Wednesday, May 6, 2009

And The Winner Is...

Our give-away has come to a close and now the time has come to announce a winner. First, let me say it was ridiculously hard to choose the recipient. To all those who entered, please know I will be responding personally to each one of you, but please be patient as this may take a couple of weeks.

We had so many wonderful entries, I actually had to call on a couple of our sponsors to help break a three way tie. So without further ado, the winner is:

Congratulations Jess!

While all of the entries were great, Jess charmed our hearts with her wonderfully thoughtful and detailed wedding plans. In addition to her written entry, she also created an inspiration board! See her entry below:

I decided to send you an inspiration board of the REAL images of the wedding I am currently planning (it’s the real deal!). Right from the get go, My Guy and I knew that our wedding would be coordinated to take special consideration to leave a smaller carbon footprint, while celebrating the beauty of our landscape at the same time. Of course these ideas are just that, ideas, things that inspire us today – but with a wedding scheduled for next May, a lot can change!

To go through the pictures of the inspiration board, I’d love to share with you some details: (starting at the top far left and moving right and continue around making a circle)

Center: Location, Flagstaff, Arizona. We will getting married in small clearing in the forest (just adjacent to our reception site) and will have our reception at the Snow Bowl ski lodge at the top of the mountain. It’s the most beautiful place we know.

Crazy quilt: using fabrics from old clothes, those from our childhood, and scraps from both of our mothers fabric stashes, I am creating my ‘soon-to-be hubby’ a crazy quilt for my wedding gift to him. Soon after our wedding we will be moving to the frigid northeast from blazin’ hot Phoenix, so this is something that we will surely use. So far I’m half way done! This is the first quilt that I have ever attempted, and I’m having so much fun creating it. I’ve inherited my grandmother’s old sewing supplies (her old needles/pin cushions and beautiful fabric scissors) so I haven’t had to purchase anything new to create this quilt. And – it’s a surprise that My Guy doesn’t even know about yet! So shhhh! It’s so nice to be able to upcycle our old clothes and linens and create something new and beautiful and actually usable!

Dress: I love this Sarah Sevens dress. My wedding dress is not this, but as I don’t have a picture of my dress, I wanted to include my favorite handsewn designer dress. I already own a very simple off-white 100% silk strapless dress. Silk is such a lovely natural fiber, and it flows so beautifully in the wind. However, I’d like to take this simple dress and make it more my own. I am of Czech decent (as in both sides of my family are alllll Czech) and my mother has an incredible collection of antique Czech glass beads. My plan is to do a little beadwork along the waistline of my dress. I love that the beads are antique, and were crafted by artisans in a country where my ancestors lived (again, giving new life to something old).

Invitations: we will clearly be using recycled paper for our invitations, and Earthly Affair has a lovely collection of designs to choose from! We have decided to establish a wedding website full of information regarding maps, response calculators, menu options preference, lodging, activities etc. This way, we can sene one invitation in the mail, and not have to work about using extra pieces of paper in the process. We have decided not to send a ‘save the date’ prior to the actual invitation either. This will cut down on some serious postage expenses and be just as effective for our needs. Recycled paper and cutting down on invitation need is great for saving trees and lowering the emissions it would need to deliver multiple sets of communication (ie: save the dates, and rsvp’s).

Bouts: I love that My Guy actually has an opinion about boutonnieres! When I brought up the subject with him, he instantly asked if we can make them using pine needles and “stuff from the forest”. My sentiments exactly. Acorns, pine needles and tiny baby pine cones will be handcrafted into bouts for the boys. Materials provided by Mother Earth herself...has to be eco-friendly!

Gifts: We have opted not to give gifts at our wedding and feel that the party itself is the present! However, for those who will be helping with much of the wedding planning and crafting, we will be giving travertine ceramic plates that are hand crafted by an Oregon artist. These plates are adorned with the impression of different leaves/twigs and pine needles. A lovely, usable memento from our event (without our name and date plastered on it somewhere).

