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Greenville, SC 29611
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The Untidy Garden Blog

Festival of Wedded Bliss

Julie

2 weekends ago I rented at booth in a wedding festival. It was a blast.  So many lovely brides came through the Hyatt in downtown Greenville – in fact, way more than I thought would stop by. As I planned the look for my little square of space, I knew I wanted a structure that could be visible from a good distance. I thought a 10 ft pergola would fit the bill, so I enlisted the help of my husband and his brother. After they spent a few days in the woods with a chainsaw, we were able to load the basic workings of a frame into my dad’s 1986 long-bed Ford F150.  The real fun came when it was time to load in and set up - we hauled literal trees into the lobby of the Hyatt downtown. Yes, everyone was staring at us. And yes, there was a trail of bark.

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After some planning and talking, they started to bolt all of the logs together. We got plenty of “what the heck are you doing?” looks, but everyone was very gracious, and some of the hotel staff even offered a helping hand (and a broom and dustpan). After a few hours the dust settled and my pergola was standing tall the night before the big show.

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While I planned for the pergola, I needed to do more than just offer a large structure for the brides to look at. We might get people asking us if we built pergolas instead of arranging flowers. I wanted to create a look underneath the pergola – one look. I also incorporated lots of texture with my flower choices (like protea and thistle, and peonies, garden roses, celosia, dianthus, roses and tulips. It is difficult to please everyone with your style and color choices, I understand, but I wanted something colorful and full of texture since my pergola was all so….brown.  I tried out different tables, but none seemed to tell the story I wanted to tell, SO I used my own dining room table. I love it; it has character and visual interest. I did three arrangements altogether. The bouquet I made imbalanced the table, so I did not end up displaying a bouquet at all.

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In addition to my choice of flowers, I also wanted to give the brides something to take with them – for free with no strings attached. Sure they get cake and business cards at these things like there is no tomorrow, but I wanted to give away a different type of calling card – a rose. Nothing design worthy about it really, just a bright, bi-color rose with my contact information attached. Maybe giving them something they could take with them (and take care of instead of burying it in their bride bag) could help them remember me.  I wanted to make this rose distribution look nice, so I thought through numerous ways of doing it. I settled on putting the roses in water picks, sticking them in Styrofoam board and setting that in a large galvanized tub. That worked for about 2/3 of the day until there were too few roses and it looked scraggly. I moved the tub to the back of the booth and grabbed 3-4 roses at a time to distribute. That worked just fine since the crowds weren’t as thick. Seeing my roses being toted around by the brides at the show brought a smile to my face.

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Some of my favorite things about the show were talking to you brides about what your vision was. Some of you asked things like – I plan to have a superman theme wedding, what flowers would you recommend? Or how would you incorporate flowers into a rock n roll vibe, or a Gatsby-themed or an outdoor garden-like feel (for an indoor wedding)? These questions and many more help to fuel my creativity, and I enjoy it so very much.

So thank you for coming to the show; thank you for talking with me, setting up appointments and booking me this year. What an honor to work with you for your wedding.

The feedback from the show has been great so far, and I'd love to hear any feedback or ideas you have for me in the future.

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