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Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Foodie Favors

Fact: most wedding favors are lame. Sorry brides and grooms, but it just had to be said. I don't ever remember one that I have liked or kept for longer than a week. Unless you are the parents or close family of the couple, you will probably throw out or lose the favor they gave you, or it will be trapped in their junk drawer forever. 

Here are some tips on what NOT to do for favors:
1. anything with your face on it
2. a couple mints or chocolate kisses wrapped in tulle
3. monogrammed matchbooks
4. shot glasses
5. teensy rectangles of the wedding cake (also usually wrapped in tulle) 

Do you know what I do want to see as a favor, (and I don't think I am alone in thinking this either): FOOD. Anything edible is a win with me. You can monogram the hell out of it, so long as I can eat it, drink it, or put it on food in some way. So I have comprised a little list of some of my favorite edible wedding favors. I'm trying to start a revolution here people, go with me on this one! 

Pop! (if you are Canadian)  or Soda! (if you are American)
-Adorable right? Bright, fun, colorful, easily tied into a color theme and personalized.

-Perfect for a backyard summer wedding. Have your guests fill their own berry bowls at a great station, or have them pre-made with tiny little baskets/bags.

Tea or Coffee!
- I am a caffeine addict who also enjoys herbal teas, and these can be very easily made into wedding favors. Choose flavors that match your theme and your personality, and remember to buy organic and fair trade varieties.
Individual Picnic Lunches!
- I love this idea if you have a little more cash to spend. Plus, if the party goes til the wee hours of the morning, bam! you already provided some breakfast to your weary guests.

Jams or Jellies!
- Are you a canner? If so, this will be easy for you. If not, check out your local farmers market for yummy seasonal jams and jellies, which are super cute/come in a reusable mason jar/and are easy to customize.
Milk and Cookies!
- Milk and cookies are not just a child's affair now. Get fancy with it, go gourmet. Lactose intolerant? Almond milk tastes better anyway! Or you could do all the ingredients to make your own cookies at home.

Olive oil and Vinegar!
-A great idea for a foodie wedding. There are so many varieties of great oils and vinegars, you could do just one, or a pair, or even do a set with some delicious bread. Mmm.

- Duh. So hot right now. Who doesn't like cupcakes? Again, you could do them pre-made so your guests can dig in soon, or do cupcake ingredient bags for at home yummies.

- Again, for the foodie in the group. A unique idea, and one that will stand out from the crowd. Also, super useful (because I know in my house, we can never get enough spices!)

Recipe Cards!
- Ok, so technically you can't eat this favor, but it is food related, and will lead to something delish down the road (hopefully). Maybe get the mothers of the bride and groom (or the grannies!) to write down their favorite recipes, and have them made into cute cards for your guests.

So, hopefully you got some inspiration from these ideas, and you won't be going with the old faithful shot glass as your wedding favor in the future. While there are loads of other options for non-edible favors that are probably "greener", I do like to eat, and I think food is one of the most important aspects of a wedding. If your food (or your foodie favor) is awesome, people are gonna talk about it.

Monday, 11 June 2012

Pack Your Bags

When I was a kid, I owned two vintage suitcases, one blue, one brown. They both had matching ruffled satin interiors, and one had a little mirror inside. I filled them with Barbie's extensive clothing collection, books, markers, anything I might need for a night at my Grandmothers. So I love when I see vintage luggage incorporated into wedding decor. It can be used in so many different ways, and is super easy to find in thrift stores (or if you are in Halifax, on the sidewalk!).
So I wanted to show you dear readers a few interesting ways to use luggage for your very own green wedding!

1. Card Holder: pretty simple. use it as a place for guests to put your "happy wedding" cards.

 2. Seat Number Display: a more interesting way to display your guests seat numbers.

3. Dessert Table Stands: cake stands are awesome, but so is luggage. 
4. Table Centerpiece: unexpected unique centerpieces are the best, because sometimes flowers just aren't enough.
5. General Decor: whether you are going with an aviation theme, or your reception is being held in an old train station, or maybe you just have a thing for old suitcases, incorporating luggage into your room decor adds a cool touch

6. Welcome Packages: these are always a good idea to have in the rooms of guests who are coming from away to be in the wedding party or just attending. fill them with toiletries, maybe some snacks, and other items they might need

7. Photo booth Props: these are very trendy to have at weddings right now. so why not add to your theme and have vintage luggage be part of the background in your own photo booth, or store cute props in one.

