How time flies! Beth and Sachin were married last summer in the Columbia River Gorge. Many thanks to Evrim Icoz for capturing the day through these photographs.
The wedding weekend kicked off with a Friday evening rehearsal dinner at Multnomah Falls Lodge, followed by a welcome event at the hotel featuring local Oregon and Washington bourbon, beer, and wine tastings; mehndi hand painting by Amrapali Boutique, and lots of treats including s’mores around the fire and cuisine provided by Skamania Lodge catering. Northwest Navigator was on hand to make it easy for guests to get around the Gorge.
Saturday, everyone was up early for beauty and preparations. Family and friends shared in both traditional Hindu wedding rites and a non-denominational Christian ceremony. The cocktail hour was held in a quiet garden patio area, and followed by the wedding dinner reception and dancing a meadow lit with twinkling lights and adorned with bright flowers and vintage details.
You’re engaged, you’ve got the venue and the date, and are so excited to get going on planning! Yet, you’re stuck on what the wedding will actually look like. Envisioning the final event means you need to pick invitations, table linens, flowers, lighting, and all the assorted goodies that go with your big party. And of course you’ve got to start with a color or two (or a few!) that hopefully go together.
“But I like everything!” you say. Or maybe, “Our site has this weird carpet and I’m not sure what goes with it.” Or possibly, “I don’t want my wedding to look too matchy-matchy.” How do you decide on a color scheme that, while not as lasting as a bedroom paint job, is still super-important and something you’ll remember for years to come? Here are five tools and websites I like to use when I help clients formulate their color ideas.
1. The Perfect Palette This blog updates several times a week with wedding color palette ideas and an explanation of each. You can search the whole site by color family to find exactly what you want.
2. ColourLOVERS A bit broader in scope, ColourLOVERS covers not just weddings, but other design solutions such as graphic, print, and web; interior design; and fine art. Users are encouraged to get social by creating accounts, uploading patterns, and sharing with the community. (A side note: ColourLOVERS also has the great widget Themeleon, for creating Twitter screen backgrounds. It’s where I got mine – look here.)
3. Adobe Color CC – Adobe Inc.’s Adobe Color CC tool makes it possible for you to take a photo of your site (or any photo, for that matter) and extrapolate a color scheme from it. Click on “Create” > “From an Image” and upload your photo and wow! You can also select different moods for the same picture. A great tool if you are feeling a bit stumped. You do need to create an account if you want to save your palettes.
4. Design Seeds Similar to The Perfect Palette, but not exclusively about weddings. This blogger takes hundreds of artful photos and applies her own aesthetic to draw out each custom color palette. A wonderful inspiration site.
5. You knew I would mention Pinterest. If you’re following my boards already, you know how addicted I am and how you can be sure to see a 2am pin from me on your dashboard now and then. If you haven’t had the pleasure of using this site, it is a sort of visual Twitter where you can “pin” just about any image on the Web to a virtual bulletin board, keeping all of your ideas in one place. You can create as many boards as you like and name them anything, from “Color Inspiration” to “Cute Pictures of Pugs“. Most boards are public, (you have a limited number you can set to “Secret”), so you can search the site for your desired color scheme or idea and re-pin other folks’ images to your boards. Also, all of the above-mentioned tools can be used in some way along with Pinterest.
Are there any other great color tools you’re using to design your wedding? Please share with me in the comments as well.
Early in wedding planning, even before the gown or the venue is chosen, most of you are thinking about look and feel. When you close your eyes and picture yourself entering the venue on your big day, what do you see? What flowers are you holding? What colors are surrounding you?
It's a big choice and the heart of wedding design, and it can be overwhelming. Equally confusing can be the many options you have for gathering your ideas in one place. You've probably heard about mood boards and inspiration boards, palettes and swatches, but what is what?
A mood board is the broadest tool used early on to help you determine the most general ideas about look and feel of the wedding. Not limited to actual wedding services, you might pull in photographs, videos, songs, words, and even poetry that evokes the mood you want to set for your special event. I really love the mood boards over at The Wedding and Event Institute Blog, here's one example:
An inspiration board is the next building block of creating your wedding design. Many of you may have started a Pinterest account and it's a great way to easily create inspiration out of your collected pins.
