“It’s hard to not be inspired by nature in this beautiful city,” says Jessica Church, owner of Portland’s Bash! Weddings & Events, pictured above right with her event consultant Cassady Kennebeck (basheventsnw.com). Church and Kennebeck have translated that open-air inspiration into four place-card holders that feel sophisticated and subtly luxe rather than crunchy or even rustic chic. (And we’re thrilled that these seat assignments do cost-cutting double duty as favors!) Some tasteful tricks: work with a professional stationer—in this case, the Knot & Feather, theknotandfeather.blogspot.com—and stick with a subtle, gilded palette. DIY means trial and error, and sewing or painting can take a while, so they suggest making it a fun weekend project with your wedding party.


Natural Selection

1) To make these pretty planters, Church and Kennebeck found clay pots at Michaels and spray-painted them white, dipped them in metallic paint, and attached the delicate place cards with glue. Pictured here is thyme (from the Portland Nursery on SE Stark Street), but lavender, sage, and mint are lovely, too.

2) Cute compasses are easy to find online or at antique shops (they abound in Sellwood), and generally range from $2 to $10 each. “We love that they discreetly represent the many stages of life and marriage,” Church says. Put the place card in the lid and include a note that might read: “May we always find our way back to each other.”

3) How sweet is Portland Nursery’s tiny sapling, wrapped with gold wire and inserted into a hole drilled in a wooden coin? The place card is threaded through a small cut Kennebeck made with a handsaw. Later the coin could even be a fun desktop nameplate/pen holder.

4) Ambitious? Sew your own burlap bags, give each one a plastic liner, and fill with textural succulents—New Seasons sells them cheap. Gold ribbon and wire add a bit of bling, and the place cards’ modern font keeps things classy.

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