I Do Tattoo? Yes. It’s a Thing


Walking down the aisle, reciting your vows and signing a marriage licence all help to make the big life change official and to let the world know you’re married.

But more than a few couples take the declaration of love and commitment one significant step further. They put it in ink. On their bodies. With a tattoo. In fact, I Do tattoos are top Pin Picks saved to Pinterest’s 2017 Wedding Report.

Why? According to the online catalogue of ideas, “Because tattoos + marriage = forever. Couples are getting inked with their wedding date, wedding bands and floral bouquets. Wedding bouquet tattoos +116% YoY.”


And the ink doesn’t stop there. Couples are getting rings tattooed, as well as dates, hearts, crowns and anchors. Online, you’ll also see some of the many creative symbols people are inking on their skin, including playing card, infinity and beating-heart symbols. There are tons of meaningful, romantic and very personal possibilities.

However, as Kaylin Pound points out at Elite Daily, “It’s important to choose your body art just as wisely as you choose bae because getting rid of either one is painful, expensive and a huge pain in the ass.”


Latest Real-Life Wedding Trends



Pinterest is to brides what cake is to birthdays and a toast is to New Year’s Eve. Irresistible. Important. You don’t want to miss this.

And for fiancés planning the biggest and most special festivities in a lifetime, Pinterest is the best-ever look book, a combination of the Christmas catalogue of yesteryear and an extraordinary scrap book. So many ideas, hot trends and tantalizing options are shared by websites, bloggers, brides, and wedding professionals.

Type in wedding décor and up will pop everything from vintage ladders and floral arches to lighting, signs and greenery ideas.
Try bride and you’ll find makeup and hair advice, details about customizing shoes, and options for gifts and jewelry. Look for wedding details and you’ll discover items you may never have considered, from place cards and wedding favours to balloons, drink sticks and napkins.

But not all ideas have the same popularity or staying power. To find out what’s big in the real world of pinners and bridal planners, check out the 2017 Wedding Report on Pinterest.



There are 25 pins and 19,963 followers. And as the introduction notes, “The new direction of nuptials in 2017 is all about personalization and having fun, from printed bridesmaid dresses in lieu of mismatched solids, to the taco bar riff on family-style buffets.”

Top picks include off-the-shoulder wedding dresses, simple, polished, glamorous updos and natural tresses. Blue suits, food and drink pairings and pink eyeshadow have also landed on the Latest Big Thing list. Enjoy your Pinterest searches and pick the faves that fit your personal style and priorities.

Picture Perfect on a Hot Wedding Day

picture perfect

Tips to keep your Face Fresh all Day Long

With temperatures on the rise, brides are always looking for ways to keep cool and look great in the summer sun. But whether you are travelling to a warmer climate or keeping it local, there are things to keep in mind when planning a heated affair. To ensure your face is picture perfect, here are a few tips to make sure you’re ready to brave the heat.

First things first

There are three beginner steps to every summer makeup regime. Intense UV rays can cause skin damage, so a quality primer is the first ingredient to a flawless face. “In the summer, primers are your friend,” says Heather Farmer, an Ottawa area makeup artist. The primer acts as a barrier between your skin and your makeup, and absorbs the oils that may clog pores. In the summer sun, a primer is a must to ensure your makeup goes on smoothly and stays on throughout the day. “Skin primers such as Smashbox Photo Finish or Makeup Forever All Mat primer will help you from getting glossy or shiny,” adds Heather.

If you are opting for foundation, a water-based as opposed to oil based is the way to go, as it won’t feel as thick on your face. For a lighter choice, tinted moisturizers provide sheer coverage and still give you a light glow. This is a great option for those with oilier skin. There are brands that have created base foundations and tinted moisturizers with high UV protection, but beware that some SPF products have the tendency to be heavier and thicker on the face.

Once the foundation is applied, a setting powder or sealer is the key to your makeup staying put all day long. If you’re having an outdoors affair or taking pictures under the warm rays, your makeup can begin to break down from the sweat and oils on your face. A powder or sealer will adhere to the foundation and provide lasting coverage, in turn minimizing the amount of touch-ups. It’s also a great combat against excess shine. “I’m loving MAC’s Blot Powder,” says Heather. “They have a tiny amount of tint to them, and are mainly for keeping off the shine — great for keeping your skin fresh all day.” Now that you’ve got a blank, even canvas to work with, it’s time for the fun part — adding colour to your look.

