Style in the southwest 

Events by Show Stoppers dazzles bridal, corporate event and party clients in Sedona, Ariz., and beyond.

by Kelsey E. Smith

Photos courtesy of Sedona Bride Photographers.

dramatic events

Although Events by Show Stoppers offers a wide range of floral design styles and services, the business has become known for its floral carpets, which begin at approximately $1,000. The carpets are most popular for weddings but also have been requested for fashion show runways and other event applications.

Jim Bullock says demand for the carpets “loosely doubles” each year, and the company has created 15 to 20 of them, in a variety of sizes and prices, over the past year. The most expensive, for a Hawaiian-themed wedding last spring, was $4,000 and took approximately 16 hours to bring to fruition. Mr. Bullock, co-owner Ken Heflin and about five others laid the petals of 2,000 roses on the nearly 30-foot-long aisle inside the Royal Palms Resort and Spa in Scottsdale, Ariz., in a pattern representing the center of a Heliconia bloom.

 

An intricate rose-petal carpet adorns the aisle at the Chapel at Tlaquepaque. This image made the cover of Arizona’s Finest Wedding Sites and Services magazine in September 2010. Set in the picturesque Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village, the Chapel at Tlaquepaque is a favorite Sedona wedding venue.

Clean, defined edges and patterns set the company’s floral carpets apart from other aisle treatments, Mr. Bullock shares. Most of the carpets are composed of rose petals, but he constantly seeks new things to use in the designs. “We use other flower types and organic materials for details as well as nonfloral elements such as feathers, chocolate hulls for fragrance, seeds and sand,” he explains. “One carpet incorporated chocolate hulls for the matriarch of a famous family-owned chocolate empire who was celebrating her birthday. When guests entered the party area, the fragrance of chocolate was released as they walked across the carpet.”  

Although reminiscent of fine tapestries, the floral carpets are fluid and vulnerable to wind because no adhesive is used. Though clients are notified of this risk, Mr. Bullock says it has never been an issue. “It’s amazing how well they stay together. The worst scenario, if it is really windy, is that we would take all the colors and mix them for an organic, loosely defined, dense rose aisle.”

Mr. Bullock designs each carpet and presents it to the team for input. The drawing process can take several hours, and depending on the scope of the project, it can take from two to eight people to lay the petals. All materials for outdoor carpets are laid directly on the grass, with chalk and/or string often used as a guide for the patterns.

“Once the design is complete, we estimate the number of roses needed in all the specific colors, then charge accordingly and add labor (15 percent) for petaling, drawings, installation and clean-up,” Mr. Bullock explains. “More variables come into play such as density and depth of the petal layer, size and number of petals each rose variety yields, contrast and color scheme.”

 

Created for the grand opening of Wildflower Linens in Scottsdale, Ariz., this floral carpet, designed by Jim Bullock, was inspired by a window design of American architect and interior designer Frank Lloyd Wright, who had a winter home in the area from 1937 until his death in 1959. The carpet served as a runway for models who playfully wore the company’s linens as fashions.

Once the petals are removed from the roses, which can take several hours, logistics are important to ensure they remain in top condition. White petals require extra care to maintain their pristine appearance. 

“You can’t just put them all in a garbage bag, because the ones on the bottom will get creased because of the weight,” Mr. Bullock explains. “We use dozens and dozens of buckets so the petals won’t get crushed and turn brown.”

Such attention to detail has made Events by Show Stoppers’ floral carpets increasingly popular not only for brides but their guests as well. “Several times, people have scooped up the petals at the end and threw them up in the air for the bride and groom as they were walking through,” Mr. Bullock shares. “We love those kinds of impulsive things people do, and so do the photographers.”

Created using 2,000 rose petals, this floral carpet graced the aisle of a spring 2011 Hawaiian-themed wedding at the Royal Palms Resort and Spa in Scottsdale, Ariz. The labor-intensive carpet is the most expensive Events by Show Stoppers has created to date, billed at $4,000.

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