Sunday, May 10, 2009

"Green" Wedding's

3 Reasons to “GO GREEN” for your Wedding.

1.Your big day can have a major impact on the environment: an Eco-Friendly Green Wedding can reduce that.

2. You want to share your “green” beliefs with your friends and family members and possibly inspire them to “go green” too.

3. You want to showcase your creative side by having a “Green” themed wedding.

Get into the Green of things
To get into the “green” of things, you and your fiancé’ should sit down and discuss your wants and idea’s for your day. From there, you can pin point different aspects and turn them green. Start by registering with venders that supply eco-friendly products with companies such as and

You can have beautiful stationary and still be eco-friendly. Such websites as and use tree free or recycles paper for their wedding invitations and stationary while on the other hand; and offer a selection of plantable paper invitations and favors. You can also go the paper-less way by using websites such as and that sends guests an invitation online. Another really creatively green thing to do is to make your own paper for your stationary. This allows you to completely control how you want your invitations to look. You can add seeds to make plantable paper or you can put dried flowers and herbs to give it a special look.

Homemade Paper

You will need
Lot’s of scrap paper (old bills, copy paper. Magazine pages are too glossy and newspaper will turn everything gray).
Wooden frames that should be a little larger than the size of the finished paper you want.
A window screen a little larger than the frame.
Staples and hand stapler or staple gun.
Old blender- one you don’t use for food processing *look in thrift stores.
A large rubber plastic tub.
Felt or wool larger than your frames, at least 2 per sheets of paper.
Rolling pin.
Additives for the paper: flowers, seeds, and herbs.
Cornstarch to mix into the slurry and make the paper easier to write on.
Flat or edgeless cookie sheet.
EXTRA’S: cookie-cutter shapes, an apron, extra towels and rags.

COLLECT a lot of scrap paper. Collect good paper- newspaper will turn everything gray; magazines are too glossy and will make everything gunky. Best choices are junk mail, office, computer and copy paper.
Rip your paper up into 1inch squares or shred it into small pieces. This helps to break down the fibers.
Once the paper is shredded, soak in the tub of warm water for at least 2 hour; soaking over night is preferable.
To make a mold, cut your window screen an inch or two larger than the frame then stretch it over the frame and staple it to the backside. If you want your paper to have straight edges you’ll want to use a second frame with no screen; this is called “deckle”. The deckle sits on the mold and defines the shape of the paper. If you want the uneven edges that are a characteristic of handmade paper, don’t bother with deckle.
After the paper is finished soaking, mix it up in your blender at the ratio of 1 cup of paper to 2-3 cups of water. Start with 2 cups; if the mixture is too thick and lumpy add another cup. You want it thick and slurry; like a really thick smoothie, not too watery or too runny. If you want to write on the paper, add a tablespoon of cornstarch. This is called “Sizing” and makes the paper less porous so it doesn’t absorb the ink.
Blend the mix on medium high until it has the consistency of thin oatmeal.
Experiment with colors adding food coloring.
Once your paper of blended into a slurry pulp, fill your tub with about 2 inches of water for every blender full of pulp.
Pour the pulp into the mold then lower the mold into the tub of water at an angle and shake to distribute the pulp evenly over the screen. If you are using a deckle, place it over the mold now, gently shake it back and forth and pull both the mold and deckle up out of the water tub gently. Let the water drain, allowing all the excess water to flow back into the tub.
If you don’t dip the pulp into the water this is the time to add materials such as seeds, flowers, and herbs. Mix them around or place them where you want them.
Use a sponge, to dry off the excess water off the back of the screen.
Lay a piece of felt or wool in top of the paper on the screen and turn the whole thing over- mold and all- onto a hard surface such as a flat edgeless cookie sheet. If the paper doesn’t come off easily, dry the back of the screen some more.
At this point, if you haven’t added your additives, you can do so at this time. You can also make imprints with leafs, or textured objects by pressing them against the paper. Leave the items there until the paper has dried.
Cover the paper with another piece of felt and roll over it with a rolling pin to bind the fibers together and to help imprint any designs. This will help your paper dry faster and flatter.
Let it dry for a day and then it will be ready to use.


