Marriage is all about blending. Ideals, perspectives, personalities, lifestyles … leaning into each other and complimenting each other’s unique attributes. And speaking of blending, I’ve always loved the idea of using special tea blends as wedding favors. It’s easy to create an attractive gift package to place at each setting or display in a “take one home” basket. Caution: Be sure to gift a tea that’s trusted and not from an import warehouse. Lover’s Leap, from Portland favorite, Smith Tea, is a perfect choice. Fragrant rose petals in black Ceylon accented with chamomile and citrus. You get 15 sachets per box individually sealed in a large (4″ x 2.5″), decorative foil lined wrapper. Want to take your wedding tea to the next level? Read my post about having Smith do your packaging and/or custom blend your wedding day tea. Here’s to happy blends everywhere!
“A change of heart is the almost magical force that erases the distress in relationship and gives you a fresh start.” Whether you have been married for two years or twenty, this is a book you’ll want to put on your nightstand. Pransky offers a refreshing and surprisingly simple approach to understanding interpersonal dynamics. If you’re happily in love with your partner, this can take you to a deeper level. If you’ve hit some bumps, The Relationship Handbook can guide you in making the shift to a sweet resolution. If you want to refresh your thinking about people in general, this will do that, too!
Note: Also available in eBook format.
If you haven’t discovered it yet, here’s a fun and easy way to pick your gown colors. Try the customizing tool provided online by several design houses that lets you take a peek at both style and color. Choose from hundreds of gowns in both long and short designs and then pick your color by scrolling over the color chart (more than 60 shades on Alfred Angelo). Have fun! Click here for Alfred Angelo. Here for Watters.
Pantone’s lineup of colors for Spring/Summer 2015 is pretty much the same shades from 2011 with new titles. Lavender is now Lavender Herb; Honeysuckle is Strawberry Ice; Silver Cloud has become Glacier Grey … and so on. The new “En Plein” theme suggests weddings will be leaning towards the minimalist look with simple styles in soft fabrics and tranquil hues.
There will still be plenty of color bursts showing up in shoes, sashes and bridesmaids dresses. Always popular for a touch of pizazz, for example, turquoise is included in the updated palette but the color’s new moniker is Scuba Blue. For more color and style inspiration, visit me on Pinterest.
The biggest challenge with having little ones in or at your wedding is keeping them entertained. Kids get understandably antsy – all that hurry up and wait! Being seen and not heard while the bridal party gets dressed, photographs get taken, guests arrive … that’s a LOT of being on your best behavior. I’ve seen all kinds of attempted “wedding kid control” over the years. The BEST solution? Keep them occupied. If you don’t have the luxury of a relative or friend who can be a Mary Poppins on site; provide age appropriate activities so they can entertain themselves. Books, puzzles, hand-held games, disposable camera, mini-water bottle, clear gummy worms … items that are noise and mess free. Putting it all in a customized tote makes it portable and special. MyLovingTree from Portland, OR makes adorable canvas bags with lots of custom features. In addition to personalized names, you can select skin tone, hair color and outfit. Lots of options for bridal party gifts, too. Check them out on Etsy.
It’s Halloween season – a perfect time to explore haunted digs for your honeymoon. Haunted Rooms.com provides a listing of the best in domestic creep options. Choose from castles, lighthouses, plantations, traditional hotels and a variety of asylums. Some of the facilities offer tours to enhance the chill factor. The Crescent Hotel (shown here) escorts you to the morgue of this former hospital where you might catch a glimpse of the infamous Dr. Baker who experimented on his patients. Lodging ghosts across the country range from scorned lovers in the lobby to monks in the attic. There’s even a “hand of mystery” in Chicago. If you book the bridal suite at Thornewood Castle in WA, be prepared to share it with the former lady of the house who has reportedly been seen looking lovingly out at the garden. The user friendly website allows you to search hotels by city or state. View if you dare!
- It’s really all about photo ops. Always trying to offer brides something new, photographers stage these scenes days, weeks or even months after the wedding takes place.
- Photos depict the bride actually destroying her gown in any number of ways: rolling in mud or sand; swimming in a pool; paint or wine assault … the more outlandish the better.
- Photographers can also utilize CGI to create destructive results like fire consuming the gown. (Real fires can have tragic results like the 30-yr old Canadian bride who drowned near a waterfall in 2012 while trying to extinguish her burning dress.)
- Some brides argue that it shows their true commitment to the groom, others say it’s an anti-establishment statement. Divorcees use it as a revenge fest.
Personally, I’m in the “this sends a negative message” camp. Letting your hair down and kicking your shoes off is one thing – this is something totally different. Better idea: Share the goods and get a tax credit by donating the gown to a good cause like Adorned in Grace. Or repurpose the dress and use it as a costume.
The card is from Hallmark. Made in the U.S.A. using 20% recycled fiber. Fun Fact: Next year marks a special 100 Year Anniversary for this iconic company. In 1915, the Hallmark brothers bought a printing press and started producing their own greeting cards. Today they have over 11k full time and 20k part time employees. Still family owned and operated out of Kansas City, MO; I’ve visited their headquarters and it’s an impressive blend of history and modern day innovation.
Take a look at what a box of Rit Dye can do. These bridal gowns and trains went from tired white to costume pizzazz thanks to the creative efforts of volunteers from the Adorned In Grace bridal shop. Beads, lace, sequins, satin and taffeta each react to dye differently so it’s always interesting to see the final reveal.
Use your imagination and repurpose that old prom, bridesmaid or cocktail dress. Tulle petticoats and slinky lingerie work well, too. Halloween is right around the corner … a perfect time to grab your Rit of choice and color your world with fun. For tips on dyeing fabric and more, visit The Rit Studio.
Send me your result pics and I’ll post here.
A Festive Heart is proud to partner with Adorned in Grace and their new Grace Note$ program. Every bride that makes a wedding purchase at the shop receives a Grace Note$ card with exclusive discounts from select wedding vendors. There are 16 categories offering a wide range of services from beauty products to venues. Best of all, Grace Note$ supports the efforts to promote prevention and raise awareness of human trafficking in Portland and beyond. Did you know that human sex trafficking is the largest growing organized crime on the planet? And it’s happening in our neighborhoods. Adorned in Grace provides a simple yet powerful way to help the cause. The store is staffed and managed by volunteers. The lease is provided for by Fred Meyer. All the gowns are donated. (And we’re talking exquisite designs, sizes 2 to 22, starting at $100). All donations are accepted with gratitude and what can’t be sold goes to their Design Studio where at-risk teens are taught valuable repurposing skills. Gowns worn with love … donated with love … supporting a mission of love. Make it your first place to shop and make a difference! Click here for store information.