Support Your Favorites in the First Ottawa Wedding Awards

By Rev. Alan Viau

The Ottawa Wedding Awards recognizes the leaders in the industry who have demonstrated the very best creativity, imagination, and service throughout the year. As voted upon by their peers and those whose lives they have touched, the winners in each category will be selected because they have taken their business to the highest level. With your vote, the companies that have established themselves as the best in the city will be determined.

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A notice came out recently that Brian Henry, President and Co-Owner of Quality Entertainment, was announcing a big event – one that has never happened in Ottawa. The Ottawa Wedding Awards were launched in collaboration with Ottawa Wedding Magazine and Ottawa Conference and Event Centre.

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Brian Henry

I asked Brian why he started the awards.

“It is an opportunity for couples to recognize those vendors that made their day special – a way of saying thank you. The best vendors make a big difference in people’s lives and we need to appreciate that as a community and an industry.”

In addition, Brian hopes to promote a forum for vendors to socialize and network so that as a collective we can improve the business we are in and generate ideas for the future. Brian is a tireless, positive influence on the Ottawa wedding scene. He never misses a social or business event.

About 100 vendors were nominated for the awards. Vendor voting started April 22 and ends May 13. So far there have been over 5,000 votes cast with many categories in tight contention. So now is your chance to make a difference by voting for those who made a difference in your wedding.  The system permits only one vote per IP address to minimize multiple duplicate entries.

The Ottawa Wedding Awards also announced its highest award,  Wedding of the Year, which will be judged by a panel of industry experts. Submissions will be accepted until May 9th at 12pm. Every individual submitting their wedding must be in attendance on the awards night. The winning wedding will be featured in Ottawa Wedding Magazine.

On May 28th, 2014 at the Ottawa Conference and Event Centre, all the winning vendors will be announced. As a supporter of this event, I will be there at the door greeting attendees. This is an exciting time for the Ottawa wedding scene, one that can plant seeds for a vibrant future.

Don’t Miss the Handmade Bride Indie Wedding Show April 19

By Rev. Alan Viau

“Things are gearing up for the most wonderful, exciting, alternative, super fabulous, handmaking, eco-friendly, queer loving, sing-songiest wedding show in town!” says Meaghan Brunetti, show organizer and owner of The Handmade Bride shop in Ottawa.

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Meaghan had a tough time planning her wedding as an alternative modern bride and saw a hole in the wedding industry in Ottawa. “I wanted to create a fun, relaxed environment where brides could come to shop for their wedding and where they could find high quality, handmade and gorgeous wedding stuff!” And so the shop and the show were born.

Meaghan has lined up 30 of the most unique and interesting indie wedding vendors in Ottawa for you to peruse on April 19th,  from 11am to 4pm at the Memorial Hall, 39 Dufferin Rd in New Edinburgh.

Here are three reasons to go to this show:

1) The Handmade Bride (across the street from the show) will be hosting a Maureen Patricia trunk show. (That means she will be bringing her whole collection to the shop as well as launching her new collection that day!)

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2) The first 50 couples through the door get an awesome swag bag FULL of goodies like locally made caramels, handmade soaps, a CD of first dance songs, artisan marshmallows and other cool stuff!

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3)A chance to enter to win a grand prize including a custom made infinity dress (so amazing for your rehearsal dinner and honeymoon!) from The Handmade Bride among other neat-o things.

The Handmade Bride Indie Wedding Show is a rare opportunity to purchase handmade items for your wedding, so come out and see what’s available.

 

Tanya and Andrew Marry at the NAC

By Rev. Alan Viau
Photos by Trending Media

Ottawa’s National Arts Centre is another gem location in which to get married. Tanya and Andrew held a wedding in the round during a blustery winter day. No matter the weather, it was a perfect day for them.

 

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Winterlude is Ottawa’s festival celebrating winter. There are many activities and things to do; skate on the Rideau Canal, eat a Beaver Tail, admire the ice sculptures. Certainly, one advantage for me was that I parked at the Ottawa Convention Centre and walked on the canal to the National Arts Centre for the wedding.  I thought it was pretty neat to do that.

But no matter, February 1st is winter and getting from the limo to the entrance was a challenge that just  can’t be accomplished gracefully. After all you must keep the wedding dress looking perfect!

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Le Salon is a perfect venue in which to perform a wedding in-the-round. I’ve officiated many weddings there in this format. In-the-round is a wonderful configuration because it brings everyone closer to you for a more intimate feeling.

