Ideas for Your Vintage Rustic Wedding

A stunning field of lavender was the backdrop for the spectacular wedding of Lauren and Chris in Daylesford, Victoria, Australia.

The wedding theme was “vintage rustic” and the beautiful wedding photos will give you lots of great ideas that you can incorporate in to your own wedding.

When asked how she chose the vintage rustic theme, Lauren says, “Chris and I are both very laid back people who love spending time outdoors! If given the choice we would always choose vintage and wood over modern and glitz. When we look at lifestyle, from our clothing to the interior in our apartment, we knew that a vintage/rustic theme would best reflect our personality as a couple. We wanted to have a wedding that we wouldn’t look back at photos of in 50 years and cringe at our decoration choices; therefore neutral, natural and vintage elements were all used to hopefully produce a timeless wedding.”

The setting is gorgeous!
blumenthal_photography_the_wedding_of_lauren_and_chris_lavender

Lauren’s lovely all-white bouquet is made of peonies and accented with cameos, to give it a personal touch.
Blumenthal_Photography_The_Wedding_of_Lauren_and_Chris_Lauren's_Bouquet

The bridesmaids’ bouquets are complementary to the bride’s but use soft pink peonies instead of white.
Blumenthal_Photography_The_Wedding_of_Lauren_and_Chris_Bridesmaids

The aisle décor is perfect for the wedding style and the tree decorated with flowers is an unexpected and creative touch!
Blumenthal_Photography_The_Wedding_of_Lauren_and_Chris_Florals

The display at the beverage station shows how to take something from average to exceptional. The addition of the fruit at the base of the dispensers adds a decorator’s touch.
Blumenthal_Photography_The_Wedding_of_Lauren_and_Chris_Beverages_Station

The display of flowers hung from the ceiling is breathtaking!
Blumenthal_Photography_The_Wedding_of_Lauren_and_Chris_Ceiling_Flowers

The all-white cake uses lots of texture to create a stunning creation.
Blumenthal_Photography_The_Wedding_of_Lauren_and_Chris_Wedding_Cake

The yummy dessert bar offers little bags so guests can take goodies home with them.
Blumenthal_Photography_The_Wedding_of_Lauren_and_Chris_Dessert_Table

Milk and cookies is a great way to end the evening in a gracious show of hospitality.
Blumenthal_Photography_The_Wedding_of_Lauren_and_Chris_Milk_and_Cookies

The lavender field is the perfect backdrop for romantic photos.
Blumenthal_Photography_The_Wedding_of_Lauren_and_Chris_Lavender_Field

More details from the bride, Lauren:

How did you select your wedding dress?
Much like our wedding theme, I wanted something elegant and timeless! I have never been the biggest fan of giant princess dresses… They’re just not me… So from day one I was always trying on fitted or lightly flowing gowns. Suzanne Hardward has always been an inspiration for me; the garments they produce are absolutely stunning! I had seen footage of a Suzanne Hardward runway show, showcasing their newest wedding dress designs, and the coloured ribbon used on this gown immediately caught my eye. When I tried it on for the first time my mum bawled her eyes out, I guess that was the reaction I was aiming for (happy tears of course).

Tell us about your reception:
Our reception was full of laughter and tears, but it was absolutely perfect! The décor blew me away, our whole set up looked even more beautiful than I could have imagined! By the time our reception started the sun began to set yet the weather was still nice and warm. Our guests were constantly commenting on how stunning everything looked, how delicious all of the food was, and how happy we both looked. Our speeches had us both in stitches; I’ve never laughed and cried so hard at the same time in my life! My bridesmaids had to fix my makeup multiple times, but I wouldn’t have had it any other way!

What was the highlight of your day?
Apart from the obvious (marrying Chris), I think the fun that everyone had dancing and singing together after the speeches at our reception really topped off our night! This was probably the first time that we had all of the people who really mean the most to us, in the one venue, and everyone was just so happy. I really didn’t want the night to end even though I was absolutely exhausted! Thinking about all of our friends and family goofing around together; age differences between people, and whether they actually knew each other or not meant nothing to anyone, because we were all celebrating the same thing together. Thinking about our entire day still brings a smile to my face every time!

