Friday, March 26, 2010

L.A. Bound.

I know I owe you "Being a Bridesmaid Part II - What a Bridesmaid Needs to Know." Forgive me, it's just been such a crazy week! I've been trying to get everything done before I leave on vacation next week. Yep, I'm off to the west coast home with a little jaunt to Sin City! I'm so excited. I will try to post Part II this weekend. Have fabulous weekend!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Frugal Fridays

Felichia Bridal Spring Sample Sale - Starts March 29th

Sash & Bustle Coren Moore Promotion

Watters Trunk Show

Saturday, March 27th by appointment

Pearl Bridal House
76 Lakeshore Rd. East
Mississauga, ON L5G 1E1

To see more from the Watters collection, visit

Oscar de la Renta Trunk Show - Toronto

Friday, March 26 - Saturday, March 27

19 Hazelton Ave.
Toronto, ON Canada
416 849 9196 / info@whitetoronto
To see more of the Oscar de la Renta collection, visit

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Amsale Trunk Show - Toronto

I love this gold tone gown. It would be perfect for an old Hollywood glam wedding. To see this gown and others from Amsale, check out the trunk show this weekend!

Friday, March 26, 2010: 10:00am-8:00pm
Saturday, March 27, 2010: 10:00am-6:00pm

Dina Alonzi Bridal
3020 Bloor Street West (At Royal York & Bloor)
Toronto, Ontario
(416) 236-0270

To see more of the Amsale bridal collection, visit

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Being a Bridesmaid Part I - What a Bride Needs to Know

As you all know, I've been a maid of honour 3 times and a bridesmaid four times (my fifth stint rolls around this September!). When people find out the number of weddings I've been a part of, some tease that that I'm like Katherine Heigl in "27 dresses" and ask what do I do with all those dresses! Some people, usually "professional bridesmaids" like myself, roll their eyes and give me an comforting pat and say, "Wow. I feel for you." And once in a blue moon, a bride or groom will ask me for my opinion or advice, which is interesting because I use to expect this to happen more often. However, I've come to realize, brides and grooms don't want advice from experienced wedding attendants; they want advice from fellow brides and grooms. After all, it's always best to learn from those who have "been there, done that."

Many weddings ago, I realized that my knowledge of weddings often surpassed my brides', and that many brides have never been in a wedding before their own weddings. My experience has taught me to: consider having the ceremony and reception in the same venues to save on transportation costs, hire a day-of-coordinator for peace of mind, bring snacks and water for the wedding party, tuck a sewing kit in my purse, wear a button-down/loose top for hair and makeup, give the photographer a schedule & list of 'must' photos, consider not having a traditional wedding party head table so your bridesmaids & groomsmen can sit with their significant other or friends.... and the list goes on. I've witnessed many snafus, surprises, blessings in disguise, and learned how to (or not to) deal with them. Moreover, I've been lucky enough to see which elements in a wedding actually turn out as beautiful as they are planned on paper. Brides and grooms don't often understand the depth of my knowledge. Not that I blame them as it's one thing to be in a wedding and quite other to actually plan one. And there's something to be said about venturing together, as an engaged couple, into the blissful, sometimes dark world of wedding planning and making it your own though your own discoveries and mistakes. (Not for me though. I'm way too Type A. I can spend hours researching an item before I purchase it!) Thus, I only provide advice when asked or provide very general help in the way of internet links or vendor recommendations. I may have the title of "professional bridesmaid" but I don't want to add "bossy" to the title! With that being said, there is one area of weddings that I am pretty vocal about - the role of the bridesmaid (for purposes of this post, maid of honour is included in that label). So listen up, brides, 'cuz I have a few things to say!

What Does it Mean to Ask a Friend to be Your Bridesmaid?

Congratulations! You're engaged. You probably called your families first, and then squealed the news to your girlfriends. Maybe even sent them a mobile pic of the ring. I love getting that call. It's such a thrill to hear that excitement and happiness in your friend's voice. You may have already chosen your bridesmaids (hell, you may have picked them out even before you picked out the guy!). After all, you can't imagine not getting married without these girls who have stuck by you thick and thin. Interestingly enough, in early Roman times, according to Dessy's "A Bride's Guide to Bridesmaids", bridesmaids served as 'protectors' by donning similar dresses and intervening if any vengeful suitors or thugs tried to steal the dowry or harm the bride. It's also thought that the Western concept of bridesmaids stemmed from later Roman law which required 10 witnesses at a wedding in order to ward off "evil spirits" that may be in attendance. Although bridesmaids no longer have to fend off thugs or unwanted guests, they still continue to be a great source of support for brides during the whole wedding process. Before you pick out those girls who will stand by your side for the next year or so, keep in mind what it means to ask a friend to be a bridesmaid.