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Tanya and Andrew selected a wedding  that underscored their religious beliefs. Like many who choose to have a wedding in a non-faith venue, there are still strong ties to the past. So I performed the candle-lighting ritual and a recital of the Lord’s Prayer for them.

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They certainly looked happy! Congratulations to you both. I left soon after the ceremony to head down to the Courtyard Restaurant for another wedding (next week’ story). But from what I can tell – it looks like they had an awesome party!

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My Favorite Wedding Dresses of 2013

By Rev. Alan Viau

As with many other people, the end of the year is a time of reflection on what was 2013. There were four wedding dresses worn by brides for whom I performed weddings that stood out in my mind. Each was a superb choice for the woman who wore them.

Disney Princess: Her dream was to be a Disney Princess. Stunning as she walked down the aisle, it even took my breath away. Yes, she married Prince Charming.

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Naturally Her : The dress fit her unique personality – a yoga teacher who loves nature – flowers all around.

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Perfect Fit: A dress that fit her perfectly and extremely romantic. Her groom was in joyful tears seeing her walk down the aisle in this McCaffrey Haute Couture dress.

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Just Her: It can be a daunting challenge to find a wedding dress for your second marriage. This bride was gorgeous in her choice of gown. Elegant and beautiful.

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I am looking forward to what 2014 will bring.

Brides say “I do” to wedding gowns in colour

(NC) Whoever says that a bride must wear white isn’t aware that the most popular trend in wedding gowns this year is anything but traditional. While white, ivory and champagne gowns will always be a classic and popular choice among brides, coloured dresses are starting to take centre stage, as more celebrities like Reese Witherspoon, Anne Hathaway and Jessica Biel recently chose pink as their signature wedding colour.

Canadian brides who want to look equally pretty in pink have their share of options, such as bright splashes of hot pink found in sashes, soft and barely-there blush dresses, and stunning ball gowns that are drenched in rosy hues.

“As weddings continue to be a creative, personal expression of a bride’s special day, the desire to make her dress as unique as she is has never been more important. We are seeing more brides coming into our stores embracing stand-out gowns in subtle shades of beige and petal pink,” says Victoria Rucks at David’s Bridal Canada, a leading special occasion and wedding retailer.  “Personally, I love the idea of adding touches of pink, inspired by the tradition of a blushing bride.  It’s a colour that flatters a lot of skin tones as well.”

Another subtle shade that makes a daring statement is sterling grey, an emerging colour that lends itself particularly well to ‘winter wonderland’ themed ceremonies and receptions. In fact, says Rucks, the White by Vera Wang collection introduced a new sterling ball gown in the Fall 2013 collection that is sure to turn heads. Pair a coloured wedding gown with a neutral bridal party, and it will be an event to remember.

Canadian brides looking to add splashes of colour to their wedding days can visit www.davidsbridal.ca for inspiration.

Good & Bad Behavior: Wedding Etiquette For The Bridal Party

By Tammy Winslow

Not only is a wedding a celebration of two people’s love for one another, a wedding can also be a reunion — a ridiculous reunion of old college friends and long-distance family members who come together to, well, party. Every bride and groom wants their guests to have a good time, but what constitutes a good time can be subjective. And in other words, what constitutes an appropriate time, can also be subjective.

Sure, this wedding is an event for dressing up, indulging in good food, drinking champagne and dancing. But it’s not spring break. This is a party with grandmas and aunts — not drunk college girls in bikinis with beads around their neck. Ladies, also remember that you don’t want to be known as the two drunken bridesmaids who passed out in the bathroom with your dresses over your heads. Approach the event with grace and poise so you’re not desperately employing Reputation.com after you see embarrassing photos and videos of yourself scattered across social media. Avoid regretfully ruining your loved one’s wedding by following this etiquette guide of do’s and don’ts.

Do: Mingle

So you’re the one childhood friend who lives out of town and feeling like a bit of an outsider. The rest of the girls are laughing over college stories, and they all seem like long-lost soul sisters. Try to channel your social discomfort into positive energy and remember that you’re supporting your friend who’s getting married. Do you best to avoid being a recluse and make an effort to get along with everyone.

Don’t: Steal Focus

At minimum, you’ve got a rehearsal dinner, ceremony and reception to attend. Though you may usually be the life of the party, this day is not about you. Let the bride shine in her designer duds and stick with a more sedate dress — something appropriate but not over-the-top. Have fun on the dance floor, but don’t be the one to break up the first dance to get the party started.