Once you have set the mood of your wedding, use an inspiration board to collect specific photographs of actual flowers, invitations, linens, stages, mandaps or huppahs, ceremony backdrop, room layout, and so on. Lots of folks interchange the terms mood board and inspiration board, but I feel like the inspiration board is a more specific tool.
An inspiration board can also be tweaked to become a story board later on – necessary for design-intensive weddings. A story board is just that: a detailed board that tells the event's story from start to finish, from the actual color scheme and entry points to the venue, to the lighting settings and tablescape. These depict final choices and elements. Most of the time, we accomplish the same thing at EJP Events by writing a detailed setup narrative, but in some cases, a story board is definitely needed.
A palette is just a selection of possible colors for the event. This is a great way to communicate to your vendors so they are all on the same page and using the correct warmth, hue, and saturation as they produce your wedding attire, linens, tablescape, and flowers. I love the palette tools over at ColourLovers:
Finally, a swatch is a sample of a design item, usually a textile/fabric that you use as a sample of the texture and color you would like to see. It is the physical version of the digital palette.
2014 is roaring in and we are so excited to see what this year’s couples are planning for their wedding designs. Here are some wedding trends we hear are going to be super-hot in Portland, from our own clients and also talking with colleagues around town:
Craftsy has the solution with on-demand online instructional classes that you can watch, pause and rewatch as many times as you like. (I will personally be watching the “casting off” knitting video myself, I mean just look at this mess:)
What is Craftsy? Craftsy is a worldwide craft community offering online classes. It also has a patterns marketplace where independent designers can sell their patterns; a supplies shop with great deals on yarn, fabric, and class kits; and a projects section where members share pictures of their latest craft successes. With over two million members and counting, Craftsy has something for just about everyone, in categories ranging from quilting, sewing, knitting, painting, photography, cooking, and more.
Behind the Scenes: The Making of a Craftsy Class
Before filming even begins, hours and hours are spent determining what content will be covered in each class, and how to best teach specific techniques to the camera. Instructors work with an instructional designer to create an in-depth outline of each lesson, and decide how to best prepare props or “step-outs” that show what your project should like at different steps. Instead of a scripted class, instructors follow their outlines on camera to create an authentic and engaging teaching experience.
Most Craftsy classes are filmed in one of five Craftsy studios in Denver, CO, assuring that every part of the production process goes off without a hitch. They fly in instructors from all over the world to spend several days filming, then spend several weeks turning hours of footage into a two to three hour class experience that has been watched, rewatched, and reviewed by industry experts. The final result is an HD-quality video that takes you in-depth into specific topics in any given craft category- from cooking and fine art to sewing and knitting.
What IS the Craftsy experience? Craftsy classes are designed to have all the benefits of an in-person class, with none of the drawbacks. Available online and on-demand, you always have world-class instructors at the tip of your fingers. You can retake the class as many times as you want, and the 30-second repeat feature allows you to watch the same section over and over again until you get every technique just right.
Watching a Craftsy class is like having a first-row seat with some of the best instructors in the world. Even better, classes have a 100% money-back guarantee.
Try online learning today with a free mini-class from Craftsy! Choose from 23 Free Craftsy Classes ranging from drawing and painting to sewing and quilting, from knitting to cake decorating and more.
Happy October! We are lucky in Portland that summer still seems to be holding on, in the afternoons at least. Makes me want to blog all the past warm-weather goodness from the last few months! One great idea we saw at a September wedding we coordinated, was a "BAR" backdrop sign designed by René Steelman of RK Steelman Events and Interiors (also mother of the groom!). It's always so flattering when event pros themselves hire us.
I loved this idea to create a "name in lights" using battery-operated LED tealights. No cords needed! René chose chevron fabric and pink rickrack which she mounted to a board. Then added embellishments like tiny mirrors with more tealights, pink flowers in test tubes, and of course, the letters. More pictures from this fun wedding are on our Facebook page.
Hope this gets your creative juices flowing – do let me know if you've seen or heard any great design ideas at weddings in Portland or beyond; email me at The Portland Wedding Coordinator or comment below.
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One of our favorite color palettes is inspired by the brilliant 'Chartreuse, lime green, apple green' …or whatever you want to call it! This color has been on our radar for the past few summers with some of our most memorable weddings featuring chartreuse as either their main or accent color. Chartreuse was the focus of our client's vision and brought the wedding design to vibrant life, so we'd like to help you do the same!
