Tag Archives: wedding decorations

Backyard Wedding? Embrace Decor with a Touch of Nature

Upcycle garden wedding invitationjasmine garden head wreath15-Foot Felt Rose Garland
Love Bird Cake ToppersLavender in a box wedding favorSeed_Paper_Love_Birds_Plantable_Favor_Cards
Photos courtesy of the Green Bride Guide.

If you’re planning a backyard wedding, play to the outdoor setting with decor and accessories that embrace nature’s themes and use eco-friendly materials, like the items in the Garden Wedding line from the Green Bride Guide.

We’ve highlighted some of our favorites in the pics above. Clockwise from top left: upcycled garden wedding invitations; jasmine head wreath for bride, bridesmaid, or flower girl; felt rose garland, plantable favor cards shaped like love birds and infused with flower seeds, lavender in a box wedding favors, and love bird wedding cake toppers.

We love that the Green Bride Guide provides modern designs for eco-conscious wedding couples, and Huppahs.com is proud to be an approved vendor of the Green Bride Guide.

green lavender wedding tzedakah placecardALSO VISIT:

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Oh, Martha Stewart, THIS is an ice bar

Walk-in ice bar at Damenti's Restaurant, Mountain Top, Pennsylvania

Walk-in ice bar at Damenti’s Restaurant, Mountain Top, Pennsylvania. Photo: Bill Bywater.

Martha Stewart’s wedding website recently featured an ice bar, an 18″ piece of ice sitting on a tabletop, charmingly carved, with cylinders cut out for chilling the bottled beverage of your choice. OK, it was pretty cool. But take a look at the walk-in ice bar constructed at Damenti’s Restaurant in Mountain Top, Pennsylvania, for a series of fundraising events this winter. That’s an eighteen-foot-long sculpted ice bar protected by eight-foot Trojans – yes, Martha, this ice bar is bigger than yours.

What’s really cool: Damenti’s owners, Kevin and Helen MacDonald, set up the bar every winter to help raise funds for lots of local charities.

What’s even more cool: You could set up an ice bar like this for an event in the heat of summer.

One of the sculptors who created the walk-in ice bar, Bill Bywater (my big brother ;P), explains how it holds up in winter and summer, and gives some tips for using one at your own event:

With a freezer unit attached it can maintain during those days we had last week that peeked into the high fifties. And the freezer has been off all this week as the temps dropped back down. It will last like this from mid December through St Patrick’s Day.

That said, most customers want to know how it will hold up through an event. The answer is beautifully. All the construction elements are 5 to 10 inches thick making them very durable. Guests will feel a drop in temperature when they step up to the bar to order a cold drink. The ice will shrink at about 1/4 inch an hour at room temperature, resulting in a bar that will still be there the next day.

Even on a hot summer day it will last five hours without issue. Direct sunlight can actually be the bigger foe. The ultraviolet light shatters the crystal structure turning an ice block to rubble, from the outside in. Look at your prospective location at the time of day you will have your event to see where your shadow options are. That is where you want your ice bar. The ice bar looks best in darker setting anyway where it can be up lit or be illuminated with strings of chasing LED lighting.

Also consider reserving the ice bar to vodka drinks, or chilled white wine, a frozen drink or a couples “signature” drink. That way it won’t have ten people in front of it when the cocktail hour starts (so no one can see it). Let a house bar take care of high volume and mixed drinks.

The bar front can be themed or designed to the event at well at the bar top with engraved snow filled lettering.

Love the signature drink idea to avoid a crowd blocking the bar. Suggestions for a chilled signature drink, anyone? Please do share in the Comments section.

UPDATE: It turns out that the tops of the Trojans’ helmets are shot luges. I think I’ve used the word cool too many times in this post to use it again here, which is a shame.

Tips for Finding and Working with a Top-Notch Ice Sculptor (Huppahs.com)

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Croquembouche and Dragees, Traditional French Wedding Details – And Endangered Species?

Yesterday the BBC reported that French couples increasingly are abandoning traditional French wedding customs and adopting American and British-style wedding details. I find this alarming.

As a champion of small weddings, I like to know there are pockets of the world holding out against the big, bridezilla-inducing wedding machine. Traditional French weddings are intimate and elegant. Until recently, French couples typically have forgone bridesmaids, groomsmen, and the budget-straining trimmings that have become customary for American and British celebrations. That the French in particular, who generally are known for taking pride in their national culture, would now abandon their long-standing allegiance to elegant simplicity seems a fair reason for concern.

The BBC credits last year’s wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton for making the first significant cracks in the cultural defenses of France’s brides. When those blushing mariées saw Kate’s wedding dress of English lace, they deserted their silk dresses. Since then, French couples have been waving wildly in welcome as save-the-date cards, personalized wedding favors, and tiered cakes veritably march in victory along the Champs-Élysées.

