by Michael Kabel
For the perfect winter wedding reception centerpiece, you've got to put your thoughts on ice.
You've probably seen ice sculptures before, at least in the movies - they're always in the scenes where the very rich and glamorous have fantastic parties and socials. Tall and elegant, and fabulously expensive looking, the ice sculpture seems to appear on camera if only to give a simple message: "See how rich these people are? Wow!"
Except they're not that expensive anymore.
The modern ice sculpture has become, while not exactly so affordable you'd put one in every room of your house, much more obtainable than just a few years ago. A new generation of sculptors and innovations in shipping and packaging allow the statuary to come directly to the reception hall. The art and craftsmanship remain at the same high levels - it's just the price that's come down.
Getting The Right Shape
Modern ice sculptors offer a variety of shape and sizes to their statuary, but new brides can take heart that some of the most famous ice sculpture designs are included in the menagerie: the heart, the swan, and other icons are all available from most ice sculpture supply houses.
The sculptures are made from chunks of solid ice, so they're usually durable enough to weather transport from the sculptor's business to the wedding reception. It also means they're safe to touch and be touched, without fear of breaking or injury.
Using the Sculpture As A Centerpiece
Wedding reception planners can use the ice sculpture as a basis for their other decorations, especially if the wedding celebrations carry a winter theme. Everything from a choice of linen to the dessert can match the ice sculpture's shape and style, creating a finished aesthetic of crisp sophistication.
One of the more elegant accessory choices to match the ice sculpture is the wedding favor. By giving frosted tea light candles or picture frames, the guests are reminded of the sculpture's beauty long after the reception concludes.
Ordering & Delivering the Sculpture
Obviously, the sculpture should be ordered well ahead of time, to allow for transportation schedules and also for the sculpture to be crafted according to specifications. Many ice sculptures weigh as much as one hundred and forty pounds, so two or three people will be required to carry and install it in the reception hall once it arrives. Some larger installations can weigh much more, too, and will need professional movers and refrigerated trucks to keep them safe and fresh
The melt time for most ice sculptures ranges from three to six hours, and most include drip trays as part of their cost. Some ice carving companies offer delivery in special shock-insulated trailers, and will deliver straight to the reception facility. Many also offer multi-colored lights and strobe effects to enhance a sculpture's presentation. These lights were engineered by special effects artists to add even more ambience and spectacle to the presentation.