I recently blogged about using a Wish Tree in lieu of the traditional guest book and got such great response from brides that I wanted to tell you what you would need to make your own. By purchasing the materials to make your own Wish Tree, you’ll be able to use it again for other types of parties such as baby showers, birthdays, graduations, etc. Think of it as the Wish Tree that keeps on giving.
Here is what you need to recreate the tree shown in the picture:
8 Manzanita Branches: You can spray-paint them gold or silver, or you can leave it the way nature intended.
Crystal Garland for use on the tree and in the vases
2 Large Glass Hurricanes or Floral Vases
2 pens for guests to write with
2 Large serving trays which can be used to display the wish cards before the guests hang them on the tree. (If you want the guests to be able to access both sides of the table you will need 2 Large serving platters 2 frames and 4 pens.)
1-2 frames: The frames are placed between the hurricanes on either side of the table. Inside the frame, place card stock with the wording: “Best Wishes Brides Names & Grooms Name.”
Wish Tree Notes: To keep it simple, you could have your invitation vendor create the notes in the same style and card stock as your wedding invitations, place cards, programs and guest cards. Or, you could choose card stock in any shape or color you want to fit the theme or look of your wedding. It could look like an actual leaf or it could be done in the shape of a sea shell or snow flake. You just want to make sure there is enough surface space on the card for the guest to write her message.
Useful tip: Make sure to get 15-20 extra notes more than your total guest count. You can take the cards to Kinko’s and have them drill a hole in each one.
Here is how you would construct your Wish Tree:
1. Wrap the inside the hurricanes with the crystal garland in a circular direction so that you get a good base in which to place the manzanita branches.
2. Place the two hurricanes about a foot apart from each other on the table on which the wish tree will be displayed.
3. Arrange the manzanita branches in the hurricanes.
4. Take the remaining crystal garland and drape them throughout the branches. This could take some time and you might need to make adjustments. You just don’t want to have any huge holes.
5. Place a ornament hook on each wish card and display them on the table. You can use the a serving platter to display the cards on, like it is in the picture, or you can just spread them on the table itself. (This step was the most time consuming for me.)
6. Place the frames in the center of the two hurricanes
7. Place the pens on either side of the serving platter
Useful tip: To get the most sparkle out of your tree place it near a great light source or add a few votive candles around the tree.
You’re done! You now have a show-stopping place for guests to send their good wishes.
After working hard all year, Here Comes The Guide rewarded its staff with a company retreat. When Chief Operating Officer Meredith Schwartz asked me to put this trip together, The Carneros Inn was the first place I thought of for our day of relaxation and fun. We are a really tight-knit group of women, but half of us work off site, so we don’t get to see each other as often as we’d like. This trip was such a treat! We got to have spa treatments, lounge by the pool and enjoy an amazing dinner at their restaurant, Farm.
At the start of our retreat, we were told that this was a day of fun and absolutely no work. But, the event coordinator in me just wouldn’t allow for this. As I lay by the infinity pool I couldn’t help but think what a fabulous location this place is for a wedding. I could just picture a ceremony taking place in their Apple Orchard as a bride says “I Do” with the beautiful vineyards in the background. Another area I loved was the Carneros Courtyard, where guests enjoy cocktails and appetizers while mingling on the lawn. And at night, when the sun goes down, they can cozy up to the outdoor fireplace while they are taking a breather from dancing. After the reception has wound down, you and your husband can escape to your honeymoon cottage which was designed as a modern farmers cottage, decorated in what The Carneros calls “farm-shui”.
Honestly, I could go on and on about this place. Because I arranged our company trip, I got to work with The Carneros staff closely and it was such a pleasure. The level of service they gave us was out of this world. Whether you choose it for a bridal shower, rehearsal dinner, wedding or honeymoon, The Carneros Inn is a truly luxurious experience. I can definitely see why Travel + Leisure Magazine calls it “One of the top 25 Romantic Getaways in the World”.
And, did you see? Jake Gyllenhaal and Reese Witherspoon agree!
My sister Sandra is getting married in October 2008 and Tyler, her boyfriend (he hates the word fiancé) has family in Mendocino so they travel there frequently. When they started planning their wedding there wasn’t even a question about where it would take place: The Little River Inn in Mendocino.
Being that Sandra’s wedding is now just a year out, we went for the weekend to meet with the wedding coordinator and test the place out. I have to say, The Little River Inn is such a great location for a wedding. They have 3 different ceremony sites that all overlook the Pacific Ocean. My sister and Tyler decided on the Mallory House because it’s right on the Headlands.
The reception room is cozy and intimate and opens up onto a deck that they tent for guests. There was a wedding taking place that Saturday so we got to see how it looked with all the décor.
Useful Location Tip: ask the site manager if you can view the space when it’s set up for an event. You’ll be able to get a feel for what you can do for your own wedding.
We had dinner that night at the Inn’s restaurant and stuffed ourselves trying eveything we could on the menu. We also tried a few wines for the wedding from local wineries. The staff at The Little River Inn were amazing and welcomed us like family.
Mendocino is such a relaxing place and I think it will be such a treat for all of Sandra and Tyler’s guests to be able to share in the town that they call their “happy place.” Now as for my dad – I don’t know if he’ll call this his happy place once he gets the final bill but I think the huge smile on my sister’s face will make it all worth it. Let’s hope so.