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Our Top Guesses for Nikki Bella’s Wedding Dress

Fashion & Beauty » Wedding Dresses

Incredible event @marchesafashion #nybfw #BridalFashionWeek

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WWE wrestler Nikki Bella recently revealed to E! News that she’s chosen her wedding date and wedding dress for her upcoming nuptials to fellow WWE wrestler John Cena.

We recently spotted her in-person at the Marchesa bridal show at New York Bridal Fashion Week, which is why we weren’t surprised that she selected a dress from the Spring 2018 line to rock down the aisle. In fact, she knew her dress was the one when she spotted it at the show. “I saw this dress, and I was like, ‘That’s Princess Grace Kelly.’ Like that is what I want so bad … I put it on and I was like, ‘This is the one.'”

Bella isn’t the only celeb who’s sought bridal style inspo from the iconic actress and Princess of Monaco. Miranda Kerr donned a Grace Kelly-inspired gown for her nuptials to Snapchat founder Evan Spiegel in May. The model worked with Dior’s artistic director Maria Grazia Chiuri to design her dream dress, which featured long sleeves, a high neckline and full ballskirt.

While Bella hasn’t yet revealed exactly which dress she’ll be wearing, we’re betting one of our top picks below is the winner.

Marchesa Wedding Dress

Marchesa Wedding Dress

Marchesa Wedding Dress

Marchesa Wedding Dress

An Elegant Garden Wedding In Winnipeg

Real Weddings

elegant garden wedding in winnipeg - bride and groom

Jennifer and Reid met one summer at Folklorama, a multicultural festival held annually in Winnipeg. “We’re actually both nurses at the Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg, but we met for the first time at the festival,” Jennifer shares. “It was love at first sight, and we tried to keep the evening going so we could keep talking!”

When it came to choosing a wedding theme, the couple took inspiration from summer garden flowers as well as Jennifer’s wedding gown. “We chose blush pink and dove grey to complement the colours on my dress,” Jennifer explains. Winnipeg-based Academy Florist was enlisted to create a beautiful floral arch for the ceremony and the tall centrepieces for the reception–the highlight of the decor for many of Jennifer and Reid’s guests. “We received so many compliments on the flowers,” Jennifer recalls. “Academy Florist went above and beyond, and we were blown away.”

The bride and groom shared their first dance to U2’s “All I Want Is You,” a song they chose well before they were engaged. “U2 is Reid’s favourite band, and one of the few we agree on,” Jennifer says with a laugh. “Our first dance was ultimately crashed by my sweet niece, who decided to join in!”

A favourite moment was cutting the cake, a gorgeous three-tiered masterpiece with sugar flowers designed by Jenna Rae Cakes. “We routinely head over to Jenna Rae Cakes, so we knew it would taste good,” Jennifer says. “It was hard to cut the cake because it was so beautiful!”

Jennifer Romeo and Reid Gallant, July 2, 2016, Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Photography courtesy of Sugar + Soul Photography

Ceremony venue: The Formal Garden at Assiniboine Park
Reception venue: Qualico Family Center at Assiniboine Park
Bridal gown: Essense of Australia from Bliss Bridal
Bridesmaid dresses: Alfred Angelo from Chantal’s Bridal
Groom’s tux: EPH Apparel
Flowers: Academy Florist
Stationery: Minted
Cake: Jenna Rae Cakes
Hair: Terry Lakusta from Vain Hair Studio
Makeup: Lavender Olive
Favours: Jenna Rae Cakes
Music: Serino Sound Services

An Intimate White Wedding In British Columbia

Real Weddings

an intimate white wedding in british columbia - bride and groom

Rachelle and Drew first met online. After their first date, they knew there would be many dates to come. “Sometimes you just connect right away, and that’s how it was for us,” Rachelle says. Drew popped the question on the beach in Brentwood Bay, where Rachelle grew up. Later, the couple decided to get married just up the road from the beach. “It made our location extra-special for us,” Rachelle affirms.

