I’ve always wondered what I will feel like waking up the morning of my wedding! How my heart will feel & what will be going through my mind & thoughts. I’ve photographed so many weddings with werner for picture me&u & always wonder how the bride’s morning must have been like, did she sleep well, how she felt when she opened her eyes & what she did before everything of her wedding day ‘started’! In my next blog post I pour my heart out & share my full wedding story ( it’s going to be a BIG one ) …with all my favourite wedding pictures… but today I just want to share a little bit about the morning of my wedding!

We wanted everything about our wedding to be personal… also why I decided to ‘get ready’ at our apartment in Pretoria. I wanted to be calm, have things that might be needed close-by + myself & werner always love taking photos of our clients in their homes, it tells such a beautiful story.

I had a really good sleep…woke up & things felt unreal… it was not as calm as I hoped for, haha ( I mean… what bride goes & decorates her wedding cakes at 7am at the wedding venue… uhm; me ) …but that’s a story for next week! Family arrived on schedule, music was playing in the background & the ‘girly’ stuff got going! I had my ‘relaxing’ bath with candles ( a quick one ) & in between finished all our bouquets & the men’s boutonniere’s from flowers we collected at markets, the streets ( spring was in the air!) & our garden.

But today’s blog post is dedicated entirely to a friend I carry very close to my heart… Rachelle! ‘Thank you’ will never be enough! Months before the wedding she said she’ll treat us with this wedding breakfast brunch! SHE styled & made & did everything… even painted the vintage cupboard to match with all the other pretties! While we were getting all glammed up in our garden, she worked her sexy butt off in the kitchen! It was thanks to YOU I got a little time to slow down… take it all in & sit calmly with my sisters, mom & now mom-in-law; laughing & getting beautifully emotional about everything the day still had in store while we munched on the most delicious homemade sugar syrup waffles with white chocolate ganache & turkish delight! We sipped on pink champagne & enjoyed ‘to-pretty-to-eat’ macaroons!

Rachelle… my beautiful friend… I love you so much! Thank you for this wedding gift & all the pretties & such a special + delicious brunch! Thank you for being such a massive inspiration to me in every aspect of your life… you’re the most amazing mom to your four little ones, such a successful business woman, a loving wife to your husband & you are super talented, strong… & you inspire me! Always stay the beautiful woman that you are !!!



I remember paging through my mom’s photo albums as a young girl & looking at her kitchen tea photos… can’t believe that it was now my turn in life for this celebration!

My kitchen tea was such a special build-up to my wedding! My sisters worked really hard to put together the most amazing tropical picnic in the park with attention to every little detail… everything was perfect! We made freshly picked flower crowns, laughed over wedding talks & had too many pink meringue kisses. My mom even made & hand-painted all the pretty tropical picnic cushions!

My mom & two sisters made & baked all the delicious treats. The pink meringue kisses are from Sugar&Eggs & the handmade lollipops from The Lollipop League.

To every beautiful lady in my life who made this day so special & spoiled me like crazy with the most gorgeous gifts… Thank you from the bottom of my heart! You all made it such a beautiful day filled with heartwarming moments that I will remember forever! Thank you for making time to come & celebrate with me… I love you all dearly!



So excited to share the first post ( of a few to come ) of my wedding! I hope that if you’re a bride planning your wedding or a bridesmaid for a friend that this post will inspire you to make the best of this very special time in all of your lives!

I have worked with 100’s of bridesmaids at weddings for our other company picture me&u & choosing a bridesmaid is so much more than just wearing a pretty dress while standing next to the bride on her wedding day. It’s friends who will help when things get tight & there’s a last-minute rush ( which there will always be when there’s a wedding – it’s part of the fun! ) They will even take off from work a few days prior especially if you are having a DIY wedding. They will help with pick-ups & deliveries. It’s girls who will pamper & treat you like crazy throughout the process & plan the most amazing kitchen tea & bachelorette party ever… because they love you & they’d love to do it for you because you’ll do the same for them! They will remember champagne & macaroons for the make-up & prepping the morning of the wedding and add extra tissues in their handbags just in case you have a teary moment during the church ceremony… because if you’re a bride… this will be the last thing you’ll think about! Being a bridesmaid is hard work, but it’s also a very special job to have for a very short time!

