Strictly speaking this post is not really eco friendly, but I just cannot help myself. I am a hat person, and wedding fascinators are particularly awesome. How often do you have the chance to wear outlandishly elaborate headgear unless you frequent the Kentucky Derby or an event with the Royal Family? So here is a completely gratuitous post with lots of pictures and little words just because I wanna. Enjoy.
(if it counts, all of these hats are either vintage or handmade).
I am not a fan of traditional engagement or wedding rings. I just plain don't like them. I think they're boring and ordinary. Sorry to all those who got em', but they're just not my bag. What I do love however, is antique rings. They tend to be more interesting in shape and style, and use more colorful stones instead of the traditional diamonds. So in order to lure you into my way of thinking, I have compiled this handy dandy list of reasons why buying an antique engagement and/or wedding ring is awesome:
1. Buying used is always good for the earth
whenever you can buy used, no matter what the product, it is always a good thing (except maybe mattresses, but that's just a whole other story). it means cutting back on your carbon footprint by not contributing to the production of new items
2. You can make a serious fashion statement
like I said, antique rings are downright fabulous and there are so many options depending on the era that you are bound to find something to fit your style
3. Not supporting the gold or diamond industries is good for your conscious.. and for the environment..and for other people...(just all around good really)
let's face it, the gold and diamond industries have pretty horrible reputations, so it is no surprise that many people want to avoid them at all costs. while you can get cruelty free diamonds these days, it does require significant research on the part of the buyer, and trying to find gold that is relatively eco friendly is damn near impossible
4. Your Grandma will love it
she just will. it's a given
5. One of a kind
if your ring comes from the standard local jewellery store, odds are someone else has the same ring as you, or one very similar. buying an antique ring pretty much guarantees the originality factor, which is always a good thing
(insert some cheesy quote about how your love is 'one of a kind' here if you wish, I choose not to)
So, if you are not yet convinced to join "Team Old Stuff Rules", maybe the following photos of awesome antique wedding/engagement rings will give you that little push you need:
If you were to open up my skull right now and empty its contents into a punch bowl it would contain the following: 3 cups of espresso, 1 lip gloss, 5 half read novels and 1001 different types of wedding invitations. I am going bananas for them right now and I am not sure why. Maybe it's because there are so many options! Maybe it's because I have a thing for the written word. Or maybe it's because I spend too much time on the internet. Whatever the cause may be, I feel the need to share some amazing wedding invitation ideas with you readers, and I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.
Letterpress is the style of invite that I am most into right now. It has an elegance and sophistication to it that you cannot achieve with other types of printing or paper, and I love the fact that it is still very much an art. Because it is not the ordinary way of printing invites, and the fact that it requires a skilled worker to operate the press, letterpress invitations are generally done by smaller businesses/operations. This is nice if you are trying to support small/independent/local businesses instead of larger manufacturers.
Many printers who use letterpress also have other ways of being eco-friendly, including using FSC certified paper, bamboo paper, post consumer recycled paper etc, as well as vegetable based or soy inks and dyes. Many even use green renewable energy to power their studios, or donate a percentage of their sales to environmental causes, and because they are generally smaller staffed, their carbon footprint is less than the average company.
Bella Figura out of New York designs letterpress invitations in many different styles, and has a truly great environmental mission http://www.bellafigura.com
Smock is a card company I am familiar with from my job working in an environmental retail store. They have a fabulous line of simple little cards for all occasions, and also do wedding/special occasion invitations as well. http://smockpaper.com
All of their environmental practices and principals can be found on their website also.
uncontrollable side note:if anyone wants to ever send me a card for whatever reason, please send me one from Smock. I heart them so much!
Just one more. http://delphinepress.com/. Great website, great letterpress invitations. Their standard stock is 100% cotton reclaimed from the US garment industry. How awesome is that?
Now.....don't even get me started on Save The Dates.....
Warning: this post is going to get pretty sexy, you may want to takes notes...go get a pen
Alright! We are getting into the good stuff today. Lingerie! And ladies, if there is one article of clothing more important than your dress on your wedding day, it is your undies! I mean, the dress is for you and all of your guests to gawk at, but your lingerie, well that's just for your man(or your woman, whatevs).This is one area where things like fabric selection, dye variety, production type/location and designer are very important, if you want to make sure you are wearing something planet and people friendly. Think about it, do you want some strange, petroleum based, synthetic dyed, cheaply made product touching your sensitive bits all day? No, that's what I thought. There are some lovely alternatives for traditional, everyday wear undies out there today, generally made from bamboo, soy or organic cotton, as they are the most well suited fabrics for underwear (vintage lace and fabrics are also popular). However, you do have to do a little more research to find something fancier and appropriate for special occasions, like your wedding night! Here are some examples of French style lingerie that is Eco-friendly and super sexy!
