Walking Down the Aisle with Both Mom & Dad

Walking Down the Aisle with Both Mom & Dad

Courtesy of I Just Said Yes

Are you walking down the aisle with your dad, mom or both?

walking down the aisle with mom and dad

Some traditions may never change, but the idea of a bride walking down the aisle with her dad has taken a different direction.   Usually, the mother of the bride is walked in by the best man or the groom himself which means the bride and her father are next.  Yes, you are daddy’s girl and always will be, but how about all the nurturing you have received from your mom over the years?

Many brides are now considering or deciding to ask their mom and dad to walk them down the aisle.  They feel both parents have played an equally important role in their life and are both deserving of this special moment.

There are still a few questions they may have, because the role is so traditional. If you are worried then there are always other options.  You can walk with your dad to start and then your mom meets you half way or all three of you can walk down the aisle, your mom takes a seat and your dad brings you to your future husband.  I have heard some critics say that if a mother walks with the bride it will take the focus away from the bride.  I can’t agree with this statement because a bride will definitely be the centre of the attention all day, no matter what.

There is no right or wrong answer here.  If you want both your mom and dad to walk you down that aisle then go for it.  Your father will certainly not be disappointed and your mom will be very touched.  Remember, you always have that very special father and daughter dance!

3 Ways Engaged Couples Can Share Their Memories With Loved Ones

3 Ways Engaged Couples Can Share Their Memories With Loved Ones

After dating for some time, you finally have a fabulous fiance, a beautiful ring and a memorable wedding to plan. While your close friends and family know all the details, it can be harder to share special memories with loved ones who live out of town. Fortunately, thanks to a little creativity and technology, it’s easy and fun to keep everyone up to date on your personal love story.

3 ways engaged couples can share their memories

Start a Wedding Website and Blog

A wedding website is a perfect way to share stories about you and your fiance. Include important information like the date, time and place of your upcoming nuptials as well as a blog filled with posts about you as a couple. Describe where and how you met, how long you dated, some of your fun adventures together and, of course, your proposal. This is also a wonderful place to post a timeline of photos that tell your love story, ranging from that shaky selfie you took during your first coffee date to pictures of your gorgeous ring and wedding venue.

Create a Digital Photo Album

You probably have dozens of photos of the two of you stored on your phone or laptop. Share some of these pictures with friends and loved ones who live far away with an online photo album. Once you select which photos you want to include, visit a website like Snapfish to create a digital photo album. And if you have printed photos that you want to include, iMemories can turn them into a digital format so they can be added to your scrapbook.

One word of advice, though — as you relive your memories, ensure they will never be lost by saving everything to the cloud. You don’t want to run the risk of losing irreplaceable photos if your hard drive crashes or your phone is stolen. If you are not sure which cloud provider to use, Top10CloudStorage offers helpful reviews of some of the best cloud servers. As a bonus, once your library of photos is safely stored in the cloud, you can easily share them with your wedding guests.

Give Your Guests a Personalized DVD

Another wonderful way to share your story with your friends and family members is to give them a DVD that includes a slideshow of your love story. Times of Your Life DVDs can take your printed and digital photos, videos and other memorabilia and transform them into a customized DVD slideshow. The company can add captions and music to truly personalize your story as well. In the DVD, you can re-enact your first date, revisit some of the places you went while you were dating and then act out the romantic proposal in a humorous way. The DVD can even be played at your reception, and everyone can take a copy home.

Your friends and family are excited for you and your fiance and want to be kept in the loop as much as possible. From learning about your journey together to getting wedding details, these three ideas will make them feel included in your big day.

What is Engagement and Wedding Ring Insurance?

wedding ring insurance

What is Engagement and Wedding Ring Insurance? wedding ring insurance

An Interview with Rita Elias from La Maison D’Or

by Anastasia Marie, Wedding and Lifestyle PR

No matter the price tag, wedding rings are priceless. A physical reminder of the love you share with your partner, your wedding ring seals the deal and its sparkle reflects all of the excitement, memories and happiness that brought you and your partner together.

Though wedding ring insurance may seem stiff and unromantic, purchasing a policy that protects your priceless purchase may be one of the most important things you can do to insure that your rings are with you for years to come.

I sat down with the lovely Rita Elias from Ottawa’s own La Maison D’Or Jewellers at Place D’Orleans Shopping Centre (who worked with my husband before he proposed to me) to get the scoop on wedding ring insurance and why every couple should invest in it.

