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365 Days of Wonderful

January 18 & 19, 2020

RBC Convention Centre Winnipeg



Posted in Ask the Experts, Photography, V.I.B. Weddings, V.I.B. Weddings Issue 1



Manuel F. Sousa Photography

Q: How far in advance do we need to book our wedding photographer?
A: I generally suggest booking your photographer anywhere from one year to 18 months ahead of your wedding date to be safe. Of course it all depends on certain factors. For example, what time of year is it? Is it on a weekend or weekday? Is it a destination wedding?

Once you know which photographer you want for your wedding day, don’t procrastinate and take the chance that someone else will book them first. It will be a good feeling knowing that it’s booked and that you can cross that job off your list. You have lots of other things to think about for your wedding day!


Photo: Supplied

Manuel F. Sousa was given his first camera at the age of 14 when he started taking photos as a hobby. He considers himself incredibly fortunate to have turned his hobby into a career that he loves. Manuel moved from Toronto to Winnipeg in 1992 and has photographed over 870 weddings since.

Ask the Experts was originally published in V.I.B. Weddings Issue 1. We asked seven local pros to answer some of your commonly asked wedding planning questions. Read the magazine to find more inspiration, planning tips, fashion & real weddings.


Posted in Ask the Experts, Flowers, V.I.B. Weddings, V.I.B. Weddings Issue 1

With Academy Florist


Photos by: Mackenzie Jean Photography

Q: How much should we budget for wedding flowers?

A: Typically, during an initial email inquiry or in-person consultation at Academy Florist, our customers are unsure what to budget for wedding flowers. Because every couple has a unique vision for flowers and their special day, we customize every single wedding order.

Our customers are looking for items such as large focal arrangements, centrepieces, bouquets, boutonnières, corsages, garlands, wreaths, hairpieces, cake flowers or guest book table arrangements for their wedding ceremony and reception venues. We do our very best to accommodate every budget, suggest how to best allocate funds and present options that are in keeping with the their vision.

A wedding flower budget can range anywhere from $500 to $5,000. A little creativity and experience combined with a carefully thought out plan can turn a vision into reality while staying within budget.


Photo by: Carrie Ekosky Photography

Irene Seaman, owner of Academy Florist at 925 Corydon Avenue, has delighted in creating inspired floral designs in Winnipeg for over 35 years. Irene and her team strive to achieve service excellence and continue to focus on quality and exceptional design.

Ask the Experts was originally published in V.I.B. Weddings Issue 1. We asked seven local pros to answer some of your commonly asked wedding planning questions. Read the magazine to find more inspiration, planning tips, fashion & real weddings.


Posted in Ask the Experts, Engagement Ring, V.I.B. Weddings, V.I.B. Weddings Issue 1, Wedding Resources, Wedding Rings

With Bijou Fine Jewellery


Q: Engagement rings and wedding bands are a huge investment, how can we be sure that we’re getting good value for our money?

A: For centuries, engagement rings and wedding bands have served as symbols of everlasting love. Incorporating diamonds and other rare gems, as well as precious metals like gold and platinum, it’s no surprise that these rings come with a cost.

To ensure that you get the most for your investment, make sure that your jeweller uses top quality gems, like GIA certified diamonds. Ensure you are given a full appraisal, and that your jeweller is a master when it comes to setting the jewels just right.

You deserve impeccable service to ensure you get the perfect design, and it’s imperative that your jeweller is known for their quality so your rings will last for generations. In the end, you need to be confident that you have the right team to bring your vision to life. At Bijou, we specialize in one-of-a-kind custom creations, expertly designed and crafted by the best goldsmiths in the province.


Photo: Supplied

Born into the jewellery and gems business, Ashiq Katoo of Bijou Fine Jewellery learned the fine art of gemology, design and jewellery making at a young age. He has a keen eye for rare gems and jewels, and prides himself on the quality of his work and high level of personalized service.

Ask the Experts was originally published in V.I.B. Weddings Issue 1. We asked seven local pros to answer some of your commonly asked wedding planning questions. Read the magazine to find more inspiration, planning tips, fashion & real weddings.


Ask the Experts: Made-To-Measure

Posted in Ask the Experts, Men's Formal Wear, V.I.B. Weddings, V.I.B. Weddings Issue 1

With Eph Apparel



Q: How long in advance should we order suits for our wedding party?

A: Here at EPH Apparel, we recommend placing wedding party orders no less than three months in advance to allow adequate time for turnaround and pick up. Wedding season is peak time in our industry, and we don’t want to turn any groups away because they’ve left the ordering process too late.

