Wedding Essentials | Winter/Spring 2014

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F REE! Compl imen

tary Bride’s Surviva l Guide See pa ge

Trends & Choices Wedding Cuisine

Ideas Romance Amazing Photos Real-Life Weddings

Choosing a Photographer Key Questions To Ask

Winter/Spring 2014


D I S P L AY U N T I L M AY 1 1 , 2 0 1 4

Cover photo by MPSG Weddings Other cover credits see page 10

Edible Art Gorgeous Gowns Beautiful Florals ...And More Inspiration For Your Wedding


FROM THE PUBLISHER We’ve provided a free bridal registry—a place where you can make your own bridal website that can be as simple as a location to store your engagement photos, to having your personal password-protected registry online. You don’t have to stick with one store anymore...this is like ‘pinning’ the gifts you would like to receive to your own site, for your guests to choose from. You have video thank you cards and the ability to have a cash registry, or sell tickets to your events, as well as to receive RSVPs from your video invitation. It’s all yours, with the compliments of Wedding Essentials. We have married our print media with digital media in order to make it easier for you to create your dream wedding. But that’s still not all.

We are not alone. I remember when I was planning my wedding, back in the last century, Mary and I felt that we were the first couple ever to have to make all the decisions that were necessary for a smooth wedding ceremony and reception. Fortunately, we, like you, were not alone. There are many sources for finding help. Wedding Essentials has a history of making this daunting task easier, by letting you maintain control throughout the months of planning. But we’re not the same magazine that your mother may have used. Yes, we have the print version of the magazine, which you are currently reading, as well as our sister publications, The Savvy Bride and The Bride’s Survival Guide, but we are on the leading edge of the digital revolution. With the use of your smart phone, you can scan any one of the QR Codes in our Advertisers’ Directory and immediately receive the information that you request. You can also scan the QR Code at the bottom of this column and instantaneously attend our Internet Bridal Show™ from the comfort of your own chair. This opens an entire world of thoughts and ideas, as well as suppliers who are waiting to answer your questions and fulfil your needs. But that’s not all.

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This information age that we live in creates more decisions for you. How can you possibly know which information is credible, and what is gossip and hype? I am proud of our Editor, Judy Johnson and her stable of writers and researchers. Judy has cut through all the noise and has created content for you in this magazine that is interesting, unique and trustworthy. The Real Life Weddings are not wild ideas of what might be, but actual weddings of interest that work. Our regular features are crammed with transferrable ideas, new trends and practical methods of creating the wedding you deserve. I’m blown away by the article of using fire and ice in a wedding celebration, and the inside look at a wedding dress designer is an eye opener. There are tips and trends about the food that is now available for your reception. Who would ever have thought of having a food truck as a caterer? But it’s not all serious. Twenty Ways to Ruin a Marriage is a light-hearted read, but has a lot of words to live by as well. Just flip through to the Table of Contents on page 8 and you’ll be carried off on an enjoyable journey of wedding planning. Enjoy,

John Webster | PUBLISHER

FROM THE EDITOR Your task is to find supplier partners who are passionate about making bridal couples’ unique wedding dreams come true and who have the expertise and experience to do exactly that. From photographers to florists to edible art creators, gown designers, bridal shop owners, wedding planners, to the people who create outstanding cuisine and all the other elements that culminate in a perfect wedding, you need to find your specialist partners, people who love their work and who are masters of it, this unique blend of art and business. We want to help you do just that. Consider us a partner in your wedding planning process. At Wedding Essentials, we’re all about passion and partnerships too—passionate about providing valuable information that will help couples navigate smoothly through the white water challenge of wedding planning. Brides tell us how much they value, and learn from, the advice they find in our editorial, suggestions and material from sources with their fingers on the pulse of the Canadian wedding industry.

Coming up to a milestone wedding anniversary has me thinking about partnerships. Although many years have passed, it seems like only a short time ago that my new husband and I walked down the wedding aisle as partners, stepping into our future together. Partnerships can rock! Or they can just be rocky. Weddings are all about partnerships—and passion. Partnerships are not to be entered into lightly...whether they are for a lifetime or for a particular reason—like your wedding. The best partnerships create something that neither party has imagined, building on the strengths and support and ideas of each partner. To do that means being open—open to possibilities—that is when what is created surpasses a solo vision. Which is why the choice of your wedding vendor partners is key to the outstanding wedding celebrations you imagine.

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Partnerships are also about change...about adapting and changing as we grow and embrace new experiences, changing times and circumstances. Like a couple in a marriage, Wedding Essentials is constantly changing, adapting, and evolving to meet new needs and expectations. Congratulations on your engagement! I wish you joy as you plan the wedding you’ve imagined. I wish you happiness as you begin a wonderful journey through life with your partner. And I wish you continuing passion for love, life, new experiences, and all the wonderful people and places that you encounter along your well as partnerships that help you achieve all of your dreams. Your partner,

Judy Johnson | EDITOR


PUBLISHER John Webster |

EDITORIAL EDITOR Judy Johnson | COPY EDITOR Dave Jones CONTRIBUTORS Jonathan Barratt | T.P. Black | Madison Good | Alicia Stewart ART DIRECTOR Mark Tzerelshtein |

SALES & ADMINISTRATION SPECIAL PROJECTS MANAGER Mary Webster | BUSINESS & PRODUCTION MANAGER Carolyn Ryan | ACCOUNTING Kelly McClatchey A C C O U N T M A N A G E R S –T O R O N T O O F F I C E Nora Lee | Beth Ander | Mark MacLean | ACCO U N T MA N AG E R– C AM B R I D G E O F F I C E Janice Brideau | ACCO U N T MA N AG E R– LO N D O N O F F I C E Barry Johnson | Wedding Essentials is published by The Town Crier of Markham Inc. ©Copyright 2013 The Town Crier of Markham Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any part of this publication in any form without the written permission of the publishers is prohibited.

Stay in the Spotlight Planning your dream wedding or enjoying being a newlywed? Make the dream last! Fortunate bridal couples who are chosen to be showcased in A Real Life Wedding feature in Wedding Essentials magazine will become wedding stars who will: • Provide inspiration and ideas for other couples • Highlight elements of their wedding and reception, using great photographs from their photographer • Tell the unique story of their romance and wedding

Wedding Essentials and Internet Bridal Show are registered trade names of The Town Crier of Markham Inc., and the unauthorized use of these trade names is strictly prohibited.

AUDITION: Tell us a bit about the two of you, your special wedding celebrations, your photographer, venue and other details

The information in this publication is believed to be accurate. However, neither Wedding Essentials nor The Town Crier of Markham Inc. can or will be held liable for the quality or performance of goods and services provided by advertisers listed herein.

LIGHTS: Enter your submission for a RLW by e-mailing it to for evaluation by our editorial team CAMERA: We will request photographs from possible finalists

FOR ADVERTISING INFORMATION CONTACT Wedding Essentials 7 Town Crier Lane, Suite 100, Markham ON L3P 2T9 Phone: 416.498.4996 email: For more wedding tips, trends and information, check out our newly-launched and rapidly-expanding website at Printed in Canada. Join us!

ACTION: We will follow up on details with the winning submissions IT’S A WRAP: When the magazine hits the newsstands it’s time for bragging rights for everyone concerned...for the starring bridal couple and supporting cast who made your wedding fantasy a wonderful reality. Practice signing autographs...

Follow us! @BrideEssentials


VO L . 1 5 , N O. 2 W I N T E R /S P R I N G 20 14


SISTERS CHOOSE THE BRIARS Victoria & Peter, Kerri & Jimmy












THREE MAKE A FAMILY Melissa & Greg & Jaden








CHOOSING A PHOTOGRAPHER Key questions to help you decide

102 TWENTY WAYS TO RUIN A MARRIAGE It may only take ten of these to do the job 106 T IPS & TRENDS FOR FOOD Wedding cuisine


WEDDING PLANNER FOR ONTARIO BRIDES The Bride’s Survival Guide is a 128-page planner/organizer created specifically for brides in SouthCentral Ontario. It gives you detailed information on every aspect of getting married—from how to word your invitations to how to pack for your honeymoon. To request your FREE copy (a $39.95 value), complete and mail the postcard opposite page 67. Or complete the request form at (Quantities are limited.)

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MONDO WEDDINGS Fun, fantastic, fabulous news items


FASHION PASSION Inspiration from beautiful Ontario brides


EDIBLE ART Palate pleasure possibilities


FLORAL FANTASY Beautiful blooms that delight


BEAUTY Products to help you look your best


NEAT STUFF A sampling of products to test drive

114 PLANET ONTARIO Celebrating Ontario’s cultural diversity


ON THE COVER PHOTOGRAPHY: Andrew Hiorth, MPSG Weddings | MODEL: Carmen Corcoz STYLIST: Michelle De Sousa | MPSG Inc. GOWN: Badgley Mischka from Windfall Brides HAIR: Sarah Majkut MAKEUP: Amanda Mutti ACCESSORIES: Bitter Sweet VENUE: Apollo Convention Centre

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




Ceremony On Site

Included In Price

Outdoor Area

Special Menus

NORTH OF TORONTO Chateau Le Jardin Conference & Event Venue




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



F G It P

Christies Mill Inn & Spa








Ca Ch G H In It Ja K P V

Copper Creek Golf Club

905.893.3370 Ext. 202






H In It K









The Briars Resort, Conference Centre & Spa


905.722.3271 Ext. 2730

up to 150





Ca Ch F G H In It Ja P V O

Woodington Lake Golf Club


905.936.9523 Ext. 232






Ca F G P V

905.427.7757 Ext. 300






F In H Ja V

Castlefield Event Theatre







F G It Ja P V O

Distillery Events:







Ca Ch F G In It Ja K P V O

– Archeo



Ca Ch F G In It Ja K P V O

– The Fermenting Cellar



Ca Ch F G In It Ja K P V O

– The Loft



Patterson-Kaye Resort and Spa

SOUTHEASTERN ONTARIO Deer Creek Golf & Banquet Facility


Hilton Toronto/Markham Suites Conference Centre & Spa

Ca Ch F G In It Ja K P V O

905.470.8500 Ext. 2046






H K Ch In







H It P

Ancaster Mill







Banquet Royale Ltd.













Ch G It V Other-Celieac

519.652.6022 Ext. 575






V Other-Custom


The Old Mill Inn and Spa


Benmiller Inn & Spa


Best Western Plus Stoneridge Inn & Conference Centre Cambridge Mill

H It K P V O

519.648.1828 Ext. 2





Carlisle Golf & Country Club







G H It P V

Century Pines Golf Club







G H It P V

519.421.0030 Ext. 34

Up to 375

wknd rental



519.681.0680 Ext. 8208



Cowan Park Banquet Hall Delta London Armouries Hotel Four Points by Sheraton London Grand Victorian Convention Centre Hessenland Country Inn Kurtz Orchards








Ca F G H In It P V











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







V Other-German







Ca Ch F G H In It Ja K P V

Lionhead Golf & Country Club







H In K V, Vegetarian

Mohawk Inn & Conference Centre







Northridge Municipal Golf Course

519.756.6345 Ext. 211






Royal Niagara Golf Club







It V G H It P V

Royal Ontario Golf Club







G H It P V

Spencer's at the Waterfront

905.633.7494 Ext 2






The Stratford Country Club

519.271.4212 Ext.231







The Windermere Manor

519.858.1414 Ext. 432






V Other-Custom






Westover Inn


Whistle Bear Golf Club

519.650.2327 Ext. 2

$45.00 170-440



Special Menus Ca – Caribbean Ch – Chinese

F – French G – Greek

H – Halal In – Indian

It – Italian J – Jamaican

K – Kosher P – Portuguese

V – Vegan O – Other

E. F. G. H.

I. J. K. L.

M. N. O. P.

Q. R. S. T.

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

Included In Price A. B. C. D.

Dinner wine Champagne toast Chair covers Disc jockey

Wedding cake Hors d’oeuvres Bridal suite Gift for couple

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Late-night buffet Non-alcoholic punch Limousine Engagement photo

Chocolate fountain Sweet table Limited bar included Tasting for two

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

view 360°





LOVE LOCKS DECLARATIONS WORLDWIDE The placing of padlocks, known as love locks, in public places like bridges and fences shows no signs of abating. The undying love displays can be found around the globe, including the Czech Republic, Japan, Korea, Belgium, Germany, and China. While public officials worry about the weight of thousands of locks creating a public safety hazard on bridges like Pont De L’Archevêché in Paris, newlyweds and other lovers around the world continue the practice of attaching a lock with their names and a date. They believe that their love will be “locked forever” as they throw away the key, often into a river below. Ed. comment: Is this symbol of “locking love” contrary to its very essence? Some would argue love cannot be “locked”—that it must involve freedom and the risk of potential loss.



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The earth moved on this bride’s wedding day—literally. News anchor Chen Ying was on her way to her wedding when an 7.0 earthquake rocked Sichuan, China, The South China Morning Post reported. Dressed in bridal gown, Ying calmly transitioned from bride to news reporter. She took to the streets with a microphone to interview locals on-air to report breaking news of the tragedy. Photos of the reporter/bride in the real-life trash-the-dress situation went viral. She was widely praised for rising to the occasion with superb professionalism. Here’s to a wonderful marriage Chen Ying. If you are as dedicated to your relationship as you are to your job, you and your groom are bound to have a wonderful future.


REUSE, RECYLE, RESULTS IN TRULY UNIQUE GOWN Every bride wants a special bridal gown, but Stephanie Watson’s vision for her wedding gown was totally unique. This was definitely not white-bread wedding attire! Australia’s Geelong Advertiser reported this delightful story. Stephanie dated Will Wapling for about 10 years before they took their wedding vows. Throughout the years Stephanie collected 10,000 coloured plastic bread tags to create the gown she designed for her wedding. Many followed the construction of the gown, nicknamed “Nadine”, on a blog. More than 300 hours were needed to produce the one-of-a-kind, seven-kilogram creation. All the best, Stephanie and Will—may you create a future together that is as fresh and original as your wedding day vision.

