Page 1

CONTENTS features

COVER STORY: {A VINTAGE LOVE SONG} p34 & 35 A reality wedding story with photography by Brent Foster

Fashion: BEHIND THE LOOK p41 to 49

Fashion-forward looks for local brides & where to get them


A Wedding Week In Panama, DIY invites, shaping up, Scouting Cuba



Sweet greens, vintage country, fire and ice, Edwardian royalty

BRIDAL Guide to reviews IN THE RING p6 to 9

The who’s who of Ontario’s best weddings

IDEAS & TRENDS p78 & 79

For brides who want to make their wedding unique



Three pages of fashion accessories, favours & more bride-savvy finds that we love


Options, catering & bar details, indoor & outdoor spaces



Mark your calendars, girls!

bridal show SURVIVAL TIPS p71

reality wedding stories p15 to 39



All you need is love

A fairytale as old as time Fall & family in Muskoka DIY winter wedding (on a budget!) Family nostalgia & vintage DIY An elegant ballpark wedding


A vintage love song An indoor garden wedding

expert tips

Song Ideas To ♥: 1st Dance, Most Requested Wedding Songs, Reception Favourites p12 Experiment: Is professional hair & make-up worth it? p46 Pay-it-forward weddings :: 5 great ways to give back p52 Hot styles for 2013 p45 bridal guide to gorgeous photography p69 to 71 is sponsored in part by...


Fall/Winter 2012 PUBLISHED BY Wedding Ring Inc. 320-72 St. Leger Street, Kitchener ON, N2H 6R4 519.568.8007 | 1.877.203.3338 | | The Wedding Ring Magazine is published two times, yearly: January and August. This is The Wedding Ring’s 11th magazine.


Jennifer Goulden Co-founder | Editor in Chief | Creative Director

Anne Warren

Co-founder | Director of Sales | Associate Features Editor

Rhianna Jackiw

Media Manager | Senior Editor | Writer | Associate Features Editor

Anita Stefanovic Imaging, Layout & Design Assistant

Marg Hough Advertising Sales Associate

Kimberley Rasokas Advertising Sales Associate

Kristen Sullivan Media Staff

COVER PHOTO | FROM 'A VINTAGE LOVE SONG' p34-35 Brent Foster Photography |

Cover Bride | Beth Waugh THANK YOU!

Thank you to the brides, wedding experts and associate writers and editors who have contributed to this issue of The Wedding Ring Magazine. Numerous wedding professionals have contributed expert tips, retail or rental products, popular décor and/or photography services for the various features in this issue. Each professional is credited in their respective feature article. The statements, opinions and points of view expressed do not necessarily represent those of the publisher, advertisers or Wedding Ring Inc. Photographs are submitted to Wedding Ring Inc. by vendors for the purpose of publishing online and/or in print and are used with permission. © 2012 Wedding Ring Inc. Contents copyrighted. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any article, photograph or artwork without written permission from Wedding Ring Inc. is strictly prohibited. Printed in Canada. ISSN 1920-499X


If you’re a wedding professional who raises the bar on service, rewrites the definition of couture or offers products that every bride should have, we’d love to work with you. The Wedding Ring can help you reach your target brides, share (and show off) your expertise, and make headlines in The Ring { magazine, website & community }. For more information, please contact Anne Warren, Sales Director, at or make a general inquiry at For The Ring's online media kit, go to


Wedding Ring Inc. is now inviting inquiries from business and wedding industry professionals who are intereseted in starting their own wedding media company in one of a select list of territories across Canada. Together, with the support of the management and staff at The Ring, distributors will unite brides, select and review wedding experts, and help achieve the vision of this bride-savvy project: to change the way brides plan weddings, one local community at a time. Want to know more? Email

bridal guide to

on local wedding professionals in The Ring

ACCESSORIES & SHOES • Urban Bride 14 Water Street North, Cambridge, ON 519.722.9206| CAMBRIDGE > REVIEWS

BEAUTY: SPAS, HAIR & MAKE-UP • The Cosmetic Surgery Clinic 50 Albert Street, Waterloo, ON 519.746.1132 | KW > REVIEWS • Side Street Salon 201 John Street, London, ON 519.642.7997 | LONDON > REVIEWS Blackfriars Salon & Spa Erika Snyder Cecilia's Hair Studio Evolution Concepts in Hair & Spa Jacha Minerals Ku'r Salon and Spa Sonia Ryan & Co

CAKES Jirina's Bakery JoRa Wedding Cakes

CATERING • Orchard House Gourmet Catering 6A-650 Woodlawn Rd West, Guelph, ON 519.766.4444 GUELPH > REVIEWS • Taste Fine Foods 599 Arkell, Guelph, ON 519.823.6700 GUELPH > REVIEWS  ustom Cuisine C Indulge Natural and Organic Kitchen North Moore Catering Co

CHAPELS • Ellis Pioneer Chapel 6705 Ellis Road, Cambridge, ON 519-824-4679 | CAMBRIDGE > REVIEWS

6 • The Wedding Ring |

• The Rose Chapel 6675 Burstwistle Lane, London, ON Hwy 4 & 401 | 519.652.6022 LONDON > REVIEWS Church of the Good Shepherd

DECORATORS, DESIGNERS • Devine Wedding Design 65 Victoria Street, Mitchell, ON 519.348.4191 LONDON > REVIEWS The Creative Bride Divine Décor Decorating Dreams The Event Firm Exclusive Events Julia Weddings Now & Always Something Borrowed Wedding & Party Rentals To Suit Your Fancy The Wedding Decorators Wedding Dream


DJs • Brad Howell Entertainment Services 232 Auden Road, Guelph, ON 519.760.2558| GUELPH > REVIEWS • Entertainment by Design Unit 2 (rear)-30 Muir St., London, ON 519.668.6571 LONDON > REVIEWS • Music Central Entertainment 519.680.0698 | 1.888.537.6511 LONDON > REVIEWS A & M Sounds Disc Jockey Service Allegro Productions Maximum Music Olympic Sound

FAVOUR IDEAS •C  andy Culture 519.719.4986| LONDON > REVIEWS • The Wedding Shoppe 57 York Street, London, ON 519.457.6446 LONDON > REVIEWS

FINANCIAL PLANNING • L ibro Financial Group 15 locations across Southwestern Ontario 1.800.361.8222 | ALL CITIES > REVIEWS


Belmont Flowers Drimmie Florist Jim Anderson Flowers Limited Kelly Greens Flowers & Gifts Les Fleurs Floral Boutique Village Vines

GOLF & COUNTRY CLUBS •C  utten Fields 190 College Ave. E., Guelph, ON 519.824.2650 x.229 GUELPH > REVIEWS • F irerock Golf Club 10345 Oxbox Drive, Komoka, ON 519.471.3473 | LONDON > REVIEWS • T he Oaks Golf & Country Club 1552 Gideon Drive in Delaware 519.652.1760 l LONDON > REVIEWS •P  ine Knot Golf & Country Club 5421 Hamilton Road, Dorchester, ON 519.268.2986 LONDON > REVIEWS •S  tratford Country Club 53 Romeo Street North, Stratford, ON 519.271.4212 K-W > REVIEWS

INVITATIONS, STATIONERY Paperboat Creations Scribes' Nook Inc. Stephita Wedding Invitations and Stationary



• Ellen & Company RR# 6, St. Marys, ON 519.229.6395| LONDON > REVIEWS

• ENVIE Intimates 4336 King St. E., Kitchener, ON 519.219.3111 K-W > REVIEWS

• Noccé Bridal Designs and Alterations 360 Country Hill Dr, Kitchener, ON 519.578.5896 | K-W > REVIEWS

GOWNS & BRIDAL ATTIRE • Couture Threads Bridal & Event Dressing 64 Wellington St Unit 2, Stratford, ON 519.273.2231 K-W > REVIEWS • Elegant Affair Bridals 155 St David St N., Fergus, ON 519.787.0782 GUELPH > REVIEWS • La Crème 55 Wyndham Street, Guelph AND 1364 King St. North in St. Jacobs, ON 519.763.2011 | 519.664.3275 GUELPH > REVIEWS Jirina's Bridal Once Upon A Time Weddings Sew Stylish Wedding Works

GOWNS, BRIDESMAIDS Pam Chorley’s Fashion Crimes

HOTELS FOR GUESTS & THE HONEYMOON • Boardwalk Homes Executive Guest Homes 519.591.9323 | K-W> REVIEWS • Idlewyld Inn 36 Grand Ave. London, ON 519.433.2891 LONDON > REVIEWS Crossroads Bed & Breakfast Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton

• La Femme Privée 718 Belmont Avenue W, Kitchener, ON (Belmont Village) 519.603.0142 | K-W > REVIEWS

MINISTERS & OFFICIANTS • Celebrate Love & Life Weddings 519.574.5540 | K-W > REVIEWS • Feelings From the Heart Wedding Chapels & Officiants 519.743.3101 K-W > REVIEWS Country Wedding Gardens London Wedding Minister Pastoral Services of Guelph Romantic Wedding Ceremonies Weddings of Love

MUSICIANS The Harmonia Ensemble The Leith Quartet

PHOTOGRAPHERS • Alicia Riley Photography 226.268.0430 | LONDON & K-W > REVIEWS • Amber Richmond Photography 647.227.9078 GUELPH > REVIEWS • Brent Foster Photography 519.784.4674 LONDON > REVIEWS • Erwin Loewen Photography LONDON > REVIEWS

• Are award winners • Have multiple degrees & accreditations • Are members of selective organizations • Do regular charity work • Are teachers & mentors in their craft • Have appeared in television news & wedding segments

• Ibis Photography Kitchener | Waterloo 647.890.7716 K-W > REVIEWS • J essica Lin Photography 416.806.1585 | TORONTO > REVIEWS • L atte Productions Photography 519.496.5334 | CAMBRIDGE > REVIEWS • Lyn Ismael: Evocative Imagery of Love Stories 50 Cannes St., Kitchener, ON 226.750.2044| KW > REVIEWS •M  ake a Memory Photography 905.638.4771 HAMILTON > REVIEWS •P  urple Door Photography & Videography 519.841.8987 | K-W > REVIEWS • T J Durnan Photography 519.588.4295| K-W > REVIEWS Anne Edgar Photography Barebonephoto Cameron Shaver: Digital Media Solutions Captivating Images Photography Captured Soul Photography Dudek Photography Herakovic Photography HRM Photography iCandy Photography Images Photography Images With Attitude Photography Irina Photography LTC Photography Mango Studios


guide to reviews

Sunningdale Golf & Country Club 465 Sunningdale Rd W, London, ON 519.660.8063 LONDON > REVIEWS

guide to reviews

Nova Markina Photography Photobox Photography One Great Day Photography Sheila Braam Photography Stan Switalski Photography Sweet Pair Photography Sylvia Pond Photography Two Tone Studios

RECEPTION LOCATIONS • Best Western PLUS Lamplighter Inn 591 Wellington Road South, London, ON 519.681.7151 LONDON > REVIEWS • Best Western® PLUS Stoneridge Inn and Conference Centre, 6675 Burstwistle Lane, London (Hwy 4 & 401), ON 519.652.6022 LONDON > REVIEWS • Concordia Club 429 Ottawa Street South, Kitchener, ON 519.745.5617, ext. 101 KITCHENER > REVIEWS • Dowding Wedding Gardens 8615 Olde Drive, Strathroy-Cardoc, ON 519.264.2716 LONDON > REVIEWS • Elm Hurst Inn 415 Harris Street, Ingersoll, ON 519.485.5321 LONDON > REVIEWS • Elsie Perrin Williams Estate 101 Windermere Road West, London, ON 519.432.7961 LONDON > REVIEWS • Forest City National Golf Club 16540 Robin Hill Road, London, ON 519.451.0994 Ext. 230 LONDON > REVIEWS • Golf's Steak House & Seafood 598 Lancaster Street West, Kitchener, ON 519.579.4050 K-W > REVIEWS

8 • The Wedding Ring |

• Grosvenor Lodge 1017 Western Road, London, ON 519.645.2845 LONDON > REVIEWS • Ivey Spencer Leadership Centre 551 Windermere Road, London, ON 519.675.5525 | LONDON > REVIEWS • London Club 177 Queens Avenue, London, ON 519.434.6889, ext. 223 LONDON > REVIEWS • The Oaks Golf & Country Club 1552 Gideon Drive in Delaware 519.652.1760 LONDON > REVIEWS • NithRidge Estate Weddings & Events 180-B Nithriver Way, Ayr, ON 519.632.1234 | K-W > REVIEWS • THEMUSEUM 10 King St. W., Kitchener 519.749.9387 | K-W > REVIEWS • The Walper Hotel 519.745.4321 ext. 112 | 1-800-265-8749 K-W > REVIEWS • Waterloo Inn Conference Hotel 475 King Street North, Waterloo, ON 519.884.0220| K-W > REVIEWS Ancaster Mill Arcadian Court The Arts & Letters Club Atlantis Pavilion Berkeley Field House Best Western PLUS Lamplighter Inn Bingemans

The Black Forest Inn Bob Rumball Manor The Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory Cambridge Hotel and Conference Centre Cambridge Mill The Carlu Casa Loma Chicopee Ski & Summer Resort Dallas Night Club Delta Chelsea Delta Guelph Hotel and Conference Centre Delta Kitchener-Waterloo Delta London Armouries Elements/Wax Night Club Enoch Turner Schoolhouse Estates of Sunnybrook Fanshawe Pioneer Village Fantasy Farm The George Brown House Graydon Hall Manor Hart House Hauser Hall Hessenland Country Inn Hilton London The Holiday Inn Kitchener-Waterloo Hotel & Conference Centre Liberty Grand Mariposa Cruises Miller Lash House The Old Mill Ontario Heritage Centre Opus Banquet Facility Palais Royale Rebel Creek Golf Club Renaissance Toronto Spencers at the Waterfront St. George Banquet Hall St. Lawrence Hall Teatro Convention & Event Centre Toronto Botanical Garden Toronto Centre for the Arts The Waterlot Restaurant & Inn Westin Harbour Castle Hotel Whistle Bear Golf Club The Windermere Manor Windsor Arms Hotel

TENT RENTALS & ACCESSORIES •B  urke's Tent Rentals 42056 Morris Rd RR 4, Brussels, ON 519.887.8287 GUELPH > REVIEWS

who we love & why

We’ve done the research so that brides don’t have to. Who does what and why we love them... Options, specialties, pricing, samples of work, bride interviews and more... Read interviews and reviews or post one of your own!

in the ring.

TRANSPORTATION A Universal Limousine Brentwood Livery Grandeur Limousine

TUXEDOS & FORMAL WEAR • Collin’s Formal Wear 1.877.434.4184 Locations across Southwestern Ontario & Canada ALL CITIES > REVIEWS


VIDEOGRAPHERS • N2 Productions 519.502.2804 K-W > REVIEWS • Willow Creek Studios 519.654.2099 CAMBRIDGE > REVIEWS

Director's Cut Videography Hartery Productions JJJ Video Productions Inc. Lern 2 Liv Productions

WEDDING PLANNERS • Happening Events 30 Concession St. West, Tillsonburg, ON 519.983.8168 LONDON > REVIEWS The Prepared Bride Style & Elegance Wedding and Event Coordination Twelfth Night Events

WINE MAKING • Vintner's Cellar Waterloo 519.725.9463 K-W > REVIEWS

For full reviews (specialties, experience, prices, samples of work, bride interviews and more), simply go to, click on your city, and read reviews on local experts. Search boxes and drop down quick-searches are on every page to make it even easier!

brides unite!

• Each review in The Ring is based on industry knowledge, thorough research, interviews with the vendors, interviews with their past brides, personal viewing of work, and more. • Reviews are on experts who are local, well-loved, and dedicated to making your wedding fabulous. • The Ring is doing the research so that you don’t have to - one wedding community at a time!

guide to reviews

• Roy-Al Rentals & Party Centre 74 Dawson Rd. Guelph, ON 519.823.1881 GUELPH > REVIEWS

expert tips

Song Ideas To ♥ first dance

reception favourites

1. Up And Away – The Dave Matthews Band 2. Come On Get Higher – Matt Nathanson 3. A Thousand Years – Christina Perri 4. We Are Man And Wife – Michelle Featherstone 5. Stars Are Falling – Michael O’Brien 6. Marry Me – Train 7. Just the Way You Are – Boyce Avenue 8. The Wedding Song – Ahmir 9. Let It Be Me – Ray Lamontagne 10. Oh You Delicate Heart – Hawksley Workman 11. The One Who Loves You The Most – Brett Dennen 12. Brooklyn Bridge – Lee DeWyze 13. I Want To Hold Your Hand – T.V. Carpio 14. Crazy Love – Michael Bublé 15. The Book Of Love – Peter Gabriel 16. You’re My Best Friend – The Once 17. LA To Rome – Chester See

1. Party Rock Anthem - LMFAO 2. Home For A Rest - Spirit of the West 3. Jump Around - House of Pain 4. Shout - The Isley Brothers 5. Moves Like Jagger - Maroon Five 6. Sweet Caroline - Neil Diamond 7. Bust A Move - Young MC 8. Old Time Rock And Roll - Bob Seger 9. You Shook Me All Night Long - AC/DC 10. 500 Miles - The Proclaimers 11. All Summer Long - Kid Rock 12. Sexy and I Know It - LMFAO 13. Save A Horse Ride A Cowboy - Big & Rich 14. Starships - Nicki Minaj 15. Brown Eyed Girl - Van Morrison

by Rob Aitken Music Central Entertainment (♥) (

most requested wedding songs

by Brad Howell Entertainment Services (♥) (

1. Make U Feel My Love - Adele 2. I Loved her First - Heartland 3. Amazed - Lonestar 4. I’m Yours - Jason Mraz 5. Canon in D - Pachabel 6. Marry Me - Bruno Mars 7. I Gotta a Feeling - Black Eyed Peas 8. Thunderstruck - AC/DC 9. Daughter of Mine - John McDermott 10. Single Ladies - Beyoncé 11. At Last - Etta James 12. Somebody Like You - Keith Urban 13. Father and Daughter - Paul Simon 14. Somewhere over the Rainbow - Israel Kamakawiwo'ole 15. Daughter - Loudon Wainwright III Brad Howell Entertainment Services has over twenty years of experience, providing music to Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge, Guelph and beyond. 12 • The Wedding Ring |

Olympic Sound has DJ’d at countless weddings in Kitchener-Waterloo and surrounding area.


