NP Cakeaholic Header
NP Cakeaholic Header
NP Cakeaholic 2
Wedding planning meets Pinterest
Nathalie Atkinson Jul 13, 2012 A year and a half to plan a picture-perfect beach wedding? Try a week and a half. “I only had a couple of issues of Martha Stewart Weddings under my belt,” laughs newlywed Laura Simpson, a principal at lifestyle publicity firm Empire PR (their clients include Peroni, Roots and Triluxe Apparel), who married South African ex-pat Brett Fyfer in the spring.
Pinterest to the rescue!
It wasn’t meant to happen this way. Leisurely, Simpson started gathering inspiration for her nuptials on Pinterest when she first got engaged in mid-January, creating a board at her sister Fiona’s page. The virtual Wedding Ideas pinboard she started was soon populated with twine-wrapped antique jars, burlap table runners and knotty barnboard interiors moodily lit with fairy lights. “I wanted that converted barn feel,” Simpson explains, “the elements were rustic with that modern feeling.” And all that pinning played a crucial role when their plans changed.
Fiona Norris & Jessica Fish /
“We had been looking at venues for next fall,” she recalls, but nothing was available. And she didn’t want a winter wedding, she wanted outdoors, as did fiancé Fyfer, who hoped for something on a beach. Then in mid-April, Simpson’s brother decided to visit Toronto from New Hampshire with her four nieces in tow, before relocating to Colorado. He couldn’t come back in the fall. So without a single confirmed booking, Simpson and Fyfer decided to just do it: they had 9 days’ notice. “It became just that idea of it just being family, and simply having it happen,” she says of their spontaneous I Dos.
That very day, Simpson fell in love with a pair of shoes – and they were on sale! – at Anthropologie. Their little bows inspired the overall colour scheme of red mixed with aqua, a classic combination with a Forties farmhouse feel. A dotted fabric – on jars and décor throughout the space – refers back to the polka-dots on Fyfer’s red Ben Sherman tie, which in turn tie in with the beaded icing details on the otherwise simple white wedding cake.
Fiona Norris & Jessica Fish /
On the morning of their big day, the couple took the ferry across to Toronto Island and loaded up a wagon fitted with a wicker basket to set everything up. Part of keeping the ceremony and reception manageable was keeping it small. There were just 21 guests at blustery beach wedding – well, 22, if you count the couple’s Ganaraskan, Ozzy (“our best man”) who sported a snazzy J. Lindeberg bow tie for the occasion. There was no time for a bridal party, or for second-guessing. “Every day we had to make ten decisions.” That also included finding an available makeup artist to achieve the perfect natural but polished look. (For how to get Simpson’s pretty hair-do and blushing, beachy bride maquillage, Janine Falcon chronicles how to achieve it over at
Other inexpensive elements were a typewriter font stamp, red trompe l’oeil embroidered ribbon and for menu and embellishing the ferry tickets bundle they gave each guest, stationery scavenged, along with pinking shears, from Mom’s scrapbooking supplies; there were decorative paper straws (for similar styles, try and embossed old-fashioned canning jars decorated with patterned fabric to hold the retro dime store candy, bubbles and other trinkets they had personalized as each guest’s wedding favour. A wall draped with damask fabric and a few well-chozen props of balloons, moustaches on sticks and Popeye cigarettes became the makeshift photo booth (“by accident, the antler motif tied in nicely with Brett’s South African heritage”).
Fiona Norris & Jessica Fish /
A large antique jar turned beach capsule of rocks, driftwood and sand collected by guests came about because about half the guests were kids. “We wanted something fun for them to do on the beach and to bring everyone together.”
Simpson’s older sister Fiona (Norris, a former visual display artist) had discovered her latent talent – and promising new second career – for natural light photography while staying at home to raise her son. She did much of the creative coordinating and even photographed the event. “She’s so great at all those finishing touches,” Simpson enthuses – including an antique quilt handy for beach wedding photos (also a Pinterest idea).
Pinterest offered up another inspired touch: framed vintage photos from each of their parents’ weddings, a nod to and way to include Fyfer’s parents and family, who were back in Johannesburg (they also coordinated a simultaneous champagne toast, over BBM).
But even Pinterest can’t account for fate – or the bouquet shot that ended up being one of the most artful photographs of the day. “A fluke! The bicycle was just sitting there as we walked back to the ferry.”
Fiona Norris & Jessica Fish /
Total budget: $3,170, including:
Dress: $250, off-the-rack at Becker’s Bridal
Shoes: $90.35, on sale at Anthropologie
Rush alterations: $255, at Irene’s Studio
Shawl: $65
Transportation: $85.50, prepaid Toronto Island ferry tickets for guests
Food & Drink: $787.28 at The Rectory Café on Ward’s Island
Accessories: Borrowed from best friend Sarah
Cake: $175 from Cakeaholic in Toronto – carrot on the top, chocolate bourbon on the bottom
Flowers: $181.89 from the Avenue & Davenport flower markets
Personalized favours: $307.59 miscellaneous items purchased at Indigo, Drake Genreal Store, Bulk Barn, Roots, HomeSense and Michael’s, to fill 19 jars
NP Cakeaholic 4