Whimsy Meets Industrial in the Heart of Denver

Whimsy Meets Industrial
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View More: http://jonischrantz.pass.us/dunn

In 2013 I was honored to design the first wedding at McNichols Event Center, a new gallery and event space located in Denver’s Civic Center Park. The 100-year-old building is a grand, pillared affair on the outside—it was the city’s first public library—but inside, the stripped-down industrial space was truly a blank canvas.

The bride and groom were set on a theme of yellow, which I used to add bright touches that softened and livened the contemporary space. Each table featured a centerpiece made from different yellow flowers in simple glass vases—25 types of yellow flowers in all. Tall arrangements of gladiolas and grasses added height to bars and buffet tables. The bride’s bouquet featured a giant airplant at its center as well as protea and orchids.

Charged with the task of creating an intimate space for the ceremony, I worked with the bride to create a monochromatic background using strips of cheesecloth and burlap. The result was stunning and functional as it filtered the intense late afternoon sunlight that poured through the windows behind the bride and groom. Pulling a single thread on the burlap for a few of the strips was the bride’s idea, and the scalloped ruffle provided a lovely textured setting for a kiss.

Photos by Joni Schrantz

Wildflower Rustic on a Crested Butte Mountaintop

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Held at a beautiful Craftsman-style cabin atop a ridge overlooking Mt. Crested Butte, this wedding was blessed with a beautiful setting and jaw-dropping views. The bride and groom didn’t have a theme or palette, instead, they wanted the reception to feel like it was an extension of the house’s decor, which was bright and colorful with with lots of vintage details.  I was able to grow most of the wildflowers in my gardens (and plucked a few more from the side of the road) to do all the centerpieces as well as the bride’s and maid of honor’s bouquets.

The tablescapes were incredibly fun as we created custom Pendleton blanket-inspired runners for each of the 15 tables using wool remnants. Each table was named after a place special to the bride and groom, and the groom hand-painted signage for each place. Mismatched plates and silverware were sourced from antique markets, and I cut and sewed napkins from various vintage tablecloths to round out the look. Wildflowers arranged in colored glass vases and tiny pots of succulents finished off the tables and we added hanging baskets to bring more color into the tent. The bride made tiny fabric satchels of wildflower seeds for favors, which also served as place cards.

One of my favorite touches were the cocktails that we had we poured into mason jars and froze ahead of time. We placed these in an old wheelbarrow and as guests arrived, they could help themselves to a slushy that they could carry up the hill for the ceremony. I used all the remnants from the dinner napkins to cut small cocktail napkins, which added a splash of color to the photos (and eliminated nearly all the paper waste!).

Photos by Laure Joliet and Morgan Satterfield

Hops and Homebrew in Manitou Springs

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This bride and groom loved to brew beer and making homebrews together had been a part of their courtship. The earthy textures of grains and hops were a natural fit for their wedding, held at a lodge in the mountains outside Manitou Springs, Colorado. Simple burlap runners created a rustic setting while the tablescapes incorporated the brewing theme with scattered grains, tables named after various ale styles and of course, delicious beer brewed and bottled by the bride and groom.

I used vines of bright green hops to decorate the reception area and the purple and orange floral palette added the perfect contrasting splashes of color. The colors also echoed the custom bridesmaid tea dresses, each of which was made from a vintage-inspired floral fabric. Bright purple ribbons carried through the color from bouquets to centerpieces.

Hail and rain pounded the hillside during the day, but in true Colorado fashion, one hour before the ceremony, the weather tapered off and gave way to a beautiful evening with a stunning sunset.

Photos by Jason and Gina Grubb