Pros & Cons of Short and Long Wedding Dresses

Courtesy of I Just Said Yes

Pros & Cons of Short and Long Wedding Dresses

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?

wedding dress

short wedding dressDoes 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.

long wedding dressWhat 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 hesitate 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!

How To Reclaim Your Wedding -part 1

by: Marriage Coach, Marian Meade

How To Reclaim Your Wedding -part 1

Your wedding is likely the biggest event you will ever plan- with so many details to think about and decisions to make, it can be quite stressful.  The biggest cause of stress, however, isn’t the logistics-it’s the people dynamics- including parents, in-laws, bridesmaids, friends and other family members.  Learning how to manage these relationships with finesse now will help create smooth sailing in the future.

To help couples manage the ‘people stress’ aspect of wedding planning, newlywed Elizabeth Doherty Thomas  co-wrote the  book ‘Take Back Your Wedding’- managing the people stress of wedding planning.… with her father, Marriage therapist William J. Doherty.  In the weeks ahead, I’ll be putting together a series of articles based on their book.

While visiting chat sites to plan for her wedding, Elizabeth found lots of great ideas, but was chagrined to find that so many brides- to -be were frustrated and unhappy because of the interference of others in their plans.   They were being challenged by every decision they made, and many said they wished they could just elope. The most common advice they received was  ‘do whatever you want…it’s your wedding.’  Of course you want to do things your way…AND there’s the stakeholders to consider…it all requires a delicate balance.  Rather than creating hard feelings, or giving in to the whim of others, there are ways to include others, and have the wedding you want.

When we’re dating, it’s a very private matter.  We don’t include family and friends in our decision making.  It’s really a time for the couple to get to know each other.   Suddenly, once the engagement is announced, it’s like everyone has an opinion.  You’ve now got not only one, but two families involved! This is obviously very challenging and requires real finesse to manage, but it can be done!

Here are a few general tips as you begin your wedding planning:

  1.  Create a vision for your wedding with your fiancé.  This is a great opportunity for you and your partner to learn more about each other and how to manage differences of opinion.   If you are the more take charge person, give your partner time to come up with their thoughts and feelings.  Just because they don’t say anything, doesn’t mean you get to make yourself a big party.  By working as a team, you’ll set the tone- that you respect your partner’s opinion and that it’s your wedding and all decisions will need to be carefully considered and agreed upon by the two of you.  How you plan your wedding is indicative of how you’ll do your marriage.
  1. Include the key stakeholders Parents especially will want to be involved in the wedding process.  Find out what’s important to them.  Just because they make a suggestion, or they pressure you to take immediate action on something, doesn’t mean you need to react.  Instead, be curious- find out more about where they are coming from, and why it’s important to them.  Whether you agree or not, there’s no need to shoot down an idea.  Keep the lines of communication open-it’s all about respect.  As humans, we’re all very sensitive, so it’s important to express that you are grateful that they are keen.  You might say something like, ‘that’s an interesting idea….John and I will have to discuss it.
  1. Be sensitive.    Although your wedding may be happy for you, some of the people in your world may feel sad that your relationship with them is going to change.  You’ll no longer be single, and wont be as available as you used to be.  Rather than assuming that they don’t care, take the time to check in and see what’s really going on.

Stay tuned for the next installment of Enjoy Your Wedding!

Marriage Coach Marian Meade helps straight & LGBTcouples to stay in love for a lifetime.  You can find Marian at





The Lord Elgin Hotel | Flexible, Affordable Wedding Accommodation

Lord Elgin hotel Ottawa

By Rev. Alan Viau

The Lord Elgin hotel is an Ottawa landmark. It is ideally located as guest accommodation for your downtown wedding. Still privately owned, the Lord Elgin hotel boasts impressive lodgings, flexibly and affordability.

The Lord Elgin hotel was first established in 1941. It was built by the Ford Hotel Company and named after the Right Honourable James Bruce, 8th Earl of Elgin, 12th Earl of Kincardine and Governor General of British North America (1847-1854). To mark the Lord Elgin Hotel’s 60th birthday, the hotel was expanded and renovated; sixty additional guestrooms and the complete refurbishment of all 355 rooms, three thousand more square feet of meeting space for a total of 13,000, and an enlarged health facility, including a new indoor swimming pool, saunas and a whirlpool.

Guestrooms have been inspired by the Biedermeier style, which emerged in Europe after the Napoleonic wars. This style reflects the architecture of the original Lord Elgin hotel, which is a clean, modern adaptation of the French Chateau style and is proudly part of traditional Canadian hotel architecture.

When it comes to wedding blocks, the Lord Elgin hotel has a suite of service offerings.  For example, they offer a complimentary private dining room in their restaurant to host a brunch the morning after the wedding.  They have invitations designed that you can provide to your guests free of charge.  They also offer complimentary wedding invitation inserts to inform your guests of where the block is being held.  If you are using a wedding website, a digital version is available.

There are also a few nice additions. The Lord Elgin hotel has gathered a suggested Saturday and Sunday itinerary of  tourist information and restaurant recommendations for your out-of-town guests. It is available in a pdf for your website.  They have special garment hooks from which to hang long dresses and wedding dresses. The hotel has a shuttle bay so that guests do not have to embark from the street curb.

