friday favorites – best event ideas of the week

I’ve decided to start a new feature on the blog called Friday Favorites. I often run into great ideas that I want to save for later or find something inspiring that doesn’t necessitate its own entire blog post. I thought I might start compiling my top five ideas of the week that I’ve found from other sources.

#5 – Toile chair ties

toile chair ties

First of all, I love toile. LOVE IT. I basically think it is the best motif of all time, and if my husband would let me, I would use it all over our house. But while I was drawn to this chair tie because it’s toile, you can really do this with any fabric. If there is a fabric or a print (or a solid color!) that can be brought into the décor, this is a less formal way to do it than using it as a linen or a chair cover. This idea comes from Burnett’s Boards (it was a vintage French wedding inspired shoot). In this context it definitely makes sense as chair ties over a linen since the china were patterned as well. I also love that they don’t make bows, just ties.

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pumpkin week – fall wedding inspiration

pumpkin wedding ideas | amanda jayne events blog

For day two of pumpkin week, I wanted to look at some sophisticated ways to incorporate pumpkins into a fall wedding – it’s not just for Halloween nuptials! I will avoid discussing centerpieces, since I hit that yesterday. But there are plenty of other ways to have pumpkins make an appearance – from live pumpkins serving as décor, to a pumpkin design that can be featured in your printed stationery. Grab that pumpkin spice latte (I had my first of the season yesterday!) and enjoy:

You can set the pumpkin harvest theme before your guests arrive by incorporating pumpkins into your invitation design. I think these are really sweet – it’s fall without bashing you over the head. I also like that the color is muted – some brides may not like the bright orange often associated with pumpkins.  These are available from Etsy seller Essentialimages:

pumpkin wedding invitations

Also for pumpkin stationery, you can add pumpkins to your escort cards or table numbers, such as this pumpkin design suite. I like this one because the white pumpkin is subtle and reminds me of a certain famous pumpkin from Cinderella – what a fun, subtle way to pay homage to THAT fairy tale wedding without going full-blown Disney princess! Available from CharonelDesigns:

pumpkin wedding stationery

For ceremony décor, I love the idea of lining the aisle with pumpkins, especially for an outdoor wedding (although I’ve seen it work indoors as well!). If you want to go a bit more rustic with the harvest theme, you can use bales of hay as well (a la the first photo). Photo via EventsAtTheFarm.com:

pumpkin wedding ceremony decor

I love mini-pumpkins (actually gourds) and I think they would make a fun escort card. You could really make this your own with the way you attach the escort card – I love the idea of an elegantly printed card tied to the mini-pumpkin with twine – both sophisticated and rustic! Photo via Event Now:

mini-pumpkin wedding escort card

For wedding décor – for the ceremony or the reception – there are plenty of ways to utilize carved or decorated pumpkins. There is the Mr & Mrs Pumpkins, such as below, or pumpkins carved with the wedding date. I’ve even seen silhouette pumpkins! You can do this with real or artificial pumpkins. These are artificial ones from Etsy seller purpleinkgraphics:

carved pumpkin wedding decor

I also love these stylized “Love is Sweet” pumpkins – you could do this with any phrase or quote. These particular ones would look amazing on the cake table or next to a dessert buffet. Photo via Want That Wedding:

pumpkin wedding decor - love is sweet

Table numbers are another way to use pumpkins. You can paint, stencil or even carve the numbers onto the pumpkins. I really like the way this one is paired with a tall floral centerpiece. Photo via Whimsy Decor:

pumpkin wedding table numbers

But I think this one is really unexpected – the white pumpkin (you can get this effect by painting as well) with the table number tied to it. Again, you can complement the motifs of your event through the font and materials you choose here. I love this! Photo via Janet Howard Studio:

wedding pumpkin table number

I’m not a huge fan of actual pumpkins as favors unless you think your guests would love that (and I prefer favors that people actually use!), but you can still use the pumpkin theme with favor boxes, such as these. Available via Etsy seller alittlemorerosie:

wedding pumpkin favor box

I also love these gift tags. They don’t exactly have a pumpkin on them (sorry, I’m cheating!) but they definitely fit with the theme. These would be lovely on a bottle of apple cider or pumpkin ale. Available via Etsy seller 33PaperLane:

fall wedding favor gift tags

Finally – if you ARE going to incorporate pumpkins into your wedding, don’t forget to get this photo! Photo via Koru Wedding Style – by the way, I got my wedding invitations from Koru Kate’s wedding shoppe and I highly recommend her if you are getting married in the NYC/NJ area!

wedding pumpkin ring photo

Phew! I bet that’s more pumpkin than you thought possible! Of course, you would want to pick and choose what worked best for you – you don’t want pumpkin overload! Editing down is always important!

Stay tuned for the rest of Pumpkin Week:

alternatives to ‘pick a seat not a side’ signs

wedding seating sign | amanda jayne events blog

Thanks in large part to Pinterest, sometimes there are ideas that brides (and planners) get a hold of and they become way too popular and eventually overdone. We’ve seen this with rustic themes, the excessive use of chalkboard paint, and several other practically viral ideas. One such idea is the “Pick a seat, not a side” sign.

I like the concept – it’s not uncommon for the bride and groom to have drastically different size families, leading to lopsided ceremony seating. Also, there are plenty of wedding guests who might be friends of both the bride and the groom, so why make them choose an affiliation?

The most popular wording of these signs is:

Two families are becoming one

So pick a seat, not a side

But – and maybe this is just me – I find the wording a bit condescending. It just rubs me the wrong way. And I’m not alone – I found a bride who agrees with me!

But if you like the concept of the sign and want to encourage your guests to sit wherever they like, here are some alternatives:

Photo via Wedbook:

wedding seating sign | amanda jayne events blog

Photo via Ruffled:

wedding seating sign | amanda jayne events blog

Available via Etsy seller SarahSaysSew:

wedding seating sign | amanda jayne events blog

Photo via Wedding Chicks:

wedding seating sign | amanda jayne events blog

Personally, when I’m a wedding guest, I usually just sit on the side that less crowded and try to even things out!

What are your thoughts?

Top photo via Wedding Chicks

why aren’t we setting wedding ceremonies in the round?

1-circle-ceremony-seating-300x300

Theaters in the round are becoming more and more popular with meeting planners and event designers, and for good reason: by placing the speaker (or entertainer) in a stage in the center of the room and placing the chairs around it on all sides, everyone gets closer to the speaker, everyone feels more involved, everyone feels more engaged.

Let’s do this with weddings as well. Obviously this depends on where the wedding is being held. A historic church with a traditional sanctuary might not be able to accommodate such a request, but an outdoor venue with room to innovate, or an otherwise large room might be perfect.

Sure, everyone has a better view. That’s certainly important. No one wants to be behind a dark tower (remember the opening scene in The Wedding Planner when J.Lo realizes that a wedding guest’s large bouffant hairstyle is blocking a camera angle, and she asks her assistant to take care of it by reseating the guest in the VIP pew? “Dark tower demolished.” Maybe I’ve seen that movie too many times…)

At the end of the day, a wedding is about the bride and groom making a commitment to spend their lives together with the support of their friends and family, and sharing that special day with the people who mean the most to the couple is incredibly important. There are so many ways to make the wedding meaningful for guests, so many ways to bring the guests “in” more.

Setting the ceremony seats in the round isn’t the only way to do this, and it’s not always appropriate, but when it is, it makes the ceremony feel more intimate, more personal.

What do you think? Yea or nay on circular wedding ceremony seating?

Photo via Rachel Events