I was asked to design a Groom’s Lounge for fiancés being dragged to the Ottawa Bridal Party wedding show in Ottawa (highly recommended show, by the way). This would be a place for the grooms to relax, uninterrupted by business cards and fervent vendors, and to simply put up their feet. My theme was “Vintage Olympics” (the show was held during the 2014 Sochi Olympics). We had a series of antique sporting equipment set up around the television that was broadcasting the men’s hockey game that afternoon.
Whiskey barrel cocktail tables, black leather furniture adorned by tartan and cable knit blankets, a classic blues guitarist providing background music for the gentlemen taking advantage of the free classic straight shave station, the smell of fresh ground coffee beans in the air, and a sweets table filled with maple-bacon donuts, chocolate and stout cupcakes, and the most masculine groom’s cake ever…
…it was fantastic.
While I was there, noticed a stylish woman with a camera quietly hanging out in the Groom’s Lounge for quite a while. I was curious why she was spending so much time there, but I didn’t bother her. She seemed to be enjoying herself and observing the atmosphere.
Turns out it was Arlette Orellana of whoisarlette.com, a freelance writer and fellow creative, and she wrote this incredible review/interpretation of the lounge. I LOVED her article and think she did and excellent job describing the aesthetic and experience of the groom. I swear, it feels like I just read an incredible, positive review by the New York Times on my performance! Enjoy!
H.I.M. (by Arlette Orellana, Feb. 19, 2014)
This is a story about him: the one you love and the one you’re to be betrothed to. This is not a story about how this day is all about you and you alone, no matter how much society and Bridezilla episodes featuring ill-mannered Barracudas would lead you to believe it. No…it couldn’t possibly be entirely about you alone for if it was, there would have to be complete abnegation of the One who worked diligently at proving why you two belonged together. There would have to be total effacement of the One who worked out every itty bitty detail of the kind of proposal he knew would speak to your life memories. The puzzle of your life, as it stands, would have to be accepted as unfinished without the One who rehearsed, time and again, how he would ask you to become #hisforever. There would have to be utter rejection of the One who pledged his love for you to the depths of the earth because (#atlast!) he understands what he had been missing all his life. Without this creature of flesh, feelings and fervor, you wouldn’t be in a position to enjoy the exhilarating rush of diamond sparkler-showing/blushing bride dress parading/Pin-my-wedding-dreams planning intricacies of the Big Day you’ve dreamed of since you were a little girl.
On a Sunday afternoon, you decide to reward his efforts, patience and resilience with a “delightful” afternoon at yet ANOTHER wedding show, his resolve dictating his long-held belief that there would be nothing in it for him other than the pleasure of your company. But then he discovers the Groom Lounge — yes, the Groom Lounge: the first of its kind at a swanky and modern bridal show, which not only delights him, but further proves that his manly cajones can remain firmly in place.
As he walks into the 2nd level room dedicated to all things, he looks around suspiciously: luckily, no brides come jumping out at him from his 90-degree peripheral to swaddle him in wedding gown frills. Instead, there before him is a buffet of mouthwatering sweets made of (what’s this?) maple-bacon donuts, stout cupcakes and spiced popcorn, which he wastes no time indulging in. On a nearby table topped with hurricane lanterns and tree branches (a lovely rustic detail you mentally check off as your 2,014th wedding idea) sit a dozen jugs of sparkling water, which certainly would appeal to your jet-setting cousin Márkus from Switzerland, but for the donut-eating Homer that is your sweetheart, regular H2o, served in equally charming glass decanters, quench the thirst right out of that icy mouth. You spot the mustached groom’s cake atop the sweets table and look for a possible reaction to the effect of approval: your doubts are later put to rest when you check your Instagram feed and see that he’s taken a picture of the three-tiered masterpiece, posted with this caption: “Wouldn’t mind a groom’s cake like that one!?” You note the omission of a filter and the fatal absence of hashtags. One thing at a time, you reason…
You sigh a breath of relief and trail behind him slowly, letting him feel his way around. His eyes widen and you follow his gaze: centrally-located are brown leather couches, atop of which are thrown homey Tartan-patterned throws that are an ode to Canadian cottage life. “How cool, huh?” you enthuse and you stop dead in your tracks, realizing your misstep — the giant flat screen TV before you lets you know what commends all his attention and you secretly curse the speaking box’s snake charming, multicolor ways. Just when you think you’ve lost your man to the going-ons of a city whose name you’ve repeatedly mispronounced as SUSHI, his curiosity is piqued by other she-dragged-me-here attendees as they wait patiently to get hot shaves from the gentlemen of House of Barons, the city’s poshest barbershop. He runs his fingers over his growing scruff, the one that drives you absolutely out of your wits with animalistic desire and which you secretly hope will become a permanent fixture that’ll keep you hot and bothered. But as he turns to you with that questioning look on his face, you already know what’s coming: “Is this free?” he asks. You nod. “I’ll get one, then. I mean, if it’s free…” At the rate you’re both going, communication will be the least of your relationships worries. One time for #compromise.
