Archive for Alison McGill

This Luxury So-Cal Paradise Will Make You Want A Destination Wedding

Travel » Destination Weddings

Rancho_Valencia_Exterior

Photo courtesy of Rancho Valencia.

There’s nowhere on earth quite like Southern California; the breezy ocean vistas, chill vibes and the flawless weather make this destination positively utopic. The weather is also pretty much perfect year-round, meaning you won’t have to stress about your outdoor ceremony being rained out.

In terms of wedding venues in the area, there’s no property more beautiful than Rancho Valencia. This exclusive resort, located 30 minutes north of San Diego, is private, intimate and oh-so-luxe. Rancho Valencia is Southern California’s only Relais and Chateaux property and will spoil you with incredible food, luxe accommodations, pristine lawns and verdant Mediterranean garden vistas (olive and citrus trees abound on the property’s 45 acres and you can exchange ‘I dos’ amidst any of these amazing backdrops!) The five-star resort, which repeatedly tops travel best lists, recently underwent a tip-to-toe multimillion dollar renovation and everything on property is absolutely OTT.

Rancho_Valencia_Room

Photo courtesy of Rancho Valencia.

Let’s start with the accommodations, which are positively plush. There are just 49 hacienda-style casita suites on property (it’s not huge so you can easily take over the resort for your celebration) all of which are spacious and luxe, complete with fireplaces, private patios and plunge pools. Freshly squeezed orange juice arrives outside your door every morning to kick-start your day (it’s always the little things) and we recommend having breakfast in bed for the duration of your stay to enjoy these gorgeous rooms to the fullest.

Rancho_Valencia_Spa

Photo courtesy of Rancho Valencia.

We recommend checking in a few days before your wedding so you can get organized and kick the pre-celebration anxiety by indulging in Rancho’s incredible spa with its zen approach to modern wellness. Set amidst lush gardens guaranteed to soothe the soul, the spa menu here is extensive and inspired, all focused on bringing balance and wellness back to you (book the Lovers Ritual or Sensual Plunge for two). The adults-only pool is a beautiful place to relax and you can even get your sweat on in one of three studios: fitness, Pilates and yoga. Rancho is also one of the world’s top tennis destinations, so if that’s your game, this is the place to sharpen your serve.

Ranch_Valencia_Lawn

Photo courtesy of Rancho Valencia.

There are a number of spots to host your wedding, whether it’s an intimate gathering of 10 or a rollicking bash for 250+. For larger celebrations, gorgeous outdoor spaces include The Croquet Lawn (pictured) and The Valencia Lawn, both of which feature manicured lawns and lush gardens framed by hibiscus, bougainvillea and palm trees (these areas can also be tented for to create a reception space). The Rose Garden is also located outdoors and is for a smaller gathering of up to 30 and it’s one of our favourite spots on property as it overlooks a stunning olive grove (don’t miss the wedding photo op here!)

Rancho_Valencia_Wine_Room

Photo courtesy of Rancho Valencia.

For a wedding indoors there are also ballroom options available and one very special space we adore for intimate celebrations is The Wine Room (above). This gem is tucked in the lower level of the resort and is a gorgeous spot brimming with warmth and character.

Rancho_Valencia_Cuisine

Photo courtesy of Rancho Valencia.

Of course a key part of any wedding celebration is the food and the all-star culinary team at Rancho Valencia more than has that covered. With plenty of fresh local produce at the ready, you can custom-create a California cool menu (and even go shopping for veg to be served at your wedding with the chef at the local market!)

Rumoured to be a hideaway that celebs adore (the Clintons and Robert Redford to name a few), Rancho Valencia delivers nothing but the best travel experience possible, exactly what you want your destination wedding to be!

