Archive for Holly Cheung

Tips For Winter Engagement Photos


winter engagement photo tips - bright outerwear

Did you recently get engaged? Don’t wait until spring to shoot your celebratory photos! Winter can be a beautiful backdrop for an engagement photo session, filled with snow-topped trees and glistening icicles.

You’ll want to keep in mind that when it comes to pulling off a wintry engagement shoot, earlier sunsets and frosty temperatures can make this season a challenge. For the reason, we asked industry vets to chime in with useful tips to combat the cold. The most overlooked items–tissue and cover-up, to counteract runny, red noses–are actually available at most drugstores. As well, hand warmers, layered clothing and warm boots are helpful: the longer you stay warm, the longer you can shoot for. Winter outerwear tends to come in shades of black and grey, so opt for a pop of colour such as a bright scarf or hat.

Classic make-up tends to work best for engagement photos. Bridal Beauty founder Ivy Lam suggests pairing a punchy lip colour with a set of faux eyelashes. Since most brides do their makeup indoors, try to find a natural source of light. “If you’re doing an outdoor shoot but the makeup’s been done in front of a vanity, powder is something that can get tricky, since powder will show up more in outdoor lighting,” says Lam. “Moisturize, blend in foundation, and only use a dab of powder,” she adds.

Here is our round-up of industry tips for scoring the best winter engagement photos:

A Sophisticated Toronto Wedding

Real Weddings


“When I walked down the aisle, Bradley’s reaction did not disappoint,” recalls Stefanie. “For me, seeing his emotional expression during my walk down the aisle gave me a feeling of joy, pride and excitement.”

The couple hosted a day filled with elegant pink, silver and black details, which perfectly complemented their lovely golf club venue. “We wanted to make sure that the look and feel of our wedding was decadent and high profile, while at the same time reflective of our personalities,” explains Stefanie. “As Bradley’s dad is the general manager of the Detroit Red Wings, we had a prestigious guest list, which included NHL players and Hockey Hall of Fame inductees.”

“To encourage guests to dance, we had a custom logo on our dance floor,” says Stefanie. “We kicked off our heels and danced the night away then, as a late-night surprise, I planned a fireworks display for Bradley. I coordinated it to his favourite song, ‘Two Step’ by the Dave Matthews Band. To be surrounded by all our friends and family on that day was more than we could have asked for,” she adds.

Stefanie Baldassarra and Bradley Holland, August 24, 2013, Kleinburg, Ontario.

Photography courtesy of Bliss Photography.

Reception location: Copper Creek Golf Club
Caterer: Copper Creek Golf Club
Cake: April Campbell
Wedding planner: Risa Gold & Associates
Music: Sole Power
Favours: Donation to the Parkinson’s Society of Canada and the Heart & Stroke Foundation
Hair: Bruna Mata (416-904-3709)
Makeup: Maureen Greenstein from The Beauty Agency
Flowers: Creations By Gitta
Stationary: Palettera
Videographer: Dream Vision

25 Tips To Keep Your Wedding Budget In Check


Jellybeans As Favours

There are plenty of creative ways to save money while planning your wedding. The best way to start is to figure out your budget, and make a list of what is most important for you on your big day. For instance, if you’ve always wanted to get married at a certain venue but the summer event costs are super pricey, consider having a winter wedding, since venues are generally more budget-friendly in the colder months (with the exception of December, when corporate holiday parties come into play).

Picking what to save and splurge on can help you stick to your budget. For example, if you’ve splurged on a beautiful dress, you can save by borrowing a statement necklace from a close friend and fulfill the old adage of having “something borrowed”. Most importantly, have fun while planning your big day: you’ll want to remember the details and decorations for years to come.

Here are 25 wedding budget tips and tricks to help you keep your spending under control.

The Prettiest Bridal Hair Trends for 2014

Fashion & Beauty

1920's Updo

This year’s roundup of the best bridal hair trends involve minimal styling, lots of volume and a slew of elegant hair accessories. On the Vera Wang runway, stylists adopted a low-key approach to sleek hairstyles, ideal for any DIY-savvy bride. While the teased ringlets seen at Jenny Packham are easy to achieve with a 1/2 inch curling iron and a fine tooth comb. Even this season’s bridal hair colour trend involves minimal time spent in the stylist chair: a faded ombre look is delightfully low-maintenance and needs little to no touch-ups.

Brides who want a more primped look will likely delight in the hair jewellery we’ve picked. Pair these beautiful sparklers with a braid, classic updo, or retro-glam coif. If you plan on using hair ornaments, remember to spritz strands with climate control hairspray to prevent flyaways. Hair jewellery is a wonderful option because the pieces can be re-worn on future nights out or on special anniversaries. If you’re particularly sentimental, try repurposing your grandmother’s brooch as a hair ornament to complete the ritual of wearing something old.