Do: Drink Moderately

Dear groomsman, please wait until you get that green light during the reception to hit the bar hard. That green light varies from wedding to wedding, but you shouldn’t be slurring your words before the sun sets. Even if shots were served during pictures post-ceremony or bottles were popped in the limo, do try to keep your composure on your way to the hall for cocktail hour. Make sure you’re still in the sober zone during important wedding moments like toasts, the first dance, and cutting the cake. You’ll know it’s time to stroll over to the bar when the DJ starts playing, for instance.

Don’t: Hook Up

The phrase “hooking up” is loosely defined, but in this context, hooking up includes anything related to heavily hitting on the too-young second cousin, dancing with a groomsman like you’re in a club in Mexico, or making out with a bridesmaid in the lobby outside the restrooms. Yes, a wedding may just be the romantic event that brings two soulmates together, and if you’re a single girl who meets a nice guy, then sure, go for it. Just remember that table in the corner topped with wedding gifts isn’t a mechanical bull. That cake and dessert table isn’t a pole. This is a wedding. Not a bar or strip club.

As a wedding rule of thumb, don’t make up your own rules. If you know this is a crowd to let loose with, then okay, take advantage of the bar and break it down on the dance floor. If it’s a more intimate, outdoor ceremony, don’t go wild or insist on doing the Harlem Shake. Most importantly, let the bride and groom shine by not stealing the spotlight with unruly or eyebrow-raising behavior.

Cover photo from Flickr user reegmo.

Tammy Winslow is a mom and freelance writer happily living in Phoenix.

Top Tips for Buying Your Wedding Shoes

By: Diane Farquhar, courtesy of I Just Said Yes

In terms of wedding couture, we all know that the dress steals the spotlight. But you can’t forget that essential factor to complete the look – the shoes!

You would think with long wedding dresses that shoes wouldn’t be an important focus, but think again! So many images are including, and even showcasing the bride’s shoes. Short dresses and high slits are also increasingly popular, giving all the more reason to find some amazing shoes for your big day. You may think finding your dream shoes will be easy, but there are many things to consider – style, comfort, value…so here are a few tips to get you started.

First, think of the date of your wedding, ceremony location, and venue. What type of shoes would be most comfortable? Are you spending most of the day outdoors walking on grass or stone? Very high heels may not be the appropriate choice. Think about what height you are normally used to, and try not to go for something way out of your comfort range, especially on a day when you will be constantly on your feet.

Match your wedding colors and theme. If your decor features an accent colour, that would be perfect for your shoe choice. Your wedding bouquet colors would look fab with a similar color in your wedding shoe – it makes everything blend and go together nicely. For themed weddings, there are countless shoe ideas. You could have a lot of fun with this one. You can find amazing shoes to match a vintage, beach, or bohemian wedding theme to name a few.

What season are you getting married in? Many brides may not consider this, but in the middle of winter the last thing you want to walk around in are slingbacks or slip-ons. Your feet get can very cold, so find a shoe with a bit more coverage. Perhaps a popular wedding boot for your pics, and then you could change into a pair of sexy shoes for the reception.

An important tip when trying on shoes is to remember that your feet will swell by the end of the day. Shop for your shoes in advance and remember to wear them around the house every so often to break them in. The last thing you want is to take your shoes out of the box for the first time and encounter blisters along the way.

One last tip, probably the most important, is to bring a second pair of shoes with you as you near the end of the night, preferably a flat, slipper or one you have worn for years. Just like an outdoor wedding, you always need a back up plan.

Happy Shoe Shopping!

Top Tips for Buying Your Wedding Shoes

In terms of wedding couture, we all know that the dress steals the spotlight.  But you can’t forget that essential factor to complete the look – the shoes!  You would think with long wedding dresses that shoes wouldn’t be an important focus, but think again!  So many images are including, and even showcasing the bride’s shoes.  Short dresses  and high slits are also increasingly popular, giving all the more reason to find some amazing shoes for your big day.  You may think finding your dream shoes will be easy, but there are many things to consider – style, comfort, value…so here are a few tips to get you started.

First, think of the date of your wedding, ceremony location, and venue.  What type of shoes would be most comfortable?  Are you spending most of the day outdoors walking on grass or stone?  Very high heels may not be the appropriate choice.  Think about what height you are normally used to, and try not to go for something way out of your comfort range, especially on a day when you will be constantly on your feet.

Match your wedding colors and theme.  If your decor features an accent colour, that would be perfect for your shoe choice.  Your wedding bouquet colors would look fab with a similar color in your wedding shoe – it makes everything blend and go together nicely.  For themed weddings, there are countless shoe ideas.  You could have a lot of fun with this one.  You can find amazing shoes to match a vintage, beach, or bohemian wedding theme to name a few.

