Posts Tagged ‘Wedding gowns’

WedLuxe Magazine – Glitterati style file creative’s – the magic behind the picture.

Sunday, February 3rd, 2013

As a bridal designer here, in Toronto, it is so magical to have the opportunity to work with some of our cities most prestigious wedding industry professionals. So when a special project presents itself  like creating a beautiful photo spread  for the Winter/Spring WedLuxe  Magazine 2013 for the  ‘Glitterati style file’ section, you exuberantly jump on board. This year, Valencienne was asked to take part in four creatives and it was extremely exciting and very gratifying to have some of them make it to the pages of WedLuxe.Valencienne bridal toronto,custom made wedding gowns,designer wedding gowns,Ballroom style gowns

As a bride you might ask yourself, ‘How do these magnificent photo shoots come to life?’ Well I will try and give you a very short overview of what goes into the planning of a creative shoot for a major Canadian luxury bridal magazine.

Each season Angela Desveaux, Editor-in-chief of WedLuxe Magazine, sends out a request to the wedding industry to create a stylized creative for WedLuxe. She comes up with a theme  for that particular issue of WedLuxe and then, as potential contributors, it is our job to take that theme and create a story which translates that idea and turns it into reality which will hopefully grace the pages of her magazine. In the Winter/Spring 2013 edition Angela’s theme was  ‘Cinema’.

When a creative request is sent out – the crème de la crème of the wedding industry starts searching among itself to put together the perfect team and it usually starts with the creative producers and stylists deciding how to translate the idea. Once the concept has been developed he or she will start thinking about who they would like on their team. Photographers get called along with models, floral designers, stationers, cake companies, caterers, rental companies and of course, wedding dress designers. A Venue (location) is decided upon and everyone involved is told what the theme of the project is and just how the producer envisions their creative layout to look like. wedluxe magazine creative glitteratiOnce everyone chosen hears about the final details and expectations, all involved  will start designing their very important part of, what is hopefully going to be, a magnificent creative. Toronto brides are truly blessed as some of the best talent in North America is here. Our wedding industry friends put their heart and soul into every project not to mention that it cost thousands of dollars and usually takes up  an incredible amount of time as each one of the team will strive for perfection. Each of us taking into consideration every detail of how their special part will photograph in order to get that all-over perfect shot.Valencienne Toronto,Cake opera co,Marie Antoinette  What an honor it is to spend time with such truly talented people. Our photo shoots can start as early as five in the morning and can last as late as midnight. It can be 20 degrees below zero or sweltering hot, it’s simply whatever is expected – YOU JUST DO IT!!! It’s all about getting that perfect shot.

WedLuxe Magazine gets an incredible amount of submissions for the ‘Glitterati style file’  section as well as the WedLuxe blog so if you are going to be chosen, it better be very special. It will have to be in order to catch the eye of Angela and in turn, hopefully, make its debut into this Canadian luxury Bridal Magazine. WedLuxe will only pick about three or four creatives for the glitterati section of the magazine so when you get chosen its quite an honor. It is really very special to showcase the considerable efforts of so many talented people.Valencienne toronto,Huge Ballroom skirt, scoop neckline,corset bodice,swarovski crystalValencienne ,Marie Antoinette gown ,Toronto,Ball room skirt ,Blush pink wedding gown,victorian bridal gown,couture,

The above photos where featured in the magazine in the article named ‘Let them eat cake’ (Volume 6, Issue 1, Pg. 126). It was inspired by the movie ‘Marie Antoinette’ staring Kirsten Dunst. The movie became synonymous with extravagant opulence and was filmed in the grandeur of the palace of Versailles and I believe our shoot achieved that look.

I would like to applaud the design team involved in producing this grand shoot;

Creative director and producer – Anne Anderson Events, Photographer – Gillian Williamson from Ikonica Images, Floral Design – Floral Werx, Cake Design – Alexandria Pellegrino from Cake Opera Co, Location – Graydon Hall, Make up and hair – Jordana Maxwell from Judy Inc., Hats and Fascinator – KC Hats, Vintage Jewelry – Carole Tanenbaum, Invitation and place cards – Palettera, Gown – Kim Ironmonger from Valencienne

The second creative that graced the pages of  the magazine was inspired by the movie ‘The Wizard of Oz’. It was a play on the films transition from black and white into Technicolor and it was named ‘Dreaming of Oz’.

