Kate’s new mom-drobe

Kate Middleton Pregnant

Kate Middleton has wow’d us with both her pre-pregnancy wardrobe and her maternity clothes, heck she’s even got us with her college ensembles we all peeked at.

It’s safe to say that the Duchess of Cambridge has been our style icon for some time now, even while sporting maternity wear. But now that her baby bump has turned into the Prince of Cambridge, we can’t expect Kate to pull out that adorable polka-dot dress again, no matter how cute it was. And she certainly won’t be going back to what she wore on the runway at the University of St. Andrews.

Although Kate seems to be making her own tread marks with style, it couldn’t hurt to take inspiration from a few other stylish moms out there.

Katie Homes

Katie Holmes

Rachel ZoeRachel Zoe

Jessica AlbaJessica Alba

Gwyneth PaltrowGwyneth Paltrow

Angelina Jolieangelina-jolie-s-kids-pax-and-zahara-land-roles-in-maleficent

Michelle Williamsmichelle-williams-lead-ffn_ledger_matlida_aar_102909jpg_3908858120712170642

Victoria Beckhamvictoria-beckham-universal-city-walk-with-the-kids-16

Versatile blogger award

Versatile blogger award

We were absolutely thrilled when we were contacted and told that we had won the Versatile Blogger Award.

It’s nice to know that our hard work is getting to people and being enjoyed, that’s the whole point of this website!

The Versatile Blogger Award is awarded to the most multifaceted bloggers around, and once you’ve been nominated, you’ve won!

We were privileged to win this award thanks to a nomination from The Great Zambini, who has a pretty fantastic blog themself and has gotten their hands on this award too.

So what must we do now that we have won this fancy new award? Spread the happiness and nominate others!

The rules of this award are as follows:

1. Post the award picture on the blog (check!)

2. Give a link to the blogger that nominated you (check!)

3. Nominate! 

So here are our nominations for the Versatile Blogger Award!

Wedding Venues

By Deanna Spagnuolo, The Lloydminster Source

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Photography by Amy Reber

You don’t listen exclusively to elevator music and have a bland home interior, so why would you let the venue for one of the most important days of your life be anything but exciting?

Sure they may start off as blank canvases, but how do you go about picking the perfect canvas for you to carefully curate into a personalized masterpiece? The world is full of custom-fitted pieces, and your venue should follow suit, expressing your style and personality while still being a site that’s functional for your guest list.

“Before deciding on a venue, my number one piece of advice is to go see the place before you make any decisions,” said Morgan Mulak, event services coordinator at Lakeland College.

Almost every venue has a capacity limit, so make sure you know your stuff when it comes to approximating the guest list. Another good thing to know is the date you’d like to have your wedding, because venues are booked months in advance.

“Six months to a year before the wedding is the average booking time,” said Mulak. “I had one booking for a wedding in August of 2014 and I thought they were very prepared, they even put a deposit down on it because they were very sure.”

If you can answer this question, then you and your significant other are ready to go on a hunt for your perfect venue: What is your theme? From there you’ll discuss how best to implement it through food, colours and décor. Does the theme require a formal or casual space? Outdoors or indoors? Modern or historic? Once you’ve got that down your search snowballs from there.

“Some types of outdoor weddings are in a backyard or a farm, possibly a provincial park or a golf and country club,” Mulak said. “For indoor weddings there’s banquet halls, senior citizen’s halls, gymnasiums, hotels and convention centres, some people get married in theatres, like on stage. I actually had one where someone got married in our theater in Vermilion.”

Another not-so-minor decision is if you’re going to have the ceremony and reception separate, or together. Depending on your theme, your guests might have to bring a change of clothes, and that doesn’t work so well if it’s held all in one place. However, if you’re going to have a more formal soiree, staying put may be more practical.

Does your wedding come with a twist of vodka or splash of gin?

“Decide if you’re serving liquor because there’s requirements,” said Mulak. “If you’re doing catering, some venues require that you use their catering service.”

When it comes down to the final touches, like décor, try thinking outside the box.

“The college is a good example because we’re a public facility and we use our venues for all sorts of things and at night they transform into things that you would never think students had lunch in,” said Mulak.

So look for a site that suits you from beginning to end, it’s always special when you find a venue that someone wouldn’t normally think of and personalize it to make it your own. But keep in mind, sometimes no matter how many pieces of beachwear you might bring into a ballroom, it’s still going to be a ballroom.

Destination weddings

By Deanna Spagnuolo, The Lloydminster Source

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Photography by Amy Reber

Whether you want to say your vows with an ocean background, or have a view overlooking mountains, destinations set the scene for romantic and breathtaking weddings that take a considerable amount of planning.

