Page 1







D I S P L AY U N T I L O C T O B E R 3 1 , 2 0 1 1

Cover photo by Cipriano Palmer Photography Other cover credits see page 8


Newlyweds Melissa Micucci and Julian De Santi on their wedding day



Happily ever afters

begin in paradise

These are the moments you’ve waited a lifetime

you wish.** The choice is always yours with up to 12

for. The allure of the exotic islands stirs your souls.

restaurants per resort and an unforgettable range of

And every day is exactly what you want it to be. At

culinary experiences. Red LaneÂŽ Spas*** will transform you

Sandals, there are countless ways to spend your vacation.

with the magic of the islands. And your personal paradise

Some playful, some relaxing, all of them incredibly romantic

includes the most spectacular collection of suites in the

and all of them included. Beach valets bring tropical drinks.

Caribbean, many with private pools and butler service.

Sailboats and sea kayaks await you. Vibrant reefs lure you

Whatever you dream of, Sandals is where happily ever

to great scuba adventures.* Even golf is on the agenda, if

afters begin.


Call your travel agent or 416-223-0028 or 1-800-545-8283 *Scuba certiďŹ cation course available for an additional cost. **Golf not available at all resorts. Green fees apply at Sandals Emerald Bay. ***Spa treatments additional. Unique Vacations, Inc. is the worldwide representative for Sandals Resorts.


Vol. 13, No.1 Spring/Summer 2011


MONDO WEDDINGS. Cool. New. Different. Big ideas that are slightly off the beaten track.


AVOID WEDDING DISASTERS BEFORE THEY BEGIN. Celebrity planner dishes out advice on coping with a crisis.


NEAT STUFF. The interesting and unusual for brides who like to stand out from the crowd.

24 RSVP. The complete list of Wedding Essentials advertisers who can help you plan every aspect of your wedding.

26 THE REAL-LIFE WEDDING OF CHARLENE AND JEFF. Playful newlyweds toss formality aside in favour of fun at their charming country fair celebration.

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

34 FASHION PASSION. Forget the fashionistas! Here’s what modern brides just like you are wearing right now.

48 DON’T BE A BRIDEZILLA! Learn how to handle wedding stress gracefully and ensure your guests feel valued and happy too.

52 CITY HALL FAST FACTS. Ten quick tips for making a simple marriage option even easier.

A FREE GIFT FOR YOU WEDDING PLANNER FOR ONTARIO BRIDES The Bride’s Survival Guide is a 128-page planner/organizer created specifically for brides in South-Central 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 74. Or complete the request form at (Quantities are limited.)

6 Wedding Essentials 2011

54 DANCE YOUR WAY TO A HEALTHY WEDDING DAY. How a new kind of dance party is taking traditional cardio classes by storm.

60 ASK AN EXPERT. Get connected to the wedding industry pros for answers every bride needs to know.

62 EDIBLE ART. A collection of delicious wedding cakes that will make your mouth water.

72 WEDDING COSTS CRUSHING YOUR BUDGET? How social media is helping an Ontario couple plan a priceless wedding.

contents 76 THE REAL-LIFE WEDDING OF MELISSA AND JULIAN. One young couple banks on a lifetime of love and a classic, romantic wedding.

88 ESSENTIAL TIPS. How to write a wedding toast like a pro.

90 LUXE LOOKS. Advanced new beauty product picks to help you look your best every day.

92 ROOKIE BRIDE. Canadian actress juggles successful career and upcoming wedding.

98 DÉCOR. When decorating your new space we suggest: buy classic, add funky.

99 DO-IT-YOURSELF. Customize your wedding guest book!

100 KNOW YOUR NECKLINES. A bridal tutorial that gives you the scoop on the styles that suit you best.

104 MODERN LOVE IN MERRY OLDE ENGLAND. Kate and William say “I Will” in a wedding that mixes fresh style with royal tradition.

108 ECO-FRIENDLY ARUBA. Green-minded couples looking for a romantic spot that maintains a low-carbon footprint may find it on the happy little island of Aruba.

114 FLORAL FANTASY. Explore all the choices Mother Nature has to offer in our parade of pretty blooms.

124 AND A SIXPENCE IN HER SHOE. The oft-forgotten line of the poem for brides ensures good luck and prosperity.

126 ROMANTIC READS. Our picks from the newest releases that make reading fun again.

130 HAPPILY EVER AFTER... All the planning has paid off – time to celebrate!

Wedding Essentials Vol. 13, No. 1 Spring/Summer 2011

EDITORIAL MANAGING EDITOR Jo-Anne Craine COPY EDITOR Dave Jones CONTRIBUTORS Lisa Gay Gardner, Brian Worley, Jo-Anne Craine, Kimberly Hoffman, David Vincent, Julie Subotky ART DIRECTOR Mark Tzerelshtein | Markintosh Design PHOTOGRAPHY Brooke Palmer, Jenn Stark, Cris De Sousa, Brian Stephens, Antonia Mancuso

SALES & ADMINISTRATION PUBLISHER John Webster MANAGER OF SPECIAL PROJECTS Mary Webster BUSINESS & PRODUCTION MANAGER Phil Howes CONSULTANTS TO THE PUBLISHER Brandon Jones, Chris Jones Wedding Essentials is published by Town Crier of Markham Inc. ©Copyright 2011 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 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 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.



Wedding Essentials 41 Maple Street, Suite 100 Markham, Ontario L3P 2T9

BRIDE & GROOM: Melissa Micucci & Julian De Santi PHOTO: Cipriano Palmer Photography, GOWN: Monique Lhuillier HAIR: Salon Debut, Etobicoke MAKE-UP: Nan Tran (Bobbi Brown)

8 Wedding Essentials 2011

Phone: (416) 498-4996 email: Printed in Canada

Catering & Special Events Roya y l Bota tanicaal Ga ta G rdenns

Royal Botanical Gardens One of Southern Ontario Ontario’s most idyllic wedding settings for ceremonies, receptions and photography. The new Camilla and Peter Dalglish Atrium with adjoining fountain gardens is a stunning year-round garden wedding venue. Beverly Golf and Country Club A rolling 18-hole golf course is your backdrop in a country setting. The beautifully appointed ballroom accommodates 140 guests with a hardwood dance floor.

Beverly Golf and Country Club

Burlington Art Centre Beautiful public art gallery with ample parking accommodates up to 200 guests. Small outdoor courtyard for cocktails and a magnificent conservatory for wedding photography. Burl Bu rlin ing nggtton on Art rt Cen enttrre

OFF-SITE CATERING Pepperwood offers a full range of off-site catering services including tents, tables, chairs, music, etc., and of course a delicious meal. For more information visit www , email or call 905-632-7096.

in paradise Dream weddings come true at Royal Botanical Gardens • RRose Garden d ttentt andd Roya y l Courtt ceremonies i — whheth ther th y u’ yo u re pla lann nnin ingg a we wedd ddin ingg fo forr 30 oorr 30 3000, RRoy oyyal BBot otan anic ical al Gardens has the pe perfect venue to suit all of yyour needs

Judy Jakusz

• New Camilla and Peter Dalglish Atrium, main ballroom, The Gardens’ Café and Rose Garden tent reception packages — dazzle your guests with the finest dining experience prepared by Pepperwood Catering & Special Events

Camilla and Peter Dalglish Atrium

CONTACT: Sue Fillion 905-527-1158, ext. 230; RBG Centre, 680 Plains Road West, Hamilton/Burlington

Hendrie Park

• Wedding photography in the Gardens — enjoy lasting memories with stunning backdrops of floral displays and water features in natural settings

Heendrie Gates H Hen

Hendrie Park

Come Experience Etobicoke’s most Elegant and Luxurious entertainment venue


GOLDEN LION Entertainment Venue & Banquet Hall

416.252.3456 15 Canmotor Avenue Toronto e-mail:

The unique venue will accommodate you with the highest of standards whether it’s a rehearsal dinner, bridal shower, stag party or wedding reception. Contact us for information, price rates and pre-made packages at 416.252.3456 or by e-mail.

Nothing less than perfection

Elegant | Exquisite | Timeless

King’s Garden Banquet Hall 416.252.3456 15 Canmotor Avenue, Toronto

Let our committed and experienced staff make your wedding dreams a reality! Our single grand hall will ensure all our focus is on your special day. For details, rates, and booking please email us at: or via phone at 416-252-3456

here and there




SMELLS LIKE QUEEN SPIRIT THE WORLD’S MOST EXPENSIVE PERFUME In 1999, British luxury designer Clive Christian revived one of the oldest perfumeries in Britain (the Crown Perfumery), honoured by Queen Victoria when she granted it the likeness of her crown as an enduring symbol of British excellence (it’s the only perfume with Queen Victoria’s “stamp of approval”). In fact, Queen Victoria had the perfumery create matching perfumes for her and Prince Albert. Inspired by the original values of the perfumery from the 1800s, Clive Christian released a definitive collection of Pure Perfumes for men and for women as a tribute. At the pinnacle of the collection is the “No. 1 Perfume”, created with no reference to cost or limitations, now the World’s Most Expensive Perfume, of which only 1,000 bottles are released each year. The more affordable perfume spray bottle (shown) is priced at US $865 and is available at these US stores and online through their websites at and

14 Wedding Essentials 2011

Not every Vegas vacation ends in a toothless, tattooed hangover. There are some fantastic opportunities to be had like this one from the Rumor Boutique Hotel. You can have the ENTIRE hotel — 150 rooms in total — for just $13,000 USD per night. Now before you faint, that’s just under $87 a night per person before taxes! An incredible deal. No other guests. No fighting for the best suite or wondering who you will find in the lounge or at the pool. All for the cost of what one grand villa might fetch on the Strip. A truly cozy and inviting space, as soon as guests enter through the 10-foot glass doors they are met with the soothing ivory and white tones of the laid-back, yet sexy personality of the hotel. The Rumor’s unconventional design creates a boutique resort atmosphere, with distinctive character and charm, and an environment that’s perfect for private events ranging from outdoor concerts to multi-stage DJ extravaganzas to intimate and private weddings. Package Details: Total per night is $13,000 (excludes food & beverage, taxes and gratuity).  Offer is good from June 15, 2011 to December 27, 2011, based on availability. Rumor is directly across the street from the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.  For more information, call (877) 99-RUMOR or visit

SHOOTING FOR THE STARS THE FIREWORKS DON’T ONLY HAPPEN ON THE HONEYMOON There is nothing more awe-inspiring than a huge fireworks display. Now it’s possible to share the celebration of your love with a custom fireworks display, the dramatic end to a perfect wedding day. Firemaster Productions offers happy couples a truly memorable experience, capping off your big night with an incredible 3- to 5-minute extravaganza with prices starting at $1,500, but of course, as owner Sean Morris likes to say, “The sky’s the limit!” All the fireworks are professional-grade and high-quality, prepared and managed by licensed technicians, ensuring a flawless, turn-key operation that adheres to all safety regulations. Using a large assortment of products including shells, multi-shot cakes and large calibre Roman Candles, all from high-quality international manufacturers, you’ll get a personalized, brilliant display that lights up the night sky. And the climax? A customized grand finale in your own wedding colours — lasting up to 50 seconds! Why not make it a pyro-musical? Morris says, “Music can deliver specific emotions from past memories and situations, and combining them with the beauty of fireworks creates an emotional and exciting entertainment experience.”


Intercontinental New York

As many couples prepare for the “Big Day,” the InterContinental Hotels Group is proposing the Sweetheart Deal for newlywed bliss. Now through December 31, 2011, engaged couples can receive up to $850 back for booking their wedding reception at a participating Holiday Inn and honeymoon at any of IHG’s 4,400 hotels worldwide — including its newest Waikiki location. Lovebirds can receive a Prepaid Visa® card up to $750 when choosing the Sweetheart Deal wedding reception offer. But, the romance and fun don’t end there; couples can also experience an unforgettable honeymoon at any of IHG’s 4,400 hotels worldwide, such as the InterContinental® or Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts and get up to 20 percent off the room rate plus a $100 Prepaid Visa® card. The Sweetheart Deal is valid for hotel stays and wedding reception bookings through Dec. 31, 2011 and must be redeemed by Jan. 31, 2012. A copy of the marriage license and final hotel folio are required. For more information, visit

Wedding Essentials 2011


party planning





16 Wedding Essentials 2011

Celebrity event organizer and featured wedding planner on the popular reality series “SHEDDING FOR THE WEDDING,” Brian Worley has learned firsthand how quick thinking and smart solutions can avert most wedding party disasters and help make your big day foolproof.


s a wedding planner, I try hard to give every bride the fairy-tale wedding she has been dreaming of all her life, but without a crystal ball you can’t always predict what might blindside you. Of course, the show must go on and a great wedding planner can find a creative solution and sometimes even keep the bride and groom from ever knowing there was a problem at all.

While I began to work out alternate answers, the shipping company called back and said that they would receive a shipment of roses the next morning, not exactly the same variety, but similar, and they would messenger them to the hotel as soon as they could so that we could have them arranged. Of course, this is one of those stories that you just hope and pray the outcome will be positive and when it is, you can laugh about it afterward.

FLOWERS I produced a wedding in Palm Springs and the flowers were being delivered and arranged on site. We took over an entire hotel and thought that it would be easier to construct all the centrepieces and flower arrangements at the hotel. The flowers were scheduled to be delivered by FedEx the day before the wedding, so that there would be plenty of time to arrange them. As it got later and later in the day, the flowers still had not arrived. I called the shipping company and found out that the thousands of roses that were being shipped from Ecuador had a parasite and did not pass through customs. The wedding flowers were not allowed into the United States, and had been incinerated. This is where panic started to kick in, but there was no way that I was going to tell the bride that she was not going to have flowers at her wedding! In that situation, you literally start to think, should I run to every grocery store and florist in town to buy every single flower they have? Do I send my assistant back to Los Angeles to the flower mart first thing in the morning to buy every rose possible?

WEATHER Weather is always one of those wedding elements that you just cannot control. No matter how many times someone tells a bride, “Rain on your wedding day will bring good luck,” it is just a way to pacify the fact that rain on an outdoor wedding is miserable. I had a client getting married on a Saturday afternoon outside on a perfectly manicured lawn. We built a custom platform for the entire wedding party to stand on, laid down a subfloor so that the bride’s heels would not sink into the grass; we literally thought of everything to create the most beautiful ceremony ever. The weather was cooperating and we were able to get all the rental items in place the day before the wedding. Things were looking great until around 7 pm, when the dark clouds started to roll in and the chance for rain shot up to 100%. I was not at the hotel, but received a frantic call from the bride that rain was on its way and the ceremony area was going to be flooded. I advised the bride and groom to run to the hardware store and they bought giant tarps to cover the lawn to protect it from getting soaked. Literally, right after getting the tarps down, it poured cats and dogs. It was one of those torrential downpours that are rare in southern California. Lucky for us, after a good soaking, the rain left almost as fast as it had arrived, and when the tarps were removed the grass underneath wasn’t soggy. We had a back-up plan to move the wedding indoors, as you should always have if you’re not using a tent, but you never really want to use it. (The following day, the sky was crystal clear so the weather — and the wedding — was perfect.)

PRE-NUPTIALS On a number of occasions I have seen couples dealing with the dreaded pre-nup agreement. While I honestly see nothing wrong with having one, and think that if you take yourself out of the emotional equation, a prenuptial agreement is ultimately to protect everyone and really is not a question of how much someone loves you. If you really think about it, if your love is as strong as it should be to even have a wedding, then the written agreement will never rear its ugly head and all will be grand.

Somehow it seems that most couples put off the details of the prenuptial agreement until the last minute, and it becomes an emergency. Like anything, if you wait until the last minute, things get rushed and then the pressure can really set in. Especially when family is beginning to arrive, the months of planning are becoming reality and the celebration is about to start; you don’t want that moment burdened with signing something that could create disagreements and sour the day. I’ve seen it many a time when feelings get hurt, threats of cancelling the wedding are tossed around and what should be a joyous celebration starts to become a not-so-happy one. As a wedding planner, you literally become an extension to the family and, like a hairdresser, you know everything about all aspects of a wedding: the good, the bad and the ugly! You can suggest that the couple take a step back, evaluate the situation and discuss it in an objective manner. Sometimes that helps, sometimes it doesn’t, and when that is the case, I have witnessed a couple of pre-nups become post-nups. This can work if the couple can agree to set it aside and choose to enjoy their wedding day and get back to the negotiations after they are married. At least in this situation, the couple gets to enjoy their wedding and it reverts back to a joyous celebration.

