Saturday, April 30, 2011


While spending a rainy May afternoon working on the details of one of Viva's upcoming weddings at the Museum of Nature, we got to thinking about our very first wedding at this fantastic venue. Viva was lucky to coordinate only the second wedding to take place at the Museum after the extensive renovations were completed last year and could not have been happier with the outcome. The event space is spectacular and the staff are truly top notch.

You'd think coordinating a wedding for a couple getting married in Ottawa but living in New York would be somewhat of a challenge but thanks to Meghann's wonderfully supportive family here in town and the wonders of email, the planning process was not only a breeze but so much fun!

The perfect Ottawa venue + an amazing New York couple = a really fabulous day. Here are a few detail images of Meghann & Will's wedding captured by the award winning Photolux.


It’s becoming more and more common for a bride to show off two different looks on her wedding day. Viva has seen this over the past few years with our own brides and previously blogged about celebrity wedding planner David Tutera’s line of wedding gowns including the “Eva” and “Fergie” - dresses that start out full length for the ceremony with the lower part of the skhrt removable to reveal a short party dress for the reception - so it came as no surprise that Kate Middleton chose to change her look too. Designed by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen, Kate married her prince charming in a fitted white v-neck gown with a long sleeved lace overlay and 2.7 metre train and then transformed into a strapless satin gazar evening dress with diamante embroidered detail around the waist, topping it off with a white angora bolero cardigan. Perfect.

Your Own Royal Wedding

The perfection of Kate and William's wedding will surely influence trends for years to come. But since most of us won't have thousands of guests and a national holiday declared for our wedding day, how do we interpret the perfect elegance of a royal wedding? Well first, get married at a castle. In Ireland. Last week I visited just such a magical place, fit for a princess.

Adare Manor, a 19th Century mansion, located just a half hour from Shannon Airport, is a quick 7 hours direct flight from NYC. And as you arrive, you're truly transported.
As you approach the manor, this is your view. The emerald green lawn is perfect for an outdoor wedding ceremony.
The three-hundred year old cedar tree marks a great photo spot.
The lawn, ceremony-ready. In the background is the famed Adare Manor Golf Club, voted the number one Golf Resort in Ireland and the UK by Conde Nast Traveller. Not bad.
The formal gardens at Easter, an ever-changing floral backdrop.
I was lucky enough to meet with all of Adare Manor's preferred vendors, from planners to floral designers -- and they are guaranteed to make your planning process easy and unique.
The Manor's walled gardens are a perfect setting for an outdoor wedding, ideal for a marquee.
Another view of the walled gardens, I picture a Sunday brunch with mimosas in hand, or a Friday barbecue complete with pig roast. There is so much to choose -- ranging from the Tavern for a late-night after-party to the Gallery fit for a king.
A weekend event has to include a little fly-fishing -- right outside the Manor the river is stocked with salmon and trout. A guide is on-hand with fishing poles and instructions.
The nearby Adare Village local church is lovingly restored, a mixture of vibrant painting and 700 year-old architecture. There are both Protestant and Catholic churches nearby, and the ruins of an abbey for a perfectly breathtaking backdrop a few hundred yards away off the property.
The nearby village of Adare boasts charming shops with thatch roofs, cozy pubs and additional accommodations for wedding guests at all price points. My favorite stops were at the local antique stores, packed with great finds.

All-in-all I had a fabulous experience at Adare, and have many great ideas and inspirations from the trip. Explore it yourself on their web site, or give me a call for additional first-hand tips on hosting your own royal wedding.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Everyone knows Barb Cameron the Wedding Photographer - Barbara Ann Studios offers couples a style that is fresh, romantic, sexy and fun. Not only have her images been featured in countless wedding magazines and on numerous blogs, Barb was recently acknowledged as one of Canada’s Top 30 Inspiring Wedding Photographers for 2011.

Not everyone knows Barb Cameron the Baby Photographer - Wee Bairn Photography was launched when Barb’s former wedding couples started reappearing requesting that she photograph the next stage in their life, their newborn baby.

For those of you that don’t already know, Viva recently welcomed a new bundle of joy into the world and couldn’t wait to have Barb capture her on film. We were even more ecstatic when Barb told us about “fusion”. Combining video with still images, the end result is simply fabulous. Being all about memories, Viva had to have this!

And here it is...

While on a personal level we’re excited to share this with you let’s face it, it’s Viva la wedding. So for all you brides-to-be out there, here's a little wedding fusion... That’s right, Barb does fusion for weddings too! Love!!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Every bride-to-be has had this problem when looking for a dress for her bridesmaids - finding something they can still wear once the wedding is over. And while every bride-to-be tries her best the truth is, that bridesmaid dress will most likely hang in the back of a closet somewhere never to see the light of day again. 27 Dresses anyone? Jane (played by Katherine Heigl) is "always a bridesmaid" in the 2008 romantic comedy and has a closet full of bridesmaid dresses to prove it. Fortunately these dreadful dresses have come a long way and Ottawa's best bridal boutiques now carry some oh so chic styles, contrary to what poor Jane had to sport. Styles your bridesmaids would be proud to wear on your wedding day and could pull out again for that New Year's Eve party or special formal function.

