WHATCOM WEDDINGS

Add a personal touch to your decorations

FOR THE BELLINGHAM HERALDJanuary 30, 2006 

— Here are some heartwarming handmade decorating ideas to add a personal touch to a wedding reception.

  • Place photo frames with pictures of the bride and groom from their childhood on the tables for fun conversation pieces. Put a school-age picture of the groom next to a photo of the bride when she lost her front tooth at age 5. Pictures tell stories and allow both sides of the families to see who is being welcomed into their lives.

  • Create candleholders with old wine bottles and adorn them with tags describing the wine or the occasion when you enjoyed it. For example, tell how the first bottle of champagne with the groom was shared on the third date at their favorite Italian restaurant.

  • Fill a box with handwritten notes and marriage advice from wedding guests.

    Provide a small piece of paper or card stock in the center of each plate inviting guests to write the bride and groom words of encouragement. Have a box to collect each note in the center of each table. Place a glass vase of pens next to the box. Encourage guests to sign their name next to their words of encouragement. Write sentence starters on a few select cards to inspire guests' thoughts.

    Have a bridesmaid collect all the boxes at the end of the reception. Put the words of encouragement into a box to present to bride and groom as a parting gift before their honeymoon.

  • Make a lighted pathway by using Mason jars filled with pastel pieces of shale and a votive.

  • Use your favorite trees and their leaves for table decorations if you are a couple who enjoy the woodsy outdoors. For example, cut pieces of a smoke bush tree's branches clustered with red leaves to fill a cream-colored vase for a centerpiece. Mix pieces of moss-covered paper birch branches to wrap around vases filled with fern leaves.

    Stand tall pieces of orchard twigs in an aluminum vase for a rustic look with a few rosehips in the center adding a splash of berry color. Keep the branches in plenty of cool water just as you would flowers to maintain the integrity of the branches and their leaves.

  • Bring your collection of woven baskets to use as bread servers in the buffet line at your wedding, providing a homey feeling.

  • Borrow relatives' timepieces and clocks to scatter about the tables for the theme of having the time of your lives together.

  • Pick up colored tile in various shapes and sizes at the hardware store for table centerpieces. Set votive candles on the tiles. If you plan on building your first home, incorporate these tiles in your kitchen by adding them to the countertops to remind you of your wedding day.

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