March 24, 2017

Wedding Invitation Trends to Set The Tone

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In this new-age world of texting, tweeting, Facebook events, and Evites, brides-to-be may be tempted to skip out on the traditional printed and mailed wedding invitation due to the high cost and lack of time. Yet, even in today’s fast moving and efficient world of technology, sending out an invitation through an email or electronic platform tends to feel impersonal and doesn’t allow you to connect with your guest on the same level. Yet, the wedding industry personals would still like to encourage sticking to traditional paper invitations when it comes to your special day, as doing so not only leads to a positive outcome for both the couple and the guests, but also adds a special touch to the overall feel of your wedding from start to finish.

 

Wax Seal Stamps - Invitation - Jennifer Claire Photography - via Pinterest.com

Wax Seal Stamps – Invitation – Jennifer Claire Photography – via Pinterest.com

 

Coming home to a personalized invitation for an important event can be a special treat for your guests, especially now that physical mail is becoming less common. It leaves an impression that starts before the wedding and a memory that lasts long after. Sending out an invitation, no matter how simple or extravagant, is a fun way for guests to sneak a peek of the fabulous wedding to come, as well as dictate what is to be expected of their guests attending.

“Invitations set the stage for a wedding, letting guests know how formal it will be. And that is determined by their choice of the elegant and beautiful details the bride and groom put into the finished product.” – Gina Milano, owner of Long Island Wedding & Event Planners Boutique in East Norwich and Smithtown, NY

The invitation is the very first impression your guests will have of what to expect; it sets the mood and allows for a glimpse into your wedding style and  color schemes while also informing your guests regarding appropriate attire. This is your opportunity to bring your personal style and design themes to life by creating an invitation that resonates with you. Let your personality shine through and put your vision onto paper! You have all the options in the world, along with a variety of resources at your fingertips, to make this creative process your own. Every couple is unique just like every wedding, and your invitation should be too!

Now, as many may want to design from scratch, there are a lot of trends that are hitting the wedding market in a big way that could inspire and create excitement about taking on the traditional physical wedding invitation.

 

1. Give a sneak peek of the arrangements to come or show off your favorite flowers with floral inspired designs! Use your surroundings or your favorite artwork to ignite your creative side. Pull colors, different types of flowers, or even stems and leaves to create a beautiful piece of art.

 

 

2. All gold everything! Everyone is obsessed with the gilded, gold, metallic, and foiling printing trends in season now. It adds a touch of shimmer and shine to your invitation, guaranteed to be a showstopper.

 

 

3. Think outside the rectangle! Circle, triangles, or custom shaped invitations – make your invitation your own! Create a stunning silhouette that shapes your vision onto paper.

 

 

4. Bring the outside indoors by adding an extra physical element to your invitation like buttons, or real wood to create a rustic look and feel for your invitation. This unique packaging will be sure to leave a lasting impression in your guests’ minds.

 

 

5. For a customizable, unique take on traditional wedding invitations, try out the new water color trend. Each invitation becomes a piece of art, different from the one before it, and completely compatible with your color scheme.

 

Modern Boho Meets Classic Elegance - by Anna Delores Photography - via The Perfect Palette

Modern Boho Meets Classic Elegance – by Anna Delores Photography – via The Perfect Palette

 

6. Zzzz Zzzz… Introducing laser cut designs! This new, innovative trend allows for simple borders or intricate patterns carved into your invitations and all wedding related stationary.

 

 

7. Ribbons, twine, or lace add an elegant touch to any invitation design. It’s the perfect way to add extra creativity onto a simple invitation. Complete any look with a physical addition to help you tie the knot!

 

Elegant Vintage Romantic Wedding - Hunter Ryan Photography - via Wedding Chicks.com

Elegant Vintage Romantic Wedding – Hunter Ryan Photography – via Wedding Chicks.com

 

8. For an extra decorative surprise inside, use envelope interiors to add additional color and patterns to complement the design of your invitation. This special designed interior is fresh, fun, and unexpected.

 

 

So while you may feel inclined to go digital with your wedding invitations, we hope that these trends will get you excited about creating a traditional wedding invitation that is true to you. Keep it romantic and simple with some ribbon or lace. Make it rustic and outdoorsy by adding physical elements or modeling designs after real flowers. Create a wow factor by sprucing up a classic design with gold foil, patterned envelope interiors, or water color. Personalize it with laser cutting and custom shapes.

