Friday’s FAB Finds {028}

Happy Friday, y’all! We’re back and have some fun and of course, fabulous finds for you as you head into your weekend. Enjoy!

Ideas We Love – Stylish Favor Bags

Sending your guests off with sweet and delish treats is a timeless idea. Brides and grooms (and wedding planners!) are moving beyond a simple box with Jordan almonds, thank goodness. Whether you have a candy/dessert bar, homemade baked goods or even something non-edible like flower seeds, why not further personalize it with a cute quote, your wedding monogram or theme, or your names & wedding date–all in your wedding colors. The possibilities are endless; if you pick something you love and that suits you and your personalities, you can’t go wrong.

Style Me Pretty recently featured a sweet little DIY project designed by Kathleen over at Twig & Thistle. Click on the photo below to go to the post with instructions and the exclusive download. Be sure to check out all of Kathleen’s fun stuff at her Etsy shop and blog.

Courtesy Twig & Thistle via Style Me Pretty

Or how about these stamped bags from Martha Stewart Weddings.

Courtesy Martha Stewart Weddings

“Simple sacks make perfect favor packages when given a handle and personalized with a stamp. To make them, you will need white paper bags (ours are 3 inches by 6 1/4 inches), a rubber stamp, paper cord, double-sided tape, and candy. A rubber-stamp company or office-supply store will make a stamp for you; just provide a line drawing or printout of an image with your names and wedding date. Stamp your design onto a flat bag (place a piece of cardboard inside for a smooth surface). Place candy in bag (don’t make the bag too heavy), and fold top of bag over twice. Place double-sided tape under flap of fold (but do not seal yet). Cut an 11-inch length of paper cord; knot ends and trim. Loop cord under flap, knot in center; press the flap down, enclosing the cord.”

These super cute bags also serve as your wedding menu! LOVE that they’re held shut with a clothes pin, too!

Courtesy Snippet & ink, Photo by Janae Shields

Burlap+Twine+Custom Stamp=Adorable Favor Bags!

Courtesy The Knot, Photo by Allison Davis Photography

How ’bout making a bag the favor?! Totally diggin’ these reusable grocery/tote bag favors – fun and GREEN!

Courtesy Grey Likes Weddings, Photo by Sea Studio

Letterpressed candy bags – beautiful!

Courtesy Oh So Beautiful Paper, Photo by Christine Brandt

Love the old school quality of these!

Courtesy Oh So Beautiful Paper

Sweet little muslin bags for your sweets.

Courtesy Bird & Banner

Courtesy Bird & Banner

And lastly, this one is perfect for loose tea favors!

Courtesy Bird & Banner

And last, but certainly not least, a few of our clients have put their own spin on favor bags, too! Caren & Ed have a friend who specializes in roasted coffee blends so guests picked up bags of a special morning blend named after their adorable cats, Bago & Goon. LOVE the photo, too!

Have you seen any unique favor bags that you loved? How about at your wedding? We’d love to see them!

Recipes We Love – Roasted Portobello Caprese Salad

Okay, so I know this FAB Find isn’t wedding related, but I just couldn’t resist sharing it with you because it is that FABULOUS! This portobello caprese salad is the perfect summer recipe and is simple, but substantial enough to be the main event at your alfresco dinner. Even Bill, an avowed meat eater, loves this one. If you make it, I’d love to hear what you though of it!


Hope you have a fantastic weekend!


Friday’s FAB Finds {024}

Happy Friday! Would you like a FAB Find or two to start off your weekend? Well, you’ve come to the right place then. You may remember Fridays FAB Finds {016} featured a beautiful, eco-friendly boutonniere and hair piece designed by an Etsy artist who specializes in vintage enamel beads…

Courtesy Martha Stewart Weddings Photo by Dave Robbins Photography

Courtesy Martha Stewart Weddings Photo by Dave Robbins Photography

This week we’ve taken that idea a step further and found some fabulous, incredibly unique, eco-chic bouquets for you!

Ideas We Love – Brooch  Bouquets

Okay, so how about this for your something old? I recently saw one these gorgeous bouquets featured on Daily Candy. The supremely talented Amanda Herr of Fantasy Floral Designs puts together these incredible vintage brooch bouquets for brides. Not only are they absolutely gorgeous, but how lovely that these little babies will never wilt. Each bouquet contains hand-picked baubles so no two are ever alike – what a beautiful memento from your I Do’s especially considering you can include your own family heirloom pieces in your bouquet.

