Sunday, March 28, 2010

Eco Friendly Wedding

I am all about saving resources and using them wisley. At the same time we know that alot if the choices we have in doing so can be a little costly. So what are some ways we can made sure to be eco friendly at your wedding? I have gathered tips from all over. If I know the source its cited. If its something that I have just heard along the way and picked up I can't cite a source so if you know where the source came from add it. Thanks
From Better Homes and Gardens:
1.Set the tone: For outdoor weddings use a location that is filled with natural beauty that will not need lots of extra items brought in to make it pretty. Inside weddings choose something like a museum where your deposit goes to a worth cause as well.
2. Choose an eco freindly jewler. Ask where the diamonds come from. Many jewlers now are also using recycled gold for the settings.
3.Local Vendors: By sticking to local vendors your keep travel down and thus the eco blueprint. Also boost local economy. Ask if your vendors are making eco smart choices (Like for me I don't print every paper I get. I also use the backs of preciously printed on forms for things that do need to be printed. I set up as many meetings in one location in one day as possible. Keeps fuel limited and costs down for all. Also I collect and save items from weddings that can be reused in another wedding like vases etc so that brides don't have to buy more and have excess laying around).
From Various Locations
4. Rent items or look into brideshares that allow you to purchase only one set of something and share with another (split the cost). Rentals keeps from making the same item over and over. Also rented plates are cleaned and returned where plastic plates or paper plates while they seem cheaper generate a lot of waste.
5. Limit the guest list. Less paper going out (invitations) less waste. Smaller venue so less energy used.
6.Use recycled paper wherever possible for wedding invitations; most companies can offer this option. Also consider treeless paper made from materials such as bamboo, hemp and kenaf. Even the type of ink used for the invitation should be taken into account as some inks can be toxic.
7.Weddings can generate a huge amount of paper consumption, so give careful thought to items that can be reduced. For example, instead of a program for everyone, perhaps one per couple or group.
8. Instead of having everyone drive from their hotels/motels or wherever they are staying to the wedding or reception venue, perhaps organize a car pool or hire vans to transport everyone to and from your wedding venue. A great deal of fuel can be saved this way, not to mention it will help ensure those who have imbibed in the spirit of the occasion a little too much will get back to their accommodation safely.
9.Everyone likes a photographic record of a marriage ceremony, so instead of sending out hundreds of paper based photographs, save on postage, processing and toxic chemicals by storing digital images on your wedding blog for family and friends to download as they please; printing out only what's absolutely necessary.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

RSVP What?

R.S.V.P. stands for a French phrase, "répondez, s'il vous plaît," which means "please reply."

As you are planning for your big day you need to know how many guest to plan for so the RSVP or response card is very important. Things that hinge on the number of guest include: How many tables and chairs you will need, how much food and beverage you will need, how large a cake you will need, how many centerpieces, and how many wedding favors. Just to name a few.

Helpful hints to the guest: Please send this card back. The couple really wants to know if your coming or not. They will be okay if you have to respectfully decline. Don't assume that by not sending it in they know you can't make it. Also don't assume that because you mentioned you would be there they remembered.

Also put your name on the card somewhere to make sure they know who is replying.

Most couples have already addressed and stamped the card its not hard to send it back in the mail.

To the couples: Discreetly put a number on each card and make sure that number relates to the guest list. For example. Aunt Mary is number 14 on your guest list in a discreet corner write 14 on the card or in the inside of the envelope. So when you get card 14 back and Aunt Mary forgot to write her name you know who sent it.

Also if it fits your wedding you can do a response post card. The postage on a postcard is cheaper.

Make it clean what you need to know on the response card. You can look on line and get plenty of ideas on wording depending on the details of your day.

Know that even if you did not write "plus one" your guest will still try to bring extra guests. You will need to be prepared with a response. Either plan for some extras or plan to call then and let them know you did not plan on anyone extra.

Give guest about three weeks prior to your wedding as a deadline. This gives them time to make arrangements and confirm their calendars.

Escort Cards and displays.

