Design Dissection | Getting the Look You Love in a Tented Ceremony

This Palm Beach tented ceremony is the perfect chance to explore how top designers use a few key elements to create the ultimate Wow! factor for their clients ~ and to figure out how you can, too.

If you’re new to wedding planning (or to being a bride) a tent can be a scary concept.  A tent generally arrives as a set of large, white surfaces that need total transformation.  In the hands of someone like Colin Cowie, this tented tabula rasa is an ideal venue for constructing a setting that is all about the bride and groom, their location, and their aesthetic.

In this luxury Palm Beach wedding, Colin Cowie brought enough of the tropics into the tent to meld the inside and the outside into one seamless wedding venue, while including glamorous signature details that are unique to this couple.

In particular, swagged neutral fabric and a row of chandeliers on the ceiling set the stage for a wedding that is in tune with its location.  With the addition of these design staples, the tent ceiling has simply disappeared, and a totally custom wedding venue has emerged in its place.

Colin’s creative use of shepherd’s hooks, grapevine, and lanterns delineates an upscale aisle with a touch of romance.  And since there are so many chairs needed to accommodate the guests at this couple’s ceremony, he’s transformed the chairs into art pieces as well.  We adore the layering of different styles of chair covers, and we swooned over Colin’s use of chair sashes over the backs of many of these charivari chairs, with embellishments that are tiny works of art.

Wherever your tented wedding and/or reception will take place, we suggest taking a page from the Colin Cowie play book as you transform your tent into an extension of the landscape, only better (and more comfortable).

If you’re still a bit nervous about what to do with that broad expanse of white tent, give us a call at 1-928-855-6075, or shoot us an email at  We have a team of customer service folks who know how to get the best value from your design budget, and we can ship the decor items that you need directly from our large warehouse in just days.

Rustic Chic Wedding | One of Our Favorite Event Designers Combines Burlap, Chandeliers, and More

Our Facebook newsfeed has been buzzing with some of Tamara’s Wendt’s fall and winter wedding goodness, and we will be treating you to glimpses of her work often in the coming months.

One of our favorite looks right now is the rustic chic wedding that combines natural textures like burlap and jute, simple florals, candlelight, and upscale touches like crystals and chandeliers for elegant receptions that are not the least bit fussy.  No one does this look better than Tamara.

This high-low centerpiece combines natural and rustic elements with upscale blooms for a look that is rustic and sophisticated.  We love the dramatic height that Tamara brings to the table with floral branches and suspended glass votive holders.   With long tables, a few of these spectacular arrangements set the stage for your reception while making the most of your design budget.  Anchoring the tables with a burlap runner, lanterns, candles in a variety of votive holders (and some Mason jars), and moss creates a textured centerpiece that encourages your guests to chat by giving them unobstructed views at the table and beyond.

We had to include this shot to show the smaller chandeliers that Tamara brought in just for the wedding.  Definitely a luxe detail, but affordable when you’re working with a veteran event designer like Tamara, who has a stash of awesome staples ready to incorporate into your vision.

This detail shot shows how effective the high-low centerpiece really can be at combining natural elements with show-stopping height.  We love the combination of smooth stones, moss, mums, and a long burlap runnerCandle votives in a variety of heights add to the effect, especially as dusk settles.

We can’t *not* share one more awesome detail from this gorgeous wedding.  Tamara incorporated one of the venue’s signature decor pieces ~ a large wagon wheel chandelier ~ into her design while adding her own upscale touches to personalize it.  Suspended floral poms and lanterns add an elegant touch to this fixed piece, and further customize the venue for this wedding.

Our thanks go out to Tamara Wendt of Tamara Wendt Designs for continuing to be a loyal customer of ShopWildThings and for continuing to amaze us with her talent and creativity.  We appreciate the chance to feature photographs of Tamara’s work by Abbi Triphan Photography.  All of the weddings and events designed and coordinated by Tamara Wendt are produced by A One Event Rental.

Wedding Trends for 2015

We’re just back from a big industry conference, where we got to soak up insider knowledge on how to plan jaw-dropping (in a good way) events, and we can’t wait to share the latest and greatest in what’s hot for 2015 weddings. The Wedding Guys briefed us on the hottest trends for 2015, and we’re bringing our favorites to you, direct from some of the best names in high end event design.

