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BRIDAL STYLES2009 Bridal Trends

by Richha Arora, Wedding Planner Extraordinaire


Wedding Dress Trends
One of the biggest trends to hit the aisles for 2009 is inspiration from the retro-chic, Hollywood glam era of the 20s through to the 60s.  These classic and sophisticated gowns can include pleats, tiered skirts, rich embroidery, silk screened prints and of course feathers! 


2009 also brings about a plethora of sleeve styles from fitted, full-length, the classic strapless, off the shoulder and one-shoulder styles.  In necklines we’ll see a lot of sweethearts, straight, bateau, and high necklines, mainly worn with minimal or no jewelry at all.

For those to dare to show it all off, It’s time to get on those squats and lunges because short wedding dresses are a must have for 2009.  The mod short dress has a fitted body over a full skirt that stops at or just above the knee.


You can’t go retro-chic without the headpieces so this season headpieces are becoming an integral part of the overall wedding look.  Veils, hats and hair accessories are accented with feathers, silk leaves and petals.  Feathers are THE hottest trend this season so put them on your dress, your hem, on top or your headpiece - anywhere really!


For the daring bride full or 3/4 length over jackets with intricate designs are also a must have, but if you can’t see yourself wearing that just use one of the seasons hot colors: tons of greens, bright pinks, reds and orange.


Men’s Trends

The modern groom and his best buds are making their fashion statements about who they are by what they wear underneath their jackets.  The biggest changes or trends in men’s bridal wear are found in their accessories.


The latest look for men is traditional and sophisticated.  Notched collars that are pointed and traditional are in, shirts are not pleated - leaving the overall look conservative, tailored and fitted.


Knot ties are replacing bow ties in tux’s and gentlemen cummerbunds are out so throw those out and get yourself a vest instead!


For your groomsmen, instead of matching them to you, have them compliment you or the bridesmaids instead.  For instance, if you’re wearing a black vest with silver do the opposite for your best buds making sure they don’t clash with the ladies!


In the fashion forward continent of Europe grooms are picking IVORY as the hottest tie color.  Whether you are choosing ivory or have to choose ivory to match your bride’s dress ivory is HOT!

Other tie colors that are in this season are: deep red, rust, gold, sand, sage, lilac, pale pink and teal.

Half-Up, Half-Down

The hottest hair trend to hit weddings in 2009 is the half-up, half-down look.  This has the best of both worlds, so if you can’t decide whether to go down or up - do both!  This style pulls your hair away from your face, but still leaves the back portion of your hair long - giving you a look that’s au natural.  This style is especially hot with an off the shoulder gown!



Similar to wedding downs, hairstyles inspired from the retro-chic era of the 60s are also very popular.  These pin up styles are easy, and if you’re in a budget pinch are a great DIY project for you and your bridesmaids.


Crystal, Crystal little star!
Crystals are another popular hair accessory for 2009 but not only on hair combs, pins and headpieces but also woven into your hair on thread to give your entire style a huge sparkle.  Crystals are great for all hair types and lengths


Choosing your Stylists

Choosing your Stylists

by Richha Arora, Wedding Planner Extraordinaire


Your wedding day is your special day.  It’s your walk down the red carpet and it’s a day all about you!  At that special moment all eyes will be glued on you, and so choosing a stylist is an important decision in putting your wedding day look together.


Bridal Beauty Rules to always live by:

1) Keep it simple.

2) Your hair and makeup should enhance your natural beauty not transform you into someone new!

3) Relax and enjoy your day as princess.




Although all eyes are on you, the modern bride never goes overboard.  Wedding day makeup should be a reflection of you.  You don’t want to cake it up, but you don’t want to go completely bare either. (Gotta think about your photos!)  If your day to day style is clean, fresh and laid back, don’t change yourself into Hollywood glam.  Wedding makeup should never be too trendy either - think about the long run - will that blue eye shadow still look great ten years down the road in your wedding album?  Your makeup should be a reflection of your personal style and the rest of your wedding.  Your makeup will need to last the entire day and needs to work both on and off camera.  Also keep in mind you definitely won’t have too much time to getaway for constant touchups, which means you’ll need a look that will last.


