Vendor Spotlight: Ready to be “Wu’d”? (Beauty Concept Salon and Spa)

For generations the “Wu” Women have played Fairy-Godmothers to brides, turn them into the Cinderallas who would leave their Prince Charmings speechless when they walk up the aisle.  And all that the Wu Women have to do is pick up their wands (brushes) and sing…… “it’ll do magic believe it or not bibbidi-bobbidi-boo!”

Photo Credit: Z Molu Photography

Shirley Wu and Maggie Wu are household names amongst the South Asian brides in GTA. Almost 20 years back, Shirley Wu opened up Beauty Concept Salon and Spa in GTA, a family business which hails from her home country Pakistan.  Lily, Shirley, Maggie, Jenny, their aunts and cousins are the famous Wu Women, who rule the Bridal Makeup industry in Lahore and GTA.  Their success is not just because they were born with a makeup brush in their hands, its also because of their dedication and their passion to understand and connect with their brides, relaxing the bride so that it brings out this glow in her face; which is a result of her complete trust and faith in the Wu Women. Its either that or maybe there IS a secret magic ingredient that only the Wu Women know, and have kept it well-guarded and only passed it down to the Wu-Women, and a few lucky ones in their team.

Photo Credit: DiModa Studios

We at Abee Sam Luxury Weddings share a bond with the Wu women which goes way back in the day. Lily (Shirely’s Mother) and Annie (Shirley’s Cousin) were the names that ruled the Lahore “Beauty Parlor” industry when they started up in Lahore 32 years ago. They were all the rage, every bride just had to get ready for their big day by them (enter Samina), which led to every baby girl who just had to have her hair styled by them (enter Abeera), which led to another generation of future brides-to-be , who just have to follow the “family tradition” of “being Wu’d” even if it is thousands of miles away from Lahore (enter my sister, in 2013 in Toronto).

Photo Credit: G+H Photography

With a 32 year old bond between us, we at AbeeSam can without doubt vouch for Beauty Concept Salon and Spa as our A-List Vendor.  Hence, just for our brides, we sat down with the fabulous Shirley Wu herself for an interview; just to answer a few of your questions:

AbeeSam: How long have you been doing this?
Shirely:It’s a 32 year old family business which started in Lahore, and around 20 years back we opened up our Salon in Canada too when I moved here.  I currently own and operate two salon & spas in Toronto where along with my team, we provide makeup and hair services mainly in the South Asian market.

Photo Credit: Asgher Hussain Photography

AbeeSam: What is the most exciting part of your job?
Shirley:  To make people look and feel beautiful!!!

AbeeSam: What is your Backup Plan, if the bride isn’t happy with your work?
Shirley:Well, first of all we make sure we completely understand their requirements and needs, we do this at our consultation meeting. We do offer trial makeup/hairdos too, just so that the brides are comfortable about their look. Secondly, if for any reason something happens, we do offer another service which could help solve the problem. For example, a haircut that could help style the hairdo better.

Photo Credit: G+H Photography

AbeeSam: What kind of Brides do you love?
Shirley: ALL kinds of brides….as long as there are brides!!! (laughs).  We are definitely fascinated by different cultures.

AbeeSam: What kind of Brides do you wish you had never signed? (Hint to Brides)
Shirley:How can we not like a bride! I like all sorts of brides; I try to understand them all.  Okay maybe, somebody who is unreasonable and has no logic, maybe?

Photo Credit: Taha Ghaznavi | Projected Life Photography

AbeeSam: Your advice to brides-to-be on how to choose a vendor?
Shirley: Make sure to see if they are professionals, honest and upfront, passionate about their work and most importantly see if that is how you want to be treated.

AbeeSam: How do you tell your brides to prepare for your big day?
Shirley:Preparation should start from Day 1 when you get engaged: by taking care of your skin every day, eating healthy, taking supplements  & vitamins. As for the day before the wedding: make sure you have plenty of rest, PLEASE ignore the wedding details someone else needs to take of those (hire a planner), and make sure you have washed and blow dried you hair.

Photo Credit: Z Molu Photography

AbeeSam: What are the upcoming trends that you would like your brides to try in 2013?
Shirley:  I always say, trends come after tradition. However, I love when brides mix tradition and modern, so in 2013 I would love to see more of Fusion Weddings. Id like to see them try modern accessories like in their hair-dos and all, I think that would be great!

AbeeSam: So what are the trends that you would NOT want to see in 2013?
Shirley:Purple! I mean don’t get me wrong, I LOVE purple, but I think its too overdone in the past year or two, like before purple it was Green. Brides should try different colors- something out of the box and exciting. Also, though I LOVE “bling”, but again I think we saw a lot of crystals and sequins work, I think just to change a little in 2013, brides should mellow it down and have “Dhagaaywala  Kaam” (threadwork) instead.

