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Captures Memories


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50 10

Table of contents Features 10 Oh Monte!













13 Key Wedding Members 20 Trending

21 Budget Savvy Wedding 22 Capturing Memories 24 The Centrepiece

26 49

26 Comfortable Foot Forward 27 Thank You Cards

41 Donate, Recycle & Re-use

34 A Destination Wedding

49 It Takes the Cake!

36 Park Weddings





52 Cultural Connections

38 Before you Elope

17 Romance 19 Christmas Vintage 29 Something Sweet 31 Something Blue


50 Trash It!

37 Do-It-Yourself Bouquets


57 Slim Down

Love Stories


43 Destination Whistler



45 Destination San Diego


47 Destination Paris

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Oh Monte!

A wedding dress adventure with Monte Durham of Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta


he first question that comes to mind when meeting Monte Durham is, “will he be just as charming and engaging as he is on TV?” The answer is yes.

We met Monte on set up day for the 2014 It’s My Wedding show Bride-tobe, Brenda Garcia of Maple Ridge, came along to meet the fashion director, but what she didn’t know was that Monte was about to make her question all the things she thought she wanted in a dress. Q. Why are you drawn to bridal fashion?

Monte: “I have been fascinated by the different traditions and cultures and I still find it fascinating what people want to do on their wedding day to make it special.” After meeting Monte, as well as Kristi Goranko and Heidi Tobler, the owners of Everything But The Groom bridal boutique in Langley (who brought dresses to the wedding show for consultations with Monte), Brenda went through her list of requirements. She wanted a mermaid-style gown with a sweetheart neckline, ruching, and some sort of bling for her destination wedding in Las Vegas.

Being with Monte and having all of Kristi and Heidi’s stock on hand from their shop gave Brenda the comfort she needed to try anything the team suggested. She had been against lace, but the first dress she tried on was lace from top to bottom and she looked stunning in it. Q. Do styles differ based on regions? For example, would we see something different here on the West Coast than say the southern United States or New York? Monte: “Demographically you will have differences because of brides’ sizes and ages. In the south we tend to have a more younger bride and traditionally in New York we tend to have more sophisticated, showy, couture, and on the West Coast you’ll tend to have a more organic girl.” Those familiar with Say Yes to the Dress will know that when a dress is working, the team will “jack the bride up” with hair pieces, veil, and a bouquet to give her the full-on experience. They pulled all the details out for Brenda. Once complete with the process, Monte asked his standard question, “on a scale of one to 10, where is this dress?” Brenda surprised herself by saying she thought it was an eight. “I never thought I’d like the lace so much. I was so against it.”

Q. What are the hot trends for this year?

Q. What kinds of things are out this year?

Monte: “Sweetheart necklines; natural waists; a soft embellished skirt with lace, embroidery, tucking, or tone-on-tone; a very organic look.”

Monte: “Lots of bling and oversized ball gowns, sleeves, blushers, mermaids, and birdcage veils. But, at the end of the day it’s what makes you feel beautiful and what makes you say yes to the dress.” continued next page


Despite Monte’s statement that mermaids were out for this year, he, Kristi, and Heidi all agreed that the mermaid style was ideal for Brenda. Still, for fun, the bride-to-be was open to trying just about any of the dresses on and explored a number of options including a lace top A-line, a lace mermaid with open back, and even a Vegas-worthy style with bling. Monte, Kristi, and Heidi all loved the A-line on Brenda, but she knew what felt right – the mermaid style. Q. How do you manage the expectations of what others think the bride should be wearing? Monte: “On the show, you see we are always the advocate for the bride‌ the bride tells us her issues. We remind [everyone else] who and what we’re here for: It’s to find the bride the perfect dress. After saying that 100 times they eventually get it. Maybe 101 times.â€?

Brides often know what they want, but sometimes those ideas can be gently challenged by the professionals in the field. “They put me in everything I said I didn’t want,â€? Brenda noted with a laugh after her experience. “And while I think I’ll end up with the original dress I feel is right for me, I am really surprised at how trying something on changed my point of view.â€? Q. You’re probably used to it now, but what kinds of things do you need to think about when you’re doing dress fittings in front of a camera for TV? Monte: “In the very beginning, we were conscious of the cameras, but now that we’re going into our seventh season, we really don’t give a bloody‌ We may be a little more conscious of our own personal appearance, less so than the bride though.â€? Accessories stood out for Brenda as the way to bring some “Vegas blingâ€? to any of the dresses she tried on. A glittering headband and tied ribbon belts with beads and crystals were the favourite choices. The girls from Everything But The Groom brought everything from their store to the wedding show and Brenda was lucky to see it all before the show opened. continued next page

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All About


things that our mothers and grandmothers did that were proper. It’s about respecting the time, place, and occasion,” he said. As Brenda’s session wrapped up, she expressed how thrilled she was to have had Monte’s help and the fact that it happened in B.C.’s Fraser Valley.


Q. What do you like about coming here, to the Vancouver area of B.C.? Cover Photo: Little Chickadees Photography

Monte: “People are friendlier than a wet beagle and I love the fact how Canadians embrace their own country. I love how nature and protecting things is at the forefront. I am originally from West Virginia. We are the friendliest people. We’ll give you the shirt off our back, but just don’t take it.” ❤

PUBLISHER Ryan McAdams PROJECT MANAGER Shannon Balla ADVERTISING MANAGER Ellyn Schriber CREATIVE DIRECTOR Ian Murdoch - murdochmedia  • All About Weddings is published by Lower Mainland Publishing Group - a division of Glacier Media. Inquiries: 604.534.8641 • SPECIAL THANKS TO: Ronda Eyben, Matthew Claxton & Heather Colpitts for their words.

MacPhail Photography

continued from previous page

Q. Are all the fittings you do for the show? Monte: “Yes, everything I do currently is either association with Bridals by Lori [the boutique featured on Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta] or TLC. That takes up the majority of my time. I have launched a hair care line as well. One of Brenda’s biggest concerns was choosing a dress that worked for her as well as the Las Vegas wedding. She was looking for the combination many brides seek: an obvious wedding dress, sexy, but still tasteful of the event and what it signifies to her and her fiancé.

Gurm Sohal of Sohal Photography, Henri Kjerside Photography, Kimberlee Reimer Photography, Little Chickadees Photography, MacPhail Photography, Magna Vita Photography, Ophelia Photography, Richelle Akimow Photography, Simply Sweet Photography, Tavelli Studios, for all their talent with a camera.

Q. What is your advice for spring and summer 2014 brides?

Shannon & Rob Mitchell, Tiffany Edwardson and Katy Severs for their love stories.

“Sheer, low cut bust, low back, thigh-high sparkly may not be the best fit for this [a church] venue. There are no rules now, but there were


Monte: “Always look to your venue and dress the part. For a cathedral wedding you’re going to be thinking a long train, a veil, and a flowing bouquet. On the beach, it might be a frothy, flowing gown. For a barn or meadow wedding, look at the flowers in season.” Additionally Monte added that all weddings require a bride to be reverent and respect the place they are getting married as well as the occasion.

Richelle Akimow Photography

Kimberlee Reimer Photography

Richelle Akimow Photography


MacPhail Photography

Ophelia Photography

Key wedding members

hese days people may think that weddings are anything goes affairs, but with so much planning required for even a simple wedding, there must still be a delegation of duties. Any or all of the bridal party may have duties for both the ceremony and the reception. There’s no lack of information available about weddings but taking time to do a bit of research and obtaining a good checklist of the duties will help smooth the way. Do you have a ring bearer or just have the best man hold onto the rings until the right time? How many attendants and will they be called upon to help with pre-wedding events? What is little brother wants to make a video tribute to the couple? Each couple must make decisions about their special day, and can people’s change roles and duties so their wedding is more meaningful for them. Mother of the bride In the past, she had a big role in the planning, picking the dress along with the bride and deciding on many of the arrangements (because the bride’s family controlled the purse strings). But now it’s up to the bride how much responsibility is put onto her mom, other members of her family or friends.

