Category Archives: Wedding

Wedding Music – First Dances

About time I finished posting these.

These were the tunes we chose as our first dances – first with Cassie and I, and then with Cassie and her Daddy (she loves her Daddy). We’d used My Funny Valentine in another version as the processional, and the Stevie Wonder tune came out when Cassie was a baby, and apparently her Dad used to dance around holding her and singing this. Very cute.

Elvis Costello & The Attractions : My Funny Valentine (from Armed Forces – not the vinyl version though, because it’s not on the one I have)

Stevie Wonder : Isn’t She Lovely (from Songs In The key Of Life )

Ceremony – The Speech We Didn’t Use

Continuing with this.

Among all the wedding preparations, speeches and everything, we kept coming up with phrases that were funnily ambiguous. Here’s a few of them. Try inserting them in your own vows, and try and keep a straight face.

“I will never forget what you did.”

“I don’t think anything will let me forget you.”

“You have had such a powerful effect on my life.”

“All our friends agree, we deserve each other.”

“You certainly are a piece of work.”

“Sometimes I wonder what I did to deserve being with you.”

“When I think of you, I just think, ‘Wow’. Just, ‘Wow’.”

Wedding Music – Afterparty Playlist

After the wedding venue closed up, we invited those who wanted to continue the party to our suite overlooking the Bellagio fountains. I quickly sat and threw together this playlist (all the while being told off for “being on the computer”).

Elvis Costello And The Attractions : Accidents Will Happen
Meat Beat Manifesto : Acid Again
Belle & Sebastian : Asleep On A Sunbeam
Pulp : Babies
The Beatles : Back in the U.S.S.R.
Echo & The Bunnymen : The Back of Love
Jane’s Addiction : Been Caught Stealing
Björk : Big Time Sensuality
New Order : Blue Monday
Echo & The Bunnymen : Bring on the Dancing Horses
Public Enemy : Bring The Noise
Ash : Burn Baby Burn
The Cars : Bye Bye Love
Gary Numan : Cars
Beastie Boys : Ch-Check it Out
Blur : Charmless Man
Gorillaz : Clint Eastwood
Echo & The Bunnymen : Crystal Days
Pulp : Do You Remember The First Time?
Public Image Limited : Don’t Ask Me
Simple Minds : Don’t You Forget About Me
Malcolm McLaren : Double dutch
Men At Work : Down Under
Spiritualized : Electricity
Pavement : Folk Jam
The Avalanches : Frontier Psychiatrist
Ladytron : Ghosts
Adam and the Ants? : Goody Two Shoes
Freezepop : Here Comes a Special Boy
Jungle Brothers : I’ll House You
Lou Reed : I’m So Free
OMD : If You Leave
Orbital : Illuminate
Scott Walker : Jackie
David Bowie : The Jean Genie
Depeche Mode : Just Can’t Get Enough
The Arcade Fire : Keep The Car Running
Air : Kelly Watch the Stars
Prefab Sprout : The King Of Rock ‘n’ Roll
Saint Etienne : Kiss and Make Up
Cansei De Ser Sexy : Let’s Make Love And Listen To Death From Above
A Certain Ratio : Life’s a Scream
Blancmange : Living On The Ceiling
ABC : The Look of Love
Elvis Costello And The Attractions : Love For Tender
Jan Hammer : Miami Vice Theme
Meat Beat Manifesto : Mindstream
The Popinjays : Monster Mouth
Primal Scream : Movin’ On Up
Electric Light Orchestra : Mr. Blue Sky
Billy Joel : My Life
The Arcade Fire : Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)
Lemon Jelly : Nice Weather For Ducks
Elvis Costello And The Attractions : Oliver’s Army
Saga : On The Loose
Madness : One Step Beyond…
Leftfield/Lydon : Open Up (Vocal)
The Future Sound Of London : Papua New Guinea
Andrew WK : Party Hard
Depeche Mode : Personal Jesus
Fluke : Philly
The Monkees : Pleasant Valley Sunday
The Beatles : Please Please Me
The Shamen : Progen (Land Of Oz)
Madonna : Ray Of Light
Spiritualized : Run
The Beatles : She Loves You
The Early Years : So Far Gone
The Divine Comedy : Something For The Weekend
Adam and the Ants? : Stand & Deliver
The Beloved : Sweet Harmony
Soft Cell : Tainted Love
Heaven 17 : Temptation [Original Version]
S’Express : Theme From S’Express
The Sisters Of Mercy : This Corrosion
The Fall : Victoria
The Knife : We Share Our Mothers’ Health
Frankie Goes To Hollywood : Welcome to the Pleasuredome (Original 7 Inch, 1985)
The KLF : What Time Is Love
Elvis Costello And The Attractions : What’s So Funny ‘Bout Peace Love and Understanding
The Frogs : Whether U Like It Or Not I Love U
Devo : Whip It
Grandmaster & Melle Mel : White Lines (Don’t Don’t Do It)
Roots Manuva : Witness (1 Hope)
Busta Rhymes : Woo Hah! (Got You All In Check)
Jackie Wilson : Your love is Lifting Me Higher And Higher
Harold Faltermeyer : Axel F
Gorillaz : 19-2000