Surely, this development is a net positive for France’s wedding vendors and the British vendors who are marching on Paris to take advantage of the trend. But couples around the world who want a small, elegant wedding are losing a style ally.

This was going to be the paragraph where I compared the traditional French wedding to an endangered species and made the case for the importance of preserving biodiversity in our wedding planning ecosystem. But at this point, I think we all want to move on to the pretty pictures.

So, like scientists who gather and protect species in danger of extinction, let us preserve here the details of a traditional French wedding, so they can be enjoyed by future generations — even if not in their native habitat.

Traditional French Wedding Details:

Silk Wedding Dress, Alexandra King Bristol, England, United KingdomWedding Dress: Silk.
(Source: Alexandra King on Etsy, Bristol, England, United Kingdom.)
Le Vin d’Honneur: A mini reception directly following the ceremony. Many of the ceremony guests, such as work colleagues and friends of the couples’ parents, attend this vin d’honneur but not the main reception. The expected beverage: Kir Royale.
Drinks: Champagne, coffee. Croquembouche French Wedding CakeDessert: Croquembouche
(Source: Fancy That Wedding Cake. Oxfordshire, England, UK)
Flowers: Roses Sugared Almonds Wedding FavorsFavors: Dragées (sugared almonds).
(Source: Milena Bertarelli, MilenaSupplies on Etsy)

Bridesmaids/Groomsmen/Save-the-Date-Cards: No/No/No.

Related: Our 100 Favorite Backyard Wedding Themes

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Should I Use Ribbons to Decorate the Corners of the Battenburg Lace Huppah?

Lace Chuppah Rental

I thought I’d share a question I received from one of our clients in Maine this week, along with my answer:

Rent Battenburg Lace ChuppahQ: Do people use ribbons on the corners of the Battenburg Lace Huppah? Is there an easy way to attach ribbons? How many ribbons work best at each corner?

A: People don’t usually use ribbons with this huppah, but you certainly could. Ribbons tie easily to the screw eyes at the tops of the poles that the canopy corners are tied to.

It’s tricky to advise you on how many ribbons to use, since I have seen brides decorate our huppahs in ways that haven’t occurred to me and look great. I would say, though, for the Battenburg Lace Huppah I would keep the effect subtle. The line of lace that goes across each overhang is a notable horizontal visual element, so I wouldn’t add ribbons that make a strong vertical statement that competes with the lace. I wouldn’t use a mix of strong colors. The number of ribbons would depend on the width; I wouldn’t use more than two 1″ wide ribbons, though you could mix narrower widths.

If you’re going to use ribbon, it works best if each ribbon is about 6-feet long and tied to the screw eyes at about the middle of the ribbon, so two 3-foot long ends hang down from each ribbon. If you vary the lengths of the two ends by an inch or so, the ribbons will have more movement, especially if they catch a breeze.

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Tangerine and Pink Wedding Decor – Gorgeous!

tangerine and pink wedding decorDoes Tangerine Tango, Pantone’s 2012 color of the year, work for weddings, I asked in a post a couple of days ago. Photographer JeanneMarie, of Hawaii-based JeanneMariePics, answered the question by sharing some gorgeous photos of a tangerine and pink wedding she shot earlier this year on the beach in Kailua.

JeanneMarie’s pic of the bridal bouquet at right gives you an idea of how the colors play out. To see more photographs from this wedding, and to see especially how these colors play out against a blue sea and green lawn, visit JeanneMarie’s blog >.

Thanks for sharing JeanneMarie!

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Pantone Announces 2012 Color of the Year: Tangerine Tango – Does It Work for Weddings?

Wedding Color 2012 Tangerine_TangoThe world’s color king maker, Pantone, just announced the Color of the Year for 2012: Tangerine Tango, a vibrant reddish orange.

“Sophisticated but at the same time dramatic and seductive, Tangerine Tango is an orange with a lot of depth to it,” said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute®. “Reminiscent of the radiant shadings of a sunset, Tangerine Tango marries the vivaciousness and adrenaline rush of red with the friendliness and warmth of yellow, to form a high-visibility, magnetic hue that emanates heat and energy.”

We’re sure to see Tangerine Tango appliances, clothing, accessories, and ads. Given Pantone’s close association with one of the country’s leading retailers of wedding clothing and accessories, The Dessy Group, we’re almost certainly headed for Tangerine Tango bridesmaids’ dresses.

Question: How do you think Tangerine Tango works as a wedding color?

