Theme Inspiration: An Industrial New Hampshire Mill Building Wedding
An elegantly industrial wedding design inside one of New Hampshire's historic mills
The following people and businesses contributed to this photoshoot:
Design and Flowers: Kate Parker Designs
Photography: Mark Davidson
Invitations: Gus & Ruby Letterpress
Cake: Wild Orchid Baking Company
Hair: Hair That Moves
Makeup: Joya Beauty
Dresses: Madeleine’s Daughter
Food: Flavor Concepts
Models: New England Models Group
A mill was her muse. Moving her studio to a mill in the heart of Dover recently made wedding designer Kate Parker think of all the mills in cities across New Hampshire — Laconia, Nashua, Manchester, Dover, Portsmouth and more — and their prominence in the state’s history. “I thought a mill-inspired wedding design would be a cool ode to New Hampshire instead of the traditional barn wedding conversation everyone has when they think of the state,” Parker says. Because mills are industrial in nature, Parker says “the shoot went masculine in feel, color palette and texture almost immediately.” In the galleries that follow, you’ll see how she made every detail of the design consistent with that theme.
“I wanted to use pieces for the table that you could literally buy at a hardware store,” Parker says. “The entire table was made of concrete bases and a piece of raw plywood.” Its bar height mimics a drafting table. Each setting consisted of 90-degree elbows and floating plate glass with metal flat braces to outline each charger. Oversized flanges hold a single phalaenopsis orchid on each plate. “Everything was in cool shades of white and gray with a pop of electric blue, inspired by the color of blueprints,” Parker says. She designed the tables to be linear and symmetrical. All-white flowers were placed in mirrored and plate glass containers that, she says, “really lent themselves to some amazing reflections as you looked down the table.” Hydrangea, football mums, mini calla lilies and phalaenopsis orchids were used in each of the containers, the orchids providing some height and a slightly softened curved line. “The glassware was the most exciting part of the tableware, with an amazing gun metal gray mercury-like finish on the outside of the glass,” she says. Simple square flatware and a matte gray dinner plate sitting on floating plate glass completed the look. For seating Parker used dark gray micro-suede bar stools: “They were extremely comfortable and oversized — over-the-top masculinity at its best.”
Parker put a pop of blueprint blue in each element of the look for the wedding party — the necklace, the tie and the bouquets — to carry the industrial theme through. The bridal gown, Hudson by Amsale from Madeleine’s Daughter, has a wrapped bodice and peplum that provide an architectural feel, as do the bridesmaids’ dresses, both in the Noir collection by Lazaro, also from Madeleine’s Daughter. The inspiration for the hairstyles was modern industrial. “In the hair world,” says Lena Hartford of Hair That Moves, “that means clean lines, straight hair — nothing that is too pretty or fluffy.” Makeup is art with the face as the artist’s canvas, says Joanne McDonough of Joya Beauty. The lines she used here are graphic, which elongates the bride’s eyes and, as she says, creates a “very seductive” look. A contrasting color theme allows the blue and the orange to “vibrate off each other creating a dramatic, vibrant effect.”
Parker designed the bride’s bouquet to be “delicate but modern, clean in style, masculine in construction and feminine in texture.” All the phalaenopsis orchids were individually strung on picture hanger wire about five feet to the floor. It was all about scale, Parker says. She kept the bridesmaids’ flowers simple. Calla lilies and football mums wrapped in blueprint blue silk satin ribbon were adorned with a single metal buckle to add a bit of industry to the bouquet.
The idea, says Chef Evan Hennessey of Flavor Concepts, was to take flavors and shapes — beets, peas, celery root and flowers — and present them in a flowing yet de-constructed fashion to bring in the idea of a “dish during construction.”
This three-tier cake, by Erin Gardner of Wild Orchid Baking Company, is covered in smooth white fondant with a round top tier finished with a hand-drawn, graph-paper-inspired monogram. Gardner says the edging on the tops and sides of each tier is inspired by “the color and design of blueprints.” The flowers are hand-sculpted sugar phalaenopsis orchids to match the bride’s bouquet.
Architectural diagrams and blueprints inspired all aspects of this custom invitation suite, from color palette to graphics. Clean, contemporary fonts and bold, blocky typesetting reflected the hard lines and angles of a blueprint while a rich and vibrant color palette brought a pop of whimsy to the suite. All pieces were flat-printed on crisp, smooth stock for a polished final look. The Suite by Two Trick Pony for Gus & Ruby Letterpress