Father of the bride Dad’s role was typically to pay for the wedding and walk his daughter down the aisle, but some couples have him do toasts or special tributes at the wedding. Parents of the groom They had very few traditional duties, but now they are often pressed into service to lend a hand. Bridesmaid She (and nowadays sometimes he) attends to the bride on the wedding day, but can also do things such as organize a bridal shower or help plan other facets of the wedding. In the past, the bridesmaid was typically a young woman of marriageable age. But now women often have more than one attendant. The primary bridesmaid is sometimes called the maid of honour or if married, the matron of honours. The maid/matron of honour is expected to serve as an official witness on the marriage documents. The brides female friends often organize a pre-wedding party, be it a shower or a stagette (a uniquely Canadian term). A junior bridesmaid is a girl too young to marry, but whom the bride wants to include in the bridal party. continued on page 14 ALL ABOUT WEDDINGS 2014 ∞ 13

Richelle Akimow Photography

MacPhail Photography

Groomsman The modern wedding party often has more than one groomsman so the groom selects one as his best man. Groomsmen duties include helping guests find their seats at the service and often the planning of the stag night or bachelor party (and they also get the dirty looks on the wedding day if the groom is not in decent shape). The best man is often a sibling (yes, these days some people are choosing women for the role) or a good friend. He helps on the wedding day, including overseeing the groomsmen and/or ushers, and keeping the ring safe until it’s needed during the ceremony. The best man is also expected to serve as an official witness on the marriage documents.

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Flower girl They are in the wedding procession and will sometime sprinkle flower petals along the path that the others will follow. Often her parent is responsible for making sure she’s at rehearsals and has flowers to carry or flower petals to spread at the ceremony. Page Young boys who are part of the bridal party will often carry the rings. If there’s more than one young person involved, a ring bearer must be chosen. His parents are responsible for making sure he’s dressed and ready for his duties. Bridal supply makers help him by making pillows or other objects with ways to tie down the rings so those don’t get lost. No matter how the couple divvies up duties, enlisting family and friends to do small tasks can help lighten the load when planning a wedding.❤

Ophelia Photography

The tradition of attendants came about when young women could not be in public unescorted so the number of attendants matched the number of men who stood up with the groom.

Richelle Akimow Photography

continued from page 13

I now pronounce you Husband & Wife!

Jennifer Picard Photography

You may kiss your bride!

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PHOTOGRAPHER: Simply Sweet Photography by Nomo Akisawa ALL ABOUT WEDDINGS 2014 ∞ 17

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Bold red lips & vintage decor

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budget savvy weddings


he words “thrifty” and “wedding” aren’t typically paired on the many popular wedding-related reality shows. But for many couples, a wedding has to be done on a budget, with the help of friends, family, and a lot of creative thinking. Blogger Jeannine Avelino, who posts at, has come across a lot of stories about cash-strapped brides, and she has tips to reduce costs at her wedding several years ago. Avelino lists a few ways, which most people don’t think of, to save: • For the dress, rent, buy a white bridesmaid dress, or buy off the rack – all are less expensive than ordering a brand new dress; • Use an iPod and playlist instead of a DJ, something Avelino did at her own wedding; • Instead of a massive layer cake, get a fake cake, and serve a regular desert or slab cake • Use simple, flat card wedding invites, but augment the information with a website for the wedding, complete with maps, timelines, and gift registry details; • Use social media – watch for special deals from wedding vendors by following them on Twitter and Facebook; • Use the same tactic to watch for offers of free tickets to wedding shows – many shows, blogs, or vendors give away a few tickets. Doing a wedding with more DIY will bring down costs, and there are both benefits and dangers to the do it yourself route, Avelino notes. If you plan to make your own invitations or place settings, that can be a great idea if you’re already crafty. Help is also good, if you have friends who can pitch in, said Avelino. Watch out for projects that are highly complicated or will take too much time, or cost more than you bargained for, she cautioned. Storage space can be an issue as well, she said. One of the best reasons to go DIY for some or all of the decorations, besides lowered costs, is that it will impress wedding guests, Avelino said.

She knows of more than one couple in where either they or family members made the wine themselves, and plenty of brides and grooms have worked together with family members on decorations, making them from scratch. Renting, rather than buying suits for groomsmen, and asking bridesmaids to simply wear something in a themed colour and particular style can help with clothing costs. Do it yourself can apply to more than the decorations and food. Holding the ceremony at a family home is a popular approach for many couples, especially if they have a parent or other family member with a nice garden big enough to accommodate the guests. Focusing on what costs are the most important is a good way to help reduce expenses. “All you really need to get married is an officiant, a marriage licence, two witnesses, and yourselves,” Avelino said. “A wedding can be as simple as that, and that is less than $1,000. Besides, it doesn’t matter what the budget is… a small wedding is just as special as an extravagant wedding.” For many couples, it’s getting the all important photos of the special day that is key. “After all, what’s left once the cake is cut is just memories,” said Avelino. ❤

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Capturing your memories

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hotography is usually one of the biggest wedding expenses, and for good reason. No matter how delicious the meal, how beautiful the flowers, or how amazing the bridesmaids’ hair, these will all just be memories when the wedding is over. You need to capture the memories with photography. Finding the right photographer can seem daunting given the expense and the number of wedding photographers in the Fraser Valley. According to Richelle Akimow of Richelle Akimow Photography, it all comes down to research. There are three areas to consider: past work and style, personality or “fit” with you, and requirements such as price and photo ownership. Finding photographers Online tools are a great way to find a photographer according to Akimow. “Social media, in my opinion, is the best way to find a large cross section of photographers to interview,” she said. She recommends couples go online to find photographers in the area and see their style of photography. Don’t forget to look at wedding shots from friends as they may have had a great experience and “social media allows you to ask your friends what their honest opinion is of their experience with their wedding photographer,” Akimow added.


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Narrow the list and the dreaded budget “I would say that a couple should meet with each of their narrowed-down choices in person before ultimately hiring them,” Akimow advised. “This needs to be a manageable number, however, so in some cases the bride may want to have a few email conversations with a potential photographer before meeting to narrow down even further.” Budget also plays a part in who is hired. If pricing is available on the photographer’s website it will make the process easier, but email or phone calls may be needed. “There is no sense interviewing a photographer that is financially

prohibitive for your budget,” Akimow added. It’s about fit When interviewing, it will become apparent if you like someone as well as their work. Akimow noted the only way to get gorgeous images is when the couple is able to be relaxed, comfortable, and natural with the photographer. “If [you] just don’t ‘click’, it’s probably not the right fit,” she said. An engagement session can be a good idea to get to know the photographer in a working situation and will allow you to learn to relax with them. What is a fair price? Fair, as Akimow explained, is based entirely on what the bride and groom value. “If the bride and groom only want a few professional images of their day… that is very different than wanting complete coverage from where the bride and groom get ready in the morning until the dance party breaks out 11 hours later.” It also depends upon whether you want every image the photographer took or just a select few. “Not all photographers will allow the couple to own all of the images from their wedding day,” Akimow said. Knowing what you want beforehand is essential to getting an accurate price. When you purchase images, they will come on a high resolution DVD, a flash drive, printed, or in other formats. You’ll also want to find out if there are any restrictions to their use.