Gorgeous! I don’t think I could pick a favorite as I love them all (see even more examples on Amanda’s website – watch out if you’re at work though, music immediately starts), but do you have a favorite??

Image courtesy of Fantasy Floral Designs

Image courtesy of Fantasy Floral Designs

Okay, so maybe this one is my favorite. Love the yellows!

Image courtesy of Fantasy Floral Designs

Image courtesy of Fantasy Floral Designs

Image courtesy of Fantasy Floral Designs

Ideas We Love – Balsa Wood Bouquets

Are the brooch bouquets a little too much “bling” for you? Well, we’ve been hearing and seeing a lot of beautiful things that involve balsa wood lately. Would you ever think to make a wedding bouquet out of it? I wouldn’t, but I’m glad someone did! The Super talented Krislyn designed this wood and coral bouquet for a wedding that was featured last Fall on another one of our favorite wedding blogs 100 Layer Cake.

Photo courtesy of Gia Canali via 100 Layer Cake

And JL Designs created this balsa wood and dusty miller bouquet for an eco -chic bridal shoot. Stunning!

Image courtesy of Stephanie Williams via JL Designs

Image courtesy of Stephanie Williams via JL Designs

So what do you think? Would you consider a jewelry or wood bridal bouquet when they can look this stunning?


Friday’s FAB Finds {016}

Happy Friday! This week we’ve got a few more “green” FAB Finds for you. If you’re incorporating eco-friendly touches into your wedding celebration, feel free to share your ideas in the comments. We’d love to hear them!

Idea’s We Love – Fabric Wraps

Christmas may be over, but 2010 will likely bring a few occasions in which you need to wrap up something special for a loved one. Why not make the wrapping as thoughtful as the gift? We love these fabric wraps from Chewing the Cud. You may remember we featured their adorable Save the Date tea towels in an earlier green edition of FAB Finds. We’re big fans of Viola’s work and you can find even more lovely things in her Etsy shop.

Courtesy Chewing the Cud

The wraps are hand-printed on organic fabric using soy based inks.

Courtesy Chewing the Cud

Not only does your recipient receive a great gift, they can reuse the beautiful wrapping, too!

Courtesy Chewing the Cud

Choose from wraps that have hand-printed messages such as Give Joy, Give Love and Give Wisdom

Courtesy Chewing the Cud

Courtesy Chewing the Cud

Courtesy Chewing the Cud

Ideas We Love – Vintage Jewelry

Score another one for Etsy. This bride’s wedding was featured on Martha Stewart Weddings a while back and I adored her creativity when it came to her groom’s boutonniere and her hair piece. She found Etsy Artist Sleeping Dog Studio, who specializes in vintage enamel beads and jewelry and custom fashioned two fun and funky keepsakes. They’re both retro and modern at the same time! After the wedding, I can totally see these dressing up a little cardigan.

Courtesy Martha Stewart Weddings Photo by Dave Robbins Photography

Courtesy Martha Stewart Weddings Photo by Dave Robbins Photography

Ideas We Love – Plantable Favors

If you want to give a favor to your guests, but don’t want something that will sit in a drawer never to be seen again, or even worse, end up in a landfill, consider an eco-friendly favor that will adorn their home and benefit the environment. I found these plantable favors in a recent The Knot issue and they perfectly fit the bill.

Courtesy The Knot magazine Photo by Sewell Photography

Going online then, I found a few more…

Courtesy Photo by Marie Clark Photography

Courtesy Photo by Angelica Glass

Courtesy Photo by Azul Photography

Be sure to check out Green Weddings on The Knot for even more eco-chic ideas! We’d love to hear yours, as well!

Friday’s FAB Finds {012}

Welcome back, everyone! We found a few free moments this week, in between some incredible weddings, to find some fabulous finds for you. Hope you enjoy!

Invitations We Love – Joy & Jerry

You’ll recognize Joy and Jerry from their recently blogged beautiful wedding. You can see all three(!) posts from their fabulous day – Part 1, Part 2, which shows many of their wonderful details and Part 3! Their entire day, as well as their incredible details, were all top notch and thoroughly thought out.

