Bling Wedding – Lauren & Darren

Some may recall the horrendous Thanksgiving table construction disaster of 2011. I will never forget it. Ever. You’d think I had learned my lesson, but no-oooooo!!! My husband and I got up at the (pardon my French, ladies & gents) butt crack of dawn to create this table outdoors before the 100+° heat chased us back in. Ah! Great plan! Until…..I was so horrified this time that I couldn’t even take pictures of it. A sudden gust of wind swelled from out of nowhere, and…I think you can easily guess the rest! The sound was so deafening that…well…let’s just say I had to trash the shorts I was wearing! 😉

You’ve heard variations of the quote “God looks out for fools, drunks and old people”? As I would be defined as the trifecta where that’s concerned, I apparently received special dispensation on all 3 counts because, despite the 20-car pile-up look-alike on the table, nothing actually broke. Luckily, I had gotten quite a few shots off before the wind sneezed. I wasn’t going to take any further chances, though, and we promptly whisked everything back indoors. I reset the table and took the final shots in there. So if it looks like these photos were taken in 2 different places, it’s because they were!

Without further whining, here’s an all-white table that could be duplicated for a wedding reception or anniversary party. I dedicate it to my friend, Lauren, and her husband, Darren, who just celebrated their 26th wedding anniversary. So please sign the guest book, come on in, and have a seat at…where else?…Table 21!!!
(Click on any image to enhance/enlarge it!)

I love the look of an all-white wedding reception! It’s so clean and crisp and, well, wedding-y! 🙂 Lauren & Darren’s actual wedding colors 26 years ago were pink (or was that called “mauve” in the 80s?) and white, but this is what I would envision for their anniversary celebration if I could be there in ol’ St. Louis to do this for them.

White full-length linens are reminiscent of Lauren’s sweeping white gown in 1986. Silverplate chargers are the foundation for place settings created using my sister’s Noritake “Whitebrook” china.

I created menus that incorporate more “bling” via the wedding ring clip art and a teardrop-shaped faux gemstone brad at the top.

Estate silver from my personal collection accompanies Godinger “Chelsea” stemware with its diamond design (implied bling!) and starched white hemstitch napkins in a simple square fold atop each bread plate.

At the bride’s place setting, a trio of full-blown creamy white roses are nestled into a Baroque silver bouquet holder.

These teardrop pearl and rhinestone-studded frames hold place cards for each guest.

Lots and lots of flowers in shades of creamy white grace the center of the table. Besides the very prominent towers of cascading dendrobium orchids are six small rose and cymbidium orchid arrangements in 6″ glass goose neck vases and four all-rose arrangements in silver Revere bowls. Each rose has a rhinestone pin stuck in the center for a little extra bling. At two intervals, suites of 4 silver Revere candlesticks with 25″H white candles surround the smallest floral arrangements. Introducing the tall silver candlesticks breaks up the sea of glass at that level on the table created by the taller vases. Having 4 heights of floral arrangements creates drama at many different eye levels. (It’s 4 heights because the tower vases are a single 31″ in the center flanked by two 24″.)

These tall & graceful goose neck tower vases have enjoyed a long 30+ year run in the decorating world. It’s all about making the overall arrangement a little bit different to breathe new life into them. Here I used lots of green-tinged white dendrobium orchid stems. For this demonstration, the orchids are faux (just $1 each on sale at Hobby Lobby!!!), but a profusion of the real deal on a wedding table…heavenly!!! I used curly-Q ornament hangers to get the arrangement dripping with bling. Not satisfied to stop there, I visually (and literally!) strung together the tower vases using 6-ft. bling garland. Just hook the ends to the lip of each vase with the hangers! I bought all my bling at a wholesale place, but you can find something similar at places like Hobby Lobby or through your florist. Actually, the single teardrop bling for chandeliers can be purchased at places like Home Depot or Lowe’s in the lighting & fan department! If you’re really ambitious, string together your own unique combination of bling! (Hint based on my wind-blown experience: If you are planning an outdoor event, make sure that tall, top-heavy arrangements are either heavily weighted or have sufficient protection from wind gusts. Don’t try to fight Mother Nature…she always wins!)

So…did you follow the sort of theme going on here with the teardrop shape? In the menu card brads, the place card frames, the floral bling. It’s important to do that to instill continuity at the subconscious level of the brain where people kinda think, “I love it! It all just flows!” Well, yeah, it flows! It flows because you’re subtly repeating a theme. The same applies to the repeated elements down the center of the Tuscan-style table. It just…say it with me, everyone…flows!

Congratulations to Lauren & Darren! I wish you many more years of wedded bliss!

