A week ago, I had the pleasure of meeting designer Nathan Turner at the Chicago Pottery Barn store, where he presented The Perfect Wedding D cor workshop. Seeing as I am helping plan a bridal shower and wedding taking place in the next two months, I diligently noted Nathan's ideas on arranging flowers, cheap and chic decor tips, and food service.
1. Mix up the shape of the serving dishes. They should be varying heights and widths.
2. Try and stick as close to the event color theme as possible.
All pastels. All green candies. All pinks.
3. Make sure to have little goodie bags at the table so guests can scoop their favorite candies and take them home as a favor.
When serving food buffet-style, whether it's a large bridal shower or a dinner party, wrap flatware in a napkin so it's one quick grab for guests. Tying the napkins with faux flowers, twine, or a ribbon make it both beautiful and practical by holding the set together.
Similar to the candy bar, make sure serving pieces on a buffet are of varying heights. Nathan mentioned there is nothing more boring than seeing a long, flat table with no interest. Three-tiered stands and raised cake platters are a great way to bring in dimension. Candlesticks, flower arrangements, and a champagne bucket all help spruce up what could be a very boring presentation.
Nathan kept stressing that YOU DO NOT NEED TO USE A VASE for your floral arrangements. Here he's showing how he used an oasis (green foam) in this champagne bucket to prop up peonies. How grand for a gift-drop table or the name card table at a wedding?
Above you see Nathan made use of a soup bowl, pitcher, and cappuccino cup.
1. The striped vases and votives you see are actually clear vases wrapped in paper from The Paper Source. All you need is double-stick tape!
2. Use coordinating paper (the stripes and the hydrangea) to mix it up without being too matchy-matchy.
3. Look at the bouquet on the right. Nathan noted how we all see little Granny sneaking away, weighed down with the huge centerpiece at the end of the night... he suggests making take-away bouquets and adding a little note, "Take me!" Much easier for guests to grab and those expensive flowers won't go to waste! And bunching three in a single vase gives the appearance of a full floral arrangement.
Another affordable centerpiece option is placing small bud vases along a lengthier table with little votives scattered throughout. Nathan said this was one of his favorite techniques when he hosts dinner parties at home. It would also be pretty on a buffet or side tables in your house.
I got to hang out with Crystal at the event. She is also hosting this same giveaway today, so make sure to pop on over to Plush Palate for another chance to win!
With the man himself. Nathan Turner.
He had on such a great outfit! It was a blue checkered shirt, skinny knit tie, and loafers sans socks. And don't get me started on the thick-rimmed glasses (shown in previous photos).
...and because I love playing this game, I just need to point out how much Nathan looks like Greg Kinnear, one of my favorite actors (Little Miss Sunshine, As Good As It Gets, You've Got Mail).
Pottery Barn is offering this beautiful medium-sized Villa Bottleneck Vase to one lucky winner!
1. Follow Live Creating Yourself (in left-hand menu)
2. Comment on this post with your favorite Nathan Turner tip to enter for the giveaway.
INCLUDE YOUR EMAIL so I can contact you if you win.
Winner will be announced Monday next week!
**UPDATE: Congratulations to Torrie for winning the Villa Bottleneck Vase from Pottery Barn! Thanks to everyone who participated.