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Ceremony Decor, from Vision to Reality

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We were married at an inn on the Outer Banks, on a deck that led from the inn to the dunes, and then the ocean. The space has the same rustic, weathered look the defines the Outer Banks. Since “rustic and weathered” wasn’t quite the look we were going for with our ceremony decor, we needed a decor plan in place to achieve our vision. My mom, sister, and I took a trip to the Outer Banks to work with floral/event designer Renee Landry and create a decor plan that achieved three things: (1) the space should burst with personality and color (2) the space should be red and blue, but use a range of palettes and patterns so that it didn’t feel too “4th of July,” and (3) in order to keep costs down, we would reuse as many ceremony decor elements at the reception as possible, and make as many elements ourselves that we could.

I fell in love with the idea of using pomanders instead of traditional altar florals as a way to add vibrant pops of color and personality to the space. (True story: the wedding that got me hooked on pomanders was right here on EAD!) In my mind, pomanders were fun, flirty, and more casual than traditional florals, so they fit into our wedding theme perfectly. The downside of pomanders is how long they take to create, which means they’re fairly expensive to use in bulk. We achieved the look of a pomander bonanza at a lower pricepoint by making fabric pomanders to supplement the floral pomanders at the “altar,” then reusing only the floral pomanders as our reception centerpieces. We had originally planned on tissue pomanders, but the high humidity and wind on the beach called for a more substantial material. My mom took on this thankless task, using pinking shears to cut fabric squares and inserting them one by one into styrofoam centers. Each pomander took up to nine hours to create, and she made lots of them. Here’s a shot from her dining room as the pomander collection started to grow:

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In person, the effect was wonderful. The floral pomanders (made primarily of carnations) were beautiful, and the overall look had so much volume that you didn’t notice they weren’t all flowers. Up close, though, the fabric pomanders were so pretty that you didn’t mind they weren’t flowers – the patterned fabric added some depth to the overall effect.

(All photos by Beach Productions)

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Pattern was another focal point of our decor plan. We decided that a patterned aisle runner would provide the most bang for our patterned buck at the site, and along with the pomanders, would contribute a whimsical, lighthearted feel. Using some fabric we’d already purchased and decided against for our reception tables, a family friend sewed the runner for us, and it was stapled right into the deck the afternoon of the wedding. Here’s how the entire space came together:

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In order to provide some color to the white wooden chairs and avoid costly chair ties, we made wedding wands using ribbon that were placed on each guest’s chair. The program directed everyone to wave their wands as we walked back down the aisle and during a large group photo that was taken immediately following the ceremony.

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Speaking of programs, ABCD created adorable pocket-sized programs for us. The covers were letterpressed, while we printed the interior ourselves using navy ink. We bound them with red and white ribbons of varying patterns.

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Coming up next: We get married! The ceremony and the details that made it ours.