Stars and Stripes Tablescape

GotMyReservations Stars and Stripes Tablescape Intro

Normally here at Got My Reservations, I feature a family heirloom or at least a vintage piece that inspires a tablescape. For this year’s Fourth of July tablescape, I’m pretty sure there’s absolutely nothing old or inherited on this table! Continue reading

Wedding China Tablescape

When Cuisine Kathleen posed her wedding china challenge, I thought that I didn’t have much to contribute. We have wedding pink Depression glass, but I gave away all my first wedding china years ago.

While Noritake Savannah’s floral pattern is timeless, I needed to move on from the choices I made at age twenty. My best friend from college also selected this pattern when she married, and since she hosted Thanksgivings for the masses, she now had 24 matching place settings. It was a win-win for both of us.

Since then, I’ve inherited three full sets of someone else’s china, which you have seen here many times. I own my mother-in-law’s Noritake Aberdeen, my mother’s Four Crown Claridge, and my neighbor’s Noritake Stanwyk. Yes — the Claridge looks a lot like the Savannah, because my mom loved the pattern and chose a similar one.

GotMyReservations Wedding China Collage

So that brings us to 2014 and the newest bride in our family. My niece is getting married in just three weeks and has asked me to help with her tablescaping. I am honored to be included, and was excited that she has chosen to have mixed-pattern vintage china for her tables. Her tableware will come from the caterer, but my tribute to her comes from my own vaults. Once again, a family story drives this week’s tablescape. I LOVE my family stories and hope that you do, too! Continue reading

Winery Wedding

On September 14, my son and his beautiful bride were married in Alameda, California, in a Winery Wedding. It was a lovely ceremony in a stunning location and everything went absolutely right. It was a very personal wedding that perfectly reflected the bride and groom and it was the special day we all hoped it would be.

GotMyReservations -- Winery Wedding Intro Pic 2

The venue for the wedding was Rock Wall Winery, which is located on the grounds of the decommissioned Alameda Naval Air Station. The winery itself is in an old hangar, and the grounds include a geodesic dome and a tasting room. It was an eclectic place to hold the wedding — and totally cool.

GotMyReservations -- Winery Wedding Rockwall Winery

When we arrived at the winery, we were greeted by a lovely welcome table. The bride’s mother found many of the ideas for the decorations online — she became a close personal friend of Pinterest — and the result was perfect for our kids.

GotMyReservations -- Winery Wedding Intro Table

Inside the tasting room, there were more decorations and lots of Rock Wall wine.

GotMyReservations -- Winery Wedding Bar Deco

The “table assignments” were hung on a clothesline with a display of special photos.

GotMyReservations -- Winery Wedding Dinner Cards

The table assignments were actually times to visit — you guessed it! — the food truck for our dinner. (But I’m ahead of myself here.)

GotMyReservations -- Winery Wedding Food Truck 2

After a short cocktail hour, we moved to the area for the ceremony. Rock Wall’s staff sets up a circle of wine casks on racks with chairs inside of the circle. The platform is in the exact right place so that the San Francisco skyline can be seen behind the wine casks.

GotMyReservations -- Winery Wedding Ceremony Setup

GotMyReservations -- Winery Wedding Platform

GotMyReservations -- Winery Wedding Platform 2

The bride and groom were serenaded by the East Bay Brass Band as they left the wedding enclosure. It was a joyous experience!

GotMyReservations -- Winery Wedding Band

You can see the bubbles floating in the air with the hangar in the background.

The bride and groom met the guests in an informal receiving line — this is me and Music Man getting our hugs.GotMyReservations -- Winery Wedding Receiving Line

The geodesic dome was set with tables and chairs and guests also congregated outside on the deck and in the tasting room.

GotMyReservations -- Winery Wedding Dome Deco

The bride’s family went to the San Francisco Flower Mart to find the perfect flowers for the informal arrangements. They were stunning and were exactly right for the venue. The dinosaur at each table setting is a reminder of a special story from the couple’s courtship.

GotMyReservations -- Winery Wedding Centerpiece 3

The vases, votives, and cake stands were collected from the bride’s family home and from vintage shops.

