Antonia Christianson has three words when considering color: Go for it. "If you’re only focused on using it for the big things, like the bridesmaids' dresses or the flowers and cake, it will look like random pops of color thrown in. It won’t look cohesive," says Antonia, who’s the force behind Antonia Christianson Events of Virginia Beach, VA and Pasa Robles, California.
Case in point is this Norfolk, VA wedding, which featured an abundance of turquoise and emerald —colors chosen because they so perfectly matched the historic grounds at the Hermitage Museum and Gardens where the intimate fall ceremony and reception took place. Upon arrival, guests were greeted with vibrant splashes of turquoise — a nod to the nearby water — which popped out as table settings, the three-tier cake color and the seat cushion hues. The bridal party also wore vivid turquoise dresses. And while the color grabbed guests' attention, what held it was the layering of soft greens everywhere else.
Succulents were handed out as favors with a reminder that "love grows." The turquoise and white fondant lattice cake by Patti Cakes, Inc. is almost too pretty to slice.
Tucked inside the centerpieces were green apples, grapes, baby artichokes, and cabbages. The stemware and table settings were a shimmering mix of blues and greens — a detail that was unexpectedly highlighted by the setting sun as guests made their way from the ceremony to the reception.
The plates are both something borrowed and something blue. Menus and all paper goods by RSVP Stationery. The china was another lucky find: "I was able to borrow a friend’s china set that just happened to have strong touches of turquoise," Antonia says. "This couple had fun with their color choice: It became a sophisticated, subtle theme for the day that perfectly told their story."
Vinatge keys draped around bouquets and centerpieces represented the "unlocking of their love story."
Photo Credit: Eleise Theuer Photography
Laura Grim had three must-haves for her wedding: "I wanted the ceremony to take place in a lush setting, I wanted every detail to reflect my love of all things vintage and I wanted to pull it all together with one bold color."
Her choice of marigold came easily, as it’s "my favorite happy color," says Laura, who happens to be co-founder of Portland, Oregon’s Double Take Event Styling. To stay on budget, Laura scoured her own home (and those of close friends and family) for several of the accent pieces, like the heirloom dishes that graced the custom candy bar. Other repurposed antiques included wire bird cages that covered several small centerpieces and reclaimed picture frames that had been painted a uniform gold and placed down the center of the tables.
Stylish suitcases and trunks from various eras were strategically used to help put the 250 guests in a Great Gatsby-type of party mood, as well as to mark different areas of the reception. She also used her own vintage costume jewels and baubles to artfully accent table arrangements, including flowers and stacks of old books that she’d tied together. Gold-leafed initials punctuated tidy green wreaths.
What Laura couldn’t borrow she made. Table runners, for example, were cut from rolls of basic burlap, which she hand-stenciled and topped with a narrower piece of marigold-striped silk. "Layering gold and crisp white into the details along with touches of black allowed the vibrant marigold to be the star," she says. "Using my favorite color strategically — I put a lot of thought into when and where to use it — I think it lent a real French charm to the day. It was exactly what I wanted!"
Menus were tucked into rose wrapped linen napkins.
The bride chose a vintage-modern look for her bridesmaids: sunny yellow dresses with black accessories.
Photo Credit: Krissy Allori Photography
Red may be known as the color of romance, but there’s a strong case to be made for coral, which gives off its own romantic vibe with an added burst of happy and playful that red just can’t compete with. At least that’s the opinion of this Virginia couple, who asked Shannon O’Kelley, the design partner of Sage Nines Event Productions in Nashville, to make coral the central theme of their wedding at The Inn at Willow Grove in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
The bride, a letterpress designer for Lennah Press, had already chosen her hue before she met with Shannon. She’d also gotten a head start on creating the invitations and other paperie. So Shannon simply picked up on those cues and ran with it. "We wanted to use coral everywhere we could," says Shannon, "but we also knew that finding the right accent colors would make the coral really stand out."
The historic Inn at Willow Grove welcomed guests for the festivities.
Guests got a hint of what was to come seeing the coral-befrocked bridesmaids carrying bouquets from Sugar Magnolias, but the big reveal was saved for the reception itself: coral, mint and gold cushions, and lavish floral arrangements in every iteration of coral from spicy-toned dahlias to almost-pink garden roses to pale peach astilbe.
Silk chiffon flowers and dried palms bedeck the bride's and groom's chairs. Table numbers were hand-stamped onto small blocks of wood while voltives were wrapped in coral paper.
Mint green table linens served as a quiet, neutral background while gold-leafed vases and candlesticks added a shimmery, elegant touch.
The four-tiered cake with adorable dog topper was accented with fresh blooms and pretty voltives.
"This couple really knew how to use color to their advantage," says Shannon. "They picked key elements and focused their attention to color there. The coral suited their romance, their style, the setting, and set a happy, relaxed mood for their guests. It became the perfect theme for the day."
