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Monday, November 22, 2010

Chuppas, Altars, and Ceremony Structures

A sacred place where ceremonies take place...and an important element of a wedding. It's the spot where the first "married" kiss is shared, the place where those beautiful vows are read, and the object of everyone's attention at the ceremony.
I love to make them...chuppas, altars, arbors, arches...whatever you call them, they make the ceremony special and each is custom to the client's theme, environment, colors, and personal style.


They can be made of just about anything for the base...natural tree branches (look out neighbors, she's at it again!), storebought branches (that's no fun!), bamboo, pvc, aluminum, copper. But the beauty truly comes from the fabric, flowers, prayer cloths, garlands, jewels, and ribbons that are added to make them come to life.

The trick to the whole thing is making it stand straight. There have been countless beach weddings where I played the role of "Digger the Dog"...digging and scooping the sand and packing it down to prevent the usually windy spot from taking it down. Sometimes it forces the tying of various fishing lines, wires, even zip ties in a pinch, just to hold it up.

Grass is harder and I usually need a shovel (and I am really not a happy camper when we forget it!) but truly the most stable place to do it. Ground also allows for a thinner base, and the ability to use natural elements that go perfectly with the outdoor environment.

Indoors? Uh oh...this is where I suggest the base be made of metal and wrapped with fabric to conceal. A squared off metal structure won't fall. Believe me, my biggest fear is that it's going to fall! If it's not made of metal, there must be a base, a planter, an umbrella stand, a cement block or anything too heavy for the average girl to tote around. But then you have to bulk up the bottoms with something...plants, fabric pooled at the ground, big florals...and these can get in the way of the ceremony space and large bridal parties.

Whatever the design elements are, we choose them to coordinate with the space. Indoors or outdoors, they can transform a simple cermony into a magical environment. Mazel Tov, Congratulations, You May Now Kiss Your Bride!

 special thanks to Nina Sutherland Photography, Darice Michelle Photography, Agnes Lopez Photography, and Naturally Photography for some of these images :)

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