Reception Magic

How do you imagine your dream wedding? Here, three beautiful celebrations bring a special vision to life.

True Romance

When a Florida couple asked for a wedding so romantic it would make even Cinderella swoon, Cheryl Beitler and Dale Flam of the Zanadu Group in Hollywood, Florida, waved their fairy godmother wands.

In the Pink

What’s the perfect color scheme for a blushing bride? Why, blush pink, of course. For the reception, the planners dreamed up a delicate palette of white, ivory and a few shy hints of pale pink. But because romance shouldn’t be all sugar and no spice, they decided to pull in brighter colors for the cocktail hour: hot pink, fuchsia and even a few splashes of green.

Flam and Beitler transformed a hotel ballroom into a stunning bridal bower by draping the entire room in panels of floating white organza. “Nothing says romance better than candles,” Flam says. She used them in hanging glass balls, in clusters on tables, even on window ledges. “Candlelight creates a warm glow.” Cut crystal was everywhere: Garlands of crystal graced the escort table, they dripped from the ceiling and from the centerpieces. Each napkin was tied with a gold cord and a sparkling crystal.

At the cocktail party, the bride and groom treated guests to a truly opulent celebration of love. On hand was a staggering array of dishes served from stations: Peking duck, steak and smoked salmon, hand-rolled sushi and Asian appetizers served in to-go boxes with chopsticks. Guests also had a three-course dinner awaiting, with waiters in white gloves standing by. “That adds to the aura,” says Flam. “You turn around and someone is right there asking if you need anything.”

Hearts and Flowers

The flowers were an all-white mix of spray roses, peonies, hydrangeas, stock, cymbidium orchids and a few gardenias for their gorgeously sweet scent. Are these flowers more romantic than others? Yes, affirms Beitler, who loves the soft lushness of these blooms. To play up the sentiment, she entwined garlands on the candelabra and illuminated them with votives.
When it comes to romance, there’s nothing wrong with the tried-and-true, so a main design motif was hearts. Flam brought in carved-ice sculptures in the shape of—you guessed it!—interlocking hearts.

The couple had their new monograms stitched on each napkin, and even crowned their cake with a Swarovski monogram. “For the bride and groom, their monogram was a symbol of being together forever. It was everywhere!” laughs Flam.

True romantics believe that everything deserves a sweet ending—especially a wedding reception. Beside the super-romantic cake, the couple had a Viennese dessert table piled high with miniatures of all their favorite desserts, including mini crème brulée, pecan pies, tiramisu, cupcakes and lemon tarts. Each table had individual platters of biscotti, cookies and decadent chocolate-covered strawberries. Late in the evening romance was served with a side of whimsy: cotton candy that guests could eat from white paper cones—just an extra touch of sweetness to bring a smile to everyone’s face.


love in bloom escort cards cake with monogram place setting

From left: All-white spray roses, orchids and peonies, soft candlelight and white organza panels create a lushly romantic ambience. Escort cards are arranged beneath tealights afloat in glass globes; pale-pink blooms add a hint of color. The dreamy cake is a swirling buttercream facsimile of the folds of the bride's sash; the couples entwined monogram announces their match. A place setting fit for a princess: monogrammed napkins and sparkly crystal.

Photography: Andrew Duany Photography. Decor: Richard Grille.