Archive for Brittany Johnson

Why A Bespoke Veil Is The New Bridal Style Must

Fashion & Beauty

No matter the size of the wedding, big or small, what bride doesn’t love customization? You want something to feel like it’s yours and yours alone on your wedding day to give it an ultra-personal edge.

Over the last year, we’ve been swooning over the customized motorcycle jackets emblazoned with tags such as “Wifey” or “Mrs,” not to mention the trend spinning off into the jean jackets and expanding into an entire bridal party in matching custom jean jackets—who doesn’t love a very Instagrammable moment with their girls?! Whether you’re exchanging vows in an orchard or on an estate, you can customize this trend to match your day and personal style.

So what “takes the cake” as the new 2020 customizable trend? The custom veil.

This budding trend flew under the radar a few years back but that all changed Meghan Markle walked down the aisle in 2018 with her custom embroidered veil, which included the flora of the 53 commonwealth countries around its perimeter. It was also almost sixteen feet in length! What the Duchess of Sussex started with her personalized veil was only built upon in 2019 with Hailey Bieber and her “Till Death Do Us Part” cathedral-length number created by Off-White designer Virgil Abloh.

Customizing your veil? We are here for it!  Adding an element that speaks to you and your partnership? Yes, please. Perhaps you’re not one for words or a tagline, but even adding a design element (think intricate lace or three dimensional florals) that’s all yours can take your veil to the next level.

Making quite the literal statement with your veil may just be the customization trend 2020 has been waiting for.

Brittany Johnson is a Canadian content creator, actress, and writer.  Vintage huntress and dog mom, when she is not working at a tech start-up, with a focus on lifting up the next generation of young women, she can be found in her bed with a facemask on, watching Nora Ephron movies on repeat.

How To Plan The Most Stylish Winter Wedding

Planning

Photography by Maya Visnyei. Styling by Catherine Doherty.

If you live in Canada, you know very well how a large majority of our winter months are spent wearing sleeping bag sized parkas, clunky snow boots, fleece-lined gloves and a deep and crushing understanding of the statement, “it’s all about layering.” Fashion goes right out the window when it’s -25 WITHOUT the windchill. So how the heck are you supposed to pull off the chic wedding of your Pinterest dreams while in a Battle Royale with the frigid elements? I asked Shealyn Angus of Shealyn Angus Wedding & Events how to pull off a breathtaking wedding in the great white north—no snow boots required. She has some amazing and extremely stylish ideas.

Chic & Cozy = One Venue Only
Your winter wedding will only be chic if your guests aren’t trekking around town to different venues and ruining their shoes and hair in the snow. Stick to one venue for both ceremony and reception so guests can check that parka and enjoy the rest of their night. A hotel is a great option, so guests don’t have to face icy roads after the party.

Warm It Up
Welcome your guests to the wedding with a cup of spiked cider or mulled wine. This will heat things up and get the party started right!

Play With Faux Fur Accents
Buy that faux fur caplet you’ve been eyeing to keep you cozy and look extra glam in your wedding photos. Add faux fur rugs and/or throws in your lounge area to amp up the cozy chic Canadiana vibe.

Light The Way With Candles
One of the best parts of the winter is cozying up by the fire. Create an atmosphere of romance with tons of candles on guest tables and in more social areas. Not only will it keep guests feeling warm, the flickering flames will add a gorgeous glowing ambience.

Dress To Dazzle
There is no better time than winter to rock a gorgeous sparkly wedding dress. It’s your day, so why not shimmer and shine like new year’s eve fireworks. Sequins are currently one of our favourite trends for 2020!

Brittany Johnson is a Canadian content creator, actress, and writer.  Vintage huntress and dog mom, when she is not working at a tech start-up, with a focus on lifting up the next generation of young women, she can be found in her bed with a facemask on, watching Nora Ephron movies on repeat.

5 Shopping Tips For Finding Your Dream Wedding Shoes

Fashion & Beauty

For her own wedding, Brittany opted for a fabulous pair of emerald green silk Christian Louboutin platforms. Photo by Robyn Russell as seen in this real wedding.

Maybe you’re a shoe fanatic à la Carrie Bradshaw from the golden age of Sex And The City and the Manolo Blahnik moment; or perhaps you’re a more bohemian, barefoot, walk-on-the-beach-into-your-partner’s-arms kind of bride. No matter where you fall on the “to shoe or not to shoe” spectrum, you will definitely want to consider five things before clicking “add to cart” on the shoes of your wedding day dreams.

