Think of weddings and you probably get a sense of how the day would typically go. Or you might even have a set of imageries in your head accompanying the sound of wedding bells ringing in your ears.
But take a step back, shall we? The onset of the pandemic had brought tremendous changes to all parts of our lives. We’re forced to re-think the way we work, live, play and even the way we celebrate!
Throughout 2020, TWM has constantly been sharing and championing the novel ways weddings are being done. Amidst the extenuating circumstances, so much creativity had surfaced. Instead of attaching to the ways of the past, we’ve all seemingly learned to chart the path of what’s to come in the future. And as we progressed, we can’t help but wonder what else?
We’re set on taking that even a step further; to eradicate the word “typical” in a wedding setting and to truly re-think and re-define how to create a celebration that is memorable, unique and truly personal. We are uncertain, but definitely excited as to where this will lead us. We’re lucky to be surrounded by highly creative individuals in an industry where there are no fixed ways for things to be done; and where personalisation and individuality is a language that is widely spoken. (Just look at all the weddings we’ve covered so far!)
So, we invite you to join us as we set out on this expedition to discover new and better ways we can do things here; to re-think weddings and celebrations. We’ve been blessed to begin this journey with a team of like-minded people and we’ve taken flight with the most fitting representation of what may be a new beginning for our industry – “Birds and Almond Blossoms”. Curious to see how? Let us take you through the process!
Paper as a Medium
You’ve probably seen giant paper flower sculptures wedding backdrops. They’re delicate and make guests go “wow”. But have you thought how these paper elements can be scaled down and worked into your table flower arrangements?
Now that intimate and home weddings are becoming the preferred way to celebrate, these intricate paper artworks can be your way to create a different wedding experience. The idea to pair table florals with paper sculptures was birthed when we first met with Paper Sculpture Artist, Koh Dawn.
My main medium is paper. It is so raw and simple, and I enjoy merging the beauty of nature with it. I have long wanted to marry paper sculptures and flowers as centrepiece for celebrations. Celebrations are important to me personally, a meaningful time spent with loved ones, and a paper sculptural centrepiece with a story makes for a beautiful conversational piece. The stories that I craft for the paper sculptures invites guests to question and reflect, perhaps even learn something new about life.Koh Dawn
From Table Flower Arrangement to Table Flower Installation
So here goes the story of this Styled Shoot that was set at Artemis Grill. The entire sculptural centrepiece was brought to life by stringing together a combination of elements.
In part inspired by a print of Van Gogh’s ‘Almond Blossom’ from 1890 that is the focal piece in the Private Dining Room at Artemis Grill, Dawn had chosen the subject “Birds” which are synonymous with flight and embodies the hopes and dreams of children. This Van Gogh’s painting was also meant as a gift to his new-born nephew and signifies new beginnings. This extended to the use of elements that are symbolic by nature, which explains the pomegranates (a symbol of fertility) and longans that were weaved into the floral arrangements by Charlotte Puxley Flowers.
In a setting as such, what we usually term table flower centrepiece is transformed into an installation to be admired at and talked about. Even as weddings become more intimate, it need not necessarily be made simple, and your “dream” wedding can be defined in your own terms.
Smaller weddings don’t necessarily mean smaller budgets. Couples can redefine their “dream” wedding and focus or spend more on their dream must-haves. Instead of simplifying or scaling down on intimate weddings, we can take the opportunity to add meaningful touches that make the wedding truly intimate. Taking for example this styled shoot, the “Birds” and “Fruits” in the installation has a meaning and everything together tells a story.Ju Lynn, Smitten Occasions
A tribute to Mother’s Day
Stories are better when they’re shared. Given the significance and meaning behind the installation, we had the pleasure of sharing the creative process with Mongchin and her family. It was also a fitting theme to celebrate an early Mother’s Day with Artemis Grill. So we asked, what was her first impression upon seeing the setup –
It was super beautiful! While the restaurant itself already came with a priceless view, the set up definitely took it up by a notch. The attention to detail was exquisite, and it’s hard to believe that it was done by so many different vendors because the theme was so consistent!Mongchin, @mongabong
The Team Behind the Shoot
Truth be told, the consistency and fluidity seen in the final installation were hard-earned. It requires immaculate coordination between all the creatives involved and to be able to pull this together in a matter of three weeks was an achievement in itself! We truly had the team to thank, not only the ones who created the installation but also the ones who captured and consolidated the entire process for us to be able to tell this story – Bryan of @antelopestudios and Jia Liang and the team at @freyafilms. And of course, Artemis Grill for being the most gracious host.