Music Central Entertainment is a renowned music and entertainment company, based out of London Ontario.

by Jasmyn Lancinger, Owner & Disc Jockey at Olympic Sound (♥) (

photo: (♥)




reality wedding stories


August 27th, 2011:: Enoch Turner Schoolhouse ( IN Toronto Photography by barebonephoto ( | Story by After just a month of dating, Whitney Bolton and Jeffrey Pearce were so smitten with each other, they decided not to waste any time. Whitney quit her job in Toronto, gave up her apartment and moved to Ottawa to live with Jeff. Jeff and Whitney's courtship then stretched the span of seven years. Whitney says, "I love that we can laugh with and at one another... We keep each other grounded." Jeff proposed to Whitney on June 19th, 2010 at Strawberry Fields - two and a half acres dedicated to John Lennon in Central Park, New York City. Jeff knew that because Whitney is a huge Beatles fan, it was the perfect proposal location. They began planning their wedding around two things they shared; a love for the Beatles, and a love for all things British. Tying into both, their theme became 'All you need is love.' When Jeff and Whitney found Enoch Turner Schoolhouse (♥) (, they knew it would be the ideal place to throw a big party. "We loved the old Victorian charm, the history of the building and how quaint it is." They added British touches to as many aspects of their wedding day as they could. On Etsy, Whitney found an invitation designer from England. Whitney added fun little Brit phrases to the items, such as 'Blimey, we are getting married!' - a theme that ran throughout their save the dates and invitations. Jeff and Whitney were married on August 27th, 2011 at 4:30pm in front of 127 of their "favourite people." They knew they wanted to keep their ceremony very personal and so each chose one long time friend to stand on either side. They also decided to write their own ceremony and choose each reading and piece of music. "It was time consuming, but I honestly wouldn't change anything," remembers Whitney. In keeping with their British theme, Jeff and his best man each wore a three piece light grey suit from his favourite suit maker in England. For some added fun, Jeff chose a black and white polka dot tie. His best man wore a pink polka dot tie. Whitney found her pretty, strapless gown at a boutique in Toronto and then added a black sash for her own modern twist. She finished her look with a Jennifer Behr vintage style veil, a black vintage purse, and an art deco hairclip. Whitney's elegant, flawless hair and make-up was done by Larissa McCourt ( To complement Whitney, her Maid of Honour wore a black satin dress. Both wore matching black Christian Louboutin pumps and vintage jewellery. Jeff and Whitney created a signature cocktail to serve following the ceremony alongside champagne. Their 'Yellow Submarine' was a mixture of Pimm's, ginger ale and pink lemonade. "It was refreshing and everyone loved it!" For a modern, romantic feel, the couple chose a grey, blush pink and white palette. Considering the schoolhouse's charming décor to be a big perk, Jeff and Whitney decorated with tulle, candles and silk bows and kept everything 16 • The Wedding Ring |


simple. "We didn't go overboard on decorating as it was charming on its own with the old school desks and old chalkboard and unique windows." To honour Whitney's "obsession with art and design," they used a mix of rectangular and round tables. They rented white Philipp Starck ghost chairs for the reception. The tables and chairs added a modern twist to the older venue. To tie in with their colour palette, they chose pewter table linens, with blush pink runners and white serving dishes. Many of the details were DIY, with one of Whitney's close friends playing an instrumental part in decorating, "It looked amazing, and I fully trusted that my wonderful friends would do a great job, and I was able to relax the morning before the wedding." Photography for the day was done by Emma Smallbone of barebonephoto (♥) ( Jeff and Whitney found and loved barebonephoto's non-traditional image style and, after meeting Emma in person, knew she would capture their day perfectly. "Emma was really easy going and has a great eye for light and unique shots. Having my picture taken is one of my least favourite things in the world, but Emma made us feel comfortable and the whole process was very easy. On the day of the wedding we didn't even notice she was taking pictures!" Although Whitney has always loved white flowers, she didn't have any specific flowers in mind for her wedding. She trusted a local florist to come up with her bouquet as well as the flowers for the tables. "I didn't want large arrangements or centrepeices, I preferred the look of clear glass vases of various shapes scattered all over the tables, and wanted a few flowers in each." And so Whitney's florist used beautiful large white dinner dahlia's, soft roses and stock in a mixture of white, cream and light pink, with candles scattered throughout the tables. The bouquets featured the same white flowers with tiny pink snowberries and the guys wore white cala lily boutonnieres wrapped in ribbon.

one bride to another...

"Give yourself a lot of time... you can really never be too organized, and you will benefit from it in the end. I spent a lot of time on the details, but at the end of the day, if something doesn't get done, no one else will notice." - Whitney

Jeff and Whitney hired one of the venue's preferred caterers and together, they created a menu that would complement their British theme and appease their mates. The meal started with spinach salad that was topped with fresh strawberries, pecans, goat cheese and a champagne vinaigrette. The main course included beef tenderloin, rosemary chicken, roasted vegetables, fingerling potatoes and, of course, Yorkshire pudding! They also offered a vegetarian option of stuffed mushroom with herb chevron and a balsamic reduction. For dessert, guests were treated to an English Trifle. In fact, their late night snack was the only time they strayed away from their British theme: "We had happy meals delivered... It was a big hit!" Jeff and Whitney's cake was simple, with three layers of chocolate and vanilla cake with a white fondant. Their cake topper was a replica of the 'LOVE' sculpture by American artist, Robert Indiana. Although the cake was beautiful, Jeff and Whitney admit they actually forgot to cut the cake... "We were having so much fun, it completely slipped everyone's minds!" Needless to say, the couple has a lot of leftover wedding cake in their freezer! As a thank-you to their guests, Jeff and Whitney ordered white tea tins and had a friend design custom labels that read 'Have a cuppa on us!' The tea blend they chose was their favourite: Earl Grey... "It doesn't get much more British!" In the end, Jeff and Whitney say, "We had a lot of fun, and spent a lot of time with a lot of great friends who we are forever indebted to for all of their help. Something will always go wrong, but don't sweat it, and enjoy the day because it flies by!" ■

classic british details

Yorkshire pudding Also known as 'batter pudding', Yorkshire pudding is a dish that originated in Yorkshire, England. It is made by pouring a batter made from milk or water, flour and eggs into oil then preheated in baking pans and usually served with roast meat and gravy. English Trifle Trifle is a dessert dish made from

thick (or often solidified) custard, fruit, sponge cake, fruit juice or gelatin, and whipped cream. These ingredients are usually arranged in alternating layers.

Pimm's Pimm's was originally a brand of fruit cups, but in modern times, is mostly considered a

liqueur. Its most popular product is Pimm's No.1, a gin-based beverage that can be served both on ice or in cocktails. The recipe of Pimm's No.1 is secret; it has a dark tea colour with a reddish tint, and tastes subtly of spice and citrus fruit.

Changing the way brides plan weddings • 57 GET LOCAL. PLAN FABULOUS!• 9

reality wedding stories


Kristina & Jacob A FAIRYTALE AS OLD AS TIME May 28th, 2011:: Three Bridges Banquet Hall, St. Jacob`s ( Photography by Purple Door Photography & Videography ( | Story by Kristina Clement and Jacob (Jake) Wall met on a blind date nearly eight years ago, and yet she still remembers the exact moment she fell in love. It was three months after they started dating, and much like a typical day together, they were laughing at something Jake said, "I just looked over at him and my heart got all warm and fuzzy... I just knew." Jake also somehow knew he would one day marry Kristina. But that didn't stop him from waiting until the perfect moment to propose, even holding on to the engagement ring for two years before proposing.

"I burst into tears saying, `WHAT? No, no NO!..." Finally, on September 27th, 2009, that moment arrived. Kristina and Jake had headed to Ottawa for a weekend getaway to celebrate their six year dating anniversary. They spent the day playing tourist and enjoyed a steak dinner before stopping at a gorgeous city lookout. As they stood together taking in the scenery, it started to rain. They made a mad dash to the car and as he always did, Jake opened Kristina's car door for her. Just as she turned to shut it, he was down on one knee. "I thought he fell at first. When he opened the ring box, and asked me to be his wife, I burst into tears saying, `WHAT, no, no NO! Poor Jake had tears in his eyes and was looking at me with confusion. I think I bent down, hugged and kissed him and finally said YES!” "We both love each others’ laugh. NO ONE can make me laugh, even when I'm crying, like Jake can. We are always laughing together at something. I also love Jake’s patience and his strong, tight hugs." As an uber-organized bride-to-be, Kristina truly enjoyed the planning process. "I had all my ducks in a row fairly early on... It helps that I had MANY years to daydream!" Kristina and Jake found Three Bridges Banquet Hall in St. Jacob`s and fell in love with the beautiful outdoor ceremony location. They also liked that they could hold their ceremony and reception in the same location, making travel much easier on their guests. The couple actually came up with the idea of creating video invites several years before they got married. "We sat on our couch, and videotaped ourselves inviting all of our wedding guests individually." Each of the seventy videos included directions and tons of funny commentary by the pair. They even created a "CD insert" with written details so that guests had their invite in writing as well. GET LOCAL. PLAN FABULOUS! • 21

reality wedding stories

The guys rented tuxes from a local shop and Kristina found her dress on her very first gown shopping trip in Kitchener. "It was probably the eighth dress I had tried on. My Maid of Honour was the one who found my dress. When she showed it to me on the hanger, I wasn't overly sure what I thought of it. But once I put the dress on, I knew it was MY dress." Kristina's love of the Disney film, Beauty and The Beast, became their wedding theme. She chose various shades of purple as her palette and included Beauty and The Beast themed touches throughout the décor - a toy bridal version of Belle and The Beast for the head table and a covered rose and candelabra for the cake table. Jake came up with the seating chart. They wanted to do something other than the typical chart and place cards so instead, they made up a chart and included a photo of each guest at their assigned table to hang at the reception entrance. To find their seat, guests simply had to find their picture on the framed version of the seating chart at the table. If they didn't have a photo of a specific guest, they got creative and picked a fun cartoon character instead. Kristina carried a bouquet of purple calla lilies down the aisle. And with help from her Maid of Honour, Kristina came up with a way to have her deceased Nana and Papa help walk her down the aisle as well - she attached a small heart-shaped picture frame to her bouquet with photos of her beloved grandparents. For the girls, Kristina chose bouquets of blue bird roses and calla lilies.

Kristina's advice...

"Make sure you listen to YOUR heart. And make sure that you and your fiancé make decisions for you as a couple... not to please others. Try to plan out every last detail ahead of time, but on your wedding day don't let the little things get you down. And take five to ten minutes away from everyone for you and your groom to breathe in the love you have for each other." - Kristina

22 • The Wedding Ring |

Three Bridges Banquet Hall took care of the catering, including afternoon hors d'oeuvres (jumbo shrimp, meatballs smothered in southern BBQ sauce and salmon cakes). Dinner featured two types of salad, garlic mashed potatoes, vegetables, roast pork loin with sautéed apples, chicken supreme and a white wine mushroom sauce. For dessert, guests chose a chocolate flourless cake with raspberry sauce or, a vanilla cheesecake with a choice of chocolate, caramel or strawberry sauce. Their three tiered wedding cake was the tastiest addition to their Beauty and the Beast theme. Quotes from the movie's theme song were written across the different tiers, reading; 'Tale as old as thyme, song as old as rhyme, Beauty and the Beast'. It seemed fated that Kristina would chose Kara from Purple Door Photography and Videography (♥) (www. as her wedding photographer, "My Maid of Honour and I laughed out loud at her name, knowing that I love purple and chose it for the wedding. Kara smiled at me, complimented my purple top. I knew right away that she was exactly the style of photographer I wanted." For Jake, it was important to have a photo taken with everyone who attended their wedding. "We had all of our guests line up and Kara would snap a photo of them with us as they entered our reception hall." After the wedding, each guest received a copy of their photo as part of their thank-you cards. After an evening of dinner and dancing, Kristina and Jake had one more surprise for their guests; a twelve minute firework show, complete with Katy Perry's song "Fireworks" playing in the background. "It turned out fabulous. Everyone stood outside and watched the fireworks show." Guests took home personalized shot glasses, etched with cartoon versions of the couple along with their wedding date. Since Kristina is a purse fanatic, they also gave female guests mini purse compact mirrors for another personalized touch. For Kristina, the wait for her dream wedding was well worth it. "It turned out to be the day I have dreamed about since I was a little girl." ■


The bride and groom exchanged vows at 2 p.m. on May 28th, 2011 in front of 143 guests. Although Kristina had never pictured herself getting married outside, the beautiful outdoor ceremony was everything she could have hoped for and more.

reality wedding stories


October 9TH, 2011:: JW Marriott in Lake Rosseau ( or

Photography by Jessica Lin Photography ( | Story by Chris Berry and Natalie Johnston have always loved the idea of a destination wedding. As Sarnia natives, they often spent weekends in the Muskokas and knew it would be the perfect backdrop for their big day. Their wedding would have the feel of a destination wedding yet was still close enough to home for all of their loved ones to attend. Chris and Natalie were married on October 9th, 2011 at the JW Marriott The Rosseau Muskoka Resort & Spa on the breathtaking Lake Rosseau. The couple said 'I do' at an outdoor ceremony overlooking the lake in front of just twenty-eight of their closest friends and family. Natalie wore an Oleg Cassini fit and flare gown with lace overlay and floral details. It was delicate, stunning and doubled as her "something new." She wore her mother's veil as both her "something borrowed" and her "something old" and even painted her toes in a blue polish for her "something blue." Chris's fashion fit in perfectly with the fall vibe, wearing a brown Alfred Sung pin stripe suit.

24 • The Wedding Ring |

Chris and Natalie admit that they were worried that their small guest list would make for an awkward photo session. They were relieved to find that working with Jessica Lin Photography (♥) ( made the experience the complete opposite. "Jessica listened to our story... you could tell she really wants to capture every detail of your wedding day. Jessica and Norman felt like family members by the end of the day, as you could feel they were invested in making your day special. My favorite part of the photos are the unstaged moments that she and Norman captured. The ones of us laughing and talking with each other and guests." Chris and Natalie ordered chocolates from their favourite chocolate shop in Vancouver as a thank-you to their guests and attached thank-you tags in fall colours to each favour. Although they took a chance with an outdoor ceremony in October, Chris and Natalie lucked out with gorgeous weather and a memorable wedding weekend. "It was so warm, and the leaves were still on the trees. Our guests were swimming in the outdoor pool at the resort the morning of the wedding!" ■


The reception took place in the Bala room at the Marriott. The room was ideal for a small wedding and featured a private patio for guests to take in the lake view. The time of year and location made it easy for the couple to choose a fall palette. "It's

hard to compete with beauty of the fall colours of Muskoka."

reality wedding stories

Brittany &Jordan

A DIY Winter Wedding (on a budget!)

November 12th, 2011 :: St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, Cambridge ( & Galt Country Club (

Photography by Herakovic Photography ( Story by

working or our schedules didn't match, Jordan used to come to my work during my twenty minutes breaks.”

Jordan Streutker still remembers the first time he saw Brittany Clarke. It was November 22nd, 2003 and they were both thirteen years old: "I think I knew I loved her the moment I met her."

Brittany says that Jordan is the "most caring, sensitive macho man" she knows... "He can make me smile when I don't want to and laugh until my stomach hurts. We can sit in silence and not have to say a word and be content doing just that. He is my partner for life and just saying that makes me excited for the future."

Although they stayed in touch throughout their teenage years, Jordan explains, “We always seemed to be there for each other but the timing was always off. It seemed we were being called together throughout the years but neither of us responded.” It wasn't until October 14th, 2010 that Brittany and Jordan saw each other again for the first time in years. But this time was different. It set the tone for what would be a lifelong love. "After that night, we didn't go a day without seeing each other. If we were both 26 • The Wedding Ring |

Jordan knew he wouldn't let Brittany go again, and proposed just four months later, over a homemade candle light dinner. "Much to my surprise the floor was covered in candles. He got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I couldn't stop smiling the whole night!” Jordan says he loves everything about Brittany, "...from her great sense of humour to her


excellent cooking. The way she cares for me and lets me know that I'm always loved. Just seeing her face... Hearing a few kind words [from her] can turn a bad day into a great one.... We can do pretty much anything together, she really is my best friend. " Choosing their wedding date and theme would prove to be easy for the couple. They knew they wanted a winter themed wedding as November had always seemed to be 'their' month. "Many of our best memories took place in November and it was the main reason we wanted the winter themed wedding." Brittany pictured a "snowy, shimmery feeling" but wanted to steer away from anything too "girly," so choosing a blue and silver colour palette would be the perfect complement to their winter wedding. The pair had a budget of $10,000 and thanks to help from family, friends and several DIY projects; they were able to stay within budget. For example, Brittany hosted a girls' day for her parents and a few bridesmaids to help put the invitations together. Brittany's sister in laws took care of their entire seating chart and most of the décor for the cake and gift tables. For Brittany, the extra help was crucial. "I had a newborn at the time so I took all the help you can get! I think accepting help whether you have a baby or not is key to managing your stress level." On November 12th, 2011 at 2:30 pm, Brittany and Jordan said "I do" in front of 128 guests at St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church in Cambridge. Brittany had driven past the church many times before and always thought it would be the perfect place to get married. As an added bonus, the church allowed Brittany and Jordan to bring in their own pastor, adding another special element to their ceremony. Jordan and his groomsmen rented dapper, black tuxes from a local shop and Brittany chose blue dresses with silver shoes for her bridesmaids. "My sister and I tried on a ton of different styles. The one I chose was elegant, comfortable, and great for all body types. I wanted to keep in mind all of my bridesmaids

and get something that would work for all of them." Choosing a reception location was another easy decision for the couple. Brittany had previously worked at the Galt Country Club and had always loved the location. "I worked a lot of weddings and banquets and was able to picture my own wedding very easily. Two of my older brothers also had their receptions there and their weddings were beautiful." The bride and groom hired a local company to take care of most of their décor and flowers. For the bridesmaids, they chose white roses dipped in sliver and for Brittany, a bouquet of white spider mums, hydrangeas, and blue carnations. Brittany knew she wanted something unique for her table numbers and decided to replace numbers with the couples favourite movies, such as "Wedding Crashers" for the head table. For an even more personal touch they added a story to the back of each movie card. “They were funny stories of something embarrassing, or something from when we were little. We felt like it helped the guests to get to know more about us if they weren't close friends or family. It was a great ice breaker for the tables too!” The bride and groom knew right away that Danielle and Sasha from Herakovic Photography (♥) would shoot their wedding day. “The fact that we would have two photographers on our day really excited us. Sasha and Danielle were great to work with. They are so down to earth but very professional at the same time. We were able to be ourselves and have fun with them both because of their great attitudes... Sasha even made it into our wedding album!” Brittany and Jordan wanted to add a personal touch to their guest favours and, since they both have a huge sweet tooth, they thought a candy buffet would be perfect. "It was a hit, so much so that they actually ran out of candy halfway through dinner!" Luckily, both Jordan's brother and brother in law were able to make a quick trip to get some more. "They saved the day!"

advice for future couples...

