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May 25, 2012

@Aveda416 – #BornToStyle – Scholarship Contest Gala

Every bride needs a gorgeous coiffure and back at the beginning of the year, we blogged to all our fabulous hair-do’ers out there about the Aveda Toronto Born-To-Style Scholarship contest. The post was a call to untrained stylists across Canada to put their skills and passion to the test and go head-to-head (pun intended!) in hopes of winning a full $10,000 scholarship for a year-long, 2,000-hour practicum in five Aveda hairstyling schools: Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg, Montreal and Toronto.

Last week, the top 5 finalists gathered on posh King St. East – at the Aveda Institute, Toronto and we were invited to witness the show-down! Ofcourse, we had to bring mINK Creative to capture the details. So Mary and Jenn put on a couple of little black dresses, completed the look with some fabulous stilettos, and hit the town.

Greeted by some friendly Aveda faces and food + drinks at the door, we knew we were in for a great night!

Contestants, models, and the media frenzy gathered upstairs and eagerly awaited the show to begin. Without formal hairstyling training, finalists were judged on artistic vision – creativity in style, overall concept, and clothing as showcased by their models.

As cited by Living Columnist, Leanne Delap over at the Toronto Star, the 150 guest attendee list was hand-selected to represent family and hair folk, as well as the city’s top fashion and beauty bloggers. (How lucky were we to be invited to attend?!)

 

The stars of the night, though, were the two top-prize winners – Meladee Gammelsetter and Jessie Lacina – who took home a full tuition scholarship that will change their professional career for the rest of their lives! All runner-up finalists were awarded bursaries toward their AVEDA education as well.

Here are some of our Behind-The-Scenes shots of the evening!

A special Thanks goes out to Social Relevance Engineer, Rob Campbell – we love working with this guy! (clearly) — and to Jennifer at mINK Creative for being there to capture it all.

 

To check out all our photos from the Born To Style event, head over to the WeddingGirl Dot Ca profile on Facebook!

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January 12, 2012

Were you Born To Style? || win an Aveda Institute scholarship!

Filed under: Bridal Blog,Fashion,Health & Beauty — Tags: — WeddingGirl @ 1:16 pm

{ Born to Style – Aveda Scholarship contest}

Over the past three years, I’ve had the distinct pleasure of working alongside some incredibly talented beauty stylists. Whether they were making my brides flawless, our bridesmaids beautiful, or helping me primp up for promo shoots, I’ve always admired the love these guys have for what they do. How can you not love your job when your job is to make people gorgeous?!

Do you, or does someone you know, have a knack for making girls beautiful? If you love being a part of beautiful wedded bliss, maybe you were Born To Style!

{ what’s the deal? }

I was recently told that the Aveda Institute is offering up five full scholarships to their hair schools in five different cities across Canada. To win, stylists need to submit a unique and creative video explaining why they were “Born to Style”. Top celebrity judges from each of the five cities (Victoria, Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg and Toronto) will be selecting the winners. Now, the AVEDA Institute isn’t your average hair school. It’s a top-notch academy that takes talent and creativity to a whole new level. Graduates don’t just end up working in barber shops and hair salons. They really do become rockstar hair stylists! Aveda makes sure their professionals lead really cool lives… so you have nothing to lose!

 

{ how to win in 3 Easy Steps }

 

STEP 1: MAKE A VIDEO
Create a video that shows why you were BORN TO STYLE. Make it ooze with talent, character, and personality! Explain why you’ve got what it takes: talent, passion and determination – to develop your  hairstyling skills with the Aveda Institute Canada. Videos will be judged on boldness and clarity of your artistic vision, on their originality and creativity, on your ability to demonstrate that you are fashion-forward and understand the Aveda mission, and on overall impact and impression.

 

STEP 2: UPLOAD & SHARE
Visit www.avedainstitute.ca/scholarship to enter the contest. Upload your video and share your entry with the world! Share your Aveda Institute entry page link with all your family, friends, fans and followers and get them to rate your video. The more love you get, the better your odds of being noticed!

STEP 3: HAIR SHOWDOWN
Beauty industry professionals will hand pick five aspiring hairstylists in each city to advance to the final round. These future hairdressers will  participate in a live head-to-head competition and runway show putting together a complete look in front of a panel of style experts and hairstyling heavy hitters.  The winner in each city will be awarded a full scholarship to the Aveda Institute hair school.