Travel agencies recommend planning your destination wedding anywhere from 10 months to one year in advance. The farther out you plan, the better chance you have of getting everything you want out of your day, it also helps your guests so they have time to save and plan.

Although there’s less stress with planning a destination wedding, many brides have a tough time loosening the reins and being comfortable with a wedding coordinator.

“I don’t want to say that if you’re a bridezilla you should stay home,” said Becky Cheley from Marlin Travel. “[A destination wedding] is a big step people are taking because they’re giving up control to someone who is far away and they don’t get to meet them prior.”

“Typically a wedding coordinator will touch base with a couple two to three months before the wedding,” said Cheley. “They’ll try to nail down things like flowers, if you want a beach or garden wedding… When you go to a travel agency to decide on a destination, you’ll be set up with a Canadian tour operator that will set you up with a wedding coordinator in the country of your choice.”

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With putting faith in your wedding coordinator and having your wedding in a whole new place, brides have to consider that everything is going to be different, from the food to the flowers, and usually couples meet their coordinator a couple of days before the wedding.

But there are still quite a few reasons why a couple would opt for a getaway-wedding. For starters, you’re able to have a honeymoon and wedding all in one.

“A lot of people are starting to like smaller and intimate weddings,” said Cheley. “Most people will still do a reception when they come home, and the pictures are beautiful with the blue water and you’re able to take in a different atmosphere.”

As for atmospheres, most couples prefer tropical, all-inclusive places in countries like Mexico, Jamaica, and the Dominican Republic.

Exotic Gazebo - Azul Beach Hotel-resized-600

“For people who don’t mind not having all-inclusive, Hawaii would be a popular choice too,” said Cheley.

She also suggests that couples do their weather research before officially deciding on a destination. A lot of countries experience hurricane season and extremely rainy seasons, just the thing to put a damper on your special day.

“The two busiest months are February and March,” she said. “The season for destination weddings is really anytime from November to April. Hurricane season is usually over end of October. So typically you’re going to get your best weather in late winter or early spring. You can get great prices if you don’t mind having it in November, December or January.”

Along with researching weather patterns, another thing to add to your wedding checklist is researching marriage laws in the country you plan to wed in. When visiting a travel agency to plan your big day, they should give you the info on how to fulfill the requirements, but it’s ultimately up to the couple to make sure they have everything they need.

“There are some countries that require your documentation to be translated and legalized by their embassy or consulate in Canada,” said Cheley. “Your best option would be to sit down with a wedding professional at a travel agency. They know the laws and customs.”

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Your travel agency is going to be your best friend in your wedding journey, delivering a wealth of knowledge on subjects you might not have considered from everything from avoiding scam artists to invitation information

“On invitations we recommend including hotel info, travel dates, departure cities, name of hotel, as well as a little bit of destination info like things to see and do. Even though this is your wedding, it’s also your guest’s vacation. Include the star rating of the hotel and its brochure,” she said.

To avoid scam artist, if you’re booking through a travel agency then you’re set. Cheley recommends that if you’re planning solo, do some online research and make sure you’re purchasing your package through a reputable hotel.

All in all, destination weddings are magical events and hotel wedding packages can run you anywhere from $1,000- $5,000. Be prepared to be swept off your feet with surprising affordability in an awe-inspiring place with the love of your life.

Wedding dress trends 2013

By Deanna Spagnuolo, The Lloydminster Source

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Photography by Amy Reber

Wedding dresses have changed in the past few years, with budding brides now making their way to Pinterest for inspiration before deciding on anything major. You could say that this is the age where royals once again influence Canadian culture with Kate Middleton’s wedding attracting a worldwide crowd.

Bling is back, same with the classic vintage styles. This season there’s everything from blushing brides in actual blushing colours to long sleeves with cascading peplums for a retro look.

“As far as fabrics, lace is in and is quite big,” said a representative from Bridal by Chan. “There are dresses with some soft net over lay and lots of rhinestones and crystal beading.”

While you stroll down the aisle to meet your dapper groom, all eyes are going to be on you, whether you choose an ornate bodice or long sleeves with a keyhole back, you’re sure to look beautiful. Ironically, the opposite of long-sleeved dresses are also trending again this season.

“Strapless is still prevalent, but straps are coming back into vogue, especially one-shoulder. There are also a lot of requests for vintage looking dresses,” she said.

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Photography by Amy Reber

A few other trends to look out for are coquettish bows, illusional necklines, backless dresses, bold florals and gold hues.

“There are coloured belts to match bridesmaids for brides who want some colour, and we have a designer, Alfred Angelo, that has dresses in over 50 colours,” said the representative.

Once you’ve decided to go Cinderella-esque or Kate Middleton, all that’s left is the fitting.

