Bridal Fashion – Straps and Sleeves

Background,, embroidered lace. Delicate detail of a wedding dress close-up.

Haven’t found The Dress yet for your 2018 wedding? That’s just fine. The Bridal Fashion Week shows for spring and fall of ’18 reveal some alluring and exciting shifts from the  near-uniformly strapless gowns that have dominated the bridal fashion scene in recent years.

Yes, strapless gowns certainly have been a big trend for a long time, although they haven’t always flattered real women’s figures. Back in 2012, in an article for Slate magazine,   noted, “Strapless wedding gowns are by far the most common style. Kate Berry, the style director for Martha Stewart Weddings, estimates that while alternative necklines are starting to become more popular, about 75 percent of wedding dresses are strapless. Kim Forrest, the editor of WeddingWire, an online marketplace for engaged couples, says strapless “is the standard for wedding dresses and that won’t change anytime soon.”

Even in 2017, many local brides have donned strapless gowns for their wedding days — and looked lovely. If you’re broad shouldered though or narrow shouldered, or flat chested or ample chested, or slender or voluptuous with chubby arms, finding the right fit can be an issue. Especially if you want to be comfortable.

As Goldstein noted in Say Yes to a Different Dress, “I maintain that pulling off a strapless dress is no easy feat. Other common problems that the strapless dress presents? Visible tan lines. Spillover cleavage. Pouches of skin that bunch around the armpits. Stick-figure arms. Uniboobs. Generalized sagginess. And having a good figure alone doesn’t guarantee you’ll look great in a strapless style.” The last thing you want to worry about is your arms being “strapless ready” or your strapless dress slipping — and having to hike it up — mid-ceremony. How awkward would that be?

While the lovely princess-style silhouette of a strapless gown will remain a popular choice and a bridal classic, at the Bridal Fall 2018 shows, designers from Reem Acra and Vera Wang to Elie Saab, Carolina Herrera and Marchesa showcased plenty of sleeves, capes, caplets and straps. So for 2018, you’ve got plenty of choices!

How to Store a Wedding Gown

wedding gown

Follow these easy instructions to pack and store your wedding gown in an acid-free box, just like museums store their precious textiles and costumes.

Step 1

An acid-free box is used to store textiles such as wedding gowns, quilts and coverlets. Purchase an acid-free box and acid-free tissue from an archival supply company. Purchase at least 20 sheets of acid-free tissue.

Step 2

Line the box with tissue. Depending on the height of the wedding gown, you may have to fold it several times.Calculate how many times you will have to fold it so that in the end the front of the dress will be facing up.

Step 3

For a dress without a train, begin by placing the hemline of the dress face down at the far end of the box. Lay the skirt face down until you reach the other end of the box. You will only need to fold it once, approximately at the waist. A long train will require multiple folds for it to come out correctly. Place one sheet of tissue between each layer so that any decorations, such as beading or sequins, do not come in contact with another area of the wedding gown.

Step 4

Take one or two pieces of tissue and make a long tubelike shape to soften and pad the areas where the dress will be folded. Repeat this step as you lay the dress into the box, making sure that no part of the dress will be sharply folded in a crease. Sharp folds can create weakened fibres over time and can eventually result in a spot that will be more likely to rip or tear.

Step 5

Once the bodice is laid on top, use acid-free tissue to pad out various areas of the wedding gown, including the chest, sleeves and collar. Be generous with the amount of tissue.

Step 6

Place a layer of acid-free tissue over the top. Lay the veil on top of the tissue. Veils are fragile and should not be stored underneath the dress, to minimize stress on the tulle.

Step 7

Close the box. You may want to label the outside of the bos with your name and any details about your wedding, including the date and location.

Step 8

You may want to purchase additional acid-free boxes of various sizes to store your shoes, headpiece, floral arrangement and other mementoes. Polypropylene bags can also be purchased in a variety of sizes to safely store jewelry. These bags look like Ziploc bags but are made of inert materials that will not degrade over time.

Step 9

The general rule of thumb for storing textiles is to keep them where you are comfortable. You should avoid extreme heat or cold , as well as exposure to moisture. A good place is under the bed in a guest room.

Step 10

Keep the memory alive by regularly viewing your dress. There is no need to keep it packed away forever in a box. Even try it on once a year — maybe around your anniversary.

Compiled from source files from Ottawa Wedding Magazine.

This article originally appearing in the Fall/Winter 2013 print edition of Ottawa Wedding Magazine. 