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Fall Wedding Inspiration: Orange and Wine Decor

orange wine fall wedding decor

orange wine fall wedding decor

This inspiration board showcases wonderful details for a fall wedding: orange flowers; reception tables set in a wine cellar or under an arbor of grape vines; a tablescape of brown, gold, and orange; and a wine cork place card holder.

Source: WeddingWire.com
Bouquet: Petals, Stems & Leaves
Bouquet: The Organized Partner
Centerpiece: The Wedding Designer*Susan Foy
Wine Cellar Table: Wiens Family Cellars
Hanging Vase: Dawn Ranch Lodge
Cork Place Card: O2Weddings Photography
Cake: Twenty Two Photo

green brown wedding

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Flash Sale on Wedding Peonies at FiftyFlowers.com – Ends July 1st!

Light pink peonies wedding flowersblush pink peony wedding flowerspeonies wedding flowers

Flash sale on peonies from Fiftyflowers.com:
“Our Peony fields are bursting with flowers which allows us to pass on a VIP flash sale to you! Get 100 Peonies for $199.99, but only for a limited time!! Peonies are a picture perfect flower that will WOW you with its beauty and elegance. Choose from our Blush, Hot Pink, Pink Sarah Bernhardt, or a beautiful Mixed pack!”

Hurry, Only Available for Delivery from Now until July 1st, so get them while you can! Go to the peony sale now…

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Tips for Finding and Working with a Top-Notch Ice Sculptor

Just out: This week’s Weekly Wedding Tips: Tips for Finding and Working with a Top-Notch Ice Sculptor

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7 Ways to Decorate a Wedding Huppah

chuppah decorated with garland#1: Attach Garland to the Edge of the Canopy
A garland of fresh leaves or flowers around the edge of the huppah canopy brings a bright energy to the wedding space. The garland should be fairly light-weight. Use light flowering branches, wildflowers, or herbs. You can DIY the garland or more…

chuppah-with-bouquets#2: Attach Bouquets to Poles
You can evoke a world of different wedding styles depending on the types of flowers and other elements in the bouquets: romantic roses, shabby chic lavender, rustic sunflowers, wheat stalks tied with gingham ribbon, simple white hypericum berries, or bright pink and orange more…

Huppah decorated with garland swags#3: Drape Swags of Garland Between the Poles
If your huppah has valances, that is, fabric pieces hanging at the sides, draping garland from pole to pole in front of the valances creates an interesting visual interplay of color and texture.

This is another approach that works best with fairly light garland, otherwise the huppah can more…

Huppah with flower petals
#4: Scatter Flower Petals on the Ground

If your wedding ceremony is outside, scattering flower petals on the ground under the huppah evokes a sense of natural beauty that is easy and inexpensive to achieve. If you are getting married outside in the spring, you might be lucky enough to have nature spread a carpet of blossoms more…

Huppah decorated with ribbons#5: Hang Ribbons from Poles
Add color and movement to your huppah with long ribbons that catch the breeze. Ribbons make simple and inexpensive wedding decorations. They should hang one-third to one-half the length of the huppah poles. You can keep the look simple with one color, or combine ribbons in all the colors of your more…

Huppah garland wrapped around poles#6: Wrap Garland Around the Poles
This is another huppah decorating option that works especially well for outdoor weddings.

If you are using a huppah or poles from Huppahs.com, attach the garland to the screw at the top of the pole with florist wire. Anchor it to the bottom more…

Huppah undecorated #7: Don’t Add Any Decoration at All
Your last option in decorating your huppah is to not decorate it at all, but to leave it unadorned and keep the emphasis on the people standing beneath the huppah and the ceremony.

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How to Decorate Your Huppah #3: Drape Swags of Garland Between the Poles

Huppah decorated with garland swagsOne in a series of posts on how to decorate your huppah…

If your huppah has valances, that is, fabric pieces hanging at the sides, draping garland from pole to pole in front of the valances creates an interesting visual interplay of color and texture.

This is another approach that works best with fairly light garland, otherwise the huppah can look top heavy. Use greenery, flowers, or leafy herbs.

Use florist wire to attach the two ends of a length of garland to the tops of adjacent poles. Let the garland drape across the face of the valance.

For a more formal look, leave some garland hanging down at the poles. The ends of the garland should hang slightly lower than the lowest point of the draped section.

Huppahs.com’s poles, both the huppah poles for sale and huppah poles for rent, have circular screws at the top that are used for attaching the canopy and can also be used for attaching garland or other decorations.

Related posts:

More new wedding planning posts…

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How to Decorate Your Huppah #2: Attach Bouquets to Poles

chuppah-with-bouquetsOne in a series of posts on how to decorate your huppah…

You can evoke a world of different wedding styles depending on the types of flowers and other elements in the bouquets: romantic roses, shabby chic lavender, rustic sunflowers, wheat stalks tied with gingham ribbon, simple white hypericum berries, or bright pink and orange gerberas for full-on fun.