It was a very difficult task to choose my bridesmaids for my wedding… My life is busy & the time I have is spent with friends who I really care about, who make a difference in my life & that’s really special to me.

To all my dearest, most amazing, special, beautiful girlfriends ( YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE ‘cause you were at my wedding! ) you were all my bridesmaids… but for my wedding, I didn’t want you to work… I wanted you to come & relax & party & celebrate with me & Werner! I had my 2 gorgeous sisters to help with the ‘behind-the-scenes’ bits & pieces.

I wanted to do something really special for my two sisters to officially ask them to be my bridesmaids, I really wanted to treat & pamper them ‘cause I just love them both to bits!  

My mom & I baked & decorated the beautiful vanilla white chocolate cake, we bought some pink macaroons & pink+copper painted cookies from mmmmacarons & scouted Woolworths for their most beautiful bottled drinks & champagne. I made them each a beautiful flower crown from freshly picked flowers & filled up pretty little copper wire gift baskets which I got from @home with pretty pamper goodies which I designed & applied to items I bought from mr.price home & clicks. I surprised them one morning at my fellow #girlboss friend, Jeanel’s, gorgeous venue: lace on timber… with a little celebration table! We drank pink champagne from cute vintage crystal glasses, ate berry flavoured macaroons & munched on the most prettiest & delicious cake!


If you’re planning on making gift bags for your bridesmaids… get some of the products that I also used here :

& remember to share the prettiness on social media if you use our goodies – we would love to see what you make & create !!! @ilovemstudio & #ilovemstudio




My heart is EXCITED! The right time has finally arrived to share the new with all of you; the friends, the family, the clients, the followers, the dreamers & the inspirers…

It has been coming for some time, but has blossomed into something so much more than just a graphic design & stationery company… has grown into a place where we inspire others to live a beautiful lifestyle. We have inspired others to start their own business’ & be their own bosses, to create, to make & to dream & we’re ready to inspire even more… inspire to live a life filled with whimsy & a life that you absolutely love & a life that’s absolutely beautiful!

In celebration of this new season, not just in my life, but also the rest of the team, we have made some beautiful changes to our brand’s identity!!


a little history (when I started this company I wanted something personal) It’s the first letter of my name & the word ‘studio’ just suited… I also loved the word ‘studio’ ( for me the word ‘studio’ led the platform for a place to be creative … Any kind of creative I wanted it to be. )

some of my favourite’ words include…


Our ‘m’ is now often used in color, patterns & pretties! It gives us freedom to play around with trends & seasons. Our new ‘m’ also avoids confusion… We have been called some pretty funny names… from ‘my studio’ to ‘i love my studio’ & I am positive this teeny change will help our new & future clients read & understand our name more clearly & easily. ( P.S. there are so many’s across the world… It is only our domain & social media handles that are listed with the little ‘i love’ bits… It was at that time the only most suited words available & I kinda loved it… still do & we knew that you would too! )

Facebook : @ilovemstudio

Instagram : @ilovemstudio ( we’ll be keeping this profile for portfolio work & our beautiful products )

Instagram : @mariaan_mstudio ( I’ll be using my current profile for some more personal things & behind the scenes )


My clientele has grown towards working with a lot more fellow creative business owners than corporate ( even though I love you both ) when it comes to designing their brand’s entire ‘look & feel’, from logo development to all the other elements from packaging to digital designs & during the design process we always end up with the coolest words for these companies who do not have slogans yet. I have never really had a purposeful slogan… Just an overload of descriptive words & I really needed a special & meaningful one… One that was strong, to the point & one that we can put up on our studio wall & inspire us with every project!

‘inspiring to live a beautiful life’


This is who are, what we strive towards & who we have always been… ( it just took me some time to realize )


  • Our online shop is fresher, faster & bigger!
  • Pay directly & safely online with your credit card.
  • My personal blog – super excited about this one!
  • We moved our studio & factory into a bigger warehouse – it’s a pretty awesome space!
  • We welcomed a beautiful new member to our team; Leandri.
  • If you want to stock in your retail gift shop – you will get your own login details to place your order & pay directly online – Goodbye long order forms.
  • More regular newsletters via email – sign up here if you haven’t already!

