Rowboat Designs

Illustrated Wedding Invitations and Wedding Inspiration


A Wedding by the Sea



Seaside Wedding Invitation Suite

We’re pleased to unveil our newest invitation design! This one was inspired by the ocean and our honeymoon road trip down the East Coast. Hope you like it!

Here are some of our favourite nautical wedding ideas to get you dreaming of the sea:

0029-Courtney-Bridal-580x770Photography by When He Found She via Wedding Sparrow



Seaside Inspiration Shoot by Erin Kate Photography via Ruffled


Navy and White Bridal Bouquet by SoutherGirlWeddings

Nautical wedding bags

lighthouse stamped favour bags by lifeissobeautiful


Coral Cake via oncewed

Are you planning a seaside or nautical themed wedding? We’d love to hear what you have planned.

Happy Friday!


8 Stunning Dresses on Etsy and Tips for Finding the Dress of Your Dreams Online


Gold sequin cap sleeve gown by Ouma

Would you consider purchasing your wedding dress online? Many brides are flocking to online sites like Etsy to find their perfect dress, whether that’s a sleek and modern cocktail dress or a vintage lace ball gown. Today we would like to share some pretty dresses and some tips for a great Etsy experience.

Some of the pros of shopping for you wedding gown on Etsy are:

The selection is amazing. Seriously, just about any dress you can imagine is available and if it’s not chances are you can probably find someone to make it for you.

You can shop from anywhere. You don’t need to face the sea of white that is your local bridal shop.

You get to support an independent designer (yay!)

Here are some of our favourite dresses that can be found on Etsy.


1950’s Chantilly Lace ballgown from Miranda’s Bridal

il_fullxfull.539070394_236n-1Lace and organza gown by Leanimal


Vintage 1920’s Gown from ladyscarletts


beaded Art Deco Gown by RebeccaSchoneveld


Futura dress by PetiteLumiereCo


Berkeley Dress by Truvelle


Tips for Buying Your Wedding Dress on Etsy


Ask Questions

If there is something you’re wondering about the dress, about the design process, or shipping dates don’t be afraid to ask. A wedding dress is often a huge investment, so ask questions before buying.


Read Descriptions and Policies

When shopping for your wedding online make sure to read descriptions. This is especially important for vintage, as that is often where notes on the condition of the garment will be listed. Each shop also has policies that will tell you everything you need to know about timeframe, ordering info and return policies.


Read Reviews

On most established Etsy boutique sites there will be reviews from previous customers. Reading positive reviews will give you a good sense of how well the shop treats it’s customers and help you buy with peace of mind. Also, check to see if anyone has reviewed the item you’re interested in purchasing.


Measure Very Carefully

Any reputable boutique on Etsy will have specific measurements of already made dresses or clear instructions on how to measure yourself for a customized or custom dress. Even the most talented seamstress isn’t going to get the fit just right if you have given her the wrong measurements.


il_fullxfull.470635954_og3yCarrie Dress by TheLittleWhiteDress

Last of all, prepare to spend a lot of time browsing through dresses, but isn’t that one of the perks of getting married?

Happy New Year!


The Prettiest Paper




image via 100 layer cake

It should come as no surprise that we here at Rowboat Designs have a longstanding love affair with paper. Whether we’re choosing the perfect stock for invitations, or drawing in a sketchbook the feel and look of the paper is immensely important. Paper can also be a fun medium to experiment with, which is why today is all about the many unexpected ways you can use paper in your wedding.


il_570xN.500644308_uqv8paper garlands by LoveEmbellished

First up, is this beautiful paper flower garland made by LoveEmbellished on Etsy. I think it would make a beautiful photo backdrop or even hung at the end of the aisle during your ceremony.


diy diamond napkin rings via brooklyn bride

For a little extra wedding bling you can craft up these awesome paper napkin rings. Invite a few friends over, break out a bottle (or three of wine) and have a crafting party and you’ll have a bunch in no time.