One of the key trends that was highlighted by multiple event designers is the use of sophisticated lighting, including the use of color and pattern to evoke mood. Think layers of light, including chandeliers, strands, wall washes, and centerpiece lighting. LED floralytes are one of the most flexible ways to light your event details, and they add color simultaneously. Translucent acrylic bead curtains create points of sparkling light in any color, across a large space. Crystal drapes bring the same qualities to large overhead areas, and crystal columns delineate event spaces with light.

Oh, and did we mention chandeliers? There’s no trend that we love more than installing chandeliers in event spaces for creating customization and ambience with great value.

Custom graphic cutouts are another key trend for 2015. They are most effective when repeated across your event, from your paper (invitations, programs, and menus) through your dance floor lighting and on to wall decor.  We love the idea of inviting your guests with a butterfly…

And carrying that theme on through your event lighting and your custom (looking) butterfly graphic wall decor.

SWT Butterfly

Our adhesive graphic cut-outs offer you an off-the-shelf option that looks custom at a fraction of the price. To achieve a custom look on a DIY budget, we suggest choosing an off-the-rack cut-out you love, and repeating the design in your paper products like the invitation above.

With new technology making it possible to have almost any design cut for single or limited runs, there’s really nothing stopping you from having custom graphic elements at your celebration. We found this eclectic blog post inspirational for showing just what is possible ~ your imagination (and that of your designer) is the limit.

We would love to talk to you about how to incorporate the hottest trends for 2015 weddings and events into your celebration.  Our customer service specialists know our products, and because we ship almost everything directly from our warehouse of in-stock event staples, you’ll receive just the right event solutions quickly so that you can create your own fabulous celebration.  Give us at call at 928-855-6075 and let us show you why we are the choice of the best in the event design business.

How to Rock Pantone’s Color of the Year for 2015 ~ Marsala Is Made for Accents

We’ve heard some raves ~ and some weeping and gnashing of teeth, let’s be honest ~ about this year’s Pantone Color of the Year, better known as Marsala.  It’s a warm reddish brown hue that has inspired strong reactions on both ends, and frankly, we get it ~ it’s not an *easy* color to imagine painting/wearing/incorporating into your home *at first blush* at least.

But frankly, we kind of love it, now that it’s had a little while to grow on us, and we’re ready to rock it in 2015.  And we are also ready to chat with you about the ways that you can incorporate it into your look this year ~ and beyond.

swatch of the Pantone color of the year for 2015 Marsala

Image Source:

With any “it” color that you truly love, one of the easiest ways to work it into your life is to paint with it.  We love Marsala in this light-filled living room, where loads of windows and plenty of white trim keep it from becoming overpowering.  It’s almost a neutral here, and it totally works.  If you are up for a project (don’t forget the primer!) and you love Marsala for more than this year’s trend, we think that it works especially well in large living and dining rooms, and in intimate spaces like bedrooms and powder rooms.


If you’re still dating Marsala and aren’t *sure* that you want to marry it, then we suggest working it with less permanent accents until you’re ready to commit.  In the boudoir, a mosquito net canopy is our favorite way to get the sexiness of the color and the spice of something new in the bedroom ~ without spending a fortune. Change this cream canopy out for one in Marsala, and we suspect that the budgetary objections from your significant other will be silenced quickly.  We should mention that this canopy was used on CSI:  NY, which is not a sexy show AT ALL.  Unless you like hot people in uniforms, in which case it could be a tiny bit sexy.  (If you’re more of a four poster type, try this canopy ~ also in Marsala ~ on for size.  It was not used in any  TV show that we know of ~ yet ~ but still could be a little (LOT) sexy.)


Another great option for trying on colors is a simple workhorse of portable design ~ the garden stool.  It’s a stool, it’s a chair, it’s an end table, and it’s about the best $100 dollars that you can spend if you want a flexible piece that rocks Marsala without breaking the bank.  We carry garden stools in just this shade, and we can’t help but mention that the latest edition of Southern Living named garden stools specifically as a must have decor workhorse for the new year. Whether you’re a design commitment phobe or just in need of a super flexible accent piece in this year’s hottest shade, a pair of Marsala garden stools might be the best choice for incorporating Marsala into your home this year because all that stands between you and the Next Color You Love is a can of spray paint.

Wondering how to use these garden stools we love so much?  Try them as accent tables… at about 1/3 the price of the ones shown:


Or use garden stools as seating that transitions from outdoors to indoors:


And did we mention that garden stools work as end tables that go from casual to elegant without missing a beat?

