Barn Weddings: Pure Down-Home Charm

May 24th, 2012

This weekend, I’ll be attending a barn wedding. Barn weddings and rustic weddings in general are among my very favorites. (I wouldn’t turn down an invitation to a vineyard wedding either.)

If you’ve ever attended a barn or farm themed wedding, you know that the charm is in the chabby-chic and the details. At one rustic wedding I attended, the bride and groom had combed consignment shops for colored glass vases. Obviously, no two exactly matched and there might have been a nick or two here and there. Set out on white tablecloths with spring daisies, the effect was amazing.

credit: dexknows.com

A barnyard wedding can be as casual or formal as you’d like. Depending upon the venue, you may be able to take advantage of the outdoor scenery, too. A barn wedding reception can take place entirely outside the barn, actually. (Just be sure you’ve accounted for weather by renting tents.) You might also have your and your groom’s pics taken with farmland, wheat fields or rolling hills as your backdrop.

credit: blissfullydomestic.com

There’s just so much you can do with this idea. Here are a few guidelines:

  • Look for a barn that’s on park land. This could be a less expensive option than renting an actual in-use barn. City, county or state owned property is also maintained up to certain codes.
  • Think outside the box for caterers. You want a rustic and down-home yet very individual feel, something that can be had in surprising places. Never assume a restaurant or even winery or smokehouse doesn’t cater — ask. Also look into kitschy options for party favors; corn or wheat based foods and favors are an awesome choice.

    Who can resist caramel corn? (favorsbyserendipity.com)

  • Choose wildflowers — particularly daisies, purple thistle, Queen Anne’s lace, sunflowers and even sprigs of golden wheat.
  • Rent picnic tables for an adorable dining atmosphere. If you rent tableware and table cloths at the same time, you’ll often save money, so find out about all-inclusive rental deals.

    Perfect Pair candles; these were featured on "Whose Wedding is it, Anyway?"(favorsbyserendipity.com)

  • Eat what’s in season to keep with the from-the-land feel. Pears for late summer and early autumn, cherries in the late spring or early summer, peaches or berries in summer make beautiful meal garnishes. Have the cake garnished with in-season fruits and find wedding favors that match the farm feel of fruit, nuts and berries.
  • Incorporate checks, plaid or gingham into your wedding theme. Use one of these pretty patterns in your wedding colors on your wedding invitations, chair bows, the groom’s boutonniere and wrapped around centerpiece vases.

That should cover the basics, but as always, if you have questions or comments, let us know! We love to hear from you!

Rings That Make You Go “Wow”

May 15th, 2012

Wedding eye candy time! Recently I saw the most awesome ring that could ever, and I mean ever grace a pillow on a girl’s wedding day (in my opinion). If I were a little spunkier and a lot braver, I’d have chosen it to grace my second finger on my wedding day. (What can I say? In days gone by, I was much more of a traditional gal. Well, okay…so I still am. You’ve dragged it out of me.)

I won’t play favorites but — shh — it’s one of the ones shown below. Nope, not the big one, so that narrows it down.

But you know, here’s a thought. What is “traditional?” Historically speaking, and depending upon the place and culture, the diamond hasn’t always been the last word in marriage proposals. Sometimes it was only used as a garnish, with a small chip on either side of a garnet, ruby or emerald. Other times it wasn’t there at all. (Gasp!)

Some cultures never used rings to symbolize their union; they made a public announcement (as in much of northern Europe during the lower Middle Ages) or exchanged some other gift to announce their intentions. Some had just the woman wearing a ring; many exchanged rings only on the wedding day, leaving an engagement ring out of the equation entirely.

Bottom left: platinum diamond leaf and vine engagement ring, Etsy seller anajaydesigns; top left: vintage golden topaz ring, Etsy seller SimpleDaisy;  top right: sapphire carved curls with tapering stones, krikawa.com;  bottom right: Tips on Selecting a Unique Engagement ring, overstock.com; center: bridalmusings.com

Okay, so we’ll get off the fascinating but distracting-from-the-subject history of engagements, jewelry and promises and mosey along to the present.

What do you want in a ring? Seriously. Have you thought about it? Generally, when we think rings today, we imagine an engagement plus wedding ring for the bride, a matching wedding ring for the groom, and at least one huge diamond. And all that’s lovely; in fact, this motif embellishes my and my dear hubby’s fingers right now. But you don’t have to stick to that not-so-old tradition. The pic above proves that. Check out the choices. And those are mild when it comes to “unique” wedding jewelry.

Your ring or rings symbolize your union, your love, your forever. Is it bright and beating like a happy heart? Why not a heart-shaped stone or a ruby? Is it “happily ever after“? How about a Renaissance or Victorian/vintage style? Does gold make you look icky? Try silver or white gold. Or combine two different colored metals. It’s all good.

While you’re making your decision, have a look at the oh so awesome rings above. But don’t stop there. This is your jewelry. It’s your marriage. It’s your forever. Pick what you want, exactly what you want.

And wear it happily ever after.

Dreaming in Damask

May 7th, 2012

Psst. Can we talk? And yes, it is about something personal.

Your wedding decor.

Oh come on. You and I both know that you’ve spent more time so far on choosing colors and your reception theme than you did picking a college major. So why neglect one of the most underutilized aspects of wedding decor: the pattern?

Lately, we’re in love with damask. And yes, I’m about to promote my own products. But I wouldn’t be doing so if I weren’t absolutely, completely, positively, squish-ily in love with them.

And I am. Damask is an amazing pattern choice for invitations and decor — it even looks incredibly cool as wedding gown detailing. It adds dramatic flair, another thing I go weak in the knees for.

Let’s celebrate damask! Here are my favorite Favors by Serendipity darling damask offerings:

1. Elegant Silk Fan (above, left). File this one under “things that make ya go oooo.” I so want to wander downtown with this fluttering in front of my face. (You know you’d be jealous.) I also love it as a wedding favor, its real intent. Shown above, the fan decorates a place setting. The fan is 8.25″ long and comes packaged in a white box. Savings on bulk orders.

2. Vellum Shades (below). Total elegance for the reception. You supply the glasses and candles in any color and style you want for a very personalized look. Sold in sets of 24, savings on multiple purchases.

3. Turquoise damask cube favor box (below). Super-cool this season is damask — in color. I LOVE this turquoise box. Match it with a chocolate bow and you’re in damask heaven. Shipped flat to protect the box; requires folding. The inside of the box is white.

4. Damask cupcake wrappers (below). Cupcakes are so hot. These absolutely gorgeous wrappers match your wedding colors as well as your taste for the elegant and special.

Oh my. In damask heaven over here. By the way, be careful! From what I understand, it just isn’t cool to love the decor and favors more than the groom. (Don’t worry, your secret is safe with me!) For a list of FBS damask items, clickie on over here.