December and January are usually reserved for nesting, taking a much needed-vacation and catching up with friends and family. And while wedding planning might not be top of mind for most brides, there are some advantages to doing some brainstorming (and shopping) over the festive season. From taking engagement photos to buying bridesmaid dresses, here are five examples of how you can knock off some wedding to-dos during the Christmas break.
Archive for Roseanne Dela Rosa
We’re huge supporters of DIY endeavours, but some things are better left to the experts. Put your money into the things you need most to host a great party then cut costs by adding some charming handmade accents into your celebration. Consider this your guide to wedding budgeting:
Splurge On Food
This is one element you don’t want to tackle on your own (even if you’re a professional chef), and it’s definitely not an area to scrimp on. Aside from the actual ceremony itself, your guests will judge the success of the event on how good the food is. The best way to keep a guest happy—especially during a long ceremony and reception—is definitely through his or her stomach.
Splurge On Photography
A friend or a family member with a digital camera is nice, but a professional photographer is usually your best bet to ensure that your day is captured flawlessly from beginning to end. Thoroughly review all potential photographers’ portfolios and spend some extra cash on a pro whose style and personality matches your own.
Splurge On Hair And Makeup
Chances are you’ll want to look as beautiful as you possibly can on your big day. This is when you don’t want to rely on a friend—unless you really trust them—to do your hair and makeup. The professionals know what they’re doing and can work their magic to ensure you look glowy and pretty throughout the whole day.
Save On Invitations
Sometimes it isn’t necessary to get the whole stationery package (i.e. thank-you cards, RSVP cards, etc). You may want to consider ordering invites and getting your own thank you cards or using a website for save-the-dates. Companies such as Minted and Michaels also have some great, affordable templates for creating your own customized wedding stationery.
Save On Cake
It’s not necessary to have a grand seven-tiered wedding cake, even if you are feeding a crowd of 250. You can still get a beautiful cake, but keep the design sweet and simple to lower the cost. Or, opt for slab cakes and have a dummy cake for appearance sake.
Save On Favours
Not everyone at your wedding must receive a wedding favour—you can keep the budget down by allotting one favour per family/couple. Also, you can double up and serve mini-cakes as your confection and bonbonnière.
December and January are popular celebratory months–as they should be. It’s the perfect time of year, surrounded by family and friends, to enjoy your newly-engaged status. But, after reveling in the glow, we understand how daunting wedding planning can appear to be. To keep you stress-free (and on the right track), here are 10 things to do once you’re ready to start planning your own day:
1. Share the news
Contact your loved ones (if you haven’t already) to let them in on your exciting news. You’ll want to tell close friends and family members in person or on the phone before you send any tweets, change your Facebook status or share photos of your ring on Instagram.
2. Start a wedding website
There’s a ton of choice out there when it comes to creating a templated wedding site. All you do is plug in the required information, and voila you can easily share all of the necessary details with your loved ones.
3. Talk to your fiancée about your celebration
Communication is key. Both of you should be on the same page–have the same vision, ideas and goals when it comes to your affair.
Although you may not know exactly the type of wedding you want, having an approximate wedding budget will make things easier in the long run (this could affect your venue, how many guests you invite, etc).
5. Guest list
Once your budget is established, write down the names of guests you anticipate inviting. This does not have to be a set list, but this will give you a more rounded number on how many people to expect, how much to spend and the type of venue you choose. Note: as a courtesy (if you wish) you should also ask parents (and in-laws) their number of guests–as they may want to include a few guests of their own.
6. Pick a date and find your venue(s)
When it comes to your wedding date try to have more than one option in mind (many venues book up to a year, or more, in advance). Once you have a tentative idea, securing your reception and ceremony sites are a must–especially if your ceremony venue is separate from your reception space.
7. Create a to-do list
Once the date and venue have been secured, create a to-do list or use a online list tool to help you plan and manage your time wisely. This will make planning your day less overwhelming–yet fun at the same time. With your budget, you’ll be able to slot tentative amounts accordingly.
8. Visit wedding shows
January is high time for wedding shows. It’s worth a shot to go out and visit vendors within your region as well. Don’t feel the need to book right away, go simply to obtain information and meet potential vendors face-to-face.
9. Think about your bridal party
It’s not necessary to pick and choose your bridesmaids and groomsmen right away, but asking them in the early stages of planning does have its advantages–your bridal party members are wonderful people who may be able to assist you before the big day with things such as gown-hunting, creating decor and interviewing vendors.
