Graphic designer Eden E. Denevan started creating wedding stationery for her own nuptials in May 2008. After she was laid off in 2009, she started her own corporate design firm and created her own Etsy shop, Eden Wedding Studio, to sell some wedding invitations on the side.
“My invitations really took off and while I still do some corporate graphic design, most of my business is now wedding-related,” Denevan says.
Her Etsy shop features a variety of wedding-related paper goods from invitations to bridal shower recipe cards to “guestbook alternative cards” (guests write well-wishes on the cards for the couple to view on their first anniversary).
By now we’re all familiar with engagement photo shoots, but we’re also loving the idea of pre-wedding videos, where couples can tell the story of how they met in a film documentary-style format. We particularly loved Ritu and Vic’s “Love Story” video by Suburban Video in Rockville.
The Mayflower Renaissance's Grand Ballroom can hold up to 800 guests. Photograph courtesy of the Mayflower Renaissance
Last week, we paid a visit to the Mayflower Renaissance hotel to view some of their newest décor and menu ideas. The Mayflower’s ballroom (pictured above) is a huge, luxurious space with high ceilings, sparkling chandeliers, and balconies that have a vintage-theatre feel.
Order two of these sweet plates for an engaged couple to use at their wedding. Photograph courtesy of Paloma's Nest
If you’re a wedding décor buff like us, you’re probably familiar with Paloma’s Nest. The designer’s sweet and simple ceramic ring bowls hit the scene a few years ago. Now, Paloma’s Nest’s designer, Caroline Colóm Vásquez, has expanded her business to create cufflinks, boutonniere tiles, picture frames, ornaments—and, just last week, these gorgeous cake plates.
The plates can be customized with a couple’s names and wedding date, and a bird or heart design, if you’d like. We’re definitely thinking of these for a lovely bridal shower or wedding gift. Each plate is $64, and are available on Paloma’s Nest’s Etsy site.
Hunt has also created save-the-date maps for weddings in Florida, New York, Indiana, and California. Cartoon courtesy of Jim Hunt.
We’ve all seen those gorgeous, calligraphed save-the-date maps by Laura Hooper and Stephannie Barba, but here’s a different spin on the trend. Annapolis cartoonist Jim Hunt, who draws editorial cartoons for the Charlotte Post and has done work for MAD Magazine, creates whimsical save-the-date that are more comical than classic. The maps can be as detailed as you’d like and can also include sweet personal touches (check out one couple’s dogs, sketched here on a save-the-date for a wedding at the Homestead in Hot Springs, Va.). It’s a nontraditional and slightly cheeky, but will surely bring a smile to your guests’ faces. And, Hunt tells me that he’s never done a save-the-date map of DC—so yours could be the first! Visit Hunt’s website for more details.
Baby's breath also make striking bridal bouquets and tall centerpieces. Photograph courtesy of Holly Heider Chapple.
Most people think of baby’s breath as a humble “filler” flower, but Lucketts, Virginia florist Holly Heider Chapple proves that it really can be the star of the show. For a recent event at the Halcyon House in DC, Chapple planned to create an outdoor party with a “Southern, charming, and quaint” vibe. Because of the heat, the event was moved indoors to the Halcyon’s contemporary studio, and Chapple was faced with a dilemma: creating a homespun feel in a modern space. “We had buckets of baby’s breath from an event a few weeks ago, and I thought that hanging it from the ceiling, as though it was drying in a barn, would soften the space and give it more of that ‘country’ feel,” says Chapple. “It worked like a charm.” We recommend using hanging arrangements in a “blank canvas”-type venue—it would be particularly lovely at a tented reception.
Looking for a great florist for your wedding? Check out our Wedding Vendor Finder to start planning your wedding.
A brooch bouquet works beautifully in a wedding with DIY, vintage décor. Photograph by Kate Headley
We’ve seen brooch bouquets on the national wedding blog scene for a while now, but they’ve only recently become a major trend in DC. We love how they last forever, creating an instant family heirloom, and particularly fell for the gold-flecked version spotted at Annie and Brendan’s DC wedding, photographed by Kate Headley. The bride made this bouquet herself, but we found several ways you can get the look for your own wedding day.
Another fun spot for these props? The kids table! Photographs courtesy of Carla David
Photobooths have been a popular wedding reception activity for a while now, and Savage stationery designer Carla David has found a way to liven them up even more. Her new company, Say Cheese Paper Props, features an array of whimsical paper mustaches, lips, "I Love You" signs, even bowties (perfect for those preppy Eastern Shore celebrations).
Another sweet Say Cheese product: paper banners. We particularly like the “thank you” style—great as a prop for a couple’s portrait; the resulting photo can be used to adorn a thank-you card later on.
The props start at $18 for a group of four, and are available in a variety of colors. David can even create custom styles to fit your theme. Visit Say Cheese Paper Props’s Web site for more information or to order.
Say the words "wedding etiquette" and a few images come to mind. Demure, white wedding gowns. Formal receiving lines. Champagne toasts.
But today's brides don't have to be outdated to be polite. Traditional rituals like tossing the bouquet, performing a first dance, or cutting the cake have become optional, and many wedding customs have disappeared entirely.
"Sometimes couples forget that their wedding is a celebration of the two of them," says planner Sara Bauleke of Arlington's Bella Notte. "If it's something you would not normally do, don't feel pressure to do it on your wedding day."
Certain rules have survived the test of time—and for good reason, says DC planner Jodi Moraru. "Etiquette today is about treating your guests with respect."
With that in mind, here are five etiquette rules that experts say should never be broken: