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Romantic Calgary Lake House Wedding

A mix of sophisticated romance and rustic sweetness, this soiree from Milton Photography will have your pinning fingers aching to save every darling bit for yourself. Topped off with a touch of adorable in the form of Koha and Sauce, the couple’s smile-inducing Boston Terrier pair—who happened to inspire the Groom’s gift to his Bride and the cutest cookies you ever did see. Head to the full gallery for more!

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Spring
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Lake
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Romantic

From Milton PhotographyMark and Stephanie met in the summer of 2006 working at Shawnee Slopes Golf Course, but didn’t start dating until the summer of 2008. They were both University students at the time, working there for their summer job and somehow connected – most likely over their mutual love of animals. Mark was on his career path to becoming a vet (or so Stephanie thought), and Stephanie was just finishing her political science degree. As plans often change, Mark is now a geologist for an oil and gas company and Stephanie works as an Education Coordinator for the Alberta Health Services.

Mark proposed while the couple were living in Edmonton, on November 28, 2013. Mark was finishing up his Geology degree, so Stephanie was very surprised as she did not think they would get engaged until Mark was finished school. Mark had planned on proposing a few weeks earlier when the ring came in, but Stephanie just to happened to be sick. Mark patiently waited and every day would ask Stephanie if she wanted to go outside for a walk with the dog, but everyday she said no (it was winter in Alberta and Stephanie had a really bad cough). Finally, Mark couldn’t wait any longer so on a typical Thursday evening, Stephanie in her sweats on the couch, Mark put the ring on their dog’s collar and sent her over to see Stephanie. She realized after a couple seconds, as Mark came around the corner and got down on one knee, that there was her dream ring, on Koha’s collar!

Wedding planning began very shortly after. Stephanie chose her bridal party immediately (she basically already had the whole wedding planned in her head). Cassandra, her little sister was her maid of honor – no brainer. Krista and Amy were her two closest friends and Stephanie has known them both since about 5 years old. And finally Ashley, Mark’s sister and basically a sister to Stephanie over the past 7 years.

Mark on the other hand, knew who he wanted to be in his party, but as usual, putting things off until the last minute, finally asked his groomsmen about 4 months before the wedding. Derek would be his best man, whom he met through Stephanie when they first started dating. His cousin Ryan, University buddy Jeremy, and Greg, who he also met through Stephanie at the onset of their relationship.

As for bridal party gifts, Stephanie decided to buy the girls something they could wear for the wedding day, so she went with Kate Spade stud earrings in light pink, to match their dusty rose colored BCBG bridesmaid dresses. As pink is Stephanie’s favourite color, she also bought each of the girls a small bottle of sparkling rose and each a different shade of pink nail polish. Stephanie’s most favourite part of the gift to the girls was the super comfy kimono robes from Piyama.

Mark also bought the groomsmen accessories for the wedding day. A skinny black tie by Calvin Klein and they were each given different stripe pattern socks. Mark decided that the groomsmen also require a handy dandy book called, “The Art of Manliness.” Finally, each of the groomsmen received a bottle of their favourite liquor.

Mark and Stephanie agreed to not buy each other gifts for the wedding as they had just bought / adopted the newest member to their family a couple months earlier. Stephanie’s dad dubbed Koha (their three year old Boston terrier) the ‘engagement dog’ (instead of a ring) during his speech as they bought her when they moved to Edmonton together. Sauce was the ‘wedding dog’ as she was supposed to arrive right after the wedding, but they brought her home a few months earlier. Back to the gift, although Mark was not supposed to give Stephanie a gift, he surprised her with the cutest Marc Jacobs Boston Terrier shoes. His note with the gift was “So you can have Koha and Sauce with you all day today.”

For a wedding favour, Stephanie and Mark decided to make a donation to Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society (AARCS), because of their mutual love for animals. In order to incorporate their own pups in the wedding, Stephanie decided to bake sugar cookies and decorate them as Boston Terriers and attach the donation note to the cookie packaging.

The wedding day turned out to be perfect. The weatherman was saying thunderstorms and showers throughout the day, but the rain didn’t start until everyone was indoors and cleared up just in time for some outdoor sunset photos. It was the perfect day! It was hard for Stephanie and Mark to choose a favourite part of the day, because everything was so perfect. The best thing about the day was the general feeling of love. There was so much love in the room all day long! The food, cake and drinks were pretty amazing too. And then the dancing. Stephanie told their DJ when they had their meeting that she would not be leaving until the lights came on – she loves to dance! Mark and Stephanie stayed until the very end of the night and do not regret it for a second.