Now comes the fun part–creating your inspiration board. Buy a ton of wedding magazines (make tears, flip through pages), scour Pinterest and Instagram, read up on vendors you may be considering (or saw at a show), scroll through blogs, and check out our real wedding section for inspiration galore. Gathering images is a wonderful way to gather ideas for your own day. This is the fun part of planning, so enjoy it and everything will fall into place.
Planning a marriage proposal? To ensure a smooth and romantic engagement, here’s a definitive checklist of things to consider before popping the question.
FIND THE PERFECT LOCATION
Finding the ideal venue for your marriage proposal is key. A few places to consider: on vacation, where you first met or where you had your first date. Keep in mind, if your spouse-to-be isn’t huge on public displays you may want to steer clear of Jumbotrons and public spaces that receive a lot of foot traffic.
PICK A DATE
Once you’ve got your venue in mind select a date for your marriage proposal. If the element of surprise is key, you may want to avoid popular engagement dates like Valentine’s Day, Christmas or your significant other’s birthday.
ASK THE FAMILY
If your mate is super-traditional, you’ll definitely want to ask for her dad or a family member for her hand in marriage.
FIND THE RING AND HIDE THE BLING
Finding the right engagement ring can take months. Don’t stress. Sift through her jewellery box to get an idea of her ring size and style or ask her friends about what sort of rings she’s had her eye on. Once you’ve found the perfect rock, be sure to find a good hiding place–somewhere she’ll least suspect.
COME UP WITH THE RIGHT WORDS
While a heartfelt marriage proposal is always best, try and outline what you want to say beforehand. Recall the reasons you want to spend the rest of your life with her and the moments that helped you realize she was the one. Get down on one knee for tradition’s sake and, remember, don’t forget to actually ask her to marry you.
Tulips and pastel colour palettes have been done a zillion times, so where do you turn for spring wedding ideas that will actually surprise and delight your guests? We think modern styling is where it’s at.
Minimalist details come alive when paired with a gorgeous wedding cake, a stunning linear centrepiece and romantic stationery. Here, we’ll show you how to creatively add a modern yet romantic spin to your spring wedding.
Never too flashy, never overdone, the secret to this look is amplifying your natural beauty to create a perfect polished you. It starts with an all-over golden glow and is punctuated with just the right amount of colour on eyes, cheeks and lips.
For eyeshadow, burnished neutral shades are best. For cheeks, just a swish of rosy-peach blush on the apples will define your angles and warm your overall complexion. Keep your lip colour natural with a matte gloss that is just a shade or too richer than your natural lip colour. Here are five beauty musts for creating the ultimate glowing bridal beauty look.
All photography by Chris Nicholls. Styling by Vanessa Taylor. Styling Assistant Jessica Moy. Makeup by Simone Otis for Joe Fresh Cosmetics/P1M.ca. Hair by Justin German for Pantene/P1M.ca.
Your big day is your red-carpet moment, so amp up the dazzle factor with an ultra-glamorous wedding makeup look. Don’t be afraid to go seriously high-impact for your beauty look—this is your time to shine like a movie star and that means playing with a very classic-yet-bold style.
Red lips are the foundation of this look, paired with eyes that shimmer and shine with luminous colour, flawless skin, defined brows and a beautiful, ladylike fragrance as your finishing touch. Here are five bridal-beauty essentials for creating a luxe and effortlessly elegant beauty look.
If you are a girl who loves a high-impact beauty look, don’t think you have to switch up your style for your wedding day. If your look is typically more rock and roll and edgy, don’t feel you have to suddenly go soft and subtle when it comes to your wedding makeup. The key to statement-making bridal beauty is to put the focus on one feature (vibrant lips or smokey eyes) and let it make a bold impression. Here are five essential products for creating a head-turning bridal beauty look.
Photography by Chris Nicholls. Styling by Vanessa Taylor. Styling assistance by Jessica Moy. Makeup by Simone Otis for Joe Fresh Cosmetics/P1M.ca. Hair by Justin German for Pantene/P1M.ca. First published in the Spring & Summer 2014 issue of Weddingbells.
Gourds and fallen leaves might suffice for a Thanksgiving spread, but when it comes to your fall wedding you’ll want to aim for elevated autumnal decor.
Consider pairing rich jewel tones of blue, red, orange and green with hints of gold to create an elegant yet rustic reception vibe. Combine this updated seasonal colour palette with unique fall reception ideas like artful painted stationery and an epic sweet table spread and you’ve got the makings of a cool weather celebration your guests won’t soon forget.
