Archive for Alison McGill

Vancouver’s Best Restaurant Also Offers Event Catering

Local Finds

Photo courtesy of Hawksworth Catering.

Hawksworth Restaurant is not only one of Canada’s top restos, but in the top tier, best-of-the-best on the planet. Owned by renowned chef David Hawksworth, this five time winner of best upscale restaurant in Vancouver Magazine’s Restaurant Awards is the dining destination in the city famed for its contemporary cuisine that looks as incredible as it tastes (presentation is most definitely key at Hawksworth).

Inside the beautiful main dining room at Hawksworth Restaurant. Photo couertesy of Hawksworth Restaurant.

Located inside the Rosewood Hotel Georgia, the restaurant has a refined, relaxed and incredibly chic vibe offering service in the dining room or private dining areas. It’s the perfect spot for pre-wedding romantic dates, as well as lunches and brunches with your bridal squad.

Photo courtesy of Hawksworth Catering.

Another key component of the Hawksworth experience its catering, which means they bring all the culinary magic they create to you. No party is too small or too large for the special events catering team who will guide you through the steps to crafting a perfect event menu that’s as individual as you and your wedding day. Hawksworth Catering offers a variety of menus to suit your style of event and time of day: dinner, lunch, family style, food stations and comfort food (which includes incredible fan favourites like grilled cheese, pulled beef tacos, tuna tataki and beet and burrata). The team is also happy to customize menus for you to deliver the gourmet experience of a lifetime.

Hawksworth Resaturant, 801 West Georgia St. 604-673-7000, hawksworthrestaurant.com

Jessica Mulroney’s Tips For A Perfect Destination Wedding

Travel » Destination Weddings

Stylist and wedding expert Jessica Mulroney. Photo courtesy of Wedding Vacations by Sunwing.

Have a fantasy of hosting a wedding set against azure blue waters, white sand beaches and billowy, breezy palms? A destination wedding can be an absolute dream, but if you are unsure of how to turn your easy, tropical-breezy aspirations into reality, strategic planning is key. We recently chatted with Jessica Mulroney, who works closely with Wedding Vacations by Sunwing, and asked for some of her destination wedding planning and fashion secrets to ensure you have the perfect party in paradise.

What are your top tips for a destination wedding?
“Choose a destination that makes sense for you. For example, if there are a lot of families invited or parents with children attending, find a family-friendly resort. There are lots of great new resorts to choose from for all wedding styles and budgets. A new favourite of mine is the recently opened Planet Hollywood Beach Resort Costa Rica; it’s the legendary brand’s first all-inclusive in the Americas and has a gorgeous rooftop wedding terrace with panoramic views of the Gulf of Papagayo. Another thing that’s a key consideration when planning your party is to be mindful of people’s schedules and send save the dates way ahead of time. This gives people plenty of opportunities to book time off work and sort out travel details. Once you book your date and venue, let the experts do their thing. You can’t micro-manage a destination wedding as much you can a local wedding, and the entire process is much less stressful than planning a wedding back home. Trust your team; your wedding planner will be working with the resort staff to make sure your wedding is everything you dreamed of.”

When it comes to the wedding dress, what is the best style for a hot weather wedding and what should you steer clear of?
“I would say find the dress you LOVE and make it work. My one tip though is sleeves and fussy dresses are usually a big no-no on the beach! Light lace and light fabrics are often the best choice. Boning and heavy bodices can also be a little more challenging in the heat. Fabric and construction play a major role in comfort, especially under the hot sun. When a bride is comfortable, she is always smiling.”

The second dress has become a must for brides. What is a chic, fun, modern option for a second destination wedding dress?
“I think a jumpsuit is a fun and comfortable option to change into. It can look very chic and effortless. Wide leg pants also hide flip flops very well! Always remember that pictures last forever so change into something you know you will love almost as much as your first look! And one more tip when it comes to your bridal fashion— NEVER check your dress. Find an airline that provides wedding dress care like a dedicated overhead compartment. No cramming required, no hassle and no stress!”

Are destination weddings more expensive than traditional weddings at home?
“Most times they are not. The reality is a destination wedding can be more cost-effective than having it at home. Destination weddings can be significantly more affordable since everything associated with the wedding from the food to the accommodations is included.”