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Take a look at the photographer’s website or blog. Matching a photographer’s style to your style is the biggest priority. “If you’re looking for photo journalistic images and there appears to be a lot of posed work, then that person is not for you,” Akimow said. Looking through older work of the photographer is also recommended to ensure their style is consistent.

Travel here or there Locations need to be explained beforehand to establish the price, but as Akimow noted, a good photographer knows that “stuff happens” on a wedding day and will be somewhat flexible to make the day as positive as possible. If a destination wedding is your plan and you don’t want to hire a photographer from the location, some specialize in destination weddings. They usually require travel and hotel expense fees in addition to their standard photography fee. Making it easier on everyone Akimow’s key to getting the most out of the photo session is to be organized. “A venue walk through prior to the wedding day, as well as deciding on photo shoot locations, the time spent at each stop, how everyone will get from point A to B and when are very important,” she said. Provide a list of all the shots required and with whom. This is made even easier when a good friend is your point person and can “herd” everyone to the photographer when they are needed. “Consider asking your guests to leave their personal cameras and cellphones in their purses and pockets during the ceremony. A lot of money is invested in professional photography and your guests standing in the aisle or holding up their iPad above their head to get their photo, will only ruin the professional version that you have paid for,” Akimow added. ❤

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MacPhail Photography

mpressive floral arrangements make for popular centerpieces at weddings, but couples should not feel as though a floral centerpiece is their only option. Reception centerpieces are one of those seemingly minor, yet important details couples have to consider. The reception is a memorable night for the • CANDLES: Inexpensive and beautiful, candles impart a subtle couple, and creating a magical experiglow to a space. Place candles on a ence involves setting the scene, which mirror or silver cake serving platter includes decorating guests’ tables with so that the light of the flames will centerpieces that capture the theme of reflect and disperse even more. the wedding. Many different styles of centerpieces • FRUIT: Pieces of fruit, such as lemons, limes, apples, and oranges, can be considered. Couples frequently can be used as a cost-friendly opt for floral centerpieces because centerpiece. Afterward, the fruit of the versatility of flowers and the can be brought home and eaten. myriad colour combinations that are available. But couples should not • BEADS AND BAUBLES: Filling limit themselves to a floral centera vase or low-profile glass bowl piece. In fact, couples can explore a with beads, shells, rocks, or crystals variety of centerpieces options before is an easy way to dress up a table. choosing the one for them. ❤ Consider pairing these decorative beads with candles.

MacPhail Photography


options abound

• EDIBLE IDEAS: A basket with tulle-wrapped Jordan almonds or decorative boxes of cookies stacked in the center of the table will look attractive and then can be taken home by guests. Even a tall vase filled with candy-covered chocolates can be attractive, and then guests can fill up their own little bags of sweet treats. • THEMED OBJECTS: Birdhouses, watering cans, teapots, a small birdcage, or other items that fit with the theme of a wedding can work well as centerpieces. A carved pumpkin or gourd fits in with a fall-timed

wedding, while a sand pail may complete the look of a summerinspired wedding. • BALLOONS: Don’t underestimate the power of a billowing bouquet of balloons in the center of a table. Relatively low-priced when compared to flowers, balloons are easy to set up and will quickly fill a space. • WILDFLOWERS: Rather than centerpieces full of exotic flowers, do-it-yourself couples can place whimsical bunches of wildflowers and fresh herbs into vases on each table.

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12 MacPhail Photography









Wedding checklist Wedding Set a date

Make your Wedding Planner Set a budget Start looking for a venue Start a guest list Book a venue Find an Officiant Select your wedding party



Find a caterer

Find & Book a Florist Book a photographer DJ or Band hunt Find Bridesmaids attire Register for gifts Start planning honeymoon Find your Bridal Gown Find and order Veil Create a wedding website Arrange transportation

Finalize guest list

Reserve rental items Start wedding invitations Finalize rehearsal dinner Info Choose ceremony readings Finalize Officiant Info





Mail Wedding Invitations

Shop for wedding rings Shop & Order wedding cake Obtain marriage licence Find make-up and hairstylist Purchase favours Purchase wedding party gifts Purchase a cake knife Purchase a guest book Find wedding jewellery Find wedding night lingerie Purchase a garter



Send rehearsal dinner invites Reserve tuxedos for men Find shoes for men Bridal Shower Finalize menu with caterer Finalize flowers Meet with Venue final Info

Print seating cards Create seating plan for reception Create wedding weekend timeline Have final dress fitting Find something old Find something new Find something borrowed Find something blue Finalize vows Finalize and confirm vendors

Build Music Selection Schedule mani/pedi Bachelorette/ Bachelor Party Make room for last minute things Set aside cheques and tips

Delegate tasks to wedding party Decor arrangements Clean Engagement ring Attend wedding Get Married :)


Put a comfortable foot forward at your wedding

The Fraser Valley’s


• Sandals: Particularly for warm-weather events, sandals can be quite comfortable and fashionable. Giving a peek of toe and ankle can be just as sexy as stilettos, without the pain. • Flip-flops: Many brides choose to don flip-flops under their gowns simply because they can be so comfortable. Flip-flops needn’t be the run-ofthe-mill rubber kind found in the discount bin. They can be dressed up to match your gown or purchased with gemstones and other decor already attached. For those who prefer heels for photo ops and looking fabulous, consider bringing along a change of shoes just in case foot pain flares up later in the evening. ❤

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Richelle Akimow Photography

MacPhail Photography


ome say shoes make the woman, but if they’re uncomfortable, shoes very well may break the woman – especially at a wedding. From the bride to the guests, choosing the wrong shoes could sideline you from dancing or cause pain through the night. A smarter step is to put just as much thought into the shoes you will wear as you will into other parts of your wardrobe. That doesn’t mean you have to forgo an attractive shoe just for something comfortable. It’s possible to have the best of both worlds. Here are some considerations. • Wedge heels: Unlike other types of heels that put the brunt of the pressure on the ball of the foot, wedge heels distribute body weight evenly throughout the foot. Therefore, you might find these are some of the most comfortable types of heels around. Designers make them in all styles, including more formal versions perfect for weddings and other special events. • Ballet pumps: Ballet pumps, once made famous by style icon Audrey Hepburn, can be worn with skirts or slacks. Their low profile helps keep feet comfortable, and they may come as flats or with a tiny heel. Embellished with bows, flowers, or ribbons, these shoes will dress up any outfit.

Little Chickadees Photography

Wedding thank-you cards etiquette


eddings and gifts go hand-in-hand. Couples who are tying the knot can expect to receive scores of gifts, ranging from simple well-wishes to cash to items listed on their registries. Couples should plan on spending some time writing thank-you notes to express gratitude to the people kind enough to give a gift. Contrary to popular belief, couples do not have a year’s grace period to mail out thank-you notes after the gift has been received or the wedding has taken place. It is preferable that the thank-you be written directly after receipt of the gift, but timestrapped couples may not have the opportunity to do so. However, writing a few thank-you cards every few days can alleviate having a giant pile to do later on. Many couples prefer to order thank-you stationery when they order their wedding invitations. This way the paper, font, and style match the original invitations. In addition, it may be less expensive to order stationery as a package. In some cases, a photography package may include thank-you notes with wallet-sized photos to include. Couples can then mail out a nice sentiment with a photo from the wedding.

