Archive for Weddingbells

The Four Best Resorts to Top Your Destination Wedding List

Travel » Destination Weddings » Sponsored Content

There are many reasons to choose a destination wedding: the glamorous resort, the romantic setting, the high level of all-inclusive luxury, the on-site wedding planner, and all of it culminating in an intimate week-long celebration with your loved ones.

Luxury resorts understand the importance of your destination wedding, and together with Transat, these properties offer some amazing perks for you and your significant other, including:

  • Flight upgrade
  • Complimentary VIP. access to select Canadian airport lounges
  • Wedding gown as free additional carry-on
  • Credit on a pre-booked excursion
  • Voucher for future travel to celebrate your one-year anniversary

Plus, you and your fiancé can receive special rates to visit the resort before the big day and ensure your vision a reality.

Three alluring destinations for nuptials are Mexico’s Nuevo Vallarta and Cancun, and the Dominican Republic’s Punta Cana. Check out the following elite destination wedding spots that go above and beyond.


Nuevo Vallarta

For a stunning setting, look no further than Reflect Krystal Grand Nuevo Vallarta, which sits on a magnificent five-kilometre golden-sand Pacific Ocean beach with the Sierra de Vallejo mountains in the background. This breathtaking location is the perfect backdrop for every magical moment during your destination wedding.

The property boasts elegantly modern decor, from the chic rooms to the grand infinity pool that fades off into the turquoise ocean and horizon. Onsite recreation ranges from a fitness centre and bicycles to every water activity imaginable, with other amusements, such as horseback riding and golf, nearby. Guests can explore the area on outings, including eco-tours, extreme adventures and cultural excursions, like exploring the charming colonial town of Puerto Vallarta.

Wine and dine guests at the resort’s gourmet restaurants, organize an evening sipping cocktails on the rooftop Sky Lounge or pre-arrange for a special cocktail to be created to toast the two of you!


Paradise awaits at the Reflect Cancun Resort & Spa where expansive white sand beaches provide an exquisite Caribbean Sea playground for your ultimate destination wedding. Close to the shopping and nightlife of Cancun, the resort has a sensational locale, especially at night with the glittering city lights as your backdrop.

The property also has four swimming pools (including one for kids and an adult-only infinity pool) plus loads of land activities, including bicycles, a fitness centre, ping pong and a games room—your guests will never run out of fun.

Paradise awaits at the Reflect Cancun Resort and Spa, where expansive white-sand beaches provide an exquisite Caribbean Sea playground for your ultimate destination wedding. Close to the shopping and nightlife of Cancun, the resort has a sensational locale, especially at night with the glittering city lights as your backdrop.

The property also has four swimming pools (including one for kids and an adult-only infinity pool) plus loads of land activities, including bicycles, a fitness centre, ping pong and a games room—your guests will never run out of fun.

The luxe, authentic decor creates a serene atmosphere throughout the resort, from rooms and suites to the myriad of dining options. The entertainment team also hosts special classes, including mixology and wine or tequila tastings. Arrange one of these as a unique, intimate time for you, your fiancé and your wedding guests— one of many memorable events to form part of your fabulous destination wedding.


Punta Cana

The Now Larimar Punta Cana resort is the perfect escape for a luxurious destination wedding for you, your family and your friends, with multiple settings to host your big day, including a botanical garden with lush, tropical vegetation. In addition to your private celebrations, you can entertain in the international gourmet restaurants and 13 bars and lounges featuring top-shelf liquors. And 24-hour room service means that you can keep the festivities going long after retiring to your suite.

Guests can unwind on the spectacular white-sand Bávaro Beach, party poolside, try their luck at the resort casino or indulge at the spa. The property offers family-friendly activities, including tennis, basketball and a fully equipped bowling alley. And your party can explore the region on exciting excursions to nearby islands, jungle safaris or local villages.

Punta Cana

If your crew is adults-only, the award-winning Secrets Royal Beach Punta Cana is a utopian Caribbean oasis to host your wedding abroad. Luxuriate in the quiet of the palm-studded, white-sand private beach, featuring strictly non-motorized water sports. Other grown-up playtime options include revelling in the free-form pool that stretches throughout the property.

