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www.weddingessentials. ca

F R EE! Co

mplimenta r Bride’s Sur y vival Guide See page 8 2



Discover The Elegant Trousseau Tea

EXPRESS PERSONAL FLAIR Transportation Choices To Move You

EXPLORE HISTORIC VENUES Channel Yesterday’s Aura


Winter/Spring 2015


D I S P L AY U N T I L M AY 1 1 , 2 0 1 5


Cover photo by Photography by Alina Wall Other cover credits see page 14


“Mary and I cherish the above photograph, taken 42 years ago. The photographic quality and styles of weddings have changed over the decades, but the one constant is the love that drew us together, and has remained the strength of our marriage. You are starting on your marriage journey, and may it be as fulfilling and happy as Mary and I have experienced.” – John Webster

We are not alone. I remember when I was helping plan my wedding, back in the last century, my bride-to-be Mary and I felt that we were the first 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, 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 need. You can also scan the QR Code at the end of this letter 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 wishes.

8 | Wedding Essentials 2015

But that’s not all. We’ve provided a free bridal registry and you don’t have to stick with one store anymore. Just ‘pin’ the gifts you would like to receive by scanning the bar code with your smart phone from any item, in any store. The list will be created on your very own wedding website for your guests to choose from. You will also have access to your own 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. 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 worked. Our regular features are crammed with transferrable ideas, new trends and practical methods of creating the wedding you envision. Look to the past for ideas for your wedding in our boutique Historic Venues section. Check out ideas for stunning pre-wedding parties. There are tips to help brides look and feel their very best for their wedding celebrations, because every bride wants to put her best foot forward on the wedding aisle. There’s inspiration aplenty, from gowns, flowers and sweet treats to theme options. Just flip through to the Table of Contents on page 12 and you’ll be carried off on an enjoyable journey of wedding planning. Enjoy,

John Webster | PUBLISHER


Weddings are all about passion and partnerships and making memories to last a lifetime. They can also be about traditions and are always about celebrating with the people we care about most, and who care most about us. The bride who is reading this magazine is passionate. She is passionate about the man she is about to marry and about the partnership they are entering. She is passionate about creating a wedding celebration that will provide forever memories. To make that happen, many partnerships will be created partnerships with the wedding photographer, the wedding planner, the florist and many more. 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...consider us a partner in your wedding planning process. I have treasured memories about the photo of the flowers on this page; it reminds me of special people and events in my life, including wedding celebrations. My grandmother was given this teapot on her 16th birthday, a family heirloom from generations past, and I was given it on my 16th birthday.

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Hopefully it will move forward through many more lifetimes into the future. Filled with an informal arrangement of flowers, it is a symbol of another wonderful memory of mine — my bridal trousseau tea, an almost-forgotten tradition that appears to be due for a renaissance. You will discover trousseau details as you page through this magazine. As a bride-to-be, your task is to find supplier partners who are passionate about making bridal couples’ unique wedding dreams come true and who have the expertise 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, memories-in-the-making 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. 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 David Jones | CONTRIBUTORS Jonathan Barratt | T.P. Black | Theresa Diltrich Alana Douglas | Jessalynn Fincher | Imara Gower Carolina Pfaff | Alicia Stewart | Vanessa Stottor WEDDING WISDOM EDITOR David Jones | ART DIRECTOR Mark Tzerelshtein |


ADVERTISING SALES G R E AT E R TO RO N TO A R E A O F F I C E John Webster | S O U T H W E S T E R N O N TA R I O Barry Johnson | Wedding Essentials is published by The Town Crier of Markham Inc. ŠCopyright 2014 The Town Crier of Markham Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any part of this publication in any form without the written permission of the publishers is prohibited. Wedding Essentials and Internet Bridal Show are registered trade names of The Town Crier of Markham Inc., and the unauthorized use of these trade names is strictly prohibited. The information in this publication is believed to be accurate. However, neither Wedding Essentials nor The Town Crier of Markham Inc. can or will be held liable for the quality or performance of goods and services provided by advertisers listed herein.

FOR ADVERTISING INFORMATION CONTACT Wedding Essentials 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 rapidly-expanding website at Printed in Canada.

Like us! Follow us! @BrideEssentials Pin us! pinterest/com/BrideEssentials Join us!

Wedding Essentials 20 1 5 | 11


VO L . 1 6 , N O. 2 W I N T E R /S P R I N G 20 15











106 PUNTA CANA FUN FOR ALL Valentyna & Amir


ON THE RUNWAYS OF NYC Hot new trends to expand gown options


BUTTERFLY WHISPERS Inspiration that will last a lifetime


COME AND GO IN YOUR STYLE Wedding transport that reflects individuality


DISCOVER THE TROUSSEAU TEA Tweak an old tradition for modern times

102 TAXING DETA ILS Changing your status with Canada Revenue


WEDDING PLANNER FOR ONTARIO BRIDES The Bride’s Survival Guide is a 128-page planner/organizer created specifically for brides in South-Central Ontario. It gives you detailed information on every aspect of getting married— from how to word your invitations to how to pack for your honeymoon. To request your FREE copy (a $39.95 value), complete and mail the postcard opposite page 83. Or complete the request form at (Quantities are limited.)

12 | Wedding Essentials 2015



FASHION PASSION Inspiration from beautiful Ontario brides


FLORAL FANTASY Beautiful blooms that delight


EDIBLE ART Palate pleasure possibilities


DAZZLING CHANEL SHOWER Designer details true to legendary Coco


NEAT STUFF A sampling of products to test drive


BEAUTY Products to help you look your best

114 PLANET ONTARIO Celebrating Ontario’s cultural diversity




UNIQUELY ONTARIO Celebration & photo op sites to delight


IT’S ELEMENTARY — ERA DETAILS How to add elements from bygone days


HEAVENLY UNIQUE SITE Sharon Temple’s splendid simplicity


HISTORIC MILLS HAMLET The charms of Benmiller beckon


STEPPING INTO PIONEER DAYS Historic vignettes in Markham Museum







Discover the image’s backstory at

ON THE COVER PHOTO: Photography by Alina Wall | | 519.322.7925 BRIDE & GROOM: Eva Froese + Pete Wiebe GOWN: Mori Lee by Madeline Gardner | Sophie’s Gown Shoppe, Windsor | 519.974.3681 BRIDE’S HAIR: Helen Neufeld | 519.682.1384 BRIDE’S MAKEUP: Jessica Klassen - Professional Makeup Artistry | 519.819.2353

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Wedding Wisdom 25

SHOES! GLORIOUS SHOES!! Make a statement or create a classic look.


QUALITY OVER QUANTITY Four steps in helping you achieve the look that you have in mind.


YOUR WEDDING. YOUR RECEPTION. YOUR WAY. Key components to look for in your venue contract before signing on the dotted line.


PUTTING HIS BEST FOOT FORWARD Get a leg up on how-tos for men’s accessories.


SETTING THE MOOD Lighting plays just as much in décor as any other item you are considering.


LIFESTYLE MATTERS Learning how to make your house your home.


LOVE ALL AROUND How to help express your appreciation from the bottom of your heart.


VIDEOGRAPHY A detailed photo and video checklist to help set up your memory album after the big day.

103 TREAT YOURSELF TO A SPA DAY With what can appear to be chaos all around, don’t forget to take a moment for yourself to rejuvenate. 105 THE COUNTDOWN CALENDAR A handy checklist to stay on track in the months before your wedding.

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Reception Reference Guide

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




Included In Price

Ceremony On Site

Outdoor Area

Special Menus

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

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



F G It P

CHRISTIES MILL INN & SPA 1.800.465.9966




Ca Ch G H In It Ja K P V




Ca G In It Ja P V











Ca F G H In Il P V

THE BRIARS RESORT, CONFERENCE CENTRE & SPA 905.722.3271 Ext. 2730 up to 150 $125-135 PAGE 77




Ca Ch F G H In It Ja P V O

WOODINGTON LAKE GOLF CLUB 905.936.9523 Ext. 232 PAGE 79




Ca F G P V

Included In Price

Ceremony On Site

PAGE 115












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





Outdoor Area Yes

Special Menus

F In H Ja V



Included In Price

Ceremony On Site






Ch G H In Il K P V







F G It Ja P V O







Ca Ch F G In It Ja K P V O

Outdoor Area

Special Menus

ATLANTIS 416.260.8000





MARKHAM MUSEUM 905.294.4576 Ext. 3171 PAGE 57 THE EGLINTON GRAND 416.485.5900 THE OLD MILL INN AND SPA 416.236.2641

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Ca Ch F G In It Ja K P V O


Ca Ch F G In It Ja K P V O


Ca Ch F G In It Ja K P V O




We welcome all caterers.






Ch G H In Il K P V






H It P

Ca – Caribbean Ch – Chinese


F – French G – Greek

H – Halal In – Indian

It – Italian J – Jamaican

K – Kosher P – Portuguese

V – Vegan O – Other


E. F. G. H.

Dinner wine Champagne toast Chair covers Disc jockey

I. J. K. L.

Wedding cake Hors d’oeuvres Bridal suite Gift for couple

Late-night buffet Non-alcoholic punch Limousine Engagement photo

M. N. O. P.

Chocolate fountain Sweet table Limited bar included Tasting for two

Q. R. S. T.

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

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




Included In Price

Ceremony On Site

Outdoor Area

Special Menus

ANCASTER MILL 905.648.1828






BANQUET ROYALE LTD. 905.238.5335






H It K P V O

BENMILLER INN & SPA PAGES 26, 55 1.800.265.1711






Ch G It V Other-Celieac




�V Other-Custom

CAMBRIDGE MILL 519.648.1828 Ext. 2












G H It P V







G H It P V

up to 375

wknd rental







Ca F G H In It P V

COWAN PARK BANQUET HALL 519.421.0030 Ext. 34

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











Ch G H In It K P V






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







V Other-German

KURTZ ORCHARDS 905.468.2937 PAGE 23






Ca Ch F G H In It Ja K P V







H In K V, Vegetarian

MOHAWK INN & CONFERENCE CENTRE 905.854.2277 20-130





NORTHRIDGE MUNICIPAL GOLF COURSE 519.756.6345 Ext. 211 50-160





It V







G H It P V







G H It P V














THE WINDERMERE MANOR 519.858.1414 Ext. 432






V Other-Custom






WESTOVER INN 519.284.2977 WHISTLE BEAR GOLF CLUB 519.650.2327 Ext. 2

$45.00 170-440



Wedding Essentials 20 1 5 | 19

a real-life wedding

Chelsea & Adam CROSSING THE BORDER INTO WEDDED BLISS Although when they were university students both worked for several years at the same airport with the Canada Border Services Agency, Chelsea Kvasni and Adam Chamberlain’s love affair didn’t achieve liftoff there — in fact their paths never crossed.

RUNWAY TO ROMANCE After graduation both attended a several-week CBSA training course, where everyone lives in the same dorm, eats in the same cafeteria and lets loose in the same little bar; it is the perfect opportunity to get to know someone really well. It was there that Chelsea and Adam finally met and spent time together watching the Olympics, playing baseball after class and, along with other classmates, exploring New York on a trip. Back in Canada, continuing the course, dating (and taxiing into romance) began in earnest with a Blue Jays game and cocktails at Toronto’s Hey Lucy.


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EIFFEL TOWER PROPOSAL Who hasn’t fantasized about being proposed to in Paris, the “city of romance”? Could there be a more romantic place to say yes than at the Eiffel Tower? When Chelsea and Adam took a European vacation after dating for three years, bets were on by all who knew them that the proposal would take place in Paris - several specific places were mentioned by different people. However, in Chelsea’s words, “that was much too predictable for Adam!”. A few more months passed before they enjoyed a short getaway to Niagara Falls. On a drive along the Niagara Parkway between Niagara Falls and Niagara-on-the-Lake, Adam asked if Chelsea wanted to take a walk through Queenston Heights Park, the site of one of their earliest official dates. After just a few minutes in the park, Adam said he had to get his phone from the car and when he came back, he was wearing a backpack. Chelsea didn’t question it, although she “thought it was a little odd”. Suddenly Adam pulled a miniature statue of the Eiffel Tower out of his backpack, placed it on the ground, dropped to one knee and proposed. Celebrating with champagne on the gorgeous October day, he told Chelsea that they could still say they got engaged in front of the Eiffel Tower, just not in Paris!

Wedding Essentials 20 1 5 | 21

a real-life wedding

AL FRESCO WEDDING CELEBRATIONS Chelsea and Adam’s goal was to have an outdoor celebration, sans tent. Their vision included al fresco dining and dancing under the stars on their wedding day. Their search for the perfect venue ended at Gracewood Estates and The Kurtz Orchards in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

GOWNS AND MORE Chelsea’s choice of a strapless ivory silk organza and tulle ballgown with a sweetheart hand-draped bodice and chapel train was ideal for the outdoor setting, echoing the airy ambiance of the perfect mid-summer day. This thoughtful bride demonstrated complete confidence in her attendants, asking them to select their own dresses, “in blush pink/champagne, above-the-knee length, with a touch of sparkle”. The soft, vintage-looking colour suited the venue and wedding ambiance. Each bridal attendant had her individual style; the mélange of fashion made for a distinctive bridal party look that tended to vintage and relaxed elegance. Adam wore Hugo Boss, showing his love of the Toronto Blue Jays by incorporating a single blue jay feather into his boutonnière in addition to wearing baseball cufflinks.

LOVE IS IN THE DETAILS The flowers for the celebrations added a whimsical, gardenparty touch. Fresh white flowers were hung from the trees, cascading down to the head table where rectangular flower boxes with champagne, ivory, green and peach floral accents set an outdoor tone. Large, round, pedestal vase centrepieces were filled with roses in ivory, champagne and peach shades, green and white hydrangeas, lisianthus and greenery. The long flowing banners that were draped from the trees moved gently in the summer breeze while globe lights and chandeliers suspended from the boughs enhanced the mood. Chivari chairs completed the light and airy décor. Music of Love Me Tender and The Wedding March at the ceremony was another memorable part of the day as it was played by the groom’s 10-year-old cousin.

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Chelsea’s favourite moment was “the First Look. It was really special; I was SO excited to see Adam! The father-daughter dance was another favourite for me. I’m the only girl in the family. When I was a kid I listened to The Big Chill soundtrack a lot so my Dad and I chose My Girl for our dance, with my three younger brothers joining us on the dance floor to do some doowop dancing - a sweet surprise arranged by my dad. And all our guests sang along!”. Adam relates that his fondest memory was seeing that his and Chelsea’s planned “environment of inclusion was created. The enduring image for me will always be seeing those nearest and dearest to us come together after dinner and pack the dance floor”. Chelsea loves that “Adam is the very best at making me smile. When I’ve got too much on the go and I’m feeling overwhelmed, he can always cheer me up because he’s clever, funny, silly and sweet”. Adam loves “how driven Chelsea is. She sets goals and always strives to achieve them. She’s always got something on the horizon she’s working towards. She’s also very patient and caring. :)”. Chelsea’s advice to brides: “I highly recommend doing a First Look, taking photos before the ceremony.” Adam’s advice to grooms: “Treat the planning and lead-up to the wedding as a microcosm of your future marriage. Be supportive of your (stressed-out) bride-to-be and understand that although you may not have grown up dreaming of what your ideal wedding day is, it’s still important to have an opinion on the details that go into making your wedding unique.”