Wedding Essentials 2011 17

party planning

ALCOHOL This is one of those little vices that can sometimes ruin a wedding, or at least cause some problems. Alcohol in moderation can help loosen someone up, calm nerves or just give a needed boost of confidence on a big day. The groom and groomsmen will usually hang out before the ceremony, they have a few drinks, maybe a few shots, sitting around watching the game, all dressed up in their tuxedos with nowhere to go. One drink leads to two, and so on. A wedding typically starts a little later than scheduled, so to pass the time, the guys will continue to drink and if they are not watched closely, they can get drunk ... easily.

18 Wedding Essentials 2011

Sometimes the groom needs a little shot of courage and too much can only lead to slurring words, the inability to stand straight or walk down the aisle. Groomsmen are notorious for falling down during the ceremony (usually from a combination of heat and dehydration from drinking the night before) and the Best Man has often over-imbibed and rambles endlessly during his toast to the groom, relaying the epic story of growing up together or using inside jokes that are not funny to anyone else. Do yourself a favour

and make sure there is a sober babysitter occupying the guys with video games or other activities to keep the drinking to a minimum. Don’t just blame the men, though. Brides tend to get nervous on their wedding day, and they almost never eat enough. Combine this with all of the excitement and some celebratory champagne toasts with their bridesmaids before the ceremony, and a nervous, empty stomach can create havoc — or perhaps become a very popular YouTube video. Ladies, eat something!

RSVP I am not sure when the idea that you can just show up to a wedding without sending in your RSVP became acceptable, but there is a large number of people who don’t do it these days. It is disrespectful to the bride and groom who are working hard to plan a perfect party. The sad thing is that responding is so easy because typically the RSVP card is already stamped and addressed, you just mark it yes or no!

We (the team at YourBASH, my event production company) recently did a wedding where a large percentage of guests did not RSVP and this creates a domino effect. If it is a seated dinner, then you can’t properly plan for enough tables, you can’t accurately let the caterer know how many people to feed, or tell the bartender how many drinks and bottles to estimate. This can affect your wedding budget and your costs can skyrocket. At this particular wedding we tried to gauge how many guests had not RSVP’d, so we set out four additional

tables of ten, creating 40 extra seats just in case. Lucky that we did, because all of those tables were filled with guests who showed up unannounced. Creating a seating chart is a critical part of preventing an emergency of its own because you have to take into account the past relationships of who doesn’t get along, where to sit someone so they don’t get their feelings hurt, et cetera. The seating chart is where, as a wedding planner, you really get to learn the nuts and bolts of family dynamics. Some guests (who had not RSVP’d) completely disregarded the fact that hours had been spent assigning seats, and they wanted to sit with friends at tables they were not assigned to, so there was total chaos trying to get everyone seated so that dinner could be served. Eventually we were able to get everyone seated and served, but it took an additional 30 — 45 minutes out of the reception schedule. JUST RSVP, people! You may want to designate a diplomatic bridesmaid or mother-in-law several weeks before the wedding date to phone the invited guests who haven’t responded. That way, you might be able to narrow down the number of lastminute party crashers.

“Enjoy the process and let your wedding planner do his job so that you can have the time of your life that will leave lasting memories. A wedding is a celebration, remember that! This is your wedding; it is not your mom’s or your grandmother’s, so celebrate it however you want! Break traditions, make your own traditions and have a blast!” — Brian Worley, co-owner of YourBASH ( and wedding planner on hit TV show

Wedding Essentials 2011 19

party planning

FAMILY DYNAMICS With divorces, divided families and blended families, planning a wedding can get tricky. While a wedding is a time to bring everyone together for a celebration of the couple getting married, it is shocking to me how some people are so selfish and think about themselves rather than the couple. Touchy topics include who will walk the bride down the aisle, where family members sit at dinner and the ceremony, who you ask to be in the bridal party, and who is paying for what. We’ve had family members threaten not to show up because they didn’t feel as honoured as another family member, or seen arguments break out over how many guests the parents were allowed to invite. You become a therapist when planning a wedding; you literally have to have a degree in psychology as well as organizational skills and communication to facilitate a couple getting married, diffusing family quarrels and mediating. Knowing where the trouble spots are in advance can help prevent arguments before they begin.

ENJOY THE PROCESS Lots of brides have been planning their wedding days for their entire lives. This idealized, blownout-of-proportion fantasy can, I think, poten-

20 Wedding Essentials 2011

tially become a disaster. As a wedding planner it is important to have the knowledge to impart to the bride through experience that the day goes by so quickly. I tell them don’t put your wedding on a pedestal; enjoy the entire process because the six months or year that you spend actively planning is all over in a matter of hours. I’ve had brides who are upset because the wedding is over so fast, and they didn’t eat any of the food they carefully selected because they were too busy socializing with guests to sit and eat. I tell all the brides when I first meet with them, let me do my job and you will have fun. Your experience will be different from your guests. As a bride, you are getting your hair and make-up done when your guests arrive. After the ceremony you are getting pictures taken while the guests are at cocktails. During the reception you have a limited amount of time to see everyone, to enjoy the decor, menu and flowers that you spent months picking out.

Believe in your planner; he or she will ensure your guests have a good time while you are off getting pictures taken. So instead of worrying, embrace the little moments: a laugh with your hair stylist, a hug from your mother, a private toast in your limo, a sweet kiss from your groom during the photo session. Those are the real memories because for a big portion of the day, you are hidden away from everyone until the BIG REVEAL (everyone’s favourite part!) of the bride and her dress. Most emergencies can be avoided, just be organized and prepared for anything and everything. I think that when someone says wedding emergency kit they automatically think of J-Lo in the movie The Wedding Planner with her tackle box of double-sided tape and stick pins. That type of kit is necessary, but the ability to think on your feet and to read your client and understand people is the best emergency kit you can bring to a wedding. Perception is only what you make visible, so my advice is to remain confident and what others don’t know will never hurt them! 

Unique Elegant Perfect At ClubLink, we believe that when you’re planning the happiest day of your life, you shouldn’t settle for anything less than perfection.Which may explain why so many couples have chosen to exchange their vows and host their reception at one of our 29 golf clubs located throughout the Greater Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal areas. With our attentive service and first-class cuisine, we will make sure your day is as memorable for your guests as it is for you.

Blue Springs, Acton | Caledon Woods, Bolton | Cherry Downs, Pickering | DiamondBack, Richmond Hill Eagle Creek, Dunrobin | Eagle Ridge, Georgetown | Emerald Hills, Stouffville | Glencairn, Milton | Glen Abbey, Oakville Greenhills, London | GreyHawk, Cumberland | Greystone, Milton | Hautes Plaines, Gatineau | Heron Point, Ancaster | Islesmere, Laval Kanata, Kanata | King Valley, King City | King’s Riding, King City | Le Fontainebleau, Blainville | Le Maître, Mont-Tremblant National Pines, Innisfil | RattleSnake Point, Milton | Station Creek, Gormley | The Club at Bond Head, Bond Head The Country Club,Woodbridge | The Lake Joseph Club, Port Carling | Val des Lacs, Ste-Sophie | Wyndance, Uxbridge





b r i d a l s h ow e r s • r e h e a r s a l d i n n e r s • w e d d i n g r e c e p t i o n s

products & services



STUFF DESIGN YOUR OWN RING Not ready to commit to a ring? Take your time and play with your options using’s online Diamond Eternity Ring Builder. Choose your setting, stones, cuts, and sizes to see how it looks assembled your way. Scale it bigger or smaller depending on your budget. will, for a refundable fee, even ship you a sample ring with cubic zirconia so you can really “try before you buy.”


SOAP BY THE SLICE Looking for a unique artisan favour for your bridal party or wedding guests? Essential Journeys has delicious-smelling, luxurious soaps that are hand-crafted and made with natural ingredients like aloe vera, vitamin E and real beeswax. Luscious blends of oils and fragrances are inspired by world travel, so you can smell the Caribbean breezes, the florals of an English garden, or Jasmine and Chai from India. Brides can choose Soap by the Slice to match their wedding themes. Personalize it with your own colours, shapes and scent. Brides can opt for heartshaped, round or a square slices. Minimum order required.

22 Wedding Essentials 2011

Newlyweds get caught up in the euphoria of their wedding, their honeymoon and the simple idea of spending forever in love. The Feng Shui for Love iPhone app uses ancient Chinese techniques in modern-day relationships. The app offers simple home decorating guidelines that claim to improve a couple’s love life! Bad Feng Shui can cause relationship problems, but they can be easily avoided by following some simple design guidelines in your home. Maybe improving your love life can be as easy as moving your couch!

SHAPE COLLAGE Created by a Canadian university student, Shape Collage easily allows you to take a collection of photographs and turn them into an instant eye-catching presentation. Great for a digital display on your wedding website or print it out and post it at the reception for all your guests to see – or maybe even sign! Limited free version available, but a full copy only costs $25.

HEARTS OF GLASS For your bridesmaids, go beyond the simple necklace or stud earrings and thank your closest friends with these Annieglass frosted plates in lively designs of the Iris, Dandelion or Birdie Heart. Great for around the table or around the house, your favourite ladies can use them to serve chocolates, set a candle or keep their everyday jewellery. Individually priced at $44. Available at Kitchen Art and William Ashley.


OVER THE MOON The handsome man you’ll be meeting at the altar shouldn’t be late. As a thoughtful gift, why not give him a watch that’s as attractive and elegant as he is? The Maestro Moonphase is the newest piece from Raymond Weil; it’s designed with an alligator-style black leather strap, date counter, roman numerals and a black dial beautifully decorated with an unusual moon phase indicator. Now he’ll know which nights he’s at risk of turning into a sexy werewolf. Priced at $2,500. Available at Berani Jewellers and l’Oro Jewellers.

These splendid Confetti Flowers imported from Sulmona, Italy are made by hand for special occasions such as engagements, weddings and anniversaries. Traditionally plain almonds in a candy shell (called bomboniere or confetti), these modern updates have chocolate inside the candy exterior. Each flower petal candy is individually wrapped in coloured cellophane and crafted to become a beautiful flower. The flowers have many uses; as an accent to the place-setting, as a place-card holder with a name tag, as a decoration for your sweets table or as part of your table centrepiece with enough individual stems to give to guests as favours. Alone or bunched together, they are different and lovely. Available at Dolce & Gourmando, Toronto, (416) 915-8840 and online.

Wedding Essentials 2011 23





Phone #




Phone #

Boaden Catering Ltd.



Dee Dee Jays Disc Jockeys





DEG - DiPrincipe Entertainment Group Inc





Town Crier





Phone #




Phone #


Chair Covers Plus





Pampered Chef

Pepperwood Catering & Special Events





Phone #


Chair Covers Plus



Rustic Vine, The



To Suit Your Fancy





Westdale Florist



Damiani Jewellers Vino Winemaker


Phone #







Cipriano Palmer Photography



Empire Group Photography



Floating Landscape Studio, The



Focus Studios



Lightning Ridge Photography





Phone #


Arcadian Court



Beverly Golf & Country Club



Burlington Art Center



Caledon Estates Banquet Halls



ClubLink Corporation



Deer Creek Golf & Banquet Facility



Ellas Hospitality Centre





Phone #


Golden Lion Banquet Hall



Parkers Custom Clothing



Grand Victorian Convention Center



King's Garden Banquet Hall



Le Jardin



Lionhead Golf & Country Club



Old Barber House



Old Springer House



Paradise Banquet & Convention Center





Phone #

Ivy Secret Studio





Julia's Bridal Fashion Studio Sposa

Tuxedo Royale

Veronica DiSanto Atelier




79 3 9



Phone #


Grand Hotel & Suites



Hilton Garden Inn Toronto Airport



Radisson Admiral



Bond Place Hotel



Hilton Garden Inn Toronto/Ajax



Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts

905-787-8471 x224


Royal Botanical Gardens

905-527-1158 x230


Seventh Heaven Hospitality Group



St. George's Golf & Country Club








Phone #


Cakes by Tanya



Hockley Valley Resort




Radisson Plaza Hotel





Phone #


Waterside Inn



Canadian Cancer Society



Windsor Arms Hotel



Ontario Trillium Foundation - Gift of Life

World Society for the Protection of Animals







Phone #



Ivy Secret Studio





Phone #


Shear Heaven Salon & Day Spa



Alliston Bridal Show



Area Productions



Barrie Bridal Show





Phone #


I Travel 2000






Transat Holidays





Phone #


Your Occasion



24 Wedding Essentials 2011

Brides Survival Guide

Canada's Bridal Show



National Bridal Show



Panache Canada



Toronto Bridal show



York Region Bridal Show




Charlene & Jeff

a real-life wedding


Photos by Jenn Stark Photographers


OMETIMES LOVE STRIKES SUDDENLY, like a lightning bolt out of the clear blue sky. Just as often, however, it can be a slow burn and feel like a warm blanket you’ve had all your life. Such is the case with Charlene and Jeff Massier, originally from Parry Sound and now residing in Ottawa. Almost literally the girl-next-door, Charlene grew up living five houses down from Jeff, so the two have known each other nearly their entire lives, since elementary school. Charlene is quick to point out that since Jeff is slightly older than her (by two years) they didn’t really hang out much together until after high school.

26 Wedding Essentials 2011

For us, getting married was nothing scary. We had talked and fantasized about it for years and couldn’t wait to make it official! Charlene explains how the stars finally aligned for them. “One night, Jeff came to a party at my house. It wasn’t long before we started really talking, and going out for coffee. We would drive to the ‘big city’ for concerts. We both grew up on rock-and-roll and fell in love listening to rock/punk/ska/rockabilly in our early 20s. We used to go to every concert we could afford! Our relationship developed naturally from there.” The committed couple moved to Ottawa to pursue work, he at Guthrie Construction and she as a research facilitator at the University of Ottawa. After dating for seven years and residing together for four of them, Jeff and Charlene knew they wanted to be married. Explains Charlene, “We share EVERYTHING already — a house, two cars, two dogs; and we’ve been waiting for my school to be finished before getting married.” As Charlene was a few months from finishing, they decided it was a good time to start planning a wedding! “For us, getting married was nothing scary or different. We had talked and fantasized about it for years and couldn’t wait to make it official.”

THE RING Charlene accompanied Jeff on his ring shopping, and the hard part was finding one that would fit comfortably under her lab gloves. After a month of looking in 15 different stores, they found “the perfect ring” at People’s in Ottawa. A brilliant, round cut white diamond solitaire in white gold, it is complemented by Charlene’s channel wedding band with alternating round and rectangular diamonds.

THE PROPOSAL With the rings chosen, and enough money saved for a wedding party, Charlene challenged Jeff to try and surprise her with a proposal. And it seems he did! “He waited a few weeks and then one day when I came home from work, he asked me to grab the mail. I was surprised to find a hand-made wedding invitation inviting me to OUR wedding, mixed in with a bunch of junk mail and bills. I happily accepted his invitation and he presented me with the ring!” Charlene recalls. “We immediately drove five hours home (Ottawa to Parry Sound) to tell our parents.”

Wedding Essentials 2011 27

a real-life wedding

THE THEME Not fitting the traditional mould of a romantic couple, with Jeff even going so far as to describe their personalities as “friendly rattle snakes,” they knew they wanted to a have a wedding reception that wasn’t typical. Charlene agrees, saying, “We’re probably one of the least lovey-dovey couples when it comes to public displays of affection. We’re best friends and tell each other ‘I love you’ about ten times a day, but we feel silly holding hands in front of our friends, maybe because we’ve grown up together.” Admittedly a “small-town girl,” Charlene wanted that feeling to be reflected in their wedding. “I wanted to get married in September, which means back to school (ugh) and country fairs (YAY!). The performance hall we chose may have been better suited to an old-Hollywood or theatrethemed wedding ... but that had been done, and I was SET on the country fair idea.” To reflect their vision of a fairground, Jeff and Charlene arranged for real bales of hay on site, had a fun photo booth with goofy stuff to wear like cowboy hats, clown noses, and red feather boas. Jeff says, “One of the things I love most about Charlene is her sense of humour. She’s always able to make me laugh, no matter what my mood is. So we wanted to make sure our wedding would be a really fun party for all our family and friends.” The venue was decorated with sweetheart roses in Mason jars, candles, and they hung lots of festive pennant flags in their chosen wedding colours, bright fire-engine red and Tiffany-blue. Charlene exclaims, “I could never, ever have done this without my mom! She cut and sewed and strung the 400+ flags that hung over the venue. She did so much for us, she’s absolutely incredible.”

28 Wedding Essentials 2011

I was surprised to find a handmade wedding invitation inviting me to OUR wedding, mixed in with a bunch of junk mail and bills.