Pippa Middleton Is Married and We Love Her Iconic Bridal Style!

fashion

Pippa_Middleton_Wedding_DressPhoto via Getty Images

Pippa’s big day has arrived! The bride, 33, and her new mister James Matthews, 41, tied the knot this morning in a gorgeous ceremony at the charming and historic St. Mark’s Church in Englefield, England with 100 of their nearest and dearest on hand for the ‘I dos.’ Pippa has become an instant instant bridal style icon with her choice of a bespoke wedding dress that’s elegant, cool and contemporary. British designer Giles Deacon created Pippa’s stunning lace gown which featured an elegant high-neckline, corset lace bodice, cap sleeves and an elegant heart-shaped cut out in the dress back. According to Deacon the gown’s bodice is embroidered with pearl detailing over an organza and tulle underskirt which he describes as having “layer upon layer to enable a floor-sweeping movement.” Pippa paired her gorgeous gown with a dramatic veil, delicate tiara and drop earrings, the very same earrings she wore as Kate’s bridesmaid.

Pippa_Middleton_weddingPhoto via Getty Images

As predicted, there were a few royal scene stealers at the church, namely Prince George and Princess Charlotte and the tiny bridal party in their darling outfits (so traditionally British!). Duchess Kate who served not at Pippa’s MOH but wrangler of the precocious wee ones looked resplendent in a Millennial pink Alexander McQueen dress. Just as we thought, this almost-royal-wedding is absolutely perfect!

Pippa_Middleton_wedding_Kate_MiddletonPhoto via Getty Images

Our Predictions For Pippa Middleton’s Wedding Dress

Fashion & Beauty » Wedding Dresses

Marchesa Spring 2018 Wedding Dresses

It’s a question that’s been on our minds since she announced her engagement: what will Pippa wear on her wedding day? As a bridesmaid, she stole the show at sister Kate’s wedding in her sleek white cowl neck McQueen gown that highlighted her perfect posterior. For her walk down the aisle, the visionary behind her dress is rumoured to be British designer Giles Deacon and a source close to the designer let slip some details of the gown saying it will be “simple, elegant and all handmade.”

We can’t wait to see Pippa Middleton’s wedding dress, which will absolutely shape future bridal fashion trends. We picked five looks from New York Bridal Fashion Week that we think would be perfect for Pips (like the bow-trimmed beauty with figure-hugging details above from Marchesa).

Jenny Packham Spring 2018 Wedding Dresses

This look from Jenny Packham is so Pippa-perfect. The designer is a favourite of sister Kate and this dazzling, elegant beaded beauty is a perfect match with Pippa’s elegant and very British style.

Rosa Clara 2018 Wedding Dresses

This gown from Rosa Clara is delicate, modern and the perfect embodiment of modern boho that would guarantee Pippa a dramatic and sensational entrance. The cape is one of the key trends for Spring 2018 and we know Pippa could definitely rock it.

Oscar de la Renta Spring 2018 Wedding Dresses

If Pippa were to go for a voluminous style, the key would be to keep it soft so the dress would not overwhelm her. This look is from Oscar de la Renta is frothy, feminine light as air thanks to miles of tulle.

Monique Lhuillier Spring 2018 Wedding Dresses

For something that’s dazzling and subtly sexy, this gown by Monique Lhuillier has all the right details. We love the sheer sleeves and the incredible beading—this dress is absolutely on point with Pippa’s chic vibe.

Get The Nail Look From Monique Lhuillier’s Spring 2018 Show

Fashion & Beauty » Skin Care & Makeup

Monique_Lhuillier_Essie_SS18_5

One of the hottest tickets at New York Bridal Week is always the Monique Lhuillier show, and this season we were invited behind the scenes at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Room to watch the runway presentation come together.

The scene was pure fashion chaos, as expected, with models zipping between hair, makeup, nails and the final dressing area where Lhuillier’s latest breathtaking collection was displayed. “This collection has a lot of dramatic fabrics like simplified silk satins and exploding skirts with tons of volume. The designs throwback to more classic shapes and silhouettes,” Lhuillier tells us. “With my ready-to-wear line, my client is extremely fashion forward but for her wedding day she wants to wear something that’s timeless, elegant and traditional with a twist.” Lhuillier says it was also important that her collection include toppers like the dazzling boleros and caplets for brides looking for coverage for the wedding ceremony. Delicate tulle gloves were her other chosen runway accessory adding a further retro twist.