> Try your very best to enjoy every moment. Things can definitely get stressful but the key is to stay calm... Don't be afraid to ask for help!! Things are going to go wrong... just let it slide off your shoulders. > I recommend making a check list of all the little things you need to do that you other wise may forget. It helps having everything laid out in front of you, lowers the stress level and makes it easier to focus on one thing at a time without worrying about forgetting something. - Brittany

Looking back, the newlyweds say that their wedding day was better than we could have ever dreamed. “We had a lot of support from both our families which really made our day that much more special. Without them our day would not have been as special as it truly was.” ■

reality wedding stories

Alisha & Mike

FAMILY NOSTALGIA & VINTAGE DIY August 27th, 2011:: CEREMONY at St. Peter’s Cathedral Basilica in london | reception at London Club (

Photography by NovaMarkina Photography ( Story by Michael Gleiser first encountered Alisha McAllister during the summer of 2005. The two spent the summer working on the Search and Rescue team for the Canadian Coast Guard. Both were in relationships at the time, but they enjoyed each other's company and stayed in touch when summer ended. Although neither of them know exactly how it happened, in 2007, Mike and Alisha re-connected romantically and have been together ever since. Alisha loves that Mike unknowingly challenges her to be a better person. "I love that Mike isn't just amazing and good to me, he literally is the most sincere and kindest human being I know. Mike is my very best friend and someone I laugh with until my sides hurt. He is always there ready for a great big hug whether things are good or bad." Mike considers Alisha to be his true best friend, and knows that she always will be. "She makes me... me. And she puts all the pieces together that make life worthwhile. I can't imagine it without her. She truly is my perfect person."

Alisha managed a loud "Yes!" - in between sobs. Mike proposed to Alisha on May 4th, 2010. It was a typical Tuesday evening. After work, the couple took their dog for a walk. When they got home, Alisha was shocked to find that their backyard had been transformed into "a dream," with lights strung throughout the trees and candles, flowers and champagne set up on vintage crates throughout the yard. As Mike proposed, Alisha managed a loud "Yes!" in between sobs. Mike's final surprise of the night came in the form of a celebratory weekend trip to Vegas that had them boarding a plane just two days later! By the time they were back from Vegas, Alisha's wheels were turning with wedding ideas. Armed with a trusty wedding planning book, Alisha and Mike were able to take care of the big items within a month of being engaged. "We spent each week checking items off... A month before the wedding there was little to do, and so we just enjoyed the ride!" The couple chose August 27th for their wedding date. "It needed to be not only about us, but about our family and friends - the most important people in our lives. We wanted a traditional day that oozed character and reflected both us and our families." Right from the start, Mike and Alisha felt it was important to stay on the same page when it came to spending. Although they didn't have a set budget, they agreed that they would spend the bulk of the budget on food, drink and debatably...the bridal shoes! "The groom didn't feel the same on that one. We met somewhere in the middle, thanks to the mother of the bride!"


On Saturday August 27th, 2011, a string quartet played as Alisha walked down the aisle at St. Peter's Cathedral Basilica. "It's one of the most beautiful, old churches around. We were able to have a sense of home there as our parish priest from Strathroy performed our marriage." Mike initially thought he would get married in a tux, but later decided to "let comfort prevail" and instead chose dapper black suits, custom black and white gingham bowtie's and pocket squares for himself and the groomsmen. For Alisha, a gown with lace was an obvious choice, in keeping with a delicate and vintage feel. She finished her look with a pair of earrings that her grandmother had worn on her own wedding day. Each bridesmaid wore a charcoal grey dress with coral pink shoes which were pulled right out of Alisha and Mike's chosen colour palette. The London Club (♥) ( was also an important venue choice for the couple. They knew they didn't want to hold their reception in a traditional hall, but wanted the evening to be intimate, warm and full of character. "It's an incredible location... established in the 1800’s as an 'old boys club,' it has maintained its nostalgia, class, and charm while allowing for some updates." Alisha had seen Nova of NovaMarkina Photography's (♥) ( work many times before and knew that she was the only person who she wanted to have capture her wedding day. "Comfort is key and we felt so comfortable with Nova... She's so reassuring, and calm... an excellent communicator and also so bright and creative." Nova knew the couple wanted to be captured naturally, without many posed shots. "Our favourite part of our photos is that despite the fancy attire it's can see how much fun we have together." Rather than chose a definite theme, Mike and Alisha wanted their day to be filled with lots of character and detail. "I didn't need one particular part of our wedding to scream out to anyone, but wanted the entire day to be a warm memory for everyone." Instead, Alisha opted for a lot of vintage décor and DIY details. Since Mike is a Pharmacist, they used vintage apothecary bottles and antique prescriptions for table numbers. To incorporate "old fashioned good things," they included tons of little details like self-tie bowties, root beer floats, and even had Alisha's dad drive her to the church in his vintage car. Another recurring item was the tandem bike, which the couple used in their Save the Dates, cake topper, and table stationary. For the bride and groom, it helped

to symbolize their journey together. There were several DIY vintage elements. The seating chart was a vintage frame that had been repainted and reupholstered with cork and linen. Instead of a traditional signing book, guests used vintage postcards to write a special message or piece of advice to the couple and placed it in a fabulous old suitcase. Not only were most items antiques, but Mike and Alisha spent over a year searching for each piece. The London Club took care of all of the catering and two hundred guests were treated to dinner and a custom dessert of root beer floats with chocolate chip cookies.

"The nostalgia was there, our family was there, and most importantly, the loved ones who couldn’t be there, were there." The wedding cake was exactly what the couple had hoped for; a layer of red velvet and a layer of mint chocolate, all lactosefree for the groom. The cake topper was a handmade tandem bike made of wire that Alisha found on In lieu of favours, Alisha and Mike made a donation to the Strathroy Middlesex General Hospital where all nineteen of Alisha's grandmother's grandchildren were born. For Alisha, it was the perfect way to honour her grandmother. Mike and Alisha's wedding day was about the food, drink, atmosphere and those special details that made their day so unique. "The day was perfect, the nostalgia was there, our family was there, and most importantly, the loved ones who couldn’t be there were there." ■

Good advice...

> Make sure you remember your day is about you as a couple and what is important to you. Why would you want to put yourself so far out of your comfort zone on a day that is all about you? If you want small, go small. If you want beach, have the beach. Make sure your day is a true reflection of you and your love for one another and the life you share. > Communication is key! If nothing else, communicate often, early and continuously...but don't be a bother...there's a fine line! Let your fiancé, family, friends, wedding party and vendors know how much you appreciate them! - Mike & Alisha

reality wedding stories

Matt & Stephanie

AN ELEGANT, BALLPARK WEDDING June 25th, 2011:: St. Augustine's Church, Dundas ( & Carmen's Banquet Center, Hamilton (

Photography by Make A Memory Photography ( Story by Stephanie Kokoski couldn't believe how quickly she fell for Mathieu Robert when they met online nearly five years ago. "I have never felt more like myself with anyone in the entire world. I couldn't imagine myself without him... I knew he was the one." And the feeling was mutual. Matt says Stephanie always puts others before herself. "She has to be one of the most kind hearted people I have met." On July 11th, 2009 Matt surprised Stephanie with a proposal and engagement party all at once, located in Matt's hometown of Ottawa. Matt knew he wanted the most important people in their lives to be part of the proposal, and not only made sure that his family was there, but had Stephanie's family make the trip from Hamilton as well. Stephanie was touched that Matt had invited her immediate family to the party. For both Matt and Stephanie, sharing their engagement with their families was one of the best parts of the day. Stephanie started planning well in advance but admits that the wedding prep was crazy. Luckily, she had an incredible support team behind her, including her sister, mother, mother-in-law, and aunt, who each played a big part in making sure that the planning process was seamless. Matt and Stephanie agree that they were also beyond fortunate to have their parents pay for the majority of their wedding. This allowed them to focus on the wedding prep and splurge on some of the extras. "Matt and I paid for our SUV limo for the bridal party [as well as] another limo for just the parents and part of the florals." Since Matt is a huge baseball fan, and Stephanie had always dreamed of a romantic and intimate wedding, they wanted to incorporate both of their favourite things in all of the little touches of the wedding day. For example, Stephanie's aunt got creative with their invitations. Assembled in what looked like a program for a baseball game, the invites were replicas of admission tickets. In order to RSVP, guests would rip off the stub and send it back to the couple. In front of 150 guests, Matt and Stephanie were married at the stunning St. Augustine's Church in Dundas on June 25th, 2011 at 2:30 pm. It was the church Stephanie had been going to since she was a little girl and held a sentimental place in her heart. The ring bearer used a baseball glove to carry the ring down the aisle, which was an instant hit

Stephanie wore a gorgeous Maggie Sottero dress in diamond white and a one of a kind veil, fitted with a crystal headband. Although she arrived at her wedding in high heels, she ended up changing into baseball cleats half way through the photos... "I wished I had been wearing those the entire day!" Matt and his groomsmen wore black tuxes with purple vests and ties to match the purple bridesmaids dresses. Matt wore a calla lily and his guys all wore rose boutonnieres. The fathers also wore tuxes, with silver vests, ties and a small orchid on their suits. Matt and Stephanie knew they wanted a "one stop" wedding location and fell in love with Carmen's Banquet Center in Hamilton. "Their banquet halls are beautiful and captured the feeling that I was trying to go with for the wedding." The couple decorated the hall in shades of purple, in keeping with their light and summery colour palette that reflected the season. Another benefit of choosing Carmen's was that catering and wedding cake were included with the venue rental. The menu included pasta, salad, chicken and beef. "The food was amazing and everyone left full!”

Stems were wrapped with material matching her bridesmaids' dresses. Matt and Stephanie chose a simple three piece cake, alternating between chocolate and vanilla layers. They found the perfect cake topper; a groom pitching a baseball to a batting bride. Instead of using a standard guest book, Stephanie and Matt had their guests autograph

baseballs. They also had pennants of various baseball teams lined up on the wall, a spin on their seating chart." There was a corresponding small jersey on the table of whichever team the guest was matched to." Stephanie chose flowers from a local shop in Stoney Creek. Her bouquet incorporated white roses and white calla lilies, and the stems were wrapped with material matching her bridesmaids' dresses. Her ladies had an array of different types of flowers in various shades of purple. To stand out, the Maid of Honour's bouquet was similar to Stephanie's, with more white florals than the rest of the wedding party. To capture the moments and people involved in their wedding day, Stephanie and Matt chose Make A Memory Photography (♥) ( The two felt comfortable with owner and photographer, Candice, from the moment they met her. After looking through samples of her work, they knew they had to have Candice shoot their wedding. "It was amazing to work with her. It was so neat seeing her creativity come to life. We couldn't be happier with the way the photos turned out. I love that she literally captured every moment of the day so that now we have those memories for the rest of our lives." At the end of the night, each guest took home two crystal martini glasses filled with purple jelly beans with three small chocolates that looked like baseballs. Stephanie finds it difficult to express how amazing it feels to have married her best friend and to know that she has him with her for the rest of her life. "He is the sweetest man I think was ever put on this planet. He is my best friend. I love that he always thinks of me in everything he does. I love how he is so close with his family, and how they mean so much to him. That's how I know he's going to make an amazing father one day." Stephanie also admits that she's overwhelmed by the love of friends and family. "Nothing in my wedding would have been possible without the love and support of mine and Matt's families. We are two truly blessed people." Matt and Stephanie kept their wedding day fun, memorable and all about their personal style. "There is not a single thing that I would change about my wedding. It represented Matt and I to a tee and it turned out better then I even planned for." ■

reality wedding stories


with their guests!

reality wedding stories


october 22nd, 2011 :: aeolian hall in london ( Photography by Brent Foster Photography ( | Story by Beth remembers the Spring 2009 night that she realized she loved Glenn Waugh. They'd been dating for a couple of months by then and she was having a girls' night with friends. She caught herself talking about Glenn, giggling like a schoolgirl, and suddenly telling her girlfriends that she loved him. She admits she actually had to stop herself from texting Glenn to tell him too. "The next morning, I told my sister that if I didn’t marry Glenn, I was done looking!"

"The ease with which I had made that remark showed me that clearly, I had met my future wife." For Glenn, he knew it was forever when they attended a friend's wedding in June 2009. "I made an off-the-cuff reference to 'our wedding' without realizing it... The ease with which I had made that remark showed me that clearly, I had met my future wife." Originally, Glenn had planned to propose during a romantic dinner evening with Beth. But when she caught a chill after a long day in the sun, Beth crawled into sweatpants and a toque to stay warm and made her way to the couch, making it obvious that dinner plans were cancelled. Unable to wait for another day (the ring had been in his possesion for nearly 24 hours at that point), Glenn decided to just go with the flow and popped the question right there in the dining room. Beth said "Yes!' and was busy jumping for joy, a nearly perfect moment, when she remembered what she was wearing. "I realized what a fright I looked, in my sweatpants and toque!" Glam wardrobe or not, the moment was one that they'd always look back on and smile. Glenn says that Beth brings out the best in him. "I’ve always felt so comfortable in our relationship. It has always just 34 • The Wedding Ring |

been easy. Beth’s drive and passion have made me expand my own horizons and challenge myself." Beth says Glenn lets her be who she is. She says she can be herself, silly or otherwise, when they're together. "...which is something I haven’t felt comfortable doing in most of my past relationships..." She adds, grinning, "And he’s super good-lookin’!!" Beth and Glenn set the date for October 22nd 2011. The day was to be an incredible mix of vintage design and all things music. "Glenn's a musician and I'm a fan of all things vintage," explains Beth. Armed with a $20,000 budget, Glenn and his bride who's middle name is DIY, set out to plan a modern, musical, designer twist on the traditional wedding. They chose the Aeolian Hall (, a performing arts centre in London Ontario, for both their ceremony and reception location. "Once we had chosen the vision for our wedding day, 'Vintage Music', the hall fit perfectly," remembers Beth. The 1884 building houses a performance hall complete with an arched stage and unique detailing throughout. Beth admits that she's "hyper-organized by nature" and wedding planning was a bit of a breeze for her. She spent months creating how-to lists, timelines, spreadsheets, and more. The hardest part was actually just finding "another Beth" to pick up the multiple-page wedding details package she had created and act in her place on the day of the wedding. "[Event planner] Amy McNall of Unmistakably You ( was better than perfect. She executed my vision completely without me there [to help with set-up on the day of]... I can't say enough about how

Beth documented everything to make sure their dream day stayed on budget. "Our biggest budget item was our catering but it also included the linens and chairs. The smallest budget item was our RSVPs. I created a website through Google and added an RSVP form on there for our guests to use." Because most of their guests were internet-savvy, non-traditional online RSVP'ing went over without a hitch! Once October 22nd arrived (almost a year to the date of their engagement), Beth and Glenn were ready to say 'I Do'. At 4:30pm, they exchanged vows before seventy-eight guests in the balcony area of the Aeolian Hall, an area which used to house an old pipe organ. Beth wore a gown by San Patrick for Pronovias. Her bridesmaids wore pretty, budget-friendly, vintage gowns from Unique Vintage ( out of Los Angeles. Glenn and his groomsmen wore suits they'd actually purchased for the day. They all felt there was no harm in adding a new suit to their wardrobes. Flowers for the bouquets and boutonnieres were purchased in bulk at a grocery store and assembled by Beth, her mother, and her sister. "Money well saved" says the DIY bride. In fact, creativity runs in her family. Her sister designed the invitations and all stationery for the day (from ceremony programs to map cards), which afterward, Beth assembled together, adding backings and stamps as needed. Two of Glenn's University classmates played cello and piano throughout the ceremony, allowing them to choose whatever music they wanted. Glenn's processional was Somewhere Out There from the Disney movie, An American Tale, and Beth walked down the aisle to I Will, by The Beatles.

"Having heard Glenn play with the London Jazz Orchestra when we first started dating, it was fabulously surreal to have them play just for us..." After Glenn kissed his bride and the ceremony came to an end, the London Jazz Orchestra (a London area 'Big Band') played for guests throughout the cocktail hour and dinner. The band also played their recessional song, In The Mood by the Glenn Miller Orchestra, as well as other favourites including a big band arrangement of Stevie Wonder's For Once In My Life, which was the bride and groom's first dance song. "Having heard Glenn play with [London Jazz Orchestra] when we first started dating, it was fabulously surreal to have them play just for us on our big day." Since vintage-themed weddings were just becoming hot at the time, they soon realized that many couples were going ultra traditional in the details. "It was being done tradition-

ally, with doilies, suitcases, old vases, and delicate flowers... That didn't really speak to either of us... We wanted something completely unique... Once we fell in love with the hall, we began putting together the pieces of our Big Bandesque wedding." They used the hall itself for inspiration - the burgundy colour and touches of gold and black. They looked at old Big Band era photographs to really get a feel for the design. "We had to get creative with a lot of the décor items I was dreaming up!" admits Beth.

reality wedding stories


glad I am that we found her!"

"...doilies, suitcases, old vases, and delicate flowers... That didn't really speak to either of us..." To preserve the details, people and moments of the day, Beth and Glenn hired Brent Foster Photography (♥) ( "We loved that he was a photojournalist... We knew that his down-to-earth personality and creative eye were what we wanted..." Beth will always remember squishing into the back of Brent's little VW Golf after their 'First Look' photos, and then being driven by Brent, and his wife, Tammy, to the wedding! "It was such a great peaceful moment of reality in what can be quite a busy and surreal day. We had a chance to feel like a couple, being driven by friends, excited to head to our ceremony, instead of [feeling like] a pair of people on display for the day." Since the hall allowed Beth and Glenn to choose their own caterer (as long as they were a professional caterer), the couple hired Culinary Catering ( They served a menu of Prime Rib Roast and Yorkshire Pudding. Tables were decorated with elements of the big band era, caberet lamps, and all things vintage. Red velvet cakes covered in white buttercream with raspberry filling were both the dessert and the centrepieces of guests' tables. Guests' favours were made by Beth, her mother, her friend Gwen, her cousin Lauren and Glenn. "To go with the time of the year, we made Apple Pie Jam, Red Pepper Jelly, and Steak Rub... Guests could choose which one they wanted, and if we had leftovers, we would've been happy to take them home. There weren't any!" We asked Beth and Glenn if they would've done anything differently. Beth laughed, "Maybe add more hours in the day?!" Their wedding was almost entirely stress free, fun and all about them. And they loved planning and getting involved in so many of the details. "We personalized all the details, and when we couldn’t find what we wanted, we created it. From the centrepieces to the photo wall, the fascinators to the invitations, the cake topper to the Big Band... It was perfect." ■

Beth's advice...

