Splish Splash at the Style Lab

A few months ago Angel Swanson called me asking if I’d like to collaborate on a tablescape for the Boutwell Studio/Wedding Chick’s Style Lab.  I asked her to share her initial ideas, and she started throwing around words like “preserved butterflies”,  “taxodermy”, “specimens”, “test tubes”, “sterile”… but “pretty, of course!”

I asked her what kind of couple would have a wedding like this,  and she said, “Two genius  scientists who live in a forest and  wander out into nature to collect samples of insects and floral specimens.”

This is why I love Angel!  Not only because she’s my best friend and I HAVE to love her no matter what crazy stuff she comes up with, but because when she styles events, she is thinking  not only of colors and textures, but the story behind the design. This makes it easy to come in and add more juicy details to the  story with the  florals.

You can see all sorts of details from the Style Lab on Wedding Chicks, Boutwell Studio Blog, and the Love and Splendor blog.  But here I will give you the Style Lab from a florist’s perspective!  These  photos are taken by the  incredibly talented and sweet Chenin of Boutwell Studio.

This project was truly a florist’s dream.  My task was to find the funkiest  specimen-quality collection of flowers. The ones  I usually pass by at the flower mart and think, “Wow! That’s really kind of  ugly, but beautiful!” Bottlebrush protea, orange gloriosa lilies, leucodendrons,  pincushions, kangaroo paws, bromeliads and more.  Flowers that have amazing structure on their own, worthy of studying in a lab.

Amanda Rae is holding a giant burst of crazy florals  radioactive colors like neon orange, bright yellow, and lime green. Notice the cattleya orchids and gloriosa lilies (the flowers I carried down the aisle on my wedding day!)

For the vessels, we hunted down laboratory containers and sleek bulbous glass vases.   Angel already owned a good collection of science vases from Anthropologie.  My friend Rachel from Heart of Light borrowed  some  beakers from the biology lab she works at. CB2 also has a fun selection of lab-ish vases on their website.

This was super cute! See the hanging lightbulbs filled with flowers?  My nephews helped me dissect some lightbulbs and turn them into hanging bud vases.  I cannot take credit for this idea since I first saw it on Apartment Therapy.  This, my friends, is SO MUCH HARDER than it looks.  Many lightbulbs were sacrificed during this process.

Beneath that bell jar was the most gorgeous fragrant oncidium orchid plant- the buds smell like vanilla beans!

The test tubes filled with flower parts hanging in the shadow box are actually the bouts and corsages!  This was an idea that hit me at 3 am one night.  Angel and I each wore one while we were setting up.  We felt really cool 🙂

Last but not least, the drowned rats really added to the decor 🙂  Our bangs look like daggers, they’re so sopped with rain! A monumental storm was raging, lightening and thunder was striking, vases were blowing over, and here we are using soaking wet paper towels to try to “dry off” the tablescape so the photographers could take pictures.

photo by Lauren Bullock.

While we were setting up, we felt a few sprinkles here and there, but felt confident that our little plastic canopy would keep everything safe.  We had no idea that the rain would blow  in sideways and upside down,  and completely drench us to the core.  My boots had puddles in them! My first instinct was to freak out and assume the fetal position, but Angel is so positive and calm in the face of chaos. Her positivity was contagious.  In weddings and events, stuff happens and you just have to roll with it!   We’ve experienced a few mini-disasters together that we’ve been able to smooth over with cleverness and spontaneity.

Eventually, we decided to start from scratch and set it up inside with the help of Chenin and Amy’s chivalrous husbands, Doug Boutwell and Lane Dittoe.  Thanks guys, we couldn’t have done it without you!   For about an hour, the storm cleared and soft  light came in through the windows, making for some amazing pictures.

The vendors:

Styled By: Angel Swanson of Events of Love & Spendor

Floral Design: The Treasured Petal

Stationary: Wiley Valentine

Rentals: Classic Party Rentals

Dress Designer: Joan Shum

Makeup & Hair: All Made Up Team

Deserts & Goodies: Vanilla Bakeshop

Venue: Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club

Thank you to The Wedding Chicks and Boutwell Studio for allowing me to be a part of something so very special!


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9 Responses to “Splish Splash at the Style Lab”

  1. angel swanson Says:

    loooove you, krissy! would be a drowned rat with you any day. 😉 your work was absolutely STUNNING that day, and the vibrant colors of the flowers were such a perfect contrast to the stormy day. thank you for being my creative twin and never batting an eye when i drop a crazy idea. ❤

  2. Rachel (heart of light) Says:

    That bouquet is inspired! So beautiful. You girls did a fabulous job.

  3. janet Says:

    I love the concept, and I LOVE the bouquet!

  4. Marysia Says:

    So creative! I love it all!

  5. Amanda Rae Says:

    Kristin, you seriously are a genius! Everything looked perfect, and the hollowed out lightbulbs were definitely worth the effort! It was so nice meeting you! ~amanda 🙂

  6. Amanda Rae Says:

    I just checked out your main website…the intro is amazing, it just made me smile, I had to share that with you!

  7. christina Says:

    ooooh, this is even cooler than you described to me! you and angel are some crazy mad scientists! love it!

  8. Ugly-Pretty Flowers? « The Treasured Petal Blog Says:

    […] By thetreasuredpetal While racing around the mart choosing flowers for the Style Lab, I started to think about “ugly-pretty” flowers.  I am generally drawn to things that […]

  9. Vy Says:

    Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous! The flowers just burst with creativity and fun. Love yours & Angel’s work!

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