And so it was that we eventually said to our guests at 3am that we needed to go to bed. They all winked at each other, and slipped out. We fell asleep before we got into bed, I think.

Wedding Music – Dancing

This one was a lot of fun to put together, and quite tricky at the same time. We had to use stuff that people would know, like, and want to dance to. The fact the dancefloor was full almost the entire time shows we got it mostly right.

This playlist wasn’t played in order – it was designed to be set on shuffle. Despite this, and despite us telling the DJ multiple times, and despite his reassurances it was on shuffle, the music followed the order below pretty closely, at least for the first 10 songs or so.

When we were told there was only time for one more track, Cassie told the guy to put on Regret by New Order. A great tune, with a sad kind of growing-up sentiment.

There was one departure from the playlist. One guest, bemoaning the lack of Top 40 stuff being played, requested a Katy Perry song from the DJ. We’d told the DJ “No Top 40”, but we’d also told him to take requests. He asked us if it was OK to play the requested song – we said yes, so he did. The dancefloor instantly emptied, and remained empty until our chosen music was put on again. Don’t mess with perfection, guest.

a-Ha : Take On Me
Adam Ant : Goody Two Shoes
B-52s : Rock Lobster
The Beastie Boys : Girls
The Beastie Boys : Hey Ladies
The Beatles : Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
The Beatles : Can’t Buy Me Love
Big Country : In a Big Country (Radio Edit)
Blur : Song 2
Buddy Holly : Peggy Sue
David Bowie : Let’s Dance
David Bowie : Jean Genie
Depeche Mode : Personal Jesus
Donna Summer : I Feel Love
Duran Duran : Rio
Earth, Wind & Fire : Sing A Song (Album Version)
Elvis Costello & The Attractions : Oliver’s Army
Erasure : A Little Respect
Frankie Goes To Hollywood : Relax
Gary Numan : Cars
Goldfrapp : Strict Machine
Heaven 17 : Temptation [Original Version]
The Human League : Don’t You Want Me
Jackie Wilson : Your love is Lifting Me Higher And Higher
Jane’s Addiction : Been Caught Stealing
The Kinks : Come Dancing
LCD Soundsystem : Drunk Girls
The Libertines : Time for Heroes
Lou Reed : I’m So Free
Marvin Gaye : I Heard It Throught The Grapevine
Men At Work : Down Under
The Mountain Goats : No Children
Paul Simon : Graceland
Paul Simon : Gumboots
Pet Shop Boys : Always On My Mind
Prince : I Would Die 4 U
Prince : Let’s Go Crazy
Pulp : Mis-Shapes
Pulp : Common People (Full Length Version)
Pulp : Babies
The Ronettes : Be My Baby
Sam Cooke : Twistin’ The Night Away
Simple Minds : Don’t You Forget About Me
Soft Cell : Tainted Love
Talking Heads : Once In A Lifetime
Tom Tom Club : Wordy Rappinghood
Wang Chung : Everybody Have Fun Tonight
New Order : Regret

I’m pretty sure there was a lot of other stuff played – the DJ took some more requests from some friends of Cassie’s Mum, who really went for it as the night drew on. I recall an old Tina Turner number at one point. The last track was picked by Cassie. A very nice end to a fantastic evening – but it wasn’t over yet!

