Wedding Essentials, Canada Lifestyle Edition | Spring/Summer 2019

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Wedding Essentials ONTARIO EDITION










omp Bride’slimentary Surviva l Guide See pag

e 82



… and more inspiration for your wedding

Congratulations! YOUR WEDDING! YOUR DAY! YOUR WAY! Here we are near the end of the second decade of this century and you are truly lucky to be planning your wedding. No bride has ever had the opportunity and freedom to plan your wedding than you have right now. Whether you want a fully traditional “Victorian Wedding” or a simple “DYI Wedding” you are free to plan it to fit with your style and your expectations. Your wedding is your day – your story – and you can create it however you want. The writers and advertisers in this magazine are here to help with proven ideas and new concepts. From cover to cover, we have brought to you, pictures, concepts and ideas from which you can draw on the experience of others, and choose to put your signature on your day. Here at Wedding Essentials, we help you design your wedding by bringing ideas to you, such as how to organize yourself in the beginning strategy of planning your day, staying within your financial goals and ways to make your first few months of your marriage even better. We will also send you, free of charge, our 128-page book, the Bride’s Survival Guide which is more than a checklist; it has thoughts, ideas and memory joggers to give you a place to write your notes and plan all the details needed to make your story come to life. Please flip to the reply card on page 82 to request your free copy. It is your wedding, your day and with our help, you can design it your way. I’m excited to be a part of the planning, and please send up picture so we can include your story in our upcoming magazines.

P.S. One of our writers, Alanna Newman is getting married and has been telling us how she uses The Bride’s Survival Guide to guide her journey from the engagement to the honeymoon.

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Wedding Essentials VOL. 21, NO. 1 | SPRING / SUMMER 2019

PUBLISHER John Webster |


CONTRIBUTORS T.P. Black | Rita Callahan | Be Conrad | Alana Douglas | Imari Gower David Jones | Alanna Newman | Alicia Stewart | TJ Walker

DIRECTOR Carolyn Ryan |

DESIGN Priscilla Di Carlo |

ACCOUNTING Kelly McClatchey |

ADVERTISING SALES Wedding Essentials is published by The Town Crier of Markham Inc. ©Copyright 2019 The Town Crier of Markham Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any part of this publication in any form without the written permission of the publishers is prohibited. Wedding Essentials and Internet Bridal Show are registered trade names of The Town Crier of Markham Inc., and the unauthorized use of these trade names is strictly prohibited. The information in this publication is believed to be accurate. However, neither Wedding Essentials nor The Town Crier of Markham Inc. can or will be held liable for the quality or performance of goods and services provided by advertisers listed herein. FOR ADVERTISING INFORMATION CONTACT Wedding Essentials, Sales Office | 7-122 Saunders Road, Barrie ON L4N 9A8 Phone: 416.498.4996 | Email: Advertise@ For more wedding tips, trends and information, check out our rapidly-expanding website at Printed in Canada. Like us! Follow us! Pin us! Join us!





VOL. 21, NO. 1 SPRING / SUMMER 2019


5 TOP TIPS FOR WORKING WITH A WEDDING COORDINATOR Keep your co-ordinator happy and efficient, so that you’ll get the best possible results.


10 GREAT DATES YOUR MAN WILL LOVE Date nights to wow your life partner and take charge in a fantastic experience.


FOLLOW ALONG AS I PLAN MY WEDDING! Alanna Newman will be sharing her process of wedding planning in real time.


5 THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE BOOKING A DRONE WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER The highs and lows of aerial photography for you and your guests.


THE PERFECT BRIDESMAID PROPOSAL Fun ways to invite your bridesmaids to join your wedding party.


THE PERFECT GETAWAY A dreamy mini-moon, bachelor(ette) party and venue location!


BRIDAL ELEGANCE FOR THE FULLER FIGURE Use dress styling to conceal figure flaws that we may think we have.


FABULOUS FUNKY FOOTWEAR Five weird and wonderful wedding shoe options.




10 TIPS FOR SAYING NO DURING WEDDING PLANNING How to say no without offending your loved ones.


17 FUN, CREATIVE AND EDIBLE ESCORT CARD IDEAS Ways to make your message functional and delicious!




GETTING REMARRIED? Prepare your finances with these four critical steps.


7 TIPS FOR MAKING WEDDING GUESTS HAPPY Don’t forget to please your guests even on your big day.


4 DEAL BREAKERS YOU SHOULDN’T COMPROMISE ON There are things that you should never negotiate on when in a relationship.



The Bride’s Survival Guide is a 128-page planner/organizer created specifically for brides in SouthCentral Ontario. It gives you detailed information on every aspect of getting married – from how to word your invitations to how to pack for your honeymoon. To request your FREE copy [a $39.95 value], complete and mail the postcard opposite page 82. Or you can complete the request form online at (Quantities are limited.)

10 | Wedding Essentials 2019


Markham Museum

Whether it’s a corporate meeting or barbecue, wedding, engagement photo shoot, birthday or family get-together, we are the perfect setting for your event. Indoor, outdoor, big or small, call us to discuss your event and arrange a site visit.


Wedding Essentials 2019 | 11 PHOTOS: By Jamieson Dean & Sarah Wiggins Photography





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FLORAL FANTASY Fabulous flowers are key components of memorable weddings.


FLORAL ARRANGEMENTS CELEBRATE OUR LIFE ENGAGEMENTS Flowers are a natural compliment to the already enjoyable celebration.


10 CREATIVE USES FOR STRING LIGHTS AT YOUR WEDDING RECEPTION Versatile options in lighting let you personalize the space and create the right mood.


WHY HAVING A DEDICATED SPACE TO GET READY IS SO IMPORTANT Before the rush and excitement of the day, take a moment for you.


3 EFFECTIVE TIPS FOR GIVING A CONFIDENT BEST MAN WEDDING SPEECH Many tips can leave you still unsure of the right words to say. These tips are sure to help.


FASHION PASSION A perfect gown reflects a vision of the bride that will be cherished for a long time.


THE INS AND OUTS OF CHOOSING YOUR BRIDAL GOWN AND ACCESSORIES Finding the one that’s right for you in a vast sea of options.


ALL ABOUT YOUR RECEIVING LINE Line ‘em up, and shake their hands… is it that simple?


HOW TO SET UP A CANDY BUFFET AT YOUR WEDDING Candy buffets are a wonderful way of incorporating your theme and personality.


EDIBLE ART Decadently delicious concoctions figure prominently in wedding celebrations.




DESTINATION DETAILS YOU WILL WANT TO KNOW BEFORE PLANNING Destination Weddings are a fun way to create a theme that depicts your lifestyle together.


GETTING A WHITE WEDDING SMILE How long does it take?


BEAUTY-FULL Beauty products for a glowing bride.


JEWELLERY TRENDS All your options are both numerous and breathtaking... so have fun choosing.


7 BRIDEZILLA MOVES SURE TO ALIENATE YOUR WEDDING GUESTS Always remember that you have invited your family and friends, not your minions.



Consider these ways to turn your big wedding into a private affair.


THE BEAUTY OF MATRIMONY Matrimony still exerts a powerful attraction for the majority of North Americans.


THE COUNTDOWN CALENDAR It’s easier to enjoy the planning when you know what to expect during the process.




basic choice that rd to the kind of most important and gement ring to the hions are both g… so have fun of the latest trends.

till the classic h a single diamond ds are towards her gems as well as Diamonds, gain! Sparkle & h this ngagement ring. e up-to-the-minute beautiful look is a ment ring and


wedding band. Matching sets are very popular today! Want some colour? The coloured stone engagement ring is gathering a lot of attention lately.

necklace for an ultra-modern look that still gives that touch of grace and elegance.

The next item in line is the all-important wedding band. The round wedding band is a sign of eternity — that your partner’s love will last forever. The classic yellow gold band is still popular but there has been a strong trend to more sophisticated cuts and the use of diamonds galore. The image on the left depicts a white gold diamond encrusted men’s and women’s set. A matching set gives the special moment that enhanced feeling of unity and commitment.

Remember, the main thing is to make the moment as special as you can while minimizing any stress in the process. That takes a bit of planning and communication. So, if it’s important to you that you both exchange, complementary and matching wedding bands at the ceremony, then talk to him about the idea of wearing bands that come from a prepared set. It’s the same if you want a stylish engagement ring to match your future wedding band. Beautiful contemporary sets exist.

Can’t forget those earrings and necklaces. The main thing is to be consistent and to make sure that they go well with the wedding dress and rings. A pair of pearl and diamond earrings for the bride is always a classic, yet still ultra-modern. Add a beautiful matching

Jacob Bendayan is a Jewellery design expert who is the President of Flica Inc., a leading Canadian designer and manufacturer of wedding bands, engagement rings and other fine Jewellery. Jacob can be reached at


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RECEPTION REFERENCE GUIDE A quick chart to help you compare Ontario’s finest upscale wedding venues.


ADVERTISERS DIRECTORY Contact information and QR Codes to contact our advertisers directly.

Wedding Essentials 2019 | 15


Top Tips Top Tips for forWorking Workingwith with a Wedding a Wedding Coordinator Coordinator

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The perfect wedding day is a lot easier to achieve when you have a wedding coordinator in your corner. But even with a coordinator, things can go wrong. This article offers five tips to help you keep your coordinator happy and efficient, so that you’ll get the best possible results. BY MARY WORRELL

YOU’VE GOT THE MAN, you’ve got the ring, you’ve found the venue, you’ve set the date, and along the way you’ve found an important person whose job is to ensure it’s a day to remember. That person is your wedding coordinator. Moan at your mum, disagree with your dad, fight with your fiancé, and get bolshie with your bridesmaids if you must, but whatever you do, stay calm with your coordinator. Here are five top tips to help you work with your wedding coordinator, to achieve the best possible results.

bound by the venue’s rules as well as by your desires. Respect your coordinator’s position when they tell you that something you’d like is not allowed — and don’t shoot the messenger. For example, candles must usually be encased in a votive for safety reasons, bubbles may be prohibited because they make tiled floors slippery, thrown rice can be dangerous to wildlife, balloons can get stuck on high ceilings, and self-serve wrapped sweets typically result in wrappers all over the floor.

TIP 1: Ask as many questions as you must to ensure that you are well informed about what you can and can’t do at your chosen venue. There are no silly questions and your wedding coordinator will know the answer to almost anything you ask. It’s far better to discuss these things in advance than to surprise your coordinator with a wacky request on the day of the event. Once you’ve chosen the venue, let your coordinator handle all contact with them, so she will be fully aware of any issues that may arise.

TIP 3: Remember you are planning one wedding, but your coordinator may be responsible for the smooth running of up to five weddings a week. Communicate by email rather than phone calls, so your coordinator can print off, file and double-check your requests. A verbal conversation can be forgotten at busy times, even by an efficient coordinator.

TIP 2: Remember that your coordinator is

TIP 4: For your wedding to be well organized, you must be well organized yourself. As the special day draws close, you will have a final meeting with your coordinator to plan

the details. Being prepared for this meeting will save lots of time. Make sure you have all the relevant information about guest numbers, music choices, order of speeches and cake and flower deliveries ready, though naturally your coordinator will give you lots of reminders as time grows short. TIP 5: On the day itself, there will be little room for error. Help your coordinator by crosschecking your table plan against your seating plan, and pack everything for each table in a clearly numbered box. Put each table’s place cards in an envelope, preferably in the order they are to go around the table. Check the number of favours, ensuring you have enough to go around. Advise your coordinator of any last-minute changes to the guest list as soon as you can, so that they can add or remove chairs before your guests arrive, and adjust the numbers with the caterer. Your job is to look happy and gorgeous, and to enjoy every minute of your day. By keeping your wedding coordinator informed about your plans and ideas, you can ensure that everything runs smoothly, while you have the wedding day of your dreams.

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10 Great Dates


TODAY’S WOMAN doesn’t have to wait to be asked out by a man. Whether it’s your first date with someone who has caught your attention or a romantic night with your life partner, you can take charge by planning a fantastic experience.

hearted competition. When it’s over, you may also discover that a workout can get your blood moving and give your sex drive a healthy boost.

splashing through muddy trails together, and you might find yourself stuck in a private and romantic location.


Do you need some ideas for plans that will wow your man? Here are 10 great dates guys will love.

Don’t merely take your date to hang out on the beach. Kick up the energy by bringing along some surfboards. If you’ve never gone surfing before, set up a couple’s lesson to learn how.

Head to a car show to see what’s happening in the world of automobiles. Whether your preference is for classic muscle cars or new, luxury vehicles, you are sure to find something exciting. If you can, take a test drive.




If you want a break from the crowds, you can always grab seats in the back row and snuggle up.


When it comes to planning a date with a guy, try to get creative. These 10 ideas will help you think of something new and fun that is sure to sweep him off his feet.

A live baseball game is a blast, whether you go to see a major league team or the kids from your local high school. Minor league baseball is inexpensive and usually includes lots of audience participation.


Ice skating sets the stage for the perfect date. You will always have something to do, so you don’t have to worry about forcing conversation. The cold weather activity is exhilarating and fun. Slips and trips give you an opportunity to grab onto your man, and you can always end the date with a creamy cup of hot chocolate.


Ask your man to accompany you to the gym, and you will discover that working out is a great way to get close. Having a workout partner helps you push yourself harder and gives you a chance to support each other. You can also engage in some light-

Set yourself up for an intimate, but sporty, time together. Make hoagies, chili or other great game-watching food. Then hang out together on the sofa and root for your favorite football team.

Practicing your target-shooting skills can be a good activity for getting better acquainted with each other. Go to a local firing range where you can shoot at targets. If you know a lot about firearms, try a new gun. If you’re new to the sport, you can learn how to shoot.


Get tickets to a convention where you can dress up as your favorite comic book character, superhero or another cultural icon. These conventions are highly popular right now and provide an excellent place for people to get together and celebrate what they love.

8. GET DIRTY ON FOUR WHEELS Rent a four-wheeler and go off road for some down and dirty adventure. You’ll enjoy


Escape rooms are a trendy activity that will test your problem-solving skills. Make a reservation at an escape room where you and your date can try to think your way out of a tight situation.



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Whether a free form, or sculpted shape, your floral displays will help accent the overall vibe that you are working towards on your wedding day.

Succulents are a fantastic way to allow winter greens in a bouquet, and still give a summer fresh feel. Another amazing green piece for both look and smell is ecalyptus leaves. Be wary of any allergies that guests may have as these do present a strong and lasting fragrance.

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Make sure you choose your bouquet for for comfort as well as appearance. comfort as well as appearance.

While choosing your bouquet try out the While choosing your bouquet try out the many different styles of handles to hold many dierent styles of handles to hold during the ceremony. Even though you during the ceremony. Even though you may love the look of the flower itself, the may love the look of the ower itself, the stalk stalk may may be be extremely extremely thick thick or or need need thorns thorns removed. removed.

Wedding Essentials 2017 2224| | Wedding Essentials 2019


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Floral Arrangements

Celebrate our Life Engagements

FLOWERS HAVE LONG BEEN connected with many of the most joyous occasions of life, such as births, anniversaries and other happy, special occasions. With their associations of beauty, freshness and rebirth, flowers are a natural complement to the ceremonies of life. That’s why flowers and floral decorations have traditionally been an important part of the wedding and the celebration of marriage. Whether your wedding is going to be styled along traditional lines or with a more contemporary theme, flowers will play an important part in the success of your nuptials. Flowers are a complementary highlight to one of the biggest days of your life, so it’s important that the floral component of your wedding be executed properly and correctly. In addition, flowers and floral decorations comprise a considerable portion of the cost of the wedding, which is another reason to make sure you are pleased with the floral services you arrange.


It is generally best to have this aspect of your wedding handled by a professional. Even if you know something about arranging flowers or have a friend with some expertise, using the services of a professional is the best route. There is a tremendous amount of labour involved in making flower arrangements, decorations,

floral bouquets for the bride and attendants, and floral accessories for other members of the wedding party and close relatives.

your florist, who may already be using the services of a floral design specialist.

Another factor to consider in hiring a professional florist is that, as your wedding day draws closer and certainly on your wedding day itself, you will be under a lot of time pressure, with functions to attend before the wedding and many arrangements to make for the wedding and reception. You would be hard pressed to find time to plan your floral needs properly.

Deciding on which florist you will use for your wedding will take some time up-front, but the peace of mind you will gain as well as the professionalism provided will make this time well spent. Check out the florists in the front section of this book. You also can ask for recommendations from friends and relatives.

There is also considerable expertise required in selecting the correct flowers, making the arrangements and bouquets professionally, and delivering them on time. Professional florists have built up this expertise through their years of service and are not intimidated by the many tasks involved. The flowers and arrangements for your wedding will be their primary focus and that in itself is important. Even a friend who has some expertise may find it difficult to cope. One of the newer trends is the appearance of the floral design specialist who might be described as a floral consultant. They are the floral equivalent of an interior decorator. Such a person may not be involved in the actual supply of the flowers, in which case there will have to be co-ordination between your floral consultant and your florist. This is something you could discuss with


Before you talk to any suppliers, you need to establish a budget for your wedding’s floral component. This figure will play a part in your discussions. It will also help the florist to determine if he/she can do a good job for you at the figure you have in mind. However, in establishing a dollar budget you will need to be flexible; the florist may have good suggestions that could change the figure. Make sure you interview several florists before you make your choice. A professional will expect a preliminary discussion before being chosen to do your wedding. However, you should make an appointment with the florist and explain that you would like a preliminary meeting. Because such a meeting will take some time, a busy florist will not necessarily be able to take adequate time if you just drop in for your discussion. If possible, you should start your selection process six to twelve months in advance of your wedding.

