I’m so excited about today’s post! BB Expert Panel member Nick Priestly of Mood Flowers offered to give us a behind-the-scenes look at a gorgeous chuppah he recently created and I jumped at the chance. Hope you enjoy Nick’s insights and practical advice. You’d like it even more if you could hear him tell it in person! He’s an amazing designer and friend to so many of us in the floral industry. Thanks, Nick!
BB: Can you describe the event you designed the chuppah for?
Nick: I designed the chuppah for a large Jewish wedding at the start of this summer. The family and I agreed on a relaxed, summery, sumptuous feel with lots of colour and texture.
BB: Did you build the chuppah offsite and assemble onsite?
Nick: I had the chuppah made so that it was easy to assemble. The birch poles came from a log supplier and then I had a metal worker fabricate the base plates and top brackets. We were also fortunate that the wedding took place in a barn at the family’s farm. This allowed us to construct the frame work the evening before the wedding and attach all the floral foam paddles and sausages as well as the foam rings at the base of each pole.
BB: Can you explain the mechanics behind the chuppah construction?
Nick: There are four heavy base plates. The birch poles were slightly carved at the bottom so that they slotted in. I bought the poles first then had the base plates made to measure. Four brackets were attached near the tops of the upright poles and then it was simply a question of lifting the horizontal poles up and into place and then secure them. As the wood was quite fresh it was still heavy so it was important that the structure was safe. As time goes on the wood will dry out a little and lighten.
BB: How long did it take to complete the design on site?
Nick: Construction on the Saturday evening was about 30 minutes and then it took 4 of us around 2 hours to add all the flowers and foliage on Sunday morning.
BB: How many flower stems did the chuppah design require?
Nick: We used around 500 stems in total. The varieties used were delphinium, roses, peonies, hydrangea, dahlias, stock and larkspur in shades of green, pink, lilac, purple and raspberry.
Photography courtesy of Andrew Rae