Friday, April 28, 2017

happy friday

Living two blocks away from High Park has it's perks. D and I woke up early on Wednesday morning and rode over to the park to check out the cherry blossoms (and beat the crowds). We brought a thermos full of coffee and sat among the trees and then snuck into Grenadier Cafe for an early bird breakfast before heading back home and off to work. It was unexpectedly wonderful, and a nice way to break up the week. 

D's parents are back in town this weekend for another visit before they head back out West. We're booked at the Drake tonight for cocktails and it'll be fun to show them around one of our favorite spots. We have a couple of busy weeks coming up, and this weekend kicks things off. Hoping to balance the busy with morning coffee and enjoying the spring sunshine. Whatever you have planned, enjoy your weekend xo

{ last weekend marked the one year anniversary of getting engaged (lots has happened in a year!) }

{ cute decor at Oak Island, the newby on Ossington }

{ seriously good eats at When the Pig Came Home }

millennial pink

Millennial pink has taken over the design world as of late - fashion, beauty, interior design has all taken note, picking up on the popularity of the color and I'm loving it.
 These J.Crew looks has be inspired to work more pink into my wardrobe. With blond hair I always strayed away from it, feeling it was a little too girly, but I'm loving the pink on pink - look #1 is my favorite!

Thursday, April 27, 2017

house crush

Confession: I have house fever. You know like some ladies have baby fever? Well, I have house fever. My mind is over run with the desire to buy and decorate a home as of late! Maybe getting married has increased my feelings on the idea, but I'm hoping we can somehow get our foot in the door of this crazy Toronto real estate market!

I came across this Parisian apartment and while I typically trend towards neutral palettes, there's no denying the amazing use of color and pattern in the space. Book marking this one for future inspiration. 

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

book club

My most recent read was Jessi Klein's "You'll Grow Out Of It". It was and enjoyable read and Jessie was hilarious and earnest. She's one of the writers for Amy Schumer and you really just feel like you're chatting with a girlfriend over wine. I admittedly LOL'd a few times while reading. Perfect read to kick the summer off.

I'm hosting May book club at my house and I chose Fates & Furies by Lauren Groff as our next read. I haven't been the best at keeping up with the reading, but seeing as it's my choice and I'm hosting, I don't really have a choice. I started it this morning and it seems intense but I'm already hooked.

Loved this article about how to read more, and feeling inspired that I can get through this one before the deadline. I've also just gotten Kelly Oxford's new book and cannot wait to start it, as more of a light, comedic read!

What are you reading these days?

my wedding day look

Oddly enough, when I began dress shopping, I didn't have a clear image of how I envisioned looking on my wedding day. With it being a winter wedding, I knew I'd get to wear some of the furs that have been handed down and lent to me, but I started dress shopping with a very open mind. My mom was kind enough to accompany me to 9 different appointments before I ended up choosing my dress. 

I decided on a simple Theia dress, knowing that I would change the neckline (it used to be a boat neck across the front) and add bridal buttons all the way down the back of the dress. The crepe fabric was one of the selling points, it was flattering and so comfortable. I ordered my dress at Sash & Bustle and all of the ladies were SO helpful and wonderful - and after visiting quite a few shops, I loved the vibe at this sister-owned boutique in Leslieville. 

I had fun throughout the day switching my look up with different fur coats. The shorter brown and long black ones were my grandmothers (you can see her initials in the brown one!) and the ostrich shrug was D's grandmothers, lent to my by his mom. They photographed so beautifully and kept me warm for all of our outdoor photos! 

I hired a hair stylist and make up artist from Jen Evoy Studios to come to my parents house the morning of the wedding. They worked their magic on me, my bridesmaids and the mommas. It was so nice being able to wake up at home, and just feel comfortable getting ready in a familiar setting. I had gone for a trial to figure out the look I wanted and the girls replicated it perfectly on the day of.
I loved having my hair up and pulled back from my face; I didn't have to worry about it all day long and it withstood the windy weather. My make-up look was heavier then what I wear daily and felt appropriately 'me'. A girlfriend applied a gorgeous set of eyelash extensions and I added extra volume with faux acrylic strip lashes the morning of the wedding. I wore a Dior lip gloss that I've used for other weddings - it stays put and doesn't need constant re-applying. 

Photographic evidence of a very goofy moment, trying to 'fluff' my own train! 

Because the dress was so simple, I knew I wanted to add some sass and details for an extra special flare. I chose a Karen Willis Holmes overlay skirt which was detachable, and a Theia beaded jacket. Put together, they totally transformed the look of my plain white dress. I wore just my dress for our first look, then added the two pieces to walk down the isle and Drew was so surprised - the first thing he said was "did you change!?" - it was such a sweet moment. Then I got to surprise everyone by removing the skirt and jacket to enter back into the reception after cocktails! 

It turns out that my months of working out paid of, because when I tried my dress on for the first time it was really big. All three pieces, the dress, skirt and jacket needed some serious altering. Sash & Bustle suggested getting in touch with Meghan at Shoppe & Tailor, who was so lovely and super-duper talented. She worked her magic and after five appointments, I left totally in love with my look.

I knew I didn't want to wear a necklace, so I searched and searched for the perfect earrings. The ones shown in the photo were originally set in brass and were clip-ons and were from an Italian designer that sold out on the website I found them on. As I kept looking, I kept coming back to these, knowing they were exactly what I wanted. I ended up finding the same pair on another website and ordered them right away! The ladies at Anice Jewelry helped me switch the clips out for posts and coated the brass in rhodium to achieve the silver look I wanted. They ended up being a significant investment by the time I was done, but they were perfect. I loved how they looked with my pulled back hair.

