Best of 2016: The Groom and His Men


By Dr Alan Viau

Grooms are increasingly becoming more fashion conscience. Gone are the days where I see ill fitting rental tuxedos. Now grooms and his men are well appointed.

In the 13 years that I have been performing weddings, I’ve seen my share of grooms who have badly fitting rental tuxedos or cheap suits. I would always sigh internally at the contrast of the bride who fussed over every detail versus the sloppy groom.

I am very happy to see that this has changed. Men are looking after themselves and embracing their wedding. Tuxedos are a must for a very formal wedding. However more weddings today are more casual. Grooms are now showing up, often in a tailor-made fashionable suits. The bonus is that they now have smashing outfit that they can wear beyond the big day.

The most popular colors are light grey for the summer and dark grey or black for the winter. Navy blue is also a classic for any season.  Accessories such as watches, tie clips and pins are on the increase.

The groom is distinguished from his groomsmen usually with a different colored or styled tie. Neckties and pocket squares are usually coordinated with the bride’s colors.

It is fun being with the groom and his party just before the wedding. There is some good-natured kidding around. I’ve seen jigs being danced, tequila/scotch shots taken, and cigars smoked – just to calm the nerves and have a bonding experience with “The Guys” before the event.

All of this points to a more engaged groom in the wedding experience – which I celebrate. Gone are the days of the groom showing up and standing on the “X” to get married.




grooms4 (1)





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

This story was riginally published at on January 5, 2017.

Your Wedding, Your Style ….




Red shoes?
Short dress?
Graffiti backdrop?
Why not?

If you’re a little bit bohemian, a little bit artsy, or a lotta bit Do Your Own (DYO) thing, here are some wedding images, courtesy of Marge Maghoney , to inspire you to let your special day reflect your unique style.

Whether you’re planning for your nuptials to take place at any one of the fab venues in the Ottawa area or you’re heading away, there’s lots you can do to personalize and “pizzazzicize” your wedding.





Note: These images were taken in San Francisco.  To find out about San Francisco City Hall weddings, click here.

Bridal Lingerie You’ll Love


by Lindsay Ruck

There’s no question the wedding gown trumps all other fashion decisions for the big day. But there are other selections to be made. From simple and structured to silky and sultry, bridal lingerie is a fun element to the day and the options are endless.

We’ve highlighted a few of our lingerie loves and are sharing what works when and who should wear what. So let’s talk lingerie!


The getting ready outfit for you and your maids has become almost as important as your other bridal wardrobe selections (almost!).

Online and storefront boutiques such as Plum Pretty Sugar and curated and customized Etsy shops offer several options for the now-essential bridal robe. From bold floral prints to crisp white robes with “Bride” etched on the back, these soft and silky cover- ups make getting ready for that walk down the aisle feel even more special. Morning robes are also a great gift for your girls and it’s something they can wear again and again. Anyone can rock this fun and flirty look and slipping out of the robe and into the dress will be a breeze.

Depending on your gown, the undergarments worn to prep the morning of your wedding may be just as important as your full day lingerie. If your dress features a low back, keep in mind the unsightly lines a bra can leave if worn for just a few hours. If you know you require support 24-7 and going bra-less is just not an option, consider a loose, cloth bandeau which won’t push into your skin as much as a regular wired or elastic bra.


Your dress determines which undergarments will work best for you, and your body will tell you which areas need a little more nip and tuck than others.

Shapewear has come a long way, and the once one-note, structured garments have evolved into sexy underthings that not only feel great, but look fantastic.

If you’re opting for a strapless gown, brides with a larger bust will need to ensure they’re well supported to avoid spillage. Those brides who may not be as well- endowed will need to ensure they can actually fill the bust area. Some bridal gowns come with cups already sewn into the fabric. If this is not the case, there are skilled tailors who will sew cups directly into the dress, therefore eliminating the need for a separate bra.

Seamless underwear is the best option when wearing a more form-fitting gown. Smooth and sheer dresses tend to show everything, so the less lines, the better.

A full corset or one piece leotard are also options. But keep in mind, wearing a leotard without any detachments throughout the ceremony and reception will make going to the washroom even more of a task than it already is while wearing a full-length gown.

The ideal lingerie to complement any body type is a strapless, smooth body shaper – there are no lines to worry about and the structure adds shape and creates a visible waistline. With a wide variety of shapewear available, select the best form for the gown. Cut outs or sheer sides will require a little more creativity and a one-piece may not be your best option. Separates are ideal for the more elaborately-cut gowns.


