Posts Tagged ‘outdoor wedding’

Balsa wood flowers: pretty green for a white flower.


When it came to choosing a wedding date, 10 months ago we confidently declared, “In September!” But now that September is a fleeting four months away, it is with mumbled speech that I admit while we know the when, we haven’t locked down the where.




Table in fieldThis is, however, the “where” that I picture in my head. Image via Ruffled.



I know, I know. I’m on the verge of failing planning-your-own-wedding. But not having secured the location isn’t for lack of trying. We’ve had brilliant ideas like renting the group camp site at El Capitan: A somewhat private locale, an ocean view, and decor a la nature. What’s not to love? The answer: the $1,200 price tag–not to mention all the Saturdays in our planned marital month were already booked. (Sunday is an option, but then you must deal with the port a potty of Saturday’s wedding–which means Sunday is not an option.)



Rustic weddingWhat a fun serpentine-shaped table arrangement! Image via Ruffled.




So we’ve upped the ante. We’re spreading the word (“Nice couple desperately seeks wedding site!”), scouring the internet for local spots, and moving wedding plans from the back burner, to the front. While the hunt continues, I’m taking inspiration everywhere I can find it.




A few weekends ago, I found some at JB’s cousin’s wedding. It was a baseball-themed wedding with some very cute touches such as this cake…





Baseball theme wedding cake





Upon closer inspection, this cake topper has me wondering. While the couple tanned in preparation for the blessed event, their skin tone has never matched the ethnicity these figurines suggest. I can only assume there was a run on the paler version of dog-inclusive cake toppers.




There were clever, handmade, (by the talented bride), centerpieces like this…




Baseball wedding centerpiece





But what really grabbed my attention were the flowers. At first I couldn’t figure out what they were made of. Then the bride revealed they were made of wood. What?!






Tapioca flowers in jar





Yes, wood! They were the only flowers on site and the industrious bride made each boutonniere, bouquet, and centerpiece using them. So what exactly are wood flowers? I did some online sleuthing and discovered they go by the name of balsa wood, tapioca wood, or sola wood flowers and can be purchased here.






Balsa wood bouquet with greenery






Each petal is cut from the wood peel of the tapioca plant and is pressed into shape, then formed into a flower. They blossoms come in a natural ivory tone, but can be painted, as the bride did, to match any wedding color palette.






Bride and Groom TableThe bride and groom’s table.






The beauty–besides that of their appearance–is, unlike regular flowers, you don’t have to worry about them wilting during a hot summer wedding.






Balsa wood boutonniereBalsa wood flower and feather boutonniere example courtesy JL Design.




Other pluses: They are ecologically friendly in the sense that using them avoids sacrificing real flowers; they’re great for allergy-sufferers; they’re purported to last as long as “forever”, and, at as low as 28 cents per flower (see the Shell flower here), your floral budget will come up smelling like roses. On that note, you can also scent their centers with essential oils, give them a spritz of your signature perfume, or Angel Aromatics will sell them to you pre-scented.





Tapioca wood shell flowers





While white on white is attractive, I think their beauty really blossoms with the addition of a soft green.  Succulents such as the type that looks like strands of green pearls (aptly named String of Pearls; botanical name: senecio rowleyanus) would look very pretty.






Balsa wood bouquetImage via JL Design.






If you need some more visual inspiration, the floral company JL Design seems to have cornered the market on decorating with these flowers. Every amazing picture I found came from them. You can visit their site here.




Tapioca flower and driftwood centerpieceImage via JL Design. I counted 23 flowers. If each is say 28 cents, plus a piece of found (read: free!) driftwood, that comes out to a whole lot of “Stunning centerpiece!” for only $6.40.







Balsa wood pomanderImage via JL Design.





You can make your own pomanders to use at a bridal shower, wedding, or baby shower by hot gluing each flower to a foam sphere. Before you cover the entire sphere, attach a loop of ribbon (i.e., in a cream-colored satin or other coordinating wedding color) to the sphere with hot glue. Use a pearl-topped pin to additionally secure the ribbon to the sphere. Finish by gluing the remaining flowers around (but not on top of) the spot where the ribbon is attached to camouflage the area. Note: when selecting the size of your sphere, bear in mind that it will “grow” with the addition of flowers.






Balsa wood flowers in bowl




The bride generously let some of the ladies take a pomander home. I was one of the lucky ladies and, upon returning home, popped mine into a silver bowl for a spring table top decoration that happened as fast as you can say, “No water changes necessary!”



PS, Yes, that is a painting of bacon. That is what happens when you mention to your sweet artist mother that you think a pop-art influenced bacon painting would be a fun conversation piece over your table: she is kind enough to surprise you with one for Christmas! And that is just one among the many reasons that make her the best mom I could ever ask for. Happy Every-Day-Should-Be-Mother’s-Day, mom!





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Too trendy? The search for wedding ideas that haven’t been done to “Death do us part.”

