Archive for Nicole Keen

Unique Wedding Flowers to Make Your Bouquet Stand Out

planning » Bouquets & Flowers

Amaranthus2 - Unique Wedding Flowers

Unique wedding flowers aren’t for everyone, but mixed with some familiar floral suspects like roses and peonies, offbeat blossoms can be a great way to create a one-of-a-kind look for your bouquet. You’ve probably seen unique wedding flowers you like, but you might not know what they’re called, and if you don’t know what they’re called you can’t tell your florist what you want, right? That’s exactly why we’ve put together a guide to some of our favourite unique wedding flowers, including what colours they’re available in, when they’re available and why we love them! Some unique wedding flowers like king proteas and birds of paradise are exotic hothouse flowers that can only be grown in greenhouses, while others like globe thistles and astilbes abound in gardens right here at home.

Many of the unique wedding flowers we’ve chosen to highlight will add interest and texture to your bridal bouquet, and they can be selected according to your theme. Amaranthus, a romantic hanging flower, is perfect for creating a dreamy cascading bouquet for a vintage or rustic wedding, while the bright, otherworldly looking pincushion protea is best suited to a quirky, preppy celebration.

Wedding Checklist: Last-Minute Tasks to Complete

planning » Reception Ideas

As you go through the planning process you will realize there are two major waves of craziness: one soon after your engagement as you scramble to secure a venue and find your dream dress (at this point your wedding checklist will be long and slightly overwhelming!), and another in the final month or so leading up to your big day. In the last weeks before the main event, many of the major tasks on your wedding checklist have been taken care of, and it’s time to turn your attention to the finer planning details (like deciding on certain elements of the decor and picking your bridal accessories). This is also your opportunity to follow up with your vendors and make sure everyone is on the same page regarding delivery details, expectations, etc. As a fellow bride in the home stretch of planning (my wedding day is just three weeks from today!), my final piece of advice is this: take a deep breath and try to enjoy this time with your mister and other loved ones. Enlist their help so you can spend quality time together as you tackle your wedding checklist. I guarantee your nearest and dearest will be happy to assist as you make banners or wrap favours or print place cards! Afraid you’re forgetting something? Here are a few last-minute to-dos to cross off your wedding checklist if your big day is four to six weeks away.

A Romantic Wedding Shoot With Show-Stopping Turquoise Details

real weddings

Bride's Train Flowing InThe Wind

The beauty of Vancouver in the springtime inspired this lovely styled shoot, according to makeup artist and photographer Annie Chang from L’Estelle Photography. “To capture the essence of spring and summer, we decided to do a cherry blossom stylized bridal session infused with Tiffany blue themes, which melds together the softness of spring with the vibrant energy of summer,” she explains.

Indeed, vibrant blue accents filled this wedding shoot — from the bride’s bejewelled gown to the stationery and even the sweets!

Tables were topped with antique tea cups and birdcages, while cherry blossoms, orchids and macarons added romantic appeal. “The theme flows throughout the shoot, from the setting and wardrobe, to the sweet table with the cherry blossom cake and the Tiffany blue macarons,” says Chang.

Photography courtesy of L’Estelle Photography.

Vendors
Event planner: Live The Dream Weddings & Design Co.
Makeup: ACMakeup
Hair: Elena Tsang
Bridal gown: Clara Couture Bridal
Flowers: Proline Trading
Pastries: La Cuisson Cafe

Helpful Tips for Picking Your Wedding Colour Scheme

planning

wedding-colour-scheme

After setting a date and picking a venue, one of the most important decisions that lies ahead is selecting a colour scheme for your wedding. The colours you pick should enhance your celebration, reflect your personality and tie all the elements of your day together. Here are six pointers to help you pick your perfect palette.

1. Consider Your Location.

Your venue sets the tone for your celebration, so it’s important to choose accent colours that work with the space. If there are elements of the space that can’t be changed (i.e. carpet, drapery, upholstery), you would be wise to start there and select colours that won’t clash! Is your venue old or new? Are you getting married inside or outside? The answers to these questions can put you on the right path to choosing your colours. For instance, a heritage building with lots of heavy wooden trim will likely look best with rich colours like gold and burgundy, whereas an outdoor ceremony calls for light airy colours like white and green.