PRE-WEDDING PHOTO SESSION BECOMES SURPRISE WEDDING Everything is bigger in Texas, even surprises! What would most brides think—and do—when faced with this “Deal or No-Deal” question? Seven months before their nuptials were scheduled to take place in Southlake, Texas, Brandon Cassata asked his bride-to-be to prepare for a pre-wedding photo session, dressed in her wedding gown. Imagine MaryCathrin McCarthy’s surprise on the way to the hotel when she got this iPad video message— “Let’s get married today!”. Family and friends were already at the venue, watching a live feed of her reaction. Cassata told that he wanted “to reduce the stress on her. Her mother...was kind of my coach in all this”. McCarthy said it was “perfect”. Best wishes Mary-Cathrin and Brandon. Here’s to a happy marriage filled with many more wonderful surprises.


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a real-life wedding

Victoria & Kerri A tale of two sisters’ weddings... at the same venue, months apart

Kerri Horn & Jimmy Budny MEETING & PROPOSAL Kerri and Jimmy were both students in the Travel & Tourism course at Seneca College when they met. A shared interest in travelling soon led to shared love. Jimmy planned the proposal moment carefully, pretending to be nonchalant as he and Kerri enjoyed an afternoon paddle boat ride on Lake Rosseau. He was acting as tour guide, pointing out sights. Kerri was admiring the scenery, including the interesting cottages on shore, and when she turned, was surprised to see Jimmy holding an engagement ring in his hand. The beautiful sights of Muskoka were suddenly completely forgotten!

Sisters Kerri (left) and Victoria (right) Horn are brides who chose the same location for their weddings, a heritage Ontario lakeside resort, The Briars on Lake Simcoe. Their wedding receptions were held in the Summer House, the 1920s original golf clubhouse. At both weddings, the dimpled, red-tressed, blue-eyed wee flower girl almost stole the show! It’s easy to see these beautiful young women are sisters. Their personalities are quite different, however—Kerri tends to take some time to think through things and make decisions while Victoria, the older sister, is more impulsive—just jump in and do it.


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WEDDING HIGHLIGHTS Kerri and Jimmy loved the unique charm of The Briars. With the beautiful grounds, delicious wedding menu options and allinclusive packages, the choice of the venue was an “easy one”, especially since they had enjoyed her sister’s wedding there. The duo planned their wedding with help from family and everyone was excited to see how the day unfolded. The Fall wedding day brought showers, but luckily the clouds parted just long enough for great wedding photographs, including timeless photos on the dock extending into Lake Simcoe. Although the ceremony had been planned for the front lawn of the Manor House, where Kerri’s sister’s wedding had taken place months before, inclement weather necessitated a move inside to the Admiralty Room. Kerri walked down an aisle lined with lit lanterns to the gentle strains of Anne’s Theme by H. Hardy from Anne of Green Gables, played by a violin and cello duo. The bride and her attendants carried white roses and calla lily bouquets. The Summer House reception featured a candy table with a selection that included yogurt pretzels, caramel corn and coconut mallows; bags encouraged guests to take goodies home. Rave reviews from guests were earned by a dinner menu that ended with a baked apple and almond tart with oatmeal crisp and Tahitian vanilla ice cream and strawberries. Kerri smiles, “we will always look back fondly on our charming wedding celebrations, a day of celebration and lifetime commitment to each other”. WE

BRIDAL GOWN: Kyra by Maggie Sottero | Helen’s Bridal, Barrie | 705.734.0680 HAIR & MAKEUP: Stylin’ Salon | 905.898.7895 WEDDING CAKE: Simply Decadent | 905.953.1132 VENUE: The Briars | | 800.465.2376 PHOTOGRAPHY: Aaron Cooper, Fine Art Photography Studio | | 289.553.3303

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a real-life wedding

Victoria Horn & Peter Knox

MEETING & PROPOSAL Like her sister Kerri, Victoria Horn met her future husband because of attending Seneca College. It was his brother she met first, who later introduced her to the man of her dreams, Peter Knox. A couple of years before their wedding, Peter surprised her with a ring while they were enjoying fresh fruit for breakfast. Victoria says “she didn’t see the proposal coming at all”, although they had been ring-looking for years. Peter had an excellent idea of her taste in engagement rings from those excursions.


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WEDDING HIGHLIGHTS Victoria and Peter had a number of criteria for the venues they sourced in making their decision for their wedding celebrations. Food quality and presentation was very high on their list, as was having accommodations on site for out-oftown guests. It was also important for them to have no travel between the ceremony site and reception. The Briars rose to the top on all counts. An added touch—the old clubhouse reminded Victoria of bygone summers at camp, providing a touch of sweet nostalgia. “It is so easy to imagine how it was there a century ago, easy-going with a classic feel.” The May wedding ceremony was held on the lawn outside the Manor House, with the reception in the Summer House. Romantic violin and cello music played during the ceremony and reception. Paper lanterns, tiny lights and white roses from Ecuador and tulips from Holland, grown especially for the wedding, enhanced the black and white colour theme. Victoria’s design flair and experience were showcased front and centre with personalized details. The couple chose their signature entrée, beef tenderloin, for their wedding dinner...a standing joke being that Peter will barbecue it any day of the year, no matter how much snow, rain or blazing sunshine. Victoria chuckles as she relates how much wedding guests enjoyed the food. “Peter’s boss was the first to stand and shout BRAVO! The food got a standing ovation!” WE

BRIDAL GOWN: Ivory silk chiffon from J. Crew, Manhattan MUSIC: Sonia Klimasko | Intrada Sound | 905.967.3150 VENUE: The Briars | | 800.465.2376 PHOTOGRAPHY: Aaron Cooper, Fine Art Photography Studio | | 289.553.3303

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Fashion Passion A wedding gown is much more than a beautiful dress. Her perfect gown reflects a vision of herself that a bride has cherished for a long time. The moment when the bride is first seen in her wedding gown is very emotional and is often greeted by tears, including her own. Meet these lovely Ontario women who have transformed themselves into princess brides.

Jasmine BRIDE: Jasmine Bennett GOWN: Allure HAIR: Style House | 705.653.2620 HEADPIECE: Emily Kapff | PHOTO: CASA Productions | | 613.277.6051

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Sharan BRIDE: Sharan Lail GOWN (LENGHA): Raja Fabrics | 905.677.4360 HAIR & MAKEUP: Beauty Concept by Shirley Wu | 905.232.6978 FLOWERS: The Perfect Setting | 416.884.4802 PHOTO: Leon Chai Photography | | 416.554.2112

fashion passion


BRIDE: Janie Charocopos GOWN: Elite by Ines Di Santo GOWN SHOP: Veronica Di Santo | 905.264.5518 JEWELLERY & HEADPIECE: Superior Bridal | 905.477.1540 HAIR: Denise Bou Faycal | 416.524.7698 MAKEUP: Kristen Saxton Make-Up Artistry | 905.431.2611 PHOTO: Butterfly Kisses | | 905.265.8855

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BRIDE: Monica Soliguin GOWN: R222 in Pearl Ivory by Robin Jillian GOWN SHOP: Taylor’s Bridal | 519.669.1373 HAIR: Gravity Hair Design | 519.622.1084 FLOWERS: From The Potting Shed | 519.623.7434 PHOTO: Brian Tao, Luxography | | 416.717.2799

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fashion passion

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Connie BRIDE: Connie GOWN: Fiadora Couture by Ruslan GOWN SHOP: Sposaitalia Couturier | 905.856.5556 HAIR: Michael Kluthe Salon & Spa | 416.925.6306 MAKEUP: Mary Orlando, Featuring...You Spa & Salon | 416.783.7793 FLOWERS: Designing Trendz | 905.669.9993 PHOTO: Edris Photography | | 647.983.5004

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fashion passion

Leigh BRIDE: Leigh Bradley Graham GOWN: Caprice by Maggie Sottero GOWN SHOP: Nicholas & Elizabeth Bridal | 519.439.9843 HAIR: Katie Mullin | 647.979.4498 MAKEUP: Ooh La La | 519.955.5668 PHOTO: Your Life In Stills | | 519.524.0567

fashion passion

Ayesha BRIDE: Ayesha Khan RECEPTION GOWN (GHARARA): fabric, Novelty Cloth House, Lucknow, India DESIGNER: Ishrat Shakeel HAIR & MAKEUP: Angells Beauty | 416.824.6237 VENUE: Pearson Convention Centre | 905.494.0444 PHOTO: MPSG Weddings | | 647.692.6774

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Jennifer BRIDE: Jennifer Campione-Fortino GOWN: Manye (customized), Ines Di Santo GOWN SHOP: Ines Di Santo | | 866.899.INES HAIR: Testarossa | 416.789.3459 MAKEUP: Dionne Lafond | 416.786.2376 FLOWERS: Baroness Floral Design | 905.851.1270 PHOTO: Robert Mauriell Photography | | 647.866.2001


BRIDE: Karen Petersen GOWN SHOP: Sposaitalia Couturier, Italy | 905.856.5556 HAIR: Jessica Demoy | 416.882.1469 MAKEUP: Pamella-Alexandra | 416.910.9783 FLOWERS: Mona Lisa Florist | 905.737.0511 PHOTO: Skylite Images Fine Art Photo Studio | 905.660.5483


fashion passion

BRIDE: Lynn de Haan GOWN: Casablanca Bridal #1934 GOWN SHOP: Rainbow Bridal | 905.529.1164 HAIR: Regis Salon | 519.371.5658 FLOWERS: Wilma’s Flower Shoppe | 519.371.0344 PHOTO: Goldenview Photography | | 905.979.6044

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fashion passion


BRIDE: Stephanie Lima GOWN: Style #4203 from Paloma Blanca GOWN SHOP: Jolie Bridal | 416.651.6777 HEADPIECE: Sparko Bridal Boutique | 905.856.1546 HAIR: Salon Araujo | 416.533.7550 FLOWERS: The Toronto Florist Shop | 905.764.6332 PHOTO: Skylite Images Fine Art Photo Studio | 905.660.5483

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BRIDE: Mulenga Mary Kangwa GOWN: Juliette by Maggie Sottero GOWN SHOP: Sophie’s Gown Shoppe | 905.270.6200 MAKEUP: Amarah-Cree Barrocks | 647.567.3007 HEADPIECE & JEWELLERY: Bitter Sweet | 905.789.1688 FLOWERS: Ardenian Flowers | 905.450.2006 VENUE: Château Le Jardin | | 905.851.2200 PHOTO: MPSG Weddings | | 647.692.6774

fashion passion


BRIDE: Melissa Scarlino GOWN: Style VW351011 in blush | White by Vera Wang GOWN SHOP: David’s Bridal | 877.851.2743 JEWELLERY: Tiffany & Co. | 416.921.3900 HAIR: Lafantasie Hair Design | 905.550.2125 MAKEUP: Beautiful Creatures Makeup | 647.680.7842 FLOWERS: Cool, Green & Shady | 416.699.4004 PHOTO: HRM Photography | | 416.876.9641

Wedding Trends

a sampling of wedding trends for 2014 and beyond


WEDDING BLUES Blue hues in shades of royal blue, navy blue, sapphire and other rich blues make a statement in wedding celebrations. Think bridal attendants’ gowns, décor, floral elements, invitations. Solids dominate but accents of blue stripes and polka-dots and floral patterns with blue highlights are also contenders.


Karen Blaauw Collection notes that couples “tweak everything, even a simple solitaire, to make it uniquely their own. Some couples want to know if their custom design is possible”.

SHOE GLAMOUR Shoes haven’t been this exciting, creative and romantic-looking since Cinderella placed her tootsie in the famous glass slipper! Texture, colour,

style, heel height, embellishment...the choices are incredible, making it possible for brides’ personalities, and those of their attendants, to shine through. Women in the bridal party can wear identically-coloured shoes, but in different styles to reflect their individuality. Options include booties, cage designs, sandals and more, more, more ways to strut your stuff for your wedding celebrations.WE

Classic, elegant, classy, vintage, retro—there are lots of adjectives that can apply to lace. Experts say that, far from exhausting its run, lace in weddings remains a mega-trend for 2014 and will be a classic for years to come. Bridal gowns of all-over lace or with lace accents punctuate the runways from Paris to New York...names of specific laces like Chantilly, Guipure, and Alençon are going to enlarge a bride-to-be’s vocabulary. Lace bridal attendants’ gowns in shades from neutral to bold remain super-fashionable. You can incorporate lace in your wedding in many ways—with lace on wedding invitations, lace wedding cakes or lace icing on guest favours like cookies, lace accents in bouquets or flowers made from lace used with pearls for vintage looks or in coordination with burlap flowers for urban/rural contrasting style impact.

NECKLINES, SLEEVES, BACK DETAIL Illusion necklines for brides and bridesmaids are increasingly popular. Sheer or lacy, they provide more coverage than a strapless bodice and are charmingly feminine with a touch of classic beauty. Sleeves are in comeback mode. Depending on the gown, form-fitting sheer or lace sleeves can be very elegant, chic and sophisticated or have a funky feel. Bridal gowns and bridal attendants’ gowns that feature back interest are hot, hot, hot! Back details for brides include lace, sheer fabric embellished with lace or crystals or strands of beading draping from the shoulders or neck and many more enticing elements.

