Message In A bottle, a wedding guestbook alternative.
When you are planning something like a wedding there are so many things to do before the big day. But you also have to think about what you are going to do with things in the future.
Everybody says they love the photo album it one of the only memories of the big day in the future, but then turn around and say they haven't looked at their wedding photos for ten years.
The same goes for the guestbooks, you read them in the week or so after the wedding put them on a shelf or in the cupboard and don't look at them again.
Bearing that in mind me and my fiancee knew we would have so much to look at in the months after the wedding we decided to do something different with our guestbook.
We thought about what we could do and came up with the idea (maybe we saw it somewhere in one of the many wedding shows) of making a message in a bottle.
The original idea was to open them and look at them when we got back from the honey moon but we decided that we would wait one year until our first anniversary. We think of it as a way to re-live the day one year on.
This instructable is how we went about it. (its really easy, have some fun)
Step 1: Materials and Tools
To be honest there aren't any tools and materials for this so we will just be going step by step of how we made it.
Step 2: Get Your Bottles!
choosing the bottles you want to use depends on how many guest you will be having and the style of your wedding.
We had to chose two bottles as we were getting married twice. Once in the UK and then again in Lisbon. so we tried to find a large bottle for the UK wedding, more guest and we don't have to fly with the bottle, and a smaller bottle that matched the style for the Lisbon wedding, fewer guests and we had to fly with the bottle so smaller the better.
We thought a Demijohn would look great for the UK wedding so tried to find a smaller bottle that looks like the Demijohn, we found a bottle of Kraken rum looked liked a smaller version of the Demijohn.
the Demijohn was dusty but unused but the Kraken had to be emptied (drank) and the label needed to be stripped off. emptying the bottle was very simple. to remove the label i heated and soaked the bottle in hot soapy bottle which enabled me to pull the label off, to clean the sticky residue off the bottle i used WD40 on a paper towel and it came right off. (just make sure you clean the bottle with soapy water after the WD40 as you will need to glue a new label on and the WD40 will cause problems with that.)
Step 3: Designing the Labels. Part 1
We needed to make some instructions for the guests to follow that was easy and understandable for people that maybe couldn't read English (or Portuguese) very well.
I designed some little pictures showing what people needed to do.
1.Pot of pencils to show they needed a pencil
2. Write a message on the pad of paper.
3. Roll the paper up.
4. cut a small length of twine.
5. Tie it around the roll of paper.
6. Put it in the bottle.
All these diagrams were drawn in illustrator. i kept them simple and clean as we liked the style of it.
Step 4: Designing the Labels. Part 2
I measured the bottles and decided on a size for the labels, the size of the labels are depending on the size of the bottle and how much you want the label to curve around the bottle.
The smaller bottle needed two labels as we were using it for the Lisbon wedding and there would be a majority of Portuguese speakers there so we wanted one in their native tongue and one for the English speakers. The English wedding was first and the English speakers for the second wedding had already done the message in the bottle in the UK so they already knew what to do, but we put an English language instructions on the back of the bottle.
Using the images that I had designed i arranged them on the two different sized labels for the different bottles.
The larger label was pretty easy as i had a lot of space to play with as the Demijohn is a pretty big bottle.
The smaller labels were a little difficult so i had to push the instructions on to two lines as they also needed to be big enough for people to see and read with ease.
To stick the labels on the bottles i used some general purpose adhesive called UHU, i put it on the back of the label and lined it up and glued it on the bottle. The i used a little bit of masking tape to hole it in place as the glue dried.
Step 5: Get the Paper and the Twine and Pencils.
We found a nice pack of note paper that was a slightly off white, which gave us the feel of the old movies where the lone survivor of a ship wreck uses parchment to make a message in a bottle.
The twine was standard white craft twine or string. (we wanted people to tie the notes up as we don't want them to unroll inside the bottle and cause problems, this actually happened in the small bottle which was a problem as it stopped other messages going in, but a little shake and a poke with a pencil solved it enough to keep the messages rolling in.)
We decided that we would use pencils with rubbers (erasers) on the end as mistakes are corrected easier than a pen.
We just got a pack of 10 nice wooden pencils, they did the job and matched the style we were going for.
Step 6: Placement.
We wanted the bottle to go near the gift table, where guests would be putting the cards and gifts they brought with them. (the lady that set it all up for some reason put the bottle, with instructions on what to do, at the back behind lots of other things) we moved it out front so people would see it.
we did need to casually ask the guests if they had done a message for the bottle to get people talking about it.
Step 7: Close Them Up and Wait.
Once the wedding is over close up the bottle and wait a year to read the messages your guests have left for you.