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LOVE/HATE: The ‘Table Spanx’ Edition

What’s shiny, slippery, popular with middle schoolers circa 1985, and now prettifying wedding reception tables and chairs? You guessed it, I’m talking about spandex. Spandex table covers and spandex chair covers at wedding receptions, specifically. There’s no graceful draping here, and no chance that you’ll accidentally pull the tablecloth off (though you might slide out of your chair if you’re not careful). Spandex on a reception table acts just like spandex does on us – you see every curve, every angle, everything jutting this-and-that, and every bulge. Not that there’s anything wrong with that!

But see what I mean about seeing everything? Spandex chair covers look sleek and clean and rather hip from a distance, but up close you start to see all of the details of the chair’s construction that chair covers are meant to hide. Isn’t the whole point of chair covers to make cheap blah chairs look more like upscale chairs?

I guess it looks pretty sleek on the table – I like it more there than I do on the chairs where it seems like they reveal a lot more about what’s underneath. Admittedly, I haven’t seen it in person, so maybe spandex table and chair covers are just awesomeness incarnate and will be appearing at a wedding reception near you in the next year or so. What do you think? Is spandex the next big thing in reception table decor or will spandex table linens and chair covers quickly go the way of the spandex jockeys?

Tiers of Joy

Cupcakes or wedding cake, pie or fruit tarts a la Mr. Twistie, desserts are only enhanced by setting them down on something pretty. I went hunting around for adorable cake stands and cupcakes stands, and these were my faves:

custom cake stands


Inspiration: Iris

I’ve always loved iris. The shape appeals strongly to me, the colors are right up my alley, and they can’t be beaten for pure visual drama. If you’re thinking of working them into your wedding, here are some ideas to help you out.

You can start right out with your save the dates.
save_the_date_iris_wedding_button-p145756570551676737qd2b_400 These buttons from Zazzle run from $2.89 each down to $1.89 each, depending on how many you buy. Not wild about this one? There are other iris-themed save the date items available.

Craspedia aka Billy Balls – An Unusual But Beautiful Choice

For those whose wedding color scheme includes a pretty and happy yellow, craspedia is a wonderful wedding flower option. Craspedia, also called billy balls or billy buttons, are known for their cheery yellow and round flowerheads, and look great whether in a starring or supporting role in your floral arrangements. Their density is striking, with most people never guessing that these blooms are a relative of the common daisy. The flowerheads are also tough and durable, meaning they’ll look as brilliant at end of the wedding reception as they did at the start of the wedding ceremony.

billy balls bridal bouquet


Simply Perfect

Sometimes more is definitely more, but in certain rare cases sometimes less really is more. There’s this temptation to fill up every inch of space on wedding reception tables with complicated multi-part centerpieces, plate upon plate upon charger, wedding favors, menus, and more. Could that be why this gorgeous table photographed by Devon wedding photographer Rosie Parson so refreshing?

The colored glasses are fantastic! The centerpieces are simple – the wildflower arrangements are natural and pretty, and I love the way the driftwood hearts coordinate with the watering cans. The overall effect is light and airy and just what I’d want to see at an afternoon wedding in the springtime or summer.

wedding reception tablescape

wedding reception tablescapes

wedding reception tablescape 2

To see pics of the glowing bride, the fab setting, and more, visit the original blog post. The venue was The White House in Chillington, and the flowers were done by Emma Vowles.

And the Winner Is…


I’m super excited to announce the winner of the $50 Social Couture gift certificate! Chosen via my best friend and yours,, the winner is Ginger, who said that she’d probably go with one of Social Couture’s conversation-inspiring box of questions. Congrats, Ginger! I, along with someone from Social Couture, will be in touch shortly.

And to all the entrants who didn’t win, stay tuned for another giveaway, that will be posted later today!

GIVEAWAY: Win a $50 Social Couture Gift Certificate!

When you can’t afford to hire someone to coordinate your wedding reception decor (or birthday party decor or anniversary party decor), buying already coordinated wedding reception decor can be the next best thing. Oh, if you have a head for harmonization and a knack for finding exactly what you want, then feel free to improvise. But those of us who were born without the ability to throw together an amazing tablescape, MacGyver-style, out of random things from from the dollar bins at Target can really clean up at shops like Social Couture that do all the coordinating for us.

Social Couture gift certificate giveaway

This isn’t the first time I’ve mentioned Social Couture – I love love love the Black Vine and Asian Affairs themes – but it’s the first time they’ve offered up something sweet for Manolo for the Brides readers! In this case, it’s a gift certificate you can put toward anything in their shop, from a la carte party supplies from any of their themes to their beautiful complete table decor sets. Personally, I would put it toward a black candelabra!

Win it!

Social Couture is offering Manolo for the Bride readers a chance to win a $50 gift certificate to that fabulous store. To enter, leave a comment on this post telling us which of Social Couture’s themes is your favorite.

For additional entries, do any of the following (and leave a comment for each):

1. One additional entry when you add Manolo for the Brides to your blogroll or let us know we’re already on your blogroll so we can link back to you

2. One additional entry when you leave a comment on the latest post at Social Couture’s blog

3. One additional entry when you follow Manolo for the Brides on Twitter and tweet about the giveaway

4. Three additional entries when you post about this giveaway on your own blog

This giveaway will end at 11:59 p.m. EST on Sunday, May 9, and the winner – chosen via the trusty random number generator – will be announced the next day along with yet another awesome giveaway! Good luck!

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