Studio tour: Les Petites Excuses

les petits excuses 3

Name: Anaïs Bergeron and Pascale Roussin
Location: Montréal, Qc
Company: Les petites excuses, it’s french for the small excuses.

What is your aesthetic? Fresh, simple, seasonal, in the details, handmade and a bit crafty.

How does your studio style convey your professional aesthetic? It’a a clean, simple, inspired space and i think our work is a lot like that.

Favorite part of your studio? The comfort of it, that big blackboard wall and the fact that the dog is always somewhere under a table chewing on some stem.

Where do you go for inspiration? Blogs!!! So many creative people are out there, oh and magazines!

What tool do you use in your business that you can’t live without? I would have to say croissants in the morning! They are vital for getting us to the end of a big project.

Is there anything you’d upgrade to? I dream of having a beautiful little studio in the garden, next to the house, with big windows, huge walls and a lot of space.

Anything else we should know? We like weddings and events so much that we would like to extend the business to more than flowers, maybe work on the entire style of the event.

les petits excuses 1

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les petits excuses 5

les petits excuses 2

les petits excuses 6

[images from Les Petites Excuses]

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Real wedding: Maureen + Nathaniel p.2

Jenny Ebert Photography 1b

Jenny Ebert Photography 2b

Fast-forward to Part II. Nathaniel and I own a very old colonial home up in the hills of Litchfield County, CT. We found the house together while we were dating, and that is where he proposed. Because the house is in the midst of a large, lush green clearing, it made practical and romantic sense to have our wedding there. The plan was to hold a tented reception starting at 5 p.m. that Saturday, where all of our out-of-town guests would join us for a “country chic” wedding celebration.

Unlike Friday, Saturday was a meteorologic mess. Our vision for the whole evening shifted. I had imagined a second ceremony, with our families processing down our long driveway toward the crowd of guests gathered on our front lawn. I had met with Jenny Ebert, our incredibly talented photographer, to discuss capturing shots of dappled light and interestingly-cast shadows on everyone and everything. I had even considered having a hat made for the ceremony.

Instead, it was dark and damp and sprinkled all day. At 6 o’clock (we were running late), as the last luminary was lit along the driveway to announce our entrance, there was a rumble up above. Just as our van pulled into the top of the driveway (carrying me, the bride, and our two families. Nathaniel was already there entertaining our guests), the skies opened up and proceeded to dump water for the next 8 hours. Thank goodness for our beautiful tent.

As opposed to any sort of graceful entrance, I had to RUN from the van into the tent, under the shelter of 4 umbrellas (thank you, Mom and Dad). My ivory (Amsale) gown was hoisted up around my knees and my blue (Marc Jacobs) heels were soaked through. And there I was met by my handsome groom, dressed in his dapper pinstripe suit (Ralph Lauren- and no tie!) Nothing could have possibly ruined that moment. It was a blast. It made for a very dramatic entrance, and guests cheered and laughed at the whole spectacle.

Nathaniel and I exchanged the vows that we had written to each other, and then he shocked everyone by serenading me with, “My One and Only Love,” once everyone was seated at their tables. Though I had begged him to sing (he has a voice that makes you weak in the knees), he had refused saying he was too embarrassed. It was the best wedding gift I could have asked for.

Because we’re both in creative professions, we tapped into the many resources of our astonishingly talented friends for the party. A friend of Nathaniel’s sang our first song (David Liang of the Shanghai Restoration Project), and accompanied him while he sang to me. Two former graphic design colleagues of mine arranged the seating cards, strung between two birch poles. One of them is now studying fashion design, so she hand-made abstract flower pins for guests to wear on their lapels. My current business partner (Ashley Rosebrook of Rosebrook hats) did the table layout, using different types of ferns, mint julep cups and votive candles, instead of flowers.

We hired a band for the first half of the night, and asked them to exclusively play music from the Big Band era, so the older half of our guests could groove on the dance floor for a bit. The evening had a very “Gatsby” vibe, until our DJ, Michael Smith, took over. The whole energy level and volume went from cozy, swinging and romantic to jumping, shouting…and, well, breaking the dance floor. We actually DID break the band-stand somewhere in the midst of the night, as the younger portion of our guests (and some older, including my father) partied and danced until after 2 a.m. The moral of our story is that rain can not only create “wet knots that are harder to untie,” but a spectacularly fun atmosphere for a wedding.

[Maureen just launched a new site with her business partner called Pinhole Press, so check it out!]

Jenny Ebert Photography 8b


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Real wedding: Maureen + Nathaniel p.1

Jenny Ebert Photography 9

Jenny Ebert Photography 1

Jenny Ebert recently sent me the fab wedding of Maureen and Nathaniel, 2 incredibly talented people who just HAPPENED to have 2 weddings in 2 totally different styles.  I’ll let Maureen tell you about it…

Though technically, Nathaniel and I had one actual wedding… we sort of had two.