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The inspiration for our Valencienne gown was ‘Glinda’ – the good witch of the North. I made her gown with floating layers of polka-dotted tulle, in a billowing ballroom style with a Swarovski crystal beaded belt. This creative was mystical and magical and was a delight to work on with a fabulous group of wedding professionals.

 Produced and styled by Melissa Andre Events, Photographer – Anthony Manieri of 5ive15ifteen photo company, Floral – Sterling Kjargaad, Stationary – Paper and Poste,  Cake Design – Alexandria Pellegrino of Cake Opera Co, Location – Graydon Hall Manor, Sorbet – Chef Jason Bangerter of Oliver and Bonacini.

For the Winter/Spring 2013 issue of the magazine, two producers asked me for a Marie Antoinette gown. I knew that only one Marie Antoinette could make it to the magazine. This next photo shoot is the Marie Antoinette creative that did not make it to the magazine however it was featured on the blog.

This creative is more of a new twist on an old icon, I  love them both. These photographs truly are a feast for the eyes and are very special. If we were to describe Marie Antoinette the words that come to my mind are Beauty, Extravagance, Lavish, Style and Opulence. The work produced was created for you; the bride. Hopefully these wonderful photo’s will inspire you and fill you with lots of ideas. If we have succeeded then we have accomplished our goal.

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These magnificent creative’s defiantly celebrated Marie Antoinette’s incredible style. Being involved in this creative was an incredible honor. I am filled with gratitude to have been asked  to work along side stellar individuals. I can only hope to work alongside with any of them again.

Creative Producer – Cynthia Martyn Events, Photography – Corina V Photography, Florals – Fuscia Designs, Cake and Cupcakes- Connie Cupcake, Top Hat – Quirk and Sparkle, Make up and Hair –Faces by Carla Inc, Letterpress Stationary- Sweet Peony Press, Location – The Faculty Club, Furniture Rentals – Contemporary Furniture Rentals, Shoes – Milk and Honey,Wedding gown – Kim Ironmonger for Valencienne.

Featured below was our submission for ‘The Talented Mr. Ripley’. It was inspired by the movie of the same name. Our bride and Groom are featured on the coast in the south of Italy. The shoot conjures up a grand hotel nestled somewhere along side of the Mediterranean ocean where smoking jackets and cigars are everywhere, glamorous girls and elegant yachts are in abundance.

Valencienne Toronto,50's wedding gown,french shirt,custom,couture,tea length wedding gown,bridal store,Rachel A.Clingen, This shoot was a bit  difficult as our team are all based in Toronto and a location that mimicked the south of Italy had to be found. Luckily for us, our Creative Producer Rachel A. Clingen found the perfect spot, she built a set to reflect the vision. It took ten people with a start time of 3am and voila the south of Italy appeared before our eyes right down to the rental of a magnificent yacht named ‘The Black Diamond’. Welcome aboard and gather some wonderful ideas for your very own nautical wedding.Valencienne bridal ,Rachel Clingen,wedding gowns,toronto Valencienne toronto,50's style wedding gown ,custom,bespoke,valencienne bridal boutique,silk organza wedding gown Valencienne bridal gown,Tornto,50's style wedding gown vintage wedding gown,custom,bridal store Valencienne bridal boutique toronto,Truffle cake and pastry,Laura K invitations,Rachel Clingen Valencienne designer wedding gown,Rachel clingen,Custom,couture Valencienne bridal design Toronto,Rachel Clingen,Black Diamond Valencienne bridal toronto,Laura K Invitations,Valencienne bridal design,designer weddin gown,custom,bespoke,Garrison Bespoke,Truffle cake,Port credit Yacht clubValencienne bridal boutique,valencienne wedding gown store,Rachel Clingen,Valencienne bridal design,custom, rachel clingen,Laura K invitationsValencienne toronto,Rachel Clingen,Laura K Invitations

The ‘Talented Mr. Ripley’ was a fantastic concept – we all loved being apart of such a unique idea.  The eye candy above was put together by another talented team.  It was about 35 degrees and  our team was just physically and mentally exhausted but we all soldiered on until late in the evening. I hope you will agree that this creative shows the incredible efforts of these very special people  below.