For those interested in less expensive options, preprinted thank-you cards can be purchased at a stationery store.Remember, it is not the card itself, but the thank-you that is important. As to the rules regarding those getting a thank-you, it is just about anyone who contributed in some part to the wedding, even if a verbal thanks was already offered. Anyone who provided an engagement, shower or wedding gift, those who gave gifts of money, anyone who hosted a party or shower, attendants in the wedding, people who may have housed wedding guests, parents of the bride and

MacPhail Photography

groom, suppliers and vendors, and employers who have wished couples well should all be included on the thank you list. By adhering to thank you card etiquette, couples will ensure their guests know that gifts and efforts to make the wedding special were appreciated. ❤

Here are some other guidelines to follow. • Mail out a handwritten note to each and every person being thanked. • Do not use form letters or preprinted cards to which you simply add your signature. • Be sincere in your messages and try to mention the gift and what it will be used for. • Promptly respond to gifts that were received through the mail so the giver knows they arrived. • Never mention that you plan to return a gift or exchange it. • A mass thank-you posted on social media is not adequate.


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PHOTOGRAPHER: Simply Sweet Photography by Nomo Akisawa TABLE RUNNERS: Designed and made by artist Jeska Slater (bridesmaid) • FRESH CUT FLOWERS:  Pillaged from friends yards and arranged by the maid of honour Molly Halowski HAIR AND MAKEUP by Sam Gajdos • VINTAGE WEDDING DRESS: Purchased at a garage sale, then professionally altered and fitted by Christy McMaster • BRIDESMAIDS DRESSES: Purchased from and bought at local thrift shops ALL ABOUT WEDDINGS 2014 ∞ 31

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How to pull off a destination wedding

MacPhail Photography


estination weddings are a great way for couples to commemorate their big days in an idyllic locale. According to the Association of Bridal Consultants, five to seven percent of all weddings are destination weddings, indicating that couples no longer feel obligated to tie the knot in their hometowns. Though a destination wedding can create cherished memories for couples and their guests, couples must be realistic before they commit to walking down the aisle on a Caribbean beach or in a Scottish castle. For instance, couples who still hope their friends and family members can share in their special days must know that a destination wedding might drastically reduce the number of guests who can make it to the wedding. So when planning a destination wedding, couples would be wise to take a few things to heart. • Make it an affordable affair. Couples often fret about financing their weddings, and the same concerns might come up for those invited to a destination wedding. Don’t choose a destination that will require guests to spend a substantial amount of money for a single weekend. • Get the word out early. A destination wedding is typically held in an idyllic locale, and such destinations are usually expensive to visit. The earlier you get the word out, the less expensive and more flexible flights might be, saving you and your guests money. • Seek discounts. Thanks to the growing popularity of destination weddings, many resorts now have wedding packages that discount rooms for all involved with the wedding. Vendors are often open to negotiation as well.

• Hire a wedding planner. Couples who choose a more traditional wedding can usually get by without the help of a wedding planner. However, couples going the destination wedding route will almost certainly need a wedding planner, especially for those getting married in a foreign country where another language is spoken. • In idyllic locales, there may be wedding planners who specialize in destination weddings. Many resorts even have wedding planners on staff or on call. Wedding planners can be expensive, but they’re a necessary expense when planning a destination wedding. • Stay calm. One of the best things about a destination wedding is that they are typically devoid of the stress that comes with planning a more traditional wedding. That’s especially true of island weddings, where vendors often move at a slower pace than mainland vendors. What’s more, options with respect to decor and cuisine might be more limited for island weddings, so couples won’t have to agonize over each and every decision. That said, couples need to adapt to this more laid back approach and make the most of it rather than stressing out over communication mishaps or other bumps in the road. • Don’t make your wedding day your first day there. While a Parisian wedding might sound like the stuff of fairytales, couples who have never before been to Paris should visit at least once prior to their big day, if not once before choosing the destination. This will give you a feel for the locale and a reason to enjoy a pre-wedding getaway. ❤

10217 King George Blvd., Surrey • 604-584-8897 1393 West 6th Avenue, Vancouver • 604-732-5868 • ALL ABOUT WEDDINGS 2014 ∞ 35

Kimberlee Reimer Photography

park weddings


here are a host of private halls, churches, and banquet rooms that are eager to host your wedding. But for some brides and grooms, nothing will do but the splendour of the great outdoors. Parks around the Fraser Valley have been accommodating this need for years, and they are used to visits from wedding parties. If the perfect spot for your wedding is in a municipal park, make sure you call in advance, as policies vary from community to community. Surrey is a good site for those who are having budget-minded, small weddings. There is no official booking system, and it’s free to anyone who wants to hold a small ceremony,


but only small groups are allowed, said Yalda Asadian, a parks operations coordinator. Maple Ridge does require booking, and insurance may be required for the ceremony. Many outdoor ceremonies in Maple Ridge are linked to nearby community halls, which can host receptions, but there’s a long waiting list for the halls. Tents are allowed by prior arrangement. Metro Vancouver, which manages parks from the North Shore to Abbotsford, has a number of locations that are highly in demand. The Minnekhada Lodge in Coquitlam is a former residence of B.C.’s Lieutenant-Governors, and can host up to 60 people. Slightly smaller are the Inverholme Schoolhouse in Deas Island Regional Park, and the Cammidge House in Boundary Bay Regional Park. Both can host about 40 people, said Stephen Suddes, division manager of public programs for Metro Vancouver Parks.

The Metro Vancouver parks are seeing an increase in outdoor weddings, said Suddes. The Rowlett Farmstead at Campbell Valley Regional Park in Langley features a vast open field (up to 5,000 people can be accommodated) near a restored heritage farmhouse, schoolhouse, and cluster of barns and farm buildings. A small knoll above the Cleveland Dam in Capilano River Regional Park has proved popular. Almost any small open area can be reserved if there is nearby parking, and a couple can set up a tent and a few chairs. So far, Suddes said he hasn’t been asked for a permit to hold an underwater wedding in the waters off Belcarra Regional Park, but, it could happen, he saids. Costs for wedding bookings can be as low as $257 for a simple field setup with a short ceremony, said Surinder Uppal, a visitor services assistant with Metro Vancouver Parks. At present, there are no restrictions on bringing a wedding party to get photos, unless the activities would involve props, lighting, and other pieces of equipment, or to secure exclusive use of a certain area of a park. He recommends calling ahead to double check that your scenic wedding photo site isn’t being used for something else that day. Uppal also advises that the park system can’t close down an entire park for a wedding – regular park users may be passing by during a ceremony or photo shoot. To book a Metro Vancouver park site or inquire about availability, call 604-432-6352. ❤


Richelle Akimow Photography


How-to make a bridal bouquet Set up your workspace, keeping in mind that you are going to make a mess. Kitchens are ideal because clean up is easy, and if you have a lot of counter space, even better! An outdoor space would also work. Things you’ll need: Floral shears, floral tape, bouquet pins, and the bouquet wrap of your choice (we used white ribbon). And your wedding flowers, of course! Prep your flowers. Make sure all foliage has been removed from the stems, roses are de-thorned, and whatever you need to do so your flowers are ready for action! Make sure that all of the stem lengths are about the same (anywhere from 10 to 14 inches). You can always trim as you go, or cut them at the end. Choose 2 to 4 flowers to start the “base” of your bouquet. These flowers will serve as the anchor, as you will build around them. Bunch the stems together and wrap with floral tape. Make sure that there is 1 to 1 ½ inches of exposed stem visible from where you begin to wrap the stems and anywhere between 4 to 5 inches of exposed stem from the bottom. Start building your bouquet by adding flowers around your anchored flowers, creating a “bunch.” Now, there are not really a lot of rules here, because you can position the flowers, fillers, and greenery by your personal preference. Mix textures and colours to create an interesting composition. Also, keep the size of your bouquet in mind. Put your photographer hat on! You don’t want your flowers to overwhelm you on your wedding day. After all, you are the focal point and your flowers should just enhance your ensemble. As you add flowers, continuously wrap your bouquet with floral tape (the same 1 to 1 ½ inch rule from the top and 4 to 5 inch rule from the bottom applies). By doing this, you will not only be adding support, but also be creating consistent, yet attractive composition in your design. When you’re satisfied with your bouquet, wrap with floral tape. Starting about 1 to 1 ½ inches from the flower head (like you’ve done before), begin to wrap the stems with floral tape, leaving anywhere between 0-4 inches of stem exposed, whatever your comfortable with. Accent with a bouquet wrap of your choice. Use the floral tape as your guide and pin the ribbon horizontally so it is parallel with the floral tape. ❤ MacPhail Photography