RING RAP It’s no surprise that, as in choices for their wedding celebrations, duos now want something personal and individual when it comes to engagement and wedding rings and are willing to spend a lot of time looking for exactly the rings that are right for them. Karen Blaauw of

Wedding Essentials 20 1 4 | 37

a real-life wedding

Alena & Alexander


Years of friendship between Alena Stsiazhyna and Alexander Krasnikov provided a solid foundation for romance to flourish. Originally meeting through mutual friends, they enjoyed lots of good times in the group before Cupid took aim during a road trip and friendship morphed into love.

THE PROPOSAL Celebrating their third anniversary as a couple, the duo planned a special weekend filled with favourite outdoor activities. On the last evening, they rode their bikes to a small beach to watch the sunset. Alex had more than the vibrant colours of an Ontario sunset on his mind—he had waited for the perfect time to “pop the question”. Alena describes the moment as “unexpected, amazing, and very special”.

PERFECT PEARING/PAIRING Alena and Alex love the outdoors and imagined a relaxed, casual wedding—Kurtz Orchards near Niagara-on-the-Lake was their perfect venue choice. Alena’s brother, an illustrator, designed their invitation, featuring a play on words, “The Perfect Pear”. Alex’ mom and Alena’s mom created a family tree with framed family and childhood photographs hung on a large pear tree. A conversation piece for guests at the wedding, it will be treasured by the couple throughout the years. PHOTOS: GEMINIE PHOTOGRAPHY

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WEDDING HIGHLIGHTS It is easy to imagine the scene on a sunny afternoon in midsummer. The air was fresh and subtly perfumed with all the wonderful fragrances of the fruit orchard setting. Blue sky, a few white clouds, and a gentle breeze delighted family and friends assembled to share in a unique wedding celebration. Towering, generations-old pear trees in the orchard were laden with fruit, a bountiful backdrop that underscored the couple’s vision of a pear theme. Alena was being helped with last-minute touches when her maid-of-honour sister reminded the bride-to-be what was about to take place. Alena recalls the realization hitting home that in a few minutes she would wed Alex. She was “flooded with happiness, my fondest memory of the day”. Meanwhile, her groom was waiting at the end of an orchard aisle, filled with anticipation to see his bride, on her father’s arm, walking toward him. Alena chose a strapless gown with a full layered skirt and sweetheart neckline. She approached her groom to the hauntingly beautiful strains of a violin playing Charpentier’s Prelude from Te Deum and Bach’s Air on the G String.

EDIBLE DELIGHTS Local Ontario delicacies played starring roles at the wedding reception, to rave reviews by guests. Green pears were place card holders at each guest’s table setting. Favours for the guests were jam jars filled with pear and peach jam, each wrapped with a jam spreader and a small leaf-shaped tag reading, “Spread the Love”. The charcuterie board appetizers doubled as table décor. Large wooden planks held edible displays of locally-cured meats, patés, salamis, cheese, fresh fruit and preserves, served with walnut and raisin bread. Pear and prosciutto salad with roasted almonds preceded braised short ribs in a Cabernet Sauvignon wine reduction served with wild mushroom polenta. And what would a wine country wedding be without a selection of Ontario white, red and sparkling wines... As a nod to their family cultures, the couple chose a European chocolate walnut sponge cake, accented with vanilla and chocolate custard.

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a real-life wedding MUSICAL HIGH NOTES Music filled the air—violin music for the ceremony, jazz during the cocktail hour and dinner and DJ favourites for dancing. Alena and Alex had their first dance to Feels Like Home by Chantal Kreviazuk. During the reception, the father of the bride shared marriage advice, echoing the lyrics of Ballad About Love by iconic Russian poet and singer, Vladimir Vysotsky: “Preserve and protect the magical, invisible thread that love has extended between your souls”.

THE HONEYMOON Alena and Alex took a road trip through some of Europe’s most scenic countries, including Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Austria and Croatia. They especially enjoyed spending time in the historic 1700s Croatian town of Rovinj on the North Adriatic Sea. The newlyweds strolled the streets bordered with centuries-old buildings and sampled the diversity of fresh seafood, prepared local-style. WE

Alena and Alex were delighted that their day was “full of laughter, thanks to the endless jokes of the best man and the upbeat mood of all our guests”. On their wedding day, the couple cried when “the bride’s sister gave a very moving and heartfelt speech”. Alena loves that “Alex makes every day special. He is very loving, positive and genuine and always on the go, keeping our life together fun and exciting”. Alex loves that “Alena is honest and kind and she loves her family so much. I love everything about her, head to toe”. Alena give this advice to brides-to-be: “Don’t stress. No matter what, it will be a very special day for the two of you.” Alex suggests that grooms “don’t leave things to the last minute because most things take longer than expected. Make a schedule and stick to it”.

VENUE: Kurtz Orchards, Niagara-on-the-Lake | | 905.468.2937 BRIDE’S GOWN: Mori Lee from Bella’s Brides | 647.435.9085 CAKE: Chocolada | 905.882.4825 LIVE MUSIC: The Jonathan Blaak Group | 519.209.6490 DJ: Roman K | 416.854.7662 PHOTOS: Geminie Photography | | 905.483.7014

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that dazzle and delight



People have always been fascinated by flashes of light in the heavens. Newlyweds have been saying “I do” to fireworks for centuries. The first recorded use of fireworks in England was for the wedding of King Henry VII to Elizabeth of York in 1486.

DAZZLING OPTIONS When you think peonies, chrysanthemums, dahlias, bouquet patterns or cake for your wedding celebrations, chances are you are not imagining fireworks. Along with brilliant palm trees, sparkling brocades, Italian butterflies and intertwined hearts, these are only a sampling of the fireworks bridal couples can select for WOW moments.

BE REALISTIC With all the special effects used in movies and television, sometimes couples have unrealistic expectations. This is where the experience and expertise of your fireworks or special effects suppliers is very valuable.

RAIN DATE Fireworks professionals can set off displays even if it rains, so you can check that concern off your worry list. However, consider you and your guests’ vantage point for the spectacle—will it be covered?

SHORT AND STUNNING Experts in wedding fireworks recommend the display be anywhere from 3 minutes to a maximum of about 7-10 minutes. Longer isn’t necessarily better. There is a lot going on during your wedding festivities with many highlights to be scheduled in a relatively short period. Factor in your guests’ attention span when deciding on length of the fireworks display.

fireworks. We specialize in rapid firings and layering the sky from top to bottom with dramatic pyrotechnic scenes, choreographed to music or with wedding music or the couple’s favourite music in the background”. “Don’t wait until the last minute to arrange your fireworks display. Well-established wedding fireworks experts may be fullybooked early. Obtaining municipal permits well in advance is essential. Lots of folks think you can just set off fireworks from the end of a dock in cottage country, but you cannot.” Based in the Muskokas, fireworks are set off from Pyroworld’s barge in Lake Rosseau, Lake Joseph and Lake Muskoka.

INDOOR PYROTECHNICS LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION If fireworks are a priority for you for your wedding celebrations, be very venueconscious. You may want to set off fireworks from a parking lot outside an urban venue, but restrictions could apply. Also consider whether guests might decide to leave the reception right after the fireworks finale, well before the end of your reception, putting the rest of the evening in jeopardy of fizzing out. Venues that have lots of outdoor space, like country clubs, vineyards, lake-front properties and rural settings can provide the acreage needed for knock-your-socksoff displays. The ability to obtain permits is also a major factor; find out early if, and how, they can be obtained; check with your pyrotechnician, who will have experience with this.

BANG FOR YOUR BUCK Expect prices ranging from around $1,000 to about ten times that amount for a dazzling fireworks display. If your budget is unlimited, there’s no end to the spectacles that can light up the sky—and the expressions on your guests’ faces—for your celebrations. For highbudget displays, fireworks specialists will often use visualization software to show you exactly what your scripted display will look like.

SPARKLING ADVICE Dean Fritz, creative designer and principal of Pyroworld Canada notes that “every venue can bring new challenges and opportunities, so we are careful to be sure we maximize the site for our client’s

When considering indoor pyrotechnics, be sure your vision is achievable. “What can be done on a massive stage is totally different from pyrotechnics in a smaller space, like a wedding reception venue,” cautions Jim Ward of Ward Pyrotechnics Inc. Ward should know what he’s talking about since he has created indoor pyrotechnics for top performers like Nickelback, Michael Jackson and The Rolling Stones. “Working closely with the bride and groom, wedding planner and venue is a must. So are safety and security. Like outdoor fireworks displays, indoor pyrotechnics are very venue-specific. How much smoke can you put into the atmosphere of the room without setting off a false fire alarm? How much space is available between the nearest guest and the pyrotechnics?” Indoor pyrotechnics are sensational effects for specific parts of the reception, such as the first dance or the entrance of the bride and groom. Ward sometimes uses about a dozen transformation gerbs that burn, shooting coloured sparks for a theatrical fountain effect for the entrance. A layer of gold composition is packed on top of a layer of silver. Electric matches set off the effect that lasts for about 10 seconds and can go up to 15 feet in the air. The couple are directed to stand at an open doorway where they will make their entrance. They are coached to count off 5 seconds while the gold sparks erupt, giving their photographer (who has been cued in advance) time for all-important photo ops. Then, as they step forward into the room, the gerbs burn silver.

Pyrotechnics Queries Here some suggestions for a list of must-ask questions when making your selection of a fireworks provider for wedding celebrations. Be sure to confirm every detail in the contract, well in advance of the event. • Will the fireworks provider handle all permits for the fireworks display? • Will they co-ordinate with your venue in advance? Visit the site and meet with your wedding co-ordinators there? • Can they show you proof of insurance? How much liability insurance do they carry and what does it cover? Will they co-insure your venue? • What is their professional experience? Ask about the training and accreditation for fireworks/pyrotechnics of all the people who will be involved in producing and setting off the fireworks. • Ask for current wedding references. Not everyone who sets off fireworks can produce a display that will wow couples and their guests for weddings. • What sets this particular supplier apart from the others?

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special fx


Ice and romance go together like...well, like ice and romance. The ice palace scene in the classic movie Dr. Zhivago set the ice bar for romance at Olympian heights. There is something truly magical about ice. We are drawn not only to look at ice sculpture but also to interact with it.

ICE NOTES First, how serious are you about having ice at your wedding celebrations—how much do you plan to spend? Prices range from $100 to more than $500,000 for some sculptures and ice elements featured at over-the-top, super-extravagant receptions. Will your sculptor be willing to get a feel for the celebration space? Will he work with the venue to address any fears of handling? Will he make sure any large sculptures are stable, even if guests touch them? Does he have appropriate insurance coverage? Will he or his designers work closely with you to create something uniquely yours?

ICE TRENDS When you deal with a company that designs, builds, delivers and sets up ice carvings for weddings as far afield as Miami, New York, Orlando, Las Vegas and many countries in Europe and South America, as well as for celebrations in Ontario, you can be sure it has its finger on the pulse of what customers want at their special occasions. Wedding Essentials asked Sam Bayley, Vice-President, Operations at Iceculture about latest ice trends in the wedding industry. “We’re seeing couples getting more ambitious with ice and making sure it is part of every guest’s experience at the celebrations,” notes Bayley. “Our interactive ice photo ops are an example.


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special fx


The couple’s names are etched on an ice frame with the wedding date and guests pose behind the frame to have photos taken—it’s a lot of fun and a unique souvenir of the occasion. Ice tables are increasing in popularity, being used for seafood or dessert; ice bars are becoming common and ice plates, bowls, platters and glasses are big hits, with every guest able to appreciate the ice experience.” “Head table backdrops and curtain walls are show-stoppingly stunning. Diamondshaped ice beads suspended on cable are visually attractive and even on their own are effective. They are crystal clear. Used in combination with special lighting effects, they can match the colours of the wedding décor,” Bayley adds.

FOOD & DRINK CHILLS At Festive Ice Sculptures, owner Rick Reinelt observes that ice sculptures are becoming more and more popular for weddings. His work has been featured on the TV show Rich Bride, Poor Bride. “Couples are often looking for an ice element highlight that is also functional. Ice luges are a hot trend...whether for martinis, punch, shots or champagne. Each luge can be customized with monograms or silhouettes of the duo’s interests or feature carvings of a motif. “Seafood stations are a prime place to feature ice, such as large ice platters. Ice plates with carved bowls for caviar are also popular and may also feature holders for vodka. A large shrimp luge is a dramatic centerpiece.” WE 46 | Wedding Essentials 2 014

Icy Facts... and Chilling History • Chinese fishermen and hunters are credited with creating the first ice sculptures, way back in the 1600s. They made the first recorded ice lanterns by forming ice blocks in buckets, and inserting candles into holes in the middle. • A Russian empress with a nasty sense of humour was responsible for ice being used in a major way for a wedding celebration. She arranged the marriage of an out-of-favour courtier to a woman who reportedly was particularly unattractive. The February 1740 wedding was held in bitterly cold weather. Furs draped the couple as they sat in an iron cage atop an elephant, being paraded through the streets ahead of a procession that included wolves, camels and pigs. The newlyweds were forced to spent their wedding night in an ice building, built on the frozen River Neva. Ed. note to self: Never tee off an Empress! • The Duke d’Orléans was a major fan— and lover—of operatic soprano Nellie Melba. Word is that he celebrated her triumph in Wagner’s Lohengrin in the early 1890s with a dinner that included a dessert created especially for the Australian diva. In the opera a swan boat is used and the famous chef Auguste Escoffier used an ice swan sculpture to advantage when he created “peach with a swan”, vanilla ice cream topped with peaches and spun sugar...later updating his recipe for what we now know as Peach Melba. • When Pierce Brosnan married Keely Smith, the wedding reception was held at a 13th century Irish castle. Special FX were Bond-a-licious, including an ice sculpture of Rodin’s Kiss and a spectacular fireworks display. Keely surprised her groom with ice and he surprised her with fire!