The last day to submit a video is March 31st, 2012 at 11:59:59 a.m. ET

For more information on the institute and their program, check out the AVEDA Institute Canada website

For more information on the contest, click here.

You can download your entry package and find additional technical resources here.

 

Happy Styling!

 

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April 18, 2011

Confessions of a Jewellery Designer | Veronika Melnyk | GlamourJewellery.com

Let’s re-visit WeddingGirl.ca’s love for Glamour Jewellery, shall we??

1) We met Veronika for the first time

2) We learned about some fabulous black + white wedding jewellery trends

… and today, we get to meet the beautiful girl behind the amazing sparkle!

{ an interview with Veronika }

- reprinted, with permission from TheBridest.com

What first inspired you to become a jewellery designer, Veronika? Were you always an artist, and how did you learn how to do what you do?

Veronika: My main influence came to me from nature itself.


Where did you grow up? Did this influence your design vision?

Veronika: I grew up in Ukraine. The East meets West influence was quite obvious in my early collections. Now I’m learning towards styles that involve luxurious gemstone designs that you can wear every day, simple styles that won’t overwhelm the woman who wears them.


What about them appeals to you (atmosphere, attitude, people, stores)?

Veronika: Sophisticated cities like San Francisco for its vibrancy in colours and Quebec City for its diversity in styles. I’m definitely a city girl!


Name a few of your favorite stores or places NY, Chicago, San Francisco or elsewhere?

Veronika: The Mission – is a neighborhood in San Francisco; Ocean drive in Miami.

What inspires your jewellery design? How do you stay inspired and motivated?

Veronika: New beads! Aren’t we all motivated by new beads? But otherwise I will see something out my window that will inspire me – the scenery here in Toronto is awe inspiring. Or I will just start putting beads side by side and inspiration will strike. I feel like I’m really affected by all of the things I do, see, hear and say. I notice jewellery other people wear – the shapes of buildings and furniture – the beauty of people, flowers.

You are a painter and a jewellery designer. Which is your favorite to express yourself?

Veronika: I’d probably say jewellery design, that make people feel more beautiful, but I love all of the work I do and I consider that to be a real gift. In general, I’m not limiting myself to one career. One of the biggest themes of my life is the fact that the skills I learn carry over from one thing to another. As a painter I taught myself to see the world, the objects around me, in a totally different light. I let go of the common definitions of things for a while, and I think it has affected other areas of my thinking.

What is your website address?

Veronika: http://www.glamourjewellery.com & http://www.thebridest.com


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March 30, 2011

Valvano Salon Spa + ShutterBrugs + Rick Denham Photography = WG 2011 Edition!

As you’ve seen over the past two days, when you add…

… an amazing shoot stylist…. (Thank you, Crystal!)

…. a couture salon….  (Thank you Tony, David, Julia, April, and Kayla!)

…. a fabulous  second-shooter…. (Thank you, Mandie!)

… an awesome venue … (Thanks to the team at the Quality Inn Parkway, St. Catharines!)

and last but far from least, a super talented photographer….

Here are the promotional photos for WG – 2011 Edition!

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March 22, 2011

Black + White | and some sparkle! — black and white wedding jewellery from GlamourJewellery.com

Remember when we featured the amazing Veronika

from Glamour Jewellery on our blog?

Custom-designed bridal and bridesmaid jewellery is the newest fad in wedding accessories and we’re super excited to be showcasing a couture new trend coming at us from Veronika …. black and white!

As event designers, we’re seeing black and white wedding design popping up everywhere. Completely chic and totally versatile, black and white can be used to accentuate Old Hollywood Glam, Modern Vintage, or Contemporary Chic.

One of our favourites is when brides are bold enough to add it to their own wedding day look!

… and don’t just wear your black and white sparkle with your wedding dress. Add some couture flair to an everyday blouse or a sexy cocktail dress!

The amazing team at Glamour Jewellery uses only the finest materials to custom-create your pieces. Visit their website or get to know them on Facebook to see more photos and learn more about how they can make you sparkle!