Photography: Milton Photography | Floral Design: Flower Artistry | Wedding Dress: Lazaro | Cake: Whippt | Stationery: By Invitation Only On Etsy | Rings: Tacori | Hair & Makeup: Red Bloom Salon | Grooms Attire: Hugo Boss | Venue: The Lake House | Bridal Boutique: S2Bride

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Romantic Foothills Engagement Session

When it comes to relationships I’m a big believer in timing, and after reading this duo’s love story you’re sure to believe the same. For what began as a platonic encounter eventually grew into a lifelong love, and their story literally led them up a mountain for this stunning e-sesh. Sharing kisses amongst the rolling hills, Genevieve Renee Photographie captured their foothill romance in the gallery!

From the beautiful Bride-to-be… Chad and I first met many years ago… we were on a date – but each of us were with other people! Needless to say, both of those respective relationships didn’t work out, and we re-met soon after when our best friends began dating each other. Our meeting was friendly, but very much platonic; as I recall, Chad was so not my “type”.

Fast-forward a few years later, and our once-dating best friends were now engaged. As members of the wedding party, Chad and I reconnected in the months leading up to their wedding day. We chatted as friends, as we had many times in the past … but something was different. What, exactly, is hard to pinpoint. Neither of us had gone under any major transformation, but perhaps it was the subtle changes – increased maturity, open-mindedness, or simple timing (or Chad’s newly grown beard!) – that made all the difference. Whatever the reason, we looked at each other a little differently this time around, and it’s safe to say that they were both a little bit interested in the other.

Our friends’ wedding day came and went. After chatting nervously throughout the day, Chad and I shared our first (and second) dance that night at the reception. In the coming weeks we went out together a few times. And although I wasn’t 100% sure if our early hang-outs were as “more than friends” (except for the fact that Chad always paid), Chad’s intentions eventually became more clear and after a month, we were officially “together”.

Chad and I continued to get to know each other over the next 1+ year of dating. It was at times a stressful courtship, as we had both started graduate school that year, but we managed to support each other and make it through as we got to know each other better and fall in love. After a summer of dating long-distance, Chad proposed to me amidst a freak snow storm in September of 2014. He had formulated an elaborate plan, but “Snowtember” through a wrench into it, so he improvised by popping the question in a (snowy) park I had spent much time in as a child.

Chad and I have set our wedding date for July 18, 2015 in our home city of Calgary, Canada. We will wed in a 100 year-old church and celebrate our reception at an antique museum in the heart of the city.

A huge highlight of the wedding planning process has been working with our photographer, Genevieve Renee to create our engagements photo sessions. Engagement photos have always been important to me – as beautiful and special as wedding photos are, I’ve always valued the more normal, everyday tone of good engagement shots. Genevieve did an amazing job of capturing just that during our shoot. Chad and I gave some good thought to the location we wanted. We ended up going with the foothills of Southern Alberta, which was near and dear to me since I’ve grown up in the region and Chad has spent many days fly-fishing in the rivers. We love the area for its natural, understated beauty. The late spring evening light during our shoot was just perfect. Genevieve did a great job of working with two very inexperienced people in front of the camera and making us feel comfortable. She played well to our natural chemistry which we really feel shows in the photos. The result is a soft palette of light-hearted, relaxed moments.

Chad and I were conscious about what we wore on the day, and although I don’t wear flower crowns on a regular basis, the outfits we chose are reflective of our everyday style. My only regret is not bringing a pair of hiking boots to climb our way up the reasonably steep terrain! The climb was challenging at times (especially in a dress) but once we were up there, taking in the view, we all agreed that it was worth every step. And now we have the beautiful shots to remember the sight forever.

We’re so grateful for the way our engagement photos turned out. I love that we have this sweet and fleeting time in our lives captured on film forever. I hope we look back and revel at how young and carefree we are. I hope we can be reminded of this season in our lives where we look forward to our marriage and all that will with it in excitement, uncertainty and anticipation.

Chad and I can’t express our appreciation to Genevieve enough. We are so blessed by these photographs and our time with her. We can’t wait to spend July 18th with her and see what other “magic” she can extract from us!

Photography: Genevieve Renee Photographie | Dress: Aritzia | Flower Crown: Rhosyn Floral | Men's Shirt: JCrew | Men's Watch: Farm Fresh | Woman's Watch : Fossil

Destination Weddings with Escapes.ca + Win A Free Spa Day!

There are destination weddings, and then there are destination weddings planned with the help of Escapes.ca; a fab leisure travel company that knows a thing or two about saying “I do” in paradise. Think an amazing team of talented specialists + planners, top-notch customer service and an entire world of breathtaking locales perfect for you and yours.  Dream wedding in one, two, three?  Yes, indeed.