When choosing between a gel and pencil liner, Heather says there are a few things to consider, from the style of application to the wear of the product. “When I think about summer, gel liner is not what comes to mind right away because it has that liquid liner look that more often than not has a winter appeal. Gel liners do, however, have the ability to go on lightly if you are careful and can then be smudged to give a gentle smoky eye.” Products such as the Stila Smudge Pot or Smashbox Jet Set waterproof gel liners are great options to achieve this look. For sweat or tears, smudge- or waterproof mascara is always a good idea to avoid those racoon eyes by the end of the night. To avoid creasing, use an eye shadow primer before applying the shadow. Smooth primer over entire lid and extend upward to the brow bone. This will ensure even coverage and hold the shadow in place.

picture perfect


To add colour to the cheeks, a stain is an ideal choice as it has longer staying power and tends to leave your skin with a natural finish. Heather recommends the Benefit Benetint as well as Stila’s Lip and Cheek Stain. “It takes some getting used to and needs to be applied quickly, so testing it out by yourself on your wedding day is not recommended.” To apply, dab a small amount and blend quickly, moving it along the cheekbone and gently wrapping it around the apple of the cheeks.


Lips can be extremely sensitive and, if not protected, can burn in the summer sun. If you are wearing lipstick on the day, start with an SPF-enhanced lip balm. If you’re going with gloss, it will last longer if you begin by applying a translucent powder on the lips. Leading up to the day, it’s a good idea to have a hydrating lip balm on hand at all times to have your lips kissably smooth. So to all of you summer brides, Heather has these things to keep in mind: “The key to surviving a hot, sunny, summer day is SPF in your moisture and base products, and everything needs to be made to last. Also, long-wearing and waterproof are your friends in this weather, where you are more likely to perspire.” So don’t be afraid of the sun, just be prepared!

Article By Lindsay Ruck

Zarina and Chris


Handmade from the Heart

May 22, 2016

compiled by Nicolina Leone
photos by Jonathan & Katriina Kuhn

On the morning of May 22, Zarina cleaned her apartment and then she wrote her vows. She was gone before her fiancé and high school sweetheart, Chris, was awake as she headed out for her hair appointment — and a mimosa, naturally. Afterwards, she met her bridesmaids at the Arc Hotel and their room became a hive of activity. One girl doing hair for the other girls, one doing makeup, and one doling out the breakfast foods she’d collected from all over the city in search of the perfect pastry. After her gown from Renewed With Love was on, she was ready.

When Zarina arrived at their venue, Billings Estate Manor, the day could not have been more perfect. The sky was blue, the weather was warm, and the apple blossom tree was late so it was in perfect bloom, just for them. They had the arch where they were to be married set up just beside the tree.

Another special moment was the shared connection the groom had with their officiant. They discovered that he and Chris’ aunt had gone to school together and they had been quite close. He’d even held Chris as a baby. So they had a intimate familial connection with him.

After the ceremony, cocktails and dinner were served in a gorgeous tent, replete with chandelier set up by Dahlia Designs, by the front of the estate. On the tables were touches that the couple had put much time and effort into, from the hand-embroidered table numbers that Zarina made herself to the colouring booklets put together for the children.

Having the ceremony and dinner outdoors was important to both sides as they love to be in nature and wanted the kids at the wedding to be able to run around and have fun.

After dinner, the party moved to the RA Centre for more dancing, drinks, and donuts — SuzyQ in lieu of cake. The couple went in that direction for a few reasons — Chris is a baker so unless the cake was going to be made by him, they weren’t having it. And since they didn’t want him to have to make the cake for their own wedding, they went donuts for the masses and a little bundt cake they made together for themselves.

The night finished with more food — “We’ve been eating our whole relationship — food is really important to us. We wanted to make sure there was enough,” said Mail. There was more than enough and guests took away boxes of donuts.

And, although Zarina missed seeing them, some of their guests were privy to a Victoria Day fireworks show that was visible from outside. After a late night of friends, family, and food, the couple retired to their hotel suite to relax in the bubble bath and soak up the day. W


Wedding Cuisine: Late Night Nibbles



You’ve nailed down the dinner menu: salad, a chicken entree and two or three sides, then a decadent dessert. There will be bottles of red and white on the tables, plus a choice of coffee or tea.

Easy peasy and done.

But what about later? After an evening of dancing and celebrating, your guests will be hungry again. And since the formalities are all taken care of, you can really have fun and get creative about this.

There’s no need to go for the traditional buffet of sandwiches and cheese trays. In fact these days, a lot of couples choose to offer their own favourite comfort foods or munchie items.


And pretty much everything goes. You can provide anything from a cereal bar or stylishly presented milk and cookies to mac and cheese or egg rolls.