When Joy first showed us their invitation packet over lunch, I think I actually let out an audible gasp! The envelope was soooo thick with lovely calligraphy so I knew we were in for a special treat when we opened it. The  envelope itself is lined with a rich, chocolate brown moire silk and the invitation is a modern, letter pressed design on the thickest cream card stock we’ve ever seen—even thicker than our business cards and those could prop up wobbly furniture, although we don’t recommend them for that particular use. 😉

Joy carried the design through to the menu cards, table numbers, chocolate brown cocktail napkins and even the wedding certificate that all the guests signed. The design, calligraphy, focus on one rich color and the contemporary invitation wording completely fit the event and the couple.  Such gorgeous and thoughtful attention to detail definitely lets your guests know they are in for an amazing day and evening (extending through the next morning in their case!).

While we photographed the invitation at the wedding, I wanted to include the entire gorgeous suite in a few photos. When thinking about what background to use, I immediately thought of my maternal grandmother’s wedding dress! It’s been in storage and hidden away for many years, but was recently uncovered during a too-short spurt of basement organization. I decided the elegance of the invitation and the dress were the perfect match. My grandmother Rose would have absolutely adored these.

Vera Wang through William Arthur








And here are some shots of the various paper products “in action” that day and evening.








Ideas We Love – Innovative Color Combination’s

Many of you may remember Joy and Ben’s (whose wedding was featured in the latest Washingtonian Bride and Groom) sleek, bright and fun orange and sky blue color scheme. Their colors were perfect for a summer wedding. Flipping through a recent copy of The Knot magazine, I found another color scheme that I wouldn’t have thought of, but totally love—lemon yellow and aqua! Be sure to check out their great color-combo advice!

These cute cupcake flags could easily be an Idea We Love, too!

Courtesy The Knot

Courtesy The Knot

Same with the unique silhouette of the couple with their initial!

Courtesy The Knot

Courtesy The Knot

How about lime green and cherry?

Photo by Antonis Achilleos Courtesy

Photo by Antonis Achilleos Courtesy

Photo by Antonis Achilleos Courtesy

Photo by Antonis Achilleos Courtesy

Or how about these incredible combination’s courtesy of junebug WEDDINGS?

Courtesy junebug weddings

Courtesy junebug weddings

Top row:
Images from Junebug Weddings Candy Coated Color Fashion Report

Second row:
Marc by Marc Jacobs Caroline frilled dress from
Image from Junebug Weddings Candy Coated Color Fashion Report
Wedding cupcake image from Rebecca Thuss

Bottom row:
Wedding favor image from Rebecca Thuss
Table setting image from

Courtesy junebug weddings

Courtesy junebug weddings

Top row:
Photo by Norman Jean Roy
Lilly mirror from Maison Luxe
MAXSTUDIO ‘Sidewinder’ sandal from

Second row:
Stationery from Michelle Rago
Resin cast decorative white coral from The Pottery Barn
Blue flower from Rebecca Thuss

Third row:
Coral cake from
Dress by Vera Wang via Inside Weddings
Table decor from Michelle Rago

Bottom row:
Le Mystere ‘Isabella’ bra and thong from
Blue Darjeeling glasses from Rosanna

As you can see, the possibilities are endless. How will you be working your favorite colors into your own wedding? Add your comments to this post, as we would love to hear your thoughts and plans!

Ideas We Love – Inspiration Boards

As you can see in the color boards above, Inspiration Boards can really bring your wedding theme/style together cohesively. We’ve been lucky enough to have several of our images featured in the many style boards that can now be found on various wedding themed blogs, but Abby at Style Me Pretty was one of the first to start doing them and we’ve been fans ever since. (And proud Little Black Book members!)  Fittingly, she now invites her many readers to submit Inspiration Boards for periodical contests with fame and prizes to be awarded. She’s currently running a contest to create a board based on one the gorgeous dress styles found in their new SMP Look Book and the current winner will receive a $250 gift card to Crate and Barrel! Check out the details, but hurry – boards must be submitted by next Friday, July 31st!


People We Love – Kim G – BeautyMark

Sometimes you can just tell when certain people were born to do what they do. Kim Giammaria is one of those people. We’ve had the pleasure of working with Kim on several weddings throughout the years and we always get super excited to see her again. Not only is she incredibly talented, she’s one of the most warm, kind-hearted, and genuine people we know. She always makes our brides, along with their family and friends, look absolutely radiant on their wedding day, but totally natural at the same time. We have a sneaking suspicion that she connects with just about everyone she meets.

