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Will You Be My Bridesmaid?

April 29, 2010

Ah, this is the quintessential question that almost always follows the other one (you know – the first one he asked to get you in this whole engaged predicament :)) Some brides spend many weeks considering those special people who will make up their bridal party, and some brides have it all figured out within minutes of being engaged. 

Traditionally, the question would be asked via a special meeting or phone call, or maybe even through a handwritten letter.

Nowadays, there’s endless, more creative, ways to ask someone to be in your wedding party.  I’ll highlight just a few of them here.

How about asking your maids by giving them a pretty card?

Another option is writing the question on a yummy cookie (what girl wouldn’t like that?). 

I actually used the card method to ask my bridal party, plus I added a dress-shaped cookie monogrammed with their first inital:

I also love the idea of sending a puzzle to your soon-to-be bridesmaids in the mail.  One option would be a jigsaw style puzzle, like so:

Or, alternatively, you can send your girls a crossword-style puzzle.  This post on Project Wedding has an adorable DIY tutorial.

Whatever way you choose to ask, ensure that you’re certain of your decision.   Remember, your choices can determine whether your bridesmaids ease your stress – or just add to it. 

I’m sure your girls will be ecstatic with being such an important part of your special day!

*Credits (from top): Classy Bride, Weddingish (2), Favor Ideas

Genius Idea: Clean Heels

April 28, 2010

Once and a while, I come across these amazing inventions that make me think, “I wish I had thought of that!”

Now this little device is definitely one of them.

So – here’s the problem.  You’ve found these a-MAZ-ing stilettos to wear on your wedding day.   You buy them, your day (finally) comes, you slip on those babies and feel oh-so-pretty.  Once it’s time to take your pictures, you head to a lush park or some other place with lots of greenery and grass.  You’re standing there, looking gorgeous, smiling all pretty – and you’re sinking.

Yup, grass=earth, and earth is not so friendly to those 4 inch heels you bought. 

Good news – there’s no need to sacrifice those perfect pair of heels to the mud gods.  Clean Heels stops your heels from sinking into the ground by simply popping the little plastic device on to your heels.  Case in point:

They come in clear, black, and even crystal-studded for those glamazons.  They have a flexible plastic tube that come in various widths to fit all stiletto heel sizes.

I wore them for my wedding and they worked perfectly.  I think every wedding photographer should keep a few of these gems in their bags.  Brides will love you for it.

You can purchase them online here.  Or for you Canadian gals, they are also available at Celebration Shoes in Toronto.

All That Glitters…

April 26, 2010

…is Glam!

Now, maybe I am a bit biased, but I absolutely love glam-themed weddings.  There’s no better way to showcase pure opulence than at a wedding.  What other time are you going to be able to get away with that? 

Early on in my wedding planning, I discovered Toppers with Glitz, who will pretty much be-dazzle anything you can imagine.  The workmanship is exquisite, and you can completely customize your project.  I love the idea of getting jewelled table numbers commissioned (but my wedding was way too big to afford that…), and I L.O.V.E. this cake set:

And this cake topper! (actually, this whole cake in general I am kind of obsessed with):

Personally, I am not a huge fan of monogrammed cake toppers, only because I feel they are overplayed.  For my wedding cake, I chose to “bling it” with the gorgeous swarovski Expressions Cake Jewelry.   I chose the “meandering vines” jewelry, and I couldn’t have been more pleased.  Plus, they make a great keepsake after the wedding is over. 

*above two photos by Nancy Barbosa Alaimo at nbphotos

My Beauty HGs

April 24, 2010

Apart from weddings, I have another obsession – makeup. 

I love makeup.  I love buying it, I love applying it, I love taking pictures of my FOTDs, I love everything about it.  Put me in front of a mirror with a brush and blowdryer and I will complain about doing my hair before I even start.  But put me in the bathroom with a case of makeup???  I can be in there for 2 hours, enjoying every minute.

My obsession began circa ninth grade, when I bought my first products from MAC.  I still remember what they were: Gel lipstick and C-Thru lipglass.  I bought them because I had read somewhere that they were Britney Spears’ go-to lip products.

Almost 10 years later, MAC still remains one of my favourite brands; however, after the discovery of beauty-mecca Sephora, I’ve come to favour other brands for certain purposes.

Here are my favourites:

Primer: Make Up Forever HD Microperfecting Primer

I got a sample of this with my purchase of MUFE’s HD foundation, and I was hooked.  A lot of people use Smashbox as their HG primer.  I’ve tried the latter, and I wasn’t overly impressed.  I find this primer easier to spread and just “lighter” in general.  Plus I find that it helps camoflauge pore size significantly.

Foundation: Make Up Forever HD Invisible Cover Foundation

I fell in love with this foundation in my search for an appropriate base for wedding photography.  Everything about it is spectacular – colour selection, finish, formula, and wear.

Concealer: Make Up Forever Full Cover Concealer

I love this concealer because it’s truly a full-coverage corrector and is meant to be applied over foundation (which is the way that I prefer to do it).

Powder: MAC Blot Powder

The main reason why I like this powder is because it doesn’t leave a “colour” on my face after use.  I find that with most other powders, there is almost always a “chalky” residue after use – probably because I have a tanned, olive skin tone.  I apply it with a big, fluffy brush. 

