Archive for Rachel Cravit

A Contemporary Black and White Wedding in Quebec

Real Weddings

High school sweethearts Mireille and Jean-Denis celebrated a contemporary black and white wedding after getting engaged at their son’s baptism party. Incorporating thematic elements such as crystals and black and white damask, the pair shared a modern vision for their black and white wedding day, but not without a little tradition. Joining 100 of their family and friends at Saint-Joseph Church, Mireille and Jean-Denis exchanged vows in a heartfelt ceremony accompanied by violinists, who played Pachelbel’s Canon in D for the bridal procession. Afterwards, the contemporary black and white wedding celebration continued at the Alt Hotel Brossard Quartier Dix30, which was decorated with black and white damask table linens and hot pink napkins for a punch of colour.

Mireille Jetté and Jean-Denis Paquette, July 30, 2011, Chambly, Quebec.

Photography courtesy of LachancePhoto (

Ceremony location: Saint-Joseph Church
Reception location:
Alt Hotel Brossard Quartier Dix30.
Dress: Victoria Sposa by Romantic Bridals
Groom’s tux: Mexx
Bridal party attire: Victoria Sposa by Romantic Bridals
Hair: Rituel Coiffure
 Karine Valois
Music: AVW TELAV and Mario Ladouceur
Cake: Didier Averous of Pasquier
Caterer: L’aurochs Quartier Dix30 Restaurant
Favours: Jelly Belly
Flowers: Fleuristes Fleurs D’Amaryllis /Décor & Fleurs Chambly

See all the photos from this contemporary black and white wedding here.

An Organic DIY Wedding in Prince George, British Columbia

Real Weddings

When it came time to tie the knot, Christine “Chrissy” Adler and Nathan Blok spent months sourcing food from local farms and markets for their big day, landing a spot on the local news in the process. The organic DIY wedding kicked off on September 1, 2012 at the couple’s home in Prince George before continuing at a nearby community centre. Chrissy and her mother created the mason jar floral arrangements lovingly wrapped with lace and burlap. The bride also hand made coffee filter pom poms which were strung in the trees for a whimsically festive touch. Perfect for a late summer day, the organic DIY wedding featured bright shades of lemon, orange and red, right down to the bride’s nail polish! The couple’s 60 guests enjoyed multiple cakes and cupcakes after contributing to a creative finger print guestbook. Celebrants departed the organic DIY wedding with miniature packets of Starbucks coffee, an ode to the couple’s meeting place.

Christine “Chrissy” Adler and Nathan Blok, September 1, 2012, Prince George, British Columbia.

Photography courtesy of Dan and Shauna Stanyer, Northern Pixel Photography (

Ceremony location: Private home
Reception location:
 Miworth Community Centre
Dress: Storybook Wedding (250-614-9178)
Groom’s tux: Moores
Hair: Michelle Sellars, Razors Edge Hair Studio
 Katie Rollheiser, Sparrow Salon & Spa
Music: DJ Nige, Northern Lights Entertainment
Cake: Cindy Klassen, Bites of Bliss Cakery (250-596-9191)
Caterer: Eurest Food Services, University of Northern BC
Favours: Starbucks; DIY Coffee Packets
Flowers: In Your Vase Flowers (Bouquet); Centrepieces were DIY
Stationery: Wedding Paper Divas

See all the photos from this organic DIY wedding here.

Jim Hjelm Fall 2013

Fashion & Beauty » Wedding Dresses

The elaborately beaded, asymmetrically hemmed ball gown pictured above could have easily been a collaboration between Grace Kelly and Christian Louboutin, but it was, in fact, the final piece to debut in the Jim Hjelm Fall 2013 collection. The decadent dresses showcased this season’s embrace of traditional, classic bridal couture, utilizing silhouettes that you’d be just as likely to catch in an episode of Mad Men as you would at Bridal Fashion Week. While sleeves were displayed by several designers this season, Jim Hjelm stuck to sweetheart necklines on almost every one of his designs. Some of our favourites in the Jim Hjelm Fall 2013 collection included a lace-topped ball gown with a flowing ruffled overlay, a jewel-encrusted lace party frock tied with a girly bow, and a blush petal ball gown with a jewelled bodice. Though dresses ranged in detail (even, in some cases, colour) the common denominator was timeless drama and glamour. We can envision any one of these dresses worn by brides planning a formal but fun celebration, the type where McDonalds is doled out on the dance floor of a glittering historic manor. The Jim Hjelm Fall 2013 collection also featured elegant, flowing bridesmaids dresses in punchy hues like red and raspberry, as well as some cooler tones, all of which would be suitable for an elegant wedding.

