Are you a food enthusiast with an adventurous palate who lives for testing new recipes and dining out with friends? Why not show off your love of all things gourmet with fabulous foodie favours?
While cupcakes and cookies are classic edible favours, we suggest going above and beyond the traditional items. Our pick of delicious foodie favours range from delectable marshmallows in crazy flavours (like chai spice and champagne) to chocolate-dipped pretzels covered in fun toppings like toasted coconut or smooth mint.
For those that love the idea of giving away homemade jam (but are pressed for time to make it), look to quality farms that create natural preserves using only the finest ingredients.
For foodie favours that are more common (especially for your pickier guests) you really can’t go wrong with candy crackle–a party mix that includes buttery caramel corn, salty pretzels, roasted almonds and dark Belgian chocolate. Whether you’re on the hunt for a luxurious tasty item or want an edible treat that’s less predictable, here’s our curated list of 10 foodie favours that are sure to delight your guests (and their stomachs!).
Although renown for its vineyards, Napa Valley is also home to some of the best olive groves in the world. For a gourmet treat, we suggest savoury dipping oils, in flavours like pesto, red pepper garlic and Parmesan herb, from <a href="http://www.oliviernapavalley.com/catalog?categoryId=10 " target="_blank">Olivier Napa Valley</a>.<br />
Image via <a href="http://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/olivier-dipping-oil/?pkey=coils-vinegars-condiments" target="_blank">Willliams-Sonoma</a>.
For the finest in chocolate, opt for luxurious truffles from <a href="http://www.charbonnel.co.uk/products/chocolate-truffles/dusted-caramel-truffles.html " target="_blank">Charbonnel et Walker</a>. Our pick? These sea salt caramel confections, which are lightly dusted in icing sugar.
Unveil a stacked table of donuts towards the end of the evening, which can act as your favours. Place personalized boxes or take-away bags near the display so that guests can grab treats for the road. <br />
Image via <a href="http://sugarandcharm.com/2014/01/im-donuts-over-you-valentines-day-printable.html/" target="_blank">Sugar and Charm</a>.
With heavenly flavours like banana pudding, saffron and pistachio, cookies and cream, chai spice and champagne–it’s no wonder these marshmallows from <a href="http://www.240sweet.com" target="_blank">240sweet</a> are award-winning. This is one gourmet treat that will surely be a crowd-pleaser.<br />
Image via <a href="http://www.gilttaste.com/products/102508625-sweet-artisan-marshmallows-classic-fruit-marshmallow-bundle " target="_blank">gilttaste.com</a>.
For a rustic celebration, gift your guests with loaves of your favourite sweet or savoury bread wrapped in vintage paper and twine.<br />
Photo via <a href="http://www.intimateweddings.com/blog/lemon-loaf-with-zucchini-mini-loaf-favors/" target="_blank">Intimate Weddings</a>.
Looking for preserves made from the highest quality ingredients? Go with seasonal, artisanal jam, jelly or marmalade from Toronto-based <a href="http://www.kittenandthebear.com/collections/early-spring-collection" target="_blank">Kitten & The Bear</a>. Made in the French confiture style in traditional hand-hammered copper preserving pans, these Canadian preserves boast exquisite texture and unique, mouth-watering flavours.
Don’t have a sweet tooth? Why not thank guests with miniature jars of black truffle salt? This gourmet staple from <a href="http://www.le-sanctuaire.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=ls&Product_Code=SSTMiniBlackTruffleSalt&Category_Code=Truffles " target="_blank">Le Sanctuaire</a> combines truffles from Italy with hand-harvested sea salt.
For couples seeking a mix of sweet and salty, candy crackle from <a href="http://www.plumgiftco.com/occasional/snackmix/default.aspx " target="_blank">Plum Gift Co.</a> is the perfect solution. Featuring a mix of buttery caramel corn, salty pretzels, roasted almonds and dark Belgian chocolate–this is one wedding favour that definitely won’t get left behind.
