Bridal Week Wedding Inspo: How to the plan perfect weeding, high fashion style

Weddings are sometimes the hardest events to have to plan. It takes a detailed and well-organized plan to really have a wonderful wedding come to life. Recently, at Bridal Fashion Week, many of the world’s great bridalwear designers once again blew away their audiences with utterly stunning and completely forward-thinking designs for spring. With that said, just a simple article reviewing the gowns wouldn’t be enough to demonstrate how different the bridal world is becoming. Instead, this article aims to feel more like a how-to guide on how to plan an artistic wedding steeped in fashion that will blow any guest away.

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The Luxury Couture Bride

Photos: Vogue Runway

The Dress

Vera Wang can essentially be seen as the reigning goddess of the bridal world and for very good reason. This season, Vera Wang brought her already stunning gowns to a new level. Rather than following bridal trends, Wang created new trends by infusing more personal couture elements to this season’s gowns. Draped in stunning lace and luxurious volume, Wang created a new silhouette and new expectations for what a wedding gown should be. Pictured above, The Aurore wedding gown creates a stunning regal silhouette that mirrors the luxury and excess of European fashion, which perfectly reflects the grandiosity of a true couture wedding.

Photo: Taylor Hazell Architects

The Venue 

Casa Loma, Toronto’s historic castle has been the go-to destination for old-world opulence in the bustling city. Set within stunning manicured gardens, Casa Loma offers a stunning take on the traditional wedding. Rather than pushing for your run of the mill hotel wedding or golf course wedding, splurging on a one of a kind venue like Casa Loma and you will definitely have your guests gasping for air. Another brilliant aspect of the castle is its many rooms: You can have your dream wedding in either an outdoor or an indoor space, and take in the beauty of any season on your special day.

The Décor

The best way to blow your guests out of the water at a dream couture wedding has to be with excess! Pull out all the stops to effectively create a couture wedding. Chandeliers, strong neutral colours, like black, white, and grey, and beautiful blooms are all perfect ways to create the luxury fairytale you’ve always wanted. For the perfect day, pick a venue that either has outdoor space or allows a lot of light to come in. This is especially important if you’re having a summer wedding because nothing is more beautiful than the late evening summer sun setting and bathing your venue in warm sunshine as your guests dance and enjoy the evening.

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The Bohemian Bride

Photo: Vogue Runway

The Dress

Now, most boho brides are often inclined to buy lacey, hippie-inspired dresses that are more like Coachella than wedding day glamour. But don’t just give in and put that flower crown on your head. Carolina Herrera has answered every boho girl’s prayers with a dress that is equal parts elegance and flower child. This fall 2018 confection fuses timeless elegance with a sweet and pure floral print that perfectly encompasses the floral fantasy every bohemian bride dreams of. Rather than rely on lacy overload, this dress uses its sheer volume and embroidery to create the gentle elven fantasy that signals an outdoor boho wedding.

Photo: gardenvisit.com

The Venue

The Toronto Botanical Gardens is the perfect backdrop for the bohemian bride. Filled with stunning flora and beautiful open-air spaces, Toronto’s botanical gardens offer the beautiful nature filled backdrop a bride craves when planning an outdoor wedding. However, the wedding itself doesn’t have to be entirely outdoors — the gardens offer various indoor venues that accommodate different sized groups that all open up to beautiful gardens and terraces, giving guests the option to enjoy the outdoors or the party inside.

The Décor

The beauty of boho décor is that it doesn’t have to be pristine. Often, the more organic and natural your decor looks, the more on theme it will look. Boho décor is about embracing the raw aspects of nature and allowing things to look more relaxed and natural. Avoid any kind of mirrored or jewelled accents as it may throw the earthy décor completely off. Another good way of creating a simple bohemian theme is to simply have your event outside. Let the natural spring of summer landscape engulf your guests and creating a whole new world within the city.