“Don’t be afraid to create a day that’s completely unique. If you haven’t found what you want, that doesn’t mean you can’t have it. Guests still tell us how much they enjoyed our wedding... It has been great to hear how our big day created a unique memory for our guests as well..” - Beth



reality wedding stories


august 13TH, 2011 :: CEREMONY AT St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church & RECEPTION AT La Hacienda Sarria, IN Kitchener

Photography by One Great Day ( | Story by Jennifer Starr and Stephen Tello first met when she was hired at his Montreal workplace. Jennifer remembers thinking he was cute but since they didn't have the chance to have a real conversation, that was about it. Stephen actually moved on to work at their California office until years later, when he came back and the two connected on Facebook. Random flirty conversations between Jennifer (in Kitchener at the time) and Stephen (in Montreal) started to become running we-should-date jokes that neither took very seriously, given that there was still a distance issue. During Christmas 2009 season, for reasons unbeknownst to them, their Facebook conversations grew in number and depth. "We were talking and flirting constantly. What started out as little jokes from Stephen like 'Well if you're ever back in Montreal, I'm going to take you out...' turned into a flat-out-crazy plan that Stephen would drive to Toronto on boxing day and we'd meet." And he did.

Their first date turned into ten days together. They met at a Queen Street, Toronto restaurant. Stephen arrived first and was sitting at a table in the front window of the place. Jennifer remembers walking up to the restaurant and seeing him sitting there. "He was smiling his sexy smile from ear to ear and he had me... When we sat down together I just remember switching from worrying I wasn't going to be into him and [that I might] hurt him, to worrying about him not wanting me. Let's just say we were both on the same wavelength." Their first date turned into ten days together. "We left Toronto that night, went back to Kitchener, spent New Years together, travelled to Montreal on New Years Day, and then on our last day together, got matching tattoos that read 'Mi Vida' (My Life) - a Spanish expression that reflects the immensity of someone's love toward a partner or spouse." Stephen says he loves Jennifer's 'umpf'. "I know she's a fighter... I never have to worry about her giving up on 38 • The Wedding Ring |

anything that's worth fighting for... That assures me that I'll always have someone by my side, pushing me on, even when I feel like there is no silver lining." He laughs and admits, "I also like her booty!" It's Stephen's strength of character and intelligence that had Jennifer falling for him. "I respect him very much... He makes me laugh and smiles while letting me be a crazy girl. Stephen makes me feel safe and cared for. And it would be remiss not to mention how attractive he is... and how attracted I am to him even after two years!"

Jennifer remembers thinking 'don't forget how this feels, right this second'. Stephen popped the question during a vacation in Mexico with Jennifer's family. Throughout the trip, he hid the ring in their room's safe and secretly (after several attempts to muster the courage) asked Jennifer's father for her hand in marriage. Once earning permission, he took Jennifer up on the roof deck of the resort at sunset (using fluent Spanish and a little help from a concierge with connections). "It was beautiful up there," remembers Jennifer. "He started to say something like you know how much I love you? I said 'Of course' and I thought this was it! Then he just stopped. He reached in his pocket, got down on his knee, and tears started flowing." Stephen proposed and Jennifer said "Yes!" followed by "Thank you!" They laughed. Jennifer remembers thinking 'don't forget how this feels right this second'. After their engaged status had a chance to sink in, the couple rushed down to share the news with Jennifer's family. They had plenty of champagne toasts, a fabulous dinner with new friends, and one last night in Mexico. "Over the week, we'd made friends with many of the hotel staff and guests in the resort so word spread quickly that we'd gotten engaged.. People were amazingly sweet congratulating us wherever we went all night."


They chose the Hacienda Sarria ( for their reception. "It's a stunning location and building with a wonderful Spanish flair. There is NOTHING like this place in Kitchener-Waterloo..." Since Stephen is Colombian, the Spanish flair of the venue was a great fit. "The venue has a lot of soul..." The largest portion of their budget went to the rental of the Hacienda. At first, they were only planning to rent the use of the courtyard and the pool area outside. But closer to the wedding date, construction was completed on other areas of the Hacienda, which were too beautiful to overlook. "We decided to rent out the whole property..." they told The Ring. They used the new coffee house for their bar area, the ballroom for the dance, and the residence area upstairs where the bride and bridesmaids were photographed getting ready. Jennifer's mother Ingrid was the master organizer for the planning process. "She made it her job that everything go smoothly, which it did!" And, of course, Jennifer and Stephen admit to saying on many occasions, "Thank goodness for the Internet!" They also had the expertise of Jodi Leigh Designs ( coordinating the 'day of' as well as the planning and execution the décor. Jennifer remembers Jodi explaining, "Whenever you think to yourself, Who is going to take care of that?, just put my name in there!" and says that really put everything into place. The theme was garden elegance; not too much bling (no crystals, pearls or otherwise "shiny" elements), but with décor as timeless as the Hacienda. "We had a balance of rustic (unadorned Manzanita trees nestled among flowers sitting in tin garden urns) with elegant (matte gold damask) table cloths set atop a layer of satin gold table cloth... bustled with some antique style broaches." They chose a colour palette of purple (Jennifer's favourite colour), ivory, shades of gold and taupe. On August 13th, 2011, at 1:30pm, Jennifer and Stephen were married in front of 115 guests who came from far and wide - Montreal, Toronto, Los Angeles, Mexico, Miami, and Colombia. Jennifer wore an ivory bridal gown with hand-beaded and embroidered tulle bodice, silver accents, sweetheart neckline, and a platinum silk satin ribbon belt. She carried a bouquet of seasonal ivory and lavender florals created by Les Fleurs Floral Boutique (♥) ( Her bridesmaids wore lavender dresses by Pricilla of Boston.

Stephen wore a Hugo Boss tuxedo and his groomsmen wore tuxes from Kenneth Cole. Pewter vests, ties and pocket squares glinted with lavender in certain lights. "The guys all looked fantastic."

reality wedding stories

Immediately, Stephen and Jennifer knew they wanted their wedding to be a large, lavish party. And, as they got into the details, Jennifer surprised herself with how traditional she wanted her wedding. They chose the large, gorgeous St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church in Kitchener for the ceremony. Her parents and maternal grandparents had been married there, and she says "Plus, it's the most beautiful church in the city."

After Jennifer and Stephen were pronounced husband and wife, they proceeded down the aisle as guests threw lavender, instead of rice, in celebration. Lavender-filled silver cones had been given to guests as they came into the church. The cones were actually a DIY project, each created by Jennifer and her bridesmaids during a 'lavender-filling wine party' evening. "Luckily the Priest and the church allowed the lavender throwing, since many of them don't... The fragrance was amazing, and lavender historically signifies love and fidelity."

We didn't even consider or talk to another photographer. Ralph Heinze and Ange de la Chevrotiere, of One Great Day (♥) ( were hired to capture the wedding day. Jennifer say, "I fell in love with Ralph's unscripted style... We didn't even consider or talk to another photographer." Jennifer and Stephen found Ralph and Ange fun and easy to work with. "Ralph puts you at ease because he's a very calm and cool guy..." Jennifer says they were always there to catch each moment, but that "they never (ever) interrupted them or tried to steer them." At one point in the day, the entire wedding party found themselves waiting for a limo driver to return. "We were waiting in the hot sun and were seriously annoyed." That's when Ralph seized the moment. "We made a movie. He shot over 100 photos of the entire wedding party walking into and back out of the shot again." The result was a stop motion style movie. "It was very cool and very creative!" Bingemans' (♥) ( catering team passed hors d'oeuvres to guests throughout the cocktail hour, as well as prepared and served the four-course menu. A four tiered, lavish, lavender wedding cake (by Ida of The Cake Museum, was designed with inspiration taken from a Christian Dior couture bridal gown. "It was heavily ruffled in some places and hand painted in others." Jennifer and Stephen's wedding was everything they wanted it to be. "We spent a gorgeous, sunny August day with family and friends celebrating how much we love each other... We ate, drank and danced the night away in a beautiful place. What more could you want?!" ■

Jennifer's advice...

“We only had 6 months to plan... My best advice is to not linger too long on a decision... I love the little things but agonizing over them and flipping back and forth isn't practical. Know what you want, reasearch it and commit.” - Jennifer



fashion & style

Fashion Feature:

behind the look THE intimate apprarel, STYLING prep and accessorizing that go into A Wedding Day Look

Location: Cambridge Mill (♥) ( Models: Amanda Beirnes, Ashley Damman, Lauren Hundert Gowns & Accessories: La Crème (♥) ( Hair: Evolution Concepts in Hair & Spa (♥) ( Make-Up: Jacha Minerals (♥) ( Bouquets: Forever Yours Paper Petals ( Shoes: Urban Bride Boutique (♥) ( ACCESSORIES, INTIMATE APPAREL & Undergarments: ENVIE Intimates (♥) ( Photography: Purple Door Photography & Videography (♥) (

It may look easy being a flawless, gorgeous bride or bridesmaid, but most girls know there's a lot more that goes into the wedding day look. From intimate apparel to hair fascinators, make-up, styling and florals, there's a lot of tools that brides can use to glam up their look. The Wedding Ring, along with several wedding experts, two fabulous brides and one bridesmaid teamed up for a fashion shoot that was all about flattering your wedding day figure. With the Cambridge Mill as our backdrop, the team created three incredible looks to illustrate how brides with different body types can achieve wedding day perfection. From padded bustiers to slimming shapewear, here's how it's done... Continued, page 42... GET LOCAL. PLAN FABULOUS! • 41

fashion & style



Amanda wore this Signature gown by Private Label from La Crème. A strapless organza gown with a sweetheart neckline, the bodice comes adorned in a pattern of asymmetrical pleating met with a beautiful beaded pattern at the waistline. For added drama, the skirt features an array of horizontal ruffles that gently cascade throughout and a semi-Cathedral train. How SHE did it To define and silhouette Amanda's waist, she slipped into a Body Wrap from ENVIE Intimates bridal collection. The Slenderizer Strapless Bra Slip is a unique seamless bra that shapes and supports the bust for a comfortable, natural look. The bra slip also comes with underwire that gives added support and enhances the bust. The slenderizer not only gave Amanda fabulous shape, but added subtle drama to her entire look. PHOTOS: Purple Door Photography & Videography (


The perfect style for a summer or fall wedding, the Sharmain by Touch-Ups dyeable white satin shoe from Urban Bride Boutique, features a d’Orsay inspired dress pump style with a round open toe. Delicate straps wrap around the full outer arch, finishing with an encrusted flower brooch in silver. We paired them with crystal earrings, a necklace, headband and bracelet from La Crème Collection and a Zinzi ring from ENVIE Intimates.


"I wanted Amanda’s hair to be sleek and elegant to emphasize her natural beauty. We put the curls to the side and made her hair flow with the dress." - Laura of Evolution "I really wanted Amanda's gorgeous eyes to be the main focus in the picture. I choose to do a smokey eye with purple tones to make the colour of her eye pop." - Angie of Jacha Minerals.


This handcrafted yellow, turquoise and white bouquet from Forever Yours Paper Petals is made entirely from durable cardstock. Surrounded by burlap, the beautiful bouquet is placed in a decorative wire stem to give it a more rustic feel.

42 • The Wedding Ring |






Sabrina, of Evolution, didn't want Lauren's hair to be anything too over the top, since she was a bridesmaid. "I wanted to keep it fun. Curl and body are really in right now and are especially popular with bridal parties. In collaborating with Jacha Minerals, we wanted to keep it soft as well, and pulled her hair to the side for more asymmetry, keeping with the theme of shapes." Angie, of Jacha Minerals, loved Lauren's beautiful praline skin, and wanted to do a soft, pretty look. "I added bold lashes to add drama without applying a lot of colour to the eye. Finishing with a liquid liner helped to blend in the lashes while adding a subtle elegance."


The seven piece bouquet from Forever Yours Paper Petals, is made of sparkly black paper with silver dots and shiny blue and white cardstock, surrounded by black tulle. Each flower features a white diamond jewel for added glam.


Lauren wore a black satin, peep-toe heel called 'Timeless', custom designed for Urban Bride Boutique. These glam shoes feature a handcrafted satin flower and giant crystal for the perfect complement to Lauren's dress. To finish her look, we added a selection of Austrian crystal bangles in smoke, clear and black with handmade crystal and a feather hairpins and clear drop rhinestone earrings from the La Crème Collection. PHOTOS: Purple Door Photography & Videography (

Lauren wore this super chic bridesmaid dress by Bari Jay (#301) from La Crème. The charcoal one shoulder swirled iridescent chiffon cocktail dress comes in a slim sheath that hugs the entire torso, ideal for an afternoon wedding.


fashion & style

Although Lauren looked incredible after giving birth just six months before our shoot, she wanted the smoothest fit for her form-fitting dress. For a streamlined shape, the team at ENVIE Intimates fit Lauren with a bandeau bra by Chantelle and a pair of Spanx with a half slit up the back. This set the tone for Lauren's wardrobe, giving her a smooth, sleek silhouette from waist to mid-thigh.

fashion & style

enhancing THE BUST

This gorgeous taffeta and lace Eddy K Milano (EK913) strapless dress from La Crème, is a fabulous option for the bride who loves a mermaid silhouette. With a beaded bust line and horizontal pleating on the bodice, the gown features a flared skirt, layers of lace, a chapel train and a zipper back.

How SHE did it

To give Ashley's bust a little extra boost, we fitted her with a bustier by Jezebel from ENVIE Intimates called Caress Too Jezebel. Styled with a low U back, gel cups for maximum cleavage, and a deep plunge neckline, this bustier is shaped to give maximum cleavage and 'uplift' you on your wedding day!

Hair & Make-up

Vince, of Evolution, explained, "I wanted to create shapes within a shape to complement Ashley’s beauty. I created soft curls along with a free flowing half up-style to accent the curves. I wanted the up-do to be a piece of art work that you can look at from any angle and be inspired by the many smooth curls and elegant style." Angie of Jacha Minerals says, "When I saw Ashley I knew she would look great in a full glamour makeup look. We did a smokey eye but kept it soft enough to incorporate a beautiful up-do."


The 17 piece yellow, black and white damask paper bouquet from Forever Yours Paper Petals is made up of specialty felt cardstock and adorned with ivory pearls. The bouquet is surrounded by a strand of full feathers and the stem is wrapped with black satin ribbon and pearls.


Ashley wore these sexy satin Gianna by Dyeables from Urban Bride Boutique. This platform pump gives brides the option of customizing the white satin with a choice of 120 colors. Their pleated over the peep-toe and feature a sparkly brooch to add a bit of glimmer with every step on your wedding day. Ashley's hairpiece is made of black and white damask specialty felt paper with a yellow accent for added colour. Surrounded by feathers, three small flowers and pearls, Forever Yours Paper Petals created this piece to match Ashley's bouquet. We finished Ashley's look with crystal and pearl earrings and a bracelet from the La Crème Collection. 44 • The Wedding Ring |



Hot Wedding Styles for 2013 An Expert Tip by Natalie Airdrie, Owner of Elegant Affair Bridals (♥) ( Gowns: It's all about soft romance right now, with sheer panels of tulle, re-worked lace, and keyhole closings in high demand. Natalie told The Ring, "brides want more romance than seduction in their gown." A top seller at Elegant Affair is the 4105 by Paloma Blanca, "this gown is perfect in Chantilly Lace with a beautiful keyhole back detail. Its classic elegance is what brides are attracted to." Another in store favourite is Sophia Tolli’s Petra. "The epitome of elegance and sophistication, it has a vintage feel but is modern for today's brides. The gown features extraordinary hand-beaded cap sleeves that creates an illusion of decadence and trails into a keyhole beaded back bodice with corset."

Elegant Affair Bridals (♥) in Fergus, features a wide selection of wedding gowns and bridal party dresses. In-store gowns range in price so they can cater to any bride or bridesmaid, no matter what her budget is. From such designers as Sophia Tolli, Mikaella, Mon Cheri, Paloma Blanca, Venus, and Alexia Designs, Elegant Affair Bridals has a number of designers to choose from.


Since location is everything, the gorgeous, ultra-hot (book early) event venue and restaurant, Cambridge Mill, was the perfect location for the shoot. The team at the Mill offered prep space, shooting space, and refreshments throughout the day.

"Another popular tread is the convertible gown, which employs removable skirts, trains, and capes to transform your ceremony dress into a distinct reception look. David Tutrea, one of our lines carried at Elegant Affairs, has a beautiful gown with a removable train for the bride who wants to party long into the night." Bridesmaids dresses: Short, flowing and full of colour is the theme for bridesmaids. Bridesmaids want a young, fresh look that won't break the bank. Natalie suggests the Alexia Style 4090, a Orchid bella chiffon cocktail length dress with a ruched bodice adorned with flower detail and a pleated skirt. "It has been a top pick for our brides and their girls." Accessories: Right now, it's all about the belt. Bridal ribbon sash belts come in many styles including rhinestone belts, beaded belts, crystal wedding sash belts and for a simple but elegant touch you can add any beautiful brooch to a plain satin wedding sash for an instant hit of bling. It is amazing how a belt can take a great gown and make it a WOW for the bride. Shoes: This is where the pop of colour comes in. Brides are ditching the traditional satin bridal shoe and going for a more youthful hit of colour, such as a bright teal or hot red.


Mother of the bride: MOB's are steering towards gowns that are rich and elegant in colour. Think wines and deep jewel tones. Tea length gowns with a jacket or a bolero for those cooler summer night are a huge trend right now. "We see mothers asking for styles that are soft, but sophisticated for their daughter’s big day." Flower girl: For the smallest member of your wedding party, it's all about super cute accessories like a fabric flower headband, fairy wings, or a floral head wreath to finish off your flower girl's wedding day look.

The biggest treNd right now?

Natalie says brides are ready to relax and have fun on their big day. "Gone are the days of the stressed out brides who wants everything to be her own way. Brides are choosing beautiful bridal dresses that reflect their personality and wedding style, above all else." GET LOCAL. PLAN FABULOUS! • 45

fashion & style

The entire fashion shoot relied on many things coming together. The fabulous hair design skills of the Evolution team, the sweet makeovers by Jacha Minerals, the fashion from La Crème (of course!), and also, the things that you couldn't see - the intimate apparel and undergarments that smoothed curves, accented waist lines and gave a boost, tuck or trim here and there. All intimate apparel and undergarments were provided by ENVIE Intimates, and can be seen below. ENVIE also provided various accessories.