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February 16, 2011

Allure Wedding Bridal Hair and Make-up … and … a Wedding Threesome Contest update!

{ a bit about Allure }

So I tried to think back, the other day, to how I initially stumbled upon the amazing girls over at Allure Hair and Makeup.  To be honest, I have no idea! It was obviously through one of the first weddings I ever planned… because I’ve been using these girls over and over, and every bride I’ve ever referred to them has been thrilled with the results!

I’ve loved working together in planning other girls’ beautification so much, that I’ve even used Allure personally for a fun, WeddingGirl.ca Trash The Dress photo session, as well as most recently, on set at our Wedding Threesome video taping!

On an un-related note, this week I was meeting with a June bride to discuss some of our planning updates, and we chatted about the details of having the Allure team come out to the bride’s hotel in Stoney Creek on the morning of their wedding. We brainstormed ideas for hair and makeup, and when the bride mentioned long, wavy hair, I immediately remembered this: AccessALLURE.tv! Just yesterday, I watched Jessica Enns tell Allure TV viewers all about hair extensions as an introductory showcase to new weekly video blogs where Allure Girls give beauty tips and ideas to all of you! (which we’re all super excited about!).

Just to make following Allure TV easier, if you Like them on Facebook, you’ll receive weekly notifications when new beauty tip video blogs are released!

————————————————————————————————————————————-

{ a bit about our Wedding Threesome }

Now, on to an update on our newly-launched Wedding Threesome contest (which is taking Facebook by storm!!). Honestly, I’ve never seen so many brides so eager to win anything before! From creating Events, to Pages, to writing Notes, making groups, bribing their friends (one bride is donating a dollar for each vote to the CIBC Run For The Cure campaign!!) and then having all their friends post the details on THEIR walls for even more people to see!

– these girls are definitely in a race to win! (or at least make it to Phase II of our contest!)

In the midst of all this excitement, Rick, Jay, and I have been receiving all kinds of questions about the details of what we’re doing… so we compiled them all, answered them as best we could, and wanted to share the details with all of you!

1. How are we keeping track?

Rick:  “Well kids that part is up to you. What we suggest is you have your friends put something along the lines of “vote #57 for steve and kelly”.

Mary: Or you can track back and see our respective walls, “Like” the comments you’ve taken a note of, and keep track yourself. One bride is actually keeping track that each friend like + add + join ALL THREE pages (which they need to do) and she’s tagging the friends who haven’t in specific notes to (kindly) remind them to do so. Brilliant!!

Again, we’re not counting the LIKES + ADDS + JOINS…. you are!

2. Who can enter?

Rick: Anyone can. We’ll travel anywhere you want us to go….  just keep in mind that travel expenses are not part of this contest. With that being said, to spend about $2000 on travel to get a $10,000 wedding package is a pretty sweet deal in our opinion!

Rick follows up….. “Though, there are some certain “sketchy” destinations we probably won’t travel to, so if you’re questioning, it’s probably good that you contact one of us to check.”

Mary: If you already have a standing contract with one of us, you can still enter the contest.  Just be aware that your contract details still stand – you just receive 3 for the price of 1!

3. What is Phase II of the contest, and when is it happening?

The first part of the contest is completed at 12:00 midnight on Sunday March 6th.

Rick: As for what the next stage is…. well, get your pencils sharpened boys and girls, you’re heading back to high school! (not literally!).  “Oh and BTW, there will be a third stage as well, this ain’t gonna be a cake walk.” – adds Rick.

4. Is this for real?

Rick, again: Yup, 100% certified real goodness.


5. Are you guys crazy?

Well that all depends on who you talk to. If you talk to our doctors, the answer would probably be yes (Umm, speak for your own doctor, Rick!!)

If you talk to our past clients, then the answer would be more along the lines of “no, they’re just super awesome people that love to have a great time”

6. Why on earth would you give this away?

Simple, we know there are lots of deserving brides out there that would love to have us be a part of their wedding. So we figured we would go out and find them and make one of them really happy.

7. Will you be doing this again?

Rick looks at Mary…. Mary looks at Jay….. Jay looks at Rick (smiles and waves), and all three of them simultaneously say….. YES! But probably not until Valentine’s Day of 2012.