Tacos? Why not? Hot dogs? Load em up! Poutine, pizza, mini sliders or large, soft-dough pretzels? Yes please.

Depending on the venue you choose, you might even consider hiring a gourmet food truck to show up at midnight or 1 a.m. to dish up the goodies.

The important thing is that the focus is on fun. Items should be tasty, easy to eat and attractively presented. Other than that, there’s no limit other than your budget, your wedding style and your personal preference.

Vegetarian spring rolls Fried vegetarian food sold in China town (Yaowarat), with a range of vegetarian Festival in Bangkok, Thailand

Not Your Granny’s Wedding Cake


Naked cake?
Drip cake?
Geode cake?
Metallic cake or painted cake?

Yes please. Wedding cake has come a long way from your granny’s era. As Seabastian notes on Owlcation, “Modern brides expect their confections to express their personality or match the theme of their wedding in a way that was unimagined in the past.”

Fruitcake, pillars to elevate the different layers, and hard white royal icing used to be the standard wedding cake fare. (And good luck if you could cut it!)

Today, there are endless, delectable choices. In fact, just like wedding dresses and styles of celebrations, there are changing fashions in wedding cakes. And some of the hottest trends of late have included deconstructed cakes, artistic cakes, drip cakes and even celebratory confections covered in dazzled edible crystals.

Intricate Icings’ amethyst-inspired cake created by Rachel Teufel caused a huge stir in the online community dedicated to all things wedding related, and now gorgeous geode cakes are “a thing.”

So are drip cakes. As Karen Louise says at One Fab Day, “Colour drip cakes are essentially cakes which have been covered in fondant, dirty iced, soft iced or left naked and then finished with a layer of dripping chocolate, caramel or a sweet, coloured ganache trickling down the sides. Yum!”

They are eye-catching, decidedly modern, and very versatile. As are naked cakes that are unfrosted, as well as semi-naked cakes that are artfully decorated to reveal the cake layers underneath.

It’s certainly fun to choose, to match your cake to your wedding colours and theme, and to sample before you commit.


Great Year for a Green Wedding



It’s the perfect time to incorporate greenery into your wedding day style and decor. After all, it’s the IT colour of the year. Literally.

Pantone declared Greenery the colour of the year for 2017.


“A refreshing and revitalizing shade, Greenery is symbolic of new beginnings,” the Pantone website notes. “Greenery is a fresh and zesty yellow-green shade that evokes the first days of spring when nature’s greens revive, restore and renew.”
It also says, “Greenery is nature’s neutral. The more submerged people are in modern life, the greater their innate craving to immerse themselves in the physical beauty and inherent unity of the natural world. … A life-affirming shade, Greenery is also emblematic of the pursuit of personal passions and vitality.”


Just say yes to personal passions, vitality and fabulous, green wedding style. You can use it in tableware, floral arrangements, cake decorations, table settings and venue decor. Even floral crowns and bouquet can incorporate greenery. Let it inspire you to elevate your wedding style and celebrate the spirit of the season.

A Wedding Day Like No Other


Cherished Forever

photos by Chantal Benoit Photography

shot on location at the Orchard View Wedding & Conference Centre

Stephanie and Amine got married on a gorgeous August day. Their outdoor-themed wedding was the most beautiful detailed event I have ever seen. Stephanie looked radiant and Amine looked ruggedly handsome. The love shared was oh, so noticeable, and the perfect topper to a pristine wedding day.

The overall vision of the wedding was classy and elegant, and so the décor focused on fine details, with the bride investing most of her time on making sure every detail was covered.

From the cocktail bar to the dessert bar, to the display of photos, the photo booth, the flower arrangements, the handkerchief, the ceremony programs, the menu cards, the name tags — every single detail was breathtaking. A large part of the theme centered on the florals. Beautiful arrangements were placed throughout the entire venue, making the space appear elegant and held together at every turn.

The couple also wanted to embrace their romantic and playful personalities. The ceremony was light-hearted but sentimental and the reception was a fun party.

Stephanie took special care with making most of her own décor elements, including antiquing some larger furniture pieces, and designing and building a personalized photo booth. Although there were some pieces of décor rented, the bride actually made or bought the majority of the décor pieces on her own and mapped out all of the décor layouts for the wedding.

The colour scheme was burgundy, gold and ivory, which complemented the vintage chic theme. The bridesmaids wore burgundy dresses that complemented the groomsmen’s burgundy bowties. The burgundy and ivory can also be found in the floral arrangements and linens throughout the venue. The couple also had gold Chiavari chairs, gold charger plates and other gold accents throughout the venue.