Best of 2016: Wedding Dresses

By Dr Alan Viau

I’ve seen lots of changes in wedding dress styles over the 13 years that I’ve been performing nuptials. From roushing and mermaid gowns, brides have always been the pinnacle of fashion elegance for their time. This year was no different with brides displaying a growing trend in dresses.

Let me give you an example of what I mean by style changes. Here is a beautiful bride from 2009. You can see she is quite different from today’s bride. The big change came with Kate Middleton’s wedding dress that has influenced the bridal look since 2011.

1st pic

Bride in 2009

Today’s bride will typically sport an A-line or Ballgown dress. Lace is still very popular. Although the strapless dress is classic, laced shoulders are becoming more prominent.

A bride’s dress color will usually not be a stark white. Because of the lace, usually the dresses are more off-white colored, which is flattering to more people.

I’ve started seeing more short dresses and vivid colored dresses (see the blue dress below). It really depends on the sort of wedding the bride is envisioning.

Veils seem to be in the 50 percent category. Some have it some don’t. I can tell you that veils at an outdoor wedding will give you challenges from their blowing around a lot.

I have three recommendations for brides:

Make sure your dress suits your shape and is altered to fit properly.

Accessorize with a necklace — for example borrow an heirloom piece of jewelry.

Shoes — if you are going to change into more comfy shoes, make sure they are the same heel height so your hem is ok.














Alan Viau is yoga teacher, minister, health scientist, & cancer survivor who teaches & coaches achieving fitness & well-being at

Originally published at on January 6, 2017

And the Bride Wore … the Colour She Wanted




Do not feel obligated to wear a white wedding dress, if you don’t want to. It is not a wedding requirement and many modern brides are choosing wedding gowns in any colour from off white to royal purple and crimson red. It is true that for more than 100 years, brides have been wearing white flowing gowns on their wedding day, and it would seem that it is the traditional attire. After all, walk into any bridal boutique in North America, and you will immediately be inundated with wedding dress choices, all in white. However, take a moment to ask the bridal consultant and you may be surprised to learn that most dress styles can be special ordered in colors other than white.


Before 1840, most brides wore colored wedding dresses – practical garments that could be worn again after the wedding day. It was not until Queen Victoria married Prince Albert, and she walked down the aisle in a snow white wedding gown, that fancy white wedding dresses become en vogue. Once Queen Victoria wore white, it seemed like the whole world started wearing pure white wedding gowns; it was said to symbolize glamour and social status. Within just a few years, as mass production became more prevalent, average brides began to wear white wedding dresses and the tradition has stayed mainstream ever since.

White wedding dresses, long associated with virginal purity, are overrated and outdated! In fact, many couples live together long before they ever get married and there are a higher number of second marriages now than ever before. If you want to wear a wedding gown that is mint green, peachy orange, iced lilac, red velvet, or buttercup yellow, go for it! It is your special day, and you should feel comfortable wearing whatever wedding dress best suits your personality, and a gown you will look back on fondly.



Source: Tracey Smith is an expert article writer on the topic of weddings; Hopefully you found this article on wedding gowns useful.


Your Wedding Dress and the Weather


What does the weather have to do with choosing a wedding dress? Experience tells us it is definitely something to consider, if you want to feel both confident and comfortable on your big day.

And if there’s one thing that’s predictable it’s the unpredictability of weather in the Ottawa area. However, we do know some things for sure.  Summers can be really hot, so strapless dresses work quite well. Winters can be really cold, so dresses with long sleeves or jackets are appropriate. In the spring and fall,the best bet is to have a wrap, shrug, capelet, jacket or shawl that coordinates with your dress and that you can put on or remove as you wish.

In any season, there are lots of choices, whether your style is boho, glamorous, traditional, retro, or uniquely your own. Area bridal shops offer a wide selection of both dresses and beautiful coverings that will make you feel like a million bucks–and warm enough at the same time.


Sleeves never ever have to be boring. Delicate and lovely, these sleeves match the pretty bodice and help to accentuate the bride’s beautiful curves.



The elbow-length sleeves of this cropped faux fur jacket are chic and the form-fitting cut of the jacket beautifully complements the style of the dress. And the luxe material ensures the bride is cozy even in chilly weather.



Some brides, whose wedding days are in the winter, opt for a romantic, princess-style cape look that is unabashedly generous in cut. Yes, you really can be Snow White in your very own fairytale day.