Comfort with a Capital C
Not exactly what you may want to hear, but the truth is, after all these months of planning, prepping, and envisioning, the last thing you want to be worried about while you’re soaking in the magical moments of your wedding day is how badly your feet are hurting. Yes, EVEN if those shoes are perfection of epic proportions, who wants to be hobbling around or in pain for eight or more hours? Let’s be real, it’s going to be a long, long—albeit magical—day. Do yourself a favour and get real about your schedule, so you can enjoy every moment from head to toe.

Dress Length and Style
The length of your dress is a key factor to consider when shopping for shoes. Do you want your shoes to peek out in photos, or will your dress even allow it? Will you be wearing a short number, with your shoes on full display? If your chosen shoe has an applique or embellishment that may snag the bottom of your dress, you may want to think twice about wearing it, depending on the length of your gown.

Consider the Venue
Ballroom? Chapel aisle? Outdoor venue? Beach scene? Surface type matters, ladies! Pointy heels will sink into the grass, so opt for a platform or wedge if you’re outside. If you’re beach-bound, but not into having sand between your toes, opt for a closed-toed flat or sandals if you want to keep with the tropical vibe.

Build In A Break In Period
In a clean, flat, spill-safe area, wear your selected shoes around… and around… and around again! It’s so important you take your shoes on a pre-game spin so that you don’t experience buyer’s remorse when you have blisters on hour two of eleven of your big day!

Don’t Choose Just One Pair
You may have found your one and only partner, but who says you have to settle on just your one and only shoe? For just the ceremony and photos, you could opt for something more glamorous and showy, and then when you’re ready to dance the night away, have another pair on standby. Perhaps if you have a shorter dress, you’ll want to opt for flats or low heels, or even a platform or wedge to keep the height but boogie down without a care (or a blister). And if you love a great buy, why not buy a nude heel, or something in a neutral which you know you’ll re-wear with your favourite little black dress!

Brittany Johnson is a Canadian content creator, actress, and writer.  Vintage huntress and dog mom, when she is not working at a tech start-up, with a focus on lifting up the next generation of young women, she can be found in her bed with a facemask on, watching Nora Ephron movies on repeat.

How To Create Swoon-Worthy (And Budget Friendly) Wedding Ambiance

Planning

Photography courtesy of Renata Kaveh as seen in this engagement party.

You’ve booked your venue, said yes to the dress, and found a great caterer and photographer. Now how do you pull together a day to will represent the magic of your shared love? Lighting, music, decor, and scent are four little things that can make a world of difference.

Lighting
Lighting can really create a mood—from soft and romantic to vibrant and lively, use lighting as a tool to accentuate different parts of the evening, as well as your decor and atmosphere. Create the kind of ambiance you want throughout the day and into the evening according to your scheduled events. Check to see if your venue has dimmers for their lights—practically any lighting can be put on a dimmer, so work with your planner or the venue team to adjust the lighting. Dim lighting for cocktails, have some brighter lights for dinner and use coloured lights or even a disco ball for when the DJ kicks the party into high gear. Different kinds of lights will contribute to your style and are a unique way to add to your day. GOBO lights are simply stencils that, when put over a spotlight, project your desired message or shape on the wall. These are great options because they are customizable, and you can project a meaningful phrase, your couples’ monogram, or different patterns on walls or even the dance floor! Also consider Edison bulbs, which work both indoors and outdoors to add mood. Hang them individually or grouped as pendants over table tops, or string them throughout for more of a bohemian feel. Lastly, if you want your lighting a little extra, a well-positioned chandelier or two can really bring the elegance without breaking the bank.

Music
Sounds simple, but many people forget a wedding day is separated into several parts—ceremony, cocktails, reception—and each segment requires its own soundtrack. For all of these different moments, you want to decide what mood you want to create and music will help you do this. Whether it is one genre of music or a collection of songs from the same artist, music can transport you and your guests.

Decor
Today there are so many easy cost-friendly ways to amp up your wedding décor! Use your imagination (or tap into your wedding planner’s brilliant mind). Some fun décor tricks we are loving right now include adding Spanish moss to your chandeliers for a fairytale vibe or adding twinkle lights for a luxe, secret garden feel. Bold colour is a huge trend for 2020, so experiment with saturated shades on your table setting with your choice of chargers and napkins. More often than not these items are provided by your venue and if not, these are small, inexpensive items that will make a big impact.

Scent
Ever heard of the word “Scentscaping”? Your wedding should smell as beautiful as it looks. Use herbs and fragrant plants such as rosemary and lavender in your wedding florals to add a subtle scent. You can also incorporate scented candles or diffusers into your ceremony and reception space (read more about how to scent your wedding here).

Brittany Johnson is a Canadian content creator, actress, and writer.  Vintage huntress and dog mom, when she is not working at a tech start-up, with a focus on lifting up the next generation of young women, she can be found in her bed with a facemask on, watching Nora Ephron movies on repeat.

