One of the most memorable jobs I’ve had as an event planner was coordinating a wine inspired wedding at a gorgeous Ohio winery for a perfectly charming couple. The bride’s mother was an existing catering client with loads of creativity and energy so when I was asked to participate in the design of her daughter’s nuptials I knew I was in for a treat.
When I got involved, the bride and groom had already purchased the guest favors which were handsome wooden handled wine corkscrews. We thought it would be fun to incorporate the favor in some way with the guest’s table seating cards. After searching far and wide at antique stores without success, my hope of finding a pair of (hopefully) matching vintage screen doors came to fruition at a Habitat for Humanity Restore (thanks Dad for being my remote vintage screen door hunter). The doors we found were actually a perfect rustic salmon-y red that fit the brides color scheme of rose, mauve, salmon, sage green, and navy. No painting necessary!
My vision was to install chicken wire (with holes in the wire large enough for the cork screws to slip through) in the place where the screens had once been. After making small slits in the end of over 100 corks which I would later slide the printed table seating cards into, I placed the corks on the wine corkscrews. The idea was that the corkscrew favors, holding each guest or couple’s name would hang effortlessly in the chicken wire in alphabetical order. One door for Guest’s A-K and the second door for L-Z. Look how cute they are.
Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres were passed in the beautifully landscaped gardens surrounding the winery, just on the other side of the arbor. As guests left the cocktail area, they walked through the arbor and grabbed their table assignment/wine opener favor where baskets of flip flops, labeled “Dancing Shoes” were offered. On their way to the dining tent guests stopped at the Wishing Tree where each guest could sign a card with a message of love, in lieu of a guest book. The cards were pre-strung with ribbon to hang on cut branches that had been securely “planted” in a large pot. The Wishing Tree was placed on a darling old farm wagon from the vineyard property and was surrounded by black and white family portraits. After dinner the wagon was transformed into a cookie cart which held large glass cookie jars brimming with 6 different varieties that I had prepared. Monogrammed glassine bags were available for guests to fill by a framed sign that stated “Take a Little, Take A Lot, Enjoy the Treats, We Tied the Knot”.
After dinner, guests danced the night away under the tent which featured a rosey hued abstract leaf pattern reflected onto the lighted tent ceiling. As the night air cooled and the dancing slowed, the bridal party donned pink pashminas while I (and my assistant for the day- thanks, Mom!) was left with a van to re-load with the evening’s props. Despite my sore feet, I had a wonderful feeling of satisfaction knowing I had helped interpret and execute the dreams and visions of one bride and her mom (well, their husbands, too, of course).