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Custom Evening Wear – Luxury at its best!

design sketch of a woman peering over her shoulder in a long custom evening wear gownYou have an event to go to and you can’t find anything to wear. The evening wear styles aren’t what you’re looking for, the dresses you like don’t fit properly or don’t look the way you thought it would, and you can’t find your size.  If you’re a woman, you know exactly how this feels. Shopping for evening wear can be frustrating and depressing, but it doesn’t have to be that way. You shouldn’t have to settle for something you don’t really want because you don’t think you can find something else or there aren’t any better options. This is the main reason why many women decide to go the custom evening wear design route. The process may differ based on the designer but if you’re looking for an original TALINE evening gown from Taline Designs, the process is simple:

  • Meet with the Taline, the designer to discuss your preferences. Provide as much information as possible so that you are truly satisfied with the final product. These are just a few of the questions that you will need to go through when you speak to Taline for the first time:
    • Dress type: Are you looking for a cocktail dress, an evening gown, a suit, etc.?
    • Style preferences: What kind of dress are you looking for? Do you like long sleeves or short sleeves? Do you like simple, elegant cuts or are you looking for something sexier?
    • Silhouette: A-line, mermaid, empire cut – what type of silhouette do you prefer?
    • Colour: Do you know what colour you want to wear to your special function?
    • Timing: How soon will you need your custom evening wear?
    • Fabric: Do you have a preference for the type of fabric used?
  • Review sketches that the designer has prepared based on your preferences
  • Once you choose the style that you like, the pattern of the evening wear is created
  • Several fittings are done to ensure proper fit
  • The final touches on the evening wear are completed

It’s as simple as that!  And the result is beautiful evening wear, just the way you imagined it. If this is what you’re looking for, make an appointment with the designer and we will get started!

Shoes – customizable sneakers for everyone!

They say that shoes make an outfit, and I completely agree. No matter what you wear, whether it is an evening gown, a bridal gown, or a pair of jeans, the right pair of shoes can really make your garment pop. One of the key elements that I look for when I’m shoe shopping is the “wow factor.”  When I say “wow factor,” I don’t necessarily mean they have to be blingy (although I do like bling on my shoes), but they do have to catch my eye and have something unique that makes them stand out.

The latest pair ofCamden Market with flower cart shoes that caught my eye was during my recent travels.  I was in an artsy part of London, England called Camden market. It’s a market with lot of retailers, and a great vibe. As I was strolling through the market, I came across KoKo Art, talented designers that customize runners/sneakers (among other things). They had several runners on display, all of them with interesting designs, hand-painted by the lovely artists on-site. Of course, I wanted to get a unique pair for myself and I loved the idea of customizing my sneakers. The process was simple:

1) Choose the type of sneakers that you wanted (you could select one of three different options)

2) Select the size

3) Choose the design.

There were several binders full of different designs that you could choose from, and if you wanted something completely different, all you had to do was ask. One of my friends wanted to take a pair home for her kids but was looking for something Disney related. If the artists weren’t familiar with a character, they were still able to design something amazing by just glancing at a picture of the cartoon. The result was an adorable set of mini runners, which is sure to be the envy of any child. The cost of the shoes depends on what size you order and the artists at KoKo Art can hand-paint the shoes in an hour, unless they have a backlog of orders. If you’re in London, it’s worth a look!

What would you choose to put on your runners if you could customize them?

Engagement party venue worth seeing!

An engagement party or a wedding shower are two events along with your wedding day that may need planning.  There are a lot of different options available in Toronto where you can have a great party, but what’s the perfect spot for you? When I look for venues for events, I always look for two key things: great food and amazing ambiance. If you’re looking for an amazing venue uptown, one of my favourite Italian restaurants for a cozy event is Fiamma Restaurant in Woodbridge.