THE DRESS Charlene wore an Ella Rose limited edition in diamond white. Strapless with a ruched bodice, gathered skirt and cathedral train, it was relaxed enough to suit the bride’s style yet elegant enough to fit the special occasion. Her bouquet by Schakel’s Greenhouse, (905) 775-2584, featured bold red roses, Gerbera daisies, carnations and berries. Charlene accessorized with a leaf-and-vine bracelet with crystal accents, and crystal, double-teardrop earrings. A simple floral barrette graced her braided hair. Charlene alternately sported footwear that ranged from the ultra-sexy bright red satin, rose-adorned, peep-toe, four-inch heels (“Painful!” she admits), to cowboy-style boots for kicking around the barn during the photo shoot. Meanwhile, Jeff and the groomsmen were all very comfortable in their red Converse chucks!

Wedding Essentials 2011 29

a real-life wedding

THE FOOD The Country Fair theme meant casual dining. Catered by the Log Cabin Inn, in Parry Sound ( they started with homemade bread and a fresh garden salad with a lemon vinaigrette. The entrée was chicken stuffed with asparagus and brie, served with a double-stuffed baked potato and seasonally fresh corn on the cob. Dessert was classic: deep-dish apple-crumble pie and French vanilla ice cream. “The food was delicious and the servings were huge so everyone was stuffed,” Jeff recalls. Next came over 100 cherry chip cupcakes –baked the night before by Charlene’s mom! — with French vanilla icing and a cherry on top. Adds Charlene, “And after a whole lot of dancing, some people even had room left for the Wendy’s special ‘build your own burger’ midnight buffet!”

THE MUSIC Since the couple enjoys live music, they knew it was a must for their reception. Jeff notes, “The band we hired — Michael Granka — was amazing! They played the entire night (except for some ‘80s dance music interludes) and after the wedding, they kept playing! We found out the next day that they stayed and jammed most of the night because they love playing together.”

30 Wedding Essentials 2010

THE UNEXPECTED Every wedding has a mishap or two. Explains Charlene, “The day before, we saw the sleeves of the men’s tuxes were six inches too short. It was terrible! We had to go back and forth to Barrie (about an hour’s drive) to get them fixed. In the end the guys looked great, but it was certainly more stressful than it needed to be.” And in a strange coincidence, some of the bridesmaids’ dresses showed up about six inches shorter than anticipated as well! “The girls tried to have them tailored, but in the end had to be extra careful about dance moves involving twisting and shouting,” laughs Jeff. As the couple enjoyed their wonderful day filled with friends and family, they realized they hadn’t written a speech. Jeff says, “We ended up leaving it ‘til the last second, and wrote it on the back of our place cards!” During the whole day, Charlene confesses that only one thing made her nervous. What was it? She laughs as she admits that, “The scary part was trying not to cry at the ceremony!”

THE NEXT STEP After settling into a cozy married life, Charlene and Jeff are thrilled to be looking for a new home, one that can accommodate their growing needs better. In a follow-up conversation, Charlene lets it slip that she is pregnant … “and we’re having TWINS! We are super excited!” Wedding Essentials wishes them all the best in their new role as parents. 

One of the things I love most about Charlene is her sense of humour. She’s always able to make me laugh, no matter what my mood is. Wedding Essentials 2011 31

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. Arcadian Court Best Western Hotel & Conference Center Boaden Banquet Centre Boulevard Club Caledon Estates Banquet Halls Capitol Event Theatre Cardinal Golf Club Casa-Dea Estates Winery Cerise Fine Catering at the Allstream Centre Chateau Le Jardin Conference & Event Venue Club at Bond Head, The Copper Creek Golf Club Country Club, The Cranberry Golf Resort Deer Creek Golf & Banquet Facility Delta Chelsea Hotel Dinardo's Presents The Mansion Eganridge Inn and Spa Ellas Banquet Hall and Hospitality Centre Emerald Hills Golf Club Four Points by Sheridan Mississauga Glencairn Golf Club Golden Lion Banquet Hall Grand Hotel & Suites Toronto, The Grand Victorian Convention Centre Greystone Golf Club Hilton Garden Inn Toronto Airport Hilton Garden Inn Toronto/Ajax Hockley Valley Resort Holiday Inn, St. Catharines/Niagara Holiday Inn & Suites Parkway Conference Center King Valley Golf Club King's Garden and Golden Lion Banquet Halls King's Riding Golf Club Lionhead Golf & Country Club Mississauga Convention Centre Monte Carlo Inn - Airport Suites Monte Carlo Inn - Barrie Suites Monte Carlo Inn - Brampton Suites Monte Carlo Inn - Markham Suites Monte Carlo Inn - Oakville Suites Monte Carlo Inn - Vaughan Suites Montecassino Hotel and Event Venue Nobleton Lakes Golf Club Old Barber House Restaurant On the Park Events & Catering One King West Hotel & Residence One99 Restaurant and Tralee Wedding Facility Paradise Banquet Halls Parkway Convention Centre Pearson Convention Centre Pepperwood Catering & Special Events Qssis Banquet Halls RattleSnake Point Golf Club Renaissance by the Creek Richmond Hill Centre For The Performing Arts Royal Botanical Gardens Seventh Heaven Hospitality Group St. George's Golf and Country Club Station Creek Golf Club The McNeil Room at Whistler's Waterside Inn Westin Bristol Place Toronto Airport Willow Springs Winery Windsor Arms Hotel Wooden Sticks Golf Club









416-861-6138 905-704-3879 905-276-1161 416-532-3341 ext.276 905-880-8781 905-851-2200 905-841-7378 ext.226 613-399-3939 416-263-3514 905-851-2200 905-778-9400 ext.238 905-893-3370 ext.202 905-856-4317 905-445-6600 ext.251 866-661-6617 416-585-4340 905-841-3737 888-452-5111 416-694-1194 905-888-1100 416-895-3366 905-876-3666 416-252-3456 416-863-9000 ext.4105 647-990-8468 905-875-3808 416-895-3366 905-686-9400 ext.5073 866-462-5539 ext.5139 905-704-3874 905-704-5666 905-841-9262 416-252-3456 905-713-6875 905-455-8816 905-564-1920 905-564-8500 ext.5305 888-734-0070 905-453-5200 ext.5402 905-513-3907 905-849-9500 ext.232 905-761-7170 ext.2202 416-630-8100 ext.558 905-859-4080 ext.223 908-858-7570 416-510-2002 416 548 8128 519-940-3108 416-661-6612 905-704-5664 905-494-0444 ext.108 905-632-7096 416-265-3030 905-878-6222 905-238-9666 905-787-8471 ext.224 905-527-1158 ext.232 416-340-7753 416-231-3393 ext.272 905-888-1219 416-421-1344 905-891-7770 ext.7107 416-675-9444 ext.513 905-642-9463 416-971-9666 905-852-4379

100-500 0-120 50-500 80-250 50-280 25-1100 40-200 50-200 200-3800 30 - 1300 100-300 30-500 15-200 30-220 40-550 50-400 80-500 2-140 50-1500 24-225 10-100 15-225 100-200 10-200 1 to 600 30-125 10-180 50-136 20-400 Up to 120 0-1200 50-220 50-300 24-160 80-300 50-1800 10-100 Up to 120 20-110 Up to 70 Up to 60 25-85 20-900 20-250 20-150 20-600 120-200 80-300 25-1500 Up to 2000 10-2000 Up to 300 20 - 350 40-320 50-1200 1-631 20-350 10-10000 10-180 15-225 50-250 10-250 25-450 50-100 Up to 200 20-180

$110-140 $69.99-89.99 $50-100 $95-130 $70-120 $79-169 $82-96 $65-150 $60-200 $75.00-160.00 $100-150 $120-190 $85-160 $46-85 $83-136 $110-155 $110-135

57 111

85 21 21 83

128 21 21 12 IBC 21 33 47 IFC

21 12 21 25



10 21 89 11 35 43 21 96


SPECIAL MENUS Ca - Caribbean Ch - Chinese F – French G – Greek H – Halal In – Indian

32 Wedding Essentials 2011

$85-160 $85-95 $85-160 $35-100 $115-130 $98-178 $85-160 $60-150 $80-100 $90-150 $20-100 $70-100 $85-160 30-110 $85-160 $75-112 $45-120 $40-120 $40-120 $40-120 $40-120 $40-120 $40-120 $60-105 $80-100 $60-100 $110-140 $130-170 $99-135 NA $20-150 $40-120+ $55-135 $30-100 $85-160 $50-110 $20-1000 $49.95+ $75-150 $99-140 $85-160 $25-34 $99-200 $95-115 $30-150 $115+ $70-140

It – Italian J – Jamaican K – Kosher P – Portuguese V – Vegan O - Other




Ca Ch F G H In It Ja P V * * * * *

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

* * * *

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

* * * *

G H In It P V In It O H In In It O F G H It P V Other


Ca F G H In It P V In It O Ca G H IN IT V Ca Ch F G H In It Ja K P V all G It V, O Ch G It Ja In It O F G H It P Pol EE V In It O H In Ca Ch F G H In It Ja P V Ch It It It V Ch It V It F G It K P V Ca Ch F G H In It Ja K P V O ABCFHJMNOPRU ABFJOP Ca G In It Ca Ch F G H In It Ja P V F It V O Ca Ch F G H In It Ja K P V G It Ja V O Ca Ch G H In It Ja K P V In It V Ca F G H It P V In It O Ca Ch F G H In It Ja P V Ca Ch F G H In It Ja K P V F G It K P V It P Other In It O

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


* * * * * * *

* * *

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

* * * *


* * * *

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


* *

* * * *

* * * * *


* *


Dinner wine Champagne toast Chair covers Disc jockey Wedding cake Hors d’oeuvres Bridal suite Gift for couple Late-night buffet

J. Non-alcoholic punch K. Limousine L. Engagement photo M. Chocolate fountain N. Sweet table O. Limited bar included P. Tasting for two Q. Valet parking for two R. Late night coffee/tea





S. Wine and fruit for bridal suite T. Breakfast U. In-house wedding co-ordinator V. Wedding invitations W. Centrepieces


Region (see map) Number of guests Price range per person


Outdoor party area Ceremony on site

Everything you need… from reception facilities and great menu selections to new and stylish guestrooms… can be found within our bright and inviting venues. Professional staff to attend to your needs, wedding packages, group room discounts and facilities to accommodate bridal showers, rehearsal parties, wedding receptions and any other functions connected with your wedding event. Contact our Wedding Planner, and we’ll take care of the details so you can focus on enjoying – not worrying over – your big day! Hilton Garden Inn Toronto Airport Minutes from the Toronto Airport, and built “green from the ground up” with 224 guestrooms (including suites), a 3200 sq ft ballroom that accommodates up to 220 guests and a full-service restaurant with a private dining room for up to 50 people. Green Wedding Packages available.

Radisson Admiral Harbourfront An intimate, boutique style hotel offering dramatic views of Lake Ontario. Host your ceremony by the south pool patio overlooking a stunning back drop and then cascade down to the Admiral Ballroom which can accommodate up to 220 guests.

Bond Place Hotel Located in the heart of downtown Toronto at Yonge and Dundas Square, we’re perfectly situated to create a memorable stay for your local and out of town guests. Offering 285 guestrooms and reception space for upto 200 guests.

3311 Caroga Drive Mississauga, ON L4V 1A3

249 Queen’s Quay West Toronto, ON M5J 2N5

Jennifer Angus, Regional Sales Manager


416 895 3366

65 Dundas Street East Toronto, ON M5B 2G8 Q

FP { dresses

Fashion Passion What bride isn’t excited at the thought of stepping into yards of ivory silk and seeing a version of herself that she has long imagined? So much emotion is invested in choosing a wedding dress that the right one is often greeted by tears. Here’s how several Ontario women transformed themselves into a princess for a day.

Courtney BRIDE: Courtney Lester GOWN: Demetrois from Bridal House, Newmarket. PHOTO: | (705) 735-9839

34 Wedding Essentials 2011


BRIDE: Mary Adelson GOWN: Maggie Sottero (Caprice) PHOTO: Cipriano Palmer Photography | | (416) 450-0274

Wedding Essentials 2011 35



BRIDE: Danica Wong GOWN: Cynthia's Dressmaking, Markham PHOTO: Green Gecko Photography | | (905) 265-0009

36 Wedding Essentials 2011


a in

dazzling event

craftmanship with


culinary engineering




Garden & SignatureWedding Specialists W W W. E V E N TC AT E R I N G .C A 41 6 3 4 0 7 75 3


Liz 38 Wedding Essentials 2011

BRIDE: Liz DiMarco GOWN: Jacquelin Bridal from Balletts Bridal, Woodbridge PHOTO:




Built in 1862, The Old Barber House brings together the old and the new to create the perfect setting for your wedding. We specialize in intimate weddings of up to 150 people. The Old Barber House brings a new passion and are to wedding cuisine with packages to suit every budget. Our experienced Old Barber House consultants will assist you in hosting the wedding of your dreams. 5155 Mississauga Road, Mississauga, ON L5M 2L9





Experience the ďŹ nest in contemporary weddings amidst the splendor and serenity of old-world charm. The Old Springer House provides 4.5 acres of manicured grounds, giving you the perfect backdrop for your wedding day. The Old Springer House can provide everything needed to make your wedding a success, including on-site ceremonies, beautiful scenery for picture taking and delectable wedding feasts. The best part is that you will have exclusive use of the facility. Your wedding will be the focus, ensuring a romantic, peaceful atmosphere and topnotch service. The Old Springer House caters to indoor and outdoor weddings from 50 to 250 people. Call our wedding consultants to begin planning your special day.

2373 Dundas Street, Burlington, ON L7R 3X4




BRIDE: Rachel Cicchetti GOWN: La Sposa from Becker's Bridal, Woodbridge. PHOTO: Green Gecko Photography

40 Wedding Essentials 2011

3ȨțȐѼɚ Ǽ

  ɑȐȐɽȔ Weddings Are Free – The Memories Are Priceless When you’re in love, it doesn’t matter where you are as long as you’re together. But imagine what it’d be like to be together in love, in paradise. Hide away in a hammock for two on some of the world’s best beaches, or indulge in everything you’ve ever dreamed of.

Jamaica . Bahamas . Curacao Brazil . Panama . Cuba

Call us at 1.866.WOW DEAL Earn and Redeem PETRO POINTS™ Exclusively at 2350 Matheson Blvd. East Mississauga, ON, Canada L4W 5G9 · Mon-Fri: 7AM - Midnight · Sat-Sun: 8:30AM - 8PM · TICO Reg. No. 50007916 ™ Trademark of Petro Canada. Used under liscence.



BRIDE: Denise Schultz GOWN: Jasmine PHOTO:


BRIDE: Ivona Mueller GOWN: San Patrick (Esmirna) from Mona Ritchie PHOTO: Blue Monkey Pictures Inc. |

42 Wedding Essentials 2011

Our historic 1920’s clubhouse marries old world charm, romantic intimacy and modern upgrades, setting the stage for an event you will cherish always. Celebrate with your guests amidst panoramic views of our award winning golf course and the Toronto cityscape. Host to the 2010 RBC Canadian Open, you can count on our reputation of trusted professionalism and flawless execution to help bring your vision to life. The St. George’s Experience guarantees only quality service, market fresh ingredients and meticulous attention to detail. Contact our Catering Coordinator to tour our facilities. • Weddings for up to 180 guests • Engagement Parties

St. George’s Golf and Country Club 1668 Islington Avenue, Etobicoke, Ontario M9A 3M9


• Bridal Showers • Rehearsal Dinners


44 Wedding Essentials 2011


BRIDE: Michelle McCoubrey GOWN: Maggie Sottero, Bridal & Beyond, Toronto PHOTO: Cipriano Palmer Photography

Wedding Essentials 2011 45



BRIDE: Sue Iannuzzi GOWN: Pronovia PHOTO:

46 Wedding Essentials 2011

When Tomorrow’s a Big Day Stay HGI Tonight Planning for your wedding couldn’t be easier. Contact our planner, and we’ll take care of the details so you can focus on enjoying, not worrying over your big day. ~ Everything you need … with over 2,000 square feet of banquet space and a large variety of menu selections can be found within our bright, inviting exterior. ~ We also specialize in accommodating wedding parties, spoiling everyone on your list with spacious rooms, beautifully landscaped grounds and stress-relieving swimming & fitness facilities. ~ Everyone in your party can also be conveniently booked through our Personalized Online Group program

500 Beck Crescent Tel: 905-686-9400 Ajax, Ontario L1Z 1C9 Fax: 905-686-9468 • Email:


It may not be your fault. Brides the world over have been told that this is the most important day of your life! Loving friends and family have fostered the beastly idea that you should have everything your way and then wonder why a perfectly sane woman has mutated into a flowerfrenzied, tulle-tearing monster.