1. You're Asking Her to Financially Invest in Your Wedding.

This may seem harsh but it's true. In one of my first blog posts, I noted that I had on average spent $1255 on each wedding I had been in. That's no small chuck of change. Keep in mind the following costs your bridesmaid is incurring for your wedding:

- Costs associated with a dress (on average between $200-$400) that they'll likely won't wear again. i.e. Your bridesmaids are purchasing the dress solely to wear it in your wedding. As much as you would like to think they will wear the floor length, coral gown again you so carefully picked out, they won't. Case in point - I've only worn two bridesmaid dresses more than once. One of them was a black dress that I had picked out because the bride let us wear anything we wanted as long as it was black. The other dress I wore again because I had spent so much on it that I felt the need to get more use out of it! Don't forget that alterations can range from $30-$100.

-Costs associated with bridesmaid accessories and shoes

-Costs associated with organizing, hosting and attending your bridal shower(s)

- Costs associated with organizing, hosting and attending your stagette (travel and hotel costs if these events are out of town)

- Costs associated with the wedding day: hair, makeup, nails, travel and hotel costs, and the wedding gift

2. You're Asking Her to Invest Her Free Time in Your Wedding.

The older I get, the less time I seem to have. The weekends fly by way too fast and often times, it's difficult to find a spare moment. In other words, my time is precious and I treasure any spare time I have. I'm sure you feel the same. When you're planning a wedding, your spare time likely disappears for at least a year. Kind of sucks, right? Well, keep that in mind when your bridesmaids are participating in wedding-related activities. Bridesmaids generally devote their time to the following duties:

-pick out, and try on bridesmaid dresses
-attend fittings
-organize and attend the bridal shower(s) and stagette (which may require your bridesmaids to take days off from work if the events are out of town)
-attend the rehearsal
-participating in the big day

Things to Consider

Now you might think I must have had some bad experiences as a bridesmaid in order to sum up my experiences as "money and time" sucks. Sure, I have some war wounds but in general, I've had a blast being a part of so many friends' special days. The purpose of this post is not to chastise brides for being "bridezillas" but to ask them to put themselves in their bridesmaids' shoes. After all, every bride wants their friends to feel honoured to be part of their wedding. At the same time, no bride wants their friends calling her "bridezilla" behind their backs. Here are some things to consider when it comes to asking your bridesmaids to participate in your wedding:

It's not their big day. It is yours and your fiance's/fiancee's; and while your friends are no undoubtedly ecstatic for you and are honoured to be part of your big day, it is simply not their big day. Your friends have their own priorities. They even may be in other weddings. Hell, they might be even planning their own wedding! So while you are spending all your spare time and hard-earned money on your big day, you can't expect your friends to do the same. Think about it - would you spend $1000 on attending a friend's graduation ceremony and reception (a equally big day in your friend's life)? When framed this way, its seems a bit excessive right?

Your friend may not want her back scratched. Many brides wash away the guilt of asking their friends to spend copious amounts of money and time on their weddings by proclaiming, "I'll be doing the same thing for her." This isn't necessarily true as not all brides choose to have bridesmaids. Nor do all brides want to ask the same girls they served as bridesmaids for to return the favour. If I ask all those girls who had asked me to a bridesmaids, I would have eight bridesmaids rights off the bat (and I would so make them wear their own bridesmaid dress they made me wear!!). In other words, don't bank on your friend 'returning the favour.'

Be mindful of your friends' finances. Unfortunately, people are still struggling in today's economy. If you have a friend who is having trouble making ends meet, you may want to give her the option of being in your wedding. Explain to her the possible costs, how you'll do your best to keep costs down, and then leave the decision up to her. If she says no, then perhaps you can find another way for her be involved (e.g. she could do a reading during the ceremony). Obviously, you will be disappointed that she can't be a bridesmaid but just remember at the end of the day she's still a friend and she will be at your wedding. (Aside: I once had a bride guilt me into being a bridesmaid even though I had already declined due to time and money constraints. I gave in because if it meant that so much to her, I felt I should do it. Did I make the right choice?)

