Bird-Inspired Wedding Ideas

Photo: Jim Cooper
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Chocolate Nest Cake

Patricia Lyons Photography

Truffle eggs tinted robin's-egg blue top this sumptuous cake that has been laced with espresso powder for a subtle mocha flavor, layered with whipped ganache, and topped with a shiny dark-chocolate glaze.

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Guest Book


For an easy guest book idea, have friends and family write their well-wishes in "Audubon's Birds of America: The Audubon Society Baby Elephant Folio."

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Ring Pillows


Millinery birds, linen blossoms, and printed fabrics make these pillows cheerful and lighthearted. You may also find great motifs in handkerchiefs, table linens, or even pillowcases. Ask a friend who sews to stitch the simple pillow; the care that goes into creating it is what makes it a keepsake.

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James Baigrie

Paper birds keep watch over colorful chocolates. To create, use scissors to carefully cut tulle, which comes by the yard, into 8-inch squares. Deposit several dragees onto each one. Gather up the tulle around the candy and secure each pouch with twine. Place a die-cut bird on top, knotting the twine around the bird's leg to anchor it. Set the pouches out on trays for guests to take home.

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Place Cards


These colorful envelope designs use clip art. Find bird and blossom images you like, and have them made into rubber stamps. The stamping looks random, but actually we repeated the same 12 compositions over and over for a nice rhythm. Put the finished envelopes in order before giving them to your calligrapher (include a few extras).

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Thank-You Notes

Jim Cooper

Dainty Victorian-era engravings of birds culled from a clip art book, then color-photocopied, become elegant winged messengers bearing tiny three-dimensional missives of thanks.

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Bird-Nest Place Card


In these lovely favors, sugar-coated Jordan almonds masquerade as robins' eggs in a delicate faux nest; parchment paper threaded among them acts as a simple place card.

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Cookie Decorations


Make an impression on guests by adding eye-catching detail to basic cookies with ordinary rubber stamps, which come in a wide range of designs, or ceramic cookie stamps. Since rubber stamps can be custom ordered, create your own, like our monogram.

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Napkin Rings


Around the napkins, strips of aqua paper emblazoned with red calligraphy form place cards. Millinery birds, reminiscent of the birds on the paper, perch on top (their feet are secured to the paper band with adhesive dots).

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Stationery Suite


The cover sheet depicts a bird in flight, while the inner cards use only a feather to carry the theme through.

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Embroidered Birds


Make personalized gifts by embroidering tea towels or pillows with our beautiful bird designs.

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Favor Boxes

James Baigrie

First, have a calligrapher write out the bride's and groom's names and a message, and then have the writing made into rubber stamps. The boxes come flat -- stamp the lids as shown; let ink dry overnight. Poke a small hole in the center of the lid with an awl (available at hardware stores). Fold box and lid. Slip bird's foot through the hole.

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Dove Cake Topper

Jonathon Lovekin

Millinery birds are framed by an arbor of white silk lily-of-the-valley and maidenhair fern, images that are repeated in the royal-icing decorations on this classic white cake. The doves perch on a bead-covered birdbath.

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Sweet Bird Box


Use craft glue to edge the box top with metallic ribbon and to attach the bird. Place a treat inside the box, then set the box in a nest of shredded kraft paper. A calligrapher can create the sign for you.

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Bird's Nest Cookies


These thin chocolate cookies with ganache icing dipped into grated coconut make the perfect nests for two or three miniature chocolate eggs.

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Note Tree

Maura McEvoy

Let guests' well-wishes take flight on paper doves. These birds are traditional symbols of love, happiness, and harmony. Anchor bare branches (these are manzanita) in a large, sturdy vessel filled with stones or gravel. Use wire to secure nests, available from craft stores, to branches. Set dove cards -- available precut -- in a dish. Place pencils alongside your tree with a sign asking guests to inscribe a card and to place it in a nest.

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Menu Card


Think outside the box by decorating reception tables with menu cards that are round instead of the typical square or rectangle. Once you've finalized the menu with your caterer, have a stationer design circular cards that will fit the plates or chargers you've chosen for your table settings (be sure to measure carefully and provide him or her with proper dimensions). Select colors or patterns that reflect the theme of your wedding; this letterpress card by Elum Designs features a bird motif for a spring celebration.

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Winged Place Cards


Perch a dainty paper bird on the rim of each glass so guests can identify their seats. The pretty die-cut cards from Tiffy New York come in pastel colors that are just right for spring. With a utility knife, make a slim, 1/4-inch-long notch at the bottom of each card. For the eyes, use a 1/16-inch hole punch. Print guests' names on cards.

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Nest Decor


Here, the downy, gray catkins of pussy-willow branches soften a densely woven nest, while dried grasses inside cushion fragile decorated eggs. Perfect for a table decoration or at an entrance table with your guest book.

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Vellum Bird Garland


String a garland of cut-out vellum birds across your venue for big-impact decor.

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