Culinary delicacies await in the swanky restaurants, including the Wine Cellar—perfect for a sumptuous, intimate gathering. Access is included to two nearby sister resorts, featuring 12 additional restaurants, 14 bars and other facilities, such as a casino and golf courses.

All rooms are suites with gorgeous accommodations. Pampering options entail a hydro-tub on your terrace, a world-class spa and whatever you can dream up with your private butler.

Your onsite coordinator is waiting to turn your dream wedding into a reality at Secrets Royal Beach Punta Cana. Envision your perfect day your way at this heavenly retreat, where the wedding coordinator will make every detail fit the fairy tale you imagine.

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All The Products You Need For A Flawless Wedding-Day Complexion

Fashion & Beauty » Skin Care & Makeup

Photo by Alvaro Goveia.

Perfect skin is a wedding do and these foundations, serums and glow getters will create a flawless face. Start with essential skincare products to ensure your skin is at its best even without any makeup, and then choose the right foundation for you to ensure a gorgeous all throughout your wedding day. Add blush and highlight and voila, you have the perfect base. We’ve rounded up some of our favourite products to help you put your best photo-ready face forward.

Editor Alison McGill. Product photography by Geoffrey Ross.

A Caribbean-Inspired Summer Wedding in Ottawa

Real Weddings

A Caribbean-Inspired Summer Wedding in Ottawa, Ontario - Bride and Groom

For Ann-Lori and Ryan, a Caribbean-inspired wedding was always in the cards. “Growing up, our house was surrounded by plants and flowers that my mother cared for religiously,” Ann-Lori explains. “So I wanted a wedding that reminded me of a tropical garden. One of my favourite flowers are the fuschia bougainvilleas, because they’re so vibrant. From the get-go, I knew that I wanted to incorporate the bright pinks and a lot of greenery into the design.”

Ryan’s favourite moment was watching Ann-Lori walk down the aisle. “Probably a full minute or more before Ann-Lori showed her face or even started walking down the aisle, my ave quivered and the tears started rolling,” Ryan recalls. “It was no surprise—I told her I would be a wreck as soon as she walked in.”

Ann-Lori’s vision for beautiful vibrant flowers and lush tropical florals was fulfilled with the help of The Design Co. “The blue chinoiserie plates were a nice detail for our reception as well,” the bride says. “My grandmother, mother and myself have a particular penchant for blue dishes—I was very happy that Stacey of The Design Co. was able to find those.”

The couple’s first dance was only rehearsed once—for 30 minutes, two days before the wedding. “Ryan likes to dance and we hardly get the chance to do so,” Ann-Lori shares. “When the time came to dance together during the reception, it was so organic and fun. We danced to two songs—the first a slow dance, and then some Haitian kompa. Yes, my husband did step on my dress a few times. I’m not sure anyone noticed, but to me it was hilarious!”

Ann-Lori Durandis and Ryan Marshall,, August 19, 2018, Ottawa, Ontario.

Photography courtesy of Ali and Batoul Photography.

Venue: All Saints Event Space
Bridal gown: Hayley Paige
Wedding planner & flowers: The Design Co.
Groom’s tux and groomsmen’s attire: Tip Top Tailors
Bridesmaid gowns: White Runway
Cake & dessert table: Pretty Sweet Bakeshop
Stationery: Citrus Press
Hair: Eminence Coiffure
Makeup: Anthonia Makeup
Rentals: Joe’s Prop House and Prior Engagements
Plateware: Plate Occasions
Linens: Groovy Linen

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The Most Inspiring Same-Sex Weddings


It’s Pride Month here in Toronto, and we want celebrate the festivities by sharing some of our favourite same-sex weddings. These real weddings feature gorgeous colour palettes, lavish centrepieces, fun food ideas, and tons of other lovely little details that you’ll want to use for your own special day.

