Friday the 13th . . . for Weddings??

I can sometimes be a superstitious person. I know it’s silly, but I knock on wood, throw salt over my shoulder. I don’t walk underneath leaders, and when I leave in the morning I touch my Mezuzah three times.

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Touching a mezuzah every day for a good luck blessing. Photo source ~ ou.org

But, there are some things that in popular culture people think are unlucky . . . that I think are lucky! I love black cats, and I don’t think it’s bad luck when they cross my path. I think Friday the 13th is lucky to the point I even say “Happy Friday the 13th!” (This is ironic because I can’t stand saying “Happy New Year” to people . . . odd.)

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I love black cats! Photo source ~ fanpop.com

However, when it comes to weddings, I find that even the most sensible of people become superstitious, even when they don’t know why these beliefs exist. So many, SO MANY brides, still, in 2013 don’t want the groom to see them before the wedding. Sometimes, it’s just because they want how beautiful they look to be a surprise. However, most of the time what I hear is still the old adage that “seeing the bride before the wedding is bad luck”, or “seeing the dress before the wedding is bad luck”. This comes from the time when you didn’t know who you were marrying and the wedding veil come from the same root.

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Wow! Do you think you might be able to figure out who she is by her hands! Photo source ~ people.opposingviews.com

I hear brides mention the superstition that rain on their wedding day is good luck (this one I believe). Some people still want to throw rice or confetti over the newly married couple for they see it as a tradition but actually it is an old ritual to bring fertility into the marriage. If you’re a 50 year old widow, I don’t think fertility is an issue in your new marriage! Throwing rice or confetti is something I really don’t recommend. Why? Mainly because someone else has to clean it up and confetti doesn’t biodegrade that quickly. If you want something thrown, may I recommend bird seed? That way it’s safe for birds to eat, and it will be gone in a few days. If someone misses a seed, perhaps there will be a surprise sunflower in a few months time!

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The tradition of throwing rice or confetti was meant to make you fertile in your marrige. Photo source ~ favorfavor.com

People believe that it is an ancient custom to wear your rings on the fourth finger, left hand. They think that this is true in every culture and think this because someone told them there is a vein running from that finger to their heart. Well guess what, that’s just not true. Go to Europe or in old Jewish families and they wear their wedding rings on the fourth finger on the right hand.

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In many cultures the couple wear their wedding rings on their right hand. Also, wedding bands for men didn’t become popular in Britain or North America until the Second World War. Their women back home wanted to make sure everyone knew they were married! Photo source ~ pinkpurl.typepad.com

Brides believe that they MUST wear white, even though they are not virgins, or it is their second, third, fourth or beyond wedding. This tradition of wearing white stems (in the western world, not Japan, for that is an old tradition there), from the Victorian era. It is not an “old tradition,” and personally I would LOVE to see the white wedding dress done away with.

in 1770  Marie Antoinette of Austria marries  Louis XVI of France... as you can see, she id not wear white.  historicallyobsessed.blogspot.c

In 1770 Marie Antoinette of Austria marries Louis XVI of France . . . as you can see, she did not wear white. Photo source ~ historicallyobsessed.blogspot.com

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Photo Source ~ katinkamatson.com

And there are so many things that we don’t think of any more that are superstitious. How many brides rejoice if they see a spider on their wedding day? I don’t think too many would be happy if a bird pooed on their head! How many wait ’till the bells have stopped ringing to enter the church? Or remove and the replace their wedding ring before they leave the chapel? Lillies are associated with funerals, but Calla lilies are probably one of the most popular flowers right now in bridal bouquets!

Saturday is said to be an unlucky day to get married on, but I can tell you that is my busy day!( It’s become a popular day for weddings because most people have the day off. Have you ever wondered why European royalty don’t get married on a Saturday? It’s because they aren’t middle class and aren’t confined to a work week.) On your wedding day you’re not suppose to see a pig, an open grave or a nun. In some parts of India though it’s good luck to see a Hirja – aka hermaphrodite – on your wedding day!

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A Hirja dances in India to bring good luck. Photo source ~ lifeinindiaat.blogspot.com

The concept of Friday the 13th being unlucky is also a strange concept and many speculate its origin in western supersition. There is little record of this superstition before the 19th century and there are many theories as to why it is considered unlucky. Some people claim that it started when the Knights Templar were arrested and destroyed en masse in France on Friday, October 13, 1307. However, there is not much supporting this as the basis for the superstition.

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Destruction of the Knights Templar on 13/10/1307. Photo source ~ tumblr.com

But, like so many things, the fear of 13, or Fridays, or them together is not at all universal. In Spanish countries as well as Greece, Tuesday the 13th is unlucky. In Italy its Friday the 17th.