Wedding Essentials 20 1 5 | 23

a real-life wedding A BICYCLE BUILT FOR TWO — NOT! Chelsea and Adam opted for doing a First Look, taking the photos before the ceremony. The bride reports that was a superb decision. “We were completely stress-free during our photos because we weren’t rushed. It was actually fun! Plus we were able to spend extra time together on our wedding day and to attend the English Garden cocktail hour, enjoying our guests from the time the ceremony was done.” Looking at the fun shots of the couple on a vintage bicycle, it’s obvious that they were having a blast during the photo session, encouraging a relaxed feeling for the wedding ceremony.

FOOD, GLORIOUS FOOD Large charcuterie boards were visual and gustatory highlights of the cocktail reception; they were filled with local meats, cheeses, fruits and breads. In keeping with the relaxed atmosphere of the entire celebration, food was served family-style. Konzelmann Estate Wines from the Niagara Peninsula complemented the menu choices. Cupcakes and French macarons graced an ivory and gold, tiered cupcake stand. The cupcakes were decorated to look like roses and hydrangeas with cream, peach and blush coloured icing. Babies’ Breath and ivory ribbon accented the space between the cupcakes. The result was an edible work of art.

CALIFORNIA DREAM HONEYMOON The newlyweds toured San Francisco sights and wineries in Napa and Sonoma and enjoyed renting a vacation home in Big Sur and driving a convertible along the magnificent Pacific Coast Highway. WE

BRIDE’S GOWN: Style # TK2161, Tara Keely | Pearl Bridal House | 905.278.5407 BRIDE’S HAIR & MAKEUP: Allure Hair & Makeup | 289.362.1964 GROOM’S ATTIRE: Hugo Boss | Harry Rosen Yorkdale | 416.787.4231 WEDDING PLANNER & FLOWERS: Michelle Brennan-Allen | Fresh Collaborative Events | 905.937.0572 CUPCAKES & MACARONS: Designer Delights | 289.897.8978 DJ: Sandy Vine & The Midnights | 905.562.6683 VENUE: Gracewood Estates & The Kurtz Orchards | 1.888.909.2937 PHOTOS: Dina & Azra, Face Photography | 416.432.8065

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Wedding Wisdom

Shoes! Glorious Shoes!!


uy your shoes as soon as you find your dress so you can wear them to the fittings. There are so many styles, fabrics and trims to choose from, it boggles the mind. Of course, the shoes should compliment the style and colour of the gown. They can be satin, silk, brocade and adorned with pearls, lace, sequins or rosettes. Shoes can be traditional, or may also be a place where you can spice things up with a personal splash of colour. Don’t forget the most important thing of all when choosing your shoes. You are going to be walking and standing and dancing in them for hours and hours. Make sure they are comfortable. If you must have some height choose a comfortable pump with a shorter heel. Of course, the comfort level is up to you. Wear your shoes before the wedding to break them in. WE

Wedding Essentials 20 1 5 | 25


TRENDS BRIDAL GOWN FROM NYC RUNWAYS BY ALANA DOUGLAS JUDGING FROM THE STYLES of the bridal gowns premiering on the runways at the New York Bridal Shows, the absolute reign of the strapless wedding gown is over, although women coveting that look for their weddings will still be able to find outstanding examples to flatter and delight.

The sheer plethora of styles shown means that there are gowns that will work for every bride’s personality, figure and individual take on bridal fashion. The limited decision of which shade of white or near-white to wear goes out the window; increasingly, colours in a variety of shades are available for the bride who “marches to a different drummer” down the style aisle. Back interest, sleeves, peplums, overskirts, capes, and baroque details are all elements of the most recent wedding gown scene. Lace is still very much in the picture, often as detailing rather than an overall fabric choice.

SHAPES: The figure-flattering trumpet silhouette is on trend. Form-fitted to about mid-thigh, the skirt then flares out for a dramatic look - think modified mermaid... It’s déjà-vu from the 1930s — the slinky sheath/shift that falls from the shoulder in a fabric that hugs every curve of the body and can also shimmer in light and shadow with movement and form. This look can be sexy and elegant with a retro feel.

OVERSKIRTS: Whether detachable or not, the overskirt hits centre stage for brides. It can be as short as a peplum or right to the floor. Ranging from layers of tulle to a soft draping of lace, this can be a very sophisticated style that sounds a different note. The overskirt can fully go around or only partially, as it did with gowns that are form-fitting with an overskirt flaring out around the sides and back. SLEEVES: Sleeves are in evidence in virtually every collection. A wide variety, from the merest of cap sleeves to below-the-wrist sleeves and everything in between, is on display, including three-quarter length sleeves. Lace and seethrough fabrics are popular for sleeves as are materials and details echoing the bridal gown.

OFF THE SHOULDER: Off-the-shoulder treatments are hot, hot, hot! Whether the offthe-shoulder look is barely that or part-way down the arm, the effect is a frame that not only sets off a beautiful collarbone, shoulder and neck area but also emphasizes the bride’s face. PLUNGING NECKLINES: A deep V-neck or other revealing neckline is popular to show off cleavage in styles that remain classic and classy without being uber-sexy or trashy.

COLOURS: Ooh-là-là! C’est magnifique - the selection of colours to beguile a bride. Blooming in blue, passionate for pink, yearning for yellow, going for green, searching for silver? You will find shades of those and more, including various pewter-like tones. The palettes are plentiful and pleasing.

CAPES: Where previously we might have thought of capes only for winter weddings, the cape is every-season-perfect now, available in a wide variety of fabrics and lengths, each capturing a different feeling. Whether a stunning floor-length lace-accented sheer or a fabric that drapes into dramatic details, the cape is captivating designers and brides alike. WE 26 | Wedding Essentials 2015

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.


BRIDE: Sabina Chang GOWN: Custom made | R & E Wedding, Lion Rock Mall, Taipei | 36.2361.3166 HAIR & MAKEUP: Satine Makeup & Hair Studio | 416.520.9766 JEWELLERY: Satine Studio Jewellery | 416.520.9766 VENUE: King Valley Golf Club | 905.841.9262 PHOTO: Kevin Lam Photography | | 416.834.5526

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Jeannette BRIDE: Jeannette Pontiero GOWN: Aveline | Sarah Houston | 416.921.8882 HAIR & MAKEUP: Picaso Studios | 905.851.9106 FLOWERS: Pink Twig | 416.537.7465 PHOTO: Lisa Mark Photography | | 416.662.7495

Wedding Essentials 20 1 5 | 29

fashion passion

Loraine BRIDE: Loraine Sgotto GOWN: Customized Vichy | Ines Di Santo | | 866.899.INES HAIR: Ladylyn Gool | 416.938.2313 MAKEUP: Marlene Gordon | 416.556.8497 JEWELLERY: Damiani Jewellers | 905.850.4653 FLOWERS: Extravaganza Florist | 905.850.3927 VENUE: Liberty Grand | 416.542.3789 PHOTO: Julian Moniz | | 416.835.9950

30 | Wedding Essentials 2015

Tanya BRIDE: Tanya Parsons GOWN: Blu, #4965, Mori Lee | Amanda - Lina’s Sposa Boutique | 905.265.8707 HEADPIECE: Custom made by Annie Panza, Woodbridge Bridal Shoe Shop & Accessories | 905.265.2300 HAIR: Mane Society Salon Spa | 905.832.7878 MAKEUP: Makeup By Sigi Bloomberg | 416.721.0712 JEWELLERY: ISIS Jewels | 905.738.4488 FLOWERS: Berries & Blooms | 416.722.9100 VENUE: Magnotta Winery | 905.738.9463 PHOTO: Skylite Images Fine Art Photo Studio | | 905.660.5483

Wedding Essentials 20 1 5 | 31

fashion passion


BRIDE: Amanda Gordon GOWN: Allure Bridal #9064 | Elmwood Brides | 905.713.6329 HAIR: Hair by Ashley Francis | 905.535.0750 MAKEUP: Diana Di Stefano | 905.773.3590 JEWELLERY: Crystal Avenues | Etsy FLOWERS: Debbie & Amanda | VENUE: WaterStone Estate & Farms | 905.898.1530 PHOTO: Tony Di Lorenzo Photography| | 905.302.7953

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Place yourself here!

Your name here!

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

fashion passion

Olga BRIDE: Olga Gorovaya GOWN: Aiden by Maggie Sottero Amanda - Lina’s Sposa Boutique | 905.265.8707 HAIR & MAKEUP: Muah Beauty | 647.889.1077 FLOWERS: Wedding Wows | 905.851.9969 PHOTO: 1000 Visions Studio | | 416.409.7498

fashion passion


BRIDE: Natalie Mattina GOWN: Aubergine| Ines Di Santo | | 866.899.INES HEADPIECE: Artemis Jewellery & Accessories | 905.850.9331 HAIR: Salon 360 | 905.635.4262 MAKEUP: Makeup Worx | 905.966.5878 JEWELLERY: Phillips Jewellers | 905.545.1466 PHOTO: AMV Productions | | 905.662.4126

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Magda BRIDE: Magda Kuziw GOWN: #5436, Stella York | Windsor Bridal | 416.789.5855 HAIR: Becoming Hair Studio | 905.751.0003 MAKEUP: Orly Khan-Waldman Makeup Artist | 416.399.6078 VENUE: Sharon Temple | 905.478.2389 PHOTO: Lushana Bale Photography | | 416.818.7969

Wedding Essentials 20 1 5 | 37


e f i L e v i G


WEDDING PLANNING can be an extremely stressful time in a woman’s life, even though it is also a period of great anticipation and joy. Here are some quotes from a collection of daily inspirational messages called Butterfly Whispers, One moment, one thought can change your day, by inspirational speaker Vanessa Stottor, published by Balboa Press. The book gives a powerful thought for each day for a year and includes space for the reader to note her own thoughts and experiences. Brides-to-be will find the insightful messages in this book helpful not only during the hectic months leading up to wedding celebrations, but also valuable in developing motivating mind skills for a lifetime.




Do we ever stop to think of our successes as successes because there was someone who was the wind beneath our wings? Be grateful for every gust of wind that helps you along your way, because even a handheld kite would be a flop without a gust of wind to carry it to great heights.

I have salt and pepper pots filled with imaginary dust. I shake them over me when needed. Try it. Amazing things happen. How about filling the pots with happiness dust or courage dust.

We wake up each morning to 86,400 seconds. If we looked at time as if it were money, we would spend it very differently.

JANUARY 24 Every life has its dark and cheerful times. Happiness come from choosing which times to remember.

AUGUST 25 I believe we mainly focus on what is not right in our lives. You can always find something to be grateful about. Always look for the silver lining. It’s there if you look hard enough.

OCTOBER 18 “How does one become a butterfly?” she asked. “You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar!” — Trina Paulus

SEPTEMBER 7 JUNE 6 Live for today, not yesterday. Learn from the past; it’s all you can do. Leave the wake behind you, and drive the boat to where you want to go.

You are the carpenter, and life is a do-ityourself project. Your attitude and the choices you make today help build the “house” you will live in tomorrow.

Let go and fly! NOVEMBER 5


What will you find today that is so simple and so silly that you can’t help smile or laugh out loud? I bet you find loads of things! Have a fun time looking for them.

If you’re like me, we sometimes keep going at such a pace that can only burn us out. Change to a lower gear and go further and faster.


Treat your body like a temple, not a bowling alley. Exercise, get enough sleep and eat well. For your mind, read books and watch the kind of films that encourage you to think properly. Now we have created the perfect place for us to stay. You’ve created a temple worthy of you.

DECEMBER 4 Worry looks behind, sorry looks back, and strength looks forward. Just stay focussed on what lies ahead!

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DECEMBER 9 We need to shine our light for others to follow. Who we are can be the example others need to see. When we think of all the people that shone their light for us to see it’s only fair we do the same for others. WE Discover the backstory at


Fantasy BRIDE: Crystal Rose FLOWERS: The Flower Place | 705.737.0314 PHOTO: Rowell Photography | | 705.321.1102

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Are you a bride who wants an heirloom bouquet, a keepsake that you can enjoy for decades and then pass forward to the next generation and beyond? A personalized brooch bouquet or button posy can be a very individual, intimate floral statement for your wedding.

BOUQUET: Pumpkin & Pye Button Bouquets |

BOUQUET: Debbie Carlisle | PHOTO: Emma Case |

BROOCH BOUQUETS If you are an accomplished crafts-person, this might be a DIY project, but be aware that the key to a captivating bouquet involves planning and expertise. This is extremely time-intensive and can be very expensive. Do in-depth research — don’t just buy a Styrofoam ball and cover it with brooches - be sure you know how to wire the brooches, what kind of base will be sturdy and what kind of background to use behind the brooches. Satin or silk flowers or lace accents in combination with crystal brooches can work beautifully, if you have a designer’s eye. Allow a minimum of 100 hours to make a professional-looking bouquet. Don’t be

surprised if your first attempt isn’t bridal-aisleworthy. Use only quality brooches, whether keepsakes or new, because cheap options are prone to falling apart and may rust and/or tarnish, quickly turning today’s treasure into tomorrow’s trash. Finding brooch bouquets on the web is a breeze. Not only the traditional round bouquets are available, but also cascades and tear-drop bouquets featuring ways to personalize your wedding bouquet. Whether you choose pearl brooches, metal brooches or crystal brooches or all three types, all white or vibrantly-mixed colours, you are bound to source a bouquet that will be a treasure for generations to come.

BUTTON BOUQUETS Ideal for a retro, vintage, country wedding, bouquets fashioned from buttons make a charming statement. Button bouquets can be as simple or as overthe-top as you choose. Think flower buttons, large or small, round or square buttons in

various sizes and colours to match your wedding colours. Use only buttons to create the entire posy or accent a button bouquet with brooches or fabric for a combination bouquet. If vintage is your thing and you are a purist, incorporate designer buttons from the 1940s or 1950s. Buttons can be made of different materials from soft plastic to hard plastic or metal and embellished with all sorts of motifs, so explore, explore, explore. The medium can be the message — from steampunk pewter metal to retro plastic. If you have lots of time to find interesting buttons, whether new or old, and are a skilled doit-yourselfer, making your bouquet and your attendants’ posies could be a pleasure - as long as you allow enough time to learn and practise. Ready-made button posies created by professional designers are options; you might choose to have an experienced button-bouquet-maker construct your florals, customizing them for your personality, wedding theme and colours. WE

Wedding Essentials 20 1 5 | 41

floral fantasy FLOWERS: Fleurs de Loulou | 519.404.1453 PHOTOS: Laura Domnar | | 519.504.0416

FLOWERS: W Flowers | 613.224.0240

FLOWERS: Tim Clark’s Flowers | | 905.294.2651

BRIDE & GROOM: Melissa & Kevin Napp FLOWERS: Blooming Wellies Flower Boutique | 905.657.8984 PHOTO: Roberto Lissia | Creative Wedding Options | 416.255.9977

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BRIDE: Julie FLOWERS: Fran Sackler Floral Designs | 905.884.5848

The traditional round bouquet is without a doubt the most versatile of all bouquet shapes. The perfect sphere shape complements most wedding gowns and is adaptable for ceremonies from casual through ultra-formal. Opt for a single colour or many shades, for a bouquet made of all the same flowers or an array of species and sizes. Consider the difference in effect between a round bouquet of full blown peonies or cabbage roses versus that of exotic cymbidium or phalaenopsis (butterfly) orchids. The ever-popular rose bouquet is available in so many different types of roses, shades, flower shapes and degree of maturity from bud to full-bloom that exploring the options deserves some time and attention. A dramatic deep crimson rose bouquet, perhaps with some bling, is always eye-catching and elegant. The sophistication of shades-ofwhite roses is splendidly subtle. Capture charm with a bouquet of soft pastel-coloured roses, perhaps with a lace-embellished handle. WE

FLOWERS: Ginkgo Floral Design | 416.640.1209

Wedding Essentials 20 1 5 | 43



BAKERY: Dessert Trends Bakery | 416.537.9696 PHOTO: Thanh Nguyen

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edible art

DIVINELY, DELICIOUSLY, DELIGHTFULLY B Y T. P. B L A C K Brides’ passions for romantic, vintage, retro wedding elements show no signs of diminishing in the foreseeable future. Perhaps retro weddings appeal to couples and guests alike because vintage celebrations hark back to a gentler time decades past, when life moved at a slower pace. If you are going vintage with your wedding cake design, incorporate details like ruffles, pearls, lace, cameos and opulent flowers like peonies or cabbage roses. For bridal showers and wedding receptions, intricately designed cupcakes, whether standard size or mini, presented as a complement to a personal cake or multi-tier wedding cake are increasingly popular as couples express their individuality through their choices.


pearl handle or another treasure from the past, a silver knife with an ornately-patterned handle. You could also recreate a vintage cake topper, if you cannot source an original. When displaying trays of cupcakes, what about using ornate silver platters or eyecatching depression glass servers in clear glass

SETTING THE MOOD For maximum effect, creating a vintage ambiance surrounding the cake is de rigueur. Use a vintage cake knife, perhaps with a mother-ofDiscover the images’ backstory at

or an array of pastel colours — green, pink, yellow and blue. Other possibilities are bone china or glass tiered cake servers, which double as a décor/design element. What about using a vintage photo or two in an ornate frame or perhaps simply use empty photo frames, perhaps draped with lace to add to the ambiance? Adding fresh flowers like cabbage roses and other romantic blooms in pastel shades, perhaps in an unstructured arrangement, can add another whole layer of “specialness” to the cake scene.