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February 4, 2011

Glamour Jewellery | Online Boutique | Wedding Day Bridal + Bridesmaid Jewellery

… because each of us wants to sparkle!

{about Glamour Jewellery}

We recently had the opportunity to be introduced to the amazing Veronika from Glamour Jewellery — an online jewellery boutique! Everyone knows how much girls love things that sparkle, so ofcourse we had to share what we found with all of you!

For four years, the girls at Glamour have been designing and creating jewels: everything from timeless and elegant to modern and edge-y! Every piece you fall in love with at Glamour is original, hand-crafted, and designed using the highest quality of materials: Swarovski crystals, freshwater pearls, and semi-precious stones. Remarkably, despite the amazing quality and the hand crafted design, everything you find in the GJ Boutique is affordable! – talk about luxe on a budget!

{about bridal jewellery}

Every bride I meet wants to sparkle on her wedding day. Regardless of whether she is looking to be elegantly  understated, or lavishly bold, the perfect bridal look is completed with jewellery pieces specifically chosen (or custom-designed!) to accentuate her dress, her features, and the overall style of her wedding day.

You can shop the GJ Bridal Boutique to find incredible pieces to suit your bridal look, or if custom-created is what you have in mind, Veronika and her team at Glamour take every detail into consideration when designing something specifically for you! Recently, the Pearl Boutique was launched – a new line of bridal-inspired pieces – to combine the tradition of pearls with the modernity of silver, sparkle, and beyond!

{for your Bridesmaids}

As a wedding planner, I’m often asked what brides should do for their bridesmaids as a “Thank You” gift. Depending on your budget and the size of your wedding party, my favourite suggestion is to buy their wedding day jewellery! Glamour Jewellery offers amazingly affordable options for your bridal party: pearls, crystals, silver, and beyond!

{for your Everyday}

Fashionable, stylish, and incredibly-suited jewellery doesn’t need to be reserved exclusively for your wedding day. There’s no reason why women, on a daily basis, can’t feel trendy and beautiful by accentuating their look using a perfectly-crafted bit of bling!  You can shop for your own, personal sparkle at the GJ Everyday Boutique, or browse their creations right here in the WeddingGirl.ca Bridal Marketplace!

{the Giveaway!}

In an effort to share their sparkle, Glamour Jewellery is giving away an exquisite piece of jewellery to one lucky WG reader! This stunning Sea Bamboo + Swarovski Crystal piece will undoubtedly be the envy of every woman you know!

All you have to do to have a chance at winning this incredible piece is visit the Glamour Jewellery Facebook page – click LIKE! and leave a post saying that you’re a WeddingGirl.ca reader!

All posts will then be entered into a draw to win the necklace. The contest closes on March 1, and the winner will be announced on Wednesday, March 2nd, right here on the WG blog!

Good luck!

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December 12, 2010

Boudoir Photography | Jesse James Photography and Enchantment Makeup Artistry

In line with yesterday’s Trash-The-Dress inspired photography blog, here’s another element of pre-wedding photography that more and more brides are considering: boudoir! (written by Meagan and Jesse)

Boudoir Photography: The New Must-Do Photo Shoot

Written by: Meagan of Enchantment Makeup Artistry and Jesse of Jesse James Photography

Many brides are participating in the trend of “trashing their dress” after their wedding day as this is a way of showing their husbands they are committed to them and will never need to wear their dress again. This is a fabulous way of celebrating the end of their wedding period and the beginning of a new life together. Another wedding photography related trend is to participate in a boudoir style photo shoot before the wedding day.  While a “trash the dress” photo shoot is extremely fun, it lacks the intimacy that a boudoir shoot can create in the photos and between husband and wife.

For brides who are looking for the perfect gift for their groom, look no further! A boudoir photo shoot is a unique, thoughtful gift to give to your husband-to-be. What better way is there to start off your wedding and marriage than by giving your loved one an album of sexy, classy, and intimate photos of you? These are photos that will last forever (remember in the movie “Titanic” when the granddaughter asks Rose if that’s really her?)  Not only is this something your husband will enjoy looking at again and again but you will remember the experience every time you look at them.