GotMyReservations -- Winery Wedding Centerpiece

GotMyReservations -- Winery Wedding Centerpiece (2)

GotMyReservations -- Winery Wedding Cake Table

As the sun set in the west over San Francisco, we went to the food truck to pick up our meal. There were four options, including a gourmet burger, a vegetarian burger, a seafood po’boy, and a crab cake. The meal was served in recyclable containers and there were no dishes to wash — just a LOT of wine glasses!

GotMyReservations -- Winery Wedding Food Truck 3

GotMyReservations -- Winery Wedding Sunset

GotMyReservations -- Winery Wedding Skyline 2GotMyReservations -- Winery Wedding View from Dome

With nightfall, the dome took on a new life — and the dancing began.

GotMyReservations -- Winery Wedding Centerpiece 2

GotMyReservations -- Winery Wedding Dance

The bride and groom completed the ritual of the cupcake…

GotMyReservations -- Winery Wedding Cake Table 2


Image credit:Kathryn Rummel

… and they lived happily ever after.


Image credit: Kathryn Rummel

Fast forward a couple of weeks, and suddenly it was our thirty-first wedding anniversary. Music Man brought home gorgeous flowers and I decided to build our own version of the Winery Wedding centerpiece.

GotMyReservations -- Winery Wedding Anniversary Flowers

Any flower arrangement for a sentimental occasion in our house starts with alstroemeria — “our wedding flower.” The hydrangeas and roses are reminiscent of Tim and Mallory’s flowers, and the fragrant stargazer lilies are my favorite.

GotMyReservations -- Winery Wedding Anniversary 4

I put the arrangement in the crystal punch bowl from my next door neighbor’s estate; once again, I don’t know why anyone would give up this vintage beauty.

GotMyReservations -- Winery Wedding Anniversary 2

I added mercury glass votives and a souvenir Rock Wall champagne flute, plus a bottle of lovely rosé  that I brought home from California with me.

GotMyReservations -- Winery Wedding Anniversary 1

The whole vignette is sitting on a sheer napkin and my favorite thrifted silver tray and creates a beautiful reminder of two weddings.

The Bottom Line

I am obviously enamored of the event that Tim and Mallory created, but I also share it today to encourage other brides and grooms to think outside of the box when making plans for their perfect day. Although this wedding had many disparate pieces, with good planning and organizing the day was exactly what they had envisioned. I’m still basking in the glow of their special day and their obvious love for one another.

Tim and Mallory used Paperless Post for their invitations, and created a gift registry using Honeyfund. They plan to honeymoon on at least three continents (or until the money runs out) and are thankful that friends and family honored them with gifts of travel rather than toasters. The digital options available through these services made their communication with friends and family timely as well as eco-friendly and relatively frugal.

GotMyReservations -- Winery Wedding Kiss

I am grateful to my brother Steve and my friend Steve for taking most of these photos during the wedding. Our photographer, Kathryn Rummel, also has an extraordinary eye, and Tim and Mallory’s wedding photos can be viewed on her KReate Photography Facebook page if you want more Winery Wedding!

I’m linking up this week at Inspire Me Tuesday at A Stroll Thru Life, We Call It Olde at We Call It Junkin’Let’s Dish with Cuisine Kathleen Open House Party with No Minimalist Here,  and Tablescape Thursday at Between Naps on the Porch. Be sure to visit these creative bloggers for lovely photos and inspiration.

Got my bags, got my reservations,
Spent each dime I could afford.
Like a child in wild anticipation,
I long to hear that, “All aboard!”

Music and lyrics by Bud Green, Les Brown and Ben Homer (1944)

The Fish Tale Tablescape for a Thoroughly Modern Daughter

I have been collecting dishes for my daughter for years, but she didn’t have her own place, she didn’t entertain, she didn’t cook, and she didn’t want those dishes — yet.  And then she did, and the Fish Tale Tablescape swam its way into my heart. I’ll bet you have a similar tale to tell about your daughter or your mother.

GotMyReservations -- Fish Tale Tablescape TitleIt’s not a fish tale without a story to be told that’s a little bigger than life. My story (and I’m sticking to it) is that I agreed to meet the delivery guys who were bringing my daughter’s new sofa while she was out of town on business. While I was waiting, she said that I could use the time to photograph some of the pieces she had in her own “stash” and create a tablescape or two.