Reception – Lego Cake Topper

During the early planning stages of our wedding, Cassie sent me a link to a Lego wedding cake topper that she thought looked cool. We were wondering what we should do about that – we thought it would be fun to have an interesting cake topper (these details are all very important) but we’d seen so many “quirky” ones that were just crap. The “bride dragging the groom along by his hair” trope is very common, and very very lame.

When I saw the Lego figures, I was inspired. I loved Lego as a kid, and I had a big box that started out as my sister’s, then my brother’s. My Mum said that she could tell I was “playing Lego” in my bedroom, because of the distinctive rattling rustling noise caused by my rummaging in the box for that elusive piece.

I did some research into the current state of Lego development. I had heard of LDraw, which allows you to create a model in 3D, export it to POVRay, and render it as a photorealistic image. But how could I obtain the bricks themselves? I knew Lego allowed you to buy individual bricks online, but it would be crazy to do it one-by-one for an LDraw model.

Luckily, Lego provide their own modeling software, Lego Digital Designer, which allows you to create a model, generate step-by-step building instructions, upload the model to the Lego website, create a custom box, and order kits to allow you to build your model for real!

I downloaded LDD to the Macbook, and got to work. The interface is very nice, very instinctive. You have nearly all the brick types available, and when you select one for placement on the building area, it makes the distinctive noise I mentioned above, which is a cute touch. When laying the bricks down, they automatically align to each other, so it’s easy to build quite complex models. You can also use the Hinge tool to move and rotate parts in relation to each other.

Screen shot 2011-10-04 at 10.28.26 PM

LEGO Digital Designer screenshot

For the design of the figures, I decided to make them blocky and simplified – stylized, in fact – rather than complex, because I think some examples had too many parts which made them look too knobbly. I tried to make them look like Cassie and me as far as possible, within the limits I had set myself. I decided on yellow skin, in honour of The Simpsons, Lego minifigs, and kidney failure.

I also tried to create a model of Gordon, our dog. I think he came out OK, although he is a little large compared to the human figures. He didn’t make the cut, but I kept the model.

Once the model was complete in the software, I clicked ‘Buy’, and it calculated the cost of creating the model. It came to a very reasonable <$30, so I went ahead. In addition to the model itself, the software allows you to generate step-by-step instructions. It does this intelligently, as long as you group certain parts of the model together. For example, in my model, I had made the heads into a “subassembly”, which then had their own instructions.

The software also allowed me to create my own box for my creation. It does this by displaying a 3d rendered image of your model, and then you can choose a background, and some graphics and text. I did a pretty crude one, to be honest.

Once I had finally hit the ‘order’ button, I waited about a couple of weeks, and then the box arrived in the mail. The label showed that it had been quite busy on its way – manufactured in Poland, imported by Denmark, tested in Hong Kong, and compliant with all relevant parts of the Code of Federal Regulations regarding toy safety. The box was just as I had designed it, the parts were all in a little bag just like with a real kit, and the instructions were printed nicely in a booklet. I wasted no time in assembling it – it looked great, although the tan-brown colour brick I used for part of Gordon looked more orange. That might be an issue with the display, or with my colourblindness.

When we visited the venue to arrange the meal and cake and so on, I brought the model parts and the instructions. On the day, when the cake was brought out, it was great to be able to see my little creation perched on the top.

