Behind the Dress – Lisbeth

Content derived from the Vera Wang Blog, Vera Unveiled.

Strapless floating tulip and rose lace ball gown with open back and classic corset detailing.

Lisbeth is the pinnacle of fairy-tale romance. Imagine Marie Antoinette’s voluminous yet structured ball gowns in the court of Versailles. Lisbeth possesses exactly the same kind of regal elegance.

At the heart of this Luxe gown, as with the other dresses in this collection, is an applique of tulip and rose lace, one of my boldest lace patterns yet. Oversized tulip and rose blossoms are cut apart and fused together to create the ultimate floral symbol of love. The combination of the two types of flowers gives the lace a rich, tonal pattern.

When I set out to design this collection, I wanted to re-examine lace, such a traditional, quintessential fabric, but I also wanted to reinvent it with a pattern that really popped. So I love the extreme size of these flowers. There’s a kind of drama you don’t get from more traditional lace patterns, and it’s very different from the more spidery, delicate laces I’ve used in the past. I didn’t completely abandon tradition, however. I still love the delicacy that a really fine Chantilly lace adds, so there are flashes of that appliquéd onto the gown, too. It’s subtle, and so sophisticated.

Covered with dense, tonal lace appliqué, Lisbeth’s classic corseted bodice delicately nips and sculpts the waist with boning into a V-shape, really drawing the eye to the center. The hourglass shape of the bodice is a beautiful contrast to the airy, frothy layers of tulle in the skirt. The open keyhole back is especially alluring. I have always felt that just a hint of skin adds such a modern touch.

Then there’s that dramatic, classic ball gown skirt, a voluminous explosion of tulle layers. The front of the skirt is blank, while the front and back sides have an applique of lace blossoms tossed onto both sides of the skirt. The negative space on the front of the skirt gives you such a nice contrast to the textures of the lace. It makes the lace on the sides feel more special, because you get little flashes of it, instead of it being so bold

Dreamy and diaphanous, Lisbeth effortlessly embodies everything about my return to romance, a thoroughly contemporary take on classicism.

Two Reasons to Consider a Pre-Nup Agreement

You see it in the tabloids all the time. Celebrities are signing pre-nuptial agreements before getting married. Should you have one?

Pre-nuptial agreements have been around for a long time. A pre-nuptial agreement is a contract between two people who are about to wed. It itemizes how assets will be distributed in the event of divorce or death. Pre-nups, as they are commonly called, have existed for thousands of years particularly in European and Far Eastern cultures. They were used by royal families who made provisions for protecting their wealth.

Recently, the Spectrum Group , a strategic consulting firm specializing in the affluent and retirement markets, conducted research on the use of pre-nups by Ultra High Net Worth Investors (UHNW). UHNW’s are those with investable assets of $5 million to $25 million, not including primary residence.

They found that more than two-thirds of UHNW Investors would recommend a prenuptial agreement to a couple getting married today. This is an increase of 18% from 2012. However, more than half perceive a significant disadvantage to prenups. Here’s an overview of their attitude toward prenups:

• Advantages: Ultra high Net Worth Investors perceive three key benefits from a prenuptial agreement. Pre-nups protect assets accumulated before the marriage. A majority indicated a prenup promotes an open discussion about finances and removes the incentive to “marry for money.” Most believe a prenup can make divorce proceedings go more smoothly and protects children from a previous marriage.

• Disadvantages: The majority of UHNW Investors (54 percent) feel that a prenup “introduces a negative feeling toward a marriage.” Others voiced that it may wrongly place the emphasis on money and not love or make it easier to get a divorce.

You don’t have to be a an UHNW Investor to need a premarital agreement. A person who has managed to save $30,000 or has a growing business venture may be more protective of their little nest egg than someone who has millions. But it is noteworthy that of the UHNW Investors who recommended have a pre-nup, only 4% actually had one for their own marriage.