Complementing the fashion vibe was a beauty look that was soft, simple and feminine, right down to the fingertips with models exclusively wearing shades from Lhuillier’s bridal themed Essie Gel Couture collection.“This was such a fun collaboration and made sense for me to do because it’s my way of taking away one more thing my bride has to think about,” Lhuillier says. “I created six shades ranging from soft pink to sparkly white, rose gold, sage green and deep berry and they and complement our entire bridal lineup.”

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Rita Remark, global lead educator and lead nail artist for Essie Canada was the artist behind the runway nails and she shares that the looks she chose were important as they offset the decadence of the show while also adding the perfect finishing touch. “The show was particularly exciting this year because for the first time, as opposed to trying to find an existing colour to suit the dresses, the colours were specifically formulated to pair with the collection, Remark shares. “I love that Monique’s collection features an array of bold colours, not just your typical pink and white. The pearls and glitters are super versatile and give a subtle shimmer with one coat and a sophisticated glittery finish with two.”

Remark used four shades from Lhuillier’s Gel Couture bridal collection—Lace to the Altar, Dress Is More, Blush-Worthy and To Have And To Gold for the show looks. She mixed and matched these pretty pale shades to create nails with a romantic feel and, in some cases, a gorgeous rosy glow. She says this collection is made to play with and offers colours to take you through from engagement to “I dos.”

Floral Experts Share What’s Hot For 2017 Weddings

Planning » Bouquets & Flowers

fleurs_de_villeWeddingbells‘ mannequin created by Erin Carmichael of The Design Co. in Ottawa won “Best in Show” at the Fleurs des Villes show in Ottawa.

In our books, flowers make a wedding day and the more original your floral décor is the better. We love seeing florists use their artistic talents in unique and unusual ways and that is exactly what we’ve been seeing with the talents we’ve been working with for Fleurs des Villes. This super-cool and creative floral show has been travelling across Canada—the tour started in Victoria and has touched down in Burnaby, Edmonton, Ottawa and is enroute to Burlington, Ontario—challenging flower pros to create incredible mannequins dressed in bespoke floral creations.

We’ve been blown away by the designs created for Weddingbells by the five floral teams across Canada. So we thought who better to ask about wedding floral trends for 2017 than these experts?! Read on to see what these talent floral artists are feeling when it comes to wedding flowers (hint, they all agree greenery is HUGE!)

Tricia Rodriquez, En Vied Events, Victoria, British Columbia
Floral trends for 2017: “We are seeing brides requesting romantic, oversized bouquets, with interesting floral textures combined with a more colour-infused palette. Of course since the Pantone colour of the year is green, we are also seeing lots of greenery trailing from bouquets, in ceremony and in the entrance decor and table garlands gracing the guest tables. We’re also seeing florals being suspended from ceilings in different applications from floral curtains, garlands, and greenery spheres to add that extra wow factor to reception spaces.”
Why flowers are a key element of wedding décor: “There is no doubt the floral element is the final touch that makes a wedding come together and brings it to life. Even brides that are on a budget should consider this, as flowers and greenery can be done in small groupings of single booms in unique bud vases. Stretch your budget and you can forage greenery and wild flowers to give more room in the budget to save for the beautiful flowers that are must-haves.”
Dream wedding flower: “Lily of the valley. I dream of one day being able to create a wedding strongly infused with this tiny bloom that can have a huge presence when used in large quantities. Pair this flower with parrot tulips, ranunculus, double bloom freesia, garden roses, and peonies and I would be in flower heaven!”

Dushan Karunasena, Dushan Flowers, Vancouver, British Columbia
Floral trends for 2017: “The colour green as well as metallic colours like gold have become popular in 2017. Tropical leaves are also very popular this year. We have been using them every opportunity we have.”
Why flowers are a key element of wedding décor: “Flowers help to set the mood and the feel of a wedding or any events with their beauty, colour, texture and the style. The ways in which flowers can be used are endless and they help the wedding event space to be brought up to a higher level.”
Dream wedding flower: “I can’t name a flower. We love working with different styles of weddings, and we choose our flowers to go with the style of that particular wedding. So, that means any kind of flowers can be my dream flowers according to the project that I am working on!”

