HAND­MADE HAR­MONY

Country Sampler's Prarie Style - - Contents -

Hand­crafted de­tails and na­ture in­spire a wed­ding barn set­ting.

In con­trast to life’s hec­tic, fren­zied pace, a prairie-style wed­ding is about sim­plic­ity and tak­ing the time to cel­e­brate with fam­ily and friends. Her­itage, na­ture, and home­made el­e­ments de­fine the decor’s fes­tive vibe. Meld­ing a home­spun theme with care­fully gath­ered ac­cents and hand­made items el­e­vates the prairie-style wed­ding from its ru­ral roots to star sta­tus, but a bu­colic set­ting keeps the feel­ing easy and nat­u­ral.

A barn is the prairie-style re­cep­tion site of choice for many brides, and it is easy to un­der­stand why. From an emo­tional stand­point, a barn rep­re­sents sta­bil­ity, evokes tra­di­tion, and elic­its ro­mance and nos­tal­gia. From a prac­ti­cal per­spec­tive, it is a blank can­vas that can be made to show­case any style or theme. A rustic, weath­ered struc­ture can be dressed up and made el­e­gant, or a vast space can be dec­o­rated to cre­ate a dreamy, in­ti­mate am­bi­ence.

Tra­di­tional barns are wood struc­tures full of his­tory and char­ac­ter. Newer barns, on the other hand, are of­ten con­structed of metal roof­ing and sid­ing. But the func­tional and rather industrial ap­pear­ance of a new barn does not pre­clude its use as a venue for a stunning prairie wed­ding re­cep­tion.

This white-walled metal barn of­fered a stage to build upon and an op­por­tu­nity to cre­ate an in­ti­mate home­like set­ting. And, in no time, go from drab to fab with the help of thought­ful and charm­ing ac­cents with a rustic vibe.

Hand­crafted de­tails and na­ture in­spire a wed­ding barn set­ting.

Though plain to start, the room quickly takes on its own brand of ro­mance, with fab­ric draped over the metal sid­ing; a trio of feath­ers hand­painted on dry­wall; and walls dressed up with sal­vaged el­e­ments, such as doors and win­dows, and em­bel­lished with tree branches, fab­ric blooms and prairie grasses. An old con­struc­tion sign, painted to con­ceal its orig­i­nal mes­sage and wreathed with a daisy gar­land, finds a mean­ing­ful pur­pose in an­nounc­ing the new union and an­chor­ing a small gift ta­ble set with wed­ding fa­vors of lo­cal honey and laven­der-sugar body scrub.

To cre­ate a more in­ti­mate space, a piece of sculp­tural drift­wood—strung with bunches of fra­grant herbs, pretty lanterns, tiny cro­cheted doves, and wire hearts spell­ing the new­ly­weds’ names—hangs from the rafters.

With its nos­tal­gic theme and heart­felt de­tails, this sim­ple set­ting cel­e­brates the tra­di­tions and her­itage rooted in the prairie life­style of days past in a venue that is very much of to­day.

WRIT­TEN BY Fifi O’neill. PHO­TOGRAPHED BY Mark Lohman.

STYLED BY Fifi O’neill.

Adapted from Prairie-style

Wed­dings by Fifi O’neill. Pho­tographed by Mark Lohman. Chron­i­cle Books, 2014.

LEFT: A mag­nif­i­cent antlera cen­ter­piece holds can­dles and fresh se­dum cut­tings from the gar­den, its grace­ful shape en­hanc­ing the drama

of the na­ture-in­spired ta­blescape. RIGHT: In­stead of tra­di­tional vases, tree stumps are carved out to ac­com­mo­date small glasses filled with na­tive flow­ers and herbs com­ple­ment­ing the nat­u­ral feel of the rustic set­ting. Hand­knit­ted doves add pas­toral charm. BE­LOW

RIGHT: The re­claimed-wood ta­ble is kept free of cov­er­ings to show off its raw beauty. Del­i­cate

vin­tage dishes and linen nap­kins add a sub­tle fem­i­nine touch. BE­LOW LEFT: Flower gar­lands and head­pieces are right in tune with the bu­colic

beauty of prairie-style cel­e­bra­tions.

A dessert sta­tion comes to­gether with a lace run­ner set over an an­tique ta­ble and lit­tle step stools to pro­vide var­i­ous heights for dis­play­ing home-baked goods. A thick, smooth wood slab per­forms as a stand for the sim­ple tiered cake, and lit­tle cup­cakes are set on a round cut­ting board while in­di­vid­ual fruit tarts are nes­tled in a vin­tage crate. A win­dow filled with prairie grasses adds a dec­o­ra­tive touch.

RIGHT: Small heart-shaped pies rest on an an­tique plat­ter. BE­LOW: A can­dle set in a glass jar wrapped in a cro­chet doily casts a golden glow.

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