1. Move over, pastel tiers. A white cake piped in a black henna-inspired design with gum-paste anemones is graphic and chic ($15 per slice, Carlo's Bakery;
2. Can't swing a limo? A black car and a driver in "uniform" will do the trick (try
for $14.50 chauffeur hats).
3. First impressions matter; snag a red carpet at
(from $7.50 per foot).
4. Bow tie pasta with squid ink is a yummy, tongue-in-cheek appetizer.
5. Direct your DJ to Red Hot + Blue: A Tribute to Cole Porter, with covers by Tom Waits, U2, and Debbie Harry.
6. Unless you have a massive guest list, ask your florist about doing simple boutonnieres for all the guys (in bulk, less than $3 each). Or outfit the men with white pocket squares.
7. A little pretentious, perhaps, but tables numbers in Latin (unus, duo, tres, quattuor) set a certain tone.
8. Grouping pillar candles on a silver tray creates a formal look on a budget; try
(pillars from $2.67 each!).
9. Origami bow ties (choose papers in gilded hues or black and white prints) are a winsome way to dress up place settings; check out
for a video demo.
10. Rent a black and white checkered dance floor, the Fred and Ginger classic (
11. They'll talk about the damask toilet paper (gold, silver, or black and white) for months; $8.99 a roll from
12. Top cupcakes with edible sugar diamonds (facets mean sparkle!) from
. For safety's sake, keep away from the kiddies.
13. Skip the after-party and put the money toward better champagne.
14. Seated dinners demand place cards; fleur-de-lis holders are French and fun. From $3.96 for four;
15. A black and white bouquet makes a strong statement: white sweet peas with a big black bow; white garden roses with chocolate cosmos; or a combo of deep plum (nearly black) and white calla lilies.