With historic cities, majestic mountains, spectacular coastline, and diverse national parks, Canada ranks as one of the ultimate honeymoon destinations on the planet. But as the world’s second largest country, it’s practically impossible for newlyweds to cover its vast terrain in just a few weeks. Instead of a whirlwind tour, immerse yourself in one of these three distinct regions when it comes to that once-in-a-lifetime getaway.
Romance in Quebec City
Expect old-world charm and European-style ambiance in Quebec City, one of the oldest cities in North America. Here you’ll have the chance to meander down lovely cobblestone streets in Old Quebec, a historic district packed with inviting cafes, boutiques, galleries, pubs, and cultural sites.
As an all-season destination, Quebec City is an ideal getaway spot no matter your travel itinerary. For instance, the city is absolutely enchanting in the warmer months when flowers are in bloom and cozy cafes spill out onto the sidewalks. Meanwhile during the colder months, the city is a winter wonderland, constantly dazzling visitors with festive lights and amazing outdoor displays.
As for must-visit areas (in addition to the old town), don’t miss out on Rue Saint-Jean, a lovely shopping avenue just beyond the ramparts surrounding Old Quebec. Stop in at J.A. Moisan, the oldest grocery store on the continent. This one-of-a-kind spot is renowned for its massive selection of local food and products. Next, spend an afternoon in the Saint-Roch District, an emerging neighborhood now home to excellent coffee shops, restaurants, live music venues, and microbreweries.
Stay at Auberge Saint-Antoine, a wonderful boutique property that blends comfort, style, and history. The hotel is also home to Panache, one of the city’s finest restaurants and a perfect spot for a romantic meal.
Outdoor Pursuits in Alberta
Situated in the heart of the Canadian Rockies, the Banff region is a perfect match for outdoorsy couples seeking high altitude experiences. Home to massive mountains, glaciers, and glacial lakes, incredible national parks like Banff and Jasper give way to first-rate hiking, mountain biking, camping, and much more.
During the winter months, the region’s three ski resorts (Lake Louise Mountain Resort, Ski Norquay, and Sunshine Village) provide plenty of downhill thrills. After long days hitting the trails, the charming downtown districts of Cranmore and Banff offer travelers a welcome respite thanks to an array of fine restaurants, cafes, shopping, and nightlife options.
Drop your bags at the iconic Banff Springs Fairmont, located in Banff National Park amidst majestic snow-capped peaks. The historic resort boasts fine dining options, spa and health club facilities, a golf course, and unparalleled views.
Explore the Pacific Coast in British Columbia
While Alberta puts couples right in the lap of glorious mountains, British Columbia’s Vancouver Island enables newlyweds to experience a different kind of outdoor-themed getaway.
The largest Pacific Ocean island west of New Zealand, Vancouver Island is home to old-growth rainforests, stunning beaches, small towns with cozy harbors, and incredible wilderness parks. If sea kayaking, fishing, wildlife and whale watching, ziplining, cycling, and hiking all sound intriguing, then this exceptional destination will be a terrific honeymoon choice.
On the heels of exploring mossy forests, fjords, and secluded coves, finish your west coast adventure in lovely Victoria, home to fabulous shopping, gardens, dining, and a picturesque harbor. It’s also a perfect home base for setting out on boat excursions around the Salish Sea and San Juan Islands.
As for accommodations, book a penthouse room at The Oswego Hotel, a new boutique property close to the inner harbor area. Highlights include floor-to-ceiling windows, designer kitchens, huge balconies, and fabulous views.
New Years Resolution: “Don’t Turn Into A Bridezilla While Planning my Wedding”
Every year marks a new beginning, a new chance to set new goals and the great possibility of reaching them. When you get married, it is a new beginning to; it is the start of a new life, a new adventure. We want you to enter into this new adventure with a cool head, positive feelings, and minimal stressors. New year resolutions are often seen as a chance to shed off the bad parts of the previous year, but just like what happens before the new year doesn’t magically disappear, what happens before your marriage doesn’t magically disappear. Angry words, breakdowns, and frustrated fighting can leak into the relationships you have with your spouse, family members, in-laws, and friends after the wedding. Apologies can be made,and time can heal, but wouldn’t be better if bridges weren’t burnt in the first place? So, as you enter into this new year, and the stage of planning your wedding, make this resolution of not turning into a stressed out, easily angered, Bridezilla. Make it and then keep it by creating a plan and using resources designed to keep you stress-free and happy.
