Planning an Eco-Indie Wedding

Archive for January 2009

As mentioned, before we visited The Webb Barn, we had lunch at and toured a different location.

Nestled in historical Elizabeth Park (featuring the oldest municipally operated rose garden in the country) in West Hartford, Connecticut, we visited the Pond House Cafe.

Our lunch was great, chosen from a menu that changes seasonal (that’s very eco of them!), and the Event Coordinator we met with was very friendly and seemed genuinely interested in our event.

After lunch, we visited the Garden Room where they hold their special events. It is huge! The biggest draw is the two large walls of windows that give you a view of a small pond and lots of park greenery.

There are numerous options for choosing a menu for our guests, which also includes our wedding cake (big bonus!), designed by Cakes by Donna. They don’t provide liquor, but they often use a great company called Two Pour Guys (who we will likely go with).

Of course, no location is perfect. The date we had previously chosen (Saturday, May 15th) is already booked, but they have all other Saturdays in May 2010 open. We weren’t overtly attached to the date,  so that’s not that big of a deal. Also, the roses in Elizabeth Park (where we will be holding the ceremony) don’t bloom until June, so if we can nab the last Saturday in May, we’ll be able to get some great pictures and ambiance in the park.

Also, Elizabeth Park wedding ceremony locations are available on a first come-first serve basis and you can only book 30 days in advance. Thankfully, there are 5 different locations to choose from, so we shouldn’t be shut out completely. We’ll also make sure to nab a location exactly 30 days before our wedding so we have the pick of the litter. In case of rain, we can have the ceremony inside the Pond House Cafe, so that concern is covered too.

My fiance and I slept on it last night, and we are still very happy with the idea of having our wedding in Elizabeth Park and at the Pond House Cafe. I’ll be calling the Event Coordinator we met with, Jill, today after 9am and let her know we want to go for it! Hopefully, the DJ we already chose will have our new date open. :O

[Image courtesy of the Pond House Cafe]

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Just yesterday, my mother, fiance, and I visited the wonderfully historical Webb Barn in Wethersfield, Connecticut. Another barn option, this one was even more “rustic” than the The Barns at Wesleyan Hills we had previously visited.

Unlike The Barns at Wesleyan Hills, we are wide open as far as choosing our own caterer … etc., so we could still have the country barn ambiance with a lot more freedom. They had nicely remodeled restrooms, a well-sized garden, lots of parking, and a huge kitchen for the caterer to use.

The drawbacks? It is located in downtown Old Wethersfield, which while much more quiet than you average mid-sized city, it is still a downtown area which means some unpleasant noise.

Also, my mother and my fiance were a bit worried about the barn itself. It looked sturdy from my view, but they both described it as “grungy“, which looking back, I can easily see their point. I personally love the history and rustic-style of the location, but I can understand how its age may cause some unforeseen issues along the way.

Don’t get me wrong – it is not a bad location by any means, but the location we visited right before it (more details in my next post!) offered many more options for a smaller fee – and still offered a great nature connection.

Don’t get me wrong – I love the blue and yellow color combination that my fiance and I have picked out for our wedding. While researching yellow options, I quickly found a lot of yellow and gray/slate combos and became enchanted the more I saw them.

Though we have no plans to change our wedding colors, we just might choose to integrate some gray into our designs. Think about it: my fiance and I are often seen as a yin-yang symbol, balancing each other out. What better way to express that they with a gray shade that combines both the black and white sides of the yin-yang symbol?

On another note, combining yellow and gray is a wonderful balance of vibrant and mellow; warm and modern; creative and centered;  exciting and enlightened.

Here is a menagerie of all the yellow and gray ideas I’ve found on the web so far – how could you not be inspired!?


Handwoven Cashmere Silk Scarf Pashmina
– want want want! Would be the perfect accessory for my wedding ensemble! (Yes, it is a Spring wedding, but I’ll be in a strapless dress and you know how windy it can be …)

Snippet & Ink’s Inspiration Board #293 – speaks for itself 🙂 ❤

Martha Stewart’s Perfect Palettes: Marigold and Pewter – this yellow is more “golden” that we’re going for, but still a nifty selection of ideas.

Old Gold and Silver Handspun Cashmere/Baby Camel Yarn – downright gorgeous; not sure what I would knit, but I’m sure that would be easily solved.

Set of 5 Peonie Thank You Cards – love the design and faded inks.

Grey Leather Bag with Ruffles and Removable Straps – a shining example of how yellow & gray combine the feelings of cozy and modern.

White, Yellow, and Grey Fern Pillow – an eco-friendly reminder that would remind us of our wedding day for many years to come.

Rain Clouds: Cloud number 17 – too cute for words! Since it is a rain cloud, it might be a bit too gloomy for wedding decorations, but adorable all the same.

Betsy White’s Lemon, Slate and Mint Color Pallete – more proof that our choice of yellow is going to go great with our list of possible wedding locations (all of which are rustic, more details and pictures coming soon!).

There is no denying that looking at pictures from actual weddings can be immensely inspirational. As with the major wedding blogs, I’ll be featuring pictures from wedding ceremonies and receptions that give me warm fuzzies and nifty ideas for my own upcoming nuptials.

