I had a dilemma when I was planning my wedding: how do I make sure everyone uses the same drinking glass through the day instead of taking a new one?
Sure, as wedding dilemmas go, it wouldn’t have Hollywood sitting up and paying attention, but it worried me.
My venue didn’t have a dishwasher. It didn’t even have a sink. Unless I fancied squeezing some champagne flutes into the hand basin in the ladies’ loos, there was no way to wash used glasses.
I’d paid the rental company, YaHire, to take the glasses away dirty, which was a) fantastic and b) …necessary. And I’d hired enough so everyone had separate glasses for wine, water, and toasts during dinner, as well as a wine or beer glass each through the day.
But I was worried that my day guests (coughuncle Jeremycough) would take a fresh glass for every drink – glasses meant for my evening guests – and there wouldn’t be enough to go round.
I liked the idea of giving people a drink marker – something to identify their glass as uniquely theirs, to encourage them to keep using it. Amazon had plenty of options – sleepy cats, sleepier sloths, pastel-coloured snails meant for tea bags that may or may not stay on – but for almost two hundred guests, that would get expensive. Fast.
Then I thought of washi tape.
If you’ve never come across it before, washi tape is an ingenious Japanese invention: coloured rice paper tape with re-stickable glue. It’s pretty, customisable, and temporary. Great for rental home improvements.
— M. J. Magment (@mell_o_drama) March 9, 2016
Most importantly: it’s the perfect cheap drink marker. Your guests can write their name on a length of washi tape and stick it to their glass, so it doesn’t get lost. And, at the end of the night, you can peel the names off without leaving any sticky residue (or any of your glass hire deposit) behind.
And people love it. At my wedding, people crafted themselves gay pride rainbow glasses and warning systems when their glasses were running low. They made personalising their glass another thing to do at the wedding, like signing the guestbook or taking pictures at the photobooth. They had fun with it.
And, even better than that for me and my ninety-page script spec (that Pixar turned down) (the visionless hacks), they re-used their glasses.
How to make a washi tape drink marker station
I bought washi tape in my wedding colours – teal, orange, hot pink, purple, and pale yellow (it was a very bright wedding) – and two tape dispensers – one for either end of the bar – to hold them. I also bought new Sharpies, rather than risking the eclectic mix of branded biros in my junk drawer, and put them in cute pen pots beside each dispenser.
To make sure people didn’t just mistake it all for a bizarre modern art exhibit, I designed some instructions to go on the bar, too. You can download them here. (Bonus: if you’re using our Magment stationery range, they’ll match perfectly!)
Cost of supplies
You can get washi tape in any colour to match your wedding. (Pastel. Copper. Pineapple-y!) The price varies depending on the quality and the size, but you should be able to get more than enough rolls of tape to last the night for around £8 on Amazon.
Washi tape dispensers are under £4 on Amazon. Because it’s made of paper, it’s easy to tear washi tape by hand, so – if you’re on a tight budget – you can skip them, but they do make the set-up a bit more polished-looking, and they definitely speed up the process for your guests.
It’s also worth getting a standing frame to hold the instructions, to make things look more put-together. You can get a 8″ x 10″ frame for under £11 on Amazon (that looks like it cost twice that!).
All together, it should come to around £50. If that’s too much, all you really need is the washi tape for under £8 and the instructions for the very reasonable price of free.
You’ll need to open the .PSD file in Photoshop or other image editing software, like Photopea, to edit the text to work for your wedding. (Not sure how to use Photoshop? There are step-by-step instructions here.)
Print them on card, rather than paper, and put them in an 8″ x 10″ frame for them to look their most authoritative.
Now, all you need to worry about is your day guests breaking your rental glasses.
I, erm… I don’t have a free printable to help with that one.
Full disclosure: I haven’t been paid to promote any of these products but some of the links are affiliate links, and I’ll earn a small commission if you buy through them.