Since we border the provinces of Ontario and Quebec in the Ottawa Region, and I perform marriages in both, I want to highlight the differences between the two provinces. The Quebec Civil Code , sections 431-492, stipulates the matrimonial regime for marriages whereas Ontario is silent on the issue. Unless otherwise specified, many of the issues covered in a pre-nup are already in the Quebec Civil Code. For example, section 450, stipulates that private property is property owned or possessed by that spouse when the regime comes into effect which includes a spouse’s clothing and personal papers, wedding ring, decorations and diplomas.

When it comes to pre-nups there are two broad reasons why it may be a good idea to consider having one drawn up. Pre-nups can spell out the disposition of an accumulation of wealth and it also can protect children from a previous marriage. In either case, discussions around pre-nups are always sensitive and must be handled with appropriate legal advice.


Happy Shoesday with The Freya Rose collection

Freya Rose collections take an innovative, romantic and breathtaking approach to classic couture shoes.

The shoes are handmade by craftsmen who have learnt their trade through generations, made in the finest materials from Italy.

The bridal and special occasion collection incorporates fresh water pearls, couture Parisian lace and heels adorned in mother of pearl in their inspired designs.

The intricate detailing of these beautiful shoes truly makes for a luxurious and unique collection.

We’ve chosen a few bridal shoes to show you, but you have to visit and check out the galleries. These shoes are absolutely gorgeous and the shoe clips are genius. Freya plans to have the collections available in Canada soon.


Freya RoseFreya Rose studied footwear at the prestigious London college of fashion graduating in 2003 with a first class honors degree. Freya went on to hone her design skills whilst working for many other designers including Gina and designing for many popular high street stores.

Freya Rose designs have been heavily influenced by the designers informed background in the fine jewelry industry. The resulting collaboration with multi De Beers award winning goldsmiths has created work of the finest craftsmanship, creating the most exquisite and desirable shoes. Designs have included a carved silver heel, 18ct gold, diamonds, tourmaline, most recently a shoe adorned with Tahitian pearls and platinum which won 1st place in the Tahitian pearl awards 2008.

Freya spends much of her time traveling to source the raw materials to make the decorative trims in house ensuring they are unique and exclusive to the shoes. She also spends much of her time with the craftsmen who make the shoes, to oversee the lines and contours of the shoes are flattering and sexy, fit is superb, that every component used will ensure comfort. Freya Rose concept is produce shoes with the use of the finest materials in the market, craftsmen with passion and design with love.

Why you want a professional photographer for your Wedding

By Alan Viau

I always ask couples about the photographer they will be using at their wedding. Their choice of photographer tells me something of their style and how I can approach the ceremony.

At the start of a wedding ceremony preparation meeting, I ask the bride and groom who will be photographing their event. There are times when they have yet to choose one. I emphasize that they really do WANT a professional/ experienced photographer to capture a day that will go by in a (excuse the pun) flash.

Some couples say they will go with a ‘friend’ who has a really good camera. A good camera is an essential starting point. However, with an non-professional person, it is like asking to win the Indy 500. I can drive the car – but I can’t win the race.

I want to illustrate this point by comparing my photos of a wedding compared with their hired professional photographer Bryan Jones.

Photo by Alan Viau

Same couple with the purple umbrella. But composition makes it really special. The shot from Bryan is awesome. Mine is nice. Professional photographers know what shots to take and how to set them up. They can make your story come through.

A professional/ experienced photographer will know how to handle the location. Rockcliffe Pavilion, where this wedding took place, is a notoriously dark location. The couple added extra lighting so that we could be seen. Still, when using my camera, it was a challenge. Bryan was able to get clear photos.

Photo by Alan Viau

Photo by Bryan Jones

What do I advise couples about choosing a photographer? Firstly, don’t look at price; look at photo galleries on line. You want to hire a photographer that produces the kind of pictures you want to keep forever. Every year I drag out our wedding photos at our anniversary – that was 32 years ago! You want to choose the style of photography that suits you.  There is a style for everyone – glamour, vintage, photojounalistic to name a few. You are hiring an artist each with their own style. Knowing the photographer you have chosen, gives me a clue as to kind of wedding you are wanting and how I can help craft a ceremony for you.