First up is the wedding of Lexi Methvin and Ray McNutt in Colorado, as featured on Brides.com.

“During the bride and groom’s Native American ceremony, their mothers held a woven blanket around them, representing the new family they were starting together.”

“Hamburgers, pigs-in-blankets and other miniature picnic foods catered by The Little Nell in Aspen were served during the cocktail hour.”

“Aspen leaf table cards by All Aflutter in Boulder hung next to rustic centerpieces of sunflowers, bittersweet berries, delphiniums, geraniums, roses and foliage.”

“Fondant frosting and fall leaves covered the couple’s cake, which had chocolate cake and chocolate ganache filling in the bottom layer and yellow cake and butter almond cream filling in the top. Cake by The Little Nell.”

[Images courtesy of Brides.com/Robin Proctor]

Call me corny, but Martha Stewart and her fantastic staff never cease to amaze me. For both personal creativity and money-saving prowess, my mother and I will be making a lot of elements for the wedding ourselves, including: programs, flower arrangements, table decorations, and more.

I was overjoyed when I found a complete round-up of Martha’s DIY wedding templates! With 29 swank and easily-customizable projects available, I’ve already picked out some of my favorites:

Tea Favor Tags – the simple shape of these (and the fact that numerous types of tea will be a big part of our reception) makes these much more versatile than just for labeling favors!

Take a Bough – a cute addition to our wedding program and, knowing my fiance’s Italian family, it will be quite a conversation point.

Floaty Butterflies – we plan on having non-assigned seating, but if we printed these butterflies on nifty patterned paper, they would make great overall decorations.

Mini Bouquets – great decoration idea that could also be used as favors.

Old-Fashioned Postcard – perfect for a set of DIY thank you postcards that feature a quirky (or elegant) shot of us from the wedding.

Paper Fans – some delightfully patterned paper would tie these into our wedding colors, as well as keep our May wedding guests cool during the event.

Luminarais – another fun idea for centerpieces.

Program Covers – a simple, chic design that leaves lots of room for creative rubber stamping.

Favor Cones – instead of favors, I would use these to put the lavender seeds we will be giving to guests to throw as we leave the venue.

[Images courtesy of Martha Stewart Weddings]

You might have noticed a lull in posting – let me assure you, it is not for lack of ideas! My fiance and I just finished moving from San Francisco, California back to Connecticut.  We are delighted to be back amongst the snow and will be working on our wedding budget starting in February.

In the mean time, I just had to share this email with you. Lenny Williams, owner of Garden Party (NYC’s “freshest green-minded events”), took the time to create a few custom inspiration boards for me. I had no idea he was doing this and was overwhelmed with excitement when I found out!

I’m sure like any excited bride-to-be, you are overloading your brain
with possibilities, so here are some more to keep you occupied!

My biggest advice to green brides — figure out what is most important to both of you, first. Everything else will follow. After that, it’s simply filling in the blanks! If you focus too hard on green, green, green you’ll feel totally defeated & never get any traction.

I hope you are inspired by the boards I made for you. [They are] not exactly blue & green, but I was inspired by the sense I get from you from your blog.

You mentioned pinwheels as placecards—very cute. That was my starting point.

  • S’mores are a fun activity (as is croquet, horseshoes) for your guests—have small brown bags filled with all the essentials—fair trade chocolate, organic marshmallows.
  • Lanterns are great, but tissue paper balls can be made of recycled paper & be recycled themselves.
  • Pennant banners made from flea market sheets or like these, old magazines, add whimsy & hide ugly ceilings.
  • Make jams as take-home favors or remind folks about eating in-season and jar some okra, pickles, tomatoes.
  • Use elements from nature, like the monogrammed leaves (looks cool in corsages, or napkin rings as well).
  • Gocco or hand stamp your own invites & other materials or consider a webpage for info.
  • A wedding dress made completely of cotton t-shirt scraps…LOVE IT!
  • Serve organic wines from vineyards in the Finger Lakes or check out some of the newbies in Brooklyn.
  • Make your man’s tie from vintage fabric used in the wedding—awesome heirloom.
  • Throw a quilt or fun tablecloth up as a background for fun pictures!
  • Bamboo compostable utensils.

For this one, I drew upon you being a writer.

  • Use old books to create vases, garland, streamers.
  • Wear an ensemble piece in soft blue—you can find more occasions to wear each individual piece.
  • Romantic organic/local flowers.
  • Hearty local cheeses & breads add rustic qualities.
  • Hand stamp or Gocco muslin bags (that can be used again) for your lavender toss.
  • Rent generic white linens, then tie them with beautiful ribbons for an inexpensive yet rich decoration–save the ribbons for future craft projects.
  • Print your invitations on vintage hankies—with copies of your favorite sonnet.

I’m a big fan of this inspiration board that Lenny posted on Grand Party’s blog – a perfect blend of fresh and casual.

Taken by our then-San Francisco-neighbor, Lisa Sze, the session started out as a fun lifestyle photo shoot. We ended up getting a number of fantastic pictures together, so Lisa was nice enough to let us use them as our engagement portraits.

We were pretty up in the air about whether or not to bother doing an engagement photo shoot at all. In the end, it is fun to see these pictures now and I can bet the feeling will be the same in 10 years.

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