Archive for Jen O'Brien

5 Jaw-Dropping Spots To Get Married In St. Maarten



Not all destination weddings in the Caribbean need to be laid-back beach affairs. St. Maarten, in particular, is the perfect island to host an action-packed party for a crowd that wants to stay busy beyond the beach.

With a prime location between Anguilla and St. Kitts, this popular cruise ship port with both Dutch and French roots has developed a reputation as the “Vegas of the Caribbean” for its high-end restaurants, bustling casinos and world-class nightlife. This is the sort of place where, if you’re lucky, you just might spot Drake at the club for Ladies’ Night or Diddy leading a late-night conga line from the black jack tables to the bar.

St. Maarten also boasts an array of stunning wedding venues, from picturesque patios with views of Maho Beach and its iconic oceanside airport to chic rooftop spaces perched above the sea.

We’ll show you the best places to get married in St. Maarten.

A Canadian’s Guide To Getting Married In Las Vegas



Photo courtesy Las Vegas News Bureau.

Getting married in Las Vegas is both easy and inexpensive, so it should come as no surprise that this mecca for excess and kitsch has become the Marriage Capital of the World. In fact, close to 100,000 couples flock to Sin City to tie the knot each year.

While ceremonies officiated by Elvis in the wee hours of the morning are certainly still popular, most couples look to Las Vegas when it’s time to tie the knot because of the endless possibilities the city offers. Joni Moss, a go-to wedding planner in the area with more than 20 years experience and owner of LV Wedding Connection says, “We’ll do anything as long as it’s legal.” In other words: the sky is the limit when it comes to planning a wedding in Las Vegas. Get married inside of a slot machine at the Casino Wedding Chapel, on board the Titanic, a 25,000-square-foot exhibit at the Luxor, atop a 50-story replica of the Eiffel Tower at Paris Las Vegas or in a Maverick helicopter enroute to the Grand Canyon. For a more traditional experience tie the knot at Aria’s serene onsite wedding chapel, which is outfitted with cameras so you can live-stream your nuptials.

Here we’ll give you all the facts you need to know about destination weddings in Las Vegas, from the laws and customs to the best time to plan a wedding and the costs involved with doing so.

The best time to go: Fall and spring are generally the best months to plan a Las Vegas wedding because temperatures tend to be mild (rather than cool or sweltering). That said, April through June and September through the end of October are also considered peak season in the city so look to November to avoid the crowds while scoring more reasonable hotel rates.

The flight: Westjet and Air Canada both currently operate direct flights between Las Vegas and Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver. Air Canada also offers a direct flight from Montreal while Westjet offers additional direct flights from Winnipeg and Edmonton. Flights from Alberta and B.C. take about three hours while the trip from Montreal and Toronto is about five hours.

The legal paperwork: The Clark Country Court House is open 365 days a year and typically issues same-day marriage licenses within 20 minutes for a cost of $60. To obtain your marriage license, both parties must appear in person before a clerk at a Clark County Marriage Bureau location. Identification to prove your name and age is required. Whoever performs your marriage ceremony has, by law, ten days to submit documentation to the Clark County Recorder’s Office for your marriage to be recorded. Once recorded, you can order a certified marriage certificate online from the Recorder’s Office website. There is no waiting period to get married after the marriage license has been issued. Marriage licenses are good for one year from date of issue.

The local customs: There is nothing more classically Vegas than a wedding ceremony officiated by The King. Whether you choose the iconic Graceland Wedding Chapel or a more contemporary hotel venue, there are a number of ordained Elvi ready and willing to help you tie the knot. Joni Moss recommends one Elvis impersonator above all others: Jesse Garon. This king of Kings (who was given the key to the city in 2011) will even pick you up in a pink 1955 Cadillac that used to belong to Lucille Ball!

The budget: Las Vegas weddings can range anywhere from a few hundred dollars (for a simple private ceremony in your hotel suite) to tens of thousands of dollars for larger celebration at a hotel or private mansion. Basic wedding packages at hotels such as Aria, Wynn and Paris Las Vegas start at approximately $1,700.

