We know it’s hard to picture what our items will look like in your venue so have put together a gallery of some of our favourite real life Autumn Grove Event weddings, featuring our hand crafted items.
The most common question we get asked, is how did you make that tree?
Unfortunately the build process will die a secret with the Autumn Grove team, but I can let you in on the materials that we used. (Don’t worry, my brothers an engineer so the tree is definitely structurally sound)
The bones of our tree are made with thick steel (this gives our tree its structural integrity). From a steel skeleton we then used thin pieces of wood to connect the beams and start giving the tree some shape. Once the trunk was starting to look like a trunk, we then covered it in chicken wire and sprayed it with fire proof hardening foam. This allowed us to keep the tree light and also give us more flexibility to further shape the tree. Once the tree was sprayed and reshaped, we covered it in calico and spray painted it to make it look as realistic as possible.
After making the trunk we then went on to make 7 main branches and 35 sub branches using the same process. The next challenge was to make 240 leaf stem connectors to connect the stems of our leaves to our structural branches, and this was done using wood.
In the first version of our tree we used toilet paper rolls to make 11,000 hand stenciled, cut out and spray painted leaves, as it gave our leaves a natural curve. (And can I tell you it took 6 of us, every Friday night for 6 months to make them! Shout out to all those involved and for the visitors got roped in if they came over for dinner)
Since deciding to hire out our tree, we have upgraded our leaves to commercial grade, fire proof and first class artificial leaves and have increased our leaf coverage to include 14,520 leaves.
In total our built took 6 months. 6 months of week days, week nights and week ends. 6 months of blood, sweat and tears, from a dedicated and loving family, and can I tell you … it was all worth it
The why for us was easy.
Why did we build a tree? We built a tree simply because I’d dreamt of an outdoor wedding reception my whole life. But having an outdoor wedding reception meant I needed an equally beautiful wet weather option (which incurred huge fees to hold a room “just in case”) , I needed to hire absolutely everything from cutlery, crockery and glassware to napkins, audio and lighting (Cha-ching! I could hear the dollars adding up), and finally I also needed a team of people “just in case” to move the entire reception indoors (I wasn’t going to ask my friends and family and hiring someone just seemed so pointless for “just in case”). My dream wedding reception had quickly become too expensive and seemed so far out of reach.
I was struggling to think of a realistic alternative, when one day my dad simply asked me, “Nat what would you like? Nothings too big” and my reply was “Dad, I’d love a tree” …… Now let’s pause for a second, at this point, I didn’t actually expect anything to come of this, I was just venting, I didn’t expect he’d take me seriously, and I certainly didn’t expect that he’d build me a tree.
My dad being the creative man he is, put his thinking cap on and by the next day he came to me with a blueprint of how he and my brother were going to build me a tree. I wish I could show you my face when he came to me with his drawings (It was pretty much a combo of the two emojis below) + I kept thinking, Is this man crazy? He’s going to build me a tree? For one day?! Months and months of work just for one day? I was shocked at the thought that he was even considering it, let alone confused as to how on earth was he going to make it!
After a quick family meeting (+ the then fiance) where we put together a quick budget and construction timeline, it actually seemed doable. I desperately wanted this tree but I couldn’t help listening to the little voice in the back of my head saying “all this effort for one day?”
It was obvious how much I wanted it, and I thought to myself, sureeellyyyyyyy this is a problem that other brides are faced with. Sureeelllyyyy I’m not the only one wanting an outdoor wedding but struggling to justify the costs, surely I’m not the only bride wanting to bring the outdoors in and surely there’s others who want to hold a wedding or event that leaves (no pun intended) their guests amazed…..
It was then, in that moment, that Autumn Grove was created.
Starting out with one, simple, gigantic, handcrafted tree.