The trick is to make it yours! Stay consistent with your wedding theme and personal taste to create a beautiful message for your guests to cherish.

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March 23, 2017

Spring Wedding Venues in New York City

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All winter we wait and wait for the day to hear the longing sounds of birds chirping, to see flowers budding through the soil, and to feel the sun through our windows. Spring is finally here! The grass is green, the trees are blooming and it’s time to put our snow boots away for good. There are so many qualities of spring that we fall in love with. March, April and May are heartwarming months to take advantage of the colorful foliage and natural beauty around us. As a soon-to-be-bride, choosing to get married in the spring is an exciting time that offers you many great options when it comes to your bridal gown, bridesmaids dresses, wedding flowers and your venue. Being from the greatest city in the world, we know that the concrete jungle may not always offer venues that have organic nature roots, but from Bride and Blossom to all of our brides, we have a few hidden gems that are perfect springtime wedding venues in NYC.

 

Springtime - NYC - New York City Feels - via Pinterest.com

Springtime – NYC – New York City Feels – via Pinterest.com

 

When imagining a spring wedding, we picture colorful flowers, garden themes and most importantly, an outdoor-inspired space. Now, as New York’s weather can be temperamental, it is easy to say many may be nervous to plan a fully outdoors event in the spring — as the saying goes, “April showers bring May flowers.” Well, we have the perfect compromise for you! An outdoor wedding that has indoor features to create a secure space that is weather resistant, but also allows you to bring the outdoors and sunshine inside with you. Three of our favorite spring wedding venues include Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Battery Gardens and the famous Tribeca Rooftop. We are confident that you will love what these venues have to offer and can’t wait to share them with you.

 

BROOKLYN BOTANIC GARDEN

The Palm House - Brooklyn Botanical Gardens - Weddings - via William-Chang.com

The Palm House – Brooklyn Botanical Gardens – Weddings – via William-Chang.com

 

The Brooklyn Botanic Garden is a popular attraction for those in the tri-state area and visitors alike. Brooklyn Botanic Garden is filled with an array of varying gardens and exhibits, including cherry blossom trees, cape buttercup blooms and a rose garden, while changing throughout the seasons to support a variety of species. The garden grounds are full of intertwining landscapes and flowers galore. What many don’t know while visiting this colorful treat is you can get married at the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens. With a capacity of 300 guests, it is a beautiful reception space that can accommodate many layouts, having multiple areas to hold different parts of your wedding. It is popular to hold your ceremony directly in the garden space for picturesque backdrops as you say “I Do.” There is a grand fountain near the main garden, which works brilliantly for cocktail hour as sun gets lower in the sky. Next, and one of the best features of this space, is The Palm House. The Palm House is an indoor space made of glass walls that create an atrium feel overlooking the gardens. It’s a beautiful space during a sunset ceremony or a reception underneath the Brooklyn stars. It also offers a terrace with a peaceful lily pad fountain for an extra touch of serenity. This beautiful oasis is a great option for a springtime wedding as it represents spring in all of its glory. Flowers blooming, bees buzzing and birds chirping along with beautiful scenery for a night you will remember forever.

 

 

 

BATTERY GARDENS

Julie & Ryan - Spring Wedding - Battery Gardens - Photo by Sarah Tew Photography

Julie & Ryan – Spring Wedding – Battery Gardens – Photo by Sarah Tew Photography

 

Next on our list is Battery Gardens. Most New Yorkers know Battery Park as a public park at the very tip of downtown Manhattan. It’s a great place for kids’ sports games, running, picnics, and surprisingly, weddings. Battery Gardens is an exclusive on-site restaurant, offering stunning harbor views and an outdoor terrace on the water. This space has the sophistication and elegance of New York’s Battery Park wrapped up into one. The venue, with a maximum capacity of 220 guests, is known for producing both intimate and large-scale weddings, catering to all of the standards of New York.

