BBQ Recipe for Pre-Wedding Entertaining

Give your grilled chicken big flavour

Grilled chicken on the barbecue is a summertime staple that’s great for pre-wedding entertaining. And Canada Day weekend guests! Not only does grilling on the open flame add a smoky taste, it makes clean-up a breeze. This tangy lemon marinade as seen in Walmart Live Better magazine is going to turn everyone’s favourite bird into a juicy and flavourful feast that is sure to please.

Lemon & Garlic Grilled Chicken

Grilled ChickenPreparation time: 10 minutes

Total time: 1 hour

Serves: 6


• 8 skin-on, bone-in chicken pieces

• 1/2 cup lemon juice

• 3 tbsp Great Value Olive Oil

• 1 tbsp Great Value Garlic Powder

• 1 tbsp Great Value Dried Oregano Leaves

• 1 1/2 tsp Great Value Basil Leaves

• 1/2 tsp salt

• 1/2 tsp black pepper


1. Trim excess fat from chicken skin (this will prevent flare-ups on the grill). Make several shallow cuts in the chicken to allow marinade to infuse.

2. Whisk lemon juice with oil, garlic powder, herbs and salt in a large bowl. Season with pepper.

3. Add chicken and turn to coat. Marinate at room temperature for 20 minutes or refrigerate up to 4 hours.

5. Preheat barbecue to medium-low. Oil grill.

6. Remove chicken from marinade (do not discard marinade). Barbecue with lid closed for 15 minutes then baste chicken with remaining marinade.

7. Flip chicken and continue grilling with lid closed until chicken feels springy when pressed, 15 to 20 more minutes.

Look for additional recipes and barbecue ideas at


Bring Your Families Together Before the Wedding


Whether you do it on Canada Day or Canada Day weekend, the August long weekend, Labour Day weekend or anytime before your tie the knot, make the effort to bring your families together for a barbecue or brunch or dinner (or all three, plus plus).
Even if your family dynamics are complicated, it’s worth the prep-time to round up your loved ones (in whatever family configurations are manageable), connect and share your excitement and pleasure about the upcoming wedding day.
After all, when you say your I Do’s, you’ll be bringing your families together in official and significant, long-term ways. The more you get to know each other and enjoy each other’s company, the more fun and inclusive your festivities will be.

Besides, it’s official. The survey says: meals bring people together!

Ninety per cent of Canadians agree: Nothing brings people together like eating together

New research reveals that many of us struggle to actually sit down and enjoy a meal with others — and the key to more meal gatherings could lie in the food we serve.

Although a whopping 83 per cent of Canadians agree that families should eat together every night, only one in three are able to do so. Reasons for this include competing calendars of family members, busy work schedules and technology. These reasons are even more prevalent among the younger generation, indicating that the speed and complexity of modern life may be inhibiting family and community moments.

“We know that when people eat together, good things happen,” says Tom Fillipou, executive chef from President’s Choice. “But in a world where fast-paced technologies and busy lifestyles can easily take over, it can be difficult to carve out time to enjoy meals with family and friends.”

If you want to bring your loved ones to the table, it’s clear that the menu plays an essential role. In fact, 92 per cent of survey respondents agreed that food is a common thread that ties people together.

The food itself varies by region, as Canadians embrace diverse flavours and ingredients. For example, nearly half of Ontarians believe that pancakes and maple syrup bring people together, while people from Nova Scotia are more inclined to enjoy seafood like lobster and chowder with others. In Quebec, Canadians believe tourtière, a dish steeped in history, has the power to unite. Along the west coast, BC residents enjoy eating Pacific salmon at a communal table.

“Food has a unique ability to create common ground and facilitate shared experiences,” says Fillipou. “When we acknowledge that fact and consciously select ingredients and dishes that we like to eat together, it becomes much easier to reap all the benefits associated with sharing a meal with others.”

Make the Wedding Ceremony Yours

wedding ceremony

The dress, decor and party are the fun and fabulous parts of your big day. But the “I Do’s” are at the very heart of it. The ceremony and those vows are your declaration that you have made “the” commitment as a couple.

It’s real. It’s serious. It’s special. It’s wonderful.

But what it shouldn’t be is routine. Just because your parents and/or your partner’s parents got married in a synagogue or mosque or chapel or church doesn’t mean you have to do the same thing. You don’t.

That bears repeating. Whether or not you follow organized religions or particular cultural practices, your wedding ceremony is distinctly about you, your vows and intentions. You don’t have to follow somebody else’s script and agenda.

It’s your marriage. Your wedding. You don’t have to settle for the same-old same-old routine, orchestrated by anybody who’s half-hearted or conducted by anyone who’s just going through the motions.