The venue: With a costume shop on-site and a chapel complete with fog machines and entryway large enough to drive a Cadillac through — yes, you can actually be driven partway down the aisle — Viva Las Vegas is an especially popular choice for themed celebrations. For a more refined garden party celebration we recommend the Wynn’s idyllic Primrose Courtyard, the only private courtyard on The Strip.

Las Vegas Wedding and Honeymoon Guide

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The Best Quick Fixes To Get Your Skin Wedding-Ready

Fashion & Beauty

Photo via iStock.

With everything else that’s on your plate in the lead up to the big day, getting your skin in top shape has probably fallen to the bottom of your to-do list. Not to fear though, even if you’re getting married in the next few weeks there’s still time to solve any lingering skincare concerns so that your complexion is flawless in your wedding photos.

Thanks to a few miracle products and one skincare treatment, achieving perfect skin in a matter of days has actually never been easier.

We sat down with Leala McInerney, senior educator at The International Dermal Institute in Toronto, and asked her to share her favourite quick (yet extremely transformative) skincare fixes with us.

Get A Super-Charged Facial
Want visible results instantly with no down time? Proceed directly to a Dermalogica spa for a 45-minute IonActive Power Treatment. “This is absolutely the strongest system we’ve been able to launch in Canada,” says McInerney. This next-level facial is customized based on each individual’s skincare needs. “We can target aging, oily skin and acne, dehydrated skin and pigmented skin,” she explains. “With this new treatment we’re adding the power of touch, the power of technology and really advanced ingredients. This is definitely for people with more stubborn, challenging skin concerns and it’s also for people who want to target something very quickly. You can even get this treatment done in the week before your wedding.”

“Exfoliating is one of the best things you can do,” says McInerney. “It replenishes and rehydrates the tissue and when you have exfoliated skin it’s really going to increase luminosity – and every bride is after a luminous glow on her wedding day.” McInerney says to avoid strong glycolic acids, which can cause sensitization, and abrasive, gritty drugstore brand exfoliants. Instead opt for a product like Dermalogica’s Daily Resurfacer with pre-measured doses of alpha and beta hydroxy acids and enzymes. “There are 35 pouches in one tin so you can use them every single day leading up to your wedding for bright, nourished, hydrated skin on the big day,” she adds.

Don’t Forget The SPF
McInerney also stresses the importance of keeping up with SPF protection in the lead up to your wedding. “A lot of times we hear people say ‘Oh, I want to have some nice colour for my wedding’ but I’ve also had people calling saying ‘My wedding’s in a few days and I have a really bad sunburn! What should I do?’ The last thing you want is to be red and peeling during your ‘I dos,'” says McInerney.

Do A Masque The Night Before
“Even if you’ve neglected your skin up until the night before your wedding, masquing is one of those options that offers instantaneous results,” says McInerney. “Dermalogica’s new Charcoal Rescue Masque is actually the perfect product for the night before your wedding,” she explains. “It’s an all-in-one masque that detoxifies, purifies, brightens and exfoliates the skin all at the same time so skin looks bright and nourished. It also leaves skin nice and clean for great makeup application.”

Be Careful With Spot Treatments
Expect you might wake up with a huge zit the morning of your wedding? Be prepared with a spot treatment product that’s not going to harm your skin. “Look for products that are benzoyl peroxide free,” says McInerney. “Benzoyl peroxide is an amazing ingredient but it tends to cause skin to peel and a lot of times people over use it and this can cause scabbing and even scarring.”

Invest In An Eye Cream With Caffeine
“Eye treatments with caffeine in them will actually help to reduce puffiness around the eye area so even if you’re emotional while getting ready in the morning your eyes will stay looking fresh,” says McInerney.

Honeymoon and Destination Wedding Spots For Every Type Of Traveller


Wondering where in the world to go for your destination wedding or honeymoon? We’ve scouted out six diverse locations to please every type of couple. Whether you and your hubby-to-be are adventure-seekers, beach bums or culture junkies, you’re sure to find the perfect romantic escape within our list of editor’s picks.

The 50 Best Wedding Songs You May Have Never Heard Before


Minimalist Garden Wedding in Caledon, Ontario- First Dance

Photo as seen in this real wedding.

