wedding wednesday: to the cape!

IMG_8481

Andrew proposed to me nearly a year and a half ago, and since then we have already moved to France and back. Now that we are settled at home again, planning is fully underway for our October vows. The whole thing has been exciting and though I’ve shared little snippets on Instagram here and there, I figured it would be nice to properly document the process and share with you. Even as someone who plans events for a living, I’ve learned a few things along the way and so I thought this may also be helpful for you . . . should you also be planning your I do’s.

I don’t want to give away too much ahead of the big day, but do expect more updates from me as we get closer and closer. Here’s where we’re at now . . .

THE LOCATION

shiny-gold-background

We knew we wanted a small wedding. To us, it’s a very intimate thing to exchange vows and promise your life to each other. I will admit that our families were a little surprised at first – but once we explained our vision they understood and have been supportive ever since. We’re lucky that way, I know it’s not always easy top please everyone. My advice here is to do what truly feels right for you both as a couple, because that’s really what this is all about.

Knowing we had a small group allowed us to expand on our horizon a bit in terms of the setting. Before we made the big move across the pond, we decided on Cape Cod as our location. Why Cape Cod? Neither of us have family there, however it is a place with great meaning. With a shared affinity for the sea, Andrew surprised me with a trip for birthday a few Octobers ago (sneaky guy!) and since then it’s been an integral part of our story.

11123720_1589759967930413_453280557_n

THE LOOK + FEEL

shiny-gold-background

We found a beautiful beach front home where we will be hosting the ceremony, dinner, and party. Think traditional Cape style architecture, designed to the nines in our favourite aesthetic: coastal colonial. I don’t love the idea of a themed wedding, but things will definitely feel beach-y without looking too nautical. Instead of going literal with anchors and lobsters, we are using a colour palette of pale blue, blush, and lots of white to make our statement.

THE PHOTOGRAPHER

shiny-gold-background

Of all the vendors involved in planning a wedding, hiring the right photographer is the most important thing to Andrew and I. Beginning the planning only six months out meant that not having this locked down was the one thing that stressed me out a bit. We quickly realized all the good Cape Cod photographers we could find were booked nearly two years in advance (who are these people?). So I got a little resourceful and put out a call on Instagram . . . to my absolute surprise and delight, our favourite photographer, Tara McMullen, commented on my post letting me know she had October 8 free and was willing to make the trip out east (and travels the world for weddings frequently). I freaked out! I assumed that because the wedding was only six months away that she would already be booked (she and her partner Barb really are that good – hello, dream team). My learning here: you should absolutely try for your pie-in-the-sky vendor because you never know . . . sometimes people have to cancel/switch dates which could mean room for you and your wedding. And just look at the way she captured my friends’ Kelly Lynn + Andrew’s wedding! Pure. Magic.

In my next post I will share more about floral, rehearsal dinner (a clambake!), and bridal/groom party looks. In the meantime, if you or anyone you know has tied the knot in Cape Cod I’d love to hear any recommendations . . . especially in regards to the best locations for wedding photos.

Love,

xx-Ashley-150

real simple magazine instagram takeover

13117843_1740689792865894_460819684_n

Good morning, my beautiful friends! I’m excited to share I will be taking the reigns over on the @real_simple Instagram account today. Follow along as I take you on a tour of some of my favourite Parisian scenes and locations. And although I recently moved back to Toronto from the city of light, I still muse about my time living in this beautiful country and all the beauty it has to offer. I know many of you are travelling across the pond this summer so I thought it would be fun to share some of my tips.
shiny-gold-background

As a side note . . . you should know I love working with brands and outlets to create beautiful custom content for their online platforms. If you need some visual/creative help in this department I’m always happy to take on new clients. Interested in collaborating? Send me an email!

Thanks for following along + stay curious,

xx-Ashley-150

A Field Guide to My Favourite Antique Shops in Ontario

field guide markets

Antiquing (that’s a verb, oh yes) is one of my absolute favourite pastimes. It’s a combination of things, really: the thrill of the hunt, the idea of owning something with its own life and special story, and of course it’s the best way to find unique treasures.

Whether we’re at home or abroad, Andrew and I will pack up the car and make a day of visiting the shops. Beforehand, we’ll map out the locations and that’s as far as the planning goes. Sometimes I’ll have my eye out for something particular, but most of the time I’m up for being surprised – and that’s where the fun comes in.