Everything about your wedding ceremony is a. big. deal. From the music and procession to the readings, vows, location and officiant, it all matters and you should be able to personally determine how it plays out. Make it count!

As Allison Micarelli-Sokoloff notes at She Finds, “Take back a bit of control over your wedding-day nuptials by working closely with an officiant and writing your own ceremony. And we don’t just mean the vows. We mean the whole kit and caboodle—from picking the poems and the processional to exactly how you should be pronounced newlyweds. We did this with our wedding. And when it came time for the rehearsal, there were no surprises, except how (pleasantly) dumbfounded I was that the ceremony script was literally word-for-word exactly what we wanted to hear.”

Make it personal. Make sure your names are pronounced correctly and you are introduced, as a married couple, precisely the way you want to be introduced. Make the music and readings meaningful. And make sure you rehearse with your officiant so that there are no surprises.

Wedding Details: Table Numbers that Dazzle

table numbers

What’s in a number? More potential than you may realize. Wedding design elements, including table numbers, can really set your wedding celebration apart as memorable and special. And if they’re Instagrammable? That’s fun too.

You can express your style esthetic and personality with this detail, and make it outstanding. Since this dinner-table accent is not a big item, that means you can do something creative, eye-catching and distinctive without going to a lot of expense.

As the experts at Martha Stewart Weddings suggest, “… table numbers are the perfect place to really work a little customization into your wedding day. Embrace your wedding’s theme or style, whether that means rustic additions or modern details, and even consider adding quirky elements that point back to your personalities or relationship.
“Think table “numbers” that include locations you’ve traveled to together, or your absolutely favorite books, musicians, or movies. You could even add photos of yourselves at the age that matches each table number. You know everyone will love snapshots of the two of you as adorable three-year-olds!”

table numbers

Planning a glam, Art Deco wedding?  This table number nails the look.
As Architectural Digest explains, “Art Deco style, short for Arts Décoratifs, is characterized by rich colors, bold geometry, and decadent detail work. Having reached the height of its popularity in the 1920s, ’30s, and ’40s, the signature aesthetic still evokes glamour, luxury, and order with symmetrical designs in exuberant shapes.”

table numbers

Aiming for the fresh, outdoorsy or country look? This table number is definitely a DIY option with lots of different possibilities.

table numbers

Planning a wedding with a soft, pretty, romantic vibe? This clear, acrylic stand with the delicate white font fits the bill beautifully.

table numbers

Looking to achieve natural sophistication, with various textures and curated earthy elements? This tableaux incorporates the table number as one item in a winning composition. (Yes, it’s a 10!)

table numbers

Looking for luxe in all the right places? Get out the spray paint cans and create fab table numbers using small, ornate frames on pedestals. Panache? Yes!

House Hunting? Understand Readvanceable Mortgages

readvanceable mortgages

Planning to buy a house ASAP? For a lot of couples, once the honeymoon is over a place to call home is next on the list. Here’s some great advice, via News Canada and the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada:

You’ve saved up a 20 per cent down payment and are eager to get into the real estate market. For the remaining amount, it’s likely your bank will offer you a readvanceable mortgage. But should you take it?

This popular product, marketed under different names from one bank to another, combines term mortgages with home equity lines of credit. Like a credit card, the amount of money available in your line of credit decreases as you borrow and increases as you pay it back. Your credit limit may also increase automatically as you pay down your mortgage. Some lenders bundle other financial products like car loans or credit cards together under a readvanceable mortgage, typically at an attractive interest rate.

At first glance, this may seem appealing. But keep in mind any applicable fees and the risks of tying different credit products together before signing on the dotted line.

Readvanceable mortgages make it more complicated and expensive to switch lenders to get a better interest rate when your mortgage is up for renewal. You may need to repay all credit products tied together under the readvanceable mortgage. And because it’s secured by a collateral charge against your home, there are additional legal fees you wouldn’t incur when moving a traditional mortgage.

“Lenders can demand that you repay your home equity line of credit, lower your credit limit or increase your interest rate at any time,” cautions Lucie Tedesco, commissioner of the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada. “This would impact all credit products bundled together in your readvanceable mortgage.”

Remember that a home equity line of credit is secured using your home as collateral — meaning if you can’t pay back the money you owe, your lender can take possession of it.

Find more information online at

About Those Bridesmaid Dresses



Wedding Chic: Bridesmaid Blunders Resolved

When choosing dresses for your bridesmaids, it is your privilege as a bride to select the colour and type of fabric. The dresses obviously should not only complement your gown, but also be comfortable and attractive for your attendants. For this reason, it’s important to take into account their style, colour preferences, figure types and budgets.

