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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Reception - Embroidery hoop wall

I am brand-spanking new to the world of planning parties for others, but one thing I have learned already is that you have to remain f l e x i b l e.

There were some elements of The Reception that were absolutes - I will be making a pin board that can be used as a guest book, and I have ownership over that idea. Other things I will be the one to execute, but I hold back on making any purchases until the idea is set in the couples' minds. I am, after all, the assistant to this creative design team.

Initially we discussed decorating the ceiling of the church's cultural hall (again, basically a multi-purpose room) like this


(Worst concept drawings ever!)

using tulle or organza to drop the ceiling, and hanging paper lanterns down the length of the room. Strands of white lights would be draped with the fabric.

Then, the bride-to-be mentioned she had seen something online with embroidery hoops, and wanted to use those instead of the lanterns. In keeping with the whimsical theme, I envisioned the hoops being hung with different strands of ribbons in their wedding colors


(Seriously - have you ever seen such terrible drawings on a blog?)

I bought the embroidery hoops at this point (and left the tags on), but did not buy any ribbon, as I wanted to confirm one more time that I was on the right track. Good thing I did, as the next incarnation was hanging the hoops vertically filled with plain colored fabric and hanging them like a mobile in the center of the room. The fabric tenting would now come towards the center of the room and then fan out


(No "A" for effort here...)

Through these developments, it was determined we had access to fabric to drape from the ceiling, lights, and paper lanterns. This was a major relief in terms of my budget, as these elements were the main contribution towards my initial estimate of $1,000.

Just recently, the bride-to-be decided that she just wants to do lights on the ceiling with the paper lanterns - no fabric. I said that was fine, and I would just return the embroidery hoops. She indicated that she still wanted to use them, perhaps on a wall. In discussing her plan for the layout of the room, it seemed the perfect spot would be behind the cake, which is going to be framed by two rented trees



(I was also going to "rent" some greenery -- i.e. use it and return it --, so this is a budget saver as well now that somebody else has stepped in to do this! Also, I don't have to feel guilty for being a cheapskate...just a terrible artist)

This seemed like a great idea, and a chance to find some really fun fabrics that fit with the couple's unique color palette, so the bride-to-be and I headed off to Jo-Ann. It was a weekend that fat quarters were on sale for 99 cents, and I said they would probably be the easiest to use with the potential to return the ones we did not cut.



The first print she picked up was a batik. I brushed it off nonchalantly, saying that I didn't like those types of prints -- but the bride-to-be was not dissuaded. She really liked the print because it had 3 out of the four wedding colors in it. Ok -- let's see what we come up with, I said, hoping as we picked out the rest of the fabric that one would seem out of place. But instead a few batik prints more ended up in the basket. I was nervous about our final selection of 12 fabrics, but I figured it was nice that the bride got to help in the process, and since fabric filled embroidery hoops are so cute and whimsical, it would not matter once they were all clustered together which fabrics they were filled with.

So -- here is the result of the first effort



There may be some of you out there that love it, but I hated it. It seemed too mismatched in terms of the types of prints used, yet some how also too obvious that we were trying to get fabrics in the four colors. I made an "assistant creative director" decision, and decided to buy new fabric without getting an ok from the bride-to-be first. I kept two of the original prints (one is sorta batik-y), and bought more fabric and two more hoops.


Here is the second try



I am much happier with this grouping! I tried to lighten it up a bit, and look for prints that had a cream colored base, or prints that used more than one of the wedding colors (my favorite is the floral print with moss green dots). To me this fabric selection looks more whimsical. Plus, it goes better with the wallpaper I will be using on the photo booth wall, which is a moss green damask. I may buy one or two more hoops to balance out the sizes.

I feel bad that I challenged the choices of my "clients," but I feel we are back on track with where it seemed we were going with the overall look for The Reception. Centerpieces are not under my purview, but worried we may be facing the same challenge of getting swayed by elements that match the color theme, but not the overall look it seemed we were heading towards. I have bought little bits and bobs that could be used on the tables to try and bring the couple around to my way of thinking :) Creative genius, or control freak??

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Remaining reception decorating budget: $906

Estimated project cost for embroidery hoops: $50 ( I was hoping I could find more of these thrifted, but only found two -- the largest ones)

Actual cost: Embroidery hoops $22 + fabric (rejected) $8 + fabric (used) $30 = $60 ($10 over budget)

Remaining reception decorating budget: $846 (still need to buy removable sticky hooks to hang these)

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Favorite of the day: Don't these sound awesome!

Working on: Ribbon to hang the moss letters. Notice in the post describing the moss letters I thought I would be buying lots of ribbon. Now -- not so much!

1 comment:

S'mee said...

So far so good!
In our area of SoCAL we are able to "borrow" numerous (read: enough to fill a cultural hall) plants, trees, flowers and shrubs, whatever from local nurseries WITHOUT feeling like we are fudging a bit! A person makes contact with the nursery plenty of time ahead so they can prepare, a walk around the nursery yard to hand pick the items, then signs a contract and bill of sale for all plants etc, post dated for the return date/time. It sounds really scary because the cost of all those plants can get into the thousands! However, the plants are picked up hours prior to the event, then return the following morning. If all is well, there is no charge! In 25+ yrs we have never had to pay for a returned plant! I bet there is a nursery near you who would be willing to make the same deal.

Good luck on the reception!