Thursday, July 10, 2014

Wedding Favors for Boys

While we wait for our photographer's official photos of our wedding, I thought I'd post a few more small details.

Since we were planning a small wedding, we decided to splurge on favors for our guests.

The men received these handsome bone bottle openers from Wm Sonoma (here):

We really loved the variety in the color of the bone, which varied beautifully from a pale cream to a very dark walnut.  David kept one for posterity too!

We also had a small boy (almost two years old) guest at the wedding, and he received this small woolen lion (which was a big hit at the reception - I think everyone wanted one):
Small Lion, soft wool nursery friend

Our charming hand-made lion was purchased on Etsy from a lovely seller (here) who makes beautiful toys from repurposed materials.

(I'll show you the lady favors later, when I have better photos!)

Hope you're having a lovely summer... 

Friday, June 27, 2014

The Best Shoes Ever (Eileen Fisher Linen)

We interrupt my series of wedding posts to bring you...

The Best Shoes Ever!

While photographing some of my remaining wedding flowers (which are all on their last legs), I noticed my new favorite shoes sitting there on one of my fabric props.

They looked so handsome, I decided to make a shoe portrait:

I bought these shoes about a month ago, after first deciding they were too expensive (over $200).  I adore Eileen Fisher clothes, but they can be expensive here (especially with the Canadian exchange and customs - we pay much more than Americans, as usual).  Her clothes are so versatile and last forever, but the initial investment can be a bit high. 

Hello lovely shoes...

Usually I go straight to the sale rack at the back of the store, but this time, I spied the shoes and they had me at hello.  But I couldn't justify spending over $200 for fabric shoes.  So I walked away.

Later in the week, after getting a 15% sale flyer by email, I went back and discovered they were marked down (I'm never this lucky).  They were $165 with 15% off, so I bit the bullet and bought them.

I am in (shoe) love:

I don't consider myself to be a shoe person, but I've been trying to streamline and simplify my wardrobe, and these just seemed to fit in with the new aesthetic.

The uppers are done in a gorgeous greige linen fabric with a slight sheen/sparkle, while the sole is leather (not good for rain, as I was advised by an Italian shoe salesman in Paris!) with rubber heel and foot grips.  

Here they are with a pair of my favorite Eileen Fisher slim ankle pant/leggings:

The shoes have a little leather contrasting detail in the back, which seems to give them a homemade quality.  And they also have a hidden 1/2" wedge, which gives the look of a flat with a bit of support.  They are only lightly cushioned.

Here they are again, comically styled with a remaining rose from my wedding bouquet.  I think they look great together (like a fabulous pair of children's shoes or perhaps bedroom slippers - feel free to give me a call Eileen, if you need help designing shoes):

I noticed that these shoes are no longer for sale online (sorry), but there is a similar black pair (here) that I'm coveting.  If you haven't sent me a wedding gift, feel free to send me these (size 8) - (only sorta joking).  Haha.  ;)

Happy happy weekend!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Our Wedding ~ A Photo Preview!

Hello dear readers!

Here's a little wedding photo preview, sent to me by our lovely and amazing wedding photographer, Genevieve Renee.  

Genevieve was soooo easy and lovely to work with.  And her work is enchantingly beautiful, so we were very excited to receive her preview, which captured our dreamy June 21 wedding day!

I can't wait to share more...!

Genevieve blogged about our wedding here.

In a future post, I'll describe the photos and all the amazing vendors I worked with - who did what and how it worked out, what I learned about the process of planning a wedding, including what I'd do again and what I'd skip!

~ Please stay tuned! ~

Although I had a very heavy hand in the creative direction, sourcing and decision-making for our wedding, it would not have been possible to execute without these amazing providers and vendors.  They made it all complete:

Event Styling & Creative Editor: Pink & Honey 
Florals:  Blue Hydrangea
Paper Goods:  Mon Voir
Wedding Cake: Crave
China, Flatware, Chairs Etc. Rental:  Special Event Rentals
Vintage Furniture Rentals:  Vintage Loved
Officiant:  Tamara Jones
Guitarist:  Jason Delaney

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

A Wedding Snap

Thought I'd share a quick, funny wedding candid as a teaser for you...

More photos soon!

The wedding was perfection...perfect weather too!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Our Wedding: Last Minute Details

With our wedding just over a week away, there are lots of last minute details popping up.  I thought I had it all settled, but some small things are coming undone...

Absent Guests

For example, out of 22 guests, my cousin found out today she cannot come (a last minute work trip)!  So now we have a gaping void to fill at the table (and I'm also so sad she won't be here).  My aunt's also not coming, so we now have space for two!  Want to come to a wedding?