Designer Jenny Packham’s Bridal Gown Shopping Advice

Fashion & Beauty » Wedding Dresses

The Amber gown by Jenny Packham.

We are major fangirls of British designer Jenny Packham and her elegant, modern and timeless bridal style. A favourite of the Duchess of Cambridge, Packham’s gowns are renown for their fit, fabrics and elegant silhouettes—she produces some of the the dreamiest dresses imaginable! We had the chance to chat with the designer about bridal style for 2019 and the inspiration behind her latest collection.

What are today’s brides looking for in a dress?
I love looking through the archive and seeing how designs and trends have evolved— from nipped in waists and ballerina length skirts to beautiful ballgown silhouettes. I think there is now a lot more variety and brides have become more trend led–capes and slinkier silhouettes are having a moment. This season I introduced crystal embellished and embroidered tulle capes—Meadow and Crystal feature crystal star constellations and can be teamed with a silk slip or embellished gown for added glamour. One of my favourite dresses from the latest collection is Amber. It is classic Jenny Packham in its design, soft, romantic silhouette with delicate embellishment. I love the shot of this gown in the Spring & Summer 2019 issue of Weddingbells!”

The Amber gown, as shot in London for our Spring & Summer 2019 issue.

What are the design inspirations for your latest collection?
“The 2019 Bridal Collection was inspired by a F. Scott Fitzgerald quote and the hedonism of the 1930’s. ‘Men and girls/came and went /like moths among the whisperings/and the champagne/and the stars.’—F.S Fitzgerald. I love the novels of F. Scott Fitzgerald and often return to the perceived romanticism of this elegant age.”

The period between engagement and wedding is shortening, with many couples doing it on a six-month timeline. Is it still possible to have your dream dress in six months?
“Absolutely, a Jenny Packham typically takes five to six months to create. I do think the bridal landscape is changing with some brides now looking more than ever to online to purchase their wedding dress. I am delighted to have designed a bridal collection, exclusive to Net-A-Porter. Featuring two bridal gowns: Aster and Sophia as well as Penelope and Selina, a sequin embellished wrap gown with matching palazzo trousers—the collection is perfect for our modern, fashion forward bride.”

 If a bride doesn’t want to wear white, what are your favourite colour options?
“I love seeing brides wearing coloured gowns. Soft blush, barley and golden palettes are beautiful and we have featured these hues in previous bridal collections. Our bride varies across each of our major markets so it is important that our collections cater to each market, accommodating different traditions and style preferences. In celebration of our 30th anniversary, we launched an exclusive capsule collection of coloured dresses catering specifically to our far east market featuring a selecting of our best-selling bridal styles in blush pink and scarlet red. The collection launched this winter.”

Thoughts on the second dress trend? If you are going to go with two dresses, what are your tips on choosing a perfect pair?
“I think it is becoming more popular to opt for two dresses. I love the idea of changing into a slinky sparkly gown for after dinner dancing–Rosa, a crepe gown with a cross over back and crystal motif from our 2019 bridal collection, would be perfect!”

The Rosa gown by Jenny Packham.

What are your thoughts on bridal accessories? How should a bride go about choosing the perfect ones for her?
“I think accessorizing is very personal choice, as a rule I typically say small and dainty complements a fuller silhouette whilst statement jewellery can add instant glamour to a softer look.”

 To veil or not to veil?
I say to veil!”

Finish this statement: “You know you have found your perfect dress when….
“…you feel yourself and truly fabulous.”

Where To Go For Luxury Wedding Inspo In Vancouver

Local Finds

Photo courtesy of FLEUR.

Renowned Canadian event planner Aly Armstrong brings her FLEUR wedding show back to the JW Marriott Parq Vancouver for a second year on January 13th and the showcase promises to be even more luxe and OTT than ever.

Brimming with décor and style inspo, FLEUR has an all-star lineup of industry experts on tap, headlined by celebrity stylist Jessica Mulroney who will share her advice for perfect wedding planning and bridal style during a panel discussion of wedding experts. Bisou Bridal will be providing otherworldly gowns for the event’s must-see runway presentation. There will also be a series of breakout sessions throughout the event including one by our own editor-in-chief Alison McGill focused on how to plan a magazine-worthy wedding (she’ll share all the secrets of what the Weddingbells editors look for when it comes to selecting the real weddings we feature online and in print). The show will also play host to a Gentleman’s Lounge hosted by Jason Sarai from Vancouver’s exclusive menswear boutique Style by Sarai.