To make this work, your poles will have to have a good anchor to attach the bouquet; either an indentation at the top of the pole to which you can tightly tie ribbons or florist wire, or an anchor attached to the pole.

Huppahs.com’s poles, both huppah poles for sale and huppah poles for rent, have finials with indentations at the top that are often used to attach bouquets. The poles also have circular screws at the top that are used for attaching the canopy that can also be used to attach bouquets or other decorations.

Related posts:

More new wedding planning posts…

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Special Wedding Details Series: Unique Ice Carvings

When it comes to planning a wedding, I’m a big fan of having one or two stand-out elements; details that will make your wedding personal and memorable and that are worth splurging on a bit in what otherwise might be a tight budget. This post is the first in a series highlighting elements that can serve as those personal, memorable details.

Bill Bywater ice carverGuest Blogger: Bill Bywater
New Windsor, New York

Bill, a commercial sculptor, is a member of the Academy of Ice Carving and Design. Bill’s company, Bywaterworks, was named by that organization as one of the world’s top 200 ice carving companies.

So you have chosen your soul mate, you have chosen your officiate, picked the date, and picked the location. Now you can contact your ice carver. Some larger reception venues, like hotels or catering halls have an ice carver on staff or one that they are used to working with. It is not unreasonable to ask to see photos of their work so you can determine if they can knock out a standard swan or if they can execute a more involved and personalized carving. Ice carvings fall under auspices of the Sous Chef. This kitchen position includes cold food service as well as vegetable and fruit sculpture.

Cinderella's Coach ice sculpture bill bywater

Cinderella's Coach and Horses; Source: http://www.billbywater.com

I did not go school for culinary training, I went to school for sculpture and got into ice carving later. If you need to research who in your area can handle an ice carving for your wedding reception, engagement party, bachelor or bachelorette party or rehearsal dinner, here are some suggestions:

  • 200 Best Ice Carvers. Both this and the next organization’s websites feature lists of dedicated ice carvers.
  • National Ice Carving Association
  • WeddingWire lists ice carvers under “Unique Services”.
  • You could Google “ice carving blocks” to find out who is making crystal clear carving blocks near you. They will know carvers.
  • My site is www.billbywater.com. I serve the Hudson Valley and north to Albany, west to Fairfield, and a little of Northern NJ.

Be ready to tell your ice carver the critical information about your event so they can determine if they can accommodate your needs. Only once the contact person,(usually the bride, groom or wedding planner), tells me the date, location, time and description of the ice carving(s) needed, can I tell them if I am free at that time and what the cost would be.

angels with candles ice carving bill bywater

Angels holding candles; Source: http://www.billbywater.com

For me, ice carvings start at $350 for a single block carving. A single block of ice can become any animal, heart design combination. I have carved an R2D2 robot, a pair of wedding bells, back-to-back saxophones forming a heart, kissing fish, a turtle and frog as bride and groom… you get the idea. This is an area for a couple to express themselves and show their flare. Couples’ names are often incorporated into the carving using a snow fill technique so they show up white.

visitors-services ice carvingI once talked a bride out of getting their names and the date on side-by-side hearts because it would look like a frozen gravestone. We did one large heart, with an arrow and both first names. She was very thankful I could picture the finished carving in my mind as we were discussing it, thus avoiding the headstone look.

Flowers and photographs can also be frozen into the block when it is being made if that is what you would like.

My price includes delivery to a freezer or the table. I also include a drip/display pan with clear hose that goes to a bucket beneath the table and fluorescent lighting. (I do not include the bucket.)

Starting at $500 I can carve the ice right in front of your guests’ eyes. It makes for a fun cocktail party and takes an hour or less. See an ice carving demonstration.

Once you have secured the services of an ice carver, let your caterer know that your carving will be delivered to either their freezer or directly to the table. Most caterers will let you know they can not be held responsible if the carving is damaged ahead of time in the freezer, but they should be willing to have their staff set it up for you. A carving should be in place half and hour to an hour before the room is open to allow it to loose its surface frost from the freezer.

Eiffel Tower ice carving

Eiffel Tower; Source: http://www.billbywater.com

Determine with your table layout where the ice carving will go, and make sure it is indicated on the room layout design. Plan on not moving the ice carving once it is set up. If your reception is outdoors, avoid direct sunlight. I tell folks an ice carving will be in good shape for three or four hours, but the slow melting is also part of the elusiveness of the medium. Wings and fins can look better and better as they melt, so birds and fish are often the subject matter for ice carvings.

Ice carvings do not have to be just stuck on the buffet.