The couple wanted their wedding to be timeless, opting for a colour palette of white and neutrals for a fresh feel, with decor that included white centrepieces created by the bride’s mother. Wooden table numbers complemented the colour palette and matched the wooden barrels of the reception venue. Wood detailing was also incorporated into the groom’s wedding band, which was a favourite detail. “It had a strip of wood in the middle, which suits him so perfectly as he loves working with wood and creating different wood pieces for our home,” Rachelle shares.

Rachelle and Drew’s favourite moments were ones only the couple shared, such as the ceremony and their first dance. “We didn’t do an official dance, but we had a song picked out and danced to it without telling anyone,” Rachelle says. “It made for a beautiful private moment for just the two of us.”

Rachelle Fafard and Drew Kernovich, February 13, 2016, Brentwood Bay, British Columbia.

Photography courtesy of Kim Kalyn.

Ceremony venue: Brentwood Bay Resort
Reception venue: Church and State Winery
Bridal gown: Blue by Enzoani from Blush Bridal
Groom’s tux: Moores
Bridal bouquet: Thrifty Foods
Centrepieces: DIY by the bride’s mother
Stationery: DIY
Hair: Rene’s Hair Studio

A Modern Fairy Tale Wedding In Toronto

Real Weddings

a whimsical modern fairytale wedding in toronto - bride and groom

Adena and JJ first met on campus in Adena’s third year of university. “I walked in on the first day of my third year and noticed him right away,” Adena recalls. “I had seem him around campus and was gushing about him to my roommate the day before.” The pair went on their first day a few weeks later. “He sealed the deal by buying me a fresh-from-the-oven chocolate chip muffin on the way out,” Adena adds with a laugh.

The couple wanted their wedding theme and colours to perfectly complement their venue, One King West Hotel. “The space has such history and character, and we wanted the decor to follow suit,” Adena explains. “It also has this magnificent gold art deco stairway that leads to the banquet room. I’m a stickler for natural light and spaces with character, so our venue was the perfect fit.”

As a result, the couple chose bold, whimsical decor and bright flowers with a colour palette of blush, gold and a pop of berry–a colour that was just one of the meaningful details from their day. “It’s JJ’s favourite colour and the shade of the dress I was wearing when I first met him,” Adena says with a smile. Flowers by Blush and Bloom added just the right pop of colour. “The punchy-yet-sweet colour palette, loose, garden-inspired feel and quirky combination of blooms made all my Pinterest dreams come true,” Adena says.

Among the personalized touches were the stationery suite, which Adena and JJ spent hours mulling over. “From the elegant font, to the delicate, watercolour paint swoosh, it is the embodiment of both our personalities,” Adena affirms. “Him, the classicist at heart, and me, the quirky creative.”

Their first dance, to “Unchained Melody” by the Righteous Brothers, was an unforgettable moment. “We watched Ghost on Valentine’s Day and started slow dancing to the song when it came on. It just felt right–romantic, old school and a little bit cheesy in the best way,” Adena explains. “During out first dance, I was so deeply entranced by the song, JJ’s embrace and the overwhelming joy I felt, that I forgot anyone else was in the room.”

Adena Leigh and Justin Jeremiah Ditkofsky, August 21, 2016, Toronto, Ontario.

Photography courtesy of Scarlet O’Neill.

Ceremony and reception venue: One King West Hotel
Bridal gown: Blush by Hayley Paige from Sash & Bustle
Groom’s tux: Harry Rosen
Event design: Adena Leigh Ditkofsky
Wedding coordinator: Ashley Lindzon
Flowers: Blush and Bloom
Stationery: Beet & Path
Cake: Tori’s Bakeshop
Hair and makeup: Sara Chung
Music: Sole Power
Dance floor: Axe Media
Tablecloths: Linen Closet
Blush goblets: Plate Occasions


How To Create A Gorgeous Tuscan Wedding Reception Vibe

Planning » Reception Ideas


For their recent open house, Langdon Hall Country House Hotel & Spa in Cambridge, Ontario enlisted the help of the wedding and events planners of The White Book Company to create a gorgeous reception setup to wow their guests. Danielle Barich, creative director of The White Book Company, knew immediately which space she wanted showcase: the hotel’s Orchard Room. “I have always been completely obsessed with the gorgeous French doors that let in the stunning natural light from all angles,” Barich shares.

