Decorating extremes

Joined Aug 11, 2000
OH man.
I consulted a few nights ago with my table designer.....she is great but new at catering table design. I love the shtuff she came up for with the potato bar, asian station, french for the dessert table she got extreme.
The event is the fabulous she thought candy land forest....using croquembouche and a candy/cookie trail to meander through the platters of bite size treats. Then make suckers and put the labels of desserts in the sucker. alittle background....I've hired her to decorate the tables for the event so it's my choice to use her. I'm also prepping and cooking with one temp chef for this gig, and it's between 250 and 300. That week is HUGE> 250-300 on 22nd, 250 on 24th, 100 on 26th.whew....So figuring that this is a great idea, but since we're not getting paid for decorations I can't hire staff to make that stuff and if it were all I was doing then possibly I'd go there.....
Back to tuille and twinkle lights with a scaled down look.
So, what are you using for decorations on your tables?
Joined Mar 6, 2001
Hum......huge question....each job had it's preferences.

When catering we used risers, fabrics, flowers, huge fruit displays, baskets, funky bowls, etc...

I feel like I finally "got it down to an art" thru my last club which let me do anything I wanted. I bought styrofoam cake dummies in various sizes and used those as my risers. Their completely stable even for self-serve buffets. I design my risers according to the size of the 1 highlight height pedestal, then working at varous heights to make an interesting arrangment. I then place a table cloth draped over them to hide. Then I might use tissue papers or metalic papers, straw, confetti, etc... over the cloth. It sets up in a couple minutes but looks great. I also use gum paste shapes on wires that I place into my cakes for interest.

I've also done "country" themed sweet tables using bales of straw as my risers, gords, potted plants, bushels of fruit as decoration.

I saw someone using metalic papers covering the whole table and artfully placed their petite fours and dipped fruit dirrectly on the paper. It was an interesting look that lead your eye to your tortes.

How to do your table is such an endless topic...(one which I enjoy too). What your decorator suggested isn't that time consuming (but you need something even less?).

I also like to use suckers and items for height (I make my own). I buy those huge sheets of styrofoam from the Home Depot store (very very cheap this way) and cut them to my needs. So If I wanted to make a sucker forest I would cut a snaked/curved base out of the styro and place tissue paper over it to cover, then fill with suckers of various heights.

I don't know, everything depends upon how well thought out your set up is as to how time consuming it becomes. When times are slow I make up different garnishes I'll use thru out the year.

I'm going to try and post my x-mas buffet photos......(I've never posted a photo before so I may not figure it out quickly) maybe showing would make my words easier to understand.

Hope I helped..........
Joined Mar 4, 2000
We did a CandyLand theme a few years ago. Like Wendy, I used styro. dummies of various sizes, dolled them up with pretty paper and ribbon, and stuck big spiral lollies right into them. I made a croquembouche out of pastel colored macaroons, another out of truffles, lots of pale pinks and blues. You can also use the sphere and cone shaped styro. for added effect. Maybe find a way to stick ice cream cones in there, and put some pre-scooped ice cream and confetti sprinkles beside it.
Joined Jul 18, 2002
a quick and easy decor that is fun is chocolate dipped marshmellows satelite on skewers stuck into foam or melon.

Do the marshmellows like strawberries, only dip half and then scrape top against bowl and dip in colorful jimmies or any decorative sprinkle (except colored sugar which dissappears against the dark chocolate). It's relatively quick cheap and easy and everyone seems to love them. I usually make them when the party is kids and adults, but in reality the adults like them as much as the kids.

By the way what do you mean by suckers with signs? Are you referring to homemade lolly pops?
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