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The Classic Vintage Bride

Photo: Vogue Runway

The Dress

The classic bride loves the idea of timeless simplicity and Viktor & Rolf are the kings of understated and timeless excess. This season, V&R once again created a collection based heavily on vintage tropes from the ’50s and ’60s, creating a time capsule filled with old world glamour and elegance. Mirroring the gowns of old world royalty like Princess Grace, Duchess Kate, and Princess Margaret, this Viktor & Rolf embodies what it means to be a queen on your wedding day. It’s reserved yet extravagant, just like the royals of the world.

Photos: Caesars Centre

The Venue

With simplicity comes elegance. Caesar’s Center in Bolton, Ontario, fuses the chic minimalist appeal of a boutique hotel in Europe with the care, comfort, and attention to detail that comes with old world dining and event hosting spaces. The space is perfectly geared toward a bride who craves something very different from the traditional banquet centre scene. Something new and fresh, yet effortlessly classic. With soaring windows and ceilings, the space is always bathed in natural light, with a view of blue skies and white clouds peeking through from the uppermost windows. What stands out the most about this venue is the openness of its minimalist design, giving the classic bride (and any bride) a blank canvas on which make their dream a reality.


The Décor

When it comes to modern elegance, the best way to go is with simple and luxurious minimalism. Pristine white linens and crisp deep blacks pair beautifully with simple glass vases filled with subtle florals. Orchids in white, Cala lilies and monochrome exotic flowers in bright colours are all wonderful choices that add a strikingly simple and subtle elegance to your event. Remember, think classic elegance, vintage Calvin, crisp lines, clean design, and contemporary minimalism. This is one wedding where less is definitely more, avoid over-the-top extravagance at all costs!

Novella Picks the Realest ‘Best Of Toronto’

Artwork by Michelle Cheung for Novella Magazine

There are Best Of.. articles everywhere these days — the best brunch, the best shops, the best bars, the best theatre, not to mention the best restaurant for a particular dish like pizza, ramen, etc. Despite the information overload in the internet, some categories, also essential to getting the most out of the city, have been egregiously left out. Hence this somewhat tongue-in-cheek but in all honesty a well-curated list picked by Novella’s motley contributors! Take notes.

Best Place to Get Shitfaced

Every crazy drunken night has started and ended at Sweaty Betty’s located at 13 Ossington ave. The bartenders are really cool, it has a nice patio, and the drinks are cheap enough to make you ask yourself the next the day “how the hell did I get home?”. — Drew Brown, Editor-in Chief

McQueen’s Pub on Queen East is a great place for a series of afternoon pints. Start at three and by the time dinner bell rings, you’ll be well into conversations with the barkeeps — whose names I, naturally, forget — and the nice usually older regulars around the bar (shout-out to the older gentleman always on a tablet, drinking pinot-grigio and the PBR tall boy lady), and find it hard to leave. Order another pint, some wings, and sit around some more. — Hoon, Managing Editor

When you need a place to chill out with your friends, have a good drink, and take your epic dance moves for a spin, you need to get yourself to The Beaver (1192 Queen Street W.). The atmosphere is warm, the bartenders are friendly, and the drinks are cheap. After dancing the night away, the bar has a back patio where you can get some air and cool off before catching your second wind and starting the boozy dance party all over again. – Michelle, Social Media Coordinator

To be honest, I feel like you can get shitfaced pretty much anywhere. But, if I had to choose, I tend to enjoy getting shitfaced at The Ballroom on John Street. The atmosphere is chill, the dress code is casual, the decor is creative, and there are two floors to choose from, including a bowling alley on the first floor and a large restaurant, bar, pool table, ping pong table, and dance floor upstairs. The best part? Live music. — Claire Ball, Contributor

Best Place to Get Over a Hangover

Caplansky’s Deli (356 College St) With all day breakfasts full of eggs, smoked meats, and loads of lovely carbs, Caplansky’s is the perfect place to nurse that raging hangover. The atmosphere is nice and cozy, the service is excellent, and the prices aren’t terrible. Not to mention, compared to other weekend brunch spots, there are never any huge crowds or lines to ruin your day. I’ve spent many a weekend morning/afternoon gorging myself on challah french toast and smoked salmon eggs (and endless cups of coffee). — Adina Heisler, Contributor