CAKES: The Creative Cake Academy |

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Talk with your great-aunts and grandmothers about what they wore and what was served at special wedding events like trousseau teas and in coffee houses and tea rooms they visited, perhaps on travels in Europe. Look at old photographs and vintage magazines to get your own original take on a bygone classic time. Let your inner Gatsby glow! WE

Wedding Essentials Invites Bride & Grooms to Stay in the Spotlight Planning your dream wedding or enjoying being a newlywed? Make the dream last... Fortunate bridal couples chosen to be showcased in A REAL LIFE WEDDING feature in Wedding Essentials magazine will become wedding stars who: • 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 AUDITION: Tell us a bit about the two of you, your special wedding celebrations, your photographer, venue and other details 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 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...

edible art

CREATIVE, CHARMING, CAPTIVATING B Y J O N AT H A N B A R R AT T BAKERY: The Sweetest Tiers | Etsy | 416.388.6956


Cookies are popping up with increasing frequency at wedding celebrations. Pre-wedding party treats, reception sweet table delights or guest favours in adorable packages — cookies always earn five-star reviews. Just seeing cookies brings back sweet memories. Maybe you made cookies with your grandmother when you visited her. Was there a cookie jar on the counter at home? Was a cookie and a glass of milk an after-school treat? Today do you order a favourite cookie with your latte or café au lait? Cookies, from the Dutch word koekjes, meaning little cakes, have been popular for centuries. Whether you call them biscotti — Italy, biscuits — the U.K., macarons — France or drop or moulded cookies — Canada, a cookie by any other name is just as delectable. The sweet finger food ranges from down-home, country-style cookies like oatmeal raisin or chocolate chip, to elegant pastel macarons or elaborately-iced, shaped cookies. Complement the theme of your celebrations, the colours, or the mood by choosing cookies that entice and enchant. Do your due diligence on this; don’t rush into a decision — take your own sweet — and tasty, time! Here’s a sampling of cookies, a visual treat... WE

BAKERY: Sweet & Splendid

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BRIDE & GROOM: Jennifer & Kyle Landry PHOTO: Studio60 Photography | | 416.629.5432




o, you and your groom want to take your marriage vows and celebrate in a place steeped with history and beauty. Although the castles of Europe and the picture-perfect postcard villages of England might beckon, you want to share your special day with all your friends and family. You can have the best of both worlds in Ontario without sacrificing any of your vision of a days-gone-by wedding. You might be surprised at how many historic places there are close to home where you and your guests can experience the ambiance of an earlier age. Here’s just a sampling.

By Jessalynn Fincher

If your dream is of a fairy-tale wedding, a castle is the perfect setting. Toronto’s Casa Loma, built from 1911 to 1914 by Sir Henry Pellatt, has several function rooms, among them The Great Hall with its 60-foothigh oak-beamed ceiling, and The Conservatory, lushly extravagant in light, airiness and marble under an Italian stained glass ceiling dome. Dundurn Castle in Hamilton was built in the mid-19th century by Sir Allan Napier McNab, one of Canada’s first premiers. The Coach House at Dundurn, in days past a utilitarian building sheltering horses, coaches, and servants, is now a wedding venue. Outdoor weddings and photo ops are possible at Castle Kilbride, Baden. The Italianate villa features a fine Victorian-style garden and an elaborate, columned front porch.

wedding for couples and their guests. Several heritage buildings with historic elements make up The Inn. The century-celebrating Old Mill in Toronto offers several locations for weddings. Its 16th century candlelit chapel is a charming spot for an intimate ceremony, enhanced by light streaming in the stained glass windows. Celebrations in The Guildhall will make you think you are in an English manor house. The Wedding Garden features ivy-covered trellised walls. Cambridge Mill is stunningly beautiful day or night with its views of the Grand River. The Gallery retains its original limestone walls. The Waterfront Room adjoins a weather-friendly private terrace with retractable glass walls that frame wonderful views. Nestled in the Caledon Hills, Millcroft Inn & Spa touts romantic heritage buildings, a beautiful Mill Pond and the impressive Shaw’s Creek Falls as well as a Victorian Manor House Garden that offer ceremony and reception options and plenty of places for your guests to explore, as well as photo ops galore. Ancaster Old Mill’s selection of wedding venues caters to all sizes of celebrations at any time of the day or evening or season of the year, among them the intimate Solarium with threesided fireplace and views of the waterfall and stream below. The Millview Room with its serene ambiance lets the outdoors in with its floor-toceiling, conservatory-style windows.



Ontario is blessed with an abundance of scenic, historic mills that have been preserved and renovated. With mill races and other water features, lush gardens, historic elements, and tranquil settings, these locations make for unique wedding celebrations and superb photos. Mill venues include Benmiller Inn & Spa, set in a wooded valley on Ontario’s West Coast, with dining and accommodation suitable not only for the wedding day but also for a destination

In Corktown stands the first free school and oldest school still existing in Toronto —- the Victorianera Enoch Turner Schoolhouse. The one-room school and its West Wing in the Gothic Revival style were established by wealthy brewer Enoch Turner, a philanthropist who wanted to educate the poor children who lived near his brewery. At The Schoolhouse in Ottawa is a one-room 1890s schoolhouse renovated to trendy, chic elegance. Here a century-old church is another


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heritage option as well as a courtyard with gardens and pergola in a lush setting, ideal for outdoor weddings. In Huron County, the Huron County Museum is in an Elizabethan-style two-story schoolhouse that was built in the 1850s; it can host host small wedding ceremonies or photo shoots.

UNIQUE The historic Distillery District in Toronto dates from 1832; its restored red brick, Victorian-era buildings were once part of the Gooderham & Worts whiskey distillery. Venues here include The Fermenting Cellar that hasn’t changed a lot since 1861 when the limestone structure was first opened, as well as loft-like Archeo. Pioneer villages in Ontario offer wide-ranging possibilities. Fanshawe Pioneer Village in London, Black Creek Pioneer Village in Toronto and Lang Pioneer Village in Peterborough each have unique settings for wedding celebrations and incredible backdrops for vintage and/or country style weddings. The 25-acre site of Markham Museum features almost two-dozen historic buildings, including a general store, chapel, and railway station, picture-postcard-perfect settings for a vintage wedding or photo shoot. The Historic Gaol in Goderich, built in 1841, was lauded for its humanitarian treatment of prisoners. Its stone walls, octagonal courtyard and cells offer photo ops galore as well as space for intimate ceremonies. Sharon Temple, completed in 1832, north of Toronto, is an architectural and historic gem; its three tiers resemble a wedding cake. Built by The Children of Peace, an offshoot sect of Quakers known for their pageantry, the airy structure’s details abound in symbolism. My advice to history-loving couples? Hop into your car and start exploring to find the perfect heritage venue for your wedding. You are bound to have a marvellous time discovering all the nooks and crannies of Ontario history where you can celebrate your dream wedding... WE




f you are captivated by times past, it’s likely that you will have considered an historic venue for your wedding. What fun you and your fiancé have in your future, planning a heritage celebration! Whether you include only a few elements that echo the past or have a vision that embraces every detail from arrival at the ceremony site to departure from your reception, you are about to enter a different era — yours to explore, consider, evaluate and make decisions about how it fits with your theme.

GETTING THERE IS FUN Think Gatsby and you’ll understand this concept immediately! Imagine stepping into or out of a Rolls Royce Silver Cloud stretch limo or a Rolls Royce Silver Dawn or a vintage Bentley. And now imagine wedding photos by the car. Be still my revved-up heart! Dig deep on the web and find vintage cars for rent that are destined to be conversation makers, like a 1920s Ford Model T or a Dodge Brothers sedan or a 1930s classy little Chevrolet Coupe or Phaeton. With a wedding theme that might touch on the prohibition or gangster era, the fun of the flappers or the classiness of Jay Gatsby and Daisy Buchanan, your imagination is only limited by your Google search powers!

PICTURE THIS Think about photo ops and the kind of props that will emphasize the era and your theme. Classic bicycles and bicycles-built-for-two are

By Carolina Pfaff hot wheels Murdoch Mysteries for inspiration. Old suitcases and trunks, vintage Remington typewriters, old tables and desks, antique Singer sewing machines, old books, colourful depression glass, lace tablecloths, and silver serving dishes are all prop-er possibilities. If you are going back close to pioneer days in Ontario, consider antique quilts, horse collars, wooden crates, old wooden ladders, weathered doors and window frames, Mason jars, those old photographs of very severe-looking couples, and primitive beeswax candles.

ATTIRE ELEMENTS Follow the style runway back in time by incorporating items and looks from the olden days. Headbands, bobbed hair, short, fringed dresses with dropped waists and long strands of pearls complete a flapper look. Suspenders make the vintage man. Perhaps he tends towards elegance. If so, a top hat is almost a necessity. Maybe old-time cotton canvas spats, accessories for gentlemen’s shoes, are the order of the day; they were very fashionable in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. A fedora was a spiffy item in the 1930s. Fabrics for gowns might be cotton or lace with a circlet of flowers for a headpiece. Vintage floral bouquets should be unstructured, using common flowers of the day like cabbage roses, lavender and daisies. Parasols in cotton or lace are earmarks of gentility from past days, as are antique lace fans and lace-trimmed handkerchiefs.







CRYING AT WEDDINGS We’re not talking about tears shed by the bride and groom or guests here, but rather about hiring the services of a professional town crier to enhance the historic experience you envision. Back in time it was the town crier who made proclamations and announcements and shared important news of the day for townspeople. A town crier’s duties at your wedding would not be all that different. His role might be very limited or performed throughout the entire reception, from start to finish — it’s up to you. Clad in a historically correct uniform, the crier could greet your guests at the reception and introduce the head table. Reading telegrams and emails, announcing special requests and the evening’s events is standard; consider a declaration of love being read from a personally crafted scroll that is then taken by the crier to each guest to sign. He might also take on the duties of a traditional Master of Ceremonies, right up to announcing “Last Call” and thanking guests for attending. As the old saying goes, “getting there is half the fun!”. What marvellous times you are going to have sourcing venues and props and all the other elements that will bring your vision of a heritage wedding celebration to life — a memorable occasion for all fortunate enough to attend it. WE

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ouples seeking a unique historic venue for their weddings will want to consider Sharon Temple, close to home but lightyears away in time. For scouting the location, hop in the car and head north up Leslie Street from Toronto. For a wedding day arrival, you might want to consider a period carriage drawn by fine steeds...maybe a panel boot Victoria, the French carriage that was popular among British royalty, or maybe a vis-à-vis, literally the “face-to-face” carriage, named for its seating style. Of course a Cinderella coach is always in favour, either with the top up or top down! If your tastes run towards vintage, perhaps a bicycle-built-for-two or some classic vintage bicycles might be on your wish list. Photo ops on site with a penny-farthing, the tall bicycle with the huge front wheel and the little back wheel, would be “top drawer”. Some trivia: The phrase “top drawer” means of the best quality, from the fact that Victorian gentry kept their valuables in the highest drawer of a chest.

By Imara Gower

PHOTO: Amanda Gordon |

HISTORY Designated a National Historic Site of Canada, Sharon Temple is a white timber-frame building rising in three tiers. It is the jewel in the tranquil setting of a 2.4 hectare, park-like property with beautiful gardens situated on a rise of land that it shares with a handful of other historic buildings from the early to mid 1800s, including a Cookhouse, the Ebenezer Doan House, a Drive Shed with period carriages, a Granary and a round Outhouse. Sharon Temple was built by The Children of Peace, a religious sect that broke away from the Quakers, created to hold its special functions. The sect’s goal was an utopian, non-sectarian community of democratic equality, fair-dealing and self-sufficiency. They supported the rebel William Lyon Mackenzie’s Upper Canadian Rebellion; he described the Temple as “calculated to inspire the beholder with astonishment”.

DESIGN The Temple’s architecture is richly symbolic — its square plan denoting the sect’s belief in

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Extraordinary craftsmanship and attention to every detail, like naming four supporting pillars Faith, Love, Hope and Charity, make perusing facts about Sharon Temple akin to opening a treasure box that has layer upon layer of fascinating and significant things to be discovered from its past. The building is acoustically superb; a Jacob’s Ladder curved staircase leads to the musician’s gallery, an ideal setting for musicians who could be favouring wedding guests with the delicate strains of Pachelbel’s Canon in D. An historic pipe organ offers another possibility for wedding music.


BRIDE & GROOM: Magdalena & Rene PHOTO: Lushana Bale Photography | | 416.818.7969

“dealing on the square”, meaning using ethical business practices. Each side has doors to allow people from east, west, north and south to enter “on an equal footing”; the large windows on each tier let in light that falls equally on all.