The motto “a new twist on an old classic” rings true for <a href="http://www.fattysundays.com/" target="_blank">Fatty Sundays & Co.</a>, a company that specializes in chocolate-covered pretzels dipped in non-traditional toppings. Crazy, delicious flavours run the gamut from toasted coconut to smooth mint to PB&J. <br />
Image via <a href="http://www.gilttaste.com/products/162455165-fatty-sundays-co-fruitful-mix " target="_blank">gilttaste.com</a>.
Have an appreciation for all things local and organic? Swing by the market and pick up some seasonal fruit (berries are best in the summer whereas apples are best bought in the fall) and place them in baskets for guests to pick up on the way out. <br />
Photo by <a href="http://www.ameliajohnson.net/" target="_blank">Amelia Johnson</a> via <a href="http://ruffledblog.com/galleries/bohemian-summer-inspiration/?nggpage=7&pid=64594 " target="_blank">Ruffled</a>.
Your wedding cake will serve as the centrepiece of your sweet table spread so whether you’ve got your eye on a simple one-tier creation or an elaborate towering confection, it’s important to make sure this important dessert matches the overall theme of your celebration. Here we’ll show you four sweet ways to match your cake to your party style.
A classic wedding day calls for beautiful floral arrangements that won’t grow out of style. When selecting wedding centrepieces you’ll want to take into consideration the shapes of your tables, your colour palette and your overall theme. From tulips to roses, here are five inspiring wedding centrepiece ideas for your reception. These timeless picks are guaranteed to wow your guests.
Tying the knot on Wategos Beach in Byron Bay, Australia was the natural location choice for Brittany Barr and Joel Hutchines. After all, it’s where the two spend most of their time together and it’s also where they got engaged. “I knew Britt was the one very early on in our relationship,” Joel shares. “We are best friends and we bring out the best in each other. It was never really a question of if, but more so when, I would propose.”
Keeping it a surprise from Britt, Joel planned to pop the question during their ritual morning walk to the beach with their dog. “I organized a couple of photographers to hide and take photos. This just happened to be after a cyclone and the beach was eroded; it was a rainy day and there was literally no one else there but us—which was very rare,” Joel describes. “My friend managed to capture an image of everything that made for the most amazing picture, with our dog and full city skyline in the background. I still look at the photo all the time and think how special that moment was, and how lucky we are to have each other and to live in such an amazing place.”
For their wedding day, the two, alongside 110 of their friends and family, said “I do” on a beach under a wooden arbour topped with vibrant flowers in shades of violet, pink, orange and green. “The flowers were quite possibly my favourite part of the wedding,” Britt says. “Elise from Elyssium Blooms is seriously a floral genius. I told her my idea and vision and she made it all come to life. My bouquet was extra-special because I attached my grandparents’ wedding photo to it. They weren’t able to travel all the way to Australia so it was my way of having them with me all day.”
Just as Britt and Joel were signing the register, the cloudy skies, which had looked threatening all day, finally unleashed rain upon them. “Joel swept me up and ran under a tree. It was actually for the best because the clouds gave us an amazing backdrop for our photos and we even got a rainbow!”
Following their ceremony, the pair and their guests headed to the Byron Beach Café for a cocktail-style party. A lounge area was set up, complete with a couch and armchairs for people to relax in, as well as an array of tables in varying heights for guests to set their food and drinks on.
Obsessed with shapes and colour, Britt ensured that everything from their geometric cake decor (which she and Joel made together), to the hexagonal-tiled guestbook, complemented their whimsical style. “I loved the geometric decorations and fashion in the year leading up to our wedding,” Britt says. “It just seemed really fun and unique to me, so Joel and I collaborated and came up with some interesting ideas.”
The rest of the evening digressed into one big dance party filled with great music, entertaining speeches and amazing food. “The speeches were one of my favourite parts of the night. They were super-emotional but funny and inspiring at the same time,” Britt says, and Joel agrees. “The night went by way too fast—we wish we could do it all again.”
