Its Fundraiser Season!

A week today, on March 31st, husband & I will be attending a gala dinner benefiting the organization "Doctors Without Borders" at the MacEwan Ballroom in the University of Calgary. This event, called the International Lights Fundraiser Gala, is being put on by a group of university students and is turning itself into something spectacular! Internationally themed, it includes a 3-course dinner, world-wide entertainment, a dance, and a silent auction (with some fabulous items .... Christian Dior sunglasses?! Hello!). Tickets are $125 per person, and requests/inquiries can be made to .

As I feel quite strongly about helping charity organizations out, Epiphany Designs offered to donate custom-designed table numbers for the event. The only request made by the organizers was that the table numbers be names of countries that Doctors Without Borders works in, and that they match a black & white theme BUT also add a splash of color. From there, the rest was up to us to create! Yay! I love these kinds of projects!

We had quite a bit of fun with the process. The fronts of the table numbers have not only the name, but a super-imposed map of, each country. We added that "splash" of color by using aqua cardstock and gorgeous fuschia satin ribbon, and topped it all off with three hand-applied Swarovski crystals. On the back we chose to put a bit of information about Doctors Without Borders in each particular country (ie. the "Cambodia" table has information about DWB in Cambodia), and added a picture taken from their website of DWB in action.

So what do you think? Did we achieve the right "effect"?

I'll make sure to take more pics at the actual event next week so you can see how much work these students put into everything. Its going to be fun!

New Blog --- Divapreneurs

Whoops! Forgot to add a little tidbit in my post this morning.

At the risk of cramming yet another project of mine down your throat, I've recently begun a new blog called Divapreneurs, which goes hand-in-hand with my group on Facebook by the same name. My goal for this new blog is to hopefully bring together and help inspire/motivate all you young female entrepreneurs and entreprenurial-wannabes with your own business plans. Though its still very-much in its infancy right now (two posts! Wow!), my idea is to write and link articles that are relevant for future-and-current female business owners.

Please feel free to check it out (and bookmark it if you will) and let me know what you think! The address is .

Gorgeous Albums & More

There is a special place in my heart for Scrapping Albums, a company based out of British Columbia. This wonderful company creates (yes, creates) gorgeous custom albums in a variety of shapes & sizes to be used for guestbooks, favours, CD/DVD holders, and more. Why do I love them so much? Because I have first-hand experience in working with them -- they did the photo guestbook album for my own wedding! (first two pics are my actual album).

Scrapping Albums is owned and operated by an incredibly sweet & helpful woman named Joanne. My contact with her was only ever through email, yet her regular feedback & attentivness to detail made it seem as though she was sitting next to me throughout the entire design process.

Need I say these albums are fabulous? Only the highest-quality of acid-free & archival paper is used, so you can rest assured your wedding memories will be kept safe for years to come. There is a rainbow of colors to choose from, a variety of fonts & graphics, and a very fine attention to detail. As someone who works daily with custom papercrafts, I know how much hand-detailing these albums take, which makes them all the more special.

What can you use them for? Try your: guestbook album (either the traditional signature, or the more contemporary photo); favours; parents' albums; or even to provide a beautiful covering package for your wedding CD/DVD. There are many more ideas on their website, so make sure to have a peek!

Prices begin at $10 for CD/DVD albums, $15 for favour albums, $20 for gift albums, $30 for guestbook albums, and $65 for photo guestbook albums. All prices listed in Cdn.

*Final 4 photos courtesy of Scrapping Albums*


Wedding Dilemma #1 - Le Divorce (part une)

Welcome to the very first article in my new "Wedding Dilemma" series! This series will be highlighting the most-common questions I get asked by clients about wedding-related issues, whether they be connected to invitations or not. So *takes a deep breath* here goes!

Today I chose to focus on something that most of us don't like to think about, but sadly, often have to deal with: divorce. Or, more appropriately, divorced parents. (wow. nothing like starting off the new series on an upbeat note!). Divorced parents always bring up a ton of issues, such as whether or not to include new spouses' names on the invitation, and where everyone is going to sit. Quite frankly, breaking the space-time continuum seems an easier task (actually, being able to do this might be the only way everyone can have a great day at your wedding!)

Essentially, what it seems to boil down to is the relationship your divorced parents have with each other. Was it a fairly amicable split? Has everyone let bygones be bygones and moved on with their lives? If so, then happy planning! Most of the time, these are the parents that would be ok with things like their ex-spouse's new spouse's name being on the invitation; infact, they might even be surprised if its not. However, if there's one thing I learned from planning my own wedding, its that normally level-headed parents (*cough* mom) can rapidly morph into VERY "opinionated" people at the first sound of "daughter's/son's wedding". As such, its often best to tread lightly, and always ask for opinions from parents before officially deciding on particulars.

Now ... the invitation question. If you are set on having one or both sets of parents mentioned on the invite, the simplest wording you can do is:

Together with their parents,

or some variation thereof. This makes sure that people know the parents are involved/being honoured, yet easily skips over the messy bits of last names, new spouses, and who paid. This option tends to be the one that most people, when faced with the issue of divorced parents, fall back on (myself included). Its simple, to the point, and doesn't hurt anyone's feelings.