More info about ice carvings at weddings:

Walk-in ice bar at Damenti's Restaurant, Mountain Top, Pennsylvania

Walk-in ice bar at Damenti’s Restaurant, Mountain Top, Pennsylvania. Photo: Bill Bywater.

And take a look at this: Oh, Martha Stewart, THIS is an ice bar

Contact Bill Bywater.

Bill Bywater is a professional commercial sculptor. His talents are often applied to architectural restoration projects, and he has sculpted sets and props for Broadway shows and movies (his name is one of the ones you see racing by at the end of movies). He turns his talents to creating unique ice sculptures for weddings and corporate events through his company, Bywaterworks.

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Our 100 Favorite Backyard Wedding Themes

This is a big day for Backyard Huppah, and we’re sharing the joy – We’re celebrating our 100th blog post with a list of our 100 favorite backyard wedding themes and a few of the details that bring them to life!

    WEDDING THEMES FOR ALL SEASONS

  1. Plumosa Greens Garland Source Fiftyflowers-com

    Garland on the stairs.

    Classic Style: Flowers in urn-shaped vases, tightly manicured hedges, monograms.
  2. Chocolate: Chocolate liqueur, beef with chocolate and chili mole, chocolate mousse.
  3. Brunch: Mimosas, savory quiches, a jazz trio.
  4. Cocktail Party: Cityscapes, signature drinks, stilettos.
  5. Childhood Home: Garlands on the stairs, rolled up rugs, dressing for your wedding in the room where you grew up.
  6. Community: Long tables, young and old sharing the dance floor, making a charitable donation in honor of your guests instead of giving favors.
  7. Spheres: Spherical vases, bourbon balls pre-set on the tables, paper lanterns.
  8. Champagne and Cake Reception: Clinking glasses, heart-felt toasts, butter cream frosting.
  9. Surprise Wedding: Invitations that throw everyone off the scent, informalwear, a champagne toast to announce the wedding ceremony.
  10. Afternoon Tea: Lace huppah, herbed sandwiches, tiered serving platters.
  11. Vintage: Birdcage veil, bias-cut satin, champagne punch.
  12. Simple Elegance: White huppah canopy, a gown with simple lines, understated floral arrangements.
  13. Pot-Luck: Gathering around the huppah, buffet table overflowing with everyone’s best festive dishes, the heart-felt support of family and friends.
  14. Nights in Morocco: Hamsa, gold thread embroidery, a bridal crown.
  15. family style catering weddings

    Family-style meal service; Source: Family Style Catering, Portland, Oregon (www.familystylecatering.com)

    Family: Family members holding your huppah poles, a family slideshow, family-style meal service.
  16. Dancing: A dance floor, a DJ, friends you can count on to get the party started when the first song hits.
  17. Dessert Reception: Tiered serving plates, passed champagne, chocolate.
  18. Hors d’Oeuvres Reception: Savory hors d’oeuvres, carefully chosen wine, cocktail attire.
  19. Candy: Pastel colors, candy buffet, candy favors.
  20. Country Romance: Lace huppah, wooden tables, sweet tea.
  21. Lakeside Wedding: Raising the huppah by the lake, the wedding dress catching the breeze, The sun -or moon- reflected in the water.
  22. Roses: Rose petals strewn in the aisle, rose water, heaping bouquets of roses.
  23. The Big Tree in the Backyard: Huppah under the tree, tree leaf decorating motif, taking turns on the swing.
  24. Paper: Wrapping paper table runners, paper lanterns, paper flower centerpieces.
  25. Mini: Mini quiches, mini cupcakes, petite roses.
  26. Just Close Family and Friends: Handwritten invitations, shared memories, homemade wedding cake.
  27. Candles: A hundred borrowed candlesticks, candle favors, an internal glow.
  28. Yair Emanuel kiddush cup

    Yair Emanuel kiddush cup

    Jewish Artisanal Style: Hand calligraphed ketubah (wedding contract), Yaer Emanuel design kiddush cup, klezmer band.
  29. Sparkle: Beaded lace, champagne bubbles, a bride’s beaming face.
  30. Fiesta: Vibrant colors, Mexican peasant dresses for the bridesmaids, large paper flowers.
  31. How We Met: Food and centerpieces based on the place where you met, the natural conversation starter: “So, how did you two meet?”
  32. Fairy Tale Wedding: Pink roses, a tiara, silk satin.
  33. Passion Romance: Red roses, chocolate covered strawberries, passionfruit sorbet.
  34. Farm: Bushel baskets, tall grass, reception in the barn.
  35. Italian Feast: Italian wines, antipasto, cannoli, tiramisu, gelato, cassata, amaretti, pizzelles, panna cotta, limoncello semifreddo, zabaglione, mascarpone frosting…
    .
    SPRING WEDDING THEMES

