Cheerful Morning Anniversary

Colin recalls a modern red and white wedding anniversary in LA.

When a friend wanted to host a brunch to celebrate his parents’ 50th anniversary, we went all out. His mother’s favorite color is red, so red and white was the theme of the day. We even took their names and had them embroidered on napkins and also printed on the waiters’ t-shirts, and on the party favors the guests took home with them.

In keeping with the theme, the waiters were dressed in red and white, the tables were dressed in red and white, and we served Bloody Marys. Our flowers were fun and simple and whimsical. White daisies floated in little glass jars that were filled with red water, on Lucite tables covered with fun placemats that were made out of white pallets - very 1960s. White china and crisp white linens added the finishing touches.

I always believe that when we design an event we should always do something that is true to the surroundings, and since the home was decidedly very modern and minimalist, I took the same approach to the way we decorated our tables. I liked the idea of using all the Lucite; it allowed everything to seem as if we were having a wonderful floating breakfast. In a very, very modern home, with a gorgeous view overlooking the city of Los Angeles, these wonderful tables on a beautiful crisp spring morning looked fabulous. It made everything seem to float.

Breakfast was served buffet style. We started with a Bloody Mary bar inspired by my friend, master mixologist and cocktail maker extraordinaire, Dale DeGroff. Bartenders squeezed fresh tomatoes in an orange press to make truly fresh Bloody Marys, bull shots, and even shooters for that hour of the morning. This crowd wasn’t shy, and by noon the music got turned up a couple notches.

But what I really loved were my decorations for the bar; simple and elegant. I took clear cellophane paper and jammed it into the bottom of a glass cylinder, then topped it with cherry tomatoes, added more of the plastic cellophane, and more tomatoes. I then filled the cylinder with water (water magnifies the contents). It was stunning. The tomatoes and cellophane looked really beautiful inside the vase. 

On the buffet we did frittatas, baked tomatoes, smoked salmon, and scones. It was a very traditional breakfast fare and certainly enjoyed by everyone there.

As our guests departed, a small watercolor rendering of the breakfast scene was packed for each of them to take home. Each watercolor included a picture of themselves in the scene. To make it really festive, the gift was tied with a red ribbon and adorned with a single orchid for prosperity.


--Colin Cowie

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