If one were to do the numerology for this year, 2013, it would come to 6: 2+0+1+3 = 6. The number 6 represents home and family – what is better for marriage then that? The number 6 is an important number for it is 3+3 and 3 is a holy number in so many cultures: the Holy Trinity, the Triple-Goddess of Maiden, Mother and Crone, the 3 Fates in Greece, the 3 Norns is Norse Mythology. The Ancient Egyptians had many triads including: Osiris, Isis and Horus and PtahSekhmet and Nefertem. Three is a holy number, and if you multiply it by 2 you get 6, and if you multiply it by 3 even better.

This year, 2013, there are two Friday the 13th’s, September 13th and December 13th. Let’s do the numerology!

September is the 9th month. That’s perfect! 9+1+3+2+0+1+3 = 19. 1+9 = 10 1+0 = 1. The number 1 is a powerful number: it is the beginning. Is your wedding day not the beginning of a new life together? The number 1 does not let anything limit its potential. Since 1 is the first number, 1 does nothing but grow, and improve. I think getting married on a 1 day is a good day to get married. When you get married is it not 2 becoming one flesh?

December 13, 2013 has its own meaning. December is the 12th month, and that does not mean much (except 4 times the power of the number 3!), but 1+2 = 3. So the number of the month is 3. There is it, that special number again! A pure 3 means communication and interaction. What better for a marriage? However, the true number for this date is: 1+2+1+3+2+0+1+3 = 13! How ironic! Now, as you may have noticed, for the most part, double digits get rounded down, so it’s true number is 4. The number 4 is strong, and capable, dependable, healthy, and trustworthy. Good traits for a marriage, right?

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Don’t be afraid! Numerologically September 13th and December 13th are “perfect” days for weddings. Photo source ~ marchpr.com

I think there is a lot of unnecessary hype around wedding superstitions. I understand why most people who normally never throw salt, or knock on wood get edgy when it comes to their wedding – it is one of the first days of the rest of your life after all.  But still, I think that some superstitions have got to go! So don’t be afraid that this year is 2013, and don’t be afraid to get married on a 13th, let alone a Friday. Don’t fall pray to Friggatriskaidekaphobia! I am so convinced that Friday the 13th is a great day that I am offering couples who get married on either of these two dates a discount. SAVE THE TAX!! which, ironically in Ontario is 13%!!!

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This applies at either of my chapels – the White Wedding Chapel at the Inn or The Little Wedding Chapel on the Lane – a location of your choosing, between Fort Erie and Toronto, Ontario! So please, give me a call at 1-800-463-0884 or check us out online at www.niagarafallsweddingworld.com and book now! Friday the 13th can truly be a lucky day!

All the best! Jordin

A Sweet Escape

It is my pleasure to introduce you to a wonderful spa: Sweet Escape Body and Beauty Spa located at the Peninsula Inn and Resort in Niagara Falls, Ontario!

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Photo source ~ expedia.ca

The Sweet Escape Spa is operated and managed by Virginia Loo, a wonderful lady, who, when I went to visit her spa for this article, didn’t just make me feel at home, but made me feel like I was on vacation! Her treatments are for both women and men!

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Virginia offers a wide variety of treatments. Facials include Aromatherapy ($65.00), Hydrating Paraffin ($80.00), Gommage Peeling ($75.00) and Mud ($100.00). She advises that you choose a facial to match your skin type. Although her Aromatherapy facial does not cause redness to the skin, she advises that you not have a facial too close to a big event, just in case your skin should react. So book a facial at least a week before your wedding date to give your skin time to adjust.

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Here I am receiving a wonderful Aromatherapy facial at Sweet Escape Body and Beauty Spa in Niagara Falls. It was fabulous!

To your facial you can add a Scalp Massage ($15.00), Serum Application ($20.00) and Intensive Eye Care ($30.00).

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Virginia’s Aromatherapy Facial was amazing and smelt so good!!!!

Virginia also offers hand and foot treatments: Manicure ($25.00), Pedicure ($40.00), Spa Manicure ($35.00), French Manicure ($35.00) French Pedicure ($50.00), Polish ($15.00), Aroma Spa Pedicure ($55.00), Foot Reflexology ($65.00) and Paraffin application ($15.00).

Virginia's ManiPedi room and Polish Selection

Virginia’s ManiPedi room and polish selection

You can compliment your other treatments with a Back Facial ($80.00), Sugar Body Polish ($65.00) and Sugar Body Polish Detox Mud Wrap ($100.00). These would be worth considering especially if you are planning on wearing a strapless gown.