Photography courtesy of firstVIEW

A Whimsical DIY Wedding in Wolfville, Nova Scotia

Real Weddings

Erica and Tyler met as children after their families started vacationing together in Fundy National Park, New Brunswick. The two later developed feelings for one another and maintained a long-distance relationship while attending school in different cities. After moving abroad for work, Erica and Tyler returned to Canada to celebrate a whimsical DIY wedding in scenic Wolfville, Nova Scotia (with Erica toting her Maggie Sottero gown all the way from Germany!) Numerous friends and family lent a hand in the festivities: the mother of the groom collected flowers from her garden and the surrounding valleys which were displayed in mason jars that had belonged to Tyler’s grandmother and great-grandmother. Erica’s sister also brought mason jars from Toronto, while a friend from Ottawa lent her late husband’s vintage typewriter for guests to type well wishes to the couple. Tyler’s father, meanwhile, built a ceremonial arbour out of birch trees from his property. Family even lent a hand to the DIY place card buttons and burlap table runners. Hosted at Muir Murray Estate Winery, the whimsical DIY wedding commenced with vows exchanged under a lantern-strung tent. The moody clouds in the summer sky provided a dramatic backdrop for Tyler and Erica’s wedding pictures. Enjoying a vegan feast catered by a local restaurants, guests were shown how meaningful a celebration can be when sourced directly from home. The whimsical DIY wedding topped off with a massive “Thriller” routine on the dance floor.

Erica Harris and Tyler Bent, July 9, 2011, Wolfville, Nova Scotia

Photography courtesy of Jeff Cooke (

Ceremony and reception location: Muir Murray Estate Winery
Dress: Maggie Sottero
Groom’s tux: T.M. Lewin
Caterer: Tempest World Cuisine
Flowers: Bouquets by Pulsifers Flowers & Foliage (902-678-4728); DIY centrepieces by mother of the groom

See all the photos from this whimsical DIY wedding here.


Hayley Paige Fall 2013

Fashion & Beauty » Wedding Dresses

The Hayley Paige Fall 2013 collection featured several unique designs, including a striped multi-tiered ball gown with a sweetheart neckline, a daring transparent mermaid dress with long sleeves and floral-specked under garments (which surprisingly wasn’t the only piece in the collection recalling X-Ray vision; a transparent floral party frock also made an appearance), a mermaid gown with a jagged bolero-style shoulder covering and swiss-dotted fit-and-flare with a geometric bodice and partial lace trim. While some dresses in the Hayley Paige Fall 2013 collection inevitably raised a few eyebrows, others were completely lovely. We’re particularly fond of the classic A-line ball gown with a whimsical floral skirt and outrageously elegant silk sheath with illusion sleeves and a jewelled belt and collar, as well as a rhinestone decked mermaid dress complete with a cropped fur jacket, perfect for the Hollywood glam bride. Hayley Paige showcased her softer side with the girly Blush collection, also unveiled at Bridal Fashion Week, but her self-titled collection was almost entirely edgy. While the Hayley Paige Fall 2013 selection did feature several sweetheart necklines — long adored by brides and designers alike — the designer seems to have resisted this season’s return to classic (and modest) bridal fashion completely.