48 Wedding Essentials 2011

DON’T be a



es, planning a wedding is an emotional, and occasionally frustrating, experience. The pressure is on, the clock is ticking, and you are being bombarded with a billion decisions. This does not give you license to throw temper tantrums befitting a petulant three-year-old. Your wedding day is a party to celebrate the union of a man and a woman. It is also the union of two families and the creation of a brand new one. It is a momentous event for you of course, but also for many others who love you. Don’t let your angry outbursts ruin the beginning of these important new relationships that will last the rest of your life. As much as you hope your wedding day embodies that fairy-tale dream come true, what will truly make it a beautiful, memorable event is the joy and love you and your groom will feel from family and friends. You can make that happen by taking other people’s feelings into consideration. Do not think it is acceptable to scream at your mother over trivial disagreements. The damage to your relationship will last far longer than the invitations you were fighting


over. It’s a big day for her too, and you can strengthen your bond by showing her you love her no matter how many times you clash over minor details. A deep breath, a hug and a sense of humour will get you through those tricky moments and remind you how lucky you are to have your mom with you on your wedding day. You won’t make life easier for yourself or your new husband by digging in your heels in a showdown with his mother, either. You’ll earn a reputation for being difficult (never mind that she is, too) and your groom will suddenly feel the need to take sides — or the urge to run away from you both.

BE TACTFUL When you disagree over wedding details, try and remember the big picture. Give your opinions with tact and respect, and your future mother-in-law will see you as easy-going and charming. If she pushes the salmon as a better choice than steak and you really don’t agree, it’s better not to argue over it. Acknowledge that she has a point and you’ll consider it. (Then call the caterer later and order what

you think is best.) Otherwise, she’ll wonder if you are always so stubborn, and worry that her dear son will be henpecked. Brides who are feeling their power can sometimes overstep boundaries with friends. Asking your bridesmaids to run endless errands and perform menial chores that are outside the standard duties of a wedding party member can seriously harm the oldest of friendships. Of course your attendants want to help, but they are not indentured servants and don’t have to do your bidding. Behave yourself.

FROM BRIDE TO BRIDEZILLA Wedding planners say they’ve seen the nicest women transform into hysterical bridezillas over the smallest details. One bride reportedly had a hissy fit when her father wouldn’t wear square-toed shoes. Another flipped out on her fiancé because he didn’t put the stamps on the envelopes straight enough. Another insisted her maid of honour skip her graduation for the wedding. This kind of behaviour makes you wonder if these women are ready for marriage.

Wedding Essentials 2011 49

It’s Not a Party for One The wedding is a celebration of you and your love, but remember that you want a party everyone can enjoy! A little consideration now will make for a happy reception later. • Busy guests are happy guests. Give each member of your party a specific task. Groomsmen tend to clump together at a reception. Ask them to please mingle with guests other than the bridesmaids. Having them dance with different partners will mix up the ages on the dance floor and create a party atmosphere. • Bridesmaids can circulate through the tables, handing out slips of pretty paper and pens. Have them ask each guest to write their wish or tip for a happy marriage together. Collect them later and you will have successfully created a keepsake for yourself, made your bridesmaids feel useful, and your guests feel included. • Children and younger guests are often overlooked and then create chaos. Bring them together at a craft table to draw pictures (of the bride and groom) or enjoy some other clean activity. Let them have a short dance-off during the party to showcase their cool moves. The deejay can easily run this for you and even provide a few inexpensive prizes for winners if you discuss it in advance. • Ask family members to introduce themselves to your friends or other people they haven’t met. When you let them know they are doing you a favour by mingling, they have a sense of purpose and often end up enjoying themselves more because of it. • By thinking ahead of ways to keep your guests busy, you will dramatically increase the odds that your reception will be a hit.

50 Wedding Essentials 2011

Antonella Cerminara, of Your Day Made Simple, has been a certified wedding planner for several years. She recalls one memorable bride who nearly became a monster. “The bride got angry and threatened not to give her in-laws any photos because they were so tired, and didn’t want to take any more pictures. I had to gently step in to convince the in-laws to take a few more photos and then we wrapped up the session.” The same bride had acted out earlier as well. Thinking her bouquet flowers were dying (they weren’t), she cried so much the makeup artist had to re-do her makeup three times. Afterwards, Cerminara says the bride realized how silly it was for her to get so upset. Carol Rame, of Carol Rame Weddings & Special Events in Hamilton, agrees brides sometimes buckle under the stress. “It’s understandable to want to blow off a little steam. Just be sure not to offend — or injure — anybody in the process.” Rame has witnessed a bride so upset that her hair wasn’t turning out well that she threw a sandwich clear across the room. At least she didn’t throw it at her stylist.

TAKE THE PRESSURE OFF Is the pressure making you feel a little Bride of Chucky yourself? How best to cope with your wedding stress? A wedding planner can certainly help take some of the weight off your shoulders by giving you solid advice about many decisions. Maintaining your health at this demanding time is important; getting enough sleep, daily exercise, eating balanced meals, as well as restricting your sugar, caffeine and alcohol intake are all tried-and-true methods to curb bridal anxiety. Calming techniques like proper breathing, meditation and yoga can help clear your mind. It’s important to see things in perspective. There is a whole world outside your wedding bubble — get out there and enjoy it. Make time for fun activities that are unrelated to the engagement and wedding. Connect with your sweetheart and do some activities you both enjoyed when you were first dating. Young couples often try to do it all. Relax. Don’t add extra stress by thinking you have to make huge changes.



You’re headed for a meltdown if you attempt to plan a big wedding and a honeymoon while also shopping for a new home. If the wedding planning is all you can handle, then postpone the honeymoon until you are both ready. Get settled as husband and wife for a few weeks after your wedding and then plan a honeymoon, if that makes life simpler. You can happily make a little love nest for two in your small apartment until you are both calm and rested enough to do some serious home-hunting.

MAKE ALLIES, NOT ENEMIES Break the selfish spell. Stop yourself before you “go bridal.” Help is closer than you think. Your mother and mother-in-law can be your best assets or worst nightmares. It’s up to you to decide the future of these partnerships.

The key to making allies is in showing them they are valued and useful. Ask for opinions and advice, even if you don’t take it. Give them either/or decisions to make for you. If you love both tulips and lilies, ask your mother to please pick which you should have for your bouquet. Great choice, Mom! Take your mother-in-law shopping for wedding cakes and let her pick either the chocolate cream or the red velvet. I totally agree with you! Since her son will be wearing one, let her come shopping to see the men’s tuxedos. Ask her what she likes. (You don’t have to make the final decision right away.) She’ll feel involved and pleased that you asked her opinion. That’s all most moms and mother-in-laws really want. The smart bride will embrace the women in her life, not push them away. Grooms are people, too. Has your beloved stepped back and said he’s happy with anything you decide? Don’t believe him. What he means is that he’d rather hold his tongue than fight with you. Give him some choices to make that aren’t essential to your permanent happiness. (The either/or trick works great with men, too.) Hint: if you want his opinion, be prepared to accept it. If you ask him to select the groomsmen’s tie colour and he picks polka-dots, then polkadots it shall be. End of discussion.

KEEP YOUR SENSE OF HUMOUR The best wedding memories often come from things going awry. Do people remember the wedding that went off without a hitch? Not as much as they remember the ones where the priest dropped the rings, the best man fainted, or the flower girl had the hiccups the entire time. Later, those little glitches will be remembered with fondness. Brides who are relaxed enough to take wedding mishaps in stride can laugh about their weddings, and your guests will certainly remember your wedding best — and you’ll have great stories to tell your grandkids. Your big day is just that. One day. Brides can forget they are laying the foundation for a new life, and when you are looking back after 20 years of marriage, will it really matter that the linen napkins didn’t exactly match the centrepieces? How you behave now will affect the rest of your life. You are planting the seeds of goodwill and respect that will either flourish or poison your family relationships. Show them you are grace under pressure, and handle little issues with poise. 

Wedding Essentials 2011 51

fast facts

On the steps of




GET YOUR PAPERS IN ORDER — The key to the whole process is the “Marriage License.” With it, you’re as good as hitched. Without it, you’re just a good-looking couple, all dressed up with nowhere to go. Most municipalities have websites where the marriage license applications are available for download. Submission is usually done in person — you and the groom — at the “Registry Services Office” in your city. Marriage licenses can cost around $100 — $150 depending on your municipality. YOU’LL NEED ID — The “Marriage License” is only part of the required documentation. You’ll also need to prove you are who you say you are. Valid and current birth certificates, passports and driver’s licenses are the usual fare. Check with your local office to see what they will accept.

2 3

MAKE SURE THEY’RE OPEN — Government holidays have a knack for coinciding with your free time. Save yourself a lot of grief and check with the Registry Services Office. Not once. But twice. And in person if possible.

52 Wedding Essentials 2011


Without a doubt, there are more choices than ever before when it comes to ways to get married and the places to do it. That’s just what an overwhelmed bride wants to hear: more choices and more decisions to make! But the good news is that some choices are much easier than others and if you want to get married at City Hall, it’s become as straightforward and stress-free as it can get. Whether you’re trying to avoid inviting too many distant relatives or if you’re just on a budget saving your money for that romantic, tropical getaway, the steps of City Hall has something for everyone. But being prepared is the secret to your success and here are a few quick steps to save you time, money and disappointment.

4 5

ADULTS ONLY — Both partners have to be at least 18 years old to get married without parental consent. If you’re 16 or 17 you’re going to need parental consent but if that’s the case, there’s more going on in your life than we can address here. GET A ROOM — So now you’ve got your marriage license, it’s time to reserve your spot. While some people may prefer to head north to the cottage for a private ceremony, you may prefer the energy and atmosphere of a downtown wedding. Most municipalities offer some kind of chapel or private facilities to host your nuptials. The City of Toronto, for example, has “The City Hall Wedding Chambers,” a warm and intimate space suitable for about 30 people that they rent out for approximately $113 plus HST per half hour.

WHO’S IN CHARGE? — It may sound obvious but don’t forget to book your priest, minister, ship’s captain, or other legally recognized presiding official to do the actual marrying part. Nothing says “amateur” more than a bride, her groom and 30 guests standing around City Hall with no one to marry them.



I SAW EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENED — In addition to an official to actually marry you, you’re going to need a minimum of two witnesses to say the whole thing really happened. You may be able to capture every magic moment on your camcorder but legally you need signatures from witnesses to prove that it was you who actually got married.

8 9 10

WATCH WHERE YOU’RE THROWING THAT — Most municipalities forbid the throwing of confetti, bomboniere or rice. This is in addition to the longer list that includes knives, cats and off-handed remarks. A TOAST! — Alcohol is strictly forbidden in most City Hall marriage chambers and on city property. Ironic, really, since it was probably alcohol that got you engaged in the first place. (We’re kidding. Mostly.) HUM IF YOU DON’T KNOW THE WORDS — Most city facilities are equipped with a sound system that will let you play music CDs, MP3s, or even hook-up your iPod. Keep your playlist short, sweet and all about the wedding. Kanye West’s Golddigger may be your idea of a wedding march but it might not be suitable for the wedding chambers. 


$300 JOY

Weddings Away Three simple and straightforward Exclusive Wedding Packages, each one including the essentials for a ceremony and reception at some of our most popular resort destinations including Aruba, Dominican Republic and Mexico!

p ckage ng pa ing Our basic weddin he essentials for a contains all the

all wedding ea de carefree, id d resorts. at selected



This is the ideal pack kag age ag e fo for co cou upl p ple les es seeking the ultim ma ate te roman

wedding at des estitina natition on,, while


keeping it simple le and d affo ff rd rda dab abl ble e..

10 great reasons to have a resort wedding 1. Romantic ceremony in a tropical setting 2. Celebrate all week long, not just one day 3. Resort weddings cost less than traditional weddings 4. A great family vacation tops off the celebration of a lifetime 5. Experience a new culture

6. Gorgeous and exotic photos 7. Your honeymoon starts right then and there 8. Huge variety of activities and services for the wedding guests 9. Peace of mind. Someone else handles the details 10. Most popular wedding resorts available through Transat Holidays



ess pllle u up ou co orr c ned ffo gn essiig is de This package oviding ake a splash, pr for who wish to m es ess and advantag ce rvic top of the line se their guests. themselves and

*Based on a minimum of 12 guests arriving/departing on the same flight, same day, same gateway Southbound and Northbound. Wedding packages must be purchased as a supplement to a Transat Holidays vacation package including flights and accommodation for a minimum of 12 passengers. Wedding groups of more than 24 passengers will incur an additional $10 per guest surcharge, except for Euphoria package where an additional $20 per guest surcharge applies. Introductory rates, subject to change without notice. Prices are in Canadian dollars and are subject to change without notice. Upgrades and additional inclusions are available and can be purchased directly with the chosen hotel. Wedding packages do not include cost of legal fees and documentation; for details, clients must contact their chosen hotel and destination. Current Transat Holidays brochure Terms & Conditions apply. Flights from Toronto via Air Transat, Canjet or Skyservice. Prices shown are per person based on double occupancy in lead room category. Space & prices are subject to availability at time of booking and subject to change without notice. Taxes are extra and noted above. For complete details and terms and conditions refer to the 2009-2010 Sun brochure. Transat Holidays is registered as a travel wholesaler in Ontario (reg #50009486) with office at 191 The West Mall, Suite 800 Etobicoke, ON M9C 5K8.

For more information visit us at,

The smarter way to plan your wedding or honeymoon Toronto


Toll Free


health & fitness





hen you envision yourself walking down that petal-strewn aisle as the music plays, you know that all eyes will be on you. Does that make you happily excited or sick-to-your-stomach nervous? A bride wants to look and feel her best on her wedding day. While that doesn’t mean losing any weight necessarily, many brides are interested in toning up their bodies so they can feel confident. Often this means a few more trips to the gym or exercise classes. But why not do something that gives you more than a physical workout? Wedding Essentials spoke with Gabi McCune, program coordinator for the City of Oshawa at the Legends Centre. As a certified kinesiologist, with twenty years of experience as a fitness instructor in and around the eastern GTA, she knows what works. And she has a soft spot for one class in particular. “Zumba is my favourite and I could talk about it forever,” laughs McCune. “I’ve been doing it for five years, so it’s not ‘new’ but it is just now starting to catch on.”

54 Wedding Essentials 2011

Photos courtesy

Wedding Essentials 2011 55

health & fitness WHAT IS ZUMBA?


The hugely popular classes began in the mid-‘90s as a happy accident. As a fitness instructor in his native Cali, Columbia, one day Alberto “Beto” Perez found himself facing a class without his regular aerobics music. He improvised, using his own mix of salsa and merengue music he had in his backpack. Instead of counting out the beats like regular exercise programs, he spontaneously created moves that let the music be the guide, and his class loved it. The Zumba fitness party was born. McCune has a South American background, so she says the killer blend of Latin and international beats makes her feel at home. “It’s all the music I grew up with, that my mom and dad used to dance to, so it’s like the party music we’d play when the family would all get together.” While the roots of the music are Latininspired, classes now use a wide range of international music and dance moves that can include salsa, merengue, hip hop, reggae and belly dancing. “It’s a ‘feel happy’ dance. A class is 60 minutes of pure fun because it’s got these amazing beats, you don’t stop; it’s like going to a bar without the booze!” says McCune.

It’s not the colourful clothing and music that gets McCune truly excited. She loves the transformation it can create in her class members. To her, fitness isn’t just about how you look; it’s about how you feel. McCune comments, “Zumba instructors like to go out and dance with people, bring them up to dance with us, play with them and have a laugh.” Not just providing a physical benefit, working towards a fitness goal can, and should, be emotional and mental too. That’s key, says McCune. “It helps you stand a bit taller — with your head up and your shoulders back, it can improve your self-esteem; it gives you a sense of accomplishment and discipline.”




As the Zumba fever spreads worldwide, different classes are available for all ages, some being specifically offered for less active groups, seniors and even kids. The regular Zumba fitness party is open to all ages, so it can be a family thing, and McCune says the more, the merrier. “You come in, and it’s completely social. We turn down the lights, you find your spot, and I can hear everybody in the room giggling in anticipation. Then the music comes on, super loud! I talk to my classes, but many Zumba instructors don’t, and then we dance to all different kinds of music. It’s one full hour of go, go, go and by the time you leave, you’ve had so much fun, everybody’s happy and talking and soaking wet.”

Even a beginner can participate. Instructors work with the rhythm of the music so you can pick up the moves along the way. McCune suggests that it may even be better if you don’t have any experience! “Since we dance along to the flow of the music, instructors don’t choreograph routines to the specific count of the beat. I have a dancer in my class, and that drives her insane.” And apparently, bright colours and wild outfits are the norm. As long as they’re comfortable, participants are encouraged to dress to make themselves happy. Zumba instructors like McCune love to wear the brightest colours like hot pinks and greens, and one pant leg might be a shorter length than the other. Wearing fringes like coloured shoelaces on your pockets is encouraged, so as you dance, your clothing moves with you. “We wear tank tops with ‘I love Zumba!’ or ‘Feel the rhythm’ on them, just to create a sense of fun.”

