If you want a magical setting, look to the forest, a favorite muse for event planners like Seattlebased Valley & Co. Husband-and-wife duo Nick and Aleah Valley turned to the natural Northwest backdrop to create this intimate tablescape at a backyard celebration on the first day of summer in 2014.
“We wanted to be really playful and complement the setting,” Aleah says.
The Valleys were tasked with creating an intimate space for about 40 guests at a home in Edmonds, Washington, a short drive north of Seattle. They looked to the surrounding woods for inspiration. Guests sat family-style at a 60-foot-long wooden table, a complement to the colossal trees under which they were nestled. They also took a cue from local restaurants that trend toward family-style table settings.
The Valleys intentionally kept everything on the table low to promote easy, comfortable mingling. That meant avoiding 6-foot-tall centerpieces that can create awkward moments for guests trying to make conversation. For a centerpiece with interest and depth, they chose a green salad garland that ran the length of the table, studded with peonies and roses in hues of coral and blush.
“We wanted to put a heavy emphasis on what the guests experienced at the table,” she says. “We wanted to make sure people really wanted to sit at the table all night and visit.”
They created special thematic details, like decorating sea-salt caramels from a local candy maker in cardstock strips adorned with a single watercolor brushstroke. Place cards also got the watercolor treatment.
White napkins with loosely tied blue fabric strips and delicate green sprigs added texture and pattern to the table settings, while the white bistro china let the elegant Northwest menu speak for itself.
“We really try to create settings that are timeless and not too trendy,” she explains.
The Valleys have been providing logistical and design support for weddings and corporate and nonprofit events since they opened up shop in 2003. “We work very hard to make sure everything is cohesive and comes to life in a beautiful fashion,” she says.
ABC RENTALS | cortpartyrental.com | 877.939.7368
JENNY JIMENEZ | photojj.com | 206.484.2912
LISA DUPAR CATERING | duparandcompany.com | 425.881.3250
VALLEY & CO. | valleyandco.com | 206.250.2055