AM: What is engagement/wedding ring insurance?

R: Engagement ring and wedding ring insurance is very similar to having insurance on your car or home. When you purchase engagement ring and wedding ring insurance you are protecting your valuable pieces against loss, theft or major damage.

AM: Why is engagement/wedding ring insurance important to have?

R: Jewellery insurance is important to have so you can wear your pieces stress-free. Your jewellery or family heirloom pieces are priceless so having that extra security is extremely important. With insurance, you can rest easy knowing that you can wear them daily, leave them at home, or at the gym in the locker etc. Insurance means protection.

AM: What does engagement /wedding ring insurance cover?

R: Jewellery insurance covers loss of diamonds or gemstones, chipped stones, mysterious disappearance, full loss or theft.

AM: Who needs engagement/wedding ring insurance?

R: Everyone who has family heirlooms or pieces over $2000.00 in value are worth insuring on a separate rider, which means that that specific item is covered.

AM: If I purchase a stone separately from my engagement/wedding ring setting, do I need to purchase insurance for the stone?

R: No. When the item is appraised, it will take into consideration the total value for both the center stone and the setting together.

AM: What is the average cost of engagement/wedding ring insurance?

R: The average yearly cost will vary depending on the value of your items. Average yearly costs begin at anywhere from $50.00 to $150.00 per year.

AM: Who do I talk to about getting my engagement/wedding ring insured?

R: When you are looking to purchase ring insurance, it is important to call your home and car insurance providers to see what they can offer you in terms of insurance rates. Don’t forget to shop around to get the best rate before you sign!

AM: What kinds of questions should I ask before choosing the engagement/wedding ring insurance that is right for me?

R: When you’re ready to speak to an insurance provider, some of the questions you should ask are:

            What is covered and what is not covered within your insurance policy?

            Is there a deductible?

            How often do I need to provide an updated appraisal of the jewellery?

            Do I need to provide a picture of the piece?

            Am I covered while I am on vacation?

Remember, always ask for a separate rider on each piece.

For more information about engagement and wedding rings, or to book an personalized consultation, contact Rita Elias at La Maison D’Or Jewellers. You’ll be glad you did!

4 Theme Ideas for an Intimate Wedding

4 Theme Ideas for an Intimate Wedding

Homespun barn weddings have become increasingly popular and the rustic look is in high demand. Pinterest is filled with lanterns hanging from tree branches, burlap table runners and layers upon layers of lace. Whether your style is rustic or you’re going for something more beachy or classic, create an intimate feel for your special day.

Here are a handful of theme ideas, along with tips to make them extra special:

Intimate wedding theme ideas

1. Destination Wedding on the Water

Getting married on a cruise ship is a popular choice, but may not offer the intimacy you’re seeking. Instead, charter a yacht or boat and create a weekend of water-inspired fun. Hire a chef or wait staff to treat guests to appetizers and cake on a yacht. Check the local calendar of events to coordinate your wedding with a fireworks display or live music on the beach.

On the flip side, skip the tropics, and head to Canada for a rustic, cozy wedding right on the water. Get married on a boat or a nearby dock, and go cruising at sunset after the ceremony. Spend the evening cruising, swimming, fishing, and skiing with your loved ones as you celebrate your new life together. Remember to secure your boat operator card online and direct guests to do the same.

2. An Exotic “I Do”

Make your beach wedding unique by getting married in an exotic location like Turtle Island in Fiji, or the rainforest of Costa Rica. Team up with a local lodge or resort to help arrange accommodations in the treetops, along with a memorable butterfly release.

Seek out a venue that offers an on-site coordinator who can assist with both stateside and exotic location details, including where to get your marriage license, what food to serve, and where to find the best fresh-cut flowers.

Give your ceremony an original touch by arranging for local entertainers to perform for your guests.

3. Movie Theme

A tastefully-executed movie-themed wedding can infuse magic and wonder into your intimate ceremony. Pick a favorite classic like The Wizard of Oz and transform a tranquil garden into a venue that would make the Great Oz proud. A blanket of yellow rose petals could represent the yellow brick road, and wildflowers in mason jars could symbolize Dorothy’s childhood home. In this case, the bride could wow guests as she walks down the aisle in ruby red heels.