  36. Wholesale Flowers at FiftyFlowers.comSpring Greens: Spring green satin pumps, spring green orchids, salad of mixed spring greens.
  37. Pinks: Mixed flower bouquets, strawberry punch, a blushing bride.
  38. Gingham: Bouquets wrapped in gingham ribbon, gingham tablecloths, favor boxes topped with gingham bows.
  39. Flowering Trees: Huppah by the trees, flowering branch centerpieces, flower petals dusting the ground.
  40. Berries: A mix of purples, raspberry kir, berries on the wedding cake.
  41. Tulle: Tulle details on the wedding dress, bouquets tied with tulle ribbon, candy favors tied up in tulle.
  42. Victoriana: Posy bridal bouquet, sugared violets, flower arrangements filled to overflowing.
  43. Sweet Romance: Shoulder length veil, petite bridal bouquet, stolen kisses.
  44. Tulips: Tulip bridal bouquet, tulip centerpieces, tulip-skirted flower girl dresses.
  45. Lag B’Omer (A Jewish holiday between Passover and Shavuot): Flowering branches, laughter, young love.
  46. Lilacs: Purples, lilac table bouquets, the sweet heady lilac scent.
  47. Daisies: Yellow and white, daisy bouquets, “…she loves me, she loves me not, she loves me, she loves me not, she loves me!
    .
    SUMMER WEDDING THEMES

  48. pennant banner by Lilybella

    Pennant Banner by Lilybella

    Carnival: Pennant banners, caramel popcorn, ring toss.
  49. Garden Party: Layers of stripes and chintz, small full flower arrangements, ladies in hats.
  50. Barbecue: Sweet-smelling smoke, micro-brewed beer, wetnaps.
  51. Picnic: Gingham tablecloths, fried chicken, potato salad.
  52. Tropical: Citrus colors, cool drinks, mango ice cream.
  53. Southern Charm: Mint juleps, magnolias, photos on the veranda.
  54. Cottage garden: Garden tours, a leisurely meal, herb garden menu.
  55. Stripes: Striped ties, widely striped tablecloths, huppah poles wrapped in ribbon.
  56. Hydrangeas: Blues, greens, and purples; linen table cloths; silver flower bowls.
  57. Americana: Family photos on the porch, touch football on the lawn, a bonfire.
  58. Fourth of July: Stars and stripes, bunting, sparklers.
  59. Fairy Garden: Fairy lights reflected in the birdbath, pinks and blues, butterfly wings in the flower arrangements.
  60. Lavender: Lavender bouquets, lavender ice cream, lavender sachet favors.
  61. Chintz: Rose-themed invitations, chintz overlays on striped tablecloths, overflowing rose bouquets.
  62. the calla lilies are in bloomLawn Games: Croquet, horse shoes, lemonade.
  63. Evening Romance: Raising the huppah at twilight, a cello, dinner and dancing under the stars.
  64. Calla Lilies: Dramatic large calla lilies, elegant small calla lilies, echoes of Katherine Hepburn’s “The calla lilies ahre in bloohm…”
  65. Forest: Moss, tree-branch huppah poles, pinecone place cards.
  66. Luau: Leis, hibiscus, piña coladas.
  67. Evening in the Garden: Lots of white, huppah lightly sparkling with beaded lace, heaps of candles.
  68. French Countryside: Toile, topiaries, garden benches.
  69. Beach: Sand, surf, ocean breezes.
  70. Midsummer Night’s Dream: Twinkly lights, flower garlands, moonlight.
  71. Sunset Ceremony: Tiki torches, tiki torches, tiki torches.
    .
    AUTUMN WEDDING THEMES

  72. pomegranates talkoftomatoes

    Source: talkoftomatoes

    Pomegranates: Pomegranate themed invitations, deep red table setting, pomegranate tablescapes.
  73. Apples: Huppah under the apple boughs, sparkling cider, apple centerpieces.
  74. Rustic: Wooden tables, hemp table runner, home-made wedding cake.
  75. Velvet: Velvet huppah, velvet table runners, red velvet cake.
  76. Country Store: Mason jar vases, natural fabric tablecloths, home-made pies.
  77. Autumn Harvest: Pumpkins, natural tablescape, a pretty cardigan.
  78. Wine Tasting: A knowledgeable sommelier, dark wood, savory hors d’oeuvres.
  79. Fruits of Israel: Marzipan-stuffed dates hors d’oeuvres; broiled figs; centerpieces of pomegranates, figs, grapes, dates, and sheaves of wheat and barley.
    .
    WINTER WEDDING THEMES