You decide to make a break for it as he takes his seat into the barber chair, having heard rumors that a complimentary glass of wine was being offered to all attendees. You are on the move and on a mission and quickly fall into your own universe of breathtaking gowns, sparkly jewels, a complimentary braid bar and makeup applications, all to the soothing musical stylings of a piano-playing soloist that gives good Nora Jones. Inside the main exhibition room, you peruse one stunning table presentation after another and rework your wedding budget mentally: this is what your wedding dreams are made of — glorious colors, textures and bubbly wedding vendors! You resolve to eat tuna and bread for six months (or sell a kidney if need be), but you WILL get Ottawa’s best talents, who as a matter-of-fact, are all saddled next to one another in a sequence of dreamy, dreamier and dreamiest.
Panic, however, soon sets in. You must head back to the Groom’s Lounge before he finds himself crying harder than a child lost in a mall. You are riddled with guilt over having left him all by himself, which you imagine will begin a war of words on neglect. But no sooner do you land among the men that it hits you: he’s not at all distraught! In fact, your now clean-shaven honey is seated on one of the couches, sipping a complimentary steaming cup of coffee while surrounded by a little more than a dozen of his temporary best dawgs. You are startled when in unison, they all cheer loud as Team Canada scores one for the lead. He looks up to realize you were standing there the whole time and gives you his most disarming smile: the kind that makes him look like that boyish wonder you fell in love with a long time ago. You conclude that this is also his time.
One hour to the end of the party, you try not to appear too hasty as you tap him on his shoulder while he’s in deep talk with a few good men. As you step out and you grab a swag bag, you can’t imagine this day going any better until he says these words: “This was actually fun! Thanks for thinking of me, babe.”
Maybe this story is about you after all — your love and commitment to him and your willingness to fill your world with beauty and wonder, but never without him. Something tells me he’s known it all along – that’s why he put a ring on it…
Design and styling: Brittany Frid Weddings + Design / Photography: Photo Credit: W. Orellana and C. Arlette Orellana / Vintage Decor: The Sugar Post / Furniture:Party Time Rentals / Staight Shaves: House of Barons / Sweet Table Rentals: Amy & Jen Decor / Signage:Wishtree Invitations & Stationery Inc. / Coffee Catering: Espresso Uno / Donuts: Suzy Q / Cupcakes: The Flour Shoppe / Venue: Brookstreet Hotel
Looking for a unique Valentine’s Day gift for your hunny this year? We are thrilled to offer one lucky couple the chance to win a fully styled Couples Session! Our fabulous team of vendors will prepare a themed photo shoot, just for the two of you.
Simply head over to Satin & Snowflakes’ Facebook page, comment on this post and tell us about your best date ever, and share the post on your timeline too! The winning couple will be announced on Valentine’s Day!
Brought to you by: Brittany Frid Weddings + Design, Laura Kelly Photography, One Fine Beauty, Showpony, Full Bloom Floral Design, and Amy + Jen Decor.
*please note: the shoot will take place after Valentine’s Day in or around Ottawa.*
It’s been a while… I know. This little lady needed to shift her priorities for the last month, and unfortunately, Satin & Snowflakes got a tad bit neglected.
See, in September I launched my own wedding planning and design company (if you haven’t heard). It took off a lot faster than I anticipated. I am having an incredible time getting to know my couples, choosing our dream teams, designing the themes, and getting to learn more and more about this industry every day. I’m also busy planning more styled shoots, and even have a wonderful project in the works for the upcoming wedding shows!
I have also made a very serious commitment to myself to be healthy and happy. I, along with my wonderful man, have been extremely dedicated to our fitness and overall health and it has become a huge part of our lives. You see, this girl never lifted a finger in her life. I have always despised exercise and was young enough to get away with it. But I realize now that just because I’m not overweight, doesn’t mean I’m actually healthy and strong. I just had my 25th birthday (yippee, I’m an adult now!) and I am able to recognize that this is the time in my life to start caring about what all the health experts say.
So between all the planning, designing and fitness, and now the holiday season, I’ve been a busy and productive girl. But I miss my blog, and I miss my readers, and it is time for my mini hiatus to end. Because I love you all and I’ve missed you.
I hope you are all enjoying the baking, tree trimming, carols and general holiday spirit!
Photo (and amazing gingerbread recipe): Chasing Delicious
This shoot was inspired by “The Lady of Shalott”, painted by the English Pre-Raphaelite painter John William Waterhouse in 1888. It is a Victorian ballad by English poet Lord Alfred Tennyson in 1832, which tells the heartbreaking tale of a beautiful but cursed woman, isolated in a tower near King Arthur’s Camelot.
According to legend, the Lady of Shalott was forbidden to look directly at reality or the outside world; instead, she was doomed to view the world through a mirror, and weave what she saw into tapestry. Her despair was heightened when she saw loving couples entwined in the far distance, and she spent her days and nights aching for normalcy.
