Birth Announcement – Creative Process

Posted by , Owner of Carte Blanche, on Sep 11, 2014

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I would say the birth of a child is the most precious gift anyone could ever experience. I recently gave birth to a very special baby boy whom we named Félix. I must say his arrival into this world has been a pretty magical thing!

I’m currently working on a few visual ideas for his birth announcement. A “Félix” wordmark along with 1 or 2 photos are a must. As for supporting graphics I’m thinking space ships would be boyish and fun!

Colours… electric powder blue and aqua accents would go well with the photo of Félix and his proud big sister Élodie. Below are a few visuals and inspirations…

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August Weddings

Posted by , Owner of Carte Blanche, on Aug 29, 2014

This wedding season I would say 50% of my weddings took place in August. Personally I think it is an absolute wonderful time to have a wedding. All of my August weddings were a great inspiration for this little story. As for decor, design and colour… the end of summer can still be summery and can include the richer end of summer decor and colour palettes. Here are a few August weddings from some of my favourite wedding blogs…

Style Me Pretty Canada – stylemepretty.com/canada-wedding
Stylish Quebec Wedding at Le Belvedere


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Wedluxe Weddings – wedluxe.com
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100 Layer Cake – 100layercake.com
Handcrafted countryside wedding in Barcelona

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Ruffled – ruffledblog.com
Magnolia Plantation Wedding

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Style Me Pretty Canada

Posted by , Owner of Carte Blanche, on Aug 16, 2014

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I recently posted Andrea and Ian’s wedding on my blog. These guys had a beautiful downtown wedding at Bohmer Restaurant (on Ossington). I also did a post on the awesome photography team couple – Brit & A Blonde

Looks like Andrea and Ian’s wedding was recently featured on Style Me Pretty. Great job on the photos by A Brit & A Blonde and a great mention for Carte Blanche Design for wedding stationery along with all the other great Toronto vendors!

So happy to have been part of the making of Andrea and Ian’s wedding!

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Wedding Stationery Questionaire

Posted by , Owner of Carte Blanche, on Jul 12, 2014

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If you’re having a hard time envisioning your wedding invitations, here is a questionnaire that can help figure out what style of invitations and stationery you want designed. Something that will best suit your big day.

1. Where is your wedding taking place?
A) Urban setting
B) Out in the country
C) Upscale Hotel/Country Club
D) Backyard Wedding
E) Other

2. What is your colour palette style?
A) Black and white with a hint of colour
B) Natural colours
C) Neutrals and/or soft classic colours
D) Colourful with some neutrals
E) Other

3. What season is your wedding taking place?
A) Summer
B) Spring
C) Fall
D) Winter
E) Other

4. What is the style/personality of your wedding?
A) Modern
B) Outdoorsy/Casual
C) Romantic Chic
D) Fun and playful
E) Other

5. When it comes to decor and design, do you lean more towards:
A) Bold patterns
B) Simple and elegant with a monogram
C) Florals, watermarks and soft graphics/impressions
D) Traditional yet clever
E) Other

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6. When it comes to paper goods what do you envision adding to your invitation package?
A) Colour envelopes
B) Twine and a fun tag
C) A pocket enclosure
D) Custom pattern liners
E) Other

7. When it comes to printing what do you like best?
A) Digital printing as it is most flexible and economical
B) Thermo engraving for that luxe yet traditional look
C) Letterpress for that beautiful upscale impression
D) Foil stamping for that ultra luxe and glam

8. What additional printed pieces do you think you will need to add to your invitaiton package?
A) A map card/accommodations card
B) Printed addresses
C) Monogram seals
D) Itinerary card
E) Other

9. What type of invitation package do you want to send your guests?
A) A simple package… invitation and reply only
B) A well organized package with a pocket enclosure including various stationery pieces
C) Custom die cut cards with round corners with premium colour envelopes and paper
D) Nicely packaged with a belly band and shimmery cardstock
E) Other

10. What sort of first impression do you want create and communicate to your guests with your invitations?
A) Urban party
B) Traditional with your own twists
C) Casual, classic yet fun
D) Super glam ritzy soiré
E) Other

Hello Magazine

Posted by , Owner of Carte Blanche, on Jun 23, 2014

First gossip mag! Carte Blanche’s invitation designs were recently part of Hello Magazine’s celebrity wedding section. The magazine spread covered 3 upcoming celebrity weddings. The “Bridal Style” section starting with Mila Kunis’ January wedding… classic, timeless and simple. Amber Heard’s caribbean wedding… fashion-forward with a mix of pinks and golds. And Scarlett Johansson’s fall wedding… vintage, simple in silvers and whites. Very excited to have been part of it!