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You should ask to see samples such as photographs of what the florist has done for other weddings. Ask for suggestions on how you can get good value for the money you have budgeted. You might want to ask what flowers are available from local suppliers. Of course, it’s always a good idea to go with flowers that are in season, as this can influence cost as well as being a factor in freshness and colour. This aspect of your discussion is also part of ensuring that the florist is a good listener. You must have a good comfort level with your florist. You want someone who gives you confidence and with whom you have a good rapport.


You should outline the style of your wedding –meaning whether it is traditional, contemporary, or if it will have a particular theme such as Victorian or country-style. This will be an important influence in the suggestions made by the florist and will help that person to establish what can be provided within your budget. You might want to ask a florist if he/she would be willing to discuss the details of a wedding that is currently being worked on. You might like to take the same approach. Do not be afraid to review your own ideas and preferences with the florist during this selection process — a good florist will welcome your input and probably offer some suggestions and insights to complement your

vision. You can supplement your ideas by reviewing magazines, attending flower shows, visiting flower nurseries, reading flower arranging and floral gardening books, and checking out Internet floral websites.

about whether you plan an indoors or outdoors reception. If outdoors, will the area have a nice garden, and, depending on the season, will there already be flowers of various types growing there?


Details About Dresses You should be prepared to provide samples, or at least colour matches, of your bridal attendants’ dresses. The florist will also need to know what types of dresses they will be wearing particularly whether they will be long or mid-length. Details about your own gown will also be important.

Flowers for your wedding fall into two main categories. First, there will be personal flowers such as bouquets for yourself and bridal attendants, corsages for mothers and grandmothers and boutonnières for the men. Second, flowers play a key decorative role in the wedding and the ceremony. Flower arrangements for both of these roles are a major element in creating the atmosphere or ambience you want for your wedding day. When discussing your wishes with the florist, you should prioritize the areas in which you would like to concentrate your budget. Also make sure that the delivery instructions for all the flowers and floral arrangements are reviewed in detail and are in writing. Location of Wedding The location of the ceremony is of primary importance, as well as details about whether it will take place in a church, synagogue or another place of worship, or whether you are having your wedding in your home. The location and nature of the reception area is similarly important, as is the information

Armed with this information, the florist will be able to ensure that the bridal and attendant bouquets will be appropriate and pleasing. Discuss whether you have any favourite flowers or colours. The number and dress style of the male wedding attendants should also be reviewed. If the wedding is formal, for example, it will govern the type of boutonnières the florist makes.


Bridal Bouquet It is important that your bridal bouquet suits your wedding gown, stature, complexion and hair colour. Establish early if you want a traditional type of bouquet or something more contemporary. You should also be able to carry your bouquet comfortably and the bouquet should be somewhat restrained. It should not be so spectacular that it distracts people from you or your gown.

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Bridesmaids’ Flowers Bouquets for the bridesmaids and the maid of honour should complement the colours and style of their dresses, but to some extent they should also complement the style and colours of the bridal bouquet. They will be smaller than the bridal bouquet. Flower Girl The flower girl generally has a nosegay, or a small container for her flowers such as a floral basket. One tradition is that this basket also contains flower petals which the flower girl sprinkles on the floor of the church as the bride is leaving after the ceremony. You should check for permission with the church. Bear in mind that fresh petals are very slippery, so you might want to consider using the petals of dried flowers instead. Or the flower girl can have small flowers or buds in the basket which she gives out to various guests on the edges of the aisles as you leave the church. As an alternative to a nosegay, the flower girl could have a floral pomander on her wrist, or have her hair decorated with flowers. Mothers and Grandmothers These ladies generally receive corsages

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rather than bouquets. It’s a good idea to try to keep them about equal in size and value so that nobody’s feelings are hurt. The corsage can be designed to be worn on the dress or the wrist. Be sure to establish if the dress fabric will be suitable for attaching the corsage. It can be a thoughtful gesture to ask the mothers or grandmothers if they have any favourite flowers they would like to have in their corsages. Groom and Attendants The groom and male attendants wear boutonnières. Male attendants can include wedding party members such as the best man, ushers, and the ring bearer. As a general rule, boutonnières should not resemble a miniature corsage, but rather should be a single flower or single stem of smaller flowers. The groom will also wear a boutonnière, but you might want to ask that his be a little different from those of the attendants.

FLOWERS FOR THE CEREMONY These are a key element of your wedding. They are a decorative statement which can add great beauty and tranquility to the ceremony. As symbols of beauty and purity, flowers also represent new

beginnings. There are a number of points you have to consider in planning the flower arrangements for the ceremony. Check With Site You should first check with the ceremony location in case there are rules or preferences about how flowers may be used. The choice of flowers will be influenced by whether the ceremony is being held during the night or daytime. For a nighttime ceremony, for example, lighter hued flowers are generally more attractive and suitable. General Décor Other influences on the choice of flowers for the ceremony will be the general décor and architecture of the site as well as the type of lighting it has. There may be a lot of daylight coming through stained glass windows, for example, or the lighting atmosphere may be largely artificial light. Generally speaking, the altar will be the focal point for the ceremony flower arrangements. Check with the church or synagogue to determine what is considered appropriate.

FLOWERS FOR THE RECEPTION Here too you should check if there are any

restrictions as to how the location can be decorated, although this will generally be a lot more flexible than a church or synagogue. Table Decorations Floral arrangements will be the principal decoration for the tables at the reception. It is important to establish ahead of time what the table arrangements will be because this will influence the nature of the floral decorations. If a smaller number of tables are used -- with six to eight people at each, for example -- the floral arrangements will be different than if the tables are long and in rows. Arrangements also should not overwhelm the table setting. The height of arrangements should also be low enough that people across from each other at the tables can easily see each other and talk. Similarly, the main arrangement at the bridal table should not be so high that it obstructs people’s view of the bride and groom. Alternative Approaches If the room is larger than appropriate for the number of people at the reception,

you can use large rented potted plants or small potted decorative trees to section off the room and make it more cosy. Another way to add to the mood at the reception is to use candles in addition to the floral arrangements. Be sure to check whether fire regulations allow their use. Alternatively you can also use small white Christmas lights to add a festive atmosphere. If the reception is outside — particularly if it is at your home or that of a friend or relative — you will have more latitude for alternate ideas such as candles and special lighting.


There are a number of ways you can maximize your floral decoration budget and a good professional florist will co-operate with you in this effort. One point is to ask the florist if the use of seasonal flowers could save money. Instead of a large bouquet, the bride can carry a single rose or some other elegant flower, or you can have a family prayer book decorated with a floral highlight. Remember too that the more people you have in the wedding party, the more you will have to spend on floral accessories. For every person you want to include, you will need to

provide a bouquet, corsage or boutonnière. The variety of delightful inflatable decorations, often sold by florists for special occasions, is now considerable, and they can sometimes be saved for other occasions. Also, simple balloons in festive colours can add a fun touch inexpensively. Talk to your florist about having your flowers do double duty by using the flowers from the wedding ceremony at the reception. You also can economize by using silk or dried flowers that can be used again after the wedding. Consider renting potted live flowers in pleasing arrangements as well as small flowering trees in containers. The use of greenery can be used with the flowers to extend the range of the flowers you are buying. You might look at having your wedding during a holiday season when the church and reception location may already be decorated with seasonal flowers. Caution: Holiday seasons are a florist’s busiest times, and likely when flowers are most in general demand. This may affect service and cost. Ask whether any items can be rented. This is a very cost-effective way to get more décor for your money.

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String Lights

10 Creative Uses for at Your Wedding Reception

LOOKING FOR A FUN WAY to add a unique touch to your reception lighting? Consider using string lights. This versatile option lets you personalize the space and create a mood that’s elegant and romantic. They fit with almost any reception theme and are affordable for just about any budget. Check out the wedding reception space to make sure there are plenty of power outlets and bring along some extension cords, then get creative with lighting. Here are some ideas to help you get started.


Take advantage of exposed rafters by wrapping them in string lights. It dresses up the space and attracts the eyes of your guests.


Planning an outdoor reception? Try hanging rows of lights above the tables to create a ceiling that provides additional lighting and a festive ambiance.


Photos are a great way to add a personal

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touch to your wedding reception. Hang some of your favorite shots with your sweetheart on strings of lights for a warm and creative display.


Highlight a key area of the reception space by draping a wall of string lights behind the area. The cake table is a great option, or add a brilliant backdrop to a photo booth.


Suspend string lights above your reception tables from a central location to create the feel of a tent. It brightens up the space and creates a stunning visual centerpiece.


Wrap string lights around greenery to add extra beauty to the décor. Or create a garland by using florist wire to attach small pieces of greenery to the cord between the lights.

7. HIGHLIGHT FOCAL POINTS If you have certain pieces of décor that you want to stand out, wrap them with string lights.


For outdoor receptions with trees in the area, try lighting things up by wrapping the tree trunks and branches with string lights. Or bring a touch of the outdoors inside by decorating the reception space with branches wrapped in lights.


String lights work great with other types of lighting, so it’s fun to mix and match your options. For example, string lights overhead and paper lanterns on the ground create a cozy space that’s perfect for a beach wedding.


Making the dance floor, bar, or other area stand out is simple with string lights. Hang them over the area you want to emphasize to highlight that space. Give your reception space a more romantic feel with string lights. Try some of these ideas or use them to inspire your own special lighting for a beautiful wedding day.

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Wedding HI THERE! My name is Alanna, and I am so excited to be partnering with my friends at Wedding Essentials over my wedding planning process! I am a beauty and lifestyle blogger and have been happily engaged since December 2017.


OVER THE NEXT FEW editions you can expect to see articles written by me, both about weddings generally, and about my personal wedding planning process. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoy writing them! I hope that they will be helpful for you on your wedding planning journey—we’re in the same boat! All of my articles will have a touch of my personal experiences. I think that with weddings today, you really can do things your own way. I hope that my perspective and reasoning will be helpful for you! My fiancé Stuart and I have been together for just over five years. We met while at university (he was at Queens, I was at U of T), started dating, and have been together ever since. We’ve travelled together, moved in, adopted two cats, and now are planning our wedding. One thing we did that was a bit outside the box was designing my engagement ring together. Our engagement wasn’t a surprise in anyway. We had been talking about it for a while, and once the money was right, we went to design the ring. I loved custom designing the ring. We picked the diamond (a stunning oval shaped stone), the metal (white gold) and the setting

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(inspired by Pinterest). I knew I had basically found the setting of my dreams when I went to Pin it, and Pinterest told me that I had already done that! Some people wondered why we didn’t have a surprise engagement party. Honestly, while the moment may be a surprise, I don’t think an engagement should be. You are making a commitment to share your life together. I think that’s something you want to talk about before he is down on one knee with the most beautiful ring you have ever seen sparkling back at you. I love that I got a big say in what the ring I am going to wear for the rest of my life looks like. I get compliments on it all the time! I thought I knew a fair bit about weddings when we got engaged, but let me tell you, there is so much to learn, and so many things that you think will be simple that just aren’t. Deciding who sits where in the seating chart and who your bridal party is composed of are two uphill political battles. It seems like everybody has an opinion on what you should be doing, and how you should be doing it. Take registries for example, everybody says you should have a whole bunch

of different price points, and that you need to keep adding things to keep your registry full. Well, like many young couples who already live together, we don’t need a whole bunch of stuff. We do want to upgrade some things in our home, but really, we are just working hard to save up cash for a down payment and would really appreciate some cash gifts. That being said, we still need a registry because some guests don’t like giving cash, and showers are literally parties that are all about watching the bride open gifts. We have had a blast registering (seriously, such a fun date. We went for lunch after!), and not nearly as much fun working on the guest list. There’s only so much space at our venue, and too many people who we would love to have there. We’ve picked our venue, we have almost landed on a photographer, and I think we have figured out what we want to do for our flowers. Many couples find that picking a venue is hard. Honestly, for us it was probably the easiest thing. We opted with The Albany Club. Located in downtown Toronto, they are reasonably priced (by wedding standards!), the food is

One thing we did that was a bit outside the box was designing my engagement ring together. amazing, and the service is top notch. Add in that there is a stunning Anglican church across the street (we’re both Anglican) and well, we were a pretty easy sell. I am excited to be sharing my wedding planning process with you here in the magazine and also over on my blog. Happy planning! I hope you have as much fun with it as I am having! Xoxo, Alanna You can check out my blog, Classy On The Run at If you

are coming from the magazine leave a comment! I love hearing what other brides are up to!

Twitter: @classyontherun Instagram: @alanna.victoria

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Things to Consider Before Booking a



PHOTOGRAPHER BOOKING A WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER is high on the list of things to do when planning a wedding. Family and guests are likely to take their own pictures on the day, but this is no substitute for a professional wedding photographer. One of the additional services some professionals are beginning to offer is aerial photography with a drone, and this is worth considering if you have a suitable venue.

Noise, invasion of privacy and the risk of damage to property or injury to people are some of the concerns. It may be possible to convince your venue to allow the use of a drone if your photographer agrees to work within specified guidelines. A professional drone pilot will operate to a health and safety policy, and this should satisfy most venues that the risks are minimal.

Using a drone for wedding photography opens up exciting creative possibilities. Photographs and video footage shot from the air have a cinematic quality, and there’s no better way to capture the grandeur of a wedding venue. Large groups of guests shot from above look more interesting than traditional lines of people shot from the ground.

2) Drone photography will be an additional cost. Traditional wedding

Wedding photography with a drone is becoming increasingly popular, but there are some things you should consider before booking a service. The following tips will help you understand the things you should know about drone wedding photography. 

1) Not all wedding venues are drone friendly. Unmanned aircraft are still a

relatively new development, and not all wedding venues will permit them to be flown.

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photographers are beginning to offer aerial coverage, but it usually comes at a cost. A photographer may hire in a drone pilot rather than invest in his own aircraft, equipment and training. Limiting the aerial photography to a few specific shots is one way of keeping the costs down.

3) Drones can be disruptive. Video footage

captured from the air has a serene quality, but the aircraft recording it can be noisy and disruptive. The engine and propellers are particularly noisy during take-off and landing. It’s not a good idea to have a done in the area during the wedding ceremony or other intimate moments during the day. Give the aircraft operator specific times when the drone should be on the ground.

4) You must schedule time for aerial photography. Most wedding days

run to a tight schedule, so consider if there’s time within this specifically for aerial shots. It takes time to organize guests and arrange groups, and this will be in addition to the work a wedding photographer will carry out on the ground. There are also health and safety issues for a drone pilot to consider when working with people, and this adds to the time required.

5) Unmanned aircraft can’t fly in all weather conditions. With very few

exceptions, drones can’t be flown in the rain. Water and electronics don’t mix. Smaller aircraft can’t fly when winds are gusting, and fog and mist can also present challenges. When booking a drone wedding photography service, remember that weather conditions may result in cancellation by the pilot on the day. Developments in drone technology offer an exciting new way to capture memories of your wedding day. Aerial photography should be regarded as an additional service rather than a replacement for a ground-based wedding photographer. If you have the budget, wedding photography with a drone is a unique way to record moments from your special day.

The Perfect

Bridesmaid Proposal BY ALANNA NEWMAN

CONGRATS ON YOUR RECENT ENGAGEMENT! You have basked in the well wishes of friends and family, celebrated between the two of you, and somehow achieved what I think is one of the hardest tasks of wedding planning: picking your bridesmaids. Now comes the fun part… asking them! While you definitely don’t need to do an elaborate “proposal”, if budget allows I am strongly on the “pro” side. Not only are these your very best friends, possibly your sister or sister-in-law, and maybe a cousin, but they are going to buy the dress you pick, throw you a party, and generally be there to support you every step of the way.

A THOUGHTFUL NOTE Before you put anything else in the proposal, include a thoughtful note. Write about why her friendship matters so much to you, and why you want her there on your special day! I love how affordable Vistaprint’s cards are – and that you can customize them! This pink card would go perfectly with a bottle of sparkling rosé, while this wild floral theme

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could be the perfect prelude to your outdoor wedding!

POP THE BUBBLY! Spring and summer always call for sparkling rosé. Henkell Rose Piccolo has berry and citrus flavours, and comes in a package with three mini bottles for $12.85. Perfect for gifting! If you would rather gift a full size bottle, my favourites include Fresh Sparkling Rosé ($15.95), and Lola Blush Pelee Island ($14.95), both from Ontario!

A PRETTY TOUCH Essie makes some of the prettiest nail polishes, period. I am obsessed with their gel couture collection – available in countless shades, once sealed with the top coat, the polish stays chip free for days. My top picks for weddings include “Satin Slipper,” “Lace Me Up,” and “Bubbles Only.”

SOMETHING SENTIMENTAL Why not include a favourite photo of you and the bridesmaid-to-be? Lately I have been obsessing over all of the pretty home décor

that can be found at Zara Home. This gold metal frame ($29.90) would add an elegant pop of colour to any room, while this blush Octagonal Metal Frame ($27.90) is perfectly on trend. Anthropologie never disappoints with whimsical home décor. Their Mercury Glass Frame ($24) is one of their top rated products, and is the perfect balance between neutral and statement.

