Friday, May 9, 2008

Tableaux Vivants

In the perpetual effort to do something unique - have I mentioned that I am very competitive? - the issue of long vs. round vs. square tables keeps cropping up.

Long banquet tables are very hot right now. They have a dramatic look and good symbolism, with everyone sitting together like Medicis in their piano nobile. It would seem that they are more expensive, because you have to rent more long tables than round tables to seat the same number of people. I also assume the long linens are more expensive, because the whole rental system is designed to punish you for having ideas. And, you need more flower arrangements for this to look right.

The other trendy thing to do is to mix square tables (eight-tops, as any waiter would say) with round tables. You get a good visual impact thanks to the variety, and you retain the flexibility of those round tables, which can seat 7 - 10 people.

Finally, what is probably the sensible thing to do, is to stick with all round tables and to be creative with the tabletop decor. Rounds have lots of room for "tablescaping" with flowers, lanterns, and other stuff.

The real complicating factors here are budget and space. I have planned countless catered affairs before, but they were gala fundraisers with huge budgets. And they were in New York. The circumstances here are so different, it's like starting from scratch. And our caterer is so accustomed to working with wealthy clients that she hasn't been very detailed or concerned with budget issues; her estimate didn't even show the rentals itemized.

I guess when we do our rentals walk-through in two weeks, we'll have to demand three separate, detailed estimates, and we'll try to maximize. I just hate having these ideas hanging out there in the purely theoretical realm, when we have only 5 months left. ACK!!!

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