Sunday, July 20, 2014


   This summer my oldest childhood freind passed away from Cancer. She was the kindest , warmest woman you could ever know.   I think of her everyday, and miss her constantly.  However......She had 3 fabulous children, and one of them a girl. Not just any girl but .....EMMA!   Emma has been a literal rock of strength and has held me up at times even though that should be my job.   
     Two months before Teresa died, she and I talked about Emmas wedding, and I sketched out some ideas on a piece of paper, and she said to me.....I just want you to know that " I know you'll make magic happen."   I wasnt quite sure what I was going to do, but with everything my inspiration starts when I get there.   I filled my trailer with dent and ding products that were left over from the warehouse sale the week before, and cut down a ton of weeping willow branches, put them in buckets of water, and took my favorite pair of urns.....Off I go heading to Iowa.  The wedding is in one week. 

 After I unload my trailer in the garage, it looks like a garage sale, and I ask Emma......Ok, How big is the tent??????   she says......
50 x 100 !!!!!!  WHAT?!?!?!?????@@   are you kidding me?????
THAT is is football field. How on earth am i going to make a circus tent look intimate, classy, and elegant?????  Okay ....breathe, breathe, breathe....  When is it coming???? oh, not till wednsday.  Okay....Now I have just a few days to do this.....yikes. 
   So , I look up a local wholesale nursery and head there first....loading up with any possible basket or flower I can find....anything to take up space right???????

 I brought with me a couple hundred of these little tiny flower buckets thinking we could plant and give away, and it just so happened I found two flats under a table at the greenhouse with lavender plugs.  (Whew!)

The next step was to realize that we needed some architectural elements because we had NO walls!!!  NO walls!!!!!  how the heck do you hang anything??? do anything????   breathe breathe.....
A two hour drive to a friends architectural slavage place in missouri was my emergency stop...remember, 8 ft. is all I have in this trailer.   Well.......I find these screen panels, that were once rose trellises but they happen to be 11 ft.  John says, NO WAY  you can't fold them they are iron....Ya know, when there is a will there is a way....I repacked, and put the bend to the back, and hung out the wire, tied my bright orange tie downs, and VIOLA it was perfect with warning flags and all......
Remember THIS is what I have to fill up to look like a princess wedding.  I promised Teresa it would be beyond fabulous. And what I had in mind flew out the window because the side wall height was only 7 feet, so my thought of building an arbor was a NO GO !!!   Breathe Breathe Breathe
    All the tree trimmings went to good use, they were the first thing I placed to get some height and fullness going.  I think we have enough for a bonfire to see from Chicago. 
This is the outside of the tent.....we are talking HUGE PEOPLE!!!!!

This was the sunset as I wondered what to do next....I KNEW it was Teresa giving me the sweet sign to just pull it off!!

The ceremony was to take place outside, I brought a cross from europe with me, and the pink doors were from Amy's store...The Nest in Sperry Iowa...( by the way...Amy. I could not have done this without) She was my angel.... we raided her store on more than one occassion.
 The green doors I found in Missouri, and the grapevine I harvested at a local woodland.
The Archetectural pieces that are corners from an alter I also found in Missouri...How perfect!!! I HAD to get them.

The floral arrangements were made by adding oasis with wire to various items, and I covered it in soaked moss to keep it from not drying out in the sun before the ceremony. And of course the burlap net I brought a whole roll that we sell so much of at Peacock Park Design.

amazing.......I KNOW teresa was looking down on all of was god!!

The makings of the head table. I wanted to do a large display but not "block" the bride, so we constructed a platform that put them up a cinderblock in height so there was room for a great display below..

 Theres Amy always pitching in......thank you thank you thank you  Amy!!1

 The tent was placed right on the corner of the gravel drive. So I thought that there was a perfect spot to  make it look intentional.  Amy had this fountain at her store, we went and picked it up, put it on the gravel, and gave that corner a park like theme.  The moss covered the water slush from the draining beer troughs.  so it worked perfect. 
  I asked the grooms dad if he could find me a pair of white doves.  WEll......look, just what I wanted. They were so sweet, and the couple released them at the end of the night. 

Tucker is an avid hunter so they insisted that his deer head be part of the celebration. He had earrings and a peacock park design crown, I had him mounted between two columns that I found in Missouri and had a 2x4 screwed across the top so that the deer head would suspend over the top of the beer troughs.

I found these two arches in Missouri and screwed them into the floor of the stage for the head table.  I thought they would look great holding the lanterns. I screwed one to the bottome of each so they would suspend in a fall.
  These are the rose trellis that I found, they are intended to face the other way, but I thought it worked great to bed outward so that I could hang some lights that I brought with me of old peacock park design products (you might recognize these from an old  Victoria shoot).  I hung them at different levels, and buried the x-cords to give us some light....there is NO lighting.
  I brought all the dent and ding little conservatories, and made different vignettes in each one. No two tables were alike.
Amy dropped off this old typewriter, just in case I could somehow use it....well, it turned out to be my favorite thing....... I stuffed it with moss, and planted it with tiny snow flowers and lavender...... I had the grooms mom type a page that said.....Tucker loves Emma
  I placed it at the sign in table

 A huge assortment of give aways.

Emma said she had a few things she had been saving..... a box of frames from a closeout ( you will see them scattered throughout, old books, mixed up china, and mild glass vases all of this from goodwill. Oh, and a mix of different lace or printed cloths.  So each table got an assortment of this treasure.

