When it comes to planning a wedding, one of the most exciting parts is deciding what the event will look like. We realize not everyone can afford to host their big day along a waterfront or on a Napa vineyard or in a rustic restored barn (damn you, Sandra Bullock movies). But not landing your ideal venue or location doesn’t mean the wedding’s overall ambiance and look has to suffer. Whether you’re in a hotel ballroom or your own backyard, pulling together unique and eye-catching table settings can transform an otherwise empty or conventional space.
Fortunately, we asked three of your favorite event planners and stylists to put together wedding table inspiration and offer advice on how to go about planning your your big (whether that’s on your own or with a planner). We asked each of them to include the five main ingredients that comprise a wedding table:
1. the chairs
2. place settings
3. place cards
5. party favors for guests
Last Friday, we brought you the stunning coral, orange, and gold tablescape of Chicago-based event planner, Anne Book. Today, Austin-based stylist and event planner Camille Styles of Camille Styles Events and the popular blog CamilleStyles.com shares with us her Secret Garden-inspired wedding table design. With a dramatic, color-bursting centerpiece by The Byrd Collective, citrus-hued invitations by The Creative Parasol, the hand-made origami garland, and table accessories and bridalwear by BHLDN, it’s clear that not a single detail of this fairy tale outdoor tablescape was overlooked.
1. What advice do you have for brides-to-be looking to work with an event planner?
When interviewing potential planners, look for someone who not only understands your vision, but doesn’t hesitate to suggest ideas that build off of that vision. The best planners bring creativity and expertise to the table that will not just capture the day you’ve dreamed of, but actually exceed your expectations!
2. It’s no secret. So many weddings end up looking the same. What tips do you have for making your wedding stand out?
We’re really lucky to live during a time when brides and grooms are encouraged to infuse their wedding day with their own personality! I think there’s definitely more of an anything-goes attitude towards weddings these days, where the only real “rule” is to stay true to your own style. If you’re a bride who loves color, choose a bold palette and use dramatic washes of those colors in everything from bridesmaid’s dresses to table linens to photo booth backdrop. If you love vintage details, spend some time in the months leading up to the wedding scouring flea markets for unique vessels that your florist can incorporate into your centerpiece, giving your tables a truly one-of-a-kind look!
3. What are some of your favorite online sources for:
invitations: Minted, Mr. Boddingtons Studio, Hello!Lucky, and Rifle Paper Co.
styling decor: Once Wed, Style Me Pretty, 100 Layer Cake, Snippet & Ink, BHLDN
flowers: Ruffled,The Byrd Collective, Martha Stewart Weddings
4. Where do you find are the easiest ways to save money when it comes to planning a wedding? What’s worth splurging on? What’s not?
It’s not practical for every couple, but my first suggestion is always to scale back on the guest list! It’s much easier to splurge on gorgeous flowers, delicious food and beautiful furniture when you’re dealing with a smaller number of guests. If that’s not possible, think about ways to use scale to make a big impact. For instance, instead of asking your florist to create lots of small arrangements that can easily get lost, make the most of your budget with just a few large, colorful florals that add major WOW factor to the overall look.
5. What’s your favorite detail/item in the look you created?
I’ve always loved the book The Secret Garden. It has such a timeless, romantic, and mysterious tone. So when I settled on that as my inspiration for this look, I really wanted to capture that otherworldly beauty through effusive color, mismatched furniture and flowers, and vines that appeared to be growing wildly right out of the table. The amazing team that worked on this shoot definitely pulled it off. Looking at the images makes me feel like I set foot right into a fairy tale!
I especially love the origami bird installation created by my assistant editor, Chanel. It was a simple way to add an artistic touch that still looked totally at home in a natural setting. We even put together the DIY details so that all of you can make it for your own celebrations! Hop over to get the full instructions. BHLDN supplied us with the beautiful tabletop pieces, props, wedding gown, and bridal accessories. It was a total blast getting to work with such beautiful and unique pieces to style the overall look.
After working in the event planning industry for a few years, Austin-based Camille Styles launched both her eponymous company, Camille Styles Events and blog CamilleStyles.com in 2009. She has since styled projects for media publications like HGTV.com, DIYNetwork.com, and Better Homes & Gardens, as well as the many clients that come to her for event planning.
Styling: Camille Styles // Photography: She-n-He Photography // Flowers: The Byrd Collective // Furniture: Loot Vintage Rentals // Invitations: The Creative Parasol // Props, dishes, wedding gown and bridal accessories: BHLDN // Make-up/hair: Erica Gray