Honeymoon tips to save money on summer travel

Planning your honeymoon? Don’t break the bank with your travel plans this summer!

We all like to travel without breaking the bank – and this goes for those who book their trips spontaneously, or plan months in advance. According to a recent survey conducted by American Express Canada, 69 per cent of Canadians are planning to travel this summer and with this being one of the busiest travel seasons, finding strategies to save on your trip doesn’t have to be a hassle.

Here are three tips to save on summer travel, courtesy of Laura McDonald, co-founder of the popular blog, Golden Girl Finance:

1. Know the travel trends – If you’re part of the 21 per cent of Canadians planning to travel on an international trip this summer, it’s good to know that each country has a peak travel time. For example, travelling to the South of France during May to September means hotels are more than double the cost during shoulder seasons; travelling to India in spring will be more expensive due to the Holi Festival.

2. Avoid unexpected costs – Ensure that all documents, including your travel insurance application, are completed in advance. While away, unnecessary additional costs can add up and having travel insurance can provide peace of mind. From lost baggage to medical emergencies, unexpected events can happen anywhere, at any time and it’s good to be covered.

3. Know when to book – The cost of flights can add up quickly, with taxes, fuel surcharges and operation costs, it’s easy for a $600 ticket to turn into a $1,000 ticket. Knowing when to purchase your ticket and when to depart are key ways to reduce your ticket price. Experts suggest booking between 55-80 days before your departure date to get the best prices.

More information is available online at americanexpress.ca/travelinsurance.


Why Not Elope?

By Dominique Levesque, The Dress Expert

Have you thought about eloping?  Local wedding can get overwhelming; why not plan your fantasy destination wedding in a location that is unexpected.  Inspiration is a wonderful thing, why not indulge in it while you plan your once in a lifetime event.

What do destination brides want in there dress? This week on The Dress Expert you will discover the top three misconceptions a bride has about a destination dress, the essentials you need to pack for a destination wedding and beautiful vision boards you can create to inspire your wedding decisions.



Top three misconceptions about destination dresses:

1. You have to compromise on the dress style because you are traveling

  • It’s true that dresses can be very heavy and cumbersome to carry, keep in mind that this is a once in a lifetime event and you should have it your way.  It’s also true that you can have very heavy slim chiffon dresses and very light full ball gowns. Don’t settle on a stereotype, you have choices. Try on many different styles and make your decision based on what feels right for you.

2. Destination dresses are cheaper

  • Like with more traditional dresses, they come in all different price points and quality. I am a strong believer that you get what you pay for, a better quality gown will withstand the traveling and climate conditions much better. You should pay close attention when choosing your dress.

3. You should wear the dress only for the ceremony

  • As with traditional weddings, you can keep your dress on the whole night. Plus in recent years we’ve had many couples have a second wedding reception back home where you get to wear your dress again.  Bonus!


The essentials you need to pack for your destination wedding:

  • A portable hand steamer (make sure you know how to use it and that it’s clean. Hotels may offer the service, but I feel that being prepared can save you a lot of anxiety)
  • Sewing kit (needle, thread, scissors, safety pins, spare button, etc.)
  • Two sided tape (can be used for a multiple of purpose, from holding a neckline in place, hemming pants to preventing your necklace from twisting)
  • Tide to Go pen (just in case)
  • Garment bag (a proper dress garment bag can prevent much of the wrinkling during travel as long as it’s handled properly)


Wedding vision boards:

Planning a wedding in a destination that you may not be fully familiar with may leave you with a lot of unknowns. Creating your own vision/inspiration board can be very helpful in assembling all the elements together.  Many destination venues have all-inclusive type packages that you can choose from. This is a very good option for some, and others may find the option too generic and will want to add their own touch.  The vision board will help you see what you like, what you want to add or cut-out to make your wedding reflective of you as a couple.  Pinterest is a great tool to build your board. It is easy to use and makes your board accessible from everywhere on many devices.  It is perfect to bring to your bridal appointment. Your stylist will see the feel and vision you want for your wedding.

Check out our board for inspiration:


Do you have a question for me?  If you do, it’s simple, send me an email to info@dominiquebridal.ca and include your question.  If your question is featured you will receive a $25 Dominique Levesque Bridal gift card.

What to Throw at Bride & Groom After Saying ” I Do”

By Diane Farquhar, courtesy of I Just Said Yes

What to throw at the bride and groom?  Here are some different ideas you can throw at the bride and groom after the wedding ceremony.

A long standing tradition has been the throwing of rice.  Why?  After a little research it appears the significance of rice or grain is considered a fertility and prosperous wish.  I guess that would make sense since these items can grow when planted.

As tradition is always being moved aside, couples are looking for something  different and personal.   Since many venues have prohibited the use of rice and confetti because of the clean up, couples are left wondering what else they can use?

Bubbles – you can find these in your local dollar or department store.   This is a very economical choice.  Great fun for younger children so why not use at your wedding? Thunder sticks, ribbon, balloons, pom pom’s, noise makers, sparklers, and flower pedals.  These items can be used to match your decor theme.  Thunder sticks are great for a sport’s themed wedding, balloons for more of a casual setting, noise makers or sparklers are perfect for New Year’s Eve party and pedals for the more lavish and elegant affair. Perhaps your fiance is a pilot.  One couple used paper airplanes and the guests loved it.  For a beautiful Winter wedding, a snow machine is a cool idea.