Chartreuse is a bold color and by using this vibrant shade you're sure to leave an impression on your guests. Chartreuse can be used in a variety of ways, including bridesmaid dresses, table decor, floral arrangements or on top of your cake! Elements for those who enjoy small color splashes may include one of our favorites, colored shoes. Colored shoes are a fun way for a bride to add personality to her traditional white dress.
Your color palette can be a combination of shades ranging from neutral to pastel. First, we recommend getting really familiar with the focal points of your wedding space, since the existing colors of your venue can greatly influence your them. Additionally, your wedding colors create the emotional tone of your wedding. Chartreuse created a romantic, high-energy mood for our bride's weddings, all of which were memorable affairs. We hope that choosing your wedding colors is a fun experience and that chartreuse may come as an inspiration!
Spring is here, and I am in love with the spring plums. I like to call it "electric plum" because it seems to have more energy than plain old purple. It's not exactly purple, there's a little warmth, a bit of pink and raspberry in there. This would be a great main color with ivory, gold, silver, or graphite as the neutrals. You could even throw in some chartreuse or a bit of spring green. Darling!
We are starting something new on the blog today: A Saturday Roundup! In the Roundup, we'll recap the best of what we've seen in Portland weddings, wedding planning and wedding style this week, so you don't have to scroll all over creation (or Alltop) to find your goodies.
Sometimes we meet with clients interested in wedding day coordination, and then don’t hear from them again. We always wonder if they decided to work with a coordinator and how their weddings went. Most of the time we never find out, but recently we were talking with a caterer friend of ours who mentioned a bride’s name we recognized.
When we asked how the wedding went, they began with a weary, “Well….” and proceeded to tell the tale of a timeline gone way off track. After the ceremony, the bride and groom were taken for several hours of photographs, while the guests ate and drank. The bride and groom stopped to cut their cake and dance at 9pm, then departed. The guests basically never saw them during the wedding.
It seems impossible, and yet it happened because no one was watching the timeline. When I asked the caterer if any guests said anything, she said, “Oh, of course! The guests were very upset to have traveled all that way for nothing. But I was just responsible for the food.” Evidently, the photographer had no vested interest in making sure the timeline moved along, as that person was concentrating on taking lots of pictures. As long as they got their shot of the cake and the dance, they were happy. But the guests were not, and surely when the bride and groom look back years from now, they won’t be happy either.
So who’s watching your timeline? The caterer? The photographer? The guests? Make sure you have a designated party who knows how you would like the day to flow, and who isn’t just focused on their one aspect of the wedding — someone who wants the entire day to go well, just like you.
I adore Abby Larson’s wedding style blog, Style Me Pretty. So it was pretty exciting to hear that she featured one of our weddings on the front page of SMP this week. You can take a look by clicking below…
Is accessibility on your site selection checklist? It's not always something that you as the bride and groom may be thinking about. Often, high on the site "gotta haves" are things like a gorgeous view, good chairs, and a good selection of caterers.
However, with so many people of varied ages and needs in most families, perhaps some thought should be given to the accessibility of your wedding event sites. And that's not just limited to the ceremony and reception — think also of your rehearsal dinner, bridal luncheon, goodbye brunch, or any other events to which you might have guests attending with accessibility issues.
The most common issues are older folks — think Grandma and Grandpa, your Auntie coming from abroad; anyone who might have trouble with a flight of stairs, a steep stone path, or uneven walkways. Think about any of your family or guests who have recently had surgery or medical treatment that might make walking or longer distances between sites a potential problem.
Putting a little bit of forethought into the accessibility of your chosen site can help a great deal in making sure all of your guests, including those with physical challenges, feel welcome and comfortable at your wedding.
I just got back from returning a red aisle runner to our dear friend Mike Piper at An Affair to Remember. Not only is he a great wedding coordinator, he is also an amazing florist and has a huge selection of unique props that I love to raid. The red rose petal aisle runner that you see in the last blog post is one of those things! Apparently his mother sewed all of those rose petals on by hand?!? (Don’t forget, Sunday is Mother’s Day!) It just reminds me how important in this business it is to make contacts and build relationships, because you never know what wonderful things your colleagues have in their warehouses.