Creating the Ceremony Scene: Southwest meets Contemporary
Dreaming up unique ceremony altar spaces is one of my favorite things to do. When Carrie and John asked me to design something crafty, yet modern, I was totally on board! Their save the date had a palette of burnt oranges and turquoise with a Southwestern geometric motif. I wanted their backdrop to mirror this with dramatic scale and a contemporary design. I also wanted to bring in native succulents and dried Cholla cactus.
It began with a sketch and then I needed to brainstorm what it would actually be made of. I wanted to use lightweight materials like paper for an airy and delicate garland. I cut different sized triangle and diamond shapes in varying shades of orange, and to bring a little depth and a contrasting pop of color, I made geometric boxes out of turquoise and aqua paper. I cut out feather shapes from a scrap piece of leather and painted one side of them with metallic paint in gold and copper.
I went out into the New Mexico hills and foraged fallen Cholla cactus. Luckily, once it has dried, the skin and very sharp spines fall off, making it a wonderful, natural material for a Southwestern installation! The groom’s mom had a perfectly complementary rug to place under the altar and I just love how it tied everything together!
The ceremony took place at the Center for Contemporary Arts in Santa Fe. I am in love with the way the garland’s geometric shadow played on their beautiful white gallery walls! After the ceremony it became the backdrop for the photo booth; I love when installation pieces serve double duty during a wedding.
It truly was a joy to custom design something so unique for such a wonderful couple ! I am so glad it was part of a beautiful wedding day!