Giddy-up but­ter­cup

Hal­i­fax’s Pa­per Pony makes cus­tom il­lus­trated wedding in­vi­ta­tions that you’ll want to frame af­ter the big day.

The Coast - Halifax Weddings Guide - - The Essentials - BY AL­LI­SON SAUN­DERS

Get­ting a piece of phys­i­cal, post-marked mail in your real mailbox is a rare joy, but a hand­painted, hand-let­tered piece of mail? That’s ex­cep­tional. “I think that peo­ple re­ally want, with the dig­i­tal age, they re­ally want—and ap­pre­ci­ate— that hand-made process,” says Ni­cole Ride­out, the owner and artist be­hind Hal­i­fax’s new­est wedding sta­tionery stu­dio, Pa­per Pony. A clas­si­cally trained painter and teacher, she’s spent her life creat­ing, but land­ing in the wedding in­dus­try was a happy ac­ci­dent she ar­rived at af­ter mak­ing her now sis­ter-in-law’s in­vites.

“She knew I painted and she wanted some­thing a lit­tle more per­sonal for her wedding,” says Ride­out. “Then word got around and from there I just started get­ting re­quests.” She com­bined her artis­tic in­ter­ests with a love of the en­thu­si­asm of soon-to-be-mar­ried cou­ples, and of­fi­cially launched Pa­per Pony to betrothed Haligo­ni­ans last fall, open­ing a stu­dio in her home to meet with clients and cre­ate her il­lus­trated, hand-let­tered pa­per­craft. “I wanted a place where peo­ple could come and look, and feel, and touch the in­vi­ta­tions in per­son,” she says. “Cou­ples re­ally want to per­son­al­ize their wedding. Ev­ery lit­tle de­tail is rep­re­sen­ta­tive of them, and they want to ex­press that in their sta­tionery.”

Bright colours, bold brush strokes, bo­hemian style and il­lus­trated por­traits are among the aes­thet­ics Ride­out’s clients are af­ter lately, but she says col­lab­o­ra­tion plays a ma­jor role in the process. And that’s ev­i­dent in the fi­nal prod­ucts. “I’ve had cou­ples get an eight-by-10 ver­sion of the in­vite to hang on their wall af­ter­wards,” says Ride­out. “I just want peo­ple to walk away with their own one-of-a-kind piece of art.”

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