Bucket List Honeymoon Spots

Travel » Honeymoons


Your honeymoon should be your ultimate dream vacation. It may be the most luxurious holiday you will ever take and if there was a time in your life to live it up this is certainly it. We at Weddingbells have the good fortune of checking out some of the most incredible destinations in the world—all in the name of research of course—and have put together a primer on some of our favourite luxury properties. We’ve got something for every type of honeymooner, from a private Bahamian island resort to an incredible Relais & Chateaux in the Irish countryside. Time to start planning (and packing!)

9 Things That Guarantee The Best Wedding Day Ever


Photography courtesy of Alice Xue Weddings as seen in this real wedding.

At Weddingbells we see a lot of amazing weddings and collectively we have been to some incredible ones. It’s pretty safe to say we are more qualified to tell you what we think creates an outstanding party. You want the day to be personal, unique and fun, and that also means giving your party people the very best wedding guest experience. Take it from the us, the experts—these are nine things that guarantee yours is the ultimate party to remember.

“For me the best wedding experience is really a 360 degree plan—great music, food, activities and flow of events. I appreciate any form of entertainment to keep busy when not on the dance floor (everyone loves a photo booth—you can take it one step further by hiring a portrait photographer or illustrator). Signature cocktails, sweet tables and late night stations keep your foodie guests happy and are practically a requirement these days. And to ensure that the night goes smoothly, make sure flow of the evening is right—keep speeches short and sweet, and hire a DJ that will have your guests on the dance floor all night.”
—Kim Aglipay, associate editor

“In true editor fashion, I am all about impeccable event execution and curation. The best parties are ones that feel seamless, run smoothly and are perfectly cruise-directed. That means the wedding day events are well paced and perfectly planned making everything easy. Don’t neglect spending energy on planning your run-of-show for the day—it will ensure you and your guests have the best wedding.”
—Alison McGill, editor-in-chief

“My favourite part of any wedding is the party after dinner! A great DJ with a stellar playlist to get everyone up on the dance floor is essential to the best wedding memories. I always enjoy seeing which one of the guests is going to show their true colours by letting loose on the dance floor! Often it’s the person you least expected to dance who busts out the craziest moves and then everyone talks about that impromptu surprise element for years to come. “
—Carrie MacPherson, digital & social editor, Mariage Quebec

Photography courtesy of Shari + Mike as seen in this real wedding.

“The best wedding experiences feel intimate and personal. A fave element is a looping multimedia elements featuring images of the bride and groom from childhood up to present day. Many guests only know one of the partners well, and even then, may only know them from a specific era of their life. Mix it up with goofy, charming and heartfelt images and you’ll have a knock-out detail guests will talk about forever.”
—Kate Yorga, copy editor

“Weddings (and unfortunately, funerals) are the best occasions to catch up with old friends and meet new ones, so being seated with a fun group of people is one of the things that makes for a great wedding experience for me as a guest. And it’s a total bonus if there is delicious, interesting food to eat while mingling with good friends at the wedding reception. I attended a wedding reception last summer where, due to work, we arrived only in time for the dance and the “midnight buffet”. Even at that hour, a rotation of amazing finger foods like mini grilled cheese sandwiches and sliders continued to be served. We had a great time celebrating with the bride and groom and our friends on the dance floor and we left content, without having eaten at the reception dinner.”
—Lois Kim, designer

“The best weddings I’ve attended were fun and exciting with an air of good will and celebration. The most memorable splurged on a live band, which really set the mood and kept the party going. They also served good food and good wine (in moderation). Everyone loves to see the dress, the flowers, the gorgeous room or intimate setting chosen…and every element from the invites to the speeches play an important role in telling the story, but the best part by far is enjoying each other and taking the time to feel the love y’all – cause love‘s what it’s all about.”
—Liz Duerksen, account manager

Photography courtesy of Geoff Fitzgerald as seen in this real wedding.

