Archive for Kate Yorga

How To Get An Engagement Ring You’ll Love


Photo via iStockphoto

Choosing the ideal engagement ring for you, his dream girl, can be an overwhelming prospect for any fiancé: it’s the ultimate symbol of your love and it has to make you swoon. Plus you’ll be showing it off to family and friends.

Meanwhile, you have a strong sense of the ring you desire but don’t want to add pressure to the process for your hubby-to-be. How do you help him choose your perfect ring? We’ve got some ideas.

Bring in backup
“A sneaky way is to go through a friend or close family member and have them let your potential fiancé know what you like,” suggests Lynzie Kent, owner and creative director of Love By Lynzie Events and Design.

Tip: Make sure your wing peeps know exactly what you like about a particular design (whether that’s the band, diamond cut, or style) in case he can’t get that exact ring.

Social media is a girl’s best friend
“The best thing about today’s times is that girls are going on Instagram and other social media platforms to find ring photos and sharing them with their fiancé,” notes Diana Pires, founder and creative director of Truly Yours Planning. “Guys want to know what you fancy so they don’t spend money on something you dislike.”

Tip: While unwinding at home, casually showing him your Pinterest ring board may feel less stressful to him than wandering by a jewellery store pointing out rings.

Pictures are worth a thousand words
Nagham Cararah, event planner and designer at Love by Lynzie Events and Design, compiled a singular email listing all the rings she loved and sent it to her fiancé. He chose a beautiful engagement ring inspired by her picks.

Tip: Try limiting the sharing to one email, so your groom-to-be isn’t bombarded with so many suggestions that it feels like an assault.

Straight from the heart approach
“I like the open-book approach, saying, ‘Hey, I have preference for a ring and if you’re shopping for it this is it.’ That’s what I did,” reveals Rebecca Chan, owner and lead planner of Rebecca Chan Wedding Events. Especially since she wasn’t interested in diamonds, she wanted a sapphire. “Something with colour can be tricky to choose, so I told him off the bat I didn’t want him to pick it for me.”

Recent Toronto bride Hayley Dineen also sought something unique. “I knew I didn’t want a traditional engagement ring,” Dineen admits. “The thought of walking around with a big diamond on my finger didn’t feel like me. I’d been following the work of a New York-based designer, awed by her asymmetrical designs and mixed-stone rings—I dreamed of having one her pieces.”

She showed her then-fiancé, Alasdair Clarke, the designer’s website. “He could tell how much I loved her work and how it fit me and my personality. I let him take the reins deciding which ring, what colours, which stones, and loved the surprise of seeing what he chose for me.”

Tip: Some places offer a loaner ring, especially custom jewellery design companies—Chan’s fiancé proposed with a loaner, which she wore until her ring was created.

Getting it done
Kent says a friend who got engaged advised her prospective husband, “When you propose I’d like some say in what my ring looks like.” He proposed using a family ring then they designed one collectively.

She says another friend’s hubby-to-be bought just the diamond and proposed with that—the couple chose the ring design as one, a fitting symbol for their new life together.

Tip: When relaxing together leave this page open on your tablet and trust him to do the deed flawlessly.

Destination Wedding Planning Made Super Easy

Travel » Destination Weddings

All photos courtesy of Sandals

You love Meghan Markle’s stunning engagement ring, the glittering Lover’s Knot tiara favoured by Princess Diana and the elegant diamond earrings Kate Middleton wore on her wedding day. In today’s global panorama there’s no need to limit your wedding vision to one look, especially if you’ve been dreaming of destination nuptials.

Sandals recently launched Aisle to Isle destination wedding offerings, letting you mix and match dozens of wedding styles and vibes from eight inspirations—nature, sophistication, islands, gardens, tropics, sand & sea, passion and romance—to make your destination-wedding an event as individual as you are.

Included in their gorgeous inspirations are 32 spectacular cake designs, loads of striking florals and ton of amazing decor details, from a messages in a bottle and chic glass orbs to silken tassels and crystal chandeliers.

From altars, table runners and lighting to place settings, delectable food and beverage options and so much more, you can customize your day your way. Take the floral chandeliers from the sophistication inspirations and scatter them about your garden party wedding, for example. Or walk down the aisle through the palm frond arches from the tropics to your over-the-water chapel ceremony.

Every beautiful idea, from flowers and furniture to musical entertainment (white grand piano and jazz singer on the beach, anyone?) will enhance the magical setting for each celebration you envision, whether an elegant sunset rehearsal dinner with chic pink and black ottomans, or a “welcome” beach party with tapas, torches and a wooden dance floor for the steel drum vibes.

Two of our favorite touches: a portable boardwalk aisle so your fave heels can attend your beach ceremony and a picture-frame altar that’s Instagram perfect for your first post-ceremony Mr. & Mrs. pose.