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To top it off, Virginia offers several waxing treatments: Eyebrow Cleaning ($7.00), Shaping ($10.00), Upper Lip ($7.00), Chin Cleaning ($12.00), Lower Leg ($25.00), Upper Leg and Bikini ($35.00), Full Leg and Bikini ($50.00), Bikini Line ($15.00), Half Arm ($20.00), Full Arm ($30.00), Upper Arm ($15.00), Brazilian ($50.00), and for men, Back or Chest ($55.00).

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Massage treatments include Swedish back and Shoulder ($35.00), Swedish Full Body ($65.00), an R.M.T (upon request) is $90.00, Hot Stone ($85.00) and Couples Massage ($150.00)

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the hot stone massage was fabulous!

Or, consider a spa package such as the Mini Sweet Esacpe featuring aromatherapy facial, full body message and hydration foot treatment ($140.00 per person 2 hours).

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Men also need some pampering! Virginia offer a men’s Anti-Stress Spa Treatment which includes a Hot Stone Full Body Massage, Deep Cleansing Aroma Facial and Hydration Foot Treatment (2 hours, $160.00 per person).

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The Total Sweet Escape is a 5 hour vacation featuring aromatherapy facial  body wrap, full body message and spa manicure and pedicure ($310.00 per person).

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Or, the Honeymoon Spa Treatment consists of a full body massage, aromatherapy facial, and spa manicure and pedicure (4 hours, $220.00 per person).

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And, there is a Bridal Spa Special: a complete body polish, aromatherapy facial, and spa manicure and pedicure (4 hours, $220) or experience the Sugar Body Polish and Facial Aroma: $100.00 per person for 1.5 hours.

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Of course I asked Virginia what products she uses. After many years of experience Virginia has settled on Golden Moor products. This is a great Canadian company, based just outside of Ottawa, Ontario. Golden Moor are all natural using Canadian mud for their facial products. Other products include soaps, cremes, accessories and body scrub detox kits. Learn more about Golden Moore here: www.goldenmoor.com/home.php

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I’d Like to thank Virginia for a wonderful spa day! Having never really had one before, it was a great experience, and I will definitely be going back!

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You can book your spa experience with Virginia by phone: 905-357-0075 or 905-354-8812 ext 6033 (toll free: 1-800-839-8812 ext 6033) or by e-mail at sescapespa@hotmail.com.

Her website is: www.sweetescapespa.ca

Please mention to Victoria that you found her through this blog post!

All the best! Jordin

A Wedding at Geraldo’s, La Salle Park

In late March, my husband Mike and I attending the wedding of his cousin at Geraldo’s at La Salle Park, Burlington. I was so impressed with many aspects of the location and the service that I just had to write about it!

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Located at 50 North Shore Boulevard in Burlington Ontario, La Salle Park dates from 1917 and sits on 57 acres of park and woodland featuring the La Salle Pavilion (above) with a view of Hamilton Bay. The park is stunning in every season – even very early spring!

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The main floor of the pavillion features a magnificent covered verandah with spectacular views that could be used for the ceremony, dancing or any family or business function. Upstairs are two banquet halls which are accessible by elevator.

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On this day, both the ceremony and the reception were indoors. If the weather were warmer both could have taken place on the covered verandah which can accommodate up to 400 guests.

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Inside, the ceremony area featured a white runner and arbor that was lovely.

Following the ceremony, it only took about 20-30 minutes for the staff to revamp the hall and set up for the reception with tables and center pieces.

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While I don’t particularly like tall centre pieces, I did enjoy these. They were slender and clear and did not inhibit one’s view of the other guests, the room or conversation, which is always good! The only complaint I had about the bar service is that they did not have any ginger ale when they first opened, which to a few at my table was a disappointment, particularly those wanting a rye and ginger. But after dinner this was remedied and there was ginger ale at the bar.

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The table wine with dinner was a Merlot-Cabernet blend from East West Wines (Inniskillin), Niagara-on-the-Lake. There was also a lovely East West fruity Pinot Grigio. Everyone seemed to enjoy the wine selections.

Dinner was excellent (although some guests found the chicken to be a bit dry). I was very impressed with the vegetarian/gluten free meal – stuffed red pepper. It was so good that Mike asked if i could make it at home. (I have yet to mimic it perfectly!)

Unfortunately, I did not get a photo of the salad that they served but I was very impressed with it.  IT WAS A REAL SALAD!!!! – not just leaves and a slice of tomato.  There was zucchini, tomato, cucumber, broccoli, and cauliflower on crisp lettuce leaves. The dressing was excellent too – not too much and not too little! On the table there was a basket of 3 different rolls – white, multigrain and pumpernickel. Oh, how I wish I wasn’t wheat intolerant!

