BEAUTY, MEET PRACTICALITY
Mircea Manea, president, Blueprint Studios, San Francisco
"Using a large piece or a variety of smaller ones has to do with the room size in which the event takes place. A large piece makes a great statement and works best in a venue that is grand, like a historic building, museum, etc., while a variety of smaller ones is best in a more intimate setting. A more contemporary setting requires a tablescape, but a more classical setting will look better with a grander single unit.
"Focus on local growers, use common sense when creating a centerpiece, try to invoke thought and discovery, stick with the brand/event colors as you have an opportunity to deliver a visual message to your guests for the duration of the dinner, and try to repurpose the elements after the event is over."
THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS
Hana-April Chughtai, president, Mani Mela, Minneapolis
"Wedding clients are wanting guests to be interactive in the room, and it is important for the room not to feel static. Large, lush centerpieces mixed with low, full centerpieces encourage guests to walk around the room to see what the other table design looks like. It is easy to take this one step further and use complementary table linens on each of the separate table designs to add depth in the room.
"Although clients are now having bigger budgets to work with, I find that they are using them first to engage the guests overall experience, whether that be entertainment, a late-night indulgent dessert table, or more variety with their food. Instead of a focus on all guest tables being grand in design, they are instead making half the tables elaborate and the other half simple, or otherwise are focusing on having expansive, grand head-table arrangements as the focal point for the entire room."
In photo: One dramatic centerpiece can serve as the focal point, with smaller pieces on other tables. Photo courtesy Mani Mela.
MIX IT UP
David McKnight, founder, Emerald City Designs, Farmington Hills, Mich.
"One style of centerpiece or a mix? As long at the colors, tones or styles are the same, clients are OK with creating a different look. This is the one area that we define when starting the design process, asking, are you looking for a regimented design, or something whimsical?
"As we all love floral, there are many different ways you can include candle detail, graphic images or smaller collectables to create a tablescape that guests will admire."
In photo: Emerald City mixes vintage with modern accents. Photo by Ksenija Savic Photography.
Timot McGonagle, event producer, Kehoe Designs, Chicago
"We are known for our centerpiece collections, which combine multiple pieces into a single composition. We use candlesticks, vases, metal and acrylic risers, and novelty accessories to get our floral and candle elements at different heights to add drama and interest. We often add graphic or custom art pieces to personalize the design for our client. We usually have three different collections per event combining low, mid-tier and lifted designs to create an interesting panorama across the room. There is an added advantage to this approach as it allows for more flexibility with table counts, as you are not limited to a single centerpiece design.
"The type and goal of an event greatly affects the type and height of the centerpiece designs. Bar and bat mitzvahs, weddings, social and gala events allow for more a more whimsical or dramatic approach, while corporate networking events favor lower centerpieces that do not impede cross-table conversation."
In photo: A low centerpiece in the client's brand color suits this corporate event. Photo by Nick Pflederer.