I realize I jumped ahead revealing my half-baked plan to build our family tree out of felt flowers. But I'm glad I did, because handmade family tree-in-my-head has informed many decisions about the design of our day and reflects our wedding "theme," if you can call it that:
(Yeah, I brought it back. Read it as a sentence or separate ideas... either way you get the picture. It started with the vintage harvest and lightened up into the nostalgic picnic, but I didn't want to let go of the formality... anyway I digress)
And thank gawd I have an inspiration piece for my design, because I asked for- and received- a big ole' blank slate to do with whatever I may please.
kinda like this (source)
The blank slate route can turn into a be-careful-what-you-wish-for situation fast if you let it overwhelm you. So far, my delight over not having to cover banquet chairs or work around heavy brocade curtains has mostly balanced any concerns about making this white and steel-beamed open space into something warm and weddingy.
In retelling how I tackled this task, I'm going to start from the ground up- from where our family and friends will spend the majority of their night, and a design point that can help make or break a successful party.
Tables and chairs.
I know, I know- these basics are not romantic, fluffy, or especially inspiring. But the choices made here can make a huge impact on the feeling of the room and the conversation at the table.
The first choice- usually the default for event spaces that provide tables- is the 60" round:
Why look! This also features different chairs. I'll get there (All from OnceWed).
60-Inch Round tables: Your basic 8-10 seater. Expected, comfortable, gets the job done. Some also argue (with me) that it's easier to chat with your neighbors at the 60" round than at an alternative seating arrangement.
Looking for something a little different? Maybe a little edgy, if you will? Try the 60" Square:
The clean lines of a square table add a refreshing modern vibe.
And finally, there's the regal option of the long banquet table:
The banquet table feels rich and important, and the long lines add structure to a handmade wedding. It's also a fun way to seat friends and family together instead of breaking them up in groups of 8 to 10. But really, it reminds me of Thanksgiving as a kid with about 30 relatives crammed at 2 long tables from the dining room into the living room.
The tables' partner in crime is, of course the chair. I'm faced with 2 options: An upgrade to chivari, or the basic white folding rental:
(again from OnceWed)
Above, chivaris make a statement in a simple space on the left, while white chairs sit pretty on the right. I don't mind the basic white choice- it certainly isn't an offensive chair. But I hear the siren call of the chivari. Even their name has a sensuous beauty: chi-vaarri. It purrs.
My plan is to mix up long banquet tables and square tables so I can sew-up some simple runners and bring order to my vintagey mish-mash decor (you'll see!). We will probably lay low with the chairs and stick with the white ones included in our contract. Unless we find some extra money growing on that family tree of ours (hehe).
What table shape are you using? Do you think the shape changes the flow of the party and conversation?