Music can make or break a party so when it comes to your wedding—the biggest party you’ll probably ever throw—you want to get it right. To create the ultimate playlist we enlisted the help of Toronto-based DJ Jennifer Shute. Shute gave us her must-plays and we added to that some staff favourites—the result is a truly amazing list of tunes so catchy and meaningful your guests will likely be requesting the soundtrack to your big day.

Need more ideas? Check out these 250+ wedding song recommended by our readers!

For Your Walk Down the Aisle
• “Hoppipolla” – Sigur Ros
• “First Day Of My Life” – Bright Eyes
• “Marry Me” – Train
• “Feels Likes Home” – Chantal Kreviazuk
• “White Winter Hymnal” – Fleet Foxes
• “Marry You” – Bruno Mars
• “1, 2, 3, 4” – Plain White Ts

For Signing the Papers and Your Recessional
• “Home” – Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
• “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” – Stevie Wonder
• “Mushaboom” – Feist
• “Together Forever” – Rick Astley
• “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” – Beach Boys
• “Happy Together” – The Turtles
• “Beautiful Day” – U2
• “Power of Love” – Huey Lewis & The News
• “This Will Be Our Year” – The Zombies

For Your First Dance With Your New Hubby
• “If I Ain’t Got You” – Alicia Keys
• “You Are So Beautiful” – Joe Cocker
• “No One’s Gonna Love You” – Band of Horses
• “I Will Follow You Into The Dark” – Death Cab for Cutie
• “Making Memories of Us” – Keith Urban
• “Crazy Love” – Michael Buble
• “At Last” – Etta James
• “Crazy” – Patsy Cline
• “Somebody” – Depeche Mode
• “A Groovy Kind of Love” – Phil Collins
• “Only You” – The Platters
• “More Than Words” – Extreme
• “Your Song” – Elton John

For Your Father/Daughter Dance
• “In My Life” – The Beatles
• “Unforgettable” – Nat King Cole
• “The Way You Look Tonight” – Tony Bennett
• “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” – Elton John
• “Butterfly Kisses” – Bob Carlisle
• “Daughters” – John Mayer
• “How You’ve Grown” – 10,000 Maniacs
• “Stand By Me” – Ben E. King

To Get The Dance Party Started
• “Age of Consent” – New Order
• “Hungry Like a Wolf” – Duran Duran
• “Billie Jean” – Michael Jackson
• “In Between Days” – The Cure
• “Dancing in the Dark” – Bruce Springsteen
• “Modern Love” – David Bowie
• “Lets Go Crazy” – Prince
• “Crazy in Love” – Beyonce
• “Pump Up the Jam” – Technotronic
• “Twist and Shout” – The Beatles
• “Vogue” – Madonna
• “Everybody Have Fun Tonight” – Wang Chung
September – Earth Wind & Fire

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Wedding Music Guide

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The Trick To Looking 10 Pounds Lighter In Your Wedding Dress

Fashion & Beauty » Wedding Dresses

Photo via iStockphoto

There’s no doubt that religiously attending spin classes and sticking with a strict healthy diet in the months before your big day can help you look and feel fabulous when it comes time for your walk down the aisle, however, there’s another (much more easily achievable) way to ensure your body looks its best in your wedding dress. Going for a professional bra fitting and investing in the right undergarments well before the main event can have a truly transformative effect.

“Getting a bra fitting is so important,” says Maggie Hess, a fit consultant for Wacoal Canada. “When you have the right undergarment everything hangs so much better, your clothes fit better, and you can look 10 pounds lighter!”

Hess explains that when it comes to shopping for undergarments, most women are doing it all wrong. “Most wear the band too loose and the cup too small,” she explains. “Ladies also get really hung up on bra sizes, but a number doesn’t mean anything.” Hess recommends trying on every bra you’re considering buying. “Don’t just assume that you’re a 36C and go with that,” she advises. “Not every brand fits the same and not every style fits the same. Sometimes even black bras and beige bras in the same style will fit differently! Just because you like it on the hanger, it may not be the bra for you.”