  80. hanukkiah meredithloveslife-blogspot-com

    Hanukkiah from meredithloveslife.blogspot.com

    Hearth and Home: Glowing fire in the fireplace, family and friends gathered from far and near, warm hugs.
  81. New Year’s Eve: Champagne, cocktail attire, glittery golds.
  82. Snowflakes: White and blue, crystals in the centerpieces, sugar snowflakes decorating the wedding cake.
  83. Glimpses of the Garden: Snow covered trees, red cardinals, cardinal red.
  84. Desert Landscape: Long horizons, succulent centerpieces, desert sunset.
  85. Greenery: Ruscus green garlands, white flower accents, garland decorations draped on the wedding cake tiers.
  86. Hanukkah: Evening ceremony, lighting the hanukkiah, gold-wrapped chocolate coins scattered on the tables.
    .
    WEDDING COLOR THEMES – By Time of Day
    .
    DAYTIME WEDDING COLOR THEMES

  87. Fiftyflowers.com orange and fuschia flower bouquets

    Orange and fuschia bouquets

    Orange and Fuschia: Fuschia bridesmaids’ dresses, orange and fuschia bouquets, white table linens.
  88. Brown and Green: Moss, pinecones, tree branch huppah poles.
  89. French Blue and White: French blue tablecloths, white porcelain urn flower containers, touches of brown.
  90. Turquoise and Orange: Turquoise tablecloths, orange flower centerpieces, lots of energy.
  91. Lavender: Lavender bridesmaids’ dresses, lilac bouquet centerpieces, touches of light grey.
  92. White and Navy: Navy suit jackets, khaki pants, touches of yellow.
  93. White, Ivory, and Creamy Pink: White gown, pink tablecloths, ivory ribbons.
  94. Silver Grey, Gold and White: Silver table service, gold brocade table runners, crisp white linens.
    .
    EVENING & NIGHT WEDDING COLOR THEMES

  95. Black and white baroque wedding cake

    Baroque patterns; Source: A Piece of Cake Utah

    Black and White: Formalwear, baroque patterns, a touch of bling.
  96. Ivory and Gold: Duchess satin fabrics, double-sided satin ribbons, Chiavari chairs.
  97. White: Layers of white in a mix of textures, tapers, vanilla bean wedding cake.
  98. Fig, Dove Grey, White: Fig centerpieces, dove grey tablecloths, white votive candles.
  99. Silver Pewter: Silver pewter bridesmaids’ dresses, deep grey organza chair sashes, pewter goblets.
  100. Charcoal Grey: Charcoal grey suit, white rose boutonniere, silver kiddush cup.

Is your favorite backyard wedding theme here?

Thanks to Clara for the idea for this post, and to Clara and Agnes for their enthusiastic creativity in compiling the list!

Related posts:
Brown and Green Wedding Details
8 Pomegranate Red Wedding Details
8 Lavender Wedding Details

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Give tzedakah instead of party favors – We can change the world!

Free fundraising flyerCouples planning weddings typically spend 3% of their budgets on party favors for their guests. If that money went to tzedakah (charity), we could change the world!

U.S. wedding expenditures are about $40 billion dollars per year. Three percent of that is $1.2 billion. Imagine $1.2 billion more dollars going to charitable organizations each year. That’s much ka-ching could do a lot of good.

And we’re talking about a way that couples can give charitable contributions without adding a dime to their wedding budget. What’s not to love?

I so much love the idea of couples making a charitable donation in honor of their guests in lieu of buying wedding favors, that I turned an article of mine on the subject into flyers for distribution by charitable organizations or anyone else who wants to help spread the word.

There are three versions each with a different headline, so you can choose the one that works best for your organization.

They are free to print, download, and distribute.

Donations could be made to any type of organization, of course, but because the article originally appeared in the Washington Jewish Week, the article has a Jewish bent.

Having done a short stint in fundraising, I hope that the idea will take off and be an added source of support for the Jewish institutions who do so much good for our communities.

See the flyers

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Do a Favor for Your Guests and a Good Cause

When planning your wedding, consider skipping the traditional favors and using the money instead to make a donation to your favorite charitable organization in your guests’ honor. On the table where guests would normally look for a favor, tell your guests about the donation with stylish tzedakah cards. Free printable tzedakah card templates.

This is an excerpt from an article I wrote that originally appeared in Washington Jewish Week’s 2011 Wonderful Weddings guide.

Sometime between Adam and Eve’s expulsion from Eden and the rise of Martha Stewart, giving favors to your wedding guests became an expected custom. The wedding industry offers many choices, including small picture frames, candles, and organza-wrapped candies, but finding the right favor can be tricky.

