DIY Style: Wishing Tree


I love creative alternatives to the standard wedding guest book, and the “Wishing Tree” could possibly be the most stylish I’ve seen yet. It is reasonably easy to assemble, can be customized to match your wedding colors and theme and serves as a lovely centerpiece on an entrance table at the wedding or reception. Here are the instructions for adding this piece of stunning decor to your wedding style.

photo credit: projectwedding.com

Step 1 Gather Branches

Although you certainly can go in your backyard and search for suitable wood to create your tree, most “Wishing Trees” are made from a special type of branch called manzanita.  Purchasing the wood will add to the cost of your project, but you are guaranteed a studier, more polished end result. You can buy these branches online for under $10 per branch. Suppliers such as Blooms & Branches offer a wide variety of colors.

image credit: Blooms & Branches

Step 2 Choose your décor

What do you want your finished tree to look like? Some options for decorating include stringing crystal beads or lights from the branches as well as spray-painting the branches to match wedding colors. You may want to consider decorating the tree and/or display table with flowers, ribbon, or tulle and pictures of the bride and groom. You can also hang small votives from the branches for a beautiful effect.

photo credit: projectwedding.com

You also need to choose your container. You will need two large hurricane glass vases or small plant containers found at local garden centers. Be creative, as long as the container is sturdy, you can think outside (or in!) the box. The bride featured here (below) used a box adorned with ribbon, and decorated with fresh flowers at the base.

photo credit: signature k

Step 3 Assemble Branches

There are a couple of different ways to do this, here is just one option. Insert floral foam in the bottom of the vases. Use foam to arrange branches, using about 4 branches per container. Fill containers with moss or glass beads to hide foam. Test branches for sturdiness, especially if you are going to be hanging anything heavier than small enclosure cards.

Step 4 Design Cards

You can use small blank business cards or order enclosure cards from a stationary store.  Some online retailers sell cards specifically designed for wishing trees. (Online retailer is Ginger Designs offers custom “wish cards”) Use a hole-punch to create a small opening at one end. String thin ribbon through the hole and tie using a simple knot.

photo credit: projectwedding.com

Step 5 Set-Up Display Table

Pull it all together by choosing a central spot for your Wishing Tree. Make sure guests will pass by the table when they arrive at your reception. Use a pretty tablecloth in coordinating colors and decorate with photos and flowers. Now your ready to show off your beautiful centerpiece Tree! Use two small trays (I like silver) to lay out cards. Make sure to provide plenty of pens. Print off instructions for guests and stand them on a small easel or enclose in a pretty picture frame.  Click here for suggested wording.

photo credit: projectwedding.com

This is a fun, creative DIY wedding project that won’t break the bank or take all your free time to complete. The best part is the small treasures left by your guests who fill out the cards. Unlike a simple signature in a guest book, these words of wisdom on love and life will be a gift that lasts forever.

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Do-able DIY: Bath Salt Favors


Destination weddings are so much fun this time of year, especially when the weather turns chilly in many cities, and guests look forward to traveling to a warmer locale. Homemade bath salts make a lovely wedding or bridesmaids favor, especially if your guests will have some down time to relax back in their hotel room. This little gift is easy to assemble and super budget friendly, and you can make it personal by coordinating the packaging with your wedding colors.

Here’s a simple recipe for bath salts:

  • 1 cup rock/sea salt
  • 1 cup epsom salts
  • 2 tablespoons bicarbonate of soda
  • about 15 drops of essential oil of your choice, such as lavender, rose, vanilla, citrus or peppermint (adjust accordingly to your preference. Be careful to avoid getting undiluted essential oils in contact with your skin as this may result in a skin reaction in some people)

Mix together the salts in a metal or glass mixing bowl. Sift in the bi-carbonate of soda and stir with a metal spoon to combine. Add your essential oil of choice, and mix salts together thoroughly.

At this point you can also add dried flower petals or herbs (such as dried lavender or rose petals). Some people also like to add food coloring, which will result in a colored bath. If using liquid food dyes, just add a few drops until you achieve the desired color.

image credit: smashedpeasandcarrots; sandiegoweddinginsider (middle)

Fill small mason jars with bath salts (left) and decoupage the top with your favorite patterned paper. (Click here for simple decoupage instructions.)  Then secure a small wooden scoop to the top using pretty ribbon. Or, fill small lidded jars with salts, and decorate with personalized labels with your name, wedding date and thank you sentiments.

image credits: martha stewart (L), weddingbee (R)

Here’s another cute packaging idea….funnel salts in to small glass jars (available at local craft stores or online at Save-On). Hang personalized labels (click here for another label source) from thin string for a delicate look.