After their wedding day, Britt and Joel kept the party going with a group trip. “We actually went on a ‘groupiemoon’,” Britt exclaims. “My family had flown over from Canada for the first time, so there was no way we were leaving them. We went up to Palm Cove in Far North Queensland and spent four days exploring the Great Barrier Reef, the Daintree Rainforest and lazing on the beach with cocktails. It was bliss!”
Brittany Barr and Joel Hutchines, September 27, 2014, Byron Bay, Australia.
Being a DIY bride isn’t always easy, or budget-friendly. But, with the right supplies and a few inspired ideas it can be a cinch. As a rule of a thumb, don’t go into your wedding thinking you can craft everything–unless you have a well thought-out plan and quite a bit of time on your hands. Instead, pick a few DIY projects that you know will work in your favour. We suggest more manageable DIY crafts like a photo booth backdrop or really unique place cards, or, in this case: centrepieces. There are plenty of pretty (and simple!) ways to decorate your tabletops. To find a little inspiration, check out this collection of stunning DIY centrepiece ideas.
It was a music festival in New York City that initially brought Landry Fields, a guard-forward for the Toronto Raptors, and Elaine Alden, a model, together. “Landry was playing for the New York Knicks at that time and I was modeling in the city,” Elaine explains. “We had a lot of fun together at the festival. At one point he made a Dumb and Dumber joke and that’s what ultimately sold me.”
Landry decided to pop the question in the same city where he’d first met Elaine. “We were in New York, the Raptors were facing the Knicks that day,” Elaine shares. “We had a very casual lunch before Landry had to go shoot around. I had to go to the bathroom and on my way I saw a photo booth, which has always been our thing. We have a ton of photo booth pictures together.” The two got inside the booth to snap some shots to add to their collection. While waiting for the pictures to print, Elaine noticed that something had already been printed. “I flipped the print over and saw Landry holding up four different signs, one for each picture with the words ‘will you marry me’,” Elaine describes. “I turned around shocked, and there he was on one knee holding out my insanely perfect ring!”
The couple decided to host their celebration at Rockefeller Center’s 620 Loft & Garden, which overlooks the original Saks Fifth Avenue store as well as St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and Radio City Music Hall. To accent their classy yet understated glam look, the couple, along with the help of event planner Sofia Crokos, chose a colour palette full of blush, ivory, white and rose gold.
With 125 guests in attendance, Elaine walked down the aisle with her father in a stunning Inbal Dror bridal gown. “The ceremony was the highlight of our day,” Elaine recalls. “Watching our son go down the aisle on a wooden cart with a ‘Here Comes My Mommy’ sign on the back was so touching. And then, of course, looking up at Landry and saying our vows is a moment I’ll never forget.”
To keep the party going, the newlyweds ushered guests into their reception room, which was brimming with beautiful florals that included a mix of lisianthus, roses and hydrangeas. The tablescapes included floral centrepieces displayed in a collection of etched and cut crystal vases and tea lights suspended in tall crystal flutes. Adding to the romantic atmosphere was a custom LOVE marquee sign, a mirror that acted as a seating chart and a lush boxwood wall full of greenery and foliage.
To open up the dance floor, Landry and Elaine took their first twirl as husband and wife to David Gray’s ‘This Years Love’. “It was such a beautiful song with a soft beat, it wasn’t a common first dance song and we both loved it,” Elaine shares. “The reception was so much fun. Our DJ from Generation Events did a fantastic job. The music sounded great and the party went into full swing after dinner and didn’t stop until three the next morning.”
Landry Fields and Elaine Alden, July 14, 2014, New York City, New York.
The language of flowers dates back to the Victorian era when petals were given special meanings. For your bridal bouquet, why not adopt this age-old tradition by incorporating some symbolic blossoms into the mix?
We put together eight meaningful bouquets using some of spring’s most popular blooms, from tulips to ranunculus. See what your favourite arrangement says about you!
