Featured Wedding: October 5, 2014Nicole & Jon's Sutro Forest Wedding

Posted by Blush Magazine Posted on March 13, 2015

Nicole and Jon met nine years ago at the Grant MacEwan library.

The Proposal

During a trip to Jon’s hometown of Twillingate, Newfoundland, the couple took a hike to a lighthouse where Jon stopped to carve their initials into a cliffside lookout. By the time Nicole realized he had carved “JS+NS” rather than “NW” for her maiden name, Jon was already down on one knee.

The Big Day

Imagine standing in a lush forest, surrounded by the scent of eucalyptus, and marrying the love of your life there.

“It’s difficult to describe it as anything but magical,” Nicole says of her intimate wedding ceremony. Nicole and Jon said their “I do’s” in Sutro Forest, a 100-year-old eucalyptus forest in the heart of San Francisco. They shared the moment with their two closest friends as witnesses, their photographer Gabe McClintock, and Jon’s brother–who is a chaplain in the Canadian Armed Forces–as officiant.

A reception party was later held in Edmonton at The Parlour, Nicole and Jon’s favourite restaurant.

Favourite Moments

Nicole: “When Jon passed me a post it note with a happy face on it before he read his vows (an inside joke). That and dancing with my dad.”

Jon: “Saying “I Do” to my wife”

Engagement Ring Cut

Cushion Cut Halo

First Dance

‘Smack Into You’ – Jon Mclaughlin

Father-Daughter & Mother-Son Dance(s)

‘Walk With You’ – Edwin McCain

Newlywed Advice

“Hire professionals that you trust to be apart of your wedding. Jon and I were relieved of any planning stress because we hired professionals that we love and gave them free range to do what they do best. From decor, to florals and even the exact ceremony location in Sutro forest- we let our team of professionals choose what they thought worked best.”

Looking Forward to Most Now Being Married

“The past nine years have brought us so many amazing adventures, we look forward to sharing many more together.”

Honeymoon

Iceland

Blush’s Day at Bliss YogaSpaVendor Spotlight: Bliss YogaSpa

Posted by Blush Magazine Posted on March 11, 2015

You want to get in shape for the big day, but the phrase “bridal bootcamp” makes you want to hide inside a tub of Häagen-Dazs. Ditto for the eighteenth revision of your seating chart because your cousin keeps changing her mind on her plus-one. You’re stressed. You look and feel just “blah”. You need to find Bliss. Literally.

Bliss is a full-service yoga studio and spa designed to rejuvenate body and soul. I could feel my tension slip away as soon as I was greeted by the friendly reception staff. After a quick tour of the building–which can feel like a maze but is really a large circle–and a crash course on how to use the digital lockers, I was ready to get my “glow” on.

Bliss offers several classes a day in both their heated and room temperature studios to accommodate every client’s schedule and level of yoga. I opted for the morning Blissful Glow Flow, “glow” being a prettier way of saying “you will drip sweat from between your toes.” The room was warm but not humid, full but not crowded. The instructor, Brandon, led the class through sequences of intermediate poses but left room for students to practice at their own pace; there were many opportunities to either take a break in child’s pose or push through another vinyasa.

From the Moodspace panel that bathes the clay walls in changing colours to the icy lemongrass-scented towels offered during the final savasana, yoga at Bliss is truly a sensory experience. After an invigorating sixty minutes students can hit the showers or unwind in the yoga lounge, which offers complimentary tea or healthy snacks and refreshments available for purchase. I, however, was off to the spa.

After trading my sweat-drenched yoga clothes for a robe and flip-flops, I settled into a comfortable chaise in the spa lounge with a cup of organic tea and an iPad provided by the spa. It wasn’t long before Calli whisked me away to work her magic.

Calli treated me to the Sacred Nature Ritual, which includes a full body exfoliating scrub, massage and facial treatment with natural products. What I’m sure took only an hour felt like a full day of pampering as she relaxed me into that lovely space between wakefulness and dreamland. By the time she was through, my body felt like a puddle of melted butter.

Realizing that I needed a few moments to solidify myself back in reality, Calli handed me a cool glass of lemon water and said I could choose to unwind in the spa lounge again or visit the caldarium. The what?

The caldarium is a gently heated room centered around a bubbling water feature. The glass tiles that line the walls and floor reflect the twinkling lights shining down from the ceiling like a starry night sky. It’s a perfectly peaceful stepping stone on the path back to the real world. I took my sweet time back in the changing room, relishing the steam shower and salon quality hair products before I left.

Bliss also offers group rates and couples packages if you need a pre-wedding pampering session with the girls or a relaxing daytime escape for two. I recommend leaving everyone behind to enjoy a personal day; solo is the way to go for a complete overhaul of body and soul. From arrival to departure I felt welcomed at Bliss, never rushed or uncomfortable. Every facet of my yoga and spa experience was just that: pure bliss.

Featured Wedding: September 20, 2014Tamara & Phil's Croatian Wedding

Posted by Blush Magazine Posted on March 4, 2015

Tamara and Phil officially met in Vegas on New Years day January 1, 2011, at a concert at the Hard Rock Hotel—but ironically a few days prior, they laid eyes on each other at West Edmonton Mall. After their initial passing at the mall, they discovered the next morning they were on the same flight to Vegas and exchanged numbers to meet up for a concert. The night of the concert Tamara knew Phil was her soul mate—it was a love at first sight moment.