The first space that often holds wedding ceremonies is the outdoor patio. This is a large backyard if you will, with panoramic views of the Hudson River. Getting married on the Hudson with New York as your backdrop makes for an incredible scene. This outdoor space offers beautiful landscaping and greenery to enhance a springtime wedding. After the ceremony, we move to cocktail hour, which is often held downstairs in an airy, open space. Dinner and dancing then follow in the main upstairs dining room. A dance floor, dinner space and lounge area provide plenty of entertainment options for guests, and the room adds a romantic touch with a working fireplace for a chilly spring night. The entire space has panoramic windows with stunning views of the harbor, and the Statue of Liberty. Battery Gardens is a gorgeous venue for a couple craving more of a classic feel with a touch of the outdoors and ocean tranquility. It offers both indoor and outdoor options that can be easily transformed to host the wedding of your dreams, while being a great location to celebrate a springtime wedding in a more low-key setting.

 

 

 

 TRIBECA ROOFTOP

Nicole & Mark - Colorful Ombre Chuppah - Tribeca Rooftop - Photo by Shlomo Cohen Photography

Nicole & Mark – Colorful Ombre Chuppah – Tribeca Rooftop – Photo by Shlomo Cohen Photography

 

The last springtime venue that embraces more of an industrial design for our more modern brides is Tribeca Rooftop. Located in the heart of Tribeca, the rooftop is an integral part of Downtown Manhattan life. Tribeca Rooftop is a contemporary and industrial-style penthouse that hosts private parties, events and weddings, accommodating a large capacity of 300-380 guests. Operating on a larger scale, Tribeca Rooftop is known for its famous in-house chef, yet can also provide catering of your choice. Though it is called a rooftop by name, it offers both indoor and outdoor space. Inside the penthouse, which is the main reception hall, there is a 65-foot skylight and a magnitude of glass windows creating an open concept loft space. Once you step outside, Tribeca Rooftop is known for its fabulous roof deck that has spectacular 360-degree views of Manhattan. As this venue was originally a 1920s printing press building, it houses exposed brick walls offering a modern yet historical vibe for your wedding style.

Getting married on the roof deck as the sun goes down behind the Manhattan skyline is just one of the many perks of this location. It can be dressed up with greenery, florals and accents to highlight the season’s best qualities. With dinner and dancing to follow inside the penthouse, the guests will never miss the starry night over Manhattan. The roof deck can stay open throughout the night, letting your guests take in the gorgeous feeling of a true Manhattan wedding.

 

 

Choosing a wedding venue can be a difficult task, yet emphasizing the season can provide you with many pleasing options to fulfill all of your hopes and wishes. Make sure to have fun during the process of venue shopping and remember, the spring is a time for dreamers.

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March 20, 2017

The Ritual, Meaning, and Joy of the Jewish Wedding Ceremony

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Working weddings in New York City means you’re lucky enough to be surrounded by multiple cultures and a variety of fabulous wedding traditions. Bride & Blossom has been lucky enough to work with brides whose weddings celebrate the many cultures and religions that make this city one of the greatest in the world! With each ceremony comes the opportunity to translate unique traditions into a wonderful expression of a couple’s love. A beautiful example of this is the Jewish wedding ceremony, which is full of meaningful rituals symbolizing the union between a husband and wife and their bond to the Jewish community.

 

Ceremony / Melanie and Graig / Tribeca Rooftop / Brett Matthews Photography

Ceremony / Melanie and Graig / Tribeca Rooftop / Brett Matthews Photography

 

Highlighting the history, meaning, and joy of Jewish marriage rituals that join the chatan (Hebrew for groom) and kallah (bride) for life. From the chuppah and breaking of the glass to the yihud, here’s your guide to a traditional Jewish ceremony.

 

Kabbalat Panim
On their wedding day, the bride and groom are considered royalty. The Jewish wedding begins with the kabbalat panim, which translates to ‘the receiving of faces.’ Just like a queen and king, the couple receives their guests in two separate events – the Hachnasat Kallah for the bride and Chosen’s Tish for the groom. The bride is seated on a throne-like chair where she is usually greeted by the female guests who are there to provide her needs. During the Chosen’s Tish, which means ‘groom’s table,’ the male guests gather around the groom and drink toasts. The groom tries to read a passage from Torah while guests interrupt him by shouting song. It is intended to keep the mood light and good-spirited.