http://www.aytengasson.com/ This UK designer has a line made from organic silk and "cruelty free peace silk" exclusive to her online boutique. (there is even an "eco bride gift set")
I have tea length gowns on the brain. I want every bride I see to wear one. But here's the thing, they are not that common. What gives? I get the whole "princess look" fantasy, but why can't you be a tea length princess? There are some amazing vintage wedding gown websites out there, selling gowns from every decade of the 20th century (and some from before that), and there are quite a few tea length ones out there (especially from the 1950's). So I suppose what I am trying to say is: can't someone please go vintage on their big day? Pretty please. There is nothing wrong with wearing a gown that is pre-loved by another blushing bride, in fact, I like to think it is good luck! (I am not sure where I got that idea from, but I am going with it). Think about those lovely, ladylike brides from the 50's, or the free flowing flower child brides of the 60's and 70's! What a statement you could make!
Tea length gowns would be perfect for a semi formal affair or even something outdoors. They come in various styles, to the very simple and structured, to glitzy bedazzled bodices, with little shrugs and many different necklines. And because they are shorter, it means you can make a super statement with your shoes! Great peep toe kitten heels or splashy blinged out stilettos.
This website is taking up too much of my time lately to mention: http://www.millcrestvintage.com
It has an amazing assortment of gowns from many different decades in all types of styles, including, yes, tea length!
Here is something that I am in love with right now, and which seems to be very "in" for wedding and party decor. Bunting. These festive triangular flags can be made from paper, lace, or fabric, and are an affordable way to make a statement at your ceremony or reception. They work especially well for an outdoor wedding, or one which has other DIY elements which add to a quirky, shabby chic feel.
Get creative and make them yourself, using old bedsheets, curtains, vintage lace, linen, hemp or recycled paper. They are especially nice as a banner behind the head table with "congratulations" or "mr & mrs newlywed" embroidered on them, or on the dessert table as well. They are also showing up in some very stylized wedding photo shoots, which I am loving. Bunting can also be used in mini form as a super cute cake topper to tie in the theme.
Here is a great tutorial on how to make your own bunting (or, how to rope your bridesmaids into helping you make it): http://www.intimateweddings.com/blog/wedding-bunting-diy-vintage-banner/
You can also buy vintage bunting straight from etsy.com in all kinds of different styles and fabrics, like this cute vintage fabric bunting:
Mason Jars. Just think about it for a second. Let your mind wander.....wait! are you just thinking about jam? or pickled something-or-other? You've got to step outside the box here. Mason jars can make some pretty amazing little things, especially for a green wedding. Everybody's got some stockpiled in their basement, and if you don't, I'm willing to bet you have friends/family who do. They are a simple, inexpensive way to do just about anything, from drink glasses, to vases, to wedding favors. All it takes is a little imagination and a little creativity.
instead of regular drinking glasses. Are you having an outdoor cocktail hour? Think about setting up your station with mason jars instead of plain old glasses. They can be fancied up a little bit with colorful straws, tags, bling, or just left alone for a more rustic feel. Paint on a little chalk board paint, and guests can label them with their name, so there's no drink confusion (you don't want Great Aunt Liza mistaking your vodka & cran for her punch).
Because they aren't plastic disposables, you can reuse them, which means
way less waste at the end of the day. Also, they look and feel a lot
better than plastic anyway! And you won't have to rent any glassware if
you go this route, especially if you are having a smaller guest list,
which can save you some cash.
Another way to incorporate these utilitarian wonders is lighting. They make amazing DIY lamps, candle holders, centerpieces etc. Having an outdoor ceremony? Suspend mason jars with beeswax candles inside from the surrounding trees for a very whimsical effect. Or maybe have them lining the isle instead. You can very easily adorn them with paper, paint, or fabric to match your theme and colors. And remember, do not use paraffin candles, go for beeswax or soy. Paraffin is toxic, doesn't burn well, and doesn't give off as nice a glow as the natural kinds of candles.
While there are clearly many many things you can do with mason jars for your wedding, I will just share one more idea, which is something that I would be very excited about if I saw at a wedding. Dessert! Mmmm dessert. Portable dessert. Dessert you can eat while dancing! Seriously, stuffing something delicious in a mason jar and attaching a spoon is not very difficult, but it is a great idea. These can be set up at your dessert table, or even given as wedding favors to your guests at the end of the night, a little late night sugar rush if you will.