Cory Christopher, Corey Christopher, Edmonton, Alberta
Floral trends for 2017: “Greenery, greenery, greenery! Though we absolutely adore flowers, there is a huge trend towards lush greenery. We are seeing sweeping arrangements and installations full of lush greens that provide a ton of visual and textural interest. Plants and succulents are also extremely popular and add a distinct flare to anyone’s special day.”
Why flowers are a key element of wedding décor: “Florals add a unique freshness to the entire experience and can easily bridge a wedding colour story together. I’ve always found that there is an eternal beauty to flowers. They come in such a wide variety of textures, shapes and colours that become another tool for telling the authentic story of the couple for their magical day.”
Dream wedding flower: “I love working with parrot tulips because they are unique and architectural! I love Dahlias too because they come in such a wide range of colours and tones. Though succulents may not be considered a flower, I love working with them — they can add vivid detail and are extremely unique and when partnered with fresh florals.”

Erin Carmichael, The Design Co., Ottawa, Ontario
Floral trends for 2017: “This year we are continuing with very natural, garden-inspired florals with lots of different varieties of greenery and garden roses in white and blushes.”
Why flowers are a key element of wedding décor: “Florals at any wedding set the mood for a romantic, beautiful and elegant affair…without them you just have a party in my opinion.”
Dream wedding flower: “This is tough because I have so many favourites, but I can’t live without roses and garden roses.”

Brittany Doleman, Gary Fleming, and Monique Theriault, Holland Park, Burlington, Ontario
Floral trends for 2017: “This year it’s about classic elegance and really creating a natural blissful paradise with florals. Large floral creations like statement entrances and large urn arrangements, floral arbours, and overhead hanging pieces are definitely sought after this year. Greenery is huge, as are succulent bouquets and boutonnieres. An upcoming trend we love is preserved roses. These stunning roses are cut fresh and put through a process that preserves them for up to five years in their most beautiful state. They can be found in almost any colour and make unbelievable centrepieces.
Why flowers are a key element of wedding decor: “Flowers are known for being ‘the gift of nature’ for binding your love with another. Not only do the floral choices you make for your wedding represent who you are, they represent the delicacy of true love. Being surrounded with fresh flowers really captivates the romantic and euphoric emotions experienced on your special day.”
Dream wedding flower: “We would have to choose peonies, roses and freesia as the top wedding flowers to work with. Peonies only being in season for four weeks make them rare and delicate to see. Roses have a wide variety of colours shapes and sizes to match any wedding and freesia is the perfect addition for scent!”

Why Pippa May Want To Think Twice About Having These Kids In The Wedding Party

Planning

kids in the wedding party

Photo via Getty Images

Don’t tell us you didn’t have a break out into a Cheshire grin when you heard the royal wee ones would be having key roles in Pippa Middleton’s May 20th wedding?! The outfits alone would be reason enough to justify having Prince George, 4, as page boy and Princess Charlotte, 2, as a bridesmaid; however, this recent revelation also got us thinking about the implications of including kids in the wedding party. While yes, they are precious and darling scene stealers, wee ones can also be a serious handful! Anyone considering including kids in the wedding party needs to be prepared for all that this decision entails.

We asked Toronto-based wedding and events planner Gillian Roberts, principal at Gillian Roberts Co. for her thoughts on the subject.

Weddingbells: In your opinion, what is the minimum age a child should be before being included in a wedding party?

Gillian Roberts: “Every wedding and every child is different, however I like to say that if you can ask a child to be in your wedding, and they understand what that means, they are old enough to have the responsibility and will be able to take direction on the day of. Typically around four years old.”

WB: What are the ideal roles for young kids? Can you have more than one child in the wedding party? (Or is that just a recipe for chaos!)