Wake up, get dressed, and look up a pho joint closest to you; the fresh noodles soak it all up; the broth flushes everything out; the tai (rare beef, eye of round), nam (brisket), gan (tendons) rejuvenate. In my case, the neighborhood go-to is Pho Linh in Brockton Village. There’s one closer, on Bloor, and we won’t name names, but there are reasons for the extra hungover ten minute’s walk down to Pho Linh. If you’re in Leslieville, where I used to live, Com Tam 168 was always a solid choice. And if any champion out there knows of oxtail pho in the city, please give me a shout-out. — Hoon, Managing Editor

Clinton’s Tavern (693 Bloor Street West) — Let’s get real, no one really makes it out for hungover brunch before 12 pm. That’s why I ask, why restrict myself to breakfast foods? The club area at Clinton’s may be the place that did the damage the night before, but allow it to be your spot to replenish and you will be widely impressed by the chill atmosphere and massive amount of delicious and creative pub food. Other bonuses include it being affordable and any dish can be altered for a vegetarian! — Meg, Contributor

Last year I went to an event at Starving Artists located at 810 College St. and I am still dreaming about the waffles. This west-end all day brunch restaurant serves delicious stuffed waffles or just waffles with the ingredients on the side. I had the waffles with bacon inside and it was sooo good. Yes, after a night of drinking there is very little that can drag me out of bed but the food at Starving Artists is great motivation. -Drew Brown, Editor-in Chief

Recently I went to Insomnia on Bloor Street West and now I am obsessed. Their brunch menu is what dreams are made of. With a variety of benedicts to choose from, and the best coffee I’ve ever tasted. This place is a must try! Once you’re finished with your daily coffee dose, they have $5 mimosas! What better way to cure a hangover? — Claire Ball, Contributor

Best Place to Take Your Date When You’re Broke but Want to Look Rich

This really depends on how rich you want to look and how broke you actually are. But if I am to err on the side of optimism, let’s say you’re broke in the sense that Becky literally has no money but Ubers four blocks to a spa. In this case, consider Kintaro near Church and Wellesley. The dishes are conducive to sharing, the atmosphere feels cozy, if not swanky, and is nicely decorated, and pints of Sapporo are cheaper than glasses or a bottle of wine. A good night at Kintaro will set you back around $50~60 for two people. Not cheap, but not French bistro prices either. — Hoon, Managing Editor

I feel like this situation all comes down to the proper execution of the date. Going to any restaurant that’s not on the pricey side might just give you up right away, so why not play the “I’m too fly to want to go to nice places card” and maybe take the opportunity to show off the little places in Toronto you like to go to for fun. Some of my favourites are, hitting up Pancho’s Bakery in Kensington for a signature $1 churro and looking through the stores, putting some Baileys in a cup of coffee and heading up to the top of Casa Loma, or teaching your date your favourite card game over a tall can in Trinity Belwoods. Any of these will make a memorable date that will show them that you are a keeper despite your ever shrinking bank account. —Meg, Contributor

Best Place to Take Mirror Selfies

Nordstrom, The Eaton Centre — This is weirdly specific but the Nordstrom bathrooms are hella nice and are the perfect size and length to take full outfit pictures. The lighting is decent and it’s not too shabby to post a pic with a fancy af bathroom in the background. Maybe people will assume you shop at Nordstrom. You’re welcome. — Natasha Grodzinski, Contributor 

In the privacy and coziness of your private domain, be it the living room, bathroom, or kitchen countertop. Doing so also gives you extra good karma points for saving other people from having to see you try multiple times to get that shot right. As they say, way to hell is paved with publicly taken selfies then posted on Instagram. — Hoon, Managing Editor

Locals Only on King Street West has exceptional mirror selfie potential. Honestly, I don’t really take mirror selfies frequently, but I’ve already planned my next one to be taken here. The bathrooms have decorative wallpaper that makes for a great background, and the mirrors have a soft light around them so the lighting is on point. Mirror selfies from the Locals Only bathroom are definitely Instagram worthy. — Claire Ball, Contributor

