Annoyingly, I was so eager to get started on it that I completely forgot to take a 'before' picture of the frame. It was something I found on recycling night: down the road from us, someone had left this painting outside their house to be taken. By me, it seems. It's made out of a few short planks (hehe), joined together by a frame at the back, and on it was painted a bottle of wine, and possibly a plate of cheese and some grapes. All very rustic.
But with the power of will, the grease of elbow and a big pot each of white and black paint, I removed all evidence that that wine bottle had ever been there.
Many trees came and went: realistic ones (or attempts at), Tim Burton-esque ones (or attempts at), abstract ones (or attempts at... see where I'm going with this?), but none were quite the tree. So I thought more about what was going on - a wedding, namely - and realised that there needed to be two trees, not just one. A la Louis de Bernieres in Captain Corelli's Mandolin, it was the roots that needed to be joined together.
The idea is for people to stick their thumb in an ink pad and make a print near the branches to represent a leaf. And then they sign their name on their leaf. It'll be a nice 'togethery' reminder of who was there on the day.