The voluminous bell bottom sleeves in this figure-hugging wedding dress make a style statement that’s very sophisticated and feminine. There’s nothing old fashioned or dull about this long-sleeved style.


If you hate to be cold, you plan to have outdoor photos and your wedding is anytime other than summer, consider optioning for a luxurious long-sleeved wedding jacket that will offer you great looks and the ultimate versatility.

Bridal Fashion Finds for the Season

Simply Stunning



by Lindsay Ruck

A variety of silhouettes and design trends graced the runways in anticipation for fall 2016, giving this season’s bride an abundance of choices when selecting the dress of her dreams. While there were many swoon- worthy over-the-top designs for those well-heeled weddings, we’ve opted to highlight the simpler of silhouettes that were taken to the next level with a little extra something special. From high slits and detachable skirts to off-the-shoulder and fluttery sleeves, this season, less is most definitely more.

Detachable skirts

Detachable skirts are designed from the school of thought that two is always better than one. If you’re a bride who would like two separate looks on her day, then the detachable skirt was designed for you. Instead of buying two gowns, a more demure look for the ceremony is dramatically taken up a notch for the reception once the top layer is released.

Detachable skirts come in a variety of styles and colours and brides can have fun customizing their ultimate look. J. Mendel presented a striking elongated detachable skirt this season which floated softly over an equally-long form-fitting beaded gown. More daring designs came from Monique Lhuillier and Vera Wang, as both fashion moguls created full-length detachable skirts draped over a shorter, sexier under-skirt.

This two-in-one design trend takes a simple and classic style to the next level, allowing brides to showcase the best of both worlds on their special day. An extra benefit of the convertible gown: no need to bustle for the reception!


High slits

Ever since Angelina Jolie popped her right leg out of her black velvet Atelier Versace gown at the 2012 Academy Awards, designers have included the high slit into several of their most coveted creations, and this season, bridal is no exception.

Similar to the detachable skirt, a gown featuring a high slit can look quite simple and demure upon first glance, but a little movement will reveal a sexier side to your bridal style. Slits on the side or the centre are apparent not only for the bride, but also the bridesmaid.

Ines di Santo and Inbal Dror both featured the thigh-high slits in their collections, turning what would be simple bridal gowns into sexy haute couture styles.

While the high slit adds extra movement to what would otherwise be a structured dress, keep in mind it could also showcase a little more than perhaps desired. If you’re tying the knot in a generally windy climate and plan on having the ceremony or photos taken outdoors, then the high slit may not be for you. No bride wants to have to keep her hands by her sides the entire day to avoid an embarrassing flash following an unexpected gust of wind.



Flutter sleeves

This design trend harks back to the retro days of all things flowing and free. Flutter sleeves are a whimsical bridal element which fits in nicely with a simple silhouette.

Lightweight fabrics, including lace and gossamer, are key to creating this flirty flutter. Intricate details in the sleeves kick the look up a notch and create a Secret Garden vibe to an otherwise dull detail.

US-based designer, Sarah Seven, and North American bridal retailer, David’s Bridal, featured flutter sleeves in their designs. The fairy-like gowns attract the casual yet contemporary bride who desire a simple yet stylish and romantic alternative to the traditional plain gown.

Several designers, including Claire Pettibone and Alon Livne, pair the flutter sleeve with a deep-V neckline to include a sensual element to what would otherwise be a more covered-up bridal look.



Off-the-shoulder gowns are once again sweeping the bridal fashion world and we are big fans of this sexy yet sophisticated style. This trend dates back to the Victorian era when bridal royalty would enter the large cathedral hallows donning a shoulder- bearing, elegant, one-of-a-kind gown.

Fast-forward to modern day as top designers of 2016, including Anne Barge, Monique Lhuillier and Lela Rose, all wowed the runways in off-the- shoulder styles. From the classic princess ball gown to a simple A-line style, off-the-shoulder works on a number of silhouettes and adds an element of timeless elegance.

Necklines also vary with off-the- shoulder gowns, and this season we’re loving the plunging-V and the contrasting straight-across structured styles.

Simple is no longer boring and there’s something for everyone in this season’s most swoon-worthy designs. Daring yet demure top our bridal charts and we’re loving the added elements to once simple silhouettes. Explore your options to find the gown that is simply sexy, simply sophisticated, and, most importantly, simply “you.” W

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

Find Your Perfect Wedding Lingerie

wedding lingerie

wedding lingerie

Get fitted

Always get fitted, as more than 75 per cent of women wear the wrong size. Wearing the correct size can work wonders for your posture and silhouette.

