A Backyard Wedding turned Magical Fairytale

I have been apart of my fair share of backyard weddings. You know when Mom & Dad pop a tent up in your childhood home’s backyard and you throw a big party! It really is a great set up because you have that ‘at home’ feeling, you can control everything within the ‘venue’ and on the plus side it probably ages your mom and dad about 20 years!! Haha.. but for real. Having a backyard wedding is no joke. There is SO much to think about. Chris & Tori’s Wedding in Mount Forest really opened my eyes on ALL the things that you really have to remember to either rent or organize when you are having that backyard wedding. If you attended this wedding though.. you would of thought it was in a perfect wedding venue. The whole thing went off without a hitch.. and did I mention it was for about 250 people!! It was one for the books!! I can’t wait to show you all pictures of the tent and how Tori turned it into her magical fairytale wedding dream!!

First off. The things I learned about having a backyard wedding involving a big ole tent. Let me just list some of the ‘other’ things you have to rent or think about other then just the big ole tent:

-The usuals: Tent, tables, chairs, bar, dance floor, linens, glassware, plates, silverware etc

-Electrical: A whole other electrical panel will most likely be needed (you know those 10 strands of edision lights you want to hang up? The twinkle lights for the bar? The fan for the heat? The DJ set up? The microphones? These alll need electrical and i’m guessing your Parents house has only so many outlets and extension cords…

-Heaters/Fans: If you take away one thing from this blog post its this: Rent. A. Heater. For. Your. Wedding. you will not only use it in the morning (yes the morning) to get rid of ALL the condensation on your glasses, silverware, forks, tent (yes.. look up in the morning and see the waterfall of condensation running and dripping everywhere) and any other decor you set out the night before. I could not believe how I never knew this.. but it worked its magic within an hour or so while I was setting up some more pieces. It was also a huge plus to have because it got down to about 11 degrees that night! Even though the dance floor kept things warm.. it was nice to have the option to throw that heater on to take the crisp out of the air!

-Tents/Area for Caterers: Luckily they had a nice concrete floor garage, but if you don’t have another building on site, you’ll need a tent and even more electrical perhaps for your caterers to set up!

-Cooler/Bar Fridge: Obviously this is always top of mind. We need to keep the beer cold! Renting a large cube cooler van is the way to go. It can back up right to the bar corner of the tent (on the outside) and be there all weekend long. This in my opinion is a must vs having a crap ton of ice ordered. Obviously having some ice on hand is key for drinks, but renting a big cooler like this for al your product is the way to go.

-Flattop Cooking Propane Stove: This was probably the best idea all day. They decided to rent a flattop stove that was fuelled by propane to use as their day-before hamburger making set up for the set up crew, the late night homemade grilled cheese bar (yes you can make a lot of grilled cheeses on that thing!) and a breakfast hub for the morning after gift opening! How brilliant is that? We all love that late night snack after a couple hours of drinking and dancing, but we never really factor in that cost. Lets say for 250 guests they want to have about 180-200 pizzas at roughly $20 a pizza. Ya.. do the math!! Crazy right!! Or rent this flattop, stock up on bread and cheese from Costco, take half day to prep the sandwiches then throw in that beer cooler (again, how ideal is this cooler van…) and hire your uncles friend to cook the grilled cheeses when the clock strikes midnight!! Set out some bottles of ketchup.. plates and napkins.. and ta da!! A very budget friendly late night snack that everyone will LOVE. You’re welcome!!

I was lucky enough to be a guest at this wedding as well as be the sign, calligraphy, stationery, set up gal that gave me all this extra experience and tips. Also let me know take some real time pictures of my work! So I invite you to take a peek at this BEAUTIFUL wedding. I know.. those florals.. when The Bride’s mom is a florist it really pays off on your wedding day!! Enjoy!!

Sending all the love to Chris & Tori and the whole Zeinstra & Johnson crew. It was such a fun weekend! I wish you both all the love & happiness as you start this new chapter in your relationship!! Brandon & I love you guys!!

Yours in Painting,


To have a 'First Look' or not?

Goodmorning friends!

Okay I am now starting this fun new thing on my Instagram every Wednesday. #WeddingQuestionWednesday is going to be a space where we can chat about the burning questions within weddings these days.. trends, tips, tricks all the things! I have tested it out a bit already and the feedback was amazing. So many people privately messaging me thanking me for asking the tough questions. So i’ll do a little recap on here too and share some responses.. some really good pros/cons on this first question!

