Rocky Mountain Wedding Venue: Fairmont Banff SpringsBlush's Venue of the Year 2016

Posted by Blush Magazine Posted on July 28, 2016

Rocky Mountain Wedding Venue: Fairmont Banff Springs

“Destination wedding” typically conjures up images of barefoot ceremonies on white sand beaches, but with a weak Canadian dollar many couples are looking for more domestic getaway options. Fortunately we have one of the world’s most breathtaking landscapes in our backyard, with a spectacular venue to match.

Blush’s Venue of the Year for 2016, the historic Fairmont Banff Springs, is considered Canada’s “Castle in the Rockies.” First built in 1888, the luxury hotel has hosted British monarchs and Hollywood royalty alike, and features numerous rooms to suit weddings of any size and style.

The Ivor Petrak Room hosts intimate weddings for up to 60 guests and boasts a glittering crystal chandelier and stunning views of the Bow Valley. For an even smaller-scale soiree, seat up to 24 guests at a long table in the Angus room with its stained glass windows and historic décor.

For larger affairs, look no further than one of the Banff Springs’ elegant ballrooms and halls. The Alhambra Ballroom accommodates up to 220 guests and contains both huge windows for a sundrenched celebration and four Spanish Renaissance chandeliers for a romantic evening glow.

Fox Trot back to the roaring 20’s in the Cascade Ballroom; the hotel’s original ballroom has hosted stars such as Fred Astaire and Marilyn Monroe. The rich hardwood floors and colour scheme of powder blue, burgundy and gold provide a glamorous backdrop for a vintage wedding, and the adjacent Conservatory delivers panoramic views of the Bow Valley.

Mt. Stephen Hall truly reflects the grandeur of the Rocky Mountains, and is the most popular space for couples to start their happily-ever-afters. The stone floors, high ceilings with oak beams, and cathedral windows with stained glass crests create a castle-like atmosphere for ceremonies and receptions for up to 115.

Take advantage of the fresh mountain air with a picture-perfect ceremony on the Outdoor Terrace, which combines natural beauty with the convenience of hotel amenities.

With a team of on-site wedding planners and dozens of recommendations for local vendors, the Fairmont Banff Springs offers the ease of an all-inclusive destination wedding and unparalleled service for a worry-free day. Tantalizing menu options, fine wines, and the world-class Willow Stream Spa ensure that you and your guests will be pampered. For those looking for fun and adventure, the hotel also features a 27-hole championship golf course, a bowling and entertainment centre, and a plethora of outdoor activities.

Unlike most tropical destinations, there’s no need to worry about passports, vaccines or foreign marriage licence requirements. The Calgary International Airport is only a scenic 90-minute drive away, so it’s easy for far-off guests to fly in for the big day. The nearby town of Banff also offers nearly endless options for accommodations, dining and shopping to suit all styles and budgets.

Best of all, there’s never a bad time to head to the Rockies; the area is beautiful and accessible all year round. Whether you’re dreaming of a sunny summer, rustic fall or winter wonderland wedding, the Fairmont Banff Springs will bring your vision to life, and the stunning mountain vistas will take your breath away.

Blush's Venue of the Year 2013

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Intimate Bragg Creek WeddingAlexis + Arden: Intimate Bragg Creek Wedding

Posted by Blush Magazine Posted on July 26, 2016

Alexis met Arden in Vancouver while the two of them were working for the same company, and she smiles at the memory of immediately being drawn to his piercing blue eyes!

The Proposal

The engagement took place while Alexis was on a work placement down in California for two months. The pair had picked up a boxed lunch from Whole Foods to bring down to the beach for a picnic, and Arden had hidden the ring in the camera bag. When they got to the beach, they found a private area to sit down and eat. Right before dessert, things got really sweet as Arden took Alexis’ hand and got down on one knee. California was already special for the pair as it was where they said “I love you” to each other for the first time, but getting engaged really takes the cake.

The Big Day

The wedding itself was small, beautiful, intimate and everything they could have hoped for… perhaps minus the surprise snowfall over the labour day weekend! Other unique details included Alexis’s “Bro of Honor”, a no camera request to keep their guests in the moment, and a special lion dance to commemorate Alexis’ Chinese heritage.