Creative Producer – Rachel A.Clingen,  Photography – Anthony Manieri of 5ive15ifteen photo company, Jewelry – Elsa Corsi, Hats – KC Hats, Cake – Truffle cake and Pastry, Stationary – Laura K Invitations, Menswear – Garrison Bespoke, Event Rentals – Absolute Tent and Event Services, Cigars – Chez Tabac, Catering – Craving fine food market and catering, Location – Port Credit Yacht Club, Vintage wedding gown – Kim Ironmonger for Valencienne.

I look forward to continuing to design my wedding gowns and  having the opportunity to work along side all these wonderful people again. I can’t wait until the next issue of WedLuxe as I am currently working on three new creatives. The next seasons theme is ‘TOP SECRET’ and you will have to come back to learn more – I can’t tell you anymore – its classified information :-).

Grand style and wonderful traditions

Sunday, March 25th, 2012

  Ballroom skirt wedding dress valencienne When I was 21 I opened a bridal store named Valencienne on Bloor St.It was a store that came to be known for extremely elaborate wedding gowns and the whole store was a sea of big, no make that huge gowns, all with extraordinary details.

Massive skirts, larger than life crinolines, trains that had no end, big over exaggerated sleeves, ruffles, bustles, frills and more Swarovski crystal then you could ever imagine. I remember one gown having 36 flowers – On one sleeve and let’s not talk about the skirt. It was the 80’s and everything was over the top. I was young and a part of me wanted to be princess for a day like all of my brides of that time. My belief was that my creations reflected that vision, not to mention Princess Diana had just gotten married and her dress had created quite a big wedding dress frenzy.Ballroom skirt wedding dress Fast forward to 2011 – it is no wonder that my heart skips a beat when any bride wants a large ballroom style wedding dress. It just makes me happy and a little nostalgic so its no wonder that, when my bride Hailey walked into Valencienne and gravitated towards one of my larger skirted gowns, that I got a little excited. She tried on a few samples but she kept coming back to this one gown. It was beaded heavily on the bodice and had a large silk flower on the side. Hailey looked closely at the beading and noticed that, in fact, the dress had two different types of beading. The bodice beading was sewn onto a fine Chantilly lace and the neckline beading was a beautiful embroidery that had been sewn on top of the first beading. I could picture the wheels turning ….Hailey asked ‘can we remove the lace and beading so the bodice is plain and then can you make the sleeve band see through’ followed by ‘then can you put the embroidery on just the neckline and can we remove the silk flower?’ My first thought was ‘why would you want to do that – the bodice beading is so magnificent’ and I said ‘please keep the size of the skirt because that is what is going to set this gown apart’, and to my delight Hailey said ‘OMG, I would never change the size of this skirt. its just perfect’.Silk wedding dress embroidery valencienne bridal  As Hailey’s dream wedding dress came together, each fitting became more and more exciting as this ballroom gown came alive to reflect Hailey’s own personal style. This gown had 12 meters of silk doupion and that was just the skirt. The embellishment was designed by Valencienne however the embroidery was created in Dubai. The whole process took about eight months but well worth the wait I believe.Ballroom wedding gown cap sleeve valencienne bridal       I asked Hailey if I could get some pictures with the thought of writing a blog which she graciously supplied. A lot of my brides send just a few photographs but Hailey sent many shots. Usually I look through whatever I am sent and then make my selection quite fast but this time it was not so easy as I was immediately struck by Hailey’s wedding, the traditions , and the love that was so evident in these photographs Silk custom wedding dress valencienne bridal

Valencienne has always had a very strong Jewish following and I have had the pleasure of being invited to many celebrations. I am always so struck by the strong traditions and the amount of joy and heart at these weddings. These pictures are so special that I have included some extras, some very tender moments. For instance a traditional custom called the bedecking – before the wedding the bridegroom a.k.a. Matthew bedecks the bride Hailey, raising her veil and then putting it in place. Beaded veil valencienne wedding dresses This is a romantic moment at the bedecking; the groom is danced into the room where the bride sits surrounded by friends and family. Often it is the first time the couple has seen one another in a week or a day, depending on one’s custom. The first Jewish bride to don a veil bedecked herself. Rebecca rode on camel back to meet Isaac for the first time and marry him. On seeing him, she fell off her camel and then "took the veil and covered herself". Was this to hide her nervousness or an act of modesty? or one of empowerment?