There’s a whole lotta wishful thinking when I tell you we are!/were?/are! getting married in July. Truthfully, I don’t know if we can pull it off. And that makes me feel bad because we carefully chose the date ourselves and, normally, we’d do anything we could to avoid missing a deadline. So how can we allow ourselves to possibly miss the greatest deadline of our lives, thus far?



Chalkboard signImage via Southern Weddings (We are not Virginia or Henry although those are very nice names.)



Because I have wedding planning block. And it doesn’t stem from the fact that we’re still knee-deep in the trenches of sample selection and the what-will-go-where? stage of our remodel and that I’m hardly anxious for anyone to see the house while it’s very much in its Before state. (Did I mention we plan to host the reception at home? Oh yeah.) Or because I have spent the time since we became engaged daydreaming about, and working on, setting up this blog, instead of reflecting on which wedding dress styles would look smashing or if we should choose cupcakes or something tiered.



Rose Wedding dress



And it’s not cold feet–although JB will tell you my feet feel like wedges of ice, especially lying in bed, mid-winter.  No, the real reason behind this block is because for a while I was paying attention (pre-engagement) and I saw all these amazing crafty wedding ideas. Ideas that made me think, “How clever/original/wonderful! Who are these brilliant minds who thought that up?” And then I saw them over and over again.



Rustic wedding stagImage via Rustic Wedding Chic 




Roses and orchids



Don’t get me wrong. It is with a big smile on my face that I acknowledge we are living in a fine time for planning a wedding on a budget (which we’re definitely on). Five years ago, you couldn’t fake stylish. It came one way. At a hotel or sprawling rented house, tables festooned with vases stuffed with thousands of dethroned roses,  a shot glass or magnet printed with the date of your wedding resting at every place setting, and a three-tiered–at minimum–cake. These days a decent backyard trumps the confines of a stuffy ballroom, mason jars stuffed with lavender and wild flowers are beyond passable–they’re preferred; the party favor is a poem typed on an old typewriter, and instead of slicing into a $400+ cake creation, the bride just smashed a cupcake (that her sister made, gluten-free) into her groom’s moustached face.



Outdoor wedding

Image via Bridal Guide



Today, having a DIY wedding doesn’t mean you’ll appear low on funds--but, instead, incredibly hip! And so, you may ask, why are my feet still dragging when they could be trying on some ballet flats I might bedeck in glue and glitter for the big day?



Glittered ballet flatsImage via Elizabeth Anne Designs 



Because, it’s starting to feel like every good idea has already been done. For example, if we got married anytime between now and the last five years, this is how our Save the Date would look. (Except we’re not actually these people.) Incidentally, my best friend just pointed out if we’re planning on sending out Save the Dates for July, we’re officially behind schedule.

Save the date hipsters


We’d wear vintage threads, stand side by side relaxing our faces into expressions that read, “This is nothing special. Really, there are a lot more important things we could be doing right now. Truth.”



Save the date grocery cart

Image via Paper Source.

Or pose, while one of us rides a grocery cart, the other pushes, and we lean in for a charming kiss. (I actually really like this one!)



We would have chalkboard everything from the font on the invitation….



Chalkboard wedding invitationImage via

To the actual wedding



Chalkboard wedding backdrop



To the decor




Chalkboard chair signs




There would be stumps here




Stump wedding decorImage via One King’s Lane



And there




Succulent Wedding cake

(I made this cake for my best friend’s wedding, last September. It’s hard to tell from the photo, but the stump was giant, almost 3′ in diameter, and heavy!)



Mason jars for vases



Flowers in mason jars




A burlap “Just Married” banner–possibly one resembling Scrabble tiles, like this…



Just Married Burlap Banner



And burlap and wine barrels at the cake table dessert station



Wedding wine barrels

Image via The Very Last Detail 



A rustic sign leading guests to the action…




Rustic wedding signImage via Ruffled blog 



A vintage chandelier hung in the garden



Wedding chandelierImage via One True Love Vintage Rentals



A station with an old fashioned typewriter so guests can share the keys to marital bliss



Typewriter wedding

Image via Jitterbug Vintage Weddings



And a beautiful succulent bouquet….



Succulent bouquet

Note: I read a suggestion somewhere that you can plant your succulent bouquet directly into the ground and it will begin to root and grow…along with your love.



But I’m determined to switch it up a bit. Do something that hasn’t been done.



Burlap wrapped silverware

Image via MarryMeTampaBay 



I’m curious about the next trend in wedding design. I’d rather be on its cutting edge than on the tail wind of what was done last year. Or the year before, or the year before.  And sometimes that takes more than the allotted time (T minus five months) to figure out.



Happily Ever After signImage via Crossroads4kids 



But as I look through these images, I admit, I love every one of them! Perhaps it’s okay to not reinvent the (wedding) wheel, but just roll with the inspiration. Borrowing ideas might be just fine. There is supposed to be “something borrowed, something blue,” right?  How about you? Have you come up with any amazing ideas to set your wedding apart? I’d be happy to hear them!


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