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behind the scenes

Meet The Designer

Lifting the veil on Ines Di Santo – an interview with Ines and her daughter Veronica



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Who is Ines Di Santo? We know her as a world-renowned fashion designer who works closely with her daughter, Veronica. Her dresses are masterpieces of fabric and embellishment that suit a bride’s body and personal style so well that once you have seen a bride in her Ines Di Santo wedding gown, it’s impossible to believe there could have been any other gown for her for the occasion of a lifetime. You might expect such an internationally-famous designer and her powerhouse daughter to be a tad difficult or egotistical—you would be absolutely mistaken. There are no design divas in this atelier! I’ve spoken with many Ines Di Santo brides; they all told me how wonderful their whole experience was with Ines Di Santo, how collaborative the process was when they visited the atelier to have a custom gown created for them. Their personal bridal gown journey was a major highlight of their entire wedding. From a earlier conversation with Ines, I had learned how passionate she was about her work, and how the various places she has lived and her life experiences have not only helped form the woman but also impacted her fashion style. Her love of fashion and enthusiasm for what she does and the love she has for her daughter, Veronica, comes through loud and clear. Born in Italy, Ines was raised in Buenos Aires; her mother was a tailor who made shirts. She was the young Ines’ inspiration. Ines came to Canada in the mid-1970s, starting life afresh. The early years were very difficult. Ines recalls that her first sewing machine here was one she found discarded in the Spadina garment area of Toronto. Ines and Veronica took time out from a busy schedule, preparing for the launch of their new bridal collection for the New York fashion shows, to answer some questions for Wedding Essentials’ readers.


Original sketches for Halle and Helene from Fall/Winter 2014 Couture Collection by Ines di santo


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behind the scenes

WEDDING ESSENTIALS: In an earlier conversation, you told me about your early experiences. Will you share that with our readers? INES DI SANTO: I began making dresses when I was very young. I was five and made dresses for my dolls and for my younger sister. Quinceañera or Sweet Fifteen in Argentina is a very special time for young women; when I reached that age I made dresses for all of my friends for the celebrations—I feel that was the beginning of my career. I had learned how to sew in grade school, taught by nuns. We learned intricate techniques like sewing, embroidery, beading and cut-out design. WE: When did your passion for designing bridal gowns take hold? INES: I studied at an Art School in Buenos Aires under teachers Antonio Cavasso and Lagarrige. They both helped develop my love for fashion and specifically for couture. Lagarrige had interned at Dior; he was amazing to work with and very inspiring. WE: Brides have told me how much they enjoyed working directly with you to design a gown that is perfect for them. How do you make a collaborative process like that work? INES: Making a bride’s dream come true is the best part of my job. Some have dreamt of that day since they were five years old. They have no idea what it will feel like to wear a couture wedding gown. I love seeing the reaction when they first see the dress. WE: What is the process? INES: I need to see every dress come together as it is being made. I am a perfectionist and need to see how things fall and are coming together. If it isn’t right, I correct it. I usually begin with a muslin (a test garment made from muslin fabric, not the actual gown fabric), and then create the gown from there. Then we have a few fittings to perfect the design. It must fit like a glove and look that way. When you wear one of our gowns, you need to look and feel amazing. This is what I feel makes an Ines Di Santo creation stand out—style, design, and fit. WE: Ines and Veronica, how do you fit together...professionally and personally? INES: Veronica is very special to me and plays a big role in the company. She manages all the sales and marketing and travels to all the stores that represent the collection to help build the brand internationally. She always keeps me grounded and reminds me of what is important in life. Working with my daughter makes me happy because I get to combine my home life and career together into something very special. VERONICA DI SANTO: My mother has always represented strength, innovation and courage for me. She was always very driven and ambitious and determined to make something of herself and provide me with all the finer things in life. I will always be appreciative for her efforts and her dedication to me as a mother. She inspires me to do the same and to have that very same work ethic to apply to my family and my career. It is so special to have such a talented mother. To be able to experience that, collection after collection, is truly a very special experience.

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WE: What advice do you have for a bride about choosing a wedding gown? INES: A bridal gown is a personality and the accessories and styling of hair and makeup should reflect that personality. VERONICA: I would recommend that your look be as natural as possible, otherwise you will feel as if you are wearing a costume. Your gown, accessories, hair and makeup should really represent your everyday sense of style, but be elevated by the degree of formality of your occasion. For the bride who loves to perform and dress up, I say run wild with your personality and be you! This will make you feel most comfortable on your wedding day. WE: What looks are you creating for 2014? INES & VERONICA: We are designing a lot of detachable pieces and soft-flowing and ethereal looks for our new collection. WE: Final thoughts? INES & VERONICA: Planning a wedding can be very challenging but picking the gown should be the most fun! Bring family or friends that are close to you and know you well and whom you trust when selecting your gown. WE: Thanks for letting us take a peek into your world of bridal couture and getting to know you both. Looking forward to seeing your next collection! WE

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Edible Art

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

BAKERY: Pâtisserie La Cigogne | 416.487.1234 PHOTO: Patrick JubÊ | | 416.258.1776

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edible art BAKERY: Bobbette & Belle | 416.466.8800 PHOTO: Krista Fox | | 416.824.7659

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edible art

BRIDE & GROOM: Kaya & Aaron Lewis BLACKBOARD SWEET TABLE: Sweet Table | 647.258.9559 DONUTS: Glory Hole Doughnuts | 647.352.4848 CUPCAKES: Desmond & Beatrice | 647.352.2257

BRIDE & GROOM: Saba & Anees BAKERY: Zeelicious Confectionary Delights | 905.461.0097 PHOTO: MPSG Weddings | | 647.692.6774

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edible art BRIDE & GROOM: Christina Tedesco & Marcel Vien BAKERY: Nanny D’s Cakes | 905.856.8520 PHOTO: Skylite Images Fine Art Studio | | 905.660.5483

BAKERY: Nadia & Co. Art & Pastry | 416.305.3323

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edible art

BAKERY: Pink Lemon Bakeshop| | 416.221.1333

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edible art BAKERY: Sugar Coat It |

BRIDE & GROOM: Diana & Anthony Apostoli BAKERY: Nadia Iafrate | Sucre Boutique | 416.845.2185 PHOTO: Melanie & Justin | | 519.994.1325

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a WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER leading photographers share their experience and expertise to help you in the selection process B Y J O N AT H A N B A R R AT T



our wedding photographs are your visual diary of your wedding day. Your photographer will capture moments that you share and moments you aren’t able to—a behind-the-scenes account as well. The selection of your wedding photographer is extremely important, more so than many couples anticipate. By the time they realize they have made a wrong choice it is too late. Wedding Essentials asked leading Ontario photographers to give brides and grooms advice on how to choose the photographer for their photographs of a lifetime.

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KEY QUESTIONS How much experience shooting weddings does the photographer have? There is a huge difference between a photographer who has shot 40-50 weddings and one who has shot 200 or more. If you are having a cultural wedding, inquire if the photographer has shot similar weddings and ask to see a sample.

Ask if you are the photographer’s only wedding for that weekend. You don’t want to be the 2nd or 3rd couple as your photographer will be physically and mentally exhausted and will not produce the results you were hoping for. Will any of the images you received from the wedding be edited? How long will it take to have the images ready? Find out how many will be edited and exactly what editing is going to take place. Often photographers only colour-correct the photographs, putting their fullyedited photographs on their website or in your album. Find out exactly what editing is being given with the package you are paying for and what will be at an additional charge. While some photographers can have everything edited and ready in 1-3 weeks, other studios may need 6 months or more. Ask why the photographer is doing weddings. There are so many fields of photography such as sport, fashion, family, landscape, travel, wildlife, etc. Check to see if your photographer has non-wedding examples as it will help you to discern if there is passion for the craft and that it’s not just a job that pays.


If you are booking a studio, ask who exactly the photographer for your wedding will be. Make sure that information is in the contract. I hear way too often about studios that on the day of the wedding send photographers who barely have any experience instead of the one they promised to the client.




Probably the biggest mistake a couple can make is setting their photography budget too low as they listen to advice from family members who got married 15-20 years ago or their friends who had a budget photographer from craigslist. While having a budget is very important, it needs to be realistic, current and reflect the environment you are in.

Ask for referrals, word of mouth. Previous clients are great sources of information. They presumably have spent a whole day with their before and after with consultations and follow-up sales after the wedding. Ask how the wedding day went, was the photographer

respectful, was the entire wedding group handled well, did the photographer show creativity, were any issues that arose dealt with professionally? Ask to see a FULL wedding shoot from the photographer. Anyone can snap all day and hopefully grab a few key shots. Be sure that the quality of photography is consistent and everything looks great— and not just because it’s a pretty bride in a pretty location.

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What are workflow, timing and setting expectations? Get a clear indication of how the process will work, before and after the wedding. Does the photographer have legitimate accreditation, for example, the Professional Photographers of Canada designation? This is a demanding process where images need to be submitted for critique and grading by a panel of PPOC peers, proving the photographer’s expertise in many areas. Make sure you are comparing apples to apples when reviewing/interviewing more than one photographer. For example, what one photographer sells as “edited” may not be the same as another photographer. What about albums? There are so many different types— be sure you are comparing like products.

MISTAKES Don’t choose a photographer based on the sales pitch. Were they “cool” you think you are going to get “cool” images? You need to have a fully qualified professional who takes the job you have entrusted to them very seriously. And make no mistake here, you are entrusting a very important assignment to them— undoubtedly the most important photographs you will ever have taken. Allow plenty of time to select your wedding photographer. Start the process early...very professional wedding photographers book up early.



KEY QUESTIONS Is this your full-time job? Make sure your photographer is a full-time, established professional with a great reputation. Ideally, they should have a photographic education, or an experience level that equals that.

How long will it take to receive my images? Turnaround times from professional photographers vary from a few weeks to several months. Make sure you know what to expect from your photographer.

Will I be getting YOU on the wedding day—not somebody else? It is SO important to connect and feel comfortable with your photographer. You will spend more time with your photographer on the day of the wedding than with your bride or groom.


Do I receive printing rights to the images? Make sure you are able to access the high-resolution, edited files from your disc or USB and print them where you choose after the wedding. With that being said, please, please, please use a professional lab when printing pictures, if you don’t go directly to your photographer to order albums, large prints and canvasses. How do you protect/back up the images on site and after the shoot? Ask your photographer how they prepare for worst-case scenarios.

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Cards corrupt and hard drives can crash. Make sure they back up their image in at least two, if not three, places from shooting to delivering the final product. Do the same when you receive the images.

Hiring a friend who is a photographer! We regularly get calls from clients who had a friend shoot their wedding and now want to do a second shoot in their wedding attire as they’ve either been heartbroken about the quality of the pictures or haven’t received anything back. Often couples want to recreate other wedding images they’ve seen on Facebook, Pinterest, etc. rather than living their day and allowing their own special moments to unfold in front of them. Let your photographer do the job! If you have invested in a good photographer, then trust that person to do the job...this allows the photographer to create Facebook and Pinterest images that other couples will want to copy for their weddings!



KEY QUESTIONS How many years have you been professionally photographing weddings? It can be risky to go with someone who is just starting their first wedding season. What is your favourite part of your job? This question will help you find out what the photographer is passionate about and will help you understand his/her way of thinking. My favourite time is when it’s just me and the couple and we can relax and create showstopper photos without the distractions of guests, bridal party, etc.

Do you work with a second photographer on the wedding day? Your wedding day is such an important event with so many details and emotions going on—don’t trust capturing all of them to just one photographer. Having two photographers ensures that all the memories are being captured. For example, photos being captured of the couple’s first kiss and the reaction of the parents at the same time. What is your photographic style? A photographer might have a variety of different styles of photography on her/his website—light/airy as well as dark/moody. It’s important to understand the photographer's style and to make sure it is in line with your vision for your own wedding photos.

Could I see an entire wedding? Photographers like to show “the best of the best” photos on their websites and blogs, so it’s very important to ask to see a wedding in its entirety.

MISTAKES The biggest mistake is not making quality wedding photography a top priority. I’ve heard so many horror stories from couples where they didn’t make it a priority and decided to book a wedding photographer based on budget only, or booking a photographer a month before their wedding and being very disappointed with the photos they receive. The old saying “you get what you pay for” is very true for wedding photography. WE

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TIMELY TIPS Allow plenty of time to make your selection of photographer. Look at this as a “due diligence” process and allow the time needed to research the information you require to make a fullyinformed decision. Be sure to factor in the lead time necessary to fit into the calendar of a sought-after wedding photographer. You don’t want to decide on a photographer, only to be disappointed by finding their wedding photo dates are entirely booked and there is no room for you because you waited for until the last inning.

PREPARATION “Prepare for the meeting”, advises Dmitri Markine, Dmitri Markine Fine Art Photography. “Think about what you want from your photographer; ask questions that will help you understand all the details. Don’t be afraid to ask again if you don’t understand something. Ask for references and read reviews. Any reputable photography studio should have dozens of reviews and client feedback letters or at least be able to give you contact information for a few recent clients.”

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LOVES & HATES Steve Arnone of Skylite Images Fine Art Photo Studio suggests it’s key you “get an understanding of what you like and what you don’t like in photos. If you absolutely hate a certain look or pose, then let the photographer know so that adjustments can be made early on. We use the engagement session to review what couples like/don’t like in their pictures. This helps with shooting the day of the wedding—we already know what to stay away from”.

PRICE FIX Get a fix on why photographers set their prices where they do. As Brent Foster of Brent Foster Photography cautions, “a common mistake is comparing photography solely on price. Imagine shopping for cars and just listing the prices from a Mercedes to a Ford Escort. Yes, they are all cars, but some are made better than others. Decide what you want/need in your photographer, and base your decision on quality of work. Of course, it needs to fall within a certain budget, but don’t expect to get the same quality when hiring a low-priced photographer. There’s a good reason that high quality photography is an investment. Your grandchildren will thank you one day when they look back at your wedding day”.

