Friday, February 27, 2009

My wedding style

Thank you for taking the Style Your Dream Wedding Quiz.

Garden weddings capture the carefree elegance of summer. With the scents of the garden and the magic of flowers, a softer side of nature surrounds you. These weddings are usually a collaborative effort between family and friends who all work together to make the wedding special and creative. Your buzzwords are "fresh," "airy," "enchanting," "natural" and "frolicsome." A backyard is ideal, but other wonderful locations to consider are parks and botanical gardens in your area. The wonderful thing about planning your Garden wedding is that the actual location is not as important as the feelings the location should invoke. Any room can be transformed into a garden paradise with the right flowers and decorations.

Your Stationery: The elements of Garden wedding invitations are delicate and intricate in lettering and design. You may consider a pressed flower as part of the invitation or using handmade paper with your flower colors worked into the pulp. Overall, keep it simple and let the flowers be the focal point.

Your Dress: This is your opportunity to run wild with your childhood fantasies of being a nymph or a fairy princess. If you have an inner flower child that longs to run free, this is your opportunity. Look for sleeveless wedding gowns or wispy empire-waist gowns. The dress is the show, so your jewelry should be minimal and delicate. A soft shawl can be wrapped around your shoulders later if your reception is outside.

Your Hair: Long and loose or up with wisps, the key to gorgeous hair for a Garden bride is to incorporate the flowers into the look. Whether you use diamond hair clasps that look like bumblebees, or you pin pansies into your bun, you should continue to align the look with your surroundings. It’s a good idea to indulge yourself and hire a hair stylist to create that style for you. With an outdoor location, you have to make hair a more important part of the picture as the elements can change your look in minutes. You will want to consider whether or not it will hold its own against the elements that time of year without someone having to follow you around with a can of hairspray all day.

Your Flowers: With a Garden wedding, you may want to decide on your flowers first because, besides you, they will be a key element that defines the style of this wedding. Cascading wildflowers that intertwine on archways could be a beautiful choice for a Garden look. Looped around the backs of your chairs or in the bridesmaids’ hair, the flowers should accent and complement all of your decorations and inspire many details of your wedding. Consult with your floral stylist and find a floral mix that aligns with your chosen color palette. See the Color Palette Booklet in our Style Your Dream Wedding book for color ideas that will align with your overall Garden wedding.

Your Ceremony: If you have a Garden ceremony, one of your concerns will be to prevent the intimacy of the ceremony from being lost in the great outdoors, so plan on creating a visual centerpiece for the ceremony, such as an arbor with flowering vines, an archway of flowers, a beautiful white chuppah or even a tropical-style palapa. There are some incredible gazebos that can act as a great focal point for a ceremony and can be purchased inexpensively.

Your Reception: A large tented dinner reception with dinner and dancing would be beautiful for a Garden wedding. The tent can be incredibly stylish. The tabletops may have white napkins tied with green organza ribbons and green and white flower centerpieces punctuated by large, white column candles. Some beautiful color ideas can be found in the Color Palette Book, a special addition in Style Your Dream Wedding.
Edible flower arrangements are a fun and innovative way to beautify your reception area and feed your guests. Mouth-watering and appealing fresh fruit arranged like a floral bouquet, with flavorful pineapple "daisies," chocolate-dipped apple wedges, fresh strawberries and accents of grapes and ribbed melon slices on skewers, carry out the Garden theme beautifully and are conversation pieces that your guests will "ooh" and "aah" over long after your wedding is over.

Refreshing gifts for your guests made of strawberries and apple wedges dipped in semisweet or white chocolate and sprinkled with sliced almonds, coconut or chopped nuts, and nestled in a chilled box with a colorful bow that matches your reception colors, will be an edible reminder of your wedding that your friends and family can take with them to snack on later. Menu items can include yummy salads and fresh dishes, and a string quartet can add romantic ambiance.

Your Cake: Use the flowers to lead your design for a Garden cake. Real or confection, flowers arranged beautifully on your cake will enhance your wedding! You may also opt for small individual cakes in different flavors or little cupcakes. For shape, allow your cake to step upward on an angle rather than a perfectly stacked wedding cake, recreating the image of garden steps.

Your Photography: Capture some selective focus shots among the flowers. With so much color available, your photographer can create some beautiful shots by pulling focus in different ways. Also, capture the small details of your dress or your rings by photographing them close up with the flowers as your background.

Your Getaway: With a Garden style you can feel free to use a variety of modes of transportation. To tie this together with your Garden style, decorate your getaway vehicle with flowers that match back to your wedding.