Experiment :: Is professional hair & make-up worth it? An expert tip by Angie Kellar, owner of Jacha Minerals (♥) ( Photos by Fresh Images (

You spend months looking for the perfect venue, your best girlfriends are gathered to be your bridesmaids, and of course, you have found the dress of your dreams. With all your wedding day wishes coming true, you notice your bank account dwindling fast. You do your own make-up and hair every day, and you feel you have it down to an art form, so the question is, do you really want to spend the extra money to employ a professional make-up artist and hair stylist? What difference does it really make? When a newly engaged bride recently asked me this same question, I decided to actually show her the difference that having a professional makes. Even though I agreed she did a great job doing her own hair and make-up, I knew that we would be able to provide her with little tricks and techniques to make her look like the princess she wanted to be on her wedding day. The look: The tear sheet the bride wanted to recreate for her wedding make-up was a dramatic smoky eye with a purple hue, and a beautiful red lip. She wanted her hair to be off to the side in a soft bun.

PROFESSIONAL STYLING Jacha Minerals (♥) ( offers make-up and artistry, their own line of cosmetics, as well as make-up parties for the bride and her bridesmaids.


Implementing the look: Using her tear sheet as a reference, our bride pulled out her make-up kit and styling tools, and created the look she envisioned on her wedding day. La Crème (♥) ( provided us with a beautiful dress and accessories, and Margie at Fresh Images captured pictures of the overall look. Steph, from THREE Salon and Spa in Guelph, and I revamped her wedding day hair and make-up, again using the same tear sheet as a reference.

bride's observations...

1. Her eyebrows were filled in when the professional did her make-up and she had not done that on her own.

2. Her skin looks a lot more healthy and bright with the professional make-up, and she felt that the make-up she did on her own washed her out. 3. She thought that her own liner application actually made her eyes appear smaller then when she had her make-up done professionally. 4. She noticed that her cheek bones looked more defined in the picture with her make-up done professionally. 5. She was a bit surprised when the purple she applied on her eyes almost came out as a soft pink when we looked at the results in the pictures. 6. She noticed that when a professional did her hair, it looked more polished and finished, and the flower was placed in a more subtle way. Conclusion: Hiring someone to apply your wedding day make-up and hair will help complete your look. Even if you are great at applying your make-up and doing your hair on your own, professionals understand how to make you look your best in photographs. She also felt that when she did her own hair and make-up she was stressed and struggled to recreate a specific look. When she had someone else do her hair and make-up, she was much more relaxed and was confident her team of professionals would be able to achieve the look she had wanted for her wedding day. After this experience, saving costs by not hiring professionals was no longer an option for her. So brides, it’s your wedding day, sit back and enjoy the royal treatment. ■

46 • The Wedding Ring |

Jewellery tips and trends

Not All Bling Is Created Equal An expert tip from Danielle Salisbury, owner of Diamond Duchess, a mobile custom jeweller (

The 4 C's Whether you decide to purchase a custom or pre-finished

ring, you’ll probably come across the diamond "4 C’s" during your research. Educating yourself about diamonds is the first step to help get the best bang for your dollars, and a ring you'll love for a lifetime.

TIP: If you are purchasing a gemstone, clarity becomes an increasingly important feature. Precious gemstones do not have as many facets as diamonds which makes flaws (inclusions) more apparent.

The CUT of a diamond is far under-rated and most don’t understand the importance that cut has on their diamond. The cut of a diamond is what helps your diamond to sparkle. It’s not about the shape of the diamond but, angles, proportion, and finish. It is similar to the principle of prism where angles have to be exactly right to reflect light back out to your eye. The cut is what adds the brilliance and fire to your diamond. Without a quality cut, your diamond will be dull even if you choose the best grade for colour and clarity.

assigned by assessing the size, nature, position, color or relief, and quantity of clarity characteristics visible under 10× magnification. If you are interested in having a fabulous looking diamond at significant savings, consider choosing VS1-VS2 grade options.

2012 Rock Stars

Engagement Ring Trends

While rings may be timeless, that doesn't make them immune to trends in style and design. Here are Danielle's 'Rock Stars' for 2012.

Eco is Enchanting Couples are becoming increasingly interested in purchasing ethical and environmentally friendly options. Recycled gold is absolutely no less valuable than virgin gold (mined from the earth), but the benefits it can have to your pocket book and the environment are significant. If you have gold that you no longer wear, ask your jeweller to use it for your engagement ring. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) is a Using a pre-loved precious gemstone can be another great way to non-profit organization put a perfectly beautiful stone to good use again. If you have a family whose clarity grading heirloom passed down in your family, you can always take the stone system for diamonds and have it reset into a piece that is more modern, or one that better has been adopted by reflects your personality. the industry and most reputable third party Colour Your World organization to submit More couples are choosing to express themselves with coloured non-bias certification diamonds and gemstones, such as, sapphires and rubies (think Kate grades for diamonds. Middleton and Jessica Simpson). This celebrity trend is trickling down

The Carat should matter to you only because it will help dictate approximately how much you are going to pay. Carat is the measurement of the diamond’s weight. When you look at a diamond, do you see weight or physical size? Light can’t carry weight back to the eye, so we are only seeing physical size and the eye doesn’t even see the total physical size because most of the diamond is covered once set in jewellery. Therefore, once the diamond is set, all you can really see is the surface area (crown) on the top of the diamond. Though carat weight is not the only “C” that impacts price, it is a major factor in diamond pricing. Diamond pricing goes up in steps and purchasing at the bottom of a price bracket could cost you thousands of dollars extra. To maximize the size of the diamond, always purchase towards the high end of the pricing bracket. The extra couple of points won’t be a noticeable difference to the eye but, could be a very noticeable difference to your pocketbook.

The Colour evaluation is based on the absence of colour. The GIA's colour grading system measures the degree of colourlessness of a diamond against master stones with pre-established colour grades in a controlled lighting environment. Many of these colour variances are so subtle that they can be invisible to the untrained eye, however, can have huge variances in price. Consider that when diamonds are being graded, they are being compared to other stones beside it, a master set of stones. Since stones cannot be precisely graded on their own, if you are purchasing a diamond solitaire ring, you may want to consider how much you want to spend on this diamond feature. The Clarity refers to the absence of blemishes or inclusions. According to the GIA, there are absolutely no perfect diamonds under a 10x magnification. However, some do come close and those are graded as 'Flawless' and are extremely rare. In fact, the GIA also states that most jewellers have never seen one in their careers! The GIA clarity scale has 11 grades, most diamonds however, fall into a grade between VS (very slightly included) to SI (slightly included). Keep in mind that these grades are

50 • The Wedding Ring |

to the mainstream and what is particularly interesting is this trend is quite affordable. Choosing a coloured gemstone engagement ring or wedding band is an economical way to have a large, impressive ring. But, colour doesn’t stop there. Coloured precious metals, such as, rose gold is creeping up in popularity among fine jewellery from its introduction in costume jewellery and watches.

From Me to We While the diamond solitaire engagement ring remains a popular favorite due to its timeless and classic nature, engagement rings with accent stones are certainly runners up. Halos (a boarder of diamonds surrounding a centre stone) are a very popular way to accentuate the one larger centre stone. This design feature helps to emphasize the centre stone in both size and brilliance. Three stone rings have also become increasingly popular and are no longer left to just anniversaries (past, present, and future). ■ When Danielle contacted The Wedding Ring, she was in the midst of launching Diamond Duchess, the first Canadian Custom Mobile Jeweller. She explains, "We cater to a variety of clients who share a desire for convenience, quality, and personalized attention. We have full design and production capabilities."


Pay-it-forward weddings

More and more couples are finding ways to pay-it-forward as they exchange vows, adding meaning to their union and making their budget truly count at the same time. Here are some of our favourite ways for pay-it-forward couples to give back as they look forward in life... Tie the Knot for Breast Cancer ( The Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation Ontario Region’s Tie the Knot for Breast Cancer program is offering an incredible alternative to traditional wedding and shower favours. Couples can choose to make donations to CBCF-OR to memorialize lives lost or to honour those living with breast cancer. Couples who participate are provided with materials to display and distribute amongst their guests. Make-A-Wish Foundation's "Something Blue" Wedding Program ( Brides can help grant the wish of a child with a life-threatening medical condition by making a donation to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Southwestern Ontario in lieu of traditional wedding favours. Their “Something Blue” wedding program provides favour cards informing guests that a donation has been made to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Southwestern Ontario in honour of their attendance at your wedding. Couples can choose from the $5/guest package (Sapphire Diamond) and the $10/guest package (Blue Diamond). Each guest will receive a favour card with a personalized inscription and a pin from the foundation. Wedding Saviours ( Wedding Saviours is a group of wedding professionals and business partners who have come together to provide a free wedding day for couples in need of assistance. They are dedicated to the communities they serve and to the many charities within them also in need of assistance. Recognizing that in today's economic climate many couples have had to put their wedding day on hold, or cancel it all together, Wedding Saviours set out to help. "We married our first couple live at Canada's Wedding Expo where

we announced the first free wedding contest in January 2011. Couples were asked to find ways to pay-it-forward in the community as part of their application process and suddenly it became as much about the power of paying-it-forward as it was a free wedding!" { EDITOR'S FAV } PLAN CANADA's Gifts of hope ( Plan Canada offers the Gifts of Hope program in which gifts can be purchased to support Plan’s community programs and projects in developing countries. For example, give gifts like a goat or a mango tree, which provide livelihoods and income for families or donate to the Peanut Butter Project, which not only helps to bring protein to growing children in many parts of the world, but also supports women’s co-operatives by providing them with training in peanut processing and business and marketing skills. Photo, left: Plan Canada. FIFTY NIFTY | Wedding Photographers Hit the Road to Fight Human Trafficking ( Minneapolis-based husband and wife photography duo, Jonny and Michelle Hoffner, have begun an epic year-long adventure taking them to fifty places in just fifty weeks. The plan is to drive across the United States (with stops in Canada and the Bahamas) photographing one wedding per state, per week, while donating $1,000 per wedding to the anti-human trafficking organization, She Dances, a nonprofit organization, committed to providing holistic restoration for young girls who have been trafficked and sexually-exploited. When plans to open a safe home in Tegucigalpa, Honduras for young girls who have been sexually trafficked were announced, the Hoffners jumped at the chance to help. “This is our effort to not be weighed down by the magnitude of the problem and to do what we can with our lives and with our jobs to make a difference." ■

feature: Design PalettES


HRM Photography (♥) ( captured the incredible design and style of Ashley and Sean Galloway's urban London wedding. With the ceremony at St. Peter's Cathedral Basilica and then reception at The Old Court House in London, the entire day was spent downtown. "Sean is an urban designer so we wanted to incorporate the downtown on our wedding day," explains Ashley. The downtown setting also kept photo shoots casual and fun in contrast to the tradition-steeped cathedral ceremony.

Ashley explained, "Since our wedding was in the Spring [May 29th 2010] we wanted the colours to be vibrant and fresh." And so they kept things fresh and fun when it came to design. A multitude of greens and whites made up the colour palette and could be found in just about every design details from beginning to end. Flowers used were hydrangeas and tulips with leafy greens and assortments of white and green flowers in bouquets and centrepieces.

sweet greens

Groupings of glassware, water and candle light topped the tables. Fresh cut limes accented vases. Throughout the vintage court house reception, table names were made to look like street signs of the couple's favourite cities for a fun urban element. The cake was white with green fondant ribbons and shapes. And just for fun, the cake topper featured the bride, groom and their dog - all of which were hand painted by Ashley's aunt! ♥

PHOTOGRAPHY: HRM Photography ( CEREMONY: St. Peter's Cathedral Basilica RECEPTION: The Old Court House (♥) ( FLOWERS & DECOR: Rossini Floral and Event Planning CATERING: Culinary Catering ( DJ: Music Central (♥) ( SAVE ME! 54 • The Wedding Ring |

To keep the fires of creativity burning, cut out this page & save it in your ideas binder.


design palettes

{ design palette }

When photographers Michelle and Jaclyn Harrick of 3Photography came across the perfect location for a rustic outdoor wedding, they decided to team up with other wedding experts to create one fabulous design shoot. Michelle says, "When we stumbled across a gorgeous barn in London a few months ago, our minds started whirling with photo possibilities. We decided we had to shoot there!" "This styled bridal session is a fabulous mix of feminine

vintage country

touches and simplicity with rustic charm. Jackie Phillips of To Suit Your Fancy (♥) did an amazing job acquiring unique and detailed props, adding to the rustic feel, while Samirah of Designs in Bloom created beautiful flower arrangements, adding the final feminine touch with gorgeous pinks and greens." Designs in Bloom used peonies, roses, garden roses, eucalyptus, viburnum, hydrangeas and freesia as the

focal point of their centrepieces with a gorgeous tea set incorporated to finish the look. Jackie told The Ring, "The inspiration for the shoot was the rustic farm but we really wanted to keep it classy and elegant." The team added some fun, interactive elements, including a fabulous Mojito bar. "We tried to incorporate the mint leaves from the Mojito bar for the table/wedding favours." Love it! ♥

PHOTOGRAPHY: 3Photography ( FLOWERS: Designs in Bloom ( GOWN: Nicholas & Elizabeth Bridal ( STATIONERY: DistInk Designs ( DéCOR & DESIGN: To Suit Your Fancy (

SAVE ME! 56 • The Wedding Ring |

To keep the fires of creativity burning, cut out this page & save it in your ideas binder.


design palettes

{ design palette }

Ancaster Mill (♥) hosted this elegant, high-end winter wedding on February 24th, 2012. To set the tone for a winter wonderland on a snowy day, guests were greeted with hot apple cider, complete with cinnamon sticks for stirring. Bride and groom, Siviwe and Amanda Ngubentombi, wanted a fire and ice theme that carried throughout their décor. They started by choosing pillar candle holders made of ice as a focal point. "The candle lights danced beautifully off the ice sculptures." Other icey features included a card box made of ice and an intermezzo sorbet, served on ice plates!

fire and ice

Siviwe and Amanda created a "snowball effect" on the tables with their tall, elegant centrepieces at varying heights on guests' tables, which were then filled with white Hydrangeas and fine baby's breath.

To keep the décor soft and elegant, Siviwe and Amanda

A location with a fireplace was a winter wedding musthave for the couple. The Ancaster Mill Falls Room was the perfect setting for their reception, offering a gorgeous wood burning fireplace.

"Roses, linens, and décor... All were in a variation of a

Then Siviwe and Amanda added touches of "fire," including a menu full of comfort food. They served warm apple pie for dessert and personalized take-out coffee cups with hot chocolate and coffee.

created a palette of whites, silvers, muted greens and soft gold's. To add contrast and punch things up during the cocktail hour, they added deep red to the palette. deep red... it worked really well and added some fun, visual variety to the evening," explains the couple. Amanda says that she had always imagined winter to be the most romantic time of year to get married, and it turned out that she was right. "The cold and snow adds a lovely contrast to the celebration inside." ■

PHOTOGRAPHY: Vine Images ( LOCATION: Ancaster Mill ( FLORALS: Fasination Rosery (


To keep the fires of creativity burning, cut out this page & save it in your ideas binder.


design palettes


{ design palette }

Irina Fortey of Irina Photography (♥), who specializes in fresh, creative and candid wedding photography for Toronto and Southwestern Ontario couples, shot this stunning Edwardian themed design palette. With a focus on a feel of royalty, Janis of Brocade Events wanted to create a wedding theme that captured that royal feel, but would move away from the structured feel of the Victorian era.

Edwardian royalty

"The Edwardian Era has all the formal elegance with a bit

To complement the theme, Blooming Wellies put

more fun and freedom in the look and feel. I chose two

together centrepeices and bouquets which were overflow-

layouts. An afternoon tea setting (on a round table) and

ing with flowers in a messy carefree, yet elegant, style. Tea

a dinner setting (as seen on the head table layout). The

Occasions supplied beautiful china, tea and antique lace

settings were a collection of old china, candles, and silver

overlays to capture the essence of the era.

everything, including a silver tea set. With weddings becoming more casual and quirky, I wanted to renew the

The Creative Bride (♥) brought in additional draping

formal and traditional wedding with a modern twist."

and décor to help finish the look. ♥

PHOTOGRPAHY: Irina Photography ( WEDDING PLANNER & SHOOT COORIDANTOR: Brocade Events ( DÉCOR: Tea Occasions ( FLORALS: Blooming Wellies ( STATIONARY: Erin Bosak Events ( ADDITIONAL DRAPING & DÉCOR: The Creative Bride ( MINI CAKES & TREATS: Treat Yourself Cakes & Catering ( HAIR & MAKEUP: Julia & Julia Bridal ( * The Edwardian era or Edwardian period in the United Kingdom is the period covering the reign of King Edward VII, 1901 to 1910. 58 • The Wedding Ring |


To keep the fires of creativity burning, cut out this page & save it in your ideas binder.


design palettes

{ design palette }

destination wedding




destination weddings

Kristen & Bryce

A Wedding Week In Panama

FEBRUARY 13TH, 2010 :: Playa Blanca Hotel, Panama ( Photography by Captured Soul Photography ( | Story by Kristen Micallef admits she wasn’t exactly looking for love when she first met Bryce Elliot. It was a snowy February 14th in 2010 as she slowly made her way through traffic on the 401, on her way to a friend’s Anti-Valentine’s Day party. By the time she got there, she was late and slightly frustrated. “Someone had parked in the spot I usually park in… I was forced to park way back beside a dumpster, and haul my laundry basket through the snow...”

True to their destination’s surroundings, Kristen and Bryce chose a tropical beach design theme, with hot pink and mossy green accents running throughout the décor. Kristen designed their invitations, calling them her “a labour of love.” She used fridge magnets as Save the Dates, featuring a beach scene made with scrap book paper, sand paper, and sparkly three dimensional foam coral. The invites were a simple white on hot pink with tropical flowers that reflected Panama.

As she walked in, Kristen had a few choice words about the parking spot culprit. Bryce threw up his hand and took full credit for stealing “Kristen’s” spot. When Kristen laid eyes on him, her frustration disappeared and Bryce was instantly forgiven. The two have been inseparable ever since.

“It came in fast and furious. My face was extremely swollen; I couldn’t open my mouth or eat.”

