The idea of having ice sculptures at your wedding can be a very creative one. To start off with there are so many designs to choose from. A good ice sculptor will be able to create almost anything you ask for. It all depends on how much you want to spend. Ice sculptures make great centerpieces for the guest tables or even a larger centerpiece for the buffet table. The cost to you will greatly vary according to the size of the figure
SELECTING A SCULPTOR
Since this will be a great expense for your wedding, start off with selecting a sculptor who is well-recognized and experienced. Getting recommendations is always helpful but be sure to ask for pictures and examples of their work. The best way to find a sculptor in your area is to contact the National Ice Carving Association. They feature a directory of ice sculptors on their website by state and you will be able to easily find someone in your area. You may also check your local listings but be sure to go with someone who is well-recognized and reputable. The NICA website will probably be the most helpful to you in making the right decision because it is greatly in your favor if the sculptor you choose is their member.
SELECTING A SCULPTOR
To generate ideas for what type of sculpture(s) you want, search for pictures online, in magazines, the NICA website, or just come up with something creative on your own. Ice sculpting books are also a great place to look for pictures and ideas and you can point out exactly what you want to the artist. Each ice sculpture is individually handcrafted and can cost up to hundreds or thousands of dollars depending on the piece itself. If you wish you can specifically ask for a molded sculpture which will lower the price you pay but will not be chiseled by hand as is normally done. Smaller sized ice sculptors are much more affordable and inexpensive but not as elaborate and vibrant.
There are several designs to choose from and your options are truly endless. Bigger sculptors can become extremely expensive for a couple working with a smaller budget but don’t let this discourage you from ice! For lower costs, go for small table centerpieces, a sculptor placed on a corner table, or even shot glasses in the form of ice. Be sure to take a look at all your options before making the final decision. “Do-it-yourself” moulds are also available and can cost less than $20. You can add color to these as well and still have beautiful designs for a lower price.
Some of the most popular designs, used especially at weddings, are swans, doves, interlocking hearts and other such symbols of unity. Floral displays, ice vases for your flower arrangements, or even platters for the buffet are quite common as well. The best ice sculptors are made with pure water and bubbles are eliminated as much as possible. The more intricate and unique the design, the longer it will probably take to be created. Molded sculptors will be formed right away but those requiring hand chiseling may take up to three days for the artist.
LIGHTS AND COLOR
Most ice sculptures of the average size will not melt for six to seven hours but if you are opting for something smaller then be sure to check with the sculptor before hand so that you may take any precautions necessary. Well-created sculptors will always have a good finish and a natural sparkle. You can also ask to add lights to create a much more vibrant effect with colors or just to illuminate the event. When adding color, lights usually work the best and are much more preferable over dye because the adding of dye will take away the sparkle and shine of the finished product.
Ice sculptures must be placed on sturdy tables and may require professional set up. Most single block ice carvings cost $200 to $250. Expect to pay between $50 to $100 for individual table centerpieces and $600 or more for major sculptures. These can run up to even $30,000! Traditional designs such as vases, love birds, hearts, wedding bells and such will probably be around $300. Elaborate designs will definitely be over $1000 but miniature sculptors are usually less than $100. These are just averages and the price will also greatly vary depending on where you live. Delivery will always have an extra charge and will vary on where you live as well. If you are in the same city as the sculptor then this is obviously to your great advantage. Expect to pay around $100 or more if you are in a different city and up to that amount if you are living in the same area.
[As seen in March 2008 of Rivaaj]