56 Wedding Essentials 2011

Sometimes a woman is not used to being in the spotlight. A Zumba class can help you overcome your shyness, and prepare you for being the centre of attention. McCune explains that when you feel the music, “it gets the shoulders moving, the hair swinging, and the attitude going … and Zumba is an attitude. You feel great doing it. It can elevate your own sense of worth.” Perhaps the surge in its popularity is due to the sense of liberation women get from dancing with abandon. “Your inhibitions fly out the door, if you had them they are long gone by the time you leave, you get high on the endorphins you build in the class.” McCune tells of a recent experience with a bride in her class. Not used to having people look at her, this rather shy young woman was terrified of going down the aisle. At first, the bride was in the 10th row, way at the back. As the quiet girl started feeling more comfortable each week, she would slowly move up the rows. Observing this bride’s progress, at the last class McCune was able to coax the young lady up to the front of the group to dance with her. McCune was proud of her shy friend’s metamorphosis, and credits the Zumba class for helping her. “It’s a great selfesteem builder, you are building your own

Your Wedding Reception Specialists For Over 30 Years Our Family Has Served The Greater Toronto Area Offering Great Food, Exceptional Service And Most Importantly Lasting Memories.

3 Banquet Facilities From 50-500 Social & Corporate Functions Off Premises Catering Also Available

Our Complete Wedding Package Includes: • Reception Hall

• 7 Hour Open Bar

• Disc Jockey Service

• China – Silverware –

• Menu Of Your Choice

• Linen – Candelabra

• Centrepiece And Candles

• A Multitude Of Wedding

On All Tables

Cake Choices

We Specialize In European, Italian, Portuguese & Canadian Cuisine 505 Queensway Ave.E., Mississauga (1 Block West of Cawthra)

Ample Free Parking


Wedding Essentials 2011 57

health & fitness


58 Wedding Essentials 2011

confidence and validating your body, you are getting a great work out and it brings you out of your shell. What other exercise class can do all that?” she asks.

A BRIDE CAN’T HIDE! Even though most wedding dresses are designed to be forgiving, and can camouflage a tummy that isn’t perfectly flat or legs that aren’t as long as you’d wish, a bride still needs to feel her personal best on her day.

Don’t count on the expensive gown to be the focal point. Your groom and guests are looking at you. McCune points out, “The dress is only the icing on the cake, it’s you that’s in the dress. You make the dress look good! Keep your chest out, hold your shoulders back and remember good posture.” The workout you get from a regular fitness class can whittle down your waist, take off a few inches here and there, and tone up your arms for that strapless gown. But McCune

wants to stress the other benefits. “The endorphins help you feel great, it’s a feel-good drug your body creates, invigorating you and relieving the stress of wedding planning.” A fitness class like Zumba can give you a sense of accomplishment, not from losing weight, but from getting the steps right and learning something new. As McCune says wisely, “It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you love doing it, and it makes you sweat.”  Wedding Essentials 2011 59

pro advice

Ask an



60 Wedding Essentials 2011


Women who love a bold, glamorous look for a night out clubbing may be worried that this make-up style will come off as “too much” for their wedding day. They still want to be the centre of attention, but not look overly done. What tips would you suggest to give them the subtle drama they crave?


The bride should always look like herself on this special day, since it is one of the most important moments of her life. I highly recommend staying true to who you are and having make-up that represents your personal style; so if you normally like a glam look, go for it, tastefully. However, there are a few things to consider. Certain faces can handle more make-up than others. Some women can wear loads of make-up and it hardly looks like they have any on. The thing to remember is you should still look like you — but an enhanced, more polished version of yourself. Here are a few tips to make sure that you’ll be the centre of attention, for all the right reasons:  Since you’ll be the most photographed person at your wedding, and the reception will probably go on through the night, there are going be a lot of flashes and artificial lights. So don’t use too many light-reflective products. A lot of shimmery powder can become your worst enemy. You can use highlighters, but only where you want those flashes to pick it up (like the high point of the cheekbones, top of the shoulders or collar bones, smaller areas that just give the skin a polished shine).  Wearing white changes how your make-up looks. You should pay attention to how you look in a white dress because you don’t want to look too washed out or too tanned. Certain colours look harsh around the eyes if you have too much make-up on when wearing white. Go to a make-up trial armed with a camera and a white top. Take pictures with a flash so you can see how everything comes together.  Trendy hair and make-up make for dated pictures. Think about people who got married in the ‘80s! It’s definitely better to stay classic. Your eye make-up needs lots of blending and a beautiful finish. So even if you’re going for black eyeliner, keep the shape quite traditional, so that you won’t look like you’re stuck in a specific era.  To choose your make-up palette, think about your wedding colour theme. Obviously it has to look natural and suit your skin tone, eyes and hair. If your flowers, decorations and bridesmaids’ dresses are pink, lavender or blue, it’s best to avoid orange, gold or yellow make-up. Stay in the same harmonious colour theme.  And because it has to last all day, go for long-lasting combinations. Apply your makeup in thin layers. Too much moisturizer, loads of primer or foundation — loads of anything will come off much quicker. Thin layers that are really blended and set in the skin are going to last much longer. You can never go wrong with a timeless, classic look; you’ll be able to look at your pictures in 20 or 30 years and still think you looked beautiful. 

Wedding Essentials 2011 61


Edible Art Did Marie Antoinette really proclaim, “Let them eat cake”? While historians argue amongst themselves, busy brides know that when shopping for that final pièce-de-résistance — the perfect wedding cake — it can become your own personal battle cry. Beautiful designs, intriguing flavours, dramatic colours and decadent fillings are all mouth-watering choices that are an absolute pleasure to make. Here we’ve dished up a selection of the most luxurious and lovely wedding confections from some of the GTA’s best bakeries.

BRIDE & GROOM: Sarah & James Picton BAKERY: Cakes by Design PHOTO: | 705-735-9839

62 Wedding Essentials 2011


BRIDE & GROOM: Sue & Nick Iannuzzi BAKERY: Iris Segal Cakes PHOTO:

64 Wedding Essentials 2011


BRIDE & GROOM: Amanda & Reid Black BAKERY: Sugar Tree Cakes + Cookies PHOTO:

BRIDE & GROOM: Leah & Ian Hu BAKERY: Pereva PHOTO: 66 Wedding Essentials 2011


BRIDE & GROOM: Jillian & David McDonald BAKERY: Cakewalkers, London PHOTO: Cipriano Palmer Photography

68 Wedding Essentials 2011

Wedding Essentials 2011 69

cakes BRIDE & GROOM: Jennifer & Mike Appleton BAKERY: Irresistible Cakes Inc. PHOTO:

70 Wedding Essentials 2011

Wedding Costs

Jordan and Brian. Photo: Adam Pap

inspired choices




hen Brian Baas and Jordan Kent started looking at the costs involved in planning their 2011 summer wedding, they had a thought. Why not ask around to see if family and friends had services or products to donate that could help them reduce the long list of standard wedding expenses? A few days after their engagement, they started a blog and called it a “free wedding experiment.” By expanding their virtual reach to include Facebook, Twitter and sites like to announce they were happy to receive anything wedding-related and useful that people were willing to offer, the couple hoped that they might get some

72 Wedding Essentials 2011

donations of a few flower vases, or other small items. But the generosity of friends, strangers and businesses overwhelmed them, with offers flooding their blog from artisans and businesses across the country. Wedding Essentials recently spoke to the innovative young couple about their “Project: Priceless.” WED: So this idea is a social media experiment on how far you can go with a little kindness and some recycling? Jordan & Brian: When we started our blog, we thought that maybe some friends would tell a few other friends about our project and help us get it going. We originally figured we’d get some help towards having a modest ceremony

and reception, maybe at a local park. We knew our guest list would be large because of our two big families, but other than that, we didn’t have a really grand vision because we didn’t know much about weddings. The day after Brian proposed, he bought me Weddings for Dummies and we started learning about escort cards and pomanders. We also started learning about blogs, tweets, and Facebook pages. We also put an ad in local online classified site Offers started coming in, from individuals and then from crafters. WED: What kind of response did you expect? Jordan & Brian: Once businesses started asking to help, we knew things were going to get

exciting, and once the papers picked up the story from coast to coast, everything went viral. To have 19,000 hits on a personal blog in six months is unprecedented. But we’ve been really wise about using social media to keep people interested, to generate a greater following, and to even communicate with new contacts. Some of our offers have come from people we’ve only spoken to through Twitter. WED: Why do you think enthusiasm for Project: Priceless is so high? Jordan & Brian: It’s a great combination: everyone loves a wedding and the world of social media is gaining more speed all the time. We never expected the project to get this big, but we’re so thrilled that it has because it’s allowed us to meet, virtually or actually, so many awesome people and artisans. We would have gotten married in a borrowed backyard with a lopsided cake, but we’re excited that the wedding has grown so far beyond that … not because it’s fancier or more classy, but because it’s all come to us through kind, fun-loving people. WED: Does this mean you have to compromise? Do you care about the details — like the kind and colour of your flowers, or what the invitations look like? Jordan & Brian: To do a project of this nature, you definitely have to be laid-back. Growing up, I [Jordan] was never the kind of girl to plan out any sort of “dream wedding” scenario; so there was no expectation of, say, a specific shade of yellow lilies. We did, however, choose some colours to work with and for the most part, we’ve been able to stay within that scheme; it helps if you’re crafty and can alter or modify some of the items being offered. WED: Are you hoping to adhere to an overall vision for your wedding? Jordan & Brian: This is not the kind of project for the bride who has a grand vision prepared in advance: we have improvised and morphed our vision a dozen times to suit what’s being offered … and that’s awesome, because it’s very organic and exciting. Our focus had to be on what the wedding says instead of what it looks like; and because of the way we’re doing it, the wedding says, “Have fun! Upcycle! Connect! Support independent business!” and hopefully, “Love each other!” 

If we’ve told you once, we’ve told you three times.

The Lifestyles edition. Available on newsstands throughout South Central Ontario.


Bride’s Survival Guide. The planner/ organizer. Available only by request.


The Savvy Bride. The tips & techniques book. Available free everywhere.


You can follow Jordan and Brian’s experiment at

Wedding Essentials 2011 73

Free book means less stress when you plan your big day

Planning a formal wedding can cause stress in the most placid 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 126-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. It’s the kind of information that has won our Editorial Director more national awards than all other Canadian wedding publications combined. This unique manual has helped more than 70,000 Ontario brides over the past 15 years. Let us send you your own personal FREE copy. Mail the postpaid request card opposite this page. Or complete the form on-line at We’ll be pleased to help you remain calm every step of the way to the altar. Your wedding. Your image. Your choice.

Wedding Essentials 2011 75

a real-life wedding



ou don’t often think of getting married when you go to the bank. In fact, love and interest rates rarely go together. But for Julian De Santi and Melissa Micucci, that’s exactly what happened. Just over four years ago, Julian headed off to his local bank branch to complete a few transactions. Ironically, he worked at a completely different banking institution but this bank predated his employment and its location was convenient. It was there, behind the counter, he was destined to meet the love of his life and future wife. “The moment I saw her, I couldn’t take my eyes off her,” says Julian. “And then I saw her again at a work function, but I didn’t have the nerve to talk to her. After that day, I decided to take one more trip to her branch. I waited in line, and let other customers go ahead of me until her wicket was free and then I was finally brave enough to ask her out.” “And, of course, I said yes!” chimes in Melissa.

Photos by Cipriano Palmer photography,

76 Wedding Essentials 2011

Wedding Essentials 2011 77

a real-life wedding

Their first date was to a popular Chinese restaurant where the hours sped by in animated conversation across a range of topics and interests. Julian recalls, “We had a lovely dinner followed by a nice drive around the city. We talked for hours and didn’t want to leave each other’s company. We had our second date only two days later and I knew she had my heart!” The romance grew and blossomed into a love affair over the next years until Julian knew this was the women he wanted in his life forever. “We had gone on a trip together. Melissa is passionate about travel and we were in Rimini, Italy on vacation.” They had gone for dinner and an evening walk in the nearby piazza and Melissa remembers the moment with crystal clarity: “We approached a large fountain in the centre of the square. Julian was talking about how when we returned to Canada in a few days, he didn’t want to be boyfriend and girlfriend anymore. I was devastated. I thought he was breaking up with me!” Instead, he handed his camera to a passer-by and asked him to take a photo. Melissa was confused. As he was saying he didn’t want to be boyfriend and girlfriend, Julian had got down on one knee. “That’s because,” he said, “I want us to be fiancées. Will you marry me?”

78 Wedding Essentials 2011

a real-life wedding

After she got over the shock of not breaking up but being proposed to instead, Melissa happily and eagerly agreed. “Julian is one of the most genuine and kind souls you will ever meet. He makes me laugh uncontrollably and he has the patience of a saint!” And for Julian, Melissa agreeing to marry him was the pinnacle of their love affair. “She is bubbly, intelligent, sweet, very personable, caring and forgiving. She brightens everyone’s mood around her. I’ve never known — and will never know — anyone as amazing as she is.” There was two years between the proposal and the wedding day; days filled with celebration, planning, and more celebration. Melissa’s mother and soon-to-be Mother-in-law threw her a bridal shower with the help of her bridesmaids. “There was a travel theme to the whole event — from the decorations to the seat cards made to look like airline tickets from the countries I’ve visited,” remembers Melissa. In fact, travel became a theme again a few months later when both Julian and Melissa had their bachelor and bachelorette parties in Las Vegas. “Yes. Same place — but different times,” explains Julian. The wedding day finally came on August 21, 2010 and was attended by more than 180 invited guests, friends and family. The formal ceremony, presided over by Father George Galea, pastor of Our Lady of Peace Roman Catholic Church in Toronto, culminated in the exchange of vows and the giving of the wedding rings. Julian’s ring is white gold with a pattern he designed himself; Melissa’s is a beautiful thin band encrusted with diamonds all around. Both come from Fantasy GemArt [Mississauga, (905) 602-5562].

Julian is one of the most genuine and kind souls you will ever meet. He makes me laugh uncontrollably and he has the patience of a saint! 80 Wedding Essentials 2011

Wedding Essentials 2011 81

a real-life wedding Melissa’s champagne pearl-hued gown fit her beautifully, made of silk and satin with a sweetheart neckline adorned with Swarovski crystals that trailed down the body of the dress, with layers of French lace at the sides. The cathedral-length veil with lace trim perfectly complemented the long train on her gown. Her bridesmaids carried pink calla lilies and pink-and-cream mini roses from Gatto Flowers [Mississauga, (905) 670-0636]. Melissa’s bouquet held cream-and-soft pink roses, orchids, and white calla lilies as an accent. “But the most important thing I wore was given to me by my Maid of Honour,” Melissa says. “She made me a locket to wear, clipped under my dress. Inside there were two pictures: one of my father, and one with my father and me when I was a little girl. She wanted me to wear it to know he was with me. My father passed away several years ago and that was the best gift anybody could give me.” On the groom’s side of things, Julian was tastefully and classically dressed in a bespoke-made suit tuxedo made by Domenic Calabretta that he bought from Divo (Calabretta) [Woodbridge, (905) 850-8262]. With the wedding ceremony complete, the bride, groom and honoured guests retired to the beautiful facilities of The Terra Cotta Inn in Terra Cotta, Ontario in the Caledon region [Terra Cotta (905) 8732223]. The bride and groom travelled in a classic 1954 vintage white Rolls Royce. “The day is so hectic and you are surrounded constantly by family and friends, you don’t really have any private time. Driving alone together, leaving the church and being able to discuss things and take it all in was so nice. And people in cars were honking and waving at us … it felt unreal!” “Our reception was held outside on a wonderful terrace, under an elegant tent, overlooking the river, and well-groomed, beautiful estate grounds,” remembers Melissa. “Lanterns lit the walkway down to the river and candles were placed around a cascading waterfall that backed out from the terrace. It rained for a good part of the day but the sound of light rainfall in the evening made for quite a romantic setting!” In fact, as they both recall, the rain actually made the reception look like they were somewhere tropical; tranquil and romantic.

82 Wedding Essentials 2011

a real-life wedding

Driving alone together, leaving the church and being able to discuss things and take it all in was so nice. People in cars were honking and waving at us ... it felt unreal!