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Above: Stuffed red pepper with roast potatoes and veggies was the vegetarian/gluten free option.

The meat options were roast beef (below) . . . .

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and chicken (below).

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For dessert, gluten free guests got the typical wedding dessert: fruit. (I really wish caterers would come up with a better option!)

The other guests were served a lovely cheesecake. I miss cheesecake!

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After dinner there was a huge table filled with cupcakes!!

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Here are a view more photos of the location:

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View from the head table

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Jaquard tablecloths add extra elegance to the head table.

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Touch up goodies in the women’s washroom.

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I didnt go into the men’s but the ladies bathroom was very lovely – decorated and clean.

All in all, I would recommend this location and give them 4.5 stars out of 5! The location is versatile with indoor and outdoor options. The service was great with friendly staff, the food was excellent given the challenge of serving vegetarian and gluten free (much better than even my own wedding), and the bar service was great – once they got ginger ale! If you’d like more information on this location visit Geraldo’s at La Salle Park website, call: 905-361-6158 or e-mail: info@geraldosatlasalle.com!

I leave you now with a few shots from the wedding!

~Jordin

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A very Murdochian Wedding ~ Men’s

With shows like Murdoch Mysteries and Downton Abbey, the turn of the 20th century is a very popular look for weddings these days, especially for men. The high collar and puff ties of this era do have a certain, ‘je ne sais quoi’, (having a certain something) do they not?

Photo Source ~ The Hooded Utilitarian

Photo Source ~ The Hooded Utilitarian

But, there is more to getting this look by simply putting a man in a suit, and I have found the perfect website to help you with this!

The Gentleman’s Emporium has everything you need to make your man as dandy as William Murdoch. You can even take advantage of this site to get very unique outfits for all the gentlemen in your wedding party. Based out of Virginia, they ship to almost anywhere. (See their website for more information on your country.)

Just be a bit careful when purchasing, for they also have Regency clothing, which is the early 19th century and the look is very different from the late 19th/ early 20th centuries. I will do a blog post on a Regency theme wedding later this year.

The Gentleman’s Emporium makes it easy for you to outfit your man. They offer complete apparel for a Murdochian Wedding. All prices are in American dollars:

Suits:

Left ~ Graydon Wentworth - approx $769.15 (US); Centre ~  Gustave Wagner - approx $474.10 (US); Right ~ J.T Farnsworth - approx $724.60 (US)

Left ~ Graydon Wentworth – approx $769.15; Centre ~ Gustave Wagner – approx $474.10; Right ~ J.T Farnsworth – approx $724.60.

Individual Jackets:

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Top left ~Ensign Wool Jacket – $139.95; Top right ~ Victorian Formal Tail Coat – $198.00; Bottom left ~ Velvet Smoking Jacket – $124.95; Bottom right ~ Vienna Brocade Tail Coat ~ $359.95.

and vests:

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Left ~ Ambassador  – $64.95; Centre ~ Aristocrat (Vienna brocade) – $99.95; Right ~ Brisbane – $49.95.

They also have accessories like hats:

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Left ~ Victorian Top Hat, black – $94.95; Centre ~ Slouch Hat, brown – $64.95; Right ~ Tall Derby, brown – $46.95.

The most beautiful pocket watches ever!!!

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Top left ~ Filigree with black pearl finish – $24.95; Top centre ~ Mechanical with Silver Lacy Design – $34.95; Top right ~ antique gold zodiac design – $24.95; Bottom left ~ Mechanical with ornate window, antique gold $39.95; Bottom centre ~  Mechanical with antique gold rotary design – $39.95; Bottom right ~ Sprockets with antique gold design – $24.95.

Cravats, Ascots, Puff Ties and Bow Ties:

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Top row (left to right): Satin Puff Tie ~ Silver $19.95; Deluxe Western Bow Tie ~ Black $19.95; Deluxe Floppy Bow Tie ~$ 19.95; Classic Cotton Cravat ~ Black $19.95.

Bottom row (left to right): Satin Puff Tie, Crimson Comstock ~ $19.95; Vivid Paisley Ascot ~ Silver, $19.95; Bow Tie~ Brown Huxley Stripe $9.95; Deluxe Continental Cross Tie ~ $19.95.

And monocles, tie tacks and walking sticks:

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Left: Glass Handheld Magnifying Monocle with Chain ~ $8.95; Centre: Faceted Diamond Tie Tack ~$9.95; Right: Faceted Deep Sapphire Tie Tack ~$9.95.

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Left: Jade Tie Tack ~ $14.95; Centre: Mother of Pearl Tie Tack ~$14.95; Right: Tigers Eye Tie Tack ~ $14.95.