Other posts suited for weddings on this site:
“Purple & Pastel”
“Roses in October”
“Autumn White Wedding”
“Something Blue Bridal Luncheon”
“Peonies & Pearls”
“White Hot”
“Get Me to the Church On Time”
“Showered in Pink”
“Blushing Bridal Shower”
Rhapsody In Blue

I’m joining Cuisine Kathleen for “Let’s Dish!“, The Style Sisters for Centerpiece Wednesday, and Susan for her 200th edition of “Tablescape Thursday” this week! You can also find me at BeBetsy.com!

Autumn White Wedding

I recently received a request for ideas on an autumn wedding. Not that I have anything against fall colors, but sometimes it’s fun to march to the beat of your own drum. Try instead an autumn rehearsal dinner, bridal shower or wedding reception using the more unlikely colors of white, cream and chartreuse with touches of earthy brown for good measure. (For more wedding table ideas click here!)

If the weather is still warm enough in fall to do an outdoor wedding event, go for it! When you set up outdoors, the sky is the limit where your decorating options are concerned!!!

A full-length ivory table linen is topped with a satiny brown runner to add color and dimension to the tabletop. The place settings are fairly traditional with glossy silver chargers and ivory dishware from TJ Maxx. (One huge no-no is to use items that will upstage the reception decor on “The Big Day.”)

The napkin (Bed Bath & Beyond) is very simply folded across the dinner plate and tucked beneath. A white mini pumpkin is centered on each napkin. While a faux pumpkin is used for this sample setting, I suggest using the real thing. Mini pumpkins can be purchased at the grocer this time of year for around 50 cents apiece, and they make a great little take-home gift. (Or you can take the leftover pumpkins to bling them up and use them in a fall arrangement like here.) If you know a calligrapher or someone with exceptional handwriting skills, ask them to pen the names of each guest onto the pumpkins! Cooler yet….have them inscribe the monogram of each guest. That’s really different and kinda fancy to boot! 🙂

Keep the flatware along the same line of formality as the rest of the setting. The design on this flatware is similar to the pattern on the rim of the dinner plate. I went with Cristal d’Arques “Longchamps” crystal that offers a lot of bang for your buck.

Long tables offer an opportunity to do so many cool things with the centerpiece!
A mix of high and low arrangements fill out this 12-ft. table. For even longer tables (so cool to see 18-, 24-, or even 36-ft. tables!!!), add more high ones to balance it out. For this table, I used a little wrought iron number I bought earlier this year. It’s reversible…or at least I made it that way by accident! Lesson learned? Play with your toys…don’t just use them the way they were displayed at the store!!!

This is the way it’s used here, but it’s actually upside down and missing some parts!

This is how it’s supposed to look. I finally figured out what all those “extra” mystery pieces were for!

I outfitted the top of the centerpiece with a grapevine wreath bought at Hobby Lobby. I secured it with  floral wire. Next came lots and lots of flowers including chartreuse and creamy white hydrangea, white roses, and a few orchid blooms. (Sprigs of green hypericum berries, unripened coffee beans or unripened raspberries would really look slick and add more texture, too!) Hydrangea quickly wilts, so the trick is to put the water vial on the end of the floral stem immediately AFTER it is inserted into the wreath so it doesn’t wiggle loose. (Took me half the doggone wreath to figure that one out! :-() Use floral tape to secure the vials to the twigs so they don’t poke out or fall off during dinner…which would be highly embarrassing! Tuck in bits of fabulously bright chartreuse reindeer moss to help hide the mechanics of your arrangement, and finish it off with a plump white pumpkin. (Hint: When you go wreath and pumpkin shopping, take the centerpiece you’ll be working with along to make sure the wreath is the right size and that the pumpkin won’t overwhelm or topple it.)

The ugly little spindly legs on the bottom part of the centerpiece are camouflaged with mounds of florals accented with reindeer moss and a white mini pumpkin.

A mini pumpkin rests comfortably on a cushy bed of reindeer moss. I like the moss to look a little bit messy as nature would have it.

The side globes hold a single orchid bloom atop more reindeer moss.

The smaller components of the extended centerpiece correspond with the main piece. Iron candlesticks with fat pillar candles are flanked by small rose-filled globes stuffed with reindeer moss to keep a consistent look.

This same concept could easily apply to a winter wedding by swapping out the pumpkins with oversized ornaments. The look also works well indoors so long as the height of the centerpiece doesn’t interfere with overhead lighting, fans, etc.

I’m hooking up with my pals at Susan’s Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday again this week. If you’ve never visited, you really must! Lots of talent out there!!!

A special shout out and great big thank you to Angie over at Echoes of Laughter who helped me figure out how to get rid of the bothersome “no reply” feature when I leave comments on other blogs. Teamwork paid off!!!