1. Start by reading up on the wedding planning process.
Reading articles like this, and the many others found here on WeddingAces and our Wedding Collectibles Blog is a great place to start because it will help you familiarize yourself with all the little details that goes into planning a wedding and start you off with creative ideas on how to get it done; giving you not only the what, but also a how. Once you start getting ideas and a more tangible grounding on what it is that goes into planning a wedding, then you can start your crazed planning journey.
2. Make your life easier by getting organized.
Some brides will use checklists to keep track of all of the things they need to do before their big day. Resources like WeddingWire’s free planning tools are great for keeping yourself organized during the chaos of wedding planning.
Figure out your checklist based on the timeline you have to plan. Is your wedding date in a year? 6 months? 3 months? Don’t know? Stop. Figure that out and then start planning. If you don’t have an end point you can’t figure out what pace your planning needs to go.
3. Use a checklist and wedding binder
Something else that is useful alongside a wedding checklist is creating a wedding binder. This will help you keep all of your information together in one place that is easy to take with you as you visit vendors and venues. Some people will keep everything online with the intention of easy access online. This could work to, but often it is easier to keep a clear mind and focus, when you don’t have the temptation of any easy click to Facebook, Pinterest, and other social media time sucking websites. When creating a wedding binder create dividers to help organize the info in you binder. It is easiest to do it in categories like photographer, cake, reception, caterer, wedding dress, etc. The Well-Organized Woman (wow) has some great recommendation on how to categorize your binder. Whatever you do, just do whatever it is that keeps your thoughts organized and your mind sane.
4. Take a day off
Just like with work, school, cleaning the house, gardening, and doing pretty much anything, you will need to take a break. This is a great time to go with your fiance out on a romantic date, have a relaxing mother daughter day, or a girls day with your best friend, all with one rule: No wedding talk (Unless it is girlish giggles of being oh so excited).
Congratulations! Your partner said yes-now on to the next biggest step before actually tying the knot: finding the perfect wedding band. Like choosing an engagement ring, this too is a gift from the heart. You will be exchanging this band with the love of your life. This band will spend an eternity on your finger, marking your undying commitment to each other.
Matching your engagement ring isn’t as difficult as you would think. Many designers make intentional paired pieces that coordinate in design and diamond shape to make the matching process easier. If your ring did NOT come with a matching wedding band, or if you do not care for the exact match, picking the perfect band is easy at Mervis Diamonds. Our vast selection of diamonds and designers will surely wow you – but if we don’t have exactly what you are looking for, we will create it especially for you.
The most important things to decide when choosing a wedding band are what is most important to you in your band?
Do you want a band to:
Match your engagement ring
Match your partner’s band
Fit flush against your engagement ring
Key elements to consider:
Match your band for design elements (stone size, engraving and carving details, etc)
Diamond details – if you have an engagement ring with diamonds halfway down the band, three quarters down the band or all the way, you will want your wedding band to mirror this
Match metals – different metals have different hardnesses and putting varying metals next to each other might damage one (or both) of your rings
Will you wear your ring by itself or only as a matched set
Brides have been walking down the aisle to Richard Wagner’s “Bridal Chorus” for over 164 years in the Western world.
What began in the 19th century primarily in church settings has quickly fallen in favor for new flavors and an old-fashioned twist on contemporary music.
A majority of couples now choose songs that more accurately reflect their personalities than the time-honored tradition of “Here Comes The Bride.”
Recessional music (after the couple is officially married) also has taken an equal importance to processional music (what the officiant, parents, wedding party, and couple walk down the aisle to).
With so many options, it can be a challenge to pick the perfect song. Having played everything from Hall & Oates to Passion Pit to the Jaws soundtrack, here are a few useful tips for selecting ceremony music:
Pick something that you like – the wedding is your celebration, so why not let the music reflect that? An incredible song will set the tone for the ceremony and dictate the emotions you and your guests feel. With the exception of maybe death metal and techno, any genre is perfectly acceptable as long as it has a happy vibe.
Cover versions – they’re rapidly gaining momentum as groups like Vitamin String Quartet and The Piano Guys offer classic renditions of modern music. VSQ has done full album tributes to the likes of Coldplay to Lady Gaga. Everyone from your grandparents to nieces and nephews will be able to relate to that. In the digital age, many songs also have instrumental versions, which contain all of the original elements except the vocals.