Wedding Photographer: Blumenthal Photography – blumenthalphotography.com.au

Vendors:
Venue:
Sault – Daylesford, Victoria, Australia
Event Styling & Planning: A Lavish Affair
Wedding Gown: Suzanne Harward
Bridesmaids’ Dresses: White Runway
Groom’s Attire: Vera Wang
Groomsmen Attire: Raffaele Ciuca
Flowers: Victoria Whitelaw
Cake: Cake Face (Call Me Cakeface)
Rings: Just Me Jewellery

The Groom Surprises His Bride With a Creative Video

You may have noticed that this blog post has a different focus than my usual posts, but I just had to share this incredible video with you! One of the women on my blog team, Caitlin, attended her cousin David’s wedding in Cape Cod recently. And when she came back to the office she shared the amazing video that, David, a professional artist, created and presented as a surprise to his bride and the wedding guests at the reception.

…. 200 Hours … 600+ Drawings … 10 Months …  And you will love it!

If you are even the slightest bit romantic, you will get teary-eyed! After you’ve watched it, read the interview that Caitlin did with David.

Enjoy!

Caitlin: What inspired you to create this awesome video?
David:
I knew I wanted to do something for Meghan that she would never expect. It is very difficult to plan surprises for her since we are almost ALWAYS together. In the little amount of time that I could draw without her knowing, I completed a majority of the movie…working 12-14 hours a day on it. I also wanted to play this during the reception to give every friend and family member something unique to remember. Almost all weddings follow a similar routine, but I just wanted to add something that was different, something that I hope everyone will remember.

Caitlin: Tell us about the process you went through to complete the video.
David:
As far as the process goes…I started out by doing a drawing and then using a light table to trace the next image over the previous drawing. I would tweak each image little by little, to give it the “flipbook effect”. I then took photos of every single picture I drew, uploaded them to the computer and dropped them into iMovie (a software for editing movies). I only did about 10 seconds of the movie at a time, to make sure that I was on pace with the song and the lyrics.

Caitlin: How long did it take to complete?
David: This video took me 10 months to complete. I started it December 15 of 2012. The first time I heard this song, I knew I wanted to create a movie to go with the music. At first, I thought of filming the wedding planning process, but I figured Meg would think I was up to something. I thought of the doodle idea because, first, I could do the drawings without her knowing and secondly, the significance behind the doodles. I started out by drawing album art on CD’s that I would burn for her, that turned into me doing little drawings on Post-It notes at work every so often that I would just leave on her desk.

Caitlin: How did you meet Meghan?
David:
Meghan and I met at work (United States Tennis Association). Meghan does play tennis however, that is not the significance behind the opening scene in the movie. It more so represents the fact that the first time I saw her was at work, which happens to be a tennis company. It wasn’t until talking with her a couple of times that I found out she did play tennis.

Caitlin: What is the name of the song? Who is the artist?
David: The artist of the song is Tim McMorris. The name of the song is “Overwhelmed”.

Meghan and David

“It was the most beautiful gift I’ve ever seen. Everyone was sobbing (me included…loudly). The amount of work and love that my cousin had put into this video…is just unique and beautiful. I love my cousin like a brother, we grew up together, saw each other everyday. So, to know that he has found a love like this makes me a very happy ‘sister’. Couldn’t be more proud and happy for him and Meghan.” – Caitlin

Wedding Photos: Joanne Giannetti Photography

Andrea and Chris’ Winter Wedding

Two team members at Exclusively Weddings had weddings in 2012. Taylor, who is on the merchandising team, got married in June and her wedding is featured in an earlier blog post: Taylor and Andrew’s Rustic Wedding. Andrea is head of the merchandising team at Exclusively Weddings and her December wedding is featured below:

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On a warm and sunny winter’s afternoon on December 1, Andrea married Chris in the wedding of her dreams! It was simple and elegant but it had a  bit of opulence, too!

The couple knew how they wanted their wedding to be. She says, “My husband and I wanted to be able to share this special day with the closest and dearest family and friends. We wanted a smaller wedding (around 150) so we would be able to speak and visit with all, as well as enjoy the party. I cannot describe how wonderful our wedding day and entire weekend turned out. It was truly so surreal and very magical. I knew, that my wedding day would be special, but never knew HOW special it was going to be. Everything … every detail … was worth the time and the effort to make perfect. There is not one thing that my husband and I can think of, that we would have wanted to change. We are so grateful to have such a wonderful family to help make it be the wedding of our dreams come true. We will never be able to express how appreciative or say thank you enough to our parents.” 