We honestly can’t recommend Kim highly enough. Even if you’re not getting married, but are perhaps going to a special event, you’ll definitely want to “connect” with Kim! Here are just a few shots of her working and the lovely results!











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Links We Love – The Wedding Chicks

We are pleased as punch to be one of The Wedding Chicks select few preferred photographers in Virginia thanks to Amy & Jacey! They recently launched a brand spankin’ new website and you know what, it really is “sweeter than honey”! We adore the vintage look amd everytime I visit, I find something new that makes me smile. (If you’re a DIY bride, be sure to visit their Free Templates gallery and their Etsy store for more fabulous finds.) Check them out and you’ll see what I mean. (Be sure to visit our fun eye candy gallery for some of our favorite wedding shots, too!)


Thanks so much for visiting. Have a fabulous weekend!!

Friday’s FAB Finds {011}

Happy Friday! Well, guess what? We’ve found some great, um, I mean fabulous finds for you this week! Who’d a thunk it?!?

Ideas We Love – Pajama Parties

Okay, I know this one might sound a little weird at first, but stick with me here. A recent tweet from one of our photographer friends mentioned that she was attending her client’s post-rehearsal dinner pajama party and how much she was diggin’ it. It reminded me of Gary & Jeanne’s fun and beautiful Hope and Glory (one of the places we love) wedding a few short years ago and that their awesome idea should be shared.

Since Irvington, Virginia is very small and all their guests were staying at the Inn or very close by, they decided to have a BBQ dinner on H&G’s back patio for all their guests, followed a short time later by a pajama party complete with milk and cookies! In fact, a huge farmhouse table FULL of sweet treats lovingly made by family members and brought to the Inn for the special occasion. Needless to say, a great time was had by all and yes, of course, we *had* to fit in, so we wore our best PJ’s, too! ;-D Although as you’ll see, a few people didn’t comply with “the rules”, but we’re pretty sure those who did had way more fun and way more “room” for all those treats!







The bridal party!


Gary and Jeanne stealing a smootch. Love the glass of milk!



And our view at the end of the evening with Gary in the background laughing at us. Thanks, Erin, for reminding us how much fun we had that night and we can’t wait to see your pics!


Ideas We Love – Charity donation favors

We love fun and fab favors just as much as the next gal, but there is definitely something to be said for having your favor be a donation in your guest’s names’ to one of your favorite charities. Not only are they pretty “green”, as in environmentally friendly (yup, snuck another one in on ya!) but it’s such a personal and meaningful gift. What better way to let your loved ones know what causes are near and dear to your hearts? Plus, if you still want to give something tangible, you can make it a small one and attach a cute card letting people know about the donation. I thought these were some great ways to do just that! (Not that a personalized yo-yo is a small favor!)

Courtesy The Knot Fall/Winter 09

Courtesy The Knot Fall/Winter 09

Because they met in Iowa, Ivette and Tom gave their guests corn-shaped, white chocolate candies with hazelnut centers. The sweets were tucked into small boxes filled with raffia and tagged with a thank-you and a note explaining that a donation had been made to the Humane Society on behalf of their guests.

humane society

Courtesy The and Heather Cook Elliott Photography

Janelle and Jim gave out yellow Live Strong bracelets with a card that read, “In lieu of favors the couple is donating money to the Lymphoma Society. Please wear this band in honor of Janelle’s battle with cancer.”

Courtesy of The and Kdog Photographers

Courtesy of The and Kdog Photographers

As a parting gift, Lindsay and Ty gave their guests a piece of lucky bamboo, which they found at their place setting along with some pink hypericum berries. The favors were decorated with a handmade tag that thanked the guests and indicated that a donation to the Lake Champlain Restoration Association had been made in their honor.

Courtesy of The and Orchard Cove Photography

Courtesy of The and Orchard Cove Photography

When Bill and I got married, we were lucky enough to have a friend who knew a metalworker that made custom medallions, mostly for the military. We designed a silver one that included our names, wedding date, location and our wedding logo (a butterfly signifying me and sunflower representing Bill) on one side. The other side had one of our favorite quotes by Mahatma Gandhi – “Where there is love there is life” – along with words of our own – ” So that others may know such love, a donation has been made on your behalf to fight women’s cancers. Thank you for sharing in our love today.” The donation was in honor of my Mom whom we had recently lost to cancer.