FUTURE FORWARD Your wedding photos are not just about today but about tomorrow, too. Corina Van Sluytman of Corina V. Photography gives some advice that is “more of a memory preservation tip. I would recommend that every bride order a professional album from their photographer. This way your photos will be beautifully printed and bound in your first family heirloom and you will have something tangible to pass on to future generations. So many brides just get the DVD of photos and never print them and sometimes even misplace it when they move, etc. The wedding album is like the final chapter in your wedding journey and it is the best way to honour your special day and preserve your family history”.

FOCUS, FOCUS By following the great advice from these professional wedding photographers, you have the information at hand that you need to be able to focus in on how to make an excellent choice when it comes selecting who will shoot your wedding photos. WE

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Free book means less stress when you plan your big day

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

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Kylene & Ronald DUBAI COUPLE FALLS FOR MUSKOKA WEDDING When love is in the air, time and distance are irrelevant. The love story of Kylene Ganigan and Ronald Batin spans the globe. The Philippines, Dubai, India, Canada, the Maldives—all figure prominently in their romantic narrative. The couple met when they both were studying engineering at Saint Louis University in Baguio City in the Philippines. Ronald describes their official first date in Abu Dhabi, U.A.E., as a “white-knuckle and audacious one”. The ice-breaker was at the Rock Bottom bar, followed by a visit to an Arabic restaurant to enjoy shisha, the traditional Arabic oriental waterpipe. Initial awkwardness melted away as they talked and laughed about all the years they had known each other and never dated.

THE PROPOSAL Kylene flew in to Abu Dhabi Airport early one morning, unaware that Ronald and his friends were busy making preparations for the proposal. He recounts that “it was nerve-wracking, as we are in an Arabic country where PDA (public displays of affection) are prohibited”. He arranged for flowers to be distributed to onlookers, for a big banner to be held by friends, for a photographer and videographer. Kylene first saw all the flowers and thought it was an early birthday surprise but then the banner was unfurled, reading “will you marry me?”. Holding a bouquet of flowers and a diamond ring, Ronald knelt down and proposed. She remembers wondering if this was real and even asking Ronald, “are you sure?”.


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ENGAGEMENT PHOTOS Imagine a romantic desert rendezvous Arabian Nights-style. Visualize camels wearing elaborate regalia against a backdrop of sand dunes, and a dashing prince and beautiful raven-haired princess. Now fast-forward over three centuries to a remote desert location outside Dubai and zoom in to see Kylene, yardslong saree blowing in the wind and Ronald, clad in a white sherwani, sitting regally atop a camel, posing for their engagement photos. Ronald had purchased Kylene’s engagement-photo saree on a business trip to India; it incorporated Ontario’s vibrant fall colours, their wedding motif.

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Arabian Nights... Modern Day ENGAGEMENT PHOTO SESSION

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What do get when you mix a couple that looks as if they stepped right out of a movie poster, exotic attire, a desert location complete with camels and a super-creative designer/photographer with an eye for the dramatic? ...Kylene Ganigan and Ronald Batin’s engagement shoot—what Ronald refers to as their prenup photos, taken by well-known Filipino fashion designer Dandilo Delima, who happens to have a photographic background. The couple, who later married in the Ontario Muskokas, work in Dubai. Earlier in their romance they had taken a desert safari tour to an “oasis” where they enjoyed camel rides, belly dancing and an Arabic dinner buffet. Their Plan A was to recreate that experience for their engagement shoot but they learned it was not possible to use the camels for an extended period of time. Plan B was to visit a desert hotel that offered camel rides, but again, the allotted time for them to be with the camels was too short. Plan C, “Plan Camel”, worked! Ronald found a local Emirati who owned camels. He invited them to lunch with him and when he learned what the couple planned, offered the camels as a gift for the day. Kylene and Ronald were delighted, but not wanting to “abuse his kindness, insisted on paying”. The owner gave the money to the camel shepherd who accompanied them on the entire shoot. Here’s Ronald’s first-hand account of the fabulous photographic session: “It was January but the temperature can still get hot in the afternoon so we started off at 5 a.m. and drove out from Abu Dhabi into the desert where we rode the camels to a couple of locations including the “oasis” at the Bab Al Shams Desert Hotel and Resort and then further into the desert. Dan was happy to see all the accessories we had gathered—the Indian jewellery, Persian umbrella, sherwani and Arabic shoes and of course the saree! He joined the saree fabric together, making a long Persian-influenced gown for Kylene, using pins only, so the material could be used later for the bridesmaids’ gowns. “The wind was so strong we could hardly open our eyes; we kept them shut until Dan said we could open them, just long enough to take a photo. The sun was very strong when we finished. It is so bright when the rays hit the sparkles as it is very shiny and fine sand. “Kylene was very professional on the shoot, being a former model in the Philippines and also in Dubai....she’s had lots of covers in magazines in Dubai, China and the Philippines and a billboard in the Philippines. I was stiff and uncomfortable as it was my first time doing this and also my first time watching Kylene doing a photoshoot.” Ronald and Kylene, thank you for giving us a glimpse into an experience that is so very, very special. Hearing your story and seeing these photos transports us far away, into a modern, true-life romantic fairytale. ENGAGEMENT PHOTOS: Dandilo Delima, Abu Dhabi | +971 50 7807 826

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ONTARIO DESTINATION WEDDING The couple chose Ontario for their wedding after visiting Kylene’s parents in Toronto to ask for blessings, a Filipino cultural tradition. After surfing the net, they found a venue perfect for their ceremony, Northridge Inn and Resort in Sundridge. The colourful fall maple leaves of Ontario had captured the couple’s imaginations and the brilliant hues were reflected in the hand-made wedding invitations created from leaves sent from family members in Canada. The invitation folder, with gold and pearl pin adornment, was made from abaca, a Philippine banana cloth.

GOWNS & MORE The bride wore a classically-elegant couture dress with modern accents created by Dandilo Delima, internationally-known designer. It was made of French lace, satin, and layers of Italian tulle, embellished with Swarovski crystals to echo the sparkling waters of a sunlit Muskoka lake. The groom was formally elegant in Versace. Each bridal attendant wore a differently-styled couture dress by well-known designer Lyle Ibanez from the Philippines, made from the fabric that had been only pinned—not sewn—for Kylene’s engagement photo saree. The little ring bearer, coin bearer and bible bearer wore traditional sherwani and upturnedtoe slippers, accented with ornate gold beading.

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a real-life wedding GLOBAL TRADITIONS Arabic, Indian, Filipino and Persian traditional elements were part of the wedding ceremony. Kylene and Ronald took marriage vows that included promising that they would be best friends forever, a very modern touch. The Filipino custom of sponsors was followed. Veil Sponsors placed a white veil over the couple to symbolize being “clothed as one” in unity. Cord Sponsors placed a knotted cord over them, symbolizing that they are no longer two but one in their new life as a couple. Candle Sponsors lit altar candles that symbolized the light of Christ leading them in their married life. The Coin Sponsor element symbolized prosperity; for this ceremony Canadian coins were placed within a richly designed camel box—an Arabic symbol of wealth and strength.


What Kylene loves about Ronald: “I love his sense of humor and that he’s full of surprises. He is a good cook and cooks my favourite foods. He’s very supportive, a good listener, patient and has a strong faith”.

Guests from around the world attended the wedding on a sunny mid-summer day surrounded by breathtaking Muskoka scenery. While a trio played classical music, attendants in unique gowns holding Persian purses walked up the aisle, a dock that extended into Bernard Lake. The couple chose the Persian symbol of immortality, a peacock, to symbolize that their love for each other would be everlasting. The groom took the ring from the bejewelled peacock box held by the ring bearer and then placed it on the wrong hand of the bride. There was laughter while he puzzled about why it didn’t fit! Ronald loves surprising Kylene and had arranged for a mini yacht to approach the dock immediately after the ceremony. Sporting a “Just Got Married” sign, the boat whisked the couple away for a short joy ride. It was an intimate moment, time to just “breathe in the wonderful fresh air”, enjoy the scenery and to tell each other that “this wedding celebration is more than we ever could have wished for”.

THE HONEYMOON The newlyweds spent their honeymoon on a peaceful atoll in the Maldives Islands. They enjoyed snorkeling, kayaking, jet-ski adventures and scuba diving, time in the spa and yoga. And “food, food and food...dinners with glorious sunset views”. WE

What Ronald loves about Kylene: “She is the real ‘Miss Independent’, has an adventurous personality, loves to travel and has a great sense of humour. I love that she loves food! She eats everything I cook!”. Great advice they have been given from the bride’s best friend: “Cherish each day and every moment together. Stand together in sunshine and in pouring rain”.

BRIDE’S GOWN: Custom design by Dandilo Delima, Abu Dhabi | +971 50 7807 826 BRIDESMAIDS’ GOWNS: Custom design by Lyle Ibanez | +63 99974.80612 HAIR: Prima’s Place Hair | 416.638.9417 FLOWERS: Anderson Flowers | 705.384.5321 MUSIC: Classic String Quartet | 416.239.0523 CAKE: Cake Glam | 416.885.2093 VENUE: Northridge Inn & Resort, Sundridge | 705.384.2252 HONEYMOON: Anantara Dhigu Resort & Spa, Maldives Islands WEDDING PHOTOS: wMac Photography | | 705.384.7237

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Floral Fantasy Fabulous flowers are key components of memorable weddings. Flowers are the medium; your choices send your wedding message. The look can be as varied as the colours and types of blooms and plants and embellishments you choose. Your options are "blooming splendid", as the Brits would say—to create a statement that is charmingly rustic and understated or over-the-top glamorous and elegant — and everything in between.

BRIDE & GROOM: Tracy & Ryan FLOWERS & DECOR: Event Decorator | 705.835.5535 PHOTOS: Rowell Photography | | 705.321.1102

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floral fantasy BRIDE: Angie Griffith FLOWERS: Fran Sackler Floral Designs | | 905.884.5848 PHOTOS: Rhythm Photography | | 416.602.7819

BRIDE: Andrea Haley FLOWERS: Fran Sackler Floral Designs | | 905.884.5848

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floral fantasy BRIDE: Janie Charocopos FLORIST: D’Vine Flowers & Gifts | 416.480.9463 PHOTO: Butterfly Kisses | | 905.265.8855

BRIDE: Naveli Gupta FLOWERS: Wedding Masters | 416.844.1884 PHOTO: Alicia Riley Photography | | 226.268.0430

BRIDE: Lynn de Haan FLOWERS: Wilma’s Flower Shoppe| 519.371.0344 PHOTO: Goldenview Photography | | 905.979.6044

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FLOWERS: Ginkgo Floral Design | | 416.640.1209 PHOTOS: Wolf Koenig

FLOWERS: Village Vines Florists | 519.235.0009 PHOTO: Stiletto Photography | | 519.639.9103

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floral fantasy BRIDE & GROOM: The Cains FLOWERS: Tim Clark’s Flowers | | 905.294.2651 PHOTO: Brock Photography | | 416.616.2602

BRIDE & GROOM: Julie and Noel FLOWERS: Tim Clark’s Flowers | | 905.294.2651 PHOTOS: Calla Evans Photography | | 416.481.1786

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seasonal celebrations



very once in a while a wedding comes along with every detail dovetailing beautifully to create a perfect theme. When Christie and Dan married one December day, their attention to every element of their wedding delighted guests with a total wintry Canadian Christmas experience. How could you top having a team of live reindeer pulling an oldfashioned sleigh, providing photo ops galore for everyone? Visual accents of bling-coated jingle bells on ribbon dÊcor ties, chic silvery reindeer ornaments, red ornaments on a pine Christmas tree and sleigh centerpieces holding flower arrangements accented with pine sprigs punctuated the theme. Shiny red buckets that held candy treats and a red and white snowflake-bedecked wedding cake on sleigh runners beckoned sweet-lovers. What a lovely gift for your guests, Christie and Dan...a warm and beautifully-executed winter wedding for all to enjoy—including anyone looking at your photos! WE

PHOTOS: Whitney Heard for MPSG Weddings & Icon Image Photography

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Michelle & Steven COUNTRY CHIC CELEBRATIONS—THIS COUPLE GOES COUNTRY ALL THE WAY Michelle Laughlin and Steven Grant were “country” long before it was a hot trend. Country passions brought them together and when they planned their wedding, a true country celebration was the obvious way for them to begin their married life together. A mutual love of horses led them to a Myspace virtual meeting. It would be three years before they connected face-toface. Michelle describes fond memories of that first real-life encounter: “We had our first kiss. That kiss was the second best kiss I have ever had, coming in just behind our first kiss as a married couple”. Sounds like a lyric from a country song, doesn’t it?

NATURAL PROPOSAL Half-way through a canoe trip in Algonquin Provincial Park, after an especially difficult portage, Steven complained that he thought somebody had put rocks in his backpack—there had been some joking threats from friends about that prank the previous night around the campfire. He asked Michelle to check. Sure enough she found a rock. It was attached to a long string. She froze when she discovered the string’s end looped around a silver box. Steven got down on one knee and asked his best friend to spend the rest of her life with him. PHOTOS: DAVID + KARA WEDDING IMAGERY

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THE WEDDING Some folks go “country chic” for their wedding day, but for Michelle and Steven a country-themed wedding in a weathered barn near Winterbourne, north of Waterloo, fit them both as comfortably as their favourite jeans. Steven grew up on a farm and Michelle says she “practically lived at the barn” where her horse was boarded so they were very much in their element at their wedding, celebrating with family and friends, a “sweetly sentimental event for lots of different reasons”. Classic cars transported the wedding party, courtesy of Michelle’s grandpa and his friends. The bride and groom rode in a sleek red 1960 Lincoln Continental convertible. Steven loved “driving from the ceremony at the barn to the reception hall, our convoy of classic cars honking and cruising through town”. The couple enjoyed some photo ops with Magic, Michelle’s 11-year old Anglo-Arab gelding, her teammate in jumping competitions.

