Friday, May 29, 2009

Frugal Fridays cont'd

Just in time for weekend shopping.....

(click on the image to be taken to the website)

Frugal Fridays: Pre-Loved Gowns

Here is a selection of pre-loved gowns residing in Canada (save yourself the customs and cross-border shipping costs!). Click on the image to take you directly to the ad.

Amsale "Ally" - Ottawa, ON (
Image via

Melissa Sweet "Romy" - Toronto, ON (

Paloma Blanca 3806 - Toronto, ON (
Image via Paloma Blanca

NEW Pronovias "Marlene" - Vancouver, BC (

Finally (saving the best for last!), check out this stunning Pronovias Diamante gown that recent Toronto bride Angela is selling. Angela's wedding took place mid May and promptly had the gown cleaned. There are no rips or tears.

(click on the image to enlarge)

Here is a description of the dress in Angela's words:

This gorgeous 2008 Pronovias Diamante wedding gown was recently worn at my wedding on May 17, 2009. It is absolutely stunning and I felt incredible while wearing it. I do hope that someone can feel as wonderful on their wedding day as I did. This is a contemporary yet classic dress that will be timeless in photographs.

Material: raw silk (duponi)

Colour: natural white

Size: altered to fit a street size 10 (originally bridal size 14 with lots of room to alter further in or out) and 5”7.5 with 3.5 heels

Description: The bodice is ruched and incredibly slimming. It is a very wearable weight (not too hot), yet it has very good structure to hold its shape throughout the day. The V-neckline allowed me to enjoy the day without yanking and pulling my gown up all night. There is also a chapel length train and I had crinoline added to the skirt to make the shape more fit and flare.

I had the following alterations made to the dress, which essentially made it into a custom gown. The alterations were completed by the head seamstress at Ritché:

-back reshaped and lowered to a low scoop

-crinoline added to increase the fullness of the skirt (fit and flare rather than a-line)

-bust line reshaped and pads added to hold in the chest area so that a bra is not needed

-straps shortened to lift up the bust (I do have the extra material available)

-a $200 Watters (1039B) beaded sash was also tacked under the bust line (it can be removed, but I highly recommend leaving it there because it makes your torso look tiny!)

-8 point over bustle

-the dress was also taken in throughout the bodice and there is a lot more than can be done in terms of customizing the fit so that it is just perfect

The dress cost $1330 and the sash was an additional $200. Alterations and customization cost just under $1300.

Angela is asking $1000 (Firm). Such a STEAL!!!

If you're interested, please contact Angela at

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Don't Forget....

.....that the Dream Dress Auction takes place this Sunday in Vancouver! Proceeds go to The Cinderella Project. For more information and to see the dresses up for auction, visit their site.

My Earlier Post on Dream Dress Auction

Counting Down....

2 sleeps until I see the BF (he's coming to the!

7 sleeps until the new condo is mine!

13 sleeps until I move into the new condo!

Lots to do...not enough time.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

White Toronto Sample Sale

Over 80 gowns for sale including dresses from Monique Lhuillier, Oscar de la Renta, Carolina Herrera, Bagley Mischka, Jenny Lee, and Nicole Miller. Also on sale are special occasion dresses and bridesmaids dresses.

Call to book your appointment as space is limited - 416.849.9196 or e-mail

When? Friday, May 29th & Saturday May 30th

Where? 19 Hazelton Ave., Toronto, ON Map

Monday, May 25, 2009

Invitation Mailing 101

Great post by Barbara Kua Calligraphy.

