Monday, October 8, 2012

Love Is Sweet

Since our wedding was fashioned after a fun, rustic, outdoor California family feast of locally farmed ingredients, I wanted our guest favors to fit in with that same vibe. A quick flip through those wedding catalogs that somehow tracked my mailbox down (eg, "Oriental Trading," which suggested personalized shot glasses, organza bags of Jordan almonds, or heart-shaped keychains) made me nauseous. I've rarely used wedding favors that I've brought home from other events, unless they're food-related (meaning, my stomach used them). So, naturally, I figured our take-home gifts should be delectable and in line with our fruits-of-California aesthetic.

An arduous search online finally turned up a local southern Californian bee farm called Newsom Honey Farms, which migrates their bees seasonally from wildflower fields to sage blooms to cherry blossoms, all depending on the time of year. The bees, depending on what they've been eating, will produce different shades and flavors of honey, from crystal clear to dark, deep amber. Who knew bees were such picky divas? Anyway, I caught the beginning of the summer season, which yielded me lots of wildflower honey, as well as a really delicious, light and fragrant orange blossom honey. I ordered 200 mini jars for our friends and family to take home something sweet. Someone from the farm even dropped off the boxes at our doorstep, overalls and all. Ok, no overalls, but wouldn't that have been quaint?

I wanted to personalize our honey jars, so I asked our good friend and wedding coordinator extraordinaire Sara to design little labels for us to commemorate our day. I struggled really hard to resist quoting Ralph Wiggum on there: "Bee Mine! And it has a picture of a bee on it!" But in the end, I figured not everyone would get the Simpsons reference.

The royal bee crest is an ancient symbol of the Chang family.

The wildflower honey variety was more amber than the orange blossom (second in line), which was a light gold.
Then, to country-fy these suckas, I got creative. Went to the dollar store and picked up these clear hair bands...

Ordered some cute fabric from Contemporary Cloth, my go-to online source for modern fabric for reupholstering, etc. Once it arrived, I sat in our garden and cut it into 2"x2" squares, under the watchful eyes of Twiggy...


I made sure to leave some time to humiliate some cats with the leftover fabric...

I'm a bohemian


Then, using the clear hairbands, affixed the cloth to the top of the honey.

Along with my bridesmaid Shianling, I painstakingly tied ribbons around them and trimmed the fabric.

Here was the final result on our guest table settings, photo courtesy of my friend Lynn's food blog, The Actor's Diet. The honey jar favors greeted each of our guests as they found their seats, on top of our place cards, then atop our dishcloth napkins, which were folded over the menu.

Did anyone really take home the honey and use it in their tea or on their toast? Who knows. But it's the thought that counts, right?