Photography courtesy of firstVIEW

Pronovias Fall 2013

Fashion & Beauty » Wedding Dresses

The Pronovias Fall 2013 collection — its self-titled label as well as new releases by resident designers Manuel Motta and Elie Saab — rivalled Jenny Packham for this season’s most glamourous bridal couture. Lavishly beaded gowns, decadent lace and bejewelled flourishes were prominent features on the Pronovias runway, which also showcased several sleeved numbers — both cap and illusion sleeves. We also counted numerous dresses with a single shoulder strap, reflecting current asymmetry trends in bridal couture. Standout designs from the Pronovias Fall 2013 collection included an ethereal lace A-line gown with a plunging v-neck, a feathered sheath with a glittering scoop-neck bodice, an intricate form-fitting gown with a scalloped back cut-out and pattern overlay and a beaded v-neck sheath that would be just as at home on the red carpet as it would on a petal-lined aisle. A number of high-low dresses boasting contemporary asymmetrical hemlines were also showcased in the Pronovias Fall 2013 collection, along with a cropped ruffle creation ideal for a post-ceremony dress change. Notably absent were ball gowns and a significant number of mermaid dresses, enabling Pronovias (as well as Motta and Saab) to showcase their expertise with the simple, fitted variety, although the dresses made up for their scaled-down size with an abundance of detail. Ultimately, the Pronovias Fall 2013 collection evoked the same drama and glamour we have come to expect from the Spanish bridal atelier with jaw-dropping results.

Photography courtesy of Pronovias.

Alvina Valenta Fall 2013

Fashion & Beauty » Fashion & Beauty » Wedding Dresses

Classic with a twist was the order of the day for the Alvina Valenta Fall 2013 collection. With an assortment of ball gowns, A-lines and mermaid dresses, Alvina Valenta meshed traditional and modern by utilizing ruffles, beading and floral appliques, enabling a fresh interpretation of the popular silhouettes while steering clear of anything too avant garde. Standout pieces in the Alvina Valenta Fall 2013 collection included a multi-tiered silk mermaid dress with an eclectic ruffled neckline, a dropped waist dress with v-neckline and beaded details and a mermaid gown with scattered crystals and a scoop neckline. Though sleeves were noticeably absent from the runway, Alvina Valenta did feature numerous straps, often in illusion material. Another common feature were belts, either in crystal or fabric (usually adorned with flowers or tied in a bow). The Alvina Valenta Fall 2013 collection also featured bright berry bridesmaids dresses with ruffle details, an ideal selection for a formal, fashionable wedding. While traditional was the primary focus of this year’s Bridal Fashion Week, Alvina Valenta refrained from opulence and overstatement, opting instead for restrained elegance with a little sparkle. Brides who are looking for a familiar bridal look with a little something extra will be pleased with the Alvina Valenta Fall 2013 collection.

Photography courtesy of firstVIEW

Blush Fall 2013

Fashion & Beauty » Fashion & Beauty » Wedding Dresses

With just three dresses, the Blush Fall 2013 collection was short but sweet. The Blush Fall 2013 collection included a joyfully whimsical ball gown, a contemporary sheath and a cropped party frock, all entirely in pink. The ball gown, evoking a slightly more glamourous Glinda in The Wizard of Oz, featured a ruched sweetheart neckline with lavish floral trimmed tiers sure to leave girly brides grinning from ear to ear. The floral motif continued in Blush’s shorter dress, with oversized flowers cascading across the ruched bodice, which also featured a sweetheart neckline. Designed by Hayley Paige, whose own self-titled collection was also present at Bridal Fashion Week, Blush’s bounty of blooms is explained: “I am drawn to the unambiguous glamour that results from combining cotton lace with botanically inspired fabric manipulations. It produces a European sensibility that I have always found alluring.” The final dress to be revealed in the Blush Fall 2013 collection may have shared the same pastel pink palette as the others, but its aesthetic was entirely opposite. Decidedly modern, the sheath featured abundant ruching, a dropped waist and sleek straps attached to its sweetheart neckline, ornamented with a crystal pendent. Whether drawn to the whimsical, fairytale ball gown, the festive floral mini dress or the contemporary strapped sheath, brides with a penchant for pink will delight in the Blush Fall 2013 collection.

