My Mum and Dad have a beautiful photo of my Nana and Grandad’s 1940s wedding which provided a little bit of inspiration for my own wedding, especially my bouquet and the shape of my dress (large and slim fitting, respectively). So I was keen to have it on display at the reception along with our parents’ 70s wedding photographs. I also wanted to include some photos of us as children so I made a little display with an old tree branch with childhood photos hanging above the old wedding photos in frames. With hindsight I would have glued the childhood photos of us back to back so they couldn’t turn round to the blank side. But overall I still liked the effect and I always enjoy laughing at baby photos at a wedding so thought it was only fair to give our guests the opportunity!
The display of photos provided a good focal point on the table next to our alternative wedding ‘guestbook’ – a handmade piñata. This was definitely the best idea-found-on-Pinterest I incorporated into our wedding. I always struggle to know what to write in guestbooks at weddings, I always write the thoughtful message in the card, when I have time to think about it. I tend to panic under pressure when writing a guestbook message and end up with something insipid and impersonal.
So I was keen on an something different and when I found this easy piñata DIY I decided this was the perfect alternative as an entertaining way to collect our guests’ good wishes. When I realised that the first wedding anniversary is represented by paper it seemed even more perfect to seal up the piñata then smash it open on a year later on our anniversary. We actually did have a regular guestbook as well, but no one signed that at all so I think our guests preferred our piñata too!
Smashing the piñata provided a lovely focus for our first anniversary (when I was heavily pregnant so other forms of celebration were limited) and it was like reliving the day again. We had everything from very drunken messages, anonymous jokey messages, a baby announcement (we weren’t going to open it for a year after all) to really sweet well wishes for our future together. It wouldn’t have been half as special if we’d stuck with a guestbook – not least we’d have read the messages right away when there are lots of other exciting things going on like cards, presents and honeymoon. The wedding day flew by so quickly it was so wonderful to save a little bit of it to savour at leisure a year on!
The rest of this series on our handmade wedding can be found here.
All photographs in this post were taken by our wedding photographer Stephen Bunn.