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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

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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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Ontario Anniversary Shoot in High Park

My hubby and I are closing in on our five year anniversary (how in the world did that happen so fast?!), so this sweet little anniversary shoot captured by Injoy Imagery of these two love birds (see their wedding herehas me itching plan just a session. Because celebrating love just might be my favorite thing ever, and there is a whole lot to celebrate here.


From Injoy ImageryNewlyweds, Claire and Bryan were married last summer and decided they wanted to celebrate their 1 year anniversary with a beautiful cherry blossom-filled spring photoshoot. So in love with each other and so in love with married life, it’s always so beautiful to see the excitement carry on even after the wedding.

Cherry blossom season being one of Claire’s most favorite times of the year, there was no better place than Toronto’s High Park. Claire being the crafty, Pinterest- savvy lady that she is, ensured all the lovely little details were taken care of. From a simple and elegant baby’s breath bouquet, to adorable Anthropologie mugs filled with pink peonies spelling L-O-V-E to their BHLDN vow booklets from their wedding day and my favorite, a picture of the two of the from when they were babies. That’s how long they’ve known each other and they still share this sweet, beautiful, romantic and playful love. It doesn’t get any better than that!

Photography: Injoy Imagery | Venue: High Park | Hair & Make-up: Blush Pretty

Quebec Bicycle Engagement Session

Canadian engagement sessions knock it out of the ballpark when it comes to romantic outdoor locales, and the hits keep coming with this gem from Sonia Bourdon! We can’t get over the whimsical details in this Quebec countryside shoot, from the bright turquoise bike to the champagne and macaron picnic – much more to see in the full gallery right here!

From Sonia Bourdon I wanted to share with you this fun engagement session I had the chance to photographed with two gorgeous people! We set up the session on a private property in the countryside of our city a few hours before the sunset. These two were the easiest people to photograph. And even with the millions mosquitoes flying around us, they were always laughing and having a good time and I think the photos portrayed well this beautiful energy between them. I cannot wait for their wedding in October at the Auberge St-Gabriel in Montreal, where they will be accompanied by their son Noah!

Photography: Sonia Bourdon | Floral Design: Atelier Carmel | Men's Attire: Zara | Bicycle: Fitz And Follwell | Cream Colored Dress: Forever 21

Whimsical Spring Wedding at Berkeley Field House

I may have a new venue to add to my favorites list. Toronto’s Berkeley Field House continues to get me excited and this spring celebration captured by Rhythm Photography reminds me why I’m falling more and more in love with the chic, minimalist style – with a bit of whimsy for fun. The whole shindig was simply stunning, ending with one fab creation from I Do! Wedding Cakes that leaves me craving more!

Colors
Seasons
Spring
Settings
Urban Space

From the Bride… We wanted our day to be fun, laid back and personal. My gown was the Mabel from Vera Wang’s Spring 2015 collection. Simple light ivory silk crepe with a deep v-neck and back, and handmade fern-pattern lace cap sleeves. We fell in love with the Berkeley Fieldhouse as soon as we saw it, and didn’t look anywhere else. It had exactly the vibe we wanted, gorgeous high ceilings and a lofty industrial feel, contrasted with the beautiful courtyard and greenery outside. A little oasis in the city.

Our biggest focus was that it be intimate and that we had all the most important people in our lives there. We wanted it to feel like a nice cozy dinner party with incredible food and all of our favourite people, and then to have an amazing Motown dance party. Other than that, we went for simple, minimalistic décor, with a bit of a rustic touch. Our colour palette was white and mixed metallics and hints of green and peach.

Everything from the ceremony, through cocktail hour and dinner to the dance party was executed perfectly by the planners and staff there, we couldn’t be more grateful. Our day was all about good food, family and friends, letting loose and celebrating. The music we played throughout the day was from the 60s and 70s mostly, some 50s and some old school hip hop later in the dance party. We wanted everyone from our 2-year-old nieces to our grandmother on the dance floor, and they were!

Photography: Rhythm Photography | Floral Design: Sweetpea's | Wedding Dress: Vera Wang | Cake: I Do! Wedding Cakes | Stationery: Wedding Paper Divas | Shoes: Sophia Webster Lacey | Engagement Ring: Melissa Joy Manning | Wedding Bands: Made You Look | Makeup: Cait Mizzi | Hair: Samantha Stonehouse | DJ: Evolved Entertainment | Favors: Newfoundland Chocolate Company | Officiant: All You Need is Love | Wedding Venue: Berkeley Field House | Cufflinks: Lanvin | Pearl Bracelet and Earrings: Dannijo

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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