Archive for Alison McGill

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!”


The Best Wedding Updos

Fashion & Beauty » Hairstyles


Hairstylist Tony Masciangelo, co-owner of Toronto’s Alcorn Hair, knows updos. “Weddings are, of course, a big part of what I do as a stylist,” Masciangelo says. “In my career I have worked with hundreds of brides — too many to count — and my role is always to make the bride feel her most beautiful. In this era of social media and online connections, I receive many messages from past brides telling me how I played such an important role in their day and their wedding memories.”

Masciangelo says the best wedding updos are classic and simple. “The updos I favour are unfussy, beautiful and clean. Less is definitely more when it comes to wedding hair.”

Here are three of Masciangel0’s favourite updo styles to create a runway-ready, red-carpet-worthy wedding day look.

How To Plan The Ultimate Irish Honeymoon

Travel » Honeymoons

Honeymoon_in_Ireland 1

Photo via Tourism Ireland.

Rolling hills, dramatic sea cliffs and luxury castles are just a few of Ireland’s many alluring attributes. You can’t help but be swept away by the bucolic landscapes of country — but it’s not just the incredible scenery that makes Ireland a remarkable travel destination. Amazing food, welcoming people, and the diversity of travel experiences you can have all in one place all add to the appeal. This is a destination where you can truly have the best of the country and the city.

We’ll show you where to stay and what to see in order to make the most of your Irish honeymoon.

2017 Wedding Dress Trend You Need To Know About: Cut-Outs

Fashion & Beauty » Wedding Dresses


Photo via Christos.

Sexy silhouettes have become a staple of bridal fashion over the past several seasons. Plunging necklines and dress backs, sky-high skirt slits and sheer side panels running the length of the leg have become almost as prevalent as demure designs, but the 2017 wedding dress trend that everyone is talking about most is cut-outs. Several designers, including Christos, Ines Di Santo and Christian Siriano, showed gowns with peek-a-boo panels just above the hips. Some dresses were fitted with barely there sheer inlays, while others had a little more coverage with pretty lace and fishnet fabrics. The good news? This daring design detail creates a sleek and slimming effect that is incredibly flattering on almost every body type.


Photo via Ines Di Santo.

At Ines Di Santo, the designer took the cut-outs trend to a new level with this gown that combines a plummeting neckline and deep side cutouts.


Photo via Watters.

This gown from Watters features exquisite embroidered lace fabric paired with wide mesh panels on the sides to create a look that is subtle and slinky.

For his first bridal collection for Kleinfeld, Christian Siriano showcased a buzzy lineup of textured gowns and gorgeous silhouettes. This particular gown’s cut-outs blend seamlessly into the design to create an elongated, elegant silhouette.


Photo via Kenneth Pool.

Gowns with very minimal detailing are becoming increasingly popular and what we love about this one by Kenneth Pool is that it has some small, delicate lace panels on the sides to give a hint of sexiness to an otherwise clean and classic gown.

How To Plan A Taylor Swift-Worthy Honeymoon In Rhode Island

Travel » Honeymoons


Photo courtesy of Rhode Island Tourism.

Rhode Island may be the smallest state in the union, but it’s also one of the most picturesque and romantic. Taylor Swift owns a home in the tony Watch Hill area and, ICYMI, The Ocean State’s shoreline has served as the backdrop for Taylor Swift and Tom Hiddlestone’s sizzling new romance.

We visited Tay’s favourite summer hang out spot recently to see why she’s so smitten. What we discovered was a truly enchanting honeymoon destination. From luxurious Victorian hotels and rustic hideaways to vineyards and breathtaking beaches, Rhode Island has it all. Here are four more reasons why we love this little slice of New England:


Photo courtesy of Ocean House.

1. It’s home to one of the world’s most luxurious hotels
Swift’s neighbourhood of Watch Hill runs along a dramatic stretch of the Atlantic Ocean. If Swifty has yet to extend a personal invite to her pad, you can stay in the same area at the historic and iconic Ocean House. Built on the bluffs of Watch Hill over 135 years ago, the Victorian-style property is one of only 10 Forbes triple five star hotels in the world—everything from the accommodations to the food, service, grounds and OH!Spa are incredibly luxe. The 49 guest rooms and 18 suites are spacious and feature coastal décor that combines modern and antique design finishes. With 13 oceanfront acres to explore, this seaside Relais & Chateaux resort also has a private 650-foot white sand beach perfect for strolling.

Autumn in Providence Rhode Island

Photo via iStockphoto

2. Autumn in Rhode Island is unforgettable
Though it’s an amazing destination in spring and summer too, autumn is when Rhode Island truly shines. Bordered by Connecticut and Massachusetts, Rhode Island is surrounded by natural beauty and that means gorgeous fall colours. The best way to see it is to take a little road trip around the area and even dip into the neighbouring states (if you’re staying at Ocean House you can borrow one of the property’s Mercedes convertibles for a sexy sightseeing tour).


Photo courtesy of John Edwards Winery.

3. It’s close to wine country
Did you know that neighbouring Connecticut is a hot bed for wine makers? In fact, one of the best vineyards in New England is located in North Stonington, just across Rhode Island’s state line. John Edwards Winery has been in business since 2000 (they also have vineyards in Napa Valley) and a visit to property is a must for oenophiles. Book a tasting and tour of the property where you can explore its rambling 48 acres, see the wine-making process, and enjoy a sampling of both John Edwards east and west coast vintages. You will definitely want to take a few bottles home with you too as a honeymoon souvenir.


Photo courtesy of Weekapaug Inn.

4. It has a rustic and romantic side
If you truly want privacy and to be surrounded by nature’s serenity, there is a beautiful and plush hideaway in Rhode Island that’s perfect for that. The Weekapaug Inn, a sister property to Ocean House (and also a Relais & Chateaux property), boasts similarly exceptional food, service and accommodations with a vastly different laid-back vibe. Built on the shores of the tranquil Quonchontaug Pond, the inn dates back to 1899 though the property as it stands today was restored in 2010. There are just 31 cozy guest rooms here, all of which feature charming country-luxe décor (Weekapaug designer Nancy Taylor made each room unique) and pond or cove views. You can hit the beach, canoe, kayak, bike, bird watch or just relax in the beauty of your guest room and the inn’s common areas. You will be well rested and very well fed thanks to the Weekapaug’s incredible menus—the traditional Sunday Roast lunch is a must.