Add Some Wedding Sizzle

wedding sizzle

If there’s one major theme for Weddings 2017, it’s originality.

Your day is your time to shine and show your guests — family, friends, colleagues and loved ones — your personal style and sense of occasion. This day-long (or weekend-long or weeklong) party is all about how YOU choose to celebrate, so feel free to get creative and add some wedding sizzle to the festivities.

There’s no playbook for weddings anymore. The dictates of tradition and long-held customs no longer apply. Whether it’s a veil or the classic sound for the wedding walk down the aisle, it’s up to you whether to add it or skip it.
Rice or confetti?
Matching bridesmaids’ dresses?
A first dance?
A head table?
A receiving line?
They’re all optional.

Not only that, the hottest trend is to give classic wedding elements your own unique twist. For instance, if you’re planning summer nuptials and you love bright tropical colours and mojitos, consider serving mojito ice pops. They’ll be refreshing, unexpected, appreciated and memorable.



If you’re a fan of dessert stations or sweets tables, incorporate pretty colours and distinctive additions. How about candy floss? Eye-catching cake pops with a surprise flavour element? Or a striking theme, such as a nod to Canada and its 150th birthday celebrations. You may even be able to serve it mini beavertails. It’s certainly work asking a local, Ottawa-based vendor.


wedding sizzle

wedding sizzle

wedding sizzle

As Kelsey Lawler notes in 2017 Trends: Fresh Takes on Timeless Themes at, “Lots of today’s weddings are all about ambience, and more brides are setting aside large chunks of their budget strictly for decorations. As for the type of décor, rustic weddings are still very much in style, but the trend is shifting from burlap and mason jars to a combination of earthy and glamorous. You’ll see elements like crystal chandeliers, eclectic place settings, and Instagram-worthy lounge areas staged with vintage furniture.”

It’s the details that add the sizzle. You can also literally add sizzle, via a send-off with sparklers for all the guests to hold, or a fireworks display to end the night.

wedding sizzle


6 Fun Bachelorette Gift Ideas for the Bride-to-Be

One of your best friends is getting married soon, and you cannot wait to celebrate with her at her bachelorette party. While you know some of your friends are planning on giving her the traditional gifts, you want to go with something a bit more fun and true to who she is as a person. With that in mind, check out these following classy tips and ideas:

Bachelorette party shopping 101


When shopping for a bachelorette gift, Wedding Chicks advises staying within a reasonable budget, and keeping the bride’s personality in mind. If she is quiet and shy, she might wish the floor would open up and swallow her whole if she gets edible undies in front of everyone. Also, if you plan on getting her clothing, make sure you know her size, so you don’t have to guess and end up getting the wrong size.

Spa day

Planning a wedding is exciting, but it also can be stressful and exhausting. Reward your friend with a spa day. Give her a gift certificate to a local spa to use whenever she has time or to her favorite mani/pedi place.

Pretty lingerie

If your friend is pretty outgoing and won’t mind opening gifts of lingerie in front of others, give her a couple sexy bras that she can take along on her honeymoon. A great place to shop for affordable and pretty bras is Kmart. For example, the Vassarette Women’s Lace Overlay Push-Up Bra is a lovely and sultry option that costs less than $12.

Tote of beauty products

To help the bride-to-be get ready for her honeymoon, give her a small tote filled with essential beauty products. Pack the bag with some of her favorite hand and body lotions, bubble baths, massage oils and — if they are going to someplace tropical — sunscreen.

Champagne flutes and bubbly

If you know there will be a champagne toast at the bridal shower, surprise her with a pair of personalized champagne flutes. You also can add a bottle of bubbly for the two of them to enjoy together.

Hangover bag

If the bachelorette party promises to have plenty of fun and fruity adult beverages, the bride-to-be will probably get a kick out of a hangover bag filled with needed essentials to help her feel better the day after the party. Etsy sells a great bag for $1.40 that you can fill with whatever you want. Suggestions include pain relievers, mints, Tums, Vitamin B complex tablets, scrunchies, Alka-Seltzer and gum. Throw in a gift card to Starbucks so she can get a few strong cups of coffee and you will be all set.

Favorite makeup

You can never have enough of your favorite mascara and lip gloss. Give the bride-to-be a pretty gift bag filled with some basic beauty staples, and then tuck in a gift card to a department store that has an extensive cosmetics department. This way she can add to her assortment of beauty products, or she can schedule an appointment with one of the cosmetics ladies to have her makeup professionally applied, either before the wedding or on the big day.