Some brides choose to do their own makeup but most play it safe and hire a professional makeup artist - and its definitely worth the price!


Well-known MUAs in major cities such as Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver book up fast.  Start your shopping at least four to five months prior to your wedding if you want to have the cream of the crop or at least first dibs.  With this lead time you’ll also have time  for a trial to experiment with different looks, colors, and products.


Start by asking friends, other brides, your stylist at your salon and your wedding planner for recommendations or referrals. You can also call your local beauty school where you can hire a student for a lesser rate or search online for local agencies that book freelance MUAs for weddings.


MUA Checklist Once you have your list of makeup artists, you will need to start making appointments for a consultation. (Some MUAs offer complimentary sessions, while others charges so make sure you ask!)  Before the meeting, go through magazines and bring some looks that you like with you.  Ask your MUA to bring his/her portfolio so you can see what their style is and if it matches yours.


Apart from loving their work make sure you develop a comfort level with them and are able to express your feelings and ideas to them easily.  You also need to determine if they are reliable.  Did they return phone calls or emails in a timely matter?  Worrying whether your MUA will show up is not an option on your wedding day!


Here are some questions you should definitely cover at your consultation: - Do you have experience working with brides?


- Ask about their style - What do they think a bride should look like on her wedding day? - What look do you think would be best for me? - The MUA may totally have the same thing in mind of you as you did, or they may give you a completely new look that you love!


- What happens if you can’t make it at the last minute?  Do you have a backup MUA to send? - Will I need to purchase and bring my own makeup?


- How do you charge - by the hour or by the job? - How many events do you do in a day? (You want to know if they will be rushing off to another appointment)


- Are they mobile?  Will the MUA travel to you or do you have to travel to them? - Will they stick around for touch-ups?  If not, can they teach you how to do your own?


- Do you have any references I can call?  Or, have a portfolio of recent brides?


MUA Contract Many brides make the mistake of booking a MUA without a contract and only a verbal agreement.  Once you’ve found the lucky MUA, negotiate a rate and get it in writing - even if they normally don’t use contracts.


You can even draft a contract yourself, and it should include: - Wedding date


- Arrival time - MUAs generally take on average 45 minutes to do you up, and this doesn’t include travel time and time needed to set up their tools! - Number of hours


- Price - Location - Try to have your makeup applied in as much natural light as possible!


- Any other charges (ex. parking, products, etc.)




Most brides want their hair to look healthy, soft and beautiful - nothing over the top - and most hairstylists will agree.  With hair there are several things to take into consideration when choosing the right style: your personality, the venue, your headpiece, and of course - the dress!


Like makeup artists, good hairstylists can get booked up early so its best to start scoping your options out at least five months ahead of time.  Again, you want to give yourself enough time for a trial to discuss ideas for your hair and actually have them style you as they would on your wedding.  Most hairstylists will charge you for a consultation and trial and depending on where you live, along with the skill level of the hairstylist fees can start anywhere from $150 and go as high as $1000.  Hiring a junior stylist is a great way to save some money and many are very talented!


Again start by asking your friends, makeup artists at your favorite cosmetics counters and your wedding planner.  Once you have your list speak with them over the phone to assess whether you’re comfortable with their demeanor before you book an appointment for a trial/consultation.


It’s always much cheaper to go to the salon than have a stylist travel to you - although this can prove to be a great expense!  If you aren’t going to a salon, find out if the stylist will bring tools and products of if you’re required to supply them.  Also keep in mind that some stylists also do makeup - which is also more convenient and a great way to cut back on some costs as well.


Hairstylist Checklist Again before meeting your hairstylist go through magazines for some inspiration - not just bridal magazines - and bring them with you.  Ask your stylist if he/she has a bridal portfolio for you take a look at, and be sure to ask these questions:


- Do you know how to work with veils, headpieces and hair jewelry? - Do you work with a team, or with assistants?


