Stylish Wedding Ideas for the Environmentally Thoughtful Bride

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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Napkin Folding: A "Do Good" Idea for the DIY Green Bride

The brides I work with often rent all of the linens needed for their wedding reception.  I think this is a very good idea, especially when your reception will be quite large.
Renting is a 'Do Good" option, because the linens you rent have already been manufactured, they have most likely already been used again and again, and will be used a good bit after your wedding. Think reduce, re-use, recycle.
Here are a few tips to consider when selecting your linens.
 Rent only linens made of natural fibers.  I truly prefer cotton or linen.  Just say "no" to polyester.  It's rough next to the skin and most unattractive in appearance.
Ask for linens without heavy starch.  Linen looks beautiful when it is a bit rumpled, and cotton just gets too heavy and stiff when starched.
Finally, add a little bit of wedding decor to the napkin fold: a sweet flower, or a sprig of foliage, or any tidbit that relates back to your wedding theme.  Of course, a little place card or a menu is always appropriate.
It's hard to imagine that something as simple as napkin folding can help you become a "Green Bride," but, please consider this:  napkin folding is free, it doesn't change the amount of linen produced, and it doesn't add one item into our environment.  It is really a matter of your own personal creativity and desire to add your personal stamp to one of the details that makes your wedding unique.
I didn't make these folds up myself, I have read and practiced how to fold napkins from a book I purchased a few years ago titled, "Napkins with a Twist," by David Stark.
Think how clever you will be when you show the caterer your preferred napkin fold for your reception service.

This is a Pocket Fold.  This is a very simple fold.  I'm certain that your caterer is familiar with this fold, and
will gladly help with this presentation.  You are able to place any wedding decor item you like into this fold.

See how easy it is to place an object into this fold.  Think of any object that would relate back to your wedding-then ask your caterer to tuck that item into this napkin fold.

This is called the Single Flower Fold.  Again, a very simple fold.  Just supply the flower and a bit of ribbon, and ask your caterer to tie the ribbon to the top of the napkin and tuck the flower into the ribbon.  

If you would like detailed instructions on either of these napkin folds, email me:, and I will gladly send you the step-by-step instructions.  There are a lot of beautiful napkin folds to consider when planning your wedding reception.  Choose the napkin fold and decor that truly best represents you and your personal style.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Recycling Wine Corks: A Do Good idea for the DIY Green Bride

I truly enjoy finding new ways to use common objects we all have around our homes for weddings.  So, instead of throwing your wine bottle stoppers in with the trash (or recycling), try reusing them for your wedding reception decor.  The cork you pull out of your wine bottle actually comes from a cork tree.  It's called a Cork Oak Tree.  The sustainability of this product and the easy recycling of cork products are important aspects of cork, and this industry is generally regarded as environmentally friendly.

Wine Cork Table Number Holder
To make this table number holder simply cut a slit into the top of the cork with a sharp knife.  I find that you have to saw back and forth a bit.  Make the cut deep enough for the sign to fit snuggly, then slide the table sign into the slit.  I tried to use this at an outdoor wedding I was working on this past year and it did not work.
Thankfully I tested it on a trip out to the venue, where I discovered that the wind knocks the cork over easily.  So, to be safe, I would suggest only using this sign holder indoors.  If you want a little extra security, place a small piece of double sided tape on the bottom.

Wine Cork Place Card Holder
This idea works just as well for your place card holders.  I think more importantly, this idea works if you and your soon-to-be husband love wine, or your wedding and reception is being held at a winery, or in any type of natural setting. I think the back story of why you have selected to display particular objects as decor for your wedding and reception is more important than the objects themselves.  So,  in telling your story, if this is an idea that works-fabulous!  Start saving your corks, and ask your friends to save their corks as well.  After your wedding you can find even more uses for your wine corks.  But, that is for another post.
Warmest regards,

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

When is a Marriage Announcement Appropriate

Celia is a bride I met only a few weeks ago. She has planned a very intimate and private wedding ceremony. She had already taken care of all of her wedding stationery, but had forgotten her wedding announcements. When we first spoke about her announcements she had the image of a Fleur de Lis in mind. She wanted the image as a soft background for the wording on her announcement.
This is the finished announcement for Celia to have mailed on her wedding day.