When it comes to your wedding day undergarments, Hess says it helps to have some options purchased before going dress shopping. “If you don’t have the right undergarment with you and you try on a bias-cut satin dress, for example, you might immediately rule out that style of dress. Without the right bra on hand you might avoid trying on dresses that could be very flattering on you,” she explains.

For women with larger chests, Hess says support should come from the band of the bra, not necessarily the straps. “The band will give you the most support and three to four hooks in the back of a bra will give you more support so you’re not sagging,” she explains. “Also, a three section cup can move your breast tissue to the front so you look less wide.” Hess says that full-chested women should also gravitate towards double-lined fabrics and look into minimizers if the goal is to look both lifted and less busty. “If you have the right bra you might not even need shapewear,” she says.

Smaller-chested women can opt for pushup bras, maybe with an extra pad on the inside, for a bit of extra lift and fullness or go in the complete opposite direction with a more natural look. “I’ve noticed lately that a lot of smaller-chested women don’t necessarily want to look bigger so in that case they’ll go with a bralet or a lacy balconette bra with a vertical seam that will lift the bust and give shape and a bit of cleavage without showing under clothes.”

Hess notes that finding the right bra can even save you money on alteration costs. “I was fitting a lady, she was the mother of the bride, and she had a beautiful dress. She thought she needed alterations for the dress she purchased but she just needed the right bra to make it fit better.”

Finding the right bra for your big day also means looking for a piece that’s high quality. Wacoal bras are some of the best on the market because of the design process, fabric and fit. “Every style and every size of Wacoal bra, from design to production, is fitted on real women. It’s about a nine-month process and they use metric system so the measurements are much more precise,” says Hess. “I do dress making so I know what I’m talking about,” she adds.

How To Plan The Ultimate Bachelorette Party In Mexico


bachelorette party in mexico - hotel

A bachelorette party in Mexico does not necessarily have to revolve solely around tequila drinks and tanning. Pick the right location and your pre-wedding bash can be an exciting trip of a lifetime with agave cocktails and adventure in equal measure.

When it comes to upscale-yet-accessible girls’ trip destinations, there are few better places on the planet than Punta de Mita. This burgeoning area, part of the Riviera Nayarit, has become a hot spot for high-end resorts and the W Punta de Mita is the hippest of them all. With with surf lessons, yoga, a 4,000-square-foot spa, multiple cool eateries (including a beachside ceviche bar built into the back of 1950’s Chevy truck) and a location that’s just a short drive from the boho beach towns
of Sayulita and San Francisco, everything you need for an amazing, well-rounded vacation (that will please even the pickiest travellers) is at your fingertips.

Read on for tips on planning the perfect bachelorette party itinerary in this beautiful part of Mexico.

New Orleans Honeymoon Ideas For Every Type Of Couple


Photo courtesy of iStockphoto

Bourbon Street, Mardi Gras beads and beignets might be the first things that come to mind when you think of New Orleans, but there’s so much more to this destination than donuts and raucous drinking establishments.

The Crescent City, so named for its location in a bend of the Mississippi River, has a fascinating history as both a French and Spanish colony before it was sold to the United States during the Louisiana Purchase. From its official founding in 1718, the city was populated primarily by French, Spanish, Africans and Haitians, creating a melting pot of cultures that influenced everything from the architecture to the music, cuisine and famous carnivals.

New Orleans lays claim to jazz, America’s oldest bar, its first opera, an urban green space called City Park that’s 50 percent larger than Central Park in New York City, and a relished reputation as the most haunted city in the United States.

We visited some of the city’s best hotels, restaurants and attractions to curate travel itineraries for every type of couple. Whether you’re into quirky cemetery tours and fish-bowl-sized cocktails or art museums and fine cuisine, the intoxicating atmosphere of The Big Easy is sure to enchant you.

The Party Pair

Photo courtesy of Marriott

Book a room at W New Orleans – French Quarter
With decor inspired by rhythm and voodoo and an on-site restaurant serving 25 cent happy hour martinis, there are few better places to kick off a week of revelry than the W. Settle into your swish jazz- or tarot-themed room before setting out to explore nearby Bourbon Street, and the French Quarter’s bars, bistros, galleries, and boutiques.

