Pick the Right Flowers for Your Spring Wedding

pick the right flowers

Spring is wedding season and a big part of wedding planning is choosing the right flowers to fit your vision for the big day. Flowers set the tone for the wedding and whether they are bright and bold or soft and subtle, the floral arrangements, bouquets and boutonnieres are important aspects of any nuptials. Luckily, brides do not have to look too far when trying to pick the right flowers.

Naturally Dejan Kristan, marketing director for Pick Ontario, is touting the benefits of blooms from our own province. “Ontario greenhouse growers produce a wide variety of flowers that are perfect for the big day,” Dejan says. “Gerbera daisies, Viburnum, Peonies, Dahlias, Calla Lilies, Oriental Lilies, Freesias, Spray Roses, and Ranunculus.  These are just some of the many flowers that brides can find in season to accompany both their colour scheme and theme.”

Here are Dejan’s top spring wedding picks:

–         Gerbera daisies are widely grown in Ontario, and the sunny blooms are available in almost every colour, making them a convenient choice regardless of your weddings colours.

–         Viburnum or “Spring Snowballs” have a mass of tiny white blossoms that create a look of fluffy round clouds, and add a delicate softness to arrangements.

–         The large layered blooms of Peonies or Dahlias give arrangements a romantic vintage feel.

–         Long Calla lily stems add a structural elegance to bouquets and arrangements. Tie several together for a bouquet with a modern look.

–         Spray Roses offer the beauty and fragrance of roses, but on a charming miniature scale. Each branched stem has multiple blooms, which make excellent filler in large arrangements. Spray roses are also more likely to be grown here in Ontario, as opposed to its single long stem cousins, which are often imported from South America.

–         Ranunculus is so hot right now!  A breakout hit from the Canada Blooms show, if you have browsed Instagram at all, you have almost certainly seen some beautiful ranunculus arrangements.  A very trendy and beautiful flower, it will get noticed.

When you choose locally grown flowers, Pick Ontario points out, the longevity of the flowers is maximized, so they can be enjoyed even after the day has passed.  Local flowers also tend to have more fragrance than those imported, as their scent comes from natural chemicals that they release into the air.  Imported flowers often lose these chemicals during their long transportation, so the shorter the trip the longer the scent of the flowers will last.

“Flowers are one of the most essential parts of any wedding and spring is the perfect time to experiment with vibrant colours and various types of blossoms,” adds Dejan. “I don’t think there is a better way to enhance the happiest day of your life than with fresh, locally grown flowers that smell like they’ve been picked that morning.”

For more information,  visit www.pickontario.ca. Follow @pickOntario on Twitter and Instagram, and like them on Facebook.

Ranunculus 1



Wedding Dress Whisperer at Centrepointe April 30


Wedding Dress Whisperer

TLC’s Randy Fenoli Helps Ottawa Brides ‘Say Yes to the Dress’ This Saturday!

Ottawa Brides are thanking their lucky stars: the Wedding Dress Whisperer is coming to town this Saturday, April 30, and there are still tickets available for the show at Centrepointe Theatre!  Randy Fenoli, of Say Yes to the Dress fame, is coming to Centrepointe to talk dresses, Kleinfelds and getting the perfect look for your day.

Topping off this afternoon of extravagance is a private VIP event hosted by Fenoli, for 250 lucky guests featuring the top tier of Ottawa’s bridal suppliers. One lucky bride will win a private consultation with Fenoli and will literally Say Yes to the Dress and walk out with the gown they choose.

Born on a cattle farm in Southern Illinois, a young Randy Fenoli was, perhaps, an unlikely candidate for ‘Designer Gown Guru’. Fast forward a decade (or two) and Randy is the star of four successful television shows, the author of a bestselling wedding book, and has become a regular on the daytime talk show circuit including, The Today Show, The View, Rachel Ray, Extra, Get Married, and The Martha Stewart Show.

Driven by his fascination for design, Randy taught himself how to sew at the early age of 9. His passion for fashion and design lead him to the prestigious Fashion Institute of Technology. Immediately after graduating, Randy launched two bridal industry collections: Randy Fenoli for the Diamond Collection and Randy Fenoli for Dressy Creations.

