EMC+: Intimate to Ultimate at the Biltmore Ballroom
Hope you enjoyed our story about our first day of the EMC+ Intimate to Ultimate workshop experience. We would now like to share day two of our workshop: the installation at the Biltmore Ballroom. Our designs for this day were much grander in scale than the first day’s table vignettes, but were still a fresh take on traditional designs using traditional products. As with our previous post, we will share photo details of our day as well as some sneak peeks at the final design. Look for complete design images in the near future once they are published!
Day two began like all days: with a quick EMC team meeting to discuss our plan of attack. Then it was off to greet workshop attendees with whom Tomas and Hitomi would share CAD drawings of the designs we had in store for the day. On the agenda was a custom-built table with seating for 44 guests. We also planned to create designs for satellite tables, entry designs, and a floral wall. The rest of the EMC team went to work loading our truck and van with the products and materials we needed for the day. We were ready for the ballroom. In an earlier article, we mentioned the history of the Biltmore and gave your a glimpse of it’s architectural beauty. Tomas’ designs for this room aimed to reflect the Biltmore’s elegant and historic past. The classic columns and medallion ceiling frieze in the ballroom inspired the rose column designs. The gorgeous crystal chandeliers and garland ceiling motifs inspired the use of crystal garlands and glass decor on the tabletop. The end result was perfection.
Upon arrival we created teams to tackle various tasks: the largest being the main table design which was composed of 25 candelabra rose towers. This stunning design is a variation of a traditional rose ball that we have all seen at one time or another. In this design we created various-height, white rose cylinders that gracefully towered above each Nikki candelabra from Accent Decor. Twenty-five of these towers formed the basis of the main centerpiece and were linked together down the length of the table with crystal garland, arcing clematis, glass cloches, candles, and rose petals. To create the mechanics for the candelabra towers, we used heavy gauge wire mesh and created a column around the candelabra’s central platter. The bottom of the column rested on the candelabra arms and were secured in place using zip ties. The result was a very sturdy column that could easily support 150 or so individually water-tubed roses. In the European tradition, water tubes are often used in lieu of floral foam. However, this design can be easily adapted to use foam for those who are so inclined. The various height candelabras and cylinders created a visually dynamic centerpiece once they were set in place. Mauve and lavender clematis danced between the rose columns to visually link them to each other. Crystal garlands were strung between the candelabras to create a beautiful, glimmering web just below the roses. Glass votives, cloches, bud vases, and rose petals were clustered down the entire length to bring the eye down to the tabletop. The final result was an elegant, refined table-scape with a very contemporary feel. Linens were provided by Classic Party Rental, and fine china place settings were provided by Vintage English Teacup. In addition to the main table, a satellite table with a single candelabra was set to showcase how well the design works at a smaller scale.
A separate design was created to flank both sides of the main ballroom entryway. Four metal Fuse trays from Accent Decor were stacked atop one another to create a large-scale etagere. On each level, various styles of glass, crystal, and silver votives and vases were filled with hydrangea, roses, clematis, passiflora vines, tea lights, and aqua beads to create a romantic, shimmering welcome for ballroom guests. The depth created by the placement of vases, flowers, and candles resulted in beautiful spaces that invited further discovery.
The final design for our grand scale reception was a large floral wall positioned at the north side of the beautiful ballroom. If you read one of our earlier articles, we mentioned visiting a retail display store. We used grid-wall rack display systems as our mechanic to create a wall on which we placed floral materials. The floral wall featured dense groupings on the outer edges and became more transparent in the center with the use of branches and vines to create more negative space. Avalanche roses were featured heavily in this floral wall, to complement the rest of the room decor. A huge thank you goes out to the Avalanche Rose Group (Holland), Cut Flower Wholesale, Accent Decor, Vintage English Teacup, and Smithers-Oasis for their sponsorship and support. Thank you to our fantastic and inspirational EMC Team for your dedication, hard work, commitment, and perseverance that spanned several days before this mammoth installation. And a special thank you to Laura Iarocci of Faith Flowers and her team of floral angels who volunteered on this day to make our installation a success. Stay tuned for another article in the next few days that detail our equally massive cathedral installation.