November 14th, 2011

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A Perfect Proposal in Three Easy Steps

engagement » planning

We’ve seen some crazy and creative wedding proposals in our time, but whether your fiancé asks via Jumbotron or over a candlelight dinner, chances are his proposal will adhere to some of these age-old traditions.

1) Ask the Parents. By asking permission your fiancé acknowledges how important you are to your parents and expresses his desire to become part of the family. Today, this is a courtesy and a sign of respect, but once upon a time it had a very different meaning. Hundreds of years ago when daughters were exchanged like property (yikes!), this meeting between the parents and the suitor provided an opportunity to discuss the subject of dowry, and what the suitor had to offer.

2) Pick a Ring. Your fiancé may choose the element of surprise—in which case, feel free to drop lots of hints!—or he might openly ask for your input. Another great option? The placeholder ring. We’ve heard of everything from candy rings to twist ties and pieces of string! The placeholder ring will enable your mister to pop the question first, and find your perfect ring (with your help!) later.

3) Get Down on Bended Knee. Have you ever wondered where this tradition comes from? Interestingly enough, this act is derived from the process of being knighted by the Queen! Modern-day Sir Lancelots should kneel on their left knee and present the ring with their right hand. Kneeling also conveys a sense of vulnerability and giving oneself to the ultimate commitment. So now you know!

Tell us, how did your mister ask for your hand in marriage? We’d love to hear your personal proposal stories!

45 Insanely Adorable Cake Toppers

planning » planning » Wedding Cakes

Have some fun when it comes to your cake and top if off with something personal and quirky. We’ve gathered 45 unique cake toppers for every budget and aesthetic. Choose a custom-made topper that looks just like you or pick an animal that fits into your theme. Have a few laughs and pick a comical topper or stick with glamorous elegance and choose something with bling. Whatever you decide, your topper is a great keepsake you’ll have to top anniversary cakes for years to come.

White Toronto and The Hazelton Hotel Introduce a Chic Partnership


Photo: Ishi as featured in Weddingbells Spring/Summer 2008.

We love when two great things come together, and a new partnership between the gorgeous bridal boutique White Toronto and the luxury, five-star Hazelton Hotel, is a perfect meeting of the minds. The store and the hotel are actually neighbours in Toronto’s tony Yorkville and have paired up on a special shop and stay package that can only be described as a bride-to-be’s ultimate dream weekend. “The White Package” (which starts at $995) is a two-night getaway for brides which includes:

* Two night’s accommodation at The Hazelton Hotel.

*  $100 gift certificate to The Spa at The Hazelton Hotel

* Exclusive appointment with Andrea Anastasiou, owner of White, Toronto and accomplished fashion stylist.

* Welcome gift from White, Toronto upon arrival (this includes travel candle and hand soap by Voluspa, treats from Churchill’s Gourmet Gifts, the book Handmade Weddings: More than 50 Crafts to Personalize Your Day and a gorgeous Laleeta tunic).

* Private screening of wedding themed movie of your choice in the Silver Screening Room

* Breakfast for two at Mark McEwan’s ONE Restaurant

“Partnering with White, Toronto for “The White Package” ensures that brides will experience the best that The Hazelton Hotel has to offer and gain expert bridal fashion advice,” says David Mounteer, General Manager of the hotel. “This is a special time for the bride-to-be and we look forward to making her stay a memorable one.” Andrea Anastasiou, owner of White Toronto is equally excited about the marriage of two great business minds. “This new relationship between The Hazelton Hotel and White, Toronto provides amazing added value for our clients,” she says. “During the busy time of planning a wedding, we always want for them to enjoy the process and feel pampered with us, and now we can ensure the experience begins with their luxurious accommodations in Yorkville.”

A few years back when The Hazelton Hotel opened, we were fortunate enough to do a photoshoot inside (these are just a few of the GORGEOUS shots we took!) and it’s still one of my all-time favourites. The hotel is sleek, sexy and ultra-private, which is precisely the reason it’s become the number one hotspot for celebrities staying in the city. There are just 77 rooms inside The Hazelton, which was designed by Yabu Pushelberg. I recently stayed a night at the hotel myself and can tell you it’s one of the sweetest spots in they city and the service is absolutely stellar. To book “The White Package” contact the hotel directly at 416-963-6300.

A Pretty DIY Vintage Wedding in Edmonton, Alberta

real weddings

Megan Seville and Cameron Jefferies, September 17, 2011, Edmonton, Alberta.

Photography courtesy Katya Nova and Rob Michaud of Katya Nova Photography, (

Ceremony location: Timm’s Centre for the Arts located on the University of Alberta Campus
Reception location: The Royal Mayfair Golf and Country Club
Dress: Pronovias from Pure Bridal
Hair: Suki from Ponytails and Horseshoes
Makeup: Andrea Kuchera
Groom’s tux: Hugo Boss from Henry Singer
Planner: Jenelle Jamani of Special Event Rentals
Bridal party attire: Anthropologie and BCBGMAXAZRIA
Cake: Bee-Bell Bakery
Flowers: Holes Greenhouse
Music: DJ Qwake & Harman B of Urban Metropolis Entertainment
Stationery: Maddy and Seth Lucas from ‘Ello There
Cinematographer: Maclean Carlson from Hello Tomorrow Wedding Films

Love this real wedding? Get to know the couple and hear them exchange their vows in this behind the scenes video.



We’re Finding Out What’s Hot for 2012 Weddings at Engage ’11


The business of weddings has taken me to Grand Cayman and the gorgeous Ritz Carlton hotel for Engage ’11, a luxury wedding summit. Over the next four days, the best of the best in the industry (Mindy Weiss, Sylvia Weinstock, Randy Fenoli, Marcy Blum, just to name a few) will be getting intimate and interactive with us, some 200 attendees (wedding professionals from around the globe) talking what’s haute in weddings. I arrived yesterday and met the fantastic Cindy and Gabi from Toronto’s Platinum Events on my way to the Ritz (the pair just wrapped their last wedding of the year on 11.11.11) and we’re pumped to bring the insight and expertise we’ll be privy to over the next few days home to share with you. Keep up with me at Engage ’11 by following my tweets @alisonmcgill.


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