5 Tips For Getting The Most Out Of Your Wedding Photographer

Planning

Photo by Robyn Russell, as seen in this real wedding.

You spend weeks, months, and sometimes years planning every facet of your big day down to the very last beloved detail. And as we know, when the big day finally arrives, it’s over and done with in what seems like the blink of an eye. Besides the most beautiful memories, you want your photographs to encompass everything you experienced and planned for on your special day. Robyn Russell, a Burlington-based wedding photographer, shares with us her top five tips for the getting the most from your wedding photographer:

  1. Communicate your needs ahead of time with your photographer. “Let them know what’s important to you so that there’s no second-guessing on your big day.”
  2. Light plays a crucial role in how your wedding photos will look. “Ask your photographer for their advice, especially when it comes to how the light will look during your ceremony. As photographers, we love it when you ask for our input, as there are some situations that we simply cannot control.”
  3. Trust your photographer. “Chances are, we have photographed a lot of weddings and have seen it all! We want your wedding day to run as smoothly and efficiently as possible. We know how important a stress-free day is to our couples. It’s important to us, too. Share your timeline with your photographer so you’re both on the same page.”
  4. Treat your photographer like family. “Little things, such as being seated with guests and eating when guests are eating, mean that the bride and groom went above and beyond to make their photographer feel special. It goes a long way for photographers to have a few minutes to re-energize themselves for the rest of the festivities.”
  5. Less is more. “Sometimes, we see couples who try to pack a lot into their day, which can be stressful. Keep your locations and ideas simple. Magic can happen anywhere, even in a parking lot. When you give your wedding day space to breathe, it means your photographer will be able to step back and capture more intimate moments between you and your guests, which are equally as important as your formal photography.”

Brittany Johnson is a Canadian content creator, actress, and writer.  Vintage huntress and dog mom, when she is not working at a tech start-up, with a focus on lifting up the next generation of young women, she can be found in her bed with a facemask on, watching Nora Ephron movies on repeat.

5 Creative Ways to Incorporate Monograms Into Your Wedding

Planning

All photography by Will Reid Photo as seen in this real wedding.

Your wedding day is all about your personal love story. If nothing else, you want your day to be as individual and creative as you are. From building a personal color scheme and theme, to writing your individual vows, putting your personal stamp on your wedding day is an important part of the process. And what better way to do that than incorporating your monogram.

You can get just about anything monogrammed these days— from your Louis Vuitton Neverfull tote to iPhone cases and napkins. If the monogram sounds like a tired tradition that’s gone the way of the aristocracy and your grandmother’s bathroom towels, take a cue from the resurgence of the signet ring. Signet rings are popping up among young independent jewelry brands and have become a style staple of influencers and fashion tastemakers. A monogram doesn’t have to be scripty and traditional either, there is now a movement towards modern monograms and fonts that are decidedly chic—think geometric takes on the old classics. With this in mind, here are five creative ways to personalize your wedding day with monograms.

1. Personalized matchboxes are a gift your guests are sure to love and have a decidedly retro throwback appeal.

2. If a custom dance floor decal feels a little too been-there-done-that how about having your monogram projected onto a large wall in your venue, or even as an accent on the dance floor or entrance way?

3. Have cool custom cocktail napkins created for your apres party drinks zone.

4. If you are having an outdoor wedding and love games why not dress up the traditional corn hole game with your monogram on the front?

5. Bespoke cookies are always hit for wedding favours—personalize them with your monogram and package them inside a custom cookie tin emblazoned with your moniker too.

Brittany Johnson is a Canadian content creator, actress, and writer.  Vintage huntress and dog mom, when she is not working at a tech start-up, with a focus on lifting up the next generation of young women, she can be found in her bed with a facemask on, watching Nora Ephron movies on repeat.

Custom Wedding Dress Design Advice From A Red Carpet-Worthy Bride

Fashion & Beauty » Wedding Dresses

Recent bride Brittany Johnson in her bespoke Joseph Tassoni wedding dress as seen in this real wedding. All photography by Robyn Russell.

“When I first moved to New York I was totally broke, sometimes I would buy Vogue instead of dinner. I felt it fed me more.”—Carrie Bradshaw, Sex and the City

Growing up, I was this girl: devouring Vogue and high fashion while all of the young girls in my suburban town were buying identical outfits from Abercrombie & Fitch. I had my eye on the glitz and glamour of old Hollywood starlets—the bombshells of the late 80’s and early 90’s inspired my hair and makeup choices, and the likes of Galliano, Ford, and Cavalli shaped my love for bold statement pieces and prints.