Today as the star of TLC’s Say Yes to the Dress, Big Bliss, Randy Knows Best, and Randy to the Rescue, Randy is seen by millions of viewers each week. On Randy to the Rescue, Fenoli travels the country with a semi truck filled with wedding gowns and accessories helping brides find their dream wedding dress at his ultimate pop up bridal salon. Randy selects three lucky brides who have said “Yes” to their dress and then, with the help of a hairstylist and makeup artist, transforms these brides from head to hem and presents each with a bridal blueprint for her wedding day.

With a philosophy that EVERY woman is beautiful, no matter what her size, age or shape, Randy inspires women to feel truly beautiful on their wedding day. Randy will share this message with 1000 brides at Centrepointe Theatres to open ‘wedding season.’

Following his inspiring presentation, Randy will host an intimate and exclusive VIP bridal experience. Challenging the current model for Bridal events, this afternoon features the best suppliers in the National Capital Region. Gone is the busy, loud, and often exhausting afternoon of bridal trade shows. Instead, guests will grab a cocktail, take a picture with Randy, and take time exploring the upper echelon of all things bridal.

Every vendor is providing a significant prize to be given away leading up to, or at the event including a wedding gown (The Handmade Bride), catering (Thyme and Again), a custom made glow bar setup for the wedding day (Ottawa Special Events), custom made bridal jewelry (Strut Jewelry), wedding planning services (Toast Events) and many other spectacular prizes.

VIP ticketholders will also receive an exclusive swag bag packed with goodies from VIP vendors. Vendors include:

Thyme and Again Creative Catering

 Flowers Talk Tivoli

The Handmade Bride

Ottawa Special Events

Klava Z. Makeup Artist & Educater

Toast Events

Breakaway Experiences

Millennium Limousines

Dynamix Productions

Flashpoint Photobooth

Sweet Clementines

Strut Jewelry

Cellar 82

See www.CentrepointeTheatres.com for full list of vendors.

Tickets to attend the VIP event are $100 and tickets to see Randy speak are $60.

Each ticket (GA or VIP) is entered to win a number of prizes.  Randy will be picking seat numbers during his presentation, and will give away some incredible prizes.

For more information or tickets visit: www.centrepointetheatres.com or call the box office at 613-580-2700.

Have Fun with Wedding Favours

wedding favours

Are you planning to offer wedding favours to the guests on your special day?

These customary small gifts are a lovely way to show your friends and family members how much you appreciate their presence. They’re also a way to share your good fortune and happiness with others. You don’t have to spend a fortune or send yourself into a Pinterfrenzy to come up with a small, meaningful memento people can take home.

Seed bombs, homemade truffles, s’mores kits, decorated cookies, succulents, bath salts, honey, homemade jam, handmade soap … there are tons of different options. And it can be a lot of fun coming up with the perfect gift and dolling it up for your favourite peeps.

The important thing is to package your gift attractively, incorporating your wedding colours and style.

Certainly, this isn’t a wedding trend. It’s a time-honoured tradition that has spanned centuries.

A Google search suggests the custom of offering favours started with the French aristocracy and they were originally called bonbonnieres. A small gift given to guests at upper class weddings, a Bonbonniere was a trinket box, made of precious stones or crystal, that contained a sweet treat or sugar cubes. In that era, sugar was a rare, prized luxury, a symbol of riches, and people believed it had medicinal properties.

As sugar became more commonplace (and, thus, less prestigious), it was replaced with other, often symbolic, wedding favours. Over time, in different cultures, almonds were often given as wedding favours.

According to nuts.com, “Giving each guest Jordan Almonds as wedding favors comes from both Italian and Middle Eastern wedding traditions? Some experts date the candy custom back to the Victorian Era.
“Traditionally, wedding guests are each given five Jordan Almonds, signifying the following sentiments: Health, Wealth, Happiness, Fertility & Long Life. Many brides and grooms word this traditional meaning in a poem to their guests on the favor label.”

Today, the giving of wedding favours is a custom that is shared by communities and cultures and families around the world.

