family style dining, part two

Friday, February 10th, 2012

Gay offered such great insight into what it means to serve dinner “family style.” Here are a few technical things about this dinner style…

*Design your floor plan to match the service style. Nearly 250 guests attended Alex and Paul’s reception. Although that’s a large party, we really wanted the reception to feel intimate and for the focus to be on conversation and feasting! That was the entire point of serving dinner family style, after all. For that reason, we grouped tables end to end and created a u-shape around the dance floor. The table set-up facilitated conversation and passing of platters.

 

*Using escort cards and place cards are a must with this floor plan! Each table seated eight people, but with tables grouped end to end, some table groupings seated as many as 40 guests. When tables are grouped in this fashion, it is really important to number each table in the group (as shown below) and to offer both escort cards and place cards. Even though each table will be numbered, without place cards, it can be difficult for guests to discern where one table ends and another begins.

 

*Vary the look of the tables. To keep things interesting and to make sure the tables weren’t a sea of sameness, which could have easily happened with this many tables, we decided to seat guests at a mix of  linen covered tables and farm tables.

 

*Don’t forget to leave some room for platters! We really labored over how much decor to put on the tables. Because dinner was served on larger platters that were passed from guest to guest, we had to be mindful of leaving space on the table. Unlike a plated dinner service, where you could literally create a “runner” of floral down the center of the table, we had to be sure to leave some breaks. We also had to be mindful of budget — long tables can be more expensive to decorate. Ultimately, we decided to group jars of flowers in threes and spaced the groupings with hurricane candles. To add a little more sparkle to the table, we scattered tea lights.

 

photography by Don Mears

inspired by maymont’s italian garden

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

"richmond  wedding inspiration_maymont italian garden"

As we prep for this weekend’s wedding, it’s fun to look back at the inspiration we gathered for it!

{arrangement in terracotta pot via Design*Sponge; buffet by Sunday Suppers; bride & groom photographed by Carrie Patterson via Once Wed; black and white dining photo via weddingbee; place setting by Sunday Suppers: coral peony arrangement by Saipua; dahlia & peach arrangement by Ariella Chezar via Oh Happy Day; coffee – Sunday Suppers}

merriment events: layout and space planning

Monday, September 21st, 2009
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Merriment Events_floor plan

Plans for a tented wedding reception on the Hampton Street Lawn at Maymont for 24o guests.

Plans for a cocktail reception for 200 at Main Street Station.

Richmond Wedding Wednesdays #37, The Italian Garden at Maymont

Wednesday, March 11th, 2009

I made today’s inspiration board with Maymont’s Italian Garden in mind. A ceremony under the shelter of the pergola and wisteria sounds so romantic.

powder room via elements of style; yellow gown by kate powers via frolic;
black and white bride with girls via Anna Maria Flowers photographed by
A Bryan Photo;bride via Ariella Chezar; postcard save the date
via iDIY by Ceci NY; bride and groom photographed by
Positive Light Photography; street scene via Sunset