84 Wedding Essentials 2011

Photographs were professionally taken by Brooke Palmer [Cipriano Palmer,] and Melissa says he really knows how to relax a bride and get you to have fun. “He’s a hoot and a holler,” she says, adding, “He’s able to naturally get the right stuff out of you to make a great picture. He can do traditional, but he has a creative, eccentric element that makes his work different.” Inside Terra Cotta’s reception hall, the dining tables were tastefully appointed with black Chivari chairs to complement the bridesmaids’ black sweetheart dresses. “And our centrepieces were TALL! 28 inches high!” Gatto Flowers provided 40 stems of dendrolium orchids (white and soft pink) cascading over the vase with white hydrangeas lining the rim; orchids were placed inside the stem of the vase with votive candles at the base. Although Julian and Melissa had a DJ for the post-dinner celebrations, the music during the wedding ceremony and later at the cocktail reception and dinner was live. “At the Church we had Catherine Moses on the harp, Julie Umbrico on the flute, and soprano vocalist Carolynne Godin.” The reception and dinner music featured a jazz quartet. Rounding out the meal and a highlight of the evening was the wedding cake. Created by I Do Wedding Cakes [Toronto (416) 787-6666]; it was a three-tier, light pink masterpiece, with small stephanotis flowers made from sugar. Each of the tiers was a different flavour: strawberry, chocolate ganache, and lemon with buttercream. The cake sparkled when the light hit it! “And it was delicious,” recalls Julian with a grin. It’s now been some time since their beautiful wedding and after returning from their honeymoon in Maui and Oahu, the young couple look back on their day with happy memories and some good laughs. “Oh, the speeches made us laugh the most that day. That, and the fact that due to the rain, my wedding dress got heavier and heavier throughout the day. By the end, the bottom of it was black with mud and dirt!” Asked if she had any advice for other brides, Melissa suggests, “Only look at his face when you walk down the aisle. It is a magical moment. His eyes are on you and your eyes are on his only. Everyone else is watching you both. And at your reception, take a moment together to look around and really take in all the guests who are there for you. It is overwhelming!” 



Experience the very pinnacle of excellence in the Caribbean. Sandals Resorts delights couples in love with supremely luxurious accommodations, gourmet candlelit dining for two, gorgeous tropical settings and some of the world’s most exquisite beaches. Be pampered in our Red Lane® Spa*. Enjoy exceptional adventures such as scuba diving and championship golf. And be spoiled by the Caribbean’s warmest staff. *spa services additional



Fill out the postcard opposite osite page ge 74


Seven nights deluxe accommodation at any Sandals resort in Jamaica, Antigua, Saint Lucia or Bahamas (excluding Sandals Royal Plantation and Sandals Emerald Bay)


Return transfers from the airport to the resort


Gourmet meals, anytime snacks and unlimited beverages including exclusive Beringer house wines


Nightly entertainment


All water and land sports


All government hotel taxes and gratuities

Call your travel agent our 416-223-0028 or 1-800-545-8283

essential tips




s someone who has planned after-parties for Guns n’ Roses, organized charity events, and catered to the every whim of celebrities and socialites alike, Consider it Done CEO Julie Subotky has seen and done it all. In her book, CONSIDER IT DONE: Accomplish 228 of Life’s Trickiest Tasks, Julie Subotky shares her tips for making anyone a toastmaster. Brides, you may want to discreetly share these with your Maid of Honour or Best Man!

Adapted from CONSIDER IT DONE: Accomplish 228 of Life’s Trickiest Tasks (Three Rivers Press; February 2011) by Julie Subotky. Available at Chapters and

88 Wedding Essentials 2011

IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU: The number-one key to a successful toast is to make it about the person you are toasting. Don’t talk about yourself. It’s fine to let people in on some little secret, but if you’re going to include yourself in the story, you’d better make it something really funny or interesting. Honestly, no one cares about how much beer the two of you used to drink in college. Think of something great to say about the person, or keep your mouth quiet.

KEEP IT TASTEFUL: Is the room full of family and aged relatives, or close childhood friends? The latter gives you a little more permission to tell all. Still, unless it’s a bachelor or bachelorette party, keep it PG, or at least PG-13. And though some teasing is fine, don’t go overboard. Nothing will make a bride madder than too many jokes at her or her beloved’s expense. Make sure you steer clear of humour involving sex, physical features, or any other areas that might offend. Jokes should be short and sweet, like the rest of your toast.

BE BRIEF: This is perhaps the most important rule of toast writing. Whatever the occasion, you’re making people put their meals and conversations on hold while they listen to you, so once you cross the five-minute line, you’re in dangerous territory. Rehearse your toast beforehand and time yourself, keeping in mind that there will (hopefully) be pauses for laughter. GET PERSONAL: Start by jotting down a few key things about the person you are planning to toast. These should be personal, but not too personal (no embarrassing childhood anecdotes), and specific. The more you celebrate the person’s unique personality traits, the better.

FOLLOW THE FORMULA: A good plan for success is this: introduction (briefly state who you are and your relationship to the person), joke, joke, a few heartfelt words (not too many—or you may come off as too heavy or corny, and you’ll lose the crowd), then raise a glass. And before you sit back down, don’t forget to acknowledge and thank the audience.

ADD A TWIST: Remember, you can always do something out of the ordinary. Have the couple sit back-to-back. Have them remove their shoes and instruct them to keep one of their own shoes and hand their other shoe to the other person. You will then read a series of questions and have them vote by holding up the shoe. The shoe they hold up is who they are voting for. Questions can be anything you choose, for example: Who is a better dresser? Who calls their mother more? Whose mother calls more? Keep it to five minutes, and then, end with the heartfelt words. This is a crowd-pleaser and a great way to get both bride and groom involved. And finally, it’s always good to use a quote and have notes. But don’t write the whole toast out, or you’ll sound inauthentic and rehearsed. The key to writing a toast in advance is making it seem like you didn’t.  Wedding Essentials 2011 89




LOOKS LISE WATIER DUO GLAM ROUGE INFINI LIPSTICKS ($27) Available in 16 rich shades, this water-based lip stain and creamy lipstick combo packs a punch of colour. Not to be confused with a lipstick/gloss duo, you apply the liquid stain first as a base, and once dry, apply the lipstick. The colour palette is bold but sophisticated. TRIED AND TESTED: Nice deep colours. Not quite withstanding the claim of eight-hour coverage, the lipstick did last about five or six, making it through one meal before losing any of its “oomph.” A refined, stylish matte lipstick with a hint of shimmer.

NANOBLUR ($19) Developed by a Canadian company to address the concern of high-definition cameras showing skin imperfections, Nanoblur is an innovative skin correction cream that claims to takes 10 years off your appearance. The water-based formula combines millions of nano-prisms that create the appearance of poreless skin, while reducing the look of lines, textural damage and pigmentation. The light-reflective technology reportedly bounces the light off the skin, literally blurring the lines and imperfections on the face. TRIED AND TESTED: Our tester saw noticeable reduction of the appearance of forehead lines, but it was less effective on laugh lines around the eyes. While it may not “take 10 years off,” it can help brighten the skin’s appearance and make lines appear less deep. Use sparingly to avoid a powdery look.

90 Wedding Essentials 2011



SKINDINAVIA BRIDAL MAKEUP FINISH ($29) This setting spray, when applied over finished make-up, claims to help your make-up last 16 hours. Boasting a patent-pending temperature control technology, the Skindinavia spray apparently lowers the temperature of your make-up to hold your foundation and cosmetics in place for an extended length of time. TRIED AND TESTED: Our tester liked its fresh fragrance and comfortable, light-as-air feel; confirming that her make-up lasted all evening and – even when she absent-mindedly rubbed her face – no make-up came off. Available online and at David’s Bridals.

More than just another foundation; with a built-in concealer and its own small mirror, this compact tube duo dispenses a seamless colour match and provides long-lasting matte coverage that’s a perfect canvas for your make-up. Use the concealer to hide minor flaws, redness and imperfections and then apply the foundation for a flawless look. With a silky smooth texture, it dries almost instantly, creating an elegant, slightly luminous finish. TRIED AND TESTED: This foundation lives up to its promise of 12-hour coverage. It goes on and stays on all night, giving you a polished look that’s just right for your wedding day. Love it!

GOODY SIMPLE STYLES HAIR PRODUCTS (UNDER $10 EACH) You can always count on a variety of Goody products to help avoid that bad hair day. Widely available and affordable, these items can be relied on for everyday hair styling, whether it’s an elegant up-do for a rehearsal dinner, a ballerina bun for work or a sassy, full ponytail for a bachelorette party. The Spin Pin is the top-selling hair accessory in the US since spring 2010, and is part of the Simple Styles line. Other items shown are the Pony Pouf and the Bun Spiral. All offer easy and effective ways to give you lots of hairstyling options.

Wedding Essentials 2011 91

celebrity interview



Enuka Okuma with her fiancé Joe Gasparik in LA. Photo: Bobby Quillard


It’s been a busy year for one of the stars of the popular cop drama “Rookie Blue.” Canadian-born, LA actress Enuka Okuma took time out of her hectic schedule to talk TV, movies, working with big stars and planning her wedding. Just another day in the life of this pretty powerhouse.

92 Wedding Essentials 2011


aking up early is not unusual for Enuka Okuma. With so much on her to-do list she needs to get a jump start on her day. That recently included a morning phone interview with Wedding Essentials from her home in Los Angeles. The 5’7” dark-haired beauty originally hails from Vancouver where she studied theatre at Simon Fraser University and landed one of her first television roles in the youth series, “Hillside” at 15 years old. Now in her early 30s (“I don’t get too specific,” she jokes about her age), Okuma has been a professional actress for half her life. If her exotic name isn’t familiar to you yet, it soon will be. Okuma has been a familiar face on the Canadian landscape for years, appearing in many series as a regular or guest on “Hillside,” “Madison,” “Traders,” “The City,” “Da Vinci’s Inquest,” and “Sue Thomas: FBI.” She’s been nominated for Gemini awards three times; twice for her character in “Madison,” and again for a guest spot on “Traders.” Now she’s back shooting the Toronto-based series “Rookie Blue” for ABC. But all these roles mean hopping back and forth between Toronto and Vancouver, and now, Los Angeles. Being nomadic is part of the job description, and Okuma is always happy to oblige. She explains, “As a Canadian actress, you don’t have much choice. If the work comes, and you’re lucky enough to get it, you grab it! I’ve been fortunate to work in Toronto for quite a few years doing ‘Sue Thomas,’ and now with ‘Rookie Blue’ I spend about half the year in Toronto shooting and half the time I’m in LA. I moved about five years ago and have been steadily grinding away over here.” Okuma’s being modest. She’s won small roles in several Hollywood films including Double Jeopardy, Reindeer Games, Josie and the Pussycats, and guest spots on popular hit TV shows such as “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Medium,” and “24.” “Hillside” (alternately titled “Fifteen” in the US), also starred another Vancouver native, a young Ryan Reynolds. The pair established a friendship and Okuma laughs about their young ages. “I knew him

before his voice changed; before he hit puberty … I’ve known him that long.” Does she stay in touch with the Hollywood heartthrob? “I see him off and on. He’s a huge superstar, so he’s very rarely around, actually.” With a list of acting credits longer than her arm, we asked Okuma when she knew she wanted to be an actress. Without hesitation, she answers, her voice full of amusement. “It was the night before my grade 12 algebra final exam, and I knew I was going to fail it … I realized that I can’t do anything with math that required that kind of thinking …” (laughing, she changes tack) “No, I’ve always loved acting, it was pretty much near the end of high school when I had to figure out what I wanted to do; I decided to go to school for acting, and that was that.”

. Gary Fitzgerald Enuka. Photo:

WED: What would you say was your “big break”? Enuka Okuma: “I don’t know if I’ve had a big break yet. I’m still plugging away. In my mind there’s still so much further to go but I felt in Canada there’s been highlights, you know? ‘Madison’ was a huge one, I still have dear friends from that show, and a lot of those actors are still working actors today. That was a big show in my life.”

Wedding Essentials 2011 93

celebrity interview WED: You seem to be one of those rare actresses who work constantly. EO: (laughs) “It looks like that! But I can assure you, I am an actor, which means work is never constant! It’s weird, sometimes there’s a lot and sometimes there’s absolutely nothing and it’s feast or famine. I’ve gotten used to it. Waiting for the phone to ring as an actress, it’s hard to be able to plan your life, it’s hard to save money, it’s difficult. So I’ve actually started writing and directing to try and take control of my creative life, and career, and hopefully my financial situation too!”

WED: Season two of “Rookie Blue” premieres June 16th, but it was shot last winter. Was the Toronto winter a shock after the warmer climate of LA? EO: “It was minus 40 with the wind chill factor, you know, it was awful! (laughs) And it’s a summer show, but if you look closely you’ll see snow on the streets. I hope we can start shooting the next season a little earlier, to avoid the freezing cold.” WED: Do you get along well with your co-stars? EO: “Oh God, I love them! Every single last one of those cats is crazy, and talented, and I am so, so lucky to be in their company. Honestly, every day when I go to work I can’t believe I get to hang out with my friends.” WED: Since many of the cast are playing young cops, was it nice to work with actors in the same age range? EO: “We spend a lot of time outside of the show together. And it’s just, I don’t know, I haven’t seen a lot of season two yet, but I feel like you’ll be able to see it — just how much closer we’ve all gotten in season two. We are definitely buddies, it is lots of fun.” WED: Your character, Traci Nash, is a police officer. How did it feel to put on that uniform? EO: “When I go to auditions I definitely think a lot about what the character wears, possibly because I love fashion a little too much! But as an actor, it actually does work for me, working from the outside in. So it’s true, when I put the uniform on at my first fitting, you suddenly feel official. There’s a lot of associations already when you see a police uniform, and what it means. Especially the belt! There’s a gun belt that we wear, it’s got a baton on it, a flashlight, it’s got handcuffs and it sits low on your hips so when you wear it, you kind of start walking straight, and with authority.” WED: So it gave you a bit of swagger? EO: “Yes! How can someone not have swagger when they have that thing on?”

Enuka in “Rookie Blue.” Photo courtesy ABC

94 Wedding Essentials 2011

WED: As a female playing an authority figure like that, is it empowering? EO: “Well, yes and no, I’d say. Because the intimidation factor is already there when you put on the uniform; however, deep down, I know I can’t kick anybody’s ass. (laughs) We spent a day training with police who showed us how to handcuff someone, how to take them out and read them their rights, all that kind of basic stuff. But it’s hard, in one day you can’t retain all that information so in the first season we didn’t know what we were doing, but it works for us! As rookies, we’re supposed to be flustered by our circumstances.”

WED: You’ve got a supporting role in the summer movie Larry Crowne with Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, Cedric the Entertainer and Taraji Henson. How did that part come your way? EO: “It was your average, run-of-the-mill audition process. I was lucky enough to be plucked from the crowd. It was such a fun experience. On set it felt cozy like a smaller movie, but with really big stars! I play Cedric and Taraji’s daughter, who is a mama with kids. I had such a great time with Cedric and Taraji. They were cracking me up as Taraji had just introduced Cedric to Twitter, and he was trying to get the hang of it!” WED: Before you get sick of everyone asking, how did it feel to work with such entertainment giants as Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts? EO: “I didn’t have scenes with Julia, unfortunately. Tom directed, produced and wrote some of it. Apparently he hadn’t been this involved on that side since That Thing You Do. The wonderful thing about this experience was getting to watch how Tom worked on set and with the cast and crew. Everyone says he’s a really likeable guy, and it’s true. He was the boss, but he ruled with love, and patience and laughter. It was such an enjoyable set to work on. Being able to watch how he led his troops was very special to witness.” WED: Nia Vardalos, of My Big Fat Greek Wedding, is also attached to the film as an actor and writer. (Tom’s wife Rita Wilson was a producer on Vardalos’ breakout movie.) Nia’s also a Canadian from out west; did you two have any connection because of your backgrounds? EO: “We definitely shared that patriot bond. She’s smart and funny and terrific to hang out with. I hadn’t met her before.” WED: So let’s talk weddings, shall we? Why is a Vancouver girl getting married in Toronto? EO: “My fiancé grew up in Etobicoke. With family in Vancouver and friends in LA, we knew some people were going to have to travel. We picked Toronto because the largest number of people were there.”

