My Sister’s Wedding China

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, My Sister’s Wedding China - Family photo

INSPIRATION: My sister’s wedding, 1973. Pictured here are my little brother, Jay; my Daddy, my sister, Berishia (I’ve referred to her by the nickname I gave her as a teen – Barf – in previous posts); my Mom, and; me – just 14 – with cotton candy hair! 🙂 (Dig those funky-fresh platform shoes and “Granny” glasses!)

My sister’s first marriage was in December of 1973 on the eve of one of Kansas City’s worst snow storms on record. Hint much? Anyhooooo….As you can tell from the photo, I was a little less than thrilled with all the pomp and circumstance of it all. (I was far more focused on packing up her stuff and assuming sole ownership of the bedroom we’d shared for 14 years!) The wedding Mass, with nearly every seat in the church occupied, was followed by a lovely celebration in the church reception hall. The next day it was time to open gifts, and THAT got my attention! The marriage eventually ended, and as luck would have it I got (temporary) custody of the wedding china! 😉
I’m showcasing my sister’s wedding china today and participating in Cuisine Kathleen’s “Wedding China Challenge” along with tablescape bloggers from all over the world.
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Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, My Sister’s Wedding China - Full dining roomI started this table with a 90″ x 132″ white tablecloth from I first considered using one of their fabulous taffeta pintuck tablecloths, but decided to do something a little different. I placed a 13″ x 96″ French blue quilted runner from Z Gallerie on each side of the table, leaving the center a pristine white for the centerpiece.


Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, My Sister’s Wedding China - TableThis tablescape would work nicely for a wedding reception or any wedding-related event. It would also be perfect to celebrate a special birthday, promotion, or any special occasion.


Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, My Sister’s Wedding China - Multiple place settings


Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, My Sister’s Wedding China - single place settingThe runners are a wonderful backdrop to the shining silver metal chargers and my sister’s Noritake “Whitebrook” wedding china. The china pattern includes a thin platinum rim and clusters of tiny bouquets.


Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, My Sister’s Wedding China - stemware, flatware, & napkin collageI chose Cristal d’Arques “Longchamps” cut crystal to complement the diamond shape in the runners. The  silky French blue napkins from Z Gallerie are simply folded into a rectangle and finished with a single pink cymbidium orchid bloom. Why not white? Just look how that pink pops against that French blue!!!


Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, My Sister’s Wedding China - full centerpiece


Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, My Sister’s Wedding China - table level centerpiece elements


Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, My Sister’s Wedding China - short floral and floral bling collageThe bright pink florals used here for demonstration purposes are a mix of real and faux including peonies, cymbidium and dendrobium orchids, ranunculus, hydrangea, yarrow, and dusty miller. I hung strands of bling that included a diamond-shaped piece that would complement the design of the runners and stemware. The graceful gooseneck glass vases are perfect for creating an arrangement that appears to “rain” overhead, while the simple silver pilsners are great for a “pouf” of flowers. Using three levels of height adds to the visual interest. (NOTE: The wildly windy weather here kept me from setting up outdoors as originally planned. When creating your “real life” tablescape, the flowers should never make contact with the lighting fixture!)


Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, My Sister’s Wedding China - tea light


Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, My Sister’s Wedding China - white pillar candle on crystal Mikasa candlestickI have had these crystal “Diamond Fire” candlesticks by Mikasa for upwards of 20 years but have rarely used them. They seemed perfect here to give a lift to white pillar candles. Small glass votive holders add a second level of light to the tablescape.


Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, My Sister’s Wedding China - Chair collageStandard round top banquet chairs are prettied up with white stretch chair covers from A coordinating stretch chair sash is gathered in the center to accommodate a bling strand like those used on the table florals.


Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, My Sister’s Wedding China - Buffet table


Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, My Sister’s Wedding China - champagne tray on buffetThe buffet behind the table holds a silver tray for serving the champagne. Using a tray is not only utilitarian in nature (it keeps condensation from marring the wood of the furniture, catches any spills when the champagne is being poured, and makes serving the champagne a snap), but it also helps pull the elements together for a pleasing look.


Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, My Sister’s Wedding China - vintage tea cart


Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, My Sister’s Wedding China - coffee service on vintage tea cart


Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, My Sister’s Wedding China - Noritake "Whitebrook" creamer & sugar


Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, My Sister’s Wedding China - individual cake on Noritake "Whitebrook" dessert plate, silver forks in silver mini champagne bucketThe vintage tea cart in the corner holds accoutrements for after-dinner coffee service with dessert including a miniature champagne bucket for dessert forks. (TIP: If serving a chilled dessert, add ice to the vessel holding your forks [or spoons]. It will chill the metal and help your dessert to stay cold a bit longer. Chilling the plates or bowls in which the dessert is to be served will also help, especially in summer!)


Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, My Sister’s Wedding China - candlestick with cut crystal peg votive


Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, My Sister’s Wedding China - Diamond design collageThe sconces on the wall hold silver Revere candlesticks with a cut crystal peg votive. As you can see in the final photo, the thread that tied this room together was the diamond shape as seen in the peg votive, the bling on the chairs and floral, the stemware, and the quilted runners. (TIP: Using a host of similar shapes, colors, or other design element helps to subtly create a seamless look in your overall table or room design.

Other posts with tablescapes suitable for wedding-related events on this site:
Love & Orchids
Peonies & Pearls
Purple & Pastel
The Party She Deserves
Something Blue Bridal Luncheon
Bling Wedding
All A’Bloom for Spring
Fairy Tale Wedding Shower
Autumn White Wedding
Roses in October
Candle in the Wind
White Hot
Peaceful Peonies
Fete Noir et Gris
Diamonds Are A Material Girl’s Best Friend
Celebrating 85 Years of Fabulous
Should Have Put a Ring On It
Platinum & Pink Valentine
Chocolate Traditional
Blushing Bridal Shower
Pink Plaid & Posies
Pretty In Pink
French Poodle
Peony Power
Springtime in Paris
Patisserie de Paris
One Shoe Can Change Your Life
Rhapsody In Blue
Dinner for the Ladies In Waiting

Peek & poke around here, and then be sure to join me over at Cuisine Kathleen’s for the “Let’s Dish! – Wedding China Tablescape Challenge” anytime after 6:00 p.m. CDT tonight. I’ll also be partying this week with Christine at Rustic & Refined with her new blog party “Table It!” which goes online every Monday at 7 a.m., and at Susan’s place, Between Naps on the Porch, for “Tablescape Thursday” after 9:00 a.m. CDT on Thursday. Finally, I’m linking up with How Sweet the Sound for “Pink Saturday”!

Have you checked out I link up there, and it’s a great place to get inspired for everything from cooking to fashion and beyond!!!

Peony Power!

Do you remember those 1970s Chiffon Margarine commercials with “It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature!” as the slogan? Apparently someone didn’t get the memo, because this has been one of the weirdest weather years in recent history. We experienced one of the mildest, driest winters, and Spring has rapidly turned to Summer without so much as a “How do you do?”.  To quote yet another, more contemporary TV commercial, “Wasuuuuuuuuuuuppppppppp??!?!?!”

Peonies generally wait to pop their big moppy heads out sometime in mid-May, but it’s only May 1 and most blooms are nothing but a memory around here. Pitiful. But that won’t stop me from sharing this with those of you who still have a few weeks of peony power on your side! This would make a great Mothers Day celebration table, or work great for a birthday, rehearsal dinner, engagement party, or bridal shower.
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This Tuscan-style table for 12 on the deck starts out with a full-length white linen topped with a beautiful piece of blue & white fabric I found at Jo-Ann Fabric & Craft Store.

A basic white ceramic charger from Old Time Pottery is topped with a cobalt blue glass dinner plate from Pier 1.

Each place setting has a white hemstitch napkin gathered with a fun napkin ring from Bed Bath & Beyond. I just love napkin rings that look like jewelry!

The very subtle pattern of Godinger’s “Chelsea” collection works well with the busy topper.

I favored this flatware because the design on the handle looks a lot like the pattern of the fabric. I always look for similarities in shapes, patterns and angles to make details mesh.

A mix of small and large peony arrangements in cobalt blue glass vases line the center of the table. These peonies are not real for this demonstration table (alas and alack, those bad boys have long since met their Maker!), but when you use real ones, be sure to check for those pesky little ants that like to hang out in the blooms. (There are 2 schools of thought on whether or not ants actually promote the opening of the multi-layered blooms. I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt and spare them a date with a can of Raid. ;-))

After the sun retires for the evening, these reticulated canisters – set at intervals between the florals – are great for disguising a chunky LED candle that will make light dance across the table.