Photo Credit: Talha Siddiqi Photography

If you still have any more questions for Shirley Wu or if you haven’t yet decided on your Bridal Makeup Artist, let us know and we’ll connect you with the wonderful Wu’s.  Visit if you wish to check out what other services they offer ( they do offer makeup classes too!)

We wish the Wu-Women and the immensely talented and fabulous team of Beauty Concept Salon and Spa all the success, and hope they would continue to “Wu” brides for generations to come.  So, get ready to be Wu’d……it’ll do magic believe it or not bibbidi-bobbidi-WU!!!

Photo Credit: Z Molu Photography

Posted in Luxury Makeup Artists, Vendor Interviews, Vendor Spotlight, Wedding Artists | Tagged , , , , , , , , , |
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WedInspire: The Disney Bride

Have you ever wondered why all girls love gorgeous Gowns, Shoes and Tiaras? It’s because of the two very important men in our lives: Daddy and Disney! Yes, that was quite a combination when these two men sat with us—they told us to dream, to go after our dreams, and that dreams do come true.  They even told us that WE are Princesses!

This winter, Disney became very clever and partnered with someone very important, Mr. Harrods! Disney and Harrods bring to life what we girls have dreamt of all our lives: walking down the aisle with our Daddy to our Prince Charming in those gorgeous Shoes, Tiaras and Gowns as one of our favourite Disney Princess.

And it seems Mr. Harrods has been very naughty and has been sneaking into our dreams somehow and hence have brought in MORE MEN, who over the years have been a VERY important part of our Wedding Dreams and  Fantasies: Roberto Cavalli, Oscar de la Renta,  Elie Saab, and the list goes on!  Disney, Mr. Harrods and these men took our breath away when we saw the result of this partnership, the window display at the Harrods Iconic Façade: “Extravagant set of window displays showcasing 10 stunning dresses created by world-leading designers…..each based on their interpretations of the original Disney Princess dresses”,  describes Tanya Ropella (Disney Consumer Product).  These windows are exactly what our dreams are made of and more, Magical and truly Enchanting!

These windows seem to define the Wedding Gown Trend of 2013: Colour  Romance, and Bling & Sparkles!  Lace, though not worn by any Disney Princess here, would still continue into 2013, thanks to a real-life princess, HRH Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.

If you ever dreamt of being a Disney Bride, you will love these gowns as much as we do. As for the ones who escaped that dream, we would love to see how you resist these. Be prepared to fall in love and Dream! Sleeping Beauty by Elie Saab is what my dreams were made of, even though Cinderella had always been my all-time favourite. Which one of these Designer Disney Princesses would you like to be on your Big Day?

Posted in Fairytale Weddings, Luxury Wedding Gowns, WedInspire | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , |
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VENDOR SPOTLIGHT: Falling in love with Opera (Cake Opera Co.)

Crossing the Eglinton Avenue this Friday evening, I fell in love! I had never experienced this feeling before, it was as if someone had cast a spell on me and made me take those few steps to close the distance between us. I knew that I shouldn’t be doing this and that I’d be a slave to this love, forever! Yet, I had no choice but to let go of myself and indulge in this new romance with Cake Opera Co. (Oh, did I forget to mention that I was talking about desserts and cakes here? Oh well.)

Cake Opera Co. is a Toronto based luxury wedding cake boutique founded by Alexandria Pellegrino & Jessica Smith in 2007.  With a strong back ground in Fine Arts, these ladies create mesmerizing cakes that look like art pieces, each standing tall with a powerful personality and a story behind it. They are bold and theatrical yet at the same time romantic. These aren’t your traditional wedding cakes, these are sculptures—edible sculptures.

Cake Opera Co. has been the cake designer for many celebrity weddings, including the famous Nicole Richie’s wedding cake.

As hard is it to bring a knife to Cake Opera Co. cakes, it takes just a bite of these exquisite decadent pieces that are sinfully delicious and gives you an orgasmic rush, leaving you yearning for more with every bite!    

Every cake and confections at Cake Opera Co. is a piece of art and deserves a place in the Guggenheim. I had the hardest time picking out a few gorgeous pieces to share; my favorite would have to be: The Piratess. Visit to see the rest of this great cake artist’s creations and see if we didn’t include your favorite piece on our Blog.

Posted in Luxury Wedding Cakes, Vendor Spotlight, Wedding Artists | Tagged , , |