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We are so over traditional table-number displays—those tall metal stanchions that most hotels and restaurants supply make us feel like we're in a cafeteria. Here's a better alternative for a garden wedding: Prop up painted terra-cotta tiles (meant to be used as house-address numbers, $3.99 each) on the table. Pretty, and pretty original! And speaking of alfresco parties, where the slightest breeze can send those precisely arranged rows of escort cards whirling, here's a secure idea: Place a large piece of cork liner ($8.99 for a four-foot roll) on a tabletop, then use pewter pushpins to hold the cards in place. It's a striking look guests will love.
Pier 1 Imports
Claudia Hanlin, Claudia Hanlin's Wedding Library, New York
I usually look to Pier 1 for handmade and ethnic objects, but recently I found sophisticated pieces in the Mosaic line that would fit in at the most formal wedding setting. Place the blue-and-bronze mosaic vases (20", $45 each) on a bar or fill them with flowers as centerpieces. To vary the look on guest tables, alternate the vases with mosaic pedestal bowls ($35 each) overflowing with vines and berries. You know how everything looks better by candlelight? Place mosaic diamond votives ($6 each) on dinner tables, mantles, everywhere—they're the perfect accent. At the Wedding Library, we love table numbers that are out of the ordinary—4" x 6" mosaic multicolored frames ($15 each) will do the trick. You can also use them to present your menus (put three or four on each table), or as a welcome sign near your guest book.
Pier 1 is famous for paper lanterns (from $5 each); hang a bunch together under a big tree or over the dance floor, and use low-wattage amber- or rose-colored bulbs for a casbah effect. If you're having a cocktail party, the tables will look romantic with Kaylee accent lamps ($25 each). Fill 10" glass hurricane vases ($10 each) to the brim with iridescent, floating bubble-glass balls (12 for $5), creating instant impact at the bar or at the candy or dessert buffet. The balls would also work well with escort cards leaning against them—tack them with double-sided tape in a few neat rows.
Bryan Rafanelli, Rafanelli Events, Boston and Palm Beach, FL
This store's slogan is "Expect great things," and I've got to say I wasn't disappointed. For the bridesmaids, I love Daisy Fuentes's jewelry. My favorites are the 14-karat-gold circle dangle earrings—a totally glam look for $47.99. There are lots of choices, so you can pick out a different style for each of the girls.
What if, baby, it's cold outside during your spring or fall wedding? Stop Mom from worrying that all the guests will freeze inside the tent by stocking up on solid fleece throws ($7.99 each) in sand or green. Imagine piling them in a vintage wheelbarrow, red wagon, or wicker basket outside the entrance to the reception; guests could pick one up when they got a little chilly. Go a step further—why not?—and personalize the throws with your new monogram or wedding date on the corner. Roll them up, tie with a grosgrain ribbon and special tag, and you've got yourself a favor!