Friday, 30 September 2011

Comes Through in the Clutch

“I've always admitted that I'm ruled by my passions. – Elizabeth Taylor

Liz said it best, but the difference between her and me is that the many love affairs of my life have been with shoes, accessories and handbags. With each coming season, I become filled with deep excitement to see what they’ll come up with next in the wonderful world of fashion.

An event of any kind is the perfect reason to buy a new accessory – it’s totally justifiable when you need a necklace to go with that dress, or an evening bag to match your (new) pair of pumps. But when it comes to a wedding, and you’re the guest of honour, no excuses are needed.

You’ve got the dress, the jewels, the fancy footwear, now it’s time for the perfect clutch. With a vast selection of pretty purses and glittery minaudieres on the market, there are options for all tastes at every budget.

Check out some of my top picks:

Asos - Nude Feather Clutch - $32 -

BHLDN - Fringed Leather Clutch - $500 -

Bottega Veneta - Stone Plaster Intrecciato Velvet Python Knot - $1,750 -

Jimmy Choo - Candy Glitter Acrylic Clutch - $640 -

Judith Leiber - Beaded Slide Lock Clutch - $1,995 -

Karen Millen - Embroidered Floral Clutch - $110 -

Kate Spade - New York Kenessa - $395 -

Angee W - Ivory Bridal Lace Clutch - $130 -

Matthew Williamson - Rose Appliqued Crystal Embellished Clutch - $1,495 -

Nordstrom - Woven Minaudiere Box Clutch - $85 -

Top Shop - Silver Shanghai Print Metal Box Bag - $42 -

Yves Saint Laurent - Swarovski Crystal Embellished Satin Clutch - $2,185 -
BHLDN - Glittering Thicket Clutch - $250 -

Judith Leiber - Tulipa Minaudiere - $3,995 -
BHLDN - Marzipan Bow Clutch - $150 -
Tasha - Rhinestone Clutch - $265 -
Judith Leiber - Georgia Evening Bag - $2,280 -
Sondra Roberts - Pleated Box Clutch - $95 -

Now choosing only one? That’s the challenge.



Thursday, 29 September 2011

Dress Code: Decoded

According to wedding guru Mindy Weiss, there are a few simple guidelines to follow when determining what to wear to a wedding.  In her book "The Wedding Book", (or as A's mother refers to it, The Bible) Mindy writes that "in more formal days, you didn't need to specify a dress code: A wedding after 6 p.m. was always black-tie."  Nowadays it’s a little trickier and in the modern day of the ‘anything goes’ attitude you can often confuse your guests.  MW advises using one of the suggestions below to avoid your guests calling and asking what they should wear.  Let’s face it, even when an invitation indicates the attire, it's still tough to decide on an outfit.

 Here’s a guide to help you decode your invite: 

  • White-tie: Tails for men and long gowns for women.
  • Black-tie: Tuxedos for men, formal gowns of any length for women.
  • Black-tie Optional (Welcome) or Formal Attire: Dark suits or tuxedos for men, dresses or formal evening pants for women. 
  • Cocktail Attire: Suits for men, dresses or dressy pants for women.

Regardless of what’s indicated on the invite, it’s crucial to dress appropriately. Ladies should embody head-to-toe elegance (that doesn’t mean you need to be in a ball gown) that’s well suited for the venue and time of year, and of course their arm candy should be sporting an equally dashing suit and tie. It’s a wedding; always remember to keep it classy – too much cleavage or a wrinkled dress shirt is more suited for a walk of shame, not a walk down the aisle.

Until next time,

A & S

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Have Your Cake and Drink It Too

I recently stumbled upon this tasty little creation and just HAD to share it with everyone.

If you love cake (who doesn’t, honestly) and you love booze even more, its bottoms up for you with this little cocktail. Sure to be a crowd pleaser, it’s both deliciously sweet and artistically adorable!

Serve at a bridesmaid’s breakfast, a bridal shower brunch or a girly slumber party the night before the nuptials (just take it easy on the intake, cause there’s nothing worse than a hung-over bridal party and a green faced wife-to-be).