Andrea and Chris were introduced to each other by mutual friends who hold an annual Fall Fest, which Chris and Andrea both attended and they spent time there getting to know each other. And it turned out that he lived 10 houses down the street from her. And as they say, “the rest is history”!
Andrea and Chris - Click to Enlarge

Andrea’s wore a “statement” necklace that was custom made by Yamamori in Greensboro, NC. She says, “My mom and I found a bracelet that I loved and had envisioned for a necklace (I knew I wanted something pearl and chunky). So we brought it to the jeweler and he made the bracelet into a necklace.”
Andrea and Chris' Wedding - Click to Enlarge

The bridesmaids’ dresses were an unexpected find. Andrea explains, “Mom came home with this dress FOR ME and says that it would be perfect for me to wear to  a friend’s upcoming wedding. I told her I loved it and that it is exactly what I would love my bridesmaids to wear, even though it was not sold as a bridesmaid’s dress. So we went back to the department store and scrambled to find the dress in everyone’s sizes. We found one for each of my bridesmaids and got one extra. My mom took the extra dress and made the flower girls matching sashes for their dresses and made my nephew a matching bow tie.”
Andrea and Chris' Wedding - Click to Enlarge

Andrea and Chris' Wedding

Andrea’s bouquet and Chris’s bountonnière coordinated and fit their neutral palette.
Andrea and Chris - Click to Enlarge

Andrea made sure she and her bridesmaids could enjoy pain-free dancing at the reception: “I bought each of my bridesmaids a pair of shiny gold TOMS that coordinated with their dresses and that they could wear at the reception. When I got them, I realized, that I wanted a pair, too! So I ordered myself a pair in silver as well as a pair for my mom. After the ceremony, I quickly changed out of my heels and into my TOMS and wore them the whole night. THE BEST DECISION I made, was to purchase some for myself. My feet did not hurt once and I could dance all night in comfort. Plus they were super cute!”Andrea and Chris' Wedding

Andrea and Chris' Wedding

The doors to the reception at Greensboro Country Club were decorated with Chris’s and Andrea’s initials that were covered in greenery.Andrea and Chris' Wedding - Door Wreaths

A special table held photos of Andrea’s and Chris’s parents and grandparents on their wedding days.
Andrea and Chris' Wedding - Click to Enlarge

Floral centerpiece … simple and elegant …
Andrea and Chris' Wedding - Click to Enlarge

Andrea explained the cute and delicious carrot-cake cupcakes, “My husband is an extreme, dedicated UNC-Chapel Hill Tarheel fan. He went to Carolina and lives and breathes for their sports. I have never seen anything like it but absolutely love his enthusiasm and dedication to his team. My mom surprised him with the cupcakes at the wedding.”
Andrea and Chris' Wedding

Andrea’s luscious cake … accented in gold.
Andrea and Chris' Wedding - Click to Enlarge

Andrea and Chris' Wedding

Andrea’s mother handmade several accent pillows in the wedding colors, which were placed on sofas and chairs at the reception venue. Some were personalized with their monogram.Andrea and Chris' Wedding

Because the country club would not allow sparklers or anything tossed, Andrea’s mother made festive bells for the guests to ring when the couple left the reception.
Andrea and Chris' Wedding - Click to Enlarge

Andrea’s mother handmade 50 stockings … one for each out-of-town guest. Each stocking was filled with local specialties and home-made
goodies.
Andrea and Chris' Wedding - Click to Enlarge

Andrea and Chris left the reception in a luxurious Rolls Royce, rented for the occasion and in Carolina Blue, of course!Andrea and Chris' Wedding

Andrea and Chris' Wedding

AndreaAndrea shares her wedding planning tips:“One thing that I was not happy about when we booked our ceremony and reception was the break between the two. Because we got married in a Catholic church, they only do 11:00 AM and 2:00 PM weddings and we chose the 2:00 PM option with our cocktail hour starting at 5:00 PM. Therefore, our guests had a break between the two. Throughout the planning process, I got more comfortable with the idea. NOW, after all is said and done, I would recommend this to everyone! It was so nice, for Chris and me and our wedding party to not rush around trying to take pictures and then rush to get to the reception. We were able to enjoy and let loose a bit while taking pictures. Afterwards, we all hung out in the Country Club’s boardroom. It was nice to spend this quality time with our wedding party. Also, when the cocktail hour started, our wedding party went to join everyone else and Chris and I had some “alone time” in the boardroom. This was a really nice opportunity to sit and enjoy the special day and relax. Also, we were able to eat at this time. Luckily we did that, because from the moment we walked into the reception, I didn’t notice the food or even think about it. So I was really glad I had eaten during the break.