Bath salts also make a nice addition to hotel welcome gift baskets. Don’t forget to save some for yourself. A relaxing bath the night before your wedding may be just what you need to wake up feeling ready for your big day!

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DIY Decor: Mobile Style


Ok – I have to admit it – I would never, in a million weddings, have thought of using mobiles to add interest to wedding decor. But, after seeing a few featured on creative websites, I’m a believer. Did you have a mobile hanging in your room as a kid? If you’re conjuring up visions of cutesy animals or cars & trucks, think again. These modern mobiles are a stylish, colorful and vibrant. Hang them over banquet tables at your reception or rehearsal dinner for some “wow” factor. I’m willing to bet your guests will be asking “How’d she do it?” after seeing these unique accessories!

I love these mobiles because they are sweet and delicate, but make such a bold visual statement at the same time. Another bonus? They are inexpensive to make. This entire project was completed for about $25.  Vellum paper, fishing weights and simple sewing instructions are all you need to get the job done. Click here for complete instructions.

Planning a destination wedding? Here’s a super creative idea for a “grown-up” mobile that’s in perfect keeping with your travel theme. Using household items, pliable metal (from your local craft store) and vintage maps bought at a thrift store, this creative bride made a one-of-a-kind statement. Click here for easy instructions.

Think you don’t have the time or energy for these fun DIY projects, but want to get the same fabulous look at your wedding? Check out these beautiful mobiles found on Etsy. While they are not inexpensive (these ones range from about $40-$80), they are loaded with style and would be a lovely keepsake to decorate your home together, post-wedding. Either way, mobiles can be a unique way to add yet another personal touch to your special day.

Source credits: Mobile 1: Jordan Ferney as featured on Project Wedding

Mobile 2: Julia Lukomsky at Picture Party

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Do-able DIY: Hello Cupcake


Here’s a yummy do-it-yourself trend that you and your guests can really sink your teeth into… homemade cupcakes at your wedding reception. Adorable (and chic) little cupcake shops are popping up everywhere, and for good reason. Cupcakes are a little bit of heaven in every bite – and just the right size so your guests can indulge in more than one flavor. Cupcake towers and display tables are common at wedding receptions these days, and the best part is that this DIY option can save you lots of dough when budgeting your catering needs. Here’s a little sweet inspiration for baking and displaying cupcakes at your wedding or rehearsal dinner.

photo credit: doesthedressfit

After you find the perfect cupcake recipes (more on those later) the fun part is deciding how to embellish your sweet treats. I love cupcake wrappers and think they give you an easy way to add style to your wedding decor. Cupcake wrappers are super simple to assemble and come in loads of colors and designs. It’s easy to find wrappers online or at your local craft store. On-line options including sites such as FancyFlours, Bella Cupcake Couture and Etsy where you can custom order wrappers to match your wedding colors. Other options include monogramming and personalized designs. If you have the time and energy,  a real do-it-yourself project can be to design and create the wrappers yourself. Click here for instructions.

Now for more fun… how will you display your lovely little cakes? One choice is to simply arrange your decorated cupcakes on cake stands of varying heights. Have you seen cake stand wrappers (below, right)? They’re a nice option for dressing up your display table. I love the square box display (below, left). It has all the sophistication and style of a traditional wedding cake.

image credit: Martha Stewart Weddings

Some brides like to include a small cake as a “topper” for the tiered cupcake display. This is a nice option for couples who want to have the traditional cake cutting ceremony. Look at the two cupcake towers below… the color and funky design make them so much fun. You can achieve this look by having a professional baker create the small cake to go on top and bake your own cupcakes to go below. This is an easy and economical alternative to a traditional wedding cake.

Of course if you are thinking about offering cupcakes as an alternative to regular cake at your wedding, you’ll have to do lots of taste testing as well! :-)  There are lots of websites out there that offer yummy cupcake recipes, so finding that perfect flavor won’t be hard. Here are two of my favorite favors: Chocolate Marshmallow and Pink Lemonade. Visit Homemade by Holman for these and other delicious recipes. Enjoy!

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