3 Tips to making a statement with your Bridal Shoes

Every bride should feel amazing on her Wedding Day – and if you’re like most women, nothing makes you strut your stuff quite like a great pair of shoes.

Your bridal footwear offers the perfect opportunity to showcase your personality and have some fashion fun on what can otherwise be a very traditional occasion. But blisters are never in style, so the first thing to consider is comfort.

You’ll be in your wedding shoes all day and may be dancing in them all night, so whether they’re stilettos, ballet flats, or even UGGS, your wedding foot wear needs to be a good fit.

TIP: If your shoes are not comfortable when you try them on, they won’t feel better after a day on your feet.

UGGS
UGGS offers a line of Bridal Boots for brides looking to keep their feet comfortable and cozy!

TIP: Take the length and style of your gown into consideration when selecting your shoes.

Short or tea-length gowns are a great excuse to showcase your personality through a shoe with colour or a pattern. Adding a splash of colour can also be fun under a long, more traditional dress.

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If you’re opting for a non-traditional dress, make a splash with some sparkley shoes! (Venue: Elm Hurst Inn & Spa, Carriage House / Photo Credit: Painting with Light Photography)

TIP: Spike heels may not be the best choice if you’re wearing a delicate lace gown – and skinny stilettos are a definite no-no for the beach or garden setting.

Some brides take it one step further and have custom-designed shoes made especially for their wedding day – like these created for an Elm Hurst bride by Figgie Shoes.

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These one-of-a-kind shoes were inspired by our very own Elm Hurst Inn & Spa.

Others prefer a more relaxed look and wear sneakers or a favourite pair of cowboy boots under their formal attire.

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These groomsmen kept it causal in matching sneakers….Venue: Elm Hurst Inn & Spa.

Whatever you choose, remember it’s your day. Don’t be afraid to kick up your heels and have some fun!

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This Bride kicked off her heels to go barefoot in our fountain! (Venue: Elm Hurst Inn & Spa / Photo Credit: Partington Photography )

Whether you choose to dance barefoot in our fountain or hit the dance floor in designer stilettos, the dedicated wedding professionals at Idlewyld Inn & Spa and Elm Hurst Inn & Spa will make your Wedding Day one to remember.

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5 Makeup Tips for Summer Brides

Summer wedding season will soon be in full swing. If you’re one of the lucky ladies who will be tying the knot this summer, you’ve probably already picked out your dress, sent out the invitations, decided on your wedding theme, and finalized your menu. You may even have had a trial run with your hair stylist.

But what about your bridal makeup?

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An Elm Hurst Bride – ready for her day in the spotlight!

Whether you never leave home without your lipstick or prefer a more natural approach, you probably want your wedding day makeup to differ from your everyday look – without being so different that you no longer look like yourself.

The hot, humid weather in southwestern Ontario can also make achieving a flawless face a challenge. But if you follow these few tips, you can achieve and maintain a picture-perfect face, even as the temperatures rise:

A makeup trial is a must
Always, always have a makeup trial before your wedding. This is your day, and you don’t want any unexpected surprises!

Your makeup should reflect your personality, and your wedding theme. Going gothic? Then you’ll want darker shades with metallics. Planning a country celebration? Lighter shades will give you the natural glow you’re after.

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Make time for a trial run….

Sit down with your makeup artists and discuss how you would like to look. Bring pictures and examples. Have a favourite lip colour? Bring that too!

Bridal skin boot camp
The estheticians at Elm Hurst Inn & Spa and Idlewyld Inn & Spa recommend that you start any facial treatments at least four to five months before your wedding day. Why so far in advance? Your skin takes about two months to adjust to new facial products – this way you will avoid any redness or breakouts on your big day.

Begin with a basic facial, such as our Balancing Facial from Eminence Organics Skin Care. This 60-minute treatment is customized for your skin type and begins with a consultation with your spa therapist – a great time to discuss any concerns that you have with your skin.

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Treat your skin to some love with regular facials.

At the end of your treatment, your therapist will recommend products for home use.

We recommend having a facial every six to eight weeks prior to your wedding date. The night before the big day, have a relaxing cooling facial to help reduce any redness and relieve stress.

Sparkles. Foundation. Mascara.
Just say ‘no’ to sparkles. They look pretty, but they reflect light in photographs meaning you’ll shine in the wrong way!

Avoid using heavy, caked-on foundations or your face will be melting by mid-day. Stick to something light, especially during the summer months.

