Wedding Mantel

Mantle – (n.)a layer, a veil. A responsibility, veneer, or façade.

Mantel – (n.)a chimney piece or decorative fireplace screen. 

When the daughter of some of our dearest friends married her beau, she simply trusted this Farmer and his team (Aunt Kathy and Laura) to work their magic. Her colors were lovely shades of lavender and purple and the setting was the bucolic scene of The Green Bell, one of Middle Georgia’s hidden jewels.

With the Malatchie Farm setting so serene and naturally grand, the rustic style of the pole barn set against some of Georgia’s best farmland makes for a striking combo. The only challenge was what to use as the altar and centerpiece for the ceremony. 

As we were scrambling around The Green Bell’s cache of barns and storehouses, a handsome mantel from an older home was found gently resting against the barn wall. Aunt Kathy spearheaded the “mantel movement”  and even roped the obliging groom and a friend into moving it so we could “see and play” with the mantel in place. A perfect fit, almost; and with a bit of on the spot engineering, that mantel was now at the forefront of the barn and the ceremonial backdrop for this special day. 

A garland of grapevine, Southern Red Oak, and magnolia cascaded from the sides of the mantel and atop the mantel proper, an antique, galvanized window box held an eruption of flowers and native flora. After filling the window box with oasis, more magnolia, with its cinnamon hued, fuzzy backs, gave us the greenery base we needed to build from. Salvia luecantha or Mexican Sage provided some vertical drama, herbaceous aroma, and of course, color. My Mexican Sage has been a volcano of blooms since early September and this Farmer’s garden had blossoms to share.

Deep raspberry to plum colored lilies and larkspur made for a saturation of color plus perfumed the air with the scent that only a lily can. Beauty berry (Callicarpa americana), one of my absolute favorite plants, grows wild all over this region.  Fencerows, clearings in the woods, and roadside ditches are filled with this Southern native throughout the fall. I rely on beauty berry for that pop of purple that is unparallel.  When I think of purple, THIS is the color that comes to mind. The ancients must have known about beauty berry when symbolizing their royalty, for this is a very royal, very regal color and plant.

Lotus pods, literally the seed pod of the lotus flower, ground the arrangement with an earthen brown and pick up on the grapevine garland and magnolia backs to boot. This Farmer is all about texture in arrangements and the three dimensional aura that lotus pods contribute is stunning. Plus you can use and reuse these floral elements since they dry so well. 

Last but not least, we tucked in some amaranthus to delicately droop from the arrangement and provide a chartreuse pop that any bouquet, centerpiece, or floral display can afford. Bang for your buck – amaranthus provides dramatic movement, flow, and fantastic detail in an arrangement and will leave your guests in awe of your creative prowess.

Mere (my sister) matched the mantel

This mantel provided a mantle of responsibility – to create and display the glory of nature for a delightful celebration. Literally cut from this Farmer’s garden, the woods around Malatchie Farms and the Green Bell, this mantel arrangement was truly the mantle for the event