In hindsight we’d have made the medallions a bit bigger as our message ending up being pretty small, but overall, we loved them. It was something our loved ones could take with them as a reminder of how much it meant to us to have them there sharing our wedding day with us. To this day, I keep one of them in my bedside table as a meaningful reminder to me just how lucky I am to share my life and my love, everyday with Bill. Okay, enough mushy stuff, here are a few shots of our medallions.




Erin & Steve (more on them to come, but you can check out their lovely sneak peek in the meantime) had donations made at their recent wedding and we love how they let their guests know. Their escort cards were designed like library book check-out cards.  The cards listed the attendee’s names and their table number on one side and a sticker on the back said, “In lieu of favors, Erin and Steve have chosen to donated to Reading is Fundamental.” Love the tie in!




They continued the book theme with their menu cards which listed each meal course as a “Chapter”.


We’re sure lots of other clients have done similar things, as well, but since they are often wrapped in scrolls or put in boxes along with perhaps a little treat, we oftentimes don’t get to see them. Be sure to keep a favor or two aside for your photographers if you’d like photos of your donation gift announcement.

Thanks everyone! We hope you have a fun, safe and sparkly Fourth of July!!

Friday’s FAB Finds {010}

Finding a few more fabulous Green finds on our Fab Finds {009} got me excited to find some more for this week. Hope you enjoy and let us know what you think!

Ideas We Love – Eco-Friendly Honeymoons

This great idea comes courtesy of blog, Wedded Bits (fun name!) for couples who are looking to be more eco-conscious on their honeymoon trip and who wouldn’t want to do that? 🙂



Burning fossil fuel is unavoidable if you want a tropical wedding or honeymoon, but you don’t have to give up on the green lifestyle entirely. There are many new resorts that have taken earth-consciousness way past the point of asking guests to sleep on the same sheets for a few days. Tammy Levent, CEO of Elite Travel, shares some tips on how to have your cake, and help the planet too.

Many properties are billing themselves as “green” and it can be hard to distinguish the truly eco-friendly resorts from the ones that are mostly talk. Look for resorts that state specific and verifiable eco-efforts, like these: Calibishie Cove in Dominica has only four suites, all overlooking the ocean. Hot water is provided through solar power and the suites are designed to make the most of natural breezes and sunlight. Food and activities are not included in the price, but the staff can point you in the direction of the best nearby restaurants and local fruit vendors, and you can easily book independent tours. Rooms start at $120/night from June through November, and $135/night from December through May.

Aqua, a new resort opening soon in Nicaragua, has treetop villas made from sustainable hardwoods that are elevated to reduce the footprint on the forest floor. This means that you get to enjoy the same spectacular views of the coastline as the native monkeys—when you’re not cooling your feet in the surf with the flamingos. Aqua offers many nature-based activities as well as classes in organic gardening and earth-friendly eating habits. Aqua is so new that resort prices have yet to be set.

The Jean-Michel Cousteau Fiji Islands Resort on Vanua Levu island in Fiji has won numerous awards for its environmental activities, like starting the island’s first recycling program and its innovative wastewater system that uses coconuts and recycled bottles to ensure clean water in the lagoons. The resort keeps a marine biologist on staff who gives lectures on the local flora and fauna. Don’t miss the Saturday morning trips to the farmers market, Fijian language classes, and lessons in Fijian basket weaving. All activities, meals and non-alcoholic drinks are included with the price. Rooms for two start at $669/night. —Tammy Levent

InStyle Weddings found another eco-honeymoon destination for us!

Courtesy InStyle Weddings

Courtesy InStyle Weddings

When you think of luxurious honeymoon destinations, Fiji, the Maldives and Turks & Caicos probably come to mind. But what about the Bahamas? Yes, you can add that to the list, too, thanks to the Tiamo Resort ( on South Andros Island.

Nestled among coconut palms and sea grape trees, the property is comprised of 11 gorgeous beachfront bugalows that have king size beds, open-air showers, wrap-around porches, and morning coffee delivery. Unsurprisingly, water activities abound at Tiamo—the resort offers you use of their kayaks, sailboats and snorkeling equipment. Explorers can also take guided ecological trips under water or on land. The lodge, the main hub of Tiamo, serves up delicious daily meals including dinner served on white linens by candlelight.

As if that weren’t enough, Tiamo is also eco-friendly! Tiamo is the first full service resort utilizing 100% alternative energy for its electrical needs, including a commercial kitchen. And, all the hot water used by the resort is created by thermal hot water heaters—no electricity or gas is used.