Best Place to Buy Art When You’re not a Art Snob

Museum gift shops always have good selections of nicely printed posters, either framed or not. They also have puzzles that can be glued afterwards and framed, if you’re into that sort of thing, which I unashamedly am. So next time you visit the AGO or ROM or wherever, don’t skip on the gift shop! Mingle with the tourist group and discuss best bargains. — Hoon, Managing Editor

Once you walk into Kid Icarus (205 Augusta Avenue) in the eclectic Kensington Market, you will see beautifully well-designed posters plastered on the walls, handmade cards, and stationary goods. They are a design shop that specializes in printing, and if you feel like stretching your own artistic muscles, they offer workshops in screen-printing and linoleum carving. Be sure to give yourself at least thirty minutes to explore this little shop — it will be worth your time. — Michelle, Social Media Coordinator

Best Neighborhoods for Thrift Shopping

Bloordale — The strip along Bloor St. in the west-end between Dundas West and Ossington is filled with tons of thrift stores. You’ve got everything from Value Village and Vintage Depot to smaller independent stores all within a fifteen-minute-walks of one another. My personal recommendations are the Odd Finds General Store and Ransack the Universe. Perfect for spending a Saturday afternoon browsing away. —Natasha Grodzinski, Contributor

Parkdale — Personally, I’ve always been an avid Queen West vintage buyer (usually between John and Bathurst). However, the other day I sat on the 501 streetcar a little longer and was in absolute clothing bliss. From Public Butter to House of Vintage, my Levis collection has doubled in size and expanded in quality! A definite must go! — Meg, Contributor

Best Thing to Buy at LCBO When You’re Hosting

Jive Elderflower Pearl Edition Sparkling Wine $8.30 — Not only is this one of the LCBO’s  best-kept secrets, it clocks in at just about $9.40 after taxes. Making it unbelievably cost effective when hosting a party. But don’t let the price fool you, this stuff tastes like citrus, flowers, Paris, and sunshine in a bottle. The stuff is so good you could probably bring loved ones back to life by just sprinkling this elixir of the Gods over their grave. I stand behind Jive sparkling one so much that if it was socially acceptable, I’d pour some into a travel mug and start my day with it. — Chris Zaghi, Fashion Editor

Bulleit Rye is $40 and that may seem like a lot until you consider that it’s a multi-awards winning Rye and that you can make Sazeracs, Old Fashioneds, and Manhattans, drink it on the rocks, drink it neat, drink it out of the bottle, cook with it, and still have some left over for the day after in case you need the hair of the dog. You may ask, I like it fine but what if my friends don’t like whiskey? Well, nothing wrong with a party of one. — Hoon, Managing Editor

This may sound strange but Twisted Tea Original is a great go-to drink to have stocked in your fridge if you’re hosting. They’re refreshing, delicious, and, just in case things get a little rowdy, they go super easy if you need to start chugging or shotgunning. So make sure you buy the cans instead of the bottles! You never know when you might need them. — Claire Ball, Contributor

Best Place to See a Band You’ve Never Heard Of

I don’t know that many bands, so I’m not sure if the bands I’ve never heard of are necessarily bands everyone’s never heard of, and I’d hate to frown and have malicious thoughts at someone who’s supposedly known the said bands since they were in utero. But the last couple of times I’ve been to REX on Queen West, the bands, some of them student bands, were really great. — Hoon, Managing Editor

The Hideout (423 College Street) — I was personally offended when the Hideout closed the doors of their always bumpin’ Queen West location but ecstatic when learning that they’d be just down the road at a new location on College! The venue does a really great job at hiring bands that will play for the people in the bar. Even if you’ve never heard of the band, you’re bound to join the dance floor and hear a great mix of the bands personal songs and covers! —Meg, Contributor

Self-claimed as the best place for live music and cold beer, it’s hard to argue with The Dakota Tavern (249 Ossington Avenue). When I feel like visualizing myself in an indie folk music video, this is my go-to. The bar, with low ceilings and Christmas lights strung on stage all year around, offers a more intimate experience with bands. Order a few beers with your friends and you might even find yourself belting out some tunes. – Michelle, Social Media Coordinator

