2013.

The quiz show competitors became a twosome and when it came time to tie the knot they decided on the bride’s home and native land, marrying in St. Andrews-By-The-Sea at a darling 19th century church and hosting their reception for 90 guests at the historic Algonquin Resort (one of our 2017 picks for Canada’s Loveliest Venues).

At Algonquin Resort, the pair had giant Jenga and lawn games set up while the wedding party took pictures. The speeches featured a toast to six Jeopardy! casting coordinators and production crew invited to the wedding who played the role of matchmakers. Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek also received a special nod and invite even though he could not attend.

With a desire to let guests graze all night, the couple selected a tapas-inspired menu in lieu of typical plated meals. Staff served traditional east coast staples like clam chowder, pulled pork sliders and fish and chips that also satisfied the taste buds of the groom’s Southern guests, none of whom had ever visited Canada before.

Floral Centrepiece Ideas That Are Seriously Fresh

Planning » Bouquets & Flowers


Photo courtesy of Vandaele Weddings

Baby’s breath garlands are in; so are table circles, wreaths and florals that pack a colourful punch, according to floral expert Elaine Martin, owner of From The Potting Shed. “There are so many cool ways to dress your space with florals and it doesn’t have to cost a bundle,” Martin says. Some of my favourite cost-effective blooms to work with are wax flowers, lisianthus and hydrangeas—they look amazing and modern and won’t break your wedding budget!”

We asked Martin for her top picks when it comes to upcoming floral centrepiece trends. Here’s what’s currently on her wedding décor radar.

Table Circles
“Think structured or more organic foraged wreaths placed flat on a circular table. It looks dramatic and unique!”


Photo courtesy of Justyna Sokolowski

Bold Colour Combos
“Red, coral and wine are going to be very big for weddings and they are a fresh change after seasons of blush and white. I call this mix of shades San Francisco Sunset!”


Photo courtesy of Justyna Sokolowski

Amber Glassware
“Crackle glass is over. When it comes to containers I love the vintage feel meets warm, modern vibe of vessels in this golden, glowy hue.”

Martin says a few other trends on the horizon include French hedging, a throwback to a garden technique used in France in the 1700s. “We are doing a lot of single stems like roses set in a geometric, linear, hedge-like fashion.” Also back in a major way is baby’s breath, which we have seen for a few wedding seasons now. Martin says recently she’s been doing cool things like massive billowy table garlands that run down the centre of the table. “It looks dreamy and super-fresh,” she explains.

What Every Bride Needs From Glossier

Fashion & Beauty » Skin Care & Makeup


Have you noticed there’s certain beauty giddiness in the air lately? That’s because the much-adored, It Girl, indie beauty line Glossier is now shipping to Canada (HOORAY!) Until a few weeks ago this line was only available in the US—getting your hands on it meant having a US postal box or friends south of the border who would ship to you. This beauty line (skincare and makeup) is simply MADE for brides-to-be because it’s all about imbuing your already glowy self with a dewy, lit-from-within radiance.

If you haven’t stocked up yet on Glossier (or even scoped out), here’s our hit list of six products every bride should pick up.

3 Ways To Rock Ribbons In Your Bridal Hairstyle

Fashion & Beauty » Hairstyles

3 ways to rock ribbons in your bridal hairstyle - ribbon in braids

Your wedding day is the perfect time to play with different hairstyles and change up your day-to-day look. Hair accessories are an especially fun way to add glamour to a classic updo, however they can sometimes be expensive. For that reason we set out in search of the coolest new hair accessory that’s also affordable.

Ribbons can be tied, folded or weaved throughout your locks to create an effect that is as subdued or as bold as you’d like. This trendy new bridal hair accessory is also incredibly versatile — play with different fabrics, colours, textures and widths to create a fanciful and feminine look. We’ll show you three of the most beautiful ways to work ribbons into your wedding ‘do.

Photography by Carlyle Routh. Styling by Tara Williams. Hair by Tony Masciangelo for Alcorn Hair/ Makeup by Cia Mandarello for Charlotte Tilbury/ Creative direction by Alison McGill. 

