Reception Style: Works of Art

Two local event designers look to classical paintings for inspiration | Photographs by Jessica Peterson



 “I love the concept of looking to art for wedding design,” says Michelle Cousins of Michelle Leo Events. She created this dreamy tablescape inspired by Impressionist painter Claude Monet’s “Antibes in the Morning” and brought it to life with a watercolor palette of pastel hues. A canvas backdrop colored with pink paint strokes hangs behind a whitened wood table, handmade by Cousins’ husband, Michael, flanked by ghost chairs. Pottery-like plates, crystal goblets, and blush depression glass look like treasures washed ashore from the sea, while delicate place cards hand-cut from paper are reminiscent of an artist’s signature. To the left of the table, a collection of candles mimics the painting’s distant skyscrapers. To the right, the branches of a budding tree reach toward the centerpiece: a soft, full arrangement of lepto, Queen Anne’s Lace, ranunculus, scabiosa, stock, sweet pea, hellebore, hydrangea, lavender, cherry blossoms, and garden and Sahara roses. Hand-painted details including a four-tier cake and a custom invitation suite perfectly complement the watercolor theme.

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••Table Talk Cousins suggests couples turn to art for timeless design concepts rather than recreating the latest décor ideas trending online. “Resources like Pinterest seem to encourage the imitation of existing ideas, while art encourages renewed creativity,” she explains.

Have it here La Caille | The lavender fields in Mona, Utah


Designer and favors Michelle Leo Events
Table MC2 WoodWorks
Chairs Diamond Rental
Table linens Diamond Rental and Michelle Leo Events
Place settings Casa de Perrin
Hand-painted backdrop Sarah C. Nightingale
Flowers Urban Chateau Floral
Invitations and place cards Peter Loves Jane
Watercolor cake Layers Cake
Vintage glasses Refined Vintage Events
Dress Lily & Iris





 Donna Urban of Donna Urban Events drew inspiration from Old Master still-life paintings when designing this rich, romantic tablescape. To fulfill her ornate vision, she teamed up with Regina Crosby Atkins and Krista Jon of Archive Rentals—the California-based company will soon be opening a showroom and warehouse in Salt Lake City. Urban chose autumnal hues of amber, blackberry, blush, and gold to set the scene; an abundant centerpiece consisting of squashes, artichokes, black grapes, nuts, and blackberries arranged in abalone shells runs the length of the rustic wood table. Overhead, a lush floral canopy of fritillaria, hellebores, garden roses, chocolate cosmos, and dahlias is elevated between tall stone pillars. The ladies selected gilded tableware for the place settings, including mixed china, polished chargers, cut-glass goblets, vintage champagne coupes, and brass flatware. Each setting features an antique salt cellar with a petit bone spoon. For guest seating, they chose classic French cane-back chairs and armchairs in deep-blue velvet placed at the heads of the table—the unexpected thrones set a regal but welcoming tone. Underfoot, a plush patterned rug adds a layer of design and provides additional comfort.
••Table Talk Ornate styles can work just as well inside as out. Urban envisions this table for a couple who enjoy the outdoors but also feel at home in formal settings.


Have it here Stein Eriksen Lodge | St. Regis Deer Valley | Montage Deer Valley | Sundance Resort


Designer Donna Urban Events
Table, chairs, linens, serving pieces, place settings Archive Rentals
Flowers Krista Jon of Archive Rentals
Dress Lily & Iris