The bride

The gown designer is Essence of Australia. The style of the dress is an ivory, French-inspired, long sleeve wedding gown with intricate lace details. The gown features an open back and long train that give the gown a romantic and vintage feel.

A blue pin for the something old and blue, which was given to the bride by Amine’s dad, has been in Amine’s family for generations. She had a special rhinestone beaded sash sewn into the gown that gave it that special touch. Topping it off was couture bridal earrings made with Swarovski crystals by Meg Bridal Jewellery.


The groom

Custom cufflinks that were a gift from the bride were engraved: “Let’s do this! 08.26.2016”and “I love you — Steph.”

Complementing the groom’s outfit were superhero socks for him and all of his groomsmen. He wore Superman. Adding to the detail was a custom lapel pin — also a gift from the bride — to honour Amine’s mother who had passed away. Finally, a custom-engraved pocket watches for the groom and his groomsmen that said, “Best Day Ever! 08.26.2016.”






Host the Ultimate Themed Bridal Shower


Fun & Fabulous

Story and photos by Lindsay Ruck

The second my sister, Jacqueline, asked me to be her maid-of-honour, I immediately began thinking about all of the fun and fabulous events to look forward to leading up to the big day. From engagement parties and dress shopping to bachelorettes and bridal showers, there’s a lot of toasting before the “I dos.”

Perhaps my favourite affair to host was Jacqueline’s bridal shower. If you’ve recently adorned the MOH sash or have the honour of planning a bash for a bride-to-be, read on to find out how to plan the ultimate themed bridal shower.


Know your audience

Before getting into the details, it’s important to think about the bride; her likes and her dislikes. If you know she’s not into games, then no need to force people to wrap themselves in toilet paper and call it a wedding dress. What are some of her favourite foods? Who are her nearest and dearest? Make sure you consult her on the guest list and don’t start inviting random people who may not be invited to the wedding. (Awk-ward!)


While it’s not mandatory to have a themed shower, I was absolutely elated when Jacqueline shared she would like an Alice in Wonderland affair. Talk about endless possibilities! (Not to mention a Pinterest board bursting with all things Alice.) Concept is key, so start thinking about how you’ll bring the desired theme to life. When planning an Alice in Wonderland shower, I immediately thought clocks of all shapes and sizes, lots of greenery, colourful cups and saucers, and of course, a Mad Hatter tea party.


You’re invited!

Just like wedding invitations, the shower invite is the first impression for the day. Upon reading the invitation, guests should pick up on the theme, know if it’s a formal or more casual affair, and have insight into gifts for the bride. Include an RSVP date so you have exact numbers for food, drinks and party favours. It’s best to always plan for a few more than expected, just in case someone doesn’t adhere to the RSVP deadline or decides they’re able to make it at the last minute.



Themes can become very tacky very quickly if not executed properly. My goal for décor was to use items related to Alice in Wonderland without actually having the words “Alice in Wonderland” and Alice’s face found anywhere in the space.

The table was the focal point of our venue and it was also where the ladies joined our bride for a leisurely afternoon tea. The centre of the table was lined with faux moss peppered with tea cups, candelabras, clocks, keys and faux fruit. Differing heights added visual interest to the whimsical tablescape.

Depending on the size of your space, it’s a good idea to create different areas for guests to move about the room. While the long tea party table was the anchor, there were separate seating and mingling areas so guests could flow with ease. A seating area adorned with vintage books, an antique birdcage and florals also featured small pieces of paper attached to vintage metal keys. Each piece of paper asked guests to fill in the blank: “On our next date, we should…” “Advice for the bride and groom…” “At our wedding, the band should play…” Guests were also asked to guess how many tea bags filled a glass jar. The winner received a tea-themed treat courtesy of David’s Tea.


Food + drink

When the groom is a chef and restauranteur, you don’t have to look far for someone to supply amazing nibbles for any occasion.

Prior to sitting down to tea, guests were greeted with grapefruit mimosas. Bottles of bubbly lay atop a bed of flower-petal-filled ice cubes and water was flavoured with lemons and cucumbers.

A tea party is all about small bites. Nothing should be too heavy, messy, or take more than one or two bites to consume. Open-faced tea sandwiches and raisin cream scones with clotted cream and raspberry and blueberry preserves were highlights of our menu du jour.

Dessert was a beautiful array of tartlets, macarons, chocolate covered strawberries, delicate madeleines and a vanilla, chocolate and rhubarb pudding created by the chef in ode to Adsolem – the slow-talking, pipe-puffing caterpillar whom Alice meets while venturing through Wonderland.