However, you can be as creative as you wish in choosing exactly what you want to give. Enjoy the opportunity.

wedding favours


Monique and David

Photographer: Chelsea Mason Photography


Bride Name
Groom Name
Date of Wedding
Chelsea Mason Photography: Perth, Ontario
Reception Held at
Fairmont Chateau Montebello
Ceremony Held at
Fairmont Chateau Montebello
Wedding Dress
Maggie Sottero- Ettia
Groom’s Fashions From
Vernin Umo, St. Laurent Shopping Center, Ottawa, Ontario
Bridesmaids Fashions From
With Love Bridal: Kanata, Ontario
Groomsmen’s Fashions From
Moores: Orleans, Ontario
Bride’s Hair By
Salon Pur-Kimberly Tessier: Hawkesbury, Ontario
Bride’s Make-Up By
Herself- supplies from Shopper’s Drug Mart Cornwall
Cake By
Cakes by Sherry– cake pops, Avonmore, Ontario
Catering By
Chateau Montebello
Flowers By
Center Floral: Hawkesbury, Ontario
Invitations By
Created by the bride using the “Maker” app
Favours By
Created by the bride and her mom
Other Vendors
All Seasons Weddings: (Clergy), Kenmore, Ontario
Extreme D.J.: (music and M.C.), Ottawa Ontario
N.P Decor: (chair covers and center pieces), Montreal, Quebec
Pommier Jewelers: (Bride’s band), Cornwall, Ontario
Thanksgiving 2015 David and Monique exchanged vows at the Chateau Montebello surrounded by family and friends. The nuptials united the two as well as their children into one family. Thus the children participated in the planning and were including the blending of sands. The rustic venue reflected the couple’s love for the outdoors and their passion for food. Personal touches included a poutine and popcorn bar, as well as shawls to make their guests feel appreciated while getting to play with the new family.

Breakfast with the Bride: New Bridal Shower Trend

bridal shower

by Diane Lynn Thomas

Almost all brides have a bridal shower hosted by their mom or future mother-in-law.  A date is usually set anywhere from 6 weeks to two months before the wedding date.  The bridal shower is a smaller gathering of ladies where a nice meal, casual setting and opening of gifts take place.

It can be booked in a reception hall, private club, restaurant, or someone’s home.  If you decide to book the bridal shower in the same venue as your wedding reception then make sure to ask if a special discount will apply.  Many venues will offer either a free room rental or even a meal discount!

Weddings are so expensive that many want to cut down their bridal showers costs.  Serving a buffet breakfast is the new trend for 2012 and 2013 which is surprisingly inexpensive to do.    The guests are invited earlier in the morning around 10:30 and then have a buffet breakfast for 11:00AM.  Games and opening of gifts take place immediately after the breakfast and the afternoon should end by 2:00PM.  This is a nice time so that all guests can be home with their family for dinner.

The invitation would say “breakfast with the bride” so it would not be a surprise to your guests that you are serving breakfast.  How many ladies don’t like breakfast?  Some ideas are egg benedict’s,  waffles, and crepes to name a few.  As the guests arrive you can even butler pass orange and cranberry juice which would be a nice touch.
This cost would be much more economical than providing a full hot lunch.  You would not need a pastry table or even a wedding cake as your pastry items such as croissants and baked goods will be included in your buffet breakfast.  No worry of opening a bar or serving wine because no one is going to expect alcohol at breakfast.  Remember though if you wanted a little something you could also add in some Mimosa’s (champagne and orange juice).

If you choose a restaurant or your home then your decor would be very minimal.  You can set out a nice bud vase with a rose or two with some baby breaths and perhaps one or two larger floral arrangements on the buffet stations.  Just purchase a few dozen roses or carnations and you can make these yourself.  Seat covers or linens would not need to be rented.

It’s a very cool idea and you should consider it as an option.   Remember though, the invitation should say “breakfast with the bride” which makes it’s such a cute idea.

This article is courtesy of I Just Said Yes.

Christina and Jason

Photographer: Kathi Robertson

Happily Ever After | Christina and Jason

A Bohemian Affair

May 17, 2015

Jason asked Christina to be his wife atop Arthur’s Seat, a mountain peak in the middle of Edinburgh, Scotland.

The pair were living in Scotland at the time, but Christina was heading back to Canada, leaving Jason in Edinburgh for a little over two months. As the sun rose over the mountaintop, Christina said “yes.”

The couple planned an intimate ceremony at Strathmere, a 200- acre country retreat in North Gower, Ontario. The venue’s immaculate grounds and oasis-like surroundings proved to be the perfect place to say, “I do.”

Christina chose an Erin Fetherston dress for her bohemian- inspired day, while her bridesmaids wore Canadian-made Lovely Maid’s infinity dresses from Ottawa boutique, The Handmade Bride. Atop the bride’s and flower girl’s heads were ethereal flower crowns – the perfect accent for a boho affair.

