The Swagger Coach: Here Comes the… Bridesmaid?

swagger coach
Some people look at marriage as the beautiful and intimate uniting of two souls in an eternally blissful partnership. Some people look at it as a life-long sentence which is owed to the partner after a certain number of years of faithfulness and tolerance. The one thing most brides can agree on is that planning a wedding is one of the most anxiety-attack inducing events of a gal’s life. I’ve attended some pretty cool weddings, but I’ve also attended some odd ones. Weddings truly do speak volumes about a couple (or a person, if one’s taking a backseat ride) and they reveal oddly telling aspects of a personality. Does the bride give up control on her special day? Does the groom deliver a hilariously heart-string-yanking speech that leaves everyone giggling and in tears? Does the couple have their favourite child, their chocolate lab, bring the ring down the aisle? Do they have a mashed potato bar and a photo booth or a six-course seated dinner around four-foot-tall floral arrangements and a majestic ice sculpture?

The Varga Girl Dress from Annie50 - $204

The Varga Girl Dress from Annie50 – $204

 My wedding is almost two years away. With Fern and I having known each other for quite some time, and with neither of us in a hurry to hunker down and pop out a litter of puppies, we’re comfortable with planning and executing our wedding in a fun, leisurely manner. We’ve (I’ve) picked out colour swatches, sourced decor and linens, compiled a collection of 14 photos of confusingly similar dresses, ordered packaging for our favours (which will be a dry-ingredients-only mix of our signature dessert for the evening, by the way, and there may be gingham and twine involved). I’ve also learned that you can order custom-coloured M&Ms, and you can even have your faces printed on them. But that would be kind of scary, to know my friends were sitting on their couches, snacking on tiny, bite-sized versions of Fern and I.
Stunning pieces from Curious Oddities

Stunning pieces from Curious Oddities

But you know how they say that once you have/do/wear something, you suddenly start noticing that a lot of people having/doing/wearing it? Yeah. I’m experiencing that right now. I’m noticing a huge surge in wedding-themed guests at our stores, and for all areas of dressing on the big day. First off, not only do I want to THANK all the brides who have allowed Fresh Collective to be part of your big day (squeeeaaaal!!!!) I want to share some of their purchases with you guys. When you hear your bride-to-be friend complaining of having trouble or inconvenience in these areas, tell her to give Jamie a call!

111 St. Clair dress from Address Apparel - $160

111 St. Clair dress from Address Apparel – $160


Bridesmaids dresses are a tricky, tricky area of the planning and outfitting. Not only are you conscious of everyone’s personal preferences, you have to pick the dress(es) that YOU truly love, and the ones which you feel will truly compliment the event, and you of course, you beautiful thing. We’ve been approached by every style of bride in the world. Well, every style in Toronto. I’ve met ladies planning retro 50s style wedding, who have adored the tea-length fit-and-flare dresses from lines like Address, Michelle Carey and Annie50, which come in fun florals, polka dots and classic brights. Brides who are going for a sleek, sophisticated look seem to connect really well with the Brenda Beddome and Dinh Ba collections which offer an elegant, form-fitting silhouette. Some of the coolest brides are the off-kilter ones, who prefer a truly unique (yet uniform?) look. Their favourites are playful, quirky lines like Paper People Clothing which uses upcycled fabrics to make swirly, feminine dresses and Kollontai, which incoroporates elements of lacey lingerie, architecture and victorian-glam corsets. Whatever your flavour, there is a dress out there for your posse. Dressing the Moms is a similar experience, but with less cackling and disagreements, and more gushing about how beautiful the bride will be. I love the Moms!

Birds-nest necklace by Sailorgirl Jewellery - $

Birds-nest necklace by Sailorgirl Jewellery – $69


Long hair, short hair, updo, cascading curls, flower, hat, feather. The hurr is up to you. We’ll take care of the bling. Accessories can truly transform the look of a dress, so our unique and VERY easily customizable jewellery collections are easily incorporated into your special day, whether the bridesmaids’ pieces be uniform (all the same) themed (all circular, all pearl or all floral) or totally unique (…totally unique). Fortunately, our jewellery designers are all indeed very local, and not only are they creative geniuses, they also take special orders. You can bet your bonnet that on my big day, my ladies will be in the most adorable locally-crafted jewellery Toronto has ever seen. Our jewellery designers work in all materials and can craft anything for you, be it a multi-strand 20s inspired number, a bejeweled bib-style piece or a giant pair of polka-dotted studs. Many of our brides have found great items in-store and have asked for identical pieces to be made, and some have approached us with totally unique pieces which they’ve dreamed up, and are now hoping to wear in reality. Whatever the case, swing on it if you’d like to take a look at our collections, and chat with one of us to learn more about partnering with a jewellery designer to make the perfect finishing touches!

Dinh Ba

“Antonel” dress from Dinh Ba – $205

I hate writing thank-you notes because they usually seem rather forced and rarely convey what I want to say without sounding Hallmark-y. I love the idea of thank-you gifts for those who are involved in the wedding, like the bridesmaids, your Mother, your partner’s Mother (scratch that, now she’s your Mother In Law. Ack.) or your Flower Girl. Usually, simple but meaningful gifts are offered as something to commemorate the big day and thank people for their involvement, and the most thoughtful way of doing so that I can think of is with a gift that comes with a story. Maybe you’ve had a custom created pendant with an image of the two of you, your favourite song lyric or a swatch of your dress sealed underneath a glass dome. Perhaps you’ve picked out matching sterling bracelets with their birthstone or the colours of the wedding interlaced among the links. Maybe you’ve picked out matching tees featuring a graphic map of the areas you grew up. Whichever route you want to go, we certainly offer a unique and fun array of cute little baubles of appreciation. You can also tuck a Fresh Collective gift certificate into the Maid of Honour’s bag, too, as a way of saying “you planned my party, you made this day go off without a hitch, so please treat yourself to the cutest dress man has ever made. You can find them here.” Just sayin’.
Something for him: Cuff links from Curious Oddities

Something for him: Cuff links from Curious Oddities ($32-$40 depending on style)

So friends, what are YOU planning for your special days? What sorts of fun themes, cool features and unique elements are you adding to your big day? Are you a Pinterest Planner or a Go-with-the-flow gal? Share your stories, ideas and musings with me directly at! I’ll write back, but I won’t be giving away too many details of my own big day, so don’t you try to get them out of me! a toast to all the brides-to-be!


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