Category Archives: In the Limelight (Vendor Features)


Bridal Hairstyle Inspiration (Part 2)

This week we’re getting the low down on locks with Patricia J. Hair Designer. On Monday we looked at vintage bridal hairstyles – today’s post is for the brides who dream of being a princess on their wedding day!

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Fairy tale weddings are all about romance, so when it comes to your bridal hairstyle you want to think soft, flowing and pretty. A low chignon with some hairpins adds a bit of sparkle and is an elegant option for those who want their hair up. Loose curls look stunning on a bride wearing a veil.  A lace Mantilla veil adds extra romance.

Edmonton Wedding Planner + Designer

Photo Credits: Ballgown – Vera Wang Hannah; Low Chignon – My Hair Style; Hair Pins – Chez Bec; Wavy Hair – Trim Club; Mantilla Lace Veil – Lisa Gowing.



Bridal Hairstyle Inspiration (Part 1)

Brides-to-be, you’re in for a treat this week. We have expert hair designer Patricia J. lined up to share bridal hairstyle inspiration for three different looks: vintage, fairy tale and chic + relaxed.

Patricia is an all-star stylist at Celebrity Hair Salon in downtown Edmonton. Whether you need a gorgeous style for your wedding, a fresh new cut and colour, or just a trim – give her a call. I know firsthand how amazing this lady is…she’s the only one I trust to look after my locks! Stay tuned to the blog this week for more inspiring wedding hairstyles and accessories.

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With a vintage bridal style, the hair is all about elegance. It’s great to be inspired by those Old Hollywood babes such as Grace Kelly or Audrey Hepburn, but even with a vintage style you want your hair to look current – not dated.

Wearing your hair down in sexy, glamourous waves is always good. If you want to have fun with the wave, pin it up into a faux bob, or roll up the front for a faux fringe. The classic bouffant is a great option for a full updo. lace veils or vintage combs/pins are key accessories to bring this look together.

Edmonton Wedding Hair Stylist

Edmonton Wedding Planner + Designer

Photo Credits: Art Deco Dress – YolanCris; Kate Bosworth – InStyle; Dita Von Teese – Zimbio; Comb and Birdcage – Queens & Bowl.   bestweddingveil



In the Limelight: Sharon Litchfield Photography

As with your wedding planner / coordinator, it’s so important to have a good connection with the professional photographer that you hire to capture those special moments on your wedding day.

Meet Sharon Litchfield. Not only is she a super sweet person, she takes some pretty sweet photos! We’ve worked with Sharon on some gorgeous events and we’re looking forward to collaborating more this upcoming wedding season. Read on to learn more about Sharon, why she became a photographer and her favourite part of the wedding day.

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Edmonton Wedding PhotographerQuick give us your best Tweetography (tell us about yourself in 140 characters or less)!

I’m Sharon! I’m the face behind Sharon Litchfield Photography. Other than taking too many photos and scouting the next great location, I also love coffee dates and indulging in all things pretty. I’m really just your typical girl.

Why did you become a photographer?

I’ll be honest, photography was never something I thought would interest me, until I saw my own wedding photos. I was surprised that my favourite photos were the ones that captured us when we weren’t looking at the camera, with perfect smiles, and just being ourselves. I was instantly inspired and attracted to creating something that evokes so much emotion. Since then, photography has become a creative outlet for me. I feel so lucky to actually be able to do this for a living.

Who have been the biggest influences in your life (photographers or otherwise)?

I know this sounds cliché, but the biggest influence in my life is my husband, Jeff. He has unwavering faith in me and is always encouraging and supportive of everything I do. Without him (and his gentle nagging), I would never have accomplished half the things I have today.

How would you describe your photography style?

I don’t think I really have a specific style. I am inspired by my couples and their personalities really infuse the style of their photos. Some couples love the posed editorial fashion style, while others prefer something more natural and photojournalistic. Most of the time, we’ll find the sweet spot and we’ll play.

Do you have a favourite part of the wedding day that you love to shoot?