Best Underrated Festivals

TURF (Toronto Urban Roots Fest) — I wouldn’t necessarily call TURF underrated because it is quite popular, but it’s definitely not on the level with other music festivals you see come through the area. The headliners get attention but the rest of the festival is low key. The line up is a mix of bigger names and small bands touring around the country – some of those smaller bands draw small crowds, but those shows are a blast to be at. You can absolutely find one of your new favourite bands here and take in some of the amazing food options they have at the same time. — Natasha Grodzinski, Contributor

Corn Fest on St. Clair, happening later this year in August, is just something I’d like to attend. I expect a lot of varieties of corn, cuban corn, grilled corn, popcorn, tortillas, tamales, and more. Apparently there will be free BBQ as well. — Hoon, Managing Editor

Best Place to Workout and not Feel Judged

The YMCA — There’s a reason there’s a song about it. You get your regular gym nuts at the Y, but there are also so many people of all ages that go for so many different reasons. We have seniors chilling, kids running around and everyone in between just trying to do their thing. Everyone’s going at their own pace. Just avoid those in the middle of a personal trainer session. They can get intense. — Natasha Grodzinski, Contributor

Sully’s Boxing Gym is an old school boxing gym up on Dupont by Dufferin. You might get yelled at and pushed to do better but nobody will judge you, as long as you keep trying. The crowd is always friendly and Tony and Winslow, the two beyond fantastic coaches, are always helpful. — Hoon, Managing Editor

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City Downtown: The Next Generation Of Toronto’s Brand Managers

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The fashion landscape in Toronto is changing, and with it, a new era of brand managers and fashionistas are breaking into the scene. We have our eye on the ladies and gents from City Downtown, and yesterday, we were able to chat with the team of enthusiastic, driven fashion management students from George Brown Casa Loma campus.

The store is part of a term-long project that thirty-one fashion management students embark on at the beginning of the fall term, in order to familiarize themselves with the inner workings of owning and operating a store, from buying to selling to analytics and everything in between. Every part of the store was designed by the students, from the logo to the visual to the layout of the furniture. The store hosts a range of unisex, men’s and women’s clothing, as well as a curated selection of jewellery and accessories. They have curated clothing from Ava and Cheap Monday, and they also host select consignment pieces.

“One thing we have noticed is that our menswear is moving very quick,” explains Bailey Grieves, General Manager of City Downtown. “We carry Religion for men, and it’s a great addition to the collections we already have, like Alternative and Nana Judy. Another thing we keep in mind is our price point catering to our demographic. We try to keep everything in perspective, and always ask ourselves ‘would we spend the money on this?’. Our average price point is around $25 and the high end is about $60, so it really is accessible to anyone. What makes us different is we have these custom jackets,” Grieves said. “We will go pick these vintage jean or camo jackets, and invite our clientele to write on it with fabric paint, either a catchy quote or a show-stopping phrase. Those have been a big hit within the community.”

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At the end of the day, it’s about gaining the experience in this project that they will be able to utilize outside of the college’s walls, as each person within the store has a specific role to fulfill with expectations from not only their professor, but their teammates and the business. Working within their visual and promotional budgets from their accountant, they were able to bring together a clean, sophisticated, and chic store.

“This has been the best experience because it’s all hands on, and if you like this and you’re good at it, then you know you can go out and manage a store, especially since you are doing this, while juggling your other courses and commitments,” Grieves said. “We are flipping the store every week. The whole layout of the store has been done by the visual team, with everything from the wall deco to the jewellery visual to the layout. Basically, we started it from nothing, and anything we wanted, we had to create ourselves.”

As for what’s up next for the store and the entrepreneurs, their Friends & Family Night on November 8th is coming up quick, which is a chance for the students to showcase their talent in the store, boost sales, and give their store further exposure. As well, they have a fashion show and a number of events in the works, so keep up with the next generation of Toronto brand managers at @gbdowntown #meetusdowntown

All photographs courtesy of Michelle Nuenes.