Well this may be one of the most trending new additions to regular wedding day. If you don’t know what a First Look is.. let me explain it briefly.

Instead of seeing your groom for the first time walking down the aisle, about 2 hours or so before the ceremony you have a ‘first look’. A special moment with you and your groom while your photographer captures the whole thing. This is where you get to take it all in and let go of any nerves before the music starts to play.

BUT you are stepping away from traditions by doing this.. and sometimes things can go wrong here too. However there are lots of pros and cons to this and ill let you take a peek below at what some of my followers had to share!

So what do you think?? I am really once the fence. I get the whole ‘enjoy cocktail hour, spend more time with your guests, romantic moment just the two of you, the only time of the day you two will be alone’… but its tradition to walk down the aisle and be surprised? I want him to cry dangit!!! Haha. Some really good points here and I hope this helps you all with planning your big day. Let me know what you think in the comments below… Team First Look or Team Tradition??

Yours in Painting,


All the Stationery at Elmhirst Resort

Remember when I said that this year was going to be the year of firsts? Stationery has officially been added to the services list because this wedding needed ALL of it!! Mel & Dan got married this weekend at Elmhirst Resort in Keene, Ontario and the love they share is the REAL deal you guys. I needed to make everything perfect for them!!!!

So for their big day I did the following:

Rentals - Cake Plates, Wine Barrels, Modern Collection (Acrylic Signs), On site Calligraphy, Easels, Table Seating Chart (that mirror is life…and coming home with me!!!!)

Stationery - Programs, Thank You cards for bridal party, parents & each other, washroom signs, favour sign, custom stationery, Menu and Place seating cards in my hand calligraphy, Table Numbers in my hand calligraphy

Custom Pieces - Ring Boxes & Bridal Clothes Hangers

Thats a jam packed list! But I loved navigating through it all with Mel and ensuring we were both on the same track for bringing everything together. I knew I wanted her stationery to be soft, simple and classic to match my modern collection and the other colour schemes and materials she was using on her tables etc. By using soft blush tones and greenery, I was able to do just that!

Mel & Dan’s day was truly beautiful. I was able to get a sneak peek of some photos from their Photographer Caroline and I can’t wait to see more!

One thing I learned from this wedding was to try and think of a fun trick to surprise your guests. Mel & Dan surprised their guests by rolling up in a plane (!!!!) while entering their ceremony. I also loved how Mel & Dan did a first look… this really opened up my eyes to the benefit of doing this!! What are your thoughts on a first look??

Thank you Mel & Dan for allowing me to be so involved in your big day. I truly wish you both all the happiness life has to offer!

Yours in Painting,


A New Service for Samantha Ann & Co. is Coming!

No matter where I go if it has anything to do with Weddings…i’m in my element. Or someone is telling me.. hey Sam, you’d make a great wedding planner one day. But when you think of Wedding Planner what do you think of? Other then JLo and her fancy headset? I think of weekends. Alllllll my summer weekends. That just isn’t the life I want, as much as i’d love to do that, I think I love my weekends more. BUT with that being said, I was trying to think of even more ways I could be involved with weddings. it only took one Bride and her Mom to ask me if I offer this service for me to have a light bulb go off. This is probably a service that no one really offers, and a service that is worth its weight in gold…

Decor Set Up Service: Up to 5 hours in the early morning of your wedding, I will come in and set up all your raw tables etc with all your linens, decor, silverware, plate ware etc so you don’t have to! Specializing in tents and outdoor wedding venue spaces. Perfect for the Bride who wants herself, her bridal part, her mom and aunts etc to enjoy the big day without hanging greenery at 9am in the Tent when she is already 30 minutes late to her hair appt. Are you nodding your head ‘YES’ with me?? Because us and every other mom out there might be just doing the same.

When I get married, I know not only myself but my mom, dad, sister, bridal party, aunts etc are all going to want to be out in the tent getting everything set up. Worrying, getting sweaty, rushing.. just starting off the day working? What? Working on my wedding day? Uh no thank you. If I could hire someone that I know is creative and has that decor eye and will take all of that pressure off of my shoulders… where do I sign??? Honestly though. Its a service that I have just kind of created for this first Bride client and I have already had so much positive feedback. This will definitely be something I add to my 2020 services!