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a real-life wedding WEDDING ATTIRE The bride chose an elegant and classic ivory gown with a wide one-shoulder, beaded strap accented with a large flower. A wide ivory ribbon surrounded the skirt, repeating the narrower ribbon on her veil that extended from the back of her hair. Holding a bouquet of starburst lilies and pink roses, Michelle walked up the aisle in handmade Pistolero purple and brown cowboy boots while Steven “fought hard” to hold back tears at the sight of his lovely bride. The groom was totally at home in western garb. He wore cowboy-high-style—a black Coppley cutaway jacket, white cowboy hat and shiny black cowboy boots.

LET THEM (AND US) EAT CAKE! No country celebration would be complete without delectable sweets. A cookie bar, pies, and three separate wedding cakes tempted taste buds. Three two-tier wedding cakes were covered with a light blue fondant edged with copper ribbon. A bride and groom riding a tractor were atop one cake. Guests selected from cake flavours that included strawberries and cream cake, banana cake with strawberry jam and vanilla butter cream and chocolate cake with fudge butter cream and caramel.

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a real-life wedding On their wedding day, they laughed when “the bridesmaids dropped Steven during the photo shoot”. Michelle’s fondest memory of the day was “when we left the dance. The reception was drawing to a close and everything had seemed utterly perfect. I was so happy, dancing in my new husband’s arms and knowing I got to leave with the most amazing man that night and start our life together”. “Seeing my beautiful bride walk down the aisle” was Steven’s biggest “wow” moment of their special day.

CLASSIC, ROCK & COUNTRY Michelle loves “Steven’s way of looking at life. He has such wonderful and simple concepts—the world would be a better place is everyone followed them. He is a true gentleman. I love how his emotions are written on his face; when he is happy he just lights up and that makes me happy”. Steven loves Michelle’s “kind and outgoing heart and her easy-to-getalong-with attitude. She is the perfect match for me, my total counterpart without her I wouldn’t be the man I am”. The bride’s advice to brides-to-be: “Don’t stress out, enjoy the planning process. No one else will notice that things may not have gone exactly how you wanted. To them your vision came to life. Enjoy every minute.”

As it does in their lives, music played a large part in Michelle and Steven’s wedding celebrations, from the processional, August’s Rhapsody from August Rush to ceremony music of Blake Shelton’s God Gave Me You sung by Steven’s uncle, accompanied by his cousin on the guitar, to the recessional, Snow Patrol’s Crack the Shutters. Their first dance was sweetly romantic to Remember (Where We Are Now) by Gabriel Mann and Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not? by Thompson Square.

THE HONEYMOON & BEYOND The newlyweds enjoyed a leisurely road trip to Montreal and Quebec City, ‘playing tourist’ in the old sections of the cities and sampling poutine. At home, working on their new house and “just enjoying cuddling up on the couch” fill their time together with lots of happiness. Most of all they love spending time with their baby, whom Michelle describes as “an extra souvenir from our honeymoon”. WE

The groom advises any groom, “especially one who can be as easily as worked up as me, not to sweat the small stuff. As long as your bride is happy, you will both have a perfect day”. Michelle’s mom gave them their best piece of marriage advice: “Weddings are great, but it’s not the wedding that matters. In the end, it’s just a day. It’s the marriage that counts”.

BRIDE’S GOWN: Bride’s Gown: Allure #P889 | Taylor’s Bridal | 519.669.1373 BRIDE’S HAIR & MAKEUP: Oz Hair & Skin | 519.747.2002 BRIDESMAIDS’ GOWNS: Helayna’s Boutique | 519.208.5836 MEN’S ATTIRE: Freeman Formal Wear | 519.653.7028 FLOWERS: KW Flowers | 519.742.4292 CATERING: Conestoga Catering | 519.578.1030 DJ: Something Blue Wedding DJs | 1.800.675.4742 PHOTOGRAPHY: David + Kara Wedding Imagery | | 519.635.5135

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Looking GREAT


CeraVe FOAMING FACIAL CLEANSER Developed with dermatologists, CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser has been formulated for normal to oily or acne-prone skin to help repair and restore the skin’s protective barrier. Designed for effective cleansing to loose and remove dirt, germs, excess oils, dead skin cells and makeup without depleting needed moisture, it is created to be non-irritating, noncomedogenic and fragrance-free. Ingredients of ceramides, niacinamide and hyaluronic acid have the goal of replenishing while cleaning with gentle, foaming lather, to reduce shine without stripping vital lipids. Wet the face, apply a few drops of the clear liquid—the cleanser gently foams as you massage in a circular motion.

Sephora + Pantone Universe PRECIOUS METAL 24-KARAT BAG & BRUSH SET Achieving flawless makeup looks requires a must-have brush set. An alluring gold and white pouch holds this collection of five brushes needed to conquer the hottest makeup looks. The luxe travel bag’s oh-so-chic exterior features a metallic gold floral design; mesh pockets with zip closures are inside, for storing brushes and makeup. Intricately designed handles to match the bag enhance the five synthetic-head brushes: powder, angled-blush, eye, angled liner and smudge.

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Sephora + Pantone Universe RARE BRILLIANCE LINER SET This set of three eyeliners is designed to create opulent looks. The luxurious eyeliner pencils in jewel tones are highly-pigmented and mega-metallic. Polymers are meant to help the colour glide on effortlessly and lock in the pigment for a waterproof seal, designed for a smooth, longwearing look. Try using them over different eye shadows for festive dazzle. The Rare Brilliance Metallic Eyeliner Pencils come in Emerald (green), Hortensia (deep purple) and Stretch Limo (black) to create many different effects, depending on your mood.

Philips BikiniGenie SMOOTH & PETITE Women’s delicate skin in delicate body locations requires special attention and care. Philips BikiniGenie is designed to be a safe and easy trimmer for that all-important smooth bikini line. It features rounded hair tips for safe, precise hair removal and an ergonomic handle specifically designed for the bikini area. Just remove the trimmer head and give it a wash for quick and easy cleaning. Flick the on/off switch on the petite and playfullycoloured device, place the trimming head onto the hair you wish to remove and glide against the direction of the hair growth. Comes with AA batteries as the power source, making it immediately ready to use anytime, anywhere!

Vitabath Cupcake Couture DREAMY PINK FROSTING Girly greats from vitabath include products in their Cupcake Couture line including Dreamy Pink Frosting lotion, fragrance mist and body wash. Sweet almond extract in the paraben-free Hydrating Lotion is designed to keep skin lubricated. The Fragrance Mist contains Vitamin E to help moisturize skin while misting. The Body Wash is sulfate-free and paraben-free; Sweet Almond Extract enhances skin while you enjoy a delicious shower or bath experience. Say ooh, ahh to these sweets-inspired goodies!

Skinfx REPAIR BALMS This Canadian skincare company has long been known for its centuries-old heritage products, made with wound-healing botanicals and emollient protective oils to treat and manage dermatitis conditions, including eczema, rashes, rosacea and other common skin conditions. Its product lineup of allnatural balms, free from synthetic chemicals, parabens, steroids and fragrances are all Canadian-made. Body Repair Balm works to provide relief from dryness, redness and cracked, irritated skin, including rosacea, all over the body, calming and soothing. Rapid Repair Balm is a multi-tasking, all-natural healing balm designed to provide immediate relief for irritated skin, including chafing. These products from the company that says that “nothing is too red, too itchy, too ouchy or too private for us” have a paste-like consistency.

Lise Watier JARDIN DE GIVRE Looking for luminosity and subtle iridescence? The Jardin de Givre limited edition collection is designed to add that to your sophisticated style. Three of the products are pictured here. The Palette comes with seven shimmering eyeshadows to create gemstone eyes, plus a silky black cream eyeliner. The Illuminating Powder has an iridescent quality and is created to dust on the face and décolleté for an instant, luminous glow. Like The Palette, it comes in a frosty-white compact etched with sparkling, opalescent peacock feathers. Rouge Sublime Lumière Lipstick is rich and creamy, designed to hydrate lips. An LED light that is activated by a tiny button on the base of the pack and a mirror on its side are thoughtful, eye-catching additions.

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Puja & Joe EAST MEETS WEST—INDIAN & ITALIAN WEDDING CELEBRATIONS Sometimes romantic love makes two very different cultures collide—in a most delightful way. When that happens, the lives of not only the couple but also of their friends and family can be enriched. When Puja Inamdar and Joseph Sgro married, they chose to honour her Indian background and his Italian roots in a dayslong wedding celebration that was enjoyed by the duo’s many friends and relatives.

GPS TO LOVE While attending Windsor Law School, Puja met Joe’s sister Christina. Either by coincidence or because of Cupid’s perfect aim, Joe and Puja met when he was helping his sister get settled in at the beginning of the university year. A low-key and impromptu first date that involved a movie, cards and chats over wine led to the discovery that the two, although from very diverse backgrounds, had much in common, including love of movies, music, friends and family.


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THE PROPOSAL Joe and Puja were in Chicago to attend the wedding of one of his friends. He planned a special dinner at a West Town area vegetarian restaurant and while Puja was talking, eased the ring from his pocket, out of sight underneath the table. A smooth segue into a proposal during the conversation thrilled Puja to laughter and tears.

INDIAN SANGEET Two days before their Hindu wedding ceremony, Puja and Joe’s fun-filled sangeet took place at Fantasy Farm in Toronto. The high-energy cocktail party featured Indian and western finger foods, lots of dancing and celebration, including choreographed dances by the bridesmaids. It was the ideal setting for both families to get acquainted before the wedding day. Reflecting the brilliant colours of the dÊcor for the sangeet, Puja chose an Indian lengha in shades of peach, pink and turquoise. Joe wore a traditional Indian sherwani.

HINDU WEDDING CEREMONY At Copper Creek Golf Club in Kleinburg, the couple married in a wedding ceremony performed by a pundit priest in Hindi/Sanskrit. For the first part of the ceremony Joe was not allowed to see Puja. He heard her walking toward him, escorted by her brothers and male cousins in keeping with tradition. She was then hidden behind a large cloth held by two groomsmen. During a traditional ceremony interspersed with gentle humour, the pundit also spoke English and Italian, making the rites very inclusive and enjoyable for everyone. During the ceremony a traditional wind instrument from India, a shenai, was accompanied by drum-like tabla, adding to the eastern ambiance. In rites full of meaning and deep emotion, the couple took their vows and walked around the sacred fire, pledging their lives together. They also took seven sacred steps to symbolize the seven virtues of married life.

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a real-life wedding WEDDING CEREMONY ATTIRE On their wedding day Puja and Joe laughed when the pundit surprised them by speaking in Italian during the Hindu wedding ceremony. Although Joe kept his composure, Puja cried when the pundit called their parents to the mandap, the wedding ceremony altar—a covered structure with pillars, and explained how, from that point forward, their parental responsibilities were passed to Puja and Joe, as husband and wife. Puja’s fondest memory was when Joe tied the mangalsutra on his bride. This is the sacred necklace that symbolizes the eternal union between the two, how Joe would now care for and love Puja forever. For Joe, the sweetest memory was hearing Puja walking down the aisle at the Hindu ceremony. “The suspense was intense at not being able to see her for the first part of the ceremony.” What Joe loves about Puja: “I love her sincerity and honesty. She’s very caring and loving and has a wonderfully buoyant and jovial personality. She has amazing taste in movies and music, which is a necessity!” What Puja loves about Joe: “I love Joe’s easygoing, even-keeled demeanour. Everyone feels better around him! He approaches obstacles as opportunities, with contagious positivity. He inspires me to be a better person, giving me the strength and confidence I need to live life with grace, in a kind, gentle way. It’s the biggest gift I have ever received.” Joe’s advice to grooms: “Do as much of the footwork as you can and be patient. When the bride is making a decision, ask her for her top three choices and then give your opinion on those only. You don’t want to find yourself in a week-long conversation about what shade of pink something should be...” Puja’s advice to brides: “Get a wedding planner...even if only for the day. It will take loads of stress from you. I didn’t do that but only managed because of my incredible groom and a sister who took on lots of details that day. The stress of the possibility of something going wrong was on my mind constantly in the weeks before the wedding.” Best piece of marriage advice: Puja’s friend advised her to take part in activities her husband likes and not to complain... Joe says that lots of people have told him that ‘a happy wife equals a happy life’!

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The bride’s wedding lengha was traditional and elegant—it made Puja feel regal. Her gown was emerald green, accented with goldwork embroidery along the borders, designed by a wellknown Indian fashion designer. Traditional jewellery completed her look. In keeping with Hindu custom, she carried bridal garlands. She chose orange orchids and pink roses. The groom wore a custom-tailored sherwani from India. Its rich ivory tones were complemented by matte gold detailing. For her bridal attendants, Puja chose pink saris for her relatives and orange saris for her friends. The gold work embroidery accents of Puja’s lengha was repeated on the women’s saris. Puja’s parents and Joe’s parents were resplendent in traditional Indian attire for the ceremony.

