Thursday, May 22, 2008

Modern Country Whites

Having been an Event Planner for the past few years, I have had the opportunity to plan some fantastic events. I have been inspired by brides who had a creative vision and were able to implement it perfectly - within budget!
So, for the next few posts, we're going to focus on weddings using color to create a theme that ties together the entire day!

Modern Country Whites
What could be more organic than a reception held in a rustic barn in the country? Take inspiration from the natural beauty of the surroundings by layering soft fabrics in subtle colors. We love the idea of an all white modern country affair, and although the task of modernizing a barn may seem daunting, working with a white color palette actually couldn't be easier!

Choosing Your Tables and Chairs
Rectangular tables work well as many old barns are quite long. After deciding on the seating arrangements, rent inexpensive 8' tables from a local rental company. (You can often negotiate a set up and delivery fee as well). Noone will ever know what they look like so don't worry if they are scratched or don't look that great when you see them in person.

The linens are going to make the tables look spectacular, and there is nothing better than draping the tables in a soft organic white tablecloth. To add some depth to the tables, choose a long runner in a very subtle shade that will not detract from the beauty of the whites. We love the idea of a very pale blue or green runner.
Rental companies have a huge variety of chairs to match any budget and simple white plastic chairs can be rented for as little as $1.00 each these days. But if budget isn't a concern, it would be hard to resist the coveted chivari chair. Spectacular in white, these chairs would be a perfect addition to a modern white setup.

Outfitting the Tables
Now that the tables and seating are taken care of the fun really begins! It's time to outfit the tables.

Will there be flowers? All white flowers with very little greenery in tall, slim vases would be very dramatic. A few small square vases lining each table from end to end, and filled with local white wildflowers would suit a more casual white themed wedding.
For a truly organic look, we love the idea of white birch tree logs, vases or candles clustered on the tables and surrounded by lots of flickering tealight votives.

Petite white bud vases that double as placecard holders are another great tabletop layering element and look charming with a delecate white or pastel bud.

Lighting will play an important role especially for an evening wedding reception. We have already mentioned using lots of little glass tealights and other candles on the tables, and a great resource to find inexpensive ones is to scour the local secondhand shops like Salvation Army. You can mix and match clear and frosted glass tumblers, teacups, votive holders and really get creative to create a mismatched yet ecclectic look.

Lanterns are another wonderful idea and the options are endless when it comes to paper, metal or glass lanterns. There are an abundance of dainty white metal lanterns everywhere on the internet that are inexpensive, but are substantial enough to use as centerpieces, or to hang from beams, pillars, branches - you name it! Metal lanterns are especially great if you're planning to set up an outdoor area for guests to spend a bit of time outside throughout the evening. Outdoor lanterns can light up an otherwise dark seating area, and won't get blown out on a breezy evening.
We love the idea of plain white paper lanterns strung from the ceiling as well. Grouped in a variet of different sizes, paper lanterns seem to add a very modern, yet casual touch to any venue. The white in contrast with wooden beams or rafters is striking, whether they are lit or not. Lighting the paper lanterns with battery powered LEDs or power cords would also provide ample lighting for a large barn space.

Little Details
Small details can make a big impact on your guests, so to continue on with the white wedding theme, consider placing a paper fan at each place setting if the evening will be especially warm. Not only are they inexpensive, they are simple to personalize by attaching a favor tag, or having the bamboo frame hotstamped.
Your wedding party can carry white paper parasols which look so fabulous in wedding portraits and photos.
If you will be giving wedding favors, consider a glossy white favor box wrapped in personalized white ribbon. Fill it with your favorite candy or other confection and you won't find any left behind when the party is over.
Maybe you love flowers and want more than a centerpiece at each table. White pomanders hanging with ribbon on the backs of chairs at the reception would be a beautiful option.
It can certainly be overwhelming to try to create the look that you have envisioned for your wedding day, but breaking it down into layering elements can really simplify the process. There are hundreds of blogs and other websites to take bits and pieces from. You'll know when you've got it exactly right. Have fun! You'll only get to do this once!

Photo Credits (Clockwise)
Barn Photos: eventswithdesign Flickr
Chivari Chair:
White Florals: Michelle Rago Ltd.
Paper Lantern:
Metal Lantern:
White Parasol:
Birch Vases:
Birch Candles:
White Fan:
Clustered Lanterns:
Glass Votives:

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