The best part of weddings is the personal touches throughout the day and into the night. It is very difficult to have a wedding stand out and be different. It isn’t about being over the top but about making the day about the couple and for the details to be effortless yet personal.”
—Annie Gabrielian, director newsstand/consumer marketing

 “I am a real romantic and I love the power of words so the best part of a wedding to me is definitely the vows. I love it when the bride and groom find a way to make it really personal with a touch of humour making the guests going from laughing to crying. I love that moment of emotion before everyone kicks into high party gear!”
Emmanuelle Ghersi, managing editor, Mariage Quebec

“I love weddings and I love to dance, so for or me it’s all about the music. A good mix is key, new and old, fast and slow. I’m all in. Oh, and a little Macarena never hurt anyone!’
—Tara Williams, contributing stylist


Find Amazing Wedding Inspiration At The Toronto Bridal Brunch

Local Finds

Want a perfect spring Sunday brunch out with your bridal #squad filled with pretty wedding ideas? The Toronto Bridal Brunch is the city’s newest event happening on April 7th at the Globe and Mail Centre, and will be brimming with incredible wedding ideas from food to décor and fashion.

Amazing gourmet dishes will take centre stage, with two brunch sittings featuring a bespoke menu from the Marie BrunchCafé created by Presidential Gourmet. The Toronto Bridal Brunch will also feature a curated vendor marketplace where the latest in bridal style, beauty, floral, décor and food trends will be showcased.

Other event must-sees include the fashion show featuring gorgeous gowns by Valencienne and Sash & Bustle, and a seat at The Conversation Stage which will be hosted by Weddingbells Editor-in-Chief Alison McGill. A star lineup of wedding experts will be featured on-stage, ready to chat all things wedding planning and offering their insider tips and tricks to ensure your day (and all the work leading up to it!) runs smoothly and stress-free.

For more information about the Toronto Bridal Brunch and to buy tickets visit

11 Popular Bachelorette Party Destinations (And What To Do When You Get There)



You’re getting married! Or maybe your best friend is. This means you are eager to travel, and have a memorable “last fling before the ring” with your girls. Whether you are looking for a dream beach getaway, adventure in the big city or a relaxing spa escape, we have rounded up our top 10 bachelorette destinations for an amazing girls’ getaway. With details on what to do and where to stay, this bachelorette party travel guide is guaranteed to make planning your dream vacation with your BFFs a breeze.

Looking for more cool wedding ideas? Sign up for our newsletter!

These Are The Winners Of The Weddingbells 2019 Canadian Wedding Awards


We are thrilled to present the winners of the first annual Weddingbells Canadian Wedding Awards for 2019! Celebrating the best in bridal products and services, 18 winners have been selected from entries submitted from across Canada, in a variety of categories encompassing all wedding details, including bridal fashion design, flowers, cakes, photography, videography, venues and wedding planning. An expert panel, consisting of editors and editorial contributors from Weddingbells and sister publication Mariage Québec, judged our inaugural awards, a task that was definitely not an easy one!

“There is so much phenomenal talent in the Canadian wedding industry, we wanted to recognize and celebrate the best in the business with the first annual Weddingbells Canadian Wedding Awards,” says Alison McGill, Editor-in-Chief of Weddingbells & Editorial Director of Mariage Québec. “We were overwhelmed by the entries we received and by the quality of work, which was incredibly inspiring.”

The winners of the 2019 Canadian Weddingbells Wedding Awards are:

Bridal Hair: Uno Jo Bridal Hair

Bridal Makeup: Victoria Radford, Radford Studio

Canadian Bridal Designer: Bride by Catherine Langlois

Grand Wedding Venue: Hacienda Sarria

Hotel Wedding Venue (TIE): Langdon Hall Country House Hotel & Spa

Hotel Wedding Venue (TIE):  The Omni King Edward Hotel

Intimate Wedding Venue: Painted Rock Estate Winery

Rustic Wedding Venue: 100 Acre Wood

Styled Shoot: Kaas Floral Design

Wedding Cakes & Sweets: A.Elizabeth Cakes

Wedding Caterer: Eatertainment Special Events & Catering

Wedding Florist: Wild North Flowers

Wedding Photography: Blush Wedding Photography

Wedding Planner: Emma McCormick Creative Planning & Production

Wedding Stationery: Paper & Poste

Wedding Videographer: Kyla Habazin

Western Real Wedding of the Year: Kaela & Jeppe’s Galiano Island Wedding planned by Emma McCormick Creative Planning & Production

Central Real Wedding of the Year: Rosa & Alex’s Toronto Wedding planned by Lynzie Kent, Love by Lynzie

Check out these incredible winning entries by clicking through our gallery. Congratulations to all our winners and participants. All winning work will also be featured in the Fall & Winter 2019 issue of Weddingbells out in July.