As Valentine’s Day nears, we once again find ourselves surrounded with an abundance of romantic ideas that could easily be worked into a wedding celebration. Heart-shaped desserts, especially, are popping up all over the web from ombré cakes to homey pies to whimsical candy cakes. Easy DIY garlands and buntings inspired by Valentine’s Day are also high in demand and we’ve found ultra-cute ways to incorporate these decor items onto your dessert bar. Think red, pink and white just won’t jive with your colour palette? Don’t let that deter you from borrowing some of these inspiring ideas–you can easily switch up the hues to have them complement your wedding day.
Jaclyn and Tyler met while working together at a restaurant in Jaclyn’s hometown, but it wasn’t until after she left for school that the two started dating. In June 2013, Tyler popped the question at the top of the Eiffel Tower. “He had the ring on his finger and just waited for me to notice it before asking me to marry him,” Jaclyn shares.
The couple chose an old Victorian mansion with beautiful grounds for their outdoor wedding. “Our ceremony backdrop was a wall of hand-made paper flowers, which were present in a great number of our wedding’s DIY details from the centrepieces to our ‘pick-your-flower’ escort cards,” Jaclyn says.
For Jaclyn and Tyler, a colour scheme with lots of vibrant shades was top of mind. “We wanted our day to be a reflection of out personalities. We wanted it to be fun and create the happiest possible memories for everyone,” the two reflect. Their celebration was filled with many activities to create a something-for-everyone kind of atmosphere. A heart-shaped piñata, a create-your-own sangria bar, and a photo booth complete with fun accessories were just a handful of things for guests to try.
To please their guests’ taste buds, dinner was set into staffed stations, with prime rib, rolled-to-order sushi, and pasta stations. “We also served up a variety of cupcakes and mini pies for dessert, and, of course, we had an open bar,” Jaclyn shares. “We even got to enjoy the food before dancing the rest of our day away.”
Jaclyn Mason and Tyler McNeill, July 5, 2014, Toronto Ontario.
Gillian Roberts and Luke Gibson will always remember their camp days at Kilcoo Camp in Minden, Ontario. After all, it was the place they first met. “It was an all-boys camp and I was working there as one of five girls,” Gillian explains. “Luke managed to shine brighter than any other of the 100 male staff.
For their wedding day, which would take place at Gillian’s family home in Singhampton, Ontario, the pair decided on a country-chic theme. To match their natural ambiance, Luke and Gillian chose to surround their evening with lots of white with touches of greenery and wood. The harvest tables at their reception were kept bare with simple runners, and the couple even found wine barrel bars to complete the rustic theme.
“The ceremony was the most special moment of the day,” Gillian remembers. “We worked with our officiant, Carolyn Taylor, to create a lighthearted, unique ceremony.” Personal vows were recited along with a reading of an excerpt of Ellen Degeneres’ commencement speech at Tulane University. A particularly adorable part of the ceremony occurred when Gillian and Luke’s poodle left her seat to join the couple up front and fell asleep on Gillian’s train.
Following their vows, the couple and guests headed to the reception tent. “I worked closesly with Paras Events and Happenings Party Rentals to find the perfect tent,” Gillian shares. “After many conversations, I eventually convinced Happenings Party Rentals to add a sail cloth tent to their inventory and it made its first debut at our wedding. The high ceilings in the tent hung with white Einstein bulbs provided the exact setting we were hoping for.”
In addition to their romantic mood, the couple ensured guests were entertained through their music options. “Luke worked for months with the band, Stereoflavour, the DJ, and the string duet to create the perfect acoustic vibe for the evening,” Gillian says. “The eight-person band, complete with a horn section, kept the dance floor full the entire night and we couldn’t have asked for anything more.”
Gillian Roberts and Luke Gibson, June 14, 2014, Singhampton, Ontario.
Wedding decor in 2015 is all about making a statement, from the colour palette you choose to the accents that will define your day. Grand entranceways, rows upon rows of candles and bold, green colour schemes are all on our radar for the year ahead.
