Different cultures, colors, themes and styles made each wedding unique and personal this past season at Twenty Mile House. Yet the 2012 wedding season at this historic, eco-estate did bring out a series of similar wedding trends, many of them eco-friendly and recyclable, that were well suited to the secluded mountain-and-forest setting. Here’s a list of the season’s Most Popular Wedding Trends at Twenty Mile House:
1. Mason Jars. Guests drank lemonade, water, beer and more from the sturdy Mason jars, which stood up well to knockovers. They were used to display photos, hold straws and snacks, and filled with flowers and LED lights to adorn aisles and tables. There were signature drinks pre-made in Mason jars and mason jars filled with jams and honey given out as wedding favors. They even gained status as part of the formal dinner table setup.
2. Burlap. Colored cloth overlays were replaced by burlap runners, squares and tablecloths
for a majority of weddings this year.
There was a trend toward the simplicity of ivory and burlap, sometimes dressed up with lace and platinum rim plates, and letting the color pop from floral centerpieces
or napkin ribbons or coverings. It was a look that let tables blend in well with the surrounding natural beauty of the venue.
3. Wood rounds. Wedding cakes and cupcakes were served on rounds of wood in varying thicknesses. Some bridal parties built or bought elaborate cupcake stands made out of wood; the rounds were also used to hold beverage containers, flower arrangments and more. The wood rounds again fit well the outdoor decor of tall pine trees on the property. And they could be used over and over again.
4. Hanging table assignments. Wedding guests found their way to assigned dinner tables/seats by finding their name on placards that were clothespinned or stapled to twine and then hung between pine trees or between the fretwork of the General Store. This worked well because it was often too windy to place namecards on the place settings themselves.
5. Converse tennis shoes. These were worn not only by young ringbearers, but groomsmen, bridesmaids and even the bride and groom themselves! It wasn’t just a fashion statement; the bridal parties were thrilled to be comfortable negotiating the lawn, patio, and forest pathways, train tracks and sandy beach that encompass Twenty Mile House grounds!
One bridal party had brand new Converse in various sizes waiting for young boy attendants; and one couple had custom-made Converse with their wedding date on them!
6. Succulents. This was a big trend in floral arrangements this year. One couple actually used succulents in a planting ritual during their wedding ceremony. Succulents were also given out as wedding favors and used not only for centerpieces, but in corsages, bouquets and boutonnieres.
7. Edible/organic wedding favors. Seeds and succulents were big. So was honey, homemade jams/jellies, and even cannedvegetables and fruit. And several wedding parties opted for self-serve candy bars or chocolates for their guests to enjoy or take home.
8. Nature-themed tables. Instead of just numbering their reception tables, many wedding parties created nature-oriented themes. There were tables labeled with different bird species and tables identified by summer harvest fruits and vegetables.
The travel theme also was popular with another couple who labeled tables with photos of trips they’d taken together prior to getting hitched.
9. Lawn games. Wedding parties made good use of the spacious lawns of the Twenty Mile House property by bringing along games for guests, children and adults alike.
Croquet, bocce ball and cornhole (bean bag toss) were popular. Some set up badminton sets and horseshoes. There was also a giant bubble blower!
10. Alternative guestbooks. There were a lot of wedding guests signing things that weren’t “books.” Probably the most popular was the “leaf-signing,” whereby guests either signed a paper leaf attached to manzanita branches, or used an ink stamp to thumbprint a leaf on a tree graphic, which they then signed. Many guests signed photo mats on a frame that would hold a future wedding photo. At one wedding, guests signed a wooden porch swing engraved with the couple’s
name. And guests at another wedding signed in on a surf board! One wedding party had a video guestbook where guests recorded congratulatory videos to the couple on a laptop.
11. Wooden signs. It’s not something you’d likely see at a hotel ballroom wedding reception. But wooden signs were erected all over the place in the outdoor setting of Twenty Mile House. Some were directional, pointing the way to the venue, the ceremony or the reception area. Others were simply inspirational or cute. Some of the signs were left to be recycled by future couples.
12. Signature cocktails. With wedding parties providing the alcohol, many chose to serve guests a special cocktail. Among the most popular were Mojitos, Cosmopolitans, Margaritas and Dark ‘N Stormy’s (rum and ginger beer.) And there were also some more unusual ones: a Cucumber Vodka fizz, Moscow Mules, Pink Greyhounds, and a Whiskey Waffle (bourbon and apple cider), among others. There were some cultural influences in the cocktails as well; during Scottish and Irish weddings there some special import whiskeys being poured. And of course, plenty of tequila shots went down at the Twenty Mile House patio bar!