Bridal lingerie can be cheesy and over the top, with decorative ruffles and white lace often taking precedent over fit and feel. Fortnight, a Toronto-based lingerie company, offers something different. Canadian designer Christina Remenyi started the line in 2010 with a focus on function as much as fashion. All pieces—bras, panties, slips, and bodysuits—are handmade in Toronto and are available in a range of sizes (including up to an F cup in bra size). The Ara bra ($110 at LYNNsteven Boutique [225 Carrall Street]), with its champagne-coloured mesh and subtly polka-dotted cups, fits seamlessly under most wedding dresses. High-waisted knickers ($60) in matching fabric give the set a vintage look. For brides wearing strapless gowns, the structured Lyra bandeau ($88) in pale pink provides support without skimping on sexiness.
Spoonful of Sugar
Under the label The Loving Spoon, Vancouver artisan Maya Chelmis collects silver-plated—but often tarnished—preloved forks and spoons from flea markets and secondhand shops, then engraves and polishes them into arty pieces. The wedding collection includes forks engraved with the words His and Hers or Mr. and Mrs., spoons engraved with the couple’s names and wedding date, and cake cutters displaying charming love quips. Individual pieces range from $22 to $26 ($44 to $52 for a pair) and are available online and at Bird on a Wire Creations (2535 Main Street).
Tie One On
While most men choose a standard suit or tux for the big day, ties and bow ties are where guys can let their style and personality shine through. Vancouver’s Kari Bergrud creates handmade ties, bow ties, suspenders, and tie clips under the name Belvedere. The neck accessories are unapologetically retro, with gingham, polka dot, houndstooth, and plaid dominating the collection ($52 to $70 at Barefoot Contessa Boutique [3715 Main Street and 1928 Commercial Drive]). Colours include eye-popping purple and pink, and baby blue.
If the words wedding planner have you picturing massive, 300-person banquet halls and towering flower arrangements, you may want to check out the All & Sundry Collective. The Edmonton and Vancouver team specializes in everything DIY, from the crafty to the purely organic. Scan the portfolio at All & Sundry's website, and you’ll see their string-art creations, handmade place cards, rustic flowers arranged in thrifted jars, and table settings created from found objects and canned crabapple jelly. We’re talking simplicity and tasteful anti-excess, with the added bonus of being low-budget and having the extra meaning that comes from the homemade.
Nothing says classic wedding style like a string of pearls. Vancouver designer Kari Staten, of Zuka Artful Accessories, is putting a subtle new spin on your mother’s favourite necklace. The jewellery maven, who does both custom and set creations for brides-to-be, has bumped up the pearl size and randomly interspersed Swarovski crystals of the same size, or gorgeous pearls with Swarovski-crystal inlays, into the string. The pavé crystal clasp can be worn at the back or offset asymmetrically. These pretty pieces are perfect with on-trend sweetheart-neckline or strapless dresses. Think Jackie O with a hint of Anna Karenina. Staten’s strings start around $200, via Zuka's website.
Bridal Brow Bash
The trend of bolder, thicker, shapelier eyebrows is not going away, and brides wanting to look their best should book an appointment at Bombay Brow Bar (various locations) well in advance of their wedding date. The Bridal Brows package ($75) consists of three sessions over a three-month period including a consultation; eyebrow shaping by way of threading, waxing, or tweezing; under-eye gel application to reduce puffiness; and a calming forehead and neck massage every three to four weeks. To get the whole bridal party looking its best, reserve the Bombay Bridal Bash, which accommodates groups of five or more.
Chinese weddings really get cooking
It’s been open for a while now, but you may not know that the Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver has a dedicated kitchen that can cater formal Chinese banquets and weddings for up to 500 people. It’s the only hotel in Vancouver with a completely separate Chinese kitchen, kitted out with the high-powered burners necessary for that style of cooking. The Four Seasons is running the kitchen under its own name, partnered with a Chinese restaurant group headed by executive chef Tony Leung of Grand Dynasty restaurant in Burnaby. Dishes include Eight Treasure Winter Melon Soup, deep-fried squab, green onion and ginger sautéed lobster, and whole abalone with oyster sauce. (No shark-fin soup.) Pastry chef Bruno Feldeisen provides fusion desserts such as black sesame- and matcha-flavoured macarons and duck egg crème brûlée. See the Four Seasons website.
Beyond pure white
Metallics and soft pinks are two of the trends you’ll spot as U.S. wedding-dress mecca David’s Bridal opens its first Canadian stores—with the nearest location now in RioCan Langley Centre (20070 Langley Bypass). This year the runway has influenced bridal gowns in several ways. In vogue are hot-pink sashes set against white or subtle all-blush gowns, like those from White by Vera Wang. And look for new takes on the V-neck to sheer-tulle “illusion necklines”. Understated metallic thread embroidery in gold or silver features strongly in the Oleg Cassini and new Melissa Sweet bridal collections. The latter collection for David’s is the ultimate in ethereal, vintage-romantic design: think whimsical tulle and lace.