Whether you are already macking on Marsala or dipping a toe in its warm brown waters, we would love to help you find just the right accent for your home. Give us a call at 1-928-855-6075 and talk to one of our knowledgeable customer service folks about your needs. Chances are that you can get great advice about incorporating the latest trends into your home or event, choose your favorites from our large warehouse of in-stock decor, and be enjoying your new pieces in just a few days.

Brooches are the Perfect Embellishment for Wedding Cakes, Wedding Favors, and Picture Perfect Details

pearl and rhinestone brooch at wedding place setting

Image Source: Colin Cowie Weddings

What if we told you that we’ve found a flexible, affordable, GORGEOUS piece that is perfect for embellishing everything from candles to centerpieces to place settings to the wedding cake?  And that it works equally well with rustic chic and sleek modern wedding design?  And that we have lots of them in stock in serious quantities, ready to take your next wedding to the next level, finishing off the details with polish and a little sparkle?

Well, meet our new line of pearl and rhinestone brooches and buckles.  Whether you’re a wedding planner looking to build your stock of must haves, or a bride with a DIY bent and a talent for spotting the next fabulous thing, we know that you’ll love these awesome little beauties for everything from cake tables (and cakes) to candles, and beyond.

Add a brooch to a burlap wrapped candle holder, set it off with some glass votives, and you have a balance between natural neutrals and bling.  A burlap table runner anchors the tablescape while petite roses add a whimsical note ~ and a compelling fragrance.

brooch as embellishment for candle holders at a rustic chic wedding

Image Source: Mary Rosenbaum

One of the best attributes of these brooches is that they combine flexibility with functionality.  These diaphanous chair bows pair perfectly with brooches as accents, and you can repeat the geometric design in other key details for a pulled together look.

We love the vintage feel of this brooch accented cake.  If you’re not fortunate enough to have access to Grandma’s brooch collection, ours will substitute well.  You can add diamond wrap and strands of beads and pearls as well for a look that will wow your guests.

brooch encrusted wedding cake

Image Source: Cedarwood Weddings

And we were completely charmed by the creative ways that brides incorporate brooches into their wedding bouquets.  Whether you construct your bouquet *entirely* of brooches…

Or add a brooch to accent your bridesmaids’ bouquet handles, we love this look and know that your guests will, too.

wedding bouquet with brooch on the handle

Image Source: Heavenly Blooms Blog

Whether you’re planning far ahead or are pressed for time, we can absolutely help you get the perfect accessories in your hands in time for your wedding.  Call our expert customer service department at 928-855-6075, let them know what you need, or ask them questions and let them help you find the perfect wedding accessories.  In addition to having a large warehouse ready to ship your order immediately, our customer service department can literally reach out and touch our products to help you find exactly the right ones for your next event.

Ho, Ho, Holiday Orders | Details and Ideas to Make Your Holiday Bright

The countdown to Christmas is on at ShopWildThings!  We have been working closely with Santa and his elves to get you up-to-the-holidays access to our extensive inventory of high quality, in stock products.  Whether you need a little help with the hard-to-shop-for folks on your list, or you’ve got the Christmas party of the century to plan, we’re the go to source for event decor and unique gifts.  And we have an awesome team that is just waiting to help you get what you want, shipped where you need it, on time and without hassle.

If you have questions about order or shipping deadlines, you can read all about such things here.  Or, you can call and talk to our experts ~ they’ll be happy to help you make your list and check it twice.  928-855-6075 for real, live, experienced, knowledgeable customer service.

Here’s a bullet point rundown of our holiday ordering and shipping dates:

For all orders placed by December 12th ~ Regular UPS Ground service should get your packages anywhere in the US by the time that the Big Man in the Red Suit heads out.  (That’s December 24th, y’all.)

For orders placed after December 12th ~ Check out this handy map to figure out which shipping option you need to get your packages in time.  (Don’t forget to allow three business days ~ meaning Monday through Friday, not counting holidays or weekends ~ for us to process, fill, and very carefully pack your order in addition to the number of days for shipping that are listed on the map.)

If you have questions about what to order to thrill your guests, friends, and relatives, about what shipping option to choose, or about holiday orders in general, that’s what we’re here for.  Give us a call at 928.855.6075, shoot us an email at, or head over to the website to chat with a customer service representative.