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Think carefully before you elope

ome couples have dreamed about having a large and lavish wedding since they were children. Others aspire to something more intimate. Still others would prefer to elope, which has its pros and cons. Couples who might want to elope should weigh the advantages and disadvantages before they take the plunge. Although there is no definitive way to calculate how many couples elope each year, research indicates that roughly 100,000 couples elope in Las Vegas every year, for a variety of reasons, including: • Intimacy • Ease of planning • Religious or cultural differences • Finances • Desire for a small wedding Taking a closer look at the pros and cons of eloping can help couples better determine if running off to elope is the right move for them. PROS Cost is a major advantage to eloping. Various bridal websites, vendors, and magazines have calculated that the average wedding runs anywhere from $21,000 to $35,000. Choosing to elope reduces that figure considerably. The “reception” may be a casual dinner out or even a get-together at home.

Eloping is more intimate in nature than a big wedding. Couples can share special vows amongst themselves without the need for a show at a larger wedding. If there are rifts between the families and coming together for a wedding may cause tension, an elopement is sometimes a smart choice. Couples can start out their new lives together in a special way, unencumbered by having to mingle with family members they may not have seen in years. CONS One of the cons that deter people from eloping is that failure to have a traditional wedding may disappoint close friends and family members. Parents of the bride or groom may want to boast about how proud they are of their children getting married, and friends may enjoy having an excuse to get together and celebrate. There is a lot of pressure that goes into wedding planning, but a wedding is hopefully a once-in-a-lifetime event. Eloping means couples may not be eligible for the same number of perks as with a traditional wedding. Some couples start their nest eggs with monetary gifts from wedding guests. Eloping will likely reduce the number of gifts a couple receives from well-wishers. Eloping has its advantages and disadvantages, and couples who might want to elope should weigh both the pros and cons before they forgo a traditional, larger wedding. ❤

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Techy tips for the big day

Techy Tips for the BigTechy Day Tips for theTechy Big Day Tips for the Big Day




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St George’s Fort Langley

Fort Langley National Historic Site of Canada

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family members may take some home, several centerpieces will likely be left at the end of the night. Think about bringing them to a hospital, hospice centre or nursing home. The flowers can help brighten the day of others who are in somber settings. If you cannot find a place that will take them, consider dropping one or two of them off at the home of an elderly relative who might be confined to his or her house. Provided your favours have not been engraved with a date or names, you may be able to return extras to the store. There’s also the possibility of making them available to a couple who is planning their wedding and is looking to cut costs wherever possible. Or, take the favours home and send one out to any person who gives you a gift or a card but wasn’t able to make it to the wedding. Weddings do not have to be wasteful. If you put your mind to it, you can find ways to reuse items featured on your big day. ❤

Richelle Akimow Photography Richelle Akimow Photography

ometimes a wedding can be a testament to excess. In order to make an impression and please every guest, couples often go above and beyond with regard to food, favours, flowers, and much more at their weddings. At the end of the night, couples might be left with a good deal of food and other items that go to waste. That is, unless you donate the excess to someone who can use it. Leftover wedding food, flowers, and wardrobes can be donated and make a difference in other people’s lives. By asking a few questions and doing a little legwork, you can turn items that would be discarded into something that goes on to help another person. Food is one area of the wedding that’s often prepared in abundance, particularly for buffet-style weddings. In order to keep chafing dishes filled and inviting, catering halls or restaurants may prepare much more food than is necessary. At the end of the night there’s plenty of leftovers. Some caterers have already contracted with food recovery groups to take leftover food and bring it to the needy. You can ask your caterer if they do so. If not, do an online search for a food recovery organization and find out how you can donate the remainders of your wedding feast. Bridesmaid dresses and formal wear is seldom worn again, unless you are a person who has mastered the art of turning pink taffeta into a new ensemble. However, you may be able to donate a dress or suit to a consignment store or thrift shop, where it can be purchased and worn by someone who may not be able to afford an off-the-rack item. You can also consider donating it to an organization that provides clothing to the underprivileged. Some people offer wedding clothing for sale at deep discounts through newspaper classifieds or online. Wedding centerpieces can last for several days before they wilt. While friends and

Richelle Akimow Photography


Donate, recycle, and reuse for a greener wedding

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Destination whistler Words from the Bride & Groom

The Bride’s side Over the years should anyone ever ask if I was to ever get married where it would be, they could almost guess and answer it themselves. My dream has been a winter wedding in Whistler, BC for as long as I could remember (I was always just hoping my future husband whom wasn’t even in the picture would also agree). Whistler was always my ‘go to place’ with my girlfriends and pretty much a guaranteed fun time had by all. The Groom’s side We took a trip to Las Vegas with a couple friends and I (Rob) surprised Shannon by renting a helicopter and flying us to the Grand Canyon where I had planned a champagne picnic alongside the Colorado River. This is where I took Shannon aside and proposed. I asked her if she would marry me and her response was, … “well-duh”. I’m sure that meant YES! The Venue We knew being married in the month of February was a must because we wanted our wedding to be filled with snow, crisp air and lots of little white lights to transform our wedding into a Magical Winter Wonderland… and that it most certainly was. As we embarked on our planning we knew one thing, and that was we were not planning to have a traditional wedding. We thought it shouldn’t

be too difficult to find a venue in Whistler that would have a magical and intimate setting with a roaring fire going during our ceremony. Well, after looking at many private residences that just seemed to be a tad too small for our guests and the type of wedding experience we wanted, we stumbled upon The Whistler Conference Centre. At first we weren’t too fond of the idea of having our wedding at a conference centre; it certainly didn’t’ sound very romantic to me but then we were introduced to “The Grand Foyer”… Grand Foyer, now that had a pretty nice ring to it. SOLD!!! The Dress To start with, my Algolique wedding dress was the most incredible shade of…pink – yes, pink. A winter wedding dress wouldn’t be complete without a faux fur bridal shrug from Ivory Bridal Boutique, Fort Langley. Although I absolutely love flowers I didn’t want any at our wedding; instead we opted for feathers. All the beautiful bouquets were made from white feathers and were embellished with large crystals dangling at the bottom. All the gentlemen’s boutonnieres were made of peacock feathers and rhinestones. All the bouquets and boutonnieres were made by my mother. The Fireside Ceremony Our intimate ceremony was set in a half moon

shape with the center fire blazing. With my father by my side, we walked down the aisle to Chantal Kreviazuk’s “ Feels like home to me” where I met Rob and we each shared personal vows to one another and said our “I do’s”. Followed by a warm wet kiss, we turned to face our family and friends and passed by them almost skipping to Michael Buble’s “Everything”. The Reception While the Grand Foyer was being transformed into an enchanted evening setting we embarked on a horse drawn sleigh ride through the trails taking in the fresh mountain air. The tables were decorated with a simple but elegant décor of white and brown silk sashes with scattered rhinestone diamonds. The center pieces hosted large crystal cracked like vases with a bouquet of twigs that dangled crystals all of which beautifully capture the light of the roaring fires. From there the night was filled with celebration and joy had by all our guests and we eventually made our way to the Four Seasons Resort, Whistler to retire for the night. Within a few days we treated ourselves to a two week honeymoon vacation in San Jose & Cabos San Lucas Mexico. We are quickly approaching our 5 year anniversary and who knows, it may be time to revisit our creative party planning and to share with all.. ❤ ALL ABOUT WEDDINGS 2014 ∞ 43