You want a gift that adequately expresses your gratitude to your guests without straining your budget. Favors generally cost between $1.25 and $3.50, but multiply the price times the number of guests and the cost adds up quickly. Moreover, you want a favor that looks worthy of a place on your reception table. That’s a lot to ask from $3.50, let alone $1.25. In the post-wedding analysis, brides and grooms often look back and wonder if their wedding favors were worth the effort and expense.

If you want to honor your guests in a way that you know will make a difference, forgo the favors. Instead, make a donation to an organization or cause that is important to you, and do it in honor of your guests.

Giving charity, tzedakah, is always a wonderful idea, but in tight economic times your gift can make an especially big difference to a cause that is important to you. Honoring your guests with a gift that impacts the larger community is a way to spread your wedding joy.

The size of the donation is up to you and the constraints of your budget. As a rule of thumb, three percent of the wedding budget goes to favors. If you plan to redirect this money toward a charitable contribution and your overall wedding budget is $10,000, the amount of the donation would be $300.

Let your guests know about the donation in a simple, inexpensive, stylish way. On the table where guests would normally look for the favor, place a card that tells them about the gift. You can create a tzedakah card for only a few pennies, and creating a card that fits the feeling of your wedding and looks great on the table is easy. Depending on the method you chose to make the cards, you can do it in less time than it takes to lasso candy into bundles of organza.

This article has been turned into fundraising flyers that can be used by charitable organizations to encourage donations.
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8 Pomegranate Red Wedding Details

pomegranates talkoftomatoes

blueorchidblog champagne pomegranate cocktails
pomegranate and pear salad

yair emanuel stemmed kiddush cup seven speciesyair emanuel challah cover pomegranatesyofah red velvet kippah helendresses.com sheath strapless bridesmaid dress
Pomegranate Template

The Jewish significance of pomegranates dates back centuries. Many Torah scholars believe that the pomegranate, not the apple, was Eden’s forbidden fruit. The pomegranate wedding details here include three Jewish wedding items (center column, from top to bottom): a kiddush cup, challah cover, and kippah (yarmulke).

My next two posts will be recipes for the Champagne Pomegranate Cocktail and the Pomegranate and Pear Salad shown in the left-hand column, so stay tuned…

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Brown and Green Wedding Details

moss
new-year-challah
Huppah-Ribbons-Detail
Jerusalem tallit brownbrown velvet kippahbrown_green_wedding_colorado Rustic tzedakah place cardGreen-Lady-Slipper-Orchid-Maudiae-150ketubah naomi broudo etsy

A selection of accessories and details for a brown and green wedding, including accessories for a Jewish wedding: challah, a tallit (prayer shawl), kippah (yarmulke), and ketubah (marriage contract).

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Decorate your huppah with ribbons

chuppah-decorated-with-ribbons
Location: Woodend Nature Sanctuary, Audubon Naturalist Society (Chevy Chase, Maryland)

Huppah-Ribbons-DetailRibbons are an easy and inexpensive way to add color and movement to your huppah. They should be long enough to catch the breeze.
Huppahs.com, the leading national huppah rental company, now offers ribbons in this year’s most popular wedding colors.
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Free Printable Templates for Tzedakah (Charity) Favor Cards

As seen in Washington Jewish Week’s Wonderful Weddings guide
Free Printable Lavender Card Template Free Printable Template Pomegranate Card
Instead of giving wedding favors to your guests, make a donation to your favorite charity in your guests’ honor. Tell your guests about the donation on cards placed on the reception tables. Find free printable templates for charity (tzedakah) favor cards at Huppahs.com.

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For a Romantic Table Setting, Consider Toile

toile tablecloth tablescapetoile tablecloth detail

Last night at a re-launch party for the Washington, DC edition of the Perfect Wedding Guide (you can find local editions of this free guide in lots of cities), one detail jumped out at me: a red toile tablecloth on a sample table setting. Very dramatic. Very romantic. Very gorgeous.

Toile (pronounced twahl) fabric is printed with a pattern of pastoral scenes. It’s reminiscent of the French countryside; a kind of refined rustic. In fact, the full name of the fabric, Toile de Jouy, refers to a town in France, Jouy-en-Josas. The fabric has a romantic feel to it, especially because the scenes on them depict romantic subjects, such as a young couple sitting on a garden bench or picnicking under a tree.

You’ll see toile printed most often in red, blue, or black, and last year for the first time I saw versions printed with brown and lavender.

Toile not only softens a formal table, it elevates an informal table. Picture the toile shown in the photos printed not in red but in blue, on a table under a backyard tree. Breathtaking.

For a romantic table setting, consider toile for the tablecloth or table runner.

The flowers on the table are by Petal’s Edge Floral Design. The party was held at The Madison hotel in DC.

More about toile | DIY a table runner

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