SOMETHING YUMMY If you are talented at baking, perhaps consider whipping up some treats in your own kitchen. But, if baking isn’t your strong suit… Bobbette & Belle crafts some of the prettiest floral cupcakes you can imagine. I love the “Garden in Bloom” ($5 each) style! Le Dolci has taken the unicorn trend to the next level with their popular unicorn cake, and these adorable unicorn sugar cookies ($5 each) available in pink and white. World famous French bakery, Ladurée has recently come to Canada, with locations in Vancouver and Toronto. Best known for their delicate macarons, a box of these would surely delight any prospective bridesmaid.



If you can, feel out the idea of being a bridesmaid with your friends before asking. It may come as a surprise to your friend that you were thinking of her!

You know your bridesmaids best! If there is something special and sentimental, or simply a favourite of hers, consider customizing each gift to reflect the friend receiving it!

H Be prepared for the answer to be “no�. It is hard to hear, or imagine, but a friend may think that it will be too costly, time consuming, or too much work to participate. While it may be hard to hear, accept her answer with grace, and continue to invite her to celebrations such as your engagement party or bridal shower! The decision of attending will rest with her, and she will still feel included.

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Why Having a



to Get Ready is So Important BY BE CONRAD WHETHER YOU ARE deep into your wedding planning or just getting started, you know how complicated, and how stressful, the process can be. Planning a wedding is not one process - it is an endless series of small details. In order for the big day to come off without a hitch, all of those tiny interrelated details need to come together to form a cohesive whole. From the flowers in the bridal bouquet to the wedding cake on the table at the reception hall, you want everything to be perfect. No detail is too large, or too small, in your quest for the perfect wedding. In all the wedding planning chaos, it is important to have a relaxing oasis where you can relax, unwind and recharge your batteries. Creating a separate dedicated space where you can get ready for the big day, try on your bridal gown one last time and share secrets with your bridesmaids, is an essential part of the big day. If you are lucky, the venue you have chosen will have thought of everything, and they will

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have just such a space set up and ready for you to use. If you are one of those lucky brides, everything you need, from the makeup vanity and the full-length mirror and the steamers, will be right at your disposal. Unfortunately, many wedding venues do not have all these essential items at their disposal. If you are getting married at the local church or the hotel down the street, they may not have a dedicated space for you to get ready and perfect your wedding day look. In that case, you will need to create your own bridal oasis, but doing so is not as difficult as you might think. Many brides and wedding planners do not realize that they can rent everything they need for the big day. If the hotel does not have a makeup vanity in the room, you can rent one and have it brought in when you need it. Before you know it, you will look, and feel, like a movie star. By the time the photographer arrives for the first candid shots, you will look like a fashion model, and you will be proud of how you look in the wedding photos.

When it comes time to put on your wedding gown for the final time before the ceremony, you can use a rented full-length mirror to check out your look and make sure every pearl and every piece of lace is perfect. Instead of squinting into the tiny bathroom mirror at the hotel and hoping you look your best, you can know how great you look simply by glancing in the full-length mirror. You can even rent a wardrobe rack and a steamer to make your wedding gown and bridesmaid dresses absolutely stunning. Instead of wrinkling in the hotel room closet, your essential wedding wardrobe will be right there on the rack, waiting for you and your wedding party to put it on. Movie stars and fashion models understand the importance of a luxurious dressing room, and now brides to be can enjoy the same level of pampering and careful preparation. By making wedding day rentals part of the planning process, you can have everything you need at your fingertips, so you can relax and enjoy the ceremony.

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Effective Tips for GIVING A CONFIDENT


REMEMBER THAT GLORIOUS DAY when your best bud slapped you on the back and bestowed upon you the honor of serving as best man at his wedding? It was months ago, of course. The two of you likely christened the arrangement by cracking a few cold ones, and you immediately got down to business the business of planning a high-five-worthy bachelor party. But now the bachelor party is over and the wedding day is fast approaching. And you have yet to start crafting your best man speech. There’s no shortage of tips and advice available for how to write a great best man speech. Don’t write it the night before. Don’t drone on for 20 minutes. Don’t read straight from a piece of paper. Don’t say anything that might humiliate the happy couple. This is all good advice. But many of these tips can still leave you scratching your head as you search for the right words to say, and they do little to ease the tense feeling building in your stomach. Here are three specific, effective methods that will help you go into your speech with confidence and deliver a top-notch toast.

1. START WITH A STORY Not a long story. Not an inappropriate story. Open with a brief, lighthearted, possibly humorous anecdote that in some way relates to the bride and groom. Perhaps you recall the day your pal first met his future bride.

Or maybe there was a moment when you realized he had gone completely head over heels for his special lady. Starting with a story serves several purposes. First, stories don’t generally require you to memorize lines word-for-word. You’ve probably spun this yarn before, or at least you’re quite familiar with the details, so there is room to fumble around with words without the entire speech unraveling. Second, your greatest value as best man is that you know the groom better than just about anyone in the audience does. Tell the crowd something it doesn’t know. Above all else, do not, under any circumstances, use a generic opening line that you pulled from a Google search. Nothing will have guests gulping down wine and staring at the tablecloth faster than an opener such as, “OK folks, I’ll keep this brief - you know, about as long as Travis will last in the sack tonight....”

2. BUFFER YOUR HUMOUR WITH SENTIMENT Should you try for laughs? A few humorous touches can make a speech entertaining, and it’s not like you’re addressing the United Nations. This audience is ready to have a good time. So sure, go for it! Just remember: It’s a toast, not a roast. This isn’t the time for a rapid-fire takedown of the groom (or, even worse, the bride), and it’s not the place to launch your standup career. Excessive teasing, even if it’s brilliantly funny, can give your speech a sour note. Of course, being too

funny isn’t nearly as horrifying as not being funny at all. To avoid taking a wrong turn down the humour highway, add this simple safety valve to your speech. Every time you plan to say something humourous, follow it up immediately with something from the heart. If you’re joking about Travis being the world’s worst golfer, you might add that there is no one you’d rather spend seven hours with on a golf course. While humour can be hit-or-miss, expressing some sentiment will usually earn universal approval from the wedding crowd, and sprinkling in a few fuzzy compliments can be an effective insurance policy against a runaway comedy session.

3. EXERCISE YOUR SPEECH Once you’ve written your speech or you have created a rough outline of what you’d like to say, it’s time to practice. But don’t do it in front of a mirror. In fact, don’t even rehearse out loud. If you exercise regularly, you already have the perfect time built into your day to work out your speech in your head. People often feel less anxiety when they’re working out, and it can benefit you to practice when you’re in a calm state. Repeating the speech in your head allows you to master the words without becoming distracted by how you sound or how you look when delivering it. Finally, remember that there are only two people you absolutely need to please with your speech. As long as the newlyweds enjoy it, you should consider it a success.

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The Perfect


A dreamy mini-moon, bachelor(ette) party and venue location!


ESTLED IN THE beautiful Kawartha Lakes, Viamede Resort sits on Stoney Lake. A landmark of the area since 1885, Viamede Resort is the perfect weekend getaway. Just north of Peterborough, and a reasonable drive from Toronto, Viamede is a beautiful location to consider as a wedding venue, a mini-moon destination, or even for a rustic bachelor(ette) party. With private trails, indoor and outdoor pools, a sandy beach, a historic wedding chapel, and a fine dining restaurant that can’t be missed, Viamede is the perfect place to come and relax. Last summer I had the opportunity to spend a weekend at this beautiful resort with my fiancé, and the warmth and character of this place blew us away. Whether it was asking if we could go tubing, only to be whipped around the lake on the back of the owner’s boat, or sitting down for dinner only to be presented with 9 courses of local, farm to table, goodness, everything was not just done well, it was done right. We took some time to go kayaking, and for hikes, we stayed up late playing scrabble (the resort has a collection of board games to use!), and tried all of the amazing food, and of course, I asked some big questions about hosting a wedding on the gorgeous property.

WEDDING VENUE Maximum guests: 100 Viamede only hosts one wedding per weekend, so you won’t have to worry about sharing space or unexpected guests. Your (invited) guests tend to pay for their own accommodations at the resort, and make a weekend out of it. Ceremony options include a historic chapel, a gazebo overlooking the lake, and under a 100 year oak tree! They boast that they have hosted everything from an intimate dinner wedding for 6 on a candle lit island to a wedding of 90 guests in “formal swimwear”. When we visited for the weekend, the food was

one of our biggest highlights. Some wedding options they offer include family style service, a cocktail reception, and even a pig roast. They were remarkable accommodation while we visited, and they assure me that they bring the same great service to their wedding clients. Viamede is not available for weddings between Canada Day and Labour Day, or on long weekends. I can only imagine how beautiful a fall wedding would be as the leaves change colour! I think October would be a stunning time for this venue. Or even June, when things are still in bloom, and the lake is warm enough for your guests to swim in!

MINI-MOON Many couples choose to have their dream honeymoon a few months (or longer) after the big day. With busy work schedules, and dreamy destinations that are best visited at certain times of the year, a weekend getaway can be the perfect way to start your marriage. We very much enjoyed our weekend at Viamede. To help create the once-in-a-lifetime experience that you crave, consider booking in for the 9 course (with wine pairing!) dinner at their exclusive Mount Julian restaurant. For those who enjoy adventure, there is hiking, canoeing, kayaking, and more. The rooms were bright and airy, with a bit of a rustic flair. For added privacy you may want to book a private cottage in the woods!

RUSTIC BACHELOR(ETTE) PAD Speaking of private cottages…I can’t think of a better use for one than for a bachelor(ette) party! My fiancé is still trying to figure out what he wants to do for his bachelor party, but one idea that his friends are loving is simply booking a cottage at Viamede for a weekend. Cottages can be studios all the way up to three bedrooms. With a kitchen, a patio with a barbecue, some even have firepalces! As a bachelor or bachelorette party getaway, it would be the perfect place for some low key quality time just hanging out and enjoying everything the resort has to offer. Website:

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Bridal Elegance for the

Fuller Figure

As a bride-to-be, you’ll be planning your bridal wear, and perhaps looking out for something that flatters the figure. For larger ladies, this can mean concealing a few bulges and enhancing elegant contours. If you’re after a slim look, this style guide will do the trick for you.


A full-length, flowing dress with bodice cut to a narrow point at the pelvis – rather than cut horizontally at the waist – will accentuate height and elegance. The skirt should fall from the hips, rather than the waist, fanning out gradually as it descends, like a fluted vase upside-down, perhaps sweeping into a train behind. This graceful design will make your figure look slimmer and more slender. As an alternative, a high-waisted cut, with fabric flowing gradually from the bra-line, can sometimes be more effective for an outsize figure. A long veil and fluted sleeves will enhance the effect of either.


Shape-defining lines will highlight the cut and flow of the dress, concealing your personal shape. Choose a dress with lightly accentuated seamlines down the bodice and skirt or add contour markings yourself. You could do this with lines of lace, sequins or delicate beading, in a pretty colour such as silver, pink or blue. Let them follow the downward seams of the skirt and the cut of the bodice. But avoid markings that will show up unintended contours.


High heels and raised hair will balance body width with height, making you look slimmer in the process. Only wear high heels, though, if you can walk in them comfortably and smoothly. Otherwise, put all your added height into your hair and headdress. If your hair is long and thick enough to sweep up gently into a topknot,

this will look very elegant. Leave a few loose locks to frame your face and neck. If your hair is too short to put up, let it taper around your face instead, showing up your features and defining your profile. A tiara will add extra height, and a long, light veil will look stunning. The thin mesh will subtly conceal fleshy areas while adding an element of mystery.

DEFINE NECK AND SHOULDER CONTOURS Adorn your neck with a dainty necklace in a darker tone, such as rose-pink or violet. This will sharpen your neckline and draw the eye away from any rolls or puffiness. A decorative yoke to your dress will extend the effect over your chest and shoulders. A V-shaped neckline will produce a shapely, tapering effect.

CARRY A FAN OR FLOWER SPRAY A dainty fan or flower-posy, held over your waist, will hide unwanted bulges and provide a charming adornment. Fans are available in beautiful designs and shades at low cost, and you’ll find plenty to choose from on the Internet. Your bridesmaids could also carry fans, perhaps, for continuity. A flower posy would produce the same effect, especially if arranged in a wide, fanning spray. A pretty, hand-held purse would also serve the purpose.

The most natural way to draw attention from your figure is to let your personality shine out. With that important fact in mind, make sure your chosen attire is comfortable, then relax and enjoy your special day.

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Fashion Fashion

Passion Passion

AAwedding more than thanaabeautiful beautifuldress. dress.Her Her perfect gown wedding gown gown is is much much more perfect gown reflects thataabride bridehas hascherished cherishedfor fora a long time. reflectsaavision vision of of herself herself that long time. The The moment when the bride is first seen in her wedding gown is very moment when the bride is first seen in her wedding gown is very emotional emotional and is often by tears,her including herthese own.lovely women and is often greeted by greeted tears, including own. Meet who have transformed themselves into princess brides.


BRIDE: Lindsay Jelly GOWN: Chiquita by FaragĂŠ Paris | Petrov Bridal | 519.488.0349 HAIR: Albert Snow Hair Design | 905.525.0831 MAKEUP: Corrie Elle Artistry | 416.997.7465 FLOWERS: Sue Gallo Designs | 905.902.0238 PHOTO: Mike Last Photo| | 647.990.6508

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fashion passion


BRIDE: Chantelle Vanelli GOWN: Enya | Ines Di Santo | | 866.899.INES HAIR: Hairafter Salon & Spa | 416.221.6658 MAKEUP: Makyaj Artistry | 416.388.3462 FLOWERS: Verona Florist | 905.265.0633 PHOTO: Butterfly Kisses Photography | | 905.265.8855

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fashion passion

Navjeet BRIDE: Navjeet Sidhu GOWN: Neha & Sahil | New Delhi, India | 0129.4118976 HAIR: Elegance Hair & Skin Care | 905.654.8800 MAKEUP: Nim Randhawa | 416.471.5821 PHOTO: EI Photography | | 416.580.2020

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42 | Wedding Essentials 2015

Place yourself here!

Your name here!

SHOW YOUR DRESS OFF FOR ALL THE WORLD TO SEE! If you are chosen, you will be featured in an upcoming edition of Wedding Essentials. Simply email up to 4 photos of you in your wedding dress as well as up to a 200 word description of your glorious day to the address below.

Wedding Essentials 2019 | 49

WHAT IS THE FIRST THING that comes to mind when you hear the word wedding? Undoubtedly you picture a woman looking her best in her beautiful wedding gown. Even the most intelligent, sensible, modern woman is not immune to the charms of that special garment. It can send a bride, her attendants, her mother and the guests at the wedding into sighs of rapture. It can make the bride feel like a movie star or princess. Seeing the bride in her gown on her wedding day can reduce her father to tears and take her groom’s breath away.

The Ins and Outs of Choosing your

Bridal Gown and Accessories 50 | Wedding Essentials 2019

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The wedding gown is arguably the most important dress a woman will choose in her lifetime. Selecting the right gown from the myriad choices available may seem like an impossible task but as many brides will tell you, they just knew when they found the right dress.

bride is divorced or somewhat older than the average. Whether you choose white or ivory depends largely on your skin colour, the shade of ivory you desire, and the availability of that colour in the dress you want. Diamond white with its off-white hue is a perfect solution for some brides.


Two-tone dresses are leading edge trendy, as are pastels for spring and summer weddings and deeper tones for winter weddings. There are even prints available with flowers or butterflies for the bride who wants to make that particular style statement.

The bridal gown reflects the style and level of formality for the wedding ceremony and the reception. The bride normally selects her gown and accessories before the rest of the wedding party can begin shopping for theirs. Most brides shop first for the gown, and then choose the co-ordinating headpiece and accessories. Become familiar with wedding gown trends by checking out bridal publications like Wedding Essentials for ideas. Imagine yourself in some of the gowns you find attractive. When choosing a style, take into consideration the type of wedding you are planning. Will you be wearing the gown in wnter or summer, in a cathedral, a wedding ballroom, on the beach or for a mountaintop wedding? Is your wedding planned for the afternoon or evening? Is it going to be informal or formal ceremony? Today over 17 percent of all weddings are destination or informal weddings that do not take place in a conventional banquet hall or hotel ballroom. The venue can be a Caribbean island, an Ontario winery or somebody’s beautiful backyard. Be true to your personality. While that red Scarlett O’Hara gown looks amazing in the ads and you would love to be able to carry that look off, be honest with yourself. Would you be comfortable making that kind of bridal gown statement? Do you feel your best and look your best in traditional, classic styles? Then choose your gown accordingly. Are you a woman who is always pushing the envelope? Then a two-tone gown, asymmetrical neckline or massive bow might be what you are looking for. Another consideration in choosing a wedding gown is related to your religion. In sonme of the more conservative churches a bare halter dress or bustier may be unacceptable unless you also wear a wrap or some other cover-up.

