Sunday, May 29, 2011

Cindy and Brent: A Warm Winter Wedding

After many years together, Cindy and Brent knew that once they decided to get married, they didn't want a long engagement. So, when I got a call in mid-October that there were less than four months to plan and design a big, luxurious wedding for this lovely couple, I knew we had to jump right into the details. At our first meeting Cindy and her mom decided that they liked purple and shortly thereafter we moved forward with a palette using various shades of purple from lavender to eggplant and accent it with antique gold to bring a little warmth to what promised to be a cold February day.

All photos by Sofia Negron

I created a huge escort table, fitted with an amethyst cloth and covered with a mirrored tabletop. Pearlescent purple cards were hand calligraphed with white ink for a dramatic contrast.

We mixed long and round tables and incorporated three different centerpiece styles to create interest in the ballroom.

Tall acrylic stands held full, elongated floral pieces with bold arches made of curly willow and accented with orchids. The ballroom boasts a beautifully detailed 30 foot ceiling, so it was important to use elements which drew the eye upwards. Dozens of floating candles decorated the tabletop and added a luminescent glow to the room.

Smaller acrylic stands held candles on top and had bases filled with lush floral arrangements.

To highlight the beautiful gold rimmed chargers, we incorporated round menus from Ana Dolan which fit perfectly within the rim of the plate. The custom monogram that we designed for the couple carried through the wedding.

Because the resident caterer has an in house baker, we requested that she create a cake with no design at all and then I adorned it with two types of purple ribbon and hand made sugar flowers from Sugar Flower Shop. This is a great alternative when a great baker is not a great decorator.

For a sweet finish, guests left with French macarons in four pretty colors, each of a different flavor.

This was just a taste of all of the gorgeous details of the day. Check our Facebook page in the coming weeks for the complete album. Many thanks to Sofia Negron for all of the beautiful photos.

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Thursday, May 5, 2011

New York Tent Industry Bash: Pink meets Industrial Chic

Imagine you are a designer. Fun! And someone asks you to design a party in a tent. Cool! And the tent is in a parking lot. Ok. And guests enter the tent through a warehouse. Mmmhmmm. And the warehouse is in an office park on Long Island. Seriously? Yup. That, my friends, is a day in the life!

I know it sounds totally nuts, but this event industry party was so crazy cool that when all was said and done, the warehouse and the parking lot and the whole thing made perfect sense! It was a great honor to be invited to partner with New York Tent for their annual industry showcase and celebration and to have the opportunity to collaborate with my good friends at Sterling Affair catering to create an atmosphere that highlighted their cuisine.

My design inspiration blossomed when Peter of Sterling Affair selected a stainless and mirror bar that he wanted to use for food service from furniture rental partner Greenroom. After looking at a photo of the piece, I thought I would run with the stainless steel concept, especially since the palette for the party had been set as Honeysuckle pink (Pantone color of the year) and gray. Then, I began to think about the unusual setting for the party in the New York Tent warehouse and what types of things may be there and I began to get really excited about creating what I decided to call "industrial chic."

Once the concept began to develop I was hit with an epiphany that dated back ten years... I had seen an exhibit at the Philadelphia Flower Show in which the designer covered a tabletop with nuts and bolts, topped it with glass and then set it with beautiful china. I had a snapshot of that table in my mind for a decade because I just adored the juxtaposition of the industrial and the refined and this was finally the moment to put that inspiration to use! Lucky for me, Home Depot sells Honeysuckle pink spray paint so that I could pull the whole concept together.

To brand Sterling's and my area of the tent - an elevated platform that created a second level (!!) - I designed a cog pattern that I used on the bars and table tops which spoke to our theme. I love using inexpensive and easy vinyl transfers to put my personal stamp on existing fixtures.

In the cores of my beautiful glass vases from Sandy and Mike's wedding, I inserted PVC pipes that I painted silver and then in the space between the pipe and the glass I layered jumbo hex nuts and bolts, some painted pink to add a little bit of "chic" to my "industrial." An edgy combo of pink flowers accented with black wire echoed the contrast I was trying to create throughout the space as I combined soft, romantic peonies with sleek, sexy calla lilies... and they lived together in perfect harmony!

To push my industrial chic obsession to the limit, I wanted to imagine a piece that I could hang over Sterling's signature chocolate bar that would catch guests' eyes as they entered the tent on the ground level and looked up to our open, second level platform. After a little bit of research, I because smitten with lighting designer Michael McHale's TDF copper pipe chandeliers, so I had to try and make a little one of my own. I used galvanized plumbing pipes with mismatched joints to create a frame and then wired it with sparkling crystal strands. The talented team at Luminous Designs lit it perfectly and created connectivity throughout the space by projecting cog patterned gobos on the floor.

The final piece of the puzzle was a last minute addition to include some extra guest seating. Rental partner Party Rental, Ltd. provided raw bars (generally filled with ice and then topped with seafood) which I filled with crystals and then placed trays of silver and pink nails down the center and closed off the raw bar with a piece of clear lucite. We added some tall stools and - voila! - bar-style seating!

If you can't tell, I had a pretty good time channeling my inner construction worker to show my industry friends a little bit of the crazy that goes on in my mind. Now that I got that nut and bolt thing out of my system, I don't know what will be next...

Thank you to the talented Mel Barlow for these photos. If you want to see what the other amazing design team of Claire Bean Floral Design and Brent Newsome Catering did, check out Mel's blog.

Til next time,