Interview: Elizabeth Demos & “Vintage Wedding Style”

I would like to introduce to you Elizabeth Demos, author of the new book “Vintage Wedding Style”.  Vintage.  It is a “trend” that really isn’t going away.  Love it or not, vintage is a part of mainstream wedding culture.  For Elizabeth, she doesn’t believe  “vintage tendencies will ever leave weddings because they make so many people happy.  Weddings are about tradition and family.”   Who can argue with that?

Elizabeth’s new book was brought to my attention by her Mayesh sales representative from our Los Angeles shipping department, Sarah Girard.  Whose name, by the way, is in the acknowledgements of the book (very cool)!  After contacting Elizabeth, she was kind enough to donate 3 of her books for a give away!

Yes, I said “give away”, but the only way to get your hands on our freebies is to enter our National Design Contest as each of our 3 winners will receive Elizabeth Demos’ new book!  If you love vintage and want to buy “Vintage Wedding Style”, don’t fret, as you can order the book now.  Click here to order.

Now you know I love to get you behind-the-scenes, so I jumped on this opportunity to interview an author and fellow floral community member.  Read on, enjoy, and be inspired . . .

 

Why did you decide to write “Vintage Wedding Style”?

The vintage wedding trend that has stuck around for some time and has grown in popularity. So much so that I felt a book should be devoted to it. Brides and grooms recognize that they can pull in more than one “something old.”  They can fill tables with vintage china, hang antique chandeliers, craft bouquets that include old jewelry, the possibilities are endless and I wanted to capture it in a book.

I don’t think vintage tendencies will ever leave weddings because they make so many people happy.  Weddings are about tradition and family. Some of my brides just have an attraction to old things, but mostly it’s about connecting to their family’s specific past and I adore that.  We’ve always had a “something old” and a “something borrowed” in weddings and so many brides want to celebrate that sense of shared history.

Imagine, as the mother of the bride, hearing, “Do you still have that veil?”  or, “Can I use grandma’s gloves?” “Could we set the head table with the family china?” Who wouldn’t want to pass on a cherished family heirloom and see those memories come to life again?

Of course, vintage may not be for everyone.  The key is authenticity.  If it doesn’t feel like you, it won’t come across well.

One of the brides whose wedding is featured in this book was a true collector.  When her father gave the toast, he turned to the groom and said, “Take a good look around you.  This is what the rest of your life is going to look like.”

That was really gratifying to me—to know that I’d worked with a bride to create a wedding that matched the way she lives.

 

When did you know that you wanted to be an author?

I had always wanted to write a book but had tossed around more then my share of ideas. It wasn’t until I started doing event design that I realized I had a different perspective on weddings but one that was catching on. I felt strongly that there was a void in published works that were devoted to the type of couples and the types of weddings I was meeting.

 

Who is the audience for your book?

This book is for anyone that loves antiques, vintage wares and being creative that might be planning or dreaming about a wedding, particularly brides, their mothers and friends. I would say it is a mostly female audience but I think there will be some male fans especially when they see that the weddings featured aren’t all full of pink flowers and sparkly chandeliers. They are approachable events and the groom isn’t totally left out of the process or the celebration. I also think it is for people that aren’t looking for the standard cookie cutter event. They want to inject their personalities into their events in a different way.

 

Do you have a favorite design in “Vintage Wedding Style”?

I love to create pretty and practical designs. I also want things to be clever and approachable. So my favorite designs are those that marry those characteristics. The book is filled with them so it would be impossible to choose just one.

 

How did you start your business?

I owned a retail store for 10 years all the while I was working as a freelance photo stylist for national magazines. I decided to close my store to pursue photo styling full time and do an occasional wedding. The weddings took off and I quickly found that the event business combined everything that I loved about being creative, working with people and making lasting memories. It was a business tailor made for me.

 

How would you describe your design style?

If I had to narrow down elements or a design style that I feel defines my look I would say it is a combination of three.

  • I like to tell a “story” and have it recorded beautifully; I suppose it is because I am photo stylist and an event designer. I approach events much the same way as I do a photo shoot. I pay attention to every detail and I want the entire production to feel complete top to bottom. My events are thoughtfully produced; they are not formulaic or mechanical. They are true representations of my clients.
  • My love of all things vintage. Because I feel like events are made richer with the inclusion of items with meaning. Sure I can go to the local big box store or order things online but it is way more interesting to explore an antique fair, score some great details at an estate sale or use family heirlooms.
  • I like to channel a sense of fun and personality from my clients. I can’t imagine a wedding or party that is wholly me, rather then the host and hostess. I’m not that kind of designer.

 

If had to pick just one (I know it is nearly impossible) what would be your favorite flower and why?

Nearly impossible is right! If it has to be just one I would say ranunculus. It just gets better and better as it opens, the color fades to a spectacular subdued tone right before they fall apart. I almost love them more when they are loosing their luster.

My runners up are: astilbe, fringe tulips, dahlias, peonies, anemone, and garden roses. Can’t forget my greens: geranium leaves, dusty miller, lambs ears, and honeysuckle vine.

 

Tell us a story – Have you ever had a strange request? Created something wonderful out of a sticky situation? Have you ever felt like MacGyver and used your mad design skills?

You can plan and plan all you want but once you get on site you are surprised with some sort of missing item, wrong delivery, bad fit, etc. I once had four 18’ trees delivered for a wedding reception. It sounds fantastic but I hadn’t realized the tree service delivered them with bare roots. They simple dug them up out of the ground and brought them over. I happened to have bolts and bolt of burlap on hand and we wrapped the root ball to disguise them. Note to self: always have burlap on hand.

 

What is your favorite color combination right now?

Indigo blue, green and gray.

 

What is your best piece of advice for new comers into the event industry?

This advice actually holds true for every career I’ve pursued. Be yourself. The minute you try to do or be anything but yourself you fail. Authenticity always wins.

 

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