The beauty with this is I get to pick and chose my weekends. I get to be home by noon. I get to do what I love. And I get to be paid for doing what I love. Its a win win. So check out this wedding I did for the amazing Abbey and Keevin at Abbey’s parent’s BEAUTIFUL property in Warsaw, Ontario. It was such a lovely day and I learned so much. Thank you for trusting in me to help you create your dream day!

Yours in Painting,



Wedding Rentals: Wood signs, Easels, Seating Chart, Table numbers etc from Samantha Ann & Co.

Caterer: Jesses Tap & Grill in Ennismore, Ontario

Florals: Rambling Rose, Peterborough, Ontario

Tent & Rentals: Create Shade , Peterborough, Ontario

Venue: Family Property in Warsaw, Ontario

My First Visit to Northview Gardens

Okay I like to think I have a good grasp on all the happening Wedding Venues around me… but I have never been to Northview Gardens in Peterborough and I was overjoyed when I learned that was going to be my very first wedding! I was so happy to be apart of Katie & Brett’s big day!

Now if youre anything like me you have a love for gardens. And let me tell ya, this venue holds true to their name. Gardens is what you get thats for sure! So much time, thoughtfulness and hardwork went into these gardens and it shows. I couldn’t get over their beauty, and even in June things were in bloom!

When you look at this venue from the road you really don’t know what to expect, once you start driving in you are of course greeted by the gardens, and then you keep driving to see all these previous out buildings! A groomsmen hang out, a bridal suite, a little greenhouse, their newly renovated powderooms! I was so impressed with this venue and the layout! Also, its one of the biggest ‘licensed’ areas in Peterborough… hello! How perfect! I think ill take my wine and go for a walk in the gardens…

Now the main venue barn is another well thought space. With the building being nice and long vs square, you get the lovely head table centrepiece and I bet there isn’t a bad seat in the place. Accompanied with a bar space and 3 other corners where you can set up extra tables etc and a wall for your buffet/food prep. Oh and they even have an outdoor kitchen! Perfect for caterers!

Now I was called to Northview Gardens to do Katie’s seating chart along with a few other things. But this was the main reason. I had no idea what I was lettering on other then the fact that Katie said its a big door thats already on site. Well its this big beautiful old French door that they’ve hung to the entrance into the reception space from the ceremony/cocktail space. Again, perfect location, and I love working with paned pieces to keep everything straight and neat. Away I went and I was overjoyed to meet the owners, who quickly put me to work after I was done the chart! I updated their bar list and have plans to come back and do more work for them.. win win for everyone!

Katie & Brett’s day had the best weather so far of the summer and went off without a hitch. Thank you for letting me be apart of your big day and thank you for finally bringing me to Northview Gardens!

Yours in Painting,



The Beginning of the 2019 Wedding Season!

Holy smokes it’s here! The beginning of my 2019 Wedding Season. This season is looking different for a couple of reasons: 1, I am apart of 31 weddings (and counting) this summer with my wedding rentals & calligraphy services (not to mention all the Etsy wedding sign orders across North America too!) and 2, I am now offering so many more services. From stationery, calligraphy on site work, decor set up.. its going to be a summer of ‘firsts’! But I am so excited.

As a business owner, of course all you want is a full calendar and a full schedule making all the money! But, for me this summer I am trying to be really intentional with my business. Saying ‘no’ to the things that don’t really align with my brand, or that don’t bring me all the joy to do. Also trying to enjoy the process instead of wanting to rush to the end of certain projects. I know there is going to be many ups and downs with learning this whole stationery thing… but I can only hope for patience from my couples & patience on my end too. I like to be the best at things, and having to learn-as-I-go is part terrifying and exciting.

If you are an upcoming bride to be reading this, first off congratulations! Secondly I have a small favour to ask. When you are getting the nitty-gritty of your wedding planning, juggling all the things and all the other vendors, I ask you this. Breathe and know its all going to work out. Breathe and know that that vendor is going to reply back to you, she’s just drowning in her full time job, inbox, daily life, relationship etc (oh wait, is that me??). Breathe and know your wedding is going to be the most magical day. Just breathe. Trust me, it helps!

if you are a fellow small business owner in the wedding industry, all I can tell ya is this. Have the wine fridge stocked the whooooole summer ;)

So heres to a wonderful 2019 wedding season. I will be updating you all on as many weddings as I can sharing some behind the scenes and what not. Also want to share here lots of tips and tricks.. every wedding I learn something and I might as well share with all of you too! I will also be doing a recap of the season way in October. So lets hope I come out of this one alive!

Yours in Painting,