For the setup, the designer looked to her fiancé’s Italian heritage for inspiration. “His grandparents come from small towns in Italy. His nonno grows lemon trees and all types of vegetables in his garden and greenhouse, and their home is full of handmade furniture,” Barich explains. “I took those little details and kept them in mind as I designed this tablescape.”

Here Barich walks us through each of the elements that make up this dreamy reception, complete with colourful flowers and citrus details (hello, lemons!)

Photography courtesy of Corina V. Photography.

Venue: Langdon Hall Country House Hotel & Spa
Planning, styling and design: The White Book Company
Floral design, candles and pergolas: Living Fresh
Stationery: Ferris Wheel Press
Tables: Guelph Tent Rentals 
Place setting: Plate Occasions
Napkins: Around The Table

A Romantic Elopement In New York City

Real Weddings

a romantic winter elopement in new york city - grooms

It was at a Mariah Carey concert in Las Vegas that Matthew, a publicist at CTV, and Maurie, a senior producer and reporter for “The Roz & Mocha Show” on Toronto’s KISS 92.5 FM, were engaged. “When we started talking about marriage, I jokingly told Maurie it would only happen if I got to meet my idol,” Matthew recalls. “Maurie made this happen–at the show, Mariah called us on stage and handed Maurie the mic!”

The pair decided to elope in New York City, their home away from home. “Visiting the Big Apple during the holiday season has become an annual tradition for us since 2007,” the pair shares. “It’s only serendipitous that we exchanged our vows in both a New York minute and state of mind.”  The couple married under the colourful tiled ceiling of the arched Bethesda Terrace Arcade in New York City’s Central Park on a rainy winter morning in December. The events following the ceremony were also annual traditions–brunch at dessert spot Serendipity 3 and dinner at Katz’s delicatessen, where they ate matzo ball soup and pastrami sandwiches with pickles. “We wanted our wedding day to be just as if it were a regular day in N.Y.C., hitting up the spots we usually visit there,” Matthew explains.

An extra-special detail was the vintage yellow New York taxi the pair rented for their photos. “The 1960s Checker cab was a favourite element,” Matthew says. “It was the same one used in Home Alone 2: Lost in New York.”

Because they chose to elope, the couple asked their closest loved ones to hand-write letters for them to open on their wedding day. Maurie also surprised Matthew with congratulatory letters from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. “At the end of the day in our hotel room, we sipped champagne and ate chocolate-covered strawberries and opened each letter one by one and read them out loud to each other,” Maurie says with a smile. “It was a beautiful moment and great way to end such a special day.”

Matthew Almeida and Maurie Sherman, December 29, 2016, New York City, New York.

Photography courtesy of Anchor and Veil.

Ceremony venue: Central Park
Grooming: beGlammed
Grooms’ tuxes: Zara
Flowers: Élan Flowers
Transportation: New York Checker FilmCars
Wedding rings: David Yurman


An Elegant Vancouver Wedding With Lush Green Details

Real Weddings

an elegant vancouver wedding with lush green details - bride and groom

Jerry surprised Lesley by proposing during a post-work date night. “When I walked into the restaurant, I saw a bouquet of flowers on the table,” Lesley says with a smile. “After we sat down, he said he had something important to tell me, and began to recall all our times together. He then got down on one knee and popped the question!”

The couple initially wanted an outdoor wedding, but they knew the weather in Vancouver during March could be anything but stable. They eventually settled on Brix & Mortar, a chic restaurant in the Yaletown neighbourhood of downtown Vancouver with a courtyard and glass roof, which gave them the outdoor vibe they were looking for. “The glass roof let in a lot of natural light, and the decor and ivy-covered walls matched our wedding theme perfectly,” Lesley says.

