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Old New Borrowed Blue: Winter 2012

Written by in Create


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

(By Abbey Fowler) Once again, our theme borrows from that traditional wedding poem — Old, New, Borrowed, Blue. If you missed my previous posts, check out 2011 SpringSummer and Fall! After this post, we will start with a new theme in Spring 2012.

Winter need not be blue or lack cause for celebration. This is the season of gathering, so keep these ideas in mind for all your non-wedding holiday entertaining as well! Since we’re wrapping up the holidays, now is a good time to “re-gift” out-of-date toys, gadgets & clothes so as to keep them out of the landfill. Donate toys to local charities and find one of the many companies that will pay you for old electronics.


Something Old — Paper Tablescapes

Start with a fun tablescape. If dressing up the table settings is in order, consider unique placemat options. Instead of buying placemats made overseas and shipped here using tons of our dwindling resources, repurpose some old materials and DIY.

Above are pages torn from an old book (Great Expectations, romantic and fitting) then rolled up then stapled together from beneath the bottom charger. This adds dimension and a natural feel. Other fun materials you can repurpose are music sheets or newsprint. This idea serves well as buffet trays if the notion of creating handmade place mats for your entire guest list appears too daunting. I even turned the sample pictured here into a to a holiday wreath after I completed my photo-shoot for this post on Against the Grain.

Another “Something Old” tablescape idea is to use old-fashion Rock Candy as a favor and napkin weight. The white rock candy looks like ice perfect for your winter wedding. Add color with a ribbon and “Thank You” tag.



Something New — Bridal Bolero (Locally Made)

Nothing is more unattractive than a bride in a bright purple puffy ski jacket. Winter weddings in my home state of Michigan require more warm attire and careful planning. Many brides add a cape, bolero, muff or fancy gloves to the ensemble. Such items aren’t often found off the shelf, so consider a custom design.

Working with a custom designer on gowns and accessories is the sustainable way to go. Many retailers offer truckloads of dresses that are “budget-friendly,” but do not support your local economy. Also, dresses, tuxes and suits are either made overseas or made from fabric that was manufactured overseas, depressing our local manufacturing opportunities. But, if you employ a local designer you get not only the gown/accessory for your exact style and body type, you may also select from locally made (or regionally or nationally made) fabrics. Seek fabric that has traveled the least or, at least, was processed in a sustainability-conscious mill. You’d be surprised how reasonable working with a local designer and using locally loomed, e-friendly fabrics can be.

Show above is detail of a bolero originating from Vue Design. The fabric is wool, perfect for the chilly walk from wedding to reception. Wool is a renewable resource, biodegradable and environmentally friendlier than oil-based synthetics. Wool from free grazing, ethically raised sheep supports traditional small-scale industry that once thrived across America.


Something Borrowed — The Wine Bottle Centerpiece

For my “borrowed” category, ask your guests to “lend” you some of their clean empty wine bottles. When I got married I used wine corks at the rehearsal to hold place cards – this required some borrowing.

Here is a wine bottle used as both table number holder and an element of the centerpiece. Low flowers or candles add texture and color. A full wine or champagne bottle makes the bottle for dual purpose: table number holder and beverage! If using ice, ask your stationer for waterproof label paper. Shown above is a Kraft paper label that is nice and thick, so it covers up the previous bottle label.


Something Blue – The Warmly Layered Invitation

Blue is a most common winter wedding color, often paired with silver or other blue shades and used in an array of details. In wintertime, many invitations are adorned with lace, tissue, ribbon or satin wraps to add dimension as well as a feeling of adding warmth.

If using a fabric layer, again, as discussed above, look for fabric that supports your local economy and green-conscious practices or repurposes that which you already have. For example, this is covered in burlap, a sustainable, natural product that uses all of the original plant and is 100% biodegradable. As a bouquet wrap, it lends texture to vases and other details. Now, burlap or thicker laces don’t fit well inside an envelope so a boxed invitation is required. While more material is not always the most eco-conscious design choice, for your more craft-oriented guests, suggest repurposing the boxed invitation to other uses including scrapbooks, gift tags or garden compost.

Stay Warm!

Winter need not be blue. Make it eco-friendly and as happy as possible, whether you’re celebrating a marriage, hosting family gathering or partying down with friends during the upcoming College Bowls and Superbowl festivities. See you this Spring!

Abbey Fowler from 6.25 Paper Studio

{From the Editor:  Abbey Fowler is the proprietor of 625 Paper in Grand Rapids, Michigan. In 2008 Abbey left her job as Art Director at a publishing company and started Syd Design to concentrate on custom wedding stationery. After three years of growth, she re-branded as 625 Paper (her wedding anniversary is June 25th) and moved into a small retail space in downtown Grand Rapids. Her popular seasonal column offers great wedding ideas in paper that are beautiful, unique and environmentally friendly.}

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