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Left: Compass Walking Stick ~ $39.95; Centre: Filigree Walking Stick, Faux Ivory $39.95; Right: Serpent Walking Stick~ Silver $39.95.

They also have final touches like:

Taupe Silk Sleeve Garter~ $14.95

Taupe Silk Sleeve Garter ~ $14.95

Men's Spats, White ~ $24.95

Men’s Spats, White ~ $24.95

Men’s Collars:

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Left: Detachable Cotton Collar: Banker ~ $7.95; Centre: Detachable Cotton Collar: High Stand ~ $7.95; Right: Detachable Cotton Collar: Wing Tip ~ $7.95.

Wow! A Murdochian Wedding is within reach! Please send me your photos and a write up for me to post on my blog!

And, I’m currently working on a post focusing on Victorian wear for the ladies and also on turn of the century locations available for weddings and photos, some of which are actually in the show Murdoch Mysteries!!!

All the best! Jordin

I’m Late, I’m late, for a VERY important date!!

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As a new wedding season begins it’s time to talk again about wedding etiquette.

There is a very old notion about brides – that they are always late and it’s ok! Really? Since when do we think it is appropriate to keep invited guests, many who have traveled great distances to your wedding, waiting? Unless there are extenuating circumstances, a late wedding start signals two things to me: poor planning or a lack of respect for a whole lot of people.

The good news is that most brides are on time and very considerate of their guests and service providers. Since I became the Wedding Coordinator 4 years ago for Niagara Falls Wedding World, I’ve handled over 1000 weddings and have been present for at least half of them. I am happy to report that for the most part brides are on time. In truth, it’s usually a guest who is late, stuck in traffic or lost.

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Recently I heard another story from one of our officiants where the bride had her wedding at a lovely conservatory but she was almost 2 hours late! When she finally arrived, half her guests had left!

We like to think that the wedding day is all about the bride, but in reality, it’s not. There is so much more going on which brides need to remember. Every late minute affects so many other people including your guests, the officiant, the musicians, the photographer and videographer, your caterers and even the location where your wedding is taking place.

bored_realthingWith our busy modern lives many times people have to fit a few events into an already busy day.Your guests may have to drive a long way back home, they may even have to go to work. The officiant may have another wedding or even an unexpected funeral. Many times photographers, videographers and musicians have other weddings to go to as well that day. I have seen these service providers leave to move on to their next engagement and they can’t be blamed for that!

As well, your caterer is on a strict timeline so that everything is ready to go out to your tables for your dinner at the right moment. If you are an hour late for the ceremony or even just half an hour, it can throw everything off in the cooking process and could even ruin an appetizer. Venues and officiants will often have more than one ceremony booked and if you are more than 30 minutes late (sometimes as little as 15 minutes) you can expect to get bumped to the next available time slot and/or charged an additional fee. I know it sounds harsh but everyone is on a tight schedule during wedding season!

So what can you do to make sure that you don’t ruin your day by being late? Here are a few tips that come from my experiences with weddings:

Give yourself extra time to get to the ceremony. Better to be 15 minutes early than late and frazzled!

Give yourself extra time to get to the ceremony. Better to be 15 minutes early than late and frazzled! You can wait in your limo and relax before the ceremony begins.

1. Make a list of everything you are doing the day of the wedding, at what time it is scheduled to take place and how long it will take. This includes hair, makeup, lunch, travel time. If you’re getting ready 20 minutes away from your location, plan to be ready to go 30-40 minutes ahead to allow for last minute adjustments, etc. I recommend a wedding planning book as a must have accessory! And please make sure your driver knows exactly where s/he is going. I’ve seen a lot of lost limo drivers!

2. Ask your hair stylist, makeup artist, etc how long things will take. Knowing that your hair will take 2 hours and will run into your make up time is good to know. Move appointments to earlier in the day if your schedule shows that you might be late for the ceremony. And don’t forget, you are probably not the only bride having her hair and makeup done that day! So don’t be late for these appointments either. Have your cell phone with you and call your service providers if you are running late.

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3. Don’t party hearty the night before your wedding. Its seems to be a tradition that rehearsal dinners take place the night before and now even the bachelor/ette party. This is not the best idea. Book rehearsals and dinners two nights before and plan other parties 2-3 weeks before. The night before the wedding, relax, take a long bath, and go to bed early – and not drunk. In fact, you should avoid excessive alcohol a few days before the wedding. Both alcohol and a late night will dry out your skin and makes you look older. You want to look fresh with no dark circles under your eyes or bloodshot eyes! You have a long day ahead and you’ll need all the energy you can get.

