Archive for Alison McGill

What’s Up With Pippa Middleton’s ‘No Ring, No Bring’ Policy?


pippa middleton no ring no bring

Photo via Getty Images

ICYMI, the world’s most famous bridesmaid is tying the knot on May 20th. Pippa Middleton and her hedge fund beau James Matthews are having a quintessentially English country celebration at her parent’s sprawling manor estate in Bucklebury. There have been lots of rumours circulating about the wedding, all focused on whether certain other famous attendees will be upstaging the bride.

It is rumoured that sister Kate will not be Pippa’s MOH or even in the wedding party for this very reason. Somewhat understandable as she is one of the most famous and photographed woman in the world (but let’s remember Pippa famously upstaged Kate on her wedding day).

The latest stage-stealer making headlines is Meghan Markle. It’s been reported that Pips is enforcing a ‘no ring, no bring’ policy at her wedding. This means only guests that are engaged or married can bring their partner. Is it just us, or is Pippa sounding like a huge bridezilla?!

Couples typically limit ‘plus ones’ to keep budgets and guest lists in check, but this is not usually an option for guests that have been in long-term partnerships, regardless of whether they are wearing rings or not. In most cases this type of policy would only apply to single guests or those who are in very new relationships.

“Every couple needs some parameters to keep their guest list contained—some guidelines for who is invited can be first cousins only or only people you’ve had dinner with as a couple in the past year,” says Karen Cleveland, a Toronto-based etiquette expert. “Having some sort of ‘rule’ in place takes the subjectivity out it, so it’s not personal if someone isn’t invited. As for the ‘no ring, no bring’ policy, I can’t help but feeling it’s a little too limited. Tons of couples choose not to get hitched, which doesn’t make their relationships any less valid. If you spend time with a couple together, wouldn’t it make sense that they celebrate your wedding together?”

What ever the reason you may chose for enforcing a no ‘plus one’ rule with some of your party people, we must warn you to prepare yourself for back talk. Though this idea may sound good in theory, it rarely goes over well.

How To Create A Perfect Wedding Hashtag



Photo by Shannon Yau

A creative, cute and clever wedding hashtag for your nuptials is a must, but what makes a perfect one? Though this sounds like a relatively easy wedding planning task, you’d be surprised how much time and energy finding the perfect wedding hashtag can take.

“A hashtag has to be three things: short, memorable and personal,” explains Gillian Roberts, principal at Toronto-based events company Gillian Roberts & Co. “It should be short so people don’t make a mistake and spell something incorrectly, therefore defeating the purpose of the hashtag altogether. It should be memorable so your guests can easily remember it and not constantly have to look for it. Most importantly, it should be personal. If you and your fiance are laid back, funny people then your hashtag should be witty as well. If you’re more conservative and having a more traditional wedding then your hashtag should reflect that. Don’t force something that isn’t you.”

Read on for more of Roberts tips on creating the perfect hashtag for your celebration.

Weddingbells: Why is it so important to have a wedding hashtag?
Gillian Roberts: “Wedding hashtags are great because they’re the easiest way to have all of your guests’ pictures from your wedding and events leading up to your wedding in one, easy-to-find place. Your wedding hashtag also in many ways becomes the brand name for your wedding and allows your social media followers to follow along on your journey.”

WB: When do you you need to create your hashtag?
GR: “It’s best to have your wedding hashtag created before your first wedding event, for example your engagement party or bridal shower. If you like, you can always use it if you post about wedding dress shopping or choosing your bridal party but that depends on your personal level of social media activity. Be yourself and share as much as you like to share.”

WB: What should be avoided when creating a wedding hashtag?
GR: “Avoid anything that could cause people to have to think about it too much. Avoid it being too long, having incorrect spellings; numbers are not ideal. You want it to be simple and easy to remember.”