So maybe Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon knew something we didn’t when they eloped in the Bahamas, but now, the secret is out! —Jeanine Edwards, Associate Editor

Links We Love – WedVert

The Martha Stewart approved WedVert has a funny name, but is truly “the modern bride’s guide to green wedding” and as promised, they uncover expected and some not-so-expected green ideas.

We love these reclaimed barn wood table numbers from a green wedding that our lovely friend Tina Carter photographed!

Photo by Kristina Carter via WedVert

Photo by Kristina Carter via WedVert

Or how about this unique, eco-friendly idea. A Charleston couple had themselves (and their guests!) transported from the church to the reception via pedicabs! Of course you wouldn’t want too much distance between the two locations, but how fun for the two of you to be able to wave to people on the street as they shout their congratulations to you! (Bill and I took a ride around the French Quarter in a horse-drawn carriage after our New Orleans wedding and it’s something we will never forget. So much fun!)

Photo by Charles Bordner via WedVert

Photo by Charles Bordner via WedVert

While we don’t personally have any experience with these companies, we found a few DC based pedicab companies you may want to check out. DC Pedicab offers pedicabs adorned with Just Married signs for you and your new spouse and National Pedicab maintain a large fleet of state of the art pedicabs. What a memorable way to celebrate your memorable day! 🙂

Be sure to check out WedVert for more easy, fun and affordable ways to green your wedding!

Oh and if you missed it, be sure to check out FAB Finds {005} for a ton more unique and fabulous Green finds!

Friday’s FAB Finds {009}

Happy Friday everyone! Let’s get right to the good stuff!

Ideas We Love – Sweet Treats to Go

We absolutely love the idea of wedding guests being able to take home a little something from your wedding with them and if it’s of the disappearing variety, what could be better for their stomachs or the environment?!? I saw this great idea on Martha Stewart a while ago and had bookmarked it for just such an occasion. We’ve seen cupcakes as parting gifts before at weddings, but I LOVE the idea of putting it in a jar rather then a box. Guests can reuse the mason jar then, whereas the box would just get thrown away. The label and wooden spoon are a really sweet, and much appreciated touch, too.

Courtesy Martha Stewart Weddings

Courtesy Martha Stewart Weddings

Sticky desserts as favors? Yes, you can. Our solution: Cushion a vanilla cupcake between a layer of raspberry jam and a dollop of cream-cheese frosting in a classic canning jar. Pair it with a wooden spoon, and voila  — you’ve got a pudding-rich, mess-free treat that guests can easily take home.

Don’t forget to top the lid with an “Enjoy” label downloaded from our website. (A 2 1/2-inch mega circle punch will make the project a cinch!) French terrine (No. 748090), the Container Store. Wooden spoons (No. 12893), Fairway Market.”

You can use your favorite cupcake recipe or borrow this one from Martha!

You may remember Jennifer & Bill’s wedding from earlier this year. They, along with their awesome planner, Pam Barefoot, packaged up yummy chocolate chip cookies *and* bottles of milk, which had labels saying “Sweet Dreams”, for their guests to pick up as they were departing!




Joan and Ben hand made passion fruit-flavored hard candies and packaged them in mason jars with a personalized thank you label. The orange candies tied in perfectly with their unique orange and sky blue wedding colors!



Mary and Shawn wanted to send their guests home with a favor that paid homage to their new hometown of Cape Cod so they had chocolate lobsters on sticks stuck in sand! LOVE it!



They also add a dessert bar filled with autumn themed treats. Their guests couldn’t wait to to sink their teeth into these, but you could always have some pre-wrapped in cellophane for those that want to take one with them for later. For a less expensive option, don’t include the bling! ;-D


We love these different and unique spins on favors. And if you missed it, be sure to check out this previous Fab Finds where we highlighted more out-of-box dessert ideas!

People We Love – Helen Olivia

We were first introduced to the vastly talented Marianne of Helen Olivia floral design (her grandmother’s name) back in 2007 when we photographed the wedding of one of her then-employees, Katharine and Saad at the peaceful River Farm. We were, as you can imagine, completely wowed by what we saw at their wedding and from that point on looked forward to every wedding she had a part in. Her work speaks for itself, so we’ll just show you some of the fantastic images from the past several weddings we’ve been lucky enough to be a part of alongside Marianne. If you’re on the lookout for a creative florist who will wow you and your guests, check out Helen Olivia.