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Destination san

A Long Engagement Being a corporate event planner I have had the opportunity to travel a lot for work. I was organizing an event in Paris and received the surprise of a lifetime – a proposal with French wine and a sparkly Tiffany & Company ring in the Champ de Mars under the Eiffel Tower. The proposal was SO romantic it lasted for more than three years... Vancouver is a breathtaking city but we really wanted the experience of our friends and family being on vacation together – to have the opportunity to really get to know one another. Although we had been dating for more than seven years our parents had never met before. A destination wedding was the first and best decision we made. After a wonderful and exhaustive look at Hawaii and Mexico we settled on somewhere a little off the beaten path, an ‘understated’ location for a destination wedding: San Diego, Calif. San Diego is the birthplace of California and is known for its beautiful year-round climate and extensive beaches. Casual, Vintage California Wedding We wanted a personal experience, and something accessible for every budget/schedule. Some of our guests spent time in Las Vegas, L.A., Palm Springs, and San Francisco before the wedding. Others took their children to Sea World, the Safari Park, and Lego Land – while other guests just came down for the weekend and parked themselves poolside. The Pacific Terrace Hotel was an obvious choice for us; it is a beautiful hotel at the end of the boardwalk on Pacific Beach. All of the rooms

diego Words from the Bride by Tiffany Edwardsen

wrap around the pool for a feeling of togetherness. You could sit on your patio, watch the dolphins playing in the surf and then in the evening all of our guests would huddle around the firepit and talk all night! In lieu of lavish décor and opulence we tried to create a quintessential California experience for our 65 guests. We went surfing and boogie-boarding steps away from the hotel. We had happyhour on the boardwalk the first night everyone arrived into town. We held a golf tournament at Coronado Island. In place of a limo or shuttle we rented a bus with wood panels and cozy couches. To help our family friends feel united we gave everyone orange & white sunglasses and drink cozies so they would know who-was-who when they were walking down the boardwalk or sitting in the hot tub. Casa Del Prado, Balboa Park For the ceremony we wanted to capture some of the spirit and romance of Paris. We found that ‘magic’ in Balboa Park. Balboa Park is 1,200 acres, has 15 museums, multiple lavish gardens, theatres, and the San Diego Zoo…. but it was the exquisite Spanish colonial architecture that we fell in love with. And because Balboa Park is a city park the price of a wedding there is incomparable. The groomsmen were decked out in casual slate suits with vests, mismatched ties, and converse shoes. The bridesmaids looked gorgeous and infinitely feminine in teal vintage-style gowns from Anthropologie that complimented my antiquelace wedding gown. To keep with our casual themes, I wore my hair down in a waterfall braid.

We are lucky to have very creative and skilled friends and everyone was given a job. The bridesmaids made our wildflower bouquets, my brother was our brilliantly funny officiant, my father made my beautiful wedding band, my sister-inlaw is a makeup artist, my best friend is a photographer, and the groomsmen played the guitar to a beautiful song-which my husband wrote-while I walked down the aisle. I felt so honoured. The experience captured our passion for creativity and my love of small, personal touches. Sunset over Pacific Beach Our reception was at JRDN, a modern restaurant in the Tower 23 Hotel - a gorgeous boutique hotel just a short walk down the boardwalk from the Pacific Terrace Hotel. We ate a fabulous dinner of flat iron steak, organic salmon, wild mushroom risotto served with organic vegetables surrounded by turquoise mason jars filled with wildflowers. It was an intimate, private room with a floor to ceiling glass wine room on one side and the ocean waves crashing on the other. For the table numbers we made a photo colleague and tried to include old/funny photos of the guests sitting at that table – for a conversation starter and as a reminder of how important they are to us. After dinner we moved on to the heated patio for drinks and dancing under the stars, overlooking the beach. A destination wedding can create a lifetime bond with friends and family – and it doesn’t matter how long it takes you to get there… life is a journey, after all, and I hope your journey someday takes you to San Diego. ❤ ALL ABOUT WEDDINGS 2014 ∞ 45

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We have the experience to make your event a success. Whether it be the celebration, the food service or the final good-byes to the guests, our attention to detail and enthusiasm for fine service ensure that all will depart with memories to cherish. We will assist you with all the details and planning, meal selections and wine pairing, the right celebratory champagne. So close to Vancouver and Victoria, your event can even be a memorable one-day excursion. Envision an afternoon reception, with guests arriving on the morning ferry, enjoying our island paradise with elegant food in natural surroundings, and returning to the bustle of city life on the evening tide. Or reject the call of city lights and stay on, celebrating into the evening with the exquisite food and wine on offer in eat@galianoinn - one of the finest restaurants in the islands. For the perfect wedding, from two to eighty people, the inn is a spectacular location. Our chef and event manager will work with you to craft a singular, once-in-a-lifetime experience that everyone will treasure.

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Destination paris Words from the Bride

aris has always had a special place in my heart; to me, it is the most beautiful and romantic place in the world! Mark and I were lucky to travel there together last spring, where we got engaged at Versailles. When starting to think about our wedding, planning a big affair at home just didn’t feel right. One night, we had the ‘crazy’ idea to run off to Paris for our wedding, and thought ‘why not’? - It was the best decision we could have made. Ceremony Venue: Commanderie du Clos Montmartre: When searching for a wedding venue, we were looking for a small outdoor location that felt truly Parisian. We found the Commanderie, a small stone garden located right in the heart of Montmartre. It was intimate and private, but we were surrounded by the sights and sounds of Montmartre, one of our favourite Paris neighbourhoods, right outside the garden gates. Reception Venue: St. James Hotel: Because we had only a small group of 20 guests with us, we wanted a reception space that felt intimate, but allowed us to really ‘wow’ everyone. The St. James was the perfect choice. It is a private club/hotel located in the heart of Paris, with a very eclectic and bold design

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that is truly jaw dropping. When guests arrived, we headed to the back garden, which used to be the launching grounds for hot air balloons. Now, the hot air balloons serve as pop-up champagne bars (with leopard-print fabric no less!). Inside, we had a private room for dinner service, where we sat at one long table, and had an incredible fivecourse classic French meal. Decor/Floral Inspiration: Both Mark and I wanted to embrace a bold colour palette, and choose deep burgundy, red, emerald green, and navy as our colours. We had seen a lot of beautiful weddings with pink/ blush colour schemes, but this didn’t speak to us. Thinking of Paris reminds us of red wine, leather banquettes, smoky jazz clubs, and tree-lined boulevards, and we wanted to incorporate these feelings into a bolder brighter palette that was bursting with the emotional romance of Paris! Favourite Part of Wedding Day: At the conclusion of our ceremony, Mark and I walked up the garden stairs, and turned around to look at our guests (and the many tourists who had gathered outside the garden) and have a celebratory kiss. It was the most perfect moment, hearing our accordion player in the background, sharing our joy with our closest family and

friends, and looking out over the Paris rooftops in the distance. It just felt like a dream come true, and we were so extremely overwhelmed with joy in that moment. Favourite Wedding Week Moment: Our guests stayed with us for an entire week in Paris, and we made many incredible, once in a lifetime memories with them. We were so lucky and thankful that they were able to join us. Our favourite moment from the wedding week was the day after the wedding, when we had a farewell picnic at the Eiffel Tower. Everyone brought baguettes, cheese, macaroons, and lots of wine, and we all sat on blankets and enjoyed our last night together while we watched the Eiffel Tower twinkle in front of us. Magical! Lesson Learned: We had to leave a lot to chance; planning a wedding from halfway across the world requires a lot of patience, and letting go of being in control of the little details. This turned out to be the best, as we were able to focus on each other and our excitement during this special time in our lives, and not get too wrapped up in wedding planning stress. We recommend a destination wedding to all couples! ❤ ALL ABOUT WEDDINGS 2014 ∞ 47

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It takes the cake!