One of Viva's favourite bridal boutiques, With Love Bridal, not only carries some fabulously stylish bridesmaid dresses but is now the first boutique in Canada to carry the twobirds bridesmaid dress. It's the dress you can wear 15 ways making it so easy to wear again and again! This dress’ versatility allows your bridesmaids to all wear the same dress, in the same colour, wrapped in the style that suits them best. And even better, because it's so versatile you don’t have to be a bridesmaid to wear it. Viva just might head on over to With Love and get one of these beauties for herself!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Dinner with the Artists

One of the lucky things about working in an industry with insanely creative people is reaping the benefits of their creativity.

I got to do just that when I was invited to a dinner at the Foundry, an ethereal wedding and party venue in Long Island City. I've started to describe the evening to friends several times, but decided that the photos speak 1,000 words in this case.
The ladies from Poppies & Posies created the amazing florals and even cut out this fabric runner by hand!
Bryn from Paperfinger, who hand lettered the window signage at our pop-up store in Williamsburg a while back, lettered the menus, invitations and signage.
Something Different Party Rentals provided the large wooden farm table and many unique products for the event.
Thanks to Les Loups for the musical entertainment. The lovely meal and servers were hosted by Michael Stuart. I loved attending a dinner party he catered as I'm working with him soon for the first time at Angel Orensanz -- a harbinger of good things to come!
Paperfinger designed these rubber stamps for each guest as favors. I adore mine. It also gave me advance notice that I was seated next to my friend Maria McBride, an enormously talented creative from Bride's.
And if you are wondering who took these luscious pictures, they are all thanks to Jen Huang. I lifted all images from a marvelous posting on Design Sponge, where there's a lot more eye candy.

Friday, April 8, 2011

We're In The Bride's Guide, Martha Stewart Weddings Blog

I am so pleased that a new series of blogs from a shoot I styled in St. Lucia have started posting on The Bride's Guide. The inspiration on this volcanic island was everywhere. Photographer Mel Barlow and I worked for three days to create the rustic and unique looks you'll see on the blog; I think the results were beautiful.
The most amazing part was that I managed to stuff all the props needed into one giant suitcase. The trick to this destination shoot was finding compact items with big impact (parasols, cocktail napkins, paper pom poms, garland, linens), or to source items on-island. Ladera's General Manager scouted the property for me in advance, taking digital pictures of everything from the in-house china to the landscape. We managed to score incredible local pottery, exotic centerpieces from the gardens and found whimsy in the colorful mosaic floors and items from the gift shop. Stay tuned each week for the next 5 weeks for inspiration from the shoot!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Destination Weddings, Hamptons

I am delighted to be included in WellWed's StyleFile for the current Hamptons edition. It reminds me that Spring will eventually be here! Pick up a free copy at the Wedding Library or check it out on-line.

Sunday, April 3, 2011


Obviously we wouldn't do what we do at Viva if we didn't love all things wedding so we're more than happy to take a short break from planning when a wedding related movie comes out and head over to the local theatre to see what it's all about. This spring, producer Judd Apatow (Knocked Up, Superbad) and director Paul Feig (creator of Freaks and Geeks) invite you to experience Bridesmaids.

Kristin Wiig leads the cast as Annie, a maid of honor whose life unravels as she leads her best friend, Lilian (Maya Rudolph), and a group of colorful bridesmaids (Rose Byrne, Melissa McCarthy, Wendi McLendon-Covey and Ellie Kemper) on a wild ride down the road to matrimony. Annie's life is a mess. But when she finds out her lifetime best friend is engaged, she simply must serve as Lilian's maid of honor. Though lovelorn and broke, Annie bluffs her way through the expensive and bizarre rituals. With one chance to get it perfect, she'll show Lillian and her bridesmaids just how far you'll go for someone you love.


The countdown's on! With Will and Kate's wedding only 26 days away, the anticipation is growing and we at Viva know we're not the only ones who can't wait for the big day to arrive.

Knowing that many, like us, would not only be dying to see all the details come together on the 29th but would also be dying to hear about them leading up to the day, St. James Palace launched the Royal Wedding website. The website is the official source of information for anyone interested in the upcoming Royal Wedding and is updated regularly with exclusive content including photo galleries and video.

Wedding websites also know as "wedsites" are nothing new and while not all brides and grooms-to-be choose to create one, they're a great way to keep your guests up to date with the details of your own wedding day. Some like are free while others like offer couples a free 7 day trial with the option to purchase an extension for a small fee if you decide you want to keep your wedsite active.

Viva loves wedding wedsites!! Do you?