Ride Off Into the Sunset: 5 Unique Wedding Transportation Ideas

wedding transportation ideas

There is so much to plan and organize when you’re getting ready for your wedding day. You have to find the dress and the venue, pick the flower arrangements and color scheme, send out invitations and organize the reception, the list goes on. One commonly overlooked wedding essential, however, is your transportation after the reception. Wedding after wedding, you’ve seen couples ride away in a rented limo or town car. But if you are customizing everything for your special day, why not choose one of these unique getaway rides for the end of the ceremony?

wedding transportation ideas

Vintage Car

Instead of a traditional limo or town car, rent a vehicle with some character and class. There are several car companies that pick you up in a vintage hot rod or an elegant classic car. For example, the Toronto company A Rolls Choice has antique Rolls Royce vehicles from the 1940s and 1950s that have been restored to look brand new. They offer special wedding transportation packages to pick you up from your reception in style. Your guests are sure to talk about that kind of send off for years to come.

Bus or Trolley

If you are leaving the wedding or going to a different venue with guests or your wedding party, a fun option is to rent a large vehicle that can fit a lot of people. TLC suggests using a school bus for a cute and whimsical ride, a party bus if you and your bridesmaids and groomsmen want to get a little rowdy or a trolley car for a fun photo opportunity. There is no written rule that says you have to ride away from your ceremony alone, so why not bring friends and family along for a unique wedding send off?


We all know Ottawa winters can be unforgiving. But if you’re having a cold-weather wedding, make the best of it by using a snowmobile to ride off into the sunset as man and wife. Guests won’t expect it and will be impressed by your ingenuity, especially if you can figure out a trick or two to do as you ride away. Just make sure you practice and are comfortable on a snowmobile before you attempt to use one for your wedding. As Drivetime states, snowmobiles can be dangerous and even the pros can get seriously injured. So if you want a more adrenaline-fueled transportation method, a snowmobile may be for you.

Helicopter or Other Air Transport

It can be quite pricey, but if you have the budget for it, nothing looks cooler than being airlifted out of your wedding. One way to surely surprise your guests is to have a helicopter unexpectedly show up at your reception and whisk you away to your hotel or honeymoon destination if you’re not flying too far. This is also an awe-inspiring wedding entrance idea if you want something truly unique. Just remember, you need to make sure there is a lot of open space to land a helicopter at your reception or wedding venue and that you need to clear it with the property owners.

Bicycle or Pedicab

If you want to go green and inexpensive with your transportation choice, a trendy option is hiring a pedicab to pick you up or pedaling your own bicycles. You can still hang cans and a “Just Married” sign from a pedicab or your bikes. To be really unique, use a two-person bicycle or unicycles. This also is a fun photo opportunity.

Tips to Plan a Socially Conscious Wedding

Tips to Plan a Socially Conscious Wedding

The selfish bridezilla might soon face extinction – many blushing brides now plan weddings that benefit others. From donating leftover food to renting “green” venues, couples are finding creative ways to improve lives as they start new lives together.

CharityChoice, a nonprofit organization that promotes charitable giving, offers the following tips for couples hoping to give back even as they celebrate their union:

• Put charities on your wedding registry. Instead of listing KitchenAid stand mixers and new cutlery on your registry, ask guests to donate to charitable causes that are meaningful to you as their wedding gift. For example, their Web site,, allows couples to create wedding gift registries that name the organizations that they want to benefit. A pair of animal lovers might name the American Humane Society, while tree-huggers might ask guests to donate to Greenpeace or the Sierra Club. You may select your favorites from CharityChoice’s broad list of organizations. You can also have a personalized Web page and e-invitations and download graphic themes for your printer.

• Waste not, want not. Find ways to reduce the amount of waste generated by your big day. For example, print invitations on recycled paper or donate any leftover food to a local food rescue. Encourage bridesmaids to donate their dresses, perhaps to an organization that provides prom dresses to impoverished high-school students. You can even donate your wedding flowers to hospitals or nursing homes, where they’ll be sure to brighten someone’s day.

• Give donations as wedding favors. Instead of providing standard wedding favors, give your guests a charity gift card. You can pre-select a list of causes that are especially meaningful to you or allow recipients to choose from a larger list of over a hundred major charities. The charities are organized into 13 different categories, including children’s charities, causes for health and disease and environmental and disaster-relief organizations, so every recipient will be able to find a cause that is close to their heart.