 

Jewish Traditions - The Kabbalat Panim - via Jewish Wedding 101

Jewish Traditions – The Kabbalat Panim – via Jewish Wedding 101

 

Badeken
The couple sees each other for the first time during the Badeken, or veiling of the bride. A symbol of modesty, the veil expresses the idea that above physical appearance, the groom is drawn to his bride’s inner beauty. The male guests lead the groom to the bride’s room where she is surrounded by her female guests. He looks at his bride before lowering the veil over her face. The custom comes from the biblical story of Jacob’s love for Rachel – Jacob did not see his bride’s face before the ceremony and was tricked into marrying the wrong sister.

 

Chuppah
The wedding takes place under the chuppah, a canopy that is open on all sides and symbolizes the home of the soon-to-be-married couple. Dating back to when the Jewish people roamed the dessert, the structure recalls the tent of Abraham and Sarah, which was open and welcoming to others. There are no formal requirements regarding the chuppah’s appearance. We’ve had the privilege of working with brides on the design and floral decoration, and love watching how the chuppah becomes a beautiful expression of a woman’s personality and style.

 

 

Circling
The bride and groom are escorted into the chuppah by their respective set of parents. Next, the bride circles the groom seven times symbolizing the seven days of creation and the building of the walls of their new world together. The number seven is also significant because it symbolizes wholeness and completion.

 

Kiddushin
Kiddushin means Blessings of Betrothal and takes place under the chuppah. After the Rabbi recites the betrothal blessings, the bride and groom take a sip from a ceremonial cup of wine.

 

The Kiddushin - Betrothal - Jewish Wedding Traditions - Avi & Eleana - photo by Twin Lens Images - via Little Black Book

The Kiddushin – Betrothal – Jewish Wedding Traditions – Avi & Eleana – photo by Twin Lens Images – via Little Black Book

 

Giving of the Ring
The groom places a ring on the bride’s right index finger in clear view of two witnesses while reciting an ancient Aramaic phrase. Jewish law requires the ring to be made of precious metal and without decoration or stones, which symbolizes a marriage of simple beauty. Not permitted in some Orthodox weddings, the double-ring ceremony continues with the bride sliding a ring on the groom’s index finger.

 

Ketubah (Marriage Contract)
The Ketubah, marriage contract, is read aloud in Aramaic and English. It is signed by two witnesses and stands as a legally binding agreement. This is the point in the ceremony when the first part Kiddushan (betrothal) ends, and the latter part called Nissuin (marriage) begins.

 

Ketubah - Jewish Traditions - Jewish Wedding. Contract - via Inside Weddings

Ketubah – Jewish Traditions – Jewish Wedding. Contract – via Inside Weddings

 

Sheva Brachot (The Seven Blessings)
The theme of the sheva brachot, or The Seven Blessings, links the couple to our faith in God as Creator of the world, Bestower of joy and love, and the ultimate Redeemer of our people. The blessings are recited by the Rabbi, chosen friends and family members, or all guests in attendance.

 

Breaking of the Glass
The best-known Jewish wedding tradition is the breaking of the glass. Traditionally, the groom shatters a wineglass under his foot. But it is perfectly acceptable for the bride to get in on the fun these days. Reasoning behind the ritual varies: a symbol of the destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem; a reminder to the couple that life is full of sorrow and joy; a symbol of the fragility of relationships. For wedding guests, the sound of breaking glass means it time to shout “Mazel Tov!” and get the party started. Smashing the Glass.com is dedicated to featuring this tradition of many brides and grooms.

 

 

The Yihud
It’s been a whirlwind day for the couple. The Yihud, which means seclusion, is a ritual during which the couple retreats to a private room where they can have a moment together to reflect on their new partnership as husband and wife.

As you can see, there are many symbolic rituals make up the Jewish ceremony, creating a day filled with meaning, love, and joy that celebrates the union of husband and wife.

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March 19, 2017

Unique and Thoughtful Bridesmaids Gift Guide

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Bridesmaids. You chose this group of women to be by your side on your wedding day for many reasons. They are your best friends, the ones you trust and care about most. Some you have known since childhood, others you met later in life and bonded with immediately.