Keep costs down. Believe or not, this is easier than you think. For instance, there are a ton of beautiful bridesmaid dresses out there that are under $150. I once suggested a cheaper alternative to a bride and she remarked, "It's poorly made." My thinking is that if the dress is only going to be worn once, then it likely doesn't have to be well made. It can even from, gasp, Target. Listen, you know that I'm a fan of Vera, Melissa, Jim like any other girl but at the end of the day, the dress just needs to look good on the day of, right? If you are able to, think about contributing some money to the dresses. After all, it is your big day. In some cultures, the bride and groom pay for all costs related to their attendants being in their wedding. Makes a bit more sense if you ask me. However, since revolting against the long established Western tradition of bridesmaids footing most of the costs is not option for most, do your best to keep costs down. My number one tip? Choose a colour and let your bridesmaids choose their own dresses in that colour. If the dress is something very important to you, then scrimp somewhere else for your bridesmaids. For more cost-cutting tips, click here.

It's your big day not year. The BF came up with this saying. He is constantly astonished by the number of duties involved with being a bridesmaid. He frequently comments on how different it is from being a groomsmen. As he states, "You show up for a tux/suit fitting, organize a stag, and show up for the wedding. Three days, the end." Usually these three days happen in the same month! For us ladies, it's a bit more time consuming (and a lot more fun!) than that. There can be multiple fittings and multiple showers. Understand from the outset that not all of your bridesmaids will be able to attend ALL your events - your girls have separate lives which entails other obligations. It may be helpful to outline to your bridesmaids from the outset which events are important to you so they can schedule accordingly.

Weddings Last One Day...

.....while friendships can last a lifetime. I once heard a story about a girl turning down a bridesmaid gig because she was unemployed. She apparently was honest with the bride and expressed her regret. The bride snapped back, "I guess you won't be attending the wedding at all." Now this is obviously an extreme but unfortunately brides do lose sight of the bigger picture. At the end of the day, you choose your friends to be part of your wedding because you cherish them and can't picture being married without them by your side. Keep the above points in mind and you'll have supportive, happy, proud and glowing friends for life by your side on your wedding day.

Coming up later in the week......
Being a Bridesmaid Part II - What a Bridesmaid Needs to Know

Friday, March 19, 2010

Frugal Friday

1) The Ann Taylor Spring Style Event

Save 25% on 2 full priced-items or 40$ on 3 or more full-priced items

This is my first purchase from Ann Taylor! I know, weird. We don't have Ann Taylor here in Canada so I don't have many opportunities to peruse her stuff. Luckily for me, I have a computer and the BF's mailing address! Check out my purchases, all 40% off!

cami -$36; panty -$18

2) Don't forget the 30% off
J.Crew dresses sale ends today!

3) Did you use your Give & Get 30% off coupon at Banana Republic, Gap or Old Navy yet?

Click here for the US version.
Click here for the Canadian version.

4) 30% off flats + free shipping - Today only!!

5) Contests!!

Make sure you enter the following giveaways hosted by my fellow bloggers:

The Alternative Wife's Mario Badescu Skin care Giveaway

The Bowie Bride's Camera Renter Giveaway

Chic 'n Cheap Living Bumble and Bumble Fancy Hair Products Giveaway

Have a fabulous weekend!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Frugal F(th)ursday!

Enjoy! And tell me what you buy!

Click here for the US version.

Click here for the Canadian version.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

I Wish I Was a Little Taller.... I could pull off this lovely Delphinia gown from J.Crew. Sigh. Anyways, if you haven't heard, J.Crew have marked all their dresses 20% off until midnight Friday. For those on the hunt for an alternative bridal gown or for bridesmaids dresses, you must check it out.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Too Busy to Blog.

Sad but true. Sigh. 2010 so far has been such a busy blur. My apologies for not writing more substantial posts but many thanks for keeping me entertained with yours!

Saw this lovely Vancouver beach/island wedding on Style Me Pretty, check it out when you have a moment. Don't you love when blogs feature weddings in your neck of the woods? They get the creative juices weddings for your own wedding or your friends' weddings. It's also a great way to discover your local wedding vendors. Which wedding blog is your fave?

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Monique Lhuillier Trunk Show - Toronto

Friday, March 19th & Saturday, March 20st

White Toronto (
19 Hazelton Avenue, Toronto, ON. M5R 2E1
Tel: 416 849 9196 /
Call to make an appointment.

To see the latest Monique Lhuillier Bridal collection, visit

Friday, March 12, 2010

Happy Friday!

For those are you who haven't discovered the guilty pleasure of Gilt Group (I discovered it via Chic 'n Cheap Living), you must! Especially this weekend since Gilt is hosting a Wedding Weekend. Check it out if you're getting married or will be in a wedding for some fabulous deals. You need an invite from a Gilt Group member in order to join so head on over to Chic 'n Cheap's blog as you can grab the invite from her (left column, scroll down).