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Ottawa Food Truck Wedding Catering

By Genevieve Pelletier
Photos: The Grilled Cheeserie by Jade Racicot,  The Angry Dragonz by Bonnie

Anyone who knows me knows I love street food. It doesn’t matter if it’s a hotdog stand in front of Parliament Hill, or a food truck at a music festival. I love them all. So I was ecstatic when I heard more and more couples were choosing to have food trucks cater their weddings. New car from Oprah kind of excited. Food Truck catering can be an affordable and fun alternative for a midnight buffet, or the perfect option for a mid-day lunch reception. If you’re looking to make your wedding more memorable, a food truck is a great way to showcase your personality, and celebrate some of Ottawa’s local cuisine.

Ottawa has some incredible food truck options available, so all you have to do is decided what food you love. Do you love Mexican food? The food truck Bonita’s Cantina  (613 314-9595) offers salads, tacos, taquitos, quesadillas, chips and salsa. They also have many vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options.

Mexican not your thing? How about Asian fusion? Angry Dragonz (613 265-1419) offers an incredibly tasty menu. They would be more than happy to help you personalize your meal. They believe people are looking for something more relaxed, and casual. They can even help couples organize a group of trucks together, which is great for couples who are looking for variety. It’s important to remember these trucks are run by people who live and work in your community. They want to help you get the best experience, and are more than willing to help to answer any questions or make adjustments for dietary needs. After all, we are all neighbours.


There is one food truck in Ottawa I always get excited to see at events. Catering their first wedding at the Cube Gallery on Wellington Street, Golden Fries (613 276-6583) have been providing delicious food at Ottawa weddings since that day in 2011. In 2013 they began operating a second concept called The Grilled Cheeserie at festivals all over the city. This truck holds my heart. The idea that I can get a variety of grilled cheeses and amazing poutine at the same time, is a true love story. There is something comforting about a grilled cheese sandwich. It’s something your guests will never expect, but likely love. The Grilled Cheeserie has catered over 100 weddings and for good reason. They make some truly tasty food and provide multiple menu packages to suit any taste or budget. Plus these people do grilled cheese right. This truck will have your guests talking about how amazing your reception was. It could even make people forget that you were late to the ceremony, and about your great aunt dancing on the table after the open bar.

Always check with your venue, and city bylaws to confirm the truck can set up at your event. It would be a nasty surprise to find out on the day of your wedding they cannot park closer then 6 kilometres away.

When trying to decide if a food truck is right for you, consider the following: if you were a guests at your wedding, would you rather have cold sandwiches at the midnight buffet, or hot delicious tacos ? This girl says bring on the Tacos!

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.

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!)

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!

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.


Wedding Reception Kissing Game Ideas

By Diane Farquhar, courtesy of I Just Said Yes

What kind of wedding reception kissing game should you do? You have just been introduced and are seated at the head table. Your master of ceremonies starts welcoming the guests and makes a few announcements. Some of the items he may mention are: welcoming everyone for coming, give directions to bathrooms, and let guests know if the bar will be open or closed during dinner.

One topic that the MC will share with the guests is how the bride/groom have decided “how they will kiss”. Traditionally , clanging of the dishes is the normal way but this is becoming less and less popular. Actually, most venues prefer that guests do not hit their dishes. Not only can it cause damage to the dishware but can become an annoying sound to all the guests.

Let’s look at some new and cool ideas instead. I know I have touched on some of these areas in my previous posts. How about a hula hoop or ring toss. What about having the guests sing a love song, tell a joke or story about the bride and groom? You can even add games like a putting contest, roulette wheel or twister.

How about balloons with a note inside? The guest must pop the balloon and follow the instructions that are inside the ballroom no matter how silly it may be. Have you ever considered a donation box that is left at the head table? Each time a guest wants you to kiss they can put some change in the charity box. What a nice idea to give back! Place a bowl of Hershey kisses on each guest table and every-time a guest bring a Hershey kiss to the bride/groom they kiss and then have to eat the chocolate!

Let the D.J. get in on the action and have guests request a song and when he plays it the bride/groom have to kiss. You can preset maracas, thunder sticks, whistles and when the guests start to use these that is the sign for the bride/groom kiss. If this may be too loud for you then have all the guests wave their napkins in the air. Nice to work it out with the D.J and add a little music with the napkin waving.