For a more sophisticated wedding option, try a Breakfast at Tiffany’s wedding. Gather inspiration from the infamous eggshell blue Tiffany & Co. boxes, and incorporate the color throughout your event—from your bridesmaids’ shoes and groomsmen’s ties, to embellishments on your cake.

Bridesmaids can wear the perfect Audrey Hepburn black dress with swept-up hair and dark eyeliner; the untraditional bride can even consider wearing black too!

4. Small Town Historic

Head to the countryside for a small town, historic wedding. Opt for a vintage style wedding in an antiqued boutique hotel, and adorn outdoor tables with shabby chic furniture, mismatched vintage dishware, and crisp linens.

If the vintage look isn’t your cup of tea, consider a Roaring ’20s theme and ask guests to participate with themed attire. Add a long strand of pearls to your wedding attire and find a flattering fedora for the groom to wear with his three-piece suit.

Regardless of the theme you select, remember the best way to keep the event intimate is to focus on your loved ones and your new life together as a couple.

Don’t be a late wedding guest

By Rev. Alan Viau

Late wedding guestIt has been a long time since I have been just a guest at a wedding. I pride myself in never having missed a wedding that I have officiated. But as a wedding guest, I was almost embarrassed to be late for the ceremony.

I have been performing weddings for 11 years and about 1000 ceremonies. I have never missed a wedding. It is a record for which I am proud. I guess I’ve learned the best routes in and around the the city of Ottawa. I can make a wedding anywhere within the Green Belt in 30 minutes.

I’ve witnessed guests sheepishly sneak into the wedding ceremony late. Their embarrassment is evident as they try to reach a seat unobserved. Some try to swish by the bridal party as they are starting down the aisle.

Fast forward to last weekend. I was invited as a guest to a friend’s daughter’s wedding in Toronto. I had no obligations since the groom’s uncle is a judge and was performing the ceremony. My sweetheart and I stayed at our daughter’s place.

I diligently Google Mapped the best travel route and time. I figured that on a Saturday, traffic would usually be light and that I should be able to make the venue in about 50 minutes time.

No sooner had we arrived at the major highway, 401, to travel to the venue that we discovered it was at a pace that would make molasses in January flowing downhill seem fast. I saw the time ticking away at me and knew that if I stayed the course we would be late. Argh!!

Since I had worked in Toronto for many years, I knew alternative routes. Although it seemed like I was taking a long way around, I figured we would be better off. Sure enough a quick trip on the 409 to the airport and north on the 427 and a hop on the 407 brought lighter traffic.

Screaming at a 150 km/h pace in a little red Kia Rondo, we arrived 5 minutes late at the venue. Luckily they had planned to start 15 minutes past the invitation time for just this circumstance. We were pleased to witness the short 7 minute wedding ceremony. Whew, any later and we would have missed the whole thing.

I appreciate the woes of those I see coming in late to the ceremony. Plan a later start than on the wedding invitation if:

1- You are out in the country-side where GPS instructions are not reliable. Guests will get lost.

2- There is a history of unpredictable traffic congestion or construction that will slow guests up.

3- You have a Friday evening wedding. Guest under-estimate the Friday evening traffic in trying to get to the venue

4- You are downtown and finding parking is an issue. Guest need to find a spot and walk to your venue.

Ami & Eddy Avoid Moving Shadows for a Glorious Wedding

By Rev. Alan Viau

It was one of those perfect days for a wedding; warm sun, mild wind and clear skies, on the banks of the Rideau Canal. Ami and Eddy were even happier to have their ceremony go off without the pirates spiriting her off.

Glorious wedding  waterfront

Ottawa’s Rideau Canal is a UNESCO World Heritage Site It is the only canal dating from the great North American canal-building era of the early 19th century that remains operational along its original line with most of its original structures intact. It remains beautiful throughout all four seasons. It is no wonder that Ami and Eddy chose to have their wedding ceremony on its banks.

Glorious wedding

The original plan was to have the ceremony on the rock pad. However, upon seeing the location I saw two issues with that spot. The first is that it was far from the audience. Too much distance diminishes a sense of intimacy. Those located at the back of the tent would hardly see the bride and groom.

Secondly, I could see the shadows from the trees that were cast on the rock pad. Given the time of the day, I estimated that the Ami and Eddy would be in mottled shadow for the ceremony – not a great thing for photography. In consultation with them, I rearranged the ceremony to be on the grass with the signing table on the rock pad.