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Top Wedding Summer Reads

Posted by , Owner of Carte Blanche, on Jun 11, 2014

Since summer is here I thought I’d post some of my favourite wedding related books. The list ranges from fun, creative to practical depending on what you’re after…

Style Me Pretty Weddings: Inspiration and Ideas for an Unforgettable Celebration – by Abby Larson

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For the 2 million monthly followers of powerhouse wedding blog StyleMePretty.com, the major mainstream hit with serious indie cred (think Domino meets Etsy meets Martha Stewart Weddings), and for all brides looking for fresh new inspiration, editor in chief Abby Larson offers an eagerly awaited, entirely unique, and gorgeously photo-rich wedding resource.

Joyful, love-filled weddings are created with the details that make the couple unique. These touches–letter-pressed table cards with a pet bulldog cameo; a chandelier to which the bride and groom tied hundreds of colorful ribbons; a photograph of the bride’s grandparents fastened around her bouquet–elevate a beautiful day into a deeply personal, unforgettable celebration.

Style Me Pretty has become a go-to destination for planning your own ecstatic wedding. Now, the founder of this beloved site, Abby Larson, offers this gorgeous resource, which includes:
• Abby’s step-by step guide to determining your couple style, gathering inspiration, and threading it through each element of the celebration
• 17 never-before-seen Real-Life Weddings—with details on all their special and handcrafted touches, and advice from the brides
• 5 Style Blueprints to help you custom-craft your own Classic, Rustic, Whimsical, Modern, or Al Fresco wedding, from paper goods to the cake
• 15 Do It Yourself projects, such as glittered vases, linen favor bags, and dip-dyed ombré napkins

Full of lively and oh-so-lovely ideas, and more than 250 photographs, this swoonworthy volume will help you distill the wide world of wedding inspiration into the most meaningful, utterly original day you can imagine.

Our Wedding Scrapbook – by Darcy Miller

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Keep the most important memories of your life safe in this charming interactive scrapbook that offers welcome relief from hectic wedding planning and a way to create a personalized keepsake of the tender moments, celebrations, and romance of your wedding.

From the leading lady at Martha Stewart Weddings comes a beautifully illustrated scrapbook that will make it easy for bliss–filled, overwhelmed newlyweds to create a book of their first wedded memories. From first–date impressions to how he popped the question, from the excitement of the engagement and bridal shower through the Big Day itself and the romance of the honeymoon, this scrapbook allows brides to capture the memorable moments in a way that goes beyond the standard (and rarely looked at) wedding photo album.

This scrapbook is designed for brides who want a lovely, original keepsake, but aren’t sure where to start. Darcy Miller’s whimsically elegant blend of art and text offers a framework to let the bride’s unique style and personality shine through, as she prompts brides to press a blossom from their bouquet; commemorate the toasts; list the activities at the shower; send themselves a postcard from the honeymoon, and much more––to make a book of memories to be enjoyed for years to come.

Save the Date – by Jen Doll

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From a fresh and exciting new voice, a hilarious and insightful examination of the search for love and the meaning of marriage in a time of anxiety, independence, and indecision.

Weddings. They’re fun, festive, and joyful, and at a time when people marry later in life— and sometimes not at all —they offer endless opportunities to reexamine love and what we want for ourselves, regardless of whether or not our aim is a walk down the aisle. In Save the Date, Jen Doll charts the course of her own perennial wedding guesthood, from the ceremony of distant family members when she was eight to the recent nuptials of a new boyfriend’s friends.

There’s the first trip home for a childhood pal’s big day, in which she learns that her first love has eloped to Hawaii. There’s the destination wedding attended with little baggage beyond a suitcase of strappy sandals and summery party dresses. Regrettably, there is a series of celebrations that mean the end to a valued friendship. There’s also the wedding that offers all the promise of new love.