Photo courtesy of FLEUR.

Another standout of the FLEUR show is the luxury décor walk where four cities from around the globe are celebrated with incredible installations to inspire couples not just about the look and feel of their wedding day, but creative menu options as well.

For more information about the show and to buy tickets visit fleurvancouver.com.

The Style Guys’ Fun And Sophisticated Wedding In Palm Springs

Real Weddings

WHEN it came to planning their destination wedding in Palm Springs, California, the most important thing about the event for Jason and Aly was that the party be equal parts style and substance. Known as “The Style Guys” and based in Calgary, Alberta, Jason and Aly are famed for their expertise in all things fashion, decor and design. They are sought-after experts for broadcast and print media—they can be heard weekly on Virgin Radio Calgary and seen on segments for E! Network and Cosmo TV. The theme they chose for their wedding was mid-century Palm Springs, encompassing a riot of pattern and colour, which was the guiding principle for all elements of the wedding day.

“We had the palm leaf as a motif on the design of our invitations and stationery to drive home the mid-century vibe,” Aly says. “There was no single colour we focused on for the day, we wanted ALL the colours represented, and even requested every guest wear a pattern of some kind. So many of our friends are stylists, designers, television personalities and overall fashion enthusiasts, so it was fun to see how they all tried to outdo each other. Even those who might not typically dress over-the-top showed up looking colourful and amazing.”

The pair certainly set the tone for fabulousness with their Mr Turk tuxedos (designer Jonathan Skow, who passed away in October 2018, was a fashion photographer and husband of womenswear designer Trina Turk). “We have been shopping his dapper California looks for many years and his had grown to
be a huge line coveted by celebrities and fashionable men,” Aly notes. “Jonathan helped us select the perfect patterned tuxedos, and wearing them was definitely one of our favourite elements.”

Jason and Aly (who began dating in 2007) are regular visitors to Palm Springs, so the location was a natural wedding choice. They hosted 140 of their nearest and dearest for a rollicking reception at Wang’s in the Desert, an award–winning pan-Asian resto that is one of their favourite local spots. The two admit it was a bit of an unusual venue for a wedding party, but somehow perfect as their wedding was a true fusion of cultures: Aly is from Tanzania and is an Ismaili Muslim, while Jason is from a small town in southern Alberta.

Before the ceremony, the grooms made sure guests got the party started with a cocktail hour. Both Jason and Aly’s parents walked down the aisle ahead of them and were met with hoots and cheers—a sign the party was definitely going to be a spirited one! The pair chose Sonny & Cher’s “I Got You Babe” as the location-appropriate song for the wedding party’s reception entrance—“Sonny was the mayor of Palm Springs,” Aly quips. For the first dance they picked Al Green’s “Lets Stay Together,” as they wanted something retro and classic. “This song’s lyrics are so soulful and loving,” says Aly.

Their first dance kicked the party into high gear, with the DJ playing a cool mix of ’80s pop, ’90s girl groups, gay anthems, songs by gay icons and modern club hits. That wasn’t the only amazing entertainment they arranged for guests: prior to dancing but after Jason and Aly’s speeches, drag queen Bella da Ball made a surprise appearance to help transition the party from dinner to dancing. “When guests arrived outside they were greeted by two more drag queens, one as Diana Ross and one as Lady Gaga,” laughs Aly. “It was truly the most fabulous party!”

Jason Krell and Alykhan Velji, May 19, 2019, Palm Springs, California.

Photography courtesy of Sydney Takeshta of London Light Photography.

Vendors
Ceremony and reception venue: Wang’s In The Desert
Grooms’ tuxes: Mr. Turk
Wedding planner: Tiana Lloyd of Michelle Garibay Events 
Officiant: Rev. Neil Tadken
Flowers: Soiree Design & Events
Lighting and rentals: Lights for Nights
Cake: Swiss Donuts
Favours: Amazon
DJ: Digital Party Sound

The Style Guys' Fun And Sophisticated Wedding In Palm Springs - grooms getting ready
The Style Guys' Fun And Sophisticated Wedding In Palm Springs - grooms
The Style Guys' Fun And Sophisticated Wedding In Palm Springs - grooms
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Get The Spring & Summer 2019 Cover Look!