Latest trends in decorated wedding cakes


he days of the basket-style wedding cake are as long gone as the fruit cake that used to be inside. Today’s cakes are fun, colourful, and delicious. Heidi Kenkel, custom cake decorator with Cakelicious Cakes Company, specializes only in custom-designed cake products: cakes, cupcakes, and cake pops. She dished the inside scoop on current cake trends. Fabulous flavours “Red velvet is still pretty trendy,” she said of the mild chocolate flavour. “But with my clients, raspberry with lemon cream cheese is the most popular. People want something a little bit different, but every bit delicious.” Try it before you buy it According to Kenkel, the best way to find the right cake decorator for your wedding cake is to get referrals from friends and family. “Always try their product and ensure you like their style,” Kenkel said. “Cheap isn’t always best and expensive isn’t always best either.”

No matter what you decide for flavour or colour, Kenkel noted that choosing the cake you really want will always be the right decision. Those who order a trendy cake or something their aunt wants may regret the choice, if it doesn’t fit their style. “You’ll never please everyone, so make sure it’s for you,” she stressed. Every shape, size, and colour Round and square are the most popular cake shapes with the occasional “topsy/turvy” style (think the crooked layers of an Alice in Wonderland cake), and cupcakes continue to be trendy for their cost effectiveness and one-serving size. “In terms of design, I’m seeing a focus on buttercream designs, rustic looks, and the ombre cakes [gradient cake layers with gradient icing colours],” Kenkel noted. “In my own business, the most popular is still a fondant cake with ribbon around the base and fresh flowers on top. For cupcakes, rosebud and ombre are the favourites.” While colours can vary from one end of the

spectrum to the other, Kenkel noted she sees a lot of fuchsia, creams, or off-whites with lace, and added bling. How much is too much? Three tiers is definitely the “sweet spot” for cakes, but often caterers will include squares or other desserts in the reception menu. For those who don’t want a piece of cake, this is a nice added touch, but Kenkel pointed out it can’t replace the role of a wedding cake. “The photo ops and the tradition are strong,” she said. “But, if there is other dessert on hand, order a smaller cake or less cupcakes.” Cake on the run Even destination weddings can be complete with wedding cake. Kenkel advises to ask if the wedding package includes a cake and whether customization is available. If organizers don’t have what you’re looking for, source out a decorator in the location and ask for references. With today’s latest cake trends, you can absolutely have your cake and eat it too! ❤ ALL ABOUT WEDDINGS 2014 ∞ 49

trash it!

Older generations just don’t understand the fun in doing “horrible things” to a beautiful dress


hether it’s called Trash the Dress, Fearless Bridal, or Rock the Frock, it’s a growing phenomenon: take the most expensive piece of clothing you’ll ever wear and do unspeakable things to it. A photographer’s dream, trashing the dress is all the rage for those who can handle losing their dream dress to some great photos and a fun experience. What defines it is taking the wedding dress out of its traditional space and putting it into a whole new environment for a completely different set of edgey photos, with or without the groom, after the wedding is over. In most cases, that alternate environment will leave the dress unwearable – consider yourself warned.

On site Destination weddings are the most likely place for trash the dress photos. White sand and blue water lend themselves naturally to shots in the surf and everything from lying on filthy docks, building sand castles, and kissing in the ankle deep water is fair game. Many destination photography teams can provide a trash the dress shoot after the wedding. Ask beforehand if this is part of your plan. Down and Dirty Other options are to hold your dress trashing shoot at home, near home, or at a special destination after the nuptials. Ideas include paint parties, off-road biking or ATVing, running through a field or farm yard, crazy antics with

Simply Sweet Photography by Nomo Akisawa

When it comes time to plan your special day, consider the Pacific Inn Resort as your wedding event and accommodation venue. We offer the finest and largest event facilities in the South Surrey area with spacious, elegant rooms that open onto a gorgeous garden courtyard. A picturesque fountain and gazebo provide a beautiful backdrop for photos and a great place to enjoy cocktails. Our catering services are world-class with a variety of exceptional cuisine and we can also provide DJs, live performers, wedding cakes, themed decorations, flowers, limousines and everything else you need to make the occasion unforgettable! *The Pacific Inn will provide a complimentary honeymoon room for the bride and groom and provide special room rates for your out-of-town guests. We will also offer one complimentary room for every 20 room nights booked. Call for details.

Phone: (604)-535-1432 Fax: (604)-531-6979 Email: • 1160 King George Boulevard, White Rock/Surrey, BC, V4A 4Z2 Canada 50 ∞ ALL ABOUT WEDDINGS 2014

food and/or wine, climbing trees, lounging around old vehicles, and even setting the dress on fire (this one requires a lot of planning and extra special caution). There are no limits to what a bride and groom can come up with for ideas. Plus, because it’s done after the wedding, use your honeymoon to brainstorm the perfect location if trashing the dress is in your future. Make it You The groom is generally in on the fun and sometimes is the catalyst for the type of dress destruction you choose. Look to your lives and what is important to both of you for meaningful ideas. A couple into renovating might do their shot in a half-finished room. Dairy farmers could

consider a shoot with gum boots and the cows. Those who have painting as a hobby might use the dress as a canvas. Trashing the dress isn’t for everyone. Some girls want to preserve their dress. If there is a part of you that wants to keep that dress pristine, more than it wants the photos of the trashing, making a mess of your dress is probably not right for you. If trashing your dress is something you are up for, abandon caution, come up with an idea that is uniquely you, and have fun! ❤ Simply Sweet Photography by Nomo Akisawa

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cultural connections


n B.C.’s Lower Mainland, a Sikh wedding is far from uncommon, but for a Surrey couple raised in Sikh traditions, it was important to bring their North American lives together with family values and tradition to create the wedding of their dreams. Smalltown backgrounds Both raised in small towns in B.C., Sonny and Shevonne Thind met in high school in Surrey, after their families relocated to the area. “My parents came to Canada as young children,” Shevonne said. “They had the ability to enjoy both cultures [Sikh and Canadian] and incorporate them into their lives.” “My parents were not an arranged marriage, but it was a meeting set up by family,” Sonny commented.

