fireflies and cottonwood

our wedding blog

Lavender and blue March 24, 2009

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In this lavender inspiration board, I love, love, love those full, lush flowers in the top left-hand corner.  I can’t even tell if they’re real– it looks like the most amazing still life painting. And look at the tiny flower girl in the center– I love that as an unposed, lovely photograph. Finally, look at the invitation in the center, right-hand side– what an interesting way to have the lettering, totally cursive at a bias, with the letters filling the entire page.  The color combination is also fresh: lavender and red.

 

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Oh, and cool, sweet blue.  Could I pull off a blue gown, like the tulle dream in the center?  And I want the bouquet in the blue windowsill, AND those pale blue beads.  And I adore the white lettering on the blue stationery.  Can regular printers print with white ink, if we make our own invitations?

 

I think pale blue, with tons of ivory, would look amazing with the lapis dresses.  And with the touches of lavender.  Am I going to far?  I think when the colors are as muted and sweet as these, it’s impossible to overdo it.

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Inspiration: pewter March 1, 2009

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I described before how we’re hoping to use old pewter containers (as yet unfound) in the entry-way of our wedding reception room.  I’m crazy about the unshiny lustre of pewter.  It’s elegant, but not flashy, old-fashioned, but not ugly, and mutes the colors of flowers in a most romantic way.

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Notice that a monochromatic bundle of flowers like this can be picked up in a grocery store for just a little– but they look amazing in this gorgeous container.

 

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I never thought of using fir boughs on a table!  How lovely and perfect for a winter wedding!  I don’t think pine boughs are expensive that time of year, and I know a lot of youth and student groups sell them for fundraisers.  And, the wedding is _after_ Christmas, so perhaps we could pick up several swaths for a good price.  Fir, pewter, candlelight…  remaining inspired!

 

Books as centerpieces February 24, 2009

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Walk into our apartment, or talk to us for very long at all, and you will realize that books are a major part of our lives, and have been for years.  (Matt, feel free to jump in with a post about the “packing for Canada” story.)  During our courtship, we talked about books, recommended and shared books, and filled our e-mails with references to favorite books.  Many a subject line was a quote from a favorite character or story.  (Again, Matt, feel free to go through the old e-mails for a historical post giving some examples.)

 

I think I saw an example in an issue of Martha Stewart weddings of a ring bearer’s pillow made from a stack of old books, tied with beautiful ribbon.  This immediately struck a chord with me.

 

Not only are our shelves filled with books, but I also end up decorating with me.  First, because we have so many.  But also, because we have some gorgeous ones.  A tiny collection of green and golden bound books on the early history of Christianity makes a sweet stack against a gospel hymnal from the turn of the century.  A third grade reader from 1867 supports a French copy of a life of Christ.  The French book is also small, and heavily decorated; the cover is broken so I’ve tied a pale green ribbon around it, like wrapping a gift, to hold it together.

 

And I have to share the title of the third grade reader before I continue. _Third Grade_, mind you:  “The National Third Reader: Containing Exercises in Articulation, Accent, Emphasis, Pronunciation, and Punctuation; Numerous and Progressive Exercises in Reading; and Notes Explanatory of Different Words and Phrases, on the Pages Where They Occur.”

 

I love the way the ribbon looks on the French book– it is the same shade of green as the cover, and the satin is such a nice contrast with the worn nature of the book.

 

We’ve already described how we want to decorate with luminaries we make ourselves, and thousands of candles.  We also want to use old and antique books in our centerpieces.  We have a great florist, and when I mentioned this idea to her, she was happy for us and even gave me some more ideas. (Good florist, right, to not push flowers as the “only” possibility for centerpieces?)

 

I imagine that the muted colors of these old books will go beautifully with the candlelight.  We also intend to be reusing books, and can offer them as take-away favors for guests, if they like.  By gathering books over the year, often for less than a dollar a piece (or free), we also intend to save, instead of spending a lot on fresh flowers.

 

(Minor detour: I adore fresh flowers, and Jane Winter at Wildflowers has sent me the most heavenly proposal for my personal flowers and the few arrangements we will be using… more on that later.  But we will have lush, unexpected, and amazing flowers.  Just not as many.)

 

The entry into the reception space is at the top of a staircase, in a sort of foyer before the room, before a beautiful window.  Jane and I imagine that I’ll find two old pewter vases or containers in the meantime, and they will be filled with two old-fashioned arrangements that spill out onto the table.  The arrangements will be amidst a stack of old, beautiful books.  Imagine a stack of large books, with one floral arrangement to the side of the stack, and one on top.  Smaller books can support picture frames with family photos and more candles.  Rich colors, lots of textures, and candlelight.

 

Similarly, many tables will have stacks of smaller books, with arrangements of candles.  Our current idea is to use writers instead of table numbers– each table would be a different writer; when guests find their name, it will come with a quote from that writer (on love!) instead of their table number.

 

I should do some mock ups and photograph them to show exactly what I mean, but I found a few examples that are in the right vein online.

 

 

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Notice how the texture of the tablecloth is beautiful, but in a similar color scheme to the books, the ribbon, and the amazing bouquet of mistletoe.  Bouquet of mistletoe– how amazing is that!  I would just wave it around all night for kisses.

 

 

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Ooh, look!  Beautiful books, a lovely blue and cream color scheme, and a tiny arrangement in an old pewter container.

