With a luxury H-shaped horse barn as the setting, an Alabama wedding was destined to showcase an upscale southern country theme. “The client knew what they wanted but didn’t know if it was realistic,” says event designer Geri Sims, owner of Geri Sims Wedding & Events, which serves the southeastern U.S. Sims took inspiration from the surroundings to create a sophisticated ambiance with textures and design touches including burlap, rocking chairs and wood floors. Port City Rental, Mobile, Ala., installed two frame tents—one on each end of the middle section of the “H”—creating one long space designed to keep 600 guests mingling.
Nearly every surface of the tents was covered with burlap liner to complement the barn—a significant cut and sew job, Sims says. Mounted game heads were borrowed from the family’s home to line the walls. Between the burlap and Edison lights, the space was designed to be dark. While burlap offered the look that the client wanted and the convenient feature of being able to staple through it for decor purposes without damaging it, the fabric did present one dilemma: fuzz. For about two weeks during installation, Sims’ crew would arrive to find a layer of fuzz that needed to be swept up. (Time eventually solved the issue.)
The birchwood structure that framed the interior was installed using ceiling wire and pipe-and-drape cross bar to ensure stability. Cotton and hops, prominent in this region, were featured in the floral decor. Rather than a sit-down dinner, some tables and chairs were set up along with food service on one end of the space, and a band entertained guests on the other end. Installers even built out a patio for cigar smoking. “It took us three, almost four months to build because of the wood floors, the tent, the patio, the entrance and so much burlap,” Sims says. “Every corner was custom.”