A few years back, my very cute cousin Jessica opted to use potted plants as her centerpieces rather than the traditional cut variety. I didn't really think about it at the time but looking back, she was kind of genius. Not only were the potted plants much more affordable, they could also be used to create a wonderful little garden in her new home. Plus, it was really really pretty. So when I saw this garden inspired tablescape that Ara at Rock Paper Scissors Events crafted, I swooned a little...then got really, really excited. The thoughtful details are almost too much to bear and the practical pretty is simply off the charts!
Here is the photograph that inspired all of the gorgeousness...
My background is in the interior design field, and I was always inspired by the eclectic mix of design elements in this Martha Angus showhouse room shot. So when looking for inspiration for a garden theme, I took an offbeat path and thought of Chinoiserie wallpaper, was inspired by this picture again, and called my alma mater de Gournay to do the photo shoot there. (de Gournay creates handmade Chinoiserie and other fine wallpapers, fabrics and porcelain.)
Using this image as inspiration, a fabulous group of vendors and I spent a really fun afternoon at the de Gournay showroom (which is available to rent for intimate events) combining the traditional and pop art/modern elements of the inspiration photo into a innovative wedding garden theme. The best interior designers layer unexpected elements in beautiful ways, and we used this as the main principle to bring everything together.
From the traditional Chinoiserie wallpaper came the inspiration of course to shoot at de Gournay, but also to use potted plants instead of cut flowers. There is no better way to invoke a garden feel indoors than to bring in potted plants, which as a bonus can often be less expensive than cut flowers (plus they're much more eco-conscious and can be gifted to family and friends who helped with the wedding). The antique French furniture inspired the ornate gold silverware mixed with a standard modern white plate, along with the antique reproduction gold frame for the escort cards. The Andy Warhol pop art print inspired the poppies at each place setting as well as the custom paper goods, which serve as a really fresh contrast with the formal elements on the table. The pink boxes of course inspired our favor boxes, and why not have a little stack for your guests at each place setting? The hot pink adds a great punch to the table decor, and each guest will be excited for all of the little treats. The gifts inside do not have to be expensive, and small boxes of individual chocolates or cookies wrapped up prettily would make a big impact design wise and a small impact on your budget. And finally an easy way to add a great amount of interest to your table is to stack the centerpieces at different heights on books. The ones used here are design books to tie in with our interior design inspiration, but you could use books acquired very inexpensively over time from thrift shops and cover them to fit in with your colors if the original covers do not fit with your look.
The escort cards are attached to ribbon in a backless frame bought from a thrift store. On each card is a pop art inspired image that leads you to the same image on your table. The escort card table shares the same inspiration, showcasing the pop art with the Chinoiserie, antique reproduction frame with charming poppies in bud vases, hot pink boxes and potted plants - all coming together to create a really dynamic and interesting garden theme layered with both traditional and modern elements.
Overall the shoot featured some standard elements along with some high-end elements plus some DIY projects for an eclectic and layered mix of design elements. Standard elements included caterer issued white plates, plain white wine glass, standard white table cloth and ivory overlay. High-end elements included de Gournay Chinoiserie, rented silverware, water and champagne glasses. DIY elements included Escort card frame, book stacks, favor boxes.
Photography: Allan Zepeda / Flowers: Quatre Coeur / Event Design: Rock Paper Scissors Events / Reception Location: de Gournay Showroom NYC / Invitations and all paper goods: Paper Eight / Rentals: Classic Party Rentals / Inspiration photo: Martha Angus Interior Design, SF Decorators Showhouse 2005, courtesy de Gournay