Waterproof mascara and eyeliner are a must! You don’t want streaks down your cheeks when you shed a few tears of joy.

2017 summer makeup trends
In the past, we’ve seen lots of smokey eyes in neutral shades of brown and grey, paired with nude lips. This year, many brides are returning to a more natural look, with various shades of pink a popular choice for both lips and eyes.

Brides who want to add a bit of drama to their look are pairing neutral eyes and cheeks with a pop of colour on their lips – think corals, plums, and even red.

And of course, the trend for full, natural brows continues. So brides, put down those tweezers and let your brows grow in before your big day!

Don’t forget to use a primer and fixative spray
Using a primer underneath your makeup is an absolute must. Primers fill in any skin imperfections, such as fine lines and wrinkles, giving your skin a soft, perfectly-smooth look for your makeup application.

Square Footage. Real estate. Taylor Klapsis. Spa. Santa Monica, CA.
Eminence Organic Skin Care’s Stone Crop Hydrating Mist will keep your face looking fresh…..

Fixative sprays are an essential step for any bride during the summer months. Eminence Organic’s Stone Crop Hydrating Mist is a great choice, and doubles as a refreshing toner. A light spritz over your makeup application will set it for a longer-lasting look. Then freshen up again between the ceremony and reception.

The trained spa therapists and estheticians at Elm Hurst Inn & Spa and Idlewyld Inn & Spa would be delighted to help you put your best face forward on your wedding day.  

Wedding Planning – Where to Start

The holidays are a popular time for couples to get engaged. And if you were lucky enough to find an engagement ring under the Christmas tree, you may be starting the New Year with visions of wedding planning dancing in your head.

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If Santa brought you an engagement ring, you may be busy planning your dream wedding! Photo credit: HRM Photography. Location: Idlewyld Inn & Spa 

Although you may have been dreaming about your big day for years, organizing such an important celebration can seem like a daunting task.

At Elm Hurst Inn & Spa, and Idlewyld Inn & Spa, our wedding coordinators have helped thousands of Brides plan their dream wedding.

So if  wedding plans have you feeling overwhelmed, take a deep breath, and read our advice on where to start:

Set the date(ish)
There’s nothing like having a deadline to make you focus! Choosing a date will help you build a wedding planning timeline, and will make it easier to make concrete plans like choosing a venue, booking a photographer, and buying your dress.

Of course, it’s not as easy as simply picking a day out of thin air.

Is your heart set on an outdoor ceremony? Then you’ll probably want a summer wedding. Are you working with a tight budget? Then you may want to consider a winter wedding to take advantage of off-season pricing.

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A Winter Wedding can be a beautiful and budget-friendly choice. Photo credit: Dudek Photography. Location: Elm Hurst Inn & Spa.

If you’re planning a large event, you’ll need to leave ample time for preparation – and you may want to check with important out-of-town guests to see what dates might work best for any travel plans.

Remember, no matter how hard you try to choose a date that will be convenient for family and friends, it may be impossible to please everyone. In the end, remember that it’s your day so choose a date that works best for you.

Make your guest list
Many of your most important planning decisions will be influenced by the size of your guest list. You can’t host 120 people in a venue that only holds 60!

The number of guests will also be the most important factor in setting your budget.

And even though not everyone who receives an invitation will be able to attend, we recommend choosing a venue that can comfortably accommodated most of your guest list.

Book your venue
Once you know when you’d like to get married, and how many people you’d like to invite, it’s time to start looking for a suitable venue. More than any other decision, your choice of venue will set the tone for the big day.

A formal ballroom will create a different atmosphere than a rustic barn, urban restaurant, or chic wine cellar.

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Your venue choice will set the tone for your celebration. Photo credit: Dudek Photography. Location: Elm Hurst Inn & Spa, Carriage House.

Save time by doing preliminary research online.

You should be able to narrow down your choices based on location, venue size, food and beverage options, and price. Then, it’s time to contact your top picks to find out about availability and to book a tour.

Once the date is set, the guest list is determined, and the venue is booked, other details – like the style of your dress, flowers, venue decor, and menu selection – should start falling into place.

Happy planning!

At Elm Hurst Inn & Spa and Idlewyld Inn & Spa, we are pleased to offer all-inclusive Wedding Packages to suit any budget. 

Make the most of wedding show season

 

If you’re planning a wedding, you probably already know that wedding show season is in full swing. And with so many vendors under one roof, attending a bridal show can be a great place to look for new ideas, scout out the latest trends, and meet local wedding professionals. But it can also be a bit overwhelming.