Fashion & Beauty

Photography by Carlyle Routh. Styling by Tara Williams. Makeup and hair by Sheri Stroh for The Detox Market/Plutino Group. Nails by Shirley Truong for Tips Nail Bar. Model Lynn, Sutherland Models.

For our latest cover look were inspired by the statement floral headpiece trend seen recently on bridal fashion runways and celebs (Beyonce and Rhianna have all been spotted in recent editorials rocking major blooms). Toronto-based designer Lady Hayes created this glorious asymmetric floral crown with a romantic and seriously chic fashion vibe.

We chose a sleek and chic dress to complement such a dramatic headpiece. Designer Hailey Paige’s ivory glazer knit bandage gown fits like a second skin (find the dress at Kleinfeld Hudson’s Bay). The bottom of the dress trumpets into a cascading tulle skirt with horsehair trim. The vibe is modern and seriously chic. We finished the look with the dazzling Tiffany Soleste oval diamond ring from Tiffany & Co.

The Spring & Summer 2019 issue of Weddingbells is on newsstands December 10th!

Stella McCartney Launches A Bridal Collection

Fashion & Beauty » Wedding Dresses

Photos courtesy of Stella McCartney

The Meghan Markle royal wedding effect strikes again! Stella McCartney famously designed the Duchess of Sussex’s sexy second wedding dress and it seems it was also a moment of inspiration for the designer to launch her own bridal lineup.

McCartney’s 17-piece “Made With Love” bridal collection has just launched and features a mix of classic Stella styles (sleek, minimalist gowns, an embroidered jumpsuit and a sexy tuxedo are in the stylish mix). Every piece of the collection remains true to McCartney’s commitment to sustainable fashion—all fabrics in the collection, from lace to chiffon, are environmentally-friendly, which definitely sets this bridal collection apart.

McCartney told British Vogue making bridal gowns is something she has been honoured to do in the past for friends (Madonna and Gwyneth Paltrow amoungst them) and it’s something she feels passionately about. “I really do see it as one of the biggest privileges as a female designer to know that women come into our stores and buy pieces to wear for the most important day of their lives,” she shares with Vogue. “I think that the house of Stella McCartney represents something a little more effortless, and that’s incredibly reflective of the bride and her personality and what she wants to wear even outside of that important day.”

An extra special design detail we love about the designer’s collection is that each piece has this thoughtfulness stitched into the seams via a blue tag featuring a personal message from McCartney.

An Ultra-Luxe Honeymoon Escape In Quebec City

Local Finds

All photos courtesy of Auberge Saint-Antoine.

If you want to keep your honeymoon here at home, Quebec city is one of Canada’s most historic and romantic hotspots. Our country’s oldest city boasts an unforgettable backdrop along the shores of the St. Lawrence River and an old-world European vibe you’ll fall instantly in love with.

The winding cobble streets, the amazing food, the super-cute boutiques and the warmth and charm of the locals will make your stay unforgettable. A walking tour of the old town is a must-do to understand the rich history of the city. When it comes to choosing the perfect hotel stay, the swish Auberge Saint-Antoine is the sweetest sleep. Located in the heart of the city’s Old Port and built on one of the area’s richest archaeological sites, this property is at once modern and historic, unique and intimate.

There are just 95 rooms in the property all of which are decorated in a charming French country style. Our pick for the most memorable stay is booking a Junior Suite with interior views of the courtyard…ultra-private and luxe.

Drinks and dining are of course a huge focus at Auberge Saint-Antoine. Enjoy the perfect cocktail and raw bar snack at Artéfact, which is part of the hotel’s chic lobby space. Breakfast and dinner are served at Chez Muffy which has a focus on hyper-local cuisine with much of the menu sourced from the hotel’s farm on Île d’Orleans.

A fun guest service Auberge Saint-Antoine has just made available that’s perfect for newlyweds (and newly engaged couples!) is a one-hour photo shoot with a professional photographer arranged in and around the hotel’s iconic old-world architecture. The photo sesh is part of the new ‘Picture Perfect’ package, which also includes a two-night stay, three-course dinner for two at the hotel’s signature Chez Muffy restaurant, complimentary daily breakfast and a special welcome amenity.