LEGO Cake Toppers

I'm the one on the left

More_Grabs_3_Picture 252

I got the faces really accurate like

Verdict: They came out very well. It was really nice to able to include something I had designed myself – and something that had such a strong memory of my home and family for me. Here’s the instructions for your own use, in case you want to make your model:

Reception – Best Man Speech

After all the effort that went into our wedding, we wanted to share some of the main bits for those who weren’t able to come, or want a reminder of the celebrations, or are looking for ideas…

This is the full text of Robin’s Best Man speech, recorded for posterity.

Ladies and Gentlemen, good evening. My name is Robin Deacon, and I am your best man. I am here primarily for your entertainment and comfort, but also for your safety. During this speech we may experience a certain amount of turbulence due to the nature of some of the more shocking revelations garnered from my twenty or so years as Matt’s close, personal…acquaintance (sorry, I meant to change that…). But seriously, in my capacity as a best friend and best man, I have access to privileged information – and according to cliché, the role of the best man’s speech is to humiliate and embarrass the groom with revolting tales of unremitting debauchery, and memories of the wild, crazed, alcohol fuelled antics  from his distant (or near) past. So Matt, I would like you to take a moment to locate your nearest two exits, keeping in mind that the closest exits may be behind you. As for the rest of you, please note that if you feel unwell at any point during the speech due to a change in atmosphere, or increased groom pressure, then masks containing a general anaesthetic will automatically drop from the compartments above.

I think I’m going to leave the clunky airline travel analogies for now. And as to the conventional wisdom of what a best mans speech should consist of –  I really wanted to try and subvert the conventional approach. But its hard to be original in this context, because generally, when it comes to best mans speeches we always come back to one thing: the past that you cannot run from finally catching up with you.

So, I would like to give you a litany of unsavoury anecdotes and morally questionable escapades that Matthew would hope to have forgotten. That is – I would like to. But unfortunately, I can’t. Not because I wish to save Matthew’s reputation and social standing, but rather because no such stories exist. In Matt’s case, Caligula certainly wouldn’t have blushed. But this is not to give the impression that Matt is in any way a dull, boring, dreary, lacklustre individual for whom a wild night out would consist of an early night in, topped off with some relaxing Horlicks. On the contrary…Matthew has always tried his best to be interesting. And just to clarify (for our American guests), when I say the word ‘Hor-licks’ I am referring to a malt based milk drink popular in the United Kingdom.

And speaking of drinks – now, a word from our sponsors. As many of you may have realised from the goody bags left in your hotel rooms, todays wedding is brought to you in association with Taylor’s Tonics. Our officiant and friend of the happy couple Taylor Peck has worked tirelessly in the Taylors Tonics Laboratories to encapsulate the complex flavours of the bride and groom in the form of the Matt Mojito and Cassie Colada…

(Sip from Cassie) Sweet (Sip) Fruity (Sip) delightfully…refreshing.

(Sip from Matt) Slightly bitter

Three days ago, I was in a taxi on the Las Vegas Strip following an epic, twenty hour journey from London. As we drove through this alien landscape of casinos, gargantuan hotels and strange replicas of familiar buildings from my side of the pond, I think the driver picked up on my jet-lagged incomprehension, and of course….started to make small talk. And when he first heard my English accent, he asked me, ‘so, are you looking forward to the wedding?’ And I immediately replied, ‘well, yes, I’m very excited about the wedding…but how did you know about it?’ The rest of the journey was spent trying to steer the conversation off William and Kate, and onto Matt and Cassie (the people that really matter to me). And as Matt had warned me, explaining to the driver that I was a staunch Republican somewhat confused things.

I can’t quite remember how Matt and I met. But it was certainly in our home town of Bedford, a small commuter town about fifty miles North of London. Now, for our American guests who may not know this, Bedford is often referred to as the Barcelona of the English Home Counties. Mainly by people who’ve never been to Barcelona. Or Bedford. Of have never left their own house. Nothing ever really happens in Bedford, so in our experience, we had to make things happen. Hanging round in leather bars was getting us nowhere. We had to create our own fun, and dare I say it – our own reality. When we both spent a summer working at the Aqua Scutum clothing warehouse on the outskirts of town, Matt would relentlessly chase me around the corridors of the storage area pretending to be the T-1000 cyborg from Terminator 2. Now if you can’t quite picture this, Matt has told me that he is willing to demonstrate this in the form of a durational performance art piece between the hours of 2 and 3am this morning on the 33rd floor of the Cosmopolitan. We look forward to seeing you all there.

