A blog with planning tips, fun new trends, and info related to Ethereal Events.
Photo by Barbie Hull
"Today I am marrying my best friend, the one I laugh with, live for, dream with, and love."
~ Erin & Forrest Pangborn

Friday, April 24, 2009

Real Wedding Friday - Lisa & Mike

Lisa & Mike were married at the beautiful Bell Harbor Conference Center on a sunny Friday in September! It was a magical day for a wonderful couple. I'm so glad I got to be part of its success!

Photos by the wonderful 1000 Words Photography

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Dear Wendi Wednesday...Green Weddings

In honor of my birthday and of course Earth day, I have saved this question:

Dear Wendi,

How can I make my wedding earth friendly and green?

Thank you so much for this questions! I wouldn't say that I'm an expert on green weddings, but being that Mother Earth and I share a birthday today, April 22nd, I have a pretty great connection to the topic.

Green weddings are so easy to do! I love working with environmentally conscious companies and clients. Many options don't cost any more then non-green products. You can be environmentally friendly with almost every aspect of your wedding. You don't necessarily need to go over board, but a few of these ideas can make a big impact on your wedding day, and benefit the wonderful earth we all share! Here are a few of the ways.

Using invitations made of recycled paper, out of cotton or bamboo with soy ink is a really earth friendly thing to do. The bamboo and cotton are grown quickly and easily specifically for the purpose of harvesting into paper, saving our trees and rain forests. The non-toxic soy ink is a great substitute for the harsh alternatives.

Also, ditching the inner envelope and RSVP envelope saves a lot of un-needed paper. Opt for a postcard reply card or an online option. Brown Sugar Designs has a great collection of green options!


Flowers grown locally and in season are great way to help the environment. There is little transportation involved causing less carbon emissions.

Also, double using flowers from the ceremony for reception causes you to use less. The bridal bouquet makes a wonderful centerpiece on a sweet heart table, and the brides maid's bouquets can be used as arrangements on the bar, guest book table, around the cake, and many other places. This will reduce your flower order significantly. Using the flowers from wedding day at a brunch the next day, or letting your guests take them home to enjoy extends the life of the flowers.

Lastly, wrapping the bouquets with handkerchiefs or organic ribbon is a beautiful alternative to wasteful one time satin ribbon.
Using an organic green caterer is a great and green idea for your wedding. Organic caterers buy directly from local farmers. This garuntees freshness and quality, which is so important for your wedding day meal. It also cuts down on green house gas emissions and supports the local economy! Green caterers don't stop there! Most compost all left over food, and packaging associated with the making of the meal. There is little to no waste left over! Two fantastic organic and green caterers in Seattle are Herban Feast and Ravishing Radish!


Having your ceremony and reception at the same location cuts down on the amount guests travel. If you have to travel between two locations think about green options for shuttling your guests. The less cars on the road the better!


A donation to your favorite charity is a great option for a green wedding favor. There are also many companies that offer tree saplings or flower seeds that are customizable for favors. Edibles are also a fantastic favor. They are an unexpected treat for your guests!

Additional: One last thing you can do if you are truly looking to make your wedding environmentally friendly is purchase a Terra Pass. A Terra Pass helps Fight global warming by reducing your carbon footprint today - It helps individuals easily and affordably balance their environmental impact from their driving, flying, energy use, and more.

I'm sure there are many more, and I would love to hear about them. I love increasing my Rolodex of green vendors and products! If you have a green idea or company please share it with us! I know that this is becoming a way of life and not just a hot trend!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Mishaps Monday - Oops! Wedding Dress Week 4

This is the 4th and final week of mishaps devoted to the Wedding Dress! So, let's recap what we have learned:

1. Don't buy a dress a size too small.
2. Make sure there is continuity between your wedding dress and the rest of the wedding, especially with formality and style.
3. Wear all appropriate undergarments to your fittings.

Week 4's mishap is all about wedding day.

On your wedding day you are generally in your dress for 6 to 10 hours worth of time. There are pictures, the ceremony, and all of the reception for you to enjoy the most exquisite gown(s) you've ever owned. You are the center of every one's attention through out dinner, dancing, toasting, and more. All this time and celebration in a traditional white or off white gown also allows for plenty of opportunity for spills and accidents.

On my wedding day, the first thing I did after arriving at the ceremony site for pictures is run my dress into a greasy path marker. There was a huge black smudge on the lower right portion of my skirt. Before freaking out, my maid of honor, mother, and bride's maids went to the restroom with my emergency kit to work a little magic. Shout wipes, oxyclean spray, and a little elbow grease were my best friend that day! The stain didn't fully come out until going to the dry cleaner after the wedding, but the products in my emergency kit made a huge difference for my dress and mental state!