And as the day approaches I am increasingly sad that my (previously...) best friend won't be there.  She has dumped me completely since deciding not to come to my wedding a while back (informing me by email), and she didn't like that I was very hurt about it and said so.  So that all feels painfully sad to me and disappointing, especially as I have so very little close family.  You want your most beloved people around you at a time like this.  And to feel rejected and dumped by someone you love (and who you thought loved you), well, it's just tragic.  I've been dumped without an explanation for anything, including why I've been dumped.  It's just so *petulant child* and so very, very cold.  A ten year friendship tossed out with the trash, despite my repeated offers to remain friends and "get through this", etc.  I have never been so disappointed with any person.

But I guess we must Keep Calm and Carry On, as that exhaustingly inescapable saying goes.  For once, the phrase finally means something to me, and I think it's damned good advice.

So getting back to happier thoughts...

Our Paper Goods

Our final paper goods arrived today from California.  Here is the program cover:
* adore *

And here are some gorgeous place cards:

And we had these charming signs made for the ceremony chairs:

I can't wait to see it all in place.

Florals

Today we also had a final meeting with our florist.  

Unfortunately, some of my most coveted flowers are not available at the last minute!

I was so excited to have flowering pieris but she said the recent supply has looked bad, so we're dropping it!
*sorry - not available*

We did find a charming and unexpected flower to add to the bouquet, which adds a vintage feel:  "Blushing Bride" (Serruria Florida), native to South Africa.  

These have an ancient feel, and are in the Protea family.  We're also going to add some tiny wax flowers, as shown:

My bouquet might look a little like this, with peonies and astilbe and white scabiosa and roses, but I've asked for more foliage and some ivory and lots of garden roses to be added.

Our final flowers will be a charming surprise!

Footwear

After talking to my photographer, I realized I really should have a "wedge" shoe for the outdoor ceremony (otherwise you slowly sink into the ground wearing pointy heels).  

I thought I would rest and relax on Saturday (the first weekend I didn't have anything really "to do" for the wedding).  Apparently now I will be shoe shopping (again).  Ugh.
Ladies Ivory Wedge espadrilles. Style 'Gypsy Queen by ForeverSoles, $189.95
Lovely wedge bridal shoe via Etsy


My gorgeous pointy heels will be worn at the reception I guess, and magically appear in photos as though I had them on the entire time!


Rain Plan


We even discussed a rain plan for the ceremony, so that's settled!

I love this photo
Photo:  Melissa Miller

Have a happy weekend, dear friends.  

When you next hear from me, I'll be a (so very happily) married woman!

xo Terri

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Wedding: Paper Goods

One of the most time-consuming but delightful aspects of the wedding plan has been the creation of our signature paper goods.

We've been working with a calligrapher-illustrator in California whose work is positively lovely.

The artist is Jenna Rainey from Monvoir.

We will share proper photographs in full detail after the wedding, but here's a sneak peek of our invitation suite (from Jenna's website - where she was forced to cover up all the details):
Photo: Jenna Rainey

The jumping-off point for the design was the pale pink ampersand (on the invitation).  I'd seen a watermark ampersand on another invitation and knew I wanted to start with this element.  I also wanted a garden rose/floral motif, and a clean black & white design, with lots of white space.  The entire suite developed from here.  Early on, I'd also envisioned a gold-foil detail, but we quickly dropped this due to cost and extra time to print, and I felt it complicated things.

I'm so happy with the final outcome. Everyone's loved receiving their soft and airy floral invitations, with beautiful white wax seals (suggested by Jenna) and pretty blush pink reply envelopes.

I even designed a personalized stamp for the invitations and reply cards, using Jenna's floral design from the invitation.  It made such a nice touch on the envelopes and really was the icing on the cake:
Several people asked how I got stamps to match my invitations.  Why, the fairies at Canada Post made them!

This week, we're rushing to finish the Wedding Program and Menu, as well as the place cards, which will be lettered in Jenna's beautiful cursive script. 

I've had such fun developing the wedding program with Jenna, who provided lots of little variations in the design for me to consider.  

Since guests will be reading their programs in a flowery garden, we've made the programs a little cleaner and less floral.  Here's a sneak peek of the cover:

I can't wait for you to see the whole suite!

Jenna did a wonderful job and has been working overtime to finish.  

Please check out her beautiful website and blog here.  I wish I could meet her in person to thank her!  Her calligraphy and artistry are exquisite and I couldn't be happier with the outcome.  It really takes a village to plan a wedding, and I've had simply the best helping me.