Ju Lynn of @smittenoccasions managed to pull everyone together on short notice and even got round to sourcing and coordinating the designing and printing of all the materials. It surely was a challenge to create that sense of cohesion with so many different aspects. So to anyone else looking to do something like this, here’s her professional advice:
Engage professional vendors. There is a lot of prep work and many things happening behind the scenes that many couples don’t realize. Couples will benefit from experienced vendors and their aesthetic eye for detail. Also, leaving it in the hands of professionals means no stress for the couple!Ju Lynn, Smitten Occasions
To come up with the initial idea was one thing, creating and producing it is another. Dawn and her team had spent numerous hours creating the paper birds – hand painting, drying and wiring each and every one of them. Although it started out tricky, it turned out to be an extraordinary experience for them as they got more familiar with the process.
At the start, it was difficult creating something so unfamiliar. Then halfway through, with my team, we got into the flow and at one point, we were so excited and into the process that we lost track of time and challenged ourselves to make the next bird we create even more intricate. It is fun working with like-minded people!Koh Dawn
Deep discussions went into how the paper birds were to be perched on the branches and the type and colours of flowers to be used for the setup to look and feel complete. This was where Charlotte Puxley Flowers’ expertise got us through! Given the short time frame, they were challenged to find the right balance to ensure a cohesive look is achieved between the birds and the flowers. While certain things did not turn out as expected, everything came together beautiful nonetheless, only better!
In thinking about the overall tablescape, we knew we wanted to work with architectural shapes, dramatic lines and delicate flowers. We originally had in mind to use beautiful peonies, which are typically available from April – however as the date drew nearer we realised that the peony season was starting a little later. A quick change in flower plans eventually gave us an even better result as we loved how the double petal eustomas and butterfly ranunculus turned out.
The element you see first are the branches – of which we used a mix of cornus and spirea – to bring nature indoors and to arouse our curious diners. The butterfly ranunculus, double petaled eustoma and hellebore provide the softness and elegance needed to balance the branches, reminding us of the beauty and romance in nature.Charlotte Puxley Flowers
Rethinking Wedding Decorations
Sometimes re-thinking is also about adapting plans, but Charlotte Puxley Flowers had taken it a step further in the way they rethink weddings. Sustainability has always been a topic in the industry, and we could probably go on and on about it. It’s heartening to see that increasingly efforts have been made and plans put into place to be more conscious of the environment.
What we have been focusing this year at Charlotte Puxley Flowers is our sustainability practices. And the same apply for our weddings, where we work towards generating less waste after each wedding and prolonging the use of each arrangement. We will be 100% foam free by July and this means the way we do table centrepieces will be different as well. Think cute bowls of different shapes, sizes and colour! Aside from efforts to recycle/reuse our materials, using plants for greenery and preserved flowers for colours you don’t usually find in fresh flowers, are some possible options to consider while designing the florals.Charlotte Puxley Flowers
You might be wondering how paper for decoration can be sustainable as well? Dawn herself has been working on projects to address this aspect.
I am also in the midst of working with local sustainability brand Offcut in an upcoming initiative with recycled papers which they have collected from local factories and businesses. Keep a lookout for it! Together, we can make a difference. – Koh DawnKoh Dawn
Indeed, we will! This project has truly been a great start to the way we’re rethinking weddings and celebration. We are looking forward to sharing more of our future discoveries and ideas with you. Stay tuned or send us a note if you’ve something up your sleeves that could change the way we do things here.
Professionals involved in the shoot:
- Art Direction, Paper Sculpture Art, Calligraphy & Watercolour: Koh Dawn | @kohdawn
- Florals & Styling: Charlotte Puxley Flowers | @charlottepuxleyflowers
- Coordination & Design: Smitten Occasions | @smittenoccasions
- Stationery Design: Doreen Gan | @dggan
- Print: Allegro Print | @allegro_print
- Photo: Antelope Studios | @antelopestudios
- Video: Freya Films | @freyafilms
- Venue: Artemis Grill | @artemis.sg @weddingsbyartemis
- Publisher & Organiser: The Wed Mag | @thewedmagofficial