There once was a time and a place when one wouldn't dare dream have a wedding without an ice sculpture. Now, that time may very well have been the 80s, and that place was probably Long Island or one of the burrows of New York, since that's where I'm from.
For quite some time now the traditional ice sculpture has fallen away, getting a bad rap as outdated and no longer in fashion. But I have recently rediscovered icce, and now I think I have a crush! Pun intended....
I suppose my love affair was reignited about 7 or 8 years ago when my husband was opening STRIPSteak for Michael Mina. They had a dedicated and advanced cocktail program with a deep emphasis on whiskey and bourbon. To that end, they introduced Japanese Ice Balls, or Whiskey Ice Balls to the market. These round spheres of ice were made with distilled water. Larger than the average ice cube, and of higher quality with more surface area, they melt more slowly. Slower melting means less watering down of the cocktail, which ensures that your last sip is just as potent as your first!
Still, I hadn't been inspired to incorporate ice as a design element in a wedding until recently, when I began working with local Las Vegas couple Michelle and Michael. It just so happens that Michelle works at STRIPSteak and is a major foodie. She and Michael wanted to showcase their love of food and drink with a branded "Bubbles and Bourbon" Bar. And just like that, the inspiration I needed to ice the night was born!
The bride's excitement over Bubbles and Bourbon was contagious, and I knew that we had to do something dazzling that would blow her and her foodies friends!) away. To execute this idea properly, we had to have the proper ice! Ice Occassions of Las Vegas provided us with circular ice cubes 3 inches in diameter, absolutely perfect for serving bourbon! They also crafted display block for the bourbon bottles to sit on.
But we didn't stop there. After all, why neglect the Bubbles. Champagne bottles are beautiful on their own, but when displayed and chilled in carved ice buckets accented with frozen flowers they take on an even more romantic presentation. These buckets were both glamorous and romantic, with just enough sparkle and softness to offset the masculinity of the bourbon display.
Finally, in an effort to tie all of the elements together and really draw the eye, Ice Occassions surprised us all by crafting the couple's monogram on a 3 ft. ice disc, supported by an etched base.
The ice elements of Michelle and Michael's wedding were among some of the first things guests saw when they arrived, and weeks later guests are still talking about it...And I know that they will be for many years to come. In fact, any time someone that attended this wedding sees an ice display, they will undoubtedly go back and remember this display, because it was so personal - and purposeful - for Michelle and Michael. And really, it's the personal touches that make the day yours and leave a mark in the minds of your family and friends.
Has this wedding inspired you to add a little frosting to your own?
The ways to use ice are virtually endless. As with every other element of your wedding, it's best to incorporate ice in a way that has meaning to you, so that it feels organic and natural, as opposed to gimmicky. To get you started, I'm sharing five ideas that you can consider whole designing your day.
Five (5) Unique Ways to Use Ice for Maximum Impact with Personality!
1. The Welcome - When planning the decor of your wedding, the first thing that guests see typically makes the largest impact, setting the tone for what's the come. Ice can be fashioned into nearly anything, from a welcome sign to a name plate, a large vase for a floral arrangement or a sculpture. Greet guests with a frosted piece, and they will immediately know that they are in for a wedding with detail and surprises.
2. Ice Bar...and a luge, if you must - Love shots and chilled drinks? Who doesn't! The ice luge is a fun way to keep the drinks flowing. Just be sure to have a mixologist manning the station, to avoid to unwanted frat-behavior of drinking straight from the base.
To take the luge a step further, work with a craftsman who can built the entire front bar in ice! It can be lit in different colors and will serve as an eye catching topic of conversation all night long!
3. Added Bling - Think of ice as an uncut and much more affordable diamond that you can add to the decor of your wedding for maxinim sparkle. Small ice sculptures can be placed on bars, on food stations, and work especially well on dessert display tables.
4. As an Individual Serving Piece - Years ago I served an entire party their intermezzo of shaved gratin in individual carved icec boxes. Each one was then opened to reveal a scooped palate cleanser. Talk about major impact!
5. Hanging Art Installation - This last year has been all about the hanging of cakes, chandeliers, and just about everything else! Why not hang ice? The Knot recently did this at a party and it was a huge hit! Just be certain that you hang the ice in a place that guests won't walk under and get dripped on, and that there is a system for catching the water as it melts.