Surrounded by friends and family, Christina made her way to her groom with her parents by her side. The couple exchanged vows at an altar adorned with ribbons – a handmade and picturesque touch crafted by the bride’s mother. “They added to the bohemian, relaxed theme and gave off a better vibe than flowers. My mother pretty much came up with all the ideas. She is very good at that sort of thing and very crafty.”

The reception, held at Strathmere’s lodge, continued on with the relaxed feel of the day. Daisies and wildflower arrangements were provided by Stone Blossom. An old suitcase doubled as a card box – a nod to the couple’s love of travel. Another touch of travel was found in the handwritten postcards that took the place of table numbers. Each postcard featured a different European city the newlyweds had visited along with an anecdote.

In lieu of a traditional cake, cake pops were confectioned by Ottawa’s Thyme & Again. A moment to remember occurred during the first dance al fresco. As the couple swayed to Bob Marley’s Is this Love, guests held sparklers to light up the night. “We first heard the song when we were living abroad in a tiny apartment and it reminded us of our relationship. Just about love being enough and not needing anything else to be happy.”

As a parting gift, each guest left with their very own handmade seed bomb.

After speeches and well wishes from loved ones, the newlyweds prepared for their next travel adventure – a honeymoon in Jamaica.

Ottawa’s Unique Boutiques for Brides

unique boutiques

Creative Cuts
Find your perfect gown at one of these unique boutiques

by Nicolina Leone

The experience of choosing your gown should be as unique as you. Ottawa Wedding Magazine explored a handful of intimate bridal boutiques available to Ottawa brides. These alternative options offer competitive prices, on-trend styles, and prime locations.

What more could a girl ask for?

The Handmade Bride

Have you pictured your dream dress so clearly in your mind, yet you’ve been unable to find it? The Handmade Bride works with independent designers who create original gowns in their studios. They encourage clients to be part of the process and work with stylists to customize their unique wedding dress.

Never outsourced, the focus is on Canadian-made collections that can be made-to-measure. There are a number of sample gowns in the boutique and brides can order the original design or use the gown as a starting point to create their own one-of-a-kind dress.

“We meet with each client one- on-one to get a sense of what they are looking for in their wedding gown. We will look at your inspiration and your preferences with you. Your bridal stylist will select sample pieces for you to try based on your style, body and budget,” explains Meaghan Brunetti, owner and bridal stylist of The Handmade Bride. “This is when the magic happens! As you try on different silhouettes and styles, we listen to you and help you narrow down the options. Sometimes that means changing the colour, fabric, or even the cut of the entire dress.”

Working directly with the stylists is what allows this boutique so much flexibility.

“We believe that choosing handmade items is an ethical choice as much as it is a decision on quality. We feel strongly that by taking production of the dresses out of the factory and into the design studio is the solution to disposable fashion. We believe that your wedding gown should be an heirloom piece gorgeously made just for you.”

And it’s not just about the bride. Make it your go-to for the whole bridal party. Find bridesmaids dresses in up to 300 colours, men’s ties and delicate accessories. Alterations are also offered on any gown – no matter where you made the purchase.

The collections range in price. Knee-length dresses are as low as $400, but most gowns average around $2,000. Custom gowns range from $1,800 to $10,000 and up, depending on the design and fabrics. Bridesmaid dresses are around $160 to $300, and custom evening gowns for mothers of the bride or groom start at $800.

The Handmade Bride
306 Cumberland Street, Ottawa
613 695-8247 handmadebride.ca


“Loved by rebel girls with good manners everywhere, Victoire is a shop obsessed with anything made-in-Canada, super cute, gold or embroidered.”

With a focus primarily on Canadian designers, mixing in a select few American designers, the store’s aesthetic is described on their website as “rock ‘n’ roll tea party.”

The gorgeous and unique gowns found in-store could satisfy many-a-bride and bridesmaid.

They do carry a bridal-specific line: Birds of North America (BofNA). The brand carries such a cult following because of the great attention to detail: the designer’s cuts are impeccable, and the fit leaves women feeling like a million bucks without having to spend a small fortune. The price point speaks to a customer who sees the dress as a day-of accessory.

“As a great customer of ours said, ‘I love clothing and fashion. So why would I blow  my entire year’s clothing budget on something I’ll wear once?’” shares Regine Paquette, co-owner of Victoire. “So I think that is how we differ most. We sell to brides that don’t want to buy into the idea that you need to spend large sums of money for your wedding day, and that buying your wedding dress doesn’t have to be a time-consuming affair of fittings and alterations. It’s ready-to-wear for the wedding dress industry.”