The last thing, and most importantly, there is no financial obligation for the couple.  Your individual guests are responsible for their own reservations should they decide to cancel, and they can do so without penalty until 3pm the day before arrival.  If you block 40 rooms and only “pick up” 10, there is no penalty.  The Lord Elgin hotel will simply release the rooms that are not yet reserved 30 days before arrival.

As far as rates go, the Lord Elgin hotel is extremely competitive with the major hotel chains that surround it. They will not increase your rate under any circumstances.

I was impressed to learn that the Lord Elgin hotel is still privately owned with the owners living in the hotel. Talk about an incentive to keep the place clean!

The Lord Elgin hotel is situated across from Confederation Park. It is an easy walk to popular wedding locations such as the Chateau Laurier, National Arts Centre, Canadian Museum of Nature, Ottawa Convention Centre, National Gallery of Canada and restaurants The Courtyard, Eighteen, and Side Door.

Should I book my wedding on a Sunday?

Should I book my wedding on a Sunday?

Courtesy of I Just Said Yes

If you have your heart set on a certain month in which to be married, be sure to start looking at venues early and getting some available dates because reception centres, country clubs, restaurants and wineries fill up fast.  If there is one venue that has always been your dream but offers no available Saturday dates, then you may just have to choose a Sunday night.

Booking a wedding on the traditional ‘day of rest’ has long been a taboo but it is clear that Sunday weddings are becoming more popular than ever.  More and more brides are choosing Sundays, especially if the day is followed by a holiday.  Traditionally, many people do not work on Sundays, so you can select anytime for the reception.  Some couples like to do a day luncheon or an evening reception.  Many brides send out a save-the-date card so the guests can be aware of the wedding far in advance and make the appropriate arrangements.

Ideally, having the ceremony and reception at the same location is more practical.  You can do an early ceremony around 2PM, followed by appetizers and cocktails with dinner served around 4:00.   The day will not be exhaustingly long for the bride and the best part is, and you also won’t have to worry about what to do with the out-of -town guests in between the ceremony and reception.

Another great reason to book on a Sunday could be the prices.  Many vendors may give you a discount, as it will not be on a Saturday night.  A neat tip is to try and find out if there is a wedding booked on the Saturday night before your Sunday wedding.  If there is, find out who the decorator is and you might be able to “piggyback” – see if you can use any of the same decor.  The costs are less because of decreased take-down and set-up time, and I’ve seen this done many times.

The venue you select may also provide discounted meals or rentals for a Sunday booking.  Don’t be afraid to ask this question when you book.  You don’t need to have a late dinner worrying that guests may have to go to work the next day.  Everyone was given an invitation so they have had plenty notice of the wedding date  and some may have made adjustments to their schedules already.

So do not be afraid to book a Sunday wedding! It is becoming a common trend and the advantages could be greater than you think.

Wedding Ring Warming Yields Memory of a Lifetime

By Rev. Alan Viau

I suggest to brides and grooms the ring warming ritual in a wedding ceremony when they have an intimate affair. It is an excellent way to bring together all the good wishes of the day. For one bride, it anchored the memory of a lifetime.

When I meet a bride and groom, I listened to their wishes and desires for their wedding. I then suggest ideas for their ceremony that I feel will resonate with them and make it special. When a couple have an intimate wedding, I present the idea of a ring warming ritual.

In the ring warming ritual, the bride and groom’s rings are placed in a small bag. At the beginning of the ceremony, I instruct the guests that the rings be passed from person to person, with each guest depositing best wishes and love into the rings. The rings will make the round of the guests in time for the ring exchange. The bride and groom exchange rings that are fully charged with positivity and love from their guests.

Recently, I received this touching email from a bride where I performed the ring warming ritual:

Hi Mr. Viau,

You performed my husband and I’s wedding ceremony last November, at
Strathmere, on November 30th, 2013. We celebrated our first wedding
anniversary not too long ago, and I have been reflecting a lot on that day

I just wanted to say thank you again, for performing our ceremony. More
particularly, I am very, very thankful you suggested that we perform the
warming of the rings ritual. You see, my father passed away earlier this
year in March and our wedding was the last true happy event I have of him,
so memories of that day are very precious. While I may not know what his
wish was, when our rings got to him, it means the world to me that he was
part of our ceremony in such an intimate way. I will forever cherish
memories of my dad, and I’m so happy to look down on my wedding band and
know that it contains all the love from my dad and the rest of our family
and friends. So thank you for encouraging us to include that ritual in our
ceremony. And please continue to encourage other couples to include that
ritual, if they can. I didn’t realize the importance of that ritual back
when we decided to do it, but I will forever be thankful that you suggested
that we go ahead with it.

Sophie Bastien

Receiving such wonderful emails continues to underscore the importance of a wedding ceremony because the memories will last a lifetime.

