Get ready, it’s time for PART II in the NICOLE BLOGS ABOUT HER WEDDING TOO SLOWLY series. Today I’m sharing one of my favorite wedding details: our centerpieces. Before I even knew what season or state I wanted to be married in, I knew one thing: there would be bugs on our tables. And my sister, Michelle Johnston, would be responsible for getting ’em there.
While working as a photographer and assistant in the entomology department of Soho’s destination natural history store, Evolution, Michelle (who also takes beautiful landscape and documentary photographs, founded the Uganda-based non-profit Focus on Change, helps find homes for rescue dogs, AND finds time to be a sweet lil’ baker) was falling oddly and deeply in love with creepy crawlies, namely beetles. In addition to bringing them home as pets, her entomological interest and artistic eye led her into creating insect displays, which she makes by commission and sells at Kanibal Home in Jersey City under the name of Alfred & Alma’s Insect Shoppe. Available in a variety of arrangments (frames, pails, terrariums, etc), her insect displays are perfect for home decor, weddings (clearly), and other special occasions too.
For our wedding, Michelle created 17 original pieces using glass domes of various sizes (everything from about 3″ for side tables, to 14″ for guests tables), which were perfect for 360-viewing on the round dinner tables. Not wanting to put any bug-haters off their meal, we mostly stuck to butterflies, with a few beetles (who could hate a rhino beetle? and scarabs are like little jewels) on select tables. The greater the variety of species and colors, the greater the interest was the way my husband Ben & I saw it, so we told Michelle not to limit herself to a specific color palate. Giving her that freedom really paid off. We loved the fall-inspired (our wedding was in October, after all) monochromatic and dried leaf dome she made just as much as the colorful mossy domes with purple flora. After the wedding, they made great gifts for our families and wedding party. And of course, Ben & I didn’t mind keeping our favorites for ourselves. Now they’re beautiful and interesting art pieces in our home as well as happy reminders of our wedding day.
I’m aching to see how our wedding photographer, Lizz Kuehl of This is a Love, captured all of our day-of decor and details, but for now, here are some images of our wedding domes sitting solo, as well as a few of Michelle’s commissioned works.