COLOUR AND FABRIC As for the colour and style of the gown, that’s up to your own individual taste. Although ivory was growing in popularity in recent years, white is once again becoming the popular choice and this is true even if the

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It is best to choose the style of dress that suits your figure and personality before selecting a fabric. The style of dress dictates the appropriate fabric to create the shape, texture and feel of a bridal gown design. Many women state that they want silk for their dresses, perhaps thinking that silk is one specific fabric. However, silk is a fiber and comes in many forms, such as silk satin, silk organza and silk taffeta. Even a “silk” wedding gown usually is made with a polyester lining to provide body and structure to the material. Silk is noted for its lustre, resiliency, elasticity, and strength. Silk threads are woven to create satin (a dense fabric notable forits lustrous gloss), duchesse satin (a blend of silk and rayon that is lighter in weight and more affordable than pure silk satin), charmeuse (a lightweight satin with a more subdued luster), and shantung (a low-sheen textured fabric characterized by a nubby quality). Silk can also be knit into hanging, stretchy fabrics like jersey or crepe. Summer weddings are opportunities to wear Dupioni and Thai silks, light materials that offer a beautiful textured finish. Then there are gauzier woven silks, such as chiffon, tulle, and organza, all used for skirts in multiple layers because they are transparent and lightweight.

DECIDE YOUR BUDGET Keep costs in mind when choosing your wedding gown. Experts recommend you spend about 3-17 percent of your total wedding budget on your gown and accessories. Wedding gowns can cost as little as $400 up to more than $5,000 for the ultimate in designer style. In deciding how much you want to spend, decide how important this dress is to you. Have you dreamt about this gown since you were a little girl? Perhaps you simply want a dress that will make you look your best on your wedding day.

If you choose to have a seamstress design or create your bridal gown, be sure you deal with a reputable designer/seamstress who has both the design talent and the skill necessary to produce the quality gown you want for your wedding day. If you prefer to know exactly what your gown will look like right away, your best option is shopping at a bridal salon.

VISITING THE BRIDAL SALON Choosing a reputable bridal salon is an important step in finding the perfect wedding gown. Talk with other brides about their bridal gown shopping experiences. Visit bridal salons to see if you feel comfortable with the quality of service as well as the selection of gowns they offer. Today there are many chat lines and other website communication vehicles available to you that will help provide you with information needed to select a quality and reputable bridal salon. Full service is also very important when choosing a bridal salon. Make sure that when you purchase a gown the same salon will be doing any alterations. When alterations are outsourced to others, the process of accountability and cost can become complicated or uncomfortable. Allow a minimum of six months to find the perfect gown. This gives at least four months for your order to be placed and your gown to be made. Whether there are delays in delivery, your schedule doesn’t match with the alteration department schedule or other factors, extra time is always appreciated. Southern Ontario offers a multitude of bridal shops for every style and budget, from the elaborate to the modest. When you find the salon that best suits your needs, make an appointment. Leave yourself plenty of time to try on gowns. Don’t rush it.Try to visit about three salons. Even if you think you’ve found the dress of your dreams, there may be a better dress at a better price just around the corner. But be careful not to over shop. Trying on too many dresses often causes confusion, turning what should be one of the highlight experiences of your wedding planning into hard work. Make salon appointments during the week when salons are less crowded. You won’t have to wait in line to try on your dream dress. Plus you will get more attention from thesales people. It is wise to take a trusted friend and/or your mom to the salon with you for a second

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or third candid opinion. Brides who bring several people with them often find working committee style unproductive and frustrating.

FITTINGS You will probably require three fittings – the initial fitting when your dress arrives, the second to correct any mistakes and a third to ensure that the gown fits perfectly. The final fitting takes place close to your wedding day. Don’t be shocked if you find that youhave gained or lost weight during the hectic wedding planning period. When having your gown fitted, be sure to wear the same undergarments or foundation garments that you plan to wear the day of your wedding. These items can be just as important to the fit of your gown as the alterations. Aptly named, they are the foundation that you build on to make your gown fit perfectly, allowing you to look your very best. Some gowns require particular undergarments to fit and look great. Your bridal salon will be able to give you guidance here. If your body type is difficult to address in fitting a gown properly, consider selecting a wedding gown with a corset tieback. This fit feature reduces alteration costs and increases the comfort of your gown. Bring the shoes you will be wearing or shoes with the same heel height to the salon. Be forewarned: Don’t be shocked if your wedding gown is a size or two bigger than your usual dress size. Wedding gowns generally run smaller that regular wardrobe sizes. If your dress looks great, don’t worry about size; that’s just a number.

EXAMINE THE CONTRACT Do not put down a deposit on a dress you’re not sure about. Most deposits are nonrefundable. And that can be a big expense, as many salons require 50 percent of the cost of the gown up front. Also, make sure there are no hidden costs. Have every charge spelled out in black and white. The entire contract should be in writing, including information such as the size, style, cost and extra charges. Don’t rely on verbal agreements – if a problem crops up it’s your word against the sales person’s. Use a credit card to pay for your gown. Some credit cards provide insurance against damage so you can recover at least part of your losses if something goes wrong. Check with your credit card company first.

HEADPIECES There are plenty of choices for headpieces these days, including long and short veils, tiara styles, flowers and hats. Just about anything goes. A simple veil can be attached to a comb, band, cap, hat or tiara. Or it can be more elaborate, encompassing several layers of fabric and falling to either the tip of your nose or the end of the train. Make sure it’s in proportion to your head and flatters your face and hair. The headpiece must also complement your gown – you should choose your headpiece while you’re trying on the gown.

ACCESSORIES Keep your jewellery simple. Small diamondstud earrings and a thin chain or pearl necklace aregood choices. You may also want to wear that special locket he gave you, which is perfectly acceptable. Delicate bracelets are also fine. Make sure your jewellery goes with the headpiece and doesn’t overpower your dress. If you want to wear gloves, choose long gloves with short, sleeveless or strapless gowns, andshort gloves with long sleeves. Make sure the colour, fabric and style matches your gown. There are several fabrics to choose from including different types of cloth and even kidskin for fall orwinter weddings. You can add beads, buttons, or appliques. A garter is a must if you plan to toss it after the wedding. The garter is usually blue (to honour the “something blue” tradition) and decorated with ribbon or lace. If you must carry a handbag, make sure it’s small and matches the colour and style of yourdress. Handbags should be used only for necessities. Examples: Lipstick. Tampons.

SHOES Buy your shoes as soon as you find your dress so you can wear them to the fittings. There are so many styles, fabrics and trims to choose from, it boggles the mind. Of course, the shoes must be the same colour as your gown and must complement its style. They can be satin, silk, brocade and adorned with pearls, lace, sequins or rosettes. Don’t forget the most important thing of all when choosing your shoes. You are going to be walking and standing and dancing inthem for hours and hours. Make sure they’re comfortable. If you must have some height choose a comfortable pump with a shorter heel. Of

course, the comfort level is up to you. Wear your shoes before the wedding to break them in.

EMERGENCY CLEANING TIPS If you accidentally spill something on your gown as you’re just about to walk down the aisle, don’t panic. There are a few emergency cleaning tips you can use just in case it happens to you. For water-soluble stains such as sweat or champagne, use a water-based solution of water and white vinegar or water and a little bit of detergent. Place a clean towel under the dress and blot with a damp cloth. For red wine stains, rub damp salt on the stain and let dry. When dry, simply scrape away the salt. For tougher,grease stains such as lipstick, perfume or food, use dry cleaning products or spray-on stain removers. In a pinch, you can also use hair spray. Spray or apply the cleaning solvent and rub with a clean cloth. Then clean with a little bit of soap and water.Use a dry cloth or towel to blot.

CLEANING AND PRESERVING When you buy your gown, make sure you get a list of all the fabric used for the dress, including the specific type of lace, lining, and embroidery. Ask the salesperson for a complete guide to cleaning the dress so you can present the list to the cleaners. Choose a dry cleaning establishment that specializes in wedding dresses. Do not just pick the cheapest place. You’ve spent hundreds, even thousands on your wedding gown, so don’t spare any expense when you go to clean it. Even if your gown appears spotless, have it professionally cleaned to remove perspiration stains and other unnoticeable marks that may turn your gown yellow in the future. The dress should be cleaned within two days of the wedding to get the best results. If you’re off on your honeymoon, have a trusted friend or family member take the dress to the cleaners for you. Make arrangements beforehand. When your gown is clean and ready to be stored, don’t just place it on a hanger and shoveit in your closet. The weight of the gown will damage the fabric. Instead, fold the gown in acid-free tissue and wrap it with unbleached muslin, which allows it to breathe. Place the gown in a cedar chest or a lined wooden drawer or box. Store in a cool, dark and dry area. To keep the dress fresh and crease-free, air it out at least once a year and refold it in different places. A gown preservation specialist can do all this for you.

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SO YOU’RE GETTING MARRIED. You’ve purchased your wedding dress. The flowers, cake, and reception venue have all been booked. You have selected your bridal attendants, sent out wedding invitations, and have already secured the services of a wedding photographer. There’s only one hitch in the plans for your big day. What the heck are you going to wear on your feet? Sure you can opt for the traditional white sandal, but who wants to be like every other bride? If you’ve got a quirky personality and a penchant for surprising those around you, it might be time to consider spicing up your nuptials with some unorthodox footwear. Check out the following roundup of funky footwear styles to see if you find a pair that matches your quirky style:

thongs with no sole. These simple sandals feature a toe strap and silver sea star. If you like the idea of walking barefoot in the sand as you get married, these sole-free white thongs might just be your ticket to paradise.


If none of the shoes above match your wedding style, you can design your own wedding footwear via Alive Shoes. Choose from a variety of styles and add your own colors, graphics, and design details like leather stripes and shoe laces. You can even sell

your newly designed shoes online thanks to Alive’s easy-to-use ecommerce interface. Getting married doesn’t have to mean your ceremony and reception are completely traditional. Just because you are following societal norms and exchanging wedding vows, you can still weave your own unique personality into every aspect of your big day. Choosing to wear an unusual pair of shoes as you get married shows that although you’re very serious about your vows, you’re not above showing a little sass while you’re exchanging those vows.


Sophia Webster offers a number of quirky footwear options for brides on the hunt for unique footwear. Their ‘Wifey for Lifey’ summer sandals feature neon pink straps and a transparent sole. One shoe sports a ‘wifey’ speech bubble adornment and the other shoe sports a ‘for lifey’ speech bubble. If you want something a little classier, consider wearing Sophia Webster butterfly heels instead. Available in a variety of colors, these sumptuous shoes feature a large butterfly on the back of each heel. You’re sure to receive plenty of compliments on your footwear when you get married in butterfly shoes.


If you think you might become a runaway bride just before you say your vows, you might want to have a pair of bridal running shoes on your feet. Available via Etsy, these high-heeled stunners are wrapped in lace and tie in the front with white ribbon. You’ll be ready for a stroll down the aisle towards your matrimonial partner or for a fast exit to a waiting car and the highway to freedom.

3. NAUTICAL BRIDAL THONGS For a completely unique take on wedding footwear, consider a pair of nautical beach

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Tips for Planning Your Ideal Honeymoon

DASHING AWAY to an exotic location with your new spouse at the end of your wedding day is something to look forward to. However, it doesn’t just happen. Somewhere in the midst of the craziness of wedding planning, you also need to find time to plan your honeymoon. Use these tips to help you plan a great honeymoon with less stress.

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Don’t wait until the last minute to start planning your honeymoon. Booking your reservations six to eight months in advance is ideal and helps you get the best rates.


Many couples divide and conquer to tackle tasks during wedding planning, but this doesn’t work as well with the honeymoon. Having one person take on more of the planning can result in a trip that fits better with their preferences and tastes. Work together for most of the planning to choose things that both of you enjoy.



It may sound easier to copy the honeymoon itinerary of another couple, but avoid the temptation. Just because they had a blast doesn’t mean the trip is right for you and your partner. It’s great to get advice and ideas from friends and family, but tailor the trip to the tastes and preferences of you and your fiancé.

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What exactly do you mean by “exotic destination”? A luxury resort on a beautiful island or a faraway foreign country? What’s relaxing to you may seem boring to your fiancé. Be specific when talking with your partner and take the time to figure out what you both want from the honeymoon.



Check out the prices of various plane tickets and destinations and determine what you can afford to spend. Narrow your options based on what you can afford; remember that it’s often better to choose a less expensive destination where you can afford better accommodations and activities. Remember to consider airfare, accommodations, sightseeing, entertainment, dining, and transportation. If resources are tight, think about setting up a honeymoon fund as part of your wedding registry.



Travel agents are a great choice for many couples. They have insider information and vast experience to help you plan the honeymoon that’s right for you. They can save you lots of time researching and often have access to special deals and discounts. Of course, some couples prefer to keep things simple and plan themselves, and that’s a great option too.



A wedding is expensive, and it’s tempting to use honeymoon money to help pay for those last few wedding details that you can’t live without. However, the honeymoon is important too and lasts longer than the wedding day, so give it the attention it deserves. Set aside designated honeymoon funds and keep them that way.



The ideal location varies depending on the time of year. Check the average weather at your top destinations to make sure they won’t be uncomfortably hot, cold, humid, or rainy during your trip. The season is also important in terms of crowds; summer weddings are popular, but this is also peak tourist season for many locations.

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Heading for your honeymoon immediately after the reception may sound romantic, but it’s often better to wait. You’ll be exhausted after the wedding and may have had too much to drink. Choose a place close to your reception site for the first night and give yourself a moment to rest. Plan to leave the following day or even a couple of days after the wedding. Some couples prefer to postpone their honeymoon even longer for various reasons, so do what works best for the two of you.

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A good mix of relaxation and adventure is ideal for a honeymoon. You’ll need time to unwind after the wedding and the stress of planning, but you’ll also want time to explore and experience exciting activities together.


Keep your timeline in mind when choosing destinations. Fiji sounds great, but you’ll want to avoid long flights if you only have a week. Spending two days on a plane and suffering from jet lag between doesn’t make for a great experience. Choosing a location closer to home allows you to maximize vacation time.



Work to strike a balance between planning enough and planning too much. Build a basic structure, including accommodations for the entire trip and any major excursions you don’t want to miss, but don’t plan too many activities. The time before the wedding is heavily scheduled, so give yourselves some freedom on your honeymoon.

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Remember to book travel reservations to match the legal name on the documents you’ll have while traveling. It’s exciting to become Mr. and Mrs. So-and-So, but don’t book your honeymoon that way.


Build excitement about your destination by going to a restaurant or preparing a meal based on cultural cuisine. Or snuggle up for a movie night featuring a film that highlights the area’s culture or scenery. Not only will you anticipate your honeymoon more, but these are also great ways to relax with your partner during the hectic days of wedding planning.



Many hotels and resorts offer special honeymoon packages. They may include champagne and roses, a romantic dinner, breakfast in bed, couple massages, and more. Find out if the places you’re staying offer any such packages and what they cost.



If you’re traveling to another country, check their visa and passport requirements and make sure you have the proper documents for your travels. Also, check with your doctor about any vaccinations recommended for traveling to other regions. Your honeymoon is an amazing opportunity to get away and enjoy time with your new spouse. Make the most of it and reduce planning stress with the help of these honeymoon planning tips, then enjoy every moment of your special time together.

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PLANNING, DREAMING, AND PREPARING for your wedding day is a special time; there’s excitement, enthusiasm, and lots of advice. Sometimes it seems that everyone, from your parents to aunts and uncles to friends or even people you meet in line at the grocery store, has ideas about what you should do at your wedding or how they can help. While all of their ideas and offers of assistance can be helpful at times, they can also be overwhelming. Here are some tips on how to say no without offending your loved ones.

opportunities to offer advice or assistance.



As ideas, advice, and offers come pouring in, set the tone from the beginning. Compliment ideas and thank people for their kind offers, but let them know that you want to make decisions with your fiancé.

Sometimes you’ll need to say no. For example, your parents want you to get married at a church but neither of you is religious. However, for bigger issues like this, you may want to avoid a straightforward no because it can sound harsh. Instead, take time to sit down with your parents and explain to them how you feel and why this is important to you. They may not agree, but at least they’ll have a better idea where you’re coming from.

EVALUATE REQUESTS You’re likely to receive all kinds of requests during wedding planning. This includes requests both big and small, such as your grandmother wanting to make your wedding cake or a friend asking you to hide something in your bouquet. Consider the request and whether or not it works with your personalities and the vision you have for the wedding day. If so, you may want to include it in the festivities. If not, see if there’s a way to incorporate the request in a way that does fit or consider saying no.

AVOID OFFERING INFORMATION You know the type: the friend or relative who has advice about and wants to get involved with everything. If you have someone you know wants to get involved even though you’d rather they didn’t, avoid giving them details about wedding planning. This gives them fewer

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PRACTICE COMPROMISING Compromise is an important part of a marriage, so make the most of wedding planning as a time to practice this skill. Don’t give in to every request or idea, but take time to step back and evaluate what’s actually important to you. Will these things matter six months after the wedding? Be willing to be flexible about things that don’t matter as much to you or your partner.

TWEAK THE IDEA You don’t always have to agree to the idea, request, or offer in the way it was originally presented. Tweaking the idea can help the person feel included while staying true to your preferences as the bride and groom. For example, the piece of jewelry that every bride in your family wears may not match your wedding dress, but perhaps you wrap it around your bouquet or pin it inside your gown.

