Old, New, Borrowed, Blue

Written by in Create


Show Them the Love

Editor’s Note: According to Abbey Fowler of Syd Design in Grand Rapid, MI, if you are looking to create a more eco-friendly wedding, the best solutions lie in the most minute of details. Overlook no opportunity that can make your wedding celebration one that honors not only your future as couple but also your relationship with Mother Earth.  Below, she shares with ideas that are creative, sensible and delightful. See far, far below for links to some of Abbey’s favorite wedding related sites.

By Abbey Fowler of Syd Design

It’s a little disconcerting when you think about it. Wedding invitations, decorations, reply cards, ceremony programs, seating place cards, thank you cards, mailing envelopes and menus.  Too much wedding “stuff” gets tossed in your county landfill. So much for a bright future, right?

But. It does not have to be that way. There are many stationery vendors, paper suppliers and printers working to reduce the environmental impact of paper and printing.  All it takes is a little awareness and creative thinking. Your local stationer today has a wide range of eco-friendly options to offer. They are on top of the latest information. Put them to work so that your special day is as green as it is white.

Sure, there are the obvious choices, options such as plant-able seed paper for programs or re-using your grandmother’s cake topper. But look deeper. By carefully considering other details you can drastically reduce environmental impact of your printed materials and decorations making you and your guests feel even better after the party is over.  Consider the classic poem:

Something old, something new; Something borrowed, something blue; And a silver sixpence in her shoe.

In the Victorian era, each of these items represented good-luck tokens a bride carried or wore at her wedding. Each “something” would ensure that her marriage would be long and happy. This timelessness of the poem’s message is relevant today because it is a great way to think about sustainable options that honor not only the wedding couple’s future hopes but also their hopes for their friends, family, community and planet.

Something Old: Family Wedding Photo Display


One popular idea that honors family heritage is to display wedding photos of past generations at the reception.  Watch delighted and curious guests flock over to view and discuss them. Hang the photos by clothespins from string or ribbon. Attach them to branches of a tree or decorative branches. For a more rustic look, use an old doorframe or window shutter as a display element. If the reception venue has a nice shelf or mantel, do a little antiquing and display the photos inside unique vintage frames. Your display elements can then be reused and incorporated into your home décor later!

Something New: Invitations


It’s difficult to “borrow” or reuse old wedding invitations. Your wedding invitations should be newly made just for your wedding. That does not mean they cannot be eco-friendly. There are many sustainable options in stationary products. Here, I use the Levi suite from my studio collection, a casual and organic set is shown printed on Neenah’s ENVIRONMENT 100% PC Desert Storm, Neenah’s ENVIRONMENT PC 100 Natural paper and a wildflower seed-embedded paper from Of The Earth. Any fine stationer can help you source a quality sustainable papers that suits your style and sensibility, whether its natural, modern, glamour or classic.

Something Borrowed: Confetti


Confetti can be a horrible waste of paper. Unless, of course, the wedding couple uses paper that is destined for recycling bin anyway. “Borrow” it to make confetti. Ask your stationer if you can have scrap paper from other wedding materials. Then, use shape punches on them to enhance reception, wedding shower or bachelorette party decor such as, say, snowflakes for a winter wedding or shimmering circles for a New Years wedding.

Something Blue: Paper Flower Wreaths or Bouquets


For the bride, bridesmaids or flower girl, you need floral bouquets. If you cannot find an organic or locally grown flower supplier, I recommend using flowers made from 100% PCW paper. This beautiful and fun alternative also will last longer than a real flowers! With a little advance planning, your stationer can fashion for you a custom bouquet that matches your wedding stationery. The flower girl bouquet shown here was made with Neenah’s ENVIRONMENT PC100 White, ENVIRONMENT Green Tea, CLASSIC CREST Welsh Blue and Windsor Blue.

Good Luck!

Like any successful wedding plan, the solutions are in the details. Plan ahead. Your biggest day can become not only a celebration of the beginning of a life long marriage, but also a celebration of a healthier future through sustainable living. Your wedding guests will leave with memories of a love-filled day, but also a wedding that reminded them to love the earth as well. Talk about a wonderful souvenir. You will be surprised how easy this can be.

Syd Design is a locally owned stationery company based in Grand Rapids, Michigan that endeavors to promote and support its community by developing printed-paper solutions that help make our planet healthier. Says Abbey Fowler, Syd’s Creative Director, “Our role is to translate a client’s individual style into paper solutions for their unique events.” Syd’s specialty is custom stationery and fun greeting cards that fit everyday occasions. Abbey suggests these wedding related sites to visit for ideas, inspiration and info:  Pearls Events,  Wedding Chicks,  Snippet & Ink,  Once Wed,  100 Layer Cake,What Junebug LovesStyle Me Pretty

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    We reached out to Abbey via Twitter after following her posts about using recycled and post consumer paper (Neenah, of course) for her invites and wedding goodies. Folks, this is one talented lady! Those flowers are handmade from paper and her ideas are rock solid.
    Are you a paper fanatic? Reach out to us here, on Facebook or on Twitter and let us hear your story. You too, could find yourself on the Against the Grain blog!

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    Neenah Paper said:

    Check out Abbey’s fave wedding inspiration blogs. Especially 100 Layer Cake. Has anyone heard about the blog Cake Wreck? I want to see the wedding cake faux pas!

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    […] a few of those final details, and some green ways to pursue them. Keeping with the same theme as my first post, I will organize these ideas with the four concepts outlined in this classic Victorian […]

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    […] though I touched on paper flowers in my first post, I want to bring the idea to the table again here because it’s such a popular […]

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    […] wedding poem — Old, New, Borrowed, Blue. If you missed my previous posts, check out 2011 Spring, Summer and Fall! After this post, we will start with a new theme in Spring […]

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    Neenah Paper said:

    Dear Jackie,

    We write our stories for a design/print/branding crowd. I am sure many would love the work of your company and its quality. We have a small but dedicated corps of contributors that we rely on each week for insight into this industry. Abbey Fowler, creator of Old New Borrowed Blue probably already knows of you… We welcome your comments on about stories any time, especially the work of Abbey Fowler, and I will bring your offer up to our group during our next editorial meeting but I do not now believe that diamonds, weddings and wedding planning stories beyond the area of print and paper are appropriate for our blog. You are so kind to offer, though. Best, M Porter, Editor