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Fresh Tabletop Ideas from NACE Experience


Myself with co-judges David Caruso & Bruce Vassar. PhotoCredit: The Mamones

In July I had the privilege of judging the NACE Experience Fantasy Table Showcase along with my esteemed co-judges David Caruso of Dynamic Events by David Caruso and Bruce Vassar of The Wedding Guys. As you can tell we had a fabulous time looking over all the table designs--especially Matthew Crowe's innovative and slightly scandalous viewfinder menu (more on that below)! Everyone who participated in the showcase did such an amazing job and there were so many fun details in each of the designs that I simply had to blog about them here. I hope you find them just as inspiring!

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"Enchanting Floral" presented by JackellynTrinh from the Institute of Wedding and Event Design. Photo Credit: The Mamones

The first table we judged was a gorgeous presentation of dramatic florals and vintage textures, from the linens to the gold-rimmed china.  We loved the layered linens of various textures that carried the romance of the florals from the centerpiece onto the table itself. The burlap overlay added a note of casual elegance that kept the design from becoming too formal. We all agreed it was a table where we would love to have brunch together.

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"Oh How Our Love Will Grow" presented by Laura Rupp of BBJ Linen. Photo Credit: The Mamones

Texture was also a huge theme in our next table, but it was done with a modern, elegant twist. Everything had a hint of sparkle that made the table seem effervescent and celebratory, but the linear shapes and simplicity also made it seem chic and current. We loved how the green in the centerpiece and glassware played off the neutral metallics. As metallics become more and more popular, this is a great way to tastefully execute them along with a statement color.

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"Zen Garden" by E.W. Fulcher of Catering Works. Photo Credit: The Mamones

This entry from Catering Works utilized a gorgeous water feature in the center of the table to create the effect of sitting in a zen garden. The teal globe was showered with a soft spring of water, which was fascinating to watch but not too districting for conversation. We thought it was an unexpected and delightful conversation piece--and you better believe we looked under the table to see how it works!


"Who is the Killer" by Matthew Crowe of MC Events. Photo Credit: The Mamones

In this Clue inspired table, Matthew Crowe presents a sexy boudoir mystery for guests to enjoy at the wedding of two grooms. As gay marriage is becoming legal in more and more states, Crowe envisioned a mysterious and fun theme for a gay wedding, but the theme could work for anyone who wants to do something bold and get outside the box with their reception design. White boxes at each place setting contained red viewfinders which alternate steamy boudoir photos with the menu for the evening's meal! The tabletop is covered with black and white boudoir photos under the glass, setting the scene for this sexy murder mystery to play out over food and wine. The table had us laughing at 7am, so we have no doubt it would be a huge hit at an actual wedding reception!

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"Game of Thrones Goes Glam" by David Twigger of The Venue Scottsdale. Photo Credit: The Mamones

Our last table had a "Game of Thrones" theme that completely surprised us with unique details and impeccable execution. My favorite details were the wire crowns at each place setting (who doesn't want to wear a crown at dinner?), the elaborate black and white chairs, and the dragon wine holders (above right). The table created an otherworldly ambiance  by transporting guests into the realm of fantasy, and we loved the combination of elegance and entertainment.

It was extremely difficult to choose a winner because the tables featured so many gorgeous materials and unique, innovative details. In the end, the winner was named: "Game of Thrones Goes Glam!" Check out David's reaction below! Congratulations David and The Venue Scottsdale for your amazing work!

Special thanks to photographers Don & Emily, a.k.a. The Mamones for sharing their photos with us!

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