Photography courtesy of firstVIEW

Junko Yoshioka Fall 2013

Fashion & Beauty » Fashion & Beauty » Wedding Dresses

Classic was queen at Bridal Fashion Week, especially in the Junko Yoshioka Fall 2013 collection. The Japanese-born New Yorker has long been known for her beautiful designs and this season was no exception: long, lace sheaths, billowing ball gowns and floral flecked frocks were mainstays on her runway, a shrine to little girls everywhere dreaming about their wedding day. With sparkle and bows to boot, the Junko Yoshioka Fall 2013 collection was joyfully girly without going over the top; the result was a simple, elegant aesthetic that fit this season’s adoration of traditional to a tee. Sweetheart necklines were prominent, though Yoshioka did reveal a handful of dresses with illusion sleeves, like several other bridal couturiers. Some of Yoshioka’s standout designs included an ethereal ball gown with lavish lace trim and bodice, a lace sheath with dramatic ruffled side slit and a multi-tiered A-line dress with a petal-style skirt, all of which would be exquisite choices to wear to an enchanted fairytale garden wedding. The Junko Yoshioka Fall 2013 collection kept things interesting by pairing a soft lace skirt with a modern geometric corset, also popular with Monique Lhuillier this season. Ultimately, Yoshioka achieved a difficult task: conveying classic bridal fashion that was simultaneously carefree. Shedding rigid formality, the lighthearted radiance of the Junko Yoshioka Fall 2013 collection made each dress appear to be begging for a twirl around the room.

Photography courtesy of firstVIEW

Douglas Hannant Fall 2013

Fashion & Beauty » Fashion & Beauty » Wedding Dresses

It’s incredibly fitting that the Douglas Hannant Fall 2013 collection debuted at the Plaza Hotel, a setting that’s arguably as dramatic as the designs themselves. From a ridged three-tiered ball gown to a mermaid dress scattered with metallic blooms, Hannant’s stock was anything but ordinary. This comes as no surprise to those who have followed his previous collections, which at times have ventured on outrageous. Hannant wouldn’t have it any other way: “I don’t see the point of classic clothing that looks exactly like it did in every interpretation before. There must be an element of surprise, some sort of detail, something fresh and new about it,” he says. The Douglas Hannant Fall 2013 collection certainly delivered on this front: brocade ball gowns and bejewelled lace sheaths were emboldened by Hannant’s unquestionable dramatic flair, each design more glamourous than the next. Even Hannant, however, was unable to resist this season’s embrace of the demure and traditional. Several dresses featured lace, sleeves and illusion necklines; one particular sheath showcased a single-shouldered lace bodice — a standout in the Douglas Hannant Fall 2013 collection. Ultimately, the dresses in the Douglas Hannant Fall 2013 collection served as an expression of unrestrained glamour as they were sashayed down the runway in New York’s most iconic hotel.

Photography courtesy of firstVIEW

A Vintage Glam Golf Club Wedding in King City, Ontario

Real Weddings

Meaghan and Christopher celebrated with a vintage glam golf club wedding filled with delectable details. Following a traditional ceremony at the Central United Church in Unionville, the newlyweds joined their 160 guests at King’s Riding Golf Club in nearby King City. The vintage glam golf club wedding was styled in regal shades of purple, pink and aubergine. Upon entering the reception space, designed by Rachel A. Clingen, guests were directed to their tables by a board containing pictures of the couple holding up number signs, which were also displayed on the tables themselves. As another personal detail, a memorial table was lined with candles, each bearing the name of a departed family member. The vintage glam golf club wedding also featured entertainment by Michael Coombs, who had guests out of their seats, working up an appetite for the midnight poutine bar. A final touch to the vintage glam golf club wedding was a decadent purple wedding cake created by Christina Wong of Truffle Toronto, who also provided cookie favours for guests to take home.

Meaghan Moore and Christopher Harley, September 24, 2011, King City, Ontario

Photography courtesy of Stacey Wight (

Ceremony location: Central United Church
Reception location: King’s Riding Golf Club
Wedding planner: Melissa Andre
Dress: Maggie Sottero from Couture Threads
Groom’s tux: Hugo Boss from Testa Uomo Fine Clothiers
Bridal party attire: Dessy from Sophie’s Gown Shoppe
Hair: Stephanie Daga, Blush Pretty
Maureen Greenstein
Music: Jill Daley (Cellist/Violist); Michael Coombs Entertainment (DJ)
Cake: Christina Wong, Truffle Toronto
Caterer: King’s Riding Golf Club
Favours: Christina Wong, Truffle Toronto
Flowers: David Harrington, uncle of the bride (519-439-4902)
Stationery: Beth England, Elizabeth R. Fine Stationery (519-250-4182)
Other: Reception styling by Rachel A. Clingen; Rolls Royce transportation by A Rolls Choice Livery; Videography by Calico Cats Productions

See all the photos from this vintage glam golf club wedding here.

Oscar de la Renta Fall 2013

Fashion & Beauty » Fashion & Beauty » Wedding Dresses

Oscar de la Renta is renown for his meticulous detailing and this season was no exception. In particular, the Oscar de la Renta Fall 2013 collection featured the Dominican-born designer’s delectable 3D floral appliques that we saw on both Jenna Bush’s wedding dress and the sheath Carrie Bradshaw modeled for Vogue in the Sex and the City movie. The Oscar de la Renta Fall 2013 collection showcased this signature flourish with multiple a-line dresses adorned with blooms and a remarkable fit-and-flare with a bateau neckline. Evoking Jackie Kennedy, who de la Renta used to dress, an asymmetrically hemmed A-line gown — practically begging for pearls, gloves and bow pumps — was another standout design this season. The Oscar de la Renta Fall 2013 collection also featured a lace-sleeved ball gown almost identical to Kate Middleton’s, save for the bateau neckline and bejewelled belt. With an emphasis on classic bridal couture, de la Renta designed each dress with the same consideration for couture detailing as his previous collections, and we couldn’t be more thrilled with the outcome. While some designers pushed back against this season’s sleeve and lace embrace, Oscar de la Renta was right at home in the new trend of traditionalism.

Photography courtesy of firstVIEW

Badgley Mischka Fall 2013

Fashion & Beauty » Fashion & Beauty » Wedding Dresses

Sheaths and mermaid dresses featured prominently in the Badgley Mischka Fall 2013 collection, which debuted with 16 dresses at Bridal Fashion Week. Mark Badgley and James Mischka, the duo behind the designs, revealed some truly original pieces, including an unapologetically opulent mermaid gown with head-to-toe ruffle detailing and an off-the-shoulder neckline and a bloom-adorned dress with metallic cap sleeves. However, the Badgley Mischka Fall 2013 collection was also mindful of this season’s obsession with long sleeves and lace, a testament to Kate Middleton’s lasting impression on bridal couture, even though we are fast approaching two years since the Royal Wedding. Numerous gowns in the Badgley Mischka Fall 2013 collection showcased lace, including an ethereal long-sleeved sheath and blush mermaid gown with cap sleeves. Straps were also prominent in the Badgley Mischka Fall 2013 collection as well as illusion necklines. Further details, such as lace gloves, emphasized the glamourous approach of the Badgley Mischka Fall 2013 collection. With one of the most diverse collections we’ve seen this season, the Badgley Mischka Fall 2013 collection provided a sizeable selection of timeless styles both for brides dreaming of vintage Downton Abbey-inspired celebrations as well as engaged girls who gravitate more towards urban modern wedding dress styles.

Photography courtesy of firstVIEW

Theia Fall 2013

Fashion & Beauty » Fashion & Beauty » Wedding Dresses

The Theia Fall 2013 collection ranged from classic to eclectic, with most dresses combining some element of the two. A ball gown, while traditional in shape, was updated with fil coupé fabric, resembling a heavy-set lace that distinguished Theia from the innumerable other designers who sent lace gowns down the runway this season. A metallic drop-waist design, meanwhile, glowed in an amber shade that shook up the mostly white collections we’ve seen this season, as couturiers reclaim classic. Other interesting pieces from the Theia Fall 2013 collection included a bisque-coloured sheath with raw-edge mitered detailing, a cap sleeve lace gown with organza ruffles and a chiffon gown with a ruched bodice and lace inserts. While Theia did set itself apart in many ways, numerous dresses reflected this season’s adoration of sleeves, straps and alternative necklines (jewel and bateau have been popular), which we have seen across the board. The Theia Fall 2013 collection also included some shorter selections, including a beaded art nouveau party dress, Chantilly lace frock and twirl-ready tea length satin dress that Grace Kelly could have easily worn on the weekends. A massive ball gown with organza ruffles rounded out the Theia Fall 2013 collection, which included 16 dresses.

Photography courtesy of JS Group.