But what if this is not an option? What if you (or one of your parents, for that matter) have always had your heart set on your parent(s) names being noted on your wedding invitation? There are a couple of options (all dependent on what is most comfortable for your situation, of course):

1) Both parents listed, no one has remarried, mother has assumed maiden name: Believe it or not, this one is pretty simple to navigate -- simply list the parents individually. i.e.

Mr. Michael Zefferman and Ms. Stephanie Smith


2) Both parents listed, mother has kept married name:
In this case you might be tempted to put "Mr. and Mrs. Michael and Stephanie Zefferman", but I would caution against it, if only because it might seem to others that they are still married/together in some way. At all else, list the mother as a Ms.; however, the better thing to do would be to note them seperately i.e:

Mr. Michael Zefferman and Ms. Stephanie Zefferman

No sense confusing everyone and giving your parents a "will they, won't they" sort of reputation at the wedding!

3) Both parents listed, one parent has remarried:
This is often the most emotionally-charged situation to work around, as there tends to be a fair bit of feelings involved (both on the parts of the parents and yourself/your fiance). Often a lot of soul-searching goes into this one ... how much do you really like your new step-parent? How much negativity does the "lone" parent feel towards the newly-remarried one & said new spouse? What are your feelings in regards to lone parent's feelings?

What you need to keep in mind while trying to figure this one out is that, whatever you decide, you are sending a strong statement to everyone who receives the invitation. Whether or not you choose to include the new spouse's name, for example, makes an important declaration to all invited about your feelings in regards to the situation. Really don't like your new step-mom? Then leave her name off! No one says you have to do anything you don't want to! Just know that yes, some people will notice, and yes, some people will speculate on what you "mean" by doing that. If you're somewhat ambivalent, its always best to err on the side of niceties and include the step-parent. Of course, your thoughts might be swayed depending on your unmarried parent's attitude towards this, so keep that in mind, too. However, in the end, it's your wedding ... do what you want!

If you do decide to put the new spouse's name on, it might look something like this:

daughter of
Mr. Michael Zefferman and Mr. & Mrs. Doug and Stephanie Reid

I always think its nicest to put the un-married parent's name first, as a kind of courtesy, but this part is really up to you and your relationship with your parents.

4) Only one parent hosting/contributed money:
Oooo .... another sticky one. Do you include the other parent's name on the invitation? What happens, for example, if your fiance's parents, as well as your mother, contributed some money towards your wedding, but your dad did not. What then?

Traditional protocol states that only those who are "hosting" the wedding should have their name on the invitation, but what if you don't want this? Perhaps your father was unable to help out due to his current financial sitation, and you don't think he should be "penalized" because of this.

I have to admit, I don't actually have any hard-and-fast rules for this one. Over all the other previous situations listed, this one really comes down to what you want, and what your personal situation is. It IS ok to leave the last parent's name off -- I often see this happen with clients when there is not a good relationship in the first place (ie. dad didn't help out because he's never helped out with anything else in the past, either).

On the other hand, if there is a great relationship in place, then it is usually ok to simply include the name on the invite, tradition be damned. Make sure you first check with the other parent(s) who have contributed money to verify that they are alright with this (I have yet to meet a parent so catty that they DEMAND their ex-spouse's name not be "allowed" on the invitation if their child really wants it to be ... of course, maybe I've just been lucky!)

Alright, I think I've covered the most-typical divorce situations one might come across while planning their wedding. I would be interested in hearing any feedback or suggestions about how you plan on handling your "circumstances", so please feel free to leave a comment. Who knows? Maybe you'll help another bride out!

Stay tuned for "Part Deux" of this dilemma in the near-future, where I plan on tackling the ceremony/reception side of things in regards to divorced parents.


Welcome Back, Andra!

Very tongue-in-cheek, I know, but holy mama! Have I been away from this blog for a while! Though no excuse is good enough for you, dear reader, all I can say is that a combination of extreme busy-ness (I'm having a brain fart and cannot for the life of me remember how to spell that word) and two rounds of illness are what have impeded my progress here.

But fear not! I am back, recovered, revived, and refreshed, and have oodles of new ideas to post. As well, I will also be starting a new series, with articles relating to all those questions brides have about invitations, etiquette, timing of events, etc. etc. As someone who is heavily-involved in the wedding industry, I have found that I tend to get asked advice about numerous other "wedding" questions, not necessarily related to invitations (my business). The thing is, these questions are often very similar in scope, which got me thinking "Hey! Maybe I can help even MORE brides by talking about this on my blog!". And so the inkling of an idea was formed ....

Anyways, this new series should be having its debut in a matter of days, so stay tuned! If you should happen to have any dire & pressing questions that you would like to see answered in the series, please feel free to contact me at, and I will do my best to see that its answered!

In the meantime ... I've found these super-cute, personalized platters by Serendipity Crafts (based out of Quebec) that would be great in lieu of a guestbook. With prices ranging from $40 - $105 they are definetely affordable. And again, can you say "super-cute?! Make sure you take a look on their website ... they have a ton of adorable platters for absolutely any occasion you could imagine. They also love custom orders, and will even provide you with a free digital sample of your design prior to painting. Their blog is continually updated (wish I could say the same for this one ...) with images of current orders they have done for clients, so happy browsing! I'm certain you'll find something you like!

*all photos courtesy of Serendipity Crafts*