Getting in front of any camera can be nerve-racking. This can become even more difficult with such intimate photos. Feelings of awkwardness may arise and you may prefer to stay more on the clothed-side, which is completely fine and definitely an option…. but from experience most girls tend to loosen up after a few pictures are taken and really get into the photos! We want to create photos that are tasteful and classy, yet are something that you and your husband will love! If you are considering participating in a boudoir shoot keep in mind that some of the best shots come when you let your guard down.

Jesse James Photography and Enchantment Makeup Artistry are working together to create stunning photo packages available to you. All packages include professional hair and makeup. For details on packages and price points please e-mail Jesse at giammattolo@hotmail.com or Meagan at m.eagles13@gmail.com. If your wedding day has already passed these photos also make great anniversary, Valentines Day, Christmas, or Birthday gifts.

Below are some photos from our latest boudoir marathon. A special Thanks to the  brave girls for letting us post their pictures!

Sexy Stockings

Sultry Silhouette

Black Lace

Champagne Dreams

Incognito

Daring Dreams

{giveaway}

Meagan and Jesse are so excited to share their arts with you that they are giving away a free Boudoir Photography shoot by Jesse James Photography with makeup enhancements by Enchantment Makeup Artistry (which will also provide you a great opportunity to discuss bridal makeup details with an expert!)

Each of the above photos has a sexy name. All you have to do to win your free Boudoir Photo + Makeup experience is Contact Us with the name of your favourite boudoir shot!

One lucky bride-to-be will be selected from the participants by Meagan and Jesse, and awarded this fabulous experience!

Good luck!

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December 10, 2010

Deep breath and relax… | Kula Yoga | Toronto, Oakville, Burlington

Filed under: Bridal Blog,Health & Beauty,Vendors — Tags: — WeddingGirl @ 10:46 am

Happy Friday!

I’m so sorry for the lack of blogging lately! It’s funny, I always expect that when “wedding season” is over, I’ll have all kinds of time to catch up with the website. Unfortunately, all I have is all kinds of time to catch up on planning for 2011 – and boy is it shaping up to be a busy year!! (no complaints from me, though! I have the most amazing brides ever!)

It’s been so busy lately, and I’ve had so many people point out to me that I never take any time off, that I decided it was time to find something to take care of myself (so I can be in tip-top shape for everyone else ;). When I lived in the Niagara region, I attended a few classes at Yoga By Sarah (a fabulous studio, perfect for any of you in the Niagara region who are looking to give yoga a try!)

When I moved to Toronto, I began my search for a local studio at which to practice, and what I found varied tremendously. Some “studios” I found were located in church basements, while others in private homes or in community centres. When I thought I had come across a studio that looked how I wanted it to look, I would often find that classes were unbelievably expensive and parking needed to be paid on top of class fees. Like everything I do wedding-related, I wanted to find the best luxe-on-a-budget yoga value around. …. and then I stumbled upon Kula Yoga.

I’m not certain how the website came up in my specific searches, but I instantly appreciated Kula’s website – it was clean, easy to navigate, and I loved that it translated its meaning within the first sentence of the introduction! (to Yoga newbies like me, sometimes the foreign terms can be a bit intimidating!) “Kula” means “community”, or “family” – a culture and outlook the studios try to manifest with their practice every day.

The next thing I learned was that Kula actually offered three studios for practice: Burlington, Oakville, and downtown Toronto.  In my case, because I have so many brides scattered all around the GTA and the Niagara region, and because I travel so extensively between these areas, knowing that I was allowed to practice at any of the three studios made me over-the-moon happy! It was exactly what I was looking for!

My first in-person experience with Kula was at their Oakville location. I arrived bright and early on a weekday morning for my first “basics” class (to make sure I could remember the things I learned from Sarah back in Niagara!) and was welcomed with friendly smiles, kind words, and open arms. I was given a tour of the beautiful studio and told about all its eco-friendly initiatives: cork floors, solar panel heating, radiant panel heating, green cleaning products and disinfectants, environmentally friendly paints, low-flow toilets and high efficiency washers and dryers. I was shown both the hot room and the regular-temperature room (both of which were much bigger than I expected! – which is really nice for busy classes!).