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Anne Bowen, Jenny Lee Trunk Shows - Toronto

White Toronto will be hosting two bridal trunk shows this weekend: Anne Bowen and Jenny Lee.

Friday, March 12th & Saturday, March 13th by appointment

White Toronto (
19 Hazelton Avenue, Toronto, ON. M5R 2E1
Tel: 416 849 9196 /
Call to make an appointment.

To see the latest Anne Bowen collection, visit

To see the latest Jenny Lee collection, visit

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A Hot Pink Petticoat Giveaway - Winner

And the Winner is.....Colleen from Forty Something Bride!

Thank you to everyone who entered and spread the word. A big thank you to Alison for sponsoring this awesome giveaway! To find out more about A Hot Pink Petticoat's event planning services, click here. For those of you not familiar with A Hot Pink Petticoat, be sure to check out its blogger bride-in-residence, Bi-Coastal Bride, who's planning a wedding in Toronto from LA with the help of A Hot Pink Petticoat.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Vera Wang Trunk Show - Toronto

Thursday, March 11th to Saturday, March 13th


Vera Wang Bridal Salon at Hugo Nicholson
38 Avenue Rd
Toronto, Ontario M5R2G2

To see the latest Vera Wang Bridal collection, visit

*Feel free to bring me along!!!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Oscar Fashion Hits and Misses

Happy Monday! Did you watch the Oscars last night? Or should I say, did you check out the gowns last night?! :) Here are my picks for best dressed and worst dressed.

Best Dressed

Diane Kruger can do no wrong in my eyes and last night was no exception. I love this Chanel halter gown with black ribbon accents. It reminds me a lot of Vera Wang's current bridal collection.

Fellow Canadian Rachel McAdams donned this lovely Elie Saab pastel print gown. It's so fun and flirty.

Worst Dressed

Charlize Theron, who is so gorgeous, surprised me with this Dior gown. I just don't get the flower patches on the bust! They're so distracting.

The BF said it best when he remarked, "JLo's dress looks it was made out of bubble wrap." Jennifer Lopez look a bit too bridal for my liking especially she's usually raising the bar on awards show fashion (remember that Grammys dress??!).

What were your picks for best dressed and worst dressed? What did you think of the show itself?

Sunday, March 7, 2010


did you enter A Hot Pink Petticoat Giveaway yet??!!

Hope you are all having a great Sunday.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Two More Wedding Trunk Shows!

Sorry for the late notice on these! Enjoy your weekend. It's going to be unseasonably warm and spring-like in Toronto. I'm excited to get some vitamin D!!

Modern Trousseau

Saturday, March 6 & Sunday, March 7

Felichia Bridal
2587 Yonge St.
Toronto, Ontario Canada
M4P 2J1
647 - 350 - 5559
Call to make an appointment.

To see more from the Modern Trousseau collection, visit

Ines di Santo

Friday, March 5th to Saturday, March 6th

Veronica Di Santo Atelier -
4040 Steeles Ave West
Suites 14 & 15
*FYI -Veronica is Ines' daughter.

To see more from the Ines Di Santo collection, visit

Thursday, March 4, 2010

DSG Photography March Portrait Special

For the month of March, book a Portrait, Engagement, Maternity or Family session with Toronto based DSG Photography and receive 2 FREE 8x10's & 2 FREE 4x6's and a 20% on all print orders.

Each session includes 1 location, an online gallery of proofs, 2 Free 8x10's & 2 Free 4x6's. All for the low cost of CDN $200 (+ applicable taxes).

Darren, owner of DSG Photography, shot my sister's wedding and did an amazing job. I highly recommend him. For more information, visit DSG Photography's site or email Darren at Tell him I sent you!

All photos via DSG Photography

This Weekend's Trunk Shows - Toronto

White Toronto is hosting TWO trunk shows this weekend! Click on the image below for more details.

To see more form the Mark & James 2010 Bridal Collection, click here.

To see more from the Jenny Packham 2010 Bridal Collection, click here.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Tidbits from the Interwebs

Sorry (in my Canadian accent) for the lack of creative posts lately. It's just been so hectic at work! In the meantime, here are a few links which you must check out!

1) Barbara Kua Calligraphy recently launched an online shop so now it's even easier to purchase their customized calligraphy stamps and sample calligraphy packs.

2) Toronto-based Sash & Bustle has also launched its E-Boutique. Items available to purchase through the E-Boutique include: veils, fascinators, bridesmaids gifts, bridal clutches and other wedding-related details.

3) My friend Michelle sent me this link to this amazing Mario Brothers' 8-bit video game wedding invitations. Check out the video below, and click on the above link to see photos of the paper invites!