Registering For Your Wedding Has Never Been Easier (Or More Fun!) At Hudson’s Bay

Planning » Home & Registry

After you’ve selected your wedding date and booked your venue, there are a few key boxes left to tick at the top of your wedding to do list. Setting up your registry is absolutely one of them. This is your chance to put together your wish list of gifts for all stages of your celebration: engagement, showers and the actual big day. Having a registry is such a benefit to your nearest and dearest as it takes the guess work out of gifting. It’s also one of the best parts of wedding planning (does it get any better than creating your ultimate shopping list?!) and Hudson’s Bay has just re-launched their registry program to make the process easier, faster and seriously fun.

At Hudson’s Bay you can literally start your wedding registry in less than a minute! An in-store appointment can be made to help you get scanning but it’s not required. A easy-to-use interface on the store’s computers and ipads allows you to quickly enter your information, then you are ready to start scanning your most wanted using your mobile device. You can also easily double team your shopping by having you scan with your smartphone and your partner use one of Hudson’s Bay compact mobile scanners. Once you are set up, you can come back and add items to your wishlist at anytime with a quick scan, or do so online at home in your pjs. Think #registerandchill!

Other cool features of Hudson’s Bay new registry includes a profile progress feature which shows you how your gift list is progressing and makes it possible to publish your registry so all wedding guests can see what to purchase. You can also select gift faves so guests know what’s at the top of your list and Hudson’s Bay registry calculator helps you determine the right number of gifts to include at all price points. Hudson’s Bay’s AutoLocate feature of the Hudson’s Bay system also makes it a breeze for a guest to buy a gift at any store location across Canada. If the store does not have the product requested a store associate can AutoLocate the item and have it shipped directly to you. Want to share your registry digitally? That’s easy to do too as you can create a personal registry URL, copy and share via email, Facebook, Twitter.

Now that you’re ready to get set up and shopping, wondering what the top hits are at Hudson’s Bay that everyone wants on their registry? We visited the store to show you how easy it is and also rounded up a hot list of Hudson’s Bay’s top registry items across Canada.

*The Hudson’s Bay Toronto Queen Street store is hosting an in-store registry scanning party on March 2! The first 50 people to RSVP will receive a gift bag (value $200) and a chance to win a $500 gift card. Please visit here to RSVP.




Discover Why Cuba is Your Perfect Destination Wedding Island

Planning » Sponsored Content » Travel

You’ll be in good company choosing Cuba as your love locale: even Beyoncé and Jay-Z, music’s power couple, have rendezvoused with this one-of-a-kind destination to discover it’s a tropical paradise like no other.

Steeped in Spanish colonial history that has evolved into its own extraordinarily vibrant culture, this unique Caribbean island offers unparalleled ways to create your dream destination wedding and honeymoon.

Indulge In Beauty

Gorgeous resorts abound across Cuba, from Varadero and Cayo Santa Maria to Cayo Coco and Holguin. The beautiful properties boast lush landscaping, modern decor, ritzy rooms, butler service, entertainment and activities, gourmet restaurants and chic nightclubs. Hosting a wedding at one of these impressive spots often means perks, from discounts for guest room blocks to freebie details for your wedding, and special indulgences for you as a couple.

An intimate destination wedding in Cuba means loads of venue options, from the open European-style courtyards and ornate cathedrals of Havana to spectacular settings at the resorts. And then there are the beaches…

A Beach For Every Occasion

Imagine your feet being massaged by fine, pure white sand as you stroll hand in hand with your mister, the ocean waves tickling your toes gently washing away your stress. The sky is blue, the sun warmly caressing your skin and there’s not a care to think about.

This is Cuba, with miles upon miles of spectacular beaches to relax and play on, always taking honours among the planet’s top sand spots. Last year in 2018 TripAdvisor ranked Cuba’s Varadero Beach as one of the best beaches in the world.

