help! what kind of table linens should we use for our country-casual wedding?

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Okay dear readers, I need some of your decorating savvy! Our wedding is coming up soon (late in Sept) and there are a lot of details yet to sort out. I think I’m stuck on this one, and once this decision is made, the rest will fall into place. Namely: What kind of table linens should we have? Let me paint the scene: Our reception is going to be held in a barn (wood walls, cement floor, very simple and rustic) and we’re going to have four or five round tables for our guests to eat at. In my mind’s eye, I see a pattern on the tables, and would love to make my own. I’d pick a pretty pattern like the Denise Schmidt ones at PurlSoho. The problem is I don’t have the time, the skill or the sewing the machine! I have found a few rental places online that have some creative patterns. Here’s four we are debating now. Thoughts? Other suggestions for fabric or solutions? Your opinions will be greatly appreciated! — Angela M.

1. Forest Plaid: I like how classic this is, charming but not kitschy. Would look great with cream accents, daisies and black-eyed sues on the table.

2. Mod Suede: This is more unexpected and fun. Would be so cheery and yet also fit our overall sensiblility. Perhaps a touch to girly?

3.White Wildflower Sheer: This white on white pattern is so pretty, but we’d have use it as an overlay over another cloth — would that make it look too formal and stiff?

4. Yellow Picnic Check: We’d never go for the cliche of a red-and-white gingham, but this board yellow check could work. I think you could really dress it up while still keeping the country flair.

From our partners

wedding tosses: a must-have tradition or silly waste?

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As Chad and I get ready for our wedding, we keeping stumbling over little decisions. Neither of us have traditional families, so for the most part we are on own in this new terrain. Here’s one we’re we are debating right now that maybe you can help us with: Do we need to have something for our guests to throw at us after we are pronounced husband and wife? Barring bad weather, we’ll hopefully be getting married under a tree, so there won’t be a classic exit. If we were to have something to toss, it would have to be green and okay for critters. Some sites seem to say that “dangers of rice” for birds is just a myth. Others, like ask.yahoo.com suggest sunflowers, birdseed or bubbles. Over at Martha Stewart’s site, she has how-to on making vanishing confetti pouches and suggests biodegradable paper. What do you think? As a guest, is fun to have something to “do” like toss confetti at couple? Maybe some noisemakers would be better? Or should we just skip it and get to the champagne? — Angela M.

From our partners

ashley's big day: it's all in the details

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With a little more than a month ’til the big day, the wedding basics are pretty much accounted for: Groom, check. Dress, check. Kick ass honeymoon planned to Sweden, check. So for now, it’s the small things that need tending to and in the end I hope the details will make all the difference.

Detail #1: Vintage Typewriter Guestbook

Ripped shamelessly from the DIY diva herself, the typewriter guestbook (suggested by Erica P.) combines the guestbook tradition with a fun aesthetic. Leave a typewriter — I’m looking out for a vintage Underwood – instead of a guestbook at the reception’s entrance.

Detail #2: Chill Out

Our ceremony will be outside. In Chicago. In August. To keep people from passing out, we thought making fans out of our programs, like these. But now we’re wondering if there’s a way to make them ourselves.

Any other suggestions for small details that could really make the whole night stand out? — Ashley P.

From our partners

ashley’s big day: it’s all in the details

shelter_weddingtype.jpg

shelter_weddingfan.jpg

With a little more than a month ’til the big day, the wedding basics are pretty much accounted for: Groom, check. Dress, check. Kick ass honeymoon planned to Sweden, check. So for now, it’s the small things that need tending to and in the end I hope the details will make all the difference.

Detail #1: Vintage Typewriter Guestbook

Ripped shamelessly from the DIY diva herself, the typewriter guestbook (suggested by Erica P.) combines the guestbook tradition with a fun aesthetic. Leave a typewriter — I’m looking out for a vintage Underwood – instead of a guestbook at the reception’s entrance.

Detail #2: Chill Out

Our ceremony will be outside. In Chicago. In August. To keep people from passing out, we thought making fans out of our programs, like these. But now we’re wondering if there’s a way to make them ourselves.

Any other suggestions for small details that could really make the whole night stand out? — Ashley P.

From our partners

alt-wedding invite idea: kate spade printable cards

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As Chad & I begin planning our BIG DAY, one thing is very clear: We are not traditionalists. We cannot — and have no desire to — have a typical American wedding that costs somewhere around $30k (um, that’s the cost of a downpayment on a house!). We have very small families, many close friends, and a limited budget. Still, we want our day to be special, sincere and most of all, fun. Starting what will surely be on our long list of D.I.Y. touches, we’re going to skip the pricey invitations. We want something less formal, something that we can customize ourselves. These Kate Spade Printable Invitations seem just about perfect. They have a gorgeous branch design on one side, and the come with thick, rich, green-lined envelopes. They’re just the thing to jumpstart our “country” themed wedding. We’ve already ordered one batch and have done some testing on our printer. It’s super easy to create a template with the font of your choice (Copperplate looks great). They cost $25 for ten — far less these engraved bough invitations, $456 for 50, which are similar. Plus, without all those extra bits of paper — RSVP cards and such — we’re being more eco-friendly. It’s a win win! — Angela M.

From our partners