Photos by Andrews Photography
Who says elegance has to cost a fortune? Not this gal.
When trying to match up this planners taste to a tight budget this planner had her work cut out for her. And by that planner, I mean me. See how I created a timeless and elegant Beverly Hills style wedding on a budget less that $15,000. I think the main key was to use all of my experience and training in the details that made this event look and feel as though the guests had stepped into a five star location.
The vision for this event was to create a simplistic design that incorporated reused elements and unexpected items that explained the couple. The main "wow" factors are the elegance of the recycled bicycle wheels as drum lamp shades in the ceremony space and the minimalist yet elegance of the color palate.
Most of the items used to create this event were reused. From the exquisite silk floral to the bicycle wheels used in the drum lampshades. Creating an elegant room in each space was key. Moving to the bouquet of the bride. Each piece in the bouquet is a vintage or handed down jewelry piece. Some earrings, some pins. Even the table linens in the reception were reused or created from fabric once used from another aspect of a different event.
Elegance was always the goal when constructing this event. Being that both ceremony and reception were being held in a "raw" space ( a barn style ball room in Lake Elmo MN called Wildwood Lodge) with exposed beams in the reception area and closed in space for the ceremony, brightness and a clean look is what was needed to transform the space to unite it.
Orchids are my favorite so that became a must. A must that needed to be in my price point when orchids are out of season. So I shopped online craft stores and ones around to find high quality orchids that looked and felt real.
As a ultimate fashionista I had to find a way to get a high quality dress without it costing through the roof. I purchased my ceremony dress ( a custom silk organza by MN based designer The Dress Maker) at a bridal consignment sale. It had never been worn previously adn I purchased it for a bargain $50! I then bought organza and had a peplum skirt made to fit over and added the crystal belt. For my second dress I purchased it at a bridal salon closing out one of their designers. It was a brand new gown that had been mis ordered by their store. It originally retails for $4700. I got it for a quarter of the price.
My groom owns a bicycle shop ( Jonny Rock Bikes) that became known in the community for repurposing high-end bikes. Therefore creating some element as an homage to that was very important. The groom even rode into the reception on a vintage cruiser that the room admired and cheered to as the bride and groom were introduced and was parked as part of the decor in the reception. Hipster chic also became prominent in the small displays throughout the reception such as the beaded "dollar store" chandeliers that were hand painted mardi gras beads, painted and strung to look like 1920's vintage pieces. Each costing about $20 and my time to make.
Elegant details like a round placecard table as guests entered was key in creating a five star atmosphere.
One of the bigger elements was the construction of the back drop framed out completely from pvc piping. This transformed an entirely dark space to the light, airy, whimsy that the guests experienced from the beginning of the event. I’m sure no guests imagined the amount of time spent in Home Depot and the meticulous measuring that went into something that looked so simplistic in the space. Yet it transformed the entire feeling of the room. Guests sipped champagne and entered into a room that set the tone and explained exactly who the bride was and the couple was. The drum shades constructed from flexible vinyl and aluminum bicycle wheels created an elegant lighting element leading up to candle wax pillar molds purchased from a resale shop. While planning the event there was always a certain vision but the specialness of an item like platinum colored candle molds were a surprise we were happy to find.
One of the first things that was known when planning the event was that there had to be as many reused items that we could fit in. Immediately I began sourcing a vintage candle sticks and vintage chandeliers. The candlesticks were easy to find. Chandeliers too expensive. I was searching online and found a site to paint beads and wire them to floral baskets to create a beaded chandelier. Immediately I went to the local dollar store and bought them out of flower baskets and beaded necklaces. One thing unexpected is the cover of the coloring of the metallic beads. A small paint booth was created to paint the chandeliers because the beads had to be painted and dried before wiring could take place. Another chandelier element was the large chandeliers over the dance floor. These were created and cut from bicycle shipping boxes. A pattern was created free hand, traced and cut out. Dowels were put in the center for them to stand and two patterns crossed in the center. Te chandeliers were painted a clean white to match the décor.
Overlays on the long tables were laid out from platinum colored tulle. Natural elements such as the artichokes and willow balls on the candlesticks were placed to create dynamic interest on each table and take from the trend of clustered items. Yet still keeping it simple.
I hope this inspires other brides to recycle for their wedding and also show brides that anything is possible at any budget. This is what I strive to show my clients consistently.