Build a foundation

The key to good shapewear is to create a smooth and invisible foundation that also gives you great support.


Try different shapes and styles until you’re completely happy and are certain you’ve found the perfect base for your dress.

Comfort is key

Whatever wedding lingerie you choose, make sure it feels like a second skin – no tugging, nipping or rubbing allowed!

Opt for nude

Always go for nude or flesh colours under your gown, so it’s completely invisible.

Be practical

Make your wedding night one to remember by changing into something seductive later on! W
Source: From Ottawa Wedding Magazine files.

wedding lingerie


Timeless Wedding Choices that Always Dazzle

Can’t Go Wrong with the Classics!

It can be hard to keep up with what’s hot and what’s not. But there are certain items that simply never go out of style. Here’s a look at seven classic wedding choices that will never fail for your wedding day.


Black tie

There’s something timeless about men dressed in tuxes and women in their best gowns. Formal attire gives your wedding an elegant feel and makes for amazing photographs.

Bride and groom feed each other by wedding cake and kissing

White dress

After Queen Victoria donned a white wedding gown in 1840, she was dubbed the ultimate trendsetter for millions of future brides, says Danielle Rothweiler of Rothweiler Event Design. “Wedding gowns have changed since then, and now they are available in a wide array of colours, including red, pink and even black.” But the classic white gown will likely always reign supreme.


Lace never goes out of style, says Carissa of Cakes by Carissa. From incorporating lace-stamped fondant or lace appliqués into your wedding cake, to wearing a lace wedding gown, there are plenty of ways to make lace a part of your day.

wedding cake

A white wedding cake

Dessert trends come and go, as cupcakes, pies and candy buffets have all made the rounds in popularity. But there is something stunning about a classic white wedding cake taking centre stage at a reception. A white-tiered beauty is a great contrast to your colours du jour, and will stand tall as a work of art to wow your guests.

Long head tables

Long rectangular tables not only make figuring out seating a much easier endeavour, but they also make for a cozier, more intimate feel. Whether your reception is indoors or outside, whether your centrepieces are low or high, long tables are always a good look.


While they might not last forever, a wedding simply isn’t complete without beautiful flowers. These lush blooms can transform any ceremony and reception area. And with the overwhelming variety of colours, you can choose the bloom that fits perfectly with your wedding hues.


Adding personal touches to your wedding (from monograms and favours to cake toppers and table names) make your day truly unique. W


Colour of the Year for Your Wedding Dress

The bride's dress


When Pantone chose both Rose Quartz and Serenity (dusky pink and blue) for its 2016 Colour(s) of the Year, there were oohs and aahs heard far and wide.

After all, Rose Quartz is another variation of blush or pale pink and it can make for a spectacular hue in a wedding dress. In very beautiful, eye-catching and adult ways, it can be the stuff of your little-girl dreams.

That’s right, girlfriend. White isn’t the only colour that shines at the altar. Pink packs a major wedding-style punch. If you’re a celebrity watcher at all, you know style icons Julianne Moore, Reese Witherspoon, Anne Hathaway, Gwen Stafani and Jessica Biel all skipped vanilla white and opted for shades of pink.

You can too. However, there are some factors you should take into account:

  1. Don’t choose a Rose Quartz gown just because it’s trendy. Always let your colouring dictate the shade you wear. Put a gown up to your face at the mirror in the salon and take a look at whether it enhances your eyes, hair, skin, teeth and face. If it enriches your smile and attributes, put the blush number in the yes pile. If it accentuates your prominent nose or under-eye circles, ditch it.
  2. Consider the big picture. What will the bridesmaids wear? What about the groom and groomsmen? Pink hues are a little less versatile than white, in the matching and coordinating department. Definitely, you don’t want to get washed out by the gowns around you. If you’re wearing blush, gray bridesmaids dressed may work; another option is darker shades of the same pink/blush colour for the bridesmaids.
  3. How will this particular hue look in the setting and with the lighting you’ve chosen? It’s worth sweating the details to make sure your dress is truly the star of the day. You don’t just want to be pretty in pink, you want to be dazzling.

If you want to be on trend without making a major commitment, you can dress the bridesmaids in blush and opt for white-toned bridal gown.  It’s up to you!

Wedding day bridesmaids and flower