To avoid the mishap of a devastating stain, make sure you pack your emergency kit with these 3 things!

1. Wine away - this miracle products neutralizes red wine and lifts it out of fabrics almost immediately. If you for some reason can't find wine away,which I buy in the wine section at the grocery store. A trick of the trade is pouring white wine on red will also neutralize the red.
2. Oxyclean spray - I don't know how it works, but it does! This is some powerful stuff. From food stains to pen ink, it helps with everything. I carry around a small sample size bottle in my kit.
3. Shout wipes - These are great for everything as well! I use them often to get dirt off the bottom of my bride's dresses, especially the long trains. They can get pretty dirty during pictures.

A dirty dress can lead to a break down. With these 3 products in your emergency kit, you are sure to avoid this mishap all together!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Real Wedding Friday - Not a wedding!

This week's Real Wedding, is not a wedding at all. I'm featuring a fabulous surprise birthday party I planned in March! The Birthday girl, Laura Thompson, has one of the best brothers and sister-in-laws, and girl could as for! Roderick and Kimberly Thompson contacted me to help them plan the surprise birthday extravaganza earlier in the year. The guest of honor, Laura lives in Seattle, and the party planners Roderick and Kimberly live in Washington D.C.. They are not familiar with all the fantastic bars and restaurants Seattle has to offer for such an occasion. That is where I came in! I love working on projects like this!

Roderick was the best man in a wedding I coordinated in September. He and his (wonderful wedding planner as well: Serendipity Special Events) wife Kimberly wanted the perfect swanky, hip location for this cocktail party. I scoured every club in Belltown and Pioneer Square for the right fit! Roderick and Kimberly feel in love with Ibiza! It has an amazing VIP area with tables and soft seating, perfect a celebration such as this. Here are some of the fantastic pictures Kimberly and Roderick shared with me from the party!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Dear Wendi Wednesday...Down side of Down Home!

This is the last week of the At Home Wedding series. Last Wednesday I discussed the benefits and joys associated with an at home wedding. This week I look at the other side, the drawbacks.
If you have any thoughts about either side, or had an at home wedding I would love to hear about it. Drop me a note!

Dear Wendi,

What are the potential drawbacks of an at home wedding?

Dear A.S.,

As you know I love the idea of at home weddings, but there are some logistics that need to be discussed beforehand. There is the potential to need bringing in everything. From tables, chairs, silverware, glasses, serving pieces, linens, dance floor, tent, etc. depending on size of the event and what you already have. I don't know many families that have (on the small side) 30+ matching sets of china, or enough wine glasses for guests to have multiple glasses through out the evening.

It's a smart idea to bring in bathrooms for guests. You may not want to invite that much traffic into your home. There will probably be multiple trips by everyone at the party. If you are on a septic system you could potentially be inviting huge problems. (There are rental companies that specialize in this. Your wedding coordinator will know of a few in your area.)

Also, with all the foot traffic there is a possibility of damage to lawn or grounds- 100 people or so on your lawn all at once, a dance floor and tent poles can all cause serious damage. This may be a serious blow if you have just upgraded the landscaping for this event.

Parking can be incredible tricking for an at home wedding. The seen from "Father of the Bride" with all the cars parked on the front lawn stands out as a perfect example of this potential problem. Hire a valet to park the cars or shuttle guests from a near by parking lot to avoid the chaos of this.

Lastly, an at home wedding often doesn't have multiple locations for a ceremony and reception in case of rain or excessive sun. No back up plan is a serious concern! Most of the at-home weddings I have done have been partially or totally outside. If there is no tent reserved or room large enough to hold all the guests there is no backup plan!!! You have spent thousands of dollars and months of planning, for it all to be washed or scorched away.

There is nothing better than a well thought out professionally executed at home wedding! Make sure you take the right steps to make sure yours will be memorable for all the right reasons!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Mishap Monday - The Wedding Dress week 3

It is a common wedding dress mishap for Brides not to wear or bring wedding day undergarments and shoes to their fittings. This includes almost all things you will wear under you dress: bra, corset, petticoat, and shoes. Without these items it's difficult to get a custom fit. You are taking a chance that your dress could be too short, too long, too tight, too loose, etc.. Not what you want to find out last minute. (You don't need to worry about the exact panties, spanks or nylons, you're wearing on wedding day.)