REPURPOSE THE OFFER If someone offers to help but you don’t feel comfortable trusting them with the responsibility, try to find a way to include them that makes both of you happy. For example,

if grandma wants to bake the wedding cake, but hasn’t ever done that before, it might not be a great idea. Consider asking her to bake cupcakes for the rehearsal dinner instead.

TRY A LESS IMPORTANT DAY Your wedding day only happens once, so it’s reasonable to hesitate about accepting offers from friends and family. Many of them are excited though and want to share this time with you, so see if you can get them involved on a day other than the wedding. If a friend offers to shoot your wedding photos but you want a professional photographer for the big day, ask the friend to shoot engagement photos instead. This lets them get involved without as much pressure.

CREATE A BUFFER Don’t feel like you have to be the one saying no all the time; get help with this task. Ask your fiancé to handle some of the requests from his family and let your wedding planner deal with the last minute requests. If relatives or friends at the reception have a big surprise for the couple, the wedding planner can run it by you before politely saying no.

APPRECIATE THE THOUGHT Although you might feel frustrated by the loads of advice and offers, try to appreciate the thought behind them. Your friends and family want to share in your excitement, and they usually mean well. Appreciating that can help you be a little more tolerant. Wedding planning is an exciting time, but it can get overwhelming. Use these tips for saying no to help you manage the flood of requests, ideas, and offers from enthusiastic family and friends.

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All About Your Wedding

Receiving Line

THE WEDDING DAY is over before you know it. Make the most of the time and avoid missing wedding guests by taking advantage of a receiving line. This tradition stands the test of time as an efficient way to greet and connect with each guest. Here’s what you need to know about a wedding receiving line.

WHY HAVE A RECEIVING LINE? Receiving lines offer an ideal way to welcome guests personally and thank them for attending your wedding. Most people also consider it proper wedding etiquette if you’re planning a celebration with more than 50 guests. Choosing a line allows brief face-to-face time with each guest so they can offer congratulations and

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share a hug. Trying to greet everyone during the reception can leave you overwhelmed as you rush out of one conversation to catch someone else, and still end up missing people.

RECEIVING LINE LOCATION AND TIME Plan to set up your receiving line at a time and place where guests can move through the line smoothly without feeling rushed. Usually, this is right after the ceremony or first thing at the reception. Choose a location with enough space for family and wedding party members to stand without crowding each other, so guests have room to move through the line. Proper ventilation is also essential, so everyone stays comfortable. At the ceremony site, common

locations include the vestibule, outside the entry doors, or on the front porch. You’ll usually have more options at the reception site, such as the lobby, cocktail lounge, outside the entry doors, or even in the reception room.

SETUP OF THE RECEIVING LINE The traditional structure of a receiving line includes the bride and groom with both sets of parents. As hosts, the bride’s parents head the line, followed by the bride and groom with the groom’s parents concluding the line. The fathers sometimes mingle with the guests instead of joining the receiving line, but if one enters the line, then they both should. Having some or all of the bridal party after

the groom’s parents is also common, and sometimes grandparents as well. As with many wedding traditions, the receiving line is open to interpretation, and more couples are choosing a different setup. With many couples paying for or contributing to the wedding themselves, it’s not uncommon for the bride and groom to stand alone.

DIVORCED AND REMARRIED PARENTS If one or both sets of parents are divorced, it makes arranging a receiving line more difficult. Don’t place divorced parents next to each other in line because it creates the impression they are still a couple. A standard placement is the bride’s mother, followed by the couple, the groom’s parents, and the bride’s father. If your parents remarried and you have a good relationship with your stepmom or stepdad, consider having them join your mom or dad on the line if that won’t cause problems with your other parent. These situations can get sticky, so sometimes it’s better to have a receiving line with just the bride and groom.

Greeting wedding guests is an integral part of the occasion, and a receiving line is a great way to accomplish this efficiently. process take longer for everyone involved. Keep receiving line conversation to a minimum and take advantage of the reception for mingling and catching up with family and friends. Remember that greeting that many people can get tiring; make sure to greet the guests at the end of the line with the same enthusiasm as those at the beginning.

INTRODUCING GUESTS New faces abound at weddings, so help everyone feel welcome and comfortable by introducing your parents and spouse to any guests they haven’t met. Keep the introductions brief, first names and their relationship to you, so you don’t hold up the flow. Consider hiring the services of a Town Crier to introduce the guests and control the flow of the line.



The receiving line is your opportunity to welcome each wedding guest but avoid over talking. Too much conversation makes the

Here are a few tips to make your receiving line flow as smoothly as possible:  Hand off the bouquet. Bouquets get heavy

and are awkward to deal with while greeting guests, so pass it off to a trusted friend for safekeeping.  Schedule appropriately. During wedding planning, schedule the receiving line with about 15 to 30 seconds per guest.  Make eye contact and smile. Remember to make eye contact with each guest and greet everyone with a smile, so all feel welcome and appreciated.  Keep the line moving. Communicate with the members of your receiving line so that everyone knows this is an opportunity to greet guests, and they should save conversations for the reception. Your wedding day is a special time to celebrate your love and commitment with family and friends present. Greeting wedding guests is an integral part of the occasion, and a receiving line is a great way to accomplish this efficiently. Use these tips to set up your receiving line and make your guests feel welcome and appreciated.

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How to Set Up a

SETTING UP A CANDY BUFFET is one of the hottest trends at weddings right now. They are an innovative alternative to traditional favors and, simply put, finger food is fun. You can get creative and design it yourself or you can take the hassle out of it and work with a caterer or event planner for your special day.

rock candy, candy-coated chocolate nuts and fruits, taffy, licorice, hard candies, lollipops, gumballs, and more. You can also go to a warehouse store to stock up on common popular candy options. They will carry large packages and are often at a discounted price since you’re buying in bulk.

If you’re more of a do it yourself type, you can easily design and set up a candy buffet without too much effort and have a mouthwatering display. Party supply stores and websites are now carrying candy in every color of the rainbow in order to match your wedding colors.

One of the benefits of going this route is that they are usually individually wrapped, making serving a little less messy. A fun idea for a real old school candy shop feel is to get vintage candy like Necco Wafers, Mary Janes, Beemans Chewing Gum, Bit-O-Honey, Charleston Chew, Fun Dip, or Pop Rocks.

Some bulk candy ideas include chocolates,

If you’re already decorating the rest of your

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reception, simply make sure you have additional table linens, centerpieces, and decorations to also cover your candy buffet. You’re also going to need some containers to put all of that candy! You can start by shopping in your own home: look in your kitchen cabinets for jars and serving bowls; you can even use thick-walled vases with a wide mouth as a container. Craft stores carry glass apothecary jars and oversize wine and martini glasses that look beautiful with colorful candy showing through. There’s no need to spend too much on containers, though, especially if you don’t think you’re going to use them again.

Candy Buffet

Get creative and check out some thrift stores for interesting vessels. You can continue with the vintage theme and use mason jars; a case from the hardware store winds up costing about a dollar per jar. When you’re setting up your candy buffet, use different size containers and put them at varying levels on the table for visual interest. Label your jars so your guests know what’s in each (you never know who has an allergy!). The colors of bulk candy can be quite beautiful, but since they aren’t individually wrapped, make sure you get some scoops so your guests aren’t digging in with their bare hands. You can also hire a caterer or an event planner

at Your Wedding

in order to design and implement your candy buffet, so it’s one less thing to think about on your big day. With a little information from you, they will coordinate your theme and color scheme into your custom candy set up in order to ensure your distinct personality shines. They will set everything up before the event and be there when it’s all over to break it down, freeing you up to spend time with your guests. The company will provide jars and scoops for your candy station as well as little bags to fill for the true candy shop feel. Sometimes, they will provide favor bags already filled with candy for larger events. Often, they will provide table linens, centerpieces, displays, custom labels, or even a server in order to create a truly

stunning visual display for your party. A delicious add-on that many caterers offer are cake pops and cupcakes. These small desserts are all the rage right now and are perfect for keeping a wedding informal and fun. The caterer can provide a tiered display or tower for cupcakes and stands for the cake pops, creating an edible dessert centerpiece. Either way you decide to go, setting up a candy buffet at your wedding is a memorable way of incorporating your colors and personality while also engaging your guests. It evokes immediate nostalgia and provides your guests with a unique, interactive experience that they will remember.

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Art Decadently delicious concoctions figure prominently in wedding celebrations. Cake bakers, chocolatiers, candy makers, and other creators of edible art produce gustatory and visual masterpieces. Here is a sampling of feasts for palate and eye, sensational treats designed to delight and dazzle while tantalizing taste buds.

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Your theme, style and colours venture onto your desserts as well. From the minimalist cakes, decadent chocolates and the ornate edible art designs‌ on your wedding day you CAN have your cake and eat it too!

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Naked cake in all its glory! There are many variations to this idea of keeping it simple, but beauty always remains.

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Your wedding cake is a great place to complete the full ambiance of your theme, have some fun with your design! Whether it be to show off your personalities, culture or similarities… this piece will simply be the ‘icing on the cake’.

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17 Fun,

Creative, and Edible

Escort Card Ideas

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EVERY COUPLE WANTS TO give their wedding day a personalized touch, and escort cards are a great way to let your creativity shine. Escort cards are less formal than place cards as they direct guests to a table rather than a seat. Once guests get to their table, they’re free to choose their own seat. There are many fun and unique ways to display these cards but choosing something edible is sure to be a hit. Use the season, location, or your wedding theme for inspiration in picking something fun and tasty to enhance your special day. Check out these creative ideas to help you get started.




Soft and delicate, macarons taste as good as they look. Plus, they are easy to customize to match your wedding colors.

Deep red and a perfect taste of summer, cherries are a great choice. Place one on each escort card for a simple and elegant display or fill small paper bags to give wedding guests a pre-dinner treat.

It’s hard to go wrong with glasses of bubbly to start off your reception. Drape ribbons with guests’ names over flutes of champagne for a beautiful and festive presentation.



Let your creativity run wild with themed sugar cookies. Choose the shape, colors, and design that fits best with the wedding day and other reception décor.

Tie escort cards to the stem of lollipops for a cute display. You can choose your favorite flavors and colors.


A little something sweet is a fun treat. Choose your favorite bite-size candies and put them in cute cups or small jars.

2. SODA Hang escort cards around the top of glass bottles of your favorite soda. It’s a refreshing way to kick off the party.

3. FRESH OLIVE OIL Small bottles of olive oil infused with herbs make an elegant and beautiful display. Your wedding guests can continue to enjoy how pretty they look in their kitchens or use them for cooking.


Package escort cards with cookies in the shape of table numbers so guests can find their seats and enjoy a tasty treat.

Layers of flavor encourage guests to find their seats and dig in. Parfaits are a great choice for a brunch reception.




Tie paper leaves with the guests’ names to the stems of apples for a simple escort card that adds a pop of color to your reception. As an extra bonus, apples are super affordable.

Give your guests a nostalgic treat with a small glass of milk and a cookie as their escort card. Put tags directly on the glasses and balance a cookie on top.



Fresh bread is a real crowd-pleaser. Place a small loaf of bread or a roll from a local bakery on each plate with the guest’s name on it.

Kick up the heat with small bottles of hot sauce. Choose your favorite variety or see if a local restaurant can provide hot sauce for some hometown flare.

Fresh and juicy, peaches are ideal for summer weddings and rustic affairs.


16. CUPCAKES Give wedding guests a bit of cake at the beginning of the reception by using cupcakes for escort cards. Add a simple DIY flag to the top for easy and delightful cards.

17. HONEY STICKS Slide a honey stick filled with local honey through a couple of slits in the escort card for a simple, but tasty treat. Enjoy letting your creative side shine during wedding planning by choosing edible escort cards that fit your style and theme. Your guests are sure to thank you.

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Destination Details

You Will Want to Know Before Planning

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You’ve decided that nothing could be more romantic than having palm trees, bougainvillea, and the crisp blue of the Caribbean as the backdrop for your wedding. Or, for that matter a Tuscan hillscape or the rolling hills of an Ontario vineyard. You are not alone.

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The destination wedding has skyrocketed in popularity. And its appeal keeps growing. Everything about a destination wedding is different. As is your approach to planning it. And that already makes it unique and memorable. Whether your wish is to have something formal or casual, you’ll find that in most cases a destination wedding can be cheaper than one in Ontario, or certainly no more expensive. The bonus is you can also have a vacation. For one thing, the guest list will probably be much shorter. For another, there are a lot of things you will not need — such as limo service, elaborate flowers and formalwear. It’s the ideal solution for the couple who want to get away with a few close friends and relatives for a combined celebration and vacation. It’s also a great option for the man and woman who want a wonderful wedding and a lavish honeymoon but cannot afford to do both.

THE GUEST LIST Preparing the guest list for a destination wedding is not much different to preparing the guest list for a wedding in Ontario. The difference is, you can expect a lot more declines – up to 20 percent by some estimates vs. about 10 percent for a wedding at home. Not everybody can afford the time off. Others will not be able to afford the travel costs. If you find that a lot of people who are important to you are intending to decline your invitation because of these reasons, you might consider going ahead with a foreign wedding for a few friends and close family but have a reception when you get back home. Because people must make special arrangements to attend a wedding outside Canada, it is very important that you inform your relatives and prospective guests about your plans well in advance of sending out the formal invitations. This need be nothing more elaborate than an email or a telephone call. Again because of the special arrangements that are required by those who will make the trip, your formal invitation packets must go out 6-8 months before the wedding.

WHO PAYS FOR WHAT? Some couples pay for the wedding themselves with the parents kicking in for the rehearsal dinner, the post-wedding brunch, or flying in the officiant, if required. Others go the traditional route, with the bride’s parents paying for the reception and the groom’s family hosting the rehearsal dinner. With the bridal party it is an entirely different matter. It is the responsibility of the bride and groom to pay for the accommodations for the wedding party – but not their travel

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costs. You can communicate this information to them diplomatically by saying, “We’re getting married in Bermuda! If you can get yourself there, we’ll pick up the tab for your accommodations (we’ve rented an entire block of rooms so everyone can stay together). We hope you can come on Wednesday and stay until Sunday so you can have a little vacation at the same time.” All other costs fall on the attendants themselves, and they need to know what total amount will be their responsibility before agreeing to participate. Prepare an overall estimate that includes airfare, lodging, attire, local transportation and anything else you will not be covering. Give people a few days to think about it. If any of them choose to decline, tell him/her that you’ll be disappointed but that you understand perfectly. As an alternative, suggest that they might just want to attend the ceremony and not be an attendant. Guests, on the other hand, are expected to pay for their own travel and accommodation expenses.

CHOOSING A DESTINATION In a huge and diverse country like Canada, you can have your destination wedding without leaving our home and native land. For many, however, a destination wedding means hot weather in a winter month and for that you need to go south. In the Caribbean for example, many of the islands have everything in place for a destination wedding, as do many resorts. Before you pick a spot, decide whether you want placid or busy. Islands like Bermuda and Grenada can offer you quiet and privacy, while in places like Las Vegas, Puerto Rico and the Caymans the ambiance is gambling and nightlife.

florists, bands, photographers and caterers. At a tropical destination always plan to have your ceremony in the morning when it’s cooler and there is lots of shade. And then you can have the rest of the day to celebrate your marriage. Sunset ceremonies are romantic, but the light fades fast and you can lose the best light for your photographs. Plus you will be getting ready for your ceremony during the hottest part of the day.

USING A WEDDING PLANNER When you get married outside Canada, a lot of the planning is taken out of your hands, which is where the stress relief comes in. Many hotel and island packages include everything, even the flowers, and have an on-site wedding co-ordinator to take care of the details. If you do not have that option, it may be worth the money to hire a wedding co-ordinator at your location. She can look after all the details for you, exchanging information with you via phone or email. But give yourself a long timeline in order that you can send missing pieces. (It’s a good idea to fax her your documentation ahead of time so that she can start the paperwork on your licence.) And be flexible. Many foreign destinations do not offer the same range of resources as back home. In most Caribbean islands and in Mexico, people work on island time. This can be frustrating for an A-type urbanite from Ontario. Even with a planner looking after things at the site, many experts in the field recommend that you take at least one trip there in person so that you can check everything out firsthand and avoid unpleasant surprises on your big day.

Always ask if wedding packages are offered. And since you will be bringing many guests to that place, don’t be shy about requesting a discount on room rates. (It probably won’t be offered unless you do.) Also, if everybody books through the same travel agent it may be easier for your consultant to arrange a volume discount.


Another growing option is to get married aboard a cruise ship. Many of these huge vessels are equipped with chapels and wedding consultants, and have captains who can marry you. Caution: Before booking, confirm that the cruise line has the authority to perform shipboard marriages that will be recognized back in Ontario

In the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico, hurricane season is August to November – although islands like St. Lucia and others to its south are less affected. Always avoid Christmas and the school break months of February and March when most resorts are overrun with children.

Find a travel agent who specializes in destination weddings. There are some who also know how to go about finding officiants,

A destination wedding needs a much longer planning timeline than one held in Ontario. For many resorts, weddings are not a massproduction process. They may permit only one wedding per day or even one per weekend. Therefore, you may have to be flexible about your wedding date.

Send out your save-the-date notices 8-12 months before the wedding and, as noted above, your formal invitation packets must go out 6-8 months in advance.

