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If you read wedding blogs from around the world, chances are you’ve heard of Bella Figura. I’ve spent many hours on their site perusing through their different designs- from botanical to modern to vintage look and classic. The designers really spend their time creating gorgeous stationery for your wedding.

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A US based company, they began in 2002 and have been creating gorgeous letterpress creations ever since. They’ve just had a few fabulous wedding bloggers such as Vane from Brooklyn Bride, Kathryn from Snippet & Ink and Abby from Style Me Pretty curate their own favourite invitation sets. Check them out here

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The other really great thing is that Bella Figura are committed to helping the environment. They donate 1% of their sales to environmental causes. (The sample packs curated by the wedding bloggers will have 100% donated). They take part in community events, are 100% wind powered, carbon neutral, use recycled materials, support public transport, use 100% cotton paper for all their invitations and the list goes on! You can read more about the way they’re making their business eco friendly here.

Bella Figura have a number of special offers too!

Mention the ‘Plant 50 Trees’ promotion, make a donation to plant 50 trees and you will receive 15% off your Bella Figura order (through August 31st, 2008). Read more here

A Free upgrade to a larger invitation size (F-8 or 7.25” square) throughout 2008 (through December 31, 2008). Read more here

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The girls at Bella Figura have let me know they love working with Australians and that they will ship to Australia! Shipping on sample packs is US$30 for a 6-10 day service, US$65 for a 1-3 day service and if you choose to design your invitations with them shipping for invitations is US$130.

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Q

Quartets are often queried by couples as a quintessential part of a quietly elegant ceremony.

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I took a round about way for this entry and ended up with quartets and your ceremony music. A quartet is a popular choice for your wedding ceremony but there are many others which can add to the ambiance of your wedding day.

  • A string trio
  • A woodwind instrument
  • A soloist
  • Traditional organ
  • A harpist
  • Piano
  • Soloist
  • A band
  • Personal music player (i.e. Ipod)

You’re not limited to one option either – you may choose a quartet for your ceremony, a pianist for your cocktail hour and a band for your reception.

You can find wedding musicians on most wedding directories or in magazines. However you may have some talented friends, a talented local musician, or may even consider asking a university or college if their musicians are available to play at weddings.

Here’s a rundown of the ‘types’ of music chosen for your wedding ceremony.

Prelude

Typically you should choose 4-5 songs for when guests are entering the ceremony location. These provide background music and can set the tone for your event. A light hearted celebratory tune will get guests into the mood. These songs are also known as the prelude and usually start about 20 minutes before the stated ceremony start time.

  • Jesu, Joy Of Man’s Desiring – Bach
  • Can’t Help Falling In Love – Elvis
  • Air On The G String – Bach
  • Heaven (Candlelight mix)- DJ Sammy

Processional

Next up is choosing a song for your walk down the aisle, otherwise known as the processional. Some weddings may have a different song for the bridesmaids to the bride, signaling the importance of the bride’s entry and giving her a dramatic moment.

  • Only Time – Enya
  • Wedding March – Wagner
  • Canon In D – Pachelbel
  • Kissing You – Des’ree
  • Wedding Processional From The Sound Of Music – Rodgers & Hammerstein
  • Trumpet Voluntary – Jeremiah Clarke/Purcell

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Mercedes had her father play his guitar and sing before her wedding ceremony. Photo by Christine Tremoulet

Interlude

During the ceremony, you might choose to have special songs play. Perhaps during the signing of the registry or during a ceremony such as the sand ceremony. You may even choose to have a close family member of friend sing a song that’s special to you. Known as the interlude, this part of the ceremony can be a great place to put more of your special songs that are personal to you.

Possible choices

  • Ava Maria
  • The Rose – Bette Midler
  • Songbird – Eva Cassidy
  • Sheep May Safely Graze – Bach
  • Clare De Lune – Claude Debussy
  • Your Song – Elton John

Recessional

Walking back down the aisle is one of the happiest parts of a wedding day- the music should be upbeat, vibrant and celebratory! This is known as the recessional

Possible Choices

  • Trumpet Voluntary – Clarke
  • All You Need Is Love – The Beatles
  • In My Life – The Beatles
  • How Sweet It Is – Michael Buble
  • Signed, Sealed, Delivered – Stevie Wonder
  • A Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong

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Shannon & Rich had a Mariachi band play once their ceremony concluded at their wedding in Mexico. Photo by Millie Holloman Photography

Prolude

As the guests leave the church or ceremony venue and gather outside, more music plays. This is known as the prolude. The songs picked for this should be joyous and with a happy beat.

Possible Choices

  • Love & Marriage – Frank Sinatra
  • So Happy Together – The Turtles
  • Better Together – Jack Johnson
  • For Once In My Life – Stevie Wonder
  • My Baby Just Cares For Me – Nina Simone

Extra Tips

  • Keep in mind the tempo and length of the song as well as the length of your aisle.
  • Have a backup plan if you’re using a CD or portable music player in case these fail.
  • Listen to the lyrics of your chosen songs. Some just don’t work for a wedding! Consider using an instrumental version instead.
  • Depending on the skill of your musicians, they will be able to play anything for you- from classical to modern music

I had this entry starred in my blog reader for a little while now because I adore this entire wedding captured by US photographer Jose Villa. (please go and see it all  – the entry here.) (There’s yellow shoes, bikes, stripey socks and beautiful trees!) The wedding of Tec and Chelsea.

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Isn’t this photo beautiful? The silent love between this couple explodes out of the photo, even though the moment is silent.

Captured by Jose Villa