Favourite Moments

Alexis: Our first look. I loved how it was just us two in that moment.”

Arden: Our first look. She got me a Rolex!”

Engagement Ring Cut

Cushion with Halo

First Dance

‘You Are The Best Thing’ – Ray Lamontagne

Newlywed Advice

“Forget about the noise. At the end of the day, it’s just about the two of you and nobody else.”

Looking Forward to Most Now Being Married

As newlyweds, Alexis and Arden are most looking forward to everything marriage stands for; simply having someone that is forever on your team and forever by your side.

Honeymoon

Cook Islands | Aitutaki Resort & Spa

Acknowledgements

Number of Guests: 50 | Location: Bragg Creek, AB | Ceremony Venue: Riverside Chateau | Reception Venue: Italian Farmhouse | Marriage Officiant: Bruce Adlington | Cake: Pretty Sweet | Catering: Italian Farmhouse | Dessert Styling: Pretty Sweet | Floral Design: Fleurish Flower Shop | Photographer: Sarah Vaughan Photography | Stationery: Paperless Post | Music (DJ or Live): Spotify | Transportation: Southland Bus | Bridal Gown Boutique: Truvelle | Bridal Gown Designer: Truvelle | Groom’s Suit/Tux Designer: Skyfall Tux | Groom’s Suit/Tux Shop: Derks Formals | Bridal Hair Stylist: Bride | Bridal Make Up Artist: Bride | Jeweller (Bride): Engagement (Custom Design), Wedding Band (Tiffany & Co) | Jeweller (Groom): Tiffany & Co

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5 Things You Need To Know About Destination Weddings

Posted by Blush Magazine Posted on July 22, 2016

Many people have the impression that destination weddings are easier and less stressful than planning a wedding at home – but that’s not always the case. Here are 5 important factors to consider when planning a destination wedding.

5 Things You Need To Know About Destination Weddings

1) Your Guests

Destination weddings ask a lot of your invitees: the cost of travel, of course, and depending on the location guests may have to take time off work to attend your nuptials. You’ll likely have friends or family who cannot attend or choose not to attend for various reasons. Be prepared for some loved ones to miss the occasion and don’t take it personally.

Tips:

  • Provide accommodation options at different price points to suit a range of budgets.
  • Setup a wedding website to convey travel information to your guests to make it easier for them to attend.

2) Planning From Afar

If you have “Type A” tendencies, a destination wedding may not be a good fit! Unless you’re able to travel to the location before the wedding to scope out venues and meet with vendors in person, you may find it difficult to make all your plans remotely, especially when cultural differences and language barriers come into play. In some destinations it can take weeks to receive email responses – not every bride has the patience to deal with that pace of planning.

Tips:

  • Do your research! Search for real photos from travel review sites or destination wedding blogs to avoid unwelcome surprises.
  • Engage the services of a Wedding Planner experienced with weddings in the area.

3) Bon Voyage Budget

It is a common belief that destination weddings are much cheaper than celebrating at home, however tropical resort packages can be deceiving as they are often for a very small number of guests and do not include a private reception.

A weak Canadian dollar can affect affordability of destinations abroad, so why not consider a beautiful destination closer to home? Canada boasts incredible locations throughout the Rocky Mountains, Okanagan Valley and West Coast.

Tips:

  • Look off-resort for great local venues that will give you more flexibility in customizing your wedding and choosing your suppliers.
  • Some locations may offer better rates for weekday and/or low season weddings.

4) The Unexpected

Destination weddings are more likely to be affected by factors beyond your control. Examples include extreme weather, such as hurricanes, snow storms, floods and forest fires (we’ve had weddings affected by all of the above); health outbreaks like Swine Flu and most recently, Zika Virus; and foreign political unrest.

Tips:

  • If you’re heading somewhere tropical, check when that area is most likely to experience severe storms – in other words, don’t have your wedding during hurricane season!
  • Look into getting traveller’s insurance and wedding cancellation insurance.

5) Making It Legal

Each country has their own legal requirements for marriages. Some countries mandate blood tests and may require that you’re in the country for a specified number of days before the wedding takes place. In Canada and the U.S. marriage licenses are issued by province / state, so be sure to check the particulars for your wedding location.