Have everything ready the night before.

Have everything ready the night before.

4. Have everything laid out the night before and make a list for this too. Have your dress, jewelry, the licence, the rings, your shoes all set to go. Also, get everyone’s cell phone number. Check the weather forecast and have things like an umbrella ready if the weather is not looking great. Don’t forget your glasses in case you loose a contact and, if your plan is to be taking photos without your glasses please remember to bring them to sign the license! Pack anything you think you may need, even some non-drowsy antihistamines if your allergies are acting up. Leave yourself enough time just in case you need to make an emergency stop at the drugstore!

5. Relax! This of course, is easier said then done. If you have ever read or watched ‘The Secret’ they give a great example of how rushing spirals out of control. Just thinking that you are running late, makes you late. It starts off simple by sleeping in. This stresses you out. So you run to the bathroom, but because you rushed, you stub your toe . . . and the spiral just keeps going. So, if you are running late take the time to count to ten slowly, breath in deeply and then go.

If you are going to be late, call someone - even if it's the groom!

If you are going to be late, call someone – even if it’s the groom!

6. If you are running late, tell someone. Everybody runs a bit late, especially on a big day. But what’s worse, is being the person who is waiting for you and not knowing what’s going on – remember the couple who everybody thought was in a car accident?If your ceremony is 4 pm and you know you will be arriving at exactly 4 pm, call someone who is there. Get the phone number of your officiant, the photographer, the coordinator, anyone who’s day really is revolving around your wedding and tell them, “I will be 15 minutes late, sorry about this!” Not only does it go along way in showing you’re considerate of other people but it allows everyone working in the background to adjust accordingly. Most people are accommodating when they are given a heads up.

Let me end by offering my own personal saying. I am one of those people who is always on time, in fact I’m early. I always say: “If I’m early I’m on time, if I’m on time I’m late, if I’m late, then I will give you a call, if there’s no call, I’m dead in a ditch!”

All the best with having an on-time wedding! Jordin

The Dream Team ~ Designer Valerie Cousens

Designer Valerie Cousens. Photo Source~ Jon Evans hamiltonmagazine.com

Fashion designer Valerie Cousens wearing one of her redesign dresses made from a men’s sweater. Photo Source ~ Jon Evans hamiltonmagazine.com

Today I’m delighted to introduce you to one fabulous eco designer – Valerie Cousens (born in England now a resident of Hamilton, Ontario). Valerie was recently featured in Hamilton Magazine as one of eleven Hamiltonians who have reset their lives. They are called the Dream Team because they have left behind old careers and followed their passions, reinventing themselves. Valerie left behind office and retail life and refocused on the arts, eventually branching into fashion design. Hamilton Magazine columnist Michael Borrelli describes Valerie as a “rehabilitated number cruncher” who found fashion.

Valerie, who is also an environmentalist, Reiki practitioner, artist and volunteer, describes herself as a “fashion redesigner.” She creates one-of-a-kind, all-recycled, wearable art that is fashionable and affordable. Valerie believes in fashion with a purpose, community outreach and involving youth in her projects.You can find Valerie’s upcycled streetwear and accessories in shops around Hamilton or she will custom design for you.

I caught up with Valerie at the recent 10th annual RevWear Fashion Show held in Hamilton, Ontario. I was interested in meeting Valerie because I had been told about her secret upcycled wedding dress! I loved the show and couldn’t wait to see Valerie’s creation. I wasn’t disappointed and had the privilege of meeting Valerie after the show. I’ll describe her design through the pictures below.

Valerie, who has no formal fashion design training, found an outdated wedding gown in a second hand shop that would work for her design.

Left: the before picture of the wedding dress. Right: The bodice of the wedding dress is made of lace. Valerie updated the sleeves for a more contemporary look. Photo ~ Suzanne Steenkist

Left: the before picture of the wedding dress. Right: The bodice of the wedding dress is made of lace. Valerie updated the sleeves for a more contemporary look. Photo ~ Suzanne Steenkist

RevWear encourages designers to incorporate a message into their design. Valerie wants viewers of her creations to know that brides have options when it comes to choosing their wedding dress. They don’t have to buy from traditional suppliers or wear what everyone else is wearing. They do have design options that are unique and beautiful and eco friendly.

Each layer of poof was made from recycled men's white shirts, gathered and attached with buttons. Photo ~

Each layer of flounce was made from recycled men’s white shirts, gathered and attached with buttons. Photo ~ Suzanne Steenkist

At first Valerie's dress seemed traditional like most others. Source ~

At first Valerie’s dress seemed traditional like most others. Photo ~ Suzanne Steenkist

When model Monica Germaine stepped on to the runway we were all wondering how Valerie would show this dress. Valerie’s crew took turns unbuttoning each flounce from the dress (made from recycling men’s white cotton dress shirts) to reveal a printed message and an under layer of Valerie’s signature recycling of neckties.