- What are the charges for his/her associates to style your bridal party? - What are the prices for related events? You may need your hair styled for things like your rehearsal dinner, or any other pre-wedding parties.


- Do you have backup, in case you are unable to make it? - Do you want the stylist to stay and help you transition from the ceremony to reception?


- What style will work best for my hair type?  If you love to dance, what styles will stay in place while you dance the night away? - Will the the style they’ve selected look good from a 360 view, and not just from the front? Make sure to tell the stylist the neckline and cut of your dress.


If you already have your veil, headpiece or any jewelry bring it to the trial.  If you haven’t discuss your ideas with the stylist and bring it in when it comes in. - Do you have any reference that I can call or a bridal portfolio?


Hairstylist Contract


Again, once you’ve found your hairstylist and negotiate the rate be sure to get a contract and put down a deposit.  It should include: - Wedding Date


- Arrival time - Number of hours

- Price - Location

- Any other charges (ex. parking, products, touch-ups, veil removal, etc.)



The Hunt for the Perfect DressThe Hunt for the Perfect Dress
by Richha Arora, Wedding Planner Extraordinaire
The age old hunt for THE perfect wedding dress is something every bride goes through.  Looking at dress after dress how do you know which one is best suited for you?  There are few basic considerations that must be made to help you through this process:
-Season and location
-Formality of your wedding
-Body type

Your dress is a reflection of the formality of your wedding and it sets the standard for everyone else’s clothing as well.  One of the first things you’ll be asked as you entire bridal boutiques is what your budget is - and this is something you seriously need to consider too!  Only try on gowns that are within your range also keeping in mind alterations, veil, shoes and accessories that often add hundreds of dollars to the cost.  Come up with your VISION - how do you see yourself looking on your wedding day? Before you head out into the wild jungle of dress shopping do some PRE-SHOPPING.  Get an idea of what is available in your price range by looking online in editorial spreads of bridal magazines.

When you start out, try on lots of dresses.  You’ll never know what a dress looks like unless you try it on.  That Vera Wang you’ve been dreaming about may not flatter you.  As your first assessment, make sure the dress feels good and isn’t uncomfortable.


Will the weight of the gown make you feel heavy after a couple of hours? When you sit down does the corset dig into your ribs?


If going with a strapless, does it stay in place? Does the material feel comfortable?


And the GOLDEN QUESTION* When you look in the mirror, do you see the dress first or you?  If you choose the dress its NOT the one - and the hunt continues!




Bring pictures of dresses you like and ones you don’t like.  If you like the neckline of one dress and the waistline of another make sure you point these out to your salesperson. Wear underwear you won’t be embarrassed to be seen in.


If you’re shopping a sample sale wear a body stocking, or swimsuit under your clothing so you can change in the aisles if necessary. Bring a camera.  Not every bridal shop will allow pictures, but if possible, get a photo of yourself in the dress you’re buying.  Not only for your family and friends but also for your florist, your cake maker, and other vendors trying to assess the style of your wedding.  Remember, the dress sets the tone of your wedding.  A photo will also help when it comes to shopping for accessories, and a fabric swatch is important too!


When ordering from a bridal salon its important to get these items in writing:


Description of the gown ordered, including the designer and style number, fabric, size and color.  Any changes you’ve requested from the designer should be noted as well. Delivery date


What happens if there’s a problem?  If the dress doesn’t arrive in time, your agreement should state that the salon will refund your deposit. Number of fittings


Estimated alternations fee Deposit amount, amount due, due date for remainder of balance


Cancellation and refund policy


THE CATCH Are the seams neat and even and do they lie flat?


Embellishments are sewn on, not glued.  Beads, sequins and pearls should be sewn on individually and not in strands. Crystals are clear all the way through.  Rhinestones with a dark backing can appear black in pictures.


The dress is lined properly.  Crinoline shouldn’t be touching your bare skin. Zippers are hidden and glide smoothly.


he inside of the dress looks finished with no raw seams. Fabric is matte or lustrous, not shiny.


With a structured gown the corset should be built in and boned. Buttons work properly and are not just sewn on top of a zipper.  Buttonholes should be finished.