The custom of standing under the Chuppah which is a canopy where the couple stands under to symbolizes the home that Matthew and Hailey will build together.Beth Sholom Synagogue silk custom wedding dress valencienne  No traditional Jewish wedding would be complete without joining in the exuberant dance called the Horah, Matthew and Hailey are lifted above the shoulders of their guests. Sitting upon chairs, they hold onto the ends of a single handkerchief. A large circle of guests is formed around them, dancing both clockwise or counterclockwise. Weaving and bopping up and down, clapping hands, waving arms, the circle of friends and family often hold hands and alternate between a large loose circle and coming in close to the couple and moving away again quickly. It is such a wonderful experience and there is a lot of laughter and many tears of joy and happiness. Valencienne ballroom skirt formal wedding gown It is a magical moment when a bride drops her pictures into Valencienne and  we get to see our finished creation  come to life with such spirit. It feels so amazing to design and hand make a gown for the most important day of a woman’s life and realize that Valencienne was a part of something so incredibly special that it makes us all feel very honored and proud of our achievements and want to continue to strive for perfection.valencienne wedding dress silk wedding gown Hailey and Matthew were married on May 22, 2011 at Beth Sholom Synagogue. I would like to thank Hailey and Matthew for reminding me how lucky I am to get to go to work everyday with a smile on my face and  I wanted to share that with all of you.Silk custom wedding gown princess style

valencienne wedding gown Fa florist bridal bouquet

These Photographs were taken by Alex Albojer of Life Images

Bridal Consultant was Naomi Serkin

Flowers were created by Fa florist

Lady in Red

Monday, March 19th, 2012

When Lorraine walked into Valencienne wanting  a wedding dress, it was the usual  Saturday afternoon appointment and  I thought, ‘A bride with her Mother, Father and her fiancé – What is her fiancé  doing here?’ You see we have never had them as part of the wedding gown design team. This is really quite unusual. Not surprisingly, so to was the brides request for an short, elegant red couture wedding dress.


Lorraine had found a picture of the shape she had envisioned herself in and then she and her fiancé Charlie went on the hunt for someone to help  execute this very special dress. It wasn’t long before we all became fast friends and they decided that Valencienne was the place. That appointment was such a fun afternoon, we tried on the usual suspects big and puffy for fun, Sleek and sexy wedding gowns for drama but nothing could change her mind. She wanted to wear short and full like a 1950’s tea dress. It had to be lipstick red, Dad struggled a little saying his daughter has her own personal style and that’s why they knew that Lorraine’s dress would have to be custom,  where else would they find a wedding dress like this in Toronto.

They where getting married downtown at a fabulous restaurant called Colborne Lane and were having a very hip, urban wedding. All the guests were to be drinking cocktails while the wedding was to be preformed by a family friend. The wedding was being broadcast on Skype for those unable to attend. Wedding069

Lorraine wore black pearl earrings, her hair was swept up simply and she topped it off with killer heels. She looked like she just stepped off the front cover of Vogue magazine. Her Photographer, Dmitri Markine is very well known for his breathtakingly beautiful photography.

Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words… 

Wedding172 Lorraine’s wedding dress was Silk taffeta, it had deep box pleats on the front and back of the gown  with hidden pockets and  a  scoop neckline. The embellishment was very understated, the neckline was torn rows of matching fabric as was the hem. It appeared that the neck and hem were perfectly uneven – it was very couture. There was also a belt that had a simple matching fabric flower. Lorraine requested that we make a second belt with a fabric buckle – something a little less formal which sweetly became known as the belt she would throw on when going grocery shopping.Wedding054Wedding097   It was pure pleasure working with this family, I got to know them all so well. We also had the honor of making Mrs T a mother of the bride creation. Valencienne created a vintage evening skirt for Lorraine that she took on her whirlwind honeymoon in France.Wedding194 For me, as a designer its always exciting to create for brides that think outside the box and this was one of those times. This dress was thoroughly inspiring and it was exciting to create and so I say ’Thank you Lady in Red’ – Valencienne will not forget you and how you filled our bridal store with your joie de vivre.Wedding224 Wedding142  

Academy Awards Iconic fashion influences Valencienne past and present

Saturday, February 25th, 2012

When my clients come into my bridal salon I love talking about special events. As I prepared to write a blog this week my question was simply, ‘What was your favourite gown in past years at the Oscars?’ It was great to hear that many of my personnel favourites were also theirs too – after all, who could forget Pretty woman Julia Roberts in her vintage couture Valentino  gown in the year 2000  winning for best actress in Erin Brockovich. It was a was simply stunning, it had winner written all over it.

