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Wedding in a historic garden

Design Spotlight | August 1, 2020 | By:

A wedding in the middle of a historic garden site takes the lush setting as inspiration. 

The European-style gardens of Middleton Place—the oldest landscaped gardens in America—are designed around “order, geometry and balance, vistas, focal points and surprises,” according to the Middleton Place Foundation. Those principles were reflected in a tented wedding at Middleton Place planned by Pure Luxe Bride of Charleston, S.C. A 60-by-60-foot Tidewater® Sailcloth Tent, installed by Skyline Tent Co., Charlottesville, Va.,  blended well with the venue, a National Historic Landmark near Charleston. “Flowers were [the bride’s] number one priority, having everything lush and in bloom,” says Pure Luxe Bride founder and owner Francesca DiSalvo-Follmer.

Neutral and natural

With camelias and garden roses flowering in the gardens, designers for this May 2019 wedding took a neutral approach inside the tent, including a dance floor with a natural appearance. “We greened all of the wooden poles with vines, which was our way of bringing the outside in,” DiSalvo-Follmer says. Designers made a statement and drew eyes upward with a collection
of suspended lantern-style chandeliers. “We were able to cable it, and we had all of them at different heights and sizes,” she says. With bridesmaids wearing blue floral, a hint of blue in the decor tied the look together.

Beating the heat

Tent walls and air conditioning were added to the plan in the days before the celebration when the forecast called for unseasonably hot temperatures—even by southeastern U.S. standards. The site itself offered no shade. “Luckily, we were able to add a clear wall so guests could still see the surroundings,” she says. “You could see all the way around the perimeter of the tent.” The couple and their families were thrilled with the results, and other clients have raved about the design. “We’ve had so many people ask for those design elements from that particular wedding,” she says. 

Photos: Sara Boyd Photography

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