Archive for Savannah Demeter

What’s Your Engagement Ring Style?

Fashion & Beauty » Planning

Photo courtesy of Leif Benner

Whether you’re choosing a ring yourself or leaving it to your groom, selecting an engagement ring is an exciting process. We talked to jewellery designer and goldsmith Leif Benner, and he clued us in on how to choose a ring to suit every style of bride. Which is your pick?

If you’re a trendy bride…
If you’re hoping to don the ring of the moment, consider a unique stone, like a sapphire. After the Duchess of Cambridge sported a dark blue sapphire, women everywhere fell in love with the timeless elegance of the stone. “Sapphires come in every colour of the rainbow, and with great durability and brilliance, they’re ideal for everyday wear,” says Benner. “Pair that with a custom ring designed with vintage Art Deco or Edwardian flair, and now you’ve got something really special.”

If you’re a traditional bride…
Would you describe your style as classically beautiful? Maybe you should consider a ring that, just like your look, will never go out of style. “I love a six-claw setting of a centre stone with a single row of pavé-set (meaning the surface is paved with) diamonds down the band. It’s modern and contemporary, and pairs very well with many wedding bands,” says Benner.

If you’re a risk taker…
Benner absolutely loves when brides like to experiment with the style of their rings. Does this sound like you? Maybe you should think about rings with a unique setting. Benner suggests risk-taking brides ask about rings that are cushion set, asscher cut (a style that makes the diamond look like it has several mirrors within), radiant cut (square or rectangular rings with rounded corners that make the ring sparkle) or oval. With so many options, Benner says, “the design possibilities are endless.”

If you’re a socially conscious bride…
These days, responsibly sourced diamonds are more popular than ever. If you’re interested in selecting a diamond that’s environmentally and ethically accountable, Benner says you should first ask for a diamond that lists its country of origin as Canada. Next, ask for a gem lab certificate, preferably from the Gemological Institute of America. If you take these two precautions, the ring should stand up to your socially conscious standards.

And for every bride…
Regardless of your style, Benner has three tips that are universal to anyone shopping for an engagement ring. First, take the time to research and choose the right jeweller or craftsperson. Next, make sure you’re happy with the quality of materials they’re working with. (“Keep in mind that bigger does not always mean better when it comes to stones. A smaller, clearer, nicely cut stone is always going to have more sparkle than a large, poorly cut stone,” he reminds us.) And finally, pick a design that speaks to you, even if it doesn’t exist yet. “Not only is the custom design process a lot of fun, it’s also very rewarding,” says Benner. “From picking your own gem to brainstorming ideas, and then honing the design, you are sure to get something that is exactly right for you.”

5 Tips for Choosing The Perfect Wedding Bands

Fashion & Beauty

Photo courtesy Maison Birks.

Now that you’ve got the perfect engagement ring adorning your left hand, it’s time for the hard part: deciding on a pair of wedding bands for you and your mister. With more choices on the market than ever, selecting a wedding ring can seem like a daunting task. After all, you’ll be wearing it for the rest of your life! Fortunately, we spoke with custom jeweller Erin Tracy and came up with these five tips to help you demystify the process.

Go for lasting love

Though it’s perfectly okay to choose trendy rings, make sure the design (and your love for it) will stand the test of time. Luckily, rings with a vintage feel are currently in style. So, if you’re looking for rings that are both current and enduring, Tracy recommends designs with, “a bit of rose gold or vintage filigree patterning, or small pavé set stones.”

Don’t be afraid to mix and match

Some brides and grooms are unclear about the rules for mixing and matching a band with an engagement ring and partner’s band. The good news is that matching isn’t mandatory. “If the design suffers in order to have a matched set, design wins and you can forget about matching,” says Tracy. Rings don’t have to be identical, but couples should still make sure the different components of the rings work together to create a cohesive look. To make this process easier, Birks will be introducing a Wedding Band Bar in the spring that will allow you and your husband-to-be to try on a variety of rings and combinations while learning about everything from the setting to the design of each individual ring.

Choose the right material for you

Traditionally, there are three metals that wedding bands are crafted with: yellow gold, white gold and platinum. Yellow gold is generally the least expensive and also the most customary, but white gold easily co-ordinates with other jewellery. Platinum is the most expensive of the three, but it’s also the strongest. And recently, couples are beginning to choose titanium wedding rings because they’re unique and scratch-resistant. Consider which metal works best for your lifestyle before you speak with a jeweller.

