Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Planning Eco-Weddings with Brides.com

Getting married isn’t just about champagne toasts and getting showered with gifts - you can do a little good at the same time. Brides.com shares eco-friendly tips – from choosing local vendors to purchasing conflict-free jewelry – that help make the world a better place while celebrating the Big Day.

How To Plan An Eco-Friendly Wedding: http://www.brides.com/wedding-answers-tools/basic-how-tos/2010/10/how-to-plan-an-eco-friendly-wedding

A few tips include:

Celebrate on the Gulf Coast: Hosting your celebration in an area that’s been impacted by the recent Gulf oil spill will give a needed boost to the local economy. Many of these coastal towns are home to modern resorts, charming hotels, and still pristine beaches.

Ask where your wedding gown is made: Many dresses are made in factories in China and Korea, where labor is cheap and human rights are easily compromised. Shopping local ensures the workers are protected – and, you won’t have to deal with the long process of shipping from abroad.

Give back through your registry: Today, couples can authorize contributions to charity through their registry. Organizations like the I Do Foundation ensure as much as 10 percent of the cost of registry items will be donated to a selected charity.

Use recycled paper: The dull gray look of recycled paper is a thing of the past. Plus, swapping 150 conventional invitations for those printed on 100-percent, post-consumer recycled paper saves 22 pounds of wood and 32 gallons of water.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Make Your Own Paper for Wedding Invitations by Gunter Jameson

Make Your Own Paper for Wedding Invitations

Just because you’re on a budget doesn’t mean that your wedding initiations need to suffer. You can still have amazing wedding invitations if you are willing to roll up your sleeves and do a little extra work. If you are the type of bride who wants to have a very personal or natural look and feel to your invitations, making your own paper for your invitation can be extremely rewarding and you can create one-of-a-kind masterpieces that reflect your unique personality and wedding. There are a number of paper making tutorials on the internet (here, here, and here are some good ones), but there are a number of things you can do to make your invitations special and unique after you paper is made.

Make your paper ink-ready

Making paper with your kids as a school project might be fun, but these are your wedding invitations we’re talking about! One of the things you want to make sure of when you blend the paper mixture is to add liquid starch (about 2 tablespoons according to your mixture), which can be found at local hobby stores. The starch will make your paper ink-ready, meaning that it will prevent the ink form a pen or stamps from bleeding into the paper, making the writing or designs indecipherable. If you have enough time, try adding different amounts of starch to achieve your desired effect.

Mix colors

The color of the paper you use, or the amount of ink that is already on the paper, you’ll come out with different shades. Experiment by mixing different colors of paper together to get unique colors and patterns. You may have thought you wanted pink, but that reddish-orange paper you just made is too cute not to use!

Include add-ins

Part of the reason for making your own paper is that you can put in add-ins like flower petals or leaves to add character and a natural feel to the paper you make for your invitations. You can also experiment with dyes or the juice from berries that will add different colors or scents to the paper you make.

Stamps and types

Once your paper has been created, you can go beyond simple hand lettering by purchasing printer’s type or stamps to create unique text designs and pictures on your invitation.

Velum overlays

If you’re not excited about the time it will take to write or stamp out every single invitation, you can use the popular presentation of printing the text of your invitation on a velum overlay then attaching it to the front of your invitation, adding depth to your invitation design with a layered look.

Making your own invitations can take a lot of work, but it can also be fun creating a design that is just right for you. Making your own paper for your invitations is a way to give them a unique, natural look and a personal touch.

Gunter Jameson writes about several topics including travel, minimalism and online classes.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Green Wedding Favors by Margo Smith

Green Wedding Favor Ideas

If you are looking for ways to reduce your carbon footprint and you are planning a wedding as well, you can find myriad ideas for making green favors for your special day. If money is no object, these items may be purchased, but for any looking to live the green lifestyle completely, this includes doing as much yourself as you possibly can. This is green because it reduces the need for machines to do the work for you and trucks to transport the goods to you.