Depending on what works best with the gown, brides may choose a separate lingerie look post- reception. Simple seamless underwear and a nude strapless bra may not be exactly what you had in mind. Now is the time to get creative and have fun choosing pieces you may not necessarily wear on a regular basis.

From sweet and sexy babydoll slips to lace-up corsets with garters, stockings, and hold-ups, your evening bridal lingerie should make you feel over- the-top gorgeous. Creative doesn’t have to mean uncomfortable. If you’re pulling and tugging, then you won’t feel sexy. Select items that look and feel amazing and give you the confidence to strut your stuff.

Ottawa holds a handful of lingerie gems backed by undergarment experts who are ready and willing to find your perfect match. Check out these local retailers for your perfect bridal underthings. W

Amanda May Lingerie

203 Dalhousie Street (ByWard Market)

Victoria’s Secret

Bayshore Shopping Centre Rideau Centre


Rideau Centre

Formal Fashion Tips for the Groom


What to Wear for a Formal Affair

Congratulations, you’re getting married! Now that you’ve popped the question, you’re wondering what you’re going to wear.

First principles

Your bride’s gown should be your first consideration. Her dress will set the formality of the day.

What to choose

– It’s best to stick to more conventional tuxedo styles.

– Choose a one-, two-, or three-button, or even double-breasted silhouette.

– Wool tuxes are best.

A tuxedo should be 100 per cent wool (or close to it). Wool is a natural insulating fiber, and breathes while regulating body temperature. The natural elasticity of wool means it will shed some wrinkling and retain a crisp, sharp look throughout the day.

When in doubt, talk to an expert

Don’t hesitate to ask for help. Wardrobe consultants are highly trained and are not only a valuable resource for advice on tuxes themselves, but also bow ties, cummerbunds and all of the other accessories you’ll need to look sharp on your big day.


Fashion Guide for the Groom


A simple style breakdown for men

It’s no secret that the bride’s wedding gown trumps all other decisions for the big day. But with so much effort put into finding that perfect dress, we believe the groom’s wardrobe deserves the same kind of care. To assist with your shopping quest, check out what’s trending for the groom this season.


– The look for 2016 is best described as Jay Gatsby meets James Bond.

– Grooms are opting for custom and tailoring to get that perfect fit.

– This coveted style points back to a classic two-button with a modern twist and a modern fit.

– Vests will continue to play a large role in the formal category.

– When it comes to formalwear, black is always a classic, but grey and steel blue (a.k.a. the “new blue”) will also be extremely popular.

– Subtle texture is popping up in formal suiting.


Tip: Choose a look that’s right for you. Don’t be afraid to

personalize your style with accessories and fit.


– Navy is the new black. Expect to see multiple shades of blue replacing the classic black suit.

– Steel blue – a midpoint shade between royal blue and navy – will continue to dominate.

– Subtle plaids and checks will also continue throughout 2016, especially in sport coats and accessories.


– White solids are a staple in menswear, followed by shades of blue and purple.

– The classic solid white shirt is more important than ever this year.

– Textured shirts, in the form of small rib effects and patterns, are gaining popularity. These subtle additions are always tone-on-tone and not usually visible from afar.

– Rounded edge details are back in a big way – especially in terms of belts and shoes.

– Burgundy is also making a comeback in clothing and accessories.

– Less is always more. Have fun with your accessories and don’t concern yourself with everything matching perfectly.

– The bow tie – in multiple patterns and shades – is everywhere this year.

– Remember, unlike the pocket square or statement sock that can stand alone, a bow tie should work with the shade of the suit, but doesn’t necessarily need to be a perfect match. W


Compiled by R. Legault with source

Give Your Wedding a Vintage Vibe


Do you adore the old movies, such as Casablanca and Citizen Kane?

Love classic cars? Antique stores and vintage finds? Elbow-length gloves and Fluevogs?

If Gatsby glamour, 50s poodle skirts or 40s-style updos and cinched-waists send your heart afluttering, by all means give your wedding day a touch of vintage panache.

After all, it is your dream day. And you don’t have to wear an 80-year-old dress or root through flea markets to achieve the look and style you want. You also don’t have to rigidly adhere to any era or particular period in time. Mix it up, shop for looks you love and make your celebration uniquely yours.


Romantic lace gloves and more? Why not. There are plenty of wedding professionals in the greater Ottawa area who can help you put together exactly the look you want.