You definitely don’t need to worry about the quality of food at Fiamma restaurant. The meals are so delicious and flavourful. From the appetizers to the main course, to the mouth-watering dessert, I was not disappointed at all. One of my absolute favourite appetizers off the menu, if you’re an octopus lover, is the Polpo Grigliato. OctopusIt is to die for! And you can’t go wrong with any of the pizza or pasta dishes. For your special event, the restaurant can supply a set menu for you or can customize a menu to fit your specific needs. And, you can tell your guests not to worry about dietary restrictions because Fiamma will accommodate for food allergies. As for dessert, you do have an option to bring your own dessert if you like, but I’m confident you’ll love what the restaurant can offer.

There are different dining areas as well, depending on the number of guests you are looking for at your engagement party. The main dining area accommodates 85 guests, there’s a private room available if you prefer a smaller room for 26 guests. And, if you truly want a very small space, you can also book the VIP room that accommodates 10 guests. The venue is closed on Sundays for private special occasions, with events starting in the afternoon. You can also bring your own decorations if you’re planning on having a theme for your party. The ambiance is great, very classy and modern with a warm and inviting feel.

If you haven’t had a chance to visit yet, go for dinner with your friends or family and see for yourself. You won’t be disappointed!

Father-daughter dance songs for your wedding

The father-daughter dance is a time-honoured tradition, one that is an essential part of the wedding reception. I always found this dance to be a very special one for any wedding I’ve attended. It represents a woman leaving her father’s home and starting a new home with her husband. Finding the right song for the father-daughter dance might take a little time – but not to worry, you will find something amazing for your special day. There are definitely more options for the first dance as bride and groom. When you think about choosing a song for the father-daughter dance, you’ll need to consider what kind of song you’d like for the occasion. Are you looking for something upbeat or would you prefer a slower song that’s more sentimental? If you go the sentimental route, you’ll want to make sure your song provides the right sentiment without it sounding sexual. Would you want something a bit more modern or do you think a classic song might be best for your wedding? Here are a few of my favourites, a mix of classics and some modern songs as well:

  • Stevie Wonder – Isn’t she lovely                                                          Bride and father dancing their Father-Daughter dance
  • Natalie Grant – Always be your baby
  • Luther Vandross – Dance with my Father
  • Chrisette Michele – Your Joy
  • Adele – Make you feel my love
  • James Morrison – Until the Stars Go Out
  • Whitney Houston – You’ll never stand alone
  • Christina Aguilera – I turn to You
  • Phil Collins – You’ll be in my heart
  • Frank Sinatra – The way you look tonight
  • Lee Ann Womack – I hope you dance
  • Celine Dion – These are the special times
  • Whitney Houston – Count on me
  • Dean Martin – I wish you love
  • Rascal Flatts – My Wish

What are some of your favourite dance-worthy slow songs? What are you thinking of choosing for your special father-daughter dance at your wedding? Let us know!

9 Bachelorette Party Ideas For The Bride-To-Be

It’s party time ladies!  A bachelorette party is an essential part of the wedding preparations, especially for the friends of the bride. Having been to several bachelorette parties over the years, I can tell you that there are two elements that are essential to a great night out – good friends and some fun activities. Traditional parties I’ve attended have included an element of food and dancing, but there are other options you can consider if you’re looking to jazz up your evening and do something different:

  • Weekend spa getaway: Relax with your ladies at a weekend spa getaway – it’s just what you need to escape the stresses of the week. Massage, mani-pedi, facials, sauna, and delicious meals.  It’s hard to compete with this, right?Flutes of champagne at bachelorette party
  • Cooking party: Cooking with friends is always a fun option. There are studios, like Dish Cooking Studio, that offer cooking classes for special events. You’ll get to learn some new culinary techniques and have some fantastic food, prepared by you and your friends.
  • Mystery dinner event: Who doesn’t like a little mystery in their lives? Instead of just having dinner with your friends or watching a show, you can attend a murder mystery dinner party like Mysteriously Yours, where you not only have a great meal with your friends, but you participate in the show by helping solve the mystery. The bride-to-be can also be included in the ruse if you let them know ahead of time.
  • Karaoke bus: This is for all you singers out there! Travel in style by ordering a party karaoke limo bus with a great sound system and a dance floor. You can sing your heart out and show your crazy dance moves all at the same time.
  • Cabin in the woods: A private escape with your gals at a quaint cabin in the woods might be just what you need if you want something a bit more low-key. You can always buy some fun games from Party City, like “how well do you know your bachelorette” or “Dare to do it bachelorette” to add some entertainment.
  • Circus madness: If you and your friends are more on the adventure-seeking side, you can attend the Toronto Circus School for your bachelorette party. There are different packages you can choose from to get you in the circus spirit, including juggling, acrobatics, flying trapeze, and the hoop.
  • Foodie tour: If you like to try different restaurants/food that you might not have known existed, you can always go on a Foodie On Foot Tour with your ladies. There are different tours you can choose from, but most importantly you can learn about the hidden gems in Toronto, eat some great food and go on a walking tour of the city.
  • Trivia night at a bar: Get in touch with your competitive side by teaming up with your ladies for a trivia game night at a local bar/pub.  Check out Junction Craft Trivia, Brass Facts, Headscratchers Trivia to name a few.
  • Paint Nite: Get in touch with your artistic side by participating in a Paint Nite. These events are set up in local pubs, trendy bars, and restaurants around the city. You can order food and drinks while you get in touch with your creative side.

Whatever plans you make, it’s sure to be a great evening! What other options have you considered for a bachelorette party?

Sweet table options for your wedding reception

Dessert is a big part of any wedding. There’s a lot of different options you could include, especially to a sweet table, or in addition to a sweet table.  Here are some of my top choices!

Gelato bar:  There’s nothing like a cool scoop of delicious gelato after you’ve broken a sweat on the dance floor to make your night!  It’s the perfect treat at a wedding reception, whether a gelato cart with several gelato flavours from Love Gelatoit’s an addition to your sweet table or just on its own – after all, who doesn’t love gelato?  One of my very favourites is Love Gelato. They absolutely do gelato right! They have some delicious flavours (and I’m speaking from experience here) and can provide you either a traditional gelato cart at your wedding or display all the yumminess in a beautiful customized ice sculpture.

Cotton Candy: A sticky treat, but so, so sweet! Another unique option you could offer at your wedding – it’s definitely a fun alternative for your guests.  You could set up a cotton candy station at your wedding reception or have a cart on-site with a cotton candy guru making the delicious treats on the spot! Alternatively, you could provide mini cotton candy bags to your guests as a parting gift.  Check out Bucket & Whisk or Candy Floss Land for some options.

Candy Station:  Candy Floss Land can provide you some amazing options for special candy stations at your wedding.  The type of candy will depend on you, so have some fun with it!  Choose colourful options to jazz things up or select your candy based on your specific theme.  Some of my favourite treats from Sugarfina include princess pearls, maple bourbon caramels, champagne bears and tequila grapefruit sours. Make sure each of your candy options are properly labelled and that a scoop is available for each bowl of candy. You don’t want your guests to reach in with their bare hands to grab their treats.  You can also include little take-home containers for guests who don’t feel like sugaring up at the wedding but would like a treat later on in the evening.  Last, but not least, be conscious of allergies!

Gourmet Popcorn: Although the sweet treats are always welcome, you may prefer a little savoury at your wedding and gourmet popcorn is sure to do the trick!  There’s so many amazing flavours at Toronto Popcorn Company salted caramel, blueberry, vanilla cream, jalapeno cheddar, salt and vinegar, garlic Parmesan, to name a few, or you could go fancier with cookies and cream popcorn, sea salt and maple, or cinnamon caramel.

Mini Donuts – For donut lovers everywhere, these bite-sized guilty pleasures will add a little zing to the sweet table. If you’re on the hunt for some delicious donuts, check out The Rolling Pin. They have so many different flavours: Hot Chocolate, Crème Brûlée, Nutella Bomb, and Tiramisu, just to name a few, and they’re able to do special orders for the minis.