And think of the Instagram posts, with mind-blowing backdrops ranging from hot white sun, turquoise blue sky, rolling ocean waves and swaying green palm trees to the myriad of activities—from swimming, snorkelling and kite surfing to floating hand in hand and romantic sunset walks–waiting for snaps of you and your mister in action.

An Adventure For Every Mood

While it is important to spend time relaxing on those magnificent beaches, Cuba also offers loads of recreation for fun in the sun, from snorkelling, sailing and diving to fly-fishing, hiking, horseback riding, cycling and more.

Those are just the physical pursuits—there are amazing cultural encounters to entice your entire wedding party to explore Cuban life: from private tours in classic, vintage convertibles and learning how cigars are rolled, to visiting art galleries, artist’s studios and museums, to exploring world-class live music and dance events.

Experience Local Traditions

In Cuba, renown for its son cubano music made popular internationally by the Buena Vista Social Club film, music is everywhere, from the sidewalks of Havana to restaurants, bars and every venue imaginable. Make your day memorable by booking a local band to serenade guests all night long. Go one step further and take rumba lessons in advance, to surprise guests during your first number with this slow, sexy couple’s dance that originated here.

Add to the Cuban vibe on your day with a traditional pig roast. A whole pig is doused the day before in a tangy citrus-garlic marinade called adobo, then slow-roasted outdoors in a pit for several hours.

Create extra glamour with a cigar tasting lounge—Cuba produces over 50 million annually and they’re considered among the world’s finest. Local experts can guide guests through the experience, since similar to fine wines, there are subtleties to explore.

Ease & Expertise

Cuba was one of the first Caribbean locales to make destination weddings easy, from simplifying the legal paperwork to letting you personalize your day your way with specific colors, linens, flowers and so much more. Savvy couples will find most Cuban resorts have package deals—a one-stop shop for a memorable, ace experience—that includes an on-site wedding planner who will easily arrange to perfection the officiant, cake, music and every little detail.

Not only is the planning stress taken care of, the getting there is easy too. The island is just a short hop away—30 cities in Canada offer direct flights to Cuba.

So wherever you are, you can get to your dream celebration with ease, to start your new life together. A bonus is you can then roll your honeymoon right into the wedding. You’re already in Cuba, the travel is behind you—the honeymoon starts the second you and your mister say, “I do.”

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Valentine’s Day Goodies To Grab Now For Your Wedding


If you’re like us and are mad for heart-shaped everything, this is the season to pick up the absolute best pieces. From jewellery to candies, housewares, and sweet gifts and fun accessories for your girls, Valentine’s Day brings out the best-of-the-best—and since these treats are around for a limited time only, it’s time to get shopping! Here are 15 of our favourite things to shop for this V-day.

25 Seriously Creative Wedding Favour Ideas

Planning » Reception Ideas

Wedding favours are a meaningful gesture you can give to your guests on your big day. As a token of appreciation for their attendance on your special day, you want to ensure your favours are both memorable and reflective of your celebration.

From customized foodie treats to quirky tattoos, t-shirts and DIY snow globes, we’ve gathered 25 ideas for epic wedding swag that’s way too good to leave on the table at the end of the night.

David’s Bridal Has Opened A Gorgeous New Location In Vaughan, Ontario

Local Finds

Photography by Glenn Pritchard

Hundreds of brides flocked to Vaughan, Ontario this Thursday for the grand opening of David’s Bridal‘s newest Canadian location. To celebrate the occasion, Weddingbells partnered with the brand to host an opening party extravaganza complete with champagne, sweet treats, gorgeous flowers, a live art installation, a photo booth, gift bags, prizes and, of course, an endless array of gorgeous gowns and accessories.

Change rooms were bustling with brides and their bridesmaids trying on affordable looks to suit every type of celebration. Meanwhile, models sashayed about the door highlighting some of the season’s hottest styles.

Flip through the slides below to see some of the highlights of the celebration, along with some of the stunning merchandise you can expect to find in David’s Bridal locations from coast to coast.