I miss my friend, in the sense that I can’t see Matt face to face as in the old days. Over the years, Matt and I would often discuss, sometimes quite heatedly, the pro’s and con’s of online communication. Being something of a sceptic, my feeling was that the internet somehow detached people from reality. But then again, I had never had to deal with being apart from somebody I loved in the way that Matt and Cassie had to in the early stages. Cassie, I remember seeing a photograph of you two that Matt posted on his blog after his first visit– it was of the two of you looking crestfallen and ashen faced at LAX as Matt was about to board the plane back home to England.  I asked myself the same question that Matt did – how will they do this? How will they be together?

Clearly there is no substitute for closeness, for proximity. To be able to wake up in the same timezone as the person, or people you love. And thats why we’re all here to celebrate this moment.

Its not just about Cassie, who I think is a wonderful person – but the whole Destino clan, and the fact that those of us in the UK who miss our friend and brother need not worry, because Matt is in such good hands in terms of this family who has embraced him and taken care of him.

And speaking of the the wonders of the internet, here’s a message from some other people who love and care for you both: “Darling newlyweds, we wish you all the love in the world – may all your days together be as happy as this one. All our love, Mira, Matt,Emma-Jane, Jerry, Rachel and Ben”

So Matt, may I now take this opportunity to apologise for all the cynical things I ever said about blogging, Skyping, Twittering and all those ludicrously extraneous aps you have on your phone?

You might remember that one of the more solemn vows from earlier was the taking of musical taste into consideration on road trips. So, its August 2009. I’m being driven through the centre of Los Angeles by Matt and Cassie, and sitting in the back seat, I’m watching a discussion unfolding regarding Cassie’s love of jazz music versus Matthew’s tendency towards what can only be described as somewhat cold, brutal, dehumanised electronic soundscapes. Frank Zappa once said – ‘Jazz is not dead, it just smells funny’, but if we were to stretch the metaphor further, the sort of music that Matt listens to…wouldn’t have a smell at all. But in this case, the music does not reflect the person who listens to it. Not because Matthew smells, but because Matthew is a warm, caring, kind, giving person who stuck by me as a friend, even when I haven’t always been the friend to you that I should have been. Which brings me nicely onto the story of Matt’s recent stag do. Two nights ago, myself, Matt’s brother and brother in law decided to really give him a good send off, and so we set off on a epic journey up and down Las Vegas boulevard. Absolute mayhem it was!

[To Matt] You had a good time didn’t you?

I mean, if I’m honest, it did get a bit out of hand…ending up in the middle of the desert, covered in sick, and handcuffed to a stripper.

[To Matt] How could you let that happen to me?

Toast: and so, please raise your glasses and join me in congratulating the bride and groom. To William and Kate…

It was at this point that I went to strangle Robin but ended up hugging him. He’s a good one. He just moved to Chicago!

Wedding Music – Dinner

This playlist was played while people ate. It was a chance to play some cheeky tracks that wouldn’t have cut it on the dancefloor, but were favorites of ours which have been included on playlists when we held barbeques and parties in Los Angeles.