Have a happy weekend!

xo Terri

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Wasn't She Lovely...McMillen's Betty Sherrill Dies

Hello friends!

If you read my blog regularly, you'll know I'm busily preparing for our wedding in (less than) 5 weeks.  

I'm also taking an 8-week class at the Chronic Pain Clinic, so together with working and getting the garden into shape for spring (i.e. supervising David who does all the heavy lifting), I haven't had much time lately to think about decorating! 

However, I was very sad to read this week (here) about the death of Betty Sherrill, at age 91.  Mrs. Sherrill was the amazing traditionalist designer who headed McMillen (a NYC interior design firm said to be the oldest in the country) for over half a century.  I have McMillens prominently in my family tree, so I always found it interesting to read about a namesake...

She sounded like quite a charming character, in addition to having (of course) exquisite taste and a very deep knowledge of traditional furniture and design...how interesting it would have been to have known her.

Architectural Digest has published a wonderful tribute here so I won't pretend to try to duplicate the effort.

Here is a photo from that article, showing Betty Sherrill with her daughter Ann Pyne (left) and granddaughter Elizabeth Pyne, both designers who work for the family firm.

I had read about her several times over the years and was doubly-shocked as I'd just finished re-reading (last week in fact!!!), the New York Social Diary article about her Manhattan apartment (here), posted in February 2007.

I had actually just emailed myself a link to her dining room, which I think is fabulous.

So I thought I'd share a few photos from that article with you.

Here is the wonderful dining room with leopard-spotted dining chair fabric and carpet.  Perfection.  This room is just so classic and chic - it feels very French to me, very Paris apartment.  I love this look. The article lists the chairs as Louis VI.

Here is the living room - very, very traditional - but such beautiful things never go out of style.  I love everything here, including the sunny yellow walls and that abstract painting that adds whimsy and just tips the balance so it doesn't get too serious:

The library - I love the deep coral walls and the taxidermy impala head (I'm not really up on my wild game so I could be wrong, and don't ask me how I knew it was an impala) on the wall above a charmingly romantic impressionistic floral painting.  I also love that cane desk chair and another animal print on the little armchair.  All of these elements are like reading a list of traditional classics...all combined so perfectly.

The other end of the living room and a passageway - more classics - the treillage, the portraits, the chevron floors, a skirted (velvet?) table, a bouillotte lamp, that gorgeous floral flatweave rug...such density of design, but the cheery colour scheme keeps it light and pretty.

I hope you can read a bit more about this amazing lady for yourself.

Sometimes (oftentimes!) I wish I were in the Who's Who world and could meet some of these fascinating people.  I find people like Mrs. Sherrill just endlessly fascinating and I love their old-fashioned traditional ways of keeping house and decorating one's house.  I learned a lot from my grandmother, but sadly nothing about French Furniture.  Haha.  It is a lost art form, really - this resolute dedication to pure traditional decor.  

Luckily she has passed down her wisdom to the next generation.  They are so blessed to have known her!

With my regards,  Terri

Saturday, May 03, 2014

Winter Garden, Sickness, Films, Etc.

This Weekend

This weekend, I am sick.

I have a sinus infection, which explains why I've had an unrelenting sore throat for a month and a half.  My throat was so sore and raw yesterday, I could hardly swallow.  And I had a cough and such bad laryngitis, I thought I was dying.  My head hurt so bad, so I went to a clinic and was diagnosed with a sinus infection, which explains everything (I thought it was just a persistent virus).

Since then I've been on strong antibiotics, which doesn't make me too happy because I worry about super bugs.

When I was not worrying about super bugs, I did spend some time today styling my new old table.  David and I picked this up a week ago at a thrift shop, and it fits a corner of the living room which isn't very pretty (sort of the area behind an armchair that was too vacant).

This spot gets great light, which the chair blocks, so I am thinking of removing the chair so this space can be used for pretty little compositions, like this one:

On Thursday after work, when I was beginning to get very sick and unwell, we went to our venue to discuss the menu with our chef.  

The chef meeting went so well.  We are super excited about the food at our wedding which will be the icing on the cake after a lovely ceremony.

We also walked around the gardens where we will be married, and it was interesting to see it in the barren cold light of spring:
I liked seeing the bones of the garden, without greenery.

While looking at our ceremony location, I came across this little Andy Goldsworthy moment, high up in a tree.  David and I will be married in front of this tree:  
I hope the cones are still there in June

It was also cool to see the view from our hilltop garden towards the city before everything gets too grown in:

I hope you are having a nice weekend.  I am going to lay down now.  