Gourmet cookie or pastry table – Cookie lovers and pastry buffs everywhere will love this option. Whether it’s a beautiful, colourful Macaron tower, a P’tit chou tower or a selection of miniature cakes, this display of delectable treats will satisfy any guest at your wedding. Nadège has some great options for you to consider, if this is something you’re looking for at your reception.

With all these different sweet treats available, how can you go wrong?

8 Ideas for a Valentine’s Day Wedding Proposal

Valentine's Day red roses next to an open heart shaped box of chocolatesValentine’s Day is a very popular day for wedding proposals.  After all, it is the day of love, so it makes sense that a man would want to pop the question on such a romantic day. A wedding proposal is probably the most nerve-wracking experience for men and coming up with the perfect night can be stressful.  Here are a few ideas for a special date night where you can pop the question:

  • Romantic dinner: You can always go the traditional route and propose after a very romantic dinner at a favourite restaurant, or one that your bride-to-be has always wanted to try but hasn’t had a chance yet.  There are a lot of romantic restaurants you could go to for Valentine’s Day for your wedding proposal.  Here are a few you can try: Alo Restaurant, Colette Grand Café, Blu Ristorante, or Terra Restaurant (if you’re north of the city) to name a few. Don’t forget to make a reservation, especially on Valentine’s Day!
  • Personal Chef: Food, food, and more food.  They always say that people show their love through food. What better way to spend an evening than with a professional chef cooking for you in the comfort of your own home?  Gourmet food, wine and the love of your life by your side, it’s hard to imagine anything better.
  • Chocolate workshop: Chocolate is a girl’s best friend. I haven’t met a person yet who doesn’t like chocolate, so why not incorporate it into a special evening with your girl?  You can attend a chocolate making workshop together and surprise her with a box of chocolate and some bling. Odile Chocolat offers an hour and a half session where you can taste chocolate, have some bubbly and learn how to roll your own champagne-infused chocolate truffles.  Or, you can try a special Valentine’s Day chocolate tasting session at Soma Chocolate in the distillery district.
  • Sleigh ride: Romance will be swirling in the air with a beautiful sleigh ride in the great outdoors. It’s a perfect way to cuddle up to your loved one with a nice blanket and enjoy the breathtaking scenery.  The horses are of course my favourite.  You can pull over somewhere special and pop the big question and maybe have some hot chocolate to warm up!
  • Dinner for two, cooked by you! There’s nothing more romantic than a man cooking for his sweetheart. Hopefully, this isn’t the first time you’ve cooked a meal before, but even if it is, I have faith in you.  A candlelight dinner, cooking your girlfriend’s favourite meal is sure to melt any heart!
  • Niagara-on-the-lake: Wine and dine in the charming Niagara-on-the-Lake region, one of my favourite destinations year-round. There are so many great wine/food tasting options that you could attend. It’s a great way to learn about the winemaking process and get some ideas about wine and food pairings. Tours can range from $15-$175, depending on what you’re looking for from the tour.
  • Ice skating: If you live in Canada, ice skating is a winter sport that you’re very familiar with, and hopefully love.  There are several places you could go for ice skating, but if you want to do something a bit different and romantic, you can take your sweetheart to the ice skating trail through the Muskoka forest at Arrowhead Provincial Park for your wedding proposal. The trail is lit up at night with tiki torches, making it even more beautiful. You can also try Light the Night at Muskoka Lakes Farm & Winery. It’s a 1.2 km Cranberry Ice trail, lit up with hundreds of tiki torches.  Don’t worry about skates if you don’t have any, they have rentals onsite. Make it a weekend trip and enjoy the great outdoors!
  • A Special Place: Last, but not least, you can always take your girl someplace unique to you both. It could be the place where you first met, or where you went on your first date, or someplace that means something to both of you.

Whatever you decide for your wedding proposal, it will be perfect!

Stretch limo, classic or luxury coach – what will you choose for your wedding?