Elvis Costello & The Attractions : (The Angels Wanna Wear My) Red Shoes (from My Aim Is True )
Sam Cooke : A Change Is Gonna Come (from Portrait Of A Legend 1951-1964 )
Belle & Sebastian : A Summer Wasting (from The Boy With The Arab Strap )
Elvis Costello & The Attractions : Accidents Will Happen (from Armed Forces )
Calexico : Across The Wire (from Feast Of Wire )
Stars : Ageless Beauty (from Set Yourself On Fire )
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club : Ain’t No Easy Way (from Howl )
LCD Soundsystem : All I Want (from This Is Happening )
Calexico : Alone Again Or (from Convict Pool )
Bonnie Raitt : Angel From Montgomery (from Streetlights )
Pulp : Babies (from His ‘N’ Hers )
Elliott Smith : Baby Britain (from XO )
The Boy Least Likely To : Be Gentle With Me (from Best Party Ever )
Bill Fay : Be Not So Fearful (from Bill Fay )
Beck : Beautiful Way (from Midnite Vultures )
Calexico : Black Heart (Jazzanova Mix) (from Black Heart )
The Dining Rooms : Calexico (from Ink (French Edition) )
Blur : Coffee & TV (from 13 )
Calexico : Cristal Frontier (Buscemi Remix) (from Buscemi: Late Night Reworks, Vol. 1 )
The Decemberists : Down By The Water (from The King Is Dead )
Buena Vista Social Club : El Carretero (from Buena Vista Social Club )
Buena Vista Social Club : El Cuarto De Tula (from Buena Vista Social Club )
Blur : End Of A Century (from Parklife )
Grinderman : Go Tell The Woman (from Grinderman )
Calexico : Guero Canelo (Nortec Mix By Panoptica) (from Black Heart )
David Bowie : Heroes / Helden (from Christiane F. Wir Kinder Vom Bahnhof Zoo: Original Soundtrack )
Zero 7 : Home (from The Guardian FCD 1 )
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club : Howl (from Howl )
Bjork : Hyper- Ballad (from Post )
The Stone Roses : I Am The Resurrection (from The Complete Stone Roses )
LCD Soundsystem : I Can Change (from This Is Happening )
Belle & Sebastian : If You Find Yourself Caught In Love (from Dear Catastrophe Waitress )
Neutral Milk Hotel : In The Aeroplane Over The Sea (from In The Aeroplane Over The Sea )
Bjork : Isobel (from Post )
Bjork : It’s Not Up To You (from Vespertine )
Elliott Smith : Junk Bond Trader (from Figure 8 )
Richard Hawley : Just Like The Rain (from Coles Corner )
Queen : Killer Queen (from Greatest Hits )
The National : Lemonworld (from High Violet )
Radiohead : Little By Little (from The King Of Limbs )
Everything But The Girl : Low Tide Of The Night (from Temperamental )
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds : Moonland (from Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!! )
The Walker Brothers : No Regrets (from No Regrets )
Radiohead : No Surprises (from OK Computer )
The Good, The Bad & The Queen : Northern Whale (from The Good, The Bad & The Queen )
David Bowie : Oh! You Pretty Things (from Hunky Dory )
Blur : On The Way To The Club (from Think Tank )
M. Ward : Outta My Head (from Transfiguration Of Vincent )
Buddy Holly : Peggy Sue (from )
The Decemberists : Rise To Me (from The King Is Dead )
Velvet Underground : Rock & Roll (from Loaded )
The Velvet Underground : Satellite Of Love (Alternate Demo) (from Loaded [Disc 2] )
Radiohead : Separator (from The King Of Limbs )
Arcade Fire : Suburban War (from The Suburbs )
Supertramp : Take the Long Way Home (from Breakfast in America )
Bob Dylan : Tangled Up In Blue (from Blood On The Tracks )
Squeeze : Tempted (from East Side Story )
General Public : Tenderness (from Tenderness )
Calexico : The News About William (from Carried To Dust )
The Carpenters : Top Of The World (Remix) (from Carpenters – Their Greatest Hits )
The Brian Setzer Orchestra : Town Without Pity (from Guitar Slinger )
Guillemots : Trains to Brazil (from From the Cliffs )
The Beatles : Two Of Us (from Let It Be )
The Church : Under the Milky Way (from Starfish )
Stars : Wasted Daylight (from The Five Ghosts )
Arcade Fire : We Used To Wait (from The Suburbs )
Frankie Lyman & The Teenagers : Why Do Fools Fall In Love (from )
Radiohead : Worrywort (from Knives Out EP )
Sam Cooke : You Send Me (from Portrait Of A Legend 1951-1964 )

Make sure you tell your indoors-hatted cretin of a sound guy to check that the iPod is set to “shuffle”. Don’t believe him when he says it is. Tell him to take his goddamned shades off indoors as well.