I am half way through watching "Tiny Furniture", the Lena Dunham film that reminds me very much of her series "Girls", which I love.  That girl is brilliant and the whole thing just feels like episodes from my 20's.  I swear I have been at the same parties...

xo Terri

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Wedding: Lots of Details

With our wedding only 7.5 weeks away, there are still so many details to finalize.

Recently, Monsieur and I went shopping for suits.

David chose to wear black for our special day.  He wears navy and grey dress pants and suits for work, so he thought a black suit felt more special-occasion to him. I love the crisp formality of black.

David just turned 50, but he keeps himself in tip-top shape, so all the suits they showed us looked *amazing* on him, thanks to their lean European styling:

We also shopped for wedding rings.  We both wanted simple wedding rings that look good on their own, but I needed mine to sorta match my engagement ring.  Here I am trying on a platinum band with many small stones.  I don't want something that will snag on things, so we didn't buy this one, but I liked the fineness of it:

I also needed to find shoes.  I didn't buy these in the end, but almost.  I wanted something simple, classic, and elegant that will work with my lace dress, and be stable for walking around a garden all afternoon.  And I didn't want anything too cheesy or *bridal*:

We looked for, and found, the most amazing silk ribbon for our favours.  
They will be stunning!  I'll leave you guessing as to which colour we chose:

My event stylist wanted brown wooden chairs for our outdoor ceremony (I would have chosen white!), so I can't wait to see how these will look in the garden.  I was surprised they were so comfortable as they sure don't look it.  
(But I won't be sitting down - unless I faint!)

We admired, but did not buy, these cufflinks.  Monsieur chose another set, as his groom gift, that he can wear forever.  I would have chosen these, but what do I know?  He selected something much more interesting.

We also measured the veranda (and interior rooms) at the venue, to make sure all our set-up will fit.  The interior rooms are small and oddly-shaped, but we've figured out a way to accomodate our small reception party.

The veranda will be used for our champagne & wedding cake celebration, right after the ceremony (the reception is a bit later)!  We've rented some charming vintage furniture pieces, to create some lovely seating areas for this space, which has lovely views over the city and garden (this is also the back-up rain location for our ceremony)!:

And last but not least:

I had a makeup trial!  

Generally I don't wear a lot of makeup (I prefer the "no makeup" look - a little foundation, some lip gloss and a dash of mascara).  But I got the full smoky eye for these photos.  She applied the makeup very heavily, and these photos were taken after I got her to remove 75% of it and the false eyelashes!!!!

This seems like the right amount of makeup for wedding photos, but still felt unnaturally heavy to me:


I have soooo much I'd like to share but don't want to spoil any surprises!

I am very bad at keeping secrets, so it's a wonder I haven't shown you my wedding dress yet.

xo Terri


Thursday, April 24, 2014

Wedding Details: Brass for Tablescapes

When my event stylist and I first started discussing wedding decor, we had to settle on a primary metal colour.

Since my wedding dress is ivory and has a vintage look, I decided that golden colours would be the best complement.  So we chose to use brass for our tablescapes!  

I was not yet a fan of brass, but after I started searching for pieces, I rapidly became an adoring fan of this warm, beautiful metal which is an alloy (blend) of copper and zinc.

Here are the first few pieces I got in March.  All but one are un-lacquered brass (my preference), and had amazing patina:

I've searched mainly in charity and thrift shops and got most of the pieces above for a song (99 cents to $3.99 each).  I did splurge for the etched Indian ones (with the white candles) at an antique store.  They were around $18 I think.

Here's a close up:


My next amazing find was this footed bowl, which was around $7.99 (from Value Village in Victoria).  I love its simple classical sophistication (which reminded me of the seashell in the Birth of Venus - yes, I have an overactive imagination):



We will use this on one of our Reception tables, full of garden roses and trailing foliage.

Another piece came from Etsy and will look great overflowing with flowers on a Reception table:

Then I made the mistake of leaving all my finds out on the dining room table.  

I came home one day only to discover that my cleaning lady had polished them all (she's  a saint, but I almost had a stroke as I hadn't planned to polish them!).  I had a really good laugh after I had a really good cry (well, almost...!)

I guess that helped us make the decision about patina vs. polish.  I think they're all still beautiful in their new shiny state:

I also found some amazing tiny vessels which we'll use to create vignettes, perhaps on the welcome table where our guest book will sit:
Cheap and dirty - how I like my vintage finds.  ;)

I've also started collecting crystal and cut glass salt and pepper shakers for the tables.  The two on the left were gifts in the last year or two.  The three on the right were new finds from a favorite thrift shop in Victoria:

Hope you like the finds.  And if you don't shop at thrift stores, you might be missing something charming which would love to come home with you!

Happy weekend...!