I also checked the "something old, borrowed and blue" boxes off with the bracelets I wore. I borrowed my mom's diamond tennis bracelet and paired it with an antique bracelet that was my maternal grandmothers which had beautiful blue stones in it. The layered look felt modern and simple.  

I gave some hints about a general look that I liked, but D had my engagement ring custom designed secretly all on his own. He blew me away with how beautiful it was. We worked together with the same jeweler to create our wedding bands. I asked for a simple 3/4 diamond band with a hidden setting, so the stones look really round. It turned out exactly how I wanted and I'm so in love with my rings. D went with a really cool, unique design using yellow gold and black onyx. It's a statement piece that looks so handsome on him.

I used my grandmothers beaded purse to carry a few things with me throughout the day. I've coveted this purse for years and it felt so special getting to use it on my wedding day. And I loved my Badgley Mischka shoes that I found at Nordstrom. They were delicately beaded and had a small kitten heel, which was comfortable enough to keep on almost all day and night! 

+ + + + + 

I felt so good the day of our wedding. I had worked hard to get in good shape and the different pieces of my dress came together beautifully. I loved walking up to D and surprising him with this dress that I had been hiding for months, and the costume changes later in the day only added to the fun. I've got my dress cleaned and boxed, ready for storage. I look forward to pulling it out in a few years and reliving the memories created while wearing it. 

Dress: Sash & Bustle
Hair & Makeup: Jen Evoy
Shoes: Nordstrom
Furs/Purse: Vintage
Earrings: Iossellani
Ring Box: The Mrs. Box
Alterations: Shoppe & Tailor
Photographer: Hugh Whitaker

Monday, April 24, 2017

Thursday, April 20, 2017

wedding decor

One of the most amazing parts of our wedding day was getting to see how our ten months of hard work and endless planning paid off. Everything just sort of seemed to magically come together (of course with heaps of behind the scenes hard work by our vendors!) and our vision was truly brought to life.

My favorite part of our floral design was the three over sized rings that hung from the ceiling which were completely covered in evergreen. They hung over the isle during the ceremony, which then transformed into the dance floor for the reception. They made the room feel cozy and they smelled divine. The florist had them hung the day before, which was the best surprise to walk into during the rehearsal at the venue!

The ceremony space felt so intimate and romantic. I hadn't seen the room before I walked down the isle, and I have to admit I wanted to just stop and look around at everything! Jackie O created this stunning arch way which was asymmetrically draped with lush evergreens. It worked double duty and framed the speech podium during the reception. 

The photos don't quite capture the draping, but we strung a simple white sheer to balance the asymmetrical archway. Along with the draping on the pillars and the room divider, it brought an ethereal softness to the space that only added to the intimacy. 

Our ceremony programs highlighted the two readings we had chosen that each of our aunts read. We also included a mini bio for each of our bridesmaids and groomsmen. Our hope was that our guests would get a tiny glimpse into our relationships and make sense of the special people who made up our bridal party!

We didn't necessarily have 'colors' for the wedding decor but rather used a carrera marble design to compliment the natural evergreen florals and romantic wintery decor. I loved the way the oversized seating chart turned out and the stationer ended up giving us a second one, which was great for allowing guests to find their seat. 

We had custom cocktail napkins made with our wedding logo pressed in silver foil. We found some leftover when we stopped by the venue the next day and they've been a fun keepsake to use around the house when we have guests. 

When we were searching for venues I knew that I wanted harvest tables that would allow for a fun, social seating plan. The event space at 99 Sudbury was a blank slate, which worked wonderfully and allowed us to bring in all of our own rentals. We rented beautiful antique harvest tables from Marvelle. Each one was a little bit different from the next and they really worked as a perfect base to build the warm, winter look we were going for. 

All of our table top rentals came from Chairman Mills. They have a showroom where you can go and look at different options and layout your final choice - it was great for both D and I to visualize how a table setting would look. We chose silver rimmed plates and chargers which sparkled in the candle light. Our stationer at Paper & Poste helped bring my idea to life, with round menus that doubled as name cards and were printed with a subtle marble print. 

We worked with the best floral design team at Jackie O. From the first day we met at our consult, we clicked and I had every confidence they would execute our vision perfectly. We had a lush garland that ran down each 50' table - the evergreen smelled divine and there were delicate cream flowers and mercury glass votives spotted throughout. There were also strings of cafe lighting strung over the tables and dance floor which provided a beautiful soft glow. 

We chose a simple white hemstitch napkin that hung over the table at each place setting. Funnily enough, someone gifted us white hemstitch napkins as a wedding gift, which will be such a lovely little wedding reminder every time we use them. 

The event space is literally a big white box, so we wanted to come up with a design feature to give visual interest to the large white wall opposite the dance floor. We set up a bar for all the guests at the far side of the room and the florist made over sized wreaths with all different types of evergreen. The natural textures provided such a understated beauty. 

While the overall feel of the reception was exactly as we had envisioned, it was so much fun noticing the little decor and design details. We chose luxurious linen chairs and it felt like we were sitting on thrones all night. D's mom lent me my ostrich shawl that I wore throughout dinner - it had extra special meaning being a hand-me-down from D's grandmother! The oversized marque letter lit up the dance floor and was a fun acknowledgement to my newly becoming Mrs. Gray! 

Vendors :: 
Venue- 99 Sudbury
Harvest Tables- Marvelle
Table Settings (plates, chargers, glasses, silverware, napkins) - Chairman Mills
Florals + Candles + Draping - Jackie O
Chairs - Chairman Mills
Marquee Letter - Event Graffiti
Linen Bride/Groom Chairs - Divine Decor
Cafe Lighting - Berries & Blooms
Menus/Place Cards - Paper & Poste

All photos by the insanely talented Hugh Whitaker