2. Stay in Harmony with the Season.

What time of year are you tying the knot? This is another great place to start when it comes to choosing your colours. If you’re getting married in the fall, look to the turning leaves for colour inspiration and incorporate vibrant shades of yellow and orange. A springtime wedding, on the other hand, is perfectly suited to pretty pastel colours such as lavender, pistachio green and pale pink.

3. Create the Right Mood.

What type of celebration are you planning? Classic shades like ivory and navy blue convey a sophisticated air, while bright colours like Kelly green and hot pink are perfect for a funky fete. The right colour scheme is an easy way to create a certain ambience for your wedding. Want to know more about colour theory? Check out a colour psychologist’s advice here.

4. Think of Your Bridesmaids.

Don’t decide on a specific shade without considering your bridesmaids—especially if you expect them to wear the hue from head to toe! Each bridesmaid’s hair colour, eye colour and skin tone will affect how a certain colour looks on her, which is why you should choose a shade that flatters everyone equally or give them some options. For example, you can choose several shades of blue—from cobalt to baby blue—so there’s something for everyone. Also, Dessy has an ingenious way to make sure you and your bridesmaids are on the same page (no more squabbling about what coral looks like!). Through Dessy’s website you can order Pantone Wedding Chiplettes to distribute to your girls (and your vendors). Each Chiplette represents a specific Pantone colour (with a number), and each one corresponds with matching Dessy products such as bridesmaid dresses, ballet flats, etc.

5. Limit Your Options.

There are so many incredible colours to choose from that it’s easy to get carried away. Just remember, unless you’re planning a rainbow-themed wedding, you’ll want to be selective with your colours. As a rule of thumb, pick one main colour and two accent shades. You want your decor to look pulled together, not chaotic!

6. Get Inspired by Your Bouquet.

When in doubt, look to your favourite flower to establish a colour palette. This is a simple way to start narrowing down your colour options. For example, if red roses are a must-have, you might want to avoid green and white accents for fear of creating a Christmas vibe. Likewise, if you’re determined to have sunflowers in your bouquet, pastel bridesmaid dresses probably aren’t going to work.

An Elegant, New Year’s Eve Wedding in Vancouver, British Columbia

real weddings

Bride and Groom

With the help of the internet, Fraser and Dana not only met, but later became engaged under unique circumstances! “Fraser and his twin brother were new customers at my family-owned Tim Hortons,” Dana explains. “After a few failed attempts at getting my name, he emailed the customer comment email address asking me for my info, and signed off with his regular order. I instantly knew who it was, and we met up shortly after.”

When it was time to pop the question, Fraser thought up a creative proposal idea that Dana wouldn’t see coming. “He worked on a Pinterest storyboard piece displaying our relationship — from asking my parents for my hand in marriage, and ending it with asking me to marry him,” said Dana. “He uploaded it to Pinterest at the exact time that I always went on the site (right before bed), and waited for my reaction. It was Christmas Eve and I obviously got the best present ever!”

The two were married at the beautiful Rosewood Hotel Georgia in Vancouver on New Year’s Eve. They accented their stunning venue with brown, silver, and gold decor. Each table was decorated with a dramatic centrepiece comprised of branches adorned with pearls, crystals and candles.

Dana Hammoud and Fraser Goodwin, December 31, 2013, Vancouver, British Columbia.

Photography courtesy of Luke Liable.

Vendors
Ceremony and reception location: The Rosewood Hotel Georgia
Bridal gown and bridal party attire: Lisa’s Bridal
Groom’s tux: Hugo Boss
Cake: Sweet Retreat
Music: Beyond Sound
Hair and makeup: Colleen Conroy
Flowers and decor: Wedding Design Studio
Wedding planner: Melissa Dabrowski from The Rosewood Hotel Georgia

See more photos of this elegant, New Year’s Eve wedding in Vancouver, B.C.

A Beautiful Beach Wedding On Florida’s Marco Island

real weddings

Wedding Party

Cathy and Adam had their first date together when they were still in high school. He picked her up in his red Honda Civic and they shared dessert at East Side Mario’s. Cathy admits that back then, she was a complete nerd, and Adam was the stereotypical sports jock. After their date, Cathy was unsure about Adam and hinted that she wasn’t interested.

As years went by their paths continuously crossed. They both worked at the same local hospital and over time they began talking more frequently. “I remember all week I just couldn’t wait to get to Saturday, when I could dress up and bump into him,” she admits. “I found the tables had turned and it was my turn to chase him. It was a long chase. But one day, I blinked, and our friendship turned into a solid relationship. The best kind of relationship is built from a foundation of friendship.”