“Brides need to order their dress seven months in advance of the wedding for alterations,” said the representative. “They need to start looking nine months to one year in advance so they have time to make a decision.”

One of the most important days in your wedding planning process is your fitting for alterations. This day will predetermine how you’re going to look on your special day, so make sure you come equipped.

“When they come in for alterations, making sure they have the proper undergarments is important, so anything they’d wear under their dress on the day of the wedding. Having proper shoes is important too to see how high the dress needs to be hemmed.”

 

 

 

Time to arrange: buying your wedding flowers

By Deanna Spagnuolo, The Lloydminster Source

wedding flowers

Photography by Amy Reber

Getting into the groove of greening up your wedding and adding some friendly florals to make it bloom is one of the major parts in wedding planning.

You want to find something that matches your theme and style all while getting advice from a good florist.  According to Audina Hardstaff, design manager at Grower Direct, it’s hard to spot a good florist just by looking into the window.

“A lot of it is word of mouth. I know for me I’ve been doing this for the past 10 years and people come to me because they’ve heard positive feedback from my other clients,” said Hardstaff.

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Photography by Amy Reber

The flowers you choose for your wedding are your own choice, you shouldn’t have anyone dictating what is right and wrong, as long as they reflect your personal style.

“Find out something that appeals to you,” she said. “A florist would be able to tell you which is more suitable in structure to aid the look. It’s important to bring visuals like swatches of fabric and a florist’s job is to funnel it all into something you like.”

Hardstaff emphasises how important it is to bring in visuals. There’s a large spectrum of colours so what you may call teal, someone else may call aqua.

“I encourage people to be more monochromatic that something that’s just puked hot pink,” she said. “It adds a perceived value when you’ve done a slight variation in the same colour palette, and it’s less stressful than having to exactly match everything.”

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Photography by Amy Reber

We know that it’s important to find something that suits you, and for a lot of women, what appeals to them are the season’s trends.

“For 2013, we’ve gone back into some soft pastels, but each bride picks a bouquet that brings out her personality. The most common and traditional are daisies and roses. What usually happens is a girl will find a flower that she likes and I will complement it with others,” said Hardstaff.

During a wedding, a bride might have a number of things that she wants to use flowers in. Popular items are bouquets, centrepieces, and pew ends. But which do you start with?

“I prefer the bride pick her bouquet flowers first because it’s kind of the stone in the water with the ripple effect, where everything comes into place after that, especially if they don’t know what they want,” she said. “If there’s a flower in the bouquet that’s quite symbolic, we incorporate it into centre pieces.”

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Photography by Amy Reber

There are a flurry of weddings in both the summer and winter months, but not all flowers are in season. A bride will have a couple options when it comes to picking certain flowers for the time of year.

“The whole thing from having cheap fake flowers from the 1980s is done,” said Hardstaff. “The quality in silk flowers has gone up and we do a combination of silk and fresh flowers if the flower they want isn’t in season.”

On the day of your wedding, you want to make sure your flowers are looking fresh all day. A good florist will have a few tricks with their green thumb for you to get the most out of your florals.

“Before I send out the flowers, everything gets misted with a product called Crowning Glory, like a Chapstick for flowers. It delivers a burst of moisture so the flowers stay fresh throughout the day without water,” she said.

A common question is how to preserve your lovely arrangements after your big day. Unfortunately, if you’re wedding is in Lloydminster and you haven’t purchased silk flowers, your options are dim.

“There is a freeze-dried method, but I haven’t found anyone in our area that does it,” said Hardstaff. “There’s really no way to preserve unless you dry your roses. A lot of flowers like lilies will go brown and spoil.”

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Photography by Amy Reber

Going silk may be a good option for brides, they don’t spoil and they’re hypo-allergenic, something your allergy-ridden guests will love.

“It’s usually a relative that has allergies to flowers, so we do permanent botanicals. The flowers I find that people are the most sensitive to are lilies,” she said.

So how soon should you plan your garden décor for your wedding? Hardstaff advises that the sooner you decide your date, the better. Florists usually have a first come, first serve policy and usually place their orders with suppliers six to eight weeks before the date of the wedding.

Travelling cupcake truck

Featured in Glamour magazine, the secret ingredients to this sweet-as-can-be dress are it’s polka dots, a-line pleated skirt and padded bodice.

The halter is an added bonus to make it just right, especially if you have a smaller bust (it’ll help them stand out!)

Since it’s colours are black and white, any accessories you choose to add will go great, I would suggest going with solid coloured accessories though, so you don’t take away from this retro dress. I chose to go with my electric blue velvet Mary Jane heels, another steal from Modcloth (I’m in love with Modcloth)!

Photography is done by Amy Reber, an excellent photographer in mid-western Alberta and Saskatchewan.

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