The use of organic fabrics is becoming more popular as we move into an environmentally conscious era. Such designers as, DKNY, Calvin Klein, Ann Taylor and L.L. Bean, have used fabrics made from Hemp, Bamboo, Silk, and Tencel to create beautifully stylish garments. Using these organic fabrics can offer a beautiful gown while still being able to preserve the earth ( These fabrics aren’t just confined to wedding dressed, at you can find organic cotton dress shirts for men and at you can find bridesmaids and flower girl dresses.

Using organic fabrics isn’t the only way to tackle the 3 R’s motto. Buying gently used wedding gowns can also help. takes gently used bridal gowns and then resells them. The proceeds go to making wishes come true for breast cancer patients and takes 10% of their proceeds from each sale and donate it to charity.

Always a rule of thumb when trying to be eco-friendly, whatever you buy new, make sure you can use it again.

The Big Day
Choose a location that is beautiful without any to little decorations like a rose gardens, beach, museum’s, and art galleries. Forgo decorating with the crepe paper and balloon and try using ribbons, bows or something that can be recycled later. Rent or borrow what you can such as a trellis, gazebo, tables and chairs, unless you think you will need them again. Finding a location that can host both your ceremony and reception will save on gas for your guests as well as eliminate your out of town guests from getting lost.
Getting married on an exotic beach or location would be beautiful but your concern is that your family and friends wouldn’t be able to afford to attend. Web cast your wedding. Ranging between $250-$750 dollars this is great for families that cant travel to your location or if you want your wedding to take place in a unique destination such as The Hawaii or a cruise. Service should include reservation of your own web space, time of broadcast, an archive for those who missed it, and the option to download it later and save it on a DVD.
Flowers can be a beautiful addition to your wedding. Whether in the bouquet or as a centerpiece, they add life to the occasion but most flowers are treated with harmful chemicals to preserve quality during shipping. Choosing flowers from a certified organic florist not only is more eco-friendly, but for some flowers, they can be edible. What a treat for your guests to have a centerpiece that they can taste. will ship their organic flowers directly to you. If you want to choose fake flowers, make sure to purchase the flowers made of natural products not synthetic.
Choose a “Green Photographers”. They are photographers who use digital cameras and upload their photos to a computer for you to view and choose the proofs you want. This saves paper and eliminates the use of harmful chemicals that are used in developing pictures. Say “NO” to disposable camera’s for your guests and encourage them to bring their digital camera and upload their photos onto or for an album that everyone has access to enjoy.
It is amazing the strides we are taking to preserve the earth and it’s environment
More and more people are going “green” but being environmentally conscious doesn’t stop at household products and eco-friendly vehicles. You can have a beautiful wedding and do it while being eco-friendly at the same time. For more info and support on a Green Wedding, visit any of the website’s below.

Solicited Excitement

Getting married is wonderful news that you hope your family and friends will share in the joy with you but let’s face it, not everyone will have the same enthusiasm as you. Here are a few tips on how to and properly solicit your excitement.

At work, letting your boss know of your news allows him/her to anticipate your request for leave. Make sure to keep them up-to-date on any time you may need off.
It isn’t required for you to announce it to your co-workers unless you want to, however, keep in mind how they may feel if you choose not to invite them.
Be conscious of how much you talk about it with your friends. Even though they are interested, doesn’t mean they want to hear every detail of your planning every time you see them.
Be conscious to those who recently departed from their significant other. A break up is hard enough without having someone smush the “Joy’s of Love” in their face.
The more you talk about it to people the more you are going to hear a ton’s of advice during this time. Don’t be too focused on your ideas that you may shut even greater idea’s out. Be humble and listen.
Rule of Thumb: If your tired of all the advice remember that people will stop talking about it when you stop talking about it.