During our ceremony/mass, Chris and I surprised our moms with a single white rose. I wanted to do something special for them and have them part of the ceremony. I know both moms loved that.

Also, we got everything out of the way all at once at the reception. We were introduced as we entered the reception, did all the first dances and cut the cake … all right after each other. It was nice not to worry where I had to be and at what time. Once the traditions were taken care of, I was able to catch up, dance and have fun with nowhere to be.

Sunday morning after the wedding, my parents hosted a brunch at their house. That was nice time to recap the wedding with friends and family. Since all of our family was from out of town, it was nice to spend a little extra time with them. We were married on a Saturday but waited until Monday to leave for our honeymoon. It was great not to have to rush to get ready, pack and leave for our honeymoon.”

_______________
Photography:  Andrea and Chris’ wedding was photographed by
Abigail Seymour Photography.

Taylor and Andrew’s Rustic Wedding

Two team members at Exclusively Weddings had weddings in 2012. Andrea, who is head of the merchandising team, got married in December and her wedding is featured in a blog post here: Andrea and Chris’ Winter WeddingTaylor is on the merchandising team at Exclusively Weddings and her June wedding is featured below:

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On a sunny morning in June, Taylor married her true love, Andrew, lakeside at a historic farm in North Carolina. It was blue-sky day in a scenic and charming setting. Everything was perfect!

Taylor and Andrew met in college at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill during her freshman year and his sophomore year. She admits that she had a crush on him for years, but they didn’t start dating until the summer he graduated. They both love their alma mater and Taylor showed her loyalty to UNC by wearing a Carolina Blue garter.

Before the wedding, Taylor and Andrew read notes that each had written to the other. Because they wanted to wait until the wedding ceremony for Andrew to see Taylor in her wedding dress, the best man walked Andrew to the meeting spot so Andrew could keep his eyes closed. Taylor and Andrew's Rustic Wedding - Reading Love Notes

Taylor’s beautiful bouquet included white peonies, white hydrangeas, and green hypericum berries and was tied with a burlap wrap.Taylor and Andrew's Rustic Wedding - Taylor's Bouquet

Walking to the alter with her father . . .Taylor and Andrew's Rustic Wedding - Taylor and Her Father

Aisle décor – made by Taylor . . .Taylor and Andrew's Rustic Wedding - Aisle Decor Made by Taylor

Taylor and Andrew's Rustic Wedding

The tranquil setting included lots of foliage and a large lake.
And if you are wondering how Taylor made the decision not to wear a veil, she says, “I’m not very traditional but while there are certain things that I really cherish about tradition, the veil was not one of them. I didn’t really like the look with the dress and since I was getting married on a farm, I didn’t feel like it would go with my theme. Good thing I decided not to because my husband told me later he doesn’t like the look anyway!” Read more wedding thoughts from Taylor at the end of the blog post.
Taylor and Andrew's Rustic Wedding - Happy Smiles

Bridesmaids wore a shade of blue that complemented the bridal gown’s
sash.
Taylor and Andrew's Rustic Wedding - Bridemaids

The groomsmen looked handsome in their attire, which was perfect for the hot, summer day.
Taylor and Andrew's Rustic Wedding - Groomsmen

Taylor and Andrew's Rustic Wedding - DIY Details

Taylor and Andrew's Rustic Wedding

They had a small wedding cake along with decorated cupcakes.Taylor and Andrew's Rustic Wedding - Cutting the Cake

They made their departure in a 1967 Austin Healy. She says, “My neighbor restores old cars and this is one he finished, so he offered to drive us away in it.”
Taylor and Andrew's Rustic Wedding -- Getting Away in Style

TaylorTaylor shares her wedding planning tips: “I’m a crafty person, so when it came time to plan my wedding, it didn’t seem right to buy my decorations when I could make them myself and could make it more personal that way, too.  I was also on a budget, so it was much more cost effective to make what I wanted. Like most girls, I had been thinking and dreaming about my wedding since I was little, so it was a very personal thing for me. I didn’t want a wedding planner; I wanted to do everything myself and  I wanted every detail to be special and unique to Andrew and me. DIY projects made this possible for me. While some of my guests may not have known, I spent time and effort making every detail the way that it was and overall I think that made a huge difference in the feel of our special day.

