1970’s Themed Woodland Tea Party Styled Shoot

What happens when you combine three wedding pro’s, a kitschy sense of humor, and a hot summer day?  Why you get an impromptu photo shoot inspired by grandma’s 1970’s polka-dot kitchen!  I styled and created the floral elements, Rhoda, from Loot Vintage Rental, provided all linens and furniture, and Kari Crowe worked her magic behind the camera.

This shoot was so much fun for me to style.  Rhoda had these little plastic gnomes that were the inspiration.  They reminded me of a house that we used to live in that was wall to wall shag carpeting, brightly colored bathrooms, and an olive green kitchen.  I always imagined it the way that my great-great-aunt who was the original occupant would have had it decorated with mushroom paintings and milk glass plates hung on the wall and everything matched with her kitchen’s theme including her strawberry planters on the back porch.  I took that inspiration and entwined my own rustic trademark with succulents, driftwood, and a big ol’ manzanita tree.   After a trip to J Rae’s and the flower market we had all the beginnings of a great shoot.

I love the way succulents look planted in the milk glass goblets.  I have these arrangements all over my house.  It’s a fun way to show off your heirloom collections without the fear of them getting broken during use.

For the flowers I used ranunculus, green trick, carnations, gerbera daisy, hydrangea, and fresh moss in Chartreuse

Loot carries a great selection of mismatched china for both events and staging.

Rhoda and her children made the button mushrooms out of clay, and they now decorate her little girl’s room.

I’m a total junkie for driftwood as you will see in most of my designs.  I’ll slip it in any way I can muster!

This was such a fun shoot for us.  There was no pressure for everything to be perfect and it gave us all a fun way to exercise our creative muscles!

Photography: Kari Crowe photography DFW

Styling/Floral: Vera Green Productions- DFW

Linens, china, and furniture: Loot Vintage Rentals- Austin, TX

Cupcakes- J Rae’s- Fort Worth, TX


What goes into a green wedding?

One of the biggest questions that I get asked in my field is, “So what all goes into making a green wedding?”  Let’s face it, most weddings are not 100% carbon neutral.  Actually, that is virtually impossible.  You would have to get married in walking/biking distance from your home, only invite people who are in walking and biking distance, serve food grown from your own garden, make your flowers from your own garden, play music from a solar powered radio, etc.  It’s just not likely for that to happen for most brides.

Through the course of my blog you will find lots of advice and tips for making your event more eco-friendly.  But it’s about more than recycled paper, local food, and a dress made from hemp.  If you think about how you go green in your personal life there are so many things.  Most people start small probably by recycling, or shopping at their local farmer’s market.  The same goes with planning your eco-friendly event.  Start small and work your way up to the big stuff.  It’s not so much about all of the things you do, but about being conscious of the effect that your decisions will have on the environment

The first thing that I tell new clients is that it’s all about your awareness for what goes into and comes out of your event.   After a client hires us the first meeting that we have is the “budget meeting”.  This is where we set priorities for each vendor and realistic expectations about what to expect with the money they have to spend.  This allows brides and grooms to be very aware of where their money is going.  While we are discussing their budget it is also a good time to discuss another aspect to budgeting:  the footprint of their event.

We want our events to leave a mark in our guests memories, not on our planet.  It’s important that we give eco-friendly alternatives to our clients as well as educate them about these alternatives.  From here we decide what aspects are most important to make eco-friendly and what aspects they would like to keep more traditional.  For example an eco-friendly bridal gown may not appeal to most brides.  There just isn’t an availability of stunning gowns that are also sustainably sourced.  So I say go buy your beautiful gown, but then when it comes time to order your invitations go with a recycle or seeded paper printed by a local printer.  It’s all about balancing your decisions.  Want to feature wines from around the world?  Balance their footprint by serving them with appetizers made from a local caterer that sources their ingredients from local farms.  Making small steps such as these really add up in the grand scheme of things.

