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the trouble with wedding photo shoots

How often have you been flipping through the interweb or a magazine and come across a totally breathtaking table? We've all been there. Each detail meticulously planned and executed in such a manner that it would almost be a shame to sit and eat at said table? We love them for inspiration also but keep in mind, that is the goal: inspiration.

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It is quite easy to design A SINGLE tabletop to the extreme, from the menu cards to the favors to the chairs and china. We all have china and accessories at home to set up one or two fantastically layered tables. At home, we also generally serve food family style - which leads me to break down the two largest flaws in taking too much direction from a tabletop designed for a photoshoot.

1. Are the people creating the photoshoot capable of delivering the items needed for your event on the scale that you require them?

The problem that we have seen in the past with styled shoots is that items are being used or created that cannot be produced on a large scale. The person with the idea runs to the local department store and picks up enough items to create one great tablescape - or goes to the fabric store and buys enough fabric to create one runner. That is problematic for the bride - who falls in love with the idea. And also for us, the rental company that now cannot find that same fabric again - or give the bride a heart attack inducing quote in order to provide that specific china for her event.

At Table 4 Decor, our designers are very careful to only create things that we can duplicate for numerous tables. Having a couple dozen fancy plates, one custom centerpiece or fabric runner created specifically for a photoshoot generally means that look cannot be achieved for an actual decent sized wedding. Table 4 Decor always tries to help you work within your budget to create the most cohesive OVERALL event design for your money. And fancy china is only a good idea in photo shoots.

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2. The layered china showcased is not in play on the table in a normal wedding or event.

I come from a catering background so before I had ever decorated my first event, I had managed a few hundred large scale events - from weddings to fundraisers to corporate events. From 20.00 per plate meals to 500.00 per plate meals. From 10 people at home to 450 people in the middle of main street. And in all that time I never once saw a plate preset on a table - not ONE SINGLE TIME.

Now add to that the over 1000 events I have been involved with at Table 4 Decor and only 3 times have I seen plates placed on the tables and in each of those parties, the food was served family style (meaning plates of food were on each table). The other 99.9% of events I have been involved with had the plates either on the buffet table or in the back being plated - and by the time the guests see them, they are more interested in the food that is on the plate. (find out more why having china preset on the tables is annoying to your guests and vendors here.)

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So when you see all the cute pictures of fully set up tables and posts talking about how it is all in the details... that is somebody trying to sell you an abstract idea - not a practical design solution.

Stop by our totally interactive showroom at 3104 West Saint Louis and let our talented wedding design team help you create a tablescape that is practical AND breathtaking.

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