Professional photographers know the standard wedding shots and touching moments to take. They will organize themselves to capture them. For example, when the kiss is coming up in the ceremony, I see the photographer getting into position to take the shot.  What you need to tell them is whether there is a special location or kinds of pictures you would like captured. They can develop a tapestry of shots in their minds to tell your story.

After you have figured out what you want, then comes pricing the service. Remember that this is a one time event and needs to be treated as such. Professional photography is worthwhile for your wedding. Great photos trigger your memories of love – tomorrow and thereafter.

Beyond the Bridal Shop: Options for Wedding Party Attire

By Danielle Hernandez

You’ve envisioned your wedding day since you were five years old. The colors, the dream dress, bridal accessories, the cake and beautiful flowers. You may have even dreamed up custom couture dresses for the bridesmaids, flower girl and your mom.

With the wedding day approaching, it’s important that you’ve narrowed down a color scheme and style for your wedding party. Lots of brides and grooms stick with large bridal and suit stores because of their convenience, reputation and ease. That ease can come with a high price tag, even for tux rentals, which aren’t known for their ideal fits.


of having your wedding party drop hundreds on an outfit to wear for one night, why not try thinki

ng outside the box for something in an unexpected place? Bridesmaids dresses don’t have to all be identical. As long as they’re the same color and style, different dresses can add a fun splash of creativity.

Cocktail Dresses

Don’t be that bride that insists their bridesmaids have to look unattractive, forcing them to buy the ugliest (and most expensive) dress in the store a la Katherine Heigl in “27 Dresses.”

Cocktail dresses would be adorable for an outdoor, summer wedding. The perfect cocktail dress can be found for as little as $40, and can be worn plenty of times after the wedding.

Vintage Finds

This season is all about mod ‘60s fashion and vintage dreads. For a fun bridesmaids dress, take a trip to Goodwill or your local thrift store. Vintage clothes and high-end fashion brands can be found at thrift stores, and Goodwill offers special discounts every day on special colored tags. Half-off days are the best days to venture, which are usually held every other Saturday. Be ready to commit to a large time investment and don’t be afraid to leave empty-handed unless you find something perfect.


Instead of wasting money renting tuxes, the groomsmen should consider buying a new suit. Just like all things, if the cost is higher the value is better.  Renting a tux will run at least $90 a night and can cost over $200. A brand-new, never worn suit will cost a few hundred dollars, but every man should have a decent suit in his wardrobe so it may be a win-win.

Fabulously DIY

For crafty gals, sewing or re-vamping an old dress is a fun and easy way to save money. Have you found the perfect fabric or pattern, but it’s five sizes too big? Just take it to your local seamstress or fix it yourself with a handy dandy sewing machine.

Pinterest is the perfect social media tool for brides-to-be looking for wedding ideas. It’s also the perfect tool to use to get inspiration from other crafty bloggers. There’s idea after idea for transforming baggy, old clothing into fabulous dresses.  All of which are great bridesmaid dress ideas, as long as you have ample time to perfect your work.

You don’t have to shop at well-known bridal stores to get the look you want for your bridesmaids and groomsmen. With planning, bargain shopping and a little crafty touch, your wedding party can pay a fraction of the price of normal dresses, and they will be able to wear the outfit again and again.

Bridal party photo from Flickr user Connie Roberts / ConnieFoggles.

4 Tips on Your Marriage License

By Dr. Alan Viau

In Ontario, you are required to purchase a Marriage License so that the marriage can be legally recognized. It is important that all the information on the license be accurate. Lately, I’ve seen mistakes on the license that could have been corrected at the time of purchase.

During the wedding ceremony, we all sign the Marriage License. I then send the completed license to the Provincial Registrar who registers the marriage. This completes the process to have a legally recognized marriage in the Province of Ontario.