The dresses are offered in sizes two to 16, and because they’re not traditional wedding gowns, alterations are more affordable (comparable to the cost of taking in or shortening your favourite business or formal attire).

Aesthetically, the dresses have a vintage feel, reminiscent of fit-and-flare 1950’s dresses and 1960’s minis. They look amazing styled with a traditional heel or something more off-the-beaten-wedding-track, like cowboy boots.

Victoire has hosted two wedding events alongside Sparrow Flowers and Heart Deco rings.

The girls at Victoire are willing to stay open late to accommodate a bride’s party, but Regine doesn’t see BofNA brides making this request. “Most of the women who have bought the BofNA bridal dresses have done so without all the fanfare usually associated with ‘saying yes to the dress.’ We definitely serve a more low-maintenance kind of bride.”

Prices for BofNA designs range from $349 to $425. A lower cost is tagged to bridesmaid gowns. And yes, they would likely wear them again.

246 Dalhousie Street, Ottawa 613 321-1590
1282 B Wellington Street West Ottawa
613 421-0089 victoireboutique.com

unique boutiques

Flowers & Vintage & Bridal

An absolutely charming store. When you walk in, you won’t know where to go first. Vintage bridal gowns on the right, clothing on the left, flowers near the cash, and interesting trinkets all around.

“Vintage brides tend to be creative ‘outside the box’ thinkers who strive to be individuals. They are also often no-fuss, no-nonsense, uber-practical and pragmatic women. I also have many eco-conscious brides who appreciate that the gowns are recycled and take pride in the fact that they are not adding unnecessary strain on the environment. As well, my brides tend to be more budget-conscious,” explains Jamie Garner, co-owner of Flowers & Vintage & Bridal (FVB).

Jamie gets only a few new dresses per week, as vintage dresses are becoming rarer and harder to come by. She recommends popping by every few weeks to see what’s new. “I usually send my brides to their local tailor for alterations. They tend to be much less expensive than bridal salons. I also always recommend a good dry cleaning for the pre-loved and vintage gowns. It really does wonders to refresh them before the big day.”

The biggest difference between FVB and other bridal salons is the casual atmosphere. “I want my customers to feel comfortable and at home here. You don’t need to make an appointment, you can peruse the gowns at your leisure and you can take as long as you like trying on and contemplating your choices. There is never any rush or pressure.”

You can also reserve the store for a private “after hours” shopping soiree for you and your bridal party. While you look for your dress, the girls can look too. Instead of having a unifying colour, have a unifying style: vintage.

As prices for wedding gowns range between $85 and $595, they are certainly affordable. I know I had trouble leaving without one.

Flowers & Vintage & Bridal
502 Somerset Street, Ottawa 613 407-6151

Rent frock Repeat

Ever play that dangerous game where you buy a dress you can’t afford to wear to a party with the hope you won’t spill anything

on it and can return it the next day? Well, for a small cost, you can do just that and have your dress expertly dry cleaned once you bring it back.

Kristy and Lisa founded Rent frock Repeat (RfR) in August of 2010. It is a 100 per cent Canadian-owned-and-operated business based in Toronto. They have a combined 13 years of experience in sales and marketing, and an infectious passion for the fashion industry. They work with designers, purchasing dresses either directly or through their authorized sales agents. Rent frock Repeat scours both the runways and the showrooms of top designers to find amazing frocks that would normally be outside of the average woman’s budget – or not available locally – and makes them available to rent and return at a small fraction of the retail price.

Their dry cleaner of choice, Creeds, has consistently landed in the Top 10 in North America. In the unlikely event Creeds is unable to take care of everything, a small insurance charge will ensure no additional cost to you.

The best part: brides get in on it too. “You would be amazed at how many brides come to Rent frock Repeat, both online or in one of our showrooms, looking for a non- traditional wedding dress,” says Miranda Furtado, director of marketing. “Many brides are finding looks on Pinterest and other social media outlets and are inspired to wear something other than the traditional white dress. We have a great variety of dresses that would suit a bride looking for something unique, whether they are having a big, lavish wedding, a destination wedding, or a simple, city hall wedding. We also offer a second style for $35, which will get the bride through both her rehearsal dinner and big day.”