Weekend Lowdown

As I mentioned, I spent most of Saturday hungover due to too much Prosecco from the night before, so I spent most of that day cleaning, packing, reading and blogging. Oh, and I did some online shopping!:) Check out my new shoes. Cute non?
Charles by Charles David "Dame"

Mo's (from Pink Argyle) recent blog on "short and cute shoes" made me realize that I was in desperate need of a new pair of black flats. So I checked out a few of my favourite shoe stores in the, shoved my right foot in many pairs of black flats and ultimately gave up when I tried on a pair of Franco Sarto mid-heel, black patent peep toe pumps (it's time to wave the white flag when you end up with a totally different pair of shoes than what you set out to find!) I continued my search Saturday night online and instantly fell in love with "Dame." I'll meet them this Friday when the BF brings them with him. (He's a shoe mule). And thanks to Zappos for upgrading my shipping at no extra charge! They really are in the business of 'customer service!'

Speaking of shoes, I recently came across this except from the book Vintage Shoes: Collecting and Wearing Twentieth Centurty Designer Footwear. The excerpt provides advice on buying vintage shoes, where to buy them and how to distinguish shoes from different decades. For example, stilettos from the 50's have metal heel tips as opposed to plastic ones. To read the excerpt, click here or see the book on

How was your weekend? (To my neighbours to the south, how's your Memorial weekend so far?)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Bridal Emergency Kit

One of the shower gifts A. received from her bridesmaids was a 'Bridal Emergency Kit.' We found a super cute Roxy makeup case and filled it up with things she may/would need on the big day. I totally forgot to take pics of A's actual kit but here's a similar makeup case from Roxy.


-sewing kit
-bobby pins
-blotting paper
-manicure kit (tweezers, file and clippers)
-eye drops
-allergy pills
-Bandaid® Blister block (new product...I'm going to have to ask A if it works)
-moist towelettes
-hand cream
-Tide® Pen
-flip flops
-snacks (chocolate, roasted nuts)
-drinking straws
- a note saying "Just add water!!"

What else would you have included?

Update: Bridechka passed along a great recommendation..."White chalk. It is a must have! If the bride gets a stain on her dress, the stain sticks sometimes make it worse or leave giant wet spots but use a little bit of white chalk on it like white-out and you won't see a thing."

2010 Pronovias & Manuel Mota Preview Collections..... available at Toronto's Ritché Bridal!!!

To see more of the 2010 preview collections, visit the Pronovias website.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Love The One You're With

As I get older, I find that it's getting harder to find time for leisure reading (and when I do I fall asleep after a few paragraphs!). I can't even remember that last book I read! So my guilty pleasure is chick lit. Chick lit books are an easy read and often times, it's a divergence into someone else's life, the best escape from reality. Although it was published last year, I picked up Emily Griffin's Love The One You're With just last week. The main chick in this story, Ellen, is at the 'crosswords of true love and real life' -- translation: she rus into the boy who 'got away' and now questions if her husband is 'the one.' Come on, how JUICY, is that?! I know, I know...I really need a better reading list. However, if you're ever in the mood for an easy-breezy, gossip-like read (especially when you're slightly hungover from the night before and do not want to attack your chores).....check it out.

p.s. To those of you south of the border, your Amazon rocks. just sells books, DVDs, CDs, some electronics. i.e. no clothes, jewelery, shoes.

Saturday Fashion Candy

I had a little too much Prosecco last night with some friends and feel pretty gross today. So I'm partly lounging, partly packing and partly surfing the interwebs. I happened upon this photo of Dita von Teese. How awesome is her outfit? Sigh. Why can't I be this put together!!

Hope your Saturdays are good.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Frugal Friday Cont'd: 10% off at Vera Wang

Become a fan of Vera Wang on Facebook and save 10% on your next purchase on!

Frugal Friday: FREE Wedding Show

Want to attend a wedding show but don't have the funds or the time to do so? Well, then you're going to want to check out "The Spring Wedding Show", a free, interactive, and online show, hosted by Toronto-based The Wedding Co. The Wedding Co. hosted its first boutique-style wedding show, The Wedding Show, eight years ago, focusing on uniting brides with unique wedding vendors. Today, The Wedding Co. continues hosting its inspirational shows as well as being a popular online resource for Toronto-area brides.