5 Cool Places To Tie The Knot In Las Vegas

Travel » Destination Weddings


When you think “wedding in Vegas”, a towering observation wheel, luxury penthouse with chic Japanese inspired decor, a botanical garden and an Italian piazza are probably not the sorts of venues that immediately spring to mind. Yes, you can still get married in a kitschy cool wedding chapel on the strip (with an Elvis impersonator officiating), but there are also many exclusive, luxe and unique places to consider for your day.

On our recent visit to Las Vegas, we did a tour focused on uncovering the coolest new destination wedding venues on and off The Strip. Here are five standout favourites.

Steal Miranda Kerr’s Couture Bridal Style



Evan Spiegel and Miranda Kerr photographed for the August 2017 issue of Vogue by Patrick Demarchlier.

When Miranda Kerr said ‘I do’ to Snapchat founder Evan Spiegel on May 27th at their Los Angeles home she wanted an intimate wedding (45 guests) and a dream dress in the style of the iconic gown worn by Grace Kelly for her 1956 wedding to Prince Rainier of Monaco.

In the August issue of Vogue, Kerr shares some exclusive photos from her gorgeous wedding day and her dress—an incredible haute couture creation that she collaborated with Maria Grazia Chiuri, the artistic director of Dior, to create. “I’ve had a lot of fun with fashion, and I used to be more wild, free and bohemian, Kerr tells Vogue. “But in this period of my life, my style is more pulled back. My greatest sources of inspiration have always been Grace, Audrey Hepburn and my grandmother, who at 80 has an effortless chic.”

Kerr has become an instant bridal style icon with her fairytale wedding gown. The satin, cream-puff-hued gown features a high neckline, elegant wrist-length sleeves a full ballskirt that’s nipped at her (very slim) waist. The dress featured an all-over delicate appliqué of lilies of the valley. “Honestly I could not have imagined a more beautiful wedding dress,” Kerr shared with Vogue a few days after returning home from her honeymoon in Fiji.

She finished her look with an incredible bespoke pearl encrusted headpiece and veil created for her by milliner Stephen Jones. While a Dior haute couture gown might not be in your wedding budget, you can certainly rock a similar look to Kerr’s with on one of these five gowns boasting similar silhouettes from the Spring 2018 bridal fashion runways.

miranda-kerr-inspired-wedding-dress-rosa-claraRosa Clara Spring 2018

miranda-kerr-inspired-wedding-dress-monique-lhuillierMonique Lhuillier Spring 2018

miranda-kerr-inspired-wedding-dress-marchesaMarchesa Spring 2018

miranda-kerr-inspired-wedding-dress-reem-AcraReem Acra Spring 2018

miranda-kerr-inspired-wedding-dress-pronoviasPronovias Spring 2018

This Is How To Honeymoon In Las Vegas Like An A-Lister

Travel » Honeymoons


Las Vegas is many things, but did you know it’s one of the world’s most luxurious spots to honeymoon? With a wealth of high end hotels, spas, shops and restaurants at your fingertips, Las Vegas is the perfect spot to rest and relax (yes really!) and indulge in amazing nightlife if your heart desires.

From super-swish spa indulgences to out-of-this-world dining, you can live the high life on your honeymoon in Las Vegas (even if you’re not a celebrity) by building a travel itinerary that includes these 10 over-the-top luxe experiences.

How To Pull Off Regal Bridal Style With A Chic Edge

Fashion & Beauty » Wedding Dresses

9 ways to add a chic edge to a regal bridal style - white wedding dress

Every bride wants to look like a queen on her wedding day, and there’s no doubt that royal icons from every era continue to influence bridal fashion trends. But why not add an unexpected twist to a traditional look? A regal bridal style with a dark, romantic edge looks especially chic against the backdrop of the stately Borthwick Castle in Scotland, an incredible property with a rich history of famous guests such as Mary, Queen of Scots.

We travelled to Scotland to showcase some of the castle’s most gorgeous spots along with nine ways to turn a regal bridal style into a chic, runway-worthy look.

Photography by Alvaro Goveia. Styling by Tara Williams. Shot on location at Borthwick Castle in Scotland. Hair and makeup by Shelley Lashley. With very special thanks to the team at Borthwick Castle, Michael McCuish from Visit Scotland, Jonathan Graham and Air Transat. First published in the Fall/Winter 2017 edition of Weddingbells.