Photo ~

The wedding dress after the flounces have been unbuttoned. Photo ~ Suzanne Steenkist

Instead of being influenced by culture, belief systems and convention, each flounce encouraged brides to imagine something different: a wedding dress that reflects the care of creation and unique design.

Design freedom is worth a spin! Photo ~

Design freedom is worth a spin! Photo ~ Suzanne Steenkist

Not only was the wedding dress unique but so were the accessories. The headpiece was handmade from paper – recycled sheet music to be precise!

The headpiece was created from recycled sheet music and the  from the collar of a men's shirt then studded with rhinestones. Photos ~

The headpiece was created by S.J. Salise from recycled sheet music and Valerie designed the choker from the collar of a men’s shirt and then studded it with rhinestones. Photos ~ Suzanne Steenkist

What a great show and imaginative wedding dress design by Valerie Cousens!

What a great show and imaginative wedding dress design by Valerie Cousens! Photo ~ Suzanne Steenkist

Valerie has created the company Green Dress Designs where you can see more of her upcycled design. Check her out on Facebook too! To contact Valerie call her at 905-522-7679 or email her at cousensv@yahoo.com.

Thanks Valerie! All the best! Jordin

Introducing the unique Jewellry of Danielle O’Connor

At a recent trip to a trade show in Toronto I came across some fabulous one-of-a-kind finds that I thought you would like to see. I am now making beautiful and uniquely Canadian designed jewelry plus handbags and other wedding accessories available through my blog. Soon you’ll be able to shop for vintage jewellry, custom handbags, head wear and garters!

When you see something you like please contact me at: lwc@cogeco.net or 1-800-463-0884.

Today I’d like to introduce you to the unique custom designs of award winning Canadian jewellry designer Danielle O’Connor.

Canadian designer Danielle O'Connor

Canadian jewellry designer Danielle O’Connor

Jewelry

More and more brides are incorporating a family heirloom or remembrance into their wedding dress, bouquet or hair piece. It could be a piece of jewelry or lace from your mother’s or grandmother’s gown sewn into your gown or onto your veil.

Danielle O’Connor makes beautiful cuff bracelets and pendants from antique sterling flatware. Below are two beautiful pieces that Danielle has fashioned. The pendant was once the end of a teaspoon and the cuff bracelet also a spoon.

These make beautiful one-of-a-kind gifts for everyone in your bridal party from the flower girl to the mother of the bride/groom that can be worn at your wedding celebrations. You can have a stunning “something old” and perhaps even “something blue”!

If you would like to have Danielle craft a piece of sterling flatware into a unique pendant or bracelet please give me a call at 1-800-463-0884 or e-mail at lwc@cogeco.net. I would be more than happy to speak to you about Danielle O’Connor turning your pieces of unused antique silverware into beautiful works of art.

50

Antique Silverware Necklace with Swarovski Crystal. $50.00 plus tax and shipping.

purple spoon-40

This one-of-a-kind cuff bracelet has been crafted from an antique sterling silver teaspoon and is embellished with purple beads secured with sterling silver. Uniquely designed to fit any wrist size. $40.00 plus tax and shipping.

Danielle's studio and showroom in Thamesford, Ontario

Danielle’s studio and showroom in Thamesford, (London) Ontario

 

All the best! Jordin

A Cameo Apperance

Cameos are a lady’s fashion necessity. Every woman should own one, either as a necklace, brooch, earnings, rings, etc. They whisper softly of a time past and of the elegance and grace of the female form.

This is my Cameo, that my Great Aunt Velta gave me when i was thirteen.

This is my cameo, that my great-aunt Velta gave me when I was thirteen.

Cameos are not jewelry, per say, as the cameo is actually a carving technique. It can be an item of jewelry, of course, but vases can be cameos, and cameos can be carved from almost any material. And, they are not just of women. Men, animals and plants can also be”cameoed.”

http://madamepickwickartblog.com/2010/03/as-the-world-urns/

The Portland Vase showing glass cameo figures, is said to be the most expensive vase in the world. Source ~ http://www.madamepickwickartblog.com

Cameo’s are a classic look, and they are not just something from the Victorian era. Cameos date back to Greek and Roman times.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Kunsthistorisches_Museum_Vienna_June_2006_035.png

This eagle cameo dates to 27 B.C.E. ~ source wikipedia.org

Cameos can be made from almost anything.They can be glass . . .

Or shell . . .