4) After many weeks of suspenseful teasers, The Last Forty Percent Photography unveiled their brand new studio space overlooking the city. I love how modern it looks! I foresee LFP being bombarded with even more requests for boudoir sessions! To see more of their new space, click here.

5) Toronto Life magazine has posted select content from its Wedding Guide 2010 (on its website including a feature on Andrea Anastasiou, owner of White Toronto. Also check out Toronto Life's stunning wedding gown picks.

Don't forget to enter A Hot Pink Petticoat Giveaway - which has been extended to the end of Monday and is open to anyone planning an event (doesn't have to be a wedding). Note that the contest is now open to those outside of Toronto.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Chic Bridesmaid Event - Greater Toronto Area

Ginger's Closet is the sister bridesmaid store to Pearl's Bridal House. Housing the latest collections from Amsale, Melissa Sweet and Priscilla of Boston, Ginger's Closet will be hosting a "Chic Bridesmaids" event this weekend.

Friday, March 5th to Sunday, March 7th by appointment

Ginger's Closet
62 Lakeshore Rd. East
Mississauga, ON L5G 1E1

A Hot Pink Petticoat Giveaway - Extended!

Good news everyone! Alison and I have decided to extend the giveaway for another week! Also, we're opening up the giveaway to those outside of the Greater Toronto Area as Alison will provide the consultation via phone or Skype if need be! So to all my friends to the south of the border, enter now!

*Updated rules below.

What better way to get through the winter blahs than have a 2 hour consultation with Alison Kelly, Founder/Party Director of Toronto-based A Hot Pink Petticoat. This contest is open to anyone in the Greater Toronto Area who is in the midst of planning a killer party who would love someone to bounce their ideas off of. No strings attached!

So for those of you planning an event (does not have to be a wedding) in the GTA, or know of a friend who is, do not miss out on entering into this giveaway!

Here are the deets:

1) Leave a comment here telling me why you should
win the free consultation session.

2) For an additional entry, follow A Hot Pink Petticoat on Twitter ( or leave a comment on Alison's blog at Be sure to leave me a comment here that you've done so.

Maximum 2 entries per person. Contest ends Monday, March 8th at 11:59PM EST.

4) I'll announce the Winner on the following Wednesday.

5) Open to those who reside/planning an event (e.g. wedding, anniversary party, elopement). If the winner is within the GTA, the consultation will be in person. If the winner is outside the GTA, the consultation will be via phone or Skype.

To learn more about A Hot Pink Petticoat, who recently won a 2010 Bride's Choice Award, check out my interview last year with Alison.

Good Luck!!

Olympic Withdrawal

Ryan Remiorz/Canadian Press via

Me 1, BF 0.

Did you watch the game of all games? 16.6 million Canadians did! The BF and I, along with some friends, congregated around my beautiful flat screen TV to cheer Canada (and the U.S. on). For us Canadians, we HAD to win. After all, it's our game, our home ice, and our ladies had already taken gold two days earlier. Most of all, it was redemption for that shocking loss last Sunday (when I outed the BF as an American at a pub full of angry Canadians). The first goal was brilliant and I totally take credit for it because it was at the exact moment that I had asked the BF to get more lime juice for the guac. Needless to say, the BF did not get lime juice for me again. The second goal made me jump up with glee while the BF huffed and puffed. As the last minute started to tick away on the clock, I prematurely, in my head, started celebrating. Bad idea. Very bad. With 24.4 seconds left, the gold just within our reach, Parise scored. The BF jumped up, and I swore, over and over again at the TV. WTF. Overtime. Sudden death. Crap. Time to start pacing. Honestly, those were THE most stressful minutes of my life. Luckily, Sid the Kid put me out of my misery and scored the winning goal. Thank you Team Canada!

AP Photo/Francois Mori via

For the last two weeks, I've been a skilled coach potato, moguls-speed skating(both long and short track)-figure skating-snow boarding-judge. I cried when Joannie Rochette won her bronze medal, four days after her mother died. I cringed when Lindsey Vonn fell. I marveled at Shaun White's performance. The closing ceremonies started off a bit like High School Musical but ended with some great performances by Neil Young, Nickelback and Alanis Morisette (how great did she look!!) I especially loved the tongue-in-cheek, Vegas style number with Michael Buble. Every Canadian stereotype was paraded into the BC Place, from gigantic inflatable beavers to dozens of dancing Mounties. See world, we can poke fun of ourselves and still be proud to be Canadian!!! Hope you enjoyed the Vancouver Games. Come back soon, eh. :)

Robert Skinner/Canadian Press via

Did you have a favourite Olympic moment?
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