The dress should fit and feel great when you put it on!


THE FITTING Bring all undergarments that you’ll be wearing under the dress - bra, body shaper, crinoline, petticoat, hosiery; for the best fit, you need to be wearing the exact undergarments you’ll be wearing on the day.  That also means you’ll need to buy the items you need before the first fitting.


Bring the shoes you’ll be wearing to ensure you’ll get the right length. Bring a second pair of eyes - your mother, a bridesmaid or your wedding planner.


You can get light-heading from standing still for so long so be sure to bring a bottle of water and high protein snack in your bag. Bring a camera so someone can take pictures of you at your fitting - its a great experience to document!


Do not put on foundation or lipstick.  You don’t want makeup to rub off on your gown.  If you’re coming from work the salon usually can provide a mesh makeup protector hood that prevents makeup from coming off on the dress. Have the front of the dress hemmed an inch shorter than the back to help prevent you from catching the toe of your shoe in the hem




Consider buying two pairs of shoes, one with a lower heel, so you can do a change when its time to be the dancing queen - even if its an inexpensive pair of satin slippers or jeweled flip flops. If you’re on a budget, no one is going to notice if you skipped on those Jimmy Choos under your long gown and wear basic satin sling-backs.


If your feet swell easily buy your shoes a half size bigger than usual, and bring along insoles just in case. If the shoes have a smooth sole, scuff them up for traction.


Put in extra pads wherever they’ll help Walk in your shoes at least two to three weeks before your wedding to break them in.  If you’re taking dance lessons take your shoes with you!


Look for a style you can wear again, especially if you’re planning on splurging. If you’re going for white or ivory satin shoes you can dye them black after the wedding.


Budgeting Tricks Ball gowns require more fabric than slender silhouettes, so they cost more.  If you’re on a budget look for something with a more slender silhouette.


Trains mean additional fabric, which mean more cost.  If the train has an embellishment such as beading, embroidery that adds even more to your price.  Skip the train and you can always wear a long veil instead. A heavily constructed gown costs more to make than a gown without built in boning, corsets, and multiple layers of lining and fabric.


Any type of handwork such as beading, pickups, adds to the price.  Look for dresses without the embellishments. Lace is expensive and ups the price of a dress.  Stick to lace trim or skip the lace altogether.


Try on separates to get a better fit without so many costly alterations.


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2009 Prom Dress Trends

2009 Prom Dress Trends
by Malaika Reynolds


Trying to find that perfect prom dress that flatters your body? Looking for the latest trends? Here are some helpful tips about current prom styles and which dresses accentuate your figure.

Ruffles are a popular trend this season and can be incorporated around the arms, neckline and at the waist. For a dramatic look, utilize large ruffles.

Sequins, this season, are dated. Try beading instead. Beading can be used on dresses in patterns such as florals, paisley and swirls. Beading can also be used on the trims: hems, necklines and straps.


Short dresses
Short dresses are one of the most popular trends of the season. Whether it is a knee length, tea length dress, or a mini skirt, shorter length dresses are flirty and fun.


Combining the traditional and sophisticated classic shift, with an edgy strapless dress, creates a spectacular look.  A more daring look might include ruching and draping off centre. This look also accentuates bare and elegant shoulders.


Ball Gowns
The Ball gown is a formal dress that will be very popular for proms in 2009. The ball gown can also flatter any figure, especially of curvier girls: the full bottom of the gown will conceal larger hips. The ball gown is a both stunning and flattering dress that will certainly attract attention and make you feel like a princess!


Gem Toned Dresses
Colors like ruby, emerald, and topaz, are all popular colors this season. These dresses will also look great on larger girls.


Empire Waist
Empire waists look fantastic on curvier figures. They display your best features, and make your hips look more slender.



Flatter your physique
by Malaika Reynolds



  • Open necklines – V-necklines and Strapless dresses instantaneously add height
  • Empire waists – Embellished Empire waistlines draws the eye upward.
  • Vertical lines – Beading, lace & even pleating help lengthen your silhouette.