Or how about a retro updo and a 1970s-style, boho gown, complete with crocheted elements? Fact is, you can combine all your favourite picks — informal, boho ambience, an outdoor locale, vintage-style fashion items — in one spectacular event that allows your personality to shine.


It’s the details — pretty tablecloths or tea cups from your grandmother’s and mother’s and aunts’ cupboards — that will really set the tone for the day. But choose wisely and don’t craft yourself into a glue-gun fueled stressfest.

As the saying goes, it’s always the smiles and joy and hospitality your guests will remember most.

Nice Day for a White Wedding

white wedding

white wedding

When Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter and actress Jill Scott got married to her boyfriend, Mike Dobson, at the end of June, bridal images and videos of the sensational R&B songstress popped up all over the internet.  Her dress? Fabulous.

And talk about décolletage!  Her low-cut, long sleeved wedding dress definitely accentuated her assets, without a lot of frippery. Besides her gorgeous updo and diamond earrings, what was striking about this wedding day was the colour scheme:

It’s truly a white wedding. All the guests are in white and the look is fantastic. The bride very definitely still manages to stand out in this festive sea of beautiful, celebratory white.

As Billy Idol so famously put it, “It’s a Nice Day for a White Wedding …”
If you’re considering your own white wedding, here’s some inspiration:


white wedding


This white wedding cake is anything but plain, boring or “vanilla.” Instead, it’s elegant and eye-catching, thanks to the details.



white wedding


If you can get past the groom’s tie … okay, and his belt … you can see how this is quite a lovely match.


white wedding


Shades of white, cream and champagne can be combined to create a sophisticated look for the wedding dinner and reception.


white wedding


You can opt for a white bridal bouquet too. Hints of blush only add to the allure of this captivating wedding arrangement.

Wedding Style: Something Blue

Do you have a “blue crush”?
If you do love blue, it’s easy to understand. As Wikipedia notes, “In US and European public opinion polls it [blue] is the most popular colour, chosen by almost half of both men and women as their favourite colour.[4] ” What’s more, “Blue has been used for art, decoration and as a clothing dye since ancient times.”

So it’s not surprising “something blue” is included in so many weddings. After all, the custom is part of a centuries-old tradition, based on a rhyme that dates back to the 1800s and the Victorian era:

Something old, something new,
Something borrowed, something blue,
And a silver sixpence in her shoe.

The sixpence was a coin that people used in Britain between the 17th and 20th centuries. And although most modern brides do incorporate “something old, something new,
something borrowed, something blue” into their ensembles, the coin-in-the-shoe part has largely fallen by the wayside for reasons of comfort and function. (A coin in your four-inch platform heels when you walk down an aisle in front of a crowd? Might not be the best plan.)



But gorgeous, drool-worthy sky-high bright blue platforms under your dress? Hella yes! Now we’re talking!



You can put your blue front-and-centre too, in your bouquet. There are plenty of options for blue blooms both in the flowers carried and in the florals used to decorate.



Blue bridesmaid dresses are another option. There are loads of shades from which to choose, from a dusky shade of almost-violet to navy to blazing-bright sky blue.



Blue decor accents? Yes please. Fabric florals and  blue ribbons are just a couple of the countless captivating choices.



Glamorous seating and table arrangements really elevate the whole tone and style of a wedding, taking it from “nice” to fabulous. Bowties on chair covers can make that happen. These can be rented, perhaps. Ask your wedding planner.



Planning to change out of your spectacular (but a tad heavy, not to mention a wee bit itchy) gown as the night goes on at the reception? Make a style statement! And, yes, blue can be part of it, if you choose.



Finally, if vintage is your thing, head off to your happily-ever-after in memorable style — and with a touch of beautiful blue.

Top Wedding Dress Designers: Monique Lhuillier

Monique Lhuillier


A grand entrance into a grand wedding deserves a grand dress; and when Amanda Abdulla married her high school sweetheart, Anthony Tomacic, on October 11, 2014, her Monique Lhuillier ball gown did not disappoint. The bride entered the dramatic hallows of the Notre Dame Cathedral donning a lace corset top and multiple-layered tulle bottom, perfect to cascade across the dance floor with her groom.

A shot of sparkle came from Amanda’s Swarovski crystal beaded belt, which complemented the rich metallic hues found throughout the wedding decor. To find the ball gown of your dreams, check out With Love Bridal Boutique at

Annually, as lists of top wedding dress designs and designers are published, you can count on seeing the Monique Lhuillier Bridal brand over and over again.