PAPERWORK AND LEGALITIES Check with the country’s tourism authority, consulate or embassy in Toronto and ask about things like the cost of a marriage license, waiting periods, documentation required and whether or not you need a blood test. If you plan on having a religious ceremony, find out ahead of time what sort of restrictions the officiant might have. For example, Roman Catholic priests often insist on giving premarital counseling even if it’s done by email. You may need to bring certain documents that you would not need if you were getting married at home: - Birth certificate (authenticated) - Confirmation, baptism and pre-Cana records (for Catholic weddings) - Immunization and other health records - Passport Proof of economic solvency - Proof that you’re free to marry, such as a divorce decree or death certificate (authenticated and perhaps translated) If you want to avoid all these hassles and are able to keep a secret, have a civil ceremony at home before you go. If any of the guests found out they might feel a bit cheated. In effect, the ceremonial wedding at your foreign destination is where you pledge to each other. The unpublicized courtroom procedure back in Ontario is just a legal formality.

how to replicate what she’s done either with the use of photographs or a map of your face. Must: Retail makeup artists are usually on commission so be prepared to buy at least two products to compensate her for her time. Hair is typically simpler for a destination wedding – romantic, loose locks rather than an updo. Again, have your hairstylist at home teach you or one of your attendants how to recreate it for the wedding with the use of photographs. Or use them to guide a recommended stylist at your destination. Men’s attire Island weddings usually call for something less formal – such as a nice linen suit or a shirt and trousers. If formalwear is called for, check with your on-the-scene wedding coordinator or your resort hotel for a rental shop that can be trusted. Or play it safe by renting at home and paying the extra cost to keep the duds with you for the extra days. Officiant If it is difficult to find someone of your faith at your destination, you can fly one in from home. However, most people use a local interfaith minister or judge. Photography If there is one thing couples might consider bringing from home, this is it. You will need to

pay for his/her travel, lodging and food costs (and possibly that of an assistant). Ask too if travel time is billed and at what rate. If your resort will recommend one, you might want to check out a local. Have the person email you samples of his/her work. Or check out his/her website. Flowers You can get any flower you want anywhere in the world – if you are prepared to pay an arm and a leg. In the tropics, you are always better off going with local blooms. Food Again, you can have anything you are prepared to pay for – but it’s always better and safer to choose the local cuisine. Cake Multi-layered confections with lots of decorations will not survive tropical heat, so don’t even think about bringing a picture of something you saw back home and asking a local to duplicate it. Got to a local cake maker and ask what s/he’s best known for. Choose from that array. Music In this case, it is always better to go local. After all, it’s the local ambiance that you want at your wedding. However, if you insist on Van Morrison or the Stones, hire a deejay.


Invitations Since your guests and family will probably be spending several days at the destination, you have much information to convey about the location as well as the wedding and reception. You need something other than a simple folded card. Consider a trifold or a gatefold, or multiple cards stacked in a box. Gown Choose one that can be folded, does not wrinkle excessively, isn’t too heavy, and won’t overheat you in the tropical sun. Will you be able to steam (never iron) it when you arrive? Choose a long veil rather than a train for the dress. If you’re flying, try to take an off-peak flight when you’ll have a better chance of getting an empty seat to carry your dress Most airlines charge you, but others may give you a break because you are a bride. As for shoes, think about the surfaces you will be walking on at the ceremony and reception sites (sand anyone?). Hair and makeup Big hotels and resorts can usually hook you up with talented locals. If you don’t like the idea of dealing with strangers for your makeup, go to a local outlet at home and have the makeup artist teach you or one of your attendants

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Don’t overpack. Estimate what you will need for the time you are away and take half that.

2. Use the right bag. Best: Those that you can haul fully loaded without straining yourself, such as rolling bags. For infrequent travellers, a $50 bag with cheap hardware and zippers may be just fine. For road warriors, plan to spend $300 to $400 for a bag that is truly durable. Stick with tough cloth. Leather is heavy, rots when wet, cracks when old, and invites theft. 3. Avoid fabrics that are not made of natural fibres. Silk, wool, cotton and even wrinkle-prone linen are great for travel. But garments of polyester and other synthetics will leave you smelling like ripe goat cheese after a few hours. Used in undergarments, synthetics cause you to be tugging at yourself where you should never be seen to be tugging. 4. Take a toilet kit of essentials. Slip it into your coat pocket where it will not make a bulge. Let the hotel supply the shampoo and soap. Avoid taking bottles of pills. Roll them up like coins in aluminum foil; they’ll shrink as you use them up. Caution: Take copies of your prescriptions in case customs officers get curious. 5. Avoid too many shoes. They are bulky and heavy. For men, Hush Puppies can be fairly dressy or can do double duty as beachwear. Women can minimize shoe space by taking along a strappy little number and one pair of runners. 6. Take a backpack. Pick one that folds up small and place it in the bottom of your suitcase. As you travel, fill it with great buys, documents or presents on the way home. 7. Make up an emergency kit. You’ll be prepared for any disaster. What to include: The sewing kit from your last hotel room. Some safety pins in different sizes. Rubber bands to serve as sock garters or pants closures. A sleeping mask. Ten feet of fishing line to hang over the bathtub and serve as the world’s lightest clothes dryer. 8. Be adaptable. What to take: An all-weather raincoat with a removable lining. A crushable hat for rain. Thick socks to make your Hush Puppies or runners warmer. 9. Avoid colour conflicts. Take clothing that is all grey or all beige or all brown or whatever. Use neckties and scarves to add colour. One basic outfit can become a wardrobe with accessories. 10. Pack a first-aid kit. What to include: Antacid. Aspirin. Antiseptic. Band-Aids. Motion sickness pills. Suntan lotion. Sunblock. 11. Take one carryon in addition to your handbag. And keep all important and valuable items in it and with you. What to include: Passports. Visas. Health insurance. Other important documents. Tickets. Vouchers. List of credit card and traveller’s cheque numbers. List of major contents of luggage. Important names, addresses and phone numbers. Prescriptions (in their containers with their labels). Birth control. Camera. Extra glasses or contacts and/or eye prescription. Some makeup. Washcloth. Fresh underwear.

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Getting a Wedding Smile:

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE? THERE WILL PROBABLY BE more pictures taken of you on your wedding day than on any other day of your life, so it makes sense to want a perfect smile. There are lots of teeth whitening products out there – as well as a few home remedies – but how long will it take to get whiter teeth? Making your teeth whiter means removing the stains that have built up over the years. Just as it takes time for your teeth to become stained, it takes time for them to be whitened. There is no such thing as an effective overnight teeth whitening treatment, so don’t wait until the week before your wedding to sort out your smile. Dentists provide power whitening: they paint a bleaching solution on to your teeth and then activate it with a laser or UV light. This takes about an hour. Although you may see some improvement after the first treatment, you’ll probably need several for best results. It’s also one of the most expensive ways to remove stains from your teeth. You can use a bleaching gel that doesn’t need lights shone into your mouth. If you have this done at a dentist, they will take an impression and make a tray that holds the gel and fits exactly over your teeth. This is likely to take a few appointments over the course of several weeks to make a significant difference. Home kits are also available, although the bleaching solution is weaker than that used by dentists. But don’t be tempted to leave it on your teeth for longer as this could permanently weaken the enamel. In addition, the tray isn’t designed specifically for you and if it’s a poor fit then bleaching gel may damage your gums. Some people prefer bleaching strips; they don’t have the risk of gum damage but if your teeth are uneven you may get patchy results. Home kits vary enormously in price and effectiveness and even if you’re buying a top of the range

product you should allow a few months of treatment before the wedding. Whitening toothpaste is an inexpensive way of brightening your smile. Although some people report whiter teeth after only a few weeks, results vary from person to person. If your teeth are quite porous then they’ll stain easily but you’ll also find it much easier to remove stains. Check whether the toothpaste has an abrasive action, e.g. by using baking soda, or whether it contains a stain remover such as active charcoal. You may want to consider using a combination of both of these methods and you should allow several months of regular brushing to see best results. Most home remedies for stained teeth either use the same active ingredients as toothpaste or will simply kill bacteria in your mouth. This isn’t a bad thing, but it won’t make your teeth any whiter. Some methods, such as rinsing your mouth with cider vinegar or scrubbing with mashed strawberries and baking soda, can remove the top layer of enamel from your teeth and will make them appear more yellow. Although some people swear by them, there’s no guarantee that “natural” teeth whiteners will work at all, however long you try. When you first start planning your wedding, begin using a whitening toothpaste regularly. If this makes a difference, continue to use it up to the big day so that your teeth don’t become stained again. If you can’t see a difference a few months before the day, consider a home whitening kit, or work out if you can afford professional treatment. Don’t leave it until the last moment though; if something does go wrong while using a home treatment solution, you’ll need time to get it put right. Everyone wants to have their best smile in their wedding photos, so it makes sense to consider teeth whitening. You’ll need to think about what you can afford as part of your overall budget; remember that less expensive treatments will usually take much longer to achieve noticeable results.

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Free book means less stress when you plan your big day 82 | Wedding Essentials 2019

Planning a formal wedding can cause stress in the most serene of women. But you can plan yours with a minimum of frayed nerves, thanks to this FREE book from Wedding Essentials. The Bride’s Survival Guide gives you detailed instructions on planning every aspect of your big day. This 128-page manual (a $39.95 value) offers insider advice on the engagement, the advance preparations, the budget, the ceremony, the reception, the honeymoon, and your first home together. You get tips on saving money, answers to your etiquette questions, solutions to tough family problems, and ideas on how to make your wedding unique. Plus …we show you how to get the best deals from suppliers. Without sacrificing quality. This unique manual has helped more than 70,000 Ontario brides over the past 20 years. Let us send you your own personal FREE copy. Mail the postpaid request card opposite this page. Or complete the form online at We’ll be pleased to help you remain calm every step of the way to the altar.

Wedding Essentials Your wedding. Your vision. Your choice.

How to Stay Calm and Cope During

Difficult Conversations NO ONE LIKES DIFFICULT CONVERSATIONS. They can make you feel vulnerable and scared. You cringe because you don’t know if you’ll like what you hear. At other times, you imagine the person you’re talking with is defenseless and don’t want to cause pain. You hold your breath, hoping what you say is received better than you anticipate. Talking to people about challenging topics need not make your knees go weak and heart pound like a jackhammer, when you know how to cope.

KEEP YOUR BREATH FLOWING Imagine a calm tide. Whoosh, flowing slowly back and forth with ease. A continual, smooth, comfortable movement. Now envision an aggressive current, with fast, uneven waves coursing across the ocean. The two examples demonstrate the difference between your breathing patterns when you’re relaxed or anxious. Instead of holding your breath, or inhaling and exhaling high in your chest rapidly, relax and develop a calm rhythm. Slow your breathing down and let air sink to your belly before it rises and you’ll relax.

KEEP YOUR OBJECTIVE IN MIND Finding a peaceful outcome will be tough if you forget your goal. People who lose their way in difficult conversations say things they later regret and don’t achieve their aims. Be clear what you want from a discussion before it begins. Also, get into the habit of steering dialog back to the main issue when you notice it veering and you won’t drag the conversation out or mislay the plot.

AVOID THE LANGUAGE OF BLAME Conversations deteriorate when verbal mud-slinging ensues. Saying “you caused the problem” or “you’re wrong” makes people defensive. Name calling, of course, is insulting and encourages others to retaliate. Preaching, scolding, and other forms of aggressive speech will upset you, even if you’re not on the receiving end. Speak slowly in a calm tone and you’ll retain your composure and stay on track.

STICK TO “WHAT” NOT “WHY” “Why” halts progress whereas “What” results in constructive ideas. What can you do to improve the situation? What’s the next step? Asking what-related questions will keep the conversation moving in the right direction and prevent unnecessary doleful verbiage. Difficult conversations are uncomfortable but remember why you have them. They may initiate improvement. Let your breathing pattern help you relax. As a result, you’ll get to the point fast and stay composed. Avoid critical language and offer helpful ideas, too, and you’ll cope well and be calm.

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Getting Remarried?

Prepare your Finances with these Four Critical Steps BY BE CONRAD

IF YOU RUSHED INTO your first marriage and lived to regret that hasty decision, your second marriage is a chance for redemption. Now that you are older and presumably wiser, you can live out the lessons you have learned, incorporating them into your new relationship and using them to make your second marriage stronger and more successful.

credit scores, you can work together to improve things, paying bills on time, reducing debt levels and being smart about spending.

It may not be the most romantic thing in the world, but finances will surely play a major role in the success of your upcoming marriage. Like it or not, you and your future spouse need to have an honest discussion about where you stand financially, where you see eye to eye, where you disagree and how you plan to plot a future course together. Here are four critical things you need to think about before walking down the aisle the second time around.

If there are adult children in the picture, now is the time to talk about them and their finances. Discussions about adult children and financial support can be touchy, but they are absolutely essential.




Your creditworthiness, or lack of it, will play a role in everything from your insurance premiums to your future career prospects. Now is the time to get out those credit reports and check those credit scores. If you have not already done so, check your own credit score, then ask your future spouse to do the same. If there is a huge discrepancy in your




If your future spouse envisions high levels of financial support for adults who should already be self-sufficient, now is the time to talk about it. It is better to talk about these things now and come up with compromises than to wait until the financial needs of the adult children start interfering with your marriage.




Until now, you and your future spouse have lived separate financial lives, but now is the time to start putting things together. Start by creating a net worth statement for each one of you, including the investments you own and the

debts you have incurred. Once you get a handle on your individual finances, it will be easier to start the consolidation process. This step can be a tedious one, but it is also essential.




In cases where there is a major discrepancy between the two spouses, a prenuptial agreement may be appropriate. This is another difficult discussion to have, but it is important for both partners to protect themselves and their finances. If you do decide a prenuptial agreement is in the cards, it is important to seek professional help and guidance in creating one. These are complicated legal documents, and you will need the right help to avoid mistakes. Financial discussions may not be as much fun as talking about wedding cakes and caterers, but in the end these talks will be far more consequential. Chances are you learned a lot from your first marriage, including the importance of finances. Now is the time to put those lessons to use, starting with some frank discussions about your upcoming marriage and your financial future.

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Beauty-Full Fun and pretty bridal must haves!


ROSE GOLD OBSESSIONS Rose gold has taken this year, and last year, and maybe even the year before that by storm. While you may shy away from a blush wedding dress, or a rose gold ring, Charlotte Tilbury’s products are a luxury to enjoy. Each rose gold lipstick tube feels like luxury the moment you slip it out of your purse… and don’t even get me started on the formula. It glides on like a dream. Charlotte is a big fan of The Queen, and with the royal wedding just past, it’s no surprise that she released some new lipstick shades: The Dutchess, a charming tearose pink in a satin finish, and Legendary Queen, described as a soft neutral wine matte lipstick. Get them exclusively online for $39 at

‹ WANDERLUST Perhaps my all-time favourite Sephora Collection launch, #Lipstories makes it hard to pick. Do I pick a lipstick based on the name? Or on the shade? The packaging is adorable, and the formula is not only super creamy, but also budget friendly at $10 a pop (or should I say, budget friendly, by Sephora standards?). My top picks are Hot in Havana (warm orange, satin finish), Oui! (my perfect pinky-nude, cream finish), and Brunch Date (a pink-beige, matte finish). Shades range from nude to metallic mint, from a classic red to a matte navy. Get them at Sephora, both in store and online!

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SPARKLE MUST! Stila’s Glitter & Glow Liquid Eyeshadow has taken the blogger world by storm, and earning rave reviews in the process. Stila makes it easy to play with glitter. I like to do my usual evening eye look, and then use my fingers to tap the wet glitter on the center of my eyelids, and like that my glam has gone up a factor (or twelve). My favourite shades include Kitten Karma, Smoky Storm, and Wanderlust. These have been my goto for weddings and bachelorette parties since the moment they landed on my desk. Retailing for $31, you can find these gems at Sephora, Shoppers Drug Mart, and Murale.

‹ HAPPY SKIN IS ALWAYS IN I never knew that I could become so obsessed by a sheet mask. But Mary Kay’s Timewise Repair mask is no ordinary mask. With a bio-cellulose base, and made with oat kernel extract, orchid extract, and sodium hyaluronate, which is known for its skinconditioning benefits, this mask packs a punch. I love using this mask before a big event. I find that it leaves my skin brighter, and more radiant within moments of removing it. Simply put, my skin is left feeling happy. A pack of four retails for $75 and can be purchased from your local consultant, or online at

DON’T DESPAIR, REPAIR! A good hair mask can be hard to find, and Briogeo makes a pretty great one. Good for all hair types, this mask is packed with goof-foryou ingredients such as rosehip oil, argan oil, and silk. In as little as five minutes moisture is restored to dry and over-processed hair. In advance of a special event, or after when I am looking for some TLC, this mask is just what my hair needs to be back looking, and feeling, its best. 8 oz retails for $46 at Sephora.


“Brio” is an Italian word that means “vibrant and full of life” and “geo” is a Latin word meaning “of Earth and nature” Brio+geo = Briogeo.

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7 Tips for Making Your Wedding Guests


The wedding day is all about the couple pledging their lives to one another, but some couples get so caught up in the magic that they forget they are hosting an event.

