DIY Patio Lighting Perfect for Savoring Summer Nights!

Hey Ya’ll,

Since the summer is almost over, I thought I’d feature a few cool DIY solutions for lighting up everyone’s favorite place to spend a hot summer night: the patio!

Most of the projects I found require either a string of lights or votive candles, in addition to the materials you decide to accessorize with (many of which can be found around the house and up-cycled!).

Think Green: If you want to be more eco-friendly, opt for the projects that utilize candles and recycled items. If you decide to use string lights, be sure to purchase energy-efficient LED lights.

One thing is for sure, no matter which one of the projects below strikes your fancy, you’ll end up with lovely patio lighting that’s perfect for savoring what’s left of these hot summer nights under the stars. Enjoy!

Items you’ll need to make these mini fabric lamps via http://www.itstaylormade.com/2012/06/mini-fabric-lamps.html

Drill holes to hang from string lights or simply insert candles! Image and Tutorial via http://inhabitat.com/how-to-recycle-a-tin-can-into-a-gorgeous-outdoor-lantern-for-summer-parties/

Same idea as above, but with bright spray paint! Image and Tutorial via
http://narcissusfloralstudio.wordpress.com/2011/09/23/diy-patio-lights/

Fun project to do with the kids! Image and Tutorial via http://putitinajar.com/crafts/solar_powered_fabric_mason_jar/

Which one of these projects is your favorite? If you have any other fantastic ideas for DIY patio lighting, leave them in the comment section below.
-Brian

How to Plan a Green Wedding!

Hey Ya’ll,

One of the biggest changes I’ve noticed over the last few years, in both industry professionals and the clients we work with, is that to the newest generation approaching adulthood, AKA the Millenials, the idea of “going green” is something that they expect as a matter of course. And while I may be a tad older than the Millenials, I too am a huge proponent of producing green events and doing my part to be good to our planet, so I am happy this is starting to become the norm!

Today, I’m shedding some light on how easy it is to throw an eco-friendly wedding that is not granola and burlap, but stunning and elegant! Here are a few tips that are so easy, you may not even know that you are helping to save the planet.

I’m Hungry:
One of the easiest places to begin your eco-friendly journey is the menu. Just asking that the items presented on your menu are grown locally (within 100 miles), organic, pesticide free and including only free-range meat, you have just done a little greening and without even lifting a finger to to exercise your right to health. Making delicious yet smart food choices food on your big day will make a huge impact not only on your guests, but also on the environment.

Divide and Conquer:
Weddings and events always produce a lot of waste. One way that you can cut back on waste, is by inquiring with the venue you choose as to whether they separate the trash into compostable, biodegradable and recyclable bins. If the venue doesn’t participate in some sort of greening effort, there are waste management companies that will drop off a dumpster at the location, and all of the trash you put into the dumpster will be separated and distributed to their proper locations. Otherwise, you should try to create a recycling system of your own, using bins and signs to help guests understand what goes where!

Flower Power:
Second to the wedding dress, flowers are synonymous with weddings, so if you want fresh cut flowers, find a florist that uses blooms from local and/or organic farms. If you are really feeling green, decorate with potted plants, orchids and flowers that will last much longer. These non-cut arrangements can be recycled after the wedding as a party favor to be a lasting reminder of the special day.

Seeded invitations and confetti via http://www.botanicalpaperworks.com

Evite vs. Invite:
I still believe that for a formal occasion like a wedding, a formal invitation through the mail is the way to go. Paper choices today can be stunning as well as eco-friendly and processed without chlorine; some even have seeds embedded in them that can be planted after it is received, and soy based inks that will do the print job beautifully. To save paper, use a postcard (no envelope) for the reply card. Encourage your guests to recycle their invitation afterward or if you really want to “mail” greenly, use www.cocodot.com or www.paperlesspost.com to send creative invitations via the web.

Blinded by the Light:
Lighting can change the entire look and feel of your wedding, so use LED and incandescent lighting to brighten up your celebration by creating various moods and atmospheres while using less power and energy. If you opt for a daytime wedding, let color be your electricity. Vibrant colored linens, flowers and decor elements will illuminate any space naturally.

Recycled Rentals:
There are a number of areas when it comes to your wedding that you may not have even realized that you were being so conscientious. China, flatware and glassware is all reused and if cleaned with environmentally safe products, that is one step further in the right direction. Beautiful and unique linens from www.latavolalinen.com and www.wildflowerlinens.com get rented over and over again, and most grooms rent their tuxedos as well, all of these things are helping to make the world a more beautiful place. Brides and bridesmaids can also partake in the rental of designer fashions these days, through online sites like www.renttherunway.com and www.onenightaffair.com.

Image via rebelliousbrides.com

By making a few ecologically-aware choices, throwing a green wedding is much easier than most couples about to embark on a lifetime together even imagined. No matter if you are a Baby Boomer, a Gen X or Y’er or a Millennial, anyone can use these tips to start creating a better world that we can all share together.
-Brian