Starting today, you can 'take a walk in the park' and explore some of Toronto's premier wedding vendors, from venues to florists, all from the luxury of your comfy couch! The Spring Wedding Show park will be 'open' until May 31st.

p.s. My favourite calligrapher, Barbara Kua Calligraphy was invited to participate!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Professional Bridesmaid Loves.......

I adore non-diamond engagement rings. Not that I don’t love diamonds because I do, but I love coloured stones even more! I also admire those couples who choose to buck tradition and find a ring(s) that truly represent them. I recently stumbled upon Turtle Love Committee (TLC—how apropos!), a Portland, Maine based company that specializes in “truly unique engagement rings and wedding bands that fit your style and won't break the bank.” TLC has an amazing selection of semi-precious stone engagement rings for those of you who don’t necessarily believe that only ‘a diamond is forever’ and the value of an engagement ring should equal two months’ salary. Check it out.

How pretty is the Kennebunk ring? I love its vintage feel.

Clockwise from Top Left: Walden (Amethyst);
Webster (Citrine); Thissel (Apatite);and Kennebunk (Blue Topaz)

Turtle Love Committee also specializes in wedding bands (for the bride and the groom). I love the Millinocket band, so delicate and feminine. Can you believe it’s only US $50?

If you’re looking for a no-nonsense and sturdy ring for your man, look no further....take a look at the ‘Raymond’ band.

Are you smitten yet? Lucky for you, TLC is currently sponsoring TWO giveaways. The first giveaway is being hosted by OneWed’s Savvy Scoop Blog. Tell OneWed “Why Diamonds Are Expensive” and you could win the ring of your choice! So you’re engayged! is hosting the second giveaway, giving away TWO TLC rings! Go on over and enter.
To see more of Turtle Love Committee’s unique ring collection, visit their site and blog. And remember, “it’s (NOT) about the ring.” :)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

On Repeat.....

Adele's version of Bob Dylan's Make You Feel My Love


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Jim Hjelm Spring 2009 Trunk Show - Toronto

Don't you love the flutter/cap sleeves on the 2nd gown?

Thursday, May 21, 2009 -Saturday, May 23, 2009

L&J Bridal Boutique
50 Queen Street East
Brampton, ON
L6V 1A2
(905) 459-9370

To see more of the JLM collection, visit

One Dress to Rule Them All: Part II

One Dress to Rule Them All: Part I

Part I of my post focused on finding one exact dress for all of your bridesmaids. This post will talk about finding variations of one dress to suit all your maids. This option will likely win major brownie points with EVERY one of your bridesmaids as they'll be able to choose a style/cut that flatters their body type and fashion style while still staying true to your colours!

Wedding planner (and good friend) KGM blogged about the Two Birds bridesmaid dresses. Founded on the premise that being a bridesmaid doesn't mean you need to forego your style and look less than fab on your friend's big day, Two Birds offers ONE dress that can be worn in over 10 different ways. Too good to be true? Check it out for yourself!

The Two Birds Bridesmaid dress comes in 13 colours (they can customize colours as well), two lengths (calf length, floor length) and costs either US $270 or US $290 (depending on length). Since the dress is made from a blend of jersey spandex and nylon, it is a one-size-fits-all. Has anyone tried the Two Birds' dresses?

Another option is to allow your maids to pick dresses cut from the same fabric. One wedding I was in, the bride bought us material and allowed us free reign on the design of the dress. We each worked with a seamstress to customize the dress to our individual size and style. Some brides and bridesmaids are afraid to go down the custom route fearing it would be more costly and timely; but I have to tell you, the cost was about the same and in the end I had a dress tailored to me! With regards to the time commitment, there were a few more fittings but the lead time is about the same (e.g. 6-8months for the whole process).

If you wish to go the 'made to order' route, pick a retailer that offers many styles cut from the same fabric. One such retailer is Aria Dress. Here are some real life bridesmaids donning dresses made from the same fabric but in different styles to flatter their body types.