WESTERN/ITALIAN RECEPTION The Hindu ceremony was followed with a western-style reception. Puja changed into a trumpet-style gown with a strapless bodice, accented at the waist with a beaded belt. An old-Hollywood coif and vintage-looking jewellery and brooch added drama. Joe chose a sophisticated, debonair look with a grey, three-piece custom-tailored suit paired with white shirt and pale pink tie. Puja and Joe had decided early on that their guests’ enjoyment was a priority for them, including fabulous food, great music, and lots of fun for everyone. The colours and feel from the sangeet and vibrant shades of the Hindu ceremony were echoed throughout with pink, orange and green colours for the reception. Elephant statues and other décor elements underscored the east-meets-west theme. A food truck was a mega-hit with guests after a great evening of dancing and celebrating. Joe relates that fun snack treats from around the globe, everything from vegetarian tacos, vegetarian poutine to cheese empañadas, were “very, very good—and may have been the hit of the evening!”.

THE HONEYMOON Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka and Hawaii were on the itinerary for the couple’s extended honeymoon. The hustle and bustle of the cities they visited in Japan was balanced by a visit to the secluded island of Kauai in Hawaii, where they relaxed and rejuvenated after the busy months of wedding planning. WE

BRIDE’S CEREMONY LENGHA: Sabyasachi Couture | 033.40049706 BRIDE’S RECEPTION GOWN: Sottero and Midgley from Becker’s Bridal | 416.463.6601 BRIDE’S HAIR & MAKEUP: Amanda Reid Makeup | 416.994.5477 SANGEET VENUE: Fantasy Farm | 416.425.9122 CAKE: Melissa Chiodo | WEDDING & RECEPTION VENUE: Copper Creek Golf Club | 905.893.3370 FLOWERS: Ginkgo Floral Design | | 416.640.1209 DÉCOR: Creations by Gitta | 416.665.7947 BAND: Sky’s Band | 416.565.1620 PHOTOS & CINEMA: Sangeeta & Monty | Kumari Photo & Cinema | | 647.285.4275

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PHOTO: Daniel Holm Photography | | 519.262.2426

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Sometimes marriage involves not only two people, but an “instant family”, adding another dimension altogether to creating a family unit. Check out how this groom-to-be devised a plan to ensure that his fiancée’s daughter felt part of everything from the proposal forward. When Melissa Masse met Greg Hummel there was a strong attraction. However, in Melissa’s words, “we took our relationship very slowly, getting to know each other very well over a long time”. As a devoted single mom of an 11-year old daughter, she wanted to be absolutely sure that three could make a happy family unit. Greg and Jaden became good friends along the way—he’s a charming, fun-loving, guitar-playing, old school gentleman and she is a very happy, loving, independent woman. Before he “popped the question” to Melissa, Greg wanted to be sure that Jaden felt part of the equation. He selected a necklace for her that featured a pendant that looked a match for the Vera Wang engagement ring he planned to give Melissa. Greg notes that “there was a lot of maneuvering” for the orchestrated surprises, but this young man isn’t easily daunted; he planned and carried out all the arrangements flawlessly. He drove Jaden to her piano lesson and afterwards, to his home where he told her that he planned to propose to her mom later that evening. He gave Jaden the necklace, explaining that she also meant a lot to him and asked her to “keep this their secret” for a few hours. Then he dropped her at a friend’s place while he picked up Melissa to surprise her with his marriage proposal. Jaden wears her necklace often, including at Melissa and Greg’s nuptials when she was a junior bridesmaid. The couple’s honeymoon for two in Jamaica was followed by a getaway to Niagara Falls where all three had lots of fun. Is three a crowd? Not at all, judging from all the smiles and love in their very happy home. WE

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for him and for them

Neat STUFF Philips StyleXpert

La Fresh TRAVEL-LITE La Fresh creates its products for “go-getters, multi-taskers, outdoorers, jetsetters and all-other-ers”, which definitely includes busy couples planning weddings and going on their honeymoons. As the name suggests, travel-lite products are designed for just that—travelling light. The packaged wipes are available for many purposes— Makeup Removal, Facial Cleansing, Men’s Antiperspirant, Women’s Antiperspirant, Antibacterial, Female Hygiene, Male Hygiene, Insect (Mosquito) Repellent, Nail Polish Removal and Shoe Shines. Screen-Cleaning wipes are formulated for use on screens on computers, tablets and smartphones as well as for glasses. Designed to travel with you in a minimum of space with no spills, leaks or mess, the packaging makes these products perfectly portable for ultra-convenience. Ed. comment: So many products for so many purposes—such a small amount of space taken up in luggage, backpacks, purses or pockets.

FOR GUYS WITH STYLE An innovation in male grooming, the Philips StyleXpert, is perfect for the man who wants the flexibility to change his look from day to day and for the man who likes to be perfectly groomed. The streamlined design uses laser light guidance that projects a line of light to show where the hairs will be cut, for a precision way to get the style exactly right...with no guesswork. With LED displays showing the chosen hair length, which is selected by turning a precision zoom wheel, as well as LED battery level display, and 50 minutes of cordless power with onehour recharge time, this product has been designed for modern men. The StyleXpert is 100% waterproof, making for easy and thorough cleaning. There are 17 lock-in length settings and 0.2 mm. incremental precision-length settings. Skin-friendly, highperformance blades are meant to give that desirable perfect trim. The dual-sided trimmer at 32 mm and 15 mm provides precise detailing. Ed. comment: Precision zoom wheel makes exact levels very repeatable—simply dial in the same number for the next time for exactly the same length.

Fun Cufflinks FROM WÜRKIN STIFFS “Don’t Panic”. “Remain Calm”. “Love”. Chances are all of those words are going to be heard several times during wedding celebrations! Würkin Stiffs cufflinks are a humorous way to help lower stress levels—they could be a nice little surprise, fun gift while the groomsmen are getting ready for the ceremony. The groom-to-be can start wearing them during the wedding planning months as a reminder and a chuckle-generator, not only for himself but also for his multi-tasking, swampedwith-details fiancée. The cufflinks measure about 3/4 in., are one-piece, not laserwelded or soldered together. Each cufflink is milled and machined from bullet brass, then rhodium-plated and finished by hand by applying resin on both sides. These quality-made, unique cufflinks could be perfect accessories for the man who has everything...including a wedding in the works. Ed. comment: “Love” might be all he needs, but a reminder to “Remain Calm” and “Don’t Panic” can’t hurt either...

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Love Is Art—Wedding Edition PAINTING WITH PASSION This creative product brings new meaning to the phrase “the art of love”. LOVE IS ART—WEDDING EDITION is a kit that contains everything needed to create an abstract painting that celebrates a special moment in a relationship. South-African-born artist Jeremy Brown had been making intimacy paintings for some time when a friend complimented him on a painting hung in Jeremy’s home. When she found out how it was painted, she asked him to put together the materials needed so she could create a similar painting with her husband on their anniversary. They loved the end result. The Wedding Edition is designed to be used to celebrate the first night of a couple as lifetime partners, but will be equally fun and memorable any time during the honeymoon or after. The kit includes a 41” x 54” white cotton canvas, a bottle of black, organic, non-toxic, washable paint, two pairs of disposable slippers, vanillascented soy tea candles, vanillascented bath salts, a body scrubber and a “Do Not Disturb— Painting in Progress” door hanger as well as a 10’ x 12’ plastic painter’s tarp to protect surfaces from paint splatter. Simply strip each other down, put the paint on the canvas and use your bodies to move the paint around, creating a unique abstract image that captures a very special moment in time. Ed. comment: Such fun and so with passion! There’s the anticipation (artistic inspiration), the painting (highly-personalized) and topping it all off, the clean-up afterwards. Some couples report that taking a shower together to clean off the paint is almost as much fun as creating the one-of-a-kind masterpiece. WE

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a real-life wedding


Waiting in line for exhibitors’ badges at the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto a few years back, Beau Bates recognized Yana Poudrenko; they had both attended the University of Guelph where they had some classes together. The chance meeting led to romance and eventually to wedding celebrations in Cuba.

BUTTERFLY PROPOSAL Beau wanted to honour traditional values by asking Yana’s father for her hand in marriage. This was complicated by the fact that her father lives in Russia. Yana’s mother taught Beau enough Russian so he could phone him and receive his blessing for the couple to marry. Knowing Yana’s fascination for butterflies, Beau chose the Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory to propose. Pausing in front of a waterfall, surrounded by butterfly “jewels of the air”, Beau handed her a penny, asking her to shut her eyes and make a wish. When she opened them, he was down on one knee, asking her to marry him—proof positive that wishes can come true! PHOTOS: STAN SWITALSKI PHOTOGRAPHY

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DESTINATION WEDDING IN CUBA A shared love of beaches led the couple to decide on an islandstyle wedding. They had fallen in love with Cuba on an earlier vacation. Cuba’s Veradero Beach, known as one of the most beautiful beaches on the planet, was a perfect backdrop for the duo’s wedding celebrations.

THE CEREMONY On a private terrace at Iberostar Laguna Azul, Varadero, overlooking the ocean, Yana and Beau exchanged wedding vows. A Spanish officiant, assisted by a translator, performed the Cuban nuptials, followed by a sand ceremony and exchange of custom-made rings designed by Beau. The bride chose an ivory lace, trumpet-style strapless gown, with a champagne under-layer that subtly echoed sand and beach hues. The groom’s grandmother’s pearls were wrapped around her wrist as a bracelet.

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a real-life wedding Beau loves that “Yana is a strong and independent woman with a big heart. She encourages and supports me each day”. Yana loves Beau’s intelligence and his outgoing personality. “He is extremely caring and thoughtful about others and has strong family values.” Yana advises brides to “trust the people you have hired to plan your wedding. Don’t stress out about the fact you cannot oversee all the details as easily as you could if you were planning a local wedding. Don’t forget why you opted for a destination wedding—a simple, carefree wedding away... so go with the flow”. Beau’s suggestion for grooms is to “keep it simple and support your bride when she needs help”.

CELEBRATION HIGHLIGHTS It was especially meaningful when Yana’s father, whom she had not seen in more than a decade, flew 13 hours to walk her down the aisle. A Cuban musical trio performed while guests dined on local specialties, including Cuban rice-with-bean salad and savoured coconut martinis made with justly-famous Cuban rum. The stage was set for Yana and Beau’s very romantic first dance to Marry Me by Train. A subtle island décor with seashells, white lanterns and coral rose petals added to the island ambiance. Wedding photos were taken in various sites in Cuba, some historic, some with lots of local colour, including a wonderful pink classic convertible. Cuban locals chanted for Yana and Beau to kiss during wedding photo ops on the streets of Havana, a delightful part of the whole experience.

EUROPEAN HONEYMOON Given Yana’s Russian background and Beau’s German and Italian roots, the couple has decided on a month-long belated honeymoon in 2014 in Europe to explore those cultures. WE

VENUE: Iberostar Laguna Azul, Varadero, Cuba DESTINATION WEDDING: Transat Holidays BRIDE’S GOWN: Madison Collection, Sophie’s Gown Shoppe | 905.270.6200 RINGS: Emilian Jewellery | 905-855-2477 GUEST FAVOURS: Canadian Cancer Society donation honouring Beau’s godmother PHOTOGRAPHY: Stan Switalski Photography | | 519.740.9828

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life lines




BY J U DY J O H N S O N The peak divorce rate occurs after about three years of marriage. By following the advice in this article you have an excellent chance of living the single life again before you even wear out the clothes you


packed for your honeymoon.

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SET YOUR MARRIAGE EXPECTATION BAR AT OLYMPIAN HEIGHTS. Keep believing in fairy tales—the handsome, studly Prince on his white horse continually wooing the beautiful princess. No daily reality intrudes here. No fights about who feeds the horse, or worse, who cleans up after the horse. When the impossible bar isn’t met, don’t hesitate to believe that your whole marriage is rotten. Negative generalizations are always good.


SUPER-SIZE EVERY ARGUMENT. IF YOU HAVE A DISAGREEMENT, EXPAND IT TO BE A FULL-FLEDGED ARGUMENT. Let’s say it starts about whose turn it is to load the dishwasher. Add fuel to the verbal fire by bringing up every real or imagined slight that you can remember. Cast aspersions at each other’s friends and family. Say things like “You’re just like your father. He never did anything around the house either”.


STRETCH THE ARGUMENT OUT AS LONG AS YOU POSSIBLY CAN. Sleep with your anger, not with your spouse. See if you can set a new record of not talking. If you forget what the original argument was about, don’t worry. Dredge up something from left field.


REFUSE TO CHANGE OR ADAPT. Now that you are married, insist that things remain exactly the same as during your courtship, or when you were cohabiting. Refuse to accept that the dynamics can change with the marriage licence and the added commitment wedding vows can bring.


BE REALLY HARD TO PLEASE. It will keep your mate on his toes. In fact, he’ll be so “en pointe” that he will get a fearful little quake whenever he even thinks about you. If he brings you red roses and you prefer yellow ones, let him know in no

uncertain terms. Tell him he should have known better, and that he probably gave red roses to his previous girlfriend. Don’t put those red roses in water, leave them on the counter to die. Better yet, throw them in the garbage while he’s watching. You can bet he won’t make the mistake of bringing you red roses, or maybe even any roses, ever again.


KEEP SCORE ONLY OF THE NEGATIVES. Pay attention to the things your partner does that you don’t like, and magnify them. If your partner does something that should please you, say something like, “Well, it’s about time” or “What are you feeling guilty about?” to turn the positive deed into a negative one.


BECOME A MASTER OF MANIPULATION. This is how to get what you want, even if it is contrary to your partner’s best interests. Enjoy the sense of power you have over another human being and don’t hesitate to wield it. If you don’t get your way at first, revert to kindergarten behaviour. Throw a tantrum, sulk and pout.


DON’T EXPRESS YOUR AFFECTION. Hugs during dishes, holding hands in the mall, special words that were magic to your ears during courtship—forget all that puppy-love stuff. Marriage is serious business. Look at those antique photos of severelooking couples. Follow their example or you’ll have laugh lines developing all over the place.