My favourite part of a wedding to shoot is the bride’s “Getting Ready.” Being a lover of all things pretty, sparkly, soft and delicate, the getting ready part is heaven to me. Starting off the day with something so beautiful and serene really helps set the tone for me for the rest of the day.

What are some wedding day photography tips that couples should keep in mind?

  • Pick a photographer who shares your vision. When you commit to a photographer, be sure that you absolutely love what they do, and not what you would like them to do. While it is your day and the photographer is dedicated to capturing your day, it’s also important to not expect that they will be able to recreate existing shots.
  • Allot enough time for photography because you never know the roadblocks along the way, and be realistic of how many locations you want to visit. Sometimes, you realize on the day, there isn’t enough time so you should really strive for the locations that mean the most to you and not try to get TOO creative.
  • Finally, don’t be afraid to be free and express everything that you’re feeling. The best shots are from the ones where you’re relaxed and letting your guard down in front of the camera.

Here’s a beautiful sampling of images Sharon has captured of our clients and their weddings:

Edmonton Wedding Photographer

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Visit Sharon’s blog and Facebook page for more gorgeous wedding eye-candy!

Edmonton Wedding Planner + Designer



In the Limelight: Moments in Digital Photography

From photographing an event for Grammy award-winning artist David Foster to the Delux Burger Bar Celebrity Chefs, Moments in Digital photographers Bruce and Sarah Clarke bring their experiences capturing unique events to your wedding day. Their mantra? Take beautiful photos while having a whole lot of fun!

We had the pleasure of working with Moments in Digital Photography on Sherena + Clay’s gorgeous wedding last fall. Some images from their day are included at the bottom of this post.

Read on as Bruce and Sarah share their top wedding photography tips and why they love being behind the lens.

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Edmonton Wedding Photographer

Credit: Pink Sugar Photography

Quick – give us your Tweetography (tell us about Moments in Digital in 140 characters or less)!

We are a fun-loving husband and wife team who love telling people’s stories through our photography. Capturing moments while having fun is what we are all about!

Why did you become photographers?

Photography was something that we both always enjoyed and like most people, our interest in photography began as a hobby. Growing up we were both fortunate to be raised in families who loved to document important moments with a camera. Later in life, it was travel and the desire to to do a better job of documenting our journeys that led us to want to learn more about photography. That eventually evolved into pursuing photography professionally and we realized how much we loved to tell people’s stories with our photography so documenting weddings became a natural evolution for us. We love getting to know our couples and we think that helps us create genuine images that really show off their personalities.

One of the other motivating factors that got us into wedding photography was the experience we had with our own wedding photography. Regretfully, we put budget ahead of the skill and artistic vision of the photographer we chose to photograph our own wedding, and the result was images we weren’t over the moon with. If we could go back in time, we would definitely spend more time finding the right fit of personality, experience and vision and not worry about spending a bit more to get images we’d be happy with for the rest of our lives.

Who have been the biggest influences in your life (photographers or otherwise)?

Our parents were definitely large influences on us although it wasn’t until recently when we started to dig around in their basements looking for vintage cameras to add to our growing collection that we both realized how many cameras our families owned. Even though neither one of us had any professional photographers in our families, photography and photographs were always prevalent in our lives.

In terms of other photographers, we draw a lot of our inspiration from a mixture of old and new photographers including Ansel Adams, Cartier Bresson, Bambi Cantrell, Jesh deRox, Joe McNally, Jerry Ghionis, Kevin Kubota, and many others. We also love movies and get a lot of inspiration for lighting and composition from them.

How would you describe your photography style?

Most people would say our photography style is laid back and fun. We love to laugh and goof around with our couples but we also take what we are doing very seriously. We try to keep our images fun and fresh while at the same time making sure the finished product is clean and timeless. There are many trends in photography and in post production that are here today and gone tomorrow. While we do like to keep up with the trends, we also try not to overdue it with any one trend as we think it will quickly date our clients’ images. We don’t want them looking back on their images in a few years and thinking that they look old and dated. Trends like selective color or applying a vintage wash to an image might look interesting for awhile but quickly lose their appeal. We love bright, bold, and colorful images along with classic black and white photography.