Visit other posts on this site oozing with peony power:
Peonies & Pearls
Peaceful Peonies

Other posts on this site using cobalt blue:
Blue & White 30th Birthday
Surf & Turf Dinner
Brilliant Italian
Summer Blues & Greens

I’m joining Cuisine Kathleen’s “Let’s Dish!” and Susan’s “Tablescape Thursday” again this week. Pop on over to see what a bunch of other ladies and gents are up to this week with their tablescaping!

Peaceful Peonies

Chinese New Year is January 23, 2012. I love the colorful pageantry associated with this holiday! Last year I created a traditional Chinese New Year tablescape using lots of red and gold with black accents. (Click HERE and scroll down to “Year of the Rabbit” to see last year’s post.) This year, now tired of all the red used for Christmas decorating, I went rogue with a fiery hot pink.
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One of the great things about this particular tablescape design is that the Asian influence is somewhat understated, thus rendering it suitable for various contemporary-styled occasions such as rehearsal dinners or ladies luncheons (sans the candles, of course). The two-tone linen combo of sizzling hot pink over the more neutral black immediately draws the eye in.

To demonstrate how the same dishes can create an entirely different atmosphere depending on the accessories, compare this setting to that of “Let Them Eat Cake” from a post last year. (Click HERE and scroll down to “Let Them Eat Cake“.) A gold leafed glass charger and gold-rimmed white china from Pier 1 are topped with a an F. Winkel & Co. “Jacobean” salad plate. The vivid coloring and busy pattern of the chinoiserie salad plate are just the right combination to accent the plainer underplates and bring in the black, gold, hot pink and white.

I had my eye on these Buddhas from the moment they hit the store shelves at Z Gallerie last year. I must have chewed half a pound of fingernails waiting for them to go on clearance, hoping there would be enough left over. Jackpot! Got all I needed at 75% off!!! Here they hold a gold mercury glass votive.

My “old reliable” goldtone flatware works well here with its subtle pattern.

I opted for crystal stemware with gold rims, but opaque black stemware like Mikasa’s “Elegance-Black” would work well, too.

I felt the need to break up that searing hot pink surface a bit more. I achieved this by folding the black poly-cotton napkins from Bed Bath & Beyond into a long chevron and placing them beneath each setting, allowing them to extend downward over the pink linen.

I almost always use either white or ivory candles, but I’m getting bolder in my old age! 😉 Long black tapers are set into a trio of 20″H goldtone candlesticks to add height and color down the table’s center.

Black powder-coated ginger jars hold a mix of pink peonies, white alstroemeria, and star blossoms. (Florals used here for demonstrative purposes are faux, but I encourage the use of natural flowers for actual entertaining. If, however, all natural flowers are out of your budgetary reach, try mixing realistic fauxs with fresh. The key there is realistic fauxs that blend well!)

Lined up on each side of the centerpiece are four gold mercury glass votives to add ambient light at the lowest level.

The notably restrained buffet decor is a giant black ginger jar flanked by a pair of the same F. Winkel & Co. plates as used on the table. Florals from the table are extended by simply plopping 3 peonies into a shallow black bowl.

2012 is the Year of the Dragon, so printed menus with the Chinese symbols for dragon – 龙年 – or a dragon watermark, or menus in the shape of a dragon would be another element to make this table special. Specialty stores may carry oversized ceramic dragons which would be a great addition, too! (Or go check out Grandma’s attic for them. These dragons, as well as panthers for some odd reason, were all the rage in contemporary 1960s homes.) A nice substitute for the peonies would be deep pink carnations, orchids or, depending on availability, pink plum blossom branches which symbolize luck. If your budget allows for it, rented bamboo chiavari chairs in black would be the crowning touch!

More tablescapes using hot pink on this site:
Daisy Crazy
Hello, Dahlia
Let Them Eat Cake
Hollywood Fright Night

Another tablescape using peonies:
Peonies & Pearls

Thank you for stopping in! I hope you’ll join me again this week at Susan’s place for Tablescape Thursday! You can also catch me at!