Today, Cynthia Alexander, owner of An Enlightened Event, shares her vision and inspiration as the lead designer for Noshing at Tiffany’s! Her attention to detail is impeccable and she has the ability to think outside the box and on her feet, which are necessary attributes when collaborating with a team. Noshing at Tiffany’s would not have been possible without Cindy’s design ideas!
Cocktail Hour Sitting Area
Standing during a cocktail hour can get tiring especially when ladies are in heels. I wanted to be able to show an alternative or a way to enhance the way a cocktail hour should be…by allowing the opportunity to sit in a setting that was comfortable and subconsciously feel as if they were in their own living room.
The gorgeous Stonehaus hearth was used as the sitting area. A couple of the things that stood out most to me during the Breakfast at Tiffany’s movie was that Holly Golightly had a bathtub sofa and a suitcase on the floor with a telephone inside of it. We wanted to bring these small details into the shoot to hold true to the movie. To capture this, we brought in a small basin and used it as a floral centerpiece for the sitting area, a settee that had a curved backing that would mimic the style of the sofa in the movie, and a vintage suitcase with a telephone inside of it. Using the hearth and settee made it felt like we were in a living room, which is one of the first scenes in the movie.
Reception Table Setting
It was extremely important to me to make the setting elegant and simple so that any bride could mimic it, even those on a smaller budget. With the vintage wedding trend still going strong, I wanted to show that vintage didn’t need to be rustic or have a barn in a field. Vintage could be elegant by using old, colorful, mismatched china and colored bottles with silver platters.
There were a few things that weren’t “standard” in the table set up such as setting up the napkins underneath the plates so that it would hang on the side. This allowed us to bring in the Tiffany Blue that is so well known and associated with Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Using a solid satin napkin works well with the patterned table linen because it breaks up the pattern on the table linen with the patterns and colors of the china. The napkin ties in the mismatched patterns and brings out their colors.
Most receptions have the silverware placed in a very specific order on the table next to and around the plate. Here, we wanted to show that the silverware could be placed in a different way – wrapped with the napkin ring. Flowers placed inside the silverware bouquet tie together the flowers from the ceremony and the cocktail hour.
I also decided that I didn’t want the table to look too cluttered. Each of the items on the table should have their own “shining moment,” which is why I had the tea cups and saucers placed on top of the entrée and salad plates. The tea cups and saucers are gorgeous and I wanted people to take a look at it and really enjoy the way they bring color and character to the table.
Finally, the centerpiece was made up of several bottles that had varying colors of the blue at staggering heights. Usually, centerpieces are used to bring in height and color to the tables, but here, the bottles enhanced the overall look. They all sat on a silver platter with a minimal amount of flowers, which is extremely cost effective. Had this been a real, working reception, people would still be able to talk over the centerpiece and since they’re clear, tined glass, they allow light to pass through and brighten the table instead of blocking it.
Food & Presentation
I love strawberries and they should always have their own way to be showcased when they are beautiful as the ones provided by Bobalu Berries. We used an old medicine cabinet that Pretty Vintage Table provided and filled it with chocolate covered strawberries. Most weddings use a medicine cabinet to showcase family portraits or other personal items, but they can be used for so much more. With shelves, you could display desserts such as these strawberries, or other food items. Instead of displaying food, family heirlooms, bouquets, or other featured items on a horizontal level, you could cluster them inside a piece of furniture like the medicine cabinet to give vertical appeal to the aesthetics of the reception.
One of the things that I find sometimes boring, or often overlooked, is how the entrees are set up at a wedding when there is a buffet. The food is usually presented on a couple of long banquet tables covered in white or black linen. The way the food is presented is just as important to the event as any other design detail.
For this reason, we decided to use a wooden picnic table because it provided the opportunity to have different heights and more surface space on which to serve the food. We placed a patterned table runner across the top of the table to add some character, used Tiffany Blue food cards, included sparkly servingware and a blinged out diamond ring that topped the dessert tower to pay homage to Tiffany’s prized goods for sale, and placed pearls around the table to tie in the theme from the other settings.
We continued the use of silver platters, which were various sizes, and it allowed us to have depth and height. It also allowed each food item to be properly showcased. Of course, we wanted to ensure that we had pastries since the movie starts with Holly Golightly exiting a taxi cab with a pastry in hand.
It was such an amazing experience and I am truly honored that I was asked to design and execute this photo shoot. It is so much fun to be able to think outside the box and bring new ideas and recreate old ideas to make weddings stunning.
Photographer: Erin Saldana Photography
Venue and Catering: Stonehaus at The Westlake Village Inn
Styled Shoot Designer and Wedding Coordinator: An Enlightened Event
Bride and Bridesmaid Dresses & Accessories: Mill Crest Vintage
Floral Design & Chuppah: Happy Flowers
Event Design and Rentals: Pretty Vintage Table
Tuxedos: Friar Tux
Blue Chocolate Covered Strawberries: Bobalu Berries
Rolls Royce: Classy Chassis
Dessert Topper and Servingware: Bling Diva Designs
Paper Food Cards and Paper Table Number: Fla-de-Dahs
Ketubah: Anna Abramzon Studio
Hair Stylist: Hair of the Bride, Helena Van Zandbergen
Makeup Artist: Sam Salk
Linens: Ventura Rental Party Center
Wonderful Models: Runya Simon, Jason Simon, Yana Ward, Jonathan Bluth