She probably said yes because she felt guilty about me having to wait for the delivery truck. Whatever — I was in dish heaven because I had some new dishes to play with.

When my daughter bought her first condo, it made my heart go pitty-pat when she wanted to buy a big table with leaves that would expand to fit all of her friends and family and would last her for years. Its dark espresso finish made the perfect base for a modern tablescape.

GotMyReservations -- Fish Tale Tablescape Intro

The table story started with the fish that she had placed smack in the center of the table. It was just begging to be the star of the show. She and a friend found it online and she actually thought it was convex rather than concave. It was her intention to hang it on the wall, but it turned into the perfect centerpiece.

She was already using the cream placemats I had found in the sale bins at HomeGoods, so I kept them on the table. I think it’s always okay to mix your whites in a tablescape, by the way. There’s a place for a perfect all-white look, but it’s not a requirement for a beautiful table.

GotMyReservations -- Fish Tale Tablescape Place Setting 3

When I saw these Italian glass plates at World Market, I snapped up twelve of them and kept them in storage for her. I knew that she loved the milky glass (and I did text her a photo to get her approval). Then I saw the matching bowls at HomeGoods, and yes, I drove around to several different stores to get as many as I could. I ended up with eight.

GotMyReservations -- Fish Tale Tablescape Place SettingI have been collecting the Monax white depression glass for her in the American Sweetheart pattern, but don’t have enough for a full place setting. They are pretty hard to come by without resorting to buying them on Replacements or eBay. She will have to let me know at some point if she wants more. There are enough now for her to use as side plates, and I love how their sheer glass and delicate pattern works with the very modern place setting.

GotMyReservations -- Fish Tale Tablescape Place Setting 2

Since I was probably already skating on thin ice by rummaging through her closets — but remember, I had her approval — I did not look for her grandmother’s silver flatware set. I set the table with what she had in the drawers. Hmmm — maybe she needs a new stainless set that matches. Likewise, I didn’t find the set of twelve hotel napkins I also bought from the sale rack at HomeGoods, so there’s no fancy napkin arrangement going on here. Let’s get real; she and her friends use paper napkins that come with the takeout containers. 🙂

I grabbed her grandmother’s martini glasses because that’s what appropriate for this very modern girl’s tablescape. There’s always room for a Cosmo or two among friends!

Since I didn’t have flowers that suited this modern tablescape, I photographed without them. We went back again on the weekend for her housewarming party, and I brought her some interesting floral arrangements in Ball jars.

GotMyReservations -- Fish Tale Centerpiece

I love how the ornamental cabbage talks to the elegant roses and sweet daisies in this arrangement. Being a smart girl, she put protection on the table for the party, but I decided to include the flowers in this fish story anyway.

GotMyReservations -- Fish Tale Centerpiece 4 GotMyReservations -- Fish Tale Centerpiece 3 GotMyReservations -- Fish Tale Centerpiece 2

I loved how each arrangement was a little bit different and they were striking against the white tablecloth. Wouldn’t the white tablescape be beautiful on this white background as well?

You’re probably wanting a happy ending for that cute fish, and I’ve got one for you.  It found its way over to the coffee table and it’s holding remotes instead of flowers in Ball jars. Fish are flexible that way, you know. They’ve spent a lot of time in schools and know what’s up.

Okay, I’m done playing around with my fish tale and with my daughter’s dishes — for now. There’s another ‘scape to come; I had to wait a LONG time for those delivery guys. 🙂

I’m taking a break right now for my son’s wedding, but I encourage you to visit my regular linky parties to see some lovely photos and get some creative inspiration for your tables: Let’s Dish with Cuisine Kathleen Open House Party with No Minimalist Here, Inspire Me Tuesday at A Stroll Thru Life, and Tablescape Thursday at Between Naps on the Porch. I hope you’ll leave a comment today and let me know you were here!

Got my bags, got my reservations,
Spent each dime I could afford. 
Like a child in wild anticipation, 
I long to hear that, “All aboard!”

Music and lyrics by Bud Green, Les Brown and Ben Homer (1944)





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