It is important that the license contain the correct information. The Registrar has no way of knowing if the supplied information is accurate and will enter the data into the system as is. Subsequently when the couple sends their application for a Marriage Certificate, the Province may not find their entry because the information supplied does not match what is in the system. I strongly recommend that couples carefully check the information that is on their marriage license at the time of purchase.

Here are some common mistakes:

1- Dates are reversed. For example February 1, 2010 could be entered as 1/2/2010 or 2/1/2010. Make sure it is the right format. Same applies for Date of Birth.

2- Address and City of residence. Couples can purchase their license from any City Hall in Ontario. The clerk often assumes that the city of residence is wherever they are. For example, a couple from Cornwall will purchase their license in Ottawa and the clerk enters their city of residence as Ottawa. By the way, the City of Ottawa charges the most ($163) for Marriage Licenses in Ontario. You can purchase your license at any other City Hall in Ontario and save some money.

3- First and Last Names are correctly spelled and in right order. When the form asks for First and Last Name ensure that if your name is Robert Allen it is not put down as Alan Roberts.

4- Date of purchase and Proposed Date of Marriage are accurate. A license is only valid for 3 months. Ensure that the dates are correct.

My final recommendation is that the couple keep a copy of the license for their records. Do not send your application for Marriage Certificate until 12 weeks after your wedding date because it takes them that long to register your marriage. Every year I conduct about 100 weddings and I have couples where the Province has no record that their marriage was registered. A copy of the license makes it easier to resolve registering the marriage after the fact.

Pros & Cons of Short and Long Wedding Dresses

By: Diane Farquhar courtesy of I Just Said Yes

One of the most exciting times of your wedding is shopping for the perfect wedding dress.  You want to find the right one that fits your personality and at times the theme of your day.  Long dresses represent elegance, detail and tradition which have been around for years and years.  The color of white is moving in different directions too as you are now seeing pink, green, red and black dresses on the fashion scene.  One of the newest trends out there are short wedding dresses which are fun, sexy and sassy but there are a few things you need to ask yourself?

Does the short wedding dress compliment your figure?  Many ladies are very conscious about their body at the best of times so if you are uncomfortable showing off your legs when everyone’s attention is on you then perhaps short is not the way to go.  If you are comfortable with showing off a little skin then go for it and buy those really cool wedding shoes that will sure be seen.

Will your wedding be very elegant and formal looking for your big day?  Having seen a lot of pictures online and in magazines, there has not been too many short dresses that appear very formal and elegant.  They won’t have that “Disney princess” or gown feel you may want to achieve.

Will you look back at pictures and regret your choice?  Trends come and go but the long traditional wedding dress will be here to stay.  You don’t want to go through your photos thinking a long wedding dress would have been nicer and you really didn’t feel that you looked like a bride.

What type of wedding are you hosting?  If you are having a small private gathering or a casual outdoor, beach or destination wedding perhaps a short dress would be suitable.  If you are getting married the second time around you may not want the long traditional dress but something white so a short dress would be perfect.  If you are hosting a very formal wedding you may want to think twice about a short cocktail style wedding dress.

What about the season you are married in?  If it is in the late Fall or Winter then a short dress will certainly not keep you as warm especially if taking photos outdoors.  For the Summer months though a short dress would be refreshing and much easier to maneuver in.  No long delays for the bride in the ladies bathroom, right?

If you are hesitating about a purchase of a short dress and your budget allows then go with the long traditional dress for the ceremony and dinner and then change into your fun short white wedding dress and dance the night away.  Wedding designers have created a convertible wedding dress where you can have the best of both worlds by removing the bottom.  This just may be the perfect option for you!

Lighting and Sound Enhance Your Wedding Ceremony

By Alan Viau

The eyes are the windows to the soul, the mouth the door.  So we need to see and hear you during your wedding ceremony. When confronted with a dark  and cavernous ceremony space, it is imperative to add lighting and sound.
Lighting and Sound make a huge impact on your guests enjoyment of the ceremony. Photo by Alan Viau

Hiram Powers, an American sculptor (1805 – 1873) said, “The eye is the window of the soul, the mouth the door. The intellect, the will, are seen in the eye; the emotions, sensibilities, and affections, in the mouth. ” Thus it follows that during a wedding ceremony, your guests want to see you and hear you. They want to see your intentions in your eyes and hear your emotions.