A Practical Wedding:
Creative Ideas for Planning a Beautiful, Affordable, and Meaningful Celebration
– by Meg Keene

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An Insanity-Free Wedding: It Can Happen!
Getting engaged is exhilarating… until it sets in that a wedding costs three times what you thought, and takes five to ten times the effort it reasonably should. And then there are the expectations: from calligraphy invitations to satin chair-covers, all those things that Must Be Done or everyone will be Horribly Offended. Or will they?

A Practical Wedding helps you create the wedding you want—without going broke or crazy in the process. After all, what really matters on your wedding day, what you’ll remember ‘til you’re old and gray, is not so much how it looked as how it felt. In this refreshing guide, expert Meg Keene shares her secrets to planning a beautiful celebration that reflects your taste and your relationship. You’ll discover:
• The real purpose of engagement (hint: it’s not just about the planning)
• How to pinpoint what matters most to you and your partner
• DIY-ing your wedding: brilliant or crazy?
• Affording a wedding without having to cut your guest list
• How to communicate decisions with your family
• Why that color-coded spreadsheet is actually worth it
Wedding Zen can be yours. Meg walks you through everything from choosing a venue to writing vows, complete with stories and advice from women who have been in the trenches, the Team Practical brides. So here’s to the joyful wedding, the sensible wedding, the unbelievably fun wedding! A Practical Wedding is your complete guide to getting married with grace.

The Wedding Planner & Organizer – by Mindy Weiss

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Weddings require organization, record-keeping, legwork, logistics. In other words, a planner. From the celebrity wedding planner and author of the The Wedding Book, Mindy Weiss’s All-In-One Wedding Planner & Organizer helps couples keep track of every detail leading up to their Big Day. It’s the organizer that includes exactly what you need for on-the-go, on-the-ground wedding planning.

Created as a three-ring binder, it has tabs for each category:
• The Big Picture and Contacts
• Budget
• Location, Location, Location!
• Menu and Flowers
• Rentals
• The Dress! (And What Everyone Else Is Wearing)
• The Guests and the Invitations
• Music, Photography, and Videography
• Making It Official: Rings, Licenses, Vows, Officiants

Packed throughout are tips, tools, checklists, spreadsheets, and schedules to help brides (and grooms) manage everything from building a wedding timeline and organizing the dreaded seating chart to getting the wedding party matched and fitted. From “Will you marry me?” to “I do,” nothing will slip through the cracks.

A Brit & A Blonde

Posted by , Owner of Carte Blanche, on May 17, 2014

I recently interviewed Jessica and Jason Hill the team behind A Brit & A Blonde. I’m pleased to showcase this creative duo that bring a fresh take to wedding photography…

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MJ ~ Your company name is quite clever… can you tell me about how you guys became “A Brit & A Blonde”?
Jessica ~ Hahaha, well thank you. I actually came up with the name while I was taking a bath one day. Sometimes the most creative ideas appear when your mind is clear and relaxed. Jason – aka “A Brit”, aka my husband and partner in crime – and I met about 10 years ago. Jason had recently moved to Canada from England. We were both working in advertising agencies in Toronto (TAXI, John St, ZiG, Crispin Porter, Zulu Alpha Kilo) which is a small and incestuous industry where everyone knows everyone. So I guess we were bound to cross paths at one point. 5 years ago we were planning our wedding and had a ton of trouble finding a wedding photographer that was our style. At the time, wedding blogs were virtually non existent and Style Me Pretty had literally just come on to the scene. We really wanted to have images that we loved and were our aesthetic. But what we were seeing was cheesy, posed and frightful. We finally found an awesome pair of photographers that we loved. And that sparked the idea in our heads -why don’t we become the wedding photographers that we had been looking for. We had always adored photography, but it was our hobby and not our day job. So we decided to make the leap. We quit our cushy ad agency jobs and set out on our best adventure yet!