“Eat Me” and “Drink Me” tags were placed in several menu items to mirror Alice’s magical cakes in Wonderland.


Special touches

Sometimes the little accents make all the difference. As a memento to the day, Jacqueline’s ever-thoughtful groom sourced an original Alice in Wonderland hard cover book complete with beautiful illustrations. Guests were asked to pick a page and leave a special note for the bride.

Each guest left with a favour bag of tea-infused goodies – a David’s Tea single-serve iced tea packet and a delicious tea-flavoured shortbread cookie.

While there’s nothing better than hearing polite pleasantries while sipping tea, soft background music was also provided to avoid the sound of crickets if conversation fell short.

The bridal shower is a day for those nearest and dearest to celebrate the bride and toast the big day. Make her feel extra special with lots of personal touches and creative décor. Happy planning!

Help for Wedding Day Beauty Emergencies



The day has finally come and you want everything to be perfect. So when a spot suddenly appears on that gown that cost a fortune, or if your vision of the perfect sun-kissed tan has now turned into an oompa-loompa nightmare, the first rule to remember is ‘Don’t freak out’! Despite your best efforts, accidents happen, but they don’t have to ruin your day. With a little pre-planning and resourcefulness, no one will be the wiser. And remember, nothing is perfect, but keeping these tips and tricks in mind will help you get as close to perfection as possible.

So Long, Stains

Once the vino starts flowing, spills happen, but not everyone has to know about it. Grab a clean white cloth and gently begin to dab the spot. (Rubbing may push the stain further into the garment.) Pour water or club soda onto the cloth and continue to dab. Keep dabbing with the clean parts of the cloth until most of the stain has come out. Use chalk or talcum powder to disguise anything that remains and head back to the party!

Your makeup belongs on your face, not on your dress. If you do find a smudge on your gown, press a little club soda onto the spot, then sprinkle salt on top to soak up the moisture and let dry. To remove a water mark, begin by blotting the wet spot with a clean, white towel to soak up excess moisture. You can run a hand steamer over the fabric to lift out the mark but be sure to ask your bridal salon about using steamers and irons on your gown when you make the purchase. Don’t attack wet spots with a hair dryer as it may spread the mark even further. If an ink spot tries to ruin your gown, apply hairspray to a cotton swab and rub lightly over the stain.

Fresh face

For touch-ups throughout the day, concealer is a must. This slim wand will do wonders for dark eye circles, pesky pimples and those makeup runs that tell others you’ve shed a few tears. Dab a few dots

under the bottom lid to brighten the eye area; a dab on a pimple will mask redness. Your concealer should be one shade lighter than your foundation, and keep in mind that if you are tanning for the day, you will need to go darker. For lasting coverage, the concealer will work best with a setting powder.

If you do discover a pimple the night before, acne spot treatments are made for fast-acting removal. There are options depending on your skin type, with many brands sold at your local drug store. Dab a small amount on the spot the night before and get a good night’s sleep to avoid any new stress spots in the morning!

To achieve the bronzed beauty outcome, fake tans may seem like the perfect solution without the harmful rays of the sun, but if not done properly, sprays and creams can leave you looking too dark, unnatural, or with a streaky or blotchy finish. To remove a shoddy outcome, mix lemon juice and sugar to make a consistency similar to toothpaste and use your fingers to rub the paste into the skin. The lemon juice acts as a skin lightener, while the sugar works as a scrub to remove the skin cells that have been coloured. A loofa can also help in the exfoliation process, but don’t scrub for too long or too hard, as you may damage the skin and bring out redness.

It’s always a good idea to have a small emergency kit on hand that can be retrieved easily if needed. Sometimes wedding planners will already have a 911 kit to deal with day-of incidents. If not, have a bridesmaid or someone who you are close to make sure the kit is nearby at all times.

Here are a few other helpful tools that may come in handy:

  • Mini sewing kit: thread, needle, extra buttons, small scissors
  • Double-sided tape: to make sure those dresses stay up
  • Static guard or dryer sheets: to eliminate static cling
  • Bobby pins: great for fly-aways
  • Safety pins: for broken bustles or attachés
  • Clear nail polish: to stop sheer stocking runs (always a good idea to bring extra pairs of stockings)
  • Emery board
  • Nail polish: make sure to purchase the colour you’ve chosen for quick touch-ups

Article By Lindsay Ruck

Sources: theknot.com; www.whathappensnow.com.