WB: Should you include your hashtag on your wedding invites?
GR: “I suggest not including your wedding hashtag on your invitation. Your invitation is a special keepsake that you may frame cherish your entire life. I don’t like the idea of a hashtag on an invitation because invitations should be timeless and we don’t know where hashtags will be (or if they will even exist) down the road.”

Plan A Romantic Caribbean Getaway Like Prince Harry And Meghan Markle

Travel » Honeymoons


Photo courtesy of Round Hill Hotel & Villas.

Though they have been an item for months, this weekend marked rumoured-royal-bride-to-be Meghan Markle’s formal debut as Prince Harry’s leading lady. The Suits star and the Prince attended the wedding of Harry’s best mate Tom ‘Skipp’ Inskip held at Round Hill Hotel & Villas in Montego Bay, Jamaica. This luxury property has long been a favourite of couples for gorgeous destination weddings and honeymoons because it’s ultra-luxe, ultra-private, and simply breathtaking.

The 110-acre property is home to 36 oceanfront rooms and 27 villas, all of which were designed by Ralph Lauren. The villas are the ultimate in romantic luxury and house up to six-bedrooms as well as having exclusive amenities like private pools, guest houses and event lawns. It’s reported Meghan and Harry cozied up in one of these for their weekend stay.

Boasting sexy oceanfront views, flawless décor and incredible service, it’s no wonder Round Hill Hotel & Villas is one of the world’s most beautiful and exclusive spots for destination weddings. For large celebrations, you can buy out the entire resort (which is what Inskip and his bride Lara Hughes-Young did) and host a party of up to 200 people. The property also hosts wedding of much smaller sizes and also offers elopements.

Think a destination wedding in Jamaica is for you? Check out this Montreal couple’s stylish celebration for 50 guests, which was also held at Round Hill Hotel & Villas.

Must-Have Bridal Nail Colours From Essie X Monique Lhuillier

Fashion & Beauty » Skin Care & Makeup

essie monique lhuiller nail polish

Photo by Carlo Mendoza

Famous for her red-carpet-worthy gowns featuring exquisite fabrics and embellishments, sexy silhouettes and fashion-forward designs, Monique Lhuillier tops nearly every bride’s dream dress list. For this designer it’s all about the details when it comes to bridal style, right down to the fingertips, so it’s no surprise she has partnered with Essie for the brand’s inaugural bridal designer collection, a lineup of six gorgeous Gel Couture shades.

“This collection has something for every bride, perfectly complementing their dress and beauty” says Lhuillier. “On my wedding day, that meant a soft pink manicure to complement the intricate detailing on the bodice and skirt of my dress. For some brides that means a pop of berry or a metallic gold to balance an elegant silhouette.”

Collection colours include: Berry In Love (plum red), Blush Worthy (soft shimmery pink), Lace to the Altar (iridescent ivory), Dress Is More (sheer creamy white) To Have & To Gold (rose gold metallic), and Sage You Love Me (dusty grey/green). Gel Couture’s long wear, two-step colour system stays fresh for up to two weeks which means your wedding day nails will look fresh for your honeymoon too.

The collection is limited and launches on April 18th.

2017 Bridal Trend Intel From Designer Zac Posen

Fashion & Beauty » Wedding Dresses


Photo courtesy of David’s Bridal.

The name Zac Posen is synonymous with wow-factor gowns. The designer counts Claire Danes, Naomi Watts, Reese Witherspoon and Coco Rocha as his red-carpet-wearing-glam-squad and his Truly Zac Posen collection for David’s Bridal has continually been one that has topped our dreamiest dresses list since its launch in 2014.

Posen’s latest wedding designs are an ultra-romantic lineup that feature a variety of feminine silhouettes and details to create show-stopping gowns. We recently chatted with Posen about the collection and his musings on bridal style, how to find your dream dress, and the one thing that never goes out of style when it comes to bridal fashion.