8 Rue Saint Antoine, Québec City, saintantoine.com

A Historic Elora Landmark Is Now A Beautifully Restored Wedding Venue

Local Finds

All photos courtesy of Elora Mill Hotel & Spa.

The charming Southern Ontario village of Elora has been waiting a long time for the rebuild of the historic local landmark, the Elora Mill. This past July, the Elora Mill Hotel & Spa unveiled breathtaking new hotel, spa, and event space that already has a long list of couples signed on to marry in this stunning new space.

The original five-story stone structure was built in the 1830s and was originally a grist mill, then home to a sawmill, a distillery, and flour mill over the years. Situated beside the picturesque Elora Gorge, the Elora Mill Hotel & Spa is set in a stunning location with million dollar views (and wedding photo ops!).

The hotel has just 30 rooms making it incredibly intimate and romantic. The décor is ultra-luxe with rooms done up in chic French style (no two rooms are the same and the design style is one of two vibes, French modern or traditional). Soaker tubs, heated floors and Dyson hairdryers are added luxury bonuses you will find in each and every room and suite. The Elora Mill is a perfect spot for a pre-wedding retreat or mini-moon.

For compete relaxation the Stable Spa (above) is an absolute must-do. The treatment menu is extensive covering everything from body work to manicures and the 365-day heated pool on the spa deck is a perfect spot to catch some serious relaxation.

When it comes to wedding spaces, there are a few to choose from, all boasting dreamy rustic chic décor. Ceremonies happen at The Foundry, a former industrial space that is at once spacious, airy, intimate and cozy. The space has incredible windows that create a warm ambiance bathed in natural light. For reception spaces, The Irvine (above) can accommodate up to 100 guests and can be configured in a few different ways with different tables (circular or long harvest styles) and boasts a luxe old-world feel thanks to traditional Euro details like crown moldings and antique mirrors. For larger celebrations The Grand (below) can host up to 200 guests in its glorious, glittering space filled with twinkling chandeliers and romantic views of the Grand River.

Another thing to adore about the Elora Mill & Spa is the incredible food—all menus for are created by renowned Chef John Bakker and his culinary team. Event menus are creative and completely customizable and dining at the in-house Elora Mill Restaurant is a foodie’s delight.

77 Mill Street W. Elora, ON, eloramill.ca

Why The Second Wedding Dress Has Become A Wedding Must

Fashion & Beauty » Wedding Dresses

Photo by Alex Bramall/PA Wire/Shutterstock

When Princess Eugenie stepped out on to the steps of St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle in her stunning Peter Pilotto gown, we knew this dress was the first of two that would be worn by the royal bride. No we didn’t have an inside tip, but it’s has become a royal tradition since Kate Middleton changed into her second Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen dress in 2011; Meghan Markle also did the same, swapping her elegant and demure Givenchy for a sexy Stella McCartney halter gown.

Royals, it turns out, are just like us as the second dress has become an essential for many brides. We hailed the trend as one of the biggest bridal style stories for 2018 and it has increasingly gained momentum with famous just-marrieds like Eugenie, Meghan and Chiara Ferragni (she wore three dresses!) We asked Andrea Anastasiou, owner of White Toronto and White Montreal, for her thoughts on the second dress, why it’s become a trend and how to make the wedding dress switch-up work for you.

What did you think of Princess Eugenie’s second dress for her reception designed by Zac Posen and why was it a perfect complement to the Peter Pilotto gown she wore for the ceremony?
“I loved the softness and fluidity of her second dress. The Zac Posen gown reflects her strong fashion sense and although modest in neckline it was quite sexy and youthful with a 1930s-influenced fitted bodice, which beautifully highlighted her figure. It was a compete contrast to the classic detailing  and structured silhouette of her ceremony gown, which was formal and held up a number of traditional details for that part of her wedding day: a long train, covered arms and a full skirt. It was maybe not a perfect fit for a fun reception but her second dress definitely was and this is exactly the reason many brides today are choosing to go with two gowns.”

