Beautiful Designs for Livelier Wedding Table Decor
Solid staples make way for livelier, more colorful tablescapes
By Marisa LaScala, photography by Stefan Radtke
Creative couples are no longer satisfied with throwing a solid pastel tablecloth on a round table and slapping a centerpiece in the middle. Instead, they're looking at innovative ways of incorporating patterns into their wedding décor. Here, four event designers show us how.
Kelsey O'Connor of Kelsey O Events in Rhinebeck was attracted to the ikat pattern because it's a "unique, bold look," she says. Since it's such a stand-out choice, though, she chose to lay three table runners perpendicular to the table, as opposed to one lengthwise. "That way, the ikat is broken up by the solid cream," she says.
"Ikat also works any time of the year," she adds, though she chose a pattern that incorporated autumnal tones of oranges, reds, and peaches. These colors are also in the roses, carnations, alstroemeria, aster, and solidago in the centerpiece mercury vases, which are mostly polished except for a distressed one in the center.
To complement such a contemporary pattern, O'Connor enlisted Dry Goods to create a modern menu card. These were placed on top of ruffled silver chargers that match the centerpiece vases.
"Our biggest goal was the urbanization of toile," says Maggie Oyen, who designed this table with Cassandra Ruff and the crew at Stems, Inc., in Red Hook. "This is not your grandmother's toile." To keep the pattern from becoming too fusty or traditional, Oyen and Ruff made sure to use punchy colors, like lemon yellow (also used in the sugar-rimmed lemonade glasses) and teal blue, as seen on plates and chair covers. These were accented with white milk-glass plates and candlesticks. A milk-glass vase also held a full, white orchid.
One way that they contemporized the toile pattern was by combining it with a subtle Asian theme. The pattern itself had an Asian motif as opposed to a traditional French one, and they used it in combination with teal, Asian-inspired painted-glass plates.
Sorbet spoons perform double duty as place markers. "After the cocktail hour, you can have the sorbet to cleanse your palate, and you also know where you're sitting," says Oyen.
At first, you might not notice the chevron theme in this table, designed by David Bowen and Lauren Ferrara of Bowen & Company in Hastings-on-Hudson. "We wanted to find unexpected ways for the chevron to play out in the design," Bowen says. If you look, though, you can find it used subtly in the table runner, place cards, and drink stirrers.
Designing the table for "timeless trendsetters," Bowen says he was inspired by the Art Deco feel of the table runner, which paved the way for the elegant gold lanterns, low tealights, and glass candelabras on the table. He also picked up the color palette of cranberry and gold, carrying it into the centerpiece, which incorporated garden roses, dusty miller, clematis, and bush ivy berries.
The chevron pattern is echoed in the folds of the napkins, which are dressed up by a sprig of jasmine. Fresh mint garnishes a blush-pink "bride's cocktail"—Bowen suggests a take on a Cosmopolitan that uses St. Germain.
Damask is a favorite pattern of Lauren Syvertsen of Lauren Paige Associates in Middletown—especially because it of its color. "Most couples are afraid to incorporate black into their weddings," she says, "I want to show people that you can do it, so long as you brighten it up with another color. Black is so elegant."
Syvertsen adds some inventive touches to her table, such as using pink cake stands to vary the heights of the different vases in her centerpieces. Similarly, the metallic silver chair sash is actually a table runner. "If you use a table runner," she says, "you get a higher bow."
Syvertsen filled her centerpieces with roses and carnations in different shades of white, pink, and red to break up the black of the damask pattern. "I like to experiment and see what looks good," she says.
Want more? View the behind-the-scenes outtakes from this photo shoot.