Weddingbells: What is the style philosophy behind your Spring 2017 line for David’s Bridal?
Zac Posen:
Dresses in my Spring 2017 Truly Zac Posen collection feature sculpted fabric manipulations, as well as clean silhouettes with details that help create a modern look. Hand-sewn appliqués, engineered botanicals, and feminine lace add to the dramatic romanticism of several of the gowns. I played with layering delicate lace fabrics to create an alluring sense of volume within the silhouettes of the gowns. The floral patterns, prints, and appliques add to this collection’s sublimely feminine aesthetic.

WB: Who is the Truly Zac Posen bride?
The overall inspiration for the collection is the woman who is infinitely comfortable in her own skin. As I design the collection I am thinking of all women on their wedding day. I believe that all brides deserve to experience a moment of heart pounding, high voltage glamour in a wedding dress that makes them feel their most confident.


Photo courtesy of David’s Bridal.

WB: Do you have a favourite dress in the collection?
Each dress has a special meaning so it would be difficult to pick one! I believe each dress can speak to a different type of woman and help make the ultimate statement on the most important day in her life.

WB: Today brides have so much choice when it comes to wedding dress styles and silhouettes. What are a few of your current favourite trends that you see as being new bridal classics?
ZP: I believe when it comes to wedding gowns, the bride needs to embody the dress. She should embrace her silhouette and character, which she can do with the help of my designs. I believe there is resurgence in becoming oneself, but a few flashes of gold or other fabrics are always good statements.

WB: What is the most important thing a bride needs to consider when shopping?
ZP: There really is no right or wrong way to find the wedding dress of your dreams. You need to search out the gown that embraces your sensuality and personality as well as embodies the woman you truly are.  Your gown should be a true reflection of you.

WB: Complete this sentence: “__________ will never go out of style when it comes to bridal fashion.”

The Dreamiest Modern Boho Bridal Gowns

Fashion & Beauty » Wedding Dresses


Relaxed gowns with a modern boho vibe come alive when shot against bucolic lavender fields. For the dreamiest looks, we chose easy-breezy dresses with simple and sexy silhouettes paired with minimal jewellery and gorgeous floral headpieces, which imbue a sophisticated festival vibe.

Some of the prettiest boho bridal gowns available this season include features like eyelet lace, breezy flutter sleeves and modern cut-outs.

Shot on location at Terre Bleu. Photography by Alvaro Goveia. Fashion styling by Tara Williams. Makeup & hair by Sheri Stroh for Bite Beauty/Plutino Group. First published in the Spring & Summer 2017 edition of Weddingbells.

David Yurman Dishes Engagement Ring Trends

Fashion & Beauty » Jewellery


Delaunay engagement ring photo courtesy of David Yurman.

ICYDK we are in the midst of engagement season, a magical window of time from Christmas through Valentine’s Day when 35 per cent of proposals take place.

These days, women are more involved than ever in the selection of their engagement rings—it’s the most important piece of jewellery you’ll wear so being sure it’s perfect for you is paramount. And trust when we say, the man in your life is just fine with you providing input (because, you know, it will make his job easier!)

To get the scoop the hottest new engagement ring trends, we spoke to famed jewellery designer David Yurman and his wife Sybil, who collaborated on the dazzling new David Yurman Wedding Collection. Here the couple share the scoop on everything from the coolest ring styles to popular metals and whether or not size still matters.

Weddingbells: How important do you think it is for the bride to be involved in the selection of her ring?

Sybil Yurman: “I think deciding how and when a bride gets involved should be completely up to the couple. We do see more women visiting our bridal counters alone to try on different styles, metals, cuts, and I think that’s wonderful. We have also just re-launched the wedding experience on our website, which is a great resource to those browsing and wanting to learn more about diamonds and engagement rings.”

WB: What are the hot ring styles for today’s modern bride and what style(s) do you think have had their day for now?

SY: “No one ring or collection is the most popular, there is a customer for every style and it just depends on personal preference. We are seeing more interest in unconventional styles such as our faceted Delaunay engagement rings (pictured) and men’s wedding band.”

