Whether clean and classic, lushly romantic, or boldly dramatic, these reception designs are a celebration of style.
Photography by John O’donnell
What’s your wedding style? Do you see yourself luxuriating amidst Victorian splendor, cosseted in velvet and silk? Do you envision a garden party reception, kicking off your heels to dance barefoot with your sweetheart? Perhaps you’d rather sip martinis in a South Beach-inspired lounge or contemporary boutique hotel? We asked six area event designers to set the mood by setting the table.
Rhapsody in Blue
Daniel Florals and Events Incorporated
“There are ten blooms on a stem of dendrobium orchids and we ordered four-hundred stems for this table design,” says Daniel Joyner of Daniel Florals and Events. Joyner covered a whimsical “tree” with some of his 4,000 blooms and hung crystal votives from the branches. More orchids encircle each plate. Abundant use of light heightens the drama. A custom-made Plexiglas table radiates blue light from within. Pillar candles shimmer on mirrored bases and votives flicker in miniature martini glasses. Strewn crystals and petals add to the magical glow. Even the Plexiglas ballroom chairs, covered in blue raw silk, seem to glow against the coordinating backdrop. Cost: $1,750 for everything shown here.
Joi Us Events
Can lush Victorian style mesh with elements of Feng Shui? Event designer and Feng Shui expert Joanne Sabato and her partner, Claudia Sidman, insist it can. The crystal chandelier, the focal point of this setting, is a case in point. “The chandelier evokes the feeling of old romance and the movement of the crystals represents the continual flow of positive energy as they subtly interact and refract the light,” Sabato explains. Other sparkling accents, bracelets used as votive bases, crystals lining the inside of the flower container, crystal-studded pins on the napkins, and platinum-etched chargers, provide contrast to the aubergine velvet drapes and centerpiece of jewel-tone hydrangeas. Vintage purses serve double duty as atmospheric dÃ©cor and wedding favors. Cost: For everything shown here with the exception of the chandelier, approximately $480 per table.
Carolyn Dempsey Design,
“I wanted to keep it modern, simple, and clean-lined, but still romantic,” says Carolyn Dempsey of this breathtaking look. The design concept begins with the table itself, a generously sized rectangular table (it seats 10 to 12) wrapped in dupioni silk and lit from beneath. A recessed Plexiglas tray creates a pool in the center of the table. Dempsey filled it with green marbles, water, and floating candles in crystal votives. Simple arrangements of anemones, tulips, white hydrangea, cymbidium orchids, and variegated lily grass seem to grow from the pool onto the table surface. Slim, modern hurricane vases contain floating cymbidium orchids and candles while white, hemstitched linen napkins are adorned with rhinestone napkin rings and a single orchid bloom. Cost: Prices for the table and floral design start at $600, exclusive of chairs, place settings, and linen.
Lunch at the Yacht Club
Michael George of Hybrid, Pound Ridge; (914) 764-1154
“I wanted to do a snappy, nautical, all-American look,” says Michael George of this white-and-cobalt design concept. “I see it in a tent setting or set out on a terrace for a casual luncheon reception.” To create the look, he used an abundance of white Inzell tulips for the centerpiece and tucked individual tulips into the folded napkins. The tablecloth, with its distinctive blue band, was copied from one made for a party hosted by designer Bill Blass in the â€š80s. “We did the flowers for that party and Bill Blass had his seamstresses make up the tablecloths,” George says. Cost: The tablecloth, centerpiece, and napkin treatment would cost about $350 per table of six to eight people.
Midsummer Night’s Dream
Ned Kelly & Company
“I wanted something that would look lovely in daylight or evening,” explains designer Ned Kelly of this garden-fresh design. While a colorful blend of anemones, orchids, sweet peas, hyacinth, ranunculus, and roses provides the daytime fireworks, amethyst votives twinkle at twilight. Kelly combined modern accents (contemporary, stemless Reidel glasses and lime-and-apple-green candles) with more traditional elements (hand-painted plates, a taffeta tablecloth, silver candlesticks, and Irish linen chair covers) to create a look that’s formal without fuss. The chair garlands would add a special touch to the bride and groom’s seats. Cost: With table flowers, candles, and table linens, about $450 for a table of six to eight.
Ivory & Ebony
Diana Gould Ltd.
Elmsford; (914) 347-7134
“I was inspired by the very interesting black glass vase,” says Diana Gould of this very formal table design, “and I’m in love with the phalaenopsis white orchids we used. They’re simply the most elegant flower you can have.” And since they’re also one of the most expensive flowers you can have, it’s good to know that they’re long lasting and, assures Gould, you don’t need a lot of them to make a major impact. “Their stems are very elegant and give them a great purity of design.” To heighten the drama of the centerpiece, Gould used white amaryllis in black champagne glasses at each place setting. Linens continued the “black tie” look. Napkins were black, lined with white and wrapped in strings of faux pearls; the table-topper is quilted white silk. Candlesticks of various heights complete the look. Cost: The centerpiece, candlesticks, and black champagne glass arrangements would cost about $375 for a table of six to eight.