Wednesday, February 27, 2008

One Stop Shop: Ikea Formal

When I enter Ikea, I feel a sense of excitement that is far different than my other favorite stores- mainly because when I enter, I do not have to calculate the total in my head or decide whether I can afford the single picture frame or the candleholder... no my dear friend Ikea allows me to shop as though I were in the financial state I dream of being in.... Ikea is my little shot of champagne on a beer budget- and for that I am grateful.

I turn to Ikea often when designing weddings. It is great for bulk small vases or textiles- especially for my more modern brides. The first in this little trio is for the gal that wants to go highly sophisticated but stay well within her means... thus the color scheme is black, white, and chartreuse- very modern, yet decidedly timeless. My thoughts were of this bride being practical and opting for a cocktail reception with passed hor deurves rather than a seated dinner or buffet... I imagine this in either an art gallery or a loft space or even a raw urban setting (perhaps a rooftop garden?) The idea is to keep it simple yet refined....

Even when hosting a cocktail reception, it is important to still have an evolution throughout the evening... which can be a little tricky when everything is taking place in ONE location. The way to do this is by building up the story through the use of lighting, menu, and entertainment. Perhaps have a dusk wedding (see eachother before the wedding and get the pictures out of the way, also opt for a day-after photo session)... keep the ceremony simple. I love the idea of the bride wearing the signature chartreuse and her maids in black- skipping the tux for the guys and keeping them in cool and sleek cocktail attire.... The maids carrying callas, the bride carrying phaelenopsis orchids with beargrass loops.... tons of candles everywhere....I love the idea of taking the unity candle concept a bit further (esp at dusk weddings)... by having tapers at all guests' chairs... then during the ceremony, having the bride and groom take their unity candle and light the MOH/Best Man's candles- letting this one flame slowly go down the line and then extend to all of the guests... the symbolism is so moving to see this small flicker make its way thorughout the entire wedding-

Guests are lead to the cocktail reception by luminaries- signature chartreuse drinks, an agressively ecclectic menu cleverly displayed, and a live musician (piano soloist- think Nora Jones or Kate Nash) will set the tone. I really love the idea of having a polaroid station- and at this wedding having clotheslines overhead with tiny black pins to display them "gallery style" works well... just snap, write a message, and then pin it up to display (have someone collect them at the end of the night)

It is always a good idea, if you are going to do something like this, to have SOME SEATING for those elderly guests, pregnant guests, etc. I suggest having a "reserved table" for parents/grandparents/couple... as well as extended seating for about 1/3 of guests. Keep the tables SMALL (about 4-5) to encourage mingling and emphasize the cocktail feel.... As the night draws onward, you can have a couple of stations (pasta, sushi, etc) open for an hour or so... do this tactfully so that not everyone is rushing to the limited seating at once. Keep the hor deurves comming, getting a little heavier now-
***For a wedding of 100, that means about 30 should have a firm seat at a table- which also means that you can splurge a little and get decor for these that you really love, to later transition into your home.

Once the group has mingled and the stations have lost their pizzaz... it is time to get the party started! I LOVE LOVE LOVE a band- but if you must have a dj- opt for lounge/house music for this particular affair. The passed selection should move into lighter and perhaps dessert selections... there should be a change in lighting (from candlelight to bold color shooting up the walls, plants, etc)... Lounge furniture is always a great compliment to your limited seating.... and simple arrangements which use open-bookcases as dividers really make an impact! (Fill the shelves minimally with items from your courtship, framed photos of your guests' weddings, etc)... Hire a performer to keep the energy up (think cirque du soleil or have a sand-artist onsite.... Have stretch fabric overhead here and there, projecting black and whites of your engagement... and end the evening with an unexpected parting gift in leui of favors (think espressos at the valet, individual morning-after packets (aspirin, earplugs and a bottled miniature of the "sig drink" labeled "hair of the dog") at the coatcheck)

The idea with this design is to keep everything manageable.... by cutting the portions, the seating, and perhaps the guestlist- you will save TREMENDOUSLY... less flowers, less linens, less food= less money. But, more importantly, it is about taking a concept and keeping all of the elements in line with that rather than focusing too much on keeping it "wedding-like or bridal"...

11 comments:

J said...

That's incredible! I could really visualize the entire event. So fresh and chic- modern! Love it.

Rosie said...

lol, I love the comments about stepping into Ikea - it's great isn't it?!!

ZenadiaDesign said...

Oh my goodness I love this!! That veil in the first board is great!

tina said...

You've described exactly what I hope our wedding will be like. Very modern, simple, and elegant.

emily said...

oh i love that hat!
emily
www.ecochicweddings.com

Big Shot said...

Very palm spring Viceroy. I actually bought those black and white votive holders in pink...they come in pink, for our tables. For $2.99 for 5, it was a steal.

jessa said...

I love how you stretch beyond the box. I'm inspired! Thanks and keep it coming.

linz1618 said...

I couldn't have explained better what my day will hopefully be like. We bought out a restaurant with an amazing ambiance and patio. I like you advice for the lounge music b/c we will have a dj (my uncles=free). Now if I can just get my colors down urgh!

Pretty Bride said...

Oh i love that green dress...

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Eternity rings said...

Love the style, the green dress looks amazing. From engagement rings Ireland