Simple, Elegant, Perfect

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Last week I was at The Ritz Carlton in San Juan, Puerto Rico to take a look at how this beautiful hotel puts together a destination wedding. From my balcony overlooking the impeccably manicured pool area, I saw red T-shirted workers below, busily preparing for the night's faux wedding reception...

As the sun made its lazy descent, the stage was being set for an uber-chic beachside ceremony. Rows of white, 70s-style modernist chairs were lined up for the would-be wedding, facing a wooden arbor flanked by two white pedestals each crowned with a dark green topiary ball. Tall glass cylinders of various heights on either side were filled with water and floating candles.

I must say, I liked the clean simplicity of this setup. Nothing to blow in the snapping wind that was coming off the water. Nothing fussy to detract from the natural beauty of the ocean view. The dining table was equally tidy: a long white rectangle, seating six on a side. The centerpieces ran the length of the table. The design included Plexiglas boxes filled with water and tall glass cylinders with floating candles. The floral arrangements were numerous, but they were small and controlled — one done all in white, another in peach and another in bright pink...creating a quilt like tapestry of colorful blooms.

I watched the floral designers at work using driftwood throughout the space as well, setting up some pieces on cocktail tables in the lounge area and placing other larger branches in white planters. Everything looked perfect.

As they tested the sound system and as the strains of the music floated up to meet me, I realized it was time for me and the other guests to appear: the final ingredient for any party. —Antonia van der Meer, editor-in-chief, Modern Bride

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