Joseph Tassoni is a childhood friend, the older brother of my friends who lived around the corner from me. Even at the age of 12, he spoke my language, which was a breath of fresh air in our cookie cutter town. After years of friendship, I enlisted Joseph to make my Grade 12 graduation dress, which, much to my father’s chagrin, was short and black, with long sleeves and no back. I was the literal black sheep amongst a sea of candy-coloured pastel prom pouf, and I loved it. From then on, we had a running joke that he would one day make my wedding dress.

Brittany and Joseph during the design process of her Hollywood-inspired wedding dress.

Even before my engagement, I knew I was not going to have the typical bride experience that many women do. I was not going to be trying on a wedding dress “for the first time” while my eyes welled up. I had worn many a wedding dress over the years during modelling and acting gigs, and while I revelled in the idea of being a wife and becoming a family with someone one day, the concept of looking like a confectionary dessert was so not my vibe.

When Joseph and I finally started this journey of creating my dress, the first step in our process was collecting inspiration. I brought him photos of Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell in “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes,” images from Oscar De La Renta and Steven Khalil’s runway shows. I wanted more glamour, more red carpet, with just a whisper of “bride.”

One thing I knew about Joseph is how well he speaks the language of women’s bodies, bringing out every ounce of what you love about your body and yourself. I’ve always played competitive sports so I have an athletic figure, with curvy hips and legs, and I knew I wanted to play up my love for my features instead of hiding them.

Joseph took to his sketchbook and came up with multiple sketches combining elements I loved and we agreed would not only flatter but fulfill my vision and my define my shape. We concluded that an old school cinched waist and ruching or draping to draw the eye along my natural curves was the way to go.

Joseph’s sketches bring Brittany’s dream dress to life.

From the beginning of the dress design process, I was sure that I only wanted Joseph, myself, and Guylaine (his mother and his Atelier manager) creating my dress. I felt strongly that bringing other people into this creative process, no matter how uplifting and kind their intentions could muddy the waters or contribute to self-doubt. We worked hard to keep the joy of the creation process sacred, and that was easier to do without an audience.

The next step was creating the muslin template of the gown, which is essentially the design of the dress made in a different, less expensive material. This gave us a vision of the dress as we built it on my body. Joseph draped, ruched, and pinned the material on me until we found the perfect balance.

I found it incredibly difficult to settle on one style of dress for the photos, ceremony, and evening. Left to my own devices, that would have meant three dresses and wardrobe changes. This was simply not feasible with our wedding budget, and felt a little excessive and wasteful. Joseph being the genius that he is, decided we would make a dress that would transform as the day unfolded. I liked to refer to it as my “transformer” dress, but I hardly looked like an Autobot.

We wanted to create a cascading hip element, which harkened back to my love of the Hollywood glamour era (this was also the aesthetic I tried to create with our entire wedding). We essentially created a strap that would be detachable and fasted into the side seam, to flow over the shoulder and connect to the back of the dress. This piece could be taken on or off depending on my hair and the look we were trying to achieve for that part of the day.

Designer and muse on Brittany’s wedding day.

Originally the sketch was going to lend itself to sleeves or gloves, but as the dress revealed itself, we fell in love with a very Ralph Lauren-inspired, sheer, high neck inventive caplet Soft and cascading was not what I had envisioned for the ceremony, but we discovered along the way that no gloves or sleeves could rival this regal statement.

One of the most beautiful things about having my dress custom-made was the opportunity to work with my dear friend Joseph on the most personal and important piece of clothing in my life to date, and possibly ever. This creative process was like a sculptor chipping away at the slab of marble as the sculpture reveals itself slowly over time. The dress we set out to create had the same bones and overall elements that made me able to show up as my best and most sparkling self for my husband Adam and our friends and family on our wedding day. But, like DaVinci’s angel from the marble, the evolution of the dress took on its own form in front of our eyes.

Brittany and her husband Adam—also in a bespoke creation by Joseph—on their wedding day.

On October 5th, 2018, I wasn’t Carrie Bradshaw, or a Vogue model, or Marilyn Monroe, I was Brittany. I was so undeniably my best self, and all those years I spent daydreaming about my Oscars gown didn’t even come close to the real thing. In fact, our dress was better, no Oscar necessary (I got my golden-hearted man, anyway).

Brittany Johnson is a Canadian content creator, actress, and writer.  Vintage huntress and dog mom, when she is not working at a tech start-up, with a focus on lifting up the next generation of young women, she can be found in her bed with a facemask on, watching Nora Ephron movies on repeat. See her real wedding as featured in the Fall & Winter 2019 issue of Weddingbells here.