It had to be somewhere that neither of them had ever been. It didn’t take long for Bryce to realize that he wanted to marry Kristen, “It was a breath of fresh air to find someone who had similar goals and ambitions and I could envision us together forever.” On August 7th, 2010, he proposed and the pair began planning their wedding. Initially, Kristen and Bryce had no idea where to start, much less were they’d tie the knot. Eventually, they landed on the idea of a destination wedding. They loved the idea and simplicity of a beach wedding. Kristen immediately got to work researching potential locations, with one agreed upon stipulation: it had to be somewhere that neither of them had ever been. As avid travellers, it helped narrow their search and after much research, they choose the Playa Blanca Resort in Panama. They liked its adventurous reputation and budget-friendly price point. 62 • The Wedding Ring Magazine |

Although they loved the simplicity of a destination wedding, not everything would prove to be so easy. Two days before leaving for the wedding, Kristen’s wisdom tooth came in. “It came in fast and furious. My face was extremely swollen; I couldn’t open my mouth or eat.” Luckily, Kristen was able to book an emergency appointment and even had the swelling down by the time she boarded the plane. “You never think you’re going to need a dental surgeon to save your wedding!” Kristen and Bryce did their favours a little bit differently, handing ‘Vacation Kits’ out at the airport on their way to Panama. The kits were created with help from Kristen’s mom and Michelle Kauntz, of Captured Soul Photography (♥) ( Each kit included reusable bright green insulated plastic tumblers, filled with goodies for the week such as a hot pink lanyard with a zippered pocket to hold room keys and a wedding week guide that introduced the wedding party and plugged the week’s events and need-to-knows. “The cups and lanyards were also great because they flagged who was in the group all week. That made it easy for our group to find and get to know each other.”


Kristen had a specific vision for her flowers, and since she knew she wouldn’t be able to get them in Panama, she decided to bring silk flowers in her suitcase. She chose calla lilies, orchids and spider mum silks that could withstand the journey and yet still look real. Kristen’s Aunt had experience working with silks and put the bouquets together before the trip. “They held up great, and we had tons of people asking to touch them because they couldn’t believe they weren’t real!” For a sunny day in Panama, Bryce and his groomsmen wore Tommy Bahamas linen pants in tan, with golden yellow silk short sleeved dress shirts. Kristen knew she wanted her dress to reflect her beach wedding and found the perfect gown at a boutique in Cambridge. It was lightweight and trainless with a sexy, transparent bodice. Kristen chose watermelon for her bridesmaids’ dresses colour, but because her party members were coming from all over the globe (some as far as Abu Dhabi), each girl was able to choose her own cut and style. Since she was in Panama without her normal hair stylist (and no opportunity for a hair trial), Kristen was nervous about her look holding up to the humidity. So instead, she opted to plan ahead as much as possible. Kristen says her stylist did a fantastic job of prepping her hair over the months leading up to the wedding, with color that would hold up in the sun and products to manage frizz. Kristen and Bryce said ‘I do’ on February 13th, 2012 in front of fifty-nine family and friends. The ceremony took place just before the sun was about set, in the resort’s gazebo on the beach. For the newlyweds, the natural beauty of their surroundings was simple and perfect. The reception also took full advantage of their exotic destination. Dinner was served at the open-air à la carte restaurant on the beach, right next to the ceremony location. They chose their menu when they got to the resort and opted for a simple cake, finished with tropical flowers. “We wanted the reception to be distinctly Panamanian, nothing like what you would get in a hall at home.” For example, dinner included dishes like chinese egg rolls, sweet and sour “hong kong” pork and ‘sea treasure’,

the restaurants fresh mixed seafood special. To capture the week’s events, Kristen and Bryce had chosen Michelle Kauntz, owner of Captured Soul Photography (♥) ( They both say they immediately fell in love with her work and knew they had to have her shoot their destination wedding. “Michelle fit into our group well and made all the photos so much fun… She captured the best side of us all. She was even there to offer tips, advice, and coach us on what to expect once we got to the resort!” One of their favourite events of the week was their Trash the Dress photo shoot with Michelle. Kristen and Bryce decided to include their whole wedding party in the shoot. A forward thinking guest had gone into town to buy water guns for the photo shoot. “It was a blast! By the end, we were all soaking wet and playing in the ocean in our dress clothes.”

“In the end, we were all soaking wet and playing in the ocean in our dress clothes.” To take full advantage of their time in Panama, Kristen, Bryce and several of their guests took trips throughout the week. They visited the Panama Canal as well as a zoo and hot springs in Anton Valley. They also visited a village that sits within the crater of one of the world’s largest inhabited dormant volcano’s. Overall, they were able to truly enjoy time with their guests and soak up Panama’s scenery and history. And even though Kristen and Bryce admit that they weren’t sure what to expect, they say their destination wedding was the perfect way to start their marriage: “We went in with open minds and the whole experience ended up being more than we ever could have expected. We had a week to spend with our guests, and were able to actually spend quality time with everyone at our wedding.” In fact, the two had such a great experience that told The Ring, “We’re trying to talk our friends and family into having destination weddings so we can have the chance to be on the other side and be a guest at one!” ■

favourite destination wedding things...

 Wedding plans were much less detail-orientated with their DW. ♥ “We didn’t need to handle ♥ details like reception and ceremony décor, and the menu until we were at the resort. Anything that we really wanted done a specific way like music, favors, and flowers needed to be organized and transported carefully.” ♥ Their 60kg luggage restriction made the KISS method a must! ♥ Getting to choose their wedding meal at the resort in Panama. ♥ The week long adventure allowed for lots of fun, quality time with guests. ♥ The natural beauty of Panama meant very little décor was required: “It was simple, beautiful and intimate.”


An Expert Tip from Scribes Nook (♥) ( Your invitations will set the tone for your destination wedding and should reflect the location that you choose. Whether it’s a Muskoka resort, a cruise or beach setting, a vineyard or outdoor wedding, it’s a great idea to create a location theme to invite your guests. Passports, airline tickets, elegant winery presentations, or a nature theme are all wonderful ideas that will reflect your wedding venue.

It is important that your invite gives information that allows your guests to wear the appropriate clothing for the venue and events. For example, a more rustic setting may require your guests to dress more casually, a beach setting might be casual but romantic or, you may want your guests to dress in formal attire for a ceremony on a cruise.

It’s a great idea to include details like destination travel fares, agent contact info, resort packages, and wedding events.

When sending your invite with its reply, remember that most guests are unfamiliar with your location and need to have information to make clothing choices.

If you’re having an at-home reception for guests that were unable to travel, a similar invitation style will help give them a taste of the destination wedding experience.

It is your day, but you’ll want to give your guests as much information as possible, so they can enjoy your wedding in all its splendor. ■

Stationary shop Scribes’ Nook offers everything you need to make your own unique invitations, programs, save the date cards, and other wedding stationery. From DIY to full service options, the shop is a hot spot for Southwestern Ontario brides, located in the heart of Kitchener-Waterloo.

Shaping up for your destination wedding An expert tip from fitness guru, publisher and model, Amanda Lynn Mayhew (

What better motivation to get healthy than your wedding day? Add a destination wedding, and there’s even more incentive to get in shape and look fabulous on the beach in your backless dress or figure-hugging mermaid style gown. Here are some simple exercises to help you tone up and feel fantastic on your big day. So grab your bridesmaids, turn up the radio and test out these tips from fitness guru Amanda Lynn Mayhew.


Bent-Over Row: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, back straight, and knees slightly bent for support. Hold a dumbbell in each hand. Keeping your back straight, bend 90 degrees from the waist and allow your arms to hang down toward the floor, palms facing your legs. Squeeze your shoulder blades together, and bend your elbows, raising the dumbbells up to either side of your torso. Hold, then slowly lower back to the starting position. Seated Back Fly: Sit on the edge of a chair with your feet close together and a light dumbbell in each hand. Lean forward from the waist, and let your arms hang down next to your calves, with your elbows bent slightly and your palms facing each other. Squeeze your shoulder blades together, and raise the weights to your sides in an arcing motion until your upper arms are parallel to the floor. Pause, then slowly return to the starting position.

Your Position • Start by lying face down on the ground or use an exercise mat. Place your elbows and forearms underneath your chest. • Prop yourself up to form a bridge using your toes and forearms. • Maintain a flat back and do not allow your hips to sag towards the ground.

Upright Row: Stand with your legs about shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent. Hold a dumbbell in each hand, arms hanging down at the outside of your thighs, palms facing back. Squeeze your shoulder blades, bend your elbows, and pull the weights up and out to the sides until your elbows reach about shoulder height. Pause, then straighten your arms and return to the starting position.

Target Muscles • The Core - Abdominals, Hips, Back

Give yourself no less than six weeks before your wedding to start seeing results. If you have some extra weight to lose, you’ll have to shed those

Step By Step Instructions • Hold this position focusing on tightening your abs until you can no longer maintain a flat bridge. For beginners, start with 10 seconds and gradually increase your time. Try to work up to 3 minutes. • Return to start position. Beware of Cheating!  • Remember not to let your hips and back sag. This exercise will only be effective if you work to maintain a flat line from your shoulders to your feet. You might want to start in front of a mirror to learn the technique. CONDEMN BRA FAT AND LOOK GREAT IN YOUR DESTINATION DRESS These methods help strengthen your back muscles which in turn helps pull your shoulders back, so you can stand taller and appear leaner. You’ll also look great as you say “I do” in a backless dress on the beach. The following exercises target the muscles on your upper back, and around your bra. Do two sets of 10 to 12 repetitions, with a 30 second rest in between, 2 - 3 days a week. Allow for a day of rest between workouts.

4 • The Wedding Ring Magazine |

pounds to see results. But if your problem is just flabby muscle, you’ll see visible improvements in four to six weeks.

destination wedding

DIY: DESIGNING YOUR OWN Destination Wedding Invites

destination wedding


Scouting Cuba

Saying ‘I do’ tO 3 fabulous cuba resorts

Whether you’re planning a wedding by the edge of the sea or an intimate candlelit ceremony under the stars, Cuba truly has something for every couple, on any budget. Couple that with the Meliá CUBA Hotels International and you’re in for a spectacular wedding week. Says Destination Wedding Expert Dawn Fairbanks (♥) (, “I always say when you think Cuba, always think Meliá ... better service, better food, a better experience!” With wedding packages ranging from totally free to deluxe, and resort options varying from adults-only to family friendly, we sent Anne Warren to Cuba to find out more about this selection of exclusive hotels. Here’s everything you need to know about these three gorgeous five-star, all inclusive resorts... At Meliá Buenavista All Inclusive Royal Service & Spa you can prepare to be spoiled rotten with sweet perks like personal butlers, twenty-four hour room service and champagne at breakfast. The resort is specifically designed as an adults-only, luxurious destination. Surrounded by beaches and coves, it’s the perfect option for couples who like a quiet atmosphere where no request is too big. An all suite hotel, this is the smallest resort of the three, with 105 guest rooms, including several different types of suites. The most “basic” option is the Junior Suite Royal Service two-story bungalows with a terrace and garden or pool view. Each bathroom features a whirlpool spa tub and a fabulous outdoor shower. On the other end of the spectrum, you can splurge on the Villa Zaida del Rio. The villa is all about privacy and comfort, a great place for the bride and her girls to get ready before the wedding and ideal for tons of privacy on your wedding night. Meliá Cayo Santa María All Inclusive & Spa sits beachfront in Cayo Santa Maria, a favourite location for its pristine white sand beach and natural scenery. This is a great option for the bride and groom who want to bring children along or, for couples who are dying to get pampered at a fantastic spa. Meliá Cayo Santa María is the mid-size resort, with 356 rooms. While most rooms are standard, the resort features two deluxe rooms, with an intimate ambience, ideal for the bride and groom looking for total privacy. 66 • The Wedding Ring |

Legalities of getting hitched in Cuba

• You will need a valid passport and a tourist card (available from a travel agent, airline or the Cuban consulate). • If either the bride or groom has been married before, the previously married person must also produce the following documents: • if divorced: his/her birth certificate and Certificate of Divorce; • if widowed: his/her birth certificate, Certificate of Marriage and Certificate of Spouse’s Death. • Have your birth certificate and any divorce/marriage/death documents translated into Spanish and legalized by the Cuban consul in Canada (service fee applies). • In addition, you must: > Create a sheet that lists your names, home address, occupations, level of education, nationality and the full names of your parents, living or deceased. Attach the photo page of your passport to this sheet. > Fax copies of all documentation in both English and Spanish to your hotel at least three weeks before your arrival and bring all original documents with you.


The largest of the three resorts, Meliá Las Dunas features 925 rooms. Choose from standard rooms and standard rooms with ocean view or suites. The six lavish Deluxe Romance Suites offer guests maximum comfort, luxury and calm- a great place for the bride and groom to escape!

Your Meliá Ceremony

No matter which Meliá resort you choose, you’ll get the same service, package options and pricing. Each resort has a wedding gazebo located on or right off of the beach. While most couples love the idea of a beach ceremony, there are several other ceremony locations to choose from, all of which are decorated for your wedding. When you meet with your Wedding Coordinator, just let them know that you’d like to look at different locations; they’ll be happy to take you on a tour and help you choose the perfect place to say ‘I do’. And although Cuba is known for its fabulous weather, the resorts do offer alternative indoor ceremony locations in case of rain.

Your Wedding Coordinator

One of the perks of booking with Sol Meliá Cuba Canada is that you’ll be able to ask any questions and go over details with your wedding coordinator over email while you’re still in Canada. You’ll be able to discuss all of the details that you can have fun with- décor, floral arrangements, your wedding cake. When you get to the resort, you’ll meet your coordinator to go over all of your wedding documents and other last minute details for a seamless wedding day.

Meliá Packages & Pricing

Meliá resorts offer a couple of different packages to choose from, including two options that’ll give you a free wedding. With option one, bring along at least seventeen guests staying six nights or more and you’ll see your wedding fee waived. With option two, bring eight guests for twelve nights or more for a free wedding. No matter which package you choose, your wedding includes: cocktails for honeymooners, notary service, marriage license and legalization of documents, certified

copy of the marriage license, personal coordinator for all wedding’s details, special room for the newlyweds, bottle of sparkling white wine and fruits in the room upon arrival, invitation cards, wedding area decorated, witnesses (if necessary), flowers for the bride and boutonniere for the groom, taped musical accompaniment, two bottles of cava for the wedding toast, wedding cake, one wedding photo, wedding dinner on the day of the ceremony, dinner the night before the wedding, breakfast in the room the morning after the wedding, a special honeymoon package, late check-out and more.

Glamorous Wedding package

This upgrade runs at approximately $1060 CAD and includes everything in the basic package, plus extras like private check-in for the bride and groom, separate rooms for the bride and groom the night before the wedding (subject to availability), a chambermaid for the bride before the wedding and twenty-four wedding photos on a CD.

Luxury Wedding package

destination weddings

Meliá Las Dunas All Inclusive is also located beachfront in Cayo Santa Maria and is all about the ambience. Destination Wedding Expert, Dawn Fairbanks, says that Las Dunas is easily one of her top ten favorite resorts for weddings because of the private reception party room at the resort, “it’s inexpensive and major fun! It’s great for after the ceremony either in the wonderful private gazebo or on the beautiful white sand beach. It’s such a nice way to end your wedding evening... with a private party with dancing and fun!”

If you’re looking for a package that includes everything you might need for your wedding day, you’ll want to take a look at the luxury package. This upgrade runs at approximately $1400 CAD and includes everything in the glamorous package plus extras like the bride’s bouquet, up to four corsages and boutonniere’s, live ceremony music, floral centrepeices, a wedding photo album and even a cake for the groom!

Sweet Extras

For brides, choosing their extras is half the fun, and Meliá resorts offer upgrades galore. You can upgrade almost anything-from your wedding cake to ceremony decorations to your photography package. And if you have something specific in mind but don’t see it on the list of extras, just let your wedding coordinator know and they’ll try to make it happen. Some of the most popular extras include: • “Cuban Passion” gifts for guests, containing bonbons and a bottle of Aged Havana Club Rum • Private cocktail party after the ceremony (open bar serving international beverages and cocktails for up to one hour) • Musical trio (30 minutes of traditional Cuban music) • A twenty-five minute prenuptial massage • A thirty minute DVD Video of the ceremony • Upgraded ceremony decorations ■

favourite things...

♥ The ocean in Cayo Santa Maria is truly amazing...white sand beach and beautiful turquoise water... pure heaven! ♥ The lobster at the French restaurant was to die for! ♥ The outdoor showers at Meliá Buenavista are both refreshing and gorgeous...the perfect way to wake-up each morning. ♥ Playing beach volleyball each morning at Meliá Cayo Santa María was not only fun, but helped us work off our breakfast! ♥ Sipping on cocktails in the lobby of Meliá Las Dunas each evening, listening to fabulous live music. Photo, BRIDE & GROOM: (♥)

Photo, BRIDE & GROOM: (♥)


bridal guide to gorgeous photography PhotoS: (♥)

After the whirlwind is over, your wedding photos are the ultimate souvenir from your wedding day. Beautiful photos will last a lifetime, making a little bit of research and preparation a key part of your wedding planning. It's all about looking fabulous in print, having fun with your photo shoots and above all, making sure you choose the right photographer for you.

CHOOSING YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER WISELY An expert tip by Todd Durnan of TJ Durnan Photography ( THE FIRST 80%: what's important to you? The first thing that you have to do is decide how important your wedding pictures are to you. For me, the images will be with you forever, and finding someone who’s style you truly love is an incredibly important thing. Find someone that you LOVE not just someone that you like. If you do this you will be 80% of the way to being elated with the results.