What season are you getting married in?  Many brides may not consider this, but in the middle of winter the last thing you want to walk around in are slingbacks or slip-ons. Your feet get can very cold, so find a shoe with a bit more coverage.  Perhaps a popular wedding boot for your pics, and then you could change into a pair of sexy shoes for the reception.

An important tip when trying on shoes is to remember that your feet will swell by the end of the day.  Shop for your shoes in advance and remember to wear them around the house every so often to break them in.  The last thing you want is to take your shoes out of the box for the first time and encounter blisters along the way.

One last tip, probably the most important, is to bring a second pair of shoes with you as you near the end of the night, preferably a flat, slipper or one you have worn for years.  Just like an outdoor wedding, you always need a back up plan.

Happy Shoe Shopping!

Very Superstitious

Something blue sewn onto a Vera petticoat

As you prepare for your wedding day, invites, flowers, guests lists, and scheduling are always top of mind. But superstition also plays a large part in a bride’s big day. Here in the US the, “Something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue” rule is commonly put into practice. Lets review some of the nuptial rules and traditions of brides around the world. Which ones will you keep in mind as you get ready to say “I Do”?

– English lore says that a bride will have excellent luck in marriage if she finds a spider in her gown on the day of her wedding.

– In ancient Rome, a bride’s veil was meant to disguise her from evil spirits who, jealous of her happiness, would try and do her harm on her wedding day.

– Greek cultures insist that the bride tuck a sugar cube into her glove before tying the knot so as to make her marriage all the more sweet.

– One Indian matrimonial fable states that if a cat eats from the bride’s or groom’s left shoe a week before they are to be wed then the two will have great luck in marriage.

– Unexpected rain showers are commonly associated with wedding disasters, but according to Hindu tradition it is in fact a sign of good luck!

Content derived from the Vera Wang Blog, Vera Unveiled

Fall 2013 Bridal Show: All About Lace

Content derived from the Vera Wang Blog, Vera Unveiled
Photography: Dan Lecca

The 2013 Fall Bridal Collection reflects an exploration of laces all hand-wrought, pieced, appliquèd and tossed onto an assortment­­ of light, airy confections with a casual nonchalance. This study in femininity and romance celebrates the wedding gown in a new take on classicism and ornamentation

Look 1: Strapless mermaid floating lace gown over web lace with horsehair and tulle shrug
Look 2: Strapless corded bodice ball gown with lace and organza wave flange skirt. Floral corsage at hip.
Look 3: Draped tulle and Chantilly lace bodice ball gown with crystal and organza embroidery details
Look 4: Strapless modified ball gown with ribbon embroidered bodice and textured organza skirt over honeycomb crinoline. Silk organza hand rolled petal collar at neck.

 

Look 5: Strapless draped tulle bodice ball gown with crystal embroidery accented by floating pleated detail at the hip
Look 6: One shoulder drop waist classic lingerie inspired ball gown with hand pieced organza petal details and floating tulip and rose lace accent.
Look 7: Floating corded leaf and embroidered circular lace strapless mermaid gown with bias organza and lace flange detail accented by crystal and pearl cluster embroidery at hip. Basketweave silk gazaar corselette under bust.
Look 8: Corded leaf lace over web lace modified mermaid gown with hand appliqued lace accents and English tulle and horsehair flange at train. Silk organza hand rolled petal corsage at neck. Silk organza corselette at waist
Look 9: Strapless micro flange bodice modified ball gown with silk organza and mixed lace wave flange skirt. Blossoming hand rolled organza petal corsage at waist.
Look 10. Strapless floating tulip and rose lace ball gown with open back and classic corset detailing
Look 11: Stretch mikado mermaid gown with floating tulip and rose lace overlay accented by table pleated organza rosette skirt.
Look 12: Strapless modified ball gown with Chantilly lace bodice accented by organza petal and pearl embroidery with hand draped textured organza skirt over English tulle wave flange detail. English tulle and horsehair ruffled collar at neck.
Look 13: Floating Chantilly lace ball gown with bias organza and tulle wave flange detail. Basketweave gazaar bralette with classic lingerie details.
Look 14: Tulip Chantilly lace mermaid gown with hand pieced circular flange train and mum garden hemline. Silk organza mum and tulle corsage at neck.
Look 15: Strapless ball gown with ribbon embroidered bodice and silk organza floating flange skirt accented by lace applique detail at hem.
Look 16: Strapless drop waist modified ball gown with corded leaf lace bodice and swirling bias cut table pleat flange skirt. Silk zibeline corselette at waist.