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Flower arranging

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When Remco Van Vliet and his half brother, Cas Trap, moved to New York from the Netherlands 19 years ago, one custom that confused them was that dinner guests were expected to bring a bottle of wine. "In Holland, we come with a bouquet, something gorgeous and natural," says van Vliet, 34. "Here you bring wine -- and then drink half of it yourself."

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Give guests sprightly bouquets of their own: Arrangements of 'Ping Pong' mums, chamomile, and lady's mantle (or other blooms to fit your color scheme). The flowers are held in small plastic floral tubes filled with water. Cones of decorative green paper hide the tubes. Then, pairs of the bouquets are propped in glass cylinders customized with bands of grosgrain ribbon around their bases. Narrow bands of green paper wrapped around the napkins and taped in back serve as place cards.