From semi precious stones like opal, agate, lapis lazuli . . .

Precious stones like amethyst:

Emeralds . . .

Rubies . . .

Pearls and mother of pearl . . .

Resins like amber . . .

Even volcanic rock . . .

I think adding a cameo to your wedding would be a lovely idea, and not just as a piece of jewelry. A cameo can be added to your bouquet, tie one around your unity candle or the vase for your sand ceremony, or attach to your wedding cake. And, since many cameos are family heirlooms, there is a personal connection as well.  It can be your your something old or something borrowed too, even your something blue!

Take a look at my Pinterest page with many more cameos to give you an idea of how you can incorporate a beautiful cameo into your wedding!

All the best! Jordin

Choosing the Right Florist for You!

Today I am extremely happy to post an article written by guest blogger Maya Savanovich from Sydney, Australia. Welcome Maya and thank you!

Maya Sanavanovich from The Flower Man, Sydney, Australia.

Maya Savanovich from The Flower Man, Sydney, Australia.

Maya has some really good tips for readers and I know you will find good advice in this article. She even has great ideas about what style of bouquet goes with what style of wedding gown!

And, you can follow Maya on Pinterest for other great wedding ideas and to see more of her beautiful collages.

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Flowers play a vital role in all wedding ceremonies and receptions. They help set a romantic ambiance and above all bring out the colors you have chosen for your wedding. Choosing the right florist can help alleviate stress leading up to your wedding. You need to book a florist between six and twelve months before the wedding date. Below is a list of everything you need to know before booking a florist for your wedding.

BUDGET

First, decide on the amount of money you want to spend on flowers. While flowers are very important in a wedding, you need to be realistic. Make a decision of how much you will spend and above all make sure you stick to your budget no matter what. A good and experienced florist should be able to work within your budget.

SIZE OF YOUR WEDDING PARTY

The size of your wedding party will determine what you order. Along with your bouquet and flowers for the ladies/flower girls in your wedding party, how many boutonnieres, corsages, table arrangements will be needed? All these should add up to the budget. If you don’t want to spend above your budget, then it’s advisable that you carefully reconsider the numbers.

CHOICE OF FLOWERS

Choosing seasonal flowers will be much cheaper compared with choosing flowers that are out of season. Make sure you meet your florist at least two months before the wedding to secure all the details. She/he will let you know if all your flower choices are still available.

Flowers definitely make an impression so choosing the right flowers to match the style and theme of the wedding will leave everyone talking about how amazing the ceremony and reception looked. It’s very important that your wedding bouquet suits your lovely wedding dress.

Beautiful bouquets with spring flowers.

Beautiful bouquets with spring flowers.

Gorgeous summer flower bouquets.

Gorgeous summer flower bouquets.

Dramatic bouquets for a fall wedding.

Bright bouquets for a fall wedding.

Dramatic winter bouquets.

Dramatic winter bouquets.

FIND A FLORIST

You will find your perfect florist by doing some research and shopping around. A good florist needs to be creative and should give you great ideas that inspire you. The florist should also be flexible enough to work according to your budget. She/he should be honest, reliable and someone you can trust. This way you will be sure that your flowers arrive on time and that everything will be perfectly placed according to plan.

The florist should have a portfolio of their work. Take your time and view their previous work. By doing this you may find something that you like or even get an idea of how creative the florist can be. You need to help the florist understand your style and exactly what you want. This can be done by creating a simple scrap book with photographs of your favorite fabric samples, flowers or even a picture of your bridesmaid outfits.

YOUR WEDDING BOUQUET

The next thing you need to work on after you have selected your florist is your wedding bouquet. This is the number one and the most photographed accessory of a wedding. The style of your wedding dress is the greatest determiner of your bouquet choice.

A shower bouquet should be used with a full skirted dress or a dress with a train.

A shower bouquet should be used with a full skirted dress or a dress with a train.

The trailing bouquet will be perfect if you wear an A-line, princess or ballerina skirt or a long and a flowing train.

The trailing bouquet will be perfect if you wear an A-line, princess or ballerina skirt or a long and a flowing train.

For a short skirt, chose a pomander bouquet.

For a short skirt, chose a pomander bouquet.

The hand-tied bouquet is ideal if you wear an understated modern look.

The hand-tied bouquet is ideal if you wear an understated modern look.

 An underarm bouquet is best for outfits with a lot of detailing, long or silky styles.

An underarm bouquet is best for outfits with a lot of detailing, long or silky styles.

Whatever your options are, make sure you work with a good florist. Talk to your florist two days before the wedding and confirm the order and delivery time. This will guarantee everything is in order and that you get amazing floral decorations for your wedding day!