MJ ~ What is it about “A Brit & A Blonde” that stands out from other photographers?
Jessica ~ We always joke that we had a completely other life before A Brit & A Blonde. And I think that other life working as Mad Men in ad agencies really prepared us for everything and anything. So we really do come from a totally different background than most wedding photographers out there. We use to create award winning campaigns for big brands like Telus, Bell, Canadian Tire, Mini Cooper, Ikea – Jase even won a Cannes Lion for his work on some memorable Viagra TV campaigns. Just like we use to create a brand story – we see ourselves as wedding storytellers for our couples. So getting to know them is super important to us. Seeing how they are together, how they hold hands, how they look at each other and joke around. Our style is photojournalistic with a dash of editorial art direction and sprinkled with a good amount of fun and whimsy.

MJ ~ Your favs about what you do?
Jessica ~ Being with people on their best day ever is pretty much the best thing ever.
We take our jobs insanely seriously – capturing big moments, once in a lifetime moments, mini moments, fun moments, sweet moments and my personal fave – moments between the moments. We are shooting for the couple but also for their future kids, grandkids, and great grandkids. When their kids one day look at the images from their wedding day – we want them to know exactly what it must have felt like to have been there celebrating, dancing, laughing and how rad their parents looked.

MJ ~ Any tips for couples looking for a photographers?
Jessica ~ Finding the right fit is incredibly important. You will spend more time with your photographer than any other person on your wedding day. Since we are there from the getting ready prep shots through to shaking a tail feather on the dance floor. Your images, your memories and keepsakes from the day are captured through the eye of your photographer. The person you select becomes your wedding storyteller – so making sure you love the way they tell stories is so important.

MJ ~ Is there a certain wedding or photo shoot that stands out most to you and why?
Jessica ~ We have shot over 100 weddings – all over the world: Toronto, Montreal, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, St Maarten, Vermont, New York, Maine, New Hampshire and Portugal. From sweet intimate elopements in Costa Rica, to barn weddings in New England, to shooting a wedding in the former King of Portugal’s summer Palace – it has been epic. If I had to pick one, I would have to say Carter & Breken’s wedding. They got married during Pride Week in Toronto a couple of years ago on a float for Toronto Tourism. I still remember the unbelievable energy and cheers from the 1 million “guests” once they realized that they were up there on the float saying their I do’s. I was crying behind the lens from the power of all the love they were getting. It was like nothing I have ever experienced. It was incredible.

Click here to view A Brit & A Blonde’s website.

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Andrea & Ian

Posted by , Owner of Carte Blanche, on Apr 28, 2014

An urban wedding with many creative touches. Andrea and Ian had a late September wedding at Bohmer Restaurant on Ossington Avenue in downtown Toronto. Their invitation process started with choosing a suitable design from my “off the rack” collection. Along with the invitation set we added a simple map card design. For dinner a menu and seating card was designed and printed for each place setting. Instead of a larger seating chart we developed a simplified version by grouping each table onto an individual card to fit inside vintage frames. These were found on a table amongst various other frames with old fashioned family photos. I’m loving all of the unique and unconventional details throughout Andrea and Ian’s wedding. Modern, fresh and fun! Beautiful photography by A Brit & A Blonde

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Photography by A Brit & A Blonde

Catherine & Matthew

Posted by , Owner of Carte Blanche, on Apr 8, 2014

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A downtown Toronto couple brings family traditions to their wedding with a few illustrated details. Catherine and Matthew had a beautiful late summer wedding with family, friends and their special baby girl Odile. Catherine came to me with the idea of using Matthew’s brother’s hand drawn tattoo illustrations throughout their wedding stationery. We worked together closely in designing a classic yet vintage look using plum, golds, creams and black. From the save the dates to wedding invitations and day of stationery everything had a nice consistent flow. Traditional with an edgy twist this is a great example of how you can bring your own ideas or artwork to the design of your wedding invitations and stationery. Photography by Mimmo & Co.

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Photography by Mimmo & Co.

Elana & Peter

Posted by , Owner of Carte Blanche, on Mar 24, 2014

I’m happy to post Elana and Peter’s romantic Santorini wedding. What a spot to have a wedding… I visited Santorini myself a few years ago and it is absolutely a stunning place to be. Elena and Peter were after a simple euro design with a casual feel and a soft colour palette of champagnes and blush pinks.

Their invitations were printed in 3 different languages. English, Greek and Russian. Along with the invitations and replies we included a map card of Santorini as well as an itinerary card. The full package was enclosed in a beautiful champagne pocket enclosure sealed with a shear blush pink ribbon. Beautiful, simple and informative.

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