On the Edge of Paradise

Fresh white roses pop beautifully in a classical stone urn.

Simplicity, purity and elegance combine for the ultimate seaside nuptials.

By Monica Haim  |  Party design by KBY Designs

Ultimately, a successful event is like a sophisticated Italian dish—all you need are a select few quality ingredients and the end result is guaranteed to delight. Unfortunately, one of the most rampant misconceptions about potentially large-scale events such as weddings or bar mitzvahs is that you have to go really big in order to make an impact. And while all varieties of glitzy flair may go a long way when it comes to momentarily impressing your guests, the true magic of an event, and what makes it genuinely unforgettable, lies in the art of simplicity. And in the world of party design, simplicity begins with basic element selection.

This Chupa is all about setting--this stunning location sets the tone.
This Chupa is all about setting–this stunning location sets the tone.

Start from the ground up—literally—by choosing an unusual location for your event, which not only gives you the chance to place your affair somewhere special, such as in nature, but it also liberates you from the four walls of the proverbial reception hall and gives your attendees something special to behold. Sweeping natural panoramas are the ultimate backdrops for any setting, as the ever-changing position of the sun drifting downward forges an organic lighting design that could never be conceived by man alone. Similarly, the sounds of water flapping rhythmically at the side of a cliff or shore, or sea gulls singing in unison into the approaching dusk, are often more calming and atmospheric than anything a DJ could ever think to play. With that in mind, dare to take your cues from nature, and see the colors of the changing sky and the sounds of the wind and leaves as possible elements for your special night.

For this particular wedding, event designer, Koby Bar Yehuda created frame-like structures around the perimeter of the affair that served almost as “invisible walls,” giving the illusion that this magnificent room was somehow suspended somewhere in the middle of a postcard. Coincidentally, the Chuppa, according to Jewish law, must be open on four sides, inviting the community to share in the joy of the wedding— so consider taking this concept one step further by creating open walls around your party that can frame the scene in nature.


The earthiness of the mountains in the distance and the water views throughout juxtapose brilliantly against the luxurious chic of the “floating white party room.” The natural synergy between the interior and exterior flavors of the décor provides a visual and ambient foundation and direction for the overall aesthetic: romance, purity, transparency and lightness.

Mingling, lounging, chatting, dancing, eating, drinking and laughing—these are the activities that you should envision your guests partaking of as you consider the seating layout for your occasion. You want to surprise people by providing unexpected nooks and small, intimate little stations or settings within the overall space, where guests can linger and relax. For this wedding, canopied and illuminated daybeds were placed at the water’s edge, adding the feeling of a “getaway” to the night. The table seating, too, was unconventional, through the use of banquets on one side and chairs on the other, creating a sense of asymmetry and playful leisure.


When it comes to floral selection, going monochromatic is unexpectedly dramatic and casts the affair with a powerful and elegant punch. Here, white roses can be the stars, spilling out of urns and dripping from bouquets; along with wild orchid blossoms in white and deep fuchsia, which can be placed in multi-shaped glass vials throughout the space. The actual Chuppa, which, according to Judaism, is a symbol for the new home that the couple will share, can be wrapped in green with white floral accents, allowing it to seamlessly and poetically blend in with the rest of the space.

Because your guests will spend most of the night at the table, make it a table they’ll never want to leave. By using white lampshades as centerpieces, you can create a French, salon like feeling, which you can enhance through the placement of elaborate crystal chandeliers. So the next time you find yourself wracking your brain for interesting party ideas, take a breath and get back to the basics—the color white, natural vistas and classic floral arrangements. Starting with these basic and reliable elements not only eliminates potential decor mayhem, it also guarantees a timeless and meaningful celebration that your guests will likely remember forever.