Tip:

  • Consider getting married legally at home shortly before or after your destination wedding, and have a symbolic ceremony abroad. This can look and feel exactly the same as a legal ceremony so your guests won’t know the difference – and you may save yourselves some headaches.
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Majestic Banff Springs WeddingDarci + Alex: Majestic Banff Springs Wedding

Posted by Blush Magazine Posted on July 19, 2016

Darci and Alex met through mutual friends in Calgary, and although they liked each other right away, it took nearly seven years for the two to become a pair.

The Proposal

On a trip to New York City, their all time favourite place, Darci and Alex were bike riding through Central Park and stopped at the Belvedere Castle. It was a true fairytale moment when Alex pulled out a little box, expressed his love and popped the question. Onlookers cheered and Darci describes the moment as “perfect”.

The Big Day

For their big day, Darci and Alex wanted a destination wedding without the travel. The Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel proved to be the best of both worlds with so much for their guests to see and do! The day before the wedding the couple held a golf tournament at the Banff Springs which added to the weekend festivities. During their reception they had a scotch tasting room and surprise speeches from many friends and family members. The couple hosted a unique late night poutine bar and finished off the night with an after party in the Rundle Lounge.

Favourite Moments

Alex’s favourite part of the night was an impromptu sing-a-long with a guitar they found at the after party, while Darci reflects fondly on the 1952 Bentley Mk VI they rented to ride in for the day. As the couple arrived back at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel and Darci was getting out of the Bentley, there was a bus of tourists pointing at her and and calling out “A Princess! A Princess!

Engagement Ring Cut

Round

First Dance

‘Take Care’ – Beach House

Newlywed Advice

“Hire a wedding planner! Our day went so smoothly, there was zero stress because every detail was planned and taken care of for us. This lets your family and guests relax and just enjoy the day!”

Looking Forward to Most Now Being Married

These newlyweds are looking forward to exploring their new neighbourhood with their dogs and starting a family.

Acknowledgements

Number of Guests: 120 | Location: Banff, AB | Ceremony Venue: Fairmont Banff Springs | Reception Venue:  Fairmont Banff Springs | Marriage Officiant: John Stutz | Desiger + Planner: Julianne Young Weddings | Floral Design: Flower Artistry | Photographer: Gabe McClintock | Stationery: Bloom Invites | Music (DJ or Live): Pez Productions | Transportation: Highland VIP | Bridal Gown Boutique: Frocks | Bridal Gown Designer: Leanne Marshall | Bridesmaid(s) Boutique: Frocks | Bridesmaid(s) Designer: Monique Lhuillier | Groom’s Suit/Tux Designer: Made to Measure | Groom’s Suit/Tux Shop: Harry Rosen | Groomsmen Suit/Tux Designer: Huey Lam Suits | Groomsment Suit/Tux Shop: Wildrose Alterations | Bridal Hair Stylist:  Esthetica Salon | Bridal Make Up Artist: Erin Kilburn | Bridesmaid(s) Hair Stylist:  Esthetica Salon | Bridesmaid(s) Make Up Artist: Erin Kilburn

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Diverse Beauty LooksBridal Hair and Makeup

Posted by Blush Magazine Posted on July 15, 2016

It’s one of the most universal traditions in the world. But, it’s celebrated differently by everyone. Different cultures have different customs, many of which extend to bridal style. We’ve created three bridal looks on women of different ethnicities.

North America

Soft pinks on lips, cheeks and eyes with just a touch of highlighter complement fair skin. A loosely defined fishtail braid adds dimension to sun-kissed strands.

Diverse Beauty LooksDiverse Beauty Looks

East Asia

Peachy shades add warmth to olive skin tones, while a smoky effect created with colour emphasizes small eyes without overpowering them.

Diverse Beauty Looks

Diverse Beauty Looks

India

Full, dark lashes contrast with shimmering silver shadow to make the eyes this exotic beauty’s main accessory. Opt for a dramatic up-do over a tiara for a regal look.

Diverse Beauty Looks

Diverse Beauty Looks

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