YOUR WEDDING is one of few times where the most important people in your life will gather in one space. You may be inviting your best friends, people who have known you since childhood and people who have contributed to you becoming the person you are today. You have chosen to ask these people to surround you as you make one of the most significant commitments of your life, so be sure to treat them that way. Here are seven ways you can go above and beyond for your wedding guests. They will appreciate the thought, and you can be glad that you’ve done something sweet for the people who have come together to celebrate you.

OFFER A LIST OF HOTEL OPTIONS Attending a wedding out of town can be stressful, especially to people who have never visited that place. You can help make things easier by offering some information on hotels. Put together a list of hotels close to your wedding reception and send this list with your out-of-town invitations. If you can, provide information about the hotels like the distance from the wedding venue, family activities offered and whether or not there is a restaurant on site. You may even want to encourage local guests

to stay at a hotel within walking distance from your reception, particularly if you are planning on serving a lot of alcohol. If possible, talk to hotels about reserving a block of rooms for your wedding guests. That is especially helpful if your wedding is to take place in the hotel, and will ensure that your guests have a place to stay. The hotel may offer you a discount on rates; some hotels will even give you a complimentary honeymoon suite if you bring in enough business.

PUT TOGETHER SURVIVAL KITS Grab some gift bags and fill them with items your wedding guests might find useful as they attend your event. If you have guests coming in from out of town, you can leave the bags for them at the front desk of the hotel. Other guests can pick them up as they arrive. The bags can include small items like a bottle of water, a package of tissues, travelsized pain reliever and a tiny bottle of hand sanitizer. If your guests have kids, then include a coloring book with some crayons. People coming in from out of town might appreciate a map of the area noting interesting places to visit or see.

ARRANGE TRANSPORTATION Transportation can be a huge issue when it comes to a wedding, especially if guests will

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be drinking at your reception. You can help keep everyone safe and happy by providing a shuttle from the dinner to hotels where your guests will be spending the night. A shuttle bus also adds to the atmosphere of a party, but if that’s too overwhelming for your budget, find out if your guests would be interested in splitting the cost of a shuttle service. You may find that many of your guests will appreciate this option. Alternatively, you can give guests all the information they will need to arrange for a taxi to take them from your wedding. Everything will go much more smoothly if there is a plan in place for tipsy guests.

ARRANGE CHILDCARE Childcare can be a barrier to guests who want to enjoy your wedding but don’t have anywhere to leave their children. If you’d like your wedding to be an adults-only event, this is tricky. Put some time into considering the needs of your guests who have children. If you are okay with having kids at your wedding, designate a space where they can enjoy themselves. That could be a table with art supplies or even a space with gym mats and slides. Hire someone from a babysitting service to oversee this area so adults can have fun. If most of your guests are staying at a hotel, reserve one room as a kid party zone where

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anyone can leave children while attending your wedding. Use a babysitting service, so you’ll have some responsible adults present. Arrange to have pizza delivered, and stock the room with games, snacks and kidfriendly movies. If you do not want children at your wedding, be clear about this. Many people will assume they can bring their children unless you tell them otherwise.

NIX THE CASH BAR The people you invite to your wedding are your guests, and it can rub people the wrong way to ask them to pay for their drinks. You wouldn’t ask guests to pay for drinks if they were dining at your house and doing so at your wedding can come off as inconsiderate. An open bar, however, can quickly get expensive. If you cannot afford to have one, then you could opt for serving just a few varieties of wine and beer or signature cocktails. That should be enough to let your guests have a good time without exceeding your budget. Another way that is quite acceptable is to have a cash bar to control expenses but supply each guest with one or two tickets. No matter which way you choose, it has to work for you and for your guests. If you are having a quiet, daytime affair, there is nothing wrong with skipping the bar altogether. Merely serve champagne when it is time to make a toast.

PLAY A VARIETY OF MUSIC Many wedding guests love dancing, so be sure you give them a wide selection of music to enjoy. You and your friends may be into hiphop, but your grandmother might like to hear some classic tunes. Be sure to accommodate all kinds of musical tastes when it comes to organizing your playlist so everyone can dance and have a great time.

GIVE GUESTS SOME ATTENTION Sometimes brides and grooms are hyperfocused on making the wedding run smoothly, and they forget about the people around them. Or they are having so much fun that they only give attention to close friends. Remember that you’ve asked your wedding guests to be part of your special day, so don’t ignore them. If you have a large wedding, it might not be easy to stop and speak to each person attending, but you owe it to them to try. Pose for pictures and ask people if they are enjoying themselves. Make them feel like you want them there and that you feel honored they would choose to give that time to you. Your wedding should be one of the most beautiful events of your life, and you can make it special for other people as well. If you’ve invited someone to share such a memorable day with you, then show your respect, courtesy, and appreciation by considering their wants and needs when you are making your plans. That will bring your guests closer to you and help enhance the love that you celebrate on your wedding day.

More of the features you love . . .

 Real Life Weddings  Fashion Passion  Edible Art  Floral Fantasy  Reception Reference Guide  and more

Coming in July in the Fall/Winter 2019 Edition! In the meantime visit us on our social media platforms with the handle /BrideEssentials

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JJewellery Trends ewelleryTrends



CLASSIC OR TRENDY? That’s a basic choice that many bridesThat’s face with regard to the kind Classic or trendy? a basic choice that of jewellery to wear that most many brides face withfor regard to theimportant kind of and special day. for From the engagement jewellery to wear that most importantring and special From the the styles engagement ring toare the to theday. earrings, and fashions earrings, the styles and fashions areso both both numerous and breathtaking… have fun numerous breathtaking… funtrends. choosing.and Below are some ofso thehave latest choosing. Below are some of the latest trends. The most popular ring is still the classic The most popular ring is still the classic solitaire diamond ring with a single diamond solitaire diamond ring with a single diamond in the center. Current trends are towards in the center. Current trends are towards coloured diamonds and other gems as well coloured diamonds and other gems as well as as modern cuts and settings. Diamonds, modern cuts and settings. Diamonds, diamonds and diamonds again! Sparkle & diamonds and diamonds again! Sparkle & shine on your wedding with this breathtakingly shine on your wedding with this beautiful engagement ring. The halo breathtakingly beautiful engagement ring. engagement is the up-to-the-minute look The halo engagement is the up-to-the-minute (seen above). Another beautiful look is a halo look (seen above). Another beautiful look is a as as a matching engagement ring ring and wedding halo a matching engagement and band. Matching sets are very popular today!

Want some colour? The coloured stone wedding band. Matching sets are very popular engagement ring is gathering a lot of today! Want some colour? The coloured stone attention lately. engagement ring is gathering a lot of attention lately. The next item in line is the all-important wedding band. wedding band is The next item in The line round is the all-important wedding The— round band islove a sign a sign ofband. eternity that wedding your partner’s of eternity — that The yourclassic partner’s love gold will last will last forever. yellow band forever. The classic goldbeen bandaisstrong still is still popular but yellow there has popular there has been a strong trend trend tobut more sophisticated cuts and theto use more sophisticated cuts the use of diamonds of diamonds galore. Theand image on the left galore. image on the left depicts a white gold depictsThe a white gold diamond encrusted men’s diamond encrusted and women’s and women’s set. Amen’s matching set givesset. the A matching set givesthat theenhanced special moment special moment feelingthat of unity enhanced feeling of unity and commitment. and commitment.

necklace for an ultra-modern look that still necklace for an ultra-modern look that still gives that touch of grace and elegance. gives that touch of grace and elegance.

Can’t forget those earrings and necklaces. The Can’t forget those earrings and necklaces. main thing is to be consistent and to make The main thing is to be consistent and to sure that they go well with the wedding dress make sure that they go well with the wedding and rings. A pair of pearl and diamond dress and rings. A pair of pearl and diamond earrings for the bride is always a classic, yet earrings for the bride a classic, yet still ultra-modern. Addisaalways beautiful matching still ultra-modern. Add a beautiful matching

Jacob Bendayan is a Jewellery design expert Jacob Bendayan is a Jewellery design expert who is the President of Flica Inc., a leading who is the President of Flica Inc., a leading Canadian designer and manufacturer of Canadian designer and manufacturer of wedding bands, engagement rings and other wedding bands, engagement rings and other fine Jewellery. Jacob can be reached at fine Jewellery. Jacob can be reached at

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7 Bridezilla Moves Sure to Alienate your Wedding Guests

SOME COUPLES take it seriously when someone tells them that their wedding day is only about them. They may begin to see the wedding party and other guests not as treasured friends and family but as people who exist to do their bidding and follow their rules. Remember that part of throwing a wedding is celebrating your special day with people who are important to you. When you invite them as your guests, it is your job to help keep them comfortable, happy, and entertained. While the day will focus on you and your beloved, you need to be considerate of those making an effort to be there and support you.

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Be sure to avoid these seven bridezilla moves that will alienate your wedding guests and bring harsh feelings into what should be a day of love.



Sometimes wedding invitations need to provide more information than just where and when you will be holding the event. If you have strong feelings about any part of the wedding, such as what guests should wear, you should make this clear on the invitation. Two areas to keep in mind are whether or not you will have children at your wedding and whether guests will be allowed to bring a date. Many people will assume they can bring the whole family to your wedding, so if you don’t want children there, then indicate on the invitation that the event is for adults only. Also, list the first names of everyone invited on the RSVP card, as well as any long-term partner the guest may have. If

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you want them to feel free to bring a date, then write “plus 1” on the invitation and RSVP card. If you decide not to include dates or children, you may face some resistance. However, most guests will respect your decision and follow your instructions. Feelings are typically hurt when the invitation was not clear, and people have to be un-invited or told that their children cannot come.



The unplugged wedding is currently trendy because brides and grooms want guests to enjoy the festivities in person rather than behind a screen. Also, overzealous guests sometimes get in the way of the professional photographer trying to get that perfect shot. Many guests have unknowingly ruined a happy couple’s wedding photos this way. There is nothing wrong with requesting that your guests do not use their cell phones during your wedding ceremony. Be sure to make your preferences known in a way that is respectful and polite, and assure guests that they will have access to wedding pictures. Hang a cute sign for the guests as they enter the venue, asking them to silence cell phones and put them away during the wedding. You

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can also print this on your wedding bulletin and have the officiant announce it the beginning of the ceremony. If it is that important to you, designate ushers to speak to people who have cell phones out. If you don’t let guests take pictures on their own, give them free access to at least some of your professional shots. You can place these on a website for guests to download. Your guests should not have to pay for pictures, especially if they were kind enough to honor your wishes by refraining from taking any themselves. Some brides and grooms will go as far as to ask guests not to take pictures during the reception. While there will be crowding to get shots of the first dance, the cake cutting, and other events, many couples find that guests can take some of the best pictures. If you allow attendees to use their cellphones, they will likely catch many moments you might otherwise have missed. Decide on what is important to you but realize that you are probably going to hurt feelings if you ask guests not to take pictures at the ceremony or reception. You will upset someone if you refuse to allow personal photography and then offer no complimentary professional pictures either.

3 YOU DON’T CONSIDER COMFORT Remember that your wedding experience will not be the same as your guests’, so consider things from their perspective when planning the day. If your wedding is outdoors, your guests may have to wait for more than an hour outside. This will get uncomfortable if it is exceptionally hot or cold outside. If it rains before your wedding day, will your guests have to walk through the mud in their dressy shoes to get to the venue? Have you made arrangements for adequate parking, especially for those who are elderly or disabled? Run through the day in your mind as a guest will see it. Then make accommodations to solve problems. That might mean providing personal fans, setting up heaters or putting down boards where people will walk.



It may be your day, but that doesn’t mean your guests’ time is not valuable. Contrary to what you might think, it is not okay for the bride to be more than a few minutes late to the wedding. It’s also not okay to leave guests stranded while you take pictures or canoodle with your new spouse.

If there’s going to be a break between the ceremony and reception, then at least warn your guests and suggest local spots where they can spend time. A better approach is to plan something for your guests to do. Set up a cocktail hour with drinks and appetizers if you will be taking pictures or provide a luncheon if the wait is unusually long. Make sure you have given yourself enough to time to get ready for your ceremony, arrive at the venue, and get your pictures taken. Your guests should not be expected to wait because you are running late.



People get uncomfortable when they don’t know what they are supposed to be doing. Make sure you have given clear and explicit directions when it comes to where guests should be at what time. If you want guests to hang their coats in a coatroom, then you should hang a sign announcing this. If you expect everyone to gather in a particular spot for the cutting of the cake, let guests know. Don’t assume that the information will get around. Try to give more information than you think they will need. For example, it might seem obvious to you where the sanctuary will be

when guests step into the church, but they might need signs to guide them. To remove any doubt, provide instructions.

6 YOUR SEATING IS INCONSIDERATE Carefully consider how many people will be attending your wedding before you decide on details like the size of your venue. Too many brides and grooms find themselves squeezing people together at tables or seating people behind obstructions because they have chosen a space that is too small. If your guests have to touch each other while seated, your venue is too crowded. If you are creating a seating chart, place people together who like each other. Don’t break up groups or force people together who don’t get along. Also avoid any grouping that may be embarrassing, like a having a table specifically for singles. Seating arrangements work much better if you can allow guests to seat themselves. Reserve a couple of tables near the front for family or close friends but allow others to sit where they want. If you must make a seating chart, then try to be as considerate as possible.



If you think guests should feel privileged

to be invited to your wedding, you need to turn your thinking around. Attending your wedding is a sign of love and friendship toward you, and you should be grateful to your guests for participating in your day and for bringing you gifts. Thank-you notes might be a pain, but they are necessary. It’s best to write them by hand, but if you must have them printed, you should at least sign them by hand. The only alternative to this is to thank the guests in person, and even then, it’s good manners to send a note. Remember that these people spent time and money to select a gift for you and to support you in your marriage. If you take a short-cut by sending electronic notes or not saying thank you at all, know that someone is going to be hurt. Your guests are a critical part of your wedding. If they weren’t, you wouldn’t have wedding guests at all. Be sure to show appreciation and gratitude toward people who attend your wedding. Consider ways you can help them better enjoy the day, and you will avoid hurt feelings and anger that too often accompany a wedding. You can start by avoiding these seven mistakes.

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Ways to Create an

16 Intimate Feel at a Big Wedding

DO YOU WANT AN INTIMATE WEDDING, but find yourself facing an extensive guest list? Although a small wedding naturally feels more intimate than a big one, there’s no reason you can’t have a big wedding with an intimate feel. Consider these ways to turn your big wedding into a private affair. 1. HOST A PRE-PARTY

Don’t wait until the wedding day to start mingling with your guests. Hosting smaller events before the big day gives you more time with groups of guests in intimate settings.


Why limit your wedding to just one day? Try making it a weekend affair to create more opportunities to visit with guests. That not only gives you more time to connect with wedding guests but also lets them mingle with each other and explore the area.


Just because you need a large venue doesn’t mean you have to choose a space that feels cavernous. Look for places that can seat a big group, but still provide a warm, cozy atmosphere that’s elegant and romantic.

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The right lighting sets the mood of a space. Soft, romantic lighting in warm hues helps create a welcoming and intimate atmosphere. Avoid bright or harsh lights, and consider adding candles for an instant touch of romance.


Long tables instead of round ones make the meal feel more like a dinner party with family and friends. Choose smaller tables when possible. About six guests per table is a suitable number for effecting intimacy.


Tall centerpieces are lovely, but low ones provide a more intimate feel. They also allow guests to see each other and share a conversation around the table. One exception is if your venue has high ceilings. In that case, it’s often better to choose tall centerpieces to help fill the space and reduce the feeling of getting lost in a large room.


Add personal touches to the décor to give the

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wedding an intimate feel. The more you can personalize the space, the more it feels like a private celebration with family and friends.


Use food to encourage guests to visit. Serving the meal at food stations give guests an opportunity to move around the room and chat while they pile their plates. Family-style service is another useful way to encourage conversations, as it gets everyone sitting and eating at once and sharing the meal as a family.


Set up displays and signs that share the story of your relationship. Such details make the day more intimate for guests, plus it’s fun for you and your fiancé to reminisce during wedding planning.


Personally greeting and thanking each guest is essential no matter what the size of the wedding, but mainly for more sizable events. Set up a receiving line or spend a few minutes at each table to enjoy mingling with your loved ones and make each guest feel included. Making eye contact while talking

with your guests also adds to a welcoming, familial atmosphere.


Deep, warm tones contribute to an ambiance of closeness. Maroon, gold, chocolate brown, and cream are excellent choices. Lighter tones that can achieve a similar effect include peach, blush, and coral.


Asking wedding guests to include a song request on their RSVP card is a fun way to get them involved before the wedding day. Not only will they enjoy hearing their song at the reception, but they’ll also feel compelled to get out on the dance floor.

13. BE PART OF THE COCKTAIL HOUR Use the cocktail hour as an additional time to mingle with wedding guests. This casual setting gives everyone a chance to interact, which sets the mood for the rest of the reception.


Designate a space away from the central reception area to allow guests to gather and

visit in smaller groups. A lounge or small side room are great options, but you can also return to the cocktail area for socializing at a quieter, more relaxed pace.


It’s easy to lose the attention of a large crowd, so go for a high-impact speech that’s short and sweet to keep guests hanging on every word. That’s good advice at any wedding, especially a big one.