WB: Tell us about the David Yurman Wedding Collection. What is the inspiration? How many pieces are in the line and who is the David Yurman bride?

David Yurman: “I have always been a hunter of stones, including diamonds. When we started to think about creating bridal jewelry, we wanted to create unique rings that were designed and set around the stone; not the other way around. This way, no two rings are alike and each bride can have her own interpretation of both stone and design to match her lifestyle.”

SY: “The collection is a continued evolution of our brand, and continues to be an incredibly popular category for us. Our established wedding collections include: Crossover, which features a criss-crossed pavé-set band and was originally inspired by my X Series of paintings. Wisteria is another one of my favorites, and features an intertwined band. Our new collections feature something for every bride-to-be: Lanai, which features pavé diamond-finished twist rings; Astor, which features wrapped wedding bands in yellow, rose or white gold; and Delaunay, which features the faceted metal engagement ring with a striking emerald-cut diamond set in the east-west orientation.”

WB: There are many metal options available with engagement settings—what are your current favourites and how do you both feel about the metal choice impacting the presentation of a diamond?

DY: “While we always focus on the stone first, metal choice is also important. It would depend on the bride’s skin tone, and their personal style. We have seen a rise in desire for rose gold as of late, and it’s something that we are now offering more of in our wedding collections.”

WB: Does size still matter when it comes to engagement rings?

SY: “I don’t think it should ever be about sheer size alone. For us, an engagement ring is about finding your own unique style and treasuring a piece of jewellery that will endure for years to come.”

WB: We are now in the midst of engagement season what do you think makes for a romantic proposal?

DY: “A proposal is so unique to every couple. For us, I asked Sybil to marry me every other year for 11 years! Sybil knew we were a great team, but her Bohemian spirit had always resisted the idea of tying the knot. Finally, in 1979, after 11 years together, she was ready. On our way to the ceremony, Sybil asked me if I had the rings. I thought: ‘Rings? What rings?’ So, I ran back to our loft and soldered two simple gold bands together —one band for Sybil, double bands for me. We still have them. These rings still symbolize our partnership, the shapes and forms we create together.”

The Hottest Bridal Fashion Trends For 2017

Fashion & Beauty » Wedding Dresses


If you are a bride who wants to rock a unique gown, it’s your time to shine! The hottest bridal fashion trends for 2017 truly offer something for everyone. Some of our favourite styles of the season include beautiful boho gowns with incredible bell sleeves, a peplum pantsuit that’s equal parts sexy and chic, elegant off-the-shoulder necklines, and modern princess silhouettes that combine drama, femininity and gorgeous fabrics to create a show-stopping wedding gown. Here we highlight the bridal fashion trends you’ll be seeing a lot more of in the year ahead.

Photography by Carlyle Routh. Fashion styling by Tara Williams. Hair and makeup by Alexandre Deslauriers for P1M using NARS cosmetics and Davines. Set design by Caitlin Doherty for P1M. First published in the Spring & Summer 2017 edition of Weddingbells.

2017’s Most Fashionable Bridal Makeup

Fashion & Beauty » Skin Care & Makeup


The year’s most fashionable bridal makeup looks are all about the eyes. When it comes to makeup for 2017 weddings, we’re love a look that’s equal parts statement and high style.

Want to try out a fashion-forward bridal beauty look? During your makeup trial, have your makeup artist experiment with eye shadow intensity, dramatic liner and lashes. The results are gorgeous and definitely dramatic so don’t be surprised if you see your friends attempting to emulate your statement-making look.

Photography by Chris Nicholls. Fashion styling by Tara Williams. Makeup by Grace Lee, lead artist Maybelline New York Canada/Plutino Group. Hair by Tony Masciangelo, Alcorn Hair/P1M. Beauty direction and art direction by Caroline Bishop. First published in the Spring & Summer 2017 edition of Weddingbells.