Indoor or outdoor weddings include exclusive use of the Temple or grounds for the ceremony as well as use of the Sharon Temperance Hall for a reception. Magdalena Kuziw and Rene Kiobge both love historical buildings and architecture. When they discovered Sharon Temple they knew this was the perfect place to hold their wedding ceremony. They praise “amazing photo opportunities” and the fact that their guests could “wander around the grounds and visit the mini-museum, experiencing this little piece of Canadian history”. WE




ear Goderich, a place that Queen Victoria once called “the prettiest town in Canada”, you will find Benmiller, a short distance inland from the shores of Lake Huron. Winding country lanes lead to the tiny 19th century hamlet where several historic buildings remain, located in a wooded valley by babbling Sharpe’s Creek and the broad Maitland River. From about 1840, “The Hollow”, later known as Benmiller, was a thriving pioneer settlement with a hotel and grist, saw and woollen mills powered by the millstream. The owner of one of the grist (flour) mills was Benjamin Miller, the gentleman for whom Benmiller is named. His son was an international celebrity: Jonathan Miller, who ran several hotels in the area, was a friendly, kind man who was known for his impressive girth; he weighed more than 460 pounds. Today the millstream is used for photographs rather than for utilitarian purposes and two 1878 mills have been converted into country inns, along with two millers’ houses, forming part of today’s Benmiller Inn & Spa. The complex includes Gledhill House, Rivermill, Mill House, Sharpe’s Retreat (the lower pond house) and the Hollow. Benmiller was famous for its basket-weave woollen blankets, produced at Gledhill Mill, now a part of the Inn. Elements from the historic woollen mill have been repurposed; a massive chandelier fashioned from a mill loom wheel hangs in the dining room overlooking the mill stream. Visitors will also find an original staircase in the house which was occupied by four generations of Gledhills who owned and ran the mill. By chance Peter Ivey and Joanne Ivey, brother and sister, happened upon the mill site in 1970. It was for sale at that time and they decided to purchase and renovate it; later they also purchased the grist mill. It would be more than four years of challenging renovations to ensure maintaining the historic integrity of the buildings before Benmiller Inn was open for guests to enjoy. A menu shortly after the Inn opened shows entrées as Broiled Salmon Steak, Pork Tenderloin Milanese, Curried Lamb and Sirloin Steak, Braised

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By Judy Johnson JONATHAN MILLER From the Collection of the Huron County Museum & Historic Gaol

Celery, Bordelaise Potatoes and Buttered Peas. Desserts priced at 60 cents each included Cabinet, a traditional English dessert of steamed, shaped pudding of bread or sponge cake with dried fruits and custard. A pot of coffee or tea was 40 cents. Several owners and renovations later, First Canadian Management purchased the property in 2011, facing a huge challenge a few months later when a tornado hit the Goderich area and

Benmiller, causing damage to three of the Inn’s buildings and closing them for months. Today visitors can step back into a more tranquil era by journeying to Benmiller Inn. Its dining room is known for excellent cuisine featuring local specialties — produce, fruits, meats, cheeses, honey and coffee roasts. Duo Meghan and Douglas McKnight chose Benmiller Inn for their wedding because “the Inn has a lot of history with both our families — they have been going there for more than 20 years. The quality of the food was very important with the groom being a chef! The Inn took the time to create an entire weekend experience for our guests, who relate that they can’t wait to back and explore more of the property”. The couple chose winter for their nuptials because both love snow and thought winter would be picturesque; it is also Meghan’s favourite season. The bride shares: “We had the perfect winter weather for our wedding weekend, and by perfect I mean it was about minus 5˚C and snowing lightly. The rustic character of the property was ideal for the vision we had for our wedding and we needed very little décor to personalize the wedding because Benmiller Inn spoke for itself.” WE

BRIDE & GROOM: Meghan & Douglas McKnight PHOTOS: Calla Studio | | 519.669.3993




ostalgic urbanites longing to create wedding memories that reflect bygone days need look no further than Toronto’s threshold to step into a photogenic and creativity-inspiring vision of the past. Markham Museum is a paradise for wedding photographers and newlyweds alike, offering many locales for charming period-type photographs.

By Theresa Diltrich BRIDE & GROOM: Samantha & Kevin PHOTOS: Sarah Wiggins Photography | | 416.220.6396

HISTORY The City of Markham is one of Canada’s most culturally diverse communities. Archaeological evidence found scattered across farmlands in the area confirms that Markham was occupied by Aboriginal people long before the settlement of the Europeans. In the late 1700s, it was a pioneer settlement, founded by a German developer/artist named William Moll Berczy. It was the Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada, John Graves Simcoe, who named the hamlet’s township Markham, a tribute to his friend William Markham, then Archbishop of York. Bringing more than 60 families with him from Germany, Berczy came to New York state, but problems there led them to move further north to Upper Canada, along with Pennsylvania German families. Berczy later moved on, devoting the rest of his life to painting. His most famous painting is his 1807 portrait of Joseph

Brant, known as Thayendanega, a Mohawk military and political leader. The industrious settlers worked hard at homesteading and harnessed the area’s rivers and streams to water-power saw, grist (flour) and woollen mills. A century later, after the railway reached it, Markham’s population had grown to over 1,000 people.

PAST PERFECT Along the journey from rural village to urban centre, most buildings and businesses of the past disappeared, making way for the modern city we know today. Fortunately, more than 20 remain, moved to Markham Museum, a 25-acre site where you can find houses, barns, sheds, a train station, school, general store, church, blacksmith shop, saw mill, harness shop and cider mill, among other architectural and historic treasures. From the time it was built, many weddings have been held each year in the Ninth Line Baptist Church, a Gothic Revival building dating from 1848.

PHOTO OPS & OPTIONS The Hoover House was built in 1824 by a Pennsylvania Mennonite family. It was later used by Russian Mennonites as a stopping point as they journeyed west to Manitoba, where they settled. The front entrance makes a great background for a

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rustic, country wedding photo shoot. A regency-style cottage from about 1831, The Chapman House showcases costly craftsmanship with its plank-on-plank construction. The white building with dark green shutters and door framing invites era-true images. A log cabin, put up in the mid 1800s by gristmill operators James and Euphemia Maxwell, is typical of many of the homes of the era with its hewn timbers, square finished with half-dovetail joinery, requiring a great deal of skill to build. Like the split rail fences on the property, it begs to be immortalized in wedding photos. There’s room for the whole wedding party on the front porch at Wilson Variety Hall, a general store from 1862; owners Henry & Clementina Wilson had operated a thriving millinery and fancy goods store before taking over these larger premises. The ticket fenester in the front square bay window of the Locust Hill Railway Station beckons visitors to inspect the handwritten train schedule. You’re already fancy-dressed for your journey into the past, perhaps gentleman with top hats and ladies with parasols, just a click away from a moment frozen in heritage time. Just imagine all the newly-wed couples throughout the centuries who lived in the houses, worked in the businesses or used the artifacts on display at Markham Museum...what a legacy! WE


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


PHOTOS: By Jamieson Dean & Sarah Wiggins Photography


Reference Guide

SHARON TEMPLE NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE AND MUSEUM 18974 Leslie Street, Sharon, ON L0G 1V0 905-478-2389 • Number of guests: 0-88 | Ceremony On Site: Yes Outdoor Area: No | Special Menus: Yes

BENMILLER INN & SPA 81175 Benmiller Line, Goderich, ON N7A 3Y1 1-800-2651711 • Number of guests: 10-20 | Price: $39-60 Included in the price: Sweet table, Late night coffee/tea, Centrepieces, Bridal suite, In-house wedding co-ordinator, Tasting for two, Breakfast. Ceremony On Site: Yes | Outdoor Area: Yes Special Menues: Chinese, Greek Italian, Vegan, Celieac.

MARKHAM MUSEUM 9350 Highway 48 (Markham Road), Markham, ON L3P 3J3 905-294-4576 Ext. 3171 • Number of guests: 50-100 Ceremony On Site: Yes | Outdoor Area: Yes Special Menus: We welcome all caterers.

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Wedding Wisdom



ome venues come equipped with items like chair covers and these may even be included in the reception price. Caution: Make sure they are in good condition and in a colour you like. If you need to rent: STEP 1: Decide on colour. Most rental services carry multiple colours, so you're not stuck with white unless that's what you want. STEP 2: Consider the style of your wedding. Plain box covers may be all that you need to spruce up the chairs at an informal wedding, but for a formal gala wedding you'll want to consider elegantly draping chair covers. STEP 3: Choose the sash. You'll want to pick a coordinating colour for your sashes, though white on white also is an elegant choice. Most sash styles tie across the centre of the chair back, but some will actually hang lower and tie at the base of the backrest. Which one you choose will depend on the kind of chair you are covering, as well as the amount of space you'll have between rows. STEP 4: Look for stains, dirt, wrinkles or tears. Reputable rental outlets ensure that their chair covers are cleaned regularly. Nevertheless, inspect yours before signing that rental agreement. WE

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Wedding Wisdom

Your Wedding. Your Reception. Your Way.


ven though there's a huge amount of hectic activity leading up to your big day, you’ll realize all the planning was worthwhile when everyone, including you, has a great time. The planning stages are full of choices, each one as important as the next— location, caterer, type of service, type of food, and so on. Selected with care, however, all these choices combine to make your day one that works well and allows you both to enjoy yourselves. In anything, 90 percent of the job is in the planning, so start off early by looking for the perfect place to hold your reception. The type of place you choose is affected by many factors—location, size of guest list, and degree of formality or informality you prefer.

SCHEDULE YOUR RECEPTION AT THE RIGHT TIME OF DAY Time of day affects the formality of your reception. Although luncheon receptions can be either formal or informal, dinner is almost always more formal, unless you are going with a theme wedding. For example, a Hawaiian luau would not call for black tie. Generally speaking, it is the rule to serve breakfast or brunch after a morning wedding, seated lunch after a noon ceremony, high tea after an early afternoon ceremony, hors d'oeuvres after a mid-afternoon ceremony, and a sit-down dinner, buffet, or passed tray after a late afternoon or evening ceremony.

SURF RECEPTION SITES Never has there been a time where you can get so much research done just by sitting in your chair. Use the internet to scout potential wedding reception sites. Many sites have specific wedding sections that list features available and standard fees. Pictures usually show the best assets the location has to offer. You can email the site to get back to you if you have further questions. Voilá, a day’s work done while still in your pajamas. You must, of course, see the location in person before signing on the dotted line.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN THAT VENUE CONTRACT The key components: • Menu details and how the food will be served. • What beverages will be served. • Number of serving staff and, at a sit-down dinner, how many per table. • How the wedding cake will be served. • Number of tables and chairs and how they will be set up. • Delivery charges, if any. • Deadline for final guest count. • Any overtime charges and when they would apply. • Final cost and whether HST and gratuities are included. • Decorations provided. • Table linen choice. • Whether coat check and valet parking are provided. • Is food for band, disc jockey, photographer and videographer provided? • Additional fees for setup and cleaning (if any). • Cancellation clauses. WE Wedding Essentials 20 1 5 | 61

a real-life wedding

Neena & Kirk A LEISURELY JOURNEY TO THE ALTAR It was twelve years between when Neena Nauth and Kirk Narain began dating and when they married. They first met at Neena’s best friend’s birthday party.

THE DATING DECADE From the beginning they knew that neither of them wanted anyone else but each other for a life partner so they followed their career dreams, traveled and enjoyed life together. As Neena says, they spent those years “making sure that as individuals a good foundation was comfortably set before marrying”, including completing education and working on career goals. PHOTOS: STUDIO 2000 PHOTO + CINEMA

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IT’S ELEMENTARY, THIS PROPOSAL Neena is an educator in the elementary school system so Kirk did his homework when it came to proposing. He made arrangements to propose at her school, setting up the stage with flower petals, chocolate-covered strawberries and various desserts. Unaware of all the planning, Neena heeded the principal’s request for everyone to come to the gym for an important announcement. When everyone arrived the curtains opened and as Kirk walked on stage, one of the couple’s favourite songs began playing - Don’t Know Much by Linda Ronstadt and Aaron Neville. He brought Neena up on stage with him and proposed, on bended knee. She said “yes”, they hugged and gently kissed as everyone applauded. Then it was time to enjoy the treats!

TRADITIONS A couple of nights before the Hindu wedding ceremony, Neena had a mehndi night with female relatives and friends. They danced and cooked as well as getting the intricate mehndi designs done for the wedding. The following evening, both Kirk and Neena had a maticoor separately with their families at their homes. Elder women offered prayers to Mother Earth to bless their children as they walk the earth as husband and wife and also to bless them with fertility and prosperity. Haldi, an intense yellow dye, was rubbed on the bride and groom as a symbol of cleansing, making them pure before joining in marriage. Then it was time for singing, dancing and savouring traditional delicacies.

THE HINDU CEREMONY It’s a fantasy of many girls, a prince arriving on a white steed. For their Hindu wedding ceremony, Kirk did exactly that. He was regal in his elegant white silk sherwani with red turban and scarf. Neena’s choice of a deep crimson-toned lengha accented by Swarovski crystals featured a sweetheart neckline and crisscross back; the mermaid skirt flared at the bottom. Live Tass music accompanied the ceremony as well as many vocal soloists, including Neena’s 95-year-old grandmother. Afterward, guests noshed on a vegetarian spread of curries, roties, dhals, rice and desserts. Everyone mingled and danced into the wee hours of the morning.

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THE LUTHERAN CEREMONY Two days later the couple’s Lutheran nuptials took place. Neena’s white and silver gown was designed with a Swarovski crystal and bugle-beaded sweetheart neckline. The mermaid style had a deep V-back. 3D lace was fitted over a sequin-lined mermaid layer that extended to a chapel length train. The summery choice of hot pink crinkle chiffon bridesmaids’ gowns provided dramatic accents of colour to the bridal party. Kirk’s three-piece suit was lined with hot pink and white striped silk. His ensemble was completed by hot pink socks and a paisley silk tie with pink details. Members of the church provided music, including a violin rendition of Pachelbel’s Canon in D for the processional. Kirk’s cousin sang Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah before the final blessing and recessional.

FOOD, GLORIOUS FOOD The couple offered an array of savoury and sweet items for guests at the reception. Interactive appetizer stations were megahits: sushi prepared by a sushi chef dressed in traditional attire, a cold seafood station, and a spedini station with lamb and chicken skewers. Taste buds were also tantalized by choices at a martini bar with ice sculptures. After a lavish sit-down dinner, everyone had time to party and work up appetites for the midnight buffets. Highlights were a Mediterranean seafood table and porchetta a whole roasted pork. A sweet table tempted with cakes, tortes, flans, French pastries and seasonal fresh fruit. Spanish and Irish coffee completed the array.

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RECEPTION DELIGHTS The ambiance for the duo’s reception was classic elegance with black and white décor accented by silver and hot pink touches throughout. Crystal candelabras with white hydrangeas, orchids and roses in various pink shades graced tables. Neena and Kirk added many personal touches to the celebrations, including making West Indian pepper sauce, personalizing flip flops and creating a parent slide show as a backdrop for the dances of the bride and her father and the groom and his mother. In lieu of guest favours, the couple donated to the Sunnybrook Hospital Foundation.

HONEYMOON IN SPAIN The couple jetted to Spain for the honeymoon, a country neither had visited. Kirk knew that La Liga season was starting so they could see FC Barcelona play on the team’s home futbol field. They explored Barcelona at their own pace via scooter and sampled the creative tapas, delectable Sangria and fun atmosphere of the well-known Cerveceria Ciudad Condal several times. WE BRIDE’S LENGHA & JEWELLERY: Dinesh Ramsay | 416.571.9010 GROOM’S SHERWANI: Men of India | 905.672.6665 BRIDE’S WEDDING GOWN: Style #8652, Justin Alexander | Mona Richie | 905.856.6888 BRIDE’S HAIR & MAKEUP: Xpressions by R & A | 416.271.5790 GROOM’S SUIT: Garrison Bespoke Custom Made Suits | 416.566.2041 BRIDESMAIDS’ GOWNS: Watters | Felichia Bridal | 647.350.5559 HINDU CEREMONY DECOR: Diya Decor | 905.761.8644 LIVE TASS MUSIC: Mystic Rhythms Tassa | 416.846.0501 DJs: Kingcobra Sound | 416.561.8859 | Outcast Sound | 416.882.1283 FLOWERS: D & D Floral Designs | 905.789.0911 CAKE: Cakes By Design Shanti | 905.453.8146 FAVOUR DONATION: Sunnybrook Hospital Foundation | 416.480.4483 VENUE: Embassy Grand Convention Centre, Brampton | 905.794.9588 VIDEO: Life Cinema | 647.631.1376 PHOTOS: Studio 2000 Photo + Cinema | | 416.315.2000

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Neena’s fondest memory was having “our entire families together to celebrate our love with us and share in the new chapter of our lives together”.