What about Hilary Swank in that knockout midnight blue Guy Laroche gown she won for Million dollar baby in 2005 Training hard for that movie gave her the curves and  a perfectly toned back which revealed  a spectacular bare back how striking

Halle Berry put Elie Saab on the Red Carpet which pretty well launched him into stardom. Her gown which she wore in 2002 was so fantastic very few women could pull it off with its peek -a- boo embroidered bodice and full draped skirt defiantly was a show stopper Halle took home the Oscar for Monsters Ball.

86628_julia-roberts-at-the-2001-oscars imagesCAT07RVJ2588027 

As a bridal designer I try to draw inspiration from  some of these incredible gowns. I remember in 1990 a bride came in to Valencienne with a picture of Grace Kelly receiving her Oscar for Country Girl in 1955. She was in love with this Peau du soie  evening gown designed by the famous costume designer Edith Head. My bride just had to have something similar however updated for her vintage wedding so here is our rendition of her movie star wedding gown she choose to have her gown made of mocha coloured Peau du soie.


Gwyneth Paltrow won the little gold statue in 1999 for "Shakespeare in Love’’ and she certainly looked the part in that pink shot silk taffeta ballroom gown designed by All American Ralph Lauren. As I think about that dress in white it says Spring time Wedding gown to me.

gwyneth-paltrow-oscar _MG_4739

Angelina Jolie looked elegant draped in a plunging white satin gown with matching wrap from Marc Bouwer in  2004. That same year a lovely bride walked into Valencienne and used a picture of Angelina at the Academy Awards as the inspiration for her fashion forward wedding gown. Although my clients body shape was totally different from Angelina’s  she wanted the gown to be a little more bridal and less evening looking.  I think we achieved her wishes and her dream dress was realized for her hip, downtown restaurant reception.

angelina-jolie-0204 scarlet

Leading ladies sweep across the red carpet towards the Kodak Theater on there way to  The Academy Awards where fashion battles are won and sometimes lost but always remembered. Who could ever forget Cher in her crazy Bob Mackie gown.

imagesCAFB80OW imagesCAAQ3DSL 

In 2001 Bjork’s wore this swan dress and people are still talking about it. This is what she said about her creation: "What surprises me is that they thought I was trying to fit in but got it wrong … What they don’t mention is that I had brought six golden ostrich eggs with me and I was dropping them carefully on the red carpet. But other people’s bodyguards kept picking them up and saying in their thick American accents, ‘Scuse me, mam, you dropped this.’" Enough said….

There is no question that we all sit year after year in anticipation of seeing the best and the worst dressed stars. We then watch for the recreation of the gowns being knocked off within 24 hrs. of the award ceremonies and we buy magazines to see who was voted best dressed. As we look more closely at the gowns we become obsessed,  styles and trends from these events manages to make its way into Wedding gowns,  evening gowns, day wear, office wear and even men’s wear.

I remember watching Keira Knightley in 2006 as she wore a Vera Wang burgundy gown. It was a draped bodice with one shoulder and a trumpet skirt . I sketched a dress that night on a cocktail napkin, my design was significantly simpler however it became one of my favourites. To this day brides come in with that picture and ask for that gown.

most_memorable_oscar_dresses IQ1N7086

One of my all time favourite gowns was worn by Penelope Cruz. She walked down the red carpet wearing a Pink confection designed by Atelier Versace and my heart skipped a beat – a little melodramatic – yes but look what I do for a living. Not only was it incredibly beautiful but to craft something so magnificent is a feat unto itself. This is why these couture gowns cost thousands and thousands of dollars they are walking pieces of art, not every ones taste but incredible, all the same. Her gown was a corseted, draped and sculpted bodice and the skirt was covered with millions of floating feathers. Just a delight to watch float down the Aisle …oops sorry the red carpet.