One day, the Lady saw Sir Lancelot passing through the nearby fields on his gleaming white horse in the reflection of the mirror. She could not resist and dared to look out the tower’s window to see more. The curse struck her and the mirror cracked. The Lady, knowing that doom was upon her, left the tower and found an abandoned boat on a nearby river. As she sailed towards Camelot and certain death, she sang a lament. Her frozen body was found shortly afterwards by the knights and ladies of Camelot, one of whom was Sir Lancelot, who said it was a pity she died as she was such a beautiful woman.
This inspiration shoot took place in a sun-drenched forest in Ottawa. By mixing unique materials like the brass candlesticks, heavy silver tableware, lace and stained glass, we achieved a romantic medieval look. Coupled with the soft, romantic florals, airy dress and naturally styled model, we were able to capture the beauty and melancholy of the Lady of Shalott. The small detail of writing the first two versus of the ballad on an ornate gold mirror tied it all together.
Featured on Grey Likes Weddings / Photography: Joel Bedford Photography / Decor Styling: Brittany Frid Weddings + Design / Gown: Reem Acra, The White Dress / Florals: Full Bloom Floral Design / Decor: Amy + Jen Decor / Hair: Showpony Hair / Makeup: Seema Haider / Jewelry: Logan Antiques / Model: Jazmin, Models International Management
I designed this Old Hollywood wedding style board specifically for one of my brides next year. A little while ago, I had posted on the Satin & Snowflakes’ Facebook page saying that I was having a really great time coming up with the design concept for this “Old Hollywood meets 1920′s lounge” wedding. Everyone was so curious about it that I really wanted to share the inspiration board. This is my take on Old Hollywood wedding inspiration.
The goal wasn’t to go Old Hollywood “Glam”, like so many couples imagine. When you search for images in this category, all you see are 10′ tall tornado vases with ostrich feathers and faux crystals, white cakes with black satin sashes and red carnations, and candelabras draped in faux pearls. Personally, I’m not a fan.
When I think Old Hollywood, my mind drifts a little further back in history. I imagine walking into a trendy lounge in the 1920′s. The kind of place where you would go after a night at the theatre, looking for a stiff drink in a dim place where the music is loud and melancholy and the smoke is thick in the air. I see worn leather furniture and wood-panelled walls, and soft lighting that makes the skin of the glamorous woman in the booth next to you look like she’s a movie star. Ladies of jazz sing to groups of men in sharp suits smoking cigars and women dripping in pearls and fur, from a stage surrounded by ornate red velvet curtains trimmed with gold.
Yes, my vision of Old Hollywood is very specific, and yet there are so many ways that a wedding designer can incorporate such a specific vision into your big day. For example, I would set the stage right away by welcoming your guests as they enter the venue with a glass of champagne served in vintage glasses by attendants in white gloves. Create the right mood by playing greats like Cole Porter and Billie Holiday mixed with modern lounge music. Invite your guests to be seated to luxurious champagne and cream coloured linens with rich garnet red and blush florals bursting from antique votives, lit only by the soft glow of tea lights scattered strategically around them. That’s just the tip of the iceberg…
The bride steals the show when she arrives in her glamorous gown and fur shawl, smouldering eyes and sultry red lips. The groom looks extra debonaire in his slim-fitted tuxedo, hair slicked back, with his bride on his arm.
I can’t wait to see this come to fruition with my bride and groom next season…
Photography: Rebecca Lindon Photography / Dresses: The Vintage Deli / Hair + Make-Up: Amelia Garwood / Model: Eleanor Cooper
When I saw the first image of this engagement shoot yesterday, I nearly dropped out of my chair. I was just hired by this couple to help plan their wedding, and I had no idea they were having their engagement session already!
Just over a month ago, this couple consulted with me for a few key issues about their wedding – one of which was for vendor referrals. They really wanted to find the right photographer, and sometimes that can be a big challenge for couples. I made a ton of inquiries for them, and ultimately found Ashley Notley in Ottawa, whose style really impressed me right off the bat. Turns out it was a perfect fit – Ashley and Sylvie actually worked together way back when!
Having a relationship with your photographer makes all the difference in the world. It tones down the jitters that most couples have stepping in front of the camera, more often than not, for the first time in their lives. You stop worrying about embarrassing yourselves in front of the photographer, and start enjoying the process so much more.
Since re-introducing Ashley to this wonderful bride, Sylvie and Matt have hired her as their wedding photographer and they had this beautiful engagement session at the Ottawa Arboretum. They’ve also hired me to help plan and design their wedding, which I couldn’t be more excited for! I’m really pleased that everything is coming together so nicely, and it’s great to give someone the perfect referral. Looking forward to next September!!
More from Ashley:
Sylvie and I go way back. We used to lifeguard together back in the day and teach little kiddies how to swim. I was so excited when she contacted me about photographing her wedding! It’s always so much fun when you already know the couple to some extent so you can skip the “about this weather…” small talk and move on to the real stuff!
Sylvie was literally the girl next door. Matt and his family moved in next to Sylvie’s home a few years back. Sylvie recalls that her mom mentioned the cute boy next door multiple times, but it wasn’t until Sylvie finally laid eyes on him 6 months later that she knew there was something special about him. I adore this pair and cannot wait for their wedding next fall at the Watson’s Mill! These are some of my faves from our session together at the Arboretum!