The courtyard served as inspiration for their greenery theme with accents of white and ivory. “We both gravitate toward a natural, simple look, and we thought the rustic and elegant styles combined suited us well,” Lesley explains.

A favourite detail was the signing table, which Lesley explains she loved because of its symbolic meaning of a new beginning for the couple. “We wanted to have a small wedding, and since the guests were very close friends and family, we felt incredibly lucky to have them be witnesses to our love,” Lesley mentions.

The couple’s first dance was just one of many memorable moments of the day. “Jerry and I only took two dance lessons, just one week before the wedding,” Lesley shares with a laugh. “Every time Jerry forgot the steps he would kiss me to cover it up. I thought that was hilariously cute!”

Lesley Xie and Jerry Liu, March 7, 2017, Vancouver, British Columbia.

Photography courtesy of Beige Weddings.

Ceremony venue: Brix & Mortar
Reception venue: Glowbal
Bridal gown: Rosa Clara Two from Cherry Wang Wedding
Groom’s tux: Pal Zileri from Nordstrom
Wedding planner: Cherry Wang Wedding
Flowers: Lawrence Zhang from Cherry Wang Wedding
Stationery: Amari Yu from Making Memories
Cake: Moo’s Art Studio
Hair and makeup: Silvia Chen
Favours: Sugarfina, Jo Malone

A Luxurious Destination Wedding In Phuket

Real Weddings

a luxurious rustic wedding in phuket, thailand - bride and groom

A memorable trip to Sri Lanka culminated in an engagement for Torontonians Edwina Tam and Andrew Joseph. To Edwina’s surprise, Andrew popped the question after the pair hiked to the top of Adam’s Peak.

“We started our hike a lot later than we expected, so we were hiking in a hurry, fearing we would get stuck halfway or at the top of the hill until the next morning,” Edwina explains. “It was extremely humid, so we were rushed, exhausted and sweaty. Andrew kept pushing me to continue climbing, and I started to get annoyed with him.”

When the couple reached a spot with a beautiful view, Andrew proposed. “Immediately afterward, I rushed him to leave because it was getting dark,” Edwina reveals. “Now when we think back about this, we laugh!”

Inspired by their engagement setting, Edwina and Andrew chose a cliff-top ceremony with a woodsy, rustic theme. “We picked cream, blush, grey-blue and burgundy for a touch of elegance and pop of colour,” Edwina shares.

The Ayara Kamala Resort and Spa on Thailand’s Phuket island was an ideal choice for its stunning view and amazing private beach. The couple’s wedding planners from The Wedding Bliss Thailand created a beach setup, complete with pillows, and decked out the reception in natural details, complemented with beautiful florals by IAMFLOWER. “They did an amazing job capturing our theme, with many wow factors we were awed by,” Edwina affirms.

Just under 40 of their closest friends and family watched as the couple exchanged vows in front of one of the wow factors, a 10-foot-tall circular flower arch. “To us, the arch was a symbol of eternal love, with no beginning or end, just like the love we share,” Edwina reveals. “It was unique and breathtaking—truly a masterpiece!”

The celebrations included a traditional Chinese tea ceremony. “We mixed elements of tradition with comedic sabotage, where Andrew and the groomsmen underwent the tormenting door-crashing games the bridesmaids carefully thought out,” Edwina admits with a laugh. “It was also very cute to see each other in the traditional tea ceremony outfits.”

To ensure the wedding was the best of both their worlds, the couple also had a Sri Lankan cultural ceremony. “To intertwine both cultures, with traditional Sri Lankan and Indian customs and attire, was another part of our day that made it unique and unforgettable.”

After a first dance to Zayn’s “Fool For You,” the pair partied with their guests into the wee hours. The reception closed with an impressive fire-spinning performance.

“Our wedding was luxurious and unique, and represented us in the most meaningful way,” Edwina says. “It was exactly what we envisioned, if not more.”

