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Tis the season to celebrate family, friendships and love – winter and this holiday season is an ideal time to plan and execute a beautiful and simple wedding. Stone Gardens provides a great locale for any SoCal brides who want to celebrate their love this winter. Stone Gardens is perfect place to enjoy the SoCal holiday sun (Fallbrook has been known to get up near the 80s this time of year!) but the chilly winter evenings provide that “Christmas Chill” we all enjoy!

If you do plan on being a Christmas bride, here is a great DIY project for your event – Winter Ice Lanterns!

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I used a 2 liter plastic soda bottle and a 24 oz plastic bottle for the inside – cut tops off.

1. Fill the 2 liter bottle with about 1 1/2 inches of water and freeze.

2. Remove from freezer and place 24 oz bottle inside resting on the ice. Center the 24 oz bottle in the 2 liter bottle and use masking tape to secure in place. Make sure space between bottles is even all the way around.

3. Cut greens from the yard (I used Boxwood) and cranberries to fill the sides. Cranberries float, so place some in the bottom first and then add green on top. Add a few additional cranberries on the sides. When you fill the container with water the cranberries will rise to the top.

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Fill with water leaving at least 1 in of space from the top for the water to rise as it freezes.

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When it’s frozen, remove from the freezer. Lift tape and add hot water into the center of the bottle. As the ice melts a little, pull out center bottle. This gets a little tricky as the plastic bottles have larger bottoms than the sides. You have to work it! Run hot water over the outside of the bottle to loosen the large bottle. I had great difficulty pulling the ice lantern out of the 2 liter bottle due to the larger bottom. I recommend cutting it down the sides to remove it. Be careful – the plastic can be sharp! I also recommend having a set of bottles for each ice lantern you wish to make.

I highly recommend using a battery operated candle inside – the flame melts the ice! Make a couple of days ahead and store in the freezer.

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