DON’T PLAN ANY DATES TOGETHER. The dating part should end with that walk up the aisle. All your time together should be spent with other people—his friends, your friends, his family, your family, your business acquaintances, his business peers. Don’t get off-track by taking an unplanned walk under a moonlit sky, with the snow twinkling with a million diamond crystals.


SILENCE IS GOLDEN, ESPECIALLY IN MARRIAGE. Share your thoughts, dreams, goals, feelings and uncertainties with your mate? No way. Make a long list of topics that are not available for discussion. Keep adding to the list. Think of this as your personal version of Tolstoy’s War and Peace, that massive epic at least 1,000 pages long.


SHARE INNERMOST THOUGHTS, BUT NOT WITH EACH OTHER. If your spouse confides an intimate or perhaps humiliating experience, by all means share this conversational nugget with friends and family. For maximum impact, choose a public occasion such as a dinner party to bring it up.


SET AN AGENDA, CARVED IN STONE. For example, Saturday mornings are for laundry, so don’t be sidetracked by that urge to snuggle under the duvet. Make love at pre-arranged times and only in your bedroom and always in the same position. This will save time in the long run.


IGNORE THE GOOD THINGS YOUR MATE DOES FOR YOU. FOCUS EXCLUSIVELY ON WHAT’S NOT DONE. So he shovels out the driveway so you can make it to your health club by 6:30 a.m. But he left the toilet seat up in his haste to get out there in the –20º Celsius morning. When he comes back into the house, let him have it about the faux pas, but don’t thank him for the consideration he showed with that shovel.


YOU ARE PERFECT. Some sages say that marriage is a commitment between two imperfect people. However, you are perfect, and don’t ever let your mate forget it. Tell your partner how difficult it is to live co-habit and how lucky your mate is to have you, the eternallyperfect one.

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life lines




DON’T FORGIVE AND DON’T FORGET EITHER. Whether the issue is large or small, file it in your hurt-memory compartment so you can haul it out anytime it’s needed, like during a discussion that you want to turn into a huge argument. Make your personal motto “it’s better to be right than happy”.


EXPECT YOUR MARRIAGE PARTNER TO MAKE YOU HAPPY. Refuse to accept that each human being is ultimately responsible for his/her own happiness. Some even go so far as to say you will be about as happy as you decide to be. If you are unhappy, lay the fault directly on your mate and don’t forget to tell him what a huge disappointment he is as a husband, in case he doesn’t already have that message from you.


DON’T SHOW ENTHUSIASM. About anything. That includes your partner’s suggestions for dinner out, vacation destinations, seeing a movie or going to the beach. Use phrases like “I don’t care”. When he/she makes the decision, pout if your mate’s mind reading wasn’t successful. That way no one will have any fun. And those pesky suggestions will definitely taper off.

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GIVE UP ALL YOUR OUTSIDE INTERESTS AND BE SURE YOUR SPOUSE DOES TOO. If you love live theatre and your mate loves movies, don’t even try to discover what your partner finds so fascinating about that passion. Put down your spouse’s hobbies and activities and refuse to go with your mate, ever. If your partner goes alone, play the “poor abandoned me” card. With any luck you’ll make your spouse feel so guilty there can be no chance of enjoying outings and you’ll both end up at home, miserable.


BECOME A REPEAT OFFENDER. First marriage ended in divorce? If you remarry, watch your new spouse for any hint of bad behaviour that was like your ex’s. Overreact when you discover a scintilla of similarity. Plus, throw the ex’s good behaviour in your partner’s face when something she does isn’t quite up to the previous spouse’s standard. “If my lazy, good-for-nothing ex could cook a decent meal, how come you can’t?” And remember not to learn from any mistakes you made during that first marriage.


KEEP BUSY IN ACTIVITIES THAT DO NOT INVOLVE YOUR SPOUSE. Become the most obsessive housecleaner on your block. Repaint your guest room every few months and spend weeks finding the perfect accent pillow. Make lots of commitments, with friends, family, or that nice person you just met at Tim’s. Become a Google master but don’t share any good stuff you find when surfing the net. Take vacations with friends, not with your partner. As a last resort to avoid face time with your spouse, take up new hobbies; so you aren’t interested in creating mosaic masterpieces—do it anyway, preferably somewhere where you can’t be reached by phone. WE

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ood is a huge part of wedding celebrations. Imagine being a guest at a wedding where no food is served...not a morsel of a delectable delicacy! Not a very appetizing picture, is it? What to serve, when to serve it, what kinds of foods to serve, mulling over what your guests will enjoy, perhaps figuring out how to incorporate foods from your cultural background, as well as celebrating with foods you and your groom like on your wedding day — these and many more food considerations are a major part of wedding planning.

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Will your wedding be formal or informal? The food and style of food service will be totally different if you are having your reception in a grand banquet hall or celebrating at a rustic barn venue. What season are you getting married in? Food that tempts in summer is quite different from the heartier menus of fall and winter. Ditto for beverages. Charlene Allard, Wedding Co-ordinator at Woodington Lake Golf Club in Tottenham advises brides to “remember that your wedding has to be about you and your future husband. There are so many ideas out there online now in sites like Pinterest that a bride has to be careful she doesn’t end up planning the perfect wedding that she thinks she wants. Sometimes brides lose their own wedding ideas in thinking someone else’s ideas are better...only to be disappointed.” Let your love shine! Want to re-create the first meal you had together? If you have memories of fun times making grilled cheese sandwiches, what about including them as a late-night snack? A special dessert or other signature dish? Love those spuds? A mashed potato station with super-creative toppings might be perfect. Are you or any of your guests vegan? Diabetic? Anybody have food allergies? Find out well in advance and have options available.

FOOD ALLERGIES Various sources report food allergies in Canada are on the rise, affecting about 1 in 25 people, according to Anaphylaxis Canada. Health Canada reports that the top ten priority food allergens are peanuts, tree nuts, sesame seeds, milk, eggs, seafood, soy, wheat, sulphites and mustard. For people with severe allergies, the food does not have to be eaten to be a hazard—it may only have come in contact with the other food, even by a trace amount, resulting in cross contamination. Heather Fraser, General Manager of Patterson-Kaye Resort & Spa in Bracebridge observes that “sometimes the couple doesn’t think of food allergies, unless it’s an issue for them, so we talk with them about that. It’s imperative we know ahead of time to take precautions, so there is no possibility of crosscontamination. We code place cards at each table setting so our servers know exactly what’s required by each guest—our goal is that no-one at the table is aware of the behind-the-scenes care we take”. Some venues and caterers, like Oshawabased Pelican Catering, are offering entire gluten-free menus for wedding celebrations, a welcome initiative for many people. “More and more people are requiring glutenfree food. Couples now are often requesting gluten-free food choices and gluten-free food stations”, says Brandi Greenwood, General Manager of C2 Catering Couture in Toronto.

TRENDS ...FROM URBAN ELEGANCE At Château Le Jardin in Woodbridge, Rosemary Parentela, Social Sales Consultant, is noticing that cocktail receptions are becoming LA or NYC “party-chic”, featuring lounges and décor that are classy and upscale. Their food choices mesh perfectly with that ambiance. Appetizer stations, oyster stations and sushi bars are popular, as are live-chef stations, where the food is prepared in front of the guests. ...TO COUNTRY CASUAL Rustic Rules! With the ongoing popularity of rustic weddings, whether outdoors or in rural venues such as barns, Jodee Seiden, Event Coordinator at Pelican Catering, notes that retro is new again. “The less formal settings


lend themselves to stations for barbecue, with pulled pork, ribs and whole chickens in demand, along with slider stations with different meat and topping choices. Poutine stations always get rave reviews.” ...FOOD AS ENTERTAINMENT Wedding food suppliers recognize that today’s couples often want an element of entertainment in their food that goes beyond the Baked Alaska parade their parents may have had at their wedding. Interactive, fun, varied as each couple’s’s a sampling. ‘I scream for ice cream’ could be the theme song for the liquid nitrogen ice cream bar offered by The Food Dudes, located in Toronto. “Guests love this cool, interactive ice cream bar”, enthuses Jaimie Zuckerman, Director of Sales. “The ice cream is actually liquid when guests choose their flavours. The chefs use liquid nitrogen to freeze the ice cream right on the spot, with the bit of fog created adding a fun element. Cookie choices are available to sandwich the ice cream.” Creative cuisine is the name of the wedding food game. Domenic Chiaromonte, chef at C2 Catering Couture creates bread trees...using silver metal trees to hold bread in the shape of leaves. His salad stations feature live baby lettuce varieties that are cut to the guest’s order, tossed with the dressing of choice, topped with a selected variety of ingredients and served in a martini glass. Think outside the container. What about pulled-pork and mashed potato parfaits in glasses? Salted caramel cheesecake shots?



COCKTAIL-STYLE RECEPTIONS More couples are choosing cocktail-style receptions for their weddings. These can be anywhere on the spectrum from super elegant to super-casual.

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reception A benefit here is eliminating the seatingchart angst of deciding who sits with whom, who gets the best tables. It also shortens the speech time—most simply become a wedding toast, perhaps with an anecdote included. It’s a good idea to provide seating for about half your guests, for those who need to be seated and for those who prefer to sit down. Lori Carter, Sales Manager at Benmiller Inn & Spa near Goderich finds that couples are using food stations to really customize their wedding cuisine to their personal likes, as well as giving the bride and groom and all their guests a chance to meet and mingle. “If the groom is from Newfoundland, a seafood station makes a personal statement at the same time as the bride’s food passion might be represented with a Thai food station. Food stations outdoors in addition to inside can work well, like a pig roast on the patio that wedding guests are still talking about”.

Asking your guests to choose from menu selections the bride and groom have made with their caterer ensures everyone will enjoy their wedding fare. Each guest’s selection, along with any dietary concerns or allergies can be made when returning the RSVP. Caterers are finding that most couples are offering guests a choice of two to three entrées, rather than making their decision for them. At London’s Windermere Manor, Julie-Ann McCallum, Wedding Co-ordinator, observes that people like the Manor’s “spring/summer and fall/winter menus. Brides and grooms are very receptive to food that features ingredients that could be found at a local market”. She urges couples to “have a menu tasting if their goal is to have the most delicious food possible for their wedding”.

SEE YOU AT THE STATION Live-Chef stations where guests can watch their food being prepared abound, with everything from risotto to pasta, stir-fries, sushi, salads, tacos, mac and cheese bars and more, more, more choices. Forever young... s’mores bar stations bring back campfire memories. Guests toast marshmallows on tiny heating elements and put them into graham crackers along with chocolate. For beverages consider a craft beer bar— complete with wooden barrels, a lemonade bar with pick-your-flavour of lemonade, a coffee bar—think latté, espresso, frappé and flavoured coffees—some spiked, some not.

TRADITIONAL SIT-DOWN MEALS When opting for a sit-down meal for wedding receptions, couples may be looking for organic, locally-sourced ingredients and seasonal, fresh ingredients. THE WINDERMERE MANOR PHOTO: SARAH KEYS | STILETTOPHOTOGRAPHY.NET


KEEP ON TRUCKIN! Meals on wheels has new meanings with all the options available for Food Truck wedding choices. Be sure that your venue has no issues with your booking a food truck. Ask the food truck companies you are considering if they will arrange details with the venue ahead of time, such as parking space.

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Don’t forget to use the truck for photo ops. Check what vendors suggest. Perhaps you will be able to serve a few people through the truck window, great for photos. Or use the truck as a backdrop for fun photos. Fidel Gastro’s truck, named Priscilla, offers full dinners from its mobile kitchen. Matt Basile, one of the partners in the business, says that when people call them “they are looking for something out-of-thebox, street-food themed, very good quality and mobile food. There is a visual presence...a fun element...the kitchen goes main stage rather than in the background. Five or six-course meals are the norm, with smaller portions so guests can enjoy more courses”. The aroma of baking cupcakes is in the air when Curbside Bliss Cupcakes’ petite Mercedes Sprinter pulls up at a wedding. Cynthia Pacheco, Owner, says couples choose different times for their cupcake treats. “For example, some want the truck at the church, so as soon as everyone emerges, we serve cupcakes and coffee in between the wedding ceremony and the reception. We can show up at the reception venue before the couple arrives, so while they are taking wedding photos, guests are enjoying cupcakes and chatting. We set up tables for the kids where staffers teach them to ice and decorate cupcakes, which gives their parents a chance to catch up with other guests at the wedding.” Late evening snacks are a natural for food trucks. Often wedding duos book two trucks, one savoury and one sweet. Food choices are abundant. Think Rome’N Chariot for Italian comfort food, empañadas or watermelon mojito salad from Gourmet Gringos, Urban Smoke for traditional and fusion barbecue, Captain Crunch fish tacos from The Food Dudes. WE

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6175 Hwy 7, Unit 5 Vaughan, ON L4H 0P6 905.264.1700 855.571.5500



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planet ontario



rilliant smiles come naturally for newlyweds Heba Al Tarhuni and Issam Loubani, both of whom are in the final year of a dentistry program. They met in the university library during their undergraduate studies; soon studying become much more enjoyable as romance blossomed! They also learned a lot about how each handles stress during the pressure of exam periods—information that augurs well for their marriage. The couple shares a Palestinian background. Three parents are Palestinian and Heba’s mother is Lebanese. The couple is charmingly relaxed and happy, posing on the steps of London’s Old Courthouse, constructed in the early 19th century. Heba wears a beautiful bridal hijab covering her head and chose a gown with sleeves, in keeping with Muslim doctrine of keeping a woman’s body covered in public places. A white gown has connotations of happiness in her culture. This couple enjoys visiting fascinating places. They were captivated by Morocco during a trip there—trips to Palestine and Spain could be next. Heba and Issam, we wish you a bright future together, full of smiles and happy explorations... WE

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