Reception – Table Name Cards

Not much to report here. We ordered the table name cards from a seller on Etsy. She had a nice design we liked, so we contacted her and asked how it would work. She needed a specially-formatted Excel file of all the names, which we were able to easily provide, having exported it from The Knot.

She sent them, they looked great, we paid her. They were sent to the venue, and they put them out. Simple. Sweet as.

Verdict: You could write them, or print them yourself, but we found it expeditious to outsource this little task. Support your local Etsy seller.

Reception – Table Favors

You have to have table favors – little gifts for each person at their place setting. I’d spoken to a colleague about his recent wedding, where they had little packets of lavender seeds for each guest. He’d said they were expensive, and after the wedding, they found that no-one had taken them. We didn’t want that to happen, so after some thought, we decided on little tins of mints.

Mints are handy, you can slip a tin in your pocket or purse, and keep them in your desk or car. You can have a design printed on the tin, so that every time someone eats a mint, they are reminded of the lovely wedding.

We shopped around the places recommended by wedding websites, but we found the designs were limited, and the prices high (that wedding surcharge that strangely appears). So we looked further and found that if you go to a commercial promotional products company, you get a much better range for a better price.

The only problem was that most of these places only take a minimum order of 250, and we had 100 guests. Luckily we found a place that would do an order of 150 – After looking at their very large range of options for mints, we settled on the Alpine Mini Tins.

To create the design, I fired up Inkscape again, and grabbed the martini glass/stack of gambling chips motif, changed the color to the “wine” shade we seem to have chosen, and uploaded it to Inkhead’s excellent layout tool. This allowed me to make sure the graphic was positioned correctly before it was sent to print.

The mints arrived a few days later, and they were a big success. Most of the tins that were put on the tables were taken, and the remainder we took home with us. Since the wedding I’ve handed them out to colleagues, who’ve all been very pleased to get a memento, which is nice. You see them on their desks, and they’re a godsend in long meetings. They’ve been useful as bribes to complete “that doc you said you’d send me”.

Verdict: Do a little favor of some kind, but bear in mind whether people are really going to take them. The mints were successful – other more substantial items may not. Another wedding I went to had bookmarks, which was another good option for us.

Reception – Art Book as Guest Book

Many people have a guest book at their wedding reception for guests to write a nice message in. We wanted to do this but decided we wanted to have an extra twist. We can’t remember where we got this idea – either Cassie came up with it or it was on a forum or in a magazine.

Instead of a blank guest book for people to sign, we got a big (heavy!) art book – the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Catalog. We put it on the table with a nice framed sign which said the following:

Art is very important to Cassie and Matt and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art has been a big part of their lives. Please find a page with an image of a piece of art that speaks to you and write them a note with anything you’d like to share: advice, your impressions of the wedding, a recipe, or just draw them a picture!

Be sure to mark the page you’ve written on with a tag so that they don’t miss it.

We provided multi-colored Sharpies (the pages were glossy and we didn’t want smeared ink) which we got at CostCo, and some of those page marking tabs. People lined up to add a message, and when we got back home, we were able to leaf through and find many warm, sweet and funny messages from our guests.

Some people wrote once earlier in the day, and then again later when they had “loosened up”. Others defaced pieces of world-famous art with crude graffiti. I was surprised someone didn’t make a comment on a Rothko saying something like “this is your future“. I would have.

All in all it was a great success, and it means that we can leave this book out on our coffee table, pick it up from time to time and check out the art and lovely messages. It’s going to be a great keepsake.

When we went to our friends (and wedding guests) Alex & Jason’s wedding just recently, we found that their guest book was Oh, the places you’ll go by Dr Seuss. They admitted they had got the idea from us, which was flattering – they have awesome taste is so many things.

Verdict – recommended. Get a book that means something to you, and use that as a guest book – it’s lots of fun, and a talking point at the wedding and long after.