One of the best ways to impart vintage flair and personality into your wedding is with the table décor. When I was planning my wedding for 125 guests, I really wanted to have vintage linens and plates/glassware, but I couldn’t find a company that specialized in them. I contemplated buying vintage-y place settings from stores like Anthropologie, but it wasn’t realistic. When I recently heard about Jason Murakawa and his antique tableware rental company, Small Masterpiece, I immediately got excited.
Jason, a trained Graphic Designer and Creative Director with over 30 years experience designing CD soundtrack packages for films such as Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, Magnolia, and Almost Famous, launched Small Masterpiece after a decade of designing private parties. He now has an unparalleled collection of 18th and 19th-century antique table settings for 130-200 guests available for private rental, and also offers creative direction for tabletop décor. We are thrilled that Jason was able to take the time to answer questions from WomanGettingMarried.com about Small Masterpiece, and some of the best ways brides can create a unique table setting for their wedding.
Woman Getting Married: What motivated you to start Small Masterpiece?
Jason: I entertained privately on a regular basis designing at-home parties and non-profit fundraising dinners for 50 people. Being a graphic designer for over 30 years, my eye is trained to appreciate good design. The rentals companies had nothing that suited my taste level, hence, The Small Masterpiece Collection was born and has expanded to over 3,000 pieces of Haviland Limoges porcelain, Sterling Silver flatware and 150 year old Early American Pressed Glass goblets.
How did you start your collection, and where are some of your favorite places to find new pieces at?
I started the collection about a decade ago. It has taken me this amount of time to collect what I have in The Small Masterpiece Collection. I go to estate auctions, garage sales, Ebay, antique stores, and flea markets in the United States and England. I remember I once drove through a very small town in Texas and found a store that had hundreds of Early American Pressed Glass cake stands. They were closed and still, to this day, I regret not spending the night or contacting the owner to open the store for me!
One of the most frustrating things when planning a larger wedding is finding unique table settings in bulk… You can’t just go into Anthropologie and buy place settings for 100 people! For a bride who does not have