Allowing sufficient time to attend a fitting will ensure our team will be able to create a made-to-measure suit for every man in your wedding party at a fraction of the price of a traditional suit retailer. Our customers can choose their desired fit, lapel, collar and cuff, and add custom finishing details such as pick stitching, funky liners and free monogramming.

Reach out early to lock in a fitting date that works for all the men in your group and place that order. It will be one more thing you can check off your wedding planning to-do list!



Photo: Supplied

Alex Ethans is co-owner and operator of EPH Apparel, a Canadian menswear company specializing in custom-made suits with a Flawless Fit Guarantee. EPH’s flagship store is located on the main floor at 291 Garry Street.

Ask the Experts was originally published in V.I.B. Weddings Issue 1. We asked seven local pros to answer some of your commonly asked wedding planning questions. Read the magazine to find more inspiration, planning tips, fashion & real weddings.



Ask the Experts: The Dress

Posted in Ask the Experts, Wedding Dresses

With Stella’s Bridal & Evening Collections


The Dress with Stella's Bridal & Evening Collections


Q: What style of dress will suit my body best?

A:When it comes to choosing a dress, there is no rule without exception. Some say that if you are pear shaped, then you should stick to an A-line silhouette to minimize the hips. That being said, if you want to wear a fit-to-flare dress and show off your curves, my advice is to go that route. The key is finding the perfect neckline; something that is a little wider across the top of the bustline, such as Maggie Sottero’s Chante (right) or Marianne (left) gown, will balance the hips and create an hourglass shape.

If you are petite, you may be told that a ball gown will overpower your smaller stature, but this isn’t necessarily true. You should match the volume of your skirt to your height and be the princess you’ve always wanted to be! (Middle gown, Miel by Aire Barcelona)

The bottom line is that you should try on all different shapes and styles. Trust your consultant and you will find the perfect gown. In some cases, the most flattering style is the one you least expect.


Deedee Hunt, Stella's Bridal & Evening Collections

DeeDee’s Headshot: Rygiel Photography & Video

 DeeDee Hunt is the manager of Stella’s Bridal & Evening Collections located at 516 Portage Avenue. Stella’s carries a beautiful selection of bridal lines including Aire Barcelona, La Sposa, Justin Alexander, Maggie Sottero, Stella York and Callista.

Ask the Experts was originally published in V.I.B. Weddings Issue 1. We asked seven local pros to answer some of your commonly asked wedding planning questions. Read the magazine to find more inspiration, planning tips, fashion & real weddings.


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Wedding Countdown

Posted in Wedding Resources

18 Months to One Year Before:

  • Announce your engagement.
  • Set your date and time for ceremony and reception.
  • Make up your budget.
  • Reserve locations for your ceremony and reception; select the officiate.
  • Decide on size and type of wedding.
  • Decide on guest list, start gathering names and addresses.
  • Choose a professional photographer, florist, baker, videographer, caterer, DJ or band, wedding consultant (if you choose to use one) and transportation.
  • Have professional engagement portrait taken and submit to newspaper.
  • Select attendants, flower girl, maid/matron of honour.
  • Start looking for your gown.
  • Select bridesmaids’ dresses, keep colour swatch for florist and reception hall colour coordination.


Three to Six Months Before:

  • Decide reception details: menu, decor, food service, type of bar service, type of cake, type of music during dinner.
  • Finish your guest list.
  • Finalize honeymoon plans.
  • Complete necessary requirements for marriage license.
  • Continue work on ceremony plans.
  • Order personal stationery and invitations.
  • Order bonbonnières for guests.
  • Register for gifts at a bridal registry.
  • Make sure all bridal attire is ordered.
  • Make sure all groom and groomsmen attire is ordered.
  • Arrange for both mothers to coordinate attire.
  • Make plans for where you’ll live after the wedding.


Two Months Before:

  • Mail out invitations five weeks prior to wedding.
  • Finalize ceremony plans.
  • Finalize plans with photographer, videographer, baker, florist, DJ or band, caterer.
  • Finalize music selections for ceremony and reception.
  • Plan rehearsal dinner.


One Month Before:

  • Get marriage license and/or take care of any other legal requirements.
  • Finalize schedule for photographer/videographer.
  • Speak to band or DJ regarding song list.
  • Attend to transportation requirements for your wedding day.
  • Purchase gifts for attendants and bridal party.
  • Start your record of gifts received.
  • Final fittings for bride and attendants.
  • Purchase gift for fiancé.


