This Guest Book Alternative is Just a Little Dirty!

You know I love alternative guest books, right? Well check out this one!Casual Guest book alternative

Created by Mèlangerie in New York, these adorable little cards shaped like pieces of clothing were hung on a clothes line with tiny clothes pins. A detergent bottle was inscribed with a note encouraging guests to tell funny stories about the couple. Mèlangerie later compiled the couples ‘dirty laundry’ into a book as a keepsake for the couple.

If you are having a casual outdoor wedding, I think this would be too fun. Not to mention you could probably DIY it.

DIY Madness

Every now and then I run across a DIY project that makes me nuts. This is one of them. It is a ring bearer’s pillow made of stephanotis. Yes it is beautiful. Yes it will smell fabulous. Yes you CAN do it yourself. Should you? Well let’s take a little look at what they don’t tell you.

First off the let’s look at the flowers themselves. Stephanotis is beautiful alright but they are one of the most fragile flowers out there. They must be handled much differently from other flowers. As cited in the article there are special cotton tipped stems that must be used to keep them fresh. First you remove the natural stems and insert the moistened cotton tipped wires which you then wrap in floral tape. That is not as easy for a novice as it sounds since steph’s will discolor from the slightest touch. A florist knows to only touch them on the back side of the bloom. It’s also very time consuming.

The article calls for 150 to 175 blooms. I checked yesterday and the current wholesale price is $1 per bloom. Unless you have an inside connection to the floral wholesalers they aren’t going to sell to you. That means you will be paying retail, more like $2 per bloom. I’m betting that you aren’t going to find these bad boys at Costco either; so be prepared for a bit of sticker shock.

The second glaring inconsistence in the article is the use of floral foam. Makes sense on the surface but falls apart in reality. Literally. A 6” x 6” x 1” block of floral foam, once soaked will snap in half from its own weight. So now your little 5 year old nephew is carrying a very fragile, heavy, drippy thing that turns brown where ever he touches it. Good times.

Not only have you got a mess on your hands but it’s a mess you didn’t need in the first place. Remember all the work you did to remove the stems and replace them with the cotton tipped wires? Think about this for a minute; if the blooms have no stems how are they possibly going to soak up water from the foam? Besides, wasn’t the whole point of replacing the stems to give each bloom its own water source?

There are a lot of wonderful DIY projects out there; this my friends, isn’t one of them. Save your money and your sanity and find one that you can do in advance. In fact, this one might just be do-able out of silks. Now I’ll bet that is something you never thought you’d hear your Wedding Diva say. I did kind of shudder as I typed it.

The article is in the Aug Sept 2008 issue of Modern Bride, page 178. Sorry guys, but you know I call them as I see them.

DIY Cake Stands

A pet peeve of mine is seeing a beautiful wedding cake sitting on an ugly cake base. Oh come on, you’ve seen it: a board covered in aluminum foil that some poor florist has had to try to hide with greenery. Yuck Oh!

Well not any more! Martha has come to the rescue with a fast easy solution that you can do yourself and just take to your cake designer to use on your cake. You can find all the details here. I do have one caveat: add an additional foot in the canter of the stand. Wedding cakes are very heavy and if that board bows at all it can destroy your cake. Been there done that—been scrambling to find something to support the center of a sterling silver cake stand. Thank God for chefs that love me!

You have just got to love the people at MS Weddings; they come up with the best ideas

Living Centerpieces for Flower Friday

If you are looking for a more interesting idea for your centerpieces than the standard cut flower arrangement why not go live. I ran across a press release for The Wedding Greenhouse’s new website. The Wedding Greenhouse specializes in live potted saplings to be used as both favors and decorations.

Their offerings range from miniature palms to coffee plants. I wasn’t really keen on the way they try to dress up the pots with cheesy ribbon. I know my DIY readers could improve on that 100%. What I was really taken with was the idea of using a cluster of these to surround a tall candelabrum at center table.

What’s more it got my little brain going on other options along the same lines.

I love African violets and I have one of the largest growers in the world right under my nose. Holtkamp Greenhouses grows the internationally acclaimed line of Optimara Violets. Their miniature line would look fab clustered as a centerpiece for a more casual wedding. They are available in a wide range of colors, including blue. Tiny potted violets would be so sweet and romantic for not only your centerpiece but also as a favor for your guests.

Unlike the plants from The Wedding Greenhouse you would have to order these through your florist to get specific colors in any quantity since they don’t sell directly to the public. One thing I do know about Holtkamp’s is that they only ship plants currently in bloom. No worries about having them not ready to go for the big day.