Here are some of the most beautiful bridal hair trends for 2014.

Irresistible Wedding Cocktail Recipes

Planning » Reception Ideas

French Summer Crush

Whether they’re served in tumblers, champagne coupes or Mason jars, signature drinks are always a refreshing treat. When it comes time to begin brainstorming wedding cocktail recipes, start with things you know your guests will like. For example, if your bridesmaids have always loved catching up over Negronis or champagne cocktails, you already have a few clues! Make sure you take garnishes into consideration as well — these are the accents that can transform a hum-drum drink into a spectacular libation worthy of one of the most important days of your life. Once you’ve decided on a crowd-pleasing recipe, invest in (or rent) sets of beautiful stemware or tumblers that will complement your cocktails.

We’ve rounded up fifteen gorgeous, thirst-quenching wedding cocktails perfect for your big day.

15 Ways To Add Rustic Charm To Your Celebration

Planning » Reception Ideas

pumpkin seating card

Over the past several years, rustic wedding decor has grown from a trend into a mainstay theme. Brides are constantly thinking up new ways to incorporate charming homespun details into their days — even A-listers like Blake Lively and Kate Bosworth opted for celebrations featuring lovely rustic accents!

Rustic decor, though inspired by the rural life and farmland, isn’t restricted to the countryside. City brides can also embrace natural materials to add warmth to urban venues. Try offbeat, woodsy aisle decorations or use Mason jars filled with tea lights as centrepieces for a rustic-meets-luxe effect. Mix your rustic wedding accents with luxe touches for a truly modern look. We love the idea of topping picnic tables with gold-painted champagne coupes and vintage candlesticks!

Here we’ll show you 15 more ways to make the rustic theme your own.


Inspiring Ways To Save-The-Date


Baseball Save the Date

Save-the-dates have become increasingly innovative and fun over the past few years. From fun photo shoots involving the family pooch to customized calendar stickers, couples are looking beyond traditional stationery when it comes to this stage of wedding planning.

When it comes to selecting your particular save-the-dates (something you should think about early in the planning process after reserving your venue and your photographer) consider incorporating elements of your hobbies, wedding location or a fun part of your love story. If that’s not your thing, try scrolling around sites such as Etsy, which has a slew of customizable options. Most importantly, like any creative endeavour, try to make sure your save-the-dates reflect your personal style.

Here are 10 inspiring ways to save the date.

A Rustic, DIY Wedding in Regina, Saskatchewan

Real Weddings

Wedding party

Two days before leaving for a romantic vacation to Paris, France, Jason proposed to Michayla. He handed her a Kinder Surprise chocolate egg. When Michayla opened the egg, a solitaire diamond engagement ring was inside.

For her big day, Michayla knew she wanted to wear her mother’s wedding dress designed by her late grandmother in the 80s. Her grandma, a professional seamstress, hand-beaded the lace gown. In fact, the gown was so treasured that Michayla’s sister also wore it for her walk down the aisle. The bride admits that dancing the night away with her new husband, friends and family made it an evening she will always remember fondly.

Michayla Nicole Marie Liski and Jason William Ziegler, October 19, 2013, Regina, Saskatchewan

Photography courtesy of Scott Weber.

Ceremony location: St. Martin de Porres
Reception location: St. Mary’s Hall
Bridal hair: Luxe Hair Studio
Bridesmaid’s dress: Sears
Cake: Where Did You Get That Cake?
Caterer: Rybchuk’s
Cellist: Amelia Borton
Flowers: Safeway
Groom’s tux: Moores

See more of this rustic, DIY wedding in Regina, Saskatchewan.

The Top Wedding Food Trends For 2014

Planning » Reception Ideas

Food Trucks
Thanks to the laid-back attitude cultivated in the Canadian dining scene since the recession wedding food, by extension, has never been more fun. In the 90s and aughts, the in-crowd dined at steakhouses, power restaurants and popped bottles of bubbly. Now, they’re trading in those triple-digit dinners for pit stops at local food trucks, brunching on low-brow lobster (sammies, poutine, rolls) and scheduling cheapie taco nights at venues that are too cool to have proper signage. The emphasis on casual dining culture has never been more obvious, and Canadian brides are taking note, incorporating fun dining trends into their reception menus. This year’s wedding receptions are sure to feature kitschy snacks, small-batch goodness and artisan pastries. Here are the top wedding food trends of 2014.