Bridesmaids also come in regularly. RfR has a large range of dresses that can be matched based on colour, texture or style, so brides can find that perfect look for their wedding party.

“Another great feature that we offer is the RfR ‘Something Borrowed’ Bridal Program. This allows the bride to earn free rentals simply by sharing a personalized promo code with her guests. As guests rent (and use the promotional code during the checkout process) she will earn 10 per cent of each rental fee. This promo code will also help us ensure guests do not rent the same frock and this means less drama on her special day! When the bride is ready to rent, she simply e-mails in to find out how many ‘Frock Dollars’ she’s earned.”

RfR also offers private fitting parties. A bride can bring up to 10 guests for an evening of food, drink, socializing, and trying on beautiful frocks! The RfR stylists will save all of your favourite dresses to your personal online wish list. You provide the friends, food and drink and RfR provides the dresses and dessert, including cutlery, plates, and napkins. Cost is $20 per person. A $20 credit will be applied towards a rental if a guest places an order on the day of the party.

To book a private fitting party, e-mail info@rentfrockrepeat.com or call 613 241-7890. Dress prices range from $40 to $250 (for a gown that is over $1,500 retail).

Rent frock Repeat
107 Murray Street, Ottawa 855 FROCK-IT (855 376-2548) or 613 241-7890 rentfrockrepeat.com


DIY Wedding Possibilities

diy wedding

DIY wedding

One scroll through a wedding-themed Pinterest board is all you need to tell you that DIY wedding inspiration is all the rage right now, and for good reason. Making some of your own wedding items lets you add a personal and unique touch to your special day; it can also save you a lot of money. While there are many great homemade elements you can add to your wedding, you don’t want to over-DIY it and end up a stressed mess. You also don’t want to wind up with “Pinterest Fail” memories. Here are some DIY wedding options to consider:


Buying a pre-priced invitation package can be spendy, especially if you want a personalized look. Making your own invitations can be a cost-cutting option, particularly if you’ve got time, artistic flare and a very clear idea in mind. If you want to make them fancier or more personalized, Better Homes and Gardens suggests using handmade or textured paper, layering patterns, using embellishments like buttons, lace or a personalized stamp. The possibilities are endless, and there is no shortage of inspiration on the Internet. However, it might be good to figure out the theme and color scheme you want at your wedding first so you can coordinate the send-outs. Also, give yourself enough time so that if your homemade creations are underwhelming, it’s not to late to get them professionally done.


No matter how handy you are with a sewing machine, a wedding dress or bridesmaid dresses will cause more trouble than they are worth if you try to make them yourself. Sewing your dress may turn out to be more time consuming than you planned, it may not turn out exactly as you envisioned or it may not look as good in person as the photo you found for inspiration. With a plateful of other tasks to do before your big day, that is one thing you definitely don’t want to tackle. If you want something unique or want to save money, search for vintage and secondhand dresses, or look at consignment stores and then have the dress altered.

DIY wedding


Got a green thumb and a gift for arranging? Making your own bouquets may sound like too much work, but there are tutorials online to show you how to make arrangements with minimal effort. YouTube offers an easy-to-follow guide to creating your own bouquets. To save even more, use flowers that are in season and search online, at wholesalers and at grocery stores. Keep in mind, though, the style of your wedding. DIY florals work well in a casual, rustic, vintage or laid-back boho celebration. If you intend your festivities to be elegant, glamorous, traditional or sophisticated, the work of a floral designer is well worth the investment. At the very least, do a DIY practice run weeks in advance to see how a bouquet and a table arrangement will look and how long they will last.


Whether your guest list is 10 pages long or you’re only inviting immediate family and close friends, planning a menu and cooking food for all those people is something you probably don’t have time for; and you don’t want to stick anyone else with that job either. There are a lot of ways to get creative with your reception food, however. Once you know roughly how many people you’re expecting and have decided on a budget, you can plan your menu accordingly. Stick to items that are simple, seasonal and local, if possible, and choose options you know everyone will like, taking into account dietary restrictions and allergies. One way to save you a headache and some money is a buffet, which cuts down on having to plan a plate for each guest. Another option is to serve lots of hors-d’oeuvres.