Photo courtesy of Cochon

Dine at Cochon
Located inside a historic building in the city’s trendy Warehouse District, Cochon serves up some of the city’s best cocktails and Cajun cuisine. Start with a Bayou Beer (a mix of moonshine and root beer) at the bar then settle in for some of the eatery’s hearty wood-fired southern delicacies like oysters with chili garlic butter, chicken and andouille gumbo, smoked ham hock with hoppin’ John and a side of smothered greens.

Photo courtesy of iStockphoto

Visit Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop Bar for a voodoo daiquiri
Anyone who loves a good dive bar is bound to fall for Lafitte’s. Built between 1722 and 1732 and originally owned by the pirate Jean Lafitte, this Bourbon Street staple is among the oldest drinking establishments in the United States. Lit only by candlelight and a stone fireplace, this spot is instantly charming. Add in the bar’s signature voodoo daiquiri’s (a grape slushie laced with vodka and bourbon), a potential ghost sighting, and piano player leading the crowd in classic rock singalongs and you’ve got all the ingredients necessary for a great night out.

Photo courtesy of iStockphoto

Hit the streets
New Orleans has some of the most relaxed liquor laws in the United States and while the proliferation of drive-thru daiquiri stops and bars that never close may seem a tad suspect, the lack of open container laws is legislation you can likely get behind. Some of the most entertaining bands in the city play on street corners throughout the French Quarter and since alcohol doesn’t necessarily have to be consumed inside the establishment from which it was purchased, you’re free to grab a cocktail and head out on to the sidewalk to see where the music takes you.

The High Rollers

Photo courtesy of Marriott

Book a room at The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans
Perched on the edge of the French Quarter, this hotel is a plush retreat within walking distance of the city’s main attractions. The hotel, which was built within a historic Beaux Arts building, features a lush outdoor courtyard and rooms with decor inspired by the Garden District’s antebellum mansions. Upgrade to a Club Level room at this property and you’ll be granted access to the lavish Club Lounge, a communal space where you can cozy up to the fireplace while enjoying complimentary cuisine throughout the day, personal concierge services, and wine on tap.

Photo courtesy of New Orleans & Company

Dine at The Commander’s Palace
With more than a dozen iconic eateries, the Brennan family has undoubtedly elevated fine dining in New Orleans. The Commander’s Palace, in particular, has become a go-to destination for haute Creole cuisine and is credited with launching the careers of renowned chefs such as Paul Prudhomme and Emeril Lagasse. Winner of seven James Beard Foundation Awards, the restaurant serves up local classics like turtle soup, which takes three days to make, alongside elaborate tasting menus featuring items like quail, black Angus beef, Gulf oysters and wild white shrimp, all sourced within 100 miles of its back door.

Photo courtesy of Marriott

Visit The Ritz-Carlton Spa for a Voodoo Ritual treatment
This spa, the largest in the city at 25,000 square feet, offers more than 100 different treatments ranging from facials to massages, but the main attraction is the locally-inspired Voodoo Ritual. This 80-minute treatment combines a restorative full-body massage, swirling scents of absinthe, cypress, moss, vetiver, and incense, and a healing herbal poultice applied to the beat of voodoo chanting and drums.

Photo courtesy of Marriott

Have a #MoetMoment at the world’s swankiest vending machine
Kris Jenner sips mini bottles of bubbly from her very own Moet vending machine and now you can too. Pay a visit to The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans and in the lobby you’ll discover a recently-installed machine ready to satisfy your mimosa cravings around the clock. Purchase tokens at the front desk for $25 then choose between Moët & Chandon’s Impérial Brut or Rosé champagne and prepare for your Instagram photo op.

The Artsy Couple

Photo courtesy of Marriott

Book a room at Le Méridien New Orleans
This upscale, design-focused hotel brand caters to discerning travelers and the New Orleans outpost is no exception. Located within walking distance to the French Quarter and the Arts District, Le Méridien New Orleans is filled with thoughtful artistic details and nods to its French heritage. The hotel serves up éclairs and sparkling cocktails each day and Cubs the Poet is on site once a week penning original poems for hotel guests.