Song edits – as more music editing tools are readily available, it’s easier to customize songs. If the intro to a track is too long and drawn out, have the DJ trim that part or start the song from a certain time point. It’s also possible to loop and restart a short song to accommodate a bigger wedding party.
Don’t try and time your steps to the music – just don’t; it’s impossible. Couples literally have stumbled down the aisle trying to time things just right. Let the DJ start and fade out the music at the appropriate time while you enjoy the moment worry-free.
Make the recessional fun – the more upbeat the better. Even though you’ll probably have a grand entrance later, think of this as your very first introduction as a married couple. What do you want to people to remember? It could be anthemic and/or beautiful just like Bruno Mars’s “Marry You.”
Gone are the old days of playing the same standard songs. Use your wedding ceremony as an opportunity to create an incredible experience that is personal to you and your significant other.
Marc Sense is the founder of Integral DJs based in Seattle, WA and Washington, DC. He has over 10+ years of experience performing at clubs across the country and concerts featuring the likes of Snoop Dogg, The Roots, and Macklemore. His team recently won WeddingWire’s Couples’ Choice Award 2014.
When it comes to photography and makeup, there are tons of tips and tricks professional makeup artists can recommend. It’s no secret that photography has a tendency to lessen the vibrancy of makeup. So, the fix? Go a little heavier on the lipstick, blush or eyeshadow to ensure it still has that “pop.” But something that you might not realize are lashes, just like makeup, can easily go unnoticed if not properly looked after. Meaning, your lashes – even if you have the fullest set of lashes in the world – will still not translate as that in photos.
Think about it. Most of the photos you’ll get back from your photographer on your wedding day won’t be of your gorgeous face featuring your makeup. Most likely the photographer will be more interested in you, in your venue’s details, and a full length photo of you and your hubby. You should pay attention to those little things you call eye lashes, and the power they actually posses in photos, particularly taken farther away.
Properly curled and mascaraed false lashes will do wonders for your face. They will not only finish off a beautifully manicured bridal makeup application, but will also lend to a bright-eyed look. It allows you to look – and sometimes even FEEL – more awake than you really are!
Haven’t worn false lashes before? Don’t fret! There are tons of different types of lashes on the market nowadays from strips to individuals, mink to synthetic. Literally anything you can think of they probably already have, and depending on what you want to achieve will depend on what type of lash you’ll need.
In the end big, fluttery lashes have always been a trademark for women everywhere, and when it comes to your wedding day, what better way to impress your spouse-to-be than with luscious lashes.
Stacey Triplow has been a makeup artist in and around the San Diego area for the past 9 years. Although she’s worked with many genres of makeup, she always found herself gravitating towards bridal makeup for real brides. Nothing gives Stacey greater satisfaction than working with brides on their big day and seeing their excitement at their transformation. Her inspiration is to enhance beauty naturally. She believes that beauty first comes from within and it’s my job to complete the picture by making my client feel beautiful on the outside.
Wedding bells, white dresses, lace, and burlap table runners. Flowers, rings, and handwritten vows. Candle centerpieces, twinkle lights, and wedding cake toppers. Your wedding day is meant to be a magical experience, and it is one thing that you get to plan out and design especially for yourself (and your groom, of course!). It is one of those moments in life that you will want to share with friends and family. Brides will often spend extra attention to making sure everyone important is there: parents, siblings, cousins, high school best girlfriends, etc. As the guest list grows and the side dishes and party favors are selected, a very important detail can sometimes be lost in all the invitation stamps and cake tastings. Always remember, your wedding day is not about your parents or friends being with you on your special day, it is about you and your groom.
How to Keep the Wedding Craziness From Taking the Focus off Your Love For Your Groom
1. Treat Your Groom Right
Plan out ways to dote on your groom. For the most part, when people think about a wedding they will think first about the bride and how she needs some pampering to help her de-stress. Here is the thing, even if the wedding planning is going the traditional route with the groom not being all that involved with the details, he will still be the one supporting the stressed out bride. This could involve anything ranging from bursting into tears at unexpected moments to angry rants or death stares that imply the immediate possibility of instantaneous combustion.
