Sorry to write so late, but I was on the big island all day today acquiring some last items for a wedding next weekend. That means I was up at 5 a.m. and headed to the little Vieques airport by 6 for a flight to Fajardo. I went with one of my caterers — a great guy who is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America — and while we were sitting in miserable traffic in the pouring rain on the way to Sam’s Club, we got talking about today’s blog topic — the lack of exciting linen options available for rental in Vieques.
We have a small, but very complete, rental equipment company on Vieques, and I use them for every single wedding that I coordinate. They have everything I need, but usually only one style and color option of each thing. It reminds me of the grocery store back in DC in Dupont Circle. We all called it the “Soviet Safeway” because it was so small that it only carried one brand of each item on the shelves. Vieques is a lot like that when it comes to what’s available to rent for your wedding reception.
We only have white linen tablecloths and napkins. We have round tables that seat 5 or 10 or 8-foot buffet tables. We have three styles of chairs, but they’re really the same style of chair just painted other colors (pretty hideous — stick with plain white). There is only one big tent like the kind you think of for a wedding for rent on the island, the the others are smaller and look a bit like a carport 🙂 There are nice white dishes available for rent, and some of the caterers have other options depending on the size of your guest list, but usually you’re dealing with one basic option. Lovely, but a little boring.
Some of my brides really want pops of color on their tables, so to achieve it they shop online for a deal on brightly colored linen napkins and have them shipped to me. Sometimes they leave them behind and I can offer them for use to other future brides for free.
Another way to bring color to the table (in addition to flowers) is to use wide grosgrain ribbons running across the table and under your centerpiece. Brightly colored pillar candes can be fantastic too, set in a bed of sand inside a clear glass vase. Sea glass sprinkled on the table makes it interesting too.
The bottom line is that the decor of your table is limited only by your imagination and your wedding planner’s imagination. Between the two of you (or two of us if you’re my client), we can make it look fantastic even if you opt for just the plain white linens readily available on the island.
Having a beautiful Caribbean destination wedding on Vieques or any other island does not depend on the availability of silk overlays for your tablecloths, but instead on using your imagination to enhance the natural beauty of the island.
I’ll write next about choosing your photographer. Until then, happy wedding planning!