We’ve also extended our return/exchange window so that you can order anytime in December and return or exchange your items by January 15th.  That policy is here if you’re a detail guy/gal.  But really our goal is for you to get unique, high quality holiday decor and gifts at great prices, shipped directly from our warehouse stock, just when you need it.  So call us if we can help.

And if you read ALL the way down to the end of this article, here’s a little treat that’s very popular at SWT right now:  Portable North Pole.  It’s the cutest little thing for everyone in your house who still hears the bell and believes in the magic of Santa Claus.


Gift Guides for the Holidays ~ Original Ideas for Kids, Tweens, and Teens


Tween girls are notoriously difficult to shop for (probably we should capitalize that, since we know and love a few tweens ourselves), but we have solutions that are perfect for their style and growing independence at a good value. If you’ve got a tween daughter, niece, or granddaughter on your list, check out some of our inspiration photos and our easy project solutions to transform her room into her favorite space in the house.

A DIY room redo is a great project for Christmas break, and you can combine some of our favorite pieces ~ a bead or string curtain, a canopy, and a chandelier in her favorite colors ~ with a new bedding set or a shopping trip to choose new accessories to give her room a new, grown up look.  Not to mention several days’ worth of entertainment and a sense of accomplishment when her room looks just like she wants it.

The room above takes two favorite colors and a versatile theme ~ music and performance ~ and transforms the space into a truly custom tween haven. It’s perfect for hosting a few close friends or for quiet time alone, writing music, or doing homework. The chandelier over the bed and layers of curtains add sparkle, while metallic accessories and accents provide a bit of pop.  The result is sure to please the choosiest tween on your list.

Not sure about which accessories to choose, or sticking to a strict budget?  Try our room-in-a-box kits that combine a chandelier, a canopy, and a bead curtain in coordinating colors at a great price.  All you need to do is suss out your tween’s favorite color, and you can be the star of her holiday with a kit that will let her personalize her space for 2015.

We can’t not share a few more of our favorite inspiration photos ~ these tween rooms are sure to spark the creative bug in you *and* your tween.




With one of our kits and your tween’s imagination, you can get the feel of an inspiration room in a fab space for a fraction of the cost, not to mention a fun Christmas break project.

Whether you’re shopping for the littles or need to please a tween with a strong sense of fashion and a flair for the dramatic, our holiday gift guides have it all in one place:  original gift ideas for girls *and* guys (little through adult), free shipping on orders over $100, an extended return period for orders placed 12/1-12/23, and a chance to beat the Black Friday crowds while shopping in your Christmas jammies.  (If you are on the fence about Christmas jammies, here’s a little video that might just inspire you to outfit the whole family.)

Reception Decor: A Recipe for Hotel Ballroom Transformations

We love waking up to a Facebook newsfeed featuring Tamara Wendt Design’s work.  If you’re wondering how top designers transform generic hotel ballrooms into a distinctive reception spaces, look no further than this photograph of Tamara’s work.  Using high impact design pieces like a large crystal chandelier, shimmering fabric swags, and crystal hanging columns, Tamara draws your attention completely away from the more generic (not bad, but not wow!) features of this hotel ballroom and toward the modern, chic backdrop that sets the stage for a reception that is all about the couple and their vision.

Notice the glimpse that you get of the table centerpieces in the background ~ more neutral colors accented with bling ~ this time in the form of tabletop manzanita trees dripping with crystal bead strands and pendants.  Elegant, photogenic, and budget conscious without looking like it.

For us, this photograph is worth a thousand words when it comes to answering this question that brides face almost as soon as they get engaged:  How can a wedding design pro add value to our reception?  The answer, every day of the week and twice on Sunday (Saturday night?), is that when you hire an established wedding designer, you get access to her experience in making the most of venues like yours by employing reusable, high impact pieces like chandeliers, crystal columns, manzanita trees, and crystal bead strands.   And you get a person with a battle tested team that can meet the challenges of your day without bothering you — or your mother — with tons of last minute questions.  And you get high impact, high quality design pieces at a great rate because the designer knows that investing in them herself is a great value for her business and for her clients ~ and she can pass that value along to you.  Not only is a wedding designer an investment in *your* having a low stress wedding day, but it’s also an investment in your guests’ overall experience and in the value that you get for your design budget.