The best thing is for you to go shopping with your maid of honour and one or two of your bridesmaids to see what styles they like. Once you narrow it down, you can then get input from your other bridesmaids if you desire.

When a Bridesmaid is Pregnant

It is not uncommon for a bridesmaid to announce she is expecting either after or just before she has accepted your invitation to be in the wedding. One option is to allow the person to select a dress in the same fabric and colour, but in a style that is more suitable (usually a dress with an empire waist) for her figure. Some people have the dress custom-made or purchase another dress by the same manufacturer in a different style.

Another option is to let the bridesmaid decide whether she wants to take on a different role at your wedding. She might take charge of the guest book or help with flower distribution for the bridal party. In this case, you might replace her with another person as a bridesmaid. Although this can be really touchy, sometimes the person really doesn’t want to be standing on her feet for a long time yet doesn’t know how to tell you without hurting your feelings.

Who Pays

When asked to be in a wedding, it is common to get caught up in the excitement and accept the invitation without thinking it through. Being a bridesmaid can lead to unanticipated expenses; the dress,matching shoes, accessories, professional hair and makeup, bridal showers, bachelorette parties and gifts, engagement parties and gifts, wedding gift, outfits to wear to the rehearsal dinner and other parties — not to mention the cost of travel and accommodations if the wedding is out of town.

Bridesmaids usually pay for their own attire, including accessories. That’s why it’s so important for you, as the bride, to consider each person’s financial situation when asking friends and family to participate — and to shop for the most affordable price. You should give each person a graceful opportunity to decline if she cannot afford to participate or has another reason for declining.

Friendship First

In the end, it’s really all about keeping your friends and family happy. When you look back on your wedding day, you probably won’t care as much about what the bridesmaid dresses looked like as you will about how your bridesmaids felt that day. The reason they are in your wedding is because they have been there for you in your life. You don’t want to embarrass them or make them feel uncomfortable just for the sake of your happiness. While a dress will go out of fashion, your friends and family will always be there for you.

A Word to the Bridesmaids

As a bridesmaid, try to be flexible and be willing to compromise to a certain extent. This is your dear friend or relative’s special day, and you want her to be happy too.  Don’t let a dress that you may only wear one day get in the way of a friendship that will hopefully last a lifetime. If you really don’t like the dress, take it to a local consignment store soon after the wedding while it is still in style. The best months are in the spring, right before prom season, and in the fall, right before homecoming. Otherwise, you can donate the dress to a local charity. Someone else out there will love the dress and be thrilled to get a bargain. Then you will have made another person happy too.

Note: This feature first appeared in the fall/winter 2013 issue of Ottawa Wedding Magazine


Jessica and Justin

Mariage de Jess et Justin photo par Louise Gingras

text and images by Claude Brazeau

Jessica is my assistant and a very talented photographer who runs a studio in Fort-Coulonge. But more than that, she’s a wonderful human being. When she asked me to photograph her wedding, I was very excited. I knew that emotions would run high and that’s exactly what I’m looking for when shooting a wedding. So many emotional moments! Many tears, but also lots of laughter and joy. Here’s a small collection of moments from that wonderful day in Fort-Coulonge, Qc.


Sharlene and Craig


Bride Name
Sharlene De Saram
Groom Name
Craig Padaychee
Date of Wedding
Facibeni Fotografia 
Reception Held at
Villa La Vedetta
Ceremony Held at
Villa La Vedetta overlooking the city of Florence, Italy. 
Wedding Dress
Steven Khalil 
Groom’s Fashions From
Bridesmaids Fashions From
Bride’s Hair By
Bride did it herself
Cake By
Provided by Venue
Catering By
Provided by Venue
Flowers By
Stiatti Fiori 
Invitations By
Adorn Invitations 
Other Vendors
Shoes – Yves Saint Laurent
Accessories – Dior & Love On
Celebrant – Blessings From Italy
Cinematography – Gattotigre – Destination Wedding Videography
The bride was dressed in a silk and lace gown by Steven Khalil, knowing it had to be hers as soon as she tried it on. She complemented this with pure white Yves Saint Laurents and pearl earrings by Dior. The couple envisioned a wedding that was the epitome of simplicity and elegance – something classic and timeless. As soon as they set eyes on Villa La Vedetta, they knew it was where they were meant to wed as it gifted them a spectacular view of the city.

The Beauty Benefits of Exercise



Work It Out!

Working out not only helps your figure, but also improves your complexion. Learn why exercise may be one of the best skin remedies for acne, wrinkles, dull skin and more.

