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Ideas Worth Stealing

Photographs by Shannon Michele Photography for The Wedding Row and Ruta Elvikyte (center) for Charleston Weddings

April 9, 2012

Ideas Worth Stealing

Dress your wedding in garden glitz

WRITTEN BY Melissa Bigner

Happy spring, everyone! Everything’s blooming like nuts around us, and the creativity is flowing like nobody’s business. To marry both, we visited with Heather Barrie of Gathering Floral + Event Design, presenting sponsor for our recent Spring Bridal Show, to hear about the décor she fashioned for the bridal portion of Charleston Fashion Week . There were tons of takeaways, so read on for how-to’s and ideas for your own Big Day. Click here for an expanded gallery of the reception-like details.

Charleston Weddings: How would you characterize the overall look for the décor of the 2012 Spring Bridal Show?
Heather Barrie: I think you could say that it was garden glitz!

CW: What were your favorite elements? 
HB: The large flower walls we created to hang to the sides of the runway; the mirrored boxes filled with lush, blooming delphinium; and the luxe chandeliers with long crystal strands.

CW: How did you come up with the ideas? 
HB: If you want to real know the real answer, we came up with about 15 different ideas! We brainstorm for months and keep elements that work and change others to things we like better.

CW: How long did you have to transform the tent from the regular catwalk of CFW to a bridal theme the next morning? 

HB: We had about 20 volunteers, eight men from Snyder rental, and about 10 people from our team who started the moment the runway shows ended the night before at 10:30 p.m. We finished the bulk of it by 5:30 a.m., then came back a few hours before doors opened at 10:30 a.m. to wrap up.

CW: What was your flower scheme? What was used and why?
HB: We went with a classic white palette of flowers to contrast with the blues we chose for the flower walls, elevated table, and armchairs. I used a single flower (the hybrid delphinium) in mass to create a garden feel where the models stepped out onto the runway. I created arrangements incorporating seasonal blooming branches for the bars and outdoor entrances. At our booth table, I filled white metal garden tins with sweet peas, scented geranium, thistle, ranunculus, scabiosa, delphinium, and Dusty Miller to create small garden “meadows.”

CW: Can you talk about the various vessels you used?
HB: For the runway glitz factor, I used long mirrored boxes to pair with the crystal chandeliers so both were reflective.  Otherwise, I chose simple white metal containers to keep the highlight on all the gorgeous spring blooms.

CW: Can you explain how brides can “take away” some of the following ideas?

IDEA ONE: Hanging Parasols
Hang parasols to create a more intimate atmosphere in a tall tent by bringing down the ceiling. To do it, you’ll need parasols, fishing line, a ladder, and some scissors. To get the greatest effect, create a clustered focal area of them rather than scattering the parasols all over. For instance, hang them at varying heights over a dance floor.

IDEA TWO: Wall of Flowers
To make the “wall flowers,” we took pegboards from Lowe’s and fashioned a frame around each with metal eyehooks on the back for hanging. We then painted the walls in a subtle blue to offset the white roses that we tucked into the peg holes. To affix and seal the flowers, we melted glue chips into a floral glue pan, then cut the roses and dipped the stems into the hot glue, and put them in the peg holes. I would recommend trying this with roses, orchids, or mums, and using the walls as dividers between a ceremony and dining area, as an escort card display, or as photo backdrop. 

IDEA THREE: Red Carpet Meets Photobooth
The red carpet area was set up for the event, but for a wedding, you could vary the idea. Try making a similar photo backdrop with flowers that spell the initials of the bride and groom, or date of the wedding, or glue flowers to a large frame and have guests pose within it.

IDEA FOUR: Chandelier Clusters
As with the parasols, there is drama in numbers! Even if you can only afford a few lighting elements, group them close together at varying heights to accentuate an area for the greatest effect. For example, cluster chandeliers over a head table for dinner, the wedding cake, or lounge area.

IDEA FIVE: Lounge Around
For a mini-lounge at the show, we added an elevated table with high stools to our Gathering Floral + Event Design booth. In non-seated receptions with food stations, lounges like these allow guests to mingle while seated and standing at the same height, and it lets them “perch” with food and cocktails. We also brought in some fun wire armchairs with sweet pillows and small side tables topped with flower arrangements. Gathering spots like these lets guests enjoy a quiet moment or two with one other person and lets you bring in your color palette through the pillows and flowers used.

Mon, 04/09/2012