 

Bouquets / Anna & Matt / Pierre Hotel / Brett Matthews Photography

Bouquets / Anna & Matt / Pierre Hotel / Brett Matthews Photography

 

From the bachelorette party and bridal shower to the dress fittings and heart-to-heart talks in between, they have been your support system during an exciting, yet occasionally stressful time. When it comes to a bridesmaid gift, thank them with something that expresses how much you appreciate all their hard work and commitment. Finding a special gift can be difficult though, and the last thing you want to do is resort to a basic, uninspired present. For the bride in need of some ideas, we put together a guide of unique and thoughtful gifts that your bridesmaids are sure to love.

 

Urban Decay Naked Palette and Eye Shadow Brush

Referring to themselves as the Glam Squad, your bridesmaids have been working overtime to make sure you look absolutely gorgeous walking down the aisle. Your get-togethers always lead to discussions about the latest makeup trends and products. The Urban Decay Naked Palette makes a perfect gift for the beauty-obsessed bridal party. With 12 universally flattering bronze-hued shadows, it has everything needed to create a natural look for day or dramatic eye for evening. Good tools are key to flawless makeup, and we love the versatility of Bobbi Brown’s Angle Eye Shadow Brush.

 

 

 

Slip Silk Pillowcase and Eye Mask

Is there anything better than the gift of a good night’s sleep? Your best friends will have only the sweetest dreams with Slip’s pillowcase, which is made of 100% high-grade mulberry silk. They will not only wake up feeling better, but also looking better thanks to the ultra luxurious fabric that protects and hydrates skin while safeguarding hair from split ends and frizz. Guarantee ultimate beauty sleep and pair with the matching silk eye mask.

 

 

 

Cire Trudon Trianon Classic Candle

You are probably thinking, “A candle, seriously?” But, we have a good case for giving a candle as a bridesmaid gift. Cire Trudon’s legacy goes back to 1643 when the Paris-based Maison made candles for the royal court of Louis XIV at Versailles. A tribute to Marie Antoinette, the Trianon Classic Candle exudes a transcendent aroma that blends summer florals with a “warm scent of the musk of torches.”

 

Cire Trudon - Trianon Classic Candle - via Barneys

Cire Trudon – Trianon Classic Candle – via Barneys

 

 

Peter Lindbergh. A Different Vision of Fashion Photography

Here’s the perfect gift for the bridal party who shares a love for the art of fashion. Esteemed photographer Peter Lindbergh captured some of fashion history’s most iconic images and is largely responsible for the rise of the 90s supermodel. Containing more than 400 images culled from Lindbergh’s 40-year career, this book showcases his unique vision of fashion photography, which celebrates women, capturing both their physical beauty and inner spirit.

 

 

 

Beats Solo Wireless On-Ear Headphones

There’s no denying music’s ability to inspire and nourish the soul. With Beats Solo Wireless On-Ear Headphones, your friends can enjoy state-of-the-art, all-day listening comfort of their favorite songs wherever they go. They are available in an array of colors – the gold design is super stylish and looks like a modern piece of jewelry.

 

Beats by Dre - Headphones - via Amazon.com

Beats by Dre – Headphones – via Amazon.com

 

 

Tiffany Blue Box

You consider yourself a classic bride and have dreamed about a Tiffany-themed wedding since you were a little girl. This bridesmaid gift makes the excitement of receiving a blue box from Tiffany last forever. Your girlfriends will love storing their most cherished keepsakes here. Made of the finest porcelain, the box is elegant and timeless, and perfect for display on a dresser or vanity.

 

Tiffany Blue Box - Porcelain - Tiffany & Co

Tiffany Blue Box – Porcelain – Tiffany & Co

 

 

Dollhouse Locket with Personalized Engraving

For a truly special gift, you can’t go wrong with a personalized piece of jewelry. We adore this locket necklace from Catbird, the beloved jewelry boutique in Williamsburg. Have the locket engraved with elegant script for each of your bridesmaids. Delicate and meaningful, it will surely become one of their most treasured charms. The locket is available in sterling silver and gold.

 

Dollhouse Locket, Silver - Catbird Jewelry - Catbird Exclusive - via Catbirdnyc.com

Dollhouse Locket, Silver – Catbird Jewelry – Catbird Exclusive – via Catbirdnyc.com

 

The joy and excitement of becoming a bride wouldn’t be what it is without the support of your best girlfriends. We hope this guide helps you find a unique gift to thank them for their work and friendship.