Kirk’s fondest memory was when “Neena walked into our Hindu ceremony. I couldn’t see her from the Mandap because of the ladies dancing in front of her but when the crowd cleared, there was my Queen, holding a diya, a ceremonial oil lamp, in her hands and wearing the most stunning red lengha I have ever seen. I will paint a car that red one day. At that moment I knew I was the luckiest man alive”.

Neena loves “Kirk’s sense of humour and positive attitude. He supports my dreams and makes them his own, thus sharing in my everything which is why he is my everything”.

Kirk loves that “Neena has to be the most patient person in the world - to put up with me and my selective hearing! She finds ways to work around everything creatively”.

Neena’s advice to brides: “Follow your heart and make your vision come to life. When you look back at your wedding you want it to be a reflection of who you two are as a couple.”

Kirk’s advice to grooms: “Don’t sweat the small stuff. Spend time enjoying your day: meal, flowers, décor, friends and family.”

The best piece of marriage advice: “Love endures all things. Take the good with the bad and learn to come to a mutual agreement.”

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DESIGNER BRIDAL SHOWER – CLASSY CELEBRATION ALANA DeSIMONE’S BRIDAL SHOWER was a one-of-a-kind celebration filled with thoughtful touches that will be remembered for a long time by the hundred guests who attended. The divine details that made the occasion at Carmen’s Banquet Centre so special were in the spirit of the legendary fashion designer icon, Coco Chanel, the woman who gave fashion-forward women of the world the little black dress, the Chanel jacket, bellbottoms and Chanel perfumes. The woman who loved “classy and fabulous” would have applauded the choices for this shower.

FASHION & DÉCOR The bride-to-be chose a YPSY Couture dress and Christian Laboutin shoes; both designers are English royalty favourites. Bridal attendants wore black and white dresses — Chanel’s favourite choice for elegance. Alana and her MOH, Marisa Majerovich, created hundreds of paper flowers to go with the theme, including accenting two baroque-style mirrors that hung on a custom-made head table backdrop. The Chanel ambiance was carried through with numerous designer-inspired details, including a special water bottle label, a flower logo and the look of the bridal shower invitation.

GUEST FAVOURS Each guest was given a tiered dessert tray to fill with macarons, cupcakes, cake pops, meringues and other confectionary delights from Cake Opera Co. in Toronto. A candy buffet tent display showcased pink, black and white candy with Chanel-inspired names. Chanel bags with shower prizes made a dramatic statement.

MOH GIFTS Alana’s maid of honour surprised her with something old (an antique locket with a picture of Alana’s late grandfather in it), something new (Jimmy Choo peep toe shoes), something borrowed (the MOH’s crystal rosary that was blessed by the Pope in Rome), and something blue (a Tiffany ring). The bride incorporated every item on her wedding day. PHOTOS: LOVE MADLY

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GAME GIRLS Varieties of fresh flowers were placed at each table, inviting guests to create a bouquet for Alana, who then chose which bouquet she liked best. Guests guessed the number of pearls on a classic necklace; the winner won a bottle of Chanel perfume. A multiple-choice booklet game with photos challenged guests to select the correct photo from Alana’s life to show how well they knew the bride. A “Kiss Me” game put a smile, as well as a kiss, on every face. Paper, envelopes, lipstick and a mirror were on each table. The women applied the lipstick and kissed the paper, writing their names on the back. Then Alana chose the best kiss from every table!

FLORAL FINALE Sartorially splendid in a Georgio Armani suit, Alana’s fiancé Mark surprised her, her bridesmaids, the mothers and grandmothers with beautiful bouquets of flowers — Alana’s “favourite part of the shower”. WE

VENUE: Carmen’s Banquet Centre, Hamilton | 905.387.9490 LINENS, BACKDROP, CANDY TENT: Susan Murray | 416.243.9284 DESIGN ELEMENTS & PLANNING: Candice & Alison Events Group | 416.840.7240 PHOTOS: Love Madly | | 905.902.9555

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BRIDE: Kristina Petrauskas-Watson PHOTO: Lisa Mark Photography | | 416.662.7495


AT ONE TIME COUPLES DIDN’T THINK A WHOLE lot about wedding transportation. They simply booked a vehicle or two and checked it off the “to-do” list. However, today’s duos opt for transportation that not only fills a need, but works into the theme of their wedding celebrations. The traditional limousine always will be in style but a bride and groom might also choose other modes of transportation that reflect their interests, personalities and personal style. When deciding on wedding transportation, keep your venue in mind and check with the specialists there before deciding on how you plan to arrive at or leave the wedding or wedding reception. Imagine the photo ops with these unique transportation suggestions.

THEME TRANSPORTATION Fairytale wedding? A Cinderella coach or carriage drawn by magnificent steeds could be the perfect vehicle. Retro or vintage wedding theme? Think cool classic cars for the bridal duo and wedding party. A bicycle built for two can be ideal to express a quirky couple’s personalities. Maybe a vis-à-vis - literally face-to-face carriage, pulled by handsome horses. Maybe a charter school bus fits with your professions or your celebration ambiance. Winter wedding? An old-fashioned sleigh drawn by sturdy steeds will be stunningly dramatic. Country rustic? Perhaps your wedding is at a barn setting or farm — what could be more perfect than saddling up a couple of well-trained quarter horses, Arabians or thoroughbreds for an entrance to be remembered.

DRAMA The sky’s the limit! You can opt for a helicopter or hot air balloon entrance or exit. Does your theme have an edgy feel? Rev things up by arriving or leaving on a Ducati, Yamaha or Harley.

VIA WATER If your venue is on a peaceful lake or river, paddling to the celebration in a canoe while your guests are seated at the outdoor wedding location watching your arrival can be incredibly romantic. A yacht or boat works well if there is a dock at your venue. Whether the whole bridal party arrives this way or the bride and groom choose to “sail off into wedded bliss”, this guarantees “wow” moments and water photo ops.

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inspiration LIMO STATEMENTS A black or white stretch limousine will always be a contender for elegant wedding transportation but if a traditional limo isn’t your style, there are plenty of possibilities. Looking for a modern take on the classic limo? Park Lane Livery Manager Mike Arsan notes the increasingly popularity of nontraditional vehicles. Some brides are choosing a pink Ford Navigator to travel to the ceremony, accompanied by their bridal attendants and favoured family members. This is an eyecatching option for the bride and groom and the bridal party and makes for great photos too. Other couples are making a trendy statement with their wedding transportation; the company’s white and off-white Hummers are in high demand.

GUEST COMFORTS A wonderful way of letting your guests know how much you appreciate them is to arrange for shuttle services to eliminate the hassle and bustle of using their own vehicles or arranging for taxis to take them from place to place,

whether from the ceremony location to the reception or back to hotels or their vehicles after the reception. It also keeps the celebration mood going as guests travel together. Limo buses that seat anywhere from 20 to 50 people have an assortment of comforts on board the vehicle to pamper your guests.

FUN & AFFORDABLE Another great possibility is a charter school bus that would work well for a vintage-themed or country-themed wedding. All age groups love riding on a school bus and teachers who are getting married have loads of fun with the bus concept. Joanne Endicott, Business Development Manager at Stock Transportation, believes

increasing demand for school bus charters is due to several factors, including affordability and the stringency of laws regarding in effect regarding driving while under the influence: “Safely transporting your guests after your wedding reception is an excellent way to ensure that their designated driver has been arranged in advance...a real treat for them.” The school buses also work well for larger bridal parties and make for a light-hearted experience that brings back good memories of school days. Whatever your preference for transportation for your wedding celebrations, doing some homework about options is bound to expand your vision of how to get there from here! WE

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a real-life wedding

Monique & Justin OLD-WORLD ONTARIO ENGLISH CHARM MEETS JAMAICAN HERITAGE Guests who attended the summer wedding of Monique Gordon and Justin Daniel found themselves entering into a Victorian English Garden celebration accented with touches of the Caribbean, a nod to the couple’s heritage. The Doctor’s House in Kleinburg provided an idyllic setting for the old-world meets new-world celebration that was the couple’s vision.

MAKING THE CONNECTION Monique and Justin got to know each other in cyberspace before making a real-life connection for their first date, a theatre outing — since both were interested in live theatre. Monique found herself even more impressed by Justin’s appearance in person than from photos she had seen earlier. She saw a very handsome man, freshly-shaven, wearing a crisp white dress shirt and black dress pants; she loved that he put that much thought into his appearance for their first date. She also planned ahead, but the relaxed attire she changed into after work was a casual ripped jeans and tube top look, perhaps not her first choice had she anticipated Justin’s chosen attire. PHOTOS: ROBERTO LISSIA, CREATIVE WEDDING OPTIONS

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TREASURE HUNT PROPOSAL The couple’s chemistry was in the air immediately and romance blossomed quickly. It was only about six months later that, as usual, Monique went over to Justin’s place after work. On the door was a note directing her to the kitchen, where she found a stunning bouquet of delicate antique pink roses. Love note by love note, she was led on a treasure hunt through the house, some of her favourite chocolates waiting by every note she found. The final note led her to the living room where Justin stood with a hand-written love letter that brought Monique to overwhelmingly happy tears. Pulling out the ring, he asked for her hand in marriage and since she was “tickled pink and head over heels in love”, her “yes” answer was inevitable.

GOWNS & MORE Monique chose an elegant wedding gown, a strapless mermaidstyle featuring white net over satin with a semi-cathedral train. The gown was embellished with silver and white embroidered lace, crystal beading and sequins. Her face was covered by a matching ice white veil which wasn’t lifted until the end of the wedding ceremony. Because Monique and Justin fell in love during the summer and had a summer wedding, watermelon lipstick red chiffon was the ideal choice for the bridal attendants’ gowns. The kneelength design featured sweetheart neckline, ruched bodice and one-shoulder strap with fabric rosette accents. Monique shared that the colour reminds her of “passion, romance and a blossoming heart that’s full of love’s potential”.

MAGICAL MOMENTS The ceremony took place in the candlelit chapel at The Doctor’s House; the little church’s architecture is reminiscent of Canada in times past. Guests entering the chapel were greeted by the heavenly sounds of a violin and cello duo while piano renditions of Bless the Broken Road, Forever My Love and Rondeau created a serene ambiance during the ceremony. The groom lost his composure when he first caught sight of his stunning bride walking toward him down the aisle; in a few moments he was about to marry the love of his life. The bride shed tears during the officiant’s address to the bride and groom. Fittingly, Shania Twain’s From This Moment On was the solo performed during the signing of the wedding documents.

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Monique loves that “Justin is hardworking, intelligent and has a great sense of humour. He is warm, gentle, strong and my best friend. I adore him; he is my favourite person in the world”. Justin loves “Monique’s intelligence, her loving nature and caring personality. She’s fun to be around and is my best friend”. Monique’s advice for brides: “Research, research, research. Take the time to read reviews, ask for testimonials and communicate with other couples about their experience with the suppliers you are considering. Make sure your suppliers are on board and able to make your wedding vision come to life from the very first meeting. Don’t allow a supplier or any other person, tell you how your wedding should be: it’s uniquely yours — for a lifetime!” Justin has a smile as he gives succinct advice to grooms: “Stay out of the bride’s way!”

BRIDE’S GOWN: Style 2083 | Alfred Angelo BRIDE’S HAIR & MAKEUP: Elegance Beauty Lounge | 416.841.5868 GROOM’S ATTIRE: Grey Madison by Perry Ellis, Tuxedo Royale | 416.290.0450 WEDDING PLANNER: Paulette Harris, Paulette’s Décor | 954.495.4473 STRING DUO: Sonia Klimasko, Intrada Sound | 905.967.3150

Family members who are married gave them great advice: “Always keep the lines of communication open. Never take each other for granted and always respect each other, even during times of disagreement.”

CENTREPIECES: Designs By Anita | 647.233.8654 CAKE: Mitchel’s Cake & Dessert Company | 905.728.7463 DJ: Mr. Al, Wave Entertainment Group | 416.878.6545 VIDEO: LifeStyle Media | 416.977.5575 VENUE: The Doctor’s House, Kleinburg | 905.893.1615 PHOTOS: Roberto Lissia, Creative Wedding Options | | 416.255.9977

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RECEPTION HIGHLIGHTS The couple feel there is no historical time period more romantic than the Victorian era, which was the inspiration for their wedding celebrations. Touches of Jamaican colour and traditions reflecting the couple’s heritage added new-world accents. Lush roses were in abundance at the Victorian English-Garden-themed event, from the bouquets to the centrepieces and church arrangements. The exquisitelymanicured gardens of the venue added to the atmosphere. Tall silver candelabras with glass votive candles and a vibrant floral arrangement in the centre of white hydrangeas and pink, yellow and tangerine roses graced the tables. A three-tiered wedding cake with buttercream icing featured a different flavour for each layer - lemon, white chocolate and strawberry, providing tantalizing choices for guests. The couple’s first dance was “a perfect and enchanting moment in time”, according to the bride and groom. This magic time on the dance floor was to Nothing Has Ever Felt Like This by Rachelle Ferrell & Will Downing. Stylish, yet practical, wedding favours were ivory-coloured salt and pepper shakers, a nod to Monique and Justin’s love of food and cooking. A family recipe card was tucked inside the favour gift wrappers, a personal touch that guests enjoyed later.

JAMAICAN ACCENTS The couple’s Caribbean heritage was celebrated with a Jamaican rum cake - a traditional wedding cake served late in the evening after dessert. Vibrant colours in the flowers for the wedding were reminiscent of Jamaica. And a wedding celebration with Caribbean elements wouldn’t be complete without a Bob Marley tune! A friend’s rendition of Redemption Song on acoustic guitar was rated a highlight of the evening.

EUROPEAN HONEYMOON Both Monique and Justin had dreamed of a cruise and also of going to Europe so they decided to do both on their romantic honeymoon...cruising the Mediterranean and also spending time in Rome. Strolling hand-in-hand along cobblestone streets to the Spanish Steps and the Trevi Fountain gave them memories to last a lifetime! WE

The City of Stratford PR O U DLY PR E S E N TS

The Stratford

Wedding Show 2015 date(s) to be determined. Please go to our website for details.


Stratford Rotary Complex

for free admission, pre-register online at: WWW.THESTRATFORDWEDDINGSHOW.CA The City of Stratford has proudly invested in creating first-class facilities for your celebrations, ceremonies, dinners and meetings.



353 McCarthy Road 519.271.0250 ext 287 4 multi-use halls. 300 persons/hall.

111 Lakeside Drive 519.271.4310 Situated along beautiful Lake Victoria. Main hall for 165 persons.


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for them


MeCreo3D Selfies CELEBRATE WITH LONG-LASTING KEEPSAKES Freeze moments in time with 3D Selfies from MeCreo 3D, created with 3D printing technology. Use them as bride and groom cake toppers, décor accents or table centrepieces. What about gifts for the bridal party? Or immortalize the proposal moment by recreating it for a 3D Printed Selfie. A full-body scan is done in a photogrammetry studio in one photo session with 60 high-resolution digital cameras — and a single click. The up-to-14 in. 3D Printed Selfie is built, then post-processed by artists, ending in a 100% accurate colour sandstone model. Ed. Comment: Gotta love it when art and science meet with such creative result! This is a fun experience with an innovative product at the end that will give memories for a lifetime.

Stratusphere Yoga DYNAMIC YOGA HEAD-TO-TOE WORKOUT Getting in shape for wedding celebrations as well as relieving stress is a goal of every bride. Trish Stratus, fitness icon and WWE Hall of Famer, has developed a DVD yoga program, broken down into five 10-minute routines, each designed to give a head-to-toe workout while targeting specific muscle groups. The workout combines strength training movements with yoga poses to help achieve long and lean yoga lines while toning and sculpting muscles. Trish’s personal experience of returning to the ring after being rehabilitated by yoga is her inspiration for sharing its benefits. To boost the workout, wear her l lb. FitGloves. Ed. Comment: What a convenient way to access a program developed by a professional — it’s like having your own personal yoga trainer.