This is all a matter of preference.  Some couple prefer not to do anything at all.

Be the most beautiful bride ever seen

Plan your entrance in advance – and here’s how:

Hair: In addition to a professional cut, colour, and style add a fabulous low-cost conditioning treatment of your own, leaving your hair feeling thicker and looking bouncier than ever before: heat one-half cup of olive oil for one minute (not too hot to touch); comb it through your tresses letting it soak in for an hour or two; shampoo twice for easy removal.

Face: Exfoliate your face daily with the following formula to reveal smoother and brighter baby skin: put one tablespoon of white sugar into a dish, pour in the same amount of milk, and before it dissolves gently rub it in circles all over your face. Wash it off with warm water, rinse with cold, and glow.

Teeth: A timely dental visit will give you confidence in your looks and your breath, so why not go the distance while you’re there by asking for a safe way to whiten your teeth? Protect the enamel with a variety of Philips Zoom methods, from a 45-minute light-activated system, to take-home gels, to a Zoom whitening pen to slip into your purse for a last-minute touch up.

Hands: A manicure is a must when you display your hand for the ring. Be sure to exfoliate the skin with either a loofa, or by scrubbing with a combination of baking soda and water.

Feet: Once your feet are soaked with emollients, pampered with a pedicure and massaged, you will have far more comfort-longevity in your pretty shoes. Tip: On your long wedding day, you may be surprised how much energy can be recouped by simply changing your shoes.


Don’t Let Disaster Happen at Your Destination Wedding

Planning a wedding is arguably one of the most stressful events of a person’s life. If you’re having a destination wedding and something goes wrong, it can turn your happiest of days into a nightmare. We have some tips to make sure your first days of marital bliss do not turn into heartbreak.

Hire a Car

Driving in unfamiliar territory can be tricky at best, and this is especially true if you’re leaving Canada for your wedding. Add to that the stress of maintaining a wedding schedule, and this could be a dangerous situation. See if someone local can drive for you. On the day of the wedding, use a limousine service for you and a shuttle service for your guests.

Safety First

One of the benefits of the destination wedding is they generally come as a package plan. The lodging, venue and catering are all part of the deal. Make security part of arrangement. Ask the concierge what safety precautions should be implemented, and then have him tend to the details. Cultural differences can become frustrating to everyone, and the hotel staff knows the lay of the land better than you. It is in the hotel management’s best interest to keep you safe and happy.

Have Emergency Money

Make sure this money is readily available, but not with you. According to the identity theft protection service LifeLock, 20 percent of people who had their identities stolen did so as a result of a stolen wallet or purse. Besides cash, thieves have a great incentive to take your wallet. In addition to emergency cash, leave a list of all of your credit card information with someone you trust. This way, in the event of theft, you can cancel cards and get your money in under an hour. Robbery is horrible, but it does not need to ruin your honeymoon.

Get Vaccines Early and Carry Meds

If you are traveling overseas, you may need to get certain vaccinations ahead of time. Most of these reactions are minor, ranging from general malaise to the sniffles, but make sure to get your vaccinations early enough so you can recover from any ill effects before the big day. Also, if you take any prescription meds, don’t forget to bring them. You may wish to have a small supply of any over-the-counter meds you or your guests could need, too.

Keep Technology Close But Hidden

Technology has become the right hand of any wedding planner. Schedules, photos and messages are all handled in the cyber world. Keep your gadgets hidden and close, especially if you’re in a place with a high crime rate against tourists. When you are not using your devices, keep them in the hotel safe. The Atlantic features the most dangerous countries for tourists, no matter their country of origin.

Stonefields kicks off 2014 event season with fourth annual Open House

Stonefields is opening its doors to usher in a new season and unveil their exclusive wedding experience and new offerings. Don’t miss this special event on Wednesday, June 18, 2014 between 4:00 and 8:00pm. Admission is free and open to anyone interested in hosting their wedding or special event at Stonefields.

Visitors can tour the property and discover Stonefields all-inclusive wedding packages and private event offerings. Guests can enjoy tastings under the tent in the charming  courtyard, savour cocktails and live music at the poolside patio as your backdrop and  experience a breath of fresh air in the rolling fields and rustic barns.

Stonefields is a timeless and exclusive outdoor wedding and event destination located near Carleton Place, Ontario. They were recently been honoured with the Wedding of the Year Award at the first annual Ottawa Wedding Awards for their  June 1st, 2013 wedding of a fabulous couple from Vancouver.
Stonefields partners will join in on the Open House with offerings to complement the event, including; Mastermind Events, Quality Entertainment, Thyme & Again Creative Catering, Temples + Taste Catering, The Mixing Bowl, Sarah J’s Cupcakes, Beau’s Brewery, Peller Estates, Treasury Wine Estates, and Peter Mielzynsky Agencies Ltd, Prior Engagements, Morrow Equipment, Flowers by Petals and Paint and Mill Street Florist.
Stonefields will be accepting monetary donations at the door for the Children’s Hospital of
Eastern Ontario.
For more information or to RSVP please contact:
Stonefields Heritage Farm

Photos by Melanie Rebane