Saturday, March 19, 2011

Wedding Favors: Tree Seedlings

Weddings take away a lot of resources from the earth for a celebration that only lasts a few hours. It pained us to think about this, and when choosing what to give our guests as favors, we decided that we wanted to use this as an opportunity to give back to the earth for all that it has given us. I've been to several weddings where I received a favor that was cute, but not really useful, and not anything that was really meaningful. We want to avoid this, and so we have decided that for our favors we are going to give... tree seedlings!

We found a company right here in New York state called Tree Beginnings that offers a variety of different gifts for all types of occasions, all of which can be planted. Almost all of the items from this store come with free personalization in the form of little cards, slips that attach to the gifts, colors, and even packaging. We chose blue spruce seedlings wrapped in natural burlap with a green raffia bow. We figured that these fit the theme of our wedding best (the Adirondack woods) and had the lowest impact on the environment.

I was able to order one seedling as a sample just to make sure we liked them before ordering all 50 that we will need. I think this is a good idea for anyone who has to purchase mass quantities of something and isn't able to look at it first.

We realize that not everyone is able or will want to plant a tree after going home from our wedding, and we have a plan for that. We are going to put a little sign (in one of the picture frames we bought from Rustic Blend - see blog post here) on the table with the seedlings letting our guests know that if they do not want to take a tree and will not plant it, that it's ok to leave it on the table. We are also going to encourage any of our guests with larger property or a greater desire to take care of a tree to take more than one if there are some left over. Then, if all else fails, we will take the rest of the seedlings home and plant them ourselves in our own yard.

We are also going to use one of these seedlings during our vow renewal ceremony in which we have incorporated a tree planting ritual. I think this will be a really nice way to tie it all together and promote the idea that we are all on the same planet and our love is universal.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Wedding Reception Games

We want our reception to feel very relaxed and have an atmosphere that mimics a happy family gathered at a campground. We decided to incorporate some games into the reception to make sure that everyone gets involved and isn't bored (especially the large number of people in our families who don't like to dance), but we are shying away from "traditional" reception games. Instead, we want to have games that families might play while camping!

So far we have decided that we want to play wedding Mad Libs and have fortune tellers (some people call them cootie catchers). I will write up the story for the Mad Libs game and we will have a contest and give prizes to the guest who writes the funniest story and the guest who rights the sweetest story. There is a great Etsy shop called Darling Girl Paper that make fortune tellers and I think they are adorable!

We've got those two games, but now we are are stuck! What other ideas do people out there in the world have for cute easy games that would remind people of camping with family? We need your help!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Wedding Cake

One of the most challenging things about planning a wedding that isn't near your home, is finding trustworthy and quality vendors. Specifically, we needed to find vendors close to our ceremony and reception location for things like chair rentals, hair styling, and wedding cake. The internet has been a tremendous help in this search, especially the Adirondack Wedding Association, which is how I found our cake vendor - Stomach Cakes!

The website for this cake business showcases Laura's talent in creating uniquely beautiful cake designs, as well as her willingness to create an original and custom design. This drew me right in and I contacted her to find out about making the cake for our vow renewal.

We met for a tasting and to discuss design, and Ryan and I couldn't be more pleased with our choice. Laura is going to make a cake similar to the picture below, but not exactly the same. It will look like a birch tree, have fern embellishments, and have our initials "carved" into the side. It is so cute and fits with our theme perfectly! We tried our choice of two flavors at the tasting, Ryan wanted peanut butter cake and I wanted chocolate. We ended up totally loving both, but having a serious crush on the peanut butter cake, so we are going to layer both flavors in each tier. That way if some people don't like the peanut butter they can just eat around it (and we already know that we don't have any peanut allergies to worry about).

This is a cake we really liked when searching images on the internet to get ideas.

This is a similar cake that Laura has already created.

So far, this has been one of the most fun and least stressful aspects of the wedding planning, and we both highly recommend that any couple planning a wedding in the Adirondack region consider hiring Laura from Stomach Cakes to make your cake!

A note on the same: No, these cakes do not have stomachs in them! They are "cakes so good it aches"! Also, Laura used to be a school nurse, so you can put it all together!