The Absolute Most Romantic Wedding Dresses

Fashion & Beauty » Wedding Dresses


This season’s most romantic wedding dresses mix heavenly fabrics with darling details to create the ultimate ethereal gowns. Vintage laces dotted with delicate crystals, transparent fabrics paired with slinky silhouettes that beautifully hug the body and beautiful brocades that are fit for a princess are just are a few of our favourites. To showcase all the gorgeousness, we created our very own bridal atelier on set, having fun with vintage props and yards of gorgeous fabrics. Never has bridal shopping looked so chic!

Photography by Yvonne Duivenvoorden. Fashion styling by Tara Williams. Prop styling by Catherine Doherty. Hair and makeup by Alexandre Deslauriers for P1M using NARS cosmetics and Davines. Editor Alison McGill. First published in the Spring & Summer 2017 edition of Weddingbells.

How To Plan An Epic Honeymoon In Vancouver

Travel » Honeymoons

The west coast is the best coast, as they say, and for a honeymoon with a definite Canadiana cool factor, Vancouver is the place.

What is it that makes Van City so enchanting? Framed by the dreamy North Shore Mountains, Vancouver delivers a travel experience brimming with luxury experiences, outdoor adventure and incredible food. The oceanic climate is certainly a bonus too—summers are typically dry and warm with little humidity and winter temperatures rarely dip below double digits. Vancouver is also a great jumping off point from which to explore nearby Whistler, Victoria, Nanaimo and Sechelt.

We’ll show you five must-have experiences for the vacation of a lifetime in Vancouver.

How To Pull Off Beautiful Romantic Wedding Makeup

Fashion & Beauty » Skin Care & Makeup


A dreamy boho bridal look is the ultimate for a summer or destination bride. The sort of romantic wedding makeup is all about softness with flawless skin, soft colour on cheeks, eyes and lips and a gorgeous fragrance that hits the right notes of being ethereal yet slightly exotic. We’ve curated a selection of boho bridal beauty essentials that are critical for putting together a flawless, wedding appropriate no-makeup makeup look.

Photography by Chris Nicholls. Styling by Tara Willams. Shot on location at Tangled Garden, Grand–Pré, Nova Scotia. Art Direction by Tanya Watt, Hair and makeup by Tony Masciangelo using Tresemme products for Special thanks to Beverely Mcclare, Tangled Garden, Pamela Wamback and The Nova Scotia Tourism Agency.

5 Original (And Fun!) Wedding Photo Ideas

Planning » Photo/Video


Photo by Julia Park Photography courtesy of Rebecca Chan Weddings.

Creating a shot list for your photographer is one of the most important things on your wedding to-do list and we’re all for thinking outside of the box and getting seriously creative when it comes to this wedding day task. Adding props, interesting locations and pets are just a few cool ways to make your pictures a standout (and, let’s face it, give a serious spike to your Insta likes). We asked Toronto-based wedding planner Rebecca Chan owner of Rebecca Chan Weddings for her favourite original wedding photo ideas—here are her five suggestions (and amazing examples from recent weddings she planned!)

1. Use sparklers.
These hand-held fireworks look fantastic at night, especially in outdoor spaces like a garden or terrace. Check to see if your venue allows sparklers and can help facilitate lighting them all at once for your guests. “I love doing sparkler first dances just before kicking off the dance floor,” says Chan.


Photo by Mango Studios courtesy of Rebecca Chan Weddings.

2. For your first look, do something fun!
“This couple incorporated a balloon release (in their wedding colours of course) as part of their first look. It took a little bit of coordinating, but it was so worth it,” says Chan.


Photo by Renaissance Studios Photography courtesy of Rebecca Chan Weddings.

3. Include your favourite things.
Do you love to play softball together? Do you have a pet? Include your favourite hobbies or furry friends as part of your wedding photo session. “I’ve hired dog sitters to transport (and dress up) pooches for photos outside the church,” says Chan.


Photo by Julius and James Photography courtesy of Rebecca Chan Weddings.