Fanciful weddings are imaginative and creative. Often, the location will have special significance for the bride and groom. Think of a couple tying the knot on the roller coaster they rode on their first date. Or what about a life-long film buff marrying in a movie theater? Your buzzwords are "adventurous," "unique," "quirky," "imaginative" and "out of the box." The location for your wedding can be as wild as your imagination. Consider nightclubs, casinos, hot-air balloons, sports stadiums, a yacht, a zoological garden, a bowling alley or even underwater.

The bride who wants a Fanciful wedding is not afraid to be different, so brainstorm and think of things that you truly love and that make you happy. Infuse these things into your ceremony. Nothing should be crossed off your list if you love it. For example, if giggling small children make you happy, have a group of them walk behind you down the aisle holding your long, flowing veil.

Your Stationery: Don’t limit yourself to traditional invitations. How about a key that opens the door to the VIP Room at a nightclub? Or a puzzle that when put together is a picture of the bride and groom? Play with shape and cut of the invitation itself and use interesting and dimensional shapes.

Your Dress: Whatever strikes your fancy, your dress can be selected or made to match or can fashionably contrast with your theme. A Fanciful wedding is truly all about you and can be as unique as you want it to be. Go down the aisle in matching his and her bathrobes if you like. If it’s a Halloween wedding you may be in costumes. A word of caution with this style: be sure to really refine your ideas and vision before you pick your dress so that it aligns and enhances the style. If you don’t isolate your style early enough, it will be easy to "lose your theme" and end up with a wedding and reception with no real stylistic direction.

Your Hair: For a Fanciful wedding you may create a completely different look for your hair. If you have short hair, clip-on hair or extensions can be added for length or fullness. Dramatic streaks of color to highlight your face or match your flowers can be achieved with a great hair colorist or with small clip-on hairpieces. Headpieces like medieval crowns, tiaras or tribal-inspired headdresses can be researched online. You can also find great costume hair adornments at vintage stores and at specialty costume stores.

If you have a certain look that you would like to replicate, your best bet is to find a hairdresser that specializes in the type of hairdo you want. For example, if your wedding has a Renaissance theme, and you want a dramatic hairstyle befitting Renaissance royalty, you may want to find someone who has done theatrical hair in a play, festival or performance from that era. Remember, your hair is important because it will live in infamy in wedding pictures. If it’s not right, you could have pangs of regret every time you look at your wedding album.

Your Flowers: You may want to think outside the box and choose to embrace a Willy Wonka approach and have some edible floral arrangements. Or, perhaps you don’t want real flowers but would love to have some gorgeous paper sculptures accented with origami puzzles. You can feel very free to use whatever you would like with this style. There are several breeds of natural flowers that can provide beautiful, fanciful colors. Consult with your florist and he/she should be able to help you create a Fanciful bouquet that aligns in color and style with your particular Fanciful wedding style.

Your Ceremony: Create your own ceremony from start to finish. Perhaps you wish to have your entire ceremony on horseback, or to marry while skydiving. Whatever your fancy, you will want to write your ceremony to fit the venue. Make sure that your vows are not too long if you’re falling from 15,000 feet!

Your Reception: Once you pick your style, dive in. Maybe you want a circus theme where your officiate wears a clown suit. Too silly? How about cotton candy and candied apples becoming the newest martini flavors at your Fanciful reception? Allow the location to set the entertainment. If you’re at a fair, then perhaps your guests can play at the carnival booths, take rides on the Ferris wheel or watch a clown show. Use your imagination and to create a fantasy that everyone will remember.

Your Cake: Your cake topper can carry through the theme of the location you decide to hold your wedding. There are some clever topsy-turvy cakes to choose from these days with all sorts of unusual fillings and toppers. Snicker doodle crumbs in your frosting? M&M’s in every slice? Giraffe toppers if getting married at a zoological garden? Think outside the box, as nothing has to be conventional with a Fanciful wedding. You are the creator and anything goes.

Your Photography: Allow your photographer to work some special effects into your wedding. Other than that, make sure that whomever you hire gets pictures of all your fanciful details. It would be helpful to hire an art photographer, one that knows how to work with Photoshop and graphics to create fanciful images of your wedding with an artistic quality. If you or your groom are proficient in Photoshop you may want to try your hand at this as well and your friends might love getting these framed shots as a gift for their birthday or special event.

Your Getaway: A hot-air balloon? An elephant? What’s your fantasy? Use all of your creative juices to plan the most fun and romantic getaway. Let your imagination run wild!

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