Different stores specialize in different categories – from your dusty, piled-to-the-ceiling catch-all to the streamline, curated collector’s haven. The former: usually stocked with cheap and cheerful finds (think: diamond in the rough). The latter, however: offering high value, rare pieces. Whether our budget is tiny or a bit more flexible, I make it a point to visit both types of shops; I once read that in order to recognize and distinguish value and quality you must train your eye. Let’s just say I have done quite a lot of training – I know a gem when I see one.

Living in Toronto means we are never more than an hour or two’s drive from some of the best antique shops and flea markets. Be sure to strike up a conversation with the owners of these haunts – they are some of the most interesting people I’ve ever met. I’m confident about this: antique dealers have the best stories.

In collaboration with Expedia.ca, I’ve rounded up some of my favourite haunts. Whether you are also a local to Ontario and exploring your own region, or you are visiting the province for the first time, use this guide to some of my most frequented spots . . .

shiny-gold-background

Land & Ross in Shakespeare, ON

This place is the top of the tops. Have you been to Shakespeare before? As the name suggests this village of less than 1,000 is located just outside of Stratford, home to the theatre festival. Blink and it’s over, but the antique shops alone make it a destination for design lovers in Southern Ontario.

Land & Ross specializes in formal furniture and accessories appealing to a variety of tastes and price points. One of my very favourite pieces came from this place: a mint condition 18th century mahogany arm chair with original needlepoint (stitched seashells!). Owners Wayne, Peter, and Gloria are extremely knowledgeable and passionate about their offerings and can tell you the stories behind each and every piece on the floor.

Hot tip! Land & Ross also offers appraisal and custom design services.

Location: 2209 Huron Street, Shakespeare, ON

10522826_1537228966492707_738438856_n

Postman Antiques in Shellburne, ON

Located in charming Shelburne inside the historic former post office, Postman Antiques is worth the drive to the County of Dufferin off Highway 10. Owner Martin Guyton jokes that his 25+ year long business began as a mere hobby . . . “It was a hobby that ran away with my life.” He and his wife Diane make yearly trips to France and Belgium, bringing large empty crates with them. The fruits of their travels? Truly special finds, from large scale furniture and rare book collections to antique calligraphy tools and of course – stamps from all over the world. Bring your pocketbook and a spacious car trunk.

Location: 116 Owen Sound Street, Shelburne, ON

shiny-gold-background

Inglewood Antique Market in Caledon, ON

You’ll find just about everything in this shop, housed inside an old apple farm. Old white ironstone and granite, antique English Royal Albert china, lighting, jewellery, vintage clothing, hats, purses, sterling silver, books, art and a good selection of doors, windows, tin, and ceiling tiles. You name it, they’ve got it. This shop requires a bit of patience to uncover the gems, but believe me they are there.

Location: 16083 Hurontario Street in Caledon, ON

Happy treasure hunting!

xx-Ashley-150

* Thank you to Expedia.ca for sponsoring this post.

mad for blue

r2

French blue, my signature hue. This beach-y California home, belonging to designer Rebecca de Ravenel, gives me heart palpitations . . . it perfectly captures my aesthetic. But it’s not all about looks: Rebecca is strict with the items that come into her home (a philosophy I share) — each piece must have personal meaning. To me, great interior design tells a story about the person who owns the space. Read the full story on Domino.com.

To be honest, I simply just love blue!

— Rebecca de Ravenel

r4 r1 r6 r7

Bon week-end,

xx-Ashley-150

lipstick that loves you back

burts-bees-lipstick-750x741

I’m a total lipstick girl. I love the idea of a colourful lip and if my make-up bag is any indication, it’s a look I covet. The only problem? I find matte lipsticks to, no matter how pretty the look is, be rather high maintenance. The constant need to check if the colour has bled, the lack of moisture, and well . . . a matte lip isn’t exactly kissable.

I briefly introduced you to Burt’s Bees new lipsticks via their art show, and now it’s time to show you the gorgeous colours. The collection is full of vivid hues and soft shades, so a bit of everything. I’ve tried out the entire line and I love the way the it softens and conditions your lips all day long, thanks to the natural formula of beeswax, moringa oil and raspberry seed oil.

burts3-770x418

There are 14 shades to play with . . . some of my favourites are: Tulip Tide, Lily Lake, and Magenta Rush (such fun names, too). The collection launches in stores next month, so be sure to pick up a few and let me know what you think.

xx-Ashley-150

* Thank you to Burt’s Bees Canada for sponsoring this post

1 2 3 50