Destination weddings are awesome… that goes without saying.  But a destination wedding coordinated by the pros at Escapes.ca? An entirely new level of amazing.  That’s because Escapes.ca has been assisting Canadians with their travel and vacation plans since 2001, which means years of friendly + efficient customer service, all wrapped up in some serious know-how and fabulous pricing to boot.  Not to mention that the Destination Wedding Specialists at Escapes.ca are total pros at selecting a dream location for you and yours, from the alternative wellness treatments of the Zoetry Paraiso de la Bonita in the Riviera Maya to the unique cultural experiences of the Nizuc Resort & Spa to the Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay in Mazatlán, known as one of the Top 20 spas in Mexico & Central America.

Whether you’re dreaming of a week-long excursion filled with Swedish massages at the Le Blanc Spa & Resort in Cancun (19 treatment rooms!) or basking in the luxury that is the Grand Velas in the Riviera Maya (four words: clay and ice room), Escapes.ca has a getaway that is just what you are looking for… for your wedding OR your honeymoon!  Imagine day after day of serious pampering with your nearest and dearest, followed by the wedding of your dreams in paradise.  It’s awesome.

Call one of the talented Destination Wedding Specialists at Escapes.ca TODAY (1-866-685-6008) to being planning your dream day.

the-giveaway

What: Escapes.ca is giving away a $300 Spa Finder Gift Card to use at any local spa of your choice!

How: Simply click here to enter!  The giveaway ends on July 29, 2015.

Who: One lucky winner will be announced right here on SMP on August 5, 2015.  For official rules and restrictions, click here. Good luck, lovelies! xo

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#BridalBeautyBreakdown: Romantic Drama

Drama isn’t always a bad thing, especially when it comes to your wedding day makeup. And, if you’re planning a glamorous, dramatic and oh-so romantic big day, you should look the part from head to toe—starting with your beauty. Enter Kathleen Tinney of A-List Makeup, who created the gorgeous look below. With her tips and product recommendations, you’ll look every bit the glamour goddess you are!

GET THE LOOK

BASE

It’s always important to begin with a well  cared for base. The skin is one of the best ways to achieve a more youthful and healthy glow, and with that, it allows for a lighter makeup application. Start with an emollient cream and allow time for the moisturizer to sink into the skin. At the same time, apply a lip moisturizer so it has time to sink into the lips for a smooth lipstick application further into the application process. 

FOUNDATION

Lightly distribute a liquid foundation over the skin using a foundation brush to buff and blend it into the skin. Top the foundation off with a light layer of powder to set it. 

EYES & BROWS

The focal point of this look was the beautiful berry lips and pink cheeks, so keep the keep the eye makeup very neutral. Begin with an eyeshadow primer to ensure then makeup will last. Then, define the eyebrows, the pillars for the face. One of the most natural ways to fill in the eyebrows is with an eyeshadow powder. With a thin angled brush, begin at the tail end of the eyebrow, and work your way towards the center, while keeping a subtle gradient of color—darker on the tail and lightest in the center. It’s easy to get carried away when filling in eyebrows, but for the most natural look, take it slow, and remember to use a gradient from dark to light. For the most natural look, if you have darker hair always go a shade lighter, and if you have lighter hair, go a shade darker. After defining the eyebrows, sweep a natural mid-tone brown over the whole lid and then used a waterproof gel liner to line the eyes, adding a wing at the end to lift and define the eyes. Next, take a light champagne tone shimmer eyeshadow and place it very lightly on the inner corner of the eyes to brighten and open them. Top of the look  with mascara, or for extra drama, apply a natural-looking, wispy set of falsies

LIPS

When doing a bold lip, apply the lipstick before the blush, so you can determine the amount of blush needed in order to add color back into the face, but to not compete with the bold lip. After all, we want to look youthful and romantic and not too over done! Use a lip pencil to line and fill in the entire lip.  Then, apply lipstick to the entire lip, using a tissue to blot any of the access moisture in the lip, and then reapply one more time. 

CHEEKS

Dab a fluffy brush into a berry toned blush and gently apply on cheeks in an outward motion. It’s always better to start very soft and continue adding until perfected. To create a cohesive lip and cheek, use similar shades for both applications. 

HIGHLIGHT

A very step, and one that really pulls everything together and adds that youthful glow, is to highlight! With a fan brush, ever-so-gently sweep it across the high point of the face: cheekbones, nose and cupids bow. The best tip in applying a highlighter is to remember that less is always more!

Romantic Drama Product Recommendations
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Romantic Drama Product Recommendations
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Makeup Tips: Kathleen Tinney of A-List Makeup | Photography: Retrospect Images

A total body workout for your little white dress

Up next from the Tone it Up girls is the ultimate total body workout for that little white rehearsal dinner dress! Nothing beats feeling good the day before you walk down the aisle and this workout is sure to give your whole body a good ol’ kick in the bridal butt. Once you’ve completed this intense workout, check out the Tone It Up girls’ arm workout and abs workout for even more #ShedtoWed fun.

Little White Dress
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Little White Dress
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