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Inn Manager, Effie, representing Idlewyld Inn & Spa and Elm Hurst Inn & Spa  at Canada’s Bridal Show, with Ontario’s Finest Inns

So here are five tips to help you get the most out of the experience:

Do some homework
How many vendors will be in attendance? Some shows are held in large convention halls with hundreds of booths. Others are more exclusive ‘boutique’ affairs.

Most will have a website where vendors are listed. Take some time to check it out to get a sense of the size of the event, and to identify vendors – florists, photographers, deejays, venues – that you don’t want to miss.

Many events also allow you to register in advance, offering ticket discounts and other incentives.

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You can even win some great prizes, like these from the 2016 London Fall Bridal Show!

Don’t be shy
After you’ve decided which vendors catch your eye, the best way to see if this is someone you’d really like to work with is to strike up a conversation. Bring a list of questions, but don’t be pushed into making an on-the-spot decision. Most vendors will be happy to set up an appointment at a later date to discuss details in a more relaxed atmosphere.

Bring business cards or labels with your contact information, wedding date, phone number and email address to leave behind. Many vendors offer draws for prizes. You may be the lucky one!

Don’t miss the fashion show
Everyone loves the glamour and excitement of a fashion show, and they are a big part of most bridal events. Check the times to make sure you get a front row seat!

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The fashion show is a MUST! (Photo: London Fall Bridal Show, 2015)

Bring a tote bag
Most vendors have brochures or other information to take home with you. Some even offer swag! Come prepared – your arms will thank you.

Bring a friend
Bridal shows are supposed to be fun, so make it a social event and bring a friend, your mom, or even your fiancée. Give yourself plenty of time to visit each vendor, enjoy the free samples, have some refreshments, and socialize. And don’t forget to wear comfortable shoes!

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Bring a friend and double your enjoyment of all the latest wedding trends! (Photo: London Bridal Expo, 2015)

If you’re planning a wedding in southwestern Ontario, come and meet our Wedding Coordinator and her team at the London Fall Bridal Show (London Convention Centre, September 17 & 18) or the London Bridal Expo (Western Fairgrounds, September 24 & 25).

Or visit the Elm Hurst Inn & Spa and Idlewyld Inn & Spa online!

8 tips for a perfect outdoor wedding

Summer wedding season is almost here, which means many Brides are busy putting the final touches on their upcoming outdoor ceremony.

Summer wedding tips from Elm Hurst Inn and Idlewyld Inn
Keep cool with these summer wedding tips!

While blue skies and Mother Nature provide a magical backdrop for any wedding, we asked our Wedding Coordinator, Erin Lister, for some professional advice on how to ensure the day goes smoothly for you and your guests:

Let guests know they’ll be outside
Friends and family will appreciate being able to plan for the occasion with appropriate clothing, sunscreen, hats, and even insect repellent.

Elm Hurst Inn, Idlewyld Inn weddings
Let guests know they’ll be outside, so they can plan for the occasion.

Power up
The great outdoors doesn’t always have the best acoustics. Rent audio equipment to ensure that your vows will be heard. Don’t forget to ask if your site has access to power!

Banish the bugs
Did you know that some flowers actually attract insects? Your florist should know which blooms won’t be a fragrant invitation for every bug in the area.

Consider an aisle runner
If you want to keep your dress absolutely pristine, consider using an aisle runner.

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An aisle runner can be a beautiful way to keep your gown pristine.

Know the area
Is there an airport nearby? Or a busy soccer field? You don’t want your ceremony disturbed by surprise interruptions, so don’t be afraid to ask.

Keep them cool
It’s especially important to be on time for an outdoor ceremony, as nobody likes to be kept waiting in the hot summer sun.If your celebration is mid-summer, supply water, fans, and / or sun umbrellas. Get creative and use your fan as a program!

Keep your cool
Summer weddings call for summer wedding gowns. Think light and airy!  Your Bridesmaids will also appreciate dresses that are wind and weather appropriate.
Remember that stiletto heels can sink into the grass. And waterproof make-up should be a must.

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Keep them smiling by choosing weather-appropriate gowns.

 

Have a Plan B
Mother Nature won’t always cooperate with your outdoor wedding dreams. Have a Plan B in place in case of bad weather, and decide in advance who will make the final decision about moving your ceremony indoors. Then relax, and enjoy your day regardless!