Can’t decide on which sweet treats to serve guests with at your reception? We don’t blame you! Thanks to the increasing popularity of dessert bars, candy tables, cake pops and other sugary delights, there’s quite a crop to pick from. While a tiered wedding cake is still a staple item, many couples are looking to feature more than one dessert option.
For 2015, we see brides and grooms getting more personal with their sweets. Custom lollipops will be huge this year as will macarons, which will make an appearance on nearly every sweet table. Nostalgic sweets are also making a big comeback – watch for the return of Hostess cupcakes, Twinkies and marshmallow treats of every description.
Photo by Carlo Mendoza. Styling by Tara Williams. First published in Weddingbells Spring & Summer 2015 issue.
Want wedding shoes are that extra-sparkly and fun? The winter holiday season always brings out the best crop of party shoes, so think about investing in your wedding footwear now. From glittering, bow-adorned pumps to jewel-toned peep-toes, there’s an endless amount of fancy footwear in the market right now. And for those who aren’t keen on heels, we’ve also tracked down five glittery pairs of ballet flats that are just as glamorous as any pair of sky-high stilettos.
Torontonians Renata De Thomasis and Aundrae Rollins met when they were teenagers. “Aundrae was on my dad’s soccer team and became best friends with my brother,” Renata explains. “He was always at our house and he eventually moved in with us.” Although they were childhood friends, the two drifted apart and didn’t reconnect until a New Year’s Eve party in 2004.
As a wedding makeup artist, Renata had seen her fair share of celebrations, so when it came to planning her own party she looked to unique places for inspiration. “We loved Dolce & Gabbana’s Fall 2014 collection with its warm golds, rich reds, black and a stained-glass-window blue,” Renata says. The couple, together with their event planner and designer Melissa Andre of Melissa Andre Events dreamed up a list of ideas to bring this colour palette to life.
“For my bouquet I went to Blush & Bloom and asked for a creation with red flowers,” Renata shares. “I absolutely loved it when I saw it—it was like walking around with a piece of art.” Ruby red shoes and black bridesmaid dresses also emphasized her motif. “For the decor, we left that up to Melissa and her team to help design, and we couldn’t have asked for anything more ‘us’ than what we got,” Renata confirms.
The wedding day began with a ceremony at The Spoke Club, located in downtown Toronto. The walk down the aisle was a special moment between the couple, not only because they were seeing each other for the first time, but also because they had placed a bet over whether Aundrae would cry. Dressed in a stunning Jenny Packham gown and cloaked in a custom-made cape from Valencienne, Renata knew the instant she locked eyes with Aundrae that he was about to melt. “I will say proudly I lost the bet,” Aundrae laughs. “I had so many emotions that day—excited, anxious and over-joyed about the whole moment of seeing her. When I saw her turn the corner with her parents, I was floored. To me, she couldn’t have been more perfect.”
For their reception, the couple selected Toronto’s Berkeley Church. “We chose that particular venue because of its character,” Renata says. “For the decorations, we added some modern elements and lots of florals. I loved seeing it all—it felt like we were in a very old European cathedral.” Upon arrival guests were greeted with rows and rows of tables topped in a custom blue-and-white-patterned decal, black-and- white lampshades wrapped in garlands and roses, and gold-and-black dinnerware topped with an ultra-luxe treat: Christian Lacroix notebooks for guests to take home. The pièce de resistance was the beautiful head table decked in candles, a lush floral arch and a five-tiered wedding cake.
To officially open the main reception room, guests watched from the mezzanine of the church as Renata and Aundrae took their first twirl as Mr. & Mrs. to “I Found My Everything” by Mary J. Blige. “We felt like we were alone, dancing on a stage,” Renata recalls. “It felt like our moment—and it was amazing to have our closest friends and family watching us.”
Renata De Thomasis and Aundrae Rollins, May 17, 2014, Toronto, Ontario.