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March 18, 2017

Destination Inspiration: Ireland

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The Emerald Isle, with its fabled stretches of coastal green landscapes, offers an evocative inspiration for an utterly breathtaking wedding. Ireland conjures visions of vintage Irish lace and Waterford crystal next to the warm brown of a wooden bar. This inspiration is ideally suited to a décor that leans to the nostalgic, especially with elements such as a wedding dress or motifs that have a more retro and old world elegance.

 

Jacob & Brittany - Intimate Cliffs of Moher - Ireland Wedding - via Epic Love Photography

Jacob & Brittany – Intimate Cliffs of Moher – Ireland Wedding – via Epic Love Photography

 

Whether you wish to honor your family’s heritage or because its majestic verdant beauty inspires the romantic in you, adding touches of Ireland to your décor will transform your event into an unforgettable destination wedding. Giving attention to the defining elements of your wedding will help to thread your chosen theme throughout. Focusing on these first, keeping in mind they should all flow together, then sprinkling in the details, makes for a cohesive design aesthetic.

 

 

Here are our favorite show-stopping moments:

ATTIRE: Here’s your chance to channel your inner Celtic princess. Get fancy. Think layers of intricately woven Irish lace or delicate details of sumptuous silks and sheer tulle. If your wedding date falls during a cooler month, flirt with a neckline detail, a lace sleeve or a full lace back. This aesthetic is perfect for playing with vintage looks made modern. If creams and blush aren’t for you – go blue! Pay homage to Irish traditions and wear a blue-hued gown. Irish brides, until the late 1400s, would wear blue as a symbol of purity.

 

 

For the groom, opt for dapper, very tailored suits or suspenders and dress pants. Irish linen or wool, depending on the weather, will keep your men in authentic fabrics.

That is unless you have a gentleman that is brave enough to bare his legs. In that case, a noble Tartan kilt, usually associated with Scotland but also popular in Ireland, is the utmost ensemble for a dashing man who wants to celebrate his lineage.

 

 

VENUE: Unless you happen to have a castle in your backyard, go for something a bit more abstract for your nuptial backdrop. A private estate with a sprawling lush lawn, the green field of a quiet forest, or a mossy knoll in your favorite park, any of these are reminiscent of the evocative scenery of Ireland.

 

 

If your wedding takes place indoors, choose a warm and cozy, wood-rich environment that leans towards the masculine. It will act as a perfect partner to the more feminine elements of your decor.

 

 

FLOWERS: Bells of Ireland immediately come to mind when thinking of florals for an Irish-inspired wedding, but many other blooms pay tribute to this bountiful land. Amaryllis, Easter lilies, roses, chrysanthemums and wild flowers are all beautiful choices for your bridal bouquet or centerpieces. Also, consider bringing touches of the landscape into your design by creating a green path down the aisle for your ceremony or a table runner of moss for the centerpiece at your reception.

 

 

TABLETOP: Antiqued and brushed metals add a vintage yet contemporary design for your tablescape. Add in touches where you want to illuminate intricate details like a golden charger paired with elegant china or a particular motif, like a gilded Celtic knot, that might double as a napkin ring. This is also an excellent opportunity to add in color! Opt for an emerald goblet or dark green taper candles held by candelabras.

 

Joyce & Patrick Wedding - Le Parker Meridien NYC - by Susan Stripling Photography

Joyce & Patrick Wedding – Le Parker Meridien NYC – by Susan Stripling Photography

 

COLOR PALETTES: By choosing Ireland as your inspiration and to our delight, you have been given the gift of using green, nature’s fabulous neutral! What an amazing color to work with, since it comes in so many gorgeous variations. Choose from emerald and teal, which are rich and jeweled, to forest and hunter, which are deep and velvety. Or use doses of all the greens your mind can imagine to give a tonal wave of color and add a modern twist. Layer in hints of limes, chartreuse, moss and of course, Kelly green. If you prefer a more tempered color choice, look to the season and venue for the best green and choose complementary hues.

 

 

FOOD: Beef. Potatoes. Whiskey. You could go with a menu this obvious (and it would be amazing, if a bit cliché), but you wouldn’t be taking advantage of the food renaissance that’s happening now in Ireland.

