Before: Romantics with Big DreamsPhyllis Olson and Howard Jones are ready to get married. The first step in their wedding fantasy is to transform their downtown Chicago loft into a setting for the ceremony and reception. The Design on a Dime team fashions an enchanted forest with a blue and white color scheme and a limited budget of $5,000—now that's magical.
They need to fit 35 people into the space for the ceremony and reception. While they want to completely transform the space, painting the walls is not an option. They are dreaming of a fairytale, fantasy wedding with sparkle.
After: Enchanted Forest WeddingTo fit 35 people in the loft, everything will have to be taken out. This big job is best left to professional movers. Once the area is cleared of furnishings, fabric is hung to soften the space and focus the attention on the wedding. Designer Frank Fontana chooses a blue and white color scheme that is reflected in the flowing satin curtain panels and flowers. For the enchanted forest motif, organic and elegant elements are at play: white feathers, white faux fur and white tree branches. These are repeated throughout the space, including the altar and seating.
Moving budget – $360
Fabric – $725
- fabric for walls – Textile Discount Center
Flowers and runner – $512
- flowers, $425 – Ashland-Addison Florist
- square vases for cocktail table, $4.99 – Jo-Ann Stores
- rocks for centerpieces, $2.49 – Jo-Ann Stores
- runner, $24.99 – Michaels
Altar and seating – $1,680
- branches, $10/bundle – Pier 1
- acrylic for altar, $135 – American Acrylic
- puck lights for altar, $19.99 – The Home Depot
- fur for runner/ottoman covers/bench cushions, $7.99/yard – Textile Discount Center
- white satin for ottoman covers and bench cushions, $5.96/yard – Textile Discount Center
- ottomans, $15.99 each – Ikea
Mood lighting – $948
- conduit pipes, $2.18 – The Home Depot
- chains, $6.99 – The Home Depot
- rice balls, $7.98 each – Ikea
Cake and fondue – $750
- cake, $450 – Marked for Dessert
Total — $4,975
The Happy Couple
Sweet TableTo use the space efficiently for both the ceremony and reception, key pieces were designed to do double duty.
Get instructions for recreating this Enchanted Altar Project.
Mood LightingAttaching white branches to paper lanterns and hanging them up against the exposed industrial components of the loft brings a little magic to the space. Twenty-eight lanterns provide ample soft lighting in the loft.
Reception ReadyThe seating benches are topped with a faux-fur-covered pad. Take away the pad, and the bench transforms into a cocktail table. Edwards places a fluorescent bulb in the bench and covers it with a blue gel sheet for a glow of color through the frosted Plexiglas. This convertible seating/tables saves space and cash.
Get instructions for recreating the Illuminated Benches.
Satin SeatingThe ottomans are arranged by the altar for the wedding ceremony and easily moved back to create more room for the reception.
Get instructions for recreating the Faux Fur Ottomans.
Sparkling StepsDesign coordinator Ali Azhar adds faux fur and a blue ribbon to add substance to the aisle runner. A dusting of glitter adds sparkle to the bride's big entrance.
Get instructions for recreating the Sparkling Runner.
Enchanted Floral Arrangements