Planterra Wedding Tablescape Captures Michigan's Colorful Bounty

When an engaged couple wanted to dazzle their 140 guests at their October 2013 wedding, they turned to Planterra Conservatory and Viva La Diva Events for a gorgeous affair to remember. The groom hailed from New York, and the couple wanted to highlight Michigan’s beauty to their out-of-town family.

“They were looking for something that would impress their New York guests, but at the same time not be very showy—something warm and intimate that would showcase Michigan,” says Alison Laesser-Keck, event designer and co-owner of Viva La Diva Events.

Laesser-Keck began by choosing a mix of round, square and banquet tables (square tables in the corners, rounds around the periphery and banquets in the center). “You want to be hip, but at the same time you want to be timeless,” she says. “Also, Planterra is a really unique space because, randomly, there are trees—giant trees. So you have to work around the trees.”

Bengaline linens draped the square and round tables and a cheesecloth runner graced the banquets. Gold pedestal bowls filled with greenery, garden roses and other lush blooms were intended to create a dinner-party feel (the shorter vessels were a find at Target). Square tables featured tall vases with willows and hanging candles. Votive candles nestled in mercury class added to the warm atmosphere, while tapered beeswax candles with a honeycomb pattern gestured to the groom’s hobby as a beekeeper.

“Because we were in a conservatory, we needed color,” Laesser-Keck says of the floral arrangements and tabletop décor. “One of the hardest things about designing in a conservatory is, because of the lighting, everything can feel very flat. You want it to feel very organic, very natural, but at the same time, you’ve got to have that pop of color.”

The dinner plates’ art deco pattern ran throughout the event, including printed materials like the table numbers. The honey-colored, hem-stitched napkins and gold rimmed glassware tied the look together. Guests enjoyed bourbon and honey as a signature cocktail and were sent home with small bottles of honey, Laesser-Keck says, “so it felt very personal.”

Special treatments reinforce this Bar Mitzvah’s theme from the moment guests arrive.

 

Girlie elegance and sophistication were the theme of a recent bat mitzvah planned by Elm Events. Bat mitzvahs, the coming-of-age celebrations for 13-year-old Jewish girls, walk a tightrope—they must celebrate a teen girl in a way that pleases her friends and adult family alike. Hundreds often attend the parties, which follow a religious ceremony and often raise the bar for personalization and opulence.

 

Sweet can mean two things: tastes great or stellar experience. There is a lot of sweetness in the U.S. Mountain West and western Canada, but I’ll limit this to talking about the new “Buzzed at Bernardus” experiences at Bernardus Lodge & Spa in Carmel Valley, California.