Thursday, January 19, 2012

Jamie&Brian's Elegant Backyard Wedding Reception

Back in April of 2011, Hannah and myself kicked off our styling venture with a wedding reception for around 350 people. (from intimate dinner parties and birthdays to a large scale wedding- a challenge but super exciting!) 

Jamie and Brian were holding their reception in their church's gymnasium, but wanted to, if at all possible, have it transformed completely. They wanted to keep the tone casual (the food was BBQ) but Jamie wanted to tie in bits of nature and elegance. Hence, after an initial meeting, their theme, Elegant Backyard was chosen.

Country chic, flowers, vintage bottles, mason jars, twinkly lights, greens and blues and the palest of pinks were just a few of the elements we chose to work with.

One of the things that Hannah and I enjoy about Paper&Velvet is that we work with a little bit of everything. We style, and space plan, arrange florals, help choose colors, shop and organize... we have packages that encompass everything- we give brides(and other clients) the choice to DIY, or have us take care of it all.

Jamie and Brian decided, at our prompting, to tent the gym- which truly transported the entire event. This provided a more intimate feeling, bringing the tall ceilings down to normal heights, and allowing us to truly play with ambient lighting for a warm and casual feeling of being in someone's backyard at twilight. 


Along with mason jars and florals, we tied a lot of burlap into our styling for this reception. (careful to keep it away from where guests may have to handle or touch it, since some people are allergic! A note that the ladies at the fabric store passed on to us)
Our burlap banners were crafted a few nights before the wedding out of velveteen iron on letters and ribbon.
We had purchased all of our florals for the reception ahead of time (mostly high quality silks) and some fresh greenery- but the bridal party ended up having an abundance of fresh flowers after putting their bouquets together so we had some fresh cut blossoms to add pops of color. 
One of the elements the bride and groom wanted us to take care of was the candy bar for the guests. We gathered and borrowed a collection of vintage and new containers to hold everything.

We used a mixture of paper lanterns, patio and twinkly lights to lend a warm glow to our tent- making everything sparkle.
Each of our centerpieces were based on three elements, and no two were exactly alike- which made them a lot of fun to put together

To add bits of green, we covered cardboard initials in moss to hang above the the bride and groom's seats
A Cost-effective tip for DIY florals: We chose to mix pretty faux florals with fresh greenery- this option makes it truly hard to spot the fake from the fresh-everyone who helped clean up had a hard time telling the two apart!
Another tip- if you're out shopping and come across an item that you think is perfect for your event, you should probably go ahead and purchase what you'll need- we came across these wonderful silk peonies at one point and when we went back to purchase them- most of them were gone!
We were thrilled with our first large event- and even better- our bride and groom both completely loved the transformation of their venue. 

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