D├ęcor: Our reception will take place in a ski lodge high up on the mountain. This lodge is outfitted with a huge (and beautiful) fireplace in the very middle of the room and has 10 foot long mantles on both sides of it. We don’t want to use lots of electricity once the sun sets, so we plan on using loads of soy candles to bring a soft romantic glow to the party. Soy wax is a renewable resource that is limited only by how many soybeans we can grow. It is also beneficial to farmers who sell soybean crops, as well as lasting almost twice as long as paraffin wax.

Cake: Flagstaff has a fantastic farmer’s market full of organic and locally grown goodness. We would LOVE to take advantage of that. There is an independent baker who frequently makes breads, pies, and other delectable goodies. We will be putting in an order with her to make us pies using whatever is ripe, locally grown, and yummy.

Activities: Flagstaff is full of amazing scenery, breathtaking hikes, and fun vintage flavor (it’s located on Historic Route 66). So there are many things that our friends and family can do to entertain themselves. We hope that folks take advantage of being close to the Grand Canyon and Sedona and see the splendor there. And for those who want to stay more local, we have a couple of outdoor activities…including a hike down into the lava tubes, and one hike up along the mountain to see petroglyphs. The Flagstaff Arboretum is another place for people to experience the landscape, and Lowell Observatory is always a popular spot for an evening adventure (it’s where Pluto was discovered – ummm…even though that’s not a planet anymore I guess).

Tabletops Along with the low overhead lights, comes candlelight. We’ve been saving every glass jar that enters our home for the past 4 months (and we still have quite a few months left to go!). Canning jars will be used as soy candle holders at each table. These jars are amazing for SO many things. We store everything in them…basically all dry goods like pastas, beans, tea leaves, sugars, etc. We will keep them after their roll as table centerpieces and candle holders for storage containers…and what we can’t reuse, either somebody else can or we can always recycle. Awesome.

Flowers: a bride really can’t go wrong with flowers as they are all so beautiful. Again I will call upon the farmer’s market where an organic flower farmer frequents his booth with ever the assortment of delightful blooms. I’ll take everything he has in yellow, green, and white that day and my ladies and I will carry bunches of these wildflowers down the aisle. This supports local business, and certifies that these flowers were grown organically in conditions that did not use chemicals which can injure our soil and water supplies.

Cake topper: Perhaps my favorite little detail. I thought it would be a great idea for us to get a cake topper that had a function post wedding. So, we will be getting a set of cute woodland creature salt and pepper shakers! Ebay sells a slew of adorable vintage shakers that just melt my heart. And it gives old objects a second life!

Centerpieces: I’ve already mentioned that we will be collecting jars and glass vases for the year or so. We will be combining several of them in the centers of the tables to create these simple and pretty centerpieces. We’ll throw some of those farmer’s market blooms in ‘em and call it a day! These too can be reused, donated and recycled.

Other Earth friendly ideas we’ll be embracing:
  • featuring locally brewed beer at our bar, which keeps money in our local economy, but also cuts down on shipping costs of imported brands
  • using recycled wedding bands, several jewelers on Etsy provide this service where they melt down old jewelry into simple wedding bands (we love this idea – and it’s so cost effective)
  • we’ll be making garlands to hang from the rafters in the lodge, using cloth from recycled linens so they can be used again (if we chose paper, which would have been cheaper and probably easier to make, they would get thrown away too easily)

Thank you to all these wonderful bloggers who helped spread the word about our give-away!

If you mentioned our give-away, but aren't listed here, please e-mail us at jns721 (at) gmail (dot) com with a link to the post so we can add you!


Gabrielle said...

wow amazing! just truly amazing!

x from

Amanda Diamondstein-Cieplinska said...

Such a beautiful green wedding! I love the idea of re-using cloths from your childhood!

{The Perfect Palette} said...

Great choice! We're loving this!

hana said...

Congrats! I was blown away! Love this. Inspired me to make my own board!

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