If any of this seems like a possible scenario, or even if it doesn’t, you need to make sure you are taking the time to say, “I love you” and cut the man loose for a breather. This could be done by encouraging him to go out for a sports night with the guys, buying him something he wouldn’t buy for himself like cuff-links or a golf-themed grilling set, or on a smaller scale leaving him secret and creative messages to find in his clothes pockets, shoes, or work bag. By spending the time thinking up ways to make him smile and say, “I love you,” you will concentrate on all of the reasons you fell in love in the first place. This will allow all of those worries to melt away and for you to come to love your groom more deeply every day.
2. Go on Dates
So, maybe you are making sure your groom gets the time to himself to relax and you are letting yourself get your nails done or a neck massage every other week, but are you continuing to grow or fuel the love you have for one another? One of the biggest mistakes a couple can make as the head toward those wedding vows is to forget to spend real time together. What qualifies as real time? Alone time that isn’t filled with wedding talk, or, in other words, a date. Go see a movie; go rollerblading or bowling; hike a trail; walk along the beach, or kayak in the ocean. Sit down to a romantic dinner at a restaurant that is hard to get into and then go get dollar ice cream cones at the closest McDonald’s. Plan a midnight picnic and lay down together so you can count the stars or rent your favorite two player video game and pull an all night gamer fest. Whatever your poison, do it. Spend time together and remind each other every day that you love one another and absolutely love being together.
Let Yourselves Fall More in Love Every Moment You Are Together
Whenever I sit with a couple, I love to hear why they selected their venue. Sometimes it connects back to an experience the couple had, or it could be the location the bride or groom had always dreamed of. In the end, each couple wants the best location for an incredible experience.
After all, a wedding is among the most unique experiences one can have.
This is why Kelly and Kris selected the elegant Birchwood Manor located amidst 20 beautifully groomed acres of terraces, fountains, and stunning landscapes, which never stop lending themselves to perfect wedding photo backdrops.
The bachelorette party is a not only a fun night, but is important for the bride because it is one piece of the wedding process that is designed to make her feel special AND to let off some of that wedding stress. This is a night that is typically meant for the bride to be hands off in the planning process, which is why we recommend having the maid of honor and bridesmaids take over. The goal is to surprise, excite, and spotlight the bride. So, with that in mind, here are a few fun ways to help your bride have fun at the center of attention.
First off, you will want to deck out your bride in some bride to be gear. The reason we say this is because it is a quick and essential way to set your bride apart and get her that added attention. She doesn’t need to wear everything bride-to-be, so when shopping, guide yourself on what the bride will feel slightly embarrassed to wear (giving her that perfect bride blush), but not what she will refuse to put on or walk out in.
The options for bride-to-be accessories run from a simple scarf with a bride charm (this would be the most subtle), to personalized t-shirts and jackets (the most personal), fun bride tiaras, veils, and sashes (the biggest spotlight), and the bridesmaids. By coordinating the bridesmaids in bachelorette party tees, you will basically be creating a very big red arrow pointing out your party and your bride. Bridal Party Tees has some spunky, bride to be and bridesmaid t-shirts that would help spice up the night and spotlight the bride. If you are looking for a more cost effective option, try bride and bridesmaids iron ons paired with plain t-shirts at Walmart or target. You could even have the party guests bring their own t-shirts and make your party wear as part of your activity.
Speaking of the activities, there is a lot more you can do with a bachelorette party than going out drinking. Of course, if that is the route you want to go, then go all out, but if not, there are endless options for your bachelorette party. For example, instead of doing only a bachelorette night, why not take the day? Spend a day with your closest girlfriends at a day spa, get massages, sit by a pool, get your nails done, and just relax. After a day of relaxation, go out to a nice dinner and stay late for drinks or end with an in home cooking lesson and still stay late for drinks. Having multiple phases to your bachelorette party give your party members flexibility is they have a busy schedule, so if they can’t make the spa day, they can come to the dinner.
Another great idea is to look at what is going on in your community. Are there any concerts, movies, or plays in the park? Is there a great band playing or a fun comedian show nearby? You could go to dinner, hit an outdoor concert, and then end back at home with a game of who gave what lingerie. The main thing is to give yourself time to be with your best friends, relax, have fun, and just celebrate. The bachelorette party is a night free of things to take care of, and open to excited sequels, laughter, and maybe a few tears. Make it a night you will never forget.