The truck is a Peacock Park Design product, I just did a quick little lettering job, and cans from a craft store dollhouse department complete it. This was the cake table.  Waiting for the cake.

This is actually an old ashtray stand from the 40's I found in the barn. It looked great as a plant stand along with a garden find brought indoors.

This is our ornate metal work lanterns. The glass was broken out so the plants could spill out onto the table.  Grandpa of the groom made some wood discs so I also put those to some good use here and there. 

Oh, I would STILL be there making arrangements. That is Amy helping me, we knocked out 50 individual arrangements that were used with flowers that the bride and groom had pre ordered to put into the milk glass vases. I loved how no two were alike.  

Adding a board between those two arches allowed me to hang a PPD chandelier that is in the line now.  The reflection on the tent ceiling was fabulous.

We all know how I LOVE my PPD stage. This was put below the head table, with real lace added as a curtain and a tap light illuminated the little bride and groom all night. 

It is starting to take shape. The table on the right is getting ready for the food to arrive.  I can't stand a plain table with chafing dishes in a row.  So I used baskets and unexpected decor to hide the usual chrome of the fixtures. I real tomato plant in a vintage bucket looks great by the salad fixins.

Emma chose to throw lavender , so her aunt Brenda cut and taped each cone with wonderful vintage type papers.

It is starting to look like something
This is such a simple display. An antique building corbel supports and old book, a scoop of lavender and a milkglass arrangement.  oh, and of course a roll of jute, that I found laying around.  The key here is just use anything you can find. 

This is a fishtank from PPD, it has a pair of white fish, and a taplight at night added for ambience.  This  was for the Father of the Bride table.

These are PPD cherubs, and all I did was put oasis soaked and wrapped and did a floral arrangement in each one. The stem of the long rose gives the illusion he is doing the arranging when actually the stem is way into the oasis.

I chose to keep all the arrangements on the head table with just white flowers. I think it made a chic statement.
  Everyone knows Zak goes everywhere with me, and he was the hit of the wedding, even though we all know you are not supposed to upstage the bride, but he just couldnt help himself.
My beautiful Friends , Beautiful house, she asked that all the window lights be lit for the evening.


My dear Freind Carol made the bouquet for me as a gift 10 years ago. I added organza ribbons and freesia to the long tendrils. It was breathtaking.  Carol is such a talent, and makes bridal accessorries by request. Ask me if you need her info. 


This was a birdcage stand I found in an antique shop on my way over to Iowa.  I thought it looked great with a vase tied in twine for a milkglass arrangement.

Teresa told me before she passed that she wanted to have  a swing in the yard. Larry built it and when I got there, I festooned it with tulle, oasis flowers, vines worthy of Marie Antoinette.  That was for you Teresa.  I got there at 6 am, when I did that arrangement, and was crying so hard I could hardly see where to place the flowers.  I KNEW Teresa was standing with me the whole time. 

This was an old PPD cage that the front door was missing off of. I lined the bottom with wood discs and moss, added a vine arrangement and it made it the perfect height for the water and lemonade dispensers which needed to be raised up. ( I knew that thing would come in handy somehow).
Daddy and his girl....Not a dry eye in the house.  trust me.....
This was an old mailbox we found in the garage......planted it up, and added an arrangement a frame,, and some twine book pages and good to go.

Where there is a will there is a way.....below is a shot of the warehouse sale tents that I picked through to take some stuff to use in case i needed something for props.   I HAD NO IDEA it was so big.  

Teresa's swing before the fresh flowers were added. Amy helped me attach grapevine and tulle.

WHAT..????!!!???  PHOTO BOOTH????  we need a photo booth?????
who knew.... Sooooo we raided Amys store again, grabbed some wonderful doors, I had that basket I threw in my trailer, and I did an arrangement , staked it into the ground so it wouldnt move, and left a stack of old frames for people to play with.

Oh, yes, Zak is always not far from any action. He seriously doesnt know that he is a dog.  I had no idea when we rescued him that he would be such a great little guy.  

So the moral of the story here is.......
  It doesnt have to cost a fortune to look like one.  It is fun to use unexpected treasure to make the moment memorable. 
Dont overthink it.   This wedding started evolving on thurs. afternoon once we could get into the tent, and was camera ready for Sat. 
Emma was the most beautiful bride ever....I love that little girl, and I was so proud of her that day.  You can see more of her wedding with proffessional photos at. 
AND ENJOY....they are truly beautiful.
  This was my cart loaded with willow heading to Iowa in the morning.....Note to self......Next time, go get a willow tree closer to the venue!!!!!!



Sandi said...

This is breathtaking, but then I would expect it to be since you did it. :)

time worn interiors said...

Wow, wow, wow!! Your are amazing Gina!!

Binky said...

Amazing, and such a sweet thing
your departed friend.

molly- See you downtown said...

You outdid yourself with this fabulousness, no mean feat I can say from seeing your market showrooms. My condolences on the loss of your friend, may the memories help the pain subside with time.

linnea-maria said...

Wow! I'm amazed! You did an extraordinary work for her wedding.

Unknown said...

What a gift you gave to that darling couple! Your love and talent with wisdom from "above" made for an unforgettable wedding.
Thanks for sharing!

Tamara said...

Hi..I found your name in an ad of Where Women Create and I was intrigued by the photo.. OH MY GOSH. What a beautiful unfolding of this special event as I read your post. What spectacular talent and so much love..Bless your heart. I'm very sorry about the loss of your friend. I'm sure her cup was running over as she was watching.
I'll be following. I love your style and spirit. Thank you for sharing.


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