Here Comes The Guide's Blog

Wish for a Better Guest Book

I’ve attended two weddings this year where the bride and groom decided to move away from the traditional guest book and mix it up a bit with a Wish Tree. The Wish Tree is a Dutch wedding custom where guests are given a piece of paper, either shaped like a leaf or made of card stock. The guests write their wishes to the bride and groom and then hang it on the tree. This creates a gorgeous centerpiece and the tree is placed at the entrance to the reception to wow your guests right when they walk in. articles_alt

I got to assist in assembling a Wish Tree when I worked with Maxine Andrew of Instead of You at an event in September. I loved being a part of putting this together and seeing how it looked all aglow with the crystals sparkling and the heartfelt wishes hanging from each branch. articles_alt

After the wedding you can create a scrapbook with the wish cards. You could even find pictures of the guests who wrote each one and place it next to their wish.

Helpful hint: give yourself plenty of time to assemble the Wish Tree.
It must be done onsite and can’t be moved once it’s assembled. The one in these photos took about two hours to complete from wrapping the crystal garland inside each hurricane to laying out the wish cards for the guests to hang. It takes some time, but the wow factor is huge.

— Denise Martinez, Director of Vendor Sales

Denise Posted by Denise on Oct 18, 2015.
Filed under DIY Wedding IdeasReal WeddingsReceptionsStuff We LoveTrend WatchWedding Ideas

North of Wine Country: California’s Secret Clearlake Wedding and Event Venues

While I’ve lived in the Bay Area for 30 years, I took my very first trip to Lake County only recently when I rented a house on Clearlake for a much-needed family vacation. Now that I’ve finally visited, though, I’m already starting to wonder when I can return to this peaceful region north of the wine country. Of course I managed to scout out some ideal wedding ceremony, reception and rehearsal dinner sites while there. A couple of my new favorite places:

Makiivka Estate Makiivka Estate: Owner Jan Attard’s mission to create a taste of old Europe amongst California’s vineyards has already been achieved in their lovely ranch house, but I learned there are even bigger plans for this property. Situated on a picturesque stretch of organic farmland near Lakeport, Makiivka Estate will soon boast a reflecting pool, a spa and an olive grove for outdoor ceremonies. Proceeds from events will benefit an orphanage in Makiivka, in the Ukraine. Jan refers to this location as her “passion in progress,” and I’m confident that this passion of hers will quickly become the highly sought-after wedding venue she envisions.

Chapel at Terrill Cellars Terrill Cellars: If you get a thrill finding places off the beaten path, you might be just as drawn to Terrill Winery as I was. The Tuscan-style grounds include an adorable 22-seat chapel right next to their tasting room. Guests can stay in nearby Kelseyville, where we found a charming vacation rental with sunset views overlooking the entire lake.

I imagine that saying your vows in a place as quiet and natural as Clearlake can be a spiritual experience. If you’ve discovered some of your own wedding locations in this region, let me know so I can have a good excuse to go back.

Allison Posted by Allison on Aug 18, 2014.
Filed under CeremonyHoneymoons and TravelLocationsReceptionsRehearsal Dinner

Wedding Thank-You Notes: A Small Thing That’s a Big Deal

I rarely go to weddings (maybe it’s because most of my social circle is either already married or never going to be), but a year ago a friend invited me to one.

As my friend’s date I wasn’t obligated to bring a gift, but I’d I’d been told the bride and groom liked to cook, so I got them a few of my favorite kitchen gadgets from Sur La Table as a wedding present. I put my present on a table with dozens of other gifts, and hoped that it wouldn’t get lost in the pile.

Wedding Paper Divas Photo Thank You NoteI was fairly certain that soon after the wedding I would receive a thank-you note for my modest-but-thoughtful-and-super-practical gift. Alas, the postman never brought one. Months passed, and I wondered…Did the couple not like my gift? Had it disappeared? Been regifted? Eventually I just forgot about it altogether.

Until yesterday, that is. I flipped through my mail and was surprised to see the long-awaited thank-you note. Oh it was beautiful, all right—handwritten, very personal. But I have to say I had mixed emotions: Sure, it was great to know that my gift had been received and, in fact, “loved.” But I couldn’t help feeling that I shouldn’t have had to wait an entire year to learn that my present hadn’t been disliked, lost or regifted after all.

Actually, Emily Post states that thank-you notes should be written within 3 months of the receipt of the gift.

Moral of the story: Honor your guests—don’t wait a year to send out your thank-you notes!

To find the wedding invitation and thank-you note designers we love see Wedding Invitations.

Jan Posted by Jan on Apr 07, 2013.
Filed under Expert AdviceInvitationsVera Wang