Cake Batter Martinis
adapted from grin and bake it
makes a single serving, is easily multiplied

  • 1 ounce amaretto
  • 1 1/2 ounces Pinnacle whipped cream vodka
  • 1 1/2 ounces creme de cacao
  • 1/2 ounce Godiva white chocolate liqueur
  • 1 ounce heavy cream
  • Assorted sprinkles (nonpareils work best)
  • Frosting

Using your finger, coat the rim of your glass with frosting.
Pour sprinkles onto a plate and press glass rim into sprinkles until adhered.
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake for about 30 seconds.
Strain into glass and cheers!

Try it and let us know if you think this one takes the cake!



Table Talk

“ Rule 108 - Always carry an assortment of place cards to match any wedding design” Wedding Crashers

One of the hardest parts of planning a wedding (other than dealing with your in-laws) is deciding where your guests will sit.  With a guest list of 300, this is a task I am NOT looking forward to.  When dealing with the majority of your guests, the question lies whether you should mix and match them or seat them with people they know.  I think the best thing to do is a bit of both.  It is nice for friends to sit together but for the guests attending that do not know anyone it is better to intermix them amongst friends rather than putting every random at one table (“mutants at table 9”).  Your tables will likely change up until the day of the wedding (it happens to everyone, try not to panic).  You might end up with a last minute cancellation or someone could call the weekend of to say they are now coming.  Go with it.  There are some great programs that now make this job mindless; the only thing better would be if they seated your guests for you.  Check out this site to see just how easy it can be.

Place Cards: These traditional cards can be used alone or with escort cards. They are typically displayed near the entrance of the reception in alphabetical order.  They include the guest's name and table number. Once at the table, guests usually select their own seats.  This is a good time to tie in the same paper used from your invites or to get creative. 

These are painted hockey puck place cards used at Mike Fisher and Carrie Underwood's Wedding

These are great for a formal wedding looking to add some spice!


My personal faves for a modern wedding

The Seating Chart: This is a more modern take on place cards.  Seating charts are lists of guests' names with their designated tables and are usually alphabetical as well. Additional place cards may be used at each table to designate assigned seats, if you wish.  I think these are fabulous and I am thinking of going this route for my wedding.  My only hesitation is having 300 people trying to find their names on one board but the same can be said of 300 all reaching for their little cards.  What’s a girl to do??


Classic and Elegant

A brilliant and creative take on a seating chart

Nametags: This is a wedding, not a convention, people, so skip the nametags.
Note: Guests should never alter seating arrangements or "switch seats" at a wedding reception, but it is perfectly acceptable to mingle at different tables after dinner.

Hope this helps!!

Yours truly,


Tuesday, 27 September 2011

You Catch More Brides With Honey

Along with the quest to find the gown of your dreams is the search for the perfect accessories. Of course, the foundation for all other purchases is the dress, so once that’s laid down; it’s all about the elegant extras.

Regardless of the style, a wonderfully simple way to embellish your look is with a hair adornment.

I scouted vintage shops and tons of online retailers before coming across a true gem; Twigs & Honey. Designer Myra Callan has graced us with an array of lovely accessories for brides, bridesmaids, and all ladies with an occasion.

In addition to silk flowers, belts and mini hats, the collection features a variety of hair pieces; from veils and tiaras to crystal combs and headbands, Twigs & Honey boasts true beauties, adding sophisticated sparkle to any mane.

Below is the fabulous comb I’ve chosen to wear in my ‘do when I say “I do”:

 And a few more obsession-worthy items:

All photos were taken from Twigs & Honey

It can take a few weeks to receive an order as each piece is handmade, but check out their new Ready to Ship section for a list of goods that are shipped out within one week!

Happy hunting!