DIY Rustic Fall Bouquets

By Genevieve Pelletier

DIY Rustic Fall Bouquets

How to make inexpensive fall bouquets for your rustic wedding

DIY Rustic Fall Bouquet 1

DIY Rustic Fall Bouquet 2

What You Will Need

(All supplies purchased from Dollarama for a cost of five dollars each bouquet)




Artificial Rustic Flowers

DIY Rustic Fall Bouquet 3

DIY Rustic Fall Bouquet 4

Step 1: Preparing the Stems

  1. Use your hands or scissors to remove any unwanted leaves
  2. Remove any labels that might be on the stems
  3. Use fingers to straighten any bent or knotted leaves

2: Assembling the Flowers

  1. Take one group of stems at a time with one hand, and then use your opposite hand to secure the stems
  2. Join additional group of stems and assemble bundles together
  3. It is suggested to arrange stems in front of a mirror so you can get a better idea of what your bouquet will look like

DIY Rustic Fall Bouquet 5

DIY Rustic Fall Bouquet 6

Step 3: Securing the Bouquet

  1. Use tape to bind the stems
  2. Only apply tape to areas that will later be covered by ribbon

DIY Rustic Fall Bouquet 7

DIY Rustic Fall Bouquet 8

Step 4: Finish the Handle

  1. Cut the end of the stems so they are equal to each other
  2. Cut a piece of ribbon long enough to wrap around the stem numerous times.
  3. Wrap ribbon over stem, making sure to completely cover taped area
  4. While holding ribbon in place with one hand, take a second small piece of ribbon and tie around stem in a bow
  5. It will lock the original ribbon in place, and give a loose laid back appearance

Whichever you choose to make, enjoy your new, and inexpensive rustic fall bouquet.


10 Wedding Invitation Etiquette Tips

by Molly Hanzidiakou

10 Wedding Invitation Etiquette Tips

wedding invitation etiquette tips

Get your day planners ready, idea clippings organized and highlighters uncapped; we have a wedding to plan!  After the initial excitement of an engagement lessens, couples to be are faced with the planning and many appointments that make up a wedding day.  The dress, flowers and cake are important, but what’s also important is having guests there to comment on how beautiful the bride is in her dress and how tasty the cake is.  To make your job a bit easier, here are 10 wedding invitation etiquette tips to make sure your guests RSVP to your very special day.

  1. Mail– Invitations should be sent six to eight weeks in advance.  If a save-the-date card was not sent, it’s best to stay closer to eight weeks before the wedding day.
  2. Envelopes– It’s always nice to have an outer and inner envelope.  This allows for your guests to keep the invitation and any inserts clean and together.
  3. Outer Envelope– Address your guests conventionally using titles, first and last names.  The address should be fully written out with no abbreviations; Street not St.
  4. Inner Envelope– Includes the names of the specific people invited. Be very clear about who is invited.  List each adult, child, cat and dog.
  5. Request– There are different wordings for your opening greeting depending on where your ceremony will take place.  Typically, “the honour of your presence” is used if the wedding is held at a house of worship.  “The pleasure of your company” can be used for other venues.  Look into which wording best suits your ceremony.
  6. Host Line– Always use full names. Whether it be the parents or bride and groom hosting the wedding, use first, middle and last name.
  7. RSVP– There is no need to add the word “please” to RSVP as it is a French phrase saying répondez s’il vous plaît (which translates to reply if you please).
  8. Reply Card– Don’t ask for your guests to reply via email. Always include a formal reply card within the envelope.
  9. Stamp– Include a postage stamp on the reply card. Don’t expect your guests to supply their own stamp.
  10. Registry– Leave the bridal registry for another time. Don’t include it in your wedding invitation.

The Dress Expert | What is a Trunk Show?

What’s a Trunk Show?

by Dominique Levesque, The Dress Expert

We hear about trunk shows on T.V. shows like “Say yes To Your Dress”  and wonder what that means to go to a trunk show? What should I expect? Do I need an appointment? Why is it better to buy at a trunk show?

Here’s the gist of it:

What is a trunk show?  

Each season I view many bridal collections from which I select what I will bring in to my stores.  I can never buy every piece that each designer makes, because that would require a warehouse; therefore I meticulously select what I think my customers will be looking for. The trunk show gives us a chance to expand our inventory for a weekend.  The designer lends us the samples they use to show the line to buyers.  This means for that weekend, we will have the largest selection of gowns from that designer. It gives you a chance to see, touch, and try on gowns that we don’t normally have in the store.

Do you need an appointment to see the trunk show?

Yes, you do.


Because we have the dresses for a limited time and many brides want to see and try them on. The trunk show fittings have to be done in an orderly manner to ensure that everyone gets the proper service they deserve.

Do you sell the trunk show dresses or do you have to order?

The ones that are lent to us by the designer will be special orders only, because we have to send them back after the weekend.

Why is it better to buy at the trunk show?

Because each time I agree to host a trunk show in my stores I negotiate a deal with the designer. Each designer sets there retail sale price for each gown, and we seldom have leeway for discounts.  Therefore during the trunk show the value pricing is the best of the season. These prices cannot be extended past the trunk show dates. It’s important that you bring the right people with you to help you make the right decision.

I would love to hear from you.  Please don’t  hesitate to contact me at

The Dress Expert!