Along with 50 of their family members and friends, the two traveled to Florida to exchange vows on the beach on sun-kissed Marco Island. The couple selected a colour palette of blue and green for their big day to complement the natural beauty of their venue, while beach-appropriate sand, starfish and sea shells were used to accent reception tables.

Cathy Williams and Adam Ghattas, April 8, 2012, Marco Island, Florida.

Photography courtesy of Barbara Cameron.

Vendors
Ceremony and reception location: Marco Island Marriott Hotel
Bridal gown: Janine Adamyk
Bridesmaid dresses: Bill Levkoff
Groom’s tux: Le Chateau
Music: DJ Dominick
Wedding planner: Carrie Darling from Carrie Darling Events Florida

See more of this beautiful beach wedding in Florida.

Wedding Colours: 5 Common Blunders to Avoid

planning

Deciding on your wedding colours early in the planning process is crucial. The wedding colours you choose will determine your stationery, your flowers, your bridesmaid dresses and more. Narrowing down your options can be challenging, especially when you have an entire rainbow at your disposal. Luckily for you, the rules aren’t as hard and fast as they used to be—almost anything goes when it comes to wedding colours so pick hues that express your personality. That being said, there are some guidelines to follow that will help you from committing a colour crime on your wedding day! Without further ado, here are five common blunders to avoid when picking your wedding colours. Please note, each of these photos represents a do not a don’t!

Brag-Worthy Marriage Proposal Ideas Using Props

engagement

marriage proposal fortune cookie

A few key props can come in handy when it comes to creating the perfect marriage proposal, and there are tons of original ways to say “Will you marry me?” Tried-and-true approaches like putting the ring in a champagne flute or perched atop a slice of cheesecake could do the trick, but why not present a personalized Kinder Egg or custom crossword instead? And who could say “no” to a beloved family pet with a diamond ring on its collar? Without further ado, here are 10 creative ways to use props to craft a brag-worthy marriage proposal.

A Rustic-Meets-Urban Wedding in Toronto

real weddings

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When Nicole and Jan embarked on a road trip through the Canadian Rockies,  she had no idea he was planning on popping the question. For their last night out West, the two checked into the scenic Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise—a property Nicole had always dreamed of visiting—where Jan surprised her with a beautiful engagement ring. “As soon as I saw the ring I realized why he had been carrying a backpack everywhere,” she laughs. “He had it on him the entire time!”

In search of inspiration, Nicole started perusing bridal blogs and found herself drawn to weddings with a rustic esthetic. She loved the idea of getting married on a farm, but wasn’t sure she could find the perfect venue near their home base in Milton, Ontario. For a time the couple toyed with the idea of a destination wedding, “but it just didn’t feel like us,” Nicole muses.

Returning to her original concept, she typed “weddings in a barn” into Google, and lo and behold a property 2o minutes away popped up—the aptly named Weddings in a Barn, located in Cambridge. “It was everything I had imagined,” Nicole explains. “I knew right away we had to have our wedding there.”

With the ideal ceremony location locked down, Nicole turned her attention to creating personal touches and DIY elements for their special day. To give loved ones a taste of what was to come, Jan and Nicole chose rustic wooden wedding invites packaged in boxes filled with moss. The invite packages also included hand-drawn maps folded into heart shapes courtesy of the maid of honour. Other crafty projects included send-off flags, which guests waved at the happy couple post-ceremony, and snack packs containing apples and cookies. “The snacks were to keep our guests energized,” Nicole confides.

Her bridesmaids helped pull everything together—they even hand-tied their bouquets of baby’s breath. For her own bouquet Nicole entrusted the professionals at Eco Stems to create a natural-looking arrangement. “I wanted my bouquet to look effortless, like I had just walked through a garden and picked out some flowers,” she explains.

On the day of the wedding 100 guests joined Nicole and Jan beneath the barn’s soaring beams to witness the two say “I do.” Following their vows, and some amazing photo ops in the surrounding countryside, the newlyweds and company hit the road for the urban portion of the celebration—a rocking reception at downtown Toronto’s Drake Hotel.