Just married at the summit of a mountain in the majestic Canadian Rockies' Valley of the Ten Peaks overlooking the deep blue of Moraine Lake. Bride is sensational! A juxtaposition of traditional and practical: white wedding dress with a dramatic long train and her warm, furry Mukluks.
A spectacular September morning as the bride, groom, wedding party and four parents with pastor and photographer in tow make their ascent up the famed Tower of Babel and stop at at its huge ledge, two-thirds the way up. Vows under a canopy of voluminous cluster of clouds, which play chorus to blue skies as far as the newly-married couple can see. On a clear day you can see forever comes to mind.
This is a mountain top wedding made in Heaven, or close to it.
I, took the lower road, so to speak, to my destiny with my “Mountain Wedding Bride. I trekked across the flat Lake Moraine parking lot in what the television weatherman cautioned today’s temperature as “extreme heat.”
I am lugging a 30-pound camera bag/purse combo on my left shoulder and a telescoped Manfrotto tripod in hand on my left and still processing 23 degrees on the celsius scale to Fahrenheit. I can’t, so I think in terms of Houston’s heat, and feel much better.
Destiny awaits on the front mountain range horizon as I catch a glimpse of a stretch limousine: wedding!
I motored right up to the bride’s mother, a very friendly, gracious lady, who has just climbed a moderate hiking trail to her daughter’s wedding and down to her current station in life, a keeper of the bridal bouquet. She takes the bridal queries like Taylor Swift in concert. “What fun,” I think to myself.
The inquisitive crowd swells waiting for the bride and groom, who took leave for a quick latte.
I ask the Mother of the Bride the logistics of mounting a wedding in the sky. She says it’s like any other wedding: plan for the expected and unexpected.
I can see her practical side. She is wearing a pair of climbing sneakers. Her official MOB pumps, worn at the summit, are already tucked in the trunk of the limo waiting for the reception.
She is resourceful and has other weddings coming up for her and her friends. She wants to know about my book, The Write Stuff: A Modern Guide to Personal Stationery & Weddings, and my blog on WeddingWire. She jots down the details.
As she assures me that the couple will be back, and happy to pose for photos, I see a whiteout. Not a Canadian blizzard, but the bride and groom, aglow in white.
Very glamorous pair. They reveal that Hollywood is their honeymoon destination. They are celebs, standouts. The bride has a marquee smile. The tourists at Lake Moraine are not disappointed.
She shows off her dress, then with a wink, she lifts the hem of her billowing dress to reveal her mukluks! Fur boots!
The bride is sensational. The Mukluks practical; MOB is beaming. On the runways of Paris, Berlin or New York, those furry scene-stealers would be headliners. Fur! Heel-to-just-below-the-knee. Sure-footing sole.Toss out the silk stilettos. This is a must for any bride north of the 30th parallel.
Apples do not fall far from the Apple tree. However, chances are the bride’s Jimmy Choos are in the trunk of the limo, too.
When you start planning a wedding, there are some typical questions that eager onlookers will ask you. One of which being what kind of flowers you will have. So, even if flowers are not your number one focus, they are always going to be on that checklist of decisions to make. When deciding what flowers you want, you will need to pay attention to what is in season, the symbolism, the color scheme, and price, but what happens when floral is the theme? Then you are going to be paying attention to how to incorporate that floral design in the details of your wedding.
The Bridal Bouquet …. of course.
It may seem like a duh to point out that you should feature a floral design in a flower bouquet, but the point I want to emphasize is that the bridal bouquet is a focal point to the wedding and more particularly the floral tone. Thus, the bouquet should feature the main flower (or flowers) that you are using as the center stage or focal flower. Also, this means that you will want to and almost need to make that bouquet a piece of art or beauty. The above bouquet is a great example of someone utilizing a flower’s shape and color to create a cohesive floral look that can either enhance any wedding theme, or can act as a base of the light and fresh floral theme.
The Flower Girl and Ring Bearer
The flower girl does seem like another obvious choice to add in that flower detail, but what about the ring bearer? A floral designed pillow is a great way to tie in that floral theme. The lily inspired ringer bearer pillow on the right is great because its design is a little more abstract, making it a less obtuse way of scattering that floral design throughout the wedding ceremony. If you want something a little more literal, a bearer pillow like the one on the right from Wedding Star would be an equally lovely choice.