Will they deliver? Once you've decided whose work you love (and there is sure to be more than one) go through their portfolios and look for consistency in the work. True professionals deliver on their style over and over without fail. Every set looks like they belong to same artist. If a photographer is constantly changing their style or the way their images look, you'll never know what you're images will look like until you've received them. Don't forget to ask for references from past brides. This should give you a better idea of what you can expect. [Editor's Note: Photographers will often evolve and develop their style as their careers move forward, but you'll likely see a similar artistic thread throughout.] The First Date The first date with your prospective photographer is your first meeting. The first time you and your husband or wife to be met up you were checking them out and looking at the details. Do they fit my style and personality? Are they fun, serious, or a perfect blend of the two? Do I feel comfortable or nervous? All of these thoughts are things that should be considered when meeting potential photographers. You will spend more time with this person than any other vendor that you choose for your day, so you want to mesh well. The Contract Although most of us loath dealing with contracts and the legal stuff, this is a big investment and you need to know that you're going to be taken care of. Take the time to go through the photographer's contract, and ask questions if anything is unclear. There should be items that cover you if something happens to go wrong, and also points that are there to ensure that the photographer will be able to do their best work also. Make sure that the deliverables are clearly called out and what the photographer can use the images for as well. If they don't have a contract for you to go through then my advice is to walk away or be very honest with yourself about the potential risks. The Gear Gear and equipment are important to understand from a back-up point of view. ALL professionals have at least two of everything, and sometimes, three or four. This includes the basic gear that is required. Anything less will mean that any gear failure will certainly impact your day and your photos. It's also important to touch on the digital files and how they are backed up after the day is done. Make sure that there are multiple backups and at least one system that is not at the photographers studio... just in case. - Todd Durnan, TJ Durnan Photography GET LOCAL. PLAN FABULOUS! • 69

photography guide PhotoS: (♥)

Help your Photographer stick to your Timeline Wedding day timelines can be one of the trickiest parts of planning your wedding. In fact, wedding photos are often seen as a major cause for wedding day delays. To find out how couples and their guests can help keep the photo portion of the day running smoothly, we asked Alicia Riley Photography (♥) ( to share her timeline tips and tricks! At a recent wedding, I was reminded of why planning a wedding schedule is so important, not only for you and your photographer, but for your guests as well. I had to make a pit stop at the Inn where we had just wrapped up the days after-ceremony photos. The venue was very strict on their reception start time and would not allow guests to go inside until that time. I overheard a few ladies talking about how annoyingly long pictures take after the ceremony. Giggling to myself (after all, we had been done taking photos for over a half hour) it made me very aware of how tricky the wedding day timeline can be. It's a good thing I have thick skin because I'm usually the one blamed for things running a little long. There are reasons why photographers "take so long". If you've looked into wedding photography recently, you've probably noticed that most have gone way above and beyond the standard statue poses and high flash lighting. Every day, wedding photographers are turning countless shots into master pieces of art. And they're doing it under very short time constraints. FOR THE BRIDE & GROOM: Things to consider when you're planning your wedding day: An ever-more popular solution is a cocktail hour at the reception venue. Consider doing your photographs close by so that you don't keep your guests waiting too long. Music also goes a long way in entertaining too. Consider hiring live musicians like a string quartet or cover band if your budget allows. Guests will be meeting and mingling with other members of the guest list while you capture images you'll love for a lifetime. Ask that only family members that are having their picture taken accompany the wedding party and the photographer. You'll be less distracted with people trying to pull you aside or 'grab a quick photo'. One hundred 'quick photos' take a lot of time and keep you from getting back to your own big party. I often have my couples stand together outside the ceremony specifically to allow guests to get their opportunity to take a photo. If you plan on taking lots of time for your photography, consider including attractions or nearby restaurants with your invitations. Suggest places to grab an

70 • The Wedding Ring |

appetizer and a drink, a mini-golf course or something fun to do in the meantime. If you're doing an outside or tent reception, come up with some fun games. They could be as simple as horseshoes, for your guests to start up on their own. Etsy has TONS of fun hand-made ideas and for those on a budget, the dollar store is a wonderful place to find cost effective entertainment. Do photos before the ceremony to save time. Today the bride's "big reveal" usually happens when she walks down the aisle. But, did you know it was originally done for arranged marriages, to ensure that the couple didn't have a chance to change their minds. Having your photos taken before the ceremony could allow you to join the party right after the ceremony- how much fun would that be?! Since there are so many restrictions with vendors, it's hard to plan a day that flows perfectly. Try to contact your venue or your photographer prior to your big day to come up with some ideas to accommodate your guests. Remember that on the day of the wedding the only thing you can do is sit back, relax and enjoy the day as it happens. And if the photo portion of your big day goes a little long and someone needs to point a finger, blame me, I'm used to it. :) - Alicia Riley, Alicia Riley Photography

PhotoS: (♥)

photography guide

THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN HIRING A PHOTGRAPHER Justin Reid of Latte Productions (♥) ( weighs in with his opinion of what couples need to ask and know of their photographer before committing to a contract.


Regardless of the style title or fancy terminology, be sure the outcomes of that style are consistent with what attracts your interest. Consider styles with mixes aimed to weddings such as candid with formals and posed with natural. These mixed approaches will keep the wedding coverage looking sharp with the right style for the right moment.


Find out if your photographer has a turn-around time of weeks or months. Ask how long until you receive your wedding photos in a finished state. Get assurances from your photographer in writing about expected turnaround.


Will your photographer accept your creative input into the photography approach or have they limited the approach to only their clearly defined techniques. A cre-

ative wedding photographer will embrace their couples need to be unique and will always find a way to work in special requests.


Make sure you have it in clear writing who owns what rights to the photos. Never accept a verbal agreement as by default in the absence of a contract the photographer has the final say. In today’s digital world full of social networks, it is entirely possible you won’t ever print a single photo. Make sure you have the rights to post and upload them.

ResponsE & RESPONSibility

How long does it take to receive a response from your photographer? If you email or call them right now will you see a response within the hour, day, or week? There will be times when you will need to make last minute changes or get input in a timely manner, make sure they will be able to provide you with that. - Justin Reid of Latte Productions

bridal show SURVIVAL TIPS

1. PRINT PERSONALIZED LABELS Shows are home to some of the best giveaways of the year. You have the chance to win items such as honeymoon getaways and huge online shopping sprees. Save yourself from hand cramps by printing labels at home. When you circulate through the various booths at the show, stick your labels onto the many ballots you’d otherwise have to fill out by hand. On your labels, include... • bride’s name • groom’s name • wedding date • address & phone number (these are sometimes optional, but you will want to at least include your city of residence) • email address 2. PREPARE TO CARRY ON Be sure to bring a bag with a comfortable shoulder strap, a backpack, or better yet, a bridal party (or the groom!) to help carry things. A carry-on size suitcase with wheels would take the load off as well. You’ll be given countless brochures, gifts and magazines and you don’t want to be left juggling them for hours. GET LOCAL. PLAN FABULOUS! • 71

Article written by the team at The Ring, with Kyla Poirier, Wedding Planner at Bingemans (♥) ( and Fern Almeida of Cloydon Dreamdecor ( Each bride has her own style, walking the aisle to her own beat. Especially when it comes to design. And who better to talk to about style than Bingemans (♥), who's fabulous venues host countless weddings each year in the tri-cities area... and Cloydon Dreamdecor (♥), who's designed the extravagant décor for hundreds of weddings out of their Londonarea location. "It's important for each couple to establish their wedding theme before anything else. Once established, the couple can begin to choose the venue, food, favours, and even the dress based on one consistent theme," said Kyla Poirier, wedding planner at Bingemans in Kitchener. From Barn Brides to Ballroom Brides, the Bingemans locations offer different space options for every bride, with each presenting a style of it's own, to match the bride.

Fern Almeida, owner of Cloydon Dreamdecor told The Ring that decorating tends to fall into one of four basic styles of wedding décor. She says, "And each of us is drawn to one of those, no matter what our personal decorating style is." BARN BRIDES: Steckle Heritage Farm offers that gorgeous rustic location so many brides are looking for today.

URBAN CHIC BRIDES: The Tannery Event Centre offers a historical, urban space.

Traditional BRIDES: A traditional or "white wedding" theme is by far the most popular option, epitomizing love, devotion and loyalty; both elegant and stylish. Kyla recommends the ballroom at Bingemans as it includes crystal chandeliers among other elegant features, providing the perfect ambience for a traditional wedding reception. Fern

BALLROOM BRIDES: Ballrooms such as this one at Bingemans, offer elegance and beauty.

ARTISTIC BRIDES: The Waterloo Region's Museum offers brilliant light, art, and overall design.

recommends using understated accessories; a touch of antiques, drapes that have under treatments of pleated sheers and single colours to adorn the event. Modern BRIDES: "When a modern bride pictures her wedding day, she sees herself in an industrial urban space rather than a traditional church. Modern weddings are becoming more popular, with brides opting to skip the three-tiered cake for a colourful tower of cupcakes and macaroons," says Kyla. She recommends the Tannery Event Centre ( for modern brides. The Tannery is a historical charmer that has been modernized, making it ideal for a chic and sophisticated couple. Fern adds that a sleek and fresh design palette, bold personal statement, and smooth lines without frills are ideal for the modern bride. "Colours often include black, white, some neutrals and brights [work well]," explains Fern. Casual BRIDES: Country girl at heart? Having your reception in a barn could possibly be the cutest idea yet. And, it's a very very popular one. Once you've found a clean, great looking barn, Kyla recommends using mason jars as your favours, cowboy boots on your bridesmaids, and twinkle lights hanging from an enchanting barn sets a stunning and charming contrast, especially for your wedding photos. Kyla says that Steckle Heritage Farm ( is ideal for the country couple. This facility provides a rural environment within the city, allowing you to customize your DIY country style to all the unique expectations that you have for your guests. Fern adds that utilizing softer fabrics and natural materials will help your theme come to life. Formal BRIDES: The formal bride is all about elegance and symmetry. Ferns suggests thinking about including antique gold, pewter and silver metallic accents throughout the décor for a truly elegant formal affair. Décor elements are normally arranged in pairs and lead to a focal point within the event.

Four photos (above), and décor, courtesy of Cloydon Dreamdecor.



Bingemans owns and operates a catering service and conference centre in addition to several entertainment facilities. Whether you are planning a large reception or an intimate celebration, their team offer personal consultation, detailed planning and expert staff to help make your wedding day flawless. In addition, Bingemans, offers unique off-site boutique event locations at the Tannery Event Centre and Steckle Heritage Farm. Cloydon Dreamdecor, located in London, is a full service decorating firm offering innovative décor solutions for weddings, corporate events, fundraising galas, bar & bat mitzvahs, theme parties and any other special occasion.


FAVOURITE THINGS At The Wedding Ring we absolutely love going on the hunt for those cool, unique, fun finds that we know brides won’t be able to resist. Here are just a few of the many things that we think are must-haves for the ultimate wedding day. Captured by Images With Attitude (♥) (


We were instantly in love with this unique twist on wedding day florals. These lovely paper flowers are made up of hand folded petals using specialty card stock and carefully put together for each bride. FOREVER YOURS PAPER PETALS (♥) (www.foreverpaperpetals. com) custom designs each to suit your colour, style and budget. From bouquets, boutonnieres and corsages to hair pieces and centerpieces, it adds an everlasting twist to your wedding day (items starting from $25.00 to $150+).

Stay glam all night long

This must have make-up set from ELIZABETH GRANT SKINCARE ( features everything you’ll need for a glam wedding day. The At Last Lipstain ($20.00) is wax-free, so your colour can last up to eight hours. Put the finishing touch on your eye-popping makeup with dramatic lashes that give you a gorgeous flutter. The Intensive Eyelash Conditioning Serum ($30.00) transforms thin eyelashes to thicker, fuller eyelashes. When you seal your nuptials with a kiss, make the moment even more special with The Intensive Collagen Lip Plumper ($20.00), a moisturizing treatment that helps plump up your pout, giving you kissable lips all night long.

Luxury Lingerie

Custom Creations

With custom invitations from SCRIBES NOOK (♥) ( you can truly create something that is all about YOU. Choose the paper that you love, experiment with embossing, add a full pocket for info like directions and accommodations... Your creative options are endless AND affordable (folders starts at $4.50)!

Highlighting your hair

Have fun with your hair with these fabulous Farbella hair pins (24.00 for set of 3). We love the way these look when they hit the light, adding just the right amount of sparkle as you walk down the aisle. Found at ENVIE Intimates (♥) (


If you’re looking for favors that your guests can really use on your wedding day, you’ll love these dramatic, black damask fan favours from THE WEDDING SHOPPE (♥) ( They’re a cool, compact choice for a wedding on a warm summer day ($2.39 each). 76 • The Wedding Ring |

This sexy marlies|dekkers bra and underwear set from their Blue & White China Spring 2012 Collection embodies luxury and sophistication with its exclusive fashionable designs. This sexy bra gives you a revealing and sexy shape thanks to the closely fitted wires. The bottoms suit all body types with tons of coverage, even partially covering the hips and groin area for added support ($59.00 for the bottoms, $135.00 for the bra). Available ENVIE Intimates (♥) (

Rewarding your ring bearer He’ll feel like the star of the show when he sees his photo in the center of this charming personalized ring bearer magazine frame ($36.00). Available at THE WEDDING SHOP (♥) (, it’s a terrific way to honour the littlest member of the wedding party; this frame resembles a real magazine cover, complete with “articles” and colorful decoration. Personalization includes ring bearer’s name and wedding date. Adorable!

Put your best face forward

We’ve tried and LOVE this Mineral Sheer Veil in Champagne from JACHA MINERALS (♥) ( It takes dull, dry skin from drab to fab instantly for a radiant and glowing look on your wedding day. It conditions and protects skin with a potent blend of antioxidants, including Vitamins A and E, Ginkgo Biloba and Ginseng root extracts. Use it under your foundation and it’ll reflect the light away from any imperfections for flawless skin on your wedding day AND in your photos. ($30).

Inspired invites

This black and white invitation above from PAPERBOAT CREATIONS (♥) ( reminds us of a classic black tie affair, finished with black ribbon to bring it all together (starting at $4.50). Says Paperboat Invitation Designer Elena Sebekos, “Sometimes when you play around with the typography you can create something so elegant yet simple at the same time.” Their destination wedding invites will leave your guests counting down the days to your wedding. The gorgeous keepsake invitation set (above) not only gives your guests all of the needto-knows about your wedding, but information on the wedding destination, accommodations and photos. It had us yearning for a trip to the Greek Islands (starting at $8.00/invite).

Put your cards on the table

These personalized playing cards are a great way to mark the day you exchanged vows. Each order of personalized cards comes uniquely packaged within its own personalized white tuck box for a pretty and practical guest favour ($10.99 each. A $55.00 set-up fee applies). Found at THE WEDDING SHOPPE (♥) (

Love is Brewing

Get cozy with themed winter drink mix favors. Ideal for fall and winter weddings, these delicious favours will have your friends and loved ones fondly remembering your wedding day as they sip a warm drink on a chilly night. These sweet favours don’t require any extra packaging! Each large muslin bag is printed with a logo that reads “Love is Brewing” and contains a single-serving packet of personalized hot cocoa, apple cider, cappuccino or chai tea mix ($3.15 each. A one time graphic printing fee of $9.99 applies). Available at THE WEDDING SHOPPE (♥) (

EspressO yourself

PHOTOS, ABOVE: Timelessly elegant in black and white, one of the season’s hottest picks is the dramatic effect of contrasting color provided by this damask themed espresso cup and saucer set ($7.30). Show off your style and attention to detail and leave guests breathless with this ultra chic and practical keepsake gift. Add to your “shoe collection” and share your ultra high sense of style with this “too hip high heel” themed espresso cup and saucer set and designer gift box ($7.30). Brilliant colorful artistic design brings this truly unique set to life - the perfect something to express the fashionista in you. Practical and ultra fun, make a statement as any real Diva would while saying thank-you! From THE WEDDING SHOP (♥) (

Tropical toppers

Made of hand painted resin, this beach couple figurine is the perfect piece to bring along in your carry-on for your destination wedding. The groom lovingly carries his bride in the sand, decorated with a heart and the words “Just Married.” A bit of ocean blue and a scattering of seashells add extra details for a show-stopping wedding cake ($33.99). Found at THE WEDDING SHOP (♥) (

Make a Wish

We tried these wish lantern’s from THE WEDDING SHOP (♥) ( and absolutely love them for a wedding ceremony. A safe and unique alternative to fireworks, they are fully biodegradable, non-flammable, easy to use and create an amazing visual effect, as the glow from the lantern floats up into the sky. All you have to do is set light to the cardboard fuel cell attached to the lantern, wait for it to fill up with hot air, make your wish and gaze as the wish lantern floats up to the sky ($9.99).


These beautiful leather, Italian style albums from IMAGES WITH ATTITUDE (♥) ( are completely custom designed for you. This brand new line features a stunning high gloss acrylic cover and pages filled with beautiful panoramic photos. Choose everything from your favourite wedding photos, to thick or thin pages, to the album finish (starting at $300). A timeless keepsake, these albums are the perfect way to preserve your wedding story. GET LOCAL. PLAN FABULOUS! • 77


Fabulous Favours

A treat for your toes

When you’re ready for a bit of comfort on your wedding day, you’ll want to keep a pair of SALLAZZO slipper’s handy ( These Canadian made slippers are all about fashionable comfort, made with genuine Swarovski crystals, pretty lace, sparkling gems and satin bows. They’re breathable, cushioned and the perfect footwear to dance the night away (from $20 to $ 25 ).

Fit for a King

Make a statement with the Crowned Jewel Collection, inspired by nothing less than royalty. Available at THE WEDDING SHOP (♥) (, the elegant guest book ($44.98), ring pillow ($34.98) and flower girl basket ($44.98) each features a regal crystal embellishment set atop a classic satin ribbon. Stylish, chic and creatively unique, pick up the entire collection for a coordinated look.

From Stilettos to Flats

You can get creative by thinking outside AND inside the box, thanks to the exclusive Design Your Own Collection of favour boxes. Design your own custom label and then fill them with your favorite special treats for a one-of-a-kind memento of your big day. These favours come bulk packed with the self sticking label sheets included for easy application (starting at $0.99 each). PHOTO, RIGHT: These pretty, sweet shoppe candy boxes prove practical can also be magical. From a cute little bird to darling dots and stripes, choose from a full range of colours to create the perfect label for your favour boxes ($16.50 for a set of 12). Each box comes with a satin bow coinciding with the colour of the box. Mix and match multiple bow and box colours for a unique, contrasting look. Available at THE WEDDING SHOPPE (♥) (

These Footzyrolls flats are a must-have for any bachelorette party ($25.00). Simply place your Footzyrolls in your favourite clutch before you head out. When your tootsies are tired, unroll into comfort... with street walkable shoes! Insert your heels into the Footzybag to easily tote them home. Found at ENVIE Intimates (♥) (

A dream destination

Gorgeous white sand, crystal clear water and breathtaking views make the beach at the OCCIDENTAL GRAND NUEVO VALLARTA in Mexico one of our absolute favourite places for destination couples to say ‘I do’. Add luxury accommodations, a fabulous location and it’s easy to see why this is a “must check out” for any couples’ destination wedding wish list.


heavenly heels

We can’t get enough of these fabulous customized red and cream Signature Bridal Shoes (starting at $225). At URBAN BRIDE BOUTIQUE (♥) ( you can get creative with your wedding shoes, adding your own personal touches for a totally new and creative shoe experience. A shoeaholics dream!

Wedding Ideas & Trends

own wedding. "One of the great things about the site is that it adds the homemade touch to things. You can get anything from jewellery, signage for your wedding, accessories, invitations, veils and fascinators."