You can view the Optimara collection in their catalog. It may inspire some ideas of your own.

If you have used violet in your wedding decor, please drop me an image with some images, send to christine(at)

Rose Petal Monogram

If you follow the Dish then you know I have had my share of stories about rose petals; good, bad and hysterically funny. Whether it’s keeping my head down while the planner and the church lady argued over their very existence or traipsing through the pouring rain and lightning to collect them off the grass, they seem to be ever present. For some reason when I stage with my friend Vicki I always end up on rose petal detail.

The newest trend I have seen emerging is the rose petal monogram. We always place it at the end of the aisle right in front of where the couple stands to take their vows. With so many couples incorporating a monogram in their décor this is the perfect way to carry the theme into the ceremony site. Make sure it is allowed by your church, temple or synagogue first; see aforementioned church lady; then just go for it. Provide your floral décor team with a copy of your monogram and you should be good to go.

If you are going to DIY this, lay out your monogram in sidewalk chalk (concrete or stone), ribbon (carpet) or corsage pins (grass) first then just start adding petals until your design suits you.

The above monogram was done by Branching Out Event Florists at Gaylord Opryland Hotel.

More DIY Flower Ideas

It’s Flower Friday.

The most often used search term that finds Wedding Dish is either ‘Centerpiece’ or ‘DIY Centerpiece’

I just happened to run across a video today on video jug on flower arranging so I thought I would see what else I could find.

First up- how about the 411 on how to grow those cool wheat grass centerpieces. You can get flower tubes at a floral supply store. Fill them with water, pop in a flower and stick the tube into your pretty little miniature lawn. It is also a great way to display escort cards; just stick them into the grass.Fun!

Then here is an unbelievably easy centerpiece that goes way beyond rose petals and a floating candle. If you look at it is exactly how we made the centerpieces for the Gala at The Special Event in January.

Last but not least, here is the how to on the boutonnieres for the men in the party. The technique is valid for nearly any combination of flowers, berries and greenery. Remember to choose flowers on the smallish side; no guy wants a full blown peony on his lapel!

Puzzle Guest Book

I saw the cutest idea for an out of the ordinary guest book last weekend. It was a large wooden jigsaw puzzle.

What they had done was create a collage of pictures of the couple as they grew up and of their life together. The collage was decoupaged onto a ¼ inch thick board which was then cut into a jigsaw puzzle. Are you with me so far? Good.

At the wedding guests were asked to take a puzzle piece and sign the back with a Sharpie. Cool, no?

The tag next to it read in part, “You are all an important “piece” of our lives and together you have helped shape the people we are today.”

The couple plan to put it in a floating frame after the wedding so they can view both sides. What a lovely, personal keepsake from such an important day.

Sorry about the pictures. Silly me worked a wedding and forgot my camera. Duh. I have sent a note to the photographer to get a better image and as soon as I get it I will update this post.

Oooooooooooo! Candy

Are you having a candy buffet at your wedding reception? I think they are a lovely idea and I just ran across Candy Warehouse. What is cool about this site is that you can shop by color. Pink and orange wedding? No problem.

The secret to having a gorgeous candy buffet is for it to look abundant, like Willy Wonka set it up himself. Uh, ya…that can get pricey. Here’s a few tricks that might help.

Take a cue from the pros that do gift baskets, use fill on the large containers. Those pretty tall glass cylinders hold a heck of a lot of jelly beans but not if you take a smaller, shorter glass cylinder and place it inside, upside down first. Then you only need candy to fill around and above it. Unless you have 300 people at your wedding they would never have reached the bottom anyway.

If you are using baskets fill the bottom 1/2 with leftover Easter grass then put a piece of cardboard that you have cut to fit and wrapped to match on top before you add the candy. Remember, you are going for the look of abundance, not the real thing.

Group your containers close together and use lifts under them to add height at various levels. You can either wrap sturdy boxes in pretty fabric to match or drape all your lifts in tablecloths like caterers do. That helps with the look too. (Next time you are at a catered buffet sneak a look under the linen. You are likely to find such unlovely things as dish racks and milk crates)

Add some large things like Lollis and ribbon candy to expand the look. You won’t by any means need one of these for every guest, think of them as accents.

Use your guest containers as a part of the display.

If you happen to order any PixiStix or Sour Patch Kids you can always send me your leftovers. Teehee

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