Justin & Ashley wed in August with a backyard beautiful wedding. It was important to them that there were elements of both of them during their wedding. Justin wore a baseball hat because that was “him”. Their black lab, Dakota, was in the wedding and even curled up on the train of Ashley’s dress during the ceremony. The seats at the ceremony were wooden benches that Ashley’s Dad made from lumber milled from their family camp. Every little detail was rustic & simple, exactly as they had envisioned.
When talking to Ashley about what she was looking for in her invitations, she used keywords such as: simple, burlap, lace, rustic, tan, beautiful. It was important to Ashley & Justin to avoid getting caught up in the formal traditions of what a wedding invitation is “supposed” to be and to make it their own.
A note from Ashley: “I had a vision in my head of what I thought I might like my invitations to look like. I’m not really sure how she did it, but, Hannah saw my vision and made it come to life. She was so receptive to my ideas and made timely designs for me to look at. We received lots of comments on our invitations. It was different, and simple, and totally “us.” Hannah also made some wedding programs for us that were a huge hit. We even had some last minute changes and she accommodated us and had the design changed as soon as I told her. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience. I have our invitation framed in our living room. It symbolizes such a beautiful memory for us & I am so thankful to Hannah for her work to make sure everything was perfect.”
What an honor to work with such love. My favorite one-liner from Ashley was “I still have the same crush on Justin that I had in high school.”
Above Wedding Photo by T.Dow Photography
What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the words: “Bridal Show”?
We immediately picture a town hall lined with 6 foot banquet tables, vendor after endless vendor, fighting for the clients’ attention and 1,000+ business cards jammed into a small plastic bag which will most likely be tossed into the trash or if you’re Ellen.. then recycled.. because she loves the earth, wears Birkenstocks and drives a Prius.
Let’s be honest. They aren’t fun for the bride-to-be (and certainly not for groom-to-be), but even more so, they aren’t fun for the vendors.
Now, the funny thing about life is that a lot of the time we just seem to go along with how things have always been done. Kind of like when you cough into a closed fist. Like, what? Who started that? Let me just cough into this closed fist here.. this will surely protect others from my nasty germs. Or how you have to choose a major before you begin college. Like, again, what? I am barely 18, have (proudly) mastered the art of making a solid mac and cheese, can usually pump my own gas, and yes let me just make the biggest decision of my life, declaring a college major, which will have an impact on the rest of my days on earth. Makes total sense. NOT.
Well, I can’t speak to the two issues mentioned above, but The Big Fake Wedding (in our opinion) is the best thing to happen since sliced bread. The regular old bridal show is about to become extinct.
What is The Big Fake Wedding you may ask? According to their website, “The Big Fake Wedding is a bridal show alternative complete with an emotional ceremony, a tasty dinner and a dance-party reception. Wedding guests are brides-and-grooms-to-be who get to truly experience the wedding vendors in action.”
Did you just zone out? Why does that always happen when you read something in quotations? Gets us EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. Okay, so basically it’s a REAL but FAKE wedding (stick with us here) in which bride and grooms-to-be attend the wedding and see the vendors in their element!
Local businesses bring their talents to the table to put on a phenomenal real (but yes, fake) wedding. The florists work their magic and create bouquets for the bride, boutonnieres for the groom, and center pieces for dinner tables. The photographers capture the event as they would at a real wedding. The event coordinators manage all vendors and make the event flawless. Graphic designers create the wedding invitations for the event (hey that’s us, more on that later) and the bakers supply the cake etc, etc! Not only do the bride & groom-to be’s (which are having SO MUCH FUN attending the event) see the vendors in action, but they are able to personally connect with each vendor during a special time called: “The Tunnel of Love”.
Each wedding vendor has a small table displaying what their company has to offer and during the The Tunnel of Love the brides and grooms to be, casually mingle with each vendor. So, not only does the client get to see your work in action throughout the (big fake) wedding, but now there is a chance for them to talk with you about it. Basically, a client and vendor’s dream come true. It doesn’t get much better than this people!
In addition to the main event, we met so many fun and unique couples at The Big Fake Wedding and worked together with some of the most talented vendors from New England. Instead of trying to stand out in a crowded town hall bridal show, we put our creative minds together to create a spectacular event that showcased each individual business. There is nothing better than being in a room full of creatives who have a passion for making things beautiful.
At The Big Fake Wedding, there is a sense of community and collaboration vs. competition.
The relationships we made with the fellow vendors were just as beautiful as those we made with future brides and grooms.
