Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A Bride's Attire... Tips and Ideas: Shoes

The hardest part of wedding attire shopping is done - you've chosen the wedding dress of your dreams! Now, its time to have a bit of fun as you begin to shop for the elements of your wedding attire that will really make the day a statement of YOU...

So - first off - Shoes!! I mean, what woman doesn't love shoes?! But when it comes to selecting the shoes that you'll wear for your wedding day, you need to put some careful thought into this selection... yes, style is important... but so is comfort!

The options for shoes are as wide and varied as are the options for dresses. You can shoes that are labelled as "wedding shoes" or you can wear pretty much any shoe you desire. Bridal shoes range from swarovski-encrusted stilhettos
to white satin pumps to kitten-heeled sandals to flip flops to canvas runners! There really is no "right or wrong" when it comes to your wedding day shoes.

More traditional brides will likely choose elegant, classy shoes that match the colour of their wedding dress, going with a heeled shoe often adorned with jewels. More modern brides will often choose shoes that are somewhat unexpected or out of the ordinary... maybe a pair of lace boots

... maybe a pair of blinged up canvas runners or flip flops... or maybe even a pair of cowboy boots!

Shoes are one way that brides are tending to bring in a bold dash of colour... choosing shoest that match the flowers, the bridesmaid dresses or wedding theme colour... or maybe choosing a colour or pattern that is the bride's favourite.

Weddings today are more and more focussed on being unique and individually-styled, and so there are no "rules" about your choice of shoes!
But regardless of what style of shoe you choose, here's a couple tips to make sure that your shoes work for you and not against you on your wedding day:

* buy your wedding shoes well in advance of the wedding... and wear them regularly around the house to break them in... the last thing you need is to get blisters on your wedding day! BUT pack a few bandaids in your clutch - just in case!

* if your shoes need insoles, heel grips, or other additional supportive elements to make them more comfortable, get these in advance and again - make sure they feel good by wearing them around the house for several hours at a time.

* take your wedding shoes with you to each of your dress fittings... it is very important to have the shoes to make sure that your dress hem length is perfect with the shoes.

* even if your shoes feel great and you are confident that you'll last all day & night in them, bring a second pair of shoes with you for dancing in. This will let you feel more comfortable and will give your feet a rest... especially if your wedding shoes are high heels. Bring a pair of flats or low wedges to change into later... your feet will thank you!

* If your wedding will be outdoors or you will need to walk long distances or on lots of grass or cobblestones, you might want to consider foregoing spike-heeled shoes, or else you'll spend much of your time trying to pull your heels out of the grass! OR, if you are convinced that heels have to be your shoe of choice, then consider buying "soul mates", which are clear plastic heel protectors that stop your heels from sinking into the grass or getting caught in cobble-stone cracks

Your wedding shoes add a special touch to your wedding attire... by complimenting your dress and style, or by adding a dash of your unique personality to the overall look! So have fun - shop to find shoes that you love, that feel great and that will best suit your wedding theme and style!

Stay tuned... next blog: wedding headpieces!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

A Bride's Attire... Tips and Ideas: Wedding Dresses

Bridal attire is the crux of the bride's wedding day! With so many options for dresses, shoes, headpieces, accessories, where does a bride even start to decide what is best for her?!

Starting this week, I'm offering a blog series that will discuss each aspect of a bride's wedding attire... starting today with the Wedding Dress!
Your bridal look - and in fact your whole wedding theme - starts with the dress you choose. And so, because of this, the bridal gown will be the most influential and vital purchase you will make for the whole wedding experience! The gown you choose will be a key element in setting the tone and theme for the entire wedding.

So, before you start to shop for your dress, take time to think through a few questions... what kind of a feel do you want your wedding to have?
Do you want a formal, traditional, elegant wedding or do you prefer a whimsical, fun, informal event?
Will the wedding be indoors or outdoors? Will it be local or destination? What season of the year will it be when you get married? And do you have a "dream" look that you want for your dress? Also, you need to determine in advance what your budget is for your entire wedding outfit and then stick to this. Remember to include the dress, shoes, undergarments, accessories, headpiece AND alterations in the amount of your budget! Once you have an idea of the overall feel and theme for your wedding and dress, and what your budget it - then its time to go shopping!

When shopping for your dress, it helps to take some photos with you of dresses that you like from magazines or online bridal sites. This will give the bridal consultant an idea of where to start selecting dresses from the hundreds of styles that most stores carry.
Start by trying on the styles you have in mind, but if you aren't finding your dream dress in those styles, be open to trying on completely different styles you didn't think you'd ever like. You might be very surprised to discover that you actually fall in love with a totally different look and find your actual dream dress is something completely unexpected! Its happened to many brides in the past - including me! When I got married 27 years ago, long sleeves were very "in style" - and so I tried on one dress based on what the sleeve looked like.. but as I put the dress on, I started to laugh because it had SO much lace on it... rows of lace around the bottom of the dress. However, when I walked out of the change room in that dress... everyone's mouths dropped open and when I looked in the mirror, I fell in love with that dress... miles of lace trim and all!! So don't be afraid to try on something different and unexpected!