 

 

If you have ideas for books, or places to get old books… let me know!  We’ll start collecting for all of our DIY wedding decorations soon.

Both images from countryliving.com.

 

Winter wonderland December 16, 2008

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It is snowing here– fat, dreamy flakes skirt their way down.  My delight at the snow, coupled with the possibility of a winter wedding, has me daydreaming in creams, ivories, and winter whites.

First of all– _look_ at these dresses.  My co-workers have heard me say countless times that I want to look like a confection on my wedding day.  These dresses absolutely channel froths of meringue and lighter-than-air spun sugar.

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I love how each lower tier seems to have been dipped in glitter.

 

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Oooh, this might be my favorite.  I could float on the skirt of this dress.  (I just wish that model had a bit more body on her shoulders, they’re a bit eerie.)

 

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This one looks like it’s made of paper, light as feathers.  I love this veil, a simple layer of translucence  over the intricate ruffles.

(All three are Monique Lhuillier via Brooklyn Bride)

 

Now… cakes:

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This cake looks like fine china, or a shadow left by the Ice Princess.  It’s slightly to prim for me, but I still like it.

 

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Now _this_ is my kind of cake: more is more– frothiness, endless bits of buttercream, the cake overflowing its own stand.  In fact, it looks like the bottom of a gown I might like.

 

All white flowers, to finish things off:

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I love this bouquet because it’s entirely made of carnations, the most inexpensive flower and often seen as too “cheap” to be included in wedding bouquets. But how gorgeous is it here?  I could make this bouquet, I think.  The black is uber-elegant, but I’d like the ribbon more in pink or purple, to soften it.

(Cakes and bouquet from Martha Stewart Weddings.)

 

Colors: Lapis, lavender, and red November 21, 2008

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From pinks to purples.  After much discussion and examination of the David’s Bridal catalogue, it seems hopeful that a dark blue/purple will look lovely and not clash with the tartan Matt will be wearing.  I will be taking the kilt to David’s soon with some girlfriends to double-check, but meanwhile: I’ve been dreaming in deep plum and lavender.

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(The dresses in the upper corner of the Board above are actually from the David’s catalogue.)

 

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(How amazing are these roses!?)

 

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My thoughts run–deep indigo and lavender. Lavender and champagne (with 10 bridespeople, some of them would wear the lapis, and some would wear a lovely champagne/ivory color).  Lavender with ivory, and some pink.  Lavender with shots of crimson red, even.  Unexpected, and still romantic.

 

One potential wrinkle–Matt’s younger brother and his fiancee have chosen purple as their main color.  I want to be sure that our weddings don’t “match,” or steal her thunder via color scheme.  They’re using purple, gold, and white.  Hopefully, if we use the lapis, we would have lapis, lavender, ivory, and red–a soft palette, with lots of muted colors…hopefully this would make the two looks feel very different.

 

I would love to be inspired by my gorgeous engagement ring and go with greens, but red and green feels too Christmasy.  And I’m just not a navy blue kind of person.  

 

Finally, check out this bit of literary whimsy from Wikipedia’s entry on “purple”:

“Robert Burns rhymes purple with ‘curple’ in his ‘Epistle to Mrs. Scott’. Burns is, as far as we can tell, the only writer to have used the word. A curple refers to 1) the small of the waist before the flare of the hips or 2) a derriere, rump or behind.”

 

(Last bouquet on Martha Stewart.com  Inspiration boards from Style Me Pretty.  Dragonfly print from Etsy.com via Style Me Pretty.  All other bouquets from Google.)

 

The flowers! September 30, 2008

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I am full of delicious sighs for these images.  Oh, the organic feel of the wrappings that surround these bouquets!  Oh, the lushness!  Maybe I should just carry a bouquet every day, and get it out of my system…

What _is_ this whirliwind wooden bark that makes up the container?  It looks Elven…

 

Artichokes!  Inventive and appealing.

 

These are the flowers I dream about. Half-awake I only remember pink and wild green.  Finally someone has captured them…

 

_Woven_ ribbons and rags. How Medieval and other-worldly is this?  

 

All images from Style Me Pretty, designed by Laura Dowling of Interieurs et Fleurs.

 

Oh, loveliness September 24, 2008

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As I’ve written before, my ideas for wedding flowers, decorations, and general sensibilities lean toward the overblown and old-fashioned.  My anti-bouquet would be a tightly packed sphere of single-colored gerbera daisies.  Too modern, too simple, too monochromatic.

Consider:

(a little inspiration board I just whipped up)

in contrast with this:

(Pretty, but not me.)

 

 

Well–happy day for me when I found Seeking Everyday Beauty and her corresponding shop, One Hundred Wishes.  Smitten!  

Here is ribbon I could use to wrap the bridesmaids’ bouquets:

Here are velveteen flowers I could add anywhere (hair, bouquets, guestbook, attached to old-fashioned pocketbooks…)

Here is a bracelet that could re-inspire my whole idea of dress, hair, and accessories:

I mean–this shop includes an ENTIRE category called “Cupcake Trinkets,” with darlings such as:

I’m in loveliness overload.  Vintage china, old jewelry, refashioned pincushions, patterns in pastel, glitter, finery.  I love all of it.  So, while places like the Knot might feature monochromatic weddings, preppy weddings, and modern looks for modern brides, I’ll be returning to Seeking Everyday Beauty for fruit for my brainstorming.