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Speakeasy-Inspired Reception Style at New Venue Oddfellows in Downtown Salt Lake City

Two local event designers interpret modern speakeasy vibes at the new prohibition era-inspired food hall and watering hole.

1) SECRET GARDEN

When designing the moody, minimal tablescape pictured above, event designer Emmily Jones of Gatherist drew inspiration from old Dutch Masters’ paintings, particularly those of artist Rachel Ruysch. “Her paintings evoke a moodier, dark palette filled with contrasting floral still life,” says Jones. To create her own work of art, Jones juxtaposed deep hues and raw textures, such as steel and wood, with vibrant florals by Nicole Land of Soil & Stem. “I also wanted to incorporate a pressed floral concept into the overall design, as I was intrigued by its singular dimension in comparison to the lush flowers,” says Jones. To that end, she included a pressed floral design throughout the place settings, paper goods, and cake.

“Oddfellows is an exceptional fit for these design concepts, given its various outlets of light and darkness, exposed brick and concrete, and myriad textures of wood,” says Jones. “There’s also a strong foodie vibe, which, coupled with excellent cocktails, creates the perfect atmosphere for a modern celebration.”

IN FULL BLOOM

Jones worked with pastry chef Cassidy Harrison of Flour & Flourish to design a tiered ebony fondant cake decorated with printed paper blooms meant to mimic pressed flowers; Jones and Land inserted a few fresh stems as well to add dimension and depth. “I sourced photos of the flowers Nicole was using for her arrangements and printed them on edible paper,” explains Harrison. “Nontraditional cakes like this one are all the rage.” The large cake features two flavors: Samoa, made with layers of chocolate and vanilla cake, caramel coconut filling, and chocolate ganache; and sweet potato cake with whiskey caramel buttercream.

A beautiful Bella Figura invitation suite, sourced from The Write Image, perfectly matched the dark-floral aesthetic, featuring a still life–inspired envelope liner and contemporary script.

SO FRESH & SO CLEAN

For signature drinks, bartender Nicholas Adams—the same friendly, bearded chap who helms the bar at Sea Salt, Oddfellows’s sister eatery—whipped up two fruity versions of classic cocktails: a lemon pisco sour and blackberry gin sling. Jones set the table with dark-speckled ceramic dinnerware, sleek silver flatware, simple glassware, and knotted linen napkins. A custom-designed menu and vellum overlay place card, each adorned with a pressed flower, sat atop each plate.

Channel Kate Moss meets Old Hollywood in Alexandra Grecco’s slinky silk charmeuse slip gown featuring cross-back straps. With a gown this gorgeously elegant, simple but stunning diamond earrings and gray velvet heels are the only accessories you need.

RESOURCES
Overall Design, Glassware & Napkins: Gatherist
Flowers: Soil & Stem
Cake: Flour & Flourish
Paper Goods: Bella Figura from The Write Image
Candles: Creative Candles
Table Linens: Silk & Willow
Plates & Flatware: Crate & Barrel
Table, Chairs, Cocktails & Venue: Oddfellows
Gown: Alexandra Grecco
Shoes: Katie Waltman Boutique
Jewelry: O.C. Tanner Jewelers
Makeup: Anya Zeitlin
Hair: Vince Abram
Model: Annie Desantis

 
2)  HUSHED BEAUTY

Inspired by Oddfellows’s speakeasy vibe juxtaposed with a comfortable, rustic setting, event designer and florist Karley Parker of Scenemakers arranged this modern garden-style tablescape. “I wanted the tablescape to feel earthy but with a touch of glam,” she explains of the organic setting. She incorporated bountiful florals in ripe berry tones—a nod to her design’s signature cocktail, a blackberry French 75. The centerpiece and coordinating bouquet feature lisianthus, carnations, hellebore, genestra, scabiosa, foxglove, Caramel Antike garden roses, Pieris, lilac, anemone, Quicksand roses, and blooming branches. Parker also affixed branches to the venue’s brick walls to appear as though they were growing in the space.

She notes such favorite details in Oddfellows as the beautiful woodwork and amber stone bar—perched above the glowing bar, a mounted buffalo head watches over patrons, a nod to the venue’s Western heritage. “Oddfellows has a warmth to it that makes it perfect for an intimate wedding,” she says. “I envision this design for a couple who wants their event to focus on food and drinks, and who would have a cocktail in hand all evening.”

ROMANCING THE STONE

For the place settings, Parker chose smoky gray plates, rose gold flatware, and slightly textured cocktail glasses. Nikkol Christiansen of Refine Studio designed custom invitations, place cards, and coordinating menus, which rested atop each place setting and were adorned with a simple sprig of Pieris.

Inspired by Oddfellows’s signature amber stone bar, Parker commissioned Cassidy Harrison of Flour & Flourish to create an identical marbled confection featuring amaretto cake with peach preserves, coconut buttercream filling, and toasted coconut. “Marble cakes have been a huge trend the last few years,” says Harrison. “No two marble cakes are alike, which makes them unique.”

What to wear for a speakeasy-inspired celebration? Alexandra Grecco’s ivory silk-chiffon gown with flutter sleeves and an open back recalls the subtle glamour of eras past.

BEAUTY & THE FEAST

Oddfellows owner Eric DeBonis, also the man behind beloved Salt Lake City restaurants Sea Salt and the Paris Bistro, created a divine main dish to wow wedding guests: plates of grilled filet mignon with rosemary and garlic roasted potatoes, caper berries, Kalamata olives, tomatoes, and salmoriglio sauce, a Southern Italian recipe made with olive oil, garlic, oregano, parsley, and lemon juice. For a salad course, he combined arugula, roasted beets, gorgonzola dolce, Idaho walnuts, and saba, an Italian syrup similar to balsamic vinegar. He also suggests serving platters of vegetable crudo with olive oil and fresh lemon. Bartender Nicholas Adams mixed up old-school cocktails with new-school twists: a blackberry French 75 and a Fig Thyme cocktail.

RESOURCES
Overall Design & Flowers: Scenemakers
Bouquet Ribbon: Silk Ribbon Florentes via Etsy
Cake: Flour & Flourish
Paper Goods: Refine Studio
Place Settings, Flatware, Glasses & Linens: Diamond Rental
Food, Drinks, Table, Chairs & Venue: Oddfellows
Gown: Alexandra Grecco
Jewelry: O.C. Tanner Jewelers
Makeup: Anya Zeitlin
Hair: Vince Abram
Model: Annie Desantis