Another tip for dress shopping is to wear a skin-coloured or strapless bra/panties and do your hair and makeup nicely. This will help you get a more accurate over-all look in the dress.

But I think the best tip of all for shopping for your wedding dress is to only take a couple friends or family members along with you to the appointment! Even people with the best intentions can end up confusing you and sabatoging your own interests, so if you have too many voices with you at the appointment, you're going to get frustrated. And always remember - this is YOUR dress, so if YOU love the dress, then stick to your opinions and don't let others sway you! If the dress make you feel like a bride... brings tears to your eyes and butterflies in your tummy... then go for it!

When considering the myriad of different styles & colours available in bridal gowns today,
keep in mind what style/colour is going to look best on you and what will best suit your wedding theme. You especially want to select a colour or hue that enhances your own skin tone and not make you seem pale or washed out. The options in dresses go from very traditional to ultra modern... from long trains to floor length to short and sassy cocktail dresses... and these all come in a multitude of fabric choices. And Colours! Never before have brides had so many colours to choose from in dresses! Colours range from pure white to eggshell to ivory to every other colour you can imagine! Non-white wedding dresses are becoming more popular all the time! Whether pale, muted, neutral shades or bold, bright, vibrant colours, anything is acceptable these days.
Regardless of what style or colour of dress that you choose... in the end, what is most important is that you choose the dress that makes you feel like the beautiful bride that you are!

Once you've selected the dress, the hardest part is done! Stay tuned for the next blog where we look at some fun elements of your bridal attire that will help you create your own unique look through your choice of shoes, headpieces, and accessories.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Surprise! A 10th Wedding Anniversary Party

Peter & Wendy have been married for 10 years... and Peter wanted to surprise Wendy with a party to celebrate their anniversary ....

"Celli's Osteria", a fabulous Italian restaurant in downtown Burlington has a lower level restaurant called "Big Tomato", and we were able to rent out this space for this special private party.

The atmosphere is very "Italian"... with walls and tables and decor done in various autumnal shades ... industrial piping along the ceiling with hanging crystal chandeliers... bookcases along the walls displaying various vases and bottles and artifacts... the room is a pleasing eclectic mix of visuals and a great location for a private party!

Guests were invited to attend this great evening... and about 40 friends arrived between 7 & 7:30 pm, enjoying drinks and antipasto platters.
At 7:30, Wendy & Peter arrived - and it was very evident by Wendy's shocked expression that she truly had no clue about this being a party for her - for them! After mingling and greeting guests for a bit, the dinner began and guests enjoyed a leisurely and delicious dinner. A scrumptious carrot slab cake was presented for the "bride & groom" to cut together before it was served to guests.

A dear friend, and the minister who had performed their wedding 10 years ago gave a speech in their honour.. and then a touching video was shown - a special work that Peter had made to honour Wendy. Following the video, Peter & Wendy enjoyed a "first dance" together with a song that he had over-taped with a personal message to her part-way through. The rest of the evening was filled with guests visiting together as well as dancing, with great music provided by DJ Ron of Perpetual Rhythms.

Congratulations on 10 years of marriage Peter & Wendy... and wishing you many more years together!

Venue - Celli's Osteria
DJ - Ron Finlay from Perpetual Ryhthms
Video Production - Cole McFarlane

Sunday, October 21, 2012

A Perfect Day for a Princess Bride!

Amy never thought she'd want a princess wedding dress... but on Friday, she looked every bit of a princess! Her sparkling tulle dress looked amazing on her and she was glowing... and was a bit teary as she walked down the aisle to meet up with her groom, Nathan. The ceremony had some nice personal touches as Nathan's dad was the minister who performed their marriage.

Photos were taken on the beautiful grounds of West Haven Golf Course while guests did a photo guest book and enjoyed the cocktail hour. The wedding colours were ivory and apple red and the dresses, flowers and reception decor were stunning.

The reception was served by great staff at the club and guests were entertained by brother of the bride, Ryan, who was a funny and "natural" MC for the evening. Speeches and a slide show of the couple were tender and touching.

In lieu of favours, guests were each given a gift tag that said "Choose a Charity"... and they were instructed to put their tag in one of three baskets, representing three charities... International Justice Mission, Compassion Canada and Austism Ontario. This was a neat way to give donations to charities and to involve guests in the process.

The evening was rounded out with lots of fun dancing and guests enjoying visiting around their tables. A highlight was all the guests watching bride Amy and her brother Ryan doing the dance to "Thriller" together... very entertaining.

The whole day was a perfect day... with the rain and cold holding off until later in the evening and with the event running smoothly for the couple and their family and friends. Congratulations Amy & Nathan!

Ceremony Venue - North Park Community Church -
Reception Venue - West Haven Golf Course (Rob) -
Photographers/Videographers -
Florist - Nicole Cake (London)
Ceremony Musicians - DaCapo Strings
DJ - Rob from Music Central
Late-night Limo - Checker Limo -