When is a marriage announcement appropriate:
1.  If you have planned a very small wedding and reception with only family and close friends, a great idea is to have an announcement prepared that your parents can issue to announce your wedding.
2.  If you have a very tight budget and are not able to invite all of the people you would like to your wedding, but would like to include them in this important event.
3.  If you and your new husband eloped.  If the elopement was planned, or if it was a last minute decision doesn't really matter.  Allow your parents the opportunity to announce your marriage to the world.
4.  A marriage announcement is appropriate at all times.  Just make sure to include all of the people you did not invite to your wedding.  This is a nice way to let those people know you are thinking of them.
Give the addressed and stamped announcements to your Maid of Honor a few days before your wedding day and allow her to drop them in the mail for you after your wedding.

Monday, November 23, 2009

What Does it Mean to Be Green - Your Paper

Going "Green" means so many things. It's really hard to explain everything in one post. So I am going to take several posts to try and dig a little deeper and explain a few specifics, and give you examples about how you can easily incorporate these changes into your wedding.
Let's start with your wedding stationery.
If you have followed any of my past posts you already know I am a wedding planner who specializes in environmentally thoughtful weddings. But you may not know that I also design and print all of the wedding stationery pieces for the brides I work with. This is what I look for in the paper I use:
Post Consumer Waste Paper: This is paper that has been recycled back into the paper making process by consumers. New paper is made and typically is noted by the recycling chain sign and notation-PCW. I look for paper that is at least 30% PCW. But there are papers out there that are as high as 100% post consumer waste.
Recycled Paper: Usually recycled paper is made of 100% recycled content. And this paper is usually paper that is recycled back into the paper making process by the manufacturer. The manufacturer simply puts its scraps back into the process.
Responsible Mill Practices: If you see this note on your paper it means that it has been produced by a mill that recognizes responsible, sustainable forestry, and is certified by a third party.
Renewable Content: This is paper that contains at least 20% renewable content, usually plant fibers or cotton.
Renewable Energy Sources: This is paper that has been made using renewable energy sources- hydro power or wind power. Think wind turbines.
PCF: Means Processed without the use of elemental chlorine. (Processed Chlorine Free)
USA: Means Made in the USA. This is paper that was created and produced domestically.
What can you do? It's simple. Look for these signs and words when you are sourcing your wedding stationery paper. Look for the companies and individuals who consider using these sources of paper an important part of their business practices.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Stylish Ideas for a Green Wedding

Here are a few ideas to consider if you are planning an environmentally thoughtful wedding.

Think: Reduce, reuse, and recycle throughout all of your planning and purchasing for your
wedding and reception.
Consider: Your carbon footprint and your guest's when planning transportation.  Even
better, hold your wedding ceremony and reception at the same location so you and your
guests can drive less.
Use Historic Venues: Gardens, or natural surroundings for ceremony and reception locations.
Use Music: That is un-plugged, like a string quartet at your wedding ceremony and reception,
and use less energy.
Go Local: By using locally grown produce and flowers.  Organic produce and flowers are even better.
Go Recycled: Use Recycled or post consumer waste paper for all of your stationery needs.
Give Earth Friendly Favors: By skipping the throw-a-way tchnotchkes in lieu of a donation
in your guest's names to an organization you believe in.
Simplify and Appreciate: Share with your guests what brings meaning into your life.
Buy: Items with an eye toward their usefulness after your wedding celebration.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Button Bouquet that makes me Think Hmmm.....

I'm a bit stuck on bouquets right now.  So few make me stop and think Hmm....
I have been thinking a lot lately about alternatives.  And this bouquet would make for a nice alternative to a floral bouquet.  It would last forever, could be made from recycled buttons and tidbits, and could be designed using any color combination you could find (in buttons).
I'm not really a big button fan.  I am a big bouquet fan though, and this bouquet is nice.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Beautiful Bouquet

I think this is the most beautiful bouquet.  Very, soft, natural and real.  The true colors of nature.  If you step outside and look around, you may find the perfect colors for your wedding palette.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Been Gone Too Long

Life is so very busy for us all! I'll make no excuses-except to say business is good, husband is great, Hadden , my daughter, is lovely, Co-Co the puppy is still a terror, Tiger the cat is purring, and all is well in my world. Just haven't had the time to blog.
Also, I've added a new vendor to my "Do Good" recommendations. Please visit her site. Danielle makes beautiful all natural candles. And the best part is that she can make custom colors and custom scents to compliment your wedding. Something I know my brides will love to know about.
I'll get back to blogging on a regular basis soon.
Carol, aka: Green Wedding Planner