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Photos by Adam Ewing Styled by Wendy Umanoff|
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The night before the wedding need not be a fancy affair; often the rehearsal-dinner guests are relatives and old friends of the marrying couple, and what they want most is a casual environment where they can catch up and have a relaxed meal. Stylist Wendy Umanoff produced three striking yet simple table settings that would be easy to re-create in a home or backyard.
Grass Is Greener
This table setting calls to mind a picnic, but it's a bit craftier than that — a thick sheet of glass is balanced above wheatgrass, daisies and faux butterflies, with the assistance of bricks. Even if you don't attempt this balancing act at your dinner, well-chosen paper goods can give a table a spark of life and color. Go wild! It's not your registered china pattern, after all.
Wheatgrass, $32.50 per flat, daisies, $2 per stem, butterflies, $1.50, place card, 50 cents, all at Strawberry Fields Flowers & Gifts; wooden flatware, $10 for a set of 10 at Anthropologie; round paperboard coaster, $14 for a set of 10 at Paper Plus; cocktail napkins by Jonathan Adler, $5.25 for a set of 20, dessert plates by Adler, $5.25 for a set of eight, both at Tinker and Company; sunkissed-orange paper dinner plate, $3.49 for a set of 18, assorted toothpicks, $3.49, houndstooth check gift box, 89 cents, all from If It's Paper. Glass top is stylist's own.
A bag of sand, a few shells and a couple of goldfish go a long way toward giving your party a beachy feel, even if you find yourself hosting a wedding in Richmond. Stick with a palette of whites and blues (with a dash of orange, thanks to the fish), and your guests may find themselves smelling the salty sea breeze.
Turquoise ceramic coasters, $8 each, and shell toothpicks, $6, both at Anthropologie; fish platter, $18 at Tinker and Company; blue glass tumblers, $96 for a set of six at Paper Plus; spreader with fish handle, $8 at Strawberry Fields Flowers & Gifts; tumbled sea glass, $14, 5-pound bag of beach sand, $8.50, small ceramic shell plate, $10, large ceramic shell plates, $45, fisherman's glass floats, $12 for a set of four, embroidered nautilus cocktail napkins, $19 for a set of six, coastal curiosity cloth napkins, $26 for a set of four, Bristol lantern, $39, raffia pillar candle, $9, filled vase candle pot, $24, sea urchin salt-and-pepper set, $29, bag of white seashells, $26, all at Pottery Barn. Fish, 13 cents each at PetSmart.
You can have an elegant table without being fussy — the key is mixing china patterns and using vintage and contemporary pieces. Popping into a thrift store can yield some lovely (and inexpensive) finds, such as this dessert plate, which was one of a set discovered at Diversity Thrift.
Antique glass garden table, $395, antique flower frog, $10, sterling-silver flatware, $150, all at Sheppard Street Antiques; milkmaid butter dish, $28, clear and green glass tumblers, $6 each, all at Anthropologie; cloth napkin, $40 for a set of four at Paper Plus; dessert plate, $1, rose-colored stemware, $1.50, both from Diversity Thrift; coaster, $18 for a set of four at Tinker and Company; dinner plate, $1.50, charger plate, $1, both at Fantastic Thrift; fruit tart, $3 at Fresh Market.