Thanks so much for visiting today and keep your eyes peeled to this space. We’ve got some great weddings we can’t wait to share with you in the coming days!

Friday’s FAB Finds {005}

This week we interrupt our regular Friday’s FAB Finds with a special themed installment – Green Wedding Ideas! We’re all trying our best to be more environmentally conscious in our every day lives (hopefully!), so why shouldn’t that commitment also translate to one’s wedding? Aside from the some of the more obvious suggestions such as moving your ceremony flowers to use at your reception and using recycled paper for your invitations (bonus points for using soy-based ink!), thankfully it’s getting easier and less expensive to be “green” in a stylish, innovative and fun way. Don’t believe us, just see for yourself! 🙂

Ideas We Love – Fan Favors

This just might be the perfect favor for a Summer wedding. Put them out on the ceremony chairs so guests can use them if they get a little warm during your vows, like Lindsey & Tripp did for their August wedding.


Photo by Eric Kelley for Holland Photo Arts

Or have them in a basket at the reception, like Daniela & Matt. Theirs also paid tribute to Daniela’s Spanish heritage!


Ideas We Love – Tea Towel Save-the-Dates

This FAB idea comes courtesy of inaugural issue of Southern Weddings magazine. How adorable are these recycled cotton tea towels from Chewing the Cud and what a great way to announce your wedding date?! Perfect for an outdoor affair or a barnyard reception. (A few years ago, we had a wedding where the guests sat on silk-covered hay bales for the couple’s ceremony that took place on the bride’s family’s farm!) Your family and friends will certainly enjoy reusing these towels in their kitchens if they’re anything like me! Be sure to check out their stunning letterpress invites printed with soy ink on 100% Cotton rag.


Ideas We Love – Chalkboard Menus

I found this awesome, eco-friendly idea in the latest issue of In Style Weddings and thought of a few different ways you could use the idea. One, have a mini-chalkboard for a guest’s individual menu with a note at the end to take the chalkboard home as their favor. Their kids will love using it for their drawings and they’ll come in handy in the kitchen for shopping lists. Even better, use the chalkboard for its original idea and write ever-changing love-notes to your spouse! If you have a larger wedding you can just have one chalkboard menu for each table, as seen in the example below. (By the way, how cool are the terrarium centerpieces?)

Photo by Red Loft Studios via InStyle Weddings

Photo by Red Loft Studios via InStyle Weddings

Another option would be to have a few large chalkboards on easels stationed at the entrance to your reception, listing the evenings menu. Or use them to show them the table layout & names/numbers so your guests can find out easily where they are sitting.

Christy Murray Photography via The Knot

Christy Murray Photography via The Knot

Chyna Darner Photography via The Knot

Chyna Darner Photography via The Knot

Use chalk to illustrate your board with your logo, theme or items on the menu. Consider having your calligrapher or an artist friend do this for you. And while our examples here show only white chalk, why limit yourself? You could easily write in your wedding theme’s colors.

If you can’t find large chalkboards that you like, simply take any large frame you like and paint an insert with chalkboard paint found at most hardware supply stores. We’re partial to the black chalkboard paint for its neutrality and ease of re-use, but any colors you like (your wedding colors, perhaps!) could be fun.

Invitations We Love – New Orleans Suite

Here’s another FAB Find courtesy of Southern Weddings. Since we were married in the Big Easy, we’re especially partial to these gorgeous New Orleans-themed invites from Kenzie Kate. Ten percent of the proceeds from this invitation suite go towards the Green Project, a nonprofit that encourages environmental sustainability in New Orleans!


Places We Love – Ronald Regan Building and International Trade Center

If you’re in search of a wedding venue, you’ll want to be sure to check out the gorgeous RR/ITC building on Pennsylvania Avenue in downtown DC. You can read more about their green initiatives here, but the lowdown is their amazing chefs are committed to offering an organic menu and donating leftover food. Their sustainable building is based on “a four-point ‘green'” strategy that includes: (1) sustainable landscaping, (2) recycling, (3) environmentally preferable purchasing (EPP), and (4) employee ride share programs. We’ve had the pleasure of photographing several beautiful events at the RR/ITC and we adore working with their incredibly friendly, competent and professional staff. If you’re planning a wedding, be sure to contact Rachel Berbeza and her team today!

