Thursday, June 20, 2013

Wedding: Altar

Yesterday and Tuesday, I posted the photos from inside the barn; today I am sharing the ceremony space.  The barn is on a hill and there wasn't a lot of flat space for laying out an aisle and altar.  Because we used folding chairs, it was very important that the area be relatively flat.  I kept having visions of grandma caught up in a folding chair that had only 3 legs on the earth before it folded up, swallowing her up in it.  Thankfully that didn't happen.
As I said over and over- ad nauseam -last week "It's a barn wedding, held outside".  While you might be surprised by the wide variety of questions to which that answer fit, right now the question is "what shoes should I wear?".  It's a barn wedding, held outside.... in this case that means rough terrain and potholes- in both the barn and on the lawn.  Remember, this is a real barn on a real working farm.  Even though this barn isn't home to neither tractors nor horses, it isn't a faux-barn wedding venue either.  The floor of the barn had holes- lots of holes....a few big enough for a small foot to go through- though thankfully that didn't happen.  Outside on the lawn...well let's just say nobody replaced the divots after the last polo match :D.

If you have dreams of a vintage barn wedding be sure to warn all the guests to wear appropriate shoes.  While most men would probably already wear shoes that fit this category...only you know your guest list and you might have one male fashionista who needs a warning.  For the most part this means the women need to be warned to choose attire that will go with flats or wedge heels.  I'm sure there are any number of elaborate ways of passing this message around; Brandin just went with word-of-mouth to notify her guests and it worked pretty well.
Thankfully, the wedding party walked gracefully toward the altar with not a single stumble or babble.  Ah, but there was some road kill.  Who you ask?  Me...ok...yes, it was me....  I'm the only idiot that managed to fall and it was epic.  So epic that I pulled the muscle in my was that spectacular.  I think the problem was that I tried not to know, because there were people everywhere....ok in all honestly, there were only two people at the barn that early and one of them was me, but still....there was an audience, a crowd a person who was watching and I didn't want to embarrass myself.  Soooo, instead I stumbled, arms flailing and legs going in all directions, for like 18 minutes before finally succumbing to gravity and hitting the dirt. embarrassing... moving on....

Most weddings will have a few elderly guests and maybe a wheelchair bound guests as well.  We used a golf cart to get the these guests up to the ceremony space.  If you are considering an outdoor wedding with anything that could even remotely be called "rough terrain" you really need some form of transportation for those guests who need assistance.

What to do for the altar was a long-k issue for us.  Brandin had found an altar that she really loved and she kept going back to it.

She loved the drape as well as the floral tie-backs.  Originally, the plan was that someone would build something.  But that didn't happen.  I get that, people are busy with real life.  We looked at Craig's list and even at rentals, but nothing made Brandin happy.  

Now, I must say Brandin isn't a high-strung girl, in fact, she's pretty chill.  But Tuesday, May 28, 2013 the girl lost it.  She was freaking out-not yelling or being rude-no, she was just worried, anxious and 
having trouble focusing.  She has been over to my house helping work on a few projects but after she got home I received this text. 

 What I found amusing was "don't laugh".   The drawing was the one you see below.  
I'm not laughing...I think it is a good idea actually.  So we use the rustic windmill...I like it....we use fabric (we had a ton) so she gets her drape...I like it...and we use the ball jars that tie it into the decor in the barn...I like it.  Nothing to laugh at.  However,  I still felt we were missing something so as the date of the wedding drew nearer, I spent one evening looking at rustic/vintage barn weddings to get ideas for the altar.  I found a lot of cool looking spaces using old doors.  Old doors we the oodles.  The barn was full of old doors.   I think we can make this work. Don't forget you can check my Pinterest or more specifically the "Wedding" board for all sorts of ideas and find what we used for inspiration. 
In the end I think the altar turned out really awesome.  The old door was in the barn and just needed a thorough cleaning to be perfect.  
The Burlap curtains are Brandin's sister's and are actual curtains.  We simple ran a length of twine through the top and tied it off around the windmill.  The tulle was actually left over from the walls inside the barn.  The tulle was 8'x8' and was gathered with a quick gathering stitch on my sewing machine.  FYI:  I did all the cutting and sewing at the barn because tulle wrinkles easily and once it is wrinkled it is hard-to-impossible to get them out.  I used a rotary cutter and self-healing mat to do all the cutting.  For the altar the tulle was gathered tight at the top and actually tied right to the twine that holds the burlap curtains.  I tucked the tulle inside the curtain so that it looked more like a lining. The curtain and the tulle were tied back with twine and once the florist delivered the flowers, they were wired into place. 
We put the door, the curtains, and the chairs in place the night before the wedding and then spent all night praying it didn't rain.
This was taken the day before- notice the beautiful weather. 
Ideally, I would have done it all the morning of but my husband couldn't help me and I was by myself- no way I was carrying the door and climbing the windmill.  Thankfully, it didn't rain until later.
My friend gave me some old wire that he had from taking down a fence- great because it was rustic.  My husband wrapped it around the mason jars and adding a hook at the top.  He gave each one a little twist and twirl that really added a lot of character.  I hung the jars the morning of the ceremony, catching the hook on the metal of the windmill.  We had candles in them but since it was raining I didn't bother to light them.  My final embellishment was adding the poms that looked like flowers.  I used fringing sheers to make a pretty center for each of the smaller poms- made using half sheet of tissue.
To the left of the windmill we raised a gazebo.  Why you ask?  Because the harp can't be in the sun...duh.  I didn't know that either, but Farmer John told us we needed some sort of shade.   Because the gazebo was not attractive at a wedding level, I added a row of the pom flowers across the front to help beautify it.  Come on, I'm not a miracle worker....
The florist did a beautiful job with the buckets of flowers that hung from shepherd's hooks.  I love that she removed the metal handles and replaced them with a length of satin ribbon simply tied in place.  
Time to get married......
The harp all safe in it's gazebo.  No sun that day, but I'm sure the rain wouldn't have done much good either.  

A very pretty ceremony.

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