Reception Style: Points of View

One venue, three ways: Event teams stage dramatically different celebrations inside the Harbor Club on Elliott Bay | Photographs by Dennis Wise


Geo Metro

Imagine stepping into an artistic, design-savvy Seattle couple’s studio, and then layering all the best finds on the pair’s reception tables. Simply Wed designer Kirstie Warren started with hot pink gridded cutting mats and added a few of her own smartly crafted elements, such as hand-painted appetizer plates in a Mondrian-inspired motif, and washi tape name card–and–table number sets; guests find their seats by matching the color. And when they get there? Cleverly cubed bites of feta and watermelon are waiting. When paired with these graphic elements, the modern cityscape that wraps around the Harbor Club’s 17th-floor windows calls for poppy floral arrangements—and favors. Mini cactus plants will go home with guests after this bold and beautiful celebration.


Event design, floral, seating cards, table numbers, custom appetizer plates, lighting, and favors Simply Wed
Table linens Choice Linens
Dinnerware, flatware, glassware Grand Event Rentals
Printed matter Merchant’s Paper and Design
Chairs Rosichelli Design



Folk Life

Inspiration hit Lola Event Floral and Designs Emily Anderson as she was watching the opening ceremonies for the recent Winter Olympics—or rather, as she was listening to them. Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite struck a chord, and investigation led her to the Slavic folktale that inspired it. Imagining a couple with ties to Eastern Europe and a love of classic fables, happy endings, and rich, mossy green texture, she gathered materials to evoke a deep winter forest. Locally harvested branches, earthy but luxe place settings, and a centerpiece copy of Firebird practically bursting with amaryllis, bleeding heart, lily of the valley, and nigella pods (also called Love in a Mist) evoke the spirit of this magical story. Silk-screened leather menus and table-number rocks add to the storybook atmosphere, while the Harbor Club’s delicate lace cookies are a sweet discovery. Anderson used bear grass to custom-weave place mats and left small, favor-filled trunks with antique keys at each setting.


Event design, floral, chandelier, place mats, and favors Lola Event Floral and Design
Table linens Choice Linens
Dinnerware, flatware, glassware, candlesticks, décor elements Vintage Ambiance
Printed matter Kerri Efendi Designs
Leather-bound guest book No Boundaries Books
Chairs AA Party Rentals



Natural Harmony

Balancing nature’s generous spring bounty with a sense of elegant restraint, this table created by Janel Ellefsen of Occasions and event designer Stacy Anderson makes great use of fancy ruffled tulips from the Skagit Valley, deeply colored tulip magnolias, hellebores, ranunculus, Spiraea, and white bleeding hearts in a timeless palette of cream, mauve, and the palest robin’s-egg blue. “When I can work with colors that truly match the season, it leads to the best arrangements because I can maximize flowers that are in their prime,” says Anderson. Airy pots of greenery from budding jasmine vines bring the abundance of the outdoors in. So do the Harbor Club kitchen’s herb ricotta-stuffed snap pea appetizer, and the edible pansy is a sweet touch. If you—or your floral designer—can respectfully and sustainably trim a blossoming tree branch or two for key placement, the effect can be sublime.


Event planning, dishes, and stemware Occasions LLC
Floral and event design Stacy Anderson Floral and Event Design
Flatware Seattle Farm Tables
Table linens Choice Linens
Printed matter La Happy
Chairs ABC Special Event Rentals by Cort