An example that comes to mind is when I was fitted for my wedding dress. I didn't have the actual petticoat I planned on wearing wedding day. The gown was supposed to come back custom cut to my height and dimensions, which would eliminate alterations outside of the bustle. Awesome! When the gown came in, I couldn't remember which petticoat I had used when ordering the dress. The dress shop's loaner was different, and my gown looked as though it needed to be shortened. Not something I wanted to deal with. If I had brought in my own petticoat, I would have avoided the stress of the added expense and time factor of potentially needing to shorten my dress. Bringing in your own garments each time takes away the guess work associated with the fit. Fortunately for me, my gown didn't need shortened when I tried it with MY petticoat. At the final fitting it was perfect! I was lucky.

As a bride you have enough to worry about. This is a small way to eliminate a BIG stress.

Pictures by 1000 Words Photography

Friday, April 10, 2009

Real Wedding Friday... Corinna & Jason

Corinna & Jason were married on 8.9.08 at the beautiful Larkspur Garden. It was a fun filled destination weekend for the bride and groom and their 100 or so guests in the quaint town of La Conner.

Corrina, Jason and I started planning their wedding almost 18 months prior. It's wonderful to have that much time to plan. We were done with the major vendor selection within 6 months or so, which worked out great! It made the wedding planning much easier and enjoyable for Corinna, who excepted a transfer at work that moved the couple to South California at the beginning of 2008. In the months leading up to the wedding they made a couple trips back to Seattle to finalize the details and visit, but because we had so much time and used it wisely, it was a fun and stress free process.

Every detail in Corinna and Jason's wedding was done with the environment in mind. This is an example of true green wedding! I will post all the wonderful examples on Friday 4/24 in honor of earth day on Wednesday 4/22.
Here are some of my pictures from the day!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Dear Wendi Wednesday...Home is Where the Heart Is!

This week we take another look into at home weddings!

Dear Wendi,

What are the perks of an at-home wedding?


Dear A.S.

There are some really wonderful aspects to an at home wedding. Of course, the sentimental value to all the family members who have lived and grown there. The many Birthdays, Christmas, Thanksgivings, and much more celebrated with in the home's rooms. The family videos featuring the dog in the backyard, or basketball game played on the hoop on the front of the garage. The dreams of a little girl in her bedroom starring down on the backyard garden picturing her wedding day are now coming true! A wedding at home can create a magic no other location can.

There is also the perk of total control of set up and tear down. You can take as many or few days as you would like. You don't have to worry about time constraints, or hourly rates. This can reduce some of the stress leading up to wedding day!

An at home wedding is truly an intimate experience for all involved. Welcoming friends and family into your home for this utmost of important days is wonderful! It has the ability to create an experience like no other, and welcomes the opportunity to take the at home theme and run with it. There is so much customization you can do. Whether that means your menu reflects your favorite meals growing up, you sit at one large "family" table, or there are cookies fresh from the oven when guests arrive. An at home wedding opens the door for you to put your special touch on every part! Live it up!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Mishap Monday - The Wedding Dress Week 2

In week 2 of The Wedding Dress Mishaps, we will look at the importance of everyone looking like they're going to the same wedding. The Bride will and should always be the stand out above and beyond everyone else, but not because she looks like she is involved with a different wedding. It is a common mishap for Brides to chose a dress that is far more formal than anything else in the wedding. It's so important that the wedding dress match the formality of the Groom, first and foremost, then the attendants and grooms men, location, etc. If you have chosen a stunning one of kind duchess satin mermaid gown, don't have your brides maids in linen and flip flops! It doesn't match! You end up looking silly, and so does everyone else. Try satin, taffeta, silk, or any of the other more formal fabrics. Think of the dress as part of a whole picture, not its own piece. No matter what, the Bride and her dress will shine above the rest!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Real Wedding Friday..20 years in the making

Lisa and Steve's Valentine wedding was 20 years in the making. On Saturday Feb. 14, 2009 Lisa and Steve renewed their vows in the beautiful white wedding she'd always dreamed of. The day was magical for this couple and their family! The couple's three daughters participated as brides maids and everyone had a wonderful time.

This wedding was truly special for many reasons, one of which, is it granted one of Lisa's lifetime wishes. When she and Steve first got married many years ago, they were young and didn't have the big wedding. After Lisa was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer a few months back, she knew that a big 20 year vow renewal wedding is something she wanted to do. Her friends/co-workers got together and let Brides Against Breast Cancer, Making Memories Foundation know Lisa's story. The charity came in and granted this wedding wish with the help of many wonderful vendors! It is such a wonderful story. I hope you enjoy the fantastic photos by Eliza Truitt and Barbie Hull.

Also, check out the articles about this wonderful event in the Kitsap Sun and The South Sound Wedding Magazine

Below, are emotion filled pictures from shopping for the beautiful Bridal gown a few weeks before the wedding. Lisa, her 3 daughters and friends had a wonderful day celebrating the upcoming wedding!