Perfect Palettes: Blue and White

Martha Stewart Weddings, Winter 2008

It's a match made in the heavens. Think dreamy clouds and powder-blue sky, pearly stars on a velvet-blue backdrop. Here on Earth, both hues have long been dear to brides. "Marry in blue, lover be true" was a popular refrain in the early 1800s; the color was thought to confer an aura of innocence. In 1840, Queen Victoria chose white when she wed, and brides ever after have followed suit. Like true love, this color scheme is by turns fantastically romantic and charmingly fresh. Look to nature and everyday objects for ideas, and use them to compose your own rhapsody in blue -- and white.

Above, A robin's egg, transferware china, and other objects offer color cues. A beribboned cornflower bag (foil-stamped by ForYourParty.com using lettering by Nancy Sharon Collins, Stationer) holds a favor.

Ribbon Loop How-To
For this gift bag, we used a 5-by-9 1/2-inch paper bag and a 19 1/2-inch length of 1-inch-wide ribbon. A slightly stiff ribbon works better than a floppy satin. Punch two holes in the bag's center, one above the other, about 1/2 inch apart. Fold ribbon lengthwise; notch ends. Pull the folded end through the bottom hole, from the front to the back of the bag, then pull it forward through the top hole, creating a loop from the top third of the ribbon. Tie the ends in a square knot.

Into the Light
White makes right in this elegant and undeniably feminine bouquet, in which butterfly-like sweetpeas flutter between bright white Amazon lilies. Delicate hand-wired cattleya orchids flaunt their milky ruffled edges among flirty sprays of fragrant white lilac. Tied in a loose, languorous bow, a wide striped vintage ribbon of steel and slate blues decorates the slender stems wrapped in grosgrain. Bouquet by Belle Fleur of New York City.

Cover Story
A guest book is made for personal notes -- why not personalize the outside, too? Buy a cloth-covered unlined journal, or have one made with your own fabric. Michael Roger Press covered one book in striped cotton shirting and embossed another with a monogram. The light-blue book is from Flicka Boutique. Other fabric options: blue-and-ivory floral, aquamarine with ribbon blooms, sea-blue with cream florets, and muted azure.

Indelibly Stamped
For this suite of stationery, we reinterpreted the hues and regal patterns of transferware and its identifying back stamps. Clockwise from top: Blue vintage postage matches the calligraphy. A monogram personalizes a crown-topped emblem on the invitation. The reply card bears a stamp-inspired laurel and a wave borrowed from a plate rim; the envelope repeats the wave. Calligraphy by Deborah Delaney. Invitations from Paper+Cup Design.

A Sweet Idea
It's a tale of two pretties: No, not the story of the bride and groom, but the way a blue-and-white palette can wend its way from invitation to dessert buffet. Made of white chocolate by Christopher Norman Chocolates, these nibbles are displayed in miniature striped blue-and-white paper cups and set out on white china. As an alternative to a dessert buffet, the caterer could set a plate of the chocolates at each reception table.

Blue Seaters
Here's a seating directory that's a blue-ribbon winner. We chose envelopes in various hues, and then mixed and matched ink and ribbon colors. Inside are cards with calligraphed table numbers. To hang, knot ribbons underneath envelope flaps; suspend from white ball pins on a baby-blue linen-covered bulletin board, staggering colors. Cards and envelopes by Les Papiers Jean Rouget. Calligraphy by Gail Brill Design.

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