Photo courtesy of Marriott

Dine at Sobou
Part apothecary, part modern saloon, SoBou serves up creative cocktails and Louisiana street-food-inspired small plates designed for sharing. Start with yellow fin tuna cones with basil avocado ice cream or the Andouille sausage and apple beignets followed by wild Gulf fish with curry butter or island braised pork shoulder with a loaded baked sweet potato for a dining experience you won’t soon forget.

Photo courtesy of New Orleans & Company

Tour the NOMA and its Sculpture Garden
The New Orleans Museum of Art with its collection of almost 40,000 objects ranging from French and American art to photography, glass, and African and Japanese works, has been called on of the most notable art museums in the south. What makes this century-old museum even more impressive is its adjacent sculpture garden. The Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden currently occupies roughly five acres of City Park land where pines, magnolias and live oaks mingle with impressive bronze castings and towering stainless steel installations like this 23-foot-tall piece by Korean artist Do Ho Suh.

Photo courtesy of The Spotted Cat

Catch a jazz show at The Spotted Cat Music Club
Frenchman Street is home to some of the best live music in the world and The Spotted Cat is a favourite venue of locals and visitors alike. Inside the atmosphere is intimate yet lively. Squeeze into a spot at the bar or join the resident swing dancers twirling in front of the tiny stage.

Now You Can Pay For Pre-Wedding Botox And Laser Treatments With PC Optimum Points!

Fashion & Beauty

Cosmetic dermatology services are becoming more popular than ever before. In fact, recent research from Shoppers Drug Mart indicates these sorts of treatments are second only to manicures and pedicures! With this in mind, the brand has decided to get in on the action, opening the doors to its first Beauty Clinic in Oakville, Ontario. The clinic offers everything from cosmetic injections, dermal fillers and microdermabrasion to peels and laser services administered by medical estheticians and supervised by nurse practitioners all in an 1800-square-foot spa-like atmosphere.

Now, this is all well and good, but if you’re one of those brides who has been trying to figure out how Botox is going to fit into the wedding budget alongside $10,000 of food, booze and flowers, this next bit of news will be especially exciting. Like a sweet wedding gift from the grocery gods, PC Optimum points can be redeemed for services at The Beauty Clinic. That means that all those points you’ve racked up at No Frills, Shoppers Drug Mart, Real Canadian Superstore, Atlantic Superstore, City Market, Independent, Zehrs and Loblaws locations across the country could actually cut (or completely cover) the cost of pricey treatments such PRP, Picosure® laser skin renewal and fillers, all of which go for over $500 a pop.

“PC Optimum points are redeemed at 1000 points per $1,” says Sarah Draper, senior director, healthcare partnerships & innovation. “A client at The Beauty Clinic can redeem points on their service in $10.00 increments, up to the full cost of the service.”

“Clients will earn 15 PC Optimum points for every dollar spent at The Beauty Clinic by Shoppers Drug Mart,” she explains. “At this time, first time guests of The Beauty Clinic who spend $100 or more on their first treatment will also receive a special offer of 50,000 PC Optimum bonus points.”

There’s also an incentive for getting your bridesmaids and mother-in-law on board for a little pre-wedding rejuvenation. “We have a referral program where clients receive 50,000 PC Optimum points when they refer someone who receives a treatment at The Beauty Clinic,” says Draper. “Clients can talk to our concierge for more details about the program.”

In addition to the Oakville clinic, Shoppers has plans to open a second location in Toronto at the Shops at Don Mills later in 2019.

This Is What It’s Like To Tie The Knot At A Pop-Up Wedding Chapel

Real Weddings

The Pop Up Chapel Canada offers low-key couples an alternative to tying the knot at city hall. This whirlwind one-day event designed by the Love By Lynzie team brings together some of Toronto’s top vendors for an all-inclusive, ultra-Instagrammable experience where multiple couples marry throughout the day without ever seeing each other. The best part? Everything from the venue, decor and flowers to the photography, officiant, food and drinks are included for under $3000!