The last thing you want to think about is driving on your wedding day. You’ll have plenty of other details and things to keep your mind occupied. Luckily, the transportation options these days are plentiful. Gone are the days where stretch limo sedans are the main transportation for brides on their special day. Here are a few options you can consider:

White stretch limo with driver standing next to the door

Traditional Stretch Limo: If you’re looking for more of a classical look/feel at your wedding, you can always opt for the traditional stretch limo. Depending on the size and model of the limo, you can fit between 6 (for a smaller limo) to 15 people or more for a stretch limo. These limos are a bit more difficult for brides to get in and out of, depending on the dress, as you’re not able to stand upright inside the vehicle.

White hummer limo adorned with flowersHummer Stretch Limo: The hummer stretch limo offers all the advantages of a traditional stretch limo, but is more spacious and very luxurious. Whether it’s leather interior or high end fabric, the seating will provide ultimate comfort for you and your guests. These vehicles also have great lighting and sound systems, bars and some even have tv screens. With the hummer stretch, the bride and groom and other guests don’t have to worry about bending down to get into the vehicle – this one you can stand up in! Check out AAA Yorkdale Limousine, they have plenty of options!

Antique white car with flowers by the windshield

Vintage/Antique Cars: This option has also become quite popular for bride and grooms. If you want the old Hollywood look, classic cars like the Bentley or Rolls Royce are great options – AB Limousine has some models you can peruse. These vehicles are generally used by the bride and groom for pictures as it’s not as spacious as some of the other options. Just remember, these are old cars and make for a less smoother, comfortable ride.

black luxury sedan limousine in front of large windowsLuxury Sedan Limousine: This offers a comfortable ride to the bride and groom on their wedding day. It’s a modern limo feel with a luxury sedan and seats between 2 to 4 passengers, depending on which vehicle you choose. If you have a larger wedding party, you may need to think about how the wedding party will arrive at the church and the reception hall.

 

White luxury coach on a highway

Luxury Coach: One of the more expensive options for a wedding, but it’s a good one if you’re looking for transportation that can hold your whole wedding party and out-of-towners. Depending on the size and model, these coaches can hold up to 28-60 people and have luxurious interiors. Many of them have TVs, stand-up bars, bathrooms and surround sound stereos. L.A Limousine has several different options you can choose from. Smaller coaches are also available, such as a Mercedes coach if you just need transportation for fewer people and still want a comfortable ride.

white golf cart with white and blue flowers at an outdoor wedding

Golf Cart: A unique option to consider if you’re planning on getting married on a beautiful beach. It can be used to bring the bride to her wedding destination or several golf carts can be used to bring all the bridesmaids to the wedding.

 

White horse drawn carriage with gold embellishments for a weddingHorse Drawn Carriage: A Cinderella-esque option, fit for a fairy tale wedding. A stunning horse drawn carriage would add a romantic element to your wedding, if you are saying “I do” in the summer months. Consider timing to get to the church, if you’re planning on taking the horse drawn carriage to the church – it’s sure to be a slower trip to your final destination.

bride in a sweetheart dress in a canoe boat

Boat: For some outdoor destination weddings by the water, brides might also want to come to the wedding in a boat, whether it is a motor boat or a canoe. It’s a beautiful option and definitely more unconventional. Disembarking the boat will be the most difficult part – make sure you’re careful getting into and out of the boat. The last thing you want is to fall into the water! You may think this is a rare occurrence, but but it does happen with all the excitement.

Which mode of transportation would you choose?

Bridal Gown Cleaning and Preservation – Should You or Shouldn’t You?

Bridal gown cleaning - two bridal gows displayed and one in a preservation packageA bridal gown is an iconic part of your wedding day.  After all, you’ve spent years envisioning what your wedding day will be like and what you’ll be wearing the day you say “I do.” So what happens to your wedding gown after the big day? That’s when bridal gown cleaning and preservation comes into play.

Why preserve your wedding dress after your wedding? You would think that after your nuptials, you could just put your dress in a box or in a garment bag and hang it in your closet for a keepsake.  But, if you’re planning on keeping your luxury bridal gown in good shape for the future – whether it just be for a memento or to pass it down to your own daughter one day, you’ll need to make sure that you take the right precautions to preserve your dress.

