en plein air

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

Have you heard of Outstanding in the Field? I’m dying to go to a dinner and would love to snag a seat at one of the two dinners in Virginia later this year (they’ll be here during my birthday month, hint, hint certain someones who might be reading), but in the meantime, the tables Outstanding sets has me dreaming of dining en plein air…

Although outdoor events come with  unique sets of logistical considerations (that’s another post or ten for another day), they truly are the most fun to plan. What’s better than being outdoors, sky above you, yummy food upon your plate, surrounded by the ones you love? Nothing, I’m quite sure!

 

outstanding in the fieldoutstanding in the fieldoutstanding in the field

all images via Outstanding in the Field

happy valentines day and a wedding full of heart!

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

Katie and Max’s May wedding at home last May on the Northern Neck was truly full of heart. From the brightly colored heart confetti that accompanied their letterpress invitations, to the hearts throughout the reception…along the walkway to the ceremony on the waterfront, handmade muslin hearts on each place setting, brightly patterned hearts on escort card tags…so much love was put into this celebration. Happy Valentine’s Day!

heart wedding inspirationheart wedding inspirationheart wedding inspirationheart wedding inspirationheart wedding inspirationheart wedding inspirationheart wedding inspirationheart wedding inspirationrichmond virginia wedding inspirationheart wedding inspiration

photography by jodi miller; design a collaboration between the bride, groom and merriment; floral + styling by merriment

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

word of the week: sidepole draping

Monday, August 15th, 2011

Unless you’re renting a sperry tent, which has really beautiful wooden poles that support the tent, you’ll likely have metal poles to contend with. Draping is one way to conceal unattractive metal poles. White chiffon-like draping is a classic choice, as in the first image below by Leo Patrone, but you can also go the custom route, matching draping to your tent decor, as in the second and third images.

 

tent-with-chandelierstent draping

 

1 – Leo Patrone Photography via Snippet & Ink; 2 – Alison Events photographed by Thayer Alyson Gowdy via Snippet & Ink; 3 – Blossoms Events

 

ideas for a classic late spring wedding in virginia

Friday, March 11th, 2011

sperry tents virginia skyline tent

There is nothing on earth that I love more than an outdoor wedding. The opportunities for personalization are endless when you’re outdoors. Tacky ballroom carpeting? No problem out here. Clashing color palettes. Nope. Not here. The world is your oyster under a tent. And if I were choosing a tent, I would certainly, hands down, no question choose a Sperry Tent. And, then I’d order blonde folding wood chairs (to match the wooden tent poles in the Sperry, of course).

outdoor wedding ideasUm, how fabulous is this idea from (pun intended) Everything Fabulous? Ikea stocks wicker chests similar to the one pictured here.

outdoor wedding furniture

Broadway: one of my favorite furniture sets for outdoor parties. Perfect for lounging about during cocktail hour, while you watch friends play lawn games and sip on a mint julep. Yum.

outdoor wedding ideas

Speaking of lounging, varied ways to partake in sunshine and the iced cold bevs are welcome. Simple blankets with pretty pillows are a win. And, everybody loves kites, right? And bocce ball. Or how about a friendly game of badminton on the lawn?  (p.s. I am madly in love with everything about this wedding)

Happy weekend everyone!

photos: Sperry tent image courtesy Skyline Tent Company; Sofa via American Furniture Rentals; Cooler via Everything Fabulous via House and Home Canada December 2010 via Heidi Claire; Chris and Tim’s wedding via Martha Stewart Weddings

boutique tents

Thursday, July 8th, 2010

I’ve been nursing an obsession with Boutique Tents lately. Obviously I’ve got some beachy/moroccan/ikat thing going through my mind, and these tents are fueling the obsession.

{the chinois tent designed by Blue Moon Events and photographed by A Bryan Photography}

ceremony decoration

Friday, May 21st, 2010

Loving these graceful and simple decorations for outdoor ceremonies…


{grace bonney’s wedding martha stewart; #2 by elizabeth messina; #3 by one love photo; #4 by ian grant via snippet & ink; last image unknown}

richmond wedding wednesdays: blandfield plantation

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

Blandfield Plantation is a dreamy mid-Georgian Tidewater Mansion dating from the Colonial Period, in Essex County, Virginia along the Rappahannock River. Blandfield offers a few options for event rental, but I imagine this event would take place on the grounds outside of the mansion on an afternoon in the spring.


{left to right: image #1 saipua;#2 martha stewart; #3 unknown;#4 unknown; #5 romona keveza; #6 ribbons galore; #7 saipua; #8 unknown; #9 a practical wedding; #10 eventology blog; #11 parrot design studio}

outdoor lighting inspiration

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

We’re working on a few at-home weddings this year, and, of course, you have so much more freedom to be creative with lighting when you’re hosting an event at your own home! These images are inspiring us now…

{image #1 martha stewart; #2 via cupcake style;#3 sandra lane via sarah kaye; #4 michelle rago; #5 joy thigpen via once wed; #7 lena corwin’s wedding via flickr}

planning an outdoor wedding

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

If you’re planning an outdoor, off-site (i.e. no kitchen) event, your first stop should be the tent company. Since you’ll be building your space from scratch and bringing in all of the mechanics necessary for your party, it’s best to have a clear understanding of rental costs from the start.

Other important things to think about for outdoor events: is there power at the site? How much? Will you need a generator? Are there bathrooms or will you need to bring restroom trailers in? Will your caterer need a catering tent or is there a structure on the property that can function as a prep area? What type of lighting is necessary?

Of all of the types of events, an outdoor wedding can be the most logistically challenging. Be sure to work closely with your planner (if you have one), your rental company, the venue and your caterer.