DIY wedding


If you have your heart set on the traditional posed wedding photos, there isn’t a great substitute for a professional photographer. However, instead of having professionals handle all the pictures, capture some moments with fun DIY photo options. Popular Photography suggests integrating unique picture opportunities, like a photo booth, where guests can take silly pictures with props, or ask your guests to download a wedding photo app, like WedPics, that lets your guests upload their smartphone photos to one album. Not all phone pics are great, but newer phones like the Galaxy S6 have an impressive 16-megapixel camera with auto HDR that turns out great photos. If you supplement your traditional photographer pictures with some guest-inspired photos, you’ll have more memories to share from more points of view.

DIY wedding

Karen and Derrick

Photographer: Black Lamb Photography

Real Ottawa Wedding | Karen and Derrick

Bride Name
Groom Name
Date of Wedding
Black Lamb Photography
Reception Held at
Holiday Inn
Ceremony Held at
St. Paul’s Anglican Church
Wedding Dress
Renewed with Love   
Groom’s Fashions From
Tip Top Tailors    
Bridesmaids Fashions From
White House Black Market
Bride’s Hair By
Mahogany Spa
Bride’s Make-Up By
Mahogany Spa 
Cake By
Catering By
Flowers By
Acanthus Floral
Favours By
Other Vendors
Decorations: Prior Engagements
Her Ring: Noam Carver
His Ring: Harden’s Jewellers
DJ: Quality Entertainment    
Description (Up to 500 Characters)
Derrick and Karen met each other while they were both working on a farm. Derrick grew up on a farm, so it was the perfect idea to have their wedding photos taken at Derrick’s family farm. Before we did their portrait session, they did a “first look.” Then we shot all the portraits at the farm before we headed to the church for their wedding ceremony. Their wedding day turned out beautifully. I loved all of their rustic touches, including the toy combine tractor found on top of their wedding cake.

Books for the Bride and Groom


Essential Manners for Men (Second Edition): What to Do, When to Do It, and Why

by Peter Post
William Morrow Paperbacks

The name Emily Post is synonymous with etiquette, good manners, and decorum. With this newly revised and updated second edition of the New York Times bestseller Essential Manners for Men, Peter Post, Emily Post’s great-grandson and director of The Emily Post Institute, Inc., once again does the great lady proud. In this invaluable handbook, Peter addresses the topics men really need to master to succeed in business and in life, such as how to act and to conduct oneself in a plethora of common and not-so-common circumstances in the office, at a wedding, on social media, when dating, etc. Essential Manners for Men (Second Edition) is a book that belongs on the shelves of every man and the woman who loves him.


The New-Fashioned Wedding: Designing Your Artful, Modern, Crafty, Textured, Sophisticated Celebration

by Paige Appel and Kelly Harris Rizzoli Books

In this book, the authors share ideas from the weddings they have designed and walk the reader through planning the event, from vision statement and storyboard to colour palette, stationery, signs and logos, centrepieces and bouquets, furnishings, linens, china and silver, aisle décor, menus, and more, providing hundreds of inspirational ideas in the process.


Loving in the Grown Zone

by Zara D. Green and Alfred A. Edmond, Jr. Balboa Press

Are you simply an adult, or have you moved into the grown zone? This no-nonsense guide to healthy decision-making and romantic relationships calls for men and women to set aside behaviours and misguided advice and progress beyond adulthood into the “grown zone.” In the book’s candid and distinctive voice, the authors take on many myths about relationships and provide tangible solution-based principles of self-love, better decisions, and healthier bonds with our partners. Distinguishing between “marriage planning” and “wedding planning,” the book debunks the myth that family background, religion, and attraction are good predictors of a sustainable relationship. Falling in love with someone does not mean you surrender your responsibility to protect yourself. This book is for couples in any stage of a relationship, but a seemingly important one for people who are tying the knot. Living in the Grown Zone recognizes adulthood is not the final stage of personal growth, and your past is merely the floor—not the ceiling—on the potential of your life.


Wedding Flowers: Bouquets and Floral Arrangements for the Most Memorable and Perfect Wedding Day

by Paula Pryke Rizzoli

This book holds beautiful photos and clear demonstrations of techniques to make floral items, flower arrangements and foliage for just about any celebration. Flowers are discussed by season, various wedding themes, colours, and bouquets. Written by a floral designer with 30 years of experience, it’s sure to be worth its weight in Tylenol in relieving some of those difficult wedding planning questions. Also a fantastic shower gift! W

Compiled by R. Legault.

To source or purchase any of the books we have listed in this column; simply take the title and author’s name to any bookstore for a special order. Libraries may not carry all books listed on this page.