So Oscar night is almost here and as I look back and remember all of fabulous fashion,  style and iconic dresses that seem to make there way back to present time in some form or another. I always try to look towards the future but find I am very nostalgic and cannot help looking back.

A bride this week asked me ‘What was the most incredible wedding gown you have ever designed’ and I told her that ‘I have not created it yet’. Every gown I am currently working on has to be better that the last one.

As a finale to this blog here are some of Valenciennes gowns that hold a special place in my heart.

Kate Middleton shoot Wed lux ad 2011 021



Love is in the air at Valencienne.

Sunday, February 12th, 2012

 149674387585726029_ckxDHtiQ_bThis week our Toronto bridal boutique has been filled with wonderful brides with fabulous wedding proposal stories. They inspired us to create a blog in celebration of Valentine Day Themed weddings. Here are a few inspiration boards with ideas to help get you started.  We hope they offer promise of the most romantic of days – your Valentine Themed wedding should celebrate your LOVE.

If love could be spoken in color, it would undeniably be a combination of blush pink and iconic red. Together they represent a scale of romantic feelings — from tender to passionate, bashful to audacious. It’s no wonder Valentines often come in these hues.

Valentines Day inspirationValentine's-Day-heart-ma Valentines-Day-inspiration

Although pink represents unconditional love and compassion, when we talk to our brides about their colour choices for their wedding gowns, very few would pick the colour pink. On the other hand, universally every woman could wear pink as it is nurturing to the skin. As seen below, our fair skinned willowy bride is a knock out in her pink dress.Valencienne custom vintage lace pink tea bridal dress

Our lovely bride Emily featured here with her husband David is sharing a tender  moment. Emily choose to re-create a dress that she remembers playing ‘dress up’ in as a child. It was a dress her Grandmother wore to special parties and Emily remembered it fondly. Being a very nostalgic and loving vintage dress, Emily asked me to sketch and design that very special dress and I was truly honored to be a part of all that history. I managed to find some vintage French lace in Ivory and because Emily had an exact memory of the colour of that dress, I proceeded to dye the lace to match her Grandmothers dress and to line the dress in a beautiful silk pink charmeus. It was simply delightful and if I do say so myself, Emily certainly did her Grandmother proud.

Valencienne pink and ivory bridal gown encrusted with Swarovski crystals

The colour red represents desire and passion which causes the heart to race. In other words, the two work in beautiful harmony. Some brides would never consider a red wedding gown or of even incorporating red into their bridal gown. Here are two of Valenciennes’ examples of past gowns that are dramatic and different yet beautiful. Our Canadian icon, Erica Ehm choose to wear a touch of red by incorporating red embroidery, red flowers and a red shawl. She looked so wonderful – it was delicate with a twist of drama, a wedding gown designed just for her and to reflect her personality perfectly.Valencienne-fitted-bodice


Although this gown (above) was made for a fashion cares event to celebrate their 20th anniversary, it certainly could be made as a Valentines day bridal gown – Very grand. Ten thousand Swarovski crystal where sewn onto this gown and its no wonder that it was chosen for the finale of the show. It travelled around the world to places such as Paris ,London and New York to showcase the Mac cosmetics fashion show.

Red evening gown

When you introduce a theme such as Valentine’s Day, which is a day traditionally for lovers to express their love for each other, it can be with the presentation of flowers, the offering of confectionary and the sending of lovely greeting cards known as Valentine’s. All of these are associated with the most romantic day of the year.

heart-shaped-whoppie-pies Antique Valentines Day card decadent-red-velvet-heart

It surprises us here at Valencienne Bridal that we don’t have many more weddings celebrated on the exact day. It is such a perfect theme for a romantic wedding.

Be Passionate about your Valentines day themed wedding and remember to be  romantic. Do things such as Signature Cocktail drinks, a cake that reflects the pink and red colour hues and maybe Bridesmaids that could also carry the color palette throughout your theme.

Cupids pink champagne cocktailRed-bridesmaids-dressescourtesy of martha stewart weddings

In closing your wedding day is a LOVE fest. Smile with anticipation, daydream of  marrying your soul mate and this could be you on your most magical day!

