From restaurant to wedding venue
Although the bride wanted an outdoor wedding, the threat of rain prompted the event team to suggest another option. The team took over Oxford Exchange and transformed the restaurant/retail store/conference space into a beautiful rustic venue. Note the bridal couple's initials in floral.
The big flip
A big challenge for the team: The venue had to be transformed from its workaday world into a wedding setting in just 90 minutes. Not only that, but all of the venue's existing furniture had to be swapped out with the wedding's supplies--from furniture to DJ booth to linens to candles--through two standard-size glass doors.
Guests are invited to share their thoughts for the bridal couple.
Enhancing the ceremony space
The ceremony area is a converted library study room featuring an oversize arbor covered in heavy vines and foliage to give a natural, organic look. Freestanding mirrored window screens serve as a backdrop to anchor the space.
The ceremony space included exposed air-conditioning ducts, so the event team disguised them with smilax foliage to soften the look of the ducts while also creating a design element that enhanced the other pieces in the ceremony space. Sixteen ferns framed the rose petal-covered aisle and 12 boxwood topiaries surrounded the guest seating. The 90 guests observed the ceremony from mismatched black wooden and metal chairs to create an eclectic feel.
Glass bubble 'curtain'
In the ceremony space, a 'curtain' of glass votive bubbles creates an additional design element.
To fulfill the bride's desire for a garden wedding, the event team creates romantic floral in the ceremony area.
Bridal party floral
A close-up on bridal party floral.
Following the ceremony, guests moved to the atrium and conservatory for cocktail hour. As guests entered into the atrium, they first noticed a four-tier wedding cake with the bride and groom’s moss-covered initials (C&N) hanging on either side.
The cake rested on a repurposed wrought-iron gate with two faux stone pedestals and a sheet of glass placed on top to keep the cake level.
The event team also repurposed the venue's coffee counter as the bar in the atrium. Signature drinks included a 'Chris-tini'--made of dark chocolate Godiva liquor, Grey Goose vodka and chocolate syrup garnish, and a 'Naveen Punch'--made with Grey Goose vodka, Oxford Exchange’s spicy lemon cold-pressed juice, simple syrup and a pinch of cayenne pepper, which paid tribute to boxing, the groom's favorite workout.
As the guests filtered through the atrium and into the conservatory, they felt as if they were transformed into a courtyard that might be found in the English countryside.
The conservatory features a glass ceiling and exposed white brick in the look of an outdoor courtyard, but it is climate-controlled. The event team made use of the concrete fountain in the center of the conservatory by embellishing the concrete seating with champagne, ivory and blush pink pillows to create an additional design element while at the same time creating cocktail hour seating for 16 guests.
They also installed a large focal point floral centerpiece on top of the fountain that coordinated with all the other florals.
Cocktail tables were covered in bone dupioni linens and topped with mercury glass hurricane lanterns and candles at varying heights and sizes, with votives and single blooms in small vases.
Following cocktail hour, guests were invited into the venue’s transformed restaurant for dinner.
Guests dined at 24-foot-long feasting tables filled with candlelight, including pillar candles, votives and crystal candlesticks with pillar candles on top. In between the large assortment of candles was an oversized collection of mixed arrangements placed in an eclectic assortment of vintage glass and mercury glass containers.
Florals were designed with romantic and tissue-y varieties of garden roses, ranunculus, dahlias, and hydrangeas in ivory, cream, champagne and shell pink. Linens were ivory poly-cotton covered with gold embroidered sheer overlays.
Another view. The bride and groom sat at oversized, upholstered egg chairs, while guests sat on mahogany chiavari chairs with ivory pads.
A closer look at the egg chairs.
The dinner menu included a pear and spinach salad with spiced walnuts, blue cheese crumbles and a red wine vinaigrette; and an entrée selection of mahi mahi with mango-cilantro salsa, toasted cumin, coconut sticky rice, toasted almonds and sautéed haricots verts or a vegetarian choice of spaghetti squash with kale basil pesto, wild mushrooms, roasted tomatoes and smoked eggplant.
The existing chandeliers were accented with smilax foliage to add to the garden feel of the space. The room was accented by LED uplighting in a warm amber, candlelight color.
Photos of family
To add a personal touch to the tables, gold-framed photos of each of the couple’s four dogs were included on each table.