I've blogged about Coco Myles before. Specializing in custom formal dresses, Coco Myles lets your bridesmaid be the fashion designer. All you have to do is pick the fabric! For more on Coco Myles, read my previous post or check out their site.

As a Professional Bridesmaid, I personally love how my friend A allowed us to purchase any dress so long as it was black. However, for those brides who wish to co-ordinate their brides, keep the above options in mind. For all you maids out there, don't be afraid to speak up and offer suggestions which will make you (and the other maids) and the bride happy. After all, happy bridesmaids make for an even happier bride!

Monday, May 18, 2009

A Weekend of Surpises

This past long weekend (it's Victoria Day today here in Canada) I pulled off not one, but two surprise events. The first event was the BF's birthday party Saturday night. Unfortunately, I could not be in LA for the BF's birthday (oh long distance, how it sucks). I decided the next best thing was to plan a little get-together at one of his favourite watering holes, Cabo Catina. I emailed all his friends and asked them to 'surprise the crap out of him' (BF does not like surprises) and also take advantage of the happy hour (2 for 1 drinks!). I also ordered a bunch of cupcake babies from our favourite cupcake place, Vanilla Bake Shop, including a regular size stuffed Key Lime cupcake for the BF. So how did it go? Let's just say that planning a surprise party from a different city, country, and coast isn't ideal. A few of the BF's friends tripped up in their drunken states a few nights prior which led the BF to be VERY suspicious. Nevertheless, the BF drank many margs, ate some cupcakes and fun was had by all.

The second surprise event I helped plan was my friend A's bridal shower. A is a no fuss, no muss kind of gal. She told her bridesmaids that she didn't want a bridal shower and we were instructed by her NOT to plan one. Of course, we totally ignored her request. Since A has been a wonderful bridesmaid herself a number of times, we felt that A deserved to be 'showered' in return. We planned an intimate shower for A and asked each of the guests to bring photos or mementos of A so we could make a scrapbook for her. This way A could spend some quality time with her guests. We had so much fun! It was great to look at photos of A over the years and reminisce. I highly recommend a 'scrapbook shower.' As I've blogged in the past, A wanted to have 'Tiffany blue' as one of her wedding colours but it didn't quite work with her venue so we decided to incorporate the colour in her shower invites. I 'designed' (lol) the invites using PowerPoint; printed them using my finicky HP printer; used 12x12 cardstock (from Michael's) for the backing; rounded out the edges with a corner rounder; tied white ribbons around the invite.....and voilà!

Have you planned a surprise event? How did it turn out?

One Dress to Rule Them All: Part I

I know I will offend some brides by saying this but I'm not a fan of the matching bridesmaids dresses. This is partly due to the fact that I've been in so many weddings where the dress was so ill-fitting on at least one of the bridesmaids (if not more) that it has made for some unflattering pictures. I also think it's slightly unnatural for a group of women to wear the EXACT same dress. (I know, I know, it's natural for weddings.) With that being said, I do see how fun wedding pics can be when you have a matching bridal party who ultimately bring your wedding colours to life. Case in point.........

One of the toughest choices a bride will have to make is choosing 'the bridesmaid dress' which is no easy feat, unless you've found 'The Traveling Dress.' So how do you go about choosing a dress to rule them all? Is it possible to find a dress that flatters a small bust, a junk in the trunk and muscular arms (all from different bodies no less!)? Well you have a few options: 1) Vary the dress to suit your maids' different body types and styles; or 2) Choose one dress that flatters ALL body types. We're going to discuss the latter in this post.

According to the experts at Arizona-based Twirl Boutique, the BEST silhouette for every body type* is:

Neckline: Straight Across
Waistline: Empire
Silhouette: A-line

Let's dissect, shall we?