4. Think of cool locations that don’t require photo permits.
“Scout for interesting locations weeks before the wedding day with your photographer to find something uniquely you and different than just the same old park setting,” Chan advises.


Photo by Lisa Mark Photography courtesy of Rebecca Chan Weddings.

5. Incorporate bridesmaids’ or groomsmen’s gifts.
When selecting gifts for your wedding party, consider something they can wear either on, or while getting ready for, your wedding day. “Something matching but personalized always makes for a great photo, whether it be shoes, a fun tie bar, or cute pajamas,” says Chan. It can even be something fun that you can eat together as part of the getting ready portion of the day, like cotton candy!

“The best advice for great photos is to be present in your celebration. Be yourself. Don’t sweat the small stuff and have fun. Your natural beauty will show through in your photos when you are relaxed and enjoying your day,” says Chan.

Wedding Dress Shopping Tips From Designer Jenny Packham

Fashion & Beauty » Wedding Dresses

British designer Jenny Packham is famous for her elegant and exquisitely detailed designs. Her ready-to-wear creations are a favourite of Kate Middleton’s (most recently the Duchess wore bespoke Jenny Packham for her arrival in Victoria, British Columbia for the Canadian royal tour) and her bridal designs have been worn by celebrity brides including Kim Sears (wife of Wimbledon champ Andy Murray) and Halle Berry. Earlier this year she introduced Wonder by Jenny Packham, a collaboration with David’s Bridal, which features a dreamy lineup of gowns embodying the beauty of Packham’s gorgeous designs at a very accessible price point.

With the newest additions to the Wonder by Jenny Packham lineup hitting the market this fall, we recently caught up with the designer to learn what inspires her and to get some expert wedding dress shopping tips.

Weddingbells: Why do you love designing bridal gowns?
Jenny Packham: “I have always aspired to create something truly special and beautiful that the bride feels confident when wearing – this is always at the forefront of my design process and my greatest challenge. I love the process of designing a bridal collection, from sourcing inspiration to selecting fabrics and embellishments.”

WB: Is there one era that inspires your designs?
JP: “I find inspiration everywhere I go, from vintage markets in Paris to exquisite pieces of antique jewellery and Shakespearean plays; it is one of my greatest pleasures.”

WB: What is one bridal fashion do, and bridal fashion don’t that you swear by?
JP: “When it comes to accessorizing your look, I believe that they should complement your gown rather than compete with it. Delicate accessories work well with a bigger dress, while statement jewellery can add instant glamour to a simpler silhouette.”

WB: What is the Wonder by Jenny Packham for David’s Bridal signature style?
JP: “The styles are very feminine with vintage-inspired beading and delicate, understated embellishments. Flowing silhouettes complement more contemporary structured shapes, elegantly exposed backs, delicate appliqué and embellishments.”

WB: Is there a dress in the collection that is your favourite?
JP: “It is difficult to pick a favourite. One dress I particularly love was inspired by wild flowers—the hand beaded leaf motifs, clusters of pearls and floral appliqué add a whimsical romance. Another very special dress is a design perfect for a maid of honor—it features a kaleidoscope of brightly-coloured sequins beaded onto a backdrop of blush pink.”

WB: What is the most important thing a bride should consider when shopping for her gown?
: “Take your time to find the perfect dress and remember it should also be a fun experience! There is a huge variety of different styles and silhouettes, so do try on lots of dresses until you find the one!”

WB: What are classic elements of bridal style that will always look fresh?
JP: “When I am designing, I am always considerate of the way the cut, draping and beading will best enhance the bride, making her feel confident and beautiful.”

WB: Who is your favourite iconic celebrity bride?
JP: “Elizabeth Taylor on her wedding day to Richard Burton—she wore a canary yellow dress with white flowers in her braided hair.”

WB: Finish this statement: A bride’s perfect dress is…
JP: “…the one that makes her feel truly fabulous!”