At E&H Creates we have a wide range of creative services that we offer but at TBFW we zeroed in on wedding invitation design. We took inspiration from the South of France and the event venue: Willowdale Estate, a beautiful stone mansion with exposed beams, detailed woodwork, an oversized skylight, french windows, mosaic tiling, stained glass, a butterfly garden to exchange marriage vows and a custom sail-cloth Sperry tent for receptions. We named our invitation suite Herbal Flourish and featured a color palette of whites, herbal greens and pops of pinks and yellow in a floral envelope liner. Elegant script was paired with a bold secondary typeface to bring strength to the layout and bring attention to special details.
When you work with us on invitations, we do not have a book of samples that you flip through to choose your favorite that 500 other couples have chosen before. We learn about you, your relationship and help you define your style. We then create custom invitations for your special day. We wanted to be able to showcase this unique quality of work during The Tunnel of Love with the guests. This may or may not of included one or more of the following: borrowing (or stealing) our mother’s herbs from her garden, hot glue gunning in the hotel room the night before, room service because we couldn’t break our creative streak, a trunk full of vintage props, showing up at 10am on the dot to pick out the best spot and contemplate for a solid hour on what spot that actually was. Needless to say, we had a blast!
As vendors, we were give the challenge to celebrate the art of making something handmade and one-of-a-kind using the “Herbs de Provence” inspiration board provided by The Big Fake Wedding team as our guide. The result is below and we have never been more proud. Can’t you just smell the rosemary and oregano?
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Catering + Venue: Willowdale Estate // Day-Of Coordination + Event Design: Heather Dawn Events // Floral + Event Design: Bloom Floral + Event Designs , Style This Shindig , Good Look’n & Moonstone & Moss // Hair + Makeup: Beautini by B.Lo // Invitations: E+H Creates // Photography: kivalo photography // Photography: Leise Jones Photography // Photography: Somerby Jones Photography // Signage: Posh and Prep // Wedding Cake: Brown Butter Bakery // Wedding Dress: Your Dream Bridal // Menswear: Blank Label Group // Media Partners: MyWedding, WellWed Magazine, Boston Weddings Magazine, Black Sheep Bride
My first memories in life…I see a terribly ugly carpet, broken crayons in a red basket with holes far too large to have the job of holding crayons or markers that have lost their caps. My hands have the imprint of the carpet and my sisters tongue is sticking out with concentration. My Poky Little Puppy is perfectly colored and I am going to sign it so everyone knows it was my artwork. Ellen would move us on to the next activity never finishing her page in the coloring book. She would plan out our entire afternoon filled with handstands, cartwheels and puppet shows.
Memories transform from sister activities to baking and doing crafts by myself as Ellen went off to school. I distinctly remember the one TV show I would watch religiously: Pappyland. “You too can do itttt when you’re in PAPPYLANDDDD!” Anyone??? ANYONE?! The large pencil? The sharpie drawings you could submit to try and be showcased on the next episode? Okay maybe a slightly creepy show after re-watching some of the youtube clips but I loved it more than anything. I submitted my picture of a dog and it was included in the fan section of the show and it was probably the best day of my life.
Weekends at my Dad’s are a huge part of my memories which included re-watching our favorite movies over and over and over again. Eric’s choice? Home Alone. Ellen’s choice? Mighty Ducks. My Choice? BEETHOVAN!
Are you seeing a pattern here? I begged. As any child, I begged and begged and begged. 3 Sherwood kids who were involved in soccer, basketball, travel basketball, softball, travel softball, baseball, dance, gymnastics, girl scouts, cub scouts, nature camp, tennis, track, cheerleading, hockey & more does not leave much space or time for a family dog to fit in. (Insert sad Hannah face here)
Fast forward to (super duper) senior year of college. My professor asked my class to create a “goals” list for our first year post-graduation. Mine: 1) Adopt a Puppy, 2) Get a big girl job, 3) Continue to grow my own business, 4) Continue learning, 5) Stay creative
Chesney’s adoption day is my favorite day in 25 years. She is the reason for checking 2, 3, 4 & 5 off my list. She keeps me on my toes and I need her as much as she needs me. She relies on me to feed, bathe and let her outside to potty. I rely on her for out-of-control butt shakes after a long day at work and for her morning kisses letting me know that her eyes are open and mine should be too. I rely on her to make me laugh by barking in fear at the milk carton every time I pour milk into my cereal bowl and she relies on me to put that scary thing back in the fridge. I rely on her for the endless cuddles and she relies on me for the endless belly rubs. There’s a good chance that if we aren’t sleeping, we are eating and if we aren’t eating, we are smiling. We’ve both got these long legs that get in the way of each other but we’ll love ya until the end of time. My girl. My most favorite memory. My very first dog.