Backless large Dior bow with Tulle skirt

Venue: Graydon Hall Manor

Photography: 5ive15ifteen Photography

Pink and Gold Glamour

Friday, February 3rd, 2012

When our bride, Julie, walked into my store with her Mom, her Sister and little dog."Pupo” I thought ‘your kidding me right – a dog in Valencienne’. My beautiful bridal salon filled with magnificent silk wedding gowns and you bring a dog here. Our meeting was not starting off very well and with 27 years of experience in the bridal business I knew enough that if it starts off negatively, it’s not going to get much better going forward. Well friends I was so WRONG. JulieLucaWeddingCC-185-L

Julie started by selecting some gowns and began trying them on. I was assisting her but I also had a keen eye on Pupo even though Mrs ‘D’ was holding the dog. I have never had a dog in the change room. At first it was hard to concentrate on anything but the dog until Julie asked  me. ‘’Kim do you know who Coco Rocha is and have you seen her wedding video’’ ……..Well I was floored, I had the video on a loop playing  in my  store. At the time, Coco’s’ wedding video was not well known  however it is a stunning piece of film. The Wedding of Coco Rocha & James Conran – YouTube. Julie said “I love that dress, its so glamorous with its huge tulle trumpet skirt – So  light and airy. Can you make something similar?  I want simple, no beads, no crystals just lots of tulle and organza”. We were becoming fast friends I thought OMG this girl has an eye and fantastic taste. Mom wanted more but Julie stayed the course with simple elegance. I explained that the detail work on Coco’s dress was called Embroidery cut work although beautiful it is a dying art. The detail is sewn with a satin stitch into a pattern then with tiny scissors, you cut away the fabric to leave behind little holes that become part of the pattern.

cut_work_2_largeJulieLucaWeddingCC-156-L  Valencienne would then design the pattern for the embroidery and then send her skirt  to England to be embroidered. When it comes back we would start the arduous task of cutting out around the hundreds of flowers on the skirt hem would be cut on an uneven edge. As we cut the excess fabric away we are left with the pattern revealing layers and layers of Tulle underlay – Truly a custom made bridal gown. JulieLucaWeddingCC-100-L

Julie, Mrs. ’D’, Pupo and her sister all became fast friends of Valencienne. Julie’s personality is charming – she was a no-nonsense client with only one request – SIMPLE. There was no stressed out bride here. When I suggest that we add a jeweled headpiece I found myself starting to laugh as I knew the answer before I even put it on her head. Julie started to laugh and said ‘Let’s keep it simple’ and politely declined. I  looked forward to every visit.

Julies  colour scheme was Pink and Gold Elegance so we made a very light pink sash for her wedding gown that tied in a bow at the back. She followed that theme all through out her wedding decor. Although I did not get to know Julie very well, I loved hearing about all the nostalgic touches at her wedding, the little rosary that held her bouquet together, the Tuxedo that was made for Pupo, the covers for their menu. It  was a picture of King Edward – Julies’ Mom and Dad had eaten at the King Edward hotel many years ago and had kept the menu. Julie asked if the hotel could recreate this special memento and they did.

Organza Sash and wedding shoesKing Edward Hotel  Vanity Ballroom, Have a Seat toronto Wildflowers Rose bouquet

The big day arrived on September 24th, 2011. Her house was a buzz of activities, her lovely family had asked me to come for breakfast that morning but I had to work regretfully. While I was at work I could not concentrate as I really wanted to be part of Julies  magical morning. I worked so closely with the brides over such a long period of time that it’s so nice to see it come all together.

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Julie approached her front door and the Renaissance photo company caught this amazing picture of Julia leaving her beautiful home for St. Paschal Baylon Church

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…To be greeted outside with her beautiful bridesmaids,”Pretty in Pink’’

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Off to the Reception at the King Edward Hotel. The floral arrangements were designed by Suzanne of Wildflowers and company. the Table linen and draperies were designed by Have a Seat. The cake was made and designed by Cake Opera Co.

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The entrance into the reception was magnificent, the pink and gold theme was abundant.

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Love was in the air! Congratulations to Luca and Julia – we wish you all the best for a long and happy life together.

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