I picked things that could be used in multiple ways; for example, the burlap material for table overlay and bows, the twine for the jars, window frame and other odds and ends, ribbon that could be used all over my reception, etc. Then I also tried to make things that I could use after the wedding; for example, the wreaths that were used at the wedding are now at our home and the jars now have candles in them and are on our mantle. We use the plain mason jars at home and have the wood signs displayed at our home, too. So basically I just tried to be resourceful. I am very thankful that I have crafty family members and friends too because I had help with every DIY project that I did. My best advice: Make sure you allow enough time to get things done!

Photo Credits:
Taylor and Andrew’s wedding was photographed by:
Carl Butler of Keepsake Memories Photography and Natalie Schram of Agape Memories Photography

Your Color Story – Choosing Your Wedding Colors

Choosing a color scheme for your wedding is one of the most important wedding planning decisions you will make because the colors you choose will be played out in your invitations, bridesmaids dresses, flowers, bouquets, cake, place cards, favors, wedding decor, reception decor and more!

So, how do you go about choosing your perfect wedding colors? Some things to consider . . .

Time of Year: The season of your wedding is always a good place to start because you probably wouldn’t want to use a spring palette of pale yellow and soft pink for a December wedding. But if you love those colors and are having a winter wedding, you can use a variation of them by using a rich yellow/gold with a deep pink. In most cases it isn’t the color you choose that will make it “work” but it is the tones of the colors.

Availability of Photos to Inspire: Another tip is to do an internet search for the colors you are thinking of using. Put your colors in to Google (be sure to include the word “wedding”) and select “Images” in the left navigation. The results should give you photos of the colors you are interested in so you can see how they look together. Also, go to Pinterest and do a search on your colors there. If you want to be able to see lots of photos of ideas as you go through the planning process, this exercise will let you know if you will have those photos available. If you don’t see many photos in Google or Pinterest in the colors you are considering, it may mean that the colors and/or combination of colors is rare and you might also have trouble finding products in those colors, as well. It will save you a lot of stress and time if you can easily find products in your color.

How the Color Looks on You:  Consider the wearability of the color. For example, if you don’t look good in yellow then it may be best not to choose yellow as a primary color for your wedding. You will be standing next to your yellow-wearing bridesmaids in photos and will likely be surrounded by the color at your reception. So choose a color that work for your skin tone, coloring, etc.

How the Color Looks on Your Bridesmaids: Do take “your girls” in to consideration. They will feel better wearing a flattering color than one they just don’t feel right in. If your favorite color happens to be one that is hard to wear, let that color be your secondary color and choose a complementary main color for your bridesmaids’ dresses.

There are nine color story collages below to help you decide on your colors or to give you ideas for colors you have already selected.

You may wonder how the colors for these collages were chosen. All of them were requests from our Facebook fans and several of them have been posted on our Facebook Page.

In the future, look for more collages of colors on Facebook and here on our blog. Subscribe to our blog (link on left side of this page) so you will get email updates when there is a new blog post.

Be sure to click on each photo to see a much larger image.

Chocolate Brown works well with Tiffany Blue. You can also pair brown with pink or mint green for a similar effect. As shown in the bridesmaids photo at top right, you can use either brown or blue as the primary color. More Chocolate Combinations
Blue_and_Brown_Wedding

Coral and Turquoise is a luscious choice for a summer or beach wedding. The coral can be dark, almost red, or a lighter, almost pink, shade. More Turquoise Combinations and more Coral Combinations.
Coral and Turquoise Wedding

A preppy combination for spring or summer is Navy with Pink.  The bright pink plays beautifully off the rich, deep blue. More Pink Combinations and more Blue Combinations
Pink-and-Navy-Wedding-Colors