Two Weeks Before:

  • Attend to miscellaneous business and legal details.
  • Check on accommodations for out of town guests.
  • Confirm all honeymoon arrangements.


One Week Before:

  • Designate an emergency coordinator from your wedding party and equip them with any and all emergency phone numbers for all suppliers and vendors. Give them a three ring binder with copies of all your wedding day contracts.
  • Insure that the wedding party picks up their attire.
  • Write thank you notes for parents, close friends, or relatives who will receive them on your wedding day.
  • Attend rehearsal and rehearsal dinner, distribute wedding party gifts.
  • Make sure you have marriage license and rings.
  • Contact guests who have not R.S.V.P.’d.
  • Give final count to banquet hall or caterer, finalize seating arrangements
  • Reconfirm all honeymoon reservations.


On Your Wedding Day:

Bride & Groom:

  • Eat something in the morning.
  • Don’t worry, be happy!! Enjoy!!


  • Allow ample time for makeup, nails, getting dressed, and other details.
  • Ensure one of your girls has your emergency kit.
  • If there are going to be preparation photos by the professional photographer, start them two hours before the ceremony.


  • Give yourself plenty of time to get dressed.


After The Wedding:

Bride & Groom:

  • The day after the wedding, send thank you cards to the bride’s parents and the groom’s parents with a personal note expressing your gratitude for the wedding and reception.

Wedding Etiquette

Posted in Wedding Resources

A few general quidelines to some of the basics. Just remember each wedding is different, but the following information is a good place to get started.


Receiving Lines:

Receiving lines serve many different purposes. First of all they allow each guest the opportunity to see the bride and groom and offer their best wishes and congratulations. Secondly it is an opportunity for introductions.

Traditionally receiving lines are comprised of the parents of the bride and groom, the bride and groom, the maid of honour and the bridesmaids.

As each guest passes through the line they should be introduced to those in the receiving line with whom they are not acquainted by the person standing adjacent to them.

Flower girls, ring bearers, and ushers are not part of the formal receiving line, but can mingle with the guests.

In the case of divorced parents organize the receiving line such that divorced parents do not have to stand next to each other.

Receiving Line Order

Mother of the Bride
Father of the Bride (optional)
Mother of the Groom
Father of the Groom (optional)
Maid of Honour
Best Man


Seating Arrangements:

Seating arrangements at the church may very depending on the religion and clergy. If you have any questions or concerns about seating arrangements you should address your clergy.

Typically the bride’s family and friends sit on the left hand side and the groom’s on the right. Parents are seated in the first pew, followed by other important guests. Often these pews are differentiated from the rest with special pew markers/bows. Sometimes general guests are seated evenly on both sides, if there is a strong imbalance.

Seating at the Church

Bride’s Parents
Bride’s Grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, godparents, etc.
Other family & friends of the bride

Groom’s Parents
Groom’s Grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, godparents, etc.
Other family & friends of the groom

If your church has two aisles the bride’s family and friends are usually seated on both sides of the left aisle and the grooms on the right. Parents and special guests usually sit next to the appropriate aisle, but in the center section.If the parents of the bride or groom are divorced they are seated in separate pews. For example the mother in the first and father in the second. Alternatively there may be a few rows of family member seated in-between if extra “space” is required. (Each situation is unique and may require some creativity and compromise to find the “right” solution for you.)

Seating at the Head Table

Best Man
Maid of Honour

Each set of parents are usually seated at their own table with family, (close friends) and clergy.



There are many acceptable variations on the order of toasts and their presentation, however they usually follow this traditional guideline.

Order of Toasts

Toast to the Bride
Toast to the Bride and Groom
The Groom’s Response followed by the toast to the bridesmaids.
The Best Man’s Response on behalf of the bridesmaids.
Other Toasts
Toast by the Father of the Bride welcoming the groom to the family and inviting guests to enjoy their evening.

Something Old, Something New…

Posted in Wedding Resources

Did you ever wonder how the quote “Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue” started?

Something Old:

This refers to the brides previous way of living, before the wedding. It is suppose to symbolize the transition into her new life, whilst not forgetting the one she had.

Something New:

This is the second part of the transition. It signifies the future ahead and all the prosperity it shall bring.

Something Borrowed:

This item tends to be borrowed from another previously wed bride. You borrow it so that you may have all the luck and joy that the bride who first wore it has now in her marriage.

Something Blue:

Before Queen Victoria set the standard for marrying in white, Blue was the common colour to be wed in. Blue, much before white (in fact during biblical times) was the colour of purity, and thus, women would marry gowned in it. The artifact of blue is merely a testament to the original colour of purity.