'In February 2013, Jennie and Bastian were married in a simple but elegant small wedding in Ancaster, Ontario, surrounded by immediate family and closest of friends. Despite the perfection of their love story and the joy of committing their lives to one another, there were no perfect photos to capture the moment. As we approach our 1 year of marriage, we want to capture what we couldn't at our wedding, to document these precious times of blooming love and devotion, so that in 50 years, when we return to that same bench in Strasbourg as an old wrinkled couple, we can hold these photos in our hands and smile at each other with the same love in our eyes and know that our lifetimes have been perfectly spent, perfectly in love.'
i am a sucker for a love story... AND they have an incredible energy about them! their story is below:
'They always say you find love when you're not looking for it.
Jennie arrived in Strasbourg, France in May to live with her then-boyfriend, only to discover he had been exploring the world of online dating in her absence. Curious, she created a fake profile to test if his adventures were serious or harmless (they were serious). This unfortunate news had a silver lining: her fake profile (fake name, real picture) attracted the attention of Klark Kent (fake name, real picture). "Sandrine", not interested in actually meeting anyone online, ignored "Klark's" messages for a while, but eventually gave in to curiosity. Reading his profile revealed many profound and interesting aspects, some of which she could have copied and pasted into her own profile, had it been real. A month of friendly email exchange ensued and Jennie and Bastian got to know each other's real lives better. Eventually tired of the lack of friends and wanting to know more what the locals did to have fun, Jennie agreed to meet Bastian in person for drinks.
July 11th. That fateful day. Jennie waited on the bench in the square, pretending to read to cover her nervousness. Although she knew that this was a purely friendly encounter, Jennie couldn't explain why she felt so nervous. Intuition, perhaps? She pretended to read, but the words swam past her eyes. Suddenly, Bastian somersaulted over the bench beside her, bounced upright and with a most charming smile said, "Salut, moi, c'est Bastian" and kissed her cheek. Swoon Number 1.
Breathless, but trying to seem unfazed, Jennie introduced herself and we set off to Bastian's favourite "peniche" (barge boat) bar. Over drinks, we talked and connected. It went so well that Bastian didn't want it to end at drinks. We continued on for dinner, then late night ice cream along the canal. We sat at the end of a small dock with our feet dangling over the edge liking our ice cream like two teens falling in love. The air was warm, the water drifted slowly past our toes as we finished our ice cream, and the flowers dripping from every lamp post scented the air. As midnight approached, Jennie could feel the dangerous slipping feeling of falling in love. In protection, she claimed she had to be home by midnight or risk turning into a pumpkin. Bastian walked her home and with a European kiss on each cheek wished his Cinderella a good night. Swoon Number 2. The smiles never left our lips, and by the next morning, we arranged for our first "date".
Bastille Day, July 14th. Bastian arranged an afternoon bike ride and picnic. He led us to a charming small field across the Rhine River in Germany. Enclosed with large trees and tall grasses, we had the field to ourselves. Potatoe salad, baguette, cheese, whipped cream and strawberries with a bottle of wine. We were accompanied by a small curious hedgehog who let Bastian pet him! (And a less delightful bee sting to prove to him Jennie really was stung by every bee that passed. Hence the nickname Honeybee/Jenniebee). Returning back, it seemed all the animals in the area were drawn to Bastian - the small sheep in the field next to us, the goats, even the chickens! It spoke to his gentle and calm nature, and spoke to Jennie's heart.
We watched the sun set over France and the Rhine, side by side but afraid to let our arms touch. The tension was electric. The moment lasted in reality just a few moments, but felt like hours. We both knew we wanted to touch, but were both too scared. But Bastian had a better idea forming alrady. We biked back to Strasbourg to watch the fireworks display, and enjoyed some drinks on the same Peniche as the first time. As Bastian walked Jennie back to her apartment, he put his plan in motion. He asked if Jennie trusted him. Uneasy, but curious, she said yes. He then led her to a large church nearby that seemed half under construction for repairs. Before she knew what was happening, Bastian had Jennie jumping the 8 foot barrier fence, and climbing up on to the scaffolding. Up and up they climbed - over 70 m to the very top above the tip of the weathervane. The view was breathtaking (as was the height and the fear of beign caught by the police!). A full moon sparkled over the rooftops and was reflected on the canal below. The air was warm and humid, with barely a breeze. It was 3 or 4 am, and we felt the only souls awake in the city. It was the perfect moment for their first kiss. Swoon number 3. (Bastian had the song from Moulin Rouge in his head the next day by Rufus Wainwright. Translated to english, he sings, "The full moon, so pale, bejewels your red hair..." the clip is here.
The rest went very quickly. Two weeks later they were talking of moving in together, of planning Christmas in Canada to meet Jennie's family, of a future. The year in Strasbourg flew by full of picnics, bike rides, hikes in the nearby Vosges mountains and wanderings in the nostalgic streets of Strasbourg. But soon Jennie had to find a plan to either renew her work visa somehow or return to Canada. Every door of opportunity to stay in France seemed closed, and with a broken heart, we realized we were going to have to be apart. Jennie was able to return to her old job in Guelph, and Bastian decided he was ready to take the leap and leave all he knew behind in France to start his life with Jennie in Canada - a country he barely knew anything about. Bastian, always loving the opportunity for a surprise, planned a beautiful farewell party for Jennie with all the friends and family she had grown to love in France.