There are plenty of reasons to exercise.For some, it might be because your destination wedding is just around the corner (already!), while for others you’re just focused on staying healthy. No matter what your motivation is, we can all agree that the benefits of exercise are obvious. But there’s a stealthier payoff: healthy skin. Read on to learn more about the skin and beauty rewards that come from regularly working up a sweat.

Instant Glow

When you get your heart pumping from aerobic exercise, you’re supplying your skin with a nice dose of oxygenated blood, says Noelle S. Sherber, M.D., a board certified dermatologist. “it gives you that great post-workout glow.”

Wrinkle Reduction

Working out also helps maintain healthy levels of the stress-related hormone cortisol, Noelle says. “Elevated cortisol levels are linked to increased sebum production, which means more acne breakouts.” Too much cortisol can also cause the collagen in the skin to break down, adds Noelle, which can increase wrinkles and sagging. “Exercise actually supports the production of collagen,” says Amy Dixon, a Los Angeles-based exercise physiologist and celebrity trainer. “The boost in this protein helps to keep your skin firm, supple and elastic.”

Acne Relief

Regular exercise boosts circulation. “It nourishes your skin, bringing more blood flow and oxygen to it,” says Mauro C. Romita, M.D., a board certified plastic surgeon and founder of the Ajune Centre of Beauty Synergy in New York City. “This will help draw toxins out of the body.” Plus, all of that sweating cleans out the pores of congested skin. “Working out corrects the hormonal imbalance that can cause adult acne,” Mauro says.

To reap the beneficial skin effects of working out, a few extra steps are required, Noelle warns. “If you’re acne-prone, make sure to keep gentle, fragrance-free cleansing wipes in your gym bag.” Be sure to cleanse your face and other areas that tend to break out immediately after exercising. “For eczema, wear fabrics that wick perspiration away from the skin, since the wet-dry wet-dry cycle will dry out your skin and provoke flare-ups,” suggests Noelle. And above all, avoid exercising with makeup on your face.

Healthier Hair

The improved blood flow helps keep your hair healthier and stronger. This blood, full of nutrients, stimulates the hair follicles and promotes growth. “Exercise is also a big stress reliever,” says Amy. “Lower stress means your hair is less likely to be brittle and, worse, fall out.” Even if you’re as cool as a cucumber, Amy recommends checking with your dermatologist about any hair loss to rule out other causes.

As for the best type of exercise for your skin, Amy says it’s all good. “Every modality will improve circulation and reduce stress, but it’s a wise move to mix up your workouts as often as possible.” Try adding 30 minutes of a few simple yoga postures or a brisk walk to your day three times a week to see the beauty returns in your hair and skin.

Source: Ottawa Wedding Magazine files.
Note: This article first appeared in the fall/winter 2013 print issue of Ottawa Wedding Magazine.


Beauty Tips for the Bride-to-Be


Flawless Face

When it comes to the location, the dress, the food and the flowers, everything is complicated. Your beauty regimen should be just the opposite. Here are some bridal tips to ensure your beauty regimen is perfect for the big day.

Facial Facts

Experts advise that every bride-to-be start treating her skin to monthly facial treatments four to six months prior to her wedding (no facials within a week of the wedding). Your facial should best fit your skin condition (clarifying, detoxifying, anti-aging etc.), in order to receive the benefits of the treatment. Your skin should be glowing the day of your wedding; start this process early and all eyes will be on you.

Sun Safety

Don’t let sun damage ruin your day. Most professionals suggest that the bride always wear sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher, especially in the two weeks prior to walking down the aisle. We’ve all experienced painful burns from the sun; don’t let the rays affect your moment in the spotlight.

Rehearsal Ritual

A rehearsal hair and makeup run-through is highly recommended. Make sure your look is exactly to your liking so that there aren’t any surprises the day of. This run-through will fix last-minute quirks which would otherwise impede on your day.

Hydration Station

While this should already be part of your daily skin-care ritual, experts suggest that the bride-to-be especially hydrate her skin and under eyes with with antioxidant rich night cream (to prevent eye bags) and vitamins, to boost the look of skin, hair and nails. Your skin should be fresh and exuberant before your wedding day. If you already follow daily skin-care rituals and vitamin intake, stick to it and if you do not, find one and follow it.

Perfect Shade of Tan

If you’re looking for that shimmering faux wedding day glow before your big day, find your perfect spray tan shade at least four months prior to avoid any unwelcome surprises. The best time to get a spray tan is two days before the wedding. We all have our spray tan horror stories; your wedding day is not the day for such a story. Make sure to plan ahead and find the perfect shade so that your day and your look are just right.

Source: Ottawa Wedding Magazine files.

This article first appeared in the fall/winter 2013 print edition of Ottawa Wedding Magazine