Wedding Essentials 2011 95

celebrity interview “WE WERE TALKING AND HE SUDDENLY GOT VERY SERIOUS, AND STARTED TO MAKE A SPEECH, ACTING KIND OF FORMAL. I WASN’T CLUEING IN AT ALL, AND WAS WONDERING WHAT WAS GOING ON WITH HIM. HE THEN, WORDLESSLY, PULLED OUT A RING ....” WED: Who is your fiancé and how did you meet? EO: “His name is Joe Gasparik. We met on the set of ‘Sue Thomas.’ So we have a lot of mutual friends. He’s a musician and music producer in LA now.” WED: How long have you been together? How did he propose? EO: “We’ve been together six years. The proposal was very romantic. It was funny too, though. We were talking and he suddenly got very serious, and started to make a speech, acting kind of formal. I wasn’t clueing in at all, and was wondering what was going on with him. He then, wordlessly, pulled out a ring and I think I squealed but neither of us could talk and we were both crying. It definitely took me a few moments to process. He said to me, ‘You haven’t answered!’ and I replied, ‘You haven’t asked!’ and then told him, ‘Yes! Of course!’ We were laughing and crying. It was very emotional.” WED: How is your mom involved in the planning? Moms love to be part of the preparations! EO: “My mom’s in Vancouver, so she and I have been talking together on the phone a lot. A lot! The details when you’re planning a wedding are never ending! I’m very specific about the way I like things, but she supports me and we just finished designing the invitations together.” WED: Have you got a particular theme or style of wedding in mind? EO: “It’s City meets Country. Joe is kind of a nature guy, he loves camping and the outdoors, while I’m much more of a city girl. So we are going to bring it together; we’re using some wood and burlap to bring in

96 Wedding Essentials 2011

natural textures, and include some rhinestones and cityscapes for the modern ‘city’ feel. We’ll use recycled card stock, but there’s an opalescent envelope liner. It’s not hard to find natural elements, but you have to be careful not to use too much bling or it can look gaudy. So our colour theme is olive green, kraft-paper brown, and white with a bit of sparkle. WED: What can you tell us about the dress? EO: “Without giving away the surprise, my dress is from the oldest bridal shop in Toronto, Becker’s Bridals, established in 1944. My dress is by the in-house designer there, Barbara Allin. She doesn’t advertise, and her dresses are beautiful. I couldn’t choose between two of them for months! I have to say I am in love with my dress and can’t wait to wear it!” WED: So the dress is from Toronto; are you using any other local vendors? EO: “I am using a local cake designer, Savera Hamshi, from Pretty Sweet Cakes for my wedding cake. We will also be having cupcakes designed by Stephanie Brown of Cupcakes & Sundry.” WED: Besides the wedding, what’s next for you? EO: “I wrote, directed and produced a short film called Cookie. It stars my dear friend Jennifer Finnigan (‘Better with You’), also a Canadian, and her talented husband, Jonathan Silverman (Weekend at Bernie’s). It’s about a woman who is let go from her job, and then has to spend time with her stay-athome husband, only to discover he’s not the man she thought he was. We are making the festival rounds now, and it’s very exciting as this is my first experience doing it. We’re premiering Cookie at the Newport Beach film festival, then we’re submitting to international short film festivals in Canada and Ireland too. That’s keeping me pretty busy.” WED: A hot TV show, a summer blockbuster, film festival debuts and wedding planning? “Pretty busy” might be a bit of an understatement! We wish you all the best in your career and congratulations on your wedding. EO: “Thanks very much!”  Wedding Essentials 2011 97



Buy Classic


hen trying to outfit your first home, it is easy to want to buy lots of stuff, cheap. The problem is that in five years you have a house full of cheap stuff! Rather than replace it, shop wisely the first time. Bedroom sets can last for generations. Pick the best quality you can afford in real wood with solid craftsmanship. Or register for it so your wedding guests can contribute. You can dress it up in inexpensive linens for several different seasonal looks. Couches and chairs again should be classic and durable. If you are afraid of looking old-fashioned, select a neutral fabric colour so you can toss any kind of patterned or brightly coloured throw pillows or blankets on it to make it look youthful. You’ll appreciate the quality investment when everyone else’s cheap apartment furniture looks shabby and your living room looks timelessly chic. Lighting and fresh plants can help make a house a home when first starting out. Fill the gaps in your empty rooms with standing lamps and green plants on little side tables that can turn a single chair into an inviting reading nook. If you can’t afford fine art (and who can?) then take some pretty photos or magazine covers or small posters and frame them. Presentation is everything, so who cares if it’s the album art of your favourite band as long as it’s dressed up under glass in a handsome frame. 

98 Wedding Essentials 2011




ake pride in your wedding album by making it yourself! Today, high-quality wedding albums are much easier to make for a fraction of the cost. By using an online source like, you have full creative freedom to pull your wedding album together with the look you want. Don’t want to start from scratch? There are also pre-assembled wedding designs and layouts that you can use.

Goodbye, cheesy white guest books with feathered pens and no character; hello 100 percent customizable, unique photo books that show off your distinct personalities. You can use engagement photos and candid shots of both of you; but why not get inventive and include baby photos, or black and white wedding images of your parents and grandparents, or even handwritten love notes or favourite quotes to the book? Add images and colours that match your wedding theme. Customized guest books can offer users an unprecedented level of creative control. When building your guest book online at Mixbook, you can collaborate with your loved ones and build books together, even adding “stickers” and other personalized elements.

EXCLUSIVE OFFER Mixbook has graciously offered our readers a very special discount code you can use to take 20% OFF any of their products, including guest books, wedding albums, save-the-dates and other products. This one-time special discount is only active until November 30, 2011 so take the opportunity to save big on your picture-perfect guest book by entering MXBKWEDDING with your purchase.

Wedding Essentials 2011 99

wedding attire


NECKLINES Bridal 101 Photos courtesy of Your Dream Dress


ONE SHOULDER This is a sizzling number that says dramatic, sophisticated, modern yet timeless. This neckline lengthens a bride’s torso, which gives the bride a more statuesque appearance. A special brooch or accent can bring the eye upward and finish the elegant look. Try this Amsale A567 “Kenna” Couture Bridal Gown with a silk taffeta one-shoulder, ruched bodice and a three-tiered skirt.

Your Dream Dress is an online bridal store bringing brides the finest quality, top designer, couture bridal gowns without breaking the bank. All bridal gowns are new, 100 percent authentic and listed at exceptional savings of up to 90 percent off the retail price.

100 Wedding Essentials 2011

STRAPLESS This trend is always popular no matter the season, but especially in summer. Strapless gowns accentuate the beauty of the bride’s neck, shoulders and arms. A strapless neckline is best suited to a bride with an hourglass figure or a long waist, and also for a bride who is tall and proportionally balanced. Depending on the fabrics used and the skirt design, the gown can look traditional and classic or lean toward modern and sexy.  Try this Badgley Mischka “Clara” Couture Bridal Gown. The gown is composed of delicate Chantilly lace and soft silk voile organza. The strapless, contoured neckline and the top edge of the mermaid skirt are accented with intricate, sparkling crystals and pearls. The gown also features a chapel length train.

SCOOP For a more conservative style, scoop necklines are perfect for smaller-chested brides who want to mix a little sweet with their sexy. Playful yet polite, a scoop cut allows a dignified bride to accentuate her lovely neck. Glam this style up with an elegant hairdo and a glittering necklace. Try this Badgley Mischka “Lila” Couture Bridal Gown. It has an intricately beaded, embroidered bodice with a scoop neckline and dropped waist. The silk organza triple-tiered skirt is accented with silk organza fabric flowers. 

HALTER Halter necklines hit that high note of just the right amount of sophistication and sex appeal. Ideal for a more endowed bride, this style offers both support and chic fashion sense. The added bonus is that brides with beautiful skin and a shapely back can show it off to perfection with the exposure this neckline offers. Halters are usually cut like a V-neck, but wrap around the back of the neck rather than over the shoulders to the back of the dress. Try this Justina McCaffrey “Leah” Couture Bridal Gown. Sleeveless halter, silk gazar and silk organza gown with fitted bodice and trumpet skirt. Trimmed with Swarovski crystals for a sparkling touch.

Wedding Essentials 2011 101

wedding attire V-NECK With the warmth of a summer or early fall wedding, V-neckline gowns appear airy and light. This neckline can make any bride look slimmer and taller by bringing the eye upwards to the face. This style works with either a smaller or larger bust. Brides should be aware that a more voluptuous bust line should not have too deep a plunge. A V-neckline is perfect for a bride who is unable to wear a strapless gown, yet doesn’t want her arms covered with sleeves. Try this Anne Barge “491” Couture Bridal Gown with a Chantilly lace gown and V-neckline complemented with a sleeveless, asymmetrical, pleated lace bodice and mermaid skirt.

SWEETHEART This classic bridal neckline offers a design with two curves that draw over the bust line and meet in the centre, providing a modest heartshaped neckline, while still drawing eyes to the figure. A sweetheart neckline works equally well with strapless or sleeved gowns. This style is beguilingly innocent with a wink to a bride’s lovely curves. Its romantic design is perfect for a wedding gown. Try this Anne Barge “563” Couture Bridal Gown. It’s strapless, silk organza material with a sweetheart neckline that presents an asymmetrical pleated bodice with a bubble hem skirt and chapel train. 

102 Wedding Essentials 2011

Photos courtesy of The British Monarchy/Google Images

royal wedding recap


104 Wedding Essentials 2011



hen Kate Middleton married England’s Prince William at Westminster Abbey on April 29, she had the fairy tale wedding every bride dreams about. While it was the most traditional of ceremonies, as befits the heir to the British throne, Will, 28, and Kate, 29, infused the historical pomp and circumstance with their own modern personalities. Right from the start, Kate wanted a mixture of traditional and contemporary in every aspect of the wedding. From decorations to dress, Kate’s instructions were clear — mix the new with the traditional and make it fun. Such an event is difficult to coordinate even when it follows traditions handed down over centuries. William and Kate’s personal touches raised the stakes. But, the event went off without a hitch. Sir Malcolm Ross, a member of the Royal Household, has organized every royal celebration for nearly twenty years. He says everything is meticulously planned and rehearsed. “Nothing is left for the last minute,” he boasts. “Absolutely nothing.” The night before the wedding, Kate and her family stayed at The Goring Hotel, near Buckingham Palace. Relaxed and smiling, Kate waved to everyone as she arrived. Her sister, Philippa “Pippa” Middleton, wasn’t quite as composed, and admitted to having Maid of Honour jitters. Princes William and Harry spent the night at Clarence House, their official residence. In a typical spontaneous fashion, the boys visited with the people camped out along the Mall. William reportedly could see everyone from his window that evening, and said he wanted to go join in the fun. The Mall runs through St. James’ Park and is part of the official procession route from Buckingham Palace, through the Horse Guards Parade, onto Whitehall and through Parliament Square to the Abbey. Westminster Abbey has been the seat of England’s church and monarchy for nearly 1,000 years. It has seen the coronation of every English monarch since 1066, and this was its sixteenth royal wedding. Of the 1,900 invited guests, more than 1,000 were friends and associates of William and Kate, including their Headmaster from St. Andrews (the university where they met), and 80 representatives from their list of official charities. Guests entered the cathedral through the Abbey’s ornate north entrance. VIPs like

Elton John, Rowan Atkinson and the Beckhams took seats among more than a dozen royal heads of state, from the King and Queen of Norway to the Sultan of Brunei. The guests wore daytime formal wear, with the men in morning suits or formal military attire, and the women in dresses and hats. Hats ranged from pert pillboxes, to fascinators, to elaborate creations from Philip Treacy, the official hat maker of the wedding party. Treacy explains the British fascination with hats. “It’s tradition,” he says. “That’s what England’s about.” Treacy says his customers are usually very conservative, but a fabulous hat allows them to make a bold statement. “They think my hats are normal.”

moment everyone waits for at a wedding. Only this time, when the bride and her attendants appeared, it wasn’t just the guests in the cathedral craning their necks for a look. An estimated two billion people worldwide sat glued to their TVs. Pippa wore a fabulous white satin dress with cowl front, by Sarah Burton of Alexander McQueen. She had four young bridesmaids and two pageboys with her, all close friends or relatives of the bride and groom. And then it was Kate’s big moment. Miraculously, no information had been leaked about her dress. She arrived at the Abbey looking every inch a princess in an exquisite Sarah Burton gown with an eight-foot train.

Anticipation rose as the wedding party arrived. The Princes were dashing in full military uniform; William as a Colonel of the Irish Guards, and Harry as a Captain of the Household Cavalry. Members of the wedding arrived one by one at the Abbey’s west door (the official royal entrance) and proceeded down the centre aisle to the High Altar. The aisle was lined with live trees. Kate wanted decorations that were seasonal and very English, and chose six English Field Maples as symbols of humility and reserve, and two Hornbeams, which symbolize resilience. Once the State Trumpeters of the Household Cavalry heralded the arrival of Will’s grandparents, HM Queen Elizabeth II and HRH the Duke of Edinburgh, next came the

Kate had worked very closely with Sarah Burton on the design to combine “the traditional with modernity.” Teams of master craftsmen produced the exquisite white and ivory satin gown with French and English lace, and embroidery by the Royal School of Needlework. Her hair was long and loose, and she wore a silk veil with a halo tiara borrowed from the Queen, a royal heirloom made by Cartier in 1936. Michael Middleton walked his daughter down the aisle to “I Was Glad,” by British composer Charles Parry. Private words and a smile were exchanged between brothers as Prince Harry commented about Kate’s imminent arrival at the altar, and once Prince William saw his bride, he blushed sweetly as he complimented her.

Wedding Essentials 2011 105

royal wedding recap

HOW TO TRAVEL IN ROYAL STYLE Getting to the church on time requires a regal ride: • Prince William and Prince Harry arrived at the Abbey in a maroon Rolls-Royce • Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall rode in a Rolls-Royce Phantom IV; presented to the young Elizabeth in 1950 • Carole Middleton and her son James purred up in a black Jaguar • All of Kate’s and William’s relatives were carried in special chartered coaches • Kate Middleton and her father made their dramatic appearance in a black Rolls-Royce After the ceremony • The newlyweds rode in a 1902 State Landau open carriage pulled by white horses; the very same carriage used for William’s parents’ (Charles and Diana) wedding • The Best Man, Maid of Honour and attendants rode in Ascot Landau carriages • The parents of the bride and groom, and the Queen and Prince Phillip rode in glassed Semi State Landau carriages • William borrowed his father’s classic Aston Martin DB6 to drive his new bride back to Clarence House. The blue Aston Martin was converted to a hybrid at the Prince of Wales’ request. For the special day it sported a “Learner” plate in front, with festive balloons tied to the back and a rear license that read, “JU5T WED”

106 Wedding Essentials 2011

The single-ring ceremony lasted about an hour. In keeping with royal custom, Kate’s ring was made of Welsh gold, from the same nugget used to craft many royal rings over the past 88 years. Kate’s brother, James, read from Romans 12. Once the congregation sang “God Save The Queen,” the royal couple entered the Chapel of St. Edward the Confessor, where they signed the marriage certificate and three official registers. The new Duke and Duchess of Cambridge then left the cathedral as the bells of Westminster Abbey played a special peal of celebration, ringing out across London for three hours after the ceremony. They waved to the cheering crowds along the processional route as carriages took the wedding party back to Buckingham Palace for the official royal photographs. Then everyone stepped onto the Palace balcony to greet the crowds and cameras. Once again, the couple broke with tradition and shared not one but two kisses for the public, as the Royal Air Force performed their fly-by over the Palace. The roar of the crowds was so loud that one little bridesmaid, Prince William’s goddaughter Grace Van Cutsem, covered her ears and frowned at the world. The receptions for the couple were offlimits to the world’s press, but all reports indicate that the mixture of tradition and fun continued. The Queen hosted a lunchtime state reception at Buckingham Palace for 650 guests. Prince Charles hosted the evening reception, a black tie affair for 300 of their closest friends and family. William wore a tuxedo and Kate was again stunning in a strapless white gown and bolero jacket by Sarah Burton. By all accounts, it was the perfect celebration for these down-toearth royals. Pippa, a professional party planner, helped transform Buckingham Palace’s Throne Room into a disco for the night. Prince Harry took it upon himself to

make sure everyone had fun and drinks throughout the evening. During dinner speeches, Harry joked about William’s lack of romance before he met Kate. Prince Charles got in a few jibes about his and William’s baldness. Kate’s father told how he knew the couple were getting serious “when I found a helicopter in my garden,” referring to William’s landing of his military helicopter in a field behind Kate’s home in Bucklebury, Berkshire in 2008. Royals and commoners reportedly danced the night away, with Harry stage diving and break dancing, and everyone singing Beatles songs at the top of their lungs. The couple’s favourite singer, Ellie Goulding, sang Elton John’s “Your Song” for their first dance, which lasted all of 30 seconds before Will got shy and requested something faster so everyone could dance. He wasn’t too shy, though, when he and Kate later performed a lipsync of “You’re The One That I Want” from the musical Grease. Harry apparently got quite emotional when he said his goodbyes to his brother and sister-in-law around 3:00 a.m., but the party didn’t stop there. Harry led a small group back to the Goring Hotel and kept the fun going until 5:00 a.m. Kate and William are clearly head-overheels in love, and that love shone through all the formality of a royal wedding. Guests report that Kate got weepy when Harry said he loved her like a sister, and there wasn’t a dry eye in the room when William toasted his “beautiful bride,” calling her “my rock,” and saying how much his mother would have loved to have been there. Harry summed it up best when he raised his glass, turned to his big brother and said, “Our mother would be so very proud of you.” 