Why is the second dress now a bridal essential? Are most brides doing it?
“Second dresses are becoming a big thing for modern brides. I think its a very individual choice. Some brides will choose a fuller ballgown shape for their ceremony and really want to be able to move and dance at the reception. Some are torn between two looks and want to be able to wear both on the day. The second dress is often lighter or shorter.”

What should a bride consider when buying a second dress? Also, what if you want a second gown but budget is tight? Any savvy shopping tips?
“If your budget allows for a second gown I think the gown needs to have a huge wow factor. It should be an obvious contrast to your first dress and perhaps a sexier design to make a style statement. If your budget allows for a spectacular gown change then go for it! I really feel a second dress is about elevating your look and should truly be an incredible, memorable change up from your ceremony gown. A great way to find a standout second dress is to be savvy with sample sales where you can score a great gown for less. Also, more and more short or modern gowns are on offer, which are a great choice and you can wear them after the wedding.”

The Biggest Wedding Dress Trends For Fall 2019

Fashion & Beauty » Wedding Dresses

Bridal designers never fail to impress with their creative reinvention of chic wedding wear. More than ever designers look to ready-to-wear collections, street style and the red carpet for their inspiration and never was that more apparent than at the fall 2019 New York Bridal Fashion Week collections, which just wrapped. Here’s our hit list of the 10 biggest style headlines we saw on the runways.

Athleisure
From lace joggers and breezy bomber jackets, to cropped sweatshirt style tops and tennis dresses, bridal has gone sporty (and comfy) and we’re loving it. The above look from Gracy Acaad was one of our faves.

The Age of Excess
Maximalist details like bedazzling hand beading, mile-long trains, three-dimensional accents and oversize bows were just a few of the OTT things we loved for the year ahead and few did it better this season than Pronovias.

Mini Dresses
The perfect dress for an intimate wedding or for your second reception look, the mini was everywhere and our favourite design was at Justin Alexander where it was trimmed in marabou feathers…FAB!

Halter Necklines
Meghan Markle’s second dress by Stella McCartney instantly catapulted this neckline on to the bridal-must list. We love this sleek and sexy sheath gown seen at Theia.

Graphic Lace
Big, bold and statement patterns in bridal’s favourite fabric made lace modern and fresh. Lela Rose had some of the chicest examples of this trend at her garden party presentation.

Goddess Vibes
We’re talking the ultimate in ethereal looks, when the dress, veil and details are ALL otherworldly and nobody did it better than Reem Acra with her exquisite Celebration Collection.

Plunging Necklines
Don’t be afraid to be sexy with your dress and showcase your décolleté…this was the message from many designers, most notably seen at Inbal Dror with most gowns having a deep square-cut or deep V-neckline.

Flower Power
Just like ready-to-wear, designers are having a love affair with flowers and no where do they look more fresh than in bridal. Ines di Santo’s standout collection was brimming with otherworldly floral-festooned gowns.

Blouson Sleeves
This look is perfect if you want to showcase your shoulders AND have a little dramatic sleeve coverage. At Galia Lahav sleeves were light as air and had a decidedly romantic and vintage vibe about them.

Sheer X Sparkle
Transparency continues to be a key trend in bridal, but this season we saw gauzy sheer layers dotted with crystals and sequins like this dress at Berta for a dazzling look fit for Hollywood royalty.

The Essential Las Vegas Honeymoon To-Do List

Travel » Honeymoons

The Las Vegas Strip. Photo courtesy of LVCVA.

The city of glitter routinely tops our list of honeymoon favourites. With a wealth of chic hotels, spas and restaurants, Las Vegas is the perfect adult escape (and backdrop for this stunning fashion shoot from our Spring & Summer 2019 issue!) There is so much to do in the city that never sleeps, it can be hard to pair down the coolest trip essentials. On our recent visit, we experienced some new favourite things as well as classic experiences that have us coming back time after time.

Stay at Park MGM
One of the coolest new sleeps in Las Vegas is the Park MGM (formerly the Monte Carlo). The rooms here are styled with sleek mid-century modern décor and it will also become home to the Nomad Las Vegas boutique hotel opening later this year. Nomad will be a boutique property inside the Park with just 293 rooms located on the top floors of the hotel. We love this hotel not just for its cool vibe but for its central location. It will also soon be home to some of the most incredible culinary experiences in Vegas with Eataly and a new outpost by Roy Choi set open at the end of this year/beginning of 2019.