BlissLights ADD A TOUCH OF MAGIC TO YOUR HOME, YARD, EVENTS Using laser and holographic technology to project 1000s of static pinpoints of light, the BlissLights Sprite Static projects a firefly glow. Set the mood for indoor or outdoor wedding celebrations or holidays. The easy-to-set-up and energy-efficient unit comes in green, blue and red. Another model, the blue or green Sprite Move, uses soft, moving colours that send pinpoints of lights sparkling and twirling through the night, transforming a room or feature into a starry sky or firefly magic. A single light covers a 30’x30’ area. Just plug in and point. BlissLights started with a simple star field with the purpose of soothing the inventor’s daughter to sleep. Ed. Comment: These lights can be used to create a magical ambiance for wedding celebrations or holiday decorating indoors or outdoors. WE

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Wedding Wisdom

Putting his best foot forward


note to the groom and groomsmen: Never, ever wear brown shoes with a black belt or vice versa. The colour of one’s shoes should always match—or at least go with—the colour of your belt. Those colours, by the way, don't extend beyond black and brown when it comes to formal occasions. Additionally, your formal pants have loops for a reason, so make sure you wear a belt. You know enough not to wear sneakers with other formal attire. But even shoes you might wear to a bar or to the office might not be formal enough for some very high-class occasions. For such events, you should have at least one pair of ultra-formal shoes that you splurged on a little. These shoes will last a long time, since they will probably be used less than the other shoes in

your closet. A really nice pair of formal shoes will also give your look that subtle added elegance that other men at the event might be lacking. For any formal occasion, your socks should be ultra-conservative. Other than muted, neutral solids, your options don't extend beyond very subtle patterns, like tiny dots of a similar shade. The colours of the sock should also match your ensemble; you don't want them to stand out. They should be long enough so that if you cross your legs, the skin of your ankle and calf remain unexposed. Moreover, formal socks should be relatively thin. While ultra-thin nylon socks aren't totally necessary, your socks shouldn't be cushiony or have excess fabric that sticks out of the shoe. WE

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Eva & Pete WARM HEARTS IN WINTER PROPOSAL & WEDDING CELEBRATIONS For Eva Froese and Pete Wiebe, opting for a winter wedding was an easy decision. Snowboarding is not only their favourite sport but their favourite thing to do together. Eva loves winter’s charms; “the fresh, new blanket of snow on the ground is calming and refreshing. Winter has this clean, newness feeling to it”, perfect for the brand-new start of the adventure of marriage.

FIRST ENCOUNTERS While attending a friend’s Buck ‘n Doe, Eva’s sister introduced Pete to her. It was obvious that Eva made a strong impression on the young man who drove three hours to Eva’s home to pick her up for a first-date dinner at East Side Mario’s. The duo report that both were quite nervous so although the date went well, “it was kind of quiet”!

ICE SCULPTURE & SNOWFLAKE PROPOSAL For the two of them, Pete planned a several-day snowboarding trip in Lake Louise, Alberta. There was more than snowboarding on his mind though as he carried the engagement ring with him, waiting for the ideal moment to propose. One evening he asked Eva to go for a walk with him, although it was freezing outside and she thought it was great just relaxing after a long day on the mountain. It was a perfect winter’s evening as they strolled lakeside admiring an ice sculpture display, snowflakes falling gently in the still air. Pete led Eva to a private spot by the lake where he proposed. Eva “started to cry so the tears actually made it impossible to see the ring he was holding”. Of course she said “yes!”. >>84


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Wedding Wisdom

Setting the mood


nhance the mood at any reception with beautiful lighting. Find out the options at your venue. Beyond dimmer switches and table candles, can they bring in light fixtures to add an extra glow? Some venues will hang chandeliers, and some may allow you to bring in lanterns or strings of globes to hang which will create a soft yet exciting party atmosphere. 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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GOWNS, DRESSES & BOUQUETS The bride chose a ball gown style dress with layers and layers of tulle that created an expansive flare in the skirt that swept to a chapel train. Eva customized the gown by having shoulder straps added. For outside photos, she kept toasty with a white infinity scarf and a woollen, deep cerise-toned hip-length jacket. A white stole offered another fashion photo op choice. A talented seamstress, Eva decided to make each of her five bridal attendants’ dresses. The vintage style featured long sleeves, a high-cut neckline and low-cut back. The grey shade was accented with a red tulle underskirt to give more definition to the skirt’s shape. Another major project - it took a year - was making all the bouquets, including “each and every flower, using a combination of burlap, linen, tulle and satin”. Gems and pearls and frosted pinecones lent a touch of winter.

THE CEREMONY Eva and Pete’s wedding ceremony took place in early February in the Bergthaler Mennonite Church in Leamington, Ontario. Although both come from Mennonite families they chose not to have a traditional Mennonite ceremony but rather incorporate elements of their Christian faith as well as personal preferences, such as the bride’s father walking her down the of the bride’s favourite memories of the day. The couple’s wedding vows were unique; both the bride and groom showed a sense of humour as well as giving solemn promises to each other. Part of Eva’s vows included a promise to encourage Pete in all his dreams and goals. She promised never to stand in front of him or behind him but forever right by his side. On a lighter note, she vowed to let him stir the eggs for Sunday morning breakfasts, even though she would rather do it herself! The groom promised to comfort Eva when she was in need, to help her up when he tripped her and to be faithful to the end. He vowed to buy her flowers when she would least expect it, although not as often as she would like, as well as to check the tire pressure on her car!

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a real-life wedding RECEPTION NOTES The vintage, winter-themed reception took place at Kingsville Lakeside Pavilion. Grey, red and white colours and white with hints of burlap and lace created a wintry ambiance. Wedding guests were treated to a country-type supper of garden salad with honey dill dressing, mashed potatoes, baked chicken, ham and apple pie and fruit salad. Guests commented that they loved the meal and that they this was the best baked chicken they had ever tasted. A tiered cake stand held two kinds of cupcakes - chocolate and red velvet. A personal wedding cake sported grey polka dots with red flowers on top. The couple’s first dance was to Unchained Melody by The Righteous Brothers.

MEXICAN HERITAGE & HONEYMOON Eva was born in Mexico and Pete lived there for his childhood so the newlyweds chose to recapture the feel of their childhoods by honeymooning on the Mayan Riviera. They sampled local Mexican food, shopped for souvenirs and enjoyed snorkelling and jet-skiing as well as visiting the famous Mayan ruins not far from Cancun. WE

Eva loves “Pete’s amazing sense of humour that is very contagious. He is a good listener when I just need someone to listen and is very quick to help me out with anything that I need help with”. Pete loves “Eva’s sense of humour and her very outgoing personality. She is outdoorsy and loves to go snowboarding - things we enjoy together. And she puts up with my sense of humour!”. Eva’s advice for brides: “Do not procrastinate. Do as much as you can early in the engagement. Get all the help you can. Ask your wedding party and family to do certain things for you - they won’t say no. All you have to do is ask.” Pete grins as he gives this advice to grooms: “Be as helpful and supportive as possible without driving the bride insane!” Several guests offered this sage advice on cards at the reception: “Never go to bed angry.”

BRIDE’S GOWN: Mori Lee by Madeline Gardner | Sophie’s Gown Shoppe, Windsor | 519.974.3681 BRIDE’S HAIR: Helen Neufeld | 519.682.1384 BRIDE’S MAKEUP: Jessica Klassen - Professional Makeup Artistry | 519.819.2353 GROOM’S ATTIRE: Grey Allure by Jean Yves, Collins Formal Wear | 519.944.1227 CATERING: Tina Hiebert Catering | 519.325.9515 CAKE: Amanda’s Custom Cakes | 226.347.4245 LINENS, CHAIR COVERS, TABLE SETTINGS: Tablesettings & More | 519.326.8354 VENUE: Kingsville Lakeside Pavilion | 519.733.2305 PHOTOS: Photography by Alina Wall | | 519.322.7925

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Lifestyle matters


ou don’t have to buy the biggest house on the block. When you visit your loan manager, he will tell you that you’re approved for a certain amount. Many young couples go out and then buy the biggest house they can find at the top end of their budget. Wait a minute. Do you want to be locked into a lovely house, staring at the walls because you now can’t afford to do anything else? Whatever range your banker suggests, stay in the lower end of it. Not all bankers are altruistic and won’t care if you don’t have money for enjoyable lifestyle activities like annual vacations or expensive hobbies that make life worth living. Instead, you may want to buy a moderately-sized home with a comfortable mortgage so you have a little extra financial wiggle room for the fun stuff. PROPERTY TAXES Don't let the thrill of buying your new home be dampened by forgetting about property taxes. This is a major ongoing cost to consider when purchasing any new home. Start off on the right track by deciding which method of payment is right for you and your budget. BUYING RESALE When buying a home, you have the option of paying your property taxes through the municipality or having your financial institution pay taxes on your behalf. The

bank would collect funds from each mortgage payment, save them in a property tax account and pay the municipality on your behalf each quarter or half a year depending on the region. To ensure there are enough funds in the tax account to cover the first tax bill, most financial institutions will do a tax hold-back. This means that the financial institution would estimate the amount of the first bill and subtract the amount that would be collected in the tax account between the closing of the mortgage and the tax bill due date. The shortfall is what is held back from the mortgage advance and deposited into the tax account. BUYING NEW For newly-constructed homes, the property taxes may have not yet been assessed for the area even though the homes have been completed. If they have yet to be set, you will only be paying taxes on the value of the land. The municipal assessment can take up to 3 years. Therefore, you will eventually be responsible for taxes on the difference between the land value and the house value since the date you took possession of the home. It's a good idea to find out what the property taxes are in the area by contacting the municipality. This way you can budget the right amount of money as soon as you move in. WE Wedding Essentials 20 1 5 | 87

a real-life wedding

Ashley & Michael


Sometimes the odds against having a perfect wedding day seem insurmountable and sometimes plans for the ideal wedding celebration are derailed by the tiniest things — in this case, a microscopic virus that laid the groom-to-be low before and after the wedding ceremony. Ashley Houle and Michael Messinger are the kind of people who rise above life’s speedbumps with aplomb and they made no exception for their destination wedding celebration issues. There’s no question that taking their “in sickness and in health” vow had a special intensity, given events preceding the ceremony. The full story follows, but first here’s the journey to their marriage.

WONDERLAND CHILLS An on-line dating site was the catalyst for Ashley and Michael to get acquainted. They chose Canada’s Wonderland for their face-to-face first date, which gave them both goosebumps because it was a cold day at the end of October! Although Michael intended to look cool by wearing a thin leather jacket, he had underestimated — or perhaps overestimated — the temperature and almost got hypothermia.

PARTY PROPOSAL Most guys propose cautiously, going down on bended knee in a private moment to ask their intended “the big question”. Not this confident groom-to-be! Two short years after dating Ashley, Michael planned a surprise engagement party, actually a surprise PHOTOS: MICHELLE KAUNTZ, CAPTURED SOUL PHOTOGRAPHY

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proposal party. He enlisted the help of family and friends to plan a catered party at The Octagon Restaurant in Thornhill. About 40 people were awaiting Ashley’s arrival in a candlelit room decorated with roses. Shania Twain’s From This Moment On was playing in the background as the unsuspecting Ashley entered. Michael got down on one knee and proposed “in front of them all”, she remembers fondly. “I suppose he was confident that I would say yes”, she notes with a smile.

DESTINATION WEDDING DREAMS “From as far back as I can remember, I always wanted a beach wedding”, says the bride. “I wanted my toes in the sand, with a view of the ocean and palm trees all around.” Ten years earlier Michael’s cousin had married in the Bahamas and everyone loved the experience, which helped solidify the couple’s decision to marry at The Riu Palace Paradise Island in the Bahamas. Both Michael and Ashley wanted to keep their celebrations small and simple and didn’t want people to feel obligated to come to their wedding, so “it was nice to know that the people who came truly wanted to be there to support us”.

GOWNS AND MORE The petite bride chose a gossamer chiffon gown with a sweetheart neckline, gathered bodice and fabric flower accents above soft open-ruffled draping that cascaded to the hem of the skirt. The gentle ocean breeze accentuated the light and flowing lines of the gown. Each of her five bridal attendants wore a different style in an airy fabric that draped softly in short, watermeloncoloured gowns. Fabric flowers in the girls’ hair completed the look and echoed the bride’s choice of a single flower hairpiece. Michael opted for island-elegance in a cream-coloured Coppley suit and white linen Hugo Boss shirt.

HIGH AND LOW LIGHTS Plans for the perfect island wedding started going awry almost as soon as the couple got off the plane. Michael picked up a nasty virus that laid him low, so he spent the time up until the ceremony in his room, feeling so sick that it was doubtful that the wedding ceremony would take place. Usually it’s the bride who’s glowing, but Michael’s flushed face was due to the fever that accompanied the bug he had. In spite of feeling dreadful, Michael has a fond memory of “having my best man and my groomsmen pile on top of me in my bed as I laid there with a wash cloth on my head and a thermometer in my mouth”. Shortly before the ceremony was scheduled, although still unsure that the wedding could actually take place,

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a real-life wedding

Ashley loves that “Michael makes me laugh every day. He’s very hardworking and strives to be better than his best every day. He is very loving. Not a day goes by that he doesn’t tell me or show me some kind of affection. He has so many qualities that I love and adore that that I could go on forever about him. But don’t get me wrong...he is not without faults.:)”. Michael smiles as he shares: “As you can see, she loves pointing out that I have faults! But in all seriousness, she makes me a better person without a doubt. She helps me see things from a different angle even though I can be quite stubborn — and I do enjoy being right, or at least thinking I am!. I just love being in her company no matter what we’re doing together. She is truly the best life partner I could ever ask for.” Ashley’s advice to brides: “Relax and stay positive. It can be just as difficult to plan a small destination wedding as a big wedding close to home, if you let it be. I did a lot of planning and searching for the perfect choices and in the end, so many things still went wrong. Things are going to go wrong, but it’s how you handle them in that moment that will help determine how you remember your special day.” Michael’s advice to grooms: “Make sure your immune system can handle Caribbean viruses! Other than that, be prepared not to spend a lot of time with your bride on the nonwedding days. Your friends and family deserve your time and attention too, especially because probably only your closest friends and family have decided to come.” Best marriage advice: “Never go to bed mad.” — from a bridal shower Words of Wisdom card.

Ashley started to dress and realized that when her gown had been steamed, it had been returned to her without the corset tie necessary to lace up the back! The ceremony was moved back while the wedding planner frantically tried to retrieve it from an off-site location. Amid the chaos, Ashley stood alone on the balcony overlooking the beautiful Caribbean, trying to deal with yet another problem on her wedding day. How did she handle it? By breaking down in tears? Shouting and screaming? Not this bride...she decided to follow her MOH’s advice and have another shot to calm her nerves while she waited over an hour before the nuptials could begin. The tie arrived, the groom got out of bed for the ceremony and the guests were seated on the beach to witness the couple take their vows under a arch of white columns draped with roses and lilies. Ashley still smiles about “the image of my groom, the man of my dreams, at the end of the aisle. The look on his face, in spite of how uncomfortable he felt from the illness, was an expression of love and happiness, knowing that I was ‘the one’ for him”. After a romantic beach ceremony, the wedding group dined on an ocean-view terrace to the accompaniment of the sound of the water.