For the cocktail hour, a raw bar of ocean jewels, oysters, shrimp and clams is a must. And how adorable would tiny bites of shepherd’s pie, corned beef sliders and shots of Irish potato soup be? Take an elevated nod to hearty pub food and keep things compact and bite-sized. Doesn’t everyone love a gorgeous spread of artisanal cheeses? Pair cheeses with an offering of varietal smoked salmon and a display of traditional Irish soda breads. Ireland is ripe for tasty nibbles; showcase any of these for a delicious pre-dinner tease.

Definitely present a delectable cut as the headliner for the main course; there’s no substitute for a melting, juicy morsel of meat, but try a locally farmed lamb instead of the typically served beef. And don’t forget to honor the coastal landscape of Ireland. Highlight the land and sea by offering cod, Atlantic salmon or even lobster as an entrée.

 

 

DRINKS: Yes, you’re having a whiskey bar, even a whiskey tasting if you want, but don’t stop there. Incorporate Ireland’s love of tea as they consume more tea per capita than almost any other place in the world! Have fun creating a signature tea-infused whiskey cocktail like this Irish Whiskey Green Tea Punch.

A well-stocked wedding will be sure to have all the favorites: Guinness Stout, an Irish Whiskey (or two) and a tart and refreshing Irish Apple Cider will round out the bar and leave something for everyone’s tipple and tastes. For a vintage twist, serve any Irish socialite’s drink, a Black Velvet. This champagne + stout cocktail will look much more elegant than a pint in your bridesmaids hands.

 

 

WEDDING FAVORS: Favors are meant to be fun and whimsical, so let the Irish clichés run wild here…

It is an Irish tradition to ring a bell, a “makeup bell” as it were, to signal the end of a tiff. Wedding bells are popular symbols of nuptials, so why not mark each guest’s presence by a mini wedding bell. Horseshoes are famous for bringing the luck of the Irish. Gift your guests with tiny versions to carry home the well wishes and the eternal luck of your special day. For a lovely and unforgettable keepsake, gift all the lovely ladies with Claddagh Friendship rings (a ring with two hands clasping) and the gentlemen with Irish linen handkerchiefs.

 

 

TRADITIONS: Sharing cherished traditions is an intimate way to add an extra special meaning to your day. Some Irish traditions have been integrated into modern cultures and are recognizable around the world. We might say “tying the knot” as a cheeky way to say we’re getting married, but this term actually started with the Irish ritual of hand fasting. Hand fasting, or tying, is an ancient Celtic ceremony in which the couple joins in tying their hands as a symbol of eternal and infinite love. The ribbons are tied around the crossed wrists of the couple, and they are forever bound to one another.

 

 

Music: The Harp is an ethereal and unbelievably romantic instrument that adds a romantic touch to your ceremony with the sound of an angelic song. A national symbol of Ireland, a harp is traditionally played at times of celebration. Anything strummed on a harp sounds magical, so don’t be afraid to ask for your favorite contemporary song to be played as you walk down the aisle. While bagpipes are the more traditional and bold sounding instrument, they can be just as beautiful and graceful as the beloved harp. With his tartan kilt and unmistakable sound, the bagpiper adds a sense of royalty and is an exciting start to the processional as he leads your guests to the reception.

 

 

There are so many details from the Irish culture to draw from and these are just a few. Be sure to choose details and traditions that speak to you and don’t seem contrived. Incorporating authenticity and quality makes the difference between a chic and genuinely inspired event and a sloppy “Kiss Me I’m Irish” party that’s more like a bad hangover.

With such a wealth of romantic traditions and culture to draw from, you’re definitely blessed with luck if choosing Ireland as your wedding inspiration!

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March 14, 2017

Repurposing Floral Arrangements from Your Wedding

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You’ve been waiting your whole life for this moment. You’re getting married, and with great celebration comes great planning. First thoughts in the planning process are often the venue, your dream dress and food to impress the guests. Yet with all this in mind, it’s important to remember that your bridal flowers are something to put great thought and design into. They are a treasure to be seen, and a lot of time, planning and budgeting goes into your florals to bring your wedding and theme to life. However, due to the life span of these gentle blossoms and their fleeting beauty, many tend to shy away from grand floral pieces to avoid the guilt or afterthought that your flowers will only have a life span of a few hours. What happens to these radiant beauties after the reception has ended and guests are walking out after they danced the night away? Though their sole purpose is to bring beauty, romance and charm into your wedding day ceremony, pictures and reception, some couples deem it a waste of money that flowers are used only for one night. They end up scaling down the designs they had dreamed of, so as to not feel bad about having large amounts of “wasted money” sitting around.