Edwina Tam and Andrew Joseph, November 18, 2016, Phuket, Thailand.

Photography courtesy of Blush Photography.

Ceremony and reception venue: Ayara Kamala Resort & Spa
Bridal gown: Maggie Sottero from Ferre Sposa
Bridesmaid dresses: Coralie Beatrix
Groom’s tux: Indochino
Groomsmen attire: ASOS, Calvin Klein
Wedding planner: The Wedding Bliss Thailand
Menu and table numbers: Infinity Paper Boutique
Placecards, hangers and cake topper: Designs by A
Cake: Joob Joob
Favours: DAVIDsTEA, Teavana
Videography: Tichakorn Cinematography 

Bullet Journal Spreads To Inspire Your Wedding Planning



Photo by Carlo Mendoza. Illustration and cards by Via Calligraphy.

If you’ve spent even a bit of time scouring the web for wedding planning inspiration, you’re probably already wise to the bullet journal craze. This organizational phenomenon, which stresses the importance of customizable to-do lists and daily agendas, usually includes beautiful calligraphy and intricate sketches. It’s also an excellent way to practice calligraphy skills if you’re considering creating your own wedding place cards, stationery or signage.

We asked Toronto-based calligrapher Sylvia Wong of Via Calligraphy to create a wedding-planning bullet journal spread, chock full of key items you’ll want to check off in the days leading up to your celebration.

We’re predicting that this craze is about to take the wedding world by storm, with its combination of precise planning and therapeutic doodling. Here are just a few of the ways you can use a bullet journal to stay organized in the lead up to your big day.

Keep a list of wedding DIYs, stationery and decor items: 

Organize your list of potential wedding venues:

Track daily wedding to-dos:

been trying out some new spread styles, i’ll talk about it more in my next Plan with Me vid (coming soon 😜)

A post shared by AmandaRachDoodles (@amandarachdoodles) on

Keep an overview of the monthly to-dos:

List everything you’ll need for your honeymoon or destination wedding:

Jot down ideas for out your vows:

Track your wedding budget:

A Rustic-Chic Two-Day Wedding In Toronto

Real Weddings

rustic-chic two-day wedding in toronto - bride and groom

Mishal and Samir had been dating for nearly 10 years when Samir popped the question. During a vacation to the Amalfi Coast in Italy, Mishal had a feeling Samir would propose. “There were several instances where I thought he might pop the question, but he didn’t,” she recalls. On their last evening on the coastline, the couple took a walk in the rose garden in the small town of Ravello. “I was busy taking it all in one last time by recording videos on my iPhone. When I turned around, he was on bended knee with a ring in his hand,” Mishal shares. “I wish I could say I recorded it, but I got too flustered and pressed stop!”

The couple decided to hold their wedding over two days at two stunning locations in Toronto. On the first day, the ceremony took place at the beautiful Aga Khan Museum. “It’s so elegant and majestic that there wasn’t much involved in the decor,” Mishal says. “Because the colours of the reception were soft and pretty, I wanted the ceremony to have a punch of bright colours. They also popped against all the white.”

The reception then took place the next day at Archeo in the Distillery District, where the couple wanted to play against the venue’s decor, as well as pay homage to the rose garden where they were engaged. “I wanted it to be romantic and intimate with roses and candles everywhere so that it almost looked like a floating garden from afar,” Mishal explains.

Peachy-pink details accented the decor and was the colour of choice for several of Mishal’s accessories, including her wedding shoes and custom Adidas sneakers she wore when hitting the dance floor. The couple also wanted to incorporate their cultures into their wedding. “Our celebration reflected our cultures through the music, dessert and even the menu, which the restaurant customized for us,” Mishal says.

One of the highlights of the day was the violinist’s rendition of “Halo” by Beyonce during Mishal and Samir’s first dance. “I’d heard the most beautiful, spine-tingling rendition of the song on the violin and knew our violinist would do it justice,” Mishal recalls. “The minute he played it on the dance floor, it was pure magic.”

