Traveling home from Costco one afternoon, I spied a huge pile of tree branches in a field. I yelled at Lynn to stop and turn around. The owners had just cut down part of an apple orchard, so the branches were still fresh and "living." Perfect.
I had purchased a few different jars because I wasn't sure which would work best. I also had an urn as an option, but it would have been more formal and I knew Ashlee wanted simple. After Lynn cut apart the branches, we arranged them and found the tall jar with a wide mouth allowed the branches to spread out best.
I liked it the way it was, but Lynn insisted it needed a filler in the jar. The next day he found a bag of smooth river rocks at Home Depot.
We set up the tree on a table in the foyer of the Bella Vista, which is just as you walk off the elevators. I had collected a variety of glass crystals in different shapes that we hung from the branches. The "wishing cards" matched Patrick and Ashlee's wedding announcements. We added a few to the tree and the rest were left on the table.
The entire reception was so much Patrick and Ashlee, and I loved that the bling of the tree was all about Ash and the "earthy" elements, Patrick. (He's a huge outdoor adventurer--rock climbing, hiking, snowshoeing, fishing, camping--and even manages an outdoor recreation store while going to school.) We added water to the jar to keep the rocks from looking faded. There were also an assortment of framed photos around the base.
The tree was simple and beautiful with all the cards hanging from it.
The wishes and advice ranged from sweet to silly. Here are a few of my favorites:
- Have lots of adventures together!
- Have lots of babies?!?! (No, I did not write that one!:))
- I wish that 20 years from now you still get butterflies when you see each other!
- Don't ever think your spouse knows what you're thinking, it could be completely the opposite of what you think.
- Always put your companion first.
- Good luck and many years of happiness. Enjoy your best friend.
- Have a date every week, even if it's just popcorn and a DVD.
- Congratulations! I hope you will love each other more in 40 years than you do today.
- Look into each others eyes and tell each other that you love each other at least once a day.
- Tell Ashlee you love her at least once a month. And never get naked around each other; it's the devil's work. (Yes, that was Austin! :))