GR: “Having multiple children in the wedding party can actually be very helpful, especially if there is one older child the other children look up to. You can ask the younger children to follow the older child and do what he/she does. I’ve seen this work well on a number of occasions. In terms of roles there are the traditional flower girls (and boys) and ring bearers but I’ve also seen sign carriers, train bearers and children who come in on wagons or with the family dog. I also have one client whose own young son is the best man, which is bound to be adorable and very special for the parents.”

WB: What can one expect to go wrong, or not quite according to plan, when it comes to having kids in the wedding party?

GR: “When it comes to having children in your wedding party—especially children under four—you have to be prepared that their involvement in the wedding will ultimately be a day-of decision. Parents and the bride and groom can do everything they can to prepare the little one to be in the wedding, but as a mother to a toddler myself I know every day is different and if the toddler is refusing to walk down the aisle or having a temper tantrum, there is little that can be done, so you must be prepared to skip their turn if required. Accordingly, I suggest not spending much time or money preparing for their involvement because there’s always a fairly good chance it may not actually happen.”

WB: What is the child’s parent’s role in the event?

GR: “The parents have a significant role when their children are in the wedding. You often see the mother of the children at the front of the aisle coaxing the children toward her with cookies and treats, which she’ll then use to try and keep them quiet during the ceremony. The parents have to be fully on board with the child’s inclusion and understand the bride and groom’s expectations. The parents also have to be prepared more often than not, that small children will refuse to walk down the aisle and may need to be carried in.”

WB: Do you have any other tips and tricks for including the little ones in a wedding?

GR: “As a parent, I think the most important thing is to first ask the children’s parents if they would like to have their child in the wedding and never to assume. For many parents, going to a friend or family member’s wedding is a rare night out and bringing a young child can be a lot of work. Logistically, they have to get them there and take them home for bedtime (or arrange a babysitter to do this) but also there is a lot of stress trying to ensure the ceremony goes smoothly and your child isn’t having a mid-aisle temper tantrum. Children in a wedding party are such a lovely idea, and a picture of the bride with small children surrounding her is very majestic. In actuality, however, there are a lot of risks associated with having kids in a wedding. If you’re low key and completely comfortable with the idea that there could be crying and screaming before you say ‘I do’ then go for it; but if you’re a perfectionist and that’s going to bother you it may be best to skip on the little ones for your big day.”

The Top Wedding Dress Trends For Spring 2018

Fashion & Beauty » Wedding Dresses

Ines di Santo, Bridal Spring 2018, New York, April 2017

The question when it comes to wedding dress trends for spring 2018 is not what’s happening, but what ISN’T happening! Brides-to-be are truly spoiled for choice with designers showing gwons in an array of incredible styles, silhouettes, fabrics and finishes. From the moment we took our seat at our first show at New York Bridal Week, the Reem Acra x Tiffany & Co. show, we knew this was a season of change. Acra’s looks were heavily embellished with gems (a nod to her incredible show partner) and so many of her gowns were trimmed in what became the ubiquitous accessory of the season: the black ribbon bow. Other key trends we loved included a return to the classic princess ballgown, capes, intricate beadwork, pants and halter necklines.

Read on to learn about the top 10 looks for spring 2018 and then just try and pick just a favourite. We’re calling the double dress trend as essential for the upcoming season as you will definitely want to wear more than one of these beauties.

The Prettiest Bridal Hair Accessories For 2017

Fashion & Beauty » Hairstyles

hair jewellery

Photo via Dolce & Gabanna

Wondering what to wear in your wedding hair? You need to think not only of the accessory piece, but of your hair style too. Hair pro Tony Masciangelo, co-owner of Toronto’s Alcorn Hair and on-set regular with Weddingbells, says these are two bridal style elements that absolutely must synergize! “The beauty of today’s wedding hair accessories is that they are completely different than those of decades ago,” Masciangelo shares. There are so many beautiful options—from veils and hairbands to florals—that are delicate, romantic, graphic and dramatic.

Masciangelo says the key to finding the right one is to strike a balance between your accessory, hair and makeup, so nothing overpowers you. Have an open and honest conversation with your stylist so everything works together to create a look that is elegant and timeless.