From the loud-and-proud king protea to the sweet and romantic peony, flowers really do speak volumes. With this in mind, it’s important to choose a bridal bouquet that will make a unique statement on your big day. Whether your style is soft and dreamy or wild and colourful, expressing it through flowers is always a good idea.
This year, the top Canadian wedding bouquets chosen by our editors feature bevy of lush blooms, eye-catching colours and textured foliage. While each floral recipe is completely distinct from the next, all of our top picks for 2016 have one thing in common – they are beautifully-arranged works of art designed to perfectly complement a bridal ensemble.
Need more floral inspiration? See last year’s list.
Gordon Chin and Danielle Ewan grew up in the same city just a few streets away from each other — they even attended the same high school — but it wasn’t until years later when the two officially began dating. “Gordon was always busy travelling, living out his professional soccer dream and playing for various teams in Europe, the Vancouver Whitecaps, and with Canada’s national team,” Danielle shares. “By the time we started dating in the winter of 2010, we had over 10-plus years of friendship and history in our books. Since then, Gordon and I have partnered together in business, been on endless road trips and travel adventures, and prefer to spend as much time as possible with our first love, our French bulldog, Stella.”
It was during one of their adventures that the two fell in love with The Modern, a chic luxury hotel in Honolulu, Hawaii. “We knew that it was the perfect venue for our wedding. There was just something about the natural beauty of the hotel that spoke to us – we loved all the wood paneling, the palms and foliage scattered throughout the property paired with the contemporary-meets-1960’s vibe,” Danielle explains. “There was an overwhelming feeling of relaxation at The Modern and we wanted that feeling to also be felt by our guests on our wedding day.”
In keeping with their breezy destination vibe, the two chose to say “I do” poolside followed by a fun outdoor tented reception decked in gold dinnerware and hanging leis.
“My favourite part of the day was all the little stolen moments that Gord and I shared alone together,” says Danielle.
Danielle Ewan and Gordon Chin, May 21, 2016, Honolulu, Hawaii.
Photography courtesy of Crystal Marie Sing Photography.
Ceremony and reception venue: The Modern Honolulu
Bridal gown: Essense of Australia
Bridesmaid dresses: Adrianna Papell
Flowers: Passion Roots
Groom’s tux: Ted Baker
Event planner: Cortney Crane Events
High school sweethearts Courtney and Anthony met through a mutual friend in 2007 and have been inseparable ever since. “At the time he played in the OHL for the Erie Otters in Erie, P.A. We spent the next six years travelling back and forth as often as we could between Toronto and Pennsylvania in order to see each other,” Courtney shares. When Anthony got picked up by the Winnipeg Jets, Courtney made the big move to Winnipeg.
For their wedding day, the two chose to say “I do” at Toronto’s Metropolitan United Church. The ceremony was officiated Courtney’s dad, who is a pastor. Following their vows, the celebration continued at The Liberty Grand in the Governor’s Room, which was decked out with incredible details from a huge dessert table to tall floral centrepieces made up of cherry blossoms. “Our wedding day was an absolute dream, especially when it came to the decor at the reception hall. My favourite design detail was the head table—it was so lush and full of cherry blossoms that looked wild and organic,” Courtney explains. “My second favourite element of the day was definitely our sweet table. We had so much fun planning it with our cake designer Zehra. The cake table was an elaborate 18-foot display that included a main cake flanked by two smaller cakes and six mini cakes. Anthony and I hand-picked the rest of the desserts, which included meringues, mini cheesecakes, Sicilian cannoli and a variety of French and Italian pastries.”
Courtney admits that, gorgeous details aside, the best moment of the entire wedding day was seeing Anthony for the first time at the ceremony. “I was so nervous up until that moment, but when we finally saw each other at the end of the aisle, everything else disappeared. I forgot there were hundreds of people watching us. In that moment, Anthony was the only thing that mattered,” Courtney shares.
Courtney MacKenzie and Anthony Peluso, July 11, 2015, Toronto, Ontario.
Photography courtesy of Ikonica.
Ceremony venue: Metropolitan United Church
Reception venue: The Liberty Grand
Flowers: Rachel. A. Clingen Wedding and Event Design
Cake: Fine Cakes by Zehra
Wedding planners: Laura & Co.
Hair and makeup: Fancy Face Inc.