I find that the challenges of on-location ceremonies include the use of lighting and sound. Many locations may be suitably lighted for a low light  romantic tete-a-tete but is inadequate for a wedding ceremony. So during the touching moments of your vows your friends and family will hardly be able to witness and feel your love because they can’t see or hear you.

One of my favorite places to perform a wedding ceremony is the Canadian Museum of Nature because they get that concept. They understand that their space is a museum and the lighting is designed to highlight the exhibits. However, they cooperate fully in altering their space to have adequate lighting and sound. When I do a wedding there, they re-direct lights so that they are on the couple and provide and operate the sound equipment so that everything can be heard.
Canadian Museum of Nature, Rotunda Room. Notice the ceiling pot lights are redirected. You can see the circle of light on the floor where the couple and I were. Photo by Alan Viau

For a do-it-yourself wedding location, like the Rockcliffe Park Pavilion, you may need to do that yourself. At a recent wedding there, the bride and groom arranged to rig a lighting system consisting of LED lights in standard household fixtures. The best man, who is an electrician, came up with this idea. LEDs are great because they don’t need much power. This is really important at this location because there is only one power outlet that was shared with the DJ’s sound equipment. I was really impressed by the creative lighting used by this couple. made a huge difference at this wedding. Photo by Alan Viau
Close up of the lighting rig. Photo by Alan Viau

There is an easy way to check if you need lighting at a location when you are scouting out a place for your ceremony. With a digital camera, take a picture of yourselves without flash. If you can’t see your eyes very well, then you need lighting. For sound, have someone be in the proposed ceremony spot and the another at the opposite end of the room. Try to have a normal conversation. If you can’t hear each other very well, then you need sound amplification.

Lighting and sound will make a huge difference on the enjoyment your guests will experience when attending your wedding. Make them part of your checklist when considering a location.

Happy Shoesday! Aruna Seth’s new wedding arrivals

Aruna Seth has launched a brand new bridal style called Venus.

The Venus style comes in a variety of colours with  beautiful silver & gold mesh and ivory satin styles especially for Brides.

The shoes are for the bride who loves her heels!  They’re a great height with a super platform. Made in Italy with Aruna Seth padding for cashmere like comfort.

About Aruna Seth

Celebrities such as Kate Hudson, Olivia Munn, Pippa Middleton have all been spotted at Red Carpet events wearing Aruna Seth designs. The shoe range consists of over forty pairs of ballerinas, boots, Swarovski inspired evening shoes and office shoes. The brand is stocked in Harrods shoe boudoir and over fifty stockists worldwide.

The shoes are handmade in small quantities in Italy by craftsmen with years of experience in designing shoes. Aruna Seth travels the world searching for the best ribbons, satins and leathers to adorn each shoe.

Aruna Seth has shoes in her blood, her father is a self-made man and has built up an international footwear company. Geoff Seth rode the fitness boom of the 1980’s, with the worlds sporting elite wearing the Ascot pro-white trainer and using Ascot squash rackets. Geoff’s footwear empire is internationally renowned, with offices in China, Russia, India and Italy. Aruna’s background in shoes, previous Investment Banking experience and studies at London College of Fashion all contributed her creating the Aruna Seth brand.

Aruna Seth shoes were famously worn by Pippa Middleton with her iconic green Temperley dress on the day of the Royal Wedding.  Royalty have also been spotted in the shoes from Princess Beatrice and Eugenie wearing them to various family affairs.

Other A-list stars wearing her designs include Katherine Jenkins, Goldie Hawn and Vanessa Mae are favouring Aruna Seth shoes on the Red Carpet.

Visit to search by wedding colour themes, heel heights or styles like platforms, heels and ballerinas.

Happy Shoesday!