Mishal Cazmi and Samir Mohammed, October 21 and 22, 2016, Toronto, Ontario.

Photography courtesy of Eyekah Foto.

Ceremony venue: Aga Khan Museum
Reception venue: Archeo
Bridal gown: Mani Jassal
Bridesmaids’ salwar kameez: Ash Creations
Groom’s tux: King & Rook
Day-of coordinator: P.S. Eventful
Reception flowers: Ashton Creative
Ceremony backdrop: We Create Hoopla
Stationery: Jo’s Paperie
Cake: The Sweet Escape Patisserie
Hair and makeup: Cia Manderello
Favours: DIY
Music: Empire Entertainment
Rentals: Southern Vintage Charm Rentals

A Romantic, Non-Traditional Wedding

Real Weddings

a modern romantic wedding in toronto - bride and groom

When it comes to getting married, a lavish affair with a 200-plus guest list isn’t for everyone. Just ask Scarlet O’Neill and Anthony Carone, who didn’t even tell guests where they were getting married until the day of the event. “We wanted to make our own choices and traditions,” Scarlet explains. “We didn’t do things because you are ‘supposed’ to, and we were lucky to plan a wedding where only the two of us made all the choices.”

Being a photographer, Scarlet wanted her wedding to be unlike anything she’d ever photographed. With Anthony being from an Italian background “that has the biggest of weddings,” and always performing in front of a large audience with his band, Arkells, the couple agreed something small and intimate would suit them best. “It was a good thing too, because we would have never pulled off our secret ceremony in a Toronto park where you’re not allowed to get married!” Scarlet discloses with a laugh.

The pair started their wedding day in an unconventional way by spending the morning together. “We wake up together every morning, so it was important for us to do this,” Scarlet says. “We stayed overnight at The Drake Hotel, which is near our condo and feels like a second home.” The couple lingered over breakfast before taking a walk in their neighbourhood.

They chose to get ready side by side, just the two of them. “Anthony hung out with me while I got my makeup done. Then we got dressed together and the photographer arrived,” Scarlet recalls. “Anthony zipped up my dress, we turned to face each other and that was our first look.”

After taking photos in parts of Toronto that held special memories for them, the couple returned to the hotel where their family awaited, and signed the marriage certificate over champagne. From there, Scarlet and Anthony went to pick up their dog while their family boarded a bus to take them to the ceremony venue.

“A ukulele greeted them once they were all there, and began ‘Can’t Help Falling in Love,’” Scarlet reveals with a smile. “Then the most exciting moment—Anthony and I came around the pond and trees, and walked down the makeshift aisle together with our dog, Lucy.”

“We chose to walk down the aisle hand in hand, because to us it symbolized being partners and how we wanted to start our marriage,” Scarlet explains.

Another detail Scarlet loved was Lucy’s flower crown, which matched her own. “Lucy wasn’t super into it, but I loved it for the both of us!” she admits.

After a short, sweet ceremony and a shower of confetti as the couple shared their first kiss, guests got back on the bus and made their way to the Terroni restaurant on Queen Street, while Scarlet and Anthony used their own car to drop off Lucy at home. “Anthony had written ‘Just Married’ on the back window, and we had old-school soup cans hanging out the back as we drove to the restaurant,” Scarlet divulges.

At Terroni, the newlyweds shared an Italian meal with their favourite people—a moment the couple will never forget. “It was the most intimate and love-filled evening,” Scarlet affirms. “There is nothing I would have changed—it was perfect.”

Scarlet O’Neill and Anthony Carone, May 28, 2016, Toronto, Ontario.

Photography courtesy of Nessa K Photography.