We were married on a Friday night in June this past summer, at the gorgeous Church of Our Saviour on Park Avenue. Our closest local (New York) friends came to witness the ceremony, so it was small and intimate. Thematically our wedding(s) didn’t really have a theme or a color scheme, other than to embrace the surrounding elements at each event. So, Friday night was about chic modernity, with a bit of “sparkle,” to emulate the twinkling lights of New York City. The 8 bridesmaids wore their own dresses— the only criteria being that they either be champagne or pale gold. Nathaniel’s dark grey suit was custom-made and his entourage wore matching ties and charcoal suits, as well.

I wore my Mother’s dress, which was thrilling for both of us. I worked with a local designer, Gregory Nato (who recently launched his own line of bridal dresses called “Fancy“) Because my parents were married in December, my mom’s gown was heavy and long. Very full-coverage. So Gregory and I met numerous times and he totally re-shaped the dress. It was cut to the knee, and he re-built the whole top, including a low-cut back with about 5 of her original buttons. He even cut the train, so I had a short train going down the aisle! I removed it after the ceremony. My shoes were Guiseppe Vanotti, adding some definite sparkle there, as well.

We dined afterward on the roof of 60 Thompson along with our wedding party/spouses and our immediate families. It was a crystal clear evening and everything twinkled as we hoped it would. Our guests enjoyed the spectacular views of New York while they ate a casual but exquisite meal, catered by Kittichai. Overall, the evening was contemporary in look and feel, and everything we possibly could have hoped for in our wedding.

Stay tuned for pictures from the second wedding this afternoon…



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Happy Thanksgiving + card swap

amy atlas thanksgiving

Happy happy thanksgiving everyone!  Much like everyone else, I’m taking the rest of the week off to reflect, relax, and rip into some turkey down south in Louisiana, so I’ll see you back here on Monday!

And don’t forget….

holiday card swap header

If you’re interested but having signed up for the card swap yet, today at 3pm EST is your last chance, so don’t delay!  No joke, this is the biggest swap we’ve have yet!  I keep having to go out and buy more envelopes!  See the full info at the original post. CARD SWAP IS NOW CLOSED

Oh, and there’s been a question some of you have had about how the swap works…essentially you’re sending 1 card to each person in your card swap group, and its as if you’re sending a card to a friend, so yes, feel free to write a note inside!

[top image of Amy Atlas‘s Thanksgiving dessert table by Allan Zepeda for Mel Barlow]

[bottom image by Courtney Jentzen]

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Studio tour: Garter Girl

ribbon - julianne smith

Name: Julianne Smith
Location: Washington, D.C.
Company: Julianne Smith Wedding Garters

What is your aesthetic? Bedroom chic! Ha! My real answer would be…purely functional.

How does your studio style convey your professional aesthetic? My work area is super functional, as you can see by the bins, but it also has little touches of me and my personality everywhere, like with the wall color and the pictures. Everyone who comes to my home always comments on how organized everything is, which is kind of funny because I’m not an organized person by nature. I’m quite a mess truthfully. (Here’s a tip, get bins for everything…just having them is organization itself, you don’t have to actually be organized within the bin!) I’m a hand crafter by hobby and profession. I love to be creative, but I live in 1,000 square feet of space in a major city, so there is no wasted space in my home. I’m constantly editing and clearing out my craft and work supplies. I don’t keep anything around unless I seriously intend to use it. This is a great philosophy for me because it motivates me to not have unfinished projects lying around. Everything in my house and on my sewing desk has its place and function. I’m not a nick-nack type of person in general, but any personal items that I do have are on the shelves of my sewing table. I like being able to look up at fun pictures and great memories as I’m working.

Favorite part of your studio? I love that I can run my business from my home so that I can stay here with my daughter full time and I can work while she naps.

Where do you go for inspiration? I go everywhere for inspiration! I just had a great idea for a new photo shoot concept come to me on my run this morning…inspiration is all around, we just have to be open and ready for it!

What tool do you use in your business that you can’t live without? This is hard because there are so many little things that I use to put on little wedding garter together, but if I had to pick one, I say sewing machine. I just love it! It was a gift from my parents. It is the lifeline of my company and how I’m able to make what I make.

Is there anything you’d upgrade to?
A studio space, preferable shared with others. I’m dreaming of a super bright, open space that is very clean and fresh with little work areas around the edges for all of my friends. And, then in the middle would be a common area where we can chit chat and hang out….who is with me??

Anything else we should know? I love what I do! Running this stylish wedding garter company has been one learning experience after another and I can’t get enough of it!

ribbon in bins - juliann smith

paloma's nest good egg - julianne smithmy weddinb bouquet - julianne smith

full view - julianne smitheco friendly ribbon and sewing machine - julianne smith

amory pushing buttons - julianne smith

[images from Julianne Smith]

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