We’ve got the wedding

BLUES Who needs glass slippers to feel like a princess? Reportedly considered as a possible shoe choice by Kate Middleton for her big wedding, these London-designed, Farfalla Electric Blue satin heels with bright butterfly accents are stunning enough to make any Cinderella feel like the belle of the ball, even past midnight. Available in Toronto at Powder or online at

royal blue


EVEN THOUGH YOU DIDN’T GET THAT INVITATION TO WILLIAM AND KATE’S WEDDING, YOU CAN STILL LOOK AS REGAL AS A ROYAL WHEN YOU ADD RICH, ROYAL BLUE ELEMENTS TO YOUR WEDDING WHITES! HERE ARE SOME SENSATIONAL STANDOUTS. Interest in gemstones like sapphires has grown thanks to the Duchess of Cambridge’s famous heirloom ring that once belonged to the lovely Princess Diana. Style your own version using the blue gem as either the focal stone or supporting player in custom pieces like this created by Toronto designer/goldsmith Leif Benner,

A small purse is a bridal necessity, so why not carry a luxe clutch that gets noticed? This royal blue Sergio Feretti clutch adorned with rhinestones sparkles with style and glamour. Both your “something blue” and a handy place to stash your lipstick and keys, you can’t help but fall in love with it. Find this style and others like it at Melanie Lynn, The Baggery and other fine boutiques.

Photo: Christina Dekirmendjian

2012 EDITION AVAILABLE NOW! Practical yet elegant ideas on creating a lavish wedding. Pick up your free copy at better wedding retailers, bridal registries, hotels, banquet halls, and bridal shows throughout the GTA.

Wedding Essentials Wedding Essentials 2011 107

honeymoons & destinations



108 Wedding Essentials 2011



he island is situated in the southern Caribbean and boasts year-round cooling trade winds, average annual temperatures of 82 Fahrenheit and less than 20 inches of rainfall per year. Aruba serves up 28 luxurious hotels/resorts, championship golf courses, sumptuous spas, casinos, international and local cuisine, exclusive shops and boutiques, exciting water activities, art galleries and museums, festivals and events, clubs and cafes with live music and worldclass beaches. Aruba takes its conservation seriously, taking great care to ensure its eco-friendly initiatives and island-wide conservation efforts preserve its beautiful beaches and natural attractions. For years, Aruba has been working with Green Globe/Earthcheck, a worldwide program that assists the travel and tourism industry to attain sustainability and respond to the major environmental problems facing the planet, including climate change, waste reduction and non-renewable resource management. Of the 85 certified hotels in the Caribbean and Central America, 10 percent are located in Aruba, including: • Amsterdam Manor Beach Resort • Aruba Beach Club • Bucuti Beach Resort • Manchebo Beach Resort • Costa Linda Beach Resort • La Cabana All Suite Beach Resort & Casino • Playa Linda Beach Resort • Hyatt Regency Aruba Several others are on track for certification as well. Palm Beach Hotel Strip

Old Man and the Sea Restaurant

Wedding Essentials 2011 109

honeymoons & destinations

Apart from Green Globe certification, Aruba is undertaking a series of environmental initiatives which help contribute to a greener island. The reforestation of Arikok National Park is underway, with the planting of native fruit trees to repopulate the flora and fauna. A number of Aruba’s beaches are part of a six-million-dollar project to receive Blue Flag certification, with phase one completed, and the beaches of Arahi, Baby Beach and Mangel Halto receiving certification last year. Additionally, the Wind Energy Park at Vader Piet, which opened in 2009, has already reduced Aruba’s dependency on oil by producing an average of 20% of the island’s total energy. Other community grassroots eco-efforts include: • Salba nos Buriconan, a volunteer-run donkey sanctuary that takes in sick and injured animals, • Turtugaruba, a local foundation that protects giant sea turtles, and • StimAruba, an advocacy group protecting all of Aruba’s fauna, flora and marine life. Residents and visitors to the island can get involved in Aruba’s environmental preservation through yearly events. The 18th annual Aruba Reef Care Project, a clean-up of the island’s most popular beaches, dive and snorkel sites, raises awareness for clean marine environments and, with over 800 participants, it is the island’s largest volunteer environmental initiative.

Hyatt Aruba Pool View

Wedding Essentials 2011 111

honeymoons & destinations

Aruba’s 10th National Coastal Clean Up is another opportunity to make a difference. The clean-up is concentrated on coastal areas throughout the island including the beaches. The Aruba resorts that are Green Globe certified meet the required criteria in implementing a sustainable system: training their employees to follow initiatives, using accurate promotional materials to spread the word, and creating a sustainable design for their buildings and infrastructure. All these steps ultimately lead to customer satisfaction and the development of an eco-friendly environment guests can enjoy. Among standout practices, the Hyatt Regency Aruba was lauded for: • The use of natural ventilation in the main lobby, befitting the resort’s tropical location and resulting in substantial energy savings. • Use of premium environmentally friendly solutions, such as the planned introduction of biodegradable food trays instead of cheaper polystyrene trays. • The roof garden with skylights for the Ruinas del Mar restaurant, hailed as “one of the few successful roof gardens in Aruba” in the Green Globe Certification Audit Report. • Community work by employees done during work time, notably the volunteer EMBRACE Project that included the clean-up (by staff, volunteers and even hotel guests) of two cherished landmarks — the Bushiribana Gold Smelter Ruins and the Balashi Gold Mine Ruins — during 2009. Some of the environmental initiatives at the Bucuti Beach Resort include: • Switching to greener, eco-friendly types of paper for its marketing materials, resulting in 82 saved trees, reducing waste water by 37,617 gallons and solid waste by 2,315 pounds, and also reducing greenhouse gases by 7,936 pounds. • The lowest per-occupied-room electricity usage of all Aruba hotels. • Using local suppliers and products. • Solar panels that heat water for guest rooms and the laundry. • Water reducers, which reduce water flow by 60% in showers and faucets, and low-flow toilets. • Sink and shower water is treated and reused in the gardens. • Providing in-room soap, shampoo and lotion dispensers instead of individual plastic containers. • Using bio-degradable and environmentally friendly detergents. So while the cool ocean breezes blow as you and your partner soak up the sun on the warm beach, know you are doing your part to save a little piece of the planet.  Old Man and the Sea Restaurant Entrance

112 Wedding Essentials 2011

For more information on Aruba and its eco-friendly initiatives, visit or call 1-800-TO-ARUBA.

43 years experience specializing in: North American, Kosher (on site kosher kitchen), Italian, Portuguese, Greek, Russian, South American, Chinese, Flipino, East & West Indian, Middle Eastern, Vegetarian, Polish & Ukranian with over 3.5 million satisfied guests. Exclusive Paradise outdoor garden and tent facility for photos and onsite ceremonies

Bridal Show Special (May to December) Book an appointment through this ad and receive: s Swiss Milk Chocolate Fondue Station with Fresh Fruits & Toppings sSix types of hot hors d’oeuvres s Three types of frozen martinis

s 50% off any wedding cake by Paradise Halls in house pastry chefs s Instead of 4 hour Standard Bar, you will receive the 7 hour Deluxe Bar

Wedding Special Package (Saturday from January to mid April or any Friday or Sunday Summer months ) Limited time offer Three Course Dinner $49.00 plus taxes & gratuity

Voted #1 for Product and Service *ANE3TREET #ONCORD /NTARIO,+8sFor a private consultation call



Floral Fantasy Whether it is a subtle pink blush on an elegant nosegay of white roses, or a riot of colour bursting from a tropical bouquet, flowers steal every scene they’re in. The sight and fragrance of these natural beauties are enough to make any woman swoon, so be sure to explore all the choices Mother Nature has to offer when you select your wedding flowers. We’ve assembled a parade of pretty blooms that have co-starred with real brides on the big day. FLOWERS: Designs In Bloom, London PHOTO: Jenn Stark Photographers | 114 Wedding Essentials 2011


FLOWERS: Designs by Law, Rockton PHOTO: Cipriano Palmer Photography |

FLOWERS: Rose Pro, Newmarket PHOTO: | 705-735-9839

FLOWERS: Mrs. Park Florals PHOTO: Cipriano Palmer Photography

116 Wedding Essentials 2011


FLOWERS: Schakel's Greenhouse, Kettleby PHOTO: Jenn Stark

118 Wedding Essentials 2011

The City's Best Bridal Shows! Get inspiration for your big day from the finest wedding experts and see the latest trends at our fashion shows!

SEPTEMBER 9-11, 2011 International Centre, 6900 Airport Road, Mississauga FREE PARKING!

JANUARY 27-29, 2012 Direct Energy Centre, Exhibition Place, Toronto B R I D E S T O B E A R E F R E E* (*January Show Only)

Fashion Show Hours Friday 7:30 pm Show Hours

Friday 5 pm - 9 pm

Saturday 2 & 6 pm

Saturday 10 am - 8 pm

Sunday 1 & 4 pm

Sunday 10 am - 6 pm

For more information or exhibitor opportunities Call 1-800-693-7986 or 905-842-6591



PHOTOS: Cipriano Palmer Photography 120 Wedding Essentials 2011

Now Earn Aeroplan Miles... at Downtown Toronto’s Finest Boutique Hotel.

With our compliments: Full breakfast buffet

High-speed internet

5,000 sq.ft. fitness centre and pool

In-room movies

Shuttle service to anywhere in the financial core

Rooftop patio and California hot tubs with an incredible view of the city

416 • 863 • 9000 or call 1• 877 • 32 • GRAND

Book online

Earn up to 3,500 Aeroplan® Miles per week. Earn 15,000 Aeroplan® Miles per monthly stay. is Grand. ® Aeroplan is a registered trademark of Aeroplan Limited Partnership.


FLOWERS: Zoki Eclectic Floral Designs, Mississauga PHOTO: Cipriano Palmer Photography

122 Wedding Essentials 2011


... and a




ot something in your shoe? If it’s your wedding day, that’s good news. Since the age of Queen Victoria, many a bride from Britain and other Commonwealth countries (like Canada) has followed the longstanding tradition of placing a sixpence in the left shoe for good luck on her wedding day. The complete poem reads, “Something old, something new, Something borrowed, something blue, And a sixpence in her shoe.” Modern brides like to tick off the first four on the list but often forget about the last. What do they all mean, anyway? Something old symbolizes continuity, especially with family. By carrying a token from your mother or grandmother, you are creating a link between their lives and yours. Something new carries with it the optimism of a fresh life. You and your husband will be beginning a Photos courtesy of

124 Wedding Essentials 2011

journey together and something new represents that bright future. Something borrowed is an item loaned to the bride from a happily married friend or family member. It is significant because it embodies the hope that the lender’s good fortune in marriage will rub off on the new couple. Something blue is a nod back to history, when the colour symbolized love, purity and fidelity. Blue was a common colour for wedding dresses. Since the Virgin Mary was often depicted in blue, a bride who was pure would usually wear an item of blue, sometimes a ribbon woven into her hemline. And the sixpence? It’s a small silver coin minted from the 1800s in England continually through the decades until 1967. It was worth six pennies. Over the years, the coins have proudly worn the crowned heads of Queen Victoria, King Edward VII, King George V, King George VI, and Queen Elizabeth II. Originally minted in pure silver, they were eventually produced at only 50% silver, and finally had none at all after 1946. Often difficult to find now, a real silver sixpence can be a cherished gift to a bride about to take her long walk to the altar. Online vendors like sell a variety of affordable pieces from a range of years, some first minted more than 100 years ago. Or you can opt for a sixpence pendant or anklet. Of course if you can’t find your own original sixpence, any silver coin will do. For a modern take on the tradition, why not carry the silver coin from the Royal Canadian Mint that has the engraved images of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge? It’s sure to bring extra good luck with the young Royals secretly “attending” your wedding. So after you’ve remembered your other somethings don’t forget to add a lucky coin. You’ll be following in the footsteps of more than a century’s worth of happy brides! 

Toronto London Sarnia Chatham

View our online galleries at

1-866-433-3267 Serving the Greater Toronto area and all of Southern Ontario

Toronto London Sarnia Chatham

Wedding Essentials 2011 125

book reviews

FICTION MY ONE AND ONLY by Kristan Higgins (HQN Books; April 2011, $7.99 US/$9.99 CDN) If you’ve never read a romance novel before, you may be surprised at how much fun they can be. And what better time to grab one that while engaged to the man of your dreams? Best-selling romance writer Kristan Higgins tells the story of a modern love triangle between Harper James and her infuriatingly good-looking but complicated ex-husband Nick, and her current handsome boyfriend and all-around good guy, Dennis. Harper had married young and it ended badly, but she has put that passionate folly behind her and is thinking it might be time to get married again.




126 Wedding Essentials 2011

When all three are thrown together at a family wedding, the woman who thought she had moved on in her life has to reassess everything. It doesn’t help that she winds up on a road trip of sorts with Nick, who still manages to push all her buttons – in every way. Hard choices must be made when Dennis decides to propose and Harper must ultimately pick between the two men who represent her past and her present. Which one will be her future? We can’t spoil the ending for you, so be sure to grab My One and Only to find out.


After the bride, who cares most about the wedding? Hint: It’s not the groom. Co-author and mother of the bride Susan Wiggs says, “Watching your daughter’s dreams come true is the sweetest pain you’ve ever felt.” Definitely not a typical wedding planning guide, this is the engaging struggle of a mother trying to navigate the murky waters of helping her daughter plan her wedding. Told in alternating chapters by both women with different points of view, the writing is breezy and amusing; you feel like you’re sitting at their kitchen table with a good cup of coffee and a plate of warm banana bread in the middle of a family conversation. The personal anecdotes relate to any family dynamic, and for a young woman with a constant buzz of decisions whirling around her head, it’s insightful to stop and consider the perspective from another angle.

Wedding Essentials 2011 127

book reviews Here’s a glimpse into what your Mom may really be thinking. Moments before the ceremony, I consider drawing Elizabeth aside for one final motherdaughter chat before she headed out on her epic trek down the aisle. In the meltdown room, we would lovingly embrace and I would tell her … what? After all this time, and all the planning and advice and arguments and hilarity, what on earth was left to say? That I love her? (Duh.) That I’m proud of her and excited for all the future holds? (Again, duh.) The truth is, by the time this moment arrives, there is nothing left to say. She knows it all. You know she knows. Flogging the issue one last time is only going to make you both cry and ruin your make-up. Now your job is to simply walk down the aisle, take your seat in the front row and get out your hankie. But still, be prepared to have a pang. There will come a moment when everything stops, like the wind taking a breath in the middle of a storm, and it hits you right in the solar plexus – your daughter’s life is heading off in a different direction, away from you. There might be this searing thought: no bloody way. You want to grab the groom by his big, flapping ears and say, “Forget about it. I changed my mind. You can’t have her. She’s mine. I put twenty-five years of blood, sweat and tears into this child and you’re not about to take her away.” I bet lots of moms feel this way. Of course you don’t want to let her go. She’s your heart, your soul, and there’s no way you’re sharing her. These feelings are normal. And, trust me, they will pass, blown away by the winds of change. I’m not being a Pollyanna when I tell you that nobody’s taking her away. She’s not going anywhere. She’ll never leave your heart. That precious little girl, the one who whispered her secrets in your ear and snuggled up to you in the “big bed” is still there. She lives inside you, in your deepest memories, and she’ll always be there, no matter where life takes you … or her. 

Excerpt from How I Planned Your Wedding: The All-True Story of a Mother and Daughter Surviving the Happiest Day of Their Lives, by Susan Wiggs & Elizabeth Wiggs Maas. (Harlequin; February 2011; $21.95 US.) Reprinted with permission.

128 Wedding Essentials 2011

It’s all about life!

Approximately 3,800 Canadians are waiting for a kidney, heart, liver or lungs. Thousands more are waiting for tissue donations – skin, a cornea for someone whose sight has been damaged, a heart valve to replace a faulty one, or a bone graft for a bone ravaged by cancer. To indicate that you would like to be an organ or tissue donor, state your wishes in your will. You can also register your desires at an OHIP offfice when you renew your red-and-white health card. If you renewed your card without registering your wishes, you can go to and download an Organ and Tissue Donation Registration form. Fill it out and mail it to the address on the form. For many, the chance to live a full life won’t come unless many more of us consider organ and tissue donation. Discuss organ donation with your family and friends. Help others to find a chance to live a full life.

happily ever after ‌


Newly married couple Jane and Alfonso Agostino are practically dancing in the streets on their wedding day, Sept. 4, 2010. The breathless excitement on their faces is also due to racing onto the very busy University Avenue in downtown Toronto between red lights to capture this exuberant shot. Congratulations!

PHOTO: Blue Monkey Pictures Inc. | 130 Wedding Essentials 2011

oyster perpetual day-date ii and lady-datejust

Wedding Essentials Magazine  

Spring/Summer 2011