Wednesday, August 3, 2011

How to have a {gray and yellow} wedding: ribbon wavers

Wedding departures... you want something fun and memorable...something that stands out in photographs. I mean in some ways the departure is one of the most important moments of the whole day. Although all the work and money go into the party, most married people will tell you that leaving the party is the best part. Finally getting away from everyone and just being married! And the nice thing is that you are usually headed to the peace and quiet of some fancy hotel or calm, rustic lodge or quaint cottage {or where ever you are spending your wedding night}... and hopefully leaving on a honeymoon in the next day or two. Ow ow! Micah and I are BIG fans of the honeymoon. We think ten days is just the right amount of time.... maybe I'll write a post on it later...

One debacle with departure ideas is that many venues have strict policies on what your guests can or cannot wave, shake, or throw as you leave your reception. No bubbles, no bird seed, no sparklers, no loud noises, etc. etc. {P.S.Who ever thought that throwing bird seed or rice at a bride and groom was a good idea anyway? Do you know that Juliette Gordon Low, the founder of Girl Scouts, went deaf in one ear from a grain of rice that went down her ear during her wedding departure? Seriously, weird tradition...}

So as I faced this conundrum about the departure, I finally found an idea I loved... ribbon wavers! Basically you glue a bunch of bright ribbons to a stick for your guests to wave as you leave. I was not the first one to do this, nor will I be the last, but it's definitely not as overdone as bells or bubbles. Plus it's a fun way to add more color to your wedding and your photographs. You can also stage the wavers in a bucket or basket somewhere around the reception area and it works almost like an added piece of décor. Dual purpose is always nice.

And making your own wavers is super cheap and easy. When you are in those final weeks of wedding planning and your time, energy, and budget are all depleted, nothing is better than inexpensive, easy ideas that really add a splash of fun and color to your day.

This is a sample I found of this project. All you really need is a bunch of sticks, lots of colored ribbon {hello craft or fabric store}, and a glue gun. So simple. {At least I say it's simple. Then again, my sister made almost all of mine for me, which might be why it seemed so easy to me...}

But let me fill you in on a few secrets I learned on this project. First, I didn't like that the dowels we were using for the sticks were wood colored like you can see in the link above; I wanted them to be white, so we had to spray paint them white, which took extra time and money {boo!}. Then I discovered a secret remedy to this problem. If you go to the craft store, there is an aisle or two devoted to baking supplies and I was able to find packages of little white sticks - the kind you use to make cookie bouquets or cake balls or other goodies that you can put on a stick. They are already white and super inexpensive. Or you can buy packs on Amazon here {cookies sticks}.

The other secret I {my sister?} learned was that it's really easy to make them look a little more polished by wrapping and gluing a tiny bit of extra ribbon around the the end of the stick to cover all the ribbon ends glued onto the stick, instead of trying to wrap each individual ribbon to the stick in a way that looks nice. Just glue all the ribbons onto the end, don't worry about how the glue looks, and then take another scrap of ribbon and glue it over all the other ones. Does that make sense? It looks like this {the cover up ribbon in the darker gray}...

I suggest choosing lots of fun ribbons in as many colors as you can find that coordinate with your wedding... My ribbon wavers had silver, gray, white, light yellow, gold, dark yellow and some ribbons were wide, some were skinny, some had polka dots, some had a wavy edge... have fun with it.

So let's review:
1) Buy cookies sticks or dowels
2) Buy lots of fun ribbon! Like 15-20 different spools depending on how many guests you anticipate. Hello fabric store clearance section!
3) Cut ribbon into sections - I recommend 12-14 inches.
4) Hot glue 6-8 ribbon pieces to the end of a stick, so they stream outward.
5) Glue a small piece of ribbon (about 2-3 inches) around where the ribbons are glued to the end of the stick for a nice finished touch.
6) Let them dry.
7) Put them in cute bucket or basket in your reception hall.
8) Five to ten minutes before your scheduled departure have your bridesmaids hand them out to all your guests.
9) Guests go crazy waving them during your exit.
10) Photographer snaps great pictures.

Here's what it looks like in action...

{Have no idea how I got one in my hand...but I like it!}

And you are off on your honeymoon! HOORAH!

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