When my husband and I were looking for a place to have our wedding in a very short amount of time, my family stumbled across a beautiful Spanish venue...there was one big problem...the view. The backdrop behind the fireplace which would act as our alter, had a "lovely view" of a glowing Goodwill sign and Mcdonalds. I wasn't about to say my vows with the buzz of florescent signs behind my husband's head. So we had to do a major temporary fix on a very small budget. We rented cafe umbrellas to put in one corner of the reception area which gave it a Napa Valley feel and also helped to block out other signs. My mother, and her best friend Teri (who did most of the arranging), created a flower arrangement that was 7' wide and 4' tall and placed it on top of the mantle. I came up with the idea to rent palms, and place it on either side of the mantle. With the combination of the palms and the large arrangement we were able to block out the undesired background, and it made us feel like we were in our own little world. The palms were about 40 bucks a pop and have a wide span to block the view, and they fit into the theme of the wedding and venue. To build the large flower arrangement, tall sticks and Manzanita branches were placed in a wide pot and cemented in. The weight of the cement held down the pot and made it wind proof without ruining or drilling into the mantle. CA has a plethora of Manzanita, and their branches add great height and greenery. The best part is, they will stay alive for over a week so it looks fabulous and you have time to work on the arrangement before the event. Fake flowers were mixed in with the real greenery which, is significantly less expensive, lasts longer and doesn't look fake next to the real greenery. Everyone was convinced it was real. Some grapes and artichokes were added for texture, and twinkle lights added the perfect romantic sparkle for an outdoor evening affair! Instead of spending a fortune with a florist we created this for just a few hundred, and a bit of elbow grease. It was massive and really set the mood while covering the bad view...we made a bad situation work for us. You can solve any event problem with good lighting and large plants. If there is one thing I learned from the flower pro, Teri, it's that while doing outdoor arrangements, bigger is definitely better...and when you think you're done there is always tweaking you can do. Happy arranging!