Don’t sacrifice comfort

A flashy ring with a wide band might look great on, but is it practical? If you work with your hands a thinner band might work better because it’s less cumbersome. You should also make sure it fits your hand properly. When choosing a band, a good rule of thumb (no pun intended) is to choose a width based on the length of your fingers. For someone with bigger hands and longer fingers, a wider band is the best choice. If you’ve got small hands or short fingers, go with a slimmer band.

Consider custom made

Choosing custom made bands gives you the freedom to select everything from the materials to the dimensions of each ring. And not only does creating your own bands give you total design freedom, it also means you’ll be choosing something tailored to you. “I always ask my clients many questions to understand what works for them and their lifestyle,” says Tracy. “It’s about making a beautiful ring, but it’s also about making something that’s suitable for them.”

25 Ways to Incorporate White Flowers into Your Wedding


White flowers have been a staple at weddings for years. Whether brides are carrying them or wearing them, pure white blooms always seem to take centre stage in the world of wedding flowers. That’s why we’ve rounded up 25 traditional (and non-traditional) ways to incorporate white flowers into your big day.

25 Favours for Any Theme


When it comes to wedding favours, the sky’s the limit. And now more than ever, we’ve noticed how creative brides have gotten with their gifts. We simply couldn’t help but share them with you. From delicious to thoughtful, here are 25 of our favourite wedding favours for your viewing pleasure.

20 Beautiful Bridal Ballgowns

Fashion & Beauty » Wedding Dresses

Regardless of your personal fashion sense, you’ve probably admired at least one ballgown in your lifetime, and your wedding day is the perfect opportunity to try this style on for size! We’ve rounded up 20 of our favourite drool-worthy princess dresses for you to peruse. Enjoy!


20 Sexy Silk and Satin Gowns

Fashion & Beauty » Wedding Dresses


We love tulle. Ditto for lace and taffeta. But there’s just something about silk and satin that show off a woman’s figure like no other fabric can. That’s why we’re counting down our favourite silk and satin gowns from this year’s runways. If you’re looking for a dress that’s sure to turn heads and drop jaws, be sure to check out some of these figure-flattering frocks.

25 Unique Place Card Ideas


Besides the marriage itself, one of the great things about a wedding is that as a couple, you get to be creative. And place cards are an especially excellent way for you to stray from the status quo and wow guests with your attention to detail. If you need a little inspiration, check out these 25 fresh place cards and see which ones match your big day.

25 Single-Flower Arrangements We Love


Photo courtesy of Bryan Caporicci Photography.

The good news is, single flower bouquets are trending this wedding season. The better news? They’re a great way to cut costs without sacrificing the quality of your flowers. We’ve compiled 25 of our favourite arrangements for your viewing pleasure.


Designer Bridal Gowns For Less

Fashion & Beauty » Wedding Dresses

Every bride wants to look breathtaking on her wedding day, and there’s definitely no shortage of options out there to make you stand out. (Especially when it comes to designer bridal gowns by big names like Vera Wang and Monique Lhuillier). But purchasing your dream dress—and sticking to your wedding budget—can sometimes seem like a far-fetched goal. Fortunately, we’ve enlisted the help of Ashley Childs of Vancouver’s Blush Occasions to compile our top five tips for helping you select a gown you love without breaking the bank. Rest assured it is possible to find designer bridal gowns for less.

1) Keep it Simple
If you’re on a tight budget, the first step you should take is to be realistic about the design of your dress. Chances are, the more embellishments a gown has, the more expensive it will be. So, when you’re shopping for a gown, Childs advises brides to go for dresses with a slim silhouette or a simple design to avoid sacrificing the quality of the dress.

2) Experiment with New Designers
Considering a budding designer can be a great cost-cutting technique. “Without the name and branding behind them, their gowns often retail at a lower price point,” says Childs. “And this doesn’t necessarily correspond to a lower quality in the fabric or material.” Don O’Neill, for example, worked alongside French designer Christian Lacroix in Paris. Now that he has his own line, Theia Couture, he creates quality gowns that retail for around $1,000 to $2,000. This gorgeous ballgown (see above) is just one example of what O’Neill can create—at a price you can afford!

3) Consider a Canadian gown
When you buy a gown that was made by a foreign designer, you’re not just paying for the gown itself. Often, transportation and duty fees raise the price of dresses for Canadian brides. So why not support local designers and cut costs at the same time? If Canadian gowns interest you, a great place to start is Alyne, a Canadian line produced by Rita Vinieras of Rivini.