“A typical banquet hall wouldn’t have been a good fit,” Nicole admits. “The Drake has a lot of personality so we knew it would be perfect. Plus, we used to go there a lot when we were first dating.” The hotel’s mouth-watering culinary offerings also sweetened the deal—guests were treated to such delights as a pulled pork buffet, macaroni and cheese and corn dogs.

After dinner everyone was lured onto the dance floor by Jan’s personalized playlist—an eclectic mix of hip hop, house and oldies. Nicole and Jan didn’t plan on having a first dance but the crowd insisted, so their first twirl to Robin Thicke’s “U Center Me” turned out to be a highlight of the evening.

“During the song our 18-month-old daughter River wandered onto the dance floor and joined us,” Nicole recalls. “She is such an important part of our lives. She represents the best of both of us, so it made perfect sense for us to have a first dance of three.”

Nicole Fajardo and Jan Almanzor, August 19, 2012, Toronto, Ontario.

Photography courtesy of All This Happiness Studios.

Vendors
Ceremony location: Weddings in a Barn
Reception location: The Drake Hotel
Bridal gown: Allure Bridals at Ritché
Caterer: The Drake Hotel
Flowers: Eco Stems
Groom’s attire: Holt Renfrew
Hair and makeup: Unbridled Images
Stationery: Wood Chick Studios

See more photos from this laid-back urban wedding in Toronto, Ontario.

A Romantic Farmers’ Market Wedding In Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

real weddings

Bride and Groom

The Saskatoon Farmers’ Market played host to its very first wedding last summer – Catherine and Ian’s organic, vintage theme was captured perfectly at this unique venue. The couple used streamers, gold Chiavari chairs, gradient centrepieces, family style tables and banners with love quotes in both French and English to personalize the space.

“The ceremony was very intimate and relaxed. We kept this feeling going as guests easily flowed into the reception area where they were able to enjoy their favourite cocktails immediately following the ceremony,” Catherine explains. She also notes that the bartenders — who preformed bottle-flipping and fire tricks throughout the night — were a big hit with her guests. “The reception was an incredible blend of amazing food and fabulous drinks,” Catherine shares. “The caterer used only locally-grown ingredients many of which came from the vendors at the market.”

Catherine Lacny and Ian Chan, June 1, 2013, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

Photography courtesy of Chelsea Klette.

Vendors
Ceremony and reception location: Saskatoon Farmers’ Market
Bridal gown: BHLDN
Groom’s tux: Ermenegildo Zegna
Cake and catering: Calories
Music: Danceland DJs
Hair and makeup: Magnolia Salon
Flowers: Blossoms
Stationery: DIY
Wedding planner: RSVP Event Design – Crystal MacLeod (crystal@rsvpeventdesign.ca)

See more of this romantic, vintage wedding in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan .

A Vintage Wedding In Treherne, Manitoba

real weddings

Bride and Groom

Caleigh and Chad’s relationship epitomizes modern romance—the two first met on Facebook! “I accepted his friend request, and we were pen pals for a few months before we met in person,” Caleigh explains. When it came time to propose, Chad presented Caleigh with a very special Kinder Surprise egg containing a beautiful Claddagh ring. Naturally, the happy couple decided to hand out Kinder Surprise eggs as wedding favours. While that decision came easily, Caleigh struggled to commit to a colour palette. “It took me forever to decide on colours. I kept changing my mind,” she discloses. Eventually, she chose grey, pink and navy blue for her “enchanted forest under the stars” theme. To achieve the desired look, the couple’s colours were combined with twinkle lights, moss and ivy—and Caleigh donned a sparkly gown.

Caleigh McCreery & Chad Cnudde, June 1, 2013,Treherne, Manitoba.

Photography courtesy of Memories by Me Photography.

Vendors
Ceremony location: Treherne United Church (204-723-2224)
Reception location:
Holland Community Hall  (204-526-2384)
Bridal gown:
Demetrios from Stella’s Bridal
Groom’s attire: Black by Vera Wang from Moores
Cake: Cake Studio
Music: DJ Dale of Tunes (204-724-7700)
Flowers: Robin’s Nest
Décor: Party Professionals

See more photos of this vintage wedding in Treherne, Manitoba.