Six Dramatic Dresses For A Gorgeous Luxe Wedding

Fashion & Beauty » Wedding Dresses

Six Dramatic Dress for a Gorgeous Luxe Wedding - 3D Floral Wedding Dress with Ostrich Feather Skirt

If there’s one day to really go all out with your wardrobe, it’s your wedding day. That’s why we’ve chosen six dramatic dresses that pack a powerful style statement when set against the gorgeous backdrop of the iconic and lovingly restored Crystal Ballroom at Toronto’s Omni King Edward Hotel. With a bold and beautiful makeup look and a sky-high updo inspired by the runway, these bridal looks are as grand as they are gorgeous.

Here we’ll walk you through a tour of the Crystal Ballroom’s history and restoration, as well as showcase how these dramatic gowns pair perfectly with the luxe venue.

Photography by Chris Nicholls. Styling by Tara Williams. Shot on location at the Crystal Ballroom of Toronto’s Omni King Edward Hotel. Hair by Tony Masciangelo for Alcorn Hair/ Makeup by Simone Otis for Prop styling by Catherine Doherty. Prop styling assistance by Annika Waddell. First published in the Fall/Winter 2017 issue of Weddingbells.

The Best Canadian Honeymoon Destinations

Travel » Honeymoons


With the Canadian dollar currently in a free fall, that dream honeymoon in Napa, New York or Hawaii may no longer be entirely viable (*sniff*). But not to worry, there are plenty of awesome vacation destinations close to home that are equally as Instagram-worthy. Whether you and your new hubby are outdoor enthusiasts or city slickers, our home and native land offers an endless array of options for every type of honeymoon. Here are six of our favourite places across Canada to plan the romantic trip of a lifetime.

Plan A Dream Castle Wedding At This Luxury Scottish Venue

Travel » Destination Weddings


All photos courtesy of Borthwick Castle

There’s something ultra-romantic about getting married in a centuries-old, historic castle property. What makes the event even more amazing is if you can have the whole venue all to yourselves to enjoy an unforgettable bespoke celebration (and even sleep a few nights on-site in true royal style). That’s exactly what you’ll find at Borthwick Castle, an exclusive luxury property in the bucolic Scottish midlands offering a once-in-a-lifetime fairytale experience.

Borthwick Castle is located a 30-minute drive from Edinburgh (and just a one-hour drive from Glasgow) and dates back to the 15th century. One of the finest surviving examples of medieval architecture, the castle was built by Sir William de Borthwick and has a storied history including playing host to Mary Queen of Scots and her husband the Earl of Bothwell during her reign in the 16th century, and surviving canon strikes by Oliver Cromwell and his forces in 1650 (these can be seen on the exterior of the castle’s east wall). In 2013 the castle underwent extensive, multi-million dollar renovations, which transformed the property into a luxury retreat now used exclusively for events.


What’s most magical about Borthwick Castle is how the authenticity of the 600 year old space has been preserved through very thoughtful design and décor—the vibe is pure luxury with rich fabrics, colours, textures and incredible bespoke furnishings featured throughout (the property recently took top honours at the Northern Design Awards winning the hotel interior design category).


For weddings, Borthwick can accommodate up to 80 guests in the magnificent and majestic Great Hall. The room looks incredible when set up to resemble a lavish royal banquet and it can also accommodate after dinner dancing and cocktails.


Located several winding staircases above this space, on the castle’s top floor, is the Garrison, a dramatic and cozy space where couples can say ‘I do.’ There is also a charming local church where you can tie the knot, but most couples opt to have their ceremony and celebration exclusively at Borthwick.


If you want to know what it’s like to sleep like a king and queen, Borthwick offers you this experience and trust when we say a stay in one of the castle’s plush bedchambers will be a memory of a lifetime. All 10 sumptuous bedchambers are unique and designed showcase the historic details of the castle. Favourite rooms include Mary Queen of Scots (pictured) which is the room Mary is rumoured to have stayed in while in residence; and Earl of Bothwell (the soaker tube, which features window views of the rural Scottish countryside and hand-carved canopy bed make this one extra special).

What truly makes Borthwick a dream wedding destination though is not just the interior and exterior beauty, but the staff. They will make you feel as though the castle is your home and ensure your celebration and your stay is absolute perfection.