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Covering a backyard wedding

Project Briefs | October 1, 2012 | By:

Exclusive Events draws on experience to pull off a backyard wedding with a short lead time and an expanding guest list.

When Exclusive Events Inc. of St. Louis, Mo., began working with a client on a backyard wedding only one month before the date, the plan called for a simple 30-by-30-foot frame tent. Then the guest list began growing … and growing … and growing. In the end, the reception took place under a 100-by-40-foot clearspan installed by Traube Tents and Structures, Columbia, Ill.

The time frame was most likely the shortest Exclusive Events has ever worked with for what ended up being such a large and detailed job, says Erin Schulte, owner/producer of Exclusive Events. But the event design and production company, which produces 10 to 20 backyard events a year, drew on its experience to pull off what normally would have been planned over many weeks or months.

“Decisions had to be made at warp speed, which is not always easy for the client,” Schulte says. “In this case it really did work out perfectly, because with less time to plan there was less time to second-guess decisions.”

The client envisioned a tent that was soft, natural and not too over-the-top. Exclusive Events achieved this with no-frills iron chandeliers and simple white sheer drape that traveled along the ceiling and down the tent walls.

“The ceiling was a clear top, so we naturally wanted the trees overhead to shine through,” Schulte says. “We did not completely cover the ceiling to help ensure that a bit of nature made itself part of the decor.”

Neutral linens and centerpieces of delicate pink floral completed the soft design. “After darkness fell, the same white drape became the palate for the pink lighting to turn a daytime elegance into nighttime glamour,” she says. “It looked like an entirely different, but equally gorgeous, tent.”

While tents have long been a staple of backyard parties, Schulte notes that with her company’s clients, tents are more likely than ever to be enhanced with lighting and decor to make every backyard event unique and special. Most tents designed by Exclusive Events feature either natural or whimsical slants, with soft blues, greens and pinks at the forefront of the latest color trends.

“The tents and locations in backyards lend themselves to a very natural or blank palate to create a design,” Schulte says. “It is wonderful to take a flat, plain area and design to the personality of the client without having to worry about covering up an ugly hotel wall.”

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