This way both issues were solved. Ami came down the aisle through the tent looking glorious.

Glorious wedding Aisle

And you can see how much closer we were to their guests and in the sun.

Glorious wedding reading

As with any outdoor wedding, there can be uncontrollable things that happen. We couldn’t stop people in boats and kayaks going by enjoying the canal. The biggest distraction was the pirate ship from Pirate Adventures that rounded behind us. Pausing, I said to all, “Whew, at least the pirates didn’t spirit away the bride.” to great laughter.

Glorious wedding Aim and Eddy

With everything completed, I declared them married with a happy and relieved couple the result. Congrats Ami and Eddy.



Should You Include Your Children in Your Wedding? Yes – Here’s How

Should You Include Your Children in Your Wedding? Yes – Here’s How

Modern weddings aren’t what they used to be. Many brides- and grooms-to-be are also parents, which can make wedding planning a little trickier than it was back when Grandma was getting ready to tie the knot. And of course, blended families are more common today, too. Here’s how families can include their children on the big day:

Should you include children in your wedding


It’s true that babies can be unpredictable, but if you’re willing to accept a little fussiness, you’ll be happy you decided to include your littlest one. While some women opt to hire a caregiver on their big day, many brides-to-be enlist help from family or close friends to share baby duty throughout the day’s celebrations. Baby can even walk down the aisle in the arms of your maid of honor.

There is no shortage of adorable outfits for baby to wear — just make sure it fits in with the rest of the wedding party attire. And have some elegant swaddling blankets on hand, just in case she gets fussy. Swaddling comforts and calms babies.

Toddlers & Young Children

Traditional roles for this age include flower girls and ring bearers. For parents with more than one child, include all the children; it’s just fine to have more than one flower girl or a brood of boys following the ringbearer. Plan ahead by appointing someone you trust to keep a watchful eye on the little ones. And make sure to include the little ones in the rehearsal. This will calm any pre-wedding day jitters about walking down the aisle without Mom or Dad.

Kids & Teens

Kids and teens can make wonderful additions to the bridesmaid’s group or groomsmen’s crew. It’s not uncommon for parents to make their children part of their special day this way. Your children feel honored to be standing at the altar by your side. As long as they’re able to stand still and behave themselves, they’ll make a great addition to the lineup. Kids and teens will also be honored to do a special reading during the ceremony.

Adult Children

Couples who are marrying later in life can include their adult children in the celebration in a big way. Why hire a stranger to lawfully unite the two of you, when one of your children can do it? This is a special way to include your children in the wedding, and it’s sure to make memories that will last forever.

First, talk it over with your fiance to make sure you both think it’s a good idea. Then, sit down with the kids from both sides of the family and ask if anyone’s interested — the last thing you want to do is require someone to do it when they’re really not interested. After one person agrees, it’s time to get started. People who wish to get ordained can do so online. GetOrdained.org offers free courses through the Universal Life Church and even provides wedding training and instructions online.

This isn’t your mama’s Mimosa

This isn’t your mama’s Mimosa

No brunch gathering [or wedding] is complete without bubbly thirst-quenchers. In fact, why not make them a brunch focal point? Set up a DIY Mimosa Bar where guests can mix their own. Here are some simple, low-stress tips to pull it off in style:

mimosa recipe1. Start with the basics: A true Mimosa only requires orange juice and champagne but where’s the fun in that? Encourage guests to be creative by laying out an array of juices, sparkling wines or champagne and sparkling water. Go trendy. Don’t feel compelled to use champagne flutes. Sugar-rimmed mason jars or martini glasses are a much more creative option.

2. Mix it up: Set out an array of chopped herbs and fruit for guests to mix and muddle into their Mimosa. Tasty options include the combination of rosemary and perhaps a slice of orange peel along the rim as décor, or muddled strawberries with some added basil. The options are endless so lay it out there and let guests get creative.

3. Lighten things up: For guests who are looking for a lighter option, serve Simply Orange with Coconut Water. At 80 calories per serving, which is 25% less calories than the leading orange juice, and with no preservatives, this never sweetened juice mixes deliciously with champagne or sparkling water and will ensure everyone is part of the fun.

4. Final touches: Easily add some glam to your DIY Mimosa Bar by placing fresh blooms, a simple tablecloth and fun cocktail napkins on your dining room table.

For more brunch inspiration or to share your creations, visit @Simply_Canada on Twitter.