Wedding dresses can take quite a beating on a wedding day – stains, odour, possible tears in the dress are all very likely. After all, a bride is in her wedding dress for hours on her special day, so cleaning and preserving the dress will be very important.  Here are some things to consider:

  • Make sure you take your dress to the wedding dress cleaners soon after your wedding, ideally the day after the big day. The longer a stain stays in your dress, the harder it is to get it out. Wedding dress cleaners also have the ability to see invisible stains (such as white wine) that you can’t see with the naked eye. These stains will start to damage your fabric over time, if it’s not cleaned properly.
  • Do not take your wedding dress to a regular dry cleaner. Wedding dresses are specialized garments and not all dry cleaners will know how to deal with the proper cleaning of these dresses. Depending on the fabric and the details on the dress, wedding gown cleaners/preservation companies will have more knowledge on the proper techniques to use to clean your garment.
  • Make sure you go to a reputable wedding gown preservation company for your bridal gown cleaning. After spending all that time and money finding the perfect dress, you don’t want your dress to be ruined. If you’re looking for great service and knowledgeable staff, check out Parkers Dry Cleaners. They’ve been in business for over 100 years and have expert staff that specializes in wedding dress preservation.  They can even dry clean your wedding dress before the wedding, if needed.
  • Once you get your bridal gown cleaning done and prepped for preservation, keep it in a safe place!

Luxury bridal fabric – what do you need to know?

Lace Luxury fabric for bridal gownsYour wedding dress is an important part of your special day.  It’s not just the style and the silhouette that you’ll need to think about, it’s the fabric too – will you want luxury fabric or a cheaper fabric for your bridal gown?.  Wedding dress styles tend to vary based on the fabric that is used – some are better to create a structured look, and others are better for lighter, flowier looks. Here’s what to expect with some of the key luxury fabrics out there:

Satin:  This luxury fabric is characterized by its smooth finish and generally lustrous surface with a dull back. Satin is the most durable of wedding dress fabrics and very versatile, making it a great option for more structured designs. The fabric comes in a large variety of weights and different kinds of blends (i.e. silk, polyester or blend).  Fabrics that are made from natural fibers are more breathable but are also much more expensive and wrinkle more easily, which is why blends and synthetics have emerged. The thickness of the fabric lends itself well to cooler weather weddings.

Mikado: Luxurious type of blended silk that is generally heavier than 100% silk, which provides great structure to gowns. This luxury fabric is soft to the touch and will keep you cool and fresh.

Lace: Most often used as a decorative detail or an overlay on a gown, lace is an open luxury fabric that is created in a specific pattern through the use of spaces and solids.  It varies in style (ie. Chantilly, Venise, Guipure) and is prone to snags, as is the case with Tulle.

Charmeuse: A light, slinky fabric with a beautiful glossy sheen that feels like satin to the touch. It’s generally made of silk but can also be made of synthetic fibers.

Organza: Much like chiffon, this fabric is crisp, lightweight and sheer, but with a stiffer texture (like tulle). This fabric tends to be flowy and delicate and can also be prone to snags. It is traditionally made from silk and used often to layer a gown. Because it is lightweight, it’s great for weddings in warmer weather.

Tulle: A light, sheer fabric that looks like netting. It’s an extremely delicate fabric that can be snagged easily.  It is generally used for wedding dress skirts and can be made in silk, rayon or nylon.

Chiffon: A very sheer, transparent fabric that is very lightweight. Due to the transparency of the fabric, it tends to be used to layer over skirts. It’s usually made of silk or synthetic fibers. It’s a very delicate fabric that can snag or fray easily.

Brocade: Traditionally for fall and winter seasons, this luxury fabric is jacquard-woven and includes raised designs. This fabric is now also being used in the summer season.  

These are just a few of the common luxury fabrics out there – there are several other ones that you may find when you’re searching for your perfect wedding dress.  Happy shopping!

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