Alternative Registries


When it comes to choosing a wedding registry, couples are looking for something other than the typical gift registry. LIFEEXPERIENCES.COM offers a fun online "experiences registry" for the modern bride and groom. Guests can log on and purchase a "romance experience," like a weekend getaway to Niagara or an intimate cooking class with a world class chef. The thrill-seeking couple will love the "adventure experiences," with options like a private flying lesson, hang gliding adventure or helicopter ride over Toronto. Perfect for the couple looking for something totally unique!

SHOE photoS:

More and more brides are opting for a second look for their reception and this birdcage veil is the perfect way to do so. Available at COUTURE THREADS (♥) ( in Stratford, this Monica Viani custom millinery birdcage veil (seen above) comes with a gorgeous detachable flower. Simply put it on like a headband and attach the flower wherever you like. You can also take the veil off and just clip in the flower after your ceremony for your second look. Love it!


Photo above: Eugene Choi

For an uber dramatic wedding day look, brides are turning to eyelash extensions to add length, thickness and fullness to natural eyelashes (think hair extensions for your lashes). Lash extensions are individual eyelashes applied directly to the natural eyelash with a special bonding agent to help seamlessly create the look of naturally longer, fuller eyelashes. Companies like GOOD GOSH EYELASH EXTENSIONS (www.goodgoshbeauty. com), based out of downtown Toronto, let you choose everything from something subtle - rougly 35 lashes per eye - like The MacGraw ($115 ), all the way up to The Kardashian ($275) which has over 75 lashes per eye. Good Gosh Beauty uses synthetic mink lashes so that they're naturallooking, weightless, and durable and can be brushed, batted and winked on your big day.

Buying 'home made'

There's nothing more satisfying that sourcing a fabulous local artisan to make that one perfect wedding item for you, by hand, according entirely to your design specs. But if you're not in the the right shopping/art circles, finding what you want can be easier said than done. We think that's why so many brides surf in search of inspiration and artisans. ETSY is a popular way for couples to get inspired for their special day. The site allows shoppers to either just browse for inspiration, or to purchase items online from local and international 'shop keepers' who have the talent and time to make them, often. Jessie Whigham, Event Coordinator and Wedding Planner at Stratford Country Club (♥) (, says she not only loves sending her brides to Etsy, but has personally purchased items like a personalized wedding hanger for her 78 • The Wedding Ring |


Just when we thought we couldn't love shoes any more than we already do, Simona, owner of URBAN BRIDE BOUTIQUE (♥) (, sent us these photos of the new shoe clips she just brought in. Yes, it's true. You can now accessorize your shoes, similar to the way you can customize your veil (above, left), with shoe clips. In this case, Simona took a pair of basic satin pumps and made them truly fabulous with a sweet brooch that just about any bride could love. *sigh* More shoe clips are available to browse in this Galt, Ontario area shop. We also fell in love with the delicate details found in these pale pink open toe satin pumps. Named Neva, from the Nina Bridal Footwear line (starting at $129), they can be found at URBAN BRIDE BOUTIQUE.

PROS Go High Tech



ENVIE Intimates (♥) ( has been known to embrace social media, community events, and print media, all in their mission to help women feel gorgeous and empowered, both above and beneath their bridal gown. We love their bridal guide to finding the right intimate apparel and undergarments for you. For example, if you're wearing a ballgown, ENVIE suggests a lengthening bustier with a centre panel to support and lift your bustline. Wearing something strapless? Try a bustier with a hidden underwire. With sizes A to K, it's the easiest way to make sure that you accent your figure in all the right places! The guide is now available at ENVIE Intimates.


If you don't have a huge guest list and therefore no need for a lavish five-tiered wedding cake, try thinking smaller. Keep both the size and design of your wedding cake small, but sweet. The two-tiered cakes in the photo below, created by Kitchener-based Jirina's Bridal and Cakes (♥) (, look gorgeous and yet are overall, very simplistic in design and size - also making them budgetfriendly. Use creative cake plate and stands to add height and make more of an impact. Also, consider using smaller wedding cakes on each of the guest tables at your reception in place of centrepieces.

Get Pinterested

The online photo/idea sharing site, Pinterest, is super hot right now, especially with brides. Except for a few kinks here and there (particularly if surfing with a mobile device such as an iPad), Pinterest is an easy way to gather, catalogue and share inspiration in the form of photos. It's essentially a virtual pinboard at the


design palettes app

Brides, wedding decorators and coordinators have been creating inspiration boards as a base for designing the many details of the wedding day. That's why January 2012 marked the launch of The Ring's Online Design Palettes App for brides and wedding professionals to take their boards to the next level. Add photos, name and tag your palettes, all within your own design dashboard. Drag & drop files for ease. Different layouts and social media plugs are built in to make it easy to share and collaborate! Print your palettes for your planning binder or post them either online or in The Ring. Like all good things should be, the app is free for brides. :) Visit to start designing today! GET LOCAL. PLAN FABULOUS! • 79

ideas & trends

Ten years ago, many wedding vendors checked email roughly once a week, and numerous didn't have website. But, in today's wedding industry, it's fair to say that wedding experts have seriously plugged in. Even wedding vendors who've been in business for thirty years are getting into the high tech revolution, making wedding planning even easier for today's brides. Take the newest mobile app created by the Southwestern Ontario wedding destination venue, HESSENLAND COUNTRY INN (♥) ( Available for the iPhone, Blackberry and Android (um, how cool is that!?), the app is designed to take wedding planning to a new (easier) level for you and your guests. Brides have access to a wedding cheat sheet of common wedding FAQs, a list of suppliers in the area, and even a grooms section. Our favourite men in black (tuxedos) will find info on local golf courses, beer and liquor stores and formalwear. Guests can get in on the action with a section all about the accommodations, maps, parking and contact information. The app also includes a section on up-coming wedding related events at Hessenland.

click of your mouse. Wedding Planner, Jessie Whigham, from the Stratford Country Club (♥) ( says she is hooked on Pinterest for wedding planning. "I just love how you can exchange ideas freely with people you don’t even know. The stuff that you like can be pinned to your board for yourself to reference whenever you want. Brides can start a board that is just shared with members of her wedding party and members of that specific board can then add ideas they think will work with the vision of the couples day." Visit The Ring's Pinterest boards, filled with design palettes, flowers, fashion and more: for our latest pins.

BRANTFORD BRIDAL SHOW September 30th, 2012 at the Best Western Brant Park Inn 19 Holiday Drive in Brantford

FALL NATIONAL BRIDAL SHOW September 7th-9th, 2012 at the International Centre, Hall 5 6900 Airport Road in Mississauga

WOODSTOCK BRIDAL SHOWCASE October 9th, 2012 at the Oxford Auditorium Woodstock Fairgrounds 875 Nellis Street in Woodstock

DELHI/NORFOLK BRIDAL SHOW September 9th, 2012 at the Delhi District German Home 443 James Street in Delhi

CONESTOGA COUNTRY CLUB BRIDAL EXPO October 14th, 2012 at the Conestoga Country Club 400 Golf Course Road in Conestogo

BRANTFORD BRIDAL SHOWCASE September 9th, 2012 Best Western Brant Park Inn 19 Holiday Drive in Brantford KITCHENER BRIDAL SHOWCASE September 16th, 2012 Kitchener City Hall 200 King Street West in Kitchener HAMILTON BRIDAL SHOWCASE September 18th, 2012 Michelangelo Banquet Centre 1555 Upper Ottawa Street in Hamilton 3RD ANNUAL ST. MARYS BRIDAL SHOW September 23rd, 2012 Pyramid Recreation Centre 317 James Street South in St. Marys KW BOUTIQUE BRIDAL SHOW September 23rd, 2012 at the Delta Hotel Kitchener Waterloo 105 King Street East in Kitchener THE RING'S BRIDAL EXPO 2012 September 23rd, 2012 Brides unite @ the Waterloo Inn! 475 King Street North in Waterloo TORONTO'S BRIDAL SHOW September 21-23rd, 2012 at Exhibition Place-Direct Energy Centre, Hall D 100 Princes' Boulevard in Toronto THE ULTIMATE BRIDAL SHOW September 29th, 2012 at the Living Arts Centre 4141 Living Arts Drive in Mississauga HAMILTON-HALTON FALL WEDDING SHOW September 29th-30th, 2012 at the The Careport Centre 270 Longwood Road South in Hamilton

TORONTO FRUGAL GIRL EVENTS BRIDAL SHOW October 14th, 2012 at the Four Seasons by Sheraton 6257 Airport Road in Mississauga SIMCOE BRIDAL SHOWCASE October 16th, 2012 at the Vittoria Community Centre 350 Oakes Boulevard in Vittoria

• Late st

a .c

YOUR DAY, YOUR WAY BRIDAL SHOW August 26th, 2012 at the Tannery Event Centre 151 Charles Street West in Kitchener

INGERSOLL BOUTIQUE BRIDAL SHOW February 3rd, 2013 at the ElmHurst Inn & Spa 415 Harris Street in Ingersoll

eddingRing W

BURLINGTON BRIDAL SHOWCASE September 30th, 2012 at Halton Hills Place 3090 Steeles Avenue West in Milton

THE GARDEN SPRING BRIDAL FAIR February 23rd & 24th, 2013 at The Garden Banquet & Convention Centre 8 Clipper Court in Brampton YOUR DAY, YOUR WAY BRIDAL SHOW February 24th, 2013 at the Tannery Event Centre 151 Charles Street West in Kitchener WEDDING EXPO March 3rd, 2013 at St. Thomas Golf & Country Club 42325 Sparta Line in Union WISH UPON A STAR BRIDAL SHOW March 24th, 2013 at The London Club 177 Queens Avenue in London YOUR DAY, YOUR WAY BRIDAL SHOW August 18th, 2013 at the Tannery Event Centre 151 Charles Street West in Kitchener

HURON COUNTY BRIDAL EXPO October 28th, 2012 at the Bluewater Shores Lakefront Resort 77683 Bluewater Highway in Clinton THE RING'S BRIDAL EXPO 2013 January 5th & 6th, 2013 Brides unite @ the Waterloo Inn! 475 King Street North in Waterloo bridalexpo PARIS BRIDAL GALA January 20th, 2013 at the Paris Fairgrounds 139 Silver Street in Paris STRATFORD COUNTRY CLUB BOUTIQUE BRIDAL SHOW January 26th, 2013 at the Stratford Country Club 53 Romeo Street North in Stratford

** Show times and details are subject to change. Please check applicable websites for updates prior to the show.


feature story

ANCASTER WEDDING SHOW August 19th, 2012 at the Ancaster Fairgrounds 630 Trinity Road in Jerseyville

tes • Th e Da


ws & Show Ne


Wedding Worthy Halls is designed to give you an inside look at some of the amazing wedding locations that can be found across Southwestern Ontario. Browse the profiles for the basics such as capacity and bar options, or read about some of the reasons these halls book quickly. For reviews and more details on locations, visit GROSVENOR LODGE

IN LONDON Long-time favourite Grosvenor Lodge, is a 150 year old mansion with a long list of wedding day features such as a windy staircase, stained glass windows and a kitchen garden. Indoor or outdoor reception space, plenty of parking, a park setting in the heart of London. 519-645-2845 | INDOOR RECEPTIONS 60 (SIT DOWN) TO 100 GUESTS OUTDOOR TENT RECEPTIONS UP TO 120 GUEST


BEST WESTERN® PLUS Stoneridge Inn & Conference Centre

IN LONDON Exceptional cuisine, innovative customized menus, three elegant banquet rooms with fabulous stone fireplaces, outdoor waterfall gardens, unique individual wedding packages, newly remodelled hotel rooms, century old “Rose Chapel,” personal Wedding Coordinator. 519-652-6022 | UP TO 120 GUESTS FULL BAR SERVICE | ON-SITE CATERING ONLY

Above and beyond your expectations. A picture perfect setting with amazing views from our raised outdoor deck. Pine Knot is well known for outstanding food and impeccable service. No additional charge for on-site ceremonies. 519-268-2986 | 125+ GUESTS | FULL BAR SERVICE | ON-SITE CATERING

LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION Where you host your wedding day whether it be in a heritage mansion, a crystal ballroom, or a tent beneath the stars - is a decision guaranteed to play an integral role in the overall style and atmosphere of your fairytale. Choose the venue that is truly perfect for you. 84 • The Wedding Ring |

DOWDING WEDDING GARDENS IN STRATHROY-CARADOC Magnificent, secluded private park setting twenty minutes west of London. Magical night ambience! Ponds, fountains, beautiful gardens. “Japanese Garden or “Wedding Garden”, tented reception, choice of caterers, wedding coordinator on-site.


CONCORDIA CLUB IN KITCHENER Known for throwing one of the biggest and most famous Oktoberfest parties annually, this is also the place to host an elegant wedding reception, from small and intimate to large and lavish.


Forest City National Golf Club IN LONDON THE BLACK FOREST INN IN CONESTOGO The Black Forest Inn offers an all-inclusive wedding package, saving you time and stress. The package includes your DJ, décor, cake, photography, and an in-house Wedding Coordinator. Find them on Facebook.

Panoramic views, manicured grounds, and exquisite cuisine are rivaled only by the service and amenities of Forest City National Golf Club. The elegantly decorated Grand Hall is nestled on 275 picturesque acres hugging the southeast shore of Fanshawe Lake, an ideal setting for any occasion. EXECUTIVE CHEF MICHAEL @ 519-451-0994 ext. 230 GRAND HALL 200 TO 250 GUESTS | PLAYERS LOUNGE 2 TO 50 GUESTS | BOARD ROOM 2 TO 12 GUESTS | PATIO 200 TO 250 GUESTS | ON-SITE CATERING | FULL BAR SERVICE


Elm Hurst Inn & Spa

PHOTO: One2One Photography

In Ingersoll




All-inclusive wedding packages for fifty to five hundred guests, Atrium ceremonies, elegant Ballroom, special accommodation rates, Wedding Planners on-site, customized menu selections, fantastic indoor photo shoot locations, décor options.


A picture perfect venue for indoor or outdoor celebrations, featuring unique reception spaces and beautfully manicured grounds. All-inclusive Wedding Packages. On-site Wedding Coordinator. Inspired by tradition since 1872. 1-800-561-5321 | 2 TO 230 guests | Full Bar Service | On-site catering



IN KITCHENER Stunning view of the Grand River. Outdoor wedding ceremonies available with two private reception facilities to choose from. All inclusive packages. A reputation for exceeding expectations for over 35 years. 519-579-4050 | 40 TO 250 GUESTS | FULL BAR SERVICE | ON-SITE CATERING

ELSIE PERRIN WILLIAMS ESTATE IN LONDON Indulge in the luxury of having a century-old mansion to yourself for the entire day. Beautiful and timeless, a perfect locale for a wedding day. Reputation for upscale weddings, indoors and out. 519-432-6620 OR 519-432-7961 | INDOOR WEDDINGS FOR 80 TO 120 GUESTS | OUTDOOR TENT WEDDINGS FOR 100 TO 150 GUESTS

IVEY SPENCER LEADERSHIP CENTRE IN LONDON One of London’s most exclusive addresses for a dream wedding. Excellent grounds for photos, elegant manor house and a location close to the heart of the city. Unique multi-room layout. Award winning Chef. Jennifer Clark @ 519-675-5525 | UP TO 170 GUESTS




BERKSHIRE CLUB IN LONDON A venue for all of life’s special moments. We offer an intimate setting for up to 100 guests for banquets and 120 guests for cocktail receptions as well as ceremony facilities. Full catering and beverage service with attention to detail. 519-471-4590 | 100 TO 120 GUESTS | FULL BAR SERVICE | ON-SITE CATERING

A beautiful backdrop for any style of wedding. Ceremony and reception location with fabulous menu and décor options, views overlooking the eighteen hole golf course, and an exceptional service team. 519-271-4212 | 150 GUESTS FULL BAR SERVICE | ON-SITE CATERING


formally known as The Cutten Club

IN GUELPH Choosing a club that is recognized as one of the finest in the country means reputation, history and elegance. High ceilings with natural light, fireplaces and personalized service means an unforgettable evening. 519-824-2650 | BALLROOM RECEPTION | 10 TO 200 GUESTS FULL BAR SERVICE | ON-SITE CATERING ONLY


wedding worthy halls

HESSENLAND COUNTRY INN IN ST. JOSEPH (ZURICH) Combining history, countryside and European elegance for your wedding celebration. Gardens, gazebos, ponds, The Coach House Reception Hall and the newly renovated Garden Room- for all seasons. 1-866-543-7736 OR 519-236-7707 | COACH HOUSE 180 GUESTS | GARDEN ROOM 70 GUESTS FULL BAR SERVICE | ON-SITE CATERING

Professional Consultants, elegant hall for up to two hundred guest, décor options, customizable dance floor, state of the art sound system, award winning Chef, creative menus and full bar service. 519-660-8063 | 200 GUESTS FULL BAR SERVICE | ON-SITE CATERING

WATERLOO INN IN WATERLOO From an intimate wedding in our Private Dining Room, to an all out affair for 500 in our Viennese Ballroom or Regent Room, our experienced Catering Executives will assist in planning your special day. We offer one great location for wedding ceremony and reception options, rehearsal dinners, space for guests and honeymoon suites and a new luxury spa on site! 519-884-0220 | 155 GUESTROOMS | VARIETY OF VENUES FOR DINNERS AND RECEPTIONS FOR 20-500 | HOST OR CASH BAR | CREATIVE MENU OPTIONS

FIREROCK GOLF CLUB IN KOMOKA Unique contemporary country club for seventy to two-hundred fifty seated guests. Large patio, three fantastic ceremony locations, gorgeous setting, great photo ops! Customized catering, choice of bar options.

IN LONDON Celebrate your future with a step back in time. Choose a 19th century church or beautiful park with gazebo for your unique wedding ceremony, and heritage barn or expansive grounds for your reception.


519-457-1296 | UP TO 400 GUESTS | ON-SITE CATERING

HAUSER HALL IN HEIDELBERG Hauser Hall has two floors of beautiful décor and space for your ceremony, reception, and dance. From front to back, the hall offers both natural and contemporary sunken lighting, cathedral ceilings, and hardwood floors. Originally an 1800s church! 519-747-1138 x 255 | 100 GUESTS | IDEAL FOR CEREMONY, DINNER AND RECEPTION

PHOTO: The Last Forty Percent Photography



The Wedding Ring Magazine ONTARIO - Fall/Winter 2012  
The Wedding Ring Magazine ONTARIO - Fall/Winter 2012  

Southwestern Ontario brides unite! Fabulous local magazine is filled with design palettes, local experts, fashion, budget and planning tips....