The plan was for Bastian to join Jennie after about three months - the time to resign, sell his things, rent the apartment and close his accounts. But Bastian had another surprise in mind. He arrived in secret two days before their 1 year anniversary of dating. Staying at her parents, he planned for Jennie's closest friends to bring her to a restaurant in Toronto "to take her mind off being apart from him on their anniversary". In the meantime, he put together a video message for her to watch, giving the impression he sent it from France.
At the restaurant, Jennie was suspicious that something was up, but once the video came out, she was sure this was the 'surprise'. However, there was more...Bastian showed up in person, got down on his knee, and proposed!
(Jennie said "of course!!")
in February, a few friends of NWP+C joined together and created a beautiful setting for Jennie + Bastian to celebrate their one year anniversary. they put on their wedding clothes for a few pictures that they could now share with friends and family. and we totally ignored the -22 with windchill temperatures...the energy between them kept us all warm. special thank you to Amanda from amanda cowley sweet events, Jessica from allure hair and make up, Jessica from fleurish designs, Olga from defining moments stationary and Angela from niagara parks, for creating this magical experience for Jennie and Bastian!
head on over to Amanda Cowley Sweet Events to hear more about how the planning of this magical winter picnic all came together!
(don't tell anyone...but our filmaker, enns, even got a little choked up editing this one...)
chris and patricia married on a gorgeous summer day last august. chris surprised her all morning with heartfelt notes and gifts- clearly this man knows how to get to his gal's heart. we'll be rolling out the feature real soon...but until then please enjoy this little teaser.
i'm inspired by women who build a business in such a short time... i love watching their success. i met the owner of Anista Designs, Christa, a few months ago at her charming shoppe in Oakville! a space ss lovely and inspirational as the artist! Christa and her team have been creating customized, vintage-inspired invitations and paper accessories since 2011. all of Christa's designs are created by hand, on site. continue reading for my short and sweet interview with the artist...
favourite part of being a maker of beautiful paper creations? 'The favourite part of the business is 3-fold: having the opportunity to create beautiful pieces of stationery (that feel like small pieces of art) for clients, for clients to represent the happiest day(s) of their lives, all while having the flexibility to watch my 2 young sons grow up to be little gentlemen.'
what inspires you? 'Inspiration influences people in different ways and from different sources. I see the entire world as a creative masterpiece and typically view my surroundings as potential for further creations. I am inspired by so many unique things around me: past art, whether it be paintings, architecture or beautiful objects in history tend to shape my thought process. A good conversation with a creatively passionate person (with a cocktail usually helps!) will also inspire me to the point where my brain is ready to explode. My ideal scenario: sitting in a café (preferably one that serves hot chocolate and cupcakes), surrounded by beautiful art or posters on the wall, a couple of good magazines, a creative and chatty person with me, a cute little note pad and internet access, for good measure. Life would be golden if this happened regularly.'
favorite memory from your career so far. 'I have a few memories that come to mind: my second invitation commission came from a bride in New Zealand, opening our cute little studio storefront space and being approached by Vogue UK to be in their magazine….these would be the highlights for sure.'
if you weren't an incredible designer of beautiful invitations what would be your dream job? 'It’s funny because a number of people have come into the studio and looked around and said, “it must be so exciting to live your dream.” My response? “It wasn’t my dream, but it is definitely A dream!” This may sound cliché but I do believe a dream job is that of hard work paying off, being able to do what you love and working alongside wonderful people with the same common goal to be positive and to work hard to reach common goals. Being happy far exceeds any final career destination, in my opinion. I was a high school Art teacher for a number of years, and it was a great “dream job” because I loved what I did. I woke up everyday excited to be a part of it, and I do that now but in a slightly different way. Maybe I just adapt to situations, make the best of it until they become “dream-like.” Add a beach (and warm weather all year long) to my work environment, and that would be a dream come true.'
advice for couples planning a wedding? 'Remember it is about the marriage. Your marriage is what you have long after the wedding is over. Trust the professionals. The people you have hired to create for you in various capacities of your wedding have experience. Don’t take on so much that you end up resenting the process and the fun associated with it. Be good to people throughout the process (your partner, your parents, the artists creating for you etc) because the wedding will be over, but your integrity and respect towards others will go a lot further.'
on your day off...where would we find you? 'When you have your own business, I think it is safe to assume there is no such thing as a “day off” but if I am away from the studio or the computer, I am usually found living a simple life of spending time with friends and family, specifically my two little boys.'
speaking of the two little boys-they happen to do an amazing job at the counter!
Christa! you're a gem! so glad the wedding industry introduced us!
'We hang out, we help one another, we tell one another our worst fears and biggest secrets, and then just like real sisters, we listen and don't judge.” -Adriana Trigiani
their story...? they met in grade 7 and continued on in the french program at highschool. ellen moved across the country to victoria almost two years ago. they've managed to stay connected and have enjoyed the last two march breaks together. spend 5 minutes with them and they'll have you giggling. everyone needs a girlfriend like this...
the greatest review to receive!
this summer we showed Mike and Michelle their wedding film at a private 'premiere' event... it was a perfect evening and a lot of fun for family and friends to come together to re-live the day! Mike set up the camera following the movie and we chatted with a few of the couple's friends and family...
dreaming of warm summer nights and movies in the backyard!