Among these advice giver’s are family members or soon to be family members. This can get very annoying so stay calm, stay polite and decline with grace:
o “That sounds like a great idea, I will keep that in mind.”
o “ I appreciate your input, I will make sure to bring that up to my wedding planner and see what he/she thinks about that.”
Keep in mind; these are people who are going to support your wedding as guest’s and gift givers.

For more advice and tips you can contact me via email at or by phone at 919-753-8624.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Getting Married??

Please visit my website at http:www.e-eventplanning.com

Hello, my name is Ms. Elana Walker and I am a wedding consultant in the Raleigh-Durham and surrounding areas. I wanted to start this blog to help provide people with the proper tools and perspectives involving wedding planning as well as etiquette (both wedding related and non-wedding related). Wedding planning consists of a lot of little details adding up to create something beautiful.

When 2 people decide to become engaged, it can be the most exciting time in their lives. Deciding on your ceremony depends on the couple’s religion, family, culture, budget, etc… Typically, to plan a wedding, you need about 9-12 months. To help you get started, here are some questions to review together. By answering these questions, it will help you as well as any assistant’s you may enlist, with the basic foundation of the type of ceremony you want.

1) What is your budget?
a) $5,000 and under
b) $5,000-$10,000
c) $10,000- $15,000
d) $15,000- more

2) What formality would you prefer?
a) Informal
b) Semi-formal
c) Formal

3) What date or season would you like the ceremony in?
a) Winter: date:
b) Spring: date:
c) Summer: date:
d) Fall: date:

4) Approximately how many guests’ do you think will attend?
a) 50 or less
b) 100 or less
c) 200 or less
d) 200 or more

5) Where do you want the location of the ceremony and or reception?
a) Church or another religious based facility
b) Home or backyard
c) Non religious facility: Convention center, Banquet hall, Lodge….
d) Unique location: rose garden, museum, beach

6) Who will finance the wedding?
a) You and your fiancé?
b) The brides parents
c) The brides parents with the groom or the groom’s parents help
d) The groom’s parents

Do you need a wedding consultant?
The purpose of a consultant can vary between someone who organizes and designs the whole event, someone who only orchestrated on the day of the event, or someone who you can just bounce ideas off of. A professional wedding consultant can assist you in finding the best deals in addition to the highest quality of items needed to make sure your event goes as planed. They also can be a great time saver due to their experience and knowledge of where to find what you need for your special day. Their prices can range between an hourly rate ($20-$300 and hour) or a flat fee. Here are some questions to ask yourself to determine if it will be beneficial and affective to use a wedding planner.

1) Do you want more than 100 guests to attend?
2) Is your budget over $5,000?
3) Do you want a formal or semi-formal ceremony?
4) Are you planning to marry in a facility that you will have to rent or isn’t a full service venue?
5) Is your bridal party larger than 4 people?
6) Do you have at least 12 free hours in your day to dedicate to the planning and organizing of your event?

If you answered yes to just 2 of these questions, you might want to speak with a consultant to see how they can benefit you. Experience, knowledge and business connections are why using a planner is a smart choice.

Below is your 12-month checklist, to get you started.

 Announce your intention to marry to BOTH sets of parents.
 Determine type (formal, semi-formal, informal), style and theme of the wedding.
 Make a list of what is important to you for your wedding; this will help you determine your budget.
 Sit down with your fiancé and ALL parents and discuss the wedding budget, and who will pay for what.
 Get or make a wedding organizer (a 3 ring binder with pockets works great). Use it to store all your information, contracts, ideas, photos, etc.
 Speak with your clergy/officiant and review synagogue/church requirements.
 Come up with 2 or 3 possible wedding dates and start looking for ceremony and reception venues. If a venue you like is available on one of your chosen dates, book it immediately; many venues will often be booked up to 2 years in advance, so have several choices in mind beforehand in case they are already booked.
 If you are using one, start looking for and book a wedding consultant.