Bridal gown: Mark Zunino from Kleinfeld Hudson’s Bay
Bridesmaid dresses: Bill Levkoff from Bridesmaids Bliss
Groom’s tux: Garrison Bespoke
Music: Veriation Music, Elena Thompson and Ian Goodtimes of Toronto Bagpiper
Stationery: Paper Impressions
Cigar roller: Frank Correnti Cigars Limited
Photo booth: Outta This Booth
Ice Sculpture: Ice Culture
Wedding transportation: Luxe Drive
Guest shuttle service: Toronto LX Limo
Videographer: One Heart Films
Every year we ask cake designers all across Canada to submit their most impressive wedding cake designs, and the photos we receive never cease to amaze us. With submissions from every part of the country from Parksville, British Columbia to Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, this year’s featured cakes are as diverse as the areas they represent.
If there’s anything that we’ve gleaned when it comes to wedding cake trends for the year ahead, it’s that anything goes. Inspired by metallic hues, laser cut finishings and floral motifs, each of these 35 over-the-top confections would make a beautiful wedding sweet table centrepiece.
Want to see more stunning desserts? Check out Canada’s Prettiest Cakes for 2015.
For some couples, finding the perfect venue can be the hardest part of wedding planning. Luckily for Torontonians Mira Metter and Michael Werry, the choice came naturally. “We had been going to Mountain Lake Country Club in Florida for several years, over the holidays, and found it to be such a special place,” Mira explains. “We got engaged just before heading there for Christmas and started imagining how incredible it would be to have our guests there for a wedding. When we got home, we looked at a few other venues but everything was booked for our date and nothing was equal to Mountain Lake Country Club‘s charm.”
Inspired by their location, Mike and Mira planned a spectacular wedding weekend getaway for 120 loved ones. “Our guests mean the world to us, and we were so excited and blown away by how many came out to celebrate,” Mira says. To keep their nearest and dearest occupied, Mira and Mike created a vacation itinerary, which included golf and tennis tournaments, tours of the park, croquet, massages and several hosted dinners and brunches. For those who wanted to explore the area on their own or lounge by the pool, there were plenty of opportunities to do that, too. “The welcome dinner the night before the main event was held at the country club’s pool house, and featured both a full dance party and an epic viewing of the Blue Jays’ final game in the post-season series,” Mira says. As for the main celebration, not a single detail was overlooked—airport transportation, babysitters, and on-site hairstylists were readily available to make it an amazing and relaxing weekend for all.
Pre-ceremony, Mira and Mike took advantage of the country club’s stunning grounds. It was amid the rolling hills, orange groves and lush greenery that the duo had their first look. “She was breathtaking and everything I had imagined,” says Mike. “It was wonderful to have that moment to ourselves to contemplate the adventure we were about to embark on.” The ceremony took place at El Caserio, a 100-year-old Spanish-style house, one of 125 private residences situated inside the Mountain Lake community. “The garden features a cascading waterfall, gardens, citrus trees, a bell tower and an incredible view of the entire park,” says Mira. “It is by far one of the most incredibly beautiful and romantic places I’ve ever seen. I was beyond excited when we were offered its use for our ceremony.”
After taking pictures, the newlyweds brought guests to the Colony House, the main clubhouse and inn, for their reception. The couple used white-and-gold decor to play up the chic ambiance of the space. “We wanted everything to have a feeling of timelessness and be entirely romantic,” Mira says. “Everything was intended to blend into and enhance the existing beauty of the country club.”
To that end, Mira asked Ferris Wheel Press to create stationery that matched the modern, elegant mood. Everything, from the wedding cake topper to the invitations to the place cards, helped set the tone for Mira and Mike’s classic event.
The party got into full swing as Rusty Riggs, an eight-piece band with a DJ, kept guests entertained all evening. “Everyone danced all night—even my 96-year-old grandmother got out of her wheelchair to hit the floor,” Mira notes with a laugh. “It was awesome! I think everyone could feel we were having fun and in turn echoed the vibe, which made it even more special. To this day, our friends tell us they want to go back to our wedding to do it again.”
Mira Metter and Michael Werry, October 24, 2015, Lake Wales, Florida.
Photography courtesy of Mango Studios.
Ceremony and reception venue: Mountain Lake Country Club
Wedding planner: Abbey Grey of Blush
Bridal gown: Pronovias
Bridesmaid dresses: Intermix
Groom’s tux: Brooks Brothers
Cake: Anna Cakes
Music: Rusty Riggs
Hair and makeup: Victoria Dixon
Flowers: Lee James Floral Designs
Stationery: Ferris Wheel Press