I am so grateful for each & everyone who has supported us in every aspect of & I am so excited about the beautiful future ahead… the best is yet to be!

I have written another ( more personal ) blog post about the effects these changes have had on me & my business; you can read all about it here. ( if you’re a fellow #girlboss, I know you will enjoy this one… all I can say is take the time you need to do the things you need to do… slow has a deeper meaning & there is no need for so much pressure, we need to enjoy our lives too! )




Over the past six years, a lot has changed both professionally & personally that have massively influenced my decisions & goals for the future. I have realized that actually, I am right where I have to be & even if it’s not exactly where I have pictured myself at the age of 30… it is okay & sooooo much better! Life is indeed awesome & I feel so blessed. Running a business by myself while in a beautiful relationship, being a loving sister, a caring daughter & good a friend takes up a lot of time & it is precious time that should be treasured as much possible. Life is not just about working; there is so much more to it & a healthy balance is important. I think finding that balance was the most difficult part for me…

Time & wrong decisions have made me stronger and given me the perspective I needed to be excited about the much-needed changes for I have learned a lot about running a business, what I love to do, what makes me happy, what works & what doesn’t.

The focus for has changed a lot over the last 2 years… is my personal brand that has grown from a little wedding stationery business to a lifestyle brand. I am not just a Graphic Designer anymore; I am a Lifestyle designer & want to inspire living a beautiful life with everything we do, make, design & create! Building a strong brand doesn’t happen overnight. It takes a lot of time and sometimes it takes getting it wrong before you can get it right. It can’t be rushed or forced & needs to grow organically.

I needed to allow myself the time to make positive changes for my business & myself. It meant sharing less on our social media, designing less & making less ( but only for a little while ). I needed to do this to have the time to create better, faster & healthier workflow systems with more organized logistics. It was frustrating at times & it took months… when I wanted to design something new I had to shift my focus to ‘admin-stuff’. The reward of better systems meant MORE time in the future to create & design & make… which was the goal!

Slow growth has had a beautiful new meaning for me. Slow growth these last 2 years has meant that I have had more time to enjoy my life, get ready in the mornings without rushing, eat healthily and exercise. Be present with where I am & not constantly feel I don’t have time for this now because I’m behind with work. Slow growth meant that I had the time to perfect’s offerings and products. Time to actually plan something & get organized. Slow growth meant I didn’t have to work late hours or through the night, constantly feeling exhausted and get burned out too quickly. Slow growth meant more date nights with Werner, more brunches with my sisters & friends and more lunches with my parents! I allowed myself the time without rushing & it was one of the best changes I could have made.

These changes helped me refine all the goals and dreams for the future. I wanted to do it all but it was an impossible task. Take one thing at a time & perfect it before moving on to the next. I have so many ideas and things I still want to do, but I realize that I may not always have the time to do it right now & it is important to also live my life, have fun, spend time with the ones I carry close to my heart & get enough sleep. I need to take care of myself first so that I can take care of the people around me; the ones I love, the ones I hope to inspire & the ones I will still be meeting in the future. It is a constant process & I am learning to prioritize things to best benefit me, even if it means a little slower growth… cause slower growth opens up time for other beautiful things & running my own business should be fun & awesome, which was after all the reason I started doing what I love!

I am now setting boundaries for my business so that it does not take over my entire life & all of my precious time. I know now that pushing myself too hard or trying to force something is unnecessary. Things will grow as it should and hard work always pays off. I look back & feel proud of what I have achieved, learned and created.

So to all the fellow #girlbosses & my many #girlboss friends! Don’t be so hard on yourselves, enjoy your business. Take time to perfect something & enjoy the process. It has taken me 7 years to know exactly what I want to do with & where I want it to go, I have made mistakes… but looking back at them, they were all valuable lessons with knowledge as the reward!

Take time & go do that thing you’ve been wanting to do!