Archive for the ‘Decorating the venue’ Category

Decorating the Venue

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

I have been living in Ireland for many years now and I must say that one of the things that I miss most from Catalonia is the summer weather.  The heat is not necessarily what I miss the must. It is all the social things that you can do with the good weather. Like parties in the garden, long strolls by the beach without wearing a rain coat, or simply spending time with your friends and family chatting outside for hours and hours without fear of rain!

So for us was very important that we could have our wedding outside to enjoy the weather. The down side of the Catalan weather is that is very hot so the wedding had to start when the sun is not so strong. The wedding ceremony started at 6:30. The ceremony took place in a garden. In the same garden, after the ceremony, we had snack food and drinks. Then around 9:00 p.m. we moved inside of the house for the main meal.

I was adamant that I wanted the garden to be decorated with shells. I wanted people to feel that the sea had been brought to the garden! My mum and I worked really hard to decorate the entire garden!


This mesh was shaped as waves and then we hang from it fish with shells and starfish made of shells

Fish Mex detail


This was made with saddle oysters and lots of different shells caught in Ireland by my husband’s auntie or different people in my lab. What you see wrapped around the tree is my veil! The day before the wedding I decided that a veil was not matching my dress so I decided not to wear it and I used it to decorate the venue!


Magnolia tree

Magnolia tree

Magnolia Tree Detail


We bought a lot of balls made of fibres that we decorated with shells (stuck with a glue gun) and we hang them from the trees. Some of these they even had Irish Sea weed!!!

Balls shells detail


We had some lanterns decorated with shells that were hanging from the trees with LED tea lights inside.


As part of the decoration in the garden we had some mesh that we decorated with flowers and shells. Most of these seashells were from research projects in my lab or from people that got them and gave them to me since they know I like shells.


We had a lot of tulle around the venue with little seashells stuck with glue sticks.

This is something that my mum, my mother in law and I made. Is brilliant isn’t it? My parents had a mosquito net that they had used once when they went to Kenia. My mum came up with the idea to use it for decorating the venue. From the top of the net we hung different things: blue glass whales, some saddle oysters painted in gold, and these lovely blue fish. They way they were hanging it looked they were swimming on the air!!! This was a nice craft since it was done by the three of us. Unfortunately I do not have any photo of it on the day! This is one from when we were making it


Years ago my mum and I had bought feather flowers to use them to add to fabric. Originally we were going to use them for my wedding dress but on the end I did not like the idea. I wanted something different so we decided to use them to decorate the garden. We glued a metal peg at the back of them and we stuck them to ivy.

We also hang them from branches they looked cool! They were moving in the air and they really remind me of jelly fish!


We had a well in the garden that my mother in law decorated with three big Celtic crosses that she made. The crosses are called Bridgette crosses, they are traditional from the area my husband is from. We put some of these crosses scattered around the garden is well.

In the well we had a big frame with the seating plan. The frame was painted with blue and white spray paint and had lots of different shells stuck on it. As you can see each table had a seashell/starfish/sea urchin name and had also a photograph. The “head table” was called Mediterranean.

Since we thought maybe people would not remember where to sit once they would arrive inside of the building we made another seating plan at the door of the building.



I was worried about the Irish guests being outside during the ceremony. I thought it could get too hot for them since they are not used to that weather. So we decided with my mum to do fans for every lady at the wedding. We bought colourful fans at a really discounted rate during the winter in a Chinese shop. We painted every single fan with different drawings that we got from the internet.

Each fan had a raffia ribbon and a little envelope with the name of each lady at the front. Inside of the envelope there was a card with the name of their table for the dinner. We placed the fans in several baskets. The fans were placed in the baskets in alphabetical order (by surname). Each basket had a big cardboard with the initials of the surnames featured on the baskets. We thought that like this it would be faster and easier to get the fans.


In many of the wedding blogs I read I saw wishing trees and I thought they were great ideas. When one of my friends from Girona told me that she had gone to a Catalan wedding that they had one of those trees I thought I had to get one too!!

Since we had to decorate the venue on the same day of the wedding we wanted an easy way to set up the wishing tree.

My mother in law had the great idea to buy trivets and then to hang blue ribbons from the trivets. At the end of the ribbons we glued little pegs. The guests had only to hang the wishing cards from the peg. I did not like the look of the trivets hanging from the tree. It looked very kitchen like 😉 So we covered the metal bits with saddle oysters, shells and moss!

A big glass jar was placed on the well and it said in both languages to get a wishing card and write a wish for the bride and groom. The jar was full of shells and moss. In another little glass base we had several pens that they could use for writing the wishes. The cards were double sided, in one side it said: write a wish, in Catalan and in the other one in English. All the cards contained the logo of our wedding the tree stars.


My mum was adamant that this wedding was a great way to get rid of things she did not want anymore. She was delighted to get rid of all the shells collected over the years during my work and travels that I had still in my parent’s house. She was also delighted to reuse a big painting that she had at home and she never liked to do the seating plan (the one at the well). The last of the recycling jobs was to re use something that my parents got at their wedding as a present, a big glass chandelier that they did not want anymore. We removed all the individual pieces from it and we made long strings of glass with the different pieces. Some of the strings were ended with a saddle oyster.  Again, we wanted to minimise the amount of time hanging them so we used trivets to tight 3 glass strings from them. Like this in one go you could hang three. I must say that it took my husband and I a long while to hang them up but the effect was beautiful and the sound they made with their movement was magic!


The people from the venue set a red carpet and chairs at both sides of it for the ceremony. It was beautiful but my mum and I thought that we needed to bring the wedding theme to the aisle. We decided to create a sea at both sides of the carpet! We bought tulle in two colours grey and very light blue and we stitch it giving it the shape of waves. On top of the tulle we glued lots and lots of shells!!!

At both sides of the red carpet we had big lanterns made of corten steel. At their very top they had a glass container were we placed the blue candles. The lanterns are from a shop called Coasting along



Each second chair had a scallop placed on the chair cover with a safety pin (this was glued to the back of the scallop). The scallops were painted with one line of blue and a bit of gold paint. They also had a raffia ribbon.