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
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
3. What season is your wedding taking place?
4. What is the style/personality of your wedding?
C) Romantic Chic
D) Fun and playful
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
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
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
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
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
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!
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
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
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
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
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
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
• Location, Location, Location!
• Menu and Flowers
• 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.
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…
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.
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
Photography by A Brit & A Blonde
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.
Photography by Mimmo & Co.
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.
I think 3 words that would best describe Arden and Tyler’s wedding would be chic, urban and fun! Both their ceremony and reception took place at the Shangri-la Hotel in downtown Toronto. Along with beautiful florals and decor Arden and Tyler also did an amazing job of tying in their wedding monogram into their big day in more tasteful ways then one. Each invitation set included a map of downtown Toronto as well as guest accommodations. There even was a next morning brunch invite which was designed to match and sized to go inside the lovely mini envelope glued within their silver pocket enclosure. Overall their wedding invitation package was sleek, shiny and classy.
Arden and Tyler’s wedding was photographed by Artage Pictures.
Kristina and Christopher’s wedding started at Saint Mary’s Church in North Toronto followed by an elegant reception at Casa Loma. Kristina started with choosing the “french toile” design for her invitations from our “off the rack” collection. She then added her very own custom choices. The whole stationery package was made up of creams, golds and sage tones. Kristina and Chris upgraded to shimmer cardstock and envelopes… with a sage belly band wrapping around each invitation set. Using the toile theme and Kristina’s colour palette we also designed various stationery pieces for their wedding day… my favourites were the mini flag style seating cards. Kristina and Chris’ wedding was timeless, fresh and tastefully planned.
Beautiful wedding photos by JB Smith Photography
Goat cheese and vegetable frittata
I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Danielle French from South Pond Farms. This place is a real gem and ideal for the perfect wedding day…
MJ ~ What is the story behind South Pond Farms?
Danielle ~ South Pond is farm in the Kawartha Lakes, outside of Peterborough. It was first worked as a farm in the late 1800’s. It stopped being a working farm in the 1960’s and by the time I moved here from the city in 2006 as a place to bring up my four daughters the property was in disrepair. The barn was falling down, the house in ruins. One of my interests has always been in food. I wanted to have a business that would use the land so I started Farm Flavours – delivery farm fresh food to various people in Toronto on Friday’s using in part – the gardens I had developed on the property. The business was successful so installed a commercial kitchen and, from there, I ventured into restoring the barn as a place to have farm dinners. Once the barn was restored, I found that people wanted to have special celebrations there – weddings and special events. My daughters have worked with me and my partner Shawn in creating South Pond as a destination for art, culture, celebrations set against the backdrop of the beauty of the Oak Ridges Moraine and the area’s working farms.
MJ ~ I would assume the farm is more of a summer/fall place to be? Can you tell me what goes on all year long?
Danielle ~ I enjoy the property with my family – I have ski and hiking trails that I am able to finally find the time to use! But there is a lot of work that goes on to make the property the way that it is – wood piling, maintenance, garden work, repairs and of course, a series of capital improvements. Ideally we would like to host smaller culinary events which is why we’ve just launched our Culinary and Artistic Adventures programs that are for smaller groups interested in making something, learning something, getting away from their life for a day, and just enjoying the property the way that we do! Even in the winter, it is beautiful here and there is something to be enjoyed. In fact, Snow Day is coming up February 8th! It’s a day to enjoy the property in the winter!
MJ ~ Why should couples get married at South Pond Farms?
Danielle ~ South Pond appeals to couples who love the outdoors. People that appreciate nature and farm land, and who yearn for some simplicity in their lives. Inside the barn, all things become equal – economic, social boundaries I believe drop and guests just enjoy how a barn “speaks” to them. We do remind people that it is an outdoor experience. The barn while sheltered from the elements, is open to the outside
Behind the scenes, it takes some effort – in fact probably more than festivities in a banquet hall – to make the day seamless! The grounds need to be maintained, the flowers watered if rainfall has been limited, gardens weeded, barn floors swept and tables set up. I think people like having their ceremony overlooking the pond – if lucky the swan family who make the pond one of their residences, will land on the water while the ceremony is underway! Guests enjoy having a drink in the meadow, snacking on hot flat brads from the stone oven. I don’t ever get bored of this experience and I can imagine that guests who are here will savour it also.
MJ ~ I truly think food is key when it comes to the wedding reception. Can you tell me about what you guys have to offer?
Danielle ~ The food experience begins when guests sample our appetizers and flat breads from the stone oven. We source our food locally and whatever is fresh from the gardens, we serve. Snap peas and goat cheese dip, roasted tomatoes with fresh basil on flat breads, when guests enter the barn for dinner, we serve on vintage platters, family style: a platter or grilled meats, fresh vegetables with herbs, and usually some sort of fresh berry cobbler for dessert with Kawartha Dairy products!
MJ ~ Your Farm is beautiful…. can you share some of the highlights of your grounds?
Danielle ~ The Farm has a real natural beauty. All we’ve done here is to enhance it. We have added gardens with a wild flower feel and tall grasses that are indigenous to the area. We are even planting a cutting garden for floral arrangements this year. The pond is a real feature and some people may chose to have a reception in the clearing that we’ve created close to the edge. We keep trails groomed so that guests can walk around and visit with Millie the goat and friends or sit in the flower garden for a meditative break, or simply join the festivities around the stone oven later at a evening fire or watching the sun set in one of our Adirondack chairs. We try to create a peaceful setting despite the commotion of a wedding.
For more information about South Pond Farms please visit Danielle’s website at:
Inside the barn during our Art in the Fields Event (which will be running again this year June 29-July 3)
The outdoor stone oven
Tula the baby goat
Pond with swans