There is always a question if you need escort cards if you are having a buffet or other casual reception meal. My personal preference is yes you do need them. Traditionally with a plated meal the escort card comes in handy so that the wait staff can quickly and efficiently deliver food to your guests. In my experience guest don't mind being told where to sit. For something casual you might not want to assign seats but I do recommend assigning them to a table. So once you know this is something you want to do how do you let people know where to sit? You have to place escort cards out in one location (preferable set out alphabetically) where they can easily grab theirs during the cocktail hour or as they are walking into the reception. I am including several photos here of possibly options. Traditional to casual to unique. Some are from my past weddings and some are just things I have collected from other peoples weddings. Enjoy.
This particular couple went with traditional tent fold cards with the guest name over the table number. The colors of card stock fit into their color scheme, but also represented what that guest had requested for food.
This couple also used the tent fold cards. they tied theirs to a black rot iron gate that was rented. The cards were run through a printer to put the guests names and table number on them, but then a stamp was used to add a little color. I will say it took guest some time to find their names on this one because rows were not possible because of the shape of the gate.
This is a fun idea for a wedding with a beach theme or on the water. Just be sure to have a few extra sand dollars available the day of and the pen in case some break in transport. I have seen this like this with just the guest name on one side and the table number is on the back or or is tied on with a small ribbon. A container with sand is an easy way to hold these.
This Chandelier style display is made using vases twigs and crystal strands. The cards are tied or hooked to the stands and the twigs. Guest do have to do a little hunting on these as well, but if its on the center of a round table they can get all the way around it to look.
Hand made with smooth river stones. This again is for a particular feel of wedding. the table numbers are not on these but could be added to the back or under the name. This is fairly casual with no last names. I think you would want to make sure last names were included to keep from any confusion. This display can be altered and changed to fit your style. Vases can be filled with colored sand to incorporate your color and more cards can be place in the vases. This particular couple did a couple of different trays to cover the alphabet and placed them a few feet apart to allow guest ease to them and to keep from guest crowding. The advantage is the vases can be reused later in your home, or even to hold bridesmaids bouquets once the guest have taken their names.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Birthday Fiesta

Well its that time of year. My kids birthday party. I love planning kids birthday parties and being able to plan one for my kids personally is so much fun. A few months back we all agreed on a Birthday Fiesta. It gets a little harder every year to plan a party that both the kids can get into. Isaiah is now 8 and all boy and Christina is 6 and a total girly girl. So here are the details.

First the invitations: I bought plain bright colored invitations that were blank. On the outside I stamped them with a stamp that said Fiesta with Maraca's and a Sombrero. On the inside I had a stamp that said your invited... and I filled in all the details. I didn't want to do much more for invitations because I was handing out over fifty invitations (thanks to the school rules that all kids in class are invited to parties).

The kids outfits: Thanks to my sister in law, Nery, my kids were in authentic Mexican clothes. They were made and purchased while she was in Mexico for her brothers wedding. The kids loved them.

The Cake: My mom and my sister, Teresa, made the cake. I have always loved the cakes my mom does. They came up with a design that said Happy Birthday and had Maracas and a sombrero on it. They kept it bright and fun. It was perfect.

Decorations: Since the weather turned bad we did not have this at the park as planned but at the fellowship at the hall. I covered tables with plastic table cloths in red, green, and yellow. I made tissue paper flowers and bunched them together for centerpieces and used some as a garland across a couple of poles.

Food: I made a taco bar. Meat, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, and flour tortillas. Also made some rice.

Activities: As kids arrived I had a table set up with crayons and markers. Each child was given a brown paper lunch sack and asked to put their name on it and decorate it. I then collected the bags and while everyone was eating had them filled with Peanuts an apple and some Mexican candy. I left room in the bags that they could add more candy into them. After they ate we played Hot Chili Pepper (just like hot potato). The kids had fun. We moved on from there to the Pinata where the kids got their goody bags to fill them back up with the candy. There is never a perfect way to make a pinata safe inside but with some brainstorming and help from my dad we all had a great time and no one or nothing was hurt. After that we ate cake and opened gifts. Everyone said their goodbyes and we cleaned up.

I was grateful to have Synda one of the youth from my church (she has also interned with me at a wedding) there to help with set up and clean up and anything in between. It was great to have someone there to do those things and keep me there to host and entertain. (Hint that's why you need to hire me to deal with all the details and you enjoy your kids party :-) ).
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