SANS GROOM CHANGE OF PLANS Michael was too sick for after-ceremony photos, speeches and the after-party. It was a very mixedemotion time for Ashley, knowing that Michael was “basically missing his own wedding and unable to spend time with his closest loved ones on his wedding day”. Plans to go clubbing after dinner were cancelled and party festivities diminished. A handful of people met in the hotel bar for a mini-celebration and drinks, minus the groom. A honeymoon in Negril was another casualty of the virus; it had been planned to take place after a 10-day stay in Bahamas. Their stay at Couples Swept Away resort in Negril, Jamaica wouldn’t take place until the following year. When they did get to Negril, they were celebrating not only their honeymoon, but Ashley’s pregnancy and Michael’s birthday, making it extra-extra-extra special. WE

BRIDE’S GOWN: Viola, Style JSM1412 | Maggie & Midgley JEWELLERY: The Silver Box | 905.669.3527 GROOM’S ATTIRE: Coppley | Harry Rosen | 416.620.6967 BRIDESMAIDS GOWNS: David’s Bridal | 905.824.4655 VENUE: Riu Palace | Paradise Island, Bahamas | +1.242.363.3500 HONEYMOON: Couples Swept Away | Negril, Jamaica | 1.800.268.7537 PHOTOS: Michelle Kauntz, Captured Soul Photography | | 519.578.8222

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ou may never have written as many cards in your whole life as you will do over the course of your wedding preparations! It is imperative that you don’t forget the thank you cards. Good manners dictate that you send a thank you for each engagement party and bridal shower gift you receive, as well as for each wedding gift. Be sure your engagement and shower cards are mailed prior to your wedding date, or you’ll be drowning in paperwork after your honeymoon. (The upside is that if you keep good records, you’ll have a terrific Christmas card list for years to come!)

A gift for him? Sometimes, a smitten groom will surprise his bride with a small token of love either the night before or the morning of the wedding. Similarly, it is not unknown for the bride to do the same for her groom. As simple as a card telling him how much you’re looking forward to seeing him at the altar, to a bottle of his favourite cologne he can wear that day or even something more expensive like an engraved watch—the choice (and thus, his heart) is yours. WE Wedding Essentials 20 1 5 | 91





Maybelline Eye-Studio COLOR TATTOO LEATHER Looking for that wow factor for unforgettably dramatic eyes? Maybelline’s Color Tattoo Leather is a cream gel eye shadow created to get the look of couture leather stunningly right. Ink technology is designed to give 24-hour wear, while the creamy texture glides on without creasing for colour vibrance. The product is opthamologist-tested for safety for sensitive eyes and contact lens wearers. Lustful shades include creamy beige, deep forest, vintage plum, chocolate suede and dramatic black.

CeraVe THERAPEUTIC HAND CREAM Developed with dermatologists, CeraVe’s Therapeutic Hand Cream for normal to dry skin is formulated to moisturize and protect your hands from the harmful irritants and allergens everybody encounters every day. Essential ceramides help replace lipid levels in damaged skin to repair, restore and protect the skin’s natural barrier. Hyaluronic acid, a humectant, attracts water to the skin to ensure it remains hydrated. Niacinamide helps the skin produce additional natural ceramides and fatty acids. Chapping, cracking, roughness due to dryness, itching due to dry skin are all targets for this water-resistant, nonirritating, fragrance-free hand cream.

derma|e MICRODERMABRASION SCRUB This gentle and effective exfoliant from derma|e has been designed with ingredients including dead sea salt and silica-rich volcanic sand to buff away dry surface cells, diminish the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and acne scars, and absorb excess skin oils. Natural astringents lime and lemon peel and antioxidants grapeseed and Vitamin E help retexturize even sensitive skin to leave it soft and smooth. The scrub is 100% vegan and does not contain paraben, sulfates, mineral oils, lanolin, gluten or GMO products.

Wink Natural Cosmetics WINK EYELASH AND EYEBROW ENHANCER Designed to give your lashes and eyebrows a more lush, full appearance, Wink Eyelash and Eyebrow Enhancer has been created with a variety of essential fatty acids, including emu oil, argan oil and kukui nut oil. Omega 3 and Omega 6s’ job is to stimulate hair follicles to leave the resting phase and enter the active phase. Formulated to help produce more lashes and eyebrows as well as make eyelashes longer and fuller, the enhancer can work not only for those who have damaged lashes and brows through picking at mascara, leaving on makeup overnight or overplucking, but also for people recovering from chemotherapy treatments. Formulated without parabens, sulfates, pthalates, hormones/prostaglandins, artificial fragrances and artificial dyes, the product is hypoallergenic.

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Sephora FIBER MASKS Sephora’s quick and easy-to-use natural fiber masks are available in six different formulas to give different results. The masks are designed to hug facial contours to facilitate the active ingredients in penetration of the skin. Rose Mask is enriched with natural rose extract to infuse skin with intense moisture as well as to brighten it. Ginseng Mask’s aim is to tone and revitalize, Pomegranate Mask is designed for antifatigue and energizing, Green Tea Mask is for mattifying and anti-blemish, Pearl Mask’s purpose is perfecting and brightening and Honey Mask is created to nourish and balance the skin.

Lise Watier NEW EYE PRODUCTS..for PURRFECT EYES Lise Watier’s Féline Eyeliner HD has been created to intensify the look with a single stroke and an ultrapigmented, fast-drying formula. Available in Brun or Noir, it has been dermatologically and opthalmogically tested. The DOUBLE DEFINTION Automatic Brow Liner from Lise Watier is a multifunctional tool designed to create perfect brows that enhance your whole face. The oval tip defines and fills brows while the integrated brush structures them. The narrow side of the oval tip gives a fine precision line while the wide side gives a thicker stroke to fill in the brow. The tool comes in three shades: Blond, Brun universal and Châtain. 24 HRS. GLAM EYESHADOW crayons can be used as eyeshadow, eyeliner or even eye makeup base, gliding on smoothly with the purpose of creating a long-lasting, crease- and smudge-proof result. An integrated sharpener under the cap is an added bonus. Shades of Bronze Glam and Champagne Glam can create an intense Féline look while Disco Glam, Happy Hour Glam and Midnight Glam offer dramatic colour options.

Sally Hansen MIRACLE GEL Available in more than 45 shades, Sally Hansen’s Miracle Gel is a twostep gel manicure that requires only natural light to produce nails with colour and shine for up to 14 days. First you apply two coats of Miracle Gel colour and then 1 coat of Miracle Gel Top Coat. And then OMGEL! Let natural light, sunlight, complete the process. Shades range from the nude look with Birthday Suit, How Nude, through pink and coral tones to dramatic Mad Women, Too Haute, Spice Age and Black O. An on-line tutorial makes the first time you try this product a breeze.

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beauty Maybelline COLORsensational THE BUFFS + COLORSHOW Available in ten born-to-be-naked shades, Maybelline’s COLORsensational THE BUFFS lip colours help you capture a sensuous nude look. Precious oils ingredients are designed to moisturize lips while true nude colour pigments give honest flesh tone colour. Apply by starting in the centre of your upper lip and working out towards the outer edges, following the contours of your mouth. For the bottom lip, glide across. Experiment with Bare All, Maple Kiss, Truffle Tease, Sin-a-mon and other bare-all tones. Complement the nude look with COLORSHOW NAIL LACQUER shades like Better in Buff, Dust of Bronze and Natural Statement. Formulated not to chip and apply smoothly with an easyflow brush, the nail lacquers are formaldehyde-free, DBP-free and toluene-free. They come in four dozen shades including deeply vibrant Onyx Rush, Midnight Blue and Deep in Violet. Release your inner shimmer with Diamond in the Rough, Emerald City and Gilded Rose.

Lise Watier AURORA COLLECTION Inspired by the aurora borealis, the glorious natural phenomenon that bathes the sky in gentle, sweeping colours, the products in Lise Watier’s AURORA collection capture the luminous, shimmering beauty of the northern lights. PALETTE AURORA Eyeshadows are designed in a creme-powder texture which, when warmed by the fingertips, becomes more opaque on the skin. The richly-pigmented shades have a semi-matte to iridescent finish. EYE SHINE has been created to give a smooth, metallic finish with a soft, creamy-textured pencil in a blue/green combination shade. ROUGE FONDANT SUPRÊME is designed to glide on lips for a soft, glossy and lustrous finish. Infused with the antioxidant properties of Concentrated Labrador Tea Extract, this lipstick is light. The hydrating formula is like butter for the lips!


Sally Hansen

KISS ME BALM The creamy formula of Sephora’s Kiss Me Balms is created to provide lip care at the same time as subtle colour or no colour at all. The scented balms come in five luscious colours and one translucent shade; each has its own distinctive fragrance. A dome-shaped applicator makes it easy to wear and to reapply for moisturized lips all day long. Dermatologist-tested, the product provides up to four hours of hydration, ensuring kissable lips! Shades are Candy Apple — red, Creme Brulee — clear, Cotton Candy — light pink, Strawberry Fizz — pink, Melon Sorbet — orange, Soda Pop — purple.

TRIPLE SHINE Formulated to give the shiniest nails ever, natural crushed pearl in Sally Hansen’s TRIPLE SHINE helps polish to deliver highimpact, glossy colour. The Ultimate Shield Complex in the polish is designed to help it withstand the wear and tear of everyday living, including exposure to water, for non-stop shine. The polish comes in 29 shades as well as the Triple Shine Top Coat for extra shine! Shades range from subtle tones like Bait Me and Great White to vibrant colours like Twinkled Pink, Wavy Blue, Dream Sequins and Flame On. WE

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any couples decide to videotape their wedding as an afterthought—long after they've interviewed and booked the photographer who will take the still collection of their big day. Because so many people today own digital equipment, you might be tempted to ask an uncle or neighbour to do the videotaping. But nowadays, wedding videos have become as important as photographs. They are a wonderful addition to your collection of memories. To ensure they capture the mood and emotions of the day with the visual quality, artistry and humour you desire, it pays to plan ahead and hire a professional to do the job. For friends and family who cannot attend your wedding, a video is the next best thing to being there. You supply friends and family with a password and they can view your wedding from anywhere in the world where there is internet access. Some videographers capture your childhood years and engagement period using a montage of still photographs at the start of the video. Others produce a brief video of the ceremony which can be shown at the wedding reception as part of their overall package. Often the videographer actually consists of a team of two or three people using wireless microphones, low-light cameras and other specialized equipment. They can be on the scene wherever events are taking place, indoors and outdoors.

PHOTO AND VIDEO CHECKLIST Before the Ceremony • Bride alone in dress • Bride touching up makeup or adjusting veil • Bride with mother • Bride with father • Bride with maid or matron of honour • Bride with bridesmaids • Bride with both parents • Bride putting on garter or placing penny in shoe • Everybody getting their flowers • Bride leaving house • Bride and father getting into the car • Groom alone • Groom with best man, shaking hands, looking at his watch • Groom and ushers putting on boutonnieres • Groom with his parents • Groom leaving for the ceremony • Moments dressing At the Ceremony • Guests arriving • Bride getting out of car • Groom’s parents being seated, or in procession • Usher escorting guests • Groom and groomsmen at the altar • The processional • Bride starting down the aisle • The altar and decorations • Giving-away ceremony • Bride and groom exchanging vows • Ring ceremony • The kiss • Bride and groom coming up the aisle • The recessional • Bride and groom with officiant

• Bride and groom outside with guests • Bride and groom getting into the car • Bride and groom looking through rear car window Before the Reception • The couple together • Bride and groom with all the attendants • Bride and groom with their individual attendants • Bride and groom with child attendants • Bride and groom with her parents • Bride and groom with his parents • Both families together At the Reception • Bride and groom getting out of the car • Bride and groom making a grand entrance. • The couple greeting guests in the receiving line • Guests signing the guest book • Bride and groom dancing • Bride and her father dancing • Groom dancing with his mother • Bride dancing with her father-in-law • Groom dancing with his mother-in-law • Both sets of parents dancing • Bridesmaids and ushers dancing • Guests dancing • The sweets table • Bride and groom cutting the cake • The couple feeding cake to each other • Bride and groom receiving toasts • Buffet tables • The bridal party’s table • The parents’ table • The musicians/entertainment • Bride tossing the bouquet • Groom tossing the garter. WE Wedding Essentials 20 1 5 | 97


The Trousseau Tea

IN THE DAY ... IN THE WAY ... TODAY ... YOUR WAY! An elegant, old tradition poised for encores B Y J U DY J O H N S O N As the saying goes, everything old is new again! There are hints that a very old tradition, the trousseau tea, a female-only event held about a month before the wedding day, is due for encores. If you are a bride who wants something wonderfully different to include in your prewedding parties, this is a splendid occasion that will produce memories that you and your guests will cherish for a lifetime. As with anything retro or vintage, the key is to tweak the old tradition and its elements to fit a modern vision. Here’s inspirational information about traditional trousseau teas, perhaps from your grandmother’s time, details to get your creative juices flowing. To work today, what about a female-only event with trousseau-tea trimmings? Some of these ideas would work beautifully for a bridal shower or for an elegant tea party for bridal attendants, friends and relatives.

TROUSSEAU HISTORY The trousseau comes from the Old French word trousse meaning a bundle, or a collection of things bound together. The trousseau comprises the possessions a bride has assembled for her upcoming marriage, whether gifts or her purchases.

THE HOPE CHEST In the days of the “hope chest”, a fine piece of furniture purchased for a young girl, items that would be of use to her when she set up her own home were collected over time. Fine table and bed linens, hand-made quilts, sets of crystal goblets and glasses, sterling silver place settings and serving pieces, and elegant china

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TEA ATTIRE & TREATS At the elegant trousseau tea, hosted by the bride’s mother, women and girls donned their elegant afternoon best — day dresses, and completed their ensembles with hats (today this is a great op to wear a fascinator). They displayed their perfect etiquette and chatted in ladylike fashion with other attendees.

Fancy, no-crust sandwiches were served, sometimes made with pastel-coloured breads. A variety of pinwheel and other one-or-twobite sandwiches were artistically made and presented.


in a pattern that a young woman selected years before she even met her “intended”. By comparison with today, luxury items were far more expensive; it was not unusual for friends and relatives to give gifts of silver, crystal or china in the bride’s pattern as birthday and Christmas gifts over years so that when she was ready to set up her own home, she would have most of her household requirements. Entertaining then was more formal, so a bride would require an array of crystal, including water goblets, champagne flutes, sherbet glasses and plates, port glasses, wine glasses and more. Flatware included a wide variety of utensils, from salad forks, dinner forks, seafood forks, teaspoons and coffee spoons, butter knives, oval spoons, place spoons and more to specifically-purposed serving pieces like berry spoons, sugar spoons, soup ladles, and large serving forks. Pieces such as cereal bowls and soup bowls and bouillon bowls were part of a china place setting. Hand-made, elaborate quilts were treasured heirlooms-to-be, painstakingly pieced and put together by the bride’s relatives and stitched and quilted at “quilting bees” by friends, neighbours and the bride’s family.

repacked only once, rather than a bride showing gifts and her personal trousseau to one or two people at a time. In the day and in communities where trousseau teas were de rigueur, it was not uncommon for entire houses to be re-decorated for these open-house occasions. Not only the public areas of the home were on view, but also the bedrooms, because all the many bridal shower gifts and wedding gifts were artfully displayed, with their gift cards. In addition, the bride’s newly-purchased clothing for the honeymoon and her life as a newlywed were on view, including peignoir and special lingerie items. And of course, the treasures from her “hope chest” would be shown.