The Proposal

The storybook encounter was later accompanied by a romantic proposal on a Mediterranean cruise where Phil asked Tamara to marry him on a balcony overlooking the vast sea off the shores of Croatia. Phil’s long awaited desire to take Tamara to Croatia to share his heritage with her made the magical life altering occasion extra special.

The Big Day

The couple wasted no time planning their wedding incorporating unique elements such as a shot table for guests when they arrived at the reception and booking a Croatian band alongside a DJ for entertainment.

Favourite Moments

Tamara: “Seeing Phil smiling at the alter while walking down the isle.”

Phil: “Our first kiss at the ceremony”

Engagement Ring Cut

Round

First Dance

‘Cant Help Falling in Love’ – Andrea Bocelli and Katherine McPhee

Father-Daughter & Mother-Son Dance(s)

‘Over the Rainbow’ – Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwo’ole

Newlywed Advice

“It is never too early to start panning and purchasing items for your wedding. If you start planning early it gives you the chance to book your first choice vendors.”

Looking Forward to Most Now Being Married

“We are excited to start a family.”

Honeymoon

St. Lucia-Sandals Grande

Featured Wedding: September 20, 2014Kathryn & Marek's Whimsical Vintage

Posted by Blush Magazine Posted on March 2, 2015

Kathryn and Marek met by chance at a bar when they locked eyes across the crowded room. Kathryn whispered to her friend that she thought he was cute, and her friend played wingwoman and told Marek. Embarrassed and tipsy, Kathryn introduced herself. They instantly clicked, exchanged numbers, and four years later found themselves locking eyes at the altar.

The Proposal

One Christmas Eve morning Marek surprised Kathryn with breakfast in bed–complete with eggs, bacon and a diamond ring. Kathryn was so stunned she nearly dropped her coffee. She was speechless. “I had about ten chances to take my words back,” says Marek, “but I never would.”

The Big Day

The couple wanted to incorporate Marek’s Polish heritage into their wedding; they held their ceremony at the Holy Rosary Polish Church, wrote a thank you message on an old door in both English and Polish, and made their guests take a shot of Marek’s father’s homemade nalewka if they wanted to see the newlyweds kiss.

For the reception, Kathryn wanted a venue that “had a rustic feel, but not too country.” She found it in the exposed beams and cozy fireplaces at Snow Valley then completed her vision with whimsical vintage decor.

Favourite Moments

Kathryn: “Listening to my parents and my brothers welcome Marek to our family. They said the kindest words and reaffirmed that I was making the best decision of my life.”

Marek: “Spending the entire day, and weeks leading up to our wedding with family and friends. Both my grandmothers and an uncle and cousin flew in from Poland to share our special day.”

Engagement Ring Cut

Round with Halo

First Dance

‘Home’- Chantal Kreviazuk

Father-Daughter & Mother-Son Dance(s)

‘Father & Daughter’ – Paul Simon

Newlywed Advice

“Get all your planning and preparations done at least a week before your wedding. That way you can enjoy those around you without worrying about the small things.”

Looking Forward to Most Now Being Married

“Spending the rest of our lives together and starting a family.”

Honeymoon

Emerald Lake, BC – Emerald Lake Lodge

Featured Wedding: August 30, 2014Kimberly & Matthew's Rustic Romance

Posted by Blush Magazine Posted on February 27, 2015

The decision to turn to online dating changed Kimberly and Matthew’s life for the better. After one week of constant conversations, the two met for coffee and immediately developed a genuine connection.

The Proposal

Three years later, Matthew presented Kimberly with a special gift—a framed poem describing their relationship and what she means to him. Enthralled in the poem, Kimberly failed to notice Matthew got down on his knee as she was reading aloud until she peeled back the tape covering the last line and read, “I am down on one knee, asking will you please marry me?”

The Big Day

On cloud nine, the couple wasted no time planning their rustic romance wedding bringing outdoor details of a vineyard indoors. Inspired by wine country, Kimberly and Matthew’s wedding included organic elements such as wooden wine crates, ferns, succulents, and wine barrels that beautifully complimented the elegant and consistent branding of the wooden wedding invitations, escort cards, menus, welcome sign and cake topper.

Unique details incorporated into the wedding stemmed from the couple’s personal penguin connection. Kimberly arranged for the set of penguins she made Matthew for their first anniversary to be placed at the head table behind their centrepiece as a surprise for Matthew to see—adding the perfect touch to their special day.

Favourite Moments

Kimberly: “Many things are highlighted for me from our wedding but I’d have to say it was our first look. To be honest, I never thought I would want a first look, I thought it would take away from the “special moment” of walking down the aisle. However, spending that time with each other, taking it all in, not only took away some of the nervousness of the day but was really a “special moment” gained.”

Matthew: “Watching Kimberly and her father enter the ceremony and walk down the aisle. Even though we had a first look, the ceremony made it official and at the point I was seeing my bride!!”

Engagement Ring Cut

Cushion

First Dance

‘The Wedding Song’ – Angus & Julia Stone

Newlywed Advice

“If it is in your budget, we would recommend a coordinator. It alleviates a lot of stresses the day of and you are able to relax and be welcomed into your vision rather then spending time executing it!”

Looking Forward to Most Now Being Married

“Matthew says kids…I say free time. It’s crazy how much time planning a wedding can take up – a year flew by. But in all honesty it is spending the rest of my life with my best friend.”

Honeymoon

Paris & Mediterranean Cruise

Wedding Film/Video