Plan The Perfect Honeymoon In Montego Bay, Jamaica

Travel » Honeymoons


If you want a honeymoon destination that offers luxurious-yet-chill surroundings and romance, we suggest the laid-back lushness of Jamaica’s Montego Bay, a sensual nirvana that will lull you and your new mister into complete relaxation after the whirlwind of your wedding festivities.

Celebrate the switch from me to we with with extravagant accommodations, gourmet dining and romantic adventures that will draw you into island life in no time. With average daytime temps around 27°C, the tropical climate provides the three requisite Ss for a spectacular Caribbean honeymoon: hot sun, white sand and turquoise surf.

Check out these five essential experiences to make your honeymoon in Montego Bay the enchanting memory of a lifetime.

How To Plan A Destination Wedding In Grenada

Travel » Destination Weddings

Grenada is know for its abundant natural rainforest, pristine white sand beaches and genuine local hospitality. Whether you want to chill on one of more than 50 beaches, snorkel through the turquoise waters or hike in the extinct volcanic rainforests, the unspoiled nature of this Caribbean gem provides exceptional romantic opportunities at every turn.

Foodies have endless options at over 130 restaurants, from down-home island fare to international Caribbean-flavoured haute cuisine. Long known as the Island of Spice, Grenada is the world’s second largest exporter of nutmeg. A multitude of adventures await for couples with culinary tastes, including cooking classes, spice market excursions as well as microbrewery and cocoa plantation tours.

Whether you want to say “I do” with your toes in the sand, in one of the capital city of St. George’s churches dating back to the 1800s, or amidst tropical rainforest vegetation, here are some tips for hosting a celebration in this gorgeous island location.

The best time to go: Generally avoid September through November, the peak rainy period and hurricane season throughout the Caribbean. For the best weather, the high season months from January through April, when it’s driest, are magnificent: days average 30C but are tempered by the cooling northeast trade winds creating consistently ideal temperatures. May and June are also great options, with good weather and sometimes more affordable rates. August is Carnival in Grenada, with a fun, party vibe, but it might mean booking challenges and higher rates.

The flight: From Toronto, Caribbean Airlines offers twice weekly nonstop flights to Grenada’s Maurice Bishop International Airport. As well, Air Canada offers seasonal nonstop flights; or year-round West Jet, American Airlines and Air Canada offer flights with a connection in the United States or Caribbean before reaching Grenada’s bountiful shores. Travellers from other parts of Canada will have to connect through Toronto or elsewhere in the U.S.A.

The legal paperwork: Grenada’s law requires couples be “residents” on the island for at least three days (including weekends and holidays) before applying for a marriage licence. Organizing the licence might take at least a day or two; so plan on getting married on the fourth or fifth day of your stay. You’ll need to bring valid passports, birth certificates, sworn affidavits that neither party has been previously married or a Decree Absolute for each divorced party, deceased’s death certificate if widowed, or legal proof if a party’s name was changed. No blood or medical tests are required.

The venue: Sandals LaSource Grenada Resort and Spa is the choice for your dream destination wedding—our favourite spot to tie the knot is on the pier over the ocean, but the resort has other fairytale sites including the beach, the gazebo over the Goldfish Grotto and the Neem Garden. Sandals’ destination wedding planner takes all the guesswork out of planning your day from afar. You can simply choose one of their six pre-designed wedding themes or personalize every detail. Once you set up your profile and your choices, the pre-travel wedding planners not only review your “vision board” to help you plot all your wedding details in advance, they also assist in acquiring the wedding licence by special dispensation for 48 hours after your arrival. Once at the resort, the on-site team meets you and your mister to confirm every element or make any last-minute adjustments you require—so the two of you can relax to enjoy the resort’s nine gourmet restaurants, two freshwater swimming pools, quiet beachfront, a variety of water sports (including all diving for certified scuba enthusiasts). Unwind with massages when you first arrive at LaSource’s Red Lane Spa; and remember to book hair, makeup and mani/pedi appointments so you look fabulous for your day.

The budget: Wedding packages at Sandals LaSource range from the simple “Beautiful Beginnings” package, which is currently free with your stay, with prices increasing depending on the type of wedding you’re planning. Using Sandals’ online destintation wedding planner you’ll be able to instantly tally the cost of your day as you select each custom detail.

The local customs: Nothing transports you to island time faster than local calypso music especially when played using those melodic steel drums—imagine your guests dancing barefoot in the sand to the rhythmic beats. Forego traditional roses or peonies for your floral arrangements because stunning exotics like ginger and orchids can be locally-sourced. Rum is plentiful thanks to a local distillery and bartenders can create sophisticated cocktails color-coordinated to your theme—have one topped with fresh grated nutmeg for true island flavour. There’s a local taste for beer drinkers too, since the island now has its own microbrewery. If tying the knot at Sandals LaSource, choose a unity sand blending ritual as part of your ceremony—the bride and groom each receive a different color of sand that they pour simultaneously into a glass vessel. The mixing swirls of sand signify the intertwining of two lives that are no longer separate.