How to Create a "Best Wishes" Tree for Weddings

Written by sarah freeman
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How to Create a "Best Wishes" Tree for Weddings
Give advise for a happy marriage by writing a note on a wedding wishing tree. (Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images)

Wish trees were started as a Dutch tradition and recently gained popularity with couples around the world. The reception decoration features tree branches arranged in a pot or vase. Guests are encouraged to write their well-wishes or advise for the new husband and wife on provided pieces of paper, which are then strung like leaves from the tree. For some couples, this feature replaces the traditional guest book signing. You can create your own wedding wishes tree in just a few steps.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • 4 to 8 tree branches
  • Planter or vase
  • Foam
  • Stones
  • Fabric sheet
  • Paint
  • Card stock
  • Scissors
  • Hole punch
  • Ribbon or ornament hooks
  • Garland or tree decorations
  • Markers

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  1. 1

    Find four to eight branches to create your wedding wish tree. These should be about 3 to 4 feet high and a few inches in diameter. Branches from a manzanita tree are ideal for this project, as they hold their form while being able to securely support heavy objects.

  2. 2

    Strip each branch of its foliage, leaving any branch and stick offshoots. Paint the branches a colour of your choice. White, gold or silver are classic colours that will help make an elegant wish tree. For a more authentic tree, leave the branches their natural colour.

  3. 3

    Place the branches upright in a planter or vase by sticking them into a foam piece inside. Use heavy stones to further secure them in place. If you don't like the look of the planter or vase, cover it with a draped sheet of fabric that matches your wedding's theme and colours.

  4. 4

    Decorate the tree with items that will match your wedding's theme. For example, an elegant wedding can lace a string of crystals through the wish tree's branches. More whimsical weddings can incorporate butterflies into the design or hang small fairies all around. Glass ornaments or ribbon bows will make a classic addition to a wishes tree at almost any type of wedding.

  5. 5

    Prepare the cards that will hang from the tree. These can be simple 3-by-4-inch rectangles on white card stock, although you can get more creative by using light coloured paper or cutting it into shapes, such as butterflies, leaves or flowers. Use a colourful marker to write a heading on the top of each card, such as "Wishes" or "A Special Wish."

  6. 6

    Punch two holes along the top of every card using a hole puncher. Lace a ribbon through the holes and tie it in a bow or knot to create a loop that can be hung on the tree. An alternative to ribbon would be to use an ornament hook on each card. With this style, create only one hole at the top of each card to place the hook through.

  7. 7

    Lay out the cards on the table underneath the wishes tree. You might also hang the blank cards from the branches of the tree, which guests will be able to take down and rehang once they've shared their wish. Provide plenty of markers or pens for guests to write with.

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