A great combination for spring or summer and one that also adapts well to a shabby chic theme is Pink and Turquoise. The soft pink paired with turquoise lends itself well to the use of a vintage-inspired decor.
More Turquoise and more Pink Collages.
Turquoise and Pink WeddingPurple and Green combination usually draws oohs and aahs! There is just something particularly appealing about this combination. There are lots of options in the shade of purple you use. For spring or summer, the shade can be lighter and for fall you can take the purple to more of a plum color.  More Purple Collages and more Green Collages
Lavender and Green Wedding Colors

Orange With Purple works for late summer or fall. It may not be a combination that is first thought of but as you can see, it is really lovely. More Orange Collages

Purple and Orange Wedding Colors

Aaah, Purple with Silver … sophisticated and “rich”, this combination works for any season and makes a big impression! More Purple Combinations
Purple and Silver Wedding Colors

Black and White paired with another color is a classic. There is no limit to the variety of colors that work well with black and white. More Black and White Options and more Yellow Options
Yellow with Black and White Wedding Colors

And if you just cannot choose one or two or three colors and want a Rainbow of colors, you can do that, too! With a rainbow theme you do want to be careful with your colors so you don’t end up with something garish. With the right touch, a rainbow wedding can work.
Rainbow-Wedding-Colors

We have many Pinterest boards with thousands of pins to help you with inspiration and ideas. We post new photos daily so follow us to keep us with the newest pins!
EW on Pinterest. We have a Pinterest board for all of our 100+ collages .. click here.

Collages created by Sher Silver – Exclusively Weddings

After this post was created, I added another one with lots more collages. To see it, click here.

EW - blog product30

Photo Credits:
Blue and Chocolate: Rustic Wedding Chic, Serendipity Photography LLC, Tucson Bride & Groom, Project Wedding, It’s a Piece of Cake,  Connie Cupcake, obscured.tumblr – Coral and Blue: Inspired by This, Brett Rose Photography, Project Wedding, Object:Splendor, Aloha Island Weddings, Wedding Wire, All the Beauty Things –  Pink and Turquoise: Bride Finds, Hostess Blog, Gather Love, Project Wedding – Purple and Green: Project Wedding, Twigs and Posies, Join the Party, The Cake Parlour, Wedding Cake Blog, Style Me Pretty, Philippe Bas Florale passie – Purple and Orange: Renee Landry Style, Project Wedding, Unique Event Design, Wedding Bee, Elizabeth Anne Designs, Project Wedding – Purple and Silver: Project Wedding, Ken Kato, A Southern Tradition, Project Wedding, Pinterest Archive, Alternative Purple, Done Brilliantly, Isari Flower Studio, Pinterest Archive –Yellow & Black/WhiteStyle Unveiled, Bliss Events, Michaels, Sugar & Co. – Rainbow:  Sugarland, Jim Kennedy Photographers, the little epicurean, Trent Bailey Photography, Iftheringfits, paper & cake, SprinkleBakes

A Wedding Dream Comes True

AliSix weeks before her wedding, bride-to-be Ali was asked by HuffPost Weddings to write an article for them on the subject of planning her wedding. Ali, the product manager at Exclusively Weddings, wrote in her article that what she really wanted her wedding to be almost got side tracked. She took a step back to re-evaluate and re-group, and in the end, she got the exact wedding she had been dreaming of.

Ali was married to Hill on April 28. In looking at her wedding photos recently, I saw a radiant bride who had a big, natural smile in almost every single picture. This was a bride who was relaxed and who obviously enjoyed every minute of her big day. The statement from her HuffPost story, “I just want to marry the man I love in front of the family and friends that I adore” is exactly what happened!

Her HuffPost article is shared below, along with photos.

Reprinted from HuffPost Weddings  –  May 1, 2012: The Pressure To Have A ‘Unique’ Wedding – By Ali Besaw — Some may say I am your typical bride-to-be. I’m a young professional juggling a multitude of things every day. Now one of those items being juggled is finalizing the details of my wedding because I’m getting married in six weeks. The good news — all the major things are done and checked off of my list. I’ve booked my ceremony and reception location, hired a DJ and finalized the menu. But now is the time when those little details have to be addressed which include the question, how can my wedding be ‘”different” or unique? The details I’m obsessing over include: What am I going to decorate my tables with? What about wedding favors? How do I want the bridal party introduced? These small details are taking over my mind. Crazy? Not yet.