Reception venue: Terroni
Bridal gown: Rue de Seine from LoversLand
Groom’s tux: Sydney’s
Wedding planner: Ashley Lindzon
Flowers: Tellie Hunt (Hunt & Gather) for Coriander Girl
Stationery: The Lettering Studio
Pie and dessert: Bake Shoppe
Hair and makeup: Ashley Readings
Favours: Bake Shoppe

A Gorgeous Industrial Glam Wedding In Toronto

Real Weddings

A Gorgeous Glam Industrial Wedding in Toronto - Bride and Groom

Haydee and Errol met at Ryerson University in their second year. After hanging out in group and then more often alone, Errol asked Haydee if she wanted to take their relationship to the next level. “He surprised me with a box of Cinnabons when he asked,” Haydee laughed. “Not one to refuse dessert, I of course said yes!”

The pair wanted their wedding to feel warm, intimate and romantic, so they enlisted the help of Jessica Hoang from Bisous Events to transform their industrial venue, The Fermenting Cellar. “It had a unique feel, and the space could really be transformed to one’s desire,” Haydee says. With a colour palette of blush, peach, fuchsia and gold, they adorned their tables with gorgeous blooms and decked the space with spectacular lighting. “We incorporated string lights over the dance floor and candles and chandeliers throughout the venue to give it a romantic, whimsical feel.”

Haydee’s favourite wedding details, by far, were the florals. “Flower 597 went above and beyond to transform our venue,” she says. “All my favourite flowers were incorporated–coral charm peonies, garden roses and ranunculus.”

Errol and Haydee both agreed that the most memorable moment of the day was seeing each other for the first time at the altar, surrounded by friends and family who had come from the States and the Philippines. “After being together for over 10 years, the final moment before becoming husband and wife felt very surreal and emotional,” Haydee recalls. “Seeing our loved ones together to celebrate our wedding day was really special.”

Haydee Fernando and Errol Sy, May 14, 2016, Toronto, Ontario.

Photography courtesy of Rhythm Photography.

Ceremony venue: Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Parish
Reception venue:
The Fermenting Cellar
Ceremony bridal gown: Maggie Sottero from Becker’s Bridal
Reception bridal gownEssense of Australia from Becker’s Bridal
Bridesmaid dresses: Mori Lee from Best for Bride
Groom’s tux: Moderation Suit
Groomsmen attire: Moores
Wedding planner: Jessica Hoang of Bisous Events
Flowers: Flower 597
Stationery: Paula Lee Calligraphy
Cake: Crumb and Berry
Hair and makeup: Artistrhi
Favours: Lemon Lily
Music: Carlo Suarez
Videographer: SDE Weddings
Marquee Lights: Event Graffiti
Linens: Around the Table
Furniture: Chair-man Mills
Limo: Livery Limos

What Every First-Time Bridesmaid Needs to Know


what every first time bridesmaid needs to know

Photo courtesy of iStockphoto

If you’re a first-time bridesmaid and you have no idea what to expect, don’t worry, you are not alone. Most bridal BFFs find that feelings of excitement and happiness at having been selected as one of the chosen few often give way to a whole slew of questions regarding expectations and responsibilities.

That’s why we’ve asked wedding planners Rebecca Chan from Rebecca Chan Weddings and Events and Melissa Medalla from near+dear events to weigh in on some of the toughest bridesmaid etiquette questions. Should you be paying for the dress? What’s the best way to let a bride know you can’t pay for something? And what exactly is a bridesmaid’s role?

Whether you’re a first-time bridesmaid of a seasoned pro, we have the answers you need to some of the most pressing bridesmaid etiquette questions. (And if you’re a bride and reading this, do your girls a solid and pass on the info!)

What does a bridesmaid do?
If you’ve never been a bridesmaid before, you might not know exactly what the role entails. Ultimately, a bridesmaid is there to support the bride, which includes being their sounding board and someone they can trust. “It means being a part of creating a fun experience for the bridal party and guests,” Medalla explains. “It also means being someone the bride can count on to roll up their sleeves and help with things such as DIY projects.”