Wedding Gifts for Grooms: A Tradition Brides Shouldn’t Ignore

wedding gifts for grooms

The answer is: Yes, it’s expected.

Wedding Gifts for Grooms: A Tradition Brides Shouldn’t Ignore

wedding gifts for grooms
But it’s also a chance for all you brides out there to truly show you know that not everything is about you on your wedding day. That there really is another person involved (that would be the groom) who deserves a bit of recognition, too.
We’re talking wedding presents — specifically, yours to your husband-to-be.
Tradition does, indeed, hold that both you and he exchange gifts. And while it’s true that some guys are initially shocked to learn your engagement ring doesn’t also count as a “present,” that’s no excuse for you to waver.
“Giving him something that’s just for him will make him feel really special,” advises BrideBox.com.
Here’s what you need to know now that it’s prime time for weddings:
* When to exchange them. Etiquette dictates that the hand-off occurs at one of three times: the night before the wedding, the morning of the ceremony, or right before leaving on your honeymoon. Think it’s bad luck to see the groom before the nuptials? “Many couples choose to courier gifts via bridesmaids or groomsmen just before the ceremony,” says Brides.com.
* There’s a thin line between “romantic” and “mushy.” Some of you may be tempted to compile a “love notes” journal of every bit of correspondence you’ve ever sent your groom. Even assuming he’s the type who wouldn’t consider that a bit “over the top,” there’s always the chance he might be left wondering, “Okay, where’s my real present?”– especially if his gift to you is a serious piece of jewelry.
* The consensus choice. There’s a reason a watch invariably makes everyone’s short list: It’s the perfect statement of who he is or aspires to be. (It’s also a lot more impressive than a flask, which for some reason also gets a few votes).
No less a taste arbiter than MarthaStewartWeddings.com favors Baume & Mercier’s Clifton line — as elegant as the original 1950s model that inspired it — for the way it “easily transitions from big day to every day.” Like the Swiss watchmaker’s timelessly charming (and affordably luxurious) Classima line, it comes with a choice of straps, dial faces and a variety of what’s known as “small complications” that go way beyong just telling the hour. You can shop them at the Baume & Mercier e-boutique or by calling 1-800-MERCIER, where free engraving and wrapping are available.
* Fun fact. One writer at AskMen.com says he’s “heard of women giving their husbands watches in the ceremony instead of a wedding ring.” If so, the answer is: No, just like your engagement ring, that wouldn’t also qualify as a wedding present.

Fire Alarm Interrupts Wedding Ceremony

By Rev. Alan Viau

“Hotel guests were evacuated from the Delta Ottawa City Centre on Lyon Street Saturday afternoon after a HAZMAT team was called to check out a suspicious white powder.” read the story in the Ottawa Sun.  But what the story did not report was the effect on Kurtis and Marissa’s wedding, which was underway.

Kurtis and Marissa wanted to have their wedding on the terrace of the hotel. However, pouring rain ensured that this wasn’t to be (nor for my two other couples that day). They took it all in stride. Marissa was enjoying her time with her bridesmaids before the wedding.

Fire Alarm Interrupts Wedding Ceremony | Pre-wedding

About ten minutes before the time, Marissa started getting nervous. As we lined up to go, one of the bridesmaids handed me a bag full of wine corks. I was instructed to put it near where they can get hold of it. I thought it had something to do with Kurtis being a wine merchant.

Fire Alarm Interrupts Wedding Ceremony | Ceremony

Everything was going well. The signing, the vows, the wine box ritual…and that’s when the fire alarm came on! A look of slight panic spread across the audience. All I could think of was to get Marissa in her beautiful long wedding gown down 25 flights of stairs.

A message followed (bilingual of course), that there was no danger and that only guests on the fourth floor were to remain in their rooms. A burst of nervous relief laughter erupted from everyone.

Fire Alarm Interrupts Wedding Ceremony | Marissa and Kurtis

All that remained was the blessing and declaration. At the end of the kiss, her bridesmaids tossed the wine corks at Marissa, with more laughter.

Fire Alarm Interrupts Wedding Ceremony |

I joined the elevator ride to the main floor with the newlywed couple, relieved that all had ended well. It looks like they had a bit of fun with the firemen posing for pictures and I hear it was a grand reception party.

Fire Alarm Interrupts Wedding Ceremony | Firemen