The Knot asked us to put together a styled shoot for their Spring issue and we leaped at the invitation! Read below for a full explanation of the inspiration behind our shoot!
What inspired this design? Was it a color, an object, a feeling?
Syroco was a very popular design manufacturer that was prominent in the mid 20th century who flooded the market with affordable decorative molded wood-pulp products that resembled hand-carving. It was a typical decorative item in the Hollywood Regency era. Brass gold wall mountings depicting the four seasons were an American home standard as were a pair of golden peacocks, dogwood wall hangings, gold mirrors, wall shelves…All of which can still be found on Etsy, Ebay and such places for less than $30.
How did you choose the colors?
I love muted colors as much as the next bride but I’m ready to start turning up the volume slightly. To up the buttercup and peach tones we’ve been using so much these days, I kicked it up to the next notch of amber and apricot. More richness but still warm and soft. I felt this went well with the Syroco’s brass gold.
What was your favorite detail (on the table or overall)?
The diamond-shaped menu. Who says it has to be a rectangle or round? I took a cue from the cake design as well as the Syroco diamond-shaped wall mountings hanging behind it which it was inspired by.
How did the musicality come into play? How could someone incorporate it into their day?
The decor may show your eyes what the theme is but the music tells your soul. It’s important to complete the look with the sound. I’ve recently been listing a musical pairing to each dinner course to fulfill that sense. In this menu we actually paired the courses to the story we told through the music of the era (Billie Holiday, swing jazz of Duke Ellington, and Benny Goodman sweet band music) and evoked the idea of a swanky dinner jazz club of the time. Use lingo from the period if applicable, okay all you cats and alligators?
In the center we headlined a lyric from the first-dance song How Deep is the Ocean, composed by famed American composer and songwriter of the time, Irving Berlin.
Any tips on mixing color and pattern? (like you did with the chairs and linen)
20% interesting is a good rule of thumb. We could have gone with an apricot seat cushion but that would have made it too perfect and matchy-matchy. I like a little personality without disrupting the main look.
Two cakes! Is this a trend? Or a happy accident?
It is now! Instead of one super-sized cake, try splitting into 2 individual cakes with 2 separate designs that play off each other. Think more boutique rather than mega-chain. This allows more visual variety. In this instance, we echoed the flowers from the Syroco wall mountings that depicts flowers from the four seasons (dogwood, roses, mums, holly). Also another of my favorite themes is art to life. So in the fall cake we had the mums slowly transitioning from the brass flowers to orange mums (and that’s the one that matched our color story of course too!) I’m enamored with 4 seasons. It’s a beautiful way of saying all year long, every day, forever.
Bride’s are wearing 2 wedding dresses to have 2 looks so why not 2 cakes. Uh oh, I can see this trend getting out of control and giving a new meaning to the term double wedding.
Talk to me about those gorgeous place cards!
I loved the peony with the mandarin style border that fits well with the chinoiserie vibe that was part of Hollywood Regency. We had Bernard Maisner write beautiful messages to each guest encouraging them to find and wear their corsage and boutonnière for the evening.
Is the corsage making a comeback? This is not like the ones we remember from prom!
If I have it my way it is. And I don’t think personal flowers have to be reserved for the wedding party and family. I love seeing all guests dressed up with a flower, just like they would for nice social functions back in the day, not to mention it makes your guests feel extra special.
What’s your favorite tip for personalizing at a wedding?
Words are the best way to personalize your wedding. Your own vows, speeches, menus, programs, escort cards…these are all opportunities to tell your story in the tone of your own voices. Some things you can’t show, so you must tell.
If you had to name this look, what would you call it?
Hollywood Regency Redux
Thank you so much to all the vendors who made this shoot possible!
Designer/Planner: Annie Lee of Daughter of Design
Florist: Emily Thompson Flowers
Cake: A White Cake
Menu: Ceci New York
Calligraphy: Bernard Maisner
Linens: Nüage Designs
Cake Table: Luxe Event Rentals
Charger: BBJ Linens
Chair, Glassware, Flatware, Napkins: Classic Party Rentals