Photo courtesy of LVCVA.

Relax at the Cosmopolitan Spa
Las Vegas is almost as famous for its luxury spas as it is for its OTT casinos. New on our must-list is the Sahra Spa & Hammam at the Cosmopolitan Hotel. The vibe here is desert chic, with a décor style that is quiet, peaceful and super zen. For an exclusive and private experience book one of the Sahra Suites where you can enjoy your own romantic spa oasis for two. The treatment menu is extensive, so choosing will be the hard part. Our reco: the Mani Lomi Massage, which is based on an ancient Hawaiian treatment.

Photo courtesy of LVCVA.

Dine at Bavette’s Steak House
The renowned Chicago resto has opened in Las Vegas and it’s the place to have one of the best meals on The Strip. With a retro vibe that looks and feels totally Mad Men, Bavette’s offers a French twist that elevates the experience of a great American steakhouse. The incredible menu covers off all steakhouse classics and offers some show-stopping items like the seafood tower and a fabulous bespoke cocktail menu.

 

Photo courtesy of the LVCVA.

Visit the Neon Boneyard
One of Las Vegas’s most incredible attractions is one that flies largely under the radar. The Neon Boneyard is home to a historic and super-cool collection of vintage Vegas signs that date back to the 1930s. Book a guided tour to see this artful display of the city’s history, which stretches over two acres—the site looks equally amazing in daylight or in the evening hours.

Photo courtesy of Caesars Palace.

Eat At Hell’s Kitchen
Inspired by the hit television show of the same name, Gordon Ramsay opened the doors to his latest Vegas resto in January and within days of opening Hell’s Kitchen logged more than 25,000 reservations! It’s one of the hottest spots in the city and is an incredible immersive dining experience where you can watch the blue and red team chefs at work in the beautiful open kitchen, which is the focal point of the cleverly designed space. Book early, it’s still a hard reso to score!

Photo by Alvaro Goveia. As seen in Weddingbells’ Spring & Summer 2019 issue.

Have a Graceland Chapel Wedding
If you are planning a honeymoon in Vegas, have you considered having a destination wedding there too? If you want something unconventional and super-fun, why not consider having Elvis marry you! For our photo shoot in Las Vegas, we dropped by the famous Graceland Wedding Chapel and discovered not only does The King sing and play guitar, he can marry you too! Jon Bon Jovi famously tied the knot here with wife Dorthea and there are a number of wedding packages to choose from for celebrations of all sizes (we vote for the Blue Hawaii Package where Elvis will give the bride away!)

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

Fashion & Beauty » Skin Care & Makeup

Photo via Getty Images

On her wedding day The Duchess of Sussex didn’t just ignite a trend in bridal style 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!”

A Luxe Toronto Spa For Pre-Wedding Pampering

Local Finds

The beautiful new foyer lounge at The Spa at Four Seasons Toronto.

The Spa at the Four Seasons Toronto is renowned as one of the city’s most beautiful zen zones, but with the space’s recent renovation, it just notched up a little higher.

“There has never been more of a focus on our guests’ wellness than there is now” say Victoria Nickle, senior director of the Spa at Four Seasons Toronto. “We consider so much more than the product or treatment; it is about the experience throughout your entire visit.”

The spa recently underwent an extensive renovation of its entrance and foyer area. The space has been opened up to give an airy modern feel. The check in and retail area has been retooled and is stocked with luxury lines, many made in Canada. To match the new modern look, the spa has also launched some amazing new treatments which are all a perfect way to treat yourself and your girls with a pre-wedding spa party!

Our favourite pre-wedding treatments to try: the Rose Gold Facial, which boosts oxygen and uses rose gold crystals to tighten and tone skin; the Lime & Macadamia Scrub that uses sustainably-harvested cane sugar and macadamia crème lime-blossom to cleanse and soften the skin as well as increase blood flow; and the Himalayan Salt Stone Massage, which relaxes and detoxes body and mind.

The best part about a day at Four Seasons Toronto is you can stay and play all day using the spa facilities and relaxation pool, which is open daily from 6:00am until 10:00pm.

60 Yorkville Avenue, 416-964-0411, fourseasons.com/toronto

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