Thursday, February 21, 2008

One Stop Shop: Anthropologie Elegant

When I go to Anthropologie, I know that I am in for a treat- I get that same giddy feeling as when I go to an amazing antique shop... only better because I know that I won't have to hunt to find lovelies- as they are all around me in plain sight. Thus, this little grouping of Anthro-delight aims to show how your wedding can be both indicative of your style AND still remain personal.... it's all about merging who you are with where you've come from, in a celebration of where you are headed!

Sometimes it can be tricky to "try to be sophisticated"... ultimately, we tend to think black ties and formal gowns... but really- a grown-up palette and an dusk ceremony can be enough.... I love using this palette of teals and mushrooms.... it's so very mature yet fresh!

And when you are being so liberal in your bridal party attire, know that there does need to be some cohesiveness to it all- I've opted to really glam up the jewelry and perhaps the shoe selection as well so that long and short dresses give off the same message of formality. I would go with antiqued hydrangeas or queen annes lace handtied in a loose-structure for the bouquets.

For a sophisticated affair, I always urge that the event take place in three stages: the cocktail hour, the dinner, and the dancing. If at all possible, it is nice to have each of these in a different area of your location- as the constant change of senery adds to the drama of the evening and the overall flow of the event.

I like to think of the cocktail hour as an introduction of sorts... it will set the stage for the rest of the evening. Provide lots of conversation starters. Signature drinks, wedding photos of guests, and little pieces of information about the couple are wonderful conversation starters. For the cocktail hour, skip the flowers... focus more on good lighting (remember that guests will be less self-concious in dimmer, more flattering light)... a well-stocked bar... cleverly-packaged appetizers.... and a couple of impactual design elements. Recently, I have renovated an old card catalog cabinet found on ebay. By sprucing up the hardare and adding a runner and a few candles and framed photos, it can be a beautiful focal piece... additionally, I love the idea of using the drawers (some can have as many as a hundred) to house the escort cards.

Elegance is simple. It is unpretentious. It can be relaxed and not stuffy. Such is the case with this table. I envision simple linens, topped with a runner of interesting vases used as pillars for platters to sit atop- what is more grandeure than a family-style feast down a long table? When I watch movies such as Marie Antoinette, I am constantly reminded how much I would LOVE for a bride to skip the whole plated production and flowers ...and have the food right there... for the dinner to extend over an hour with good conversation and amazing food. If you are looking for an inexpensive way to go elegant, I love the idea of having family contribute to a "pot luck" of sorts earlier in the day... then having a waitstaff hired on to keep the drinks filled and the clean-up in order.... by spending your money on beautiful serving pieces rather than flowers and decor, you'll have heirloom pieces for years to come!

And on to dancing (another reason to keep the food seperate from the dancing is that a waitstaff bussing tables is a bit of a mood killer... keep the energy up by leaving the mess behind to really unwind!). I have found that if there are a TON of chairs around for the wallflowers to retreat to, then they will NEVER make it onto the dance floor... but if they've been wined and dined and there is limited seating (more lounge-like) then your older guests will converse and your younger guests will mingle and dance the night away. If dancing is taking place outdoors, I think that the most elegant way to carry on this overall feel, is to bring a piece of elegant furniture outside. Perhaps add a beautiful chandelier draped over the branch of a tree... a rug... a few mis-matched chairs, and a firepit... and you've got yourself a party that's inviting yet refined. Hang a few more of the chandeliers over the dance floor, add a little lighting effects (perhaps drape fabric here and there with par-cans shooting colorful lighting upwards)... and you've set the stagefor an unforgettable affair..


Emily Takes Photos said...

I am in Love! :)

Anonymous said...

me too! with this blog! i'm so glad you're back!

Oh Happy Blog! said...

You guys are too kind! It feels great to be back... thanks for stopping by and showing some love.