Carissa & Farrell chose ITC for their late Fall wedding. Such a cool space!



The ceremony took place in the dramatic Pavilion room.

Photo by Eric Kelley for Holland Photo Arts

This photo below by Bill was published in Susie Coelho’s gorgeous Style Your Dream Wedding book!!





Emily & Rob’s beautiful cake took center stage at their Spring reception.


Places We Love – Woodend Sanctuary at the Audubon Naturalist Society

Another of our favorite wedding venues is Woodend Mansion in Chevy Chase, Maryland. Holding your eco-friendly event there only solidifies your green commitment, as part of the rental fee goes towards their environmental education and preservation of open spaces and their clean air and water preservation programs. They’re don’t just practice what they preach either and have dedicated themselves to ensuring green practices are in effect at their facilities, such as using lighting timer devices, installing energy efficient heating and cooling systems and recycling all paper, cans and bottles. Read about how one couple planned their green wedding in their Audubon Naturalist Newsletter (printed on 30% post-consumer waste paper!) entitled “Green Weddings: Great Ways to Start a Marriage”. Feel free to contact Rebecca Robinson if you have any questions and would like more information on hosting your event at Woodend.

Kelley & Rick chose Woodend for their April affair and had an incredibly beautiful day.









Sara and Nadim married at Woodend on a lovely May day.






Links We Love – Eco Chic Weddings

Emily Anderson, founder and creator of the popular Eco Chic Weddings blog, doesn’t accept advertising and fills her site with stylish, fun ways to make your wedding more green. She’s been featured in Martha Stewart Weddings and Town & Country Weddings and she’s  recently taken her fab tips and ideas and compiled them into a book of the same name!

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Links We Love – Great Green Wedding Blog

Another great, up to date source for many green wedding tips and ideas!

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Holland Photo Arts is also committed to partnering with companies who enforce sustainable practices. The following are just some of eco-friendly efforts we and our album companies we work with are committed to:

  • Paper  and binder board made from recycled materials or highly renewable plants rather than forests of trees
  • Paper made from cotton-linters, which are a by-product of the textile industry
  • Paper scraps and partially used materials are donated to local elementary schools for art projects
  • Biodegradable, recyclable foam peanuts in album shipments
  • Partnerships with paper mills who use hydroelectric power by using their own water source, which preserves the public source
  • Man made micro leathers that have a sumptuous leather look and feel
  • All office paper, cans and bottles used within the offices/kitchens are recycled
  • Additionally, to offset our travel-related carbon footprint, we are investing in renewable resource projects and will be completely carbon-neutral in our wedding-related activities.


In that vein, we’re proud to be an inaugural member in the invitation only, Virginia Green Wedding Consortium! Visit the consortium for more ideas and information on how you can make your wedding more eco-friendly!

Other eco-friendly ideas include:

  • Ask your caterer and cake baker about using local, organic and in-season ingredients in your wedding cuisine and check to see if they’ve been recognized by the Green Restaurant Association. Occasions Caterers was recently certified as the nation’s first off-premises catering company to achieve their highly sought after environmental certification.
  • Using eco-friendly makeup and hair products (Aveda, Sephora, etc.)
  • Providing transit such as a bus or local trolley for your guests so they’re not all driving their cars to your event
  • Use local and pesticide-free flowers and donate table flowers to a local nursing home or close-by hospital
  • Buy a vintage dress or consider recycling your new gown to Brides Against Breast Cancer
  • We recommend hiring a planner for most events anyway, and you can find one who specializes in green celebrations such as Katie Martin or Aimee Dominick
  • If bridesmaids can’t or prefer not to wear their dresses again, encourage them to donate them to the Glass Slipper Project, which distributes gowns and accessories to disadvantaged girls for their proms
  • Use clean burning soy candles over petroleum based paraffin
  • Opt for bar spirits made from organic grains such as Square One Vodka and organic wine and beers. Serving locally-brewed beer not only reduces the transport-related emissions but literally gives your traveling guests a local taste.
  • Inquire with venues and caterers about recycling paper goods instead of throwing them away. Reward those who practice sustainability by giving them your business.

So those are just a few tips and ideas to make your wedding a more green affair, but there are obviously many, many more. Don’t be “green” with envy – we’d love to hear what eco-friendly things you’re doing! Thanks so much for joining us this week and have a wonderful weekend!