Fortunately, both families chose the Surrey community to raise their children. The relationship Shevonne and Sonny formed in high school grew into a lasting romance. “It may be because we are both from small towns that we got along so well,” Sonny noted. A family affair In their group of friends, Sonny and Shevonne were amounst the first to get married, with many of the group tying the knot the same summer. Recognizing that their wedding was “a family affair, it’s not just about the bride and groom,” according to Sonny, the couple spent a lot of time thinking about the things they wanted at their wedding, along with the things needed to meet family expectations and desires. Fortunately, they were afforded a long

engagement which was critical due to postsecondary schooling, the length of time needed to organize a wedding of this scale, and all the other interruptions that come with a busy life. A pre-engagement took place in 2009, the official engagement in 2010, and the wedding on June 22, 2013. One of the personal touches included early on was an engagement photo shoot with the couple’s puppy Drake. Drake joined the family when Sonny and Shevonne got engaged. Family tradition “In the end, it was a typical Sikh wedding, I think, in terms of what you would see here in the Vancouver area for a Sikh wedding,” said Shevonne. “But yes, we had a few of our own touches. The wedding was more Sikh, while the



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reception was more North American.” The week-long list of activities before the wedding included typical Sikh celebrations for both the bride and the groom including Shevonne’s Mehndi and Choora events and her Maiyan ceremony which is the ceremonial cleaning before the wedding. Sonny’s family also had a Mehndi event for the women and a Maiyan ceremony for the groom. “A lot of the traditions come from India. Here we do them more because they are traditions and not for their original purpose,” Sonny noted. In traditional form, Sonny made his entrance to the temple in Richmond on a horse. The guest list was large. Larger than usual for a Sikh wedding with 1,500 guests. Both families wanted to include business associates, friends and acquaintances, some of whom, the couple had never met. It was expected by Shevonne and Sonny though because of their awareness that the wedding wasn’t just for them, but for the whole family to enjoy. Unique reception Fun was top of the list for this pair and while Indian weddings are already large, glamorous affairs, Shevonne and Sonny added their extra special continued next page touches.

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continued from previous page

“We had a photobooth at the reception,” Shevonne noted. Her sister made the wedding cake, cupcakes for everyone with a small cake on top for the couple to cut and share. Wedding rings were also incorporated into the events as well as a first dance at the reception. “These things are more western,” Shevonne said. “But are very typical at the weddings of our [Sikh] friends and generation.”

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Shevonne and Sonny also chose to leave their traditional Sikh garb behind after the wedding and wore North American style clothing at the reception – Shevonne chose a pink ball gown. Sonny even shaved his beard between events. “I didn’t want to wear a white wedding dress, I just knew I wanted something different [from what many Indian brides wear to their reception],” Shevonne said. “My aunt got married in a white wedding dress because we didn’t have Indian clothes here [in B.C.] then. Some of my friends have chosen a wedding dress, it just wasn’t what I wanted.” Friends integral Family is important to Shevonne and Sonny, but so are their friends. They knew they wanted to include them as much as possible. A tradition familiar in North American weddings which has become common in Indian weddings is having attendants. “That is adopted from Western culture,” Shevonne noted of the custom. To make things easier on the guests unfamiliar with Sikh weddings and traditions, the couple included an outline of what to expect. “We wanted them to be comfortable,” Shevonne said. Details included an overview of what to wear, the different types of food to be served, where to sit, the purpose of hymns, and the basic agenda or flow of the morning. An ideal day “To be honest, we could not have asked for a better wedding,” Shevonne said. “It was awesome, it was a great time,” Sonny added. When pressed, the couple admitted small things they might have changed, but noted that nothing took away from the celebration or their enjoyment of it. “We might have had less people,” said Sonny. “But really, it was great.” At the end of the whirlwind day the couple arrived at the hotel and Shevonne was reminded of how the morning began. “I’d set the alarm [on her phone] for three a.m. to get up and get started with everything,” she said. “When we got to the hotel I sat down on the bed and just then, the alarm went off again. It had been 24 hours since the whole thing started.” ❤

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Safe and smart ways to slim


oncern about fitting into their gowns drives many brides to crash diet in an effort to lose weight. Many brides-to-be, and even some grooms-to-be, express concern about their weight in the weeks and months leading up to their wedding. Losing weight is a goal for many engaged couples, but it’s important that couples who want to shed a few extra pounds don’t sacrifice safety for the sake of slimming down. According to a Cornell University study of 273 women with a wedding day approaching, 70 per cent wanted to lose more than 20 pounds before their weddings. However, reality indicates that a weight loss of five to ten pounds is more attainables. The term “brideorexia” has entered the vernacular, and it is associated with brides who are taking extreme measures to lose weight. Taking laxatives, engaging in fluid-only diets and even using tobacco or drugs to serve as appetite suppressants are just some of the measures some brides have taken to shed weight before their wedding days. There is no magic formula to shed pounds, but there are certain ways to jump-start and maintain the process of healthy weight loss so brides can look slimmer and healthy for their big day. • Eat. Although initial calorie curbing can help shed weight, eventually your body may adapt

down before your wedding

to your new eating habits or go into “survival mode,” which means conserving fat reserves. Brides-to-be should never cut out food entirely. Eating anything less than 1,200 calories a day will encourage the body to try to conserve energy by lowering its metabolism. • Step up your exercise regimen. Reducing food intake alone will not help you lose weight quickly. The goal is to burn more calories than you consume. Therefore, adding more cardiovascular activity to your routine can help burn calories more efficiently. • Reduce sodium intake. Sodium doesn’t necessarily lead to weight gain, but it can make it appear so. Sodium contributes to water retention in the body, which may make you appear heavier or bloated. Cut back on foods that are high in sodium, especially as the wedding draws close, to reduce water retention. • Identify sources of empty calories. Fruit juices, soda, and other beverages are often the culprits with regards to unnecessary calorie consumption. Therefore, choose your beverages wisely and limit them to water, teas and unsweetened drinks. If you want to drink fruit juice, consider diluting it. In addition, most alcoholic beverages have 100 calories or more. While it may be tempting to

celebrate with wine, champagne, and mixed drinks during your engagement period, your waistline may ultimately pay the price for such indulgences. • Hire a good photographer. A camera allegedly adds 10 pounds, a reason many couples panic about their wedding day. A photo is a 2D image of a 3D object. Therefore, the photo reduces depth perception and flattens an image, which may make some items look like they have more bulk. A professional photographer will know how to manipulate lighting and angles of the camera to ensure a more flattering shot. • Eat smaller portions. Oftentimes, its not a matter of what you are eating but how much. Most portion sizes served in restaurants or even at home are double or triple the amount that you should be eating. When in doubt, cut everything in half. • Fill up on fibre or protein. Instead of resorting to pills to suppress an appetite, simply eat foods that will fill you up naturally. High-fibre foods will bulk up in the stomach and keep you feeling satiated longer. While losing weight for a wedding is many couples’ ultimate goal, the best way to tackle this task is in a healthy, responsible manner.

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$ $

$ $

Stationery Stationery Invitations, response cards, cards,thank thankyou younotes, notes,postage, postage, Invitations, response guest guest book book



Gifts Gifts Bridesmaidand andgroomsmen, groomsmen, parents, parents, others Bridemaid others




$ $

$ $

Transportation Transportation

Over/Under Budget Budget Over/Under


Tallevi Studios

Samantha Oostlander

Lisa Husick

Tallevi Studios

Natural work of art nestled amidst majestic mountains and ancient forest, overlooking the tranquil Harrison River. Where our brides are transported back to a simpler time.

• Accommodate small and large parties • On-Site Wedding Planner • Luxury Cottages • Historical Inn 14282 Morris Valley Road, Harrison Mills, BC or 1.877.796.1001 /rowenasinnontheriver


@RowenasInn ALL ABOUT WEDDINGS 2014 ∞ 63

DJ Chris

DJ Dawn

DJ Ian

DJ Tria

All About Weddings 2014