Shimmery Greens, Wood and Lace Provide Key Ingredients for a Tablescape Inspiration

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Guests at the International Special Events Society (ISES) Denver Chapter’s annual Designer Showcase, held at the Studios at Overland Crossing in Denver on Feb. 16, admired four creative vignettes that honored Academy Award-winning films. One team used an all-time classic film as inspiration: The Wizard of Oz.

This whimsical and imaginative theme was the foundation of sparkly tones and a home-like feel to ensure that guests never wanted to leave. From Kansas to the Emerald City, the journey had never been so fun to encounter with details like an Emerald City-inspired floating cake with emerald sugar crystals and cascading gold flowers by Kelley Kakes.

“We were inspired by the dual themes of bleak sepia-toned Kansas and the bright, colorful, sparkly Emerald City,” says Anne Lambert, office manager and partner at Allwell Rents. “We wanted a distinct transition from Kansas to the Emerald City.”

The simplicity of the plates and glasses were highlighted through the extravagant height created with emerald napkins, as well as the menu cards (which doubled as place cards) and red glitter acrylic table numbers—both from Platypus Papers. Floral centerpieces by Felicity Allyse featured an array of greens.

“Our tables reflected the rustic-chic look you might find at a Kansas or Colorado wedding. The look was modern to today’s clients, but reflective of the movie,” says Angela Alizadeh, owner of Extraordinary Affairs at 5280.

While the event décor played quite the role, the food was just as important to the theme. With a variety of desserts such as chocolate peanut butter brownies and Monte Cristo skewers served with warm raspberry chocolate sauce to hors d’oeuvres like sesame crusted tuna served on a house-made wonton, the team made sure the food was just as spectacular with the menu and food crafted by Gourmet Fine Catering, now part of Occasions Catering.

“On the Kansas side we wanted to showcase comfort food, which included a variety of desserts, and the Emerald City side the more elegant food,” Lambert explains.

The vintage-style dessert bar, from Allwell Rents and Candlelight Ambiance, had lace and burlap embellishments all on a bar-height farm table and wine barrel combo adorned with lanterns and candles. The vignette also featured black and white pictures from the movie and a 9-foot tornado that had the Gale house and farm animals swirling around in it.

After following the yellow brick road through the field of poppies, the Emerald City comes into view. The table was engulfed in shiny greens and golds and topped with sparkling crystal candle holders. If that wasn’t enough, Glinda the Good Witch of the South was standing alongside with a champagne glass drink dress provided by AXS Group for another dash of glamour.

The International Live Event Association – Denver Chapter hosted its 12th annual Designer Showcase on Feb. 21 at Lone Tree Golf Club & Hotel in Lone Tree. The event highlighted collaborative efforts of members and other event colleagues in the form of four trendsetting vignettes, each illustrating a city where an ILEA chapter is located. 


Since writing about amusing places as something different for groups to tap into for the summer issue of Colorado Meetings + Events, I’ve run across additions to the state’s fun quota. Colorado Springs’ is embracing the new 30,000-square-foot WhirlyBall, an entertainment center where the meeting space can be utilized and team-building incorporated into the program all in one location.


Recently, I wrote about examples of two lodging properties’ impactful ways to give back. Colorado’s meeting and event industry associations also are champions of good causes, including the National Association of Catering and Events - Greater Denver Chapter’s first-ever Bunks to Backpacks on Aug. 8 at Four Mile Historic Park from 4 – 9 p.m.