image via applebrides

Flowers fade, but this bouquet will keep looking lovely forever. There are a myriad of DIY paper flower tutorials online and many of them don’t require too many crafty skills or expensive materials.  Best of all you can pick your favourite blooms no matter what the season.


confetti from scrapshoppe

If you’re planning a travel or aviation themed wedding this sweet confetti made from vintage atlases would make a great touch. If you’re not digging the airplanes Scrap Shoppe offers many different other shapes as well.


image via austinweddingblog

Last of all, is this whimsical and simple pinwheel centrepiece. Pinwheels are easy to make and add instant nostalgic fun to a wedding. Guests could also take them home as favours at the end of the night.

That’s it for our paper inspiration. Do you have plans of incorporating paper decorations into your wedding?


P.S. It’s a big day at our house today. Our son has his first day of SK and Eric and I are celebrating our 8 year wedding anniversary (time flies!). Here’s a picture of us at the Gladstone Hotel in Toronto.


Winter Wedding Ideas

I know many of you are not ready to start thinking about winter just yet, I know I’m not! If you’re planning a winter wedding, on the other hand, you may be dreaming of those first few snowflakes falling. Today we’ve put together a few of our favourite winter wedding ideas and we will also introduce our newest invitation design (hint: hit the slopes). Enjoy looking at all the loveliness!



by Elizabeth Anne Designs


via Caitlin Hamilton Photography


image via Brinton Studios


image via emsdesertrose on Etsy


image via bridal guide


image via daria ellington photography


Here is our new invitation design as promised! We really love it, especially the old style gondola. To purchase, or to view the complete suite head on over to our shop.

Thanks for reading!


Summer in the Shop

Hand Drawn Invitations

It’s been a whirlwind summer so far. We just got back from with a family trip to Whistler, British Columbia. I’m already missing the mountain air and spending lots of quality time with our family out West but it’s also nice to be back home and settling in to our routine. We’ve also been working on new designs for our Etsy shop including some sweet linocut gift tags. Eric has been happily dusting off his linocut tools and churning out some beautiful prints. There will be lots more designs to come (we’re taking requests, btw).


Judging by our recent work we must subconsciously be looking forward to fall!


Literary Lovebirds



stack-of-books-wedding-cakeStack of Books Cake by Roxycakes via Brides

Bookstores and libraries are the most romantic places it’s no wonder they often get chosen as wedding venues for book loving couples. What better place to recite your vows than surrounded by some of the most romantic works of literature. Even if you’re not getting married in a library there are many ways to incorporate your love of all things literary into your wedding.  Here are just a few ideas worth checking out.



image via offbeat bride

1. Create a Book Arch

Stacks of old books can make a unique backdrop for your ceremony or even as an entryway into your reception location. Old books can often be thrifted or found at used bookstores for next to nothing.


folded book art by LucianoFrigerio

2. Save the Date 

How fantastic would a custom art piece like this be pictured on your save the dates or as decor at your wedding reception? This is also a fantastic gift idea for that first anniversary, which happens to be paper if you’re going the traditional route.


image via intimate weddings

3. Books as Favours

Thoughtful favours are always appreciated (and not left behind) more often than some of the more typical options. Consider giving your guests a great book to read as a favour and placeholder. This idea might work best for a small wedding where you could easily hand select books for specific guests.


image via Apples & Onions

4. Books instead of Bouquets

A thrifty and romantic option for a literary themed wedding is to do what this clever bride did and have your bridesmaids carry their favourite romantic books instead of flowers up the aisle. The books could even be used for readings during the ceremony.

il_570xN.429901040_5vq8Alternative Guest Book by SaraAart

5. Collect Signed Books

Guest Books are lovely but so much of the time they rarely get looked at after the big day. This alternative guest book by Etsy seller SaraAart lets guests sign a special poster that the bride and groom can hang next to their bookshelf for many happy years to come.

Are you planning a themed wedding? Do you like going to weddings that have a theme?