A wedding celebration on an exotic tropical island is not as unattainable as it seems. It’s entirely possible to capture the essence of that dream locale through table decorations inspired by the distinct colors, textures, and flavors of the tropics. The challenge is to keep the natural appeal of an island setting while incorporating table settings, centerpieces, decor accents, and favors with unmistakable style and elegance.
Paint the Scene with Vibrant Hues
A fresh, tropical look can immediately be infused into a display with a variety of bright colors. For a tasteful and colorful approach, choose colors inspired by exotic tropical fruits such as green coconuts, yellow mangoes, or pink guavas. These colors have a bright, lively appeal that will perk up a table display and give it a fruity look. To produce color contrast that will complement the brilliant colors on display, add subtle hints of calming colors in blue, verdant, and lilac hues that coalesce beautifully together when applied in varying shades. The combination of these colors can be attractively flaunted in a selection of tropical flowers with shapely forms.
Choose Flowers Bursting With Color
Butterfly orchids in magenta, purple cattleya orchids, pink stargazer lilies, or orange heliconia are just some of the tropical blooms one can choose from. The distinctive and dynamic shapes of these flowers lend a different texture to the table display. Thus, they work wonders when used either as part of a centerpiece or even as simple table accents. A single bloom, for instance, could be laid at each place setting, tucked within the folds of a napkin or used with a simple ribbon to make an exotic napkin ring. Other floral touches could be multi-colored loose petals scattered on the table, or flowers cut from the stem positioned at the base of table decorations such as candles, place frames, or the table centerpiece itself.
Craft a Centerpiece With a Tropical Statement
As the focal point of each table, a beautifully crafted centerpiece can make a clear tropical statement. If flowers are preferred, vibrant fresh blooms may be displayed in a large woven basket, with colorful ribbons tied around its handles.
Lighting elements are also an eye-catching addition to a tropical-inspired centerpiece. Place a trio of candles on top of a round woven mat, with a handful of sand serving as a bed for the candles. Tie a string of seashells around them and place tropical flowers at their base.
Another decidedly tropical centerpiece option is an arrangement of carved fruits, like pineapples, mangoes, honeydew melons, and strawberries. These may be shown off to best advantage in a bowl crafted out of wood and decorated with bright green leaves and multi-colored flowers. Once the centerpieces have been prepared, the rest of the table decorations carry on with that distinct tropical appeal.
Think “Tropical Isle” for the Table Decorations
For the table decor, use attractive details with organic and Polynesian textures. Consider, for instance, using table runners made of bamboo, pandan (woven), or rattan in neutral colors ranging from chocolate brown to beige. A fine netted fabric may also be used to add a touch of glamour. Either of these fabrics can then be laid atop a simple linen tablecloth in ivory or pure white. Tropical foliage would also work perfectly in such a display. Leaves of philodendron, taro, or banana plants, for example, have distinct shapes and pairing them with tropical flowers would create just the right paradise island look.
As for the tableware, serving plates and bowls made of capiz, mother-of-pearl, or even wood work well with this theme. Complement such items with decorative shell accents. For example, an abalone frame can hold the menu card, table name, or an art print featuring abstract or floral patterns. Illuminate this table display with white tea lights set in candle trays and for an attractive napkin treatment, arrange silk shantung napkins each tied with a raffia ribbon and an orchid stem.
Edible favors can form an attractive part of the table decorations as well. As they are taken home for guests to savor, these bring the tropical occasion to a memorable and tasteful close.
Offer Favors with a Tropical Flavor
Give a variety of savory treats featuring the flavors of the tropics. Sweet and tangy tropical fruit-flavored jams and jellies, for instance, or candied pineapple tidbits may be presented in petite silver baskets. Sugared candies infused with a tropical flavor are another delightful treat. Place these in ruffled organza bags and lay them on a special favor table or around a fruit centerpiece.
As another option, cookies made with crushed pineapple also make wonderful edible delights. Wrap them in a cello bag and place them in a colorful fabric circle in fuchsia or olive–perfect for enhancing the color and elegance of the reception table. This favor can be personalized with a card containing a special message such as “A Tropical Wedding To Remember.”
Who says a tropical getaway is just something to be wished for? With the right elements in place–from the vibrant color scheme, to the table settings, to the flowers, food, and party favors–one can create a little corner of tropical paradise in a wedding celebration that will almost feel as if guests have been transported to an island getaway bash.
- – Recipe for Pineapple Butterscotch Squares – from the website of Dole®
- – Recipe for Chewy Coconut Cookies – from the website of Allrecipes.com