4) Think Outside the Box
If you don’t mind steering away from traditional gowns, or if you’re having a destination wedding, purchasing a shorter dress is a great way to get your hands on a quality look for less. Mostly, this is because material costs for short dresses are lower. Childs suggests brides considering this option check out the Amsale Little White Dress Collection, which features a range of different styles, all under $1,200. Designer bridal gowns that are above the knee can be much more affordable than their full-length counterparts.

5) Plan Ahead
Just like your mother told you, beauty takes time. If the prospect of spending all that hard-earned cash is leaving you overwhelmed, ordering your gown well in advance might ease some of the pressure. Most bridal boutiques only require a 50 percent deposit upon ordering your dress, while the remaining balance is usually due around the time alterations begin. “If the gown is ordered well in advance, it can make for a nice long break before the final installment is due,” says Childs. As well, planning ahead leaves you plenty of time to check out sample sales (where designer dresses can retail for 25 to 70 percent less) and trunk shows (where designers have been known to throw in incentives like discounted alterations or veils).

20 Unique Wedding Cakes with Whimsical Patterns and Textures


Choosing your wedding cake is a great opportunity to explore your creative side. Whether you’re craving a funky animal print confection or a classic damask cake, we’ve got a flavour for everyone in this batch of 20 scrumptious cakes.

10 Beautiful Gowns Inspired by Real Canadian Brides

Fashion & Beauty » Wedding Dresses

Have you been drooling over a dress worn by one of the brides in our Real Weddings section? Well, you’re in luck. We’ve compiled a list of 10 stylish brides and 10 gowns inspired by their wedding-day looks. Enjoy!

5 Tips for Picking Your Dream Venue


Photo courtesy of The Loft Hotel

After selecting a date, one of the first steps you’ll take in the planning of your wedding is choosing a venue. We asked Laura Atendido and Kelly Spinelli of Laura Kelly Wedding Designs and Rich Bride, Poor Bride about the details brides often overlook when selecting a venue and they helped us come up with the following five tips for securing your ideal location.

Uncover Hidden Expenses
Gratuities, lighting, audio and sometimes even cake cutting are all costs that can often be left out of a venue’s standard fee. For a more realistic price, Atendido and Spinelli say brides should ask for a quote that includes all possible add-ons. That way, hidden expenses won’t mess with your wedding budget later on in the planning process.

Cut Costs Creatively
Chances are a venue will probably be one of the most expensive aspects of your wedding. And if you’re on a tight budget, you might be wondering how you can lessen the blow. Atendido and Spinelli  say there are ways of saving without sacrificing the quality of your venue, like asking if the venue can provide a consumption bar during dinner hours instead of an open bar. “This means the bar will be kept open during dinner but you are only paying for the drinks ordered,” says Atendido. Another sneaky way to cut costs is to omit a late night snack by choosing to serve your wedding cake instead.

Do Your Homework
Just like writing a test, the entire location selection process will be easier if you know your stuff. It might seem obvious, but before even visiting a venue you should read reviews, visit the website of each site you’re considering and request a wedding package with rates specific to your big day. And even if you have your heart set on a certain spot, Atendido and Spinelli suggest visiting at least five or six venues before making your final selection.

Ask And You Shall Receive
Though the base price of a site will usually have very little wiggle room, it’s advisable to at least try to negotiate your way into a deal that works for you and your budget. Food and beverage upgrades and a better payment plan are all options that can be negotiated. Atendido and Spinelli say brides would be surprised by the amount of positive responses they can get just by asking. But the pair also says you should always remember to “do your negotiations before you sign on the dotted line.” After the contract is signed, you’ll have significantly less leverage.

Details, Details, Details
When you fall in love with a space, it’s easy to overlook details and forget to pin down the specifics. While base fees and capacity are something you’ll initially inquire about, there are also a lot of intricate details that come along with choosing a venue. Atendido and Spinelli say brides should absolutely ask about server to guest ratios, handicap accessibility, whether or not there will be complimentary tastings and when you will be able to set up for your big day. As well, you should be clear about the rules. Some venues might require you to use in-house rental companies, follow a certain payment plan or have a minimum amount for revenue or number of guests.

15 Lace Wedding Gowns We Love

Fashion & Beauty » Wedding Dresses

Lace has always been a fixture in the world of wedding gowns. In the past year, however, the romantic fabric has taken centre stage at several prestigious weddings: the Duchess of Cambridge wore lace for the royal nuptials and Molly Sims donned a sexy Marchesa gown during her ceremony. Whether your dream gown is sophisticated, fun, classic or all of the above, check out 15 of our favourite lace gowns and see which one fits your style.