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Lighting, draperies add style

By Linda Miller Published: November 16, 2008
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Donnie Brown has two words for brides who want a celebrity-style wedding on a girl-next-door budget: draperies and lighting.

Those two elements can give a wedding a "celebrityesque” feel without maxing out the credit card.

Not only are draperies inexpensive, they can transform a ballroom into something that doesn’t look like a ballroom, said Brown, a wedding planner in Dallas whose clients include singer LeAnn Rimes. Brown is also on Style Network’s "Whose Wedding Is It Anyway?”

Many brides like the advantages a hotel ballroom offers — it’s less costly, and china, tables and chairs are provided — but many back away because they think their wedding will look too similar to others.

Walls can be covered with draperies or fabric to create a spectacular room that delivers a big punch of sophistication and is more personal, Brown said.

Brown owns Five Star Floral Design and Events and Donnie Brown Weddings and Special Events.

Lighting is an often-overlooked detail. For minimal money, pin spotlights can be installed to illuminate centerpieces. Lighted, theatrical trees can add mood lighting.

The effect is dramatic and theater-like. Brown also likes the use of can lights behind draperies or fabric. Imagine white chiffon on the walls, backlighted with colored lights. Or champagne organza on the walls with white lights.

"Those are the types of things you do to get an elegant, over-the-top look, and it’s inexpensive in the grand scheme of things,” he said.