Wedding Guide: 10 top spots to get wedding invitations in Toronto
Carte Blanche Design
35 Collahie St. (at Gladstone Ave.), 416-885-5399
Customized invitations allow the bride and groom to show off their personal style, but graphic designer M. J. Fontaine also has prototypes on hand to get the creative juices flowing. She specializes in creating
a specific look to be used throughout the special day. For an art deco wedding, she created a period monogram and all the printed materials (including seating board and gift tags). She also does thermal engraving. From $7 per custom invitation set. By appointment.
Cry If I Want To
1175 Queen St. E. (at Jones Ave.), 416-466-2797
At their Leslieville storefront, sisters Rochelle and Allison Straker carry everything you need (or just really want) to throw a memorable and intimate wedding. Eco-chic stationery (printed on 100 per cent post-consumer-waste paper and embedded with seeds, such as bird’s eye, clarkia, coreopsis, poppy, catchfly and snapdragon) is a specialty and comes in a range of colours and styles, including layered and photo invitations. Once the wedding ends, the invitation can be planted in a wildflower garden. Invitations $2.50–$3.50 each, reply cards $1.75–$2.50. Closed Monday and Tuesday.
93 Laurelcrest Ave. (at Bathurst St.), 416-631-0366
Owner Marla Kamin has been assisting brides and society doyennes in selecting the perfect party parchment for 16 years. Good news for those “We’re getting married in a month” daredevils: Kamin and her partner, Renee Brill, can ship invites within a week to 10 days, though a month’s lead time is recommended. They’ll take care of the whole wedding, from save-the-date cards to thank-you notes. Kamin sources from a well-curated selection of Canadian stationers, handling every type of affair, from a black-tie dinner at the Park Hyatt to a Muskoka barbecue. She also provides a personal touch, addressing invites by hand in smart calligraphy. From $150 per 100-invitation set. By appointment.
453A Eglinton Ave. W. (at Duncannon Dr.), Suite 204, 416-593-0519
Presiding over one of Toronto’s oldest upscale stationery outfits, owner and designer Terry Kirshenbaum ensures quality is high, using cotton, linen and brocade paper and paying close attention to detail. Special touches include foil stamping, copperplate engraving, offset printing, calligraphy, custom die-cutting and blind embossing. Digital printing is available, but Kirshenbaum is faithful to the tactile charm of letterpress. She once even fashioned an engagement party invitation from a cocktail napkin. Order three to four weeks ahead. A set of 100 invitations starts at $800. Closed Sunday. By appointment.
28 Sommerset Way (at Doris Ave.), 416-557-7424
Letterpress, movie passes and comic books are just a few inspirations for Keemika’s clever and inventive invites. The small team set up shop in 2008 and works closely with each couple to create highly personalized invitation packages. Guests at destination beach weddings have received 10-page passport invitations, complete with the couple’s proposal story, wedding party biographies and details about the venue. Average price for a package of 100 invitations is $2,000. By appointment.
205 Augusta Ave. (at Denison Sq.), 416-977-7236
Last year, Kid Icarus owners Bianca Bickmore and Michael Viglione gave their business an upgrade, moving from a tiny shop to a sprawling retail space better suited to showcasing their handmade and silkscreened wedding invitations. Offering a plethora of papers, inks and envelopes to choose from, the two encourage couples to add their own design inspiration. From $4 for a postcard invitation and RSVP card.
Love the Design
1362 Queen St. E. (at Greenwood Ave.), 416-408-1727
Christine Flynn is a design phenomenon, producing photography, furniture and stationery for celebrities like Juliette Lewis, Douglas Coupland, Cecily Eaton and George Stroumboulopoulos. Her invitation designs are bold, graphic and modern and can be printed digitally or via letterpress, depending on the client’s budget. One of her most popular designs includes an illustration of the wedding venue with a vintage map of Toronto used as the envelope lining. Invitation sets run between $9 and $15 each. Custom design is an additional $600. Order four to eight weeks in advance. Closed Saturday and Sunday. By appointment.
548 Carlton Rd., Unit 206, Unionville, 905-604-8220
The name Palettera is a combination of palette, letter and era. These words define graphic designer Deborah Lau-Yu’s vision for creating her customized invitations and thank-you notes. Lau-Yu specializes in translating her clients’ love stories into beautiful art. A vintage letterpress from 1905 and hand-drawn designs make for one-of-a-kind invitations that come in myriad formats, including layered, pocket folds, Lucite box and chequebook. Packages start at $1,800. By appointment. Closed Sunday.
The Paper Place
887 Queen St. W. (at Walnut Ave.), 416-703-0089
You can’t beat DIY for charm, and this Queen West shop is a trove of Japanese paper. Silkscreened and tissue-thin sheets are handmade from kozo, mitsumata and gampi (Japanese fibres known for their durability). The store also offers Nepalese varieties, handmade cotton rag paper from Quebec’s Saint-Armand paper mill and marbled Brazilian sheets. Staff will counsel on how to design and layer invitations; you can also draw ideas from a binder full of inspiration. Buy some embellishments or make your own with the help of a book on origami. Pick up crafting tools (cutters, punches), pens, pencils and calligraphy markers. Materials are roughly $2–$7 per invitation.
Sweet Peony Press
When Shelley Weir, an OCAD graduate and graphic designer, produced her own wedding invitations in 2004, she didn’t anticipate that it would lead to an overwhelming demand for her creations. A year later, equipped with a 1916 foot-treadle letterpress and a portfolio of elegant designs, Weir opened Sweet Peony. She puts an enormous amount of care and meticulous craftsmanship into each piece, and her invitations incorporate vintage handiwork, like swooping calligraphy fonts. She produces custom creations for weddings and offers complimentary consultations. From $10 per invitation set. By appointment.