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Art of Party Tabletop Competion | ISES Portland Event

Late last month I had the honor of photographing ISES Portland’s (International Special Events Society) “Art of Party” Tabletop Competition hosted by the Embassy Suites Multnomah Hotel in downtown Portland. The competition featured some of Portland’s best wedding and event professionals. The objective was to design the most creative event tabletop to win one of the three coveted prices: Best Use of Theme, Best Use of Alternative Materials, and People’s Choice. The tables were judges by two of the country’s best wedding designers, Pauline Parry and Dan Smith of Good Gracious, an event design and production company in Los Angeles.
I love, LOVE wedding details so this was a dream assignment for me. I was so impressed by the level of execution these local event vendors put into their tables. The tables were all dramatically different and all extremely inspired. I really hope that I have the opportunity to work with all these vendors again at Portland weddings with couples who take advantage of their immense talent.


Here are the best photos of the competitors tables:

Crave Catering campfire inspired tabletop design photos taken by Continuum Photography, Portland wedding photographer.

Christine of Crave Catering is fast becoming my favorite Portland wedding event vendor.  She is so sweet and has helped in making a name for ourselves among the Portland wedding circuit.  I highly recommend Crave Catering for your next wedding event.  The food is delicious and the people are awesome.

Crave’s table had campfire, outdoor theme.  There was a faux campfire in the center of the table and all the place settings had marshmallows roasting on sticks.   They used pine cones, rocks, and little birds to decorate the table.  It was a very clever design.


Lucy’s Informal Flowers created a shabby-chic table design featuring different vintage napkin holders, a romantic lace doily, pewter candle sticks, floral of hydrangeas and orchids,  custom bride & groom chairs and a pear favor at each place setting.  It was very elegant and a design I think would be very popular with Portland weddings.

The Party Place rockstar theme tabletop design photos taken by Continuum Photography, Portland wedding photographer.

The Party Place designed Rock-Star wedding table.  This table included damask luxury linen, gold chargers, leather seat covers, red roses with crystals, and electric guitars as the centerpieces.  They also included a set of shot glasses at each place setting to keep the party going till the wee hours.   The table screamed rocker affluence.  For their efforts they won the People’s Choice Award.
Peter Corvallis Productions recycled paper flower event table design photographed by Continuum Photography, Portland wedding photographer.
Peter Corvallis Productions designed my favorite table (though I really loved them all). I’m sort of a paper junkie and almost made all paper flowers for my wedding instead of having real ones. Turns out paper flowers are pretty expensive and a lot of work to make so I bagged the idea. Anyhow, Peter Corvallis’ table centerpiece was made of colorful paper flowers and decorative sticks. The table cloth was black paper that doubled as a chalk board. The place settings all included handy instructions in chalk to tell the guest what fork was to be used for each course as well as what wine class was used for the proper beverage. The table cards featured some notable guests such as Daffy Duck, Frida Kahlo, and Homer Simpson.  Each place setting also had paper decorated chargers and vibrant paper cupcakes.  It’s no surprise that they took home the award for Best Use of Alternative Materials.

Purple Iris Wedding Events Halloween themed tabletop design photos taken by Continuum Photography, Portland wedding photographer.

Purple Iris Weddings & Events designed a Halloween themed table.  Their centerpiece used black flowers and beads.  The table linen was a vibrant orange silk, and the rest of the table was covered in spooky decorations.  They had black and white votives, a witches brew cauldron filled with bite sized candy, casket shaped place cards and menus, and even blood red wine.  Halloween weddings seem to be popular… we have photographed one every year…. and this tabletop would provide the perfect decorative ambiance.

Vibrant Table circus theme tabletop design photos taken by Continuum Photography, Portland wedding photographer.

Vibrant Table Catering & Events certainly lived up to their name with their circus themed table.  There was so much detail to this table  it was mind boggling.  They had a bouquet of primary colored balloons as their centerpiece.  Each place setting featured a box of animal crackers, a clown bow decoration, a whimsical cupcake, and a mini caged elephant.  The menu was a scrapbookers dream.  The chairs were even adorned with colorful banners.  The youthful charm of this table really made me smile.  It would be impossible to have a bad time sitting a such a vibrant table.

Wish Upon a Wedding "Blissful Wishes" tabletop design photos taken by Continuum Photography, Portland wedding photographer.

Last but definitely not least, was the Wish Upon a Wedding table which one the Best Use of Theme Award. The name of the table was “Blissful Wishes” and it stood out as the most elegantly designed table.  The stunning floral was provided by Studio Del Fiore. and the table was designed by Nadia from Creation by Ly . Nadia is also the president of Portland’s chapter of Wish Upon A Wedding. A nonprofit wish granting organization providing weddings and vow renewals for couples facing terminal illness and serious life-altering circumstances, regardless of sexual orientation. Wish Upon a Wedding is a truly moving charity and I just shed a few tears reading the couple’s stories on their blog. We are donating to their upcoming benefit ball, Blissful Wishes Ball, held on November 18th at Grand Hotel at Bridgeport. It’s a great cause and we encourage anyone reading to check out their website and donate if you can.


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