Monique Lhuillier

Details about Monique Lhuillier Bridal Bridal

  • Monique Lhuillier bridal and ready-to-wear gowns are internationally recognized as one of North America’s top brands.
  • Designer Monique Lhuillier was born in the Philippines and studied fashion design in her native country, at finishing school in Switzerland, and at the Fashion Institute of Design and Marketing (FIDM) in Los Angeles.
  • While at FIDM, she met Tom Bugbee, the man who was to become her husband and the CEO of her fashion brand.
  • In 1996, she launched her first bridal gown collection.In 1997, she set up her own couture design house in L.A. It now has a second location in New York.

    Her collections now include evening wear, ready-to-wear fashions and numerous other product categories, such as china, stemware, flatware, giftware, paper products and home fragrances. Most recently, she added jewellery and footwear to her brand.

    Known for her celebrity wedding and red carpet gowns, Monique Lhuillier’s clients include Drew Barrymore, Halle Berry, Allison Janney, Jennifer Lopez, Michelle Obama, Gwyneth Paltrow, Britney Spears, Taylor Swift and Reese Witherspoon.

  • Monique Lhuillier 
  • Images by Miv Photography
    Text from a compilation by Lindsay Ruck.

    First appeared in the Fall/Winter 2015 issue of Ottawa Wedding Magazine.

Choosing a Look for Your Flower Girl

flower girl

Tiny Fashionista

Most little girls look for any excuse to dress like a princess, so being a flower girl is a dream come true. There are generally two schools of thought when it comes to dressing the flower girl: she should match the bride or she should match the bridesmaids. Another option is to meet in the middle and choose a white dress with an embellishment or a sash that complements the bridesmaids.

The style

Flower girl dresses are almost always high- necked and tea- or floor-length.

The accessories

Keep it simple. A basket of petals or a pomander is probably plenty for her to handle. Consider her age and maturity level. What is she really going to be able to wear or carry? If you know a floral crown is going to be off of her head within minutes, you may want to reconsider that particular accessory.

Who pays?

The flower girl’s parents traditionally pay for her attire, so unless you’re planning on making it a gift, be upfront about this when you ask to include their daughter in your day. W

From the files of Ottawa Wedding Magazine. 

flower girl

A History of Your Tiniest Attendants

Flower girls

Today, flower girls are dressed in similar colours to the bridesmaids. They usually walk down the aisle ahead of the bride, sometimes accompanied by a ring bearer. Taking a trip down memory lane will explain just why this tradition began.

In earlier times, when marriages were regularly arranged and girls were married in their pre-teens or early teens, a flower girl was viewed as a symbol of innocence and a marker of the transition from childhood to womanhood. The flower girl would lead the bride forward to symbolize her blooming into a wife and mother.

In Ancient Rome and Greece, flower girls carried sheaths of wheat and herbs ahead of the bride and groom to symbolize blessings of fertility and prosperity.

In the medieval era, young wedding attendants of both sexes carried garlic to ward off evil spirits.

In Elizabethan England, the path from the bridal home to the church was carpeted with rose petals and soft rushes. A flower girl would follow musicians in the wedding parade, carrying a silver bride’s cup decorated with ribbons and a branch of rosemary. (Across much of Europe, several children were included in the wedding party.)

Flower girls in the Victorian era, usually dressed in white decorated with a coloured silk or satin sash, carried baskets full of rose petals or flowers as a welcome gift to the newly married couple as they came down the aisle from the wedding altar. Flower girls also frequently carried floral hoops — like wedding rings — viewed as symbols of eternal love between the couple.

flower girl

Ring bearers

For many cultures, the rings in the wedding ceremony are symbols of the betrothed couple becoming bound together. In the majority of weddings today, the best man is charged with keeping the rings safe. But in many formal weddings, a young boy carries a pillow on which the rings rest and then passes them to the best man. On occasion, particularly when the ring bearer is very young, the pillow, with a design of embroidered rings, is symbolic only.

The use of a ring pillow is rooted in Ancient Egypt, when jewels were displayed on ornamental pillows during a wedding.

According to medieval European folklore, the wedding ring was presented to the bride on the tip of a sword (possibly intended as a warning against infidelity).

In marriage ceremonies during the Victorian era, a pageboy carrying a pillow became fashionable. Usually, he was dressed in a Lord Fauntleroy-style page’s outfit with a lacy collar and sash around his waist and his duty was to carry the bride’s train. He also carried her prayer book and the rings.

Today’s ring bearers are usually young male family members and are paired with flower girls around the same age (under 10 years old). They walk down the aisle together ahead of the bride.