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Decor prototypes help bring a client’s vision to life

Project Briefs | April 1, 2008 | By:

A chandelier prototype will ensure that the florist, the client and tent installers are on the same page.

A long, cold Minnesota winter hasn’t slowed planning for the June garden-themed wedding at the Oehler property on Lake Minnetonka.

“During the winter months we like to have clients come into our office to do tabletop demonstrations of the linen choices they want, their final table settings, look at their china, their glassware, their flatware, see what new items we’re bringing in,” Jim Bach, Apres Party and Tent Rental, says.

In March, Bach received bride Sara Oehler and her mother Lynn at Apres’ store in Edina to do just that. For the meeting, florist Martha Lunde, of Martha’s Gardens in St. Paul, created samples of the lush florals that will complement Oehler’s garden, and the group discussed how to make the 80-by-70-foot pole tent seem more intimate.

The bride said she might like leafy garlands in and around the tent. Bach pointed out some challenges (for example, garlands around the perimeter can block the Italian bulb lights), and suggested that the florist could visit a similar tent setup to get a feel for the possibilities and limitations.

The group discussed everything from portable toilets to twinkle lights, hammering out details and looking at Apres’ photo books. Bach and Lynn Oehler have worked with Lunde to devise a tiered, chandelier-like floral centerpiece that will hang from the center of the reception tent. The chandelier will provide lighting by way of flickering LED lights, which Apres will hand-paint to mimic real flame.

The challenge of the chandelier, Bach says, is making sure that the florist’s vision for the centerpiece works with the specifications of the tent. To make sure that all parties are on the same page, Lunde will build a prototype in the coming weeks for Bach to inspect and adjust as necessary.

“I think we’re pretty close to her understanding what I need done and me understanding what she needs done,” he says.

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