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Astonishing Aussie and Brilliant Brit - Collette Dinnigan & Jenny Packham

These two ladies really know how it’s done. Their unique styles both combine classic grace with glamorous modernity.  Both designers exude femininity in their gowns through the use of shapely silhouettes and dazzling crystal adornments. In addition to bridal, their RTW collections are equally as exquisite. CD’s designs have been spotted on the likes of Taylor Swift and Kate Winslet, while JP has been coveted by celebs like Sandra Bullock, and none other than our favorite Royal, the Duchess herself.  See below for a variety of lust worthy show stoppers. 

Collette Dinnigan

Jenny Packham

Unfortunately, there are very few bridal salons in Otown, MTL or T.O who feature these lovely dames’ dresses in store (CD is nowhere to be found just yet in this great nation of ours), but you can find JP at White in Toronto and Powder in Woodbridge, Ontario.

Until next time,

A & S

Move Over Pippa, I was "Maid" for This!

“A friend is someone who lets you have total freedom to be yourself.”  Jim Morrison

I was recently asked to be my friend J’s maid of honour!! Today is her birthday so in her honour, I would like to share the story of how she asked me to be a part of her big day! While she was over for dinner a few weeks ago she said she had something for me.  She handed me a beautiful picture frame with an embarrassingly funny picture of the two of us inside.  At closer look, I saw that she wrote in silver marker, “Will you be my Maid of Honour?”  Of course!!  I was thrilled! It was such a creative and fun way of asking and now I have a great frame for my mantle.

I have always been an Etsy fanatic but as a bride-to-be my love turned into an obsession.  S and I will continue to post our favourite Etsy finds so stay tuned.  For those of you looking for cute ways of asking your friends to join you for the ride, here are some great cards you can order and personalize for them

If I hadn’t asked my sister the minute we got engaged, I think this card would have been perfect! It is so candid and cute and depicts exactly what a perfect MOH does (holds her dress while she pees!!).

Below are more of my favourites:

All photos were taken from

Happy Birthday J! I am so excited to be a part of your wedding day!

Yours truly,


All Dressed in White

“A man has his clothes made to fit him; a woman makes herself fit her clothes.” Edgar Watson Howe

It would come as no major shock to anyone who knows me that my wedding gown was purchased long before even choosing a venue.  The process of deciding which dress to say yes to can be a fun filled one, but it can also be lengthy, frustrating, and in all honesty, a little ridiculous.

For instance, and please try not to be offended if this is you, but I cannot understand why a girl would bring an entourage of 8 people to an appointment in a bridal salon. Who wants that many opinions? Not to mention it must drive the bridal consultants completely insane (if you watch Say Yes to the Dress, you get what I mean). If you’re smart, bring your mom (and dad if he’s into that sort of thing), sisters, and MOH – but cap it there.

Luckily for me, the journey of finding the “one” in this case was fairly seamless.

In the end, I visited four bridal stores, three in Ottawa and one in Montreal. Each establishment featured collections from different designers, so while styles did not become repetitive, the act of getting naked in a tiny enclosed space where a total stranger is on the floor, staring straight at your thong while helping you into an often puffy, white monstrosity weighing more than an Olsen twin, can be a little tiresome. But a bride’s gotta do what a bride’s gotta do.

I ended up falling in love with a gorgeous Vera Wang number back in November, merely one month after becoming engaged. I customized the design and made several tweaks to the original to really make it my own. I had my first fitting in August, the second in early September and the third, and final I might add, is on Friday! I can’t wait to see the finished product! I must admit, I suffer from a severe case of buyer’s remorse, and have found numerous dresses that have since begged the question “did I make the right choice?” In the end, there are so many stunners out there that you just have to be comfortable with your decision and know that it will look beautiful (at least that’s what they tell me).

Though I don’t plan on sharing my choice with you until after the main event, check out these beauties that have entertained my wandering eye:

Monique Lhuillier - Averie

Vera Wang - Farrah

Watters - Pheobe
Reem Acra
Melissa Sweet - Gigi
Vera Wang - Gemma
Now I understand why Kim Kardashian changed 3 times at her wedding - it’s so hard to pick just one!