What should you consider before agreeing to be a bridesmaid?
Before agreeing to being a bridesmaid, consider the costs involved and the time commitment. “You might be the main go-to for the bride on important wedding decisions, so ensure you have enough time and energy for this,” Chan advises. It is almost as important to be aware of the costs involved, Chan says. “There will likely be pre-wedding events you help pay for, and possibly attire, makeup and hair, although sometimes these items are a gift from the bride,” Chan adds.

How can should you let a bride know that you can’t pay for a bridesmaid-related activity or item?
As with many relationships, communication is key, Medalla says. “If you have financial constraints or scheduling conflicts with bridal events, voice it early on,” she shares. “Discussing who buys the bridesmaid dress or who pays for makeup right after she asks you to be her bridesmaid might dampen the fun, but take her out for coffee the following week. Be mindful of your words and timing, but express your excitement in taking on the role.” When it comes to being upfront about financial constraints with the bride, Chan agrees. “If you can’t pay for a wedding-related event, be honest with the bride,” she says. “If you can’t pay for it, chances are you are not the only one.”

Who pays for the bridesmaid dress?
According to Chan, the bridesmaid typically pays for her bridesmaid dress, but in some cases, the bride will pay for this as a gift. “It’s always a nice gesture for a bride to pay for some of the wedding-day costs involved for their bridesmaids such as hair, makeup and dress,” Chan says. “Otherwise it does get expensive to be a part of the wedding party.”

What should you do as a bridesmaid if you don’t live in the same location as the bride?
“Try your best to contribute remotely,” Medalla advises. “In the digital world, bridging the distance is easier than ever.” She suggests sharing a Pinterest board with the bride to help visualize and brainstorm wedding ideas, as well as suggesting vendors in her area. It’s also important to communicate with the other members of the bridal party. “Set up a group chat to share photos and updates from events you won’t be able to attend.”

If you live away from the bride and the wedding venue, how soon should you arrive before the wedding?
If your plans allow it, aim to arrive a week or two prior to the wedding to help with the final details, suggests Medalla. “I’ve been a bridesmaid and maid of honour to dear friends who live far away, and helped make tassel garlands with one and seating charts with the other,” Medalla shares. “No matter what, try to spend some quality time with the bride before the wedding.”

An Ocean-Themed Wedding in Halifax, Nova Scotia

Real Weddings

An Ocean-Themed Wedding in Halifax, Nova Scotia - bride and groom

When it came to planning their wedding, there was no doubt that Sarah and Karl wanted it to be an affair that encompassed many aspects of their lives together. For that reason, an ocean theme suited them perfectly. “I have had a love of the ocean ever since I saw orca whales out on the west coast, and since then, it has shaped my career path and life,” Sarah explains. “We knew we wanted to celebrate it on our wedding day.”

With a palette inspired by sea glass, the couple incorporated teal and shades of blue-green into their details and bridal party attire. What made several of the details so special was that they were created by friends and family. “Our tables were named after various marine creatures found in the northern Atlantic and the table numbers were hand-painted by our maid of honour,” Sarah fondly recalls. “The lobster bibs had a lovely “Claws for Celebration” decal that was designed by my mother. So much love and energy went into the day that it was impossible not to feel the warmth!”

For both Sarah and Karl, the memory of Sarah walking down the aisle during the ceremony is one they’ll never forget. “I chose to walk down the aisle to an instrumental version of ‘Part of Your World’ from The Little Mermaid, which has special meaning to me and my dad,” Sarah says with a smile. “I kept the song a surprise, and the moment Karl realized what song it was will forever be etched in my mind.”

Sarah Deller and Karl Mikus, June 18, 2016, Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Photography courtesy of Nicole Lapierre.

Ceremony and reception venue: Murphy’s the Cable Wharf
Bridal gown: Maggie Sottero from Chester and Felicity
Bridesmaid dresses: Bill Levkoff
Groom’s tux: Moores
Flowers: Humble Burdock Farms
Stationery: DIY by groom, printed by Duly Noted
Cake: Layers
Hair and makeup: Spirit Spa
Favours: Guylian
Music: The Fine Tuners and Donair Supply
Clay tags: Harbourside Designs