Handmade, Vintage and Secondhand Wedding Décor

| 7/2/2010 5:14:13 PM

Our wedding pictures have arrived, and I'm so pleased to be posting some of them!

One of the most important elements of creating an eco-friendly wedding is in the décor. If you visit the "wedding" section of many major craft and big box stores, you find a plethora of unsustainable plastic, disposable, one-time-use décor items. Not only is this unsustainable, it's unoriginal! I had so much fun searching through thrift and antique stores collecting the vintage glassware we used for our tabletops—recycled glass containers held bouquets, individual flowers, candles and silverware, and each table had its own cake on a recycled glass cake platter. After the wedding, I was able to gift family and bridal party members with a unique vase or cake plate to take home as a memento.

I also had an in on some great eco-friendly décor as a result of working here at Natural HomeNashville Wraps supplied the 80 percent recycled giftwrap I used as table runners (thanks to Martha Stewart for the idea). Bright Sun Candles custom-made soy tealights in their Pacific Mint scent. We bought a custom cake topper from an Etsy artist.

My husband and I loved visiting our local flower farm, Pendleton's Country Market, to pick up fresh blooms the day before the wedding. The owner gave us our choice of the greenery and small, edible flowers to round out our peony bouquets. I chose local peonies as the centerpiece flower for a few reasons—to me, they are a cheery sign of the spring season; because I had mixed bridesmaid dress colors and a lot of textures and colors in the décor, choosing just one flower anchored the design scheme; and my mom always grew pink peonies in our backyard growing up, so they bring back good childhood memories.

I think the end goal of your décor choices should be to focus on the things you and your partner love. Our Natural Home interior design specialist, Jami Lin, always says that your home's interior décor should express who you are as a person. I think the same applies to your wedding. Just choose things you love, and the rest will take care of itself.

I really liked the idea that the vintage bottles, Mason jars and cake plates I collected from antique stores had already brightened the tables and homes of others. We have a great story coming up in our next issue about Rachel Ashwell's Shabby Chic brand. In it, she talks about used items' patinas, how they bring the richness of lives lived into your home. I felt the same way about using vintage pieces in our wedding décor.