Toronto’s fifth Pop Up Chapel took place on November 16, 2018 at Evergreen Brick Works. Every chapel is designed to be totally different and this latest event was a pastel dream featuring a neutral colour palette of whites and ivories with touches of pastel pink, lavender and rose gold accents. Six couples walked the aisle, which was made entirely of white duct tape, and wed under a flowing floral backdrop featuring an array of hanging hand- painted light bulbs. During cocktail hour each couple and their 20 guests shared a sparkling wine toast, took selfies in the #CoolerThanCityHall photo booth, enjoyed savoury treats from Drake Catering and cut their very own six-inch cake complete with personalized cake toppers. Each Pop Up Chapel supports a local charity and this particular event raised over $2,000 for Team Dog Rescue.

“We feel that traditional wedding planning requires a lot of time and often a lot of stress. We wanted our day to be stress-free for us and our guests,” says Natalie Feldman who married Daniel Holman at the event after being engaged for five and a half years. “Seeing this pop-up wedding where the details were all taken care of and also supports Team Dog Rescue is perfect for us. We are huge animal lovers, and have four rescues of our own. Over the years we have also fostered several animals, and I’m the co-director of the Ottawa Paw Pantry, a small pet food bank in Ottawa. We love that our special day could be beautiful, stress-free, and support rescue efforts, it feels very ‘us’.”

“We decided to do the chapel so that we could focus our time and energy on each other rather than on party planning,” says Bethany McKoy who wed Adam Bazak at the Pop UP Chapel. “Wedding planning is best left to the professionals,” she adds.

“My fiance and I had provided deposits for a venue, florist, DJ, photographer, and officiant. After that, everyone’s options and instructions followed. That’s where things became overwhelmingly stressful,” says Angela Lamanna who abandoned the event she was originally planning and married Scott Hall at the Pop-Up Chapel instead. “Anxiety is something I struggle with and the thought of having to get married in front of 60-100 people made me sick. The traditional wedding just wasn’t sitting well with either of us. We wanted to celebrate, but not in a way that made both of us uncomfortable or gets sucked into living up to the expectations of those who came before us. We decided to cancel and forfeit all of our deposits to opt for something low-key. We learned about pop-up weddings on the Love by Lynzie website and knew this was it! Being restricted 20 guests took the guilt out of not inviting people who aren’t directly in your bubble. I especially love that I didn’t have to worry about any of the small details. Lynzie and her team took care of everything and when I learned of all the vendors that would be there on our big day, I was mind-blown. They aren’t unknown, cheap vendors. They are vendors I couldn’t have ever imagined working with. I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to have a beautiful, stress-free wedding.”

Thinking a pop-up wedding might be for you? There are four chapels happening in 2019 starting with March 29th at The Drake Sky Yard.

Photography courtesy of Mango Studios.

Ceremony and reception venue: Evergreen Brick Works
Conceptualization, design and planning: Nicole Connor from Love by Lynzie
Floral decor: Kenilworth Floral
Bouquets: Wild North Flowers
Cake toppers: Cutts Studio and Olivia Y. Cakes
Cards: Bonnefetti
Hand lettering: Type Grace
Officiants: Jonny Belinko and Juliana Belinko
Catering: Drake Catering
Wine: Fresh Wines
Beer: Junction Craft Brewing
Cake: Olivia Y. Cakes
Tea bar: DavidsTea
Music: Electric Blonde
Rentals: Divine Decor, Event Rental Group and Wild and Free Marquee
AV: EPiQVision
Photo booth: The Photo Booth Guys

Experience The Best Of Montana At This Luxury Guest Ranch


There’s a sense of quiet that comes over you in Montana. Maybe it’s the vastness of the state (it’s the fourth largest after Alaska, Texas and California), the scarcity of tall buildings, which inspired its “big sky country” moniker, or the fact that it’s home to more cattle than people. With just over a million residents in all of Montana, less than half the number of people you’ll find in Toronto alone, this just might be one of the best places on earth to get away from it all.

The most beautiful of the treasure state’s many gems can be found near the Sapphire Mountains in the heart of western Montana. The Ranch at Rock Creek is a 6,600-acre all-inclusive luxury dude ranch designed for discerning travellers like Kate Bosworth and Scarlett Johansson, who both held their weddings on property. The ranch is home to 29 one-of-a-kind accommodations that range from well appointed lodge rooms to luxury homes and stunning creekside glamping cabins.