Photo Credit: Elisa Bricker Photography
"I try to approach weddings in a very theatrical way," says Preston. So what more fitting a big-day venue than the Smith Center, a theater complex rich in Art Deco details and soaring sight lines. The ceremony was held in the grand lobby, followed by a reception for 250 on a sweeping stage.
"The bride understood the importance of drama," Preston says. "Together, we created something powerful."
The custom-built gilt-framed ceremony altar covered in roses, peonies, orchids, white stock and hydrangea; the stairs lead to the vast concert hall where the reception was held (on stage!). The couple’s child was wheeled down the white-carpeted aisle in a rose-covered carriage.
The sweetheart table featured swans, which were created with crystals, feathers and fresh flowers.
In a floral nod to the culinary experience to come, a rose and crystal pink pig is placed at the head table.
The other table arrangements featured soaring centerpieces with roses, peonies, orchids and hydrangea. Each towering centerpiece was further embellished with crystals.
Gold accents were everywhere, from stemware to flatware to the menu cards, which featured a regal crest.
The pièce de résistance: "We created a tall centerpiece dripping with garlands of pearls and attached the escort cards to the ends," Preston says. "It’s important that my guests are transported to another world. My goal is for them to say, ‘OMG, I have never seen anything like this!’"
The lavish, sugar-blossom wedding cake by Sylvia Weinstock featured tiers of chocolate and red velvet. “The most exciting part of a wedding is the element of surprise. It could be a change of lighting or a new scent in the air. I know I’ve succeeded when at the end of the evening the guests don’t want to leave.”
All photos courtesy of ALTF Photography
Love Notes Table Runner
With vintage sheet music and lace, you can create inexpensive table runners that will add a gorgeous touch to your reception décor. The faded paper, musical notes, and ornate lace are an eclectic mix that enhances any DIY wedding design.
• Vintage sheet music
• Lace with a straight border
• Glue stick
• Hot glue gun
Step one: Measure the table you are creating the table runner for. Calculate the number of sheet music pages and the length of lace you will need, making certain to add several extra inches so that the lace will overlap the sheet music on all four corners of the runner.
Step two: Using a glue stick, add glue to the torn edge of one of the sheet music pages and secure the other sheet so that they overlap, covering the torn edge. Smooth the glued edge. Continue by gluing new sheets to cover the torn edges. All torn edges should overlap on the inside seam of the table runner with the clean edges as the border. Repeat these steps until the table runner is as long as you’d like it to be.
Step four: Using a pair of scissors, make a clean diagonal cut into one corner of the lace. Trim the sharp edge to make a nice scalloped edge. Add a dot of glue to the two cut corners and overlap them. Repeat this process for all four corners to finish the lace edging.
Special Note: Spread the love and gift these table runners to your bridal party to use in their own homes.
Lucky Horseshoe Table Numbers
These unique table numbers are absolutely perfect for a farmhouse wedding! Full of country charm, they will set the design for each table and add a rustic chic touch to your wedding décor.
• Old or rusty horseshoes
• Cedar wood (several planks, enough to back all of your horseshoes)
• Miter saw
• Rusty tin craft nails
• Wire cutters
• Rusty tin craft wire (18 or 22 gauge thickness)
• Needle nose pliers
• Wood burning torch
Step one: Measure each of your horseshoes. Have your local hardware store cut your wood to size, or cut the wood yourself using a miter saw.
Step two: Secure a horseshoe to each cedar wood piece using your rusty nails. Before you nail the horseshoe in place, make sure it is nice and centered.
Step three: To make each actual number, you will need to cut four 4 to 8-inch lengths of wire. Keep in mind that your wire length will vary depending on the number you are creating; an “8” will take more wire than a “1.”
Step four: Wrap the four lengths of wire together to make one twisted group; use the needle nose pliers if necessary.
Step five: Bend the wire into the shape of the number you are creating.
Step six: Curl the ends of each number, as this is where your nails will go through to secure it to the wood.
Step seven: Hammer the numbers to the wood pieces, using the rusty nails. Use as many nails as needed to ensure the number is securely in place.
Step eight: Scorch the edges of your table numbers with your wood torch to give it a rustic appearance. Make certain to follow the manufacturer’s safety guidelines!
These colorful rag balls make the most delightful decorations for a wedding ceremony! Instead of fresh flowers that can be costly, hang these rag balls from shepherd’s hooks lining the wedding aisle; they will bring texture, color, and balance to an open area.
• 4 yards assorted fabric
• Hot glue gun
• Twelve 6-inch Styrofoam balls
Step one: Cut your fabric into 16-inch squares. Using your scissors, cut a small slit at each end. Rip the fabric so it has a torn finish on all four sides. Make several small slits about 1 inch apart at the top of the fabric squares.
Step two: Rip the cut slits into long pieces.
Step three: Using one of the strips of ripped fabric, make it into a loop with the print facing outwards. Glue into place. This will be the handle for your rag ball.
Step four: Place a dot of glue on the back side of one of your strips of ripped fabric, and glue it onto the Styrofoam ball. Wrap the fabric around the ball and glue the other end onto the ball. Continue these steps until the Styrofoam ball is completely covered.