Learn more about the all-inclusive Wedding Packages at Elm Hurst Inn & Spa and Idlewyld Inn & Spa – designed to suit any wedding and any budget. 

Do you have any tips for an outdoor wedding? 

Wedding Day Showers – They’re nothing to cry about

As a Bride, you can plan everything down to the last detail – but the one thing you can’t control on your Wedding Day is the weather!  And as our snowy Ontario winter turns into a cool and rainy spring, it’s time to offer a few tips to make sure that a few rain drops don’t put a damper on your celebration.

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This Idlewyld bride didn’t let a few showers put a damper on her celebration.

Always have a Plan B
Whether you’re getting married in June, December or April, you just never know what Mother Nature will have up her sleeve.  Don’t be shy about asking your venue about a back-up plan, especially if you are hoping to hold your ceremony outdoors.  Does the venue offer suitable inside alternatives? Or should you order a tent with sides, just in case?

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Even if your heart is set on an outdoor ceremony, it’s always good to choose a venue with an indoor alternative – just in case!

Watch the weather channel
Check the weather forecast about a week before your wedding. While it’s not foolproof, it should eliminate any last minute surprises, and help you decide whether or not to put Plan B into action.

Designate a Point Person
Decide in advance who will make the final decision about any changes brought about by bad weather.  Don’t leave it until the last minute!

Venues will do their best to accommodate your request and keep your ceremony running on schedule, but it takes time to move an outdoor ceremony under cover, or to close the sides of an open tent.

Waterproof makeup is a must
You don’t want makeup dripping down your face if you’re caught in a downpour, so make sure your eyeliner and mascara are waterproof.

Embrace the Rain
Many cultures believe that Wedding Day rain brings good fortune, so if the skies open try to go with the flow and have some fun. Colourful rain boots can make cute accessories for any outdoor photos and will save your stilettos.   And don’t forget to bring plenty of umbrellas for your bridal party.  Clear umbrellas are always a good choice for photos, but colourful ones can also add a sense of play.

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Don’t forget some umbrellas  – and your smile.

Stormy weather can make for some unforgettable wedding photos, but ask your photographer about alternate indoor locations if you’d rather not brave the elements.

In the rain
Stormy weather can make for some dramatic photographs!

At Elm Hurst Inn & Spa and Idlewyld Inn & Spa, our wedding coordinators will work with you to ensure your big day goes off without a hitch – regardless of what Mother Nature throws your way!

6 great reasons to hold a winter wedding

While some Brides dream of a June wedding, others know that a southwestern Ontario winter can offer a magical backdrop for an unforgettable celebration.

And although you may not be able to hold your ceremony outdoors in February, there are plenty of great reasons to have an off-season Wedding:

Reduced cost

Winter is the ideal time of year for budget-conscious Brides. Elm Hurst Inn & Spa and Idlewyld Inn & Spa are pleased to offer Winter Brides a preferred rate for off-season celebrations (January, February & March.)

A choice of dates and vendors

Since only 30 per cent of couples choose to hold their ceremony during the coldest months of the year, chances are your preferred date will be available!

Winter Brides also have more choice when it comes to photographers, bands, florists and other wedding vendors. It’s their low season too, and they’ll be happy to work with you to make your dreams come true, often at a reduced rate.

Winter wedding themes

Popular seasonal themes include Winter Wonderland and Fire & Ice. Candles can add a romantic, cozy and inexpensive touch to any winter affair, or consider Poinsettias or Holly as a budget-friendly alternative to the traditional floral centerpiece.

Our inns are always dressed to the nines for the holiday season, making the occasion even more unforgettable for you and your guests.

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The Idlewyld parlour dressed for the holidays.

 

Creative comfort foods

Comfort foods such as a hearty soup or lasagna can be a welcome addition to any Winter Wedding Menu. And everyone loves fun winter beverages like hot apple cider, hot chocolate, and eggnog.

Glamorous gowns

Choose a dress adorned with sequins and crystals to sparkle like the snow.  You’ll also need a fur (or faux-fur) wrap or long satin cape to keep cozy for those outdoor photos. Add a matching muff or pair of long satin gloves for an extra touch of glamour!

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This Elm Hurst Bride stayed warm in an elegant wrap.

An island honeymoon

Winter is the perfect time of year to escape to the islands for your honeymoon, with plenty of all-inclusive packages available.

Learn more about the all-inclusive wedding packages at Elm Hurst Inn & Spa and Idlewyld Inn & Spa. And don’t forget to ask about our off-season savings!