You Know You Love Me!

I was anxiously awaiting the return of Blair and Serena tonight and I was ecstatic when it dawned on me (thanks to the previously seen on intro) that the Blair Waldorf was planning a wedding! From the save the dates to the foreshadowed mother-in-law problems, it seems it will be an exciting season for all brides to be (and of course all GG enthusiasts).  Could this timing be any better?? I am planning a wedding in tandum with Blair Waldorf! I will be sure to tune in every Monday and document the week's best of bridal from Blair Waldorf.  I am envisioning some exquisite gowns, inspiring bridal showers, themed bachelorettes and of course drama, drama, drama!  Blair mentioned a November wedding which means she will be a Winter bride and I am bursting of excitement.

While I found most of the episode a bit of a snooze-fest, I was happy to see some familiar faces and am hopeful this season will offer some inspiring fashion and innovative wedding ideas.  The ending was intriguing (shotgun wedding anyone?) and I will definitely be tuning in next week!

Below is a picture of Blair wearing her majesty’s (Louis’ mother) wedding dress with a beautiful bouquet of pink peonies (my fave!)

Yours Truly,


Monday, 26 September 2011

A Decent Proposal - My Story

Mr. X (that is what I have decided we will call my fiance) and I met 5 years ago almost to the day.  The night I met him, we discussed our mutual love for Israel, poutine, Denzel Washington movies, 24, hockey (although opposing teams), and traveling.  I was captivated by his smile that night and knew he was something special (here's where S would call me "hokey").  We spent months playing games and pretending that neither of us were interested until finally we decided to "see each other", a term I still till this day do not understand.  We spent our last months of University watching every movie we could think of, cooking lavish meals and learning every last detail about each other.  I knew then that he was different but I did not know that I would be sitting here years later blogging about our future wedding.  We both lived in Israel for the following months and I think it's safe to call that summer a game changer.  We came home inseparable and could barely stand the idea of not spending our lives together.  Months later Mr. X and I moved in together and as they say, "the rest is history".

After years of renting, we bought our first home together just a couple months ago.  Before we sealed the deal, my man asked if I would be okay with waiting for my 'bling' since we would not be able to do both at once.  I (very modestly, I might add) said of course, convinced that our home was a better investment than a ring.  Obviously part of me was nervous my time would never come but I promised myself I would be patient (that works well in theory unless you like wine as much as I do).

In late July my family planned a trip to Las Vegas in honour of my sister's dirty thirty.  It was also Mr. X's birthday while we were away so I planned a special dinner for the two of us on his day. While we were out for dinner, Mr. X realized he forgot his wallet in the hotel.  For those of you who know him know that this was not a first time offense and so I was not the least bit phased by this. It being his birthday and all, there was no need for his wallet and I assured him the evening was on me.  He said he needed it to enter a poker tourney later.  Being the impatient (and sometimes bratty) girl that I am, I told him I was not walking back to the hotel.  He asked me to come with him and that he didn't want a hard time since it was his birthday. I mean, when you put it that way, what's a girl to do?  We got back to the hotel and he passed me the key.  I opened the door and my heart actually skipped more than just one beat.  What laid before me was a row of candles with rose petals leading to the bedroom (cue sappy love song).  My memory of what happened next is a little fuzzy, because I'm pretty sure I had an out of body experience; but he led me to our room where he had written "Will You Marry Me?" in rose petals on the bed.  I think it took me a little while to utter the word 'yes' since I was screaming and going totally bananas.  I turned around to find him down on one knee, where he told me it would be the best gift in the world to make me his wife and I, of course, said YES!  It was the most romantic proposal I could have imagined and he even arranged that my parents, and sister joined us minutes later for a champagne toast.  It was perfection!

We spent the rest of our trip on cloud nine.  We got home and began our planning right away.  It has been two months and it seems like our world has been turned upside down (in a good way, of course).  We are just shy of 5 months till we say "I do" so keep reading as I share the highs and lows of the journey.

Yours truly,