Stylish Wedding Ideas for the Environmentally Thoughtful Bride

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

How Do You Feel About Children At Your Wedding?

Wow! What a question. But, the answer I typically receive from the brides I work with is a very strong yes or no! Let's explore this issue. On the one hand you would like your entire family at your wedding. On the other hand you would like to maintain a level of sophistication fitting your wedding. Hm...Could there possibly be a middle ground? I think so. I love children. I love to see children at weddings. So very cute and proper in their little dresses or tiny suits. How can you not love that? But, I know that a few of you out there do not. So here is a way to have your entire family with you to celebrate your big day, and have the fabulous, sophisticated wedding you have always dreamed of having.
First, Hire a babysitter for your wedding-and let your guests with children know when they receive their invitation, that a babysitter is available for the wedding ceremony, and that you very sweetly suggest that they allow their children to frolic and have fun while under the care of a loving adult hired specifically for the occasion. I would suggest a card printed with this gentle suggestion included as part of your wedding suite.
Of course, these same children should be included in the reception festivities if their parents would like. For some parents, having a babysitter for an entire evening of adult fun is enough to make them line up to RSVP to your wedding. But, unless you are having a plated dinner served by a Waite staff, I would include the kids. Or at the very least, let their parents decide whether or not they would like their toddlers to join the reception.
So what do you do if several children are joining your reception? I would make sure there are plenty of nibbles that the kids will enjoy. Finger food is the answer here. And you will have that without doubt-so the children will be taken care of. I would have a little special lemonade or punch drink made up just for fun for the children. And I would have special treat bags made up for the children. Treat bags filled with age appropriate toys, games and treats to keep them happy and having fun at your wedding.
One final thing. I would suggest any photos that you would like of your sweet niece or nephew, are taken very early on during your reception. Children grow tired fast. And you will end up with your best photos if taken while they are still happy and alert during the evening.
Here are a few fun things I've put together before to keep the children happy and entertained:
1. Big boxes of popcorn. So very simple, but so well loved.
2.Favor table just for the kids, with dishes of candy they can scoop out into bags and take with them. Funny, adults like this also.
3. Coloring pages I have photo copied along with blank paper and crayons strewn about a kiddie table.
4. Make the candy, popcorn, crayons, etc., the decoration for this table. Totally decadent for the children. They love it.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Wedding Stationery Trends and Tips

The True Traditionalist Invitation-This invitation is perfect for a formal wedding. This invitation style works best for a Church or large venue wedding. Your guests know exactly what to expect after receiving this type of invitation in the mail. You are having a traditional, very polite, perfectly correct wedding. A rsvp card would be enclosed as a separate piece.

Modern & Clean Invitation-a bit of a twist on tradition-most suitable for a semi-formal wedding. What makes this invitation more updated than its cousin, "The True Traditionalist," is the combination of block text and script text used for the fonts. Add to that the blue font color and the border around the text, and you have a thoroughly modern update of a well loved classic. I love this style of invitation. Very classic, but modern. This style looks beautiful on a very lightly tinted card stock. Think pale, pale pink, soft grey or blue. This invitation says to your guests...simple sophistication. Tip: When planning your wedding stationery suite, consider that the fonts, graphics and colors are all elements that help to define the personality of your event. Show your guests that your wedding is anything but ordinary through the creative use of these elements.

Bright, Bold and Graphic Invitation -A charming graphic suitable for all but the most formal of weddings. Brides are finding that an easy way to add "pop" to their wedding is by using beautiful, brightly colored graphic design on all of their stationery suite pieces. The square shape of this invitation adds another element of difference in your design. Tip: Have your stationery designed using your primary or secondary wedding colors. Also, think coordinate, not match when choosing your envelope color. If you used your primary color on the stationery, use your secondary color on your envelopes. Also, think outside the box when it comes to the shape and dimensions of your invitation-and make it uniquely yours.

Whimsical & Sweet Invitation - This style of invitation is perfect for a small gathering of family and close friends. It conjures up images of vintage linens, romantic flowers, and your family garden. Again, the text and border colors are easily changed to coordinate with your wedding colors. Tip: A trend in weddings right now is the idea of "branding" your wedding. All that means is to consider embracing an image that can be used throughout your paper ensemble to create a seamless event. The stationery suite created to work with this invitation would simply use the sweet scallop design on all additional pieces designed. Not too overdone, but your guests will notice.
These are just a few of the stationery pieces I have been working on this week.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Wedding and Reception Music Tips

I'm working with a bride who has turned over the responsibility of planning music for her wedding and reception to the groom. What a wonderful way for the groom to participate in their wedding. Here are a few guidelines to offer your groom if he is taking over this responsibility. Or for you, if you are the one planning the music.

For the ceremony-an organist or pianist is essential-for both the processional and recessional. Keyboard performers who are familiar with weddings know which songs to play. The addition of a solo performer is very nice, especially if he or she is a close friend or family member. The music for your wedding ceremony will basically take care of itself. You must be concerned with the performer's attire. Make sure they know the style of your wedding. That means (most often)dark suits for men and tea length dresses for women. Also, make sure they are part of the rehearsal and have a timeline to follow for your wedding day.