An Elegant Red, Black and White Wedding in Edmonton, Alberta

real weddings

 Bride and Groom

Teri and Christopher met in 2010 at their mutual friend Ashley’s wedding, and they can credit her with engineering their introduction. “Since I was the only single bridesmaid, Ashley had pre-arranged for me to dance with Chris,” Teri explains. They spent the remainder of the evening getting to know each other, and the rest is history! For their summer wedding, they decided on an elegant colour palette of black, white and red, and the decor ended up being one of their favourite wedding elements. However, the most unique aspect of their wedding was caricature artist Gerry, who “smiled all night and sketched tirelessly throughout the reception,” Teri concludes. “He was a hit!”

Teri Patterson and Christopher Sadek, July 20, 2013, Edmonton, Alberta.

Photography courtesy of Shandro Photo.

Vendors
Ceremony location: Holy Trinity Anglican Church
Reception location:
ATB Financial Arts Barn
Bridal gown:
Martina Liana from The Bridal Boutique
Bridal party attire:
Pusch
Groom’s attire:
Armani from Holt Renfrew
Decor:
Elegant Touches
Cake:
Cakes by Janna
Caterer:
Sawmill Banquet Centre
Music:
Revolution DJ Services
Hair and makeup:
Aveda Academy Salon in Edmonton
Flowers:
Kate Ashton Florists
Stationery:
Wedding Paper Divas
Caricature artist:
Gerry Rasmussen
Jewellery:
Vandenberg Jewellers

See more photos of this simple and elegant wedding in Edmonton.

A Fun, Elegant Wedding in Winnipeg, Manitoba

real weddings

fun-intimate-wedding-MAN_30

Deciding where to say “I do” was easy for Jordan and Jeffrey—they chose the Fort Garry United Church where both their sets of parents were married more than 25 years before. Needless to say, the couple’s ceremony was especially meaningful. “We felt this part of the day was our moment,” Jordan reflects. “Jeff and I were only looking at each other, and it was as if we were the only ones in the church.” After exchanging vows, it was time to get the party started, but Jeffrey had no idea exactly what was in store. “He didn’t realize I had some surprises up my sleeve,” Jordan jokes. Unbeknownst to Jeffrey, Jordan snuck away to switch her dress before serenading him with a rendition of “Sea of Love” by Cat Power. “Every Wednesday for two months I practiced with my cousins to perfect my version of the song,” Jordan explains. “I wish I had a picture of the look on Jeff’s face when I was called up to the microphone!”

Jordan Wiebe and Jeffrey Stevens, June 1, 2013, Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Photography courtesy of Red Photo Co.

Vendors
Ceremony location: Fort Garry United Church
Reception location: Fort Garry Hotel
Bridal gowns: Mori Lee from LA Collection (ceremony); Sue Wong (reception)
Bridal party attire: Jordan Fashions from Alan Evans Bridal
Cake: Laugh Love Cakes
Decorator: Decorations By Rick
Flowers: Fache Floral Designs
Music: Topps Music Service

See more photos from this elegant wedding in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

A Romantic Wedding in Winnipeg, Manitoba

real weddings

romantic-wedding-MAN_15

Bride Chelsey confesses she wasn’t the type of little girl who dreamt about her wedding day but admits that marrying her love Kevin was better than she could have imagined. “I could never have dreamt up something as beautiful as that night or someone so perfect to stand beside me,” she reflects. From the couple’s first-look photos to a late-night jam session when guests joined band members on stage, every moment of the day was action-packed. Yet in the midst of all the excitement, Chelsey only had eyes for her handsome groom— as well as her fabulous flowers! “There were a lot of photos taken of me looking at my bouquet because I couldn’t take my eyes off it,” she laughs. The lush floral arrangements were just one element of the idyllic decor, which also included candles set atop rosette tablecloths.

Chelsey Rieger and Kevin Daciw, June 22, 2013, Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Photography courtesy of Kamp Photography.

Vendors
Ceremony and reception location: The Delta Hotel
Bridal gown: Paloma Blanca from Chantal’s Bridal
Bridal party attire: Harsuccthing on Etsy
Cupcakes: Karen Jurkowski, a friend of the bride
Decor: Dream Day Decor
Favours: Pelican Lures
Flowers: Academy Florists
Groom’s tux: Aldo Formal Wear
Hair: Rayna Redmond at Skala Hair Studios (204-253-6866)
Makeup: 2 Chicks and a Bag of Makeup
Music: Luke and Murray
Stationery: Quantum Graphics

See more photos from this beautiful wedding in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

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