One to Grow On

You can make paper that, when planted, yields a pretty flower patch. Start with recycled paper or paper products around your house that you would otherwise throw away. Junk mail, cardboard tubes from toilet paper, egg cartons (not the Styrofoam kind) are all good choices. You can use tissue paper too. Avoid papers with any gloss or sheen, as these do not break down well. Rip it into chunks about 2 inches or less and place these in your blender. Add warm water so that it covers these bits of paper. Blend this until it becomes pulpy and looks suspiciously like your Quaker oatmeal.

Now you can add the seeds. Just a note: choosing the seeds is easy – the smaller the better. You can select tiny flower seeds or even seeds for herbs, either works well. Carefully stir in your seeds and any flower petals you would like. You can also add an herb or spice for an extra special touch of fragrance. Just be sure not to blend those fragile seeds with those blender blades. Next, ladle the pulp into a towel-lined colander and allow it to drain. (The towel will keep your pulp and seeds in while letting the excess water drip out.)

The best way to drain this pulpy mix is to place a towel and a large piece of felt on your surface, spoon it out then spread it to your desired thickness. Allow it to dry completely overnight. Use flower-shaped cookie cutters to trace or free hand cut out flowers from this paper. Assemble these into tiny bouquets to match your own and present them as your favors. Be certain everyone knows they can plant these thoughtful gifts. Everyone will think of you and your special day each time they see their flower garden.

Life’s a Beach

If you are planning a beach-themed wedding, this next idea is for you. Gather shells from anywhere and everywhere. Choose the ones with a deep enough cavity that a tea light will fit well inside. Clean and dry the shells completely. Place tea lights inside the candles, then melt wax and pour around the tea light, making sure it is covered. To ensure that you are not using petroleum-based paraffin, select beeswax or wax made from soy or palm oil. Be sure your tea lights are also made from one of these types of wax. If you would like these to match your wedding colors, crayons can be peeled and added to the wax as you melt it to give you the ideal shade. (You can buy 100 percent recycled crayons, by the way.) Fragrance can also be purchased at your local craft store if you would like these to be perfectly scented. The tea lights then become your wick and allow your guests to think of the happy couple as they light these unique favors.

Planting Love

These next ideas are great for their sustainability and their simplicity. Your wedding favor can be a tiny plant, herb or flower. Present this in an itty bitty pot tied with a pretty bow that fits in with your wedding theme. Bulbs make for gifts that last too. Choose bulbs that grow well in the region where most of your guest live. Wrap each one up in a bit of a bag made from one from yet another eco-friendly product: unbleached muslin.

Remembering the earth while you are making your vows will add to your glow as a new bride. It will add to your smiles as you recall this special day because you know you thought ahead and gave eco-friendly gifts that will lastingly remind everyone of your growing love. So here’s to you and your spouse and to making a difference!

About the Author

Margo Smith is a graduate of Brigham Young University. She enjoys writing about a variety of subjects from weddings to online classes to skydiving. She draws from her own education, her years in college and an author’s perspective on life when compiling articles.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Do You Have an Eco-Friendly Products For a Green Holiday Gift Guide

I am searching for green gift ideas for kids, teens and adults.

Do you have a great eco-friendly product that you'd like to have showcased?

This green product gift guide will be published on several blogs and websites.

Email me with your product or a product suggestion.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

A Wedding Guestbook as Unique as the Couple

If boring guest books filled with the basic lines for guests to add a quick note along with their name and address aren't your thing than you should check out The Guestbook Store.

From the very start you can customize the album to fit your taste and style. The covers come in many beautiful colors and designs that are sure to coordinate with just about any wedding theme or style from Crimson swirl to Black velvet to custom wedding whites like White Chocolate, Ivory sateen, and Champagne Sateen.

The Guestbook Store offers covers in baroque patterns, swirls, florals, roses, even a holly berry print for the holidays.

Once you pick out the cover of your choice then you choose your page designs. The Guestbook Store offers two wedding guest book page choices either formal or casual. The casual is cute with swirls and hearts while the formal is streamlined and elegant.A standard package guestbook which consists of twenty pages is $8. If you decide to add the bride and groom's name and customize the pages the package is $16 for each twenty page package. If you wish to have 40 pages the price would be $32 with each twenty pages being another $16.

Other add on pages include lined guest book pages, pages to display your wedding invitations, journaling pages, wedding reflection pages and gift receipt pages as well as create your own page add ons.