It’s amazing what a production a wedding is and as much as people tell you that, you never really believe them until you are up to your eyeballs in escort cards and welcome bags. Truth be told, I love this stuff. From flower arrangements to place settings to lighting schemes, wedding design is a ton like home design but done in one big bang and in the prettiest dress you’ll ever own.
(Above) Entrance to Wonderland
Like a family crest, two crossed skis is the emblem of the Howard family—or has been ever since Mike found this slate sign at yard sale with their surname emblazoned on it. Planning a winter wedding, we knew this somehow had to be incorporated into our scheme. We ultimately glorified it by flanking two life-size antique skis and our framed initials on either side; this was the first thing guests saw when they entered the tent. There is nothing like the power of a little creativity and fishing line.
Place Card Craftiness
To keep with our winter woodland theme, we tucked our escort cards into homemade birch-log holders and laid them out on a bed of moss. The process of doing this was a little more than we bargained for but if you ever feel crazy enough to try this yourself—start with 6-8-foot long logs, cut them to the depth of your table, then cut slits at a 45-degree angle about six inches apart for a legible and eye-pleasing display.
Non-Number Table Numbers
For table numbers, we figured 1-15 was a little expected, and giving each table some cutesy name was pretty played out too, so we had the bright idea (still proud of this one) to give each table a vintage winter icon (snowshoes, mitten, sled, goggles, ice skate, bota and more). So if your escort card had an old chair lift on it, you would look for the table that had the matching chair lift sign. No numbers or words needed. To do this, we worked with our amazing stationer Regas NY to create sketches with just the right old-school VT vibe.
Ceiling of Chandeliers
Most people pick their wedding florist for their skill with flowers…ours we picked for her amazing collection of antiques. I always had this dream to bedeck a reception room with glittering vintage lanterns and chandeliers and Nancy Murray of A School House Garden had a whole barn-full of them to fulfill my bridal dreams. This is no easy feat in a canvas tent but under the lining she built an impressive network of cables to seamlessly string about 70 French-wire lanterns, five-arm crystal chandeliers, and glass beaded votive holders throughout the tent.
And not to downplay Nancy’s florist capabilities–she is beyond talented and achieved exactly what we were looking for: tons of texture, the perfect palette (crisp greens, rich purples, and winter whites) and arrangements that felt sophisticated yet completely natural.
Made with Love
I wouldn’t have thought to do this but the element of surprise and amazingly sweet (and delicious!) gesture made the cookie favors one of my favorite additions to our tables. Mike’s best friend Tushar and his wife Ana own the Hokulani Bake Shop in Hawaii and the night before their flight from Honolulu to Vermont they baked 175 cookies and decorated them with the same tree-carved heart motif from our invitations.
Ski Guest Book
Instead of having friends and family sign a guest book, we put out a pair of all-white skis we found at a backcountry ski shop in Rochester, VT. They were said to be military skis from WWII to help camouflage soldiers during snow combat. Without bindings or markings, this quirky clean slate had guest book written all over them. We put out a few Sharpies and friends wrote us well wishes on skis that we’ll put up on display–someday when we have a Vermont house of our own.