Now, some of my friends say I have a slight advantage because I happen to be a product manager for a great little wedding supplies company — Exclusively Weddings. So, I know stuff. I have contacts. But, that certainly does not alleviate the pressure I feel to be unique.

So I search the internet for ideas. Like every other twenty-something year old female, I check out Pinterest — but I do it relentlessly. And I obviously look to my friends and family for help. We can all find great ideas like those crafty DIY projects that could really make your wedding unique. There’s just one major problem: Who truly has the time to do that? Plus, I live and work in North Carolina while my wedding is taking place in Georgia!

Although my fiancé is quite special, he isn’t much help besides answering, “Whatever you want,” in response to my need for his opinion. And, though I’d like to pretend they don’t, my bridesmaids do have lives of their own. In my wedding-consumed mind they can easily dedicate their evenings to hunting down old vintage books that I can set an antique clock on for my center pieces, but in reality, they can’t.

So I have to ask myself, how important are these “unique” touches? Sure, if I had all the time in the world and a never-ending budget, I could pull off a David Tutera-esque wedding. But I don’t. And do the guests really care if I provide them with handmade favors that took hours to assemble? Aren’t they there to witness the “soul’s recognition of its counterpoint in another,” as John Ryan would say? Aren’t they there for the free food and beverage, not to mention witnessing some interesting events such as the guaranteed long-distance relative that has too much to drink? I think emphatically, yes. I just want to marry the man I love in front of the family and friends that I adore.

With all that said. I love the idea of creating something new and unique. But it’s not the handmade center pieces and wedding favors at the reception that will make it so. I know my wedding and reception will be unique because it will be a reflection of me and my fiancé, as well as our family and friends. So, I’m looking forward to providing my guests with yummy brownie pops and having lovely floral center pieces in crystal vases. I’ll be sure to send pictures of how “unique” everything was!

Ali and Hill

Ali and Hill’s wedding was photographed by Kelly Rae Stewart Photography and all photos shown here are from her portfolio. Used with permission. Additional wedding photos can be seen on the photographer’s blog.

For a “Wow Factor” at Your Reception – The Orchid Tree

Orchid Tree CenterpieceEveryone loves orchids! Many of us enjoy small plants in our homes, which we may have purchased for a modest price while grocery shopping. We also see them, of course, in stunning wedding bouquets and mothers’ corsages.

Lately, though, we are seeing Curly Willow branches and Manzanita trees decorated with orchids at wedding receptions.  These dazzling displays are used as centerpieces, on the escort/table card table or at the entrance to set the tone for a spectacular wedding reception.

You may be wondering how an orchid tree is created. Basically, it consists of orchids glued to Curly Willow branches or a Manzanita tree. If you want to make one or more yourself, it is a do-able DIY project. You can get the both these items from Koyal Wholesale.

If you do want to try making one yourself, florists say that they try to wait until the day of the wedding to glue the blooms, so they will remain fresh throughout the reception. They also suggest the option of putting each bloom in a water tube, which is then covered with moss or a Galax leaf. The Dendrobium orchid is the one most often used and the price can vary greatly depending on your own locale and, of course, how many blooms you use.

We have been seeing a lot of photos of Orchid Trees on Pinterest and we have an Orchid Trees for Wedding Receptions board devoted to this growing trend. We want to share some of the gorgeous designs with you here to give you ideas for own wedding.

This luscious orchid tree creatively displays the escort/table cards.
Orchid Tree with Hanging Cards 

With orchids “dripping” off the branches, it also incorporates crystals and candles for a spectacular effect.Orchid Tree With Candles

This design does not have a lot of orchids on it but it still makes a big
impression.
Pink Orchid Tree

This design is enhanced by the use of pebbles and
votives to give it a beachy feel.
Orchid Tree with Candles

This tree is absolutely covered in orchids! The rich green
moss adds to its visual impact.
Orchid Tree with Moss

Sitting on a bed of flowers, this orchid tree makes
a beautiful backdrop for the escort cards.
Orchid Tree

All photos from projectwedding.com except for the second one,  from austinweddingblog.com and the third one, bridalguide.com