In Victorian times the trousseau tea was an opportunity to display publicly a family’s wealth and ability to provide luxurious items for a daughter about to be married and set up her own home. In Canada, the trousseau tea remained popular well into the mid-1900s in small, closeknit communities where trousseau teas were held to include not only female wedding guests but also friends, relatives and acquaintances who weren’t on the guest list. In this way, many more people shared in the excitement and joy of an upcoming wedding celebration. On a practical note, the trousseau tea meant that items would be unpacked, shown and



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Perhaps you or someone you know is the proud owner of a handmade quilt; this is the time to display it in full splendour.


Tea was traditionally served from ornate silver tea services, each presided over by a great-aunt, grandmother or godmother; it was an honour to be selected to “pour tea”. Tea was poured into delicate bone-china tea cups of various patterns and colours. Guests selected treats from tiered tea cake servers that held a variety of decadent little cakes, squares and perhaps scones.

TODAY’S TEA Like any good tradition, the trousseau tea can be adapted to fit beautifully into today’s world. Rather than holding the event in a private home, select a tea-room, heritage restaurant, elegant hotel or inn facility or other venue. In keeping with tradition, you could display shower and bridal gifts, and, if you choose, a selection of items you’ve purchased for your married life. You might opt to use trousseau tea ideas for an afternoon tea for female friends, relatives and your bridal attendants, or for a bridal shower. Hors d’oeuvres, sushi, cupcakes, cookies and chocolate truffles would be great treats. For that vintage tea party feeling, consider having a display of a silver tea service or two along with a selection of elegant tea cups and saucers. A selection of the world-famous Hughes Corn Flower Crystal, produced in Ontario, hugely popular in the mid-1900s as shower and wedding gifts, would be another possibility.

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Floral arrangements in vintage tea pots or clusters of small flower arrangements in tea cups evoke genteel times past. Think unstructured displays, echoing the original trousseau tea florals, when a variety of flowers would be gathered from personal greenhouses or flower gardens. Cabbage roses, daisies, forget-me-knots, lilies-of-the-valley, cornflowers — a.k.a. bachelor buttons — and other garden-variety flowers would be suitable choices. Lace and embroidered items were always present in a young lady’s trousseau, often handmade by relatives and even by the bride herself. Elaborate crocheted edgings, such as the coveted Colonial Ladies, graced pillowcases and top sheets. Table runners, pillowcases, tea cloths and table cloths featured lace, embroidery or both. Handmade tatted or crocheted doilies in a variety of colours and patterns were welcome additions. Handmade pieced or appliquéd quilts, painstakingly stitched by friends and relatives at quilting bees were also a trousseau treasure. Some fun sleuthing at antique stores and yard sales are bound to help you amass a variety of vintage pieces for display.

CAPTURE THE MEMORIES A trousseau tea is a wonderful opportunity for photos; hire a great photographer to capture the ambiance of this once-in-a-lifetime event. So many of your favourite people will be on hand, relaxed and enjoying themselves, making the occasion a great one for capturing memorable moments for a trousseau tea album.

KEY WORDS When planning the perfect trousseau tea, keep a few key words in mind and you won’t go astray. Class, elegance, etiquette, charm, good taste, hospitality, caring and sharing — ingredients for a delightful afternoon celebrating love and joy of the nuptials to come. The event also links generations, from great-grandmothers to young girls, all of whom will love to be part of such a charming event. WE

timely tips

Canada REVENUE MARITAL STATUS CHANGES many things in a bride and groom’s world, including some that need to be taken care of by contacting the Canada Revenue Agency. Here are bases you need to cover when you are planning your wedding or are a newlywed. It is also a primer on how to make the changes with the CRA. Unlike social media, CRA doesn’t accept names changes via hashtag. Call 1.800.959.8281 or update your status on the CRA’s My Account service or by submitting Form RC65 (Martial Status Change) which you will find online at Check out changes to your tax situation that marriage can cause by visiting the

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ABCs For Newlyweds

CRA’s Life Events page for detailed information. If you are buying a home together or moving into a new place, the CRA will guide you through an address change, claiming the first-time home owner’s tax credit, or accounting for expenses related to the business use of your home. Go to for complete information for homeowners. On the Life Events page also find out about spousal registered retirement savings plans and other information such as if you are blending your families, what you need to do to receive or change the Canada child tax benefit payments.

Opening a joint bank account with your new spouse? Don’t forget to update your direct deposit information to make sure your benefits and refunds go to the right place. For more info, check out Did you know that you can authorize your new spouse to act as your representative for income tax matters, if taxes aren’t your strong suit? Then they can file your return for you or contact CRA to make enquiries on your behalf. The Authorize My Representative service can be done on line in My Account or by submitting Form T1013 (Authorizing or Cancelling a Representative). WE

Wedding Wisdom

Treat yourself to a spa day


fabulous treat for the bride-to-be is a spa day. There are many spas in southern Ontario and many salons provide spa services too. On the beauty treatments checklist, say no to facials the week before the ceremony. They can leave your skin blotchy. Say yes to a massage and other relaxing body treatments that are just what a busy bride-to-be needs. You can easily treat yourself to similar beauty treatments without leaving your house. Start your home spa with a relaxing bubble bath. Put on restful music and light a candle to create a soothing mood. After your bath, moisturize your body, cuddle into your housecoat and do your nails. Be sure to have the nail polish on hand for touchups on the morning of your wedding WE

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Wedding Wisdom

The Countdown Calendar


our Wedding Day should be exciting, memorable and romantic. But it will only happen if you plan things carefully and allow enough time for everything. Here are some recommendations about when things should be done, that have been reprinted from The Bride’s Survival Guide which is available free of charge from Wedding Essentials by completing the card on page 83 of this magazine. Use this list as a general guideline that you can adapt in any way you choose:

TWELVE TO 24 MONTHS BEFORE • Select wedding date and time. • Make a preliminary budget and determine how costs will be shared. • Determine size of guest list, degree of formality and theme. • Determine who will officiate at the ceremony and book him/her for rehearsal and wedding. • Select caterer and/or reception location. • Hire a wedding consultant if you plan to use one.

SIX TO 12 MONTHS BEFORE • • • • • • • • • • • •

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


Have mothers co-ordinate and select dresses. Register at bridal registries. Order invitations and personal stationery. Complete guest lists. Select men’s attire and reserve right sizes. Start planning honeymoon.

• Start planning for trousseau. • Order wedding cake and groom’s cake if required. • Order favours (bomboniere).

TWO MONTHS BEFORE • Address invitations and announcements. Mail four to six weeks before. • Finalize details with caterer/reception location, photographer, videographer, florist, DJ/musicians, band. • Finalize ceremony details with officiant. • Make rehearsal arrangements. • Plan rehearsal dinner. • Plan bridesmaids’ luncheon, if appropriate. • Make appointments with hairdresser and make up artist. • Arrange accommodations for out-of-town guests. • Finalize honeymoon plans.

ONE MONTH BEFORE • Have final fitting for your gown and those of bridal attendants. • Obtain marriage licence. • Provide map to ceremony and reception to all guests. • Have formal portrait taken. • Purchase gifts for attendants, participants and fiancé. • Have bridesmaids’ luncheon. • Keep careful note of gifts received and write thank-you notes as they come in. • Do inventory of accessories. Examples: Toasting goblets. Ring pillow. Garter. Candles. • Select responsible person to oversee guest list and its location.

• Give final count to hotel, banquet hall or caterer. • Review details and timetables with vendors. • Give photographer/videographer list of shots you want. • Give DJ/musicians list of music for ceremony and reception. • Plan seating arrangements. • Practice having your hair done to make sure it comes out the way you want. • Practice your makeup in lighting conditions similar to those on your wedding day. • Keep writing those thank-you notes. • Pack for the honeymoon. • Check -that you have marriage licence. • Check that you have wedding rings and that they fit. • Check that all wedding attire fits and is picked up. • Have a rehearsal with all participants reviewing their duties. • Give officiant’s fee to best man. • Pick up tickets and traveler’s cheques for honeymoon.


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

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

AFTER THE WEDDING • Send announcements and wedding picture to newspapers. • Mail announcements. • Write and mail thank-you notes. • Arrange for gown, bouquet and/or cake preservation. WE

ONE WEEK BEFORE • Contact guests who have not responded.

Wedding Essentials 20 1 5 | 105

a real-life wedding


A chance encounter led to romance for Valentyna Panchenko and Amir Samoodi. The young woman from Ukraine was studying in Winnipeg and before school started visited a friend in Toronto. As it turned out, Cupid was on duty in the GTA that week!

DANCING INTO ROMANCE One night Valentyna and her friend decided to go dancing at a popular club. Amir noticed a photographer talking to Valentyna on the dance floor and thinking she was being bothered, he approached, asking for a dance. One dance turned into several until it was late and time for the girls to go home. Half way home Valentyna decided to follow a strong feeling that she should return to the club. That decision changed both Amir and Valentyna’s lives. They dated from the next day for another ten years, including long-distance while she was attending university. PHOTOS: ARASH EKBATANI, STUDIO ARASH

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PUZZLING PROPOSAL Valentyna was a guest at a large party at Amir’s family home. Everyone began to sing and throw rose petals at her. She was puzzled because she didn’t understand his family’s Persian customs nor speak Farsi, their language, at the time. When Amir knelt and took her hand she realized that he was proposing — a total surprise for her. Emotions ran high and happy for everybody.

A WEEK OF CELEBRATION The couple always wanted to get married close to the beach in a sunny clime with closest friends and family present. Valentyna’s whole family made the 35-hour trip from Ukraine to Punta Cana to celebrate the special occasion. For a week the couple were bride and groom at their resort in Punta Cana, enjoying time with their forty-five guests as well as taking part in a Best Couple Competition that was a fun highlight. One of the challenges for the four competing couples was to come up with a dance from Dirty Dancing, which provided lots of fun practice sessions for Valentyna and Amir. Their photographer was on hand to document — in about 4000 photos — the days of what Valentyna calls “an amazing week that she would love to do again, maybe for a vow renewal”. One day everybody went walking on the beach to take group photos, that the duo describes as a “special experience on its own. Everyone on the beach asked us if we were taking pictures for a TV show!”. The couple and their guests were all relaxed, enjoying time together and all the celebrations without any rushing and hustle and bustle. Everyone said it was not only the “funnest” wedding they had ever been to, but also a great vacation.

SUIT SNAG Amir purchased a very elegant beige summer suit for the wedding ceremony. Valentyna double-checked things on the party bus on the way to the airport and asked if he had packed it. “Of course I did”, he replied. “How could I forget the suit for my wedding?” It was the day before the wedding when the groom made the dismaying discovery that his suit was still hanging in the closet at home. When he told Valentyna she decided to keep her cool and go with the flow: “Now we have a very funny story to tell our friends and our future kids.” Amir made the best of what he had packed, wearing a white dress shirt and beige pants — island dress casual attire.

GOWN CHOICES Valentyna made a sentimental choice, purchasing her wedding dress from Ukraine where she was born and raised. It was a strapless lace accented gown with sweetheart neckline, mermaid silhouette and long train.

Wedding Essentials 20 1 5 | 107

a real-life wedding Amir and his bride are both water signs of the zodiac — Valentyna is Pisces and Amir is Cancer — and love water, so together they decided on a light blue turquoise colour for bridal attendants. The soft shade harmonized beautifully with the beige and white tones of the groomsmen’s outfits. Bridesmaids chose their own dresses in styles that suited them best. Each was asked to choose a pale turquoise colour but it did not have to be exactly the same as the other attendants’ gown hues.


Valentyna loves “Amir’s sense of humour. He can make anyone smile and is very friendly and sociable. We always find friends to joke around with everywhere we go. I love his optimism

Four days after they arrived, the couple took their vows in the gazebo at the Hotel Majestic Elegance in Punta Cana. A private dinner for wedding guests was held in one of the restaurants. Menu highlights included a salad of exotic fruits and vegetables with a passion fruit vinaigrette, Cognac shrimp bisque, lobster and beef surf and turf with saffron rice. After an evening of dancing and celebrating in a designated area by the resort pool, everyone ended up jumping into the water, including the bride and groom.

and positive energy”.

DÉCOR AND FAVOURS Amir loves that “Valentyna is so kind and caring. She always finds a way to encourage me and cheer me up. She is the most beautiful woman and has that ‘special something’ that I can’t describe with my words”.

The beach-themed reception was enhanced by turquoise and creamy-white décor. Circular glass vases filled with flowers, with each base sitting amidst blue rhinestones, were table centrepieces. Guest favours of beach-themed bottle openers and Asianstyle hand fans were great hits. WE

Valentyna’s advice for brides: “Just take it easy. When Amir told me that he had forgotten his suit I had two choices. I could be upset with him and be miserable during our special day or just go with it and have fun. I chose the second one. There are going to be some surprises that you might not expect. Those will be the best stories to tell in the future that will make other people laugh.” Amir’s advice for grooms planning a destination wedding: “Contact your wedding coordinator ahead of time, so you can plan everything before you arrive. It will help save you some time when you get there. And try not to forget your suit...LOL!.” Best marriage advice: “Do everything to make each other happy and enjoy every moment with each other.” — from a niece and nephew, 12 and 11 years old.

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BRIDE’S GOWN: Elite, Vesilniy Salon Amelin | Lviv, Ukraine | +380.67.3701829 GROOM’S ATTIRE: Harry Rosen | 416.620.6967 FAVOURS & DÉCOR ITEMS: Beau-coup | 877.988.2328 VENUE: Hotel Majestic Elegance | Punta Cana, Playa Bávaro, Dominican Republic | +1.809.221.9898 HONEYMOON: Melià Buenavista | Cayo Santa Maria, Cuba | +53.42.350500 PHOTOS: Arash Ekbatani, Studio Arash | | 416.362.5558

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planet ontario

Indian Fusion ALTHOUGH SHERYL D’SOUZA AND TUSHAR MISTRY share an Indian heritage, their backgrounds are culturally very different. The bride’s family comes from the Goa region of India, located on the west coast; the surname is Portuguese, reflecting the history of the area. The groom’s family is from the west Indian region of Gujarat. Gujarati is an Indo-Aryan language native to the region. Mahatma Gandhi hailed from Gujarat. Sheryl “got to walk down the aisle twice over one weekend”, once at a Hindu wedding ceremony, in keeping with the religion of the groom, and then at a Catholic

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wedding ceremony of the bride’s religion. Sheryl and Tushar met at Viva Goa, the feast of St. Francis Xavier, a GTA celebration of Goan culture and heritage. It featured traditional entertainment, a Christmas bazaar and Goan food specialties incorporating coconut, varieties of seafood and liberal use of spices for distinctive flavours and aromas. The chance encounter left each of them thinking about the other and they have been together ever since. This tenderly romantic image was taken in Brueckner Rhododendron Gardens in Port Credit as the couple, just

wed in the Hindu ceremony, was captured “completely in the moment” as newlyweds. In their words, they chose the setting amidst stunningly beautiful and delicate Japanese cherry blossoms in springtime to “inaugurate a fresh new chapter in our lives. There is no better way to celebrate the happiest day of your life than being married surrounded by flowers”. WE Sheryl & Tushar, we wish you much happiness in the years ahead...and springtimes that always recapture the magic of that special season of beauty and renewal.

Profile for MarkintoshDesign

Wedding Essentials | Winter/Spring 2015  

wedding, bride, groom, historic venue, ontario, ideas, romance, creative photos, real-life weddings, edible art, floral fantasy, limo, gowns...

Wedding Essentials | Winter/Spring 2015  

wedding, bride, groom, historic venue, ontario, ideas, romance, creative photos, real-life weddings, edible art, floral fantasy, limo, gowns...