Do you have a favourite wedding or wedding moment that you’ve photographed?

It probably sounds cliché but there has been something special about every wedding we have photographed. Most recently, we had the opportunity to travel to India to photograph a destination wedding at a palace in the middle of a lake so that would probably rank up there with one of our more memorable weddings. Another wedding we really enjoyed was Hunter & Rod’s intimate wedding at Rutherford House. It was a small family affair that was anything but traditional and included a casual dinner with close family and friends followed by parlour games and everyone sharing stories about the happy couple.

What are some wedding day photography tips that couples should keep in mind?

  • Relax and have fun. Don’t feel you always have to be looking at the camera. Interact with each other and your friends and family and you’ll wind up with more natural looking images from your wedding day.
  • Discuss your schedule with your photographer. Make sure you leave plenty of time for photographs. Often couples underestimate the amount of time they’ll need for photos and forget to plan for things like people being late, traffic snarls, and travel time between locations. Great images take time to create and if you and your photographer are pressed for time, you’ll both be stressed and it will show in the images
  • Also, talk to your photographer about what time of day will be best for your wedding photos. Many people think that the middle of the day during a summer wedding would be a great time for photographs because it will be nice and sunny out but that is actually one of the worst time to do your photographs. If it’s a hot summer day, you and your wedding party will be uncomfortable and at that time of day the sun is high in the sky resulting in harsh, unflattering shadows.

RedTail Landing Edmonton Wedding

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Thanks for sharing, Bruce and Sarah! Head on over to the Moments in Digital blog to view more of their work and to book this fun-loving couple for your wedding day.

Edmonton Wedding Planner + Designer



In the Limelight: Erica Viegas (Singer/Songwriter)

Music is such an important part of celebrations. The songs you choose for your big day will become lifelong triggers of the emotions you experienced at your wedding.

We’ve had the opportunity to work with a talented local musician at several of our clients’ weddings and it’s been exciting to watch her career take off! Erica Viegas is a singer/songwriter who is available to perform at Edmonton and area weddings. This multi-talented performer released her first EP (Where My Heart Goes) in 2010 and was named one of Avenue Magazine Edmonton’s Top 40 Under 40 in 2011. Read on for Erica’s tips on choosing your wedding music.

Edmonton Wedding MusicianQuick – give us your best Tweetography (ie. tell us about yourself in 140 characters or less)!

I’m a singer/songwriter from Edmonton who loves to play my own music at various shows and I also like to lend my voice to weddings!

What kind of music services do you offer for weddings?

Most often, I am asked to play music for the ceremony (along with about 20 minutes when people are being seated beforehand), though reception music can be arranged, which could include the dance or certain parts in the reception. I can play myself (piano, voice, guitar), but usually like to bring in another instrument too if that suits the wedding – the most popular being cello, or another guitar. I love to make wedding music really beautiful, but also relevant and enjoyable. A lot of people picture ceremony music being boring, or older style hymns, and I want music to add something special and meaningful to a wedding — choosing songs that have words and music that can make a difference to the couple and their guests. Though singing is something I enjoy, I have also done receptions of instrumental music as well. Depending on the couple’s vision and budget, I can also play with a full band, although ceremony music usually tends to be quite acoustic and intimate.

Who have been the biggest influences in your life (musicians or otherwise)?

I love folky/pop music and tend to write and record music in that vein — I listen to lots of Canadian music like Sarah Harmer, Kathleen Edwards, Serena Ryder, Sarah Slean….and I’m inspired by people who have managed to have successful and growing careers in the Canadian scene. I’m always inspired by music that tells a story and creates an emotion.

Do you have a repertoire of songs that couples can select from, or will you learn new songs if the bride and groom have something special in mind?

I do have a list of songs that I’ve played in the past or that are often requested. A lot of people have never really thought about music before coming in, so I like to meet the couple by doing a little “mini-concert” of different choices at my place before the wedding and have them say “yes” or “no” based on what I’m playing. This also helps me to suggest songs that match the style they prefer.

