Receptions: Affairs to Remember - A Touch of Provence
A french wine country dinner.
Number of guests: 64
Estimated cost: $18,000
Having spent summers in Provence with her family, Anne Quattlebaum, owner of event design firm Bella, was fascinated by a particular tradition held by French winemakers. When a child is born, the family puts away a Salmanazar (a case of wine in one gigantic bottle) from that year; the vintage is later decanted to celebrate the childâ€™s wedding. â€śI thought that was so charming,â€ť she says. â€śFor a bride and groom who share a love of wine and French food, a ProvenĂ§al wedding is a relaxed, yet elegant way to go.â€ť
Quattlebaum chose the Wickliffe Houseâ€”an historic family mansion with double piazzas overlooking a lovely gardenâ€”for this French vintner-styled party. To import an authentic touch of Provence, she selected the purple colors of lavender and rosemary blooms, which she set off with special-order French majolica in warm shades of gold and yellow.
Pulling details from the majolica plates, Alice Lemonade Designs handpainted the invitations and menu cards to match. â€śWe found some lovely lavender and gold paper that pulled the color palette together,â€ť says Quattlebaum.
Topiaries of yellow and lavender roses studded with rosemary provide lush, soft shapes, evoking the formality of French gardens. Continuing the ProvenĂ§al theme, the favorsâ€”rosemary plants in mini terra-cotta potsâ€”accent each place setting.
A Francophileâ€™s delight, the three-course meal catered by Mediterra consisted of a vichyssoise infused with white truffle oil, tartare of beef tenderloin, and pan-seared whole trout with sauce mousseline served with haricots verts. â€śSoup certainly goes better with wine than a salad, and while lamb or beef would be an excellent main course, many brides prefer something lighter in the springtime,â€ť Quattlebaum says.
Quattlebaum advises couples not to get overwhelmed. â€śI find that people often have one element that they feel is important, such as the cake or the flowers,â€ť she says. â€śI tell them to use it as the centerpiece for the party design.â€ť
Invitations by Alice Lemonade Designs
Catering by Mediterra
Cake by Kennedyâ€™s Market & Bakery
Rentals from AAA/All Occasions