Dear Abby...
September 12, 2007

Today is Q & A day...I have received a ton of emails over the last few weeks with some really great questions that every couple seems to face. Here are a few that I thought we could tackle together. I would love to hear your thoughts and comments, then I will post my own answers later in the day. There is no right or wrong way to approach the is just great to hear from our huge variety of readers.

Question 1: I'm having a tough time coming up with a color palette for our wedding that feels right. The dilemma is that we recently had to find a new venue after learning that our old venue had been double booked. This proved really difficult, and though our new space is very nice, it wasn't really what I had originally been envisioning. I loved our last venue, and had a palette I really loved. But, the old palette just doesn't feel right in the new space.

The colors inside our new venue are warmer and stronger (particularly with dark green and royal purple velvet curtains in the theater).

I'd love to stick with the black and white look (possibly doing ivory or cream or something, instead of white -- although I have a ton of white vintage milkglass bowls and vases I bought before we learned of the venue problem, and I fully intend to still use them for the flower arrangements at the wedding). But I'm trying to figure out what other colors I should use. I've started to think about a palette similar to this one, but am not 100% sold on how it will feel in the space

To give you a sense of what I like: Blue is my favorite color. I also like pinks (any shade), and greens (with a preference to either bright emerald-like greens or soft greens). I tend to not like reds, yellows, oranges and browns. I prefer silver to gold. I typically am drawn more to softer colors. I want something that feels "vintagey" (particularly something that fits with an art deco or art nouveau theme), and very timeless. I'd prefer to stay away from really trendy combinations that I'll hate 20 years from now, when looking back at my wedding album.

Answer 1: First of all, it stinks that you had to change venues when your heart was set on the first...with that said, sometimes it works out in your favor. This new venue is SO cool. I love the different areas and honestly think that there are many different palettes that will work in here. My favorite, however is this...all different shades of cream and white (linens, flowers, etc), with your bridesmaids and groomsmen in chic black attire (along with the rest of the men). I looooove the white on white effect. It is classic and sophisticated. Bring in vintage champagne saucers, creamy flowers in white milk glass vases and perhaps even mismatched cream colored linens to create an old world effect. Tons of candles...everywhere. And outside, either japanese lanterns or panels of wispy white fabric kind of blowing in the breeze. This black and whites (note the plural) seems to really suit a somewhat vintage theater feel. If you really want to bring in a color, I suggest a soft coral, a muted jade color or a deeper aqua. I don't think that pastels will hold their own against the jewel tones in the space. Overall though, I think that the new venue is fabulous and you have a lot to work with.

I just saw the poster that Katherine posted in the comments section...SPOT ON. I think this is perfect for this space. I wonder if you'd be able to get a bunch of these and put them on the walls to create the ambiance?

Question 2. I love your blog and would love to see something about creative ceremonies: different formats, types of readings, new things to try. I'm planning my own on 9/29 and lacking the creative juice but wanting something different. Any suggestions?

Answer 2: Like a few of the comments said, there are so many fun ways to personalize your ceremony. I had my cousin read a poem that my aunt wrote (she passed away and it was the perfect way to bring her into the ceremony), then had a close friend sing the Irish Blessing. My family is Irish so it meant a lot to the guests as well. My dear friend, Amanda, brought in a folk singer for her wedding who sang a beautiful ballad for the couple, using just a guitar as was so touching and memorable. Perhaps your father or mother, or a close family friend, could tell a funny story about you guys, rather than doing a formal reading. Or, you can ask the minister to "insert" a cute, unexpected phrase into your vow...something like "I, (Bride/Groom), take you (Groom/Bride), to be my (wife/husband), to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, to laugh wholeheartedly with and to respectfully disagree with; from this day forward until death do us part." Honestly, there are so many ways. I suggest that you sit down and really think about the two of you as a couple. Let that define how you infuse personality into your ceremony.

Question 3. My fiance and I are trying to come up with cool, unique gifts for his two groomsmen. Nothing monogramed or related to golf or beer steins or anything like that.....all of the idea out there seem to be one of those things!! I told him I'd check the few wedding blogs I read for some ideas but it seems there are lots of great ideas for bridesmaids and absolutely nothing out there about groomsmen! I'm thinking I might get my bridemaids a necklace from smallthings design and maybe a few other little things from anthropologie, but we just can't come up with anything perfect for the groomsmen. Have you heard of any good ideas, or come across any while preparing your blog?

I love the ideas that the readers posted about giving each guy a separate gift. Love, love, love the idea of giving a silk "thanks for helping us tie the knot" tie. I also love the idea of giving them something that they can really use...great tickets to a sporting event, a gift certificate to a good restaurant in their city, membership to a beer/wine of the month group, a gift certificate to an airline so that they can come visit the two of you (if they are out of state). If you do a gift certificate, presentation is key. And, make sure that the gift actually reflects the person who is receiving don't want to give Sox tickets to a Yankee fan!