For your reception you have considerably more options. A band, DJ, orchestra, string instruments, and pianist, are a few. With all of these options, I suggest you meet the performers. Also, look at a clip or listen to a demo of their music. Almost all musicians have a website with video of their music, or a demo cd. When you have made your selection-prepare a "must play" list, a "do not play" list, and a list of songs for important moments during your reception. Here is a list of those moments: First dance as husband and wife. Use a song that has special meaning to you as a couple. Second dance is with your father, and your step-father or new father-in-law cuts in. I suggest a song that you and your father both love. A couple of songs I've used before are: "Isn't She Lovely," by Stevie Wonder. And "What a Wonderful World," by Louis Armstrong. Then the music changes for the groom and his mother to dance. Again, select a song that has meaning and is well liked by all. At this point the dance floor has opened up.

Please make sure that your performers know what type of attire to wear, and that they have a timeline to follow during your reception. A tip about DJ's: Order a table and tablecloth for your DJ. Otherwise you may end up with an orange cloth with black promo lettering about the DJ's business. I've never had this happen to me, but I've seen it at other receptions. When you book the DJ, let he or she know you are providing those things, and you require their use during your reception.

Don't forget to put someone in charge of all of your performer's final payments, and you may include a tip if you like. Also, plan on feeding all performers. I suggest a boxed meal that they may eat during a break.

The most environmentally friendly option for all of your music would be to use only the "unplugged" variety. But, I realize that as a reception gets rolling the chatter gets a little loud, and your music may get lost in the noise. And even though your ceremony is a very quiet time, if your venue is large the music gets lost there also. This is always a dilema. I suggest reducing your carbon footprint as much as possible in a more realistic manner.
Unplugged music works best in a small venue with a small number of guests. For a charming chapel wedding, or cosy home wedding I would suggest string instruments, a single pianist, a solo performer-all without the use of microphones and speakers.


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Spring 2009 Wedding Decor Ideas

I know it may seem a little odd to already begin a conversation about next Spring's weddings, but I usually begin working with brides about nine to ten months before their wedding dates. Having already completed -for the most part-all of the design work on current season weddings, I begin to move forward quite early.

I'm working with a lovely bride who would like to have brightly colored paper laterns hanging about during her wedding reception. A little bit of research and voila! I think these are the cutest, and will work perfectly along with the rest of our decor ideas.

I'm sharing with you, because perhaps you too would like this same decor item for your wedding reception. I think these paper lanterns would hang very nicely from the inside of a tent, from tree limbs, under a porch or awning. They would be fabulous with the addition of twinkle lights for an evening reception. Imagine at twilight, the soft glow from these paper lanterns as your guests arrive to your tented reception area. I love soft, romantic, sparkly lights in the evening.
Add a little Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong, or Swing music, women twirling about in their cocktail dresses-and you have a beautiful moment.

Of course, all of the other elements also have to be in place. But, I think these paper lanterns are a very good starting point. These paper lanterns are from Luna Bazzar. Perhaps these could also be used as a beautiful way to create a tradition and celebrate your following anniversaries. Imagine pulling these out each year to decorate your home while you and hubby celebrate your marriage. Very eco-chic to reuse instead of purchasing new decor items.

Monday, September 8, 2008

New Stationery Idea

I've been spending the last two days working on a new stationery design for a bride. Her wedding colors are chocolate and moss and creme. I've worked on several Spring season weddings recently that were of this same color pallette. She emailed to me this photo of a wedding cake that had the scrolly vine design she wanted to see on her wedding invitation. I designed her invitation in chocolate with a creme font and scroll design. All of her other stationery pieces are creme with chocolate font and scroll design. This way all of the pieces her guests receive will flow together nicely, but her wedding invitation will be very special.
I like the idea of carrying a design element or theme throughout a wedding. Whether it is a color that continues to pop up, or a design, like the vine that will be used, in some way on practically all of the paper used for her wedding. I'm even working on a wine label (where this scroll design and color pallette will be used), for her wedding reception.

I print all of my invitations on either recycled paper or paper made with 30% or more of post consumer waste. I'll explain the difference: Recycled paper is made from the paper scraps that are a byproduct of the paper making process. I have often wondered if the paper making companies think they are pulling a big one over on consumers by stating their paper is made from recycled paper. All they have really done is put their own paper scraps back into the process. On the other hand, post consumer waste paper-you probably guessed-is made from paper that a consumer has actually held in her hand, used, then recycled. It has gone back into the paper making process after having actually been a piece of paper before. This is the better choice-I think. Then there is paper made from substances other than trees. And the ink used is always an issue. But that is another post. For today, I only want to show this design.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Harry Love

I love Harry. Harry is my soon-to-be husband. That's the first reason I'm compelled to mention him in the opening of my very first blog. Second, because Harry is my favorite man, I am sitting in the Government Documents room at the Birmingham Public Library working on my blog. Harry is looking for material for a book he is preparing to write. Third, Harry inspires me in a way I may never be able to describe. Let's just call it Harry Love.

Libraries are environmentally speaking -very cool places. Think reuse. I love the marble tile floors, the old wooden desks, the soft hum of a machine somewhere in the background. All very nice. So, I've started to think about weddings. I think I'll go find a few books that may inspire .