With the studios being located in population-dense areas, I knew it must have been imperative to have large practice spaces and extensive schedules, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen so much diversity in class schedules as I have seen at Kula. Not only do all three studios offer both hot and regular temperature yoga practice, they have almost a dozen different classes available, each divided into comfort and skill levels, Basic, Level I, Level II, Level III, and all-level classes available to anyone who would like to attend. Kula also offers classes at various lengths – 60 minutes, 75 minutes, and 90 minutes of practice.

Since I signed up for my introductory $30 for 30 days (of unlimited classes), I’ve visited both the Burlington and Oakville studios (I have yet to venture downtown, to the Annex – but I will!) and the warm welcome and friendly staff have been a pleasant constant. With morning, daytime, and evening classes available to fit my own sporadic schedule, I’ve had the opportunity to see various new faces, and a few familiar ones now. I’ve come to appreciate the differences in how various instructors deliver their teaching (the schedules outline the type of yoga being practiced, the length of the class, and the instructor teaching it) and I’ve learned so much about myself and how yoga now fits into my life.

Though my schedule doesn’t allow me to attend classes every day, I’ve tried to go as often as possible in the past week, and I’m already seeing a difference in how I feel and in my abilities in class! I can already feel myself learning to relax more quickly, breathe more deeply, stretch a bit further, and I’m finding I require less time to “recover” afterwards. The classes I attend are a pleasant break from my hectic schedule, and I share all this information with all of you, because wedding planning deserves a break as well! Between full time jobs, planning a wedding (regardless of whether you have a planner or not!), being in a relationship, maintaining family and friend relationships, and trying to maintain your own personal sanity, there’s nothing better than to take a deep breath and relax.

When I realized how in-love with Kula I’ve become, and when I knew I wanted to share my experiences with all of you, I contacted the studios via email to get their permission to showcase them on my site. In keeping with WG format, I was tickled pink that Mr. Colin Matthews, the founding director of Kula Yoga Studios, took the time to respond to my email and attach a wedding photo! Thanks, Colin! (and everyone else at Kula!)

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November 26, 2010

Blo-wn away at Blo Blow-Dry Bar in Bloor West Village!

… They say it’s because you can’t Blo yourself!

{the invite}

It was the hot pink branding and the sassy slogans that caught my interest when Blo-girl, Ashley,  first contacted me about coming in to experience a Blo-Out!

I checked out Blo’s website (Blo me dry.com) after Ashley called me earlier this week to introduce herself. I was surprised at the fact that I’d never heard of this Blo phenomenon – which, I see now, has certainly taken the world by storm!

{don’t use the s-word}

Originating in Canada’s very own British Columbia, Blo Dry Bars can be found across North America. Ashley invited me to come in and see her at Bloor West Village, Toronto.

It was an early start to our day yesterday… 8:30 a.m. to be exact… and I was surprised to learn that Blo is open (by-appointment) from 7 a.m.!

I also learned that you never refer to Blo as the S-word (salon). It’s a Blow Dry Bar. They have no dye, and they have no scissors…  just Wash, Blo, and Go!



{the menu}

As I sat down in the funky lucite ghost chair, Ashley handed me the Blo Hair Menu – a fabulous list of stylish do’s to choose from!

{the visit}

Ashley set to work on my Blo-out and we chit-chatted about what she does, about what I do, and about how Blo has taken a new spin on classic salon appointments. Remember how our grandmothers used to go have their hair done once a week? Now Blo Bars make it so that you can too! Women are getting Blo-wn before work (Ashley said that some of their clients don’t even own shampoo – they visit the Bar upwards of 3 times per week!), before nights out on the town, and sometimes just to squeeze in a bit of extra pampering into a hectic schedule (most Blo-outs only take about 30 minutes).

{the last thing a bride needs are scissors and dye}

As a wedding planner, I can completely appreciate the fact that Blo styles are precisely what a bride is looking for on her wedding day – no cutting, no colouring, just a perfect hairstyle! With this said, the Blo on Bloor is offering a free bridal consultation to a lucky WeddingGirl.ca Bride-To-Be!   All you have to do is visit the WG Profile on Facebook and take a peek at the Blo Hair Menu styles in the photo album I created of my visit with Ashley yesterday!

Just “Like” your favourite Blo style from the Hair Menu, and a random “Like” will be selected to win some Blo swag!

Good Luck!

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