There are endless options out there and if none of these interest you then try to create your own idea. It’s just another way to get your guests involved in the evening and have fun!

How Will You Get To Your Wedding?

By Rev. Alan Viau

You gotta get to your wedding somehow. That involves making a decision on what vehicle will transport you there. You have three options depending on what makes up your dream wedding.

When I got married to my Sweetheart 33 years ago, we thought transportation to the wedding was an easy decision. Her apartment was literally across the street from the hall where we were to be married. Simple we thought. She would walk across and strut over the lawn of Tabaret Hall and be there in two minutes.

We were wrong. Hearing of this, her grandfather would have none of it. He insisted that she needed to be driven to the steps of the building. Rather than cause a fuss, she climbed into his car and arrived at the steps –  a process that took 15 minutes because of all the one way streets in the area.

Every bride probably needs to decide at some point what mode of transportation she will use to get to the wedding. It really depends on what you envision for transportation for your dream wedding, or whether the decision is taken out of your hands like ours was.

Your Own Wheels

Using a friend or family member’s vehicle can be a practical choice. I’ve seen brides arrive in all sorts cars, vans and trucks. The advantage of using a familiar car is that they are readily available and inexpensive. You just need to make sure that you can easily get in and out of the vehicle when you have your wedding dress on. One other piece of advice is to not over stuff the vehicle with people and other sundries.


Limousines are a popular choice and hiring a stretch limo is very popular. You arrive at your destination in comfort and style. There is enough room for everyone. You need to research which limo company offers the size of vehicle for your needs and look into the times that you want too.

Some limo companies have specialty vehicles that may appeal to you.

No matter what company you are considering, book early. They are very busy during wedding season and also have corporate customers on the go.

Specialty Vehicles

If you really want to have fun you can rent a vintage or sports car. They add a real flare to your day.

The same rule applies to these vehicles as for your own cars – you need to ensure there is room for everyone. You may need to rent more than one car for your event. Awww shucks!

After the wedding ceremony you can be whisked away in your lovely vehicle for a relaxing ride. Perhaps it can be a special private time for the newly married couple to pause before the reception.

For my new wife, we wanted to cross the street and walk to the church hall for the reception. Grandfather insisted on a ride again. We have a comical picture of the two of us in his car.

Photos by: Alan Viau

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.

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!

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.

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.

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!


Wedding Day Beauty Prep

5 steps to your most beautiful bridal self

Two words: wedding photos. As well as the romance and laughter of your special day, photographs will capture your glowing happiness, too. So six months before the wedding, Beauty expert Janine Falcon shares how to get started on the following five steps to your best hair, skin and smile.

1) Get hair into shape. Save dry, damaged and brittle hair with a regimen of reparative shampoo, conditioner and hair masks, starting now. Try weekly treatments with coconut oil, which hair absorbs easily for improved shine and resilience.

2) Take skincare seriously. Breakout issues? See a dermatologist for specialized help. Or maybe a nutritionist or naturopath can assist — what you eat shows up on your face, especially if you have certain food sensitivities, such as dairy or gluten.

Makeup glides flawlessly onto skin that has recently had a good facial. Book one ASAP to see how your skin likes it; if skin says yes! book another for a week before your wedding.

3) Lash out. Grow a thicker fringe in time for “I Do” with a lash-enhancing prescription such as Latisse (, which has proven dramatic results. Or stock up on fluttery lash clusters such as Quo Indivdual Lashes #811 ($7.50 at Shoppers Drug Mart) for your wedding day.

4) Whiten your smile. Whiter teeth=brighter complexion. Ask your dentist about Zoom! WhiteSpeed (price varies, select dental offices), a treatment proven to whiten up to eight shades in 45 minutes. Or try an at-home professional whitening formula such as Zoom! DayWhite or Zoom! NiteWhite (price varies, select dental offices), which offer custom-fit trays and sensitive-teeth options. For instant touch-ups, slip a Zoom! Whitening Pen (price varies, select dental offices) into your wedding-day beauty kit.

5) Choose the right lip colour. Blue-based hues, such as Yves Saint Laurent Volupté Sheer Candy Glossy Balm in 04 Succulent Pomegranate ($39,, will make teeth look even whiter and brighter.

Now smile and say “happily ever after!”