Handmade Floral Arbor For a Hamptons Countryside Wedding
Every woman from her beginnings as a little girl up until a ring is placed upon her finger, dreams of the special details of her wedding day. I find each wedding to be completely unique from another. Finding the mountain, beach, or country backgrop is only the foundation of many many decisions that need to be made in terms of the entire atmosphere of the special day. Weddings have always touched a certain part of my heart in terms of decor. An atmosphere is turned into the bride's vision and for one night you are an essential part of her own curated dreamland.
A few weeks ago I was able to be a part of creating that dreamland for a dear family friend located in East Hampton, New York. A rustic barn, sunlit grassy field, grove of ancient oak trees, and even a few hay bails created an the entire scene that exuded a romantic bohemian essence with the sophistication of the rural flair of the Hamptons. With only five weeks to plan out her vision, the bride enlisted my help in the floral department. She imagined herself being married under a canopy of tulle, twigs, and lush blossom. My job became to make that vision a reality:
Never having much experience in floral design (besides one basic level class) the process was very exploratory. The frame was built from a bamboo forest located right in farm's backyard. I started by draping about 25 yards of ivory tool across all the posts of the frame.
Being right in the midst of a wooded area, I decided to forage some greenery for the base of the floral arrangement. I used thin branches of bambo to bend into an arch around the corner of the structure. Then, vines of ivory, willow twigs, and branches of boxwood were attached with floral wire on top.
An array of filler flowers were provided by a local supplier, however I decided to use vulumonous hygrangeas as the focal point of the arrangement. The bride gathered a gorgeous assortment of green, ivory, and plum colors from her friend's garden to feature in the design.
Hydrangeas are very whimsical flowers, however they require an extra step of maintenance after they are cut from the bush. I placed the Hydrangea stems in a small tube of water so that they maintained their beautiful color and didn't dry out. These green tubes are very easy to hide within the arrangement and ensure that the blooms will stay fresh all night long (especially in the August heat).
After hours of careful placement, the structure seemed to come to life! A team of myself, my mother, and a few other guests began to curate the decorative elements of the setting. We placed a white runner atop the green grass for an aisle, lights in the hanging branches of the trees, and handwritten chalkboard labels at the entrance. Before I could even stop for a minute the entire atmosphere of the farmhouse backyard transformed into an environment that exuded love and beauty.
“I could not tell you if I loved you the first moment I saw you, or if it was the second or third or fourth. But I remember the first moment I looked at you walking toward me and realized that somehow the rest of the world seemed to vanish when I was with you.”
I will forever be a hopeless romantic. I believe true love to be something quite majestic and worth celebrating. Meet Jarvis and Tonia, two souls drawn together by their mere passionate natures. Although it may not have been love at first sight, they both grew to love each other for their entire beings. Both agree their path to each other was not an easy one, but certainly well worth the wait.
Tonia and Jarvis are attracted to a healthy lifestyle spent traveling, caring for their five children, and spreading happiness to many fortunate folks around them. Both also bear the need to create a positive community; the two are the operators of Be Your Best Health, which offers yoga, reiki, and retreats. Tonia is an acclaimed yoga teacher and reiki healer and Jarvis noticed her unique spirit for health and wellness. Jarvis, having previously held top corporate executive positions, decided to make her desire to inspire others and extensive clientele into a marketable business operation. The couple are looking forward to spreading their love and ambition on two reclusive retreats in the winter and of course their vitalizing honeymoon to the ashrams of India in the fall!
The ceremony was absolutely breathtaking. My eyes swelled up as I watched Tonia gracefully stride towards Jarvis soft smiling face. Their original vows plucked a string in my heart as they proclaimed the lotus flower a symbol of their eternal love. As they sealed their words with a kiss, the crowd cheered with joy and sheer admiration for the beautiful newlyweds.
For the elegant farm-set soiree the large open air tent created a comforable setting for guests to mingle over an elevated picnic-inspired meal. The decor highlitighted bold pops of color to contrast with antique furniture. Personal touches like small Buddha statues and metallic lanterns nodded towards Tonia's love of yoga and global culture. Meanwhile the classic elements of the wedding played against wildness of farm-fresh flowers and rustic elements creating an awe-inspiring scene.
Congrats Tonia and Jarvis! I hope you live out the memories of your fairytale wedding for many years to come. I can't wait to reunite with your contagious positive energy again for the Cost Rica retreat in January! Xx