Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Blackbeard Wheat and Cut Glass

Katie D., who was married on November 27, 2009, combined seasonally appropriate Blackbeard Wheat with inexpensive cut glass picked up from yard sales and other second hand sources to create simple, gorgeous and inexpensive centerpieces for her wedding. For me, beauty is all about contrast, and the combination of the rustic Blackbeard Wheat with the ornate cut glass has contrast (and beauty) in spades. In some respects, these centerpieces have quite a bit in common with the "crystal trees" that have been extremely popular for the last few years, which also combine warm, rustic, organic elements with cool, opulent, man-made ones.

In addition to the pictures (taken by Vantage Pictures), Katie sent us this great write-up, loaded with helpful tips and observations:

The venue our wedding took place at was willing to put out our pre-made centerpieces, as long as there were no live/fresh flowers. Considering the cost savings, I was definitely open to the idea of not having a florist do our reception, but was out of ideas until I came across your website. Your post on the dried wheat bouquets photograph from Martha Stewart inspired me. I combined this idea of using dried wheat with one from a friendly acquaintance, who had used old antique cut glass as her votive candle holders. I decided to take her cut glass concept one step further and find cut glass vases for the dried wheat.

During these warm spring months last year while everyone is doing their spring/summer cleaning, I scoured yard sales, thrift shops, and Granny's attic. The cut glass is ideal for giving some serious sparkle for those on a serious budget. I would use smaller pieces (wine glasses, dessert bowls, punch glasses, etc. ) for my votive candle holders, and the larger pieces, like vases, to hold the Blackbeard Wheat I bought from Nettleton Hollow.

At first I was going to do an array of your dried wheat and grasses, but then decided to keep it simple and just stick to the Blackbeard Wheat. I ordered one bundle of wheat in the summer to do a "test run", and then when I decided I liked the look, I ordered the rest in September for our November 27 wedding. The wheat keeps VERY well. In fact, I was just at a family member's home who had taken home a centerpiece, and in May, it still looks exactly the same as it did when I ordered it in September.

Assemblage was so simple. All I had to do was trim the wheat to the proper length for each vase, since they all varied. I also cut a few longer pieces to have varying heights in the vase and give it depth. How much to use for each vase also really varied, but I ordered one bundle per vase. It all worked out because some of the wider vases required more than a bundle, but the skinnier vases did not require an entire bundle.

I do not regret one single bit not having fresh flowers at my wedding. After adding the low lighting and tons of candles flickering off of the cut glass, the rustic, simple elegance the wheat offered to the hall was surprisingly dramatic. The dark brown tablecloths and the Blackbeard Wheat looked amazing together. Guests actually commented on how they loved the concept of celebrating late Autumn by NOT having fresh flowers everywhere on a day where it's 40 degrees outside. The photograph of the room does not do justice to how simple and gorgeous the wheat and cut glass looked. The lighting appeared lower, sort of like in the close-up, so it truly was a dramatic looking effect. Throw in some large pinecones I collected from an old pine tree in my neighborhood, the ridiculously inexpensive cut glass, and the very affordable dry wheat from Nettleton Hollow, and my entire cost was about $15 per table!

Our venue required us to take everything with us that evening, which would have been a scary thought, having to clean up centerpieces on my wedding night? So we took care of that problem by telling guests to take home the centerpieces and candle holders as favors, and that couldn't have gone over better. People LOVED the idea of taking home a beautiful vase, filled with gorgeous wheat.

Anyway, thanks for the great, cost-effective idea.

Often a little creativity, planning and restraint - not a big budget - are the key ingredients for spectacular displays.


Donna Hart, Independent Design Consultant, Willow House said...

I have discovered a goldmine of gorgeous products here that perfectly complement my line of Willow House home accessories. I look forward to sharing your site with my customers at my Willow House site and personal facebook site as well as my in-progress in-progress facebook business page and blog. My WH team members will love it too. Beautiful and inspired, Justin! Truly, I can't wait for some quiet time to sit down, browse and buy -- for my displays as well as my home! So glad I found you. Warm regards, Donna

Justin said...

We're glad you like it, and thanks for letting us know!