Homemade favors give your guests something to take home after the wedding and remember the day while feeling special and appreciated. There are many fun DIY favor options, but if that doesn’t suit your style, you can personalize your favors in other ways to create a similar intimate feel. Your wedding day is a unique time for you and your partner to celebrate your love and commitment to each other while in the company of friends and family. Create the vibe you want no matter what the size of your guest list. With these ideas, even a big wedding can have an intimate feel.

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The of Matrimony IN THIS ERA, we often hear about the impending irrelevance of matrimony. We are told that divorce is on the rise and that young couples are increasingly reluctant to enter into the bonds of marriage. There is no doubt that the married state is no longer viewed as it once was, when matrimony was a guiding star and a treasured jewel within the life of our society. Nevertheless, it’s clear that matrimony still exerts a powerful attraction for the majority of North Americans. Following are five insights into the reason for that attraction – the enduring beauty of matrimony. 1. Matrimony speaks eloquently of the possibility of faithfulness. Many critics doubt that faithfulness is possible in an era when people live longer and longer, and in a society where individuals have more and more freedom. Nevertheless(needs a comma) the couples lining up to enter wedding chapels and churches have their unions blessed obviously believe that such faithfulness is still a realistic option. 2. Matrimony is testimony to the power of love. It is the quintessential proof that human beings have the capacity to step outside of the orbit of self and focus fully on another person. As such, it is the basis for the construction of a loving community and a caring society. 3. Matrimony is a sparkling moment of optimism in a time of anxiety. Despite all

the frightening developments of the twentyfirst century – including terrorism and environmental degradation – matrimony continues to bring unalloyed joy to participants and witnesses alike. We are drawn into the circle of hope and promise felt by the marriage partners. 4. Matrimony is a clear representation of the symmetry of human existence. We read in the Bible that “it is not good for man to be alone.” Where there are two people, there is the possibility of the growth of community and the introduction of future generations. Matrimony banishes the solitary, sterile life and opens up the possibility of fruitful companionship. 5. Matrimony demonstrates the human willingness to build something beyond ourselves. Marriage ushers in an array of plans for the future and hopes for tomorrow. It is dynamic – the wedding is a confluence of forces just barely controlled – but orderly, extravagantly material yet focused on transcendent spiritual realities. The newly married couple and all who witness their joy believe that good things result from pure love. The beauty of matrimony inspires everyone who participates in or witnesses it. Despite the manifold attacks on marriage and the predictions of its demise, matrimony is alive and well. While those who have been married for many years know the discipline it requires, the allure of matrimony is undiminished and its promise is undimmed.

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YOUR WEDDING DAY should be exciting, memorable and romantic. But it will only happen if you plan things carefully and allow enough time for everything. The actual date is something for the two of you to decide. However, you will want to consult your parents and other key family members to ensure that the date you want does not conflict with some other family event that cannot be avoided. Once the date has been set, let everybody know as soon as possible so that they can mark it on their calendars.


There are a number of factors that need to be considered in establishing a date for your wedding: SEASON: If you are planning a garden wedding, for example, you will have to consider a late spring or summer date. SIZE AND FORMALITY: The more elaborate the wedding, the more time you will need to prepare. A wedding dress alone can take four to six months to make unless you are borrowing one or getting one off the rack. AVAILABILITY OF RECEPTION LOCATION: Some locations book up to a year ahead. WORK SCHEDULES: Both you and your fiancé will need to take time off work for the wedding and the honeymoon. Some employers place restrictions on when you can have vacation. If you are getting married in six to nine months, you don’t have a lot of time and will therefore have to be more flexible in your desires. Even a small, less formal wedding at home will require at least three months of planning. You want your marriage to last a lifetime. Take your time planning so that you can enjoy it. If you do it right, you should be left with lots of pleasant memories.


Here are some recommendations about when things should be done. Use this list as a general guideline that you can adapt in any way you choose:

Twelve to 24 Months Before  Select wedding date and time.  Make a preliminary budget and determine how costs will be shared. D etermine size of guest list, degree of formality and theme. D etermine who will officiate at the ceremony and book him/her for rehearsal and wedding.  Select caterer and/or reception location.

 Hire a wedding consultant if you plan to use one.

Six to 12 Months Before  Start compiling guest list.  Determine colour scheme.  Select bridal attendants and determine sizes.  Choose your dress and headpiece. Schedule fittings and delivery date.  Choose bridesmaids’ dresses and accessories.  Have fiancé select best man and ushers.  Select photographer, videographer and entertainment.  Choose ceremony music.  Select florist, balloonist and/or ice sculpture.  Book transportation for wedding day.  Announce engagement in newspaper.  Shop for wedding rings.

Four Months Before  Have mothers co-ordinate and select dresses.  Register at bridal registries.  Order invitations and personal stationery.  Complete guest lists.  Select men’s attire and reserve right sizes.  Start planning honeymoon.  Start planning for trousseau.  Order wedding cake and groom’s cake if required.  Order favours (bonbonniere).

Two months before  Address invitations and announcements. Mail four to six weeks before.  Finalize details with caterer/reception location, photographer, videographer, florist, DJ/musicians, band.  Finalize ceremony details with officiant.  Make rehearsal arrangements.  Plan rehearsal dinner.  Plan bridesmaids’ luncheon.  Make appointments with hairdresser.  Arrange accommodations for out-of-town guests.  Finalize honeymoon plans.

One Month Before  Have final fitting for your gown and those of bridal attendants.  Obtain marriage licence.  Provide map to ceremony and reception to all guests.  Have formal portrait taken.  Purchase gifts for attendants, participants and fiancé.  Have bridesmaids’ luncheon.  Keep careful note of gifts received and write thank-you notes as they come in.  Do inventory of accessories. Examples:

Toasting goblets. Ring pillow. Garter. Candles.  Select responsible person to oversee guest list and its location.

Two Weeks Before  Attend to business and legal affairs. Examples: Name change on driver’s licence and credit cards. Make a will.  Move possessions and gifts to new address. Arrange with Canada Post to have mail forwarded.  Finish addressing announcements to be mailed on wedding day.

One Week Before  Contact guests who have not responded.  Give final count to hotel, banquet hall or caterer.  Review details and timetables with vendors.  Give photographer/videographer list of shots you want.  Give DJ/musicians list of music for ceremony and reception.  Plan seating arrangements.  Practice having your hair done to make sure it comes out the way you want.  Practice your makeup in lighting conditions similar to those on your wedding day.  Keep writing those thank-you notes.  Pack for the honeymoon.  Check that you have marriage licence.  Check that you have wedding rings and that they fit.  Check that all wedding attire fits and is picked up.  Have a rehearsal with all participants reviewing their duties.  Give officiant’s fee to best man.  Pick up tickets and traveler’s cheques for honeymoon.

On Your Wedding Day  Eat something. Otherwise you might feel faint.  Take a relaxing bath.  Get your hair and nails done.  Allow time to prepare makeup.  Start dressing 1-1/2 hours before ceremony, two hours before if photographs are to be taken.  Start music 30 minutes before ceremony.  Seat groom’s parents five minutes before ceremony. Your mother is seated immediately before the processional and the aisle runner is rolled up.

After the Wedding  Send announcements and wedding picture to newspapers and social media profiles.  Mail announcements.  Write and mail thank-you notes.  Arrange for gown, bouquet and/or cake preservation.

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Reception Reference Guide

A quick chart to help you to compare Ontario’s finest upscale wedding venues. All information is subject to change without notice. Some offerings may be available only on a limited, seasonal or by-request basis. Unless otherwise noted, alcohol charges, gratuities and taxes are extra.




Included In Price

Ceremony On Site

Outdoor Area

Special Menus

CHATEAU LE JARDIN CONFERENCE & EVENT VENUE 905.851.2200 30-1300 $75-160

A B F I J M N, open bar, antipasto bar



F G It P

CHRISTIES MILL INN & SPA 1.800.465.9966




Ca Ch G H In It Ja K P V




Ca G In It Ja P V











Ca F G H In Il P V

THE BRIARS RESORT, CONFERENCE CENTRE & SPA 905.722.3271 Ext. 2730 up to 150 $125-135




Ca Ch F G H In It Ja P V O

WOODINGTON LAKE GOLF CLUB 905.936.9523 Ext. 232 35 PAGE 13




Ca F G P V

Included In Price

Ceremony On Site












DEER CREEK GOLF & BANQUET FACILITY 905.427.7757 Ext. 300 50-540

PAGE 116

$ $75-125



Outdoor Area Yes

Special Menus F In H Ja V



Included In Price

Ceremony On Site

Outdoor Area

Special Menus






Ch G H In Il K P V







F G It Ja P V O







Ca Ch F G In It Ja K P V O







MARKHAM MUSEUM 905.294.4576 Ext. 3171 PAGE 11 THE EGLINTON GRAND 416.485.5900 THE OLD MILL INN AND SPA 416.236.2641

108 | | Wedding Wedding Essentials Essentials 2019 2 017 108


Ca Ch F G In It Ja K P V O


Ca Ch F G In It Ja K P V O


Ca Ch F G In It Ja K P V O




We welcome all caterers.






Ch G H In Il K P V






H It P


Ca — Caribbean Ch — Chinese

F — French G — Greek

H — Halal In — Indian

It — Italian J — Jamaican

K — Kosher P — Portuguese

V — Vegan O — Other


E. F. G. H.

Dinner wine Champagne toast Chair covers Disc jockey

I. J. K. L.

Wedding cake Hors d’oeuvres Bridal suite Gift for couple

Late-night buffet Non-alcoholic punch Limousine Engagement photo

M. Chocolate fountain N. Sweet table O. Limited bar included P. Tasting for two

Q. R. S. T.

U. In-house wedding co-ordinator V. Wedding invitations W. Centrepieces

Valet parking for two Late night coffee/tea Wine and fruit for bridal suite Breakfast




Included In Price

Ceremony On Site

Outdoor Area

Special Menus

ANCASTER MILL 905.648.1828






BANQUET ROYALE LTD. 905.238.5335






H It K P V O

BENMILLER INN & SPA 1.800.265.1711 PAGES 25






Ch G It V Other-Celieac




� V Other-Custom

CAMBRIDGE MILL 519.648.1828 Ext. 2












G H It P V







G H It P V

up to 375

wknd rental







Ca F G H In It P V

COWAN PARK BANQUET HALL 519.421.0030 Ext. 34

DELTA LONDON ARMOURIES HOTEL 519.640.5054 20-180 FOUR POINTS BY SHERATON LONDON 519.681.0680 Ext. 8208 50-500











Ch G H In It K P V






Ca Ch F G H In It Ja K P V O







V Other-German

KURTZ ORCHARDS 905.468.2937






Ca Ch F G H In It Ja K P V







H In K V, Vegetarian

MOHAWK INN & CONFERENCE CENTRE 905.854.2277 20-130





NORTHRIDGE MUNICIPAL GOLF COURSE 519.756.6345 Ext. 211 50-160





It V







G H It P V



� $99-250




G H It P V














THE WINDERMERE MANOR 519.858.1414 Ext. 432






V Other-Custom






WESTOVER INN 519.284.2977 WHISTLE BEAR GOLF CLUB 519.650.2327 Ext. 2

$45.00 170-440



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Wedding Essentials 2019 | 109



LOVESTORY BOUTIQUE BRIDAL SHOW Cardinal Golf Club 2740 Davis Drive West King City, ON L7B 0G7


ANCASTER WEDDING SHOW 50 — 145 Rice Ave. Hamilton, ON L9C 6R3 905.385.8785



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CHEFS DELIGHT 112 Basaltic Road Unit 1 Concord, ON L4K 1G6 Toll Free: 1.855.761.8749

PAGE 113

JOY OF DANCE CENTRE & TEACHERS COLLEGE 95 Danforth Ave. Toronto, ON M4K 1N2 416.406.3262

GENERATIONS WINE COMPANY LTD. 178 St. George Street Toronto, Ontario M5R 2M7 416.968.7070 Ext. 234


SIMCOE COUNTY BRIDAL SHOW Kristine Barton, 705.816.6513




THE STRATFORD WEDDING SHOW Stratford Rotary Complex 353 McCarthy Road 519.272.2385

PAMPERED CHEF Anne Brown 705.286.0450


THE BRIDAL SHOW BURLINGTON/OAKVILLE 28 – 2006 Glenada Cres. Oakville, ON L6H 5P5 905.337.7362





DERM EFFECTS 1560 Hyde Park Road London, ON N6H 5L5 519.472.2929



WELCOME WAGON HEAD OFFICE 211 Telson Road, Suite 1 Markham, ON L3R 1E7 905.474.5190



Scan the QR code with your smartphone to visit the website, or a special offer from our advertisers.


PAGE 113


CMV PHOTOGRAPHY 647.990.6418


DEER CREEK GOLF & BANQUET FACILITY 2700 Audley Road North, Ajax, ON L1Z 1T7 905.427.7737 Ext. 300


BOX OF PIXELS Mississauga, ON 647.529.6010

CRYSTAL FOUNTAIN 60 McDowell Gate, Markham, ON 905.513.1900

DURHAM BANQUET HALL & CONFERENCE CENTRE 559 Bloor Street West Oshawa, ON L1J 5Y6 905.434.1444



COMPASS ROSE SUITES 575 Crowes Road, Milford, ON K0K 2T0 613.503.5752

MARKHAM MUSEUM 9350 Highway 48 (Markham Road) Markham, ON L3P 3J3 905-294-4576 Ext. 3171


DEE DEE JAYS DISC JOCKEYS 215 Drummond Dr. Maple, ON L6A 3C1 416.757.0641 1.888.971.2414








TIM CLARK’S FLOWERS 97 Main Street, Markham, ON L3P 1X7 905.294.2651 1.877.378.1966







PELICAN CATERING AND EVENT MANAGEMENT 804 Ritson Road South Oshawa, ON L1H 5L4 905.728.5167


Scan the QR code with your smartphone to visit the website, or a special offer from our advertisers.

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PAGE 4/5




STOCK TRANSPORTATION 128 Wellington Street W, Suite 201 Barrie, ON, L4N 1K9 705.737.9847


MARKHAM STOUFFVILLE HOSPITAL 381 Church Street PO Box 1800 Markham, ON L3P 7P3 905.472.7000

TOWN CRIER HOSIPITATLY & CONVENTION SERVICES 1 Town Crier Lane Markham, ON L3P 2T9 905.472.3122


POMPANO BEACH CLUB – BERMUDA 516 Acorn Park Dr. Acton, MA 01720 1.800.343.4155

SYNERGY 7453 Victoria Park Avenue Markham, ON L3R 2Y7 905.604.6275 1.855.314.6275


CITY OF MARKHAM CIVIC CENTRE 101 Town Centre Blvd. Markham, ON L3R 9W3 905.477.7000

PAGE 115








REQUEST BRIDE’S SURVIVAL GUIDE Available to Ontario brides and it’s absolutely FREE! Request yours at

PAGE 82,83

WOODINGTON LAKE 7110 4th Line (Mill St. East) R. R. #4 Tottenham, ON L0G 1W0 905.936.4343 1.888.265.1987


TABOO RESORT 1209 Muskoka Beach Road Gravenhurst, ON P1P 1R1 705.687.2233


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Wedding Essentials 2019 | 113

4 Deal Breakers

You Shouldn’t Compromise On WHETHER YOU’RE DATING OR MARRIED, there are things you shouldn’t put up with from the person you’re with. You may have become used to certain bad behaviours, which now it seem normal to you. Here are four deal breakers you should never negotiate in your relationship:

that can negatively affect you if you have goals and dreams for your life. Don’t assume you will inspire and motivate your spouse to change their lazy ways. It will only end up frustrating you when you don’t succeed.


A person who is selfish doesn’t make a good partner in life. This type of person doesn’t understand give and take. They want every situation to benefit them and expect others to put them first. You might find yourself waiting around for texts and phone calls from them while you are expected to answer within seconds of them contacting you. Someone who expects you to go out of your way to please them, but won’t do the same for you, is selfish. This type of behaviour will cause you to feel as though you aren’t as important as your partner.

One type of abuse should never be tolerated because it’s “not as bad” as the other. Any type of abuse is unacceptable and shouldn’t be tolerated. Name-calling is a form of abuse. If it happens once and you give a warning it shouldn’t happen again, but it does, there should be no more warnings. You don’t owe someone a second chance for any type of abusive behaviour, but if you decide to issue one, be prepared to walk away if it happens again. When someone realizes your threats are empty, they often continue the behaviour.


You don’t want to take a chance with anger issues. If your spouse yells, screams, punches things, throws things, or threatens you in anyway, it’s important you take necessary steps to protect yourself. Even if the anger is not directed at you, it’s critical that you understand one day it could be. You cannot predict if this will happen or not. Someone with anger issues should seek help to find better ways to cope.


Laziness can impact your relationship in a number of ways. You can’t expect an active and adventurous life with someone who would rather sit on the couch watching TV or playing video games all day. Laziness can make a person unambitious and a bad lover. It’s a trait

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It’s important to take your deal breakers seriously. If you waver on them and give too many chances, you’ll make it clear you aren’t serious and will let someone do whatever they want. Your deal breakers are meant to keep you from being hurt in the long-run.

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Photo Credits: Ali K Photography & Films, Oak & Myrrh Photography, and Samantha Ong Photography.

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