 

DIY Wedding - Alisha & Daniel - by Shea Shoemaker - via Something Turquoise.com

DIY Wedding – Alisha & Daniel – by Shea Shoemaker – via Something Turquoise.com

 

What if there was a way to repurpose these gorgeous flowers and have them live on for days after the wedding day? It’s time to “go green” (pardon the pun!) and do even more justice to these living treasures. This is a new trend that is roaring in the floral industry. We love and value the longevity of a flower’s life and would love nothing more than to see flowers bring more pleasure to people’s lives after the big day. There are many awesome new DIY ideas to re-using, re-inventing and re-purposing your arrangements, and we know you will love them as much as we do.

For the Crafter: DIY till your heart’s content

 

For our Pinterest and DIY doers out there reading, we have the perfect relaxing day craft that is easy and simple to create! Turn your flowers into homemade potpourri and have your wedding day live on for years with this scented mixture. A real fun aspect about homemade potpourri is that you can tailor it to your personal liking and fragrance palette. With all of the flowers you take home, you can make different batches full of different recipes and a variety of ingredients, or even create a signature mix that is a classic in your home. Display it in a beautiful jar or divide your new creation into small burlap pouches and gift them as a thank you to your bridal party and guests for a sweet reminder of a good time. One recipe we found that works beautifully:

Ingredients

  • Flowers
  • Sheet pan
  • Parchment paper
  • Scissors
  • Essential oils
  • Spray bottle
  • Citrus fruits (optional/ to your liking)
  • Fresh herbs (optional)
  • Whole spices (optional)

Here’s how to get started:

  1. Preheat your oven to 200˚F.
  2. Cover a sheet tray with parchment paper.
  3. Cut the flowers from the stems right below the heads and place them on the tray, or remove individual petals and place in a single layer on the parchment paper.
  4. Add scent to your potpourri: Citrus fruits, rosemary, lavender, thyme, cinnamon sticks, cloves, or allspice.

For more details on how to make this potpourri, visit Popsugar.com

 

Gifting Your Flowers

 

Lately, brides are selecting smaller and more intimate weddings, which leads to smaller and more intimate décor and florals. Though it may not be obvious, this serves in your favor while re-purposing your wedding day florals. You spent time choosing flowers, designing arrangement ideas with your chosen florist, and envisioning décor that works perfectly for your big day. When all is said and done, why not re-gift the joy you had handpicked and created with love? Your centerpieces can be a lovely way to gift a piece of your special day to those closest to you as a token thank you.

 

The Joy of Sharing

Wild Flowers - Beautiful Mason Jar Centerpieces - via Beautiful-Bridal Blogspot

Wild Flowers – Beautiful Mason Jar Centerpieces – via Beautiful-Bridal Blogspot

 

On your big day, the sheer joy, excitement and love, is a feeling that cannot be described. Not only are you celebrating union with the one you love, you are surrounded by the people that mean the most to you. You heart is as full as ever, and what better way to wrap up your journey than to pass that happiness and love on to others?  One way to share your bliss with others is donating your arrangements to those that may need something to smile about. Several hospitals and nursing homes gratefully accept arrangements for their patients to enjoy and adore. This is a beautiful gesture and a loving way to share pieces of your special day with those who could use a touch of cheering up.

 

Bridal Exchange

 

Lastly, a great way to repurpose your flowers and recycle them back into the floral world is by pay-it-forward floral style. Though it may sound like a foreign concept, it is a new creative way to help those who may not have the budget for flowers on their wedding day, and many generous brides are starting this exciting and selfless trend. It can be easily arranged and can bring a lot of hope to brides and families of those soon to be wedded. Simply ask your venue, planner or florist to help find a bride that may need assistance. Not only does this eliminate the question of what happens to your centerpieces after your reception, but it brings joy and light to someone else’s big day.

Repurposing your flowers, whichever style you ultimately choose, is a thoughtful and respectful way not to let these beautiful pieces go to waste, and it can touch and bring a lot of enjoyment to many people’s lives.

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Bride & Blossom

Bride & Blossom