Happy Friday! Well, guess what? We’ve found some great, um, I mean fabulous finds for you this week! Who’d a thunk it?!?

Ideas We Love – Pajama Parties

Okay, I know this one might sound a little weird at first, but stick with me here. A recent tweet from one of our photographer friends mentioned that she was attending her client’s post-rehearsal dinner pajama party and how much she was diggin’ it. It reminded me of Gary & Jeanne’s fun and beautiful Hope and Glory (one of the places we love) wedding a few short years ago and that their awesome idea should be shared.

Since Irvington, Virginia is very small and all their guests were staying at the Inn or very close by, they decided to have a BBQ dinner on H&G’s back patio for all their guests, followed a short time later by a pajama party complete with milk and cookies! In fact, a huge farmhouse table FULL of sweet treats lovingly made by family members and brought to the Inn for the special occasion. Needless to say, a great time was had by all and yes, of course, we *had* to fit in, so we wore our best PJ’s, too! ;-D Although as you’ll see, a few people didn’t comply with “the rules”, but we’re pretty sure those who did had way more fun and way more “room” for all those treats!

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The bridal party!

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Gary and Jeanne stealing a smootch. Love the glass of milk!

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And our view at the end of the evening with Gary in the background laughing at us. Thanks, Erin, for reminding us how much fun we had that night and we can’t wait to see your pics!

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Ideas We Love – Charity donation favors

We love fun and fab favors just as much as the next gal, but there is definitely something to be said for having your favor be a donation in your guest’s names’ to one of your favorite charities. Not only are they pretty “green”, as in environmentally friendly (yup, snuck another one in on ya!) but it’s such a personal and meaningful gift. What better way to let your loved ones know what causes are near and dear to your hearts? Plus, if you still want to give something tangible, you can make it a small one and attach a cute card letting people know about the donation. I thought these were some great ways to do just that! (Not that a personalized yo-yo is a small favor!)

Courtesy The Knot Fall/Winter 09

Courtesy The Knot Fall/Winter 09

Because they met in Iowa, Ivette and Tom gave their guests corn-shaped, white chocolate candies with hazelnut centers. The sweets were tucked into small boxes filled with raffia and tagged with a thank-you and a note explaining that a donation had been made to the Humane Society on behalf of their guests.

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Courtesy The Knot.com and Heather Cook Elliott Photography

Janelle and Jim gave out yellow Live Strong bracelets with a card that read, “In lieu of favors the couple is donating money to the Lymphoma Society. Please wear this band in honor of Janelle’s battle with cancer.”

Courtesy of The Knot.com and Kdog Photographers

Courtesy of The Knot.com and Kdog Photographers

As a parting gift, Lindsay and Ty gave their guests a piece of lucky bamboo, which they found at their place setting along with some pink hypericum berries. The favors were decorated with a handmade tag that thanked the guests and indicated that a donation to the Lake Champlain Restoration Association had been made in their honor.

Courtesy of The Knot.com and Orchard Cove Photography

Courtesy of The Knot.com and Orchard Cove Photography

When Bill and I got married, we were lucky enough to have a friend who knew a metalworker that made custom medallions, mostly for the military. We designed a silver one that included our names, wedding date, location and our wedding logo (a butterfly signifying me and sunflower representing Bill) on one side. The other side had one of our favorite quotes by Mahatma Gandhi – “Where there is love there is life” – along with words of our own – ” So that others may know such love, a donation has been made on your behalf to fight women’s cancers. Thank you for sharing in our love today.” The donation was in honor of my Mom whom we had recently lost to cancer.

In hindsight we’d have made the medallions a bit bigger as our message ending up being pretty small, but overall, we loved them. It was something our loved ones could take with them as a reminder of how much it meant to us to have them there sharing our wedding day with us. To this day, I keep one of them in my bedside table as a meaningful reminder to me just how lucky I am to share my life and my love, everyday with Bill. Okay, enough mushy stuff, here are a few shots of our medallions.

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Erin & Steve (more on them to come, but you can check out their lovely sneak peek in the meantime) had donations made at their recent wedding and we love how they let their guests know. Their escort cards were designed like library book check-out cards.  The cards listed the attendee’s names and their table number on one side and a sticker on the back said, “In lieu of favors, Erin and Steve have chosen to donated to Reading is Fundamental.” Love the tie in!

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They continued the book theme with their menu cards which listed each meal course as a “Chapter”.

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We’re sure lots of other clients have done similar things, as well, but since they are often wrapped in scrolls or put in boxes along with perhaps a little treat, we oftentimes don’t get to see them. Be sure to keep a favor or two aside for your photographers if you’d like photos of your donation gift announcement.

Thanks everyone! We hope you have a fun, safe and sparkly Fourth of July!!

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