Image by Wiz of Oz Photography

Image by Wiz of Oz Photography

If your wedding designer did an amazing job creating a custom event landscape in your venue, we’d love to see the photographic evidence.  Shoot us an email at, and we just might feature your special day here on our blog.  (And hey, if you’re a wedding designer whose work rocks, don’t be afraid to let us know that, too!  We don’t mind a little horn tooting among friends.)

We are grateful to Tamara for allowing us to use her images of Tamara Wendt Design events. All of the weddings and events designed and coordinated by Tamara Wendt are produced by A One Event Rental.

Fabulous Fall Table Basics | Natural Neutrals in Burlap, Wood, and Moss

Whether you’re hosting the extended family for Thanksgiving or simply like a put together dining room for its own sake, we want to share our SWT recipe for building a fabulous fall table that will transition easily from informal to fancy, and even from fall to winter.

The key is combining the textured neutral building blocks of our Fab Fall Table Basics with some key pieces that combine color and interest ~ while marking the season.

Fall Table Decor-web

Honestly, we love a burlap table runner almost anywhere.  It’s easy to jazz up by putting a narrower runner on top to add color, and it looks great on its own, too.  Our runner is shot through with gold thread, adding just a note of texture and sparkle that is easy to dress up or down.  It’s great as a base layer for a formal dining room, and it works just as well in a casual breakfast nook.

Add a root taper candle holder and ivory tapers, and really you can be done working on your day-to-day centerpiece if you choose.  Add pumpkins, gourds, and pinecones for an easy, natural look that transitions easily from Halloween into Thanksgiving, and beyond (we’ll get to that in a minute).

If you’re having a dinner party or setting the table for a Thanksgiving to-do, lower the lights a tad, light those tapers (and you could totally switch the ivory tapers out for dark orange or cranberry to add both color and scent), and bring a little more layered loveliness with some moss, candles, and these subtle garland strands that play on your neutral building blocks.  Add burlap napkin rings to complement the runner, tuck a bright fall leaf into each napkin ring, and you’re off to the holiday races.  Gathering things like pinecones and leaves is also a great way to get your children involved in holiday prep.

Perhaps the best part about this set of Fab Fall Table Basics is that they’ll work really well to take you through the *next* holiday as well.  The stores seem to be in full Christmas mode before Halloween, and most of us seem to stay especially busy at this time of year, so it’s a nice to be able to switch out a few details (many of which you can probably find in your neighborhood or even in your yard) and be all set for Christmas, too.

To prepare for Saint Nick, we suggest swapping the pumpkins for evergreen branches, holly, and ornaments, “installing” red tapers and votives in your candle holders, and perhaps adding a bit of mistletoe to your napkin rings to keep things interesting.  And voila ~ your home is all set for another season, with pieces that are reusable from year to year and interesting from gathering to gathering.


Design Dissection: Glam the Tent with Lights and Chandeliers

We get so many questions about how the best designers create amazing signature spaces inside everyday venues, and especially in tents that begin as giant white boxes.  Let’s take a look inside this glam affair to see how the inimitable Colin Cowie transformed a tent into a reception that sparkles.

chandeliers, vases, pillar candles, and event lighting at tented reception

Image by Colin Miller

Two elements that Colin Cowie employs brilliantly are event lighting and fabric.  The alternating strips of fabric that drape the inside of the tent, paired with gorgeous event lighting, do much of the heavy lifting required to change the look of this tent completely.

Within that stunning backdrop, chandeliers and disco balls complete the look of a custom venue rather than a boxy tent.  These pieces are durable and reusable, and a few of them go a long way, whether you’re going the DIY route or are a designer building your arsenal of staple design pieces.

On the tabletops, candles in different sizes and heights, in combination with rich fuchsia florals, add an element of romance.  To get this look, mix votives, vases, and pillar candle holders while choosing a single hue for the candles themselves.  Intersperse candelabras for an added dimension on select tables.  Build your centerpieces on display mirrors for even more design power with minimal additional cost.  These mirrors another super useful design staple that you can use again and again, and candlelight in particular plays fabulously off these mirrors ~ they’re a little trick of the trade for adding light and ambience.

We hope that you’ve enjoyed this little peek inside the look that a top shelf designer like Colin Cowie achieves by transforming a plain Jane venue with vision + design staples.  We’d love to see how you implement your design ideas, too.  Email us your pics, and you just might find your business featured here on our design blog.