Big Bust

  • Sweetheart – emphasizes  your décolletage
  • Square- emphasizes the bust, but is not excessively revealing
  • A dress with wider straps will permit you to wear a supportive bra and make you look great!


Pear Shaped

  • A detailed bodice with an attractive neckline draws the eye upward
  • An Empire-waist dress in elegant organza or chiffon will skim over your bottom half making you seem more slender.
  • A hip-bone length jacket will reduce the appearance of a larger rear.


  • Open necklines flatter your bust
  • Vertical lines trim and lengthen
  • Stay away from shiny fabrics
  • Jackets that fall to the hip bone (no longer or shorter) flatter your hips
  • A-line skirts that slender your lower half
  • Basque or Empire waistlines that make the stomach seem slender


  • Layered or ruffled details that give curves to a lengthy figure.
  • A-line shapes to add visual interest and appeal
  • A colored sash or two-toned color schemes or a colored sash – these split up a long line.


  • Ball gown – looks great with a Basque waistline.
  • Strapless – any open neckline will complement this figure


  • Short lengths: Shorter lengths flatter the shorter woman
  • Monochromatic – Stick to just one color.
  • Column silhouettes – Vertical straight shapes without any waistline separation instantaneously add height.


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Prom Makeup TrendsProm Makeup Trends
by Malaika Reynolds



Rock Chic- Smoky eyes are the keystone of this look.  Accompany the look with an edgy attitude and dress.
Bright Lips- Bold daring lip color is the way to go this season. Trendy colors are in red, coral and pink. MAC, Cover Girl and Max Factor, have all created popular bright shades.

Clean Shimmer -With sparkly eye shadows and natural lip glosses, this trend is for those who favor a cleaner aesthetic. Also be sure to moisturize your skin to get a dewy look.

Nude Lips – This trend emphasizes a nude or natural lip color. The lip color should be soft and subtle.

Metallics – Have fun experimenting with metallic colors! Blue, gold, and silver metallics are all fashionable. You can also use eyeliners to create drama on the eyes.



by Malaika Reynolds


Check out this fabulous way to capture your hotness. Makeup and hair trials are common during the planning of your special Prom day, so why not take advantage of what GLOW Studio has developed just for you and your girlfriends.  Bring your dress into the studio and receive a hair and makeup trial for $50 per person.  While you’re dolled up, take the opportunity to get some glam shots, because we all know as much as you are counting on taking fabulous pictures of you and your girls on the prom day, you’ll be consumed with other things (like your date ahem!) and won’t have a professional shot to show after all.


These sessions will introduce you to amazing stylists that you would likely book for your prom day, and you’ll get a profession photo to keep from the studio experience.  Write to them at


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AccessoriesBig and Bold Jewelry Trends
by Nancy Sharma


Bold and beautiful colors and out-there statement jewelry has made its mark on the 2009 Spring/Summer runways.  Ladies, don’t be discouraged from wearing this fashion trend – it craves attention.  Jewelry in the 2009 collections vary from wild and wacky to extravagant and elegant, however the pieces follow common trends such as:

  • Geometric shapes
  • Exotic and ethnic inspirations
  • Rich colors of prominent stones and gems
How to wear this Jewellery Trend

The core difference between the previous season of bold jewellery and the 2009 trend is the clothing it's worn with.  Last season was all about playing down the clothing to make the jewels the stand-out.  This season, don’t be shy to team colourful clothing with over-the-top accessories.  Experiment with different colours and styles to make them as interesting as possible.


This Season’s Must Haves:

Bracelets, Bangles & Cuffs

Bracelets took various forms on the runways - from simple chains to chunky bangles.  However, the crown accessory this season is the ornate cuff. It took trend status by being worn on the upper arm or the wrist.

Drop Earrings
Drop earrings went to the extreme on the spring 2009 runways, ranging in chic colours and different lengths.  These stunning accessories are the perfect addition to make any look more glamorous. 

Statement Necklaces
Statement necklaces are perfect at attracting all the right attention no matter where you plan to wear one.  Clear stones with solid chains and rich colors work to your advantage this season.


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