I’m usually more than happy to learn a song that is meaningful to the couple if I’m given enough time. It’s also fun to learn new songs I’ve never heard of because chances are that other couples might like them too. Though my own music is more mainstream, I did train classically and can sing some traditional classical music pieces if that is what the couple is looking for.

What are some of your favourite songs to play when the bride walks down the aisle?

Most couples prefer instrumental songs when walking down the aisle so that all attention stays on the beautiful bride. I love doing an instrumental version of “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen on piano with a cellist. The “Forrest Gump Feather Theme” is a gorgeous instrumental and many brides still love “Canon in D,” which is also really pretty. A bride once introduced me to “Sea of Love” by Cat Power, and that was a really cool one to sing down the aisle, as well as Fleetwood Mac/Eva Cassidy’s “Songbird” or “Feels like Home” by Chantal Kreviazuk, which has gorgeous words. Jason Mraz’s “I’m Yours,” Edwin McCain’s “I’ll Be,” David Grey’s “This Year’s Love,” or Jack Johnson’s “Better Together” have been requested a lot in the last little while, as well as “Ave Maria” for church ceremonies.

Any advice or tips for brides and grooms when considering their wedding music?

Music has the ability to create emotions in a really special way. Picking songs that are meaningful to you as a couple is a great way for your energy and style to shine through in the ceremony. Depending on where you choose to get married, you may have to tailor your music accordingly. Certain churches, for instance, have restrictions on what types of songs you can sing and it definitely helps me if the couple can tell me in advance if the person celebrating their service has restrictions — that way I can work within the confines of the place they are celebrating to still find something that suits them. If you have a “special song” as a couple or songs you remember from other weddings, that always helps. I really enjoy meeting couples and getting to know them enough to help them pick the music, even if they are stumped for ideas when we first sit down.

What’s in store this year for Erica Viegas?

My first wedding of 2012 was in the first weekend of the New Year, and I am looking forward to celebrating lots of weddings with great couples. On a personal front, I think I’ve sung at over 200 weddings, but never actually been a bridesmaid (because I’m always singing instead)….so I’m very excited to be a bridesmaid for the first time this summer! I’m also finishing up recording on a new album I’ve written, produced by Mike Lent (Jann Arden’s former musical director), which has really been a labour of love that I can’t wait to share soon, and travel with (at a few festivals) this summer!

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For more information and to hear Erica’s music, visit her website.

Edmonton Wedding Planner

Photo Credit: Moments in Digital Photography.



In the Limelight: Pure Strength Fitness

Fitness and health top the list of New Year’s Resolutions each year, and for brides and grooms tying the knot in 2012, it’s no different! Whether you want to lose a few pounds, gain strength and muscle mass, or run your first road race, Edmonton’s Pure Strength Fitness is here to ensure your resolution stays on track.

I spent some time with Owner and Bridal Fitness Coach, Carlie Paxton, chatting about Pure Strength Fitness and how they can help you achieve your fitness goals. When Carlie’s done with you the only rolls at your wedding will be the ones served with dinner!

Edmonton Bridal Fitness

Carlie Paxton, Pure Strength Fitness

Tell us about the muscle behind Pure Strength Fitness!

I am Carlie Paxton, the owner and Bridal Fitness Coach of Pure Strength Fitness. I love being active and developed an affinity for living a healthy lifestyle at a very young age. Growing up in a family of sports minded boys, I learned very quickly how to keep up so I could get in on all the action. After seven years of personal training and working for lululemon athletica (a company full of strong, empowered women), I decided to focus my efforts on women and their fitness needs. After attending my first Bridal Expo, I fell in love with the idea of working with Brides. The thought of helping women look and feel great on their special day was very appealing to me. And here I am now…

Pure Strength Fitness is a boutique fitness studio in the West Glenora area. We provide lifestyle coaching that will help clients improve their body, mind and spirit. We offer a wide range of training options that will fit your schedule, rates that will match your budget, and a training style tailored to your individual needs.

What kind of training does Pure Strength Fitness focus on / specialize in?

We specialize in lifestyle coaching for Brides – specifically, women who want to make changes in their life to help them look and feel great for their wedding. Pure Strength Fitness has built a community of women that support and encourage each other to prepare for their wedding day.