1) Neckline - Straight Across
My girls, well, they're wee. I'm forever trying to find necklines that work with my very helpful undergarments. This is why V-necks are my best friend! However, the same cannot be said for a bustier gal, as V-necks tend to lead her to constantly check if she's showing too much cleavage. Believe it or not, a simple straight across neckline is the best for all bust types. For those of you who lucky enough to be more well endowed, this neckline keeps the girls in check and you won't have to worry about showing too much. For those with petite girls like me, this neckline allows you to wear a great push-up bra or even have a bra sewn in.

Most dresses with a 'straight across' neckline are strapless like this one by Jenny Yoo.

If strapless isn't your thing, you could also go with a sleeve or strap option.

Think the 'straight across' neckline is boring? You can with a slightly modified sweetheart neckline like this Melissa Sweet dress.

2) Waistline - Empire
Prevalent since the Greco-Roman times, the empire waist creates the illusion of a longer body by raising the the waistline to just beneath the bust (who doesn't want a little more length!). For those of you maids with small busts, the empire waist maximize your assets by adding definition to the bust area. If you're apple or pear shaped, an empire waist can hide your stomache and thigh area as the dress will 'skim' over these areas.

(left) Maggy London; (right) Jasmine B2

3) Silhouette - A-line
The A-line is likely one of the most enduring and most flattering silhouette in the history of fashion. Petite gals and rectangle-shaped gals (i.e. little or no curves) love the A-line because it creates curves by defining the waist, and its gradual flare gives an illusion of hips. Interestingly enough, these same attributes are why curvy gals love the A-line as well. By defining the waist, the A-line creates the illusion of a smaller waist and the gradual widening of the skirt camouflages fuller hips, thighs and booty.

For maids who are expecting, no matter how far along they are, this silhouette flatters their bump while keeping them comfortable.

(left) Thread; (right) Eden Bridals

Best Fabric for All?
Costume designer Shay Cunliffe in a recent article on, recommends crepe and silk Charmeuse for bridesmaids' dresses as these fabrics move beautifully on a body and are comfortable. Cunliffe cautions against stiff silk or taffeta as these tend to not lie well on the body and can stretch out after only a short period of time. Personally, I would stay away from Charmeuse unless you outfit all your maids with some Spanx as this clingy fabric is unforgiving on even the most skinniest women. While taffeta tends to be more forgiving, I recommend you investigate how the dresses will look in photos. Most taffeta has a sheen to it and can look unsightly in photos. From my own bridesmaid adventures, the fabrics that flatter any body type, are comfortable and photograph well are: chiffon, georgette and satin.

Well, there you have it....One (Exact) Dress to Rule Them ALL! Happy Bridesmaid dress shopping. I leave you with some real life examples of THE silhouette.

(These dresses are missing the 'A-line' factor but still manage to look great all on the bridesmaids.)

Stay tuned for Part II.......

*Original article foumd here.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Frugal Friday: Tidbits from the Interwebs

1) Win 100 Violet Letterpress Invitations.

2) Win Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac.

3) FREE Coldplay Download.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Engaging Photo Candy

Engagement photos to me are a luxury. Not that I don't see a point to them as I do think that engagement sessions gives couples the chance to be comfortable together in front of the camera and experience their photographers' style before the big day. I just think it would be a lower item on my priority list. However, once in awhile, I'll see some engagement photos that blow my mind and makes me reconsider. One set of such photos are the ones below taken by Chris + Lynn. Chris and Lynn Jaksa are an award-winning husband and wife photography team based in Vancouver, BC. Their photojournalistic style combined with Candace's and Nick's good looks made for one awesome engagement session.

How stunning is springtime in Vancouver?! I love cherry blossoms.

Risque yet fun.

I am loving the Candace's outfits.

I love how the mountains are in the backdrop. Breathtaking

To see more of Chris + Lynn's work, visit their site and their blog. For those of you on Twitter, you can follow Chris + Lynn at Thank you Chris and Lynn for letting me share these photos!
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