8. Drink Holder: why not make your bar/buffet area adorable too? fill a suitcase full of mason jar drinks or bottled pop

9. Seating/Tables: if you have a little time on your hands, and some serious DIY spirit, you can make some pretty amazing chairs and tables out of old suitcases. interesting seating areas scattered throughout the reception space creates a more dynamic, lounge type atmosphere. maybe this could be a wedding gift for/to your significant other?

10. Guestbook Table: these can be pretty boring sometimes, so why not jazz it up a little. decorate the table with a suitcase, have your guests write you letters on an old typewriter etc. 

Ok. So there are 10 ways to use vintage luggage in a wedding. Who knew right? I am a big fan, hope you are now too. I'm sure there are lots more ways to use this idea, so feel free to comment on this post with more of your thoughts!

Bonus Idea: Suitcase Cake!

Friday, 8 June 2012

Alice goes green

One of my favorite books is Alice in Wonderland. I love everything about it. And it just so happens to make an amazing theme for a wedding, or just about any party for that matter. So, seeing as how this is a "green" wedding blog, I've decided to let everyone in on how they can have their own quirky, whimsical Alice themed day, while still sticking to their earthy principles.
This theme actually lends itself really well to being eco friendly, because it uses a lot of antique objects, vintage clothing, and other unusual items that many people already have access to. It is also very simple to tweak regular decor/gift/attire items so that they fit within green criteria. 
Take for example the invitations. If you have been reading along with this blog thus far, you will know that invitations are very easy to do sustainably, whether they are done online or through small scale printers. An Alice theme can be applied to many letterpress invitations, as well as plantable paper ones you can design yourself.

 Clearly an Alice theme is achieved through the decor at the ceremony and reception, so venue is important. Having both ceremony and reception in one space cuts down on transportation cost as well as on things like lighting and decor. For our Alice theme, the ideal location would be an English country manor with a beautiful garden. This style of venue can be found in many different places, not just England, so don't fret if you can't get across the pond for your big day.

With a stunning venue like this you generally wouldn't need much in the way of decor, but this is Wonderland! You've got to step it up a notch. Whimsical is the word of the day when it comes to this theme, so think of things like colorful china teacups, old books, doorknobs and keys, mismatched floral patterns natural elements.

 Mixing together fantastic elements in unexpected ways will really create that otherworldly atmosphere. Remember when Alice fell through the rabbit hole, and all the kooky things she saw on the way down? That's where we are headed.
The Mad Hatter's tea party is one of the most popular themes for parties, and can be amazing as a wedding table theme. A little bit English, a little bit manic, and a whole lot of color and pattern come together to make a table that is both fantastical and well suited for a somewhat quirky bride and groom.

Little touches are important elements at these tables, like hiding a door mouse in a teapot in your centerpiece, having little rabbits in your china pattern. There are also some very cute ways to do table or place setting numbers, like using old door knobs or house numbers, large antique keys with numbered tags, or teacups, all easily found secondhand. 
 One great thing about this theme is that it can be adapted to any color scheme a couple wants. You could do it ultra colorful with bold bright colors and prints, you could tone it down a bit with soft pastels and more girly pinks and light blues, or go total Queen of Hearts with red, white and black. There are countless options.

Now desserts are a must at any wedding, and Alice has her own idea of what they should look like. Mini cakes and desserts, with "Eat Me" and "Drink Me" tags are a must. There are lots of options for dessert buffets, including colorful plates and stands, moss covered trays with ceramic mushrooms, theme cookies in the shape of pocket watches! The skies the limit!

Now there are all kinds of other things you could do to make this theme work for a wedding, but there is only one more I want to discuss. The clothes! Wonderland is completely fashion obsessed. I mean, take a look at the Hatter or even the Caterpillar, both dapper guys. Think somewhat Mad Hatter chic with a touch of too cool hipster gangster for the men, and colorful playful dresses for the girls, a la Alice. 

Oh, one more thing. Very important. Accessories! Handmade, vintage, one of a kind!