Brow Pencil: Dior Universal Brow Styler

This is, by far, the best brow product I have ever used.  And I’ve used a lot.  The colour is perfection, and truly works on all skin tones and hair colours.  The formula is not too waxy, which lends a softer look.  The tip is ultra-fine, and therefore easy to control and shapes even the thinnest of brows.  Plus it has a handy-dandy brush hidden in the other end for blending.  LOVE.  Well worth the hefty price tag.

Eye Shadow Primer: Urban Decay Primer Potion

This has a cult following and for good reason.  By and large the best eye shadow primer out there.  A little bit of this makes your shadow stay on all day, helping it to resist fading and creasing.  I never, ever, wear shadow without swiping this stuff on first.

Eye Shadow: MAC

I love MAC eyeshadow.  I find them highly pigmented and more-or-less true to colour.  They last the longest and apply effortlessly.  Especially their veluxe pearl formulas.  A few of my go-to colours include: Woodwinked, Mulch, Coppering, Shroom, and Cork.

Eyeliner: MAC Fluidline

I love this eyeliner because it is long-wearing and doesn’t smudge.  It’s easy to apply once you get the hang of using an angled brush, and you can control how thin or thick you’d like it to be.  Very versatile.  If I’m going for a smudged smoky look, I typically will use MAC’s Technakohl liners.

Mascara: Dior Diorshow OR Maybelline Full N Soft (waterproof formulas)

I think I love these mascaras (almost) equally.  I’ve been using Full N Soft for about 12 years now, and it has never let me down.  It never clumps, and it soft to the touch.  I absolutely love it.  Diorshow is well-known as one of the best mascaras out there.  The volume it delivers is incredible, thanks to it’s gigantic brush.  They both hold curl very well.  I tend to use Full N Soft more, and probably because it is $9 compared to $32.

Blush: NARS

NARS blushes are superior to all others, IMO.   Their formulas are sheer and apply evenly and easily.  No other blush leaves a “glow” like theirs do.  From the universally flattering “Orgasm” to bolder shades like “Exhibit A”, no word can explain them more than – beautiful.

Lipgloss: MAC Plushglass

I love MAC glosses because they last forever.  The one thing I always hated about them (and my husband did too) is that they are insanely sticky.  When my boss introduced me to their plushglass, I found that formula to be a lot less sticky than their glass formulas.  Plus they smell delicious and plump up your lips ever so slightly.

I almost never use lip pencils or lipsticks, so I don’t really have a favourite with those. 

Don’t forget to comment and let me know your favourite/HG beauty products!

Designer Spotlight: Amy Michelson

April 24, 2010

I thought it would be fitting to have my first designer spotlight be dedicated to one of my all-time favourites (and designer of my wedding gown), Amy Michelson.

Amy is known in the bridal world as the queen of “destination” gowns.  Her hallmarks are sexy detailed backs, soft sensual fabrics, and figure-flattering bias cuts.  Now I did not have a destination wedding, but I had always admired the ease of movement often found in destination gowns, and the soft and often floaty fabrics.  Who says that destination dresses need to be worn outdoors?

I chose the “Grace” gown for my wedding.  It instantly caught my eye – the asymmetrical layers of soft organza seemed to float on air, and of course there was that amazing back!  Once I saw it, I knew it was “the one”:

Now on top of Amy designing the some of the most gorgeous wedding gowns I have ever seen, she is an absolute sweetheart.  I had the honour of meeting Amy at my gown boutique (White Toronto) when she was there for a trunk show.  Amy was a pleasure and seemed to truly love seeing me in one of her gowns.  She even drew me a personal sketch, which I will treasure forever:

Here are some of my other favourite Amy Michelson designs:

“Bling” Gown:

“Love Me Tender” Gown:

“Bouquet” Gown:

Check out Amy’s website to find out where you can try on her gowns.

*photo credits: Micaela Bensko and Bob Young for Amy Michelson

Pamper your Guests

April 23, 2010

I’ll be the first to admit it: I am a total “LUSHie”.

Yes, I am completely obsessed with LUSH.  They are 100% responsible for my skin transformation.  I used to have mega-oily, acne-prone skin that would always have some bumps on it.  Not pretty.  Two months after using LUSH, my skin was glowing, my pores were smaller, my oil production decreased, and zits are few and far between.

One of my other favourite products is their Bath Bombs.  For those who’ve never used a Bath Bomb, they are incredible.  You plop them in a brimming tub, and they fizz out like a giant alka-seltzer, releasing an amazing scent and usually colouring your bath water a pretty colour and leaving you with a “surprise” (like a floating rose bloom).

You can imagine my excitement when I discovered that LUSH carries favours!  They carry two types of Bath Bombs, specifically catered towards weddings:

White Wedding Bath Bomb:  This limited edition bath bomb has a decadent blend of jasmine, rose, ylang ylang and bergamot essential oils.

Butterfly Bath Bomb: This perfect little petal pusher brings to mind the light, airy freedom of butterflies fluttering over a wedding ceremony. Let the sensual scents of jasmine, larkspur, ylang ylang and everlasting flower will remind your guests of your special day.

I think these gems would be absolute perfection for giving as favours to your ladies at the bridal shower.  Completely unique and something that your guests would definitely use.

Each Bath Bomb is individually wrapped and comes with a custom tag.

Check out the links above for more information on pricing and how to order.

A Luxe Surprise

April 22, 2010

A bride puts so much work into her “look” on the big day, so why stop at undergarments and garters?

I’ll save the negligee for another post – but how amazing are these garters I found on Etsy?

Garter from Mia Von Mink

Garter from Peterene Design

Garter from Pomp & Plumage