How long before their wedding should brides and/or grooms begin a fitness program?

Whether your wedding is next year or next month it is never too late. With Pure Strength Fitness not only will we help you look and feel great for your wedding, we will improve your quality of life and help you create happy, healthy habits that you can use throughout your lifetime.

Many couples are strapped for time. How can they incorporate a fitness program into their busy lives?

If you have a full hour to be active everyday, great – but use your time wisely. Instead of training for longer periods of time, focus your efforts on working harder for shorter periods of time. The key is to keep your heart rate up for at least 30 minutes a day. Make sure your training goals are realistic. The more realistic your goals are the more sustainable and enjoyable your workouts will be. Consistency is everything.

What are your top tips for pre-wedding health and fitness?

Nutrition Tips

  • Never skip breakfast. Your body can go into starvation mode after 12 hours of not eating. If you go past a 12-hour period, your body starts to eat away at muscle tissue which then slows down your metabolism. A slow metabolism means unwanted weight gain.
  • Watch your sodium intake. Not only is it bad for your kidneys and blood pressure, it makes your face and body retain water (so you look heavier in your wedding photos).
  • Eliminate one carbonated beverage, one fruit juice or (god forbid) one Starbucks per day. This accounts for an average 1800 calories per week. At this rate in six weeks you can lose up to 3-4 pounds.

Fitness Tips

  • Start today – stop putting it off.
  • Add strength training into your fitness routine. Adding muscle will speed up your metabolism.
  • Tell others of your physical goals. A little motivation and encouragement from those you love will help keep you on track.

Do you offer any special packages to brides and grooms-to-be?

I have packages available for Brides, Bride and Groom and Bridal Party. If you are looking to start a training program please contact me at Don’t wait to start living. Live now!

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Here’s to a happy, healthy 2012!

Edmonton Wedding Planner



In the Limelight: The Oasis Centre

If you are looking for an elegant setting for your Edmonton wedding, look no further than The Oasis Centre. Coined “The Jewel of the West End,” The Oasis Centre hosts weddings, conferences and events. I sat down with Anne McLennan, Oasis’ Wedding & Event Coordinator, to chat about what makes this venue a unique choice for Edmonton weddings.

Describe The Oasis Centre in 3 words: Elegant, Unique, Outstanding!

What sets The Oasis Centre apart from other venues in Edmonton? We offer a beautiful, elegant, private setting and specialize in providing a full service ceremony and reception package. We serve our clients on an individual basis for their special event with warm, friendly and professional service with attention to every detail. The Grand Hall features marble pillars, a 24-ft floating ceiling, rose-quartz chandeliers, cathedral-like glass block windows for natural lighting and a built-in stage for head table seating.

What size of weddings can The Oasis Centre accommodate? Our Grand Hall holds 100-350 guests and on average we see groups of approximately 200 using the facility.

Can The Oasis Centre accommodate wedding ceremonies? Absolutely! The Grand Hall is a stunning location for indoor wedding ceremonies, and our beautifully manicured gardens accommodate outdoor ceremonies.

What are some of the unique features available for weddings at The Oasis Centre?

  • Elegant marble foyer with Italian espresso machine
  • Indoor 1300 gallon Koi aquarium
  • Luxurious, private Bridal Suite for bridal party and VIP Board Room for groomsmen
  • Stunning gardens with waterfall
  • Free convenient parking for all of your guests in our large and easy-to-access private parking lot

Does The Oasis Centre offer catering services? The Oasis Centre works with a variety of professional caterers. Each of our “preferred” caterers have a proven track record of providing outstanding service for our clients!

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Here are a couple photos of the Grand Hall dressed up for a gorgeous wedding reception (photos by Vinson Lim Photography):

Edmonton Wedding Planner

Photo Credit: Vinson Lim Photography.



