Posted by Matthew Robbins, Contributor
Thanks for the warm welcome, Darcy! I'm so honored to be a part of the Martha Stewart Weddings team, and I hope to keep you all interested with many bits and pieces "from the field," as I like to say. I will work hard to record great behind the scenes details from events I design with our amazing, creative, and hard working staff!
I'm starting with details from a very recent May wedding at Caramoor
in Katonah, NY. The guest list was almost 400, with the perfect weather plan of holding the ceremony in the gardens and dinner/dancing in the very large Venetian Theater. As you can see, the tented
space is really large and can feel slightly overwhelming when you first walk in. This was a real concern for everyone involved, so we had to think hard about how to make the space feel more intimate and inviting.
Here is the Sunken Garden at Caramoor. This was our first and most fantastic choice for the ceremony, but we had a change of plans—even after we all prayed for a sunny afternoon!
As we all know, with any wedding there is lots of stress. You can see here I'm having a very serious moment on the phone with my team discussing rain plans. That's Sofia Crokos
, the wedding planner, who was busy keeping the bride happy and calm as we came to a decision for the ceremony location. There were so many factors to consider. I had to quickly revise my decor plan for the look and feel of the ceremony. Outdoor weddings
are some of my favorites, but they do come with a long list of issues to consider. One of the most obvious, of course, is having a good rain plan, which we did. Thanks to everyone involved for making it work!
I'm saving the details and images of the final ceremony decision for my next post! For now, I want to share more of the preparation and staging for this fabulous event. Here are some of the rentals arriving. The chairs from Party Rental Ltd.
are all stacked neatly like little soldiers waiting to make their entrance into the dining room. You can see the many, many cases of stemware, flatware, china, etc. all waiting to be checked in by Jill's careful eye. Jill, who works with Great Performances Catering
, is always so much fun to work with, and she doesn't miss a thing! She even ordered replacement chairs for several tables. After checking in the rentals, she discovered many were the wrong finish! This is why everyone needs to check rental orders the day before an event. You need time to make corrections, revisions, and last minute tweaks!
, myself, and Sofia have a moment to rally over details the day before the event.
We covered the entire surface of the tented space with carpet, and we ordered the most beautiful white lucite dance floor. The unifying color and texture of the carpet made such a difference in the space. Starr
tents covered the carpet with plastic tarps the evening before the event in order to keep the surface perfect and clean during all the equipment deliveries. My team didn't remove the liner until two hours before guests arrived for dinner.
Patrick, our drapery genius, worked installed the beautiful panels of open weave blue linen I chose for the ceiling of the tent. I wanted the panels to move across the space like an effortless breeze. The draping was also the most important visual tool for bringing the ceiling "down" and creating a more intimate dining room.
Here are a few images of our beautiful flowers arriving...lilacs, sweet peas, peonies and more!
We featured lots of bold color in the cocktail hour and a softer, more subtle palette for dinner. Here is Amanda, one of our most fabulous designers, creating a blazing orange masterpiece for the center of the main bar in the cocktail space. She's using branches of azalea and beautifully tall orchids.
I plan to post many more photos of the finished spaces, but for now, here's a sneak peek. The white dance floor caught the light and made the space even more magical. Please stay tuned for more details from this stunning wedding!