Here’s Masciangelo’s expert advice when it comes to accessories and hair options:

Hair Jewellery
“I’m talking about modern tiaras and bejewelled hairbands that add a glamorous finish to a bridal look. The key when working with these types of accessories is to ensure the final look is beautiful and elegant, never too “princessy.” I suggest wearing hair down with these types of accessories, in a style that’s easy with some wave and texture to it. This creates a gorgeous modern look. You may want to consider playing with your hair jewellery too—wear something a little daintier for your ceremony then switch into a more dramatic piece for your party.”

veil hair accessory

Photo via Marchesa

Veils
“I have recently seen some exquisite veils with spectacular lace edges and barely-there diaphanous fabrics. If you choose to wear a veil, it’s one of the biggest bridal style statements you can make—it’s a gorgeous and dramatic accessory. With that in mind, when it comes to your hairstyle paired with a veil, I always advise the cleaner and less fussy the better. I love a beautiful chignon with a delicate and feminine shape—you don’t want to overwhelm your face with hair and fabric, so I always advocate for a simple updo as a perfect match for a veil.”

flowers as bridal hair accessories

Photo via Marchesa

Flowers
“I LOVE flowers in the hair for a bride. There is something so fresh and romantic about the look. It can work for a simple boho style or for a more urban girl vibe, and for a warm-weather destination wedding I think it’s almost a must. I love loose blooms like orange blossoms and freesia, which smell amazing and are soft and feminine. Wearing hair half up and half down is a great way to incorporate florals into your look, and adding delicate and interesting braided details into your style is a recipe for heavenly bridal hair.”

The Secret To Finding Your Perfect Bridal Lip Colour

Fashion & Beauty » Skin Care & Makeup

perfect bridal lip colour

Photo via iStockphoto

The lip shade you wear on your wedding day can make or break your entire bridal look. Think about how you feel when you put on your favourite everyday lipstick: happy, beautiful and ready to take on the world, right?! This is exactly the vibe you should have on your wedding day, which means finding just the right lip hue is as important as the perfect dress (seriously!)

If anyone knows lips, it’s Susanne Langmuir, founder of the Toronto-based global beauty sensation Bite Beauty. We caught up with her while creating our own bespoke lip colour at the amazing Bite Beauty Lab (here you can choose your dream shade, formula and fragrance and watch your lipstick come to life in front of your eyes). Langmuir shared some interesting thoughts on wedding day lip colour dos and don’ts.

“It’s your wedding day and that means it’s your day to own your look and your lip colour, ”she says. “I don’t think there is any shade a woman should stay away from for her wedding day. On the right bride, any colour can look amazing and it’s all about making a statement you feel great about.”

Langmuir knows the transformative power of lip colour—it can boost your mood and the way you feel about yourself. She believes it’s integral for brides to take the time to find the right wedding day lip colour. It’s an item that requires a little time investment to shop for and is not something you should leave to chance for your makeup artist to choose for you day-of. “I was married pre-Bite Beauty and always had strong feelings about my lip colour. I wanted red and my makeup artist went and bought what she thought was the perfect classic red for me but it was too dark and not me. This is why it’s so important to find your perfect match and have it for your wedding day.”

Langmuir says the trick to finding that picture perfect colour is all about matching your skin lip undertones to a shade. This is particularly true when it comes to red and nude shades, the two colour families she says are the hardest to find a perfect match with. As for what’s on trend for 2017 in lip formulas and shades? Langmuir says there is a definite shift happening from matte finish into a dewy, illuminated finish on the lips (and the entire face). Stains, glosses, lacquers and liquid formulas create long-wearing colour and deliver moisture to lips. As for colours, there are lots of unexpected earthy undertones happening like greys, heather mauves and rusts. “These create colours that are very hip and flattering for all–and are wedding-perfect!”

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

Planning

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

Planning

create_a_memorable_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

Plan_romantic-caribbean_getaway_Prince_Harry_Megan_Markle

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

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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?
ZP:
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.

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Photo courtesy of David’s Bridal.

WB: Do you have a favourite dress in the collection?
ZP:
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.”
ZP:
Confidence.

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