In the Limelight with Anita Gill Makeup Artistry

Looking good on your wedding day isn’t enough for most brides – you want to drop jaws and knock the socks off your groom’s feet as he sees you for the first time, right!? Well, to get jaw-droppingly glam on your big day look no further than Anita Gill Makeup Artistry. Anita is an über-talented makeup artist in Edmonton and I have had the pleasure of working with her on several weddings over the past couple of years. Check out what this makeup maven has to say about makeup tips and trends for your big day.

Edmonton Wedding Makeup ArtistWho’s the lady behind the (makeup) brush?

I have been in the makeup industry for almost 6 years now. I started my makeup career off at MAC Cosmetics and worked there for just under 5 years. It wasn’t until early last year that I decided to move away from MAC and further pursue being a freelance makeup artist – and I can honestly say that that was one of the best decisions I have ever made. In addition to being a makeup artist, I am also just finishing up my last year in the B.Comm program at Grant MacEwan University. People often ask me why I am a Business and Human Resources student if I want to continue on with makeup. The simple answer is because I one day hope to turn this freelance business into a full makeup and hair studio.

Why did you become a makeup artist?

Originally I was interested in makeup simply because both of my sisters, Sunita Sumaru and Susan Gill, are makeup artists. I think naturally I just wanted to follow in their footsteps, but over the years I’ve discovered that it was more than that. I soon realized that my job was more than just doing makeup; it included making women look and feel their best. Knowing that I have the ability to make a woman feel super glamorous is the best feeling in the world. The reactions I get from women after doing their makeup is what makes this job so amazing to me.

What’s your favourite part about your job?

There are two things that I truly love about being a makeup artist: The first is that I am able to use my creativity to make a woman look and feel beautiful. The second is that I get to meet some of the most amazing people; this includes both people that I do makeup for, along with vendors that I have met within the wedding industry.

What are your top tips for brides when considering their bridal makeup?

  • First and foremost, it is nice to go into your makeup trial with some inspiration. So even if you just have a picture from a magazine or from a website, bring it with you because it will help communicate what your vision is for your wedding day makeup.
  • Keep in mind that makeup always looks a lot softer in pictures than it does in person, so do not be afraid to go a little darker/brighter for your bridal makeup. Having that bit of added depth in your eye shadow and a stronger cheek contour can really make all the difference in your pictures.
  • Make sure you get your eyebrows done before the big day. I can’t even begin to describe how much makeup artists appreciate a good, clean brow.
  • Lastly, say yes to the false lashes! Even if you choose the most natural lashes, they will still make a huge difference. In my opinion, no makeup is complete without liner and lashes!

What bridal makeup trends are you seeing for 2012?

When I first started doing makeup the bridal makeup trend really seemed to be natural, classy, soft neutrals and mauve. However, this trend is completely changing. The up and coming trends are definitely more of a soft smoky eye with nude pink lips and pink cheeks, and the second trend would be a neutral eye lid, with heavy liner and thick lashes, with a more bronzed cheek and neutral lip.

When should brides book their bridal makeup artist?

Be sure to book your makeup artist well in advance. A lot of people assume that makeup artists can be booked a month or two before the wedding date, but this can leave you super disappointed. Try to book at least 6 months in advance – it is surprising how quickly vendors book up these days! Also, book your trial closer to your wedding day (within two months of the wedding day), even if your wedding day is a year away. I say this because when brides get their trial done too far in advance, by the time the wedding comes around, their style has changed and they decide to change the way they want their makeup. In my experience, brides who have a trial too far in advance always end up getting a second trial done closer to the date. Many brides question this by asking, “Well I don’t want to wait until a month before the wedding, because what if I hate my trial and choose to go with a different makeup artist?” My answer to this is simple – that is why it is important to look around for a makeup artist, to check out their work, and to ensure that they are reputable in the makeup and wedding industry. If all this is done, then you should not worry and just trust that you are in good hands for your wedding day!

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Here are some of the stunning JBW brides and bridesmaids who have been beautified by Anita Gill Makeup Artistry:

Edmonton Wedding Makeup Artist

Thanks for the wonderful information, Anita!

Edmonton Wedding Planner

Photo Credits (from top to bottom): Carey Nash Photography, Katch Studios, Sharon Litchfield Photography.