Another big misconception of a “green” wedding is that the decor has to be all reclaimed barnwood and succulents.  Now, personally I love the rustic style, but there are lots of other styles I love too.  A great example of an eco-friendly wedding with lots of modern style can be found on the blog of Hampton Morrow Photography.  This couple came to me early last year with an interest in green weddings, but apprehension about sacrificing style.  We used California sourced orchids, Texas garden roses and dahlias in recycled glass containers, local catering, and lots of reusable elements to give their modern affair an eco-friendly twist.

What do you think of when you hear the term “green wedding”?   What are your priorities when it comes to budgeting for your wedding (financially and environmentally?)

Planning Your Blogworthy Wedding, Part 3- Incorporating Your Personality

Photo: J Bath Photography

In this series we are writing for couples who want to see their wedding live on after the big day in the world of wedding blogs.  We are discussing things that make your event stand out for future publication.  In Part 1 and Part 2 we reviewed the importance of hiring a quality photographer and styling your event.  This post is all about my personal favorite part of wedding planning:  personalization.

If you look at any real wedding featured on any wedding blog, whether it is a grand gala or simple elopement, you will notice that they all feature the same three common elements: great photography, amazing styling, and personal details.  The personal details are what makes your wedding yours, and that will make your guests really feel like they are standing up for YOU and not just attending another event with free food and booze.

How do I make my wedding personal?

Whether you are more of a DIY girl or you hire someone to assist you with your concept you want to make sure it speaks of your personal style and your personality.  A great stylist or planner will get to know your personality, values, and interests.  When I’m styling events I gather this information and assist them with incorporating it into their design.

If you are conceptualizing the decorative elements of your big day yourself utilize tools like the inspiration board builder on Style Me Pretty.   You can also incorporate items from your childhood, home, or memories. Think of things that you or your parents or your friends have that you can incorporate into your inspiration.  This will not only help make your event personal, but it will also save money on your decor!

Here are a few ideas for incorporating your personality into your big day:

Photo: thesweetestoccasion.com

  • Have a favorite dish from your childhood?  Hire a caterer who can prepare recipes that you have always loved, and on your menu give them personal names like “Mom’s Mac ‘n’ Cheese”, “Aunt Velma’s Meatloaf Sliders”, “Grandma Pollyanna’s Pickled Beet Salad”, and “Mashed Potato Bar featuring Aunt Kathy’s Famous Goat Cheese Mashed Potatoes”.  I am currently planning a wedding where the groom’s grandmother and aunts are preparing all of his favorite deserts in lieu of a groom’s cake!

Photo: Life As Art Photography

  • Incorporate family heirlooms into your decor.  I once had a bride who carried the same family bible down the aisle with her that her mother carried at her wedding.  You could also borrow vases and silver from family and have your florist use them for your flower arrangements.  Be sure to pick items that have meaning to you and are visually appealing.

Photo: Hazelnut Photography

  • Love to travel?  Have a travel themed wedding and instead of assigning table numbers assign names of destinations you love to travel to together.  You can even display photos of you in each destination.  Instead of a sign in book you can frame a map and have guests tag their favorite destinations and why you should go there.  You can even set up a travel registry such as the one found at Traveler’s Joy where guests can contribute to your travel fund as a wedding gift instead of buying you china patterns that you’ll never use.  I once had a couple who collected rocks and sea shells from their vacations and used them as calling cards as a nod to their globetrotting.

Photo: Picky Eater Blog

  • Are you a super foodie?  Instead of floral centerpieces splurge on having your favorite appetizers set up in the center of your tables in a neat arrangement for guests to enjoy.  Once dinner begins your servers can clear them off and serve dinner family style!

Photo: Swankytablesblog.com

  • Make decisions that match your personality.  A super laid back couple may not want a booming dj or full band but instead a smooth jazz quartet and cigar bar.  A couple that is known to be funny/energetic might have a photobooth with hilarious props or do your introduction dressed like JFK and Marilyn Monroe.  Are you and your fiance’ both college professors who read together every night?  You might include DIY projects out of old books or vintage calculators.
The possibilities are endless when it comes to making your event personal.  As long as you put deep thought into your details and how to make them personal you should have no problems.  How will you be incorporating your personality into your big day?