Engagement Etiquette
A long engagement is un-necessary as well as a stain on all involved. An engagement shouldn’t happen until the couple is ready and confident about marring each other and the engagement shouldnt be any longer than 12 months. Traditionally, the man asks for permission from the woman’s father. If her father’s position is absent, a close male relative such as an older brother, uncle, or stepfather will work. Of course, this is something that was done more so in the past than today but it is still a great way of introduction to trust, courage, responsibility and honesty on the soon-to-be grooms part. Once the proposal and acceptance is made, the parents should be verbally informed first. Next, if applicable, the children and the ex or if widowed, their parents. Once the parents know, it is customary for the groom’s parents to contact the bride’s parents to express their happiness and arranges to formally meet. One thing you don’t count on is your parent not approving. If they don’t approve or if you think they wont, still tell them first. The child of the disapproving parents should try having a private conversation to investigate why they disapprove. If they still cant be convinced then give them their distance however, still invite them to the wedding. Hopefully they will put their child’s happiness first and attend the ceremony.
Engagement Party and Announcing.
The bride’s family should give the engagement party, usually a cocktail party or a dinner, and the majority of those invited should be relatives and close friends. The news may be told by the bride herself or by the mother as guests arrive. The groom-to-be should be standing or seated by the brides family as guests arrive to signify him joining their family since they are the host’s of the party. If the bride to be and her mother are having a dinner party, then an announcement by her father (traditionally) or a father figure should be formally made introducing him and the news of the engagement. If you don’t want it verbally announced items such as a cake, balloons, place cards, or an announcement board with the couples names on it will suffice for the announcement.
For family and friends who live far away and couldn’t attend the engagement party or just as memorabilia, you can have professional announcements made with a picture of the couple announcing the engagement and wedding date. These should be sent out 6 months before the wedding date.
A new paper announcement provides a public notice 2-3 before the wedding is to take place. Generally, the parents of the bride and/or groom places the announcement in their local newspaper providing details such as where the fiancé who is marrying their child is from, his career field, his parents name’s, etc:

Mr. Paul and Mrs. Kathy. Jones announces the engagement of their daughter Laura S. Jones to Tim Griffin Esq., son of Dr. Richard. And Mrs. Erica. Griffin,. Of Chicago, IL.
Ranging from magnets to websites, people are finding more and more ways to get creative with announcing their engagement. The more creative you get, the easier people will remember the date of your special day.

Behavior of the engaged couple.
When deciding to marry each other, you have moved into a different phase of your relationship. To be engaged is a serious step that should be respected with behavior that complements your decision of exclusivity and fidelity. This is a subject that will vary per couple but here are a few etiquette rules that should apply across the board.
Engaged men and women shouldn’t show interest in a person of the opposite sex. This is something that is not only disrespectful to their soon-to-be but, it also make’s you look bad in the company of other’s.
For instance, if the groom-to-be passes an attractive woman, he shouldn’t show any verbal or physical interest.
When the couple is apart, they don’t have to be confined to their home, however having two-some dates with a member of the opposite sex is inappropriate. It is best, if you want to spend time with your friend of the opposite sex, your fiancé should be there as well. Joining together through marriage also means, joining together and becoming 1 in every other aspect as well. Her friends should become your friends and vise versa. If not each other’s friends, it shouldn’t be a strain to have them around each other. If there is conflict between your fiancé and friends, you’re starting off with 1 strike against the union to be.
Communication on everything is the best way to ensure a great relationship. Most of the time, the woman plans the wedding according to what she wants and this can make the man feel obsolete. Make sure to ask for his opinions and idea’s on the ceremony details. Encourage him to meet the wedding planner (a good wedding planner, will want to meet with the couple, not just 1 person.), take him cake taste testing, in the long run, he will appreciate it.

Congratulations. I hope that this has been able to assist you in getting started on your path to planning your perfect wedding. Planning a wedding isn’t easy and it almost never goes without some stress but, in the end, it will be worth it. This is just the tip of a big iceberg and if you have any questions or comments, or want to seek further detailed advice on planning or etiquette, please contact me at or 919-753-8624.

Next week: Tips on Green-Weddings