Once your accommodations at this Relais & Châteaux property are booked, ranch ambassadors work with you to curate a bespoke itinerary of activities to help you make the most of your rustic-chic honeymoon.

Choose between exhilarating local pastimes like horseback riding, shooting, fly fishing, hiking, archery and a host of other seasonal activities while exploring the ranch’s meadows, forests and its namesake creek.

The dining experiences at The Ranch at Rock Creek are perhaps the most exciting of all. Executive chef Josh Drage creates elaborate farm- and ranch-to-table tasting menus complemented by fine wines and craft beers that truly celebrate the best that Montana has to offer.

Ranch evenings are capped off at the on-site saloon, complete with a bowling alley, where guests can mingle over craft cocktails.

Tucked into elegant Western accommodations next to a roaring fire surrounded by rolling hills and distant snow-capped mountain peaks, Montana’s appeal is undeniable; and for a peaceful rest after months of wedding planning, there’s simply no better escape.

Everything You’ve Ever Wanted To Know About Wedding Hair Extensions

Fashion & Beauty

Photo via iStockphoto

Wedding hair extensions might not be the first thing on your radar after becoming engaged, but as you begin to make beauty decisions for the big day they absolutely should be. “They’re going to give you the oomph that you’re looking for in your photos,” says Noor Ahmad, the founder and CEO of Unicorn Hair Extensions, who compares extensions to false lashes, in the way that they can enhance and complete a look. “They’re not just for people who don’t have a lot of hair,” she adds. “They’re for anyone who wants that extra boost of confidence.”

Since hair extensions aren’t something you can typically just pop into the salon and purchase, we asked Ahmad for tips on navigating this important wedding purchase.

What should people look for in quality hair extensions?
“You want to touch them and see how they feel,” Ahmad explains. “Do they feel too soft or do they feel like your own hair? Some of the hair extensions on the market are coated with silicone — this is what makes the hair really silky and soft. What happens with silicone is that it comes off after one or two washes and you’re left with brittle hair extensions. You also want to look at the source of the hair — where the hair is coming from. In the hair extensions industry, there is hair that people source from Malaysia, China and Japan and then there’s hair that people source from India. Indian hair is what we carry and it’s superior in quality to all other hair extensions out there aside from European hair. If a website doesn’t mention where it’s sourcing its hair from then it usually means it’s sourcing its hair from China — and usually price is a good indicator of that. The better the quality, the higher the price.”

How do you colour-match extensions?
“A lot of companies will allow to you send in pictures for colour-matching purposes. When you take these pictures you’ll want to do so in indoor lighting away from the window. You’ll want your hair to be down. Most people have hair that is multi-tonal and our extensions are multi-tonal as well so something like that blends very well,” she explains. “For your wedding hairstyle you want to wear something that has dimension, you don’t want something that’s an exact match because in pictures that dimension is what’s going to show.”

For natural, loose, beachy waves, what sort of extensions should you buy?
“If you’re leaving your hair down, seamless hair extensions are perfect because they don’t feel too heavy,” Ahmad explains. “The ones we have come with seven or eight pieces and they clip in. I wouldn’t recommend tape-in hair extensions, because even though they last four to six weeks, your stylist isn’t going to be able to backcomb them and your stylist will want to control where the volume goes while styling your hair — with clip-in extensions you can easily control that.”

When should you buy?
“It’s a good idea to get your hair extensions so that you have them in time for your engagement shoot,” says Ahmad. “That way you can take them to your stylist and they can get used to the texture of the extensions. Before wearing hair extensions you always want to wash them. When you wash them they’ll take the same texture and shape as your natural hair. Ideally it’s good to have them for your engagement shoot so that you and your stylist can get comfortable with them. That way you have time to tone them or cut them too.”

How long do hair extensions last?
“Hair extensions do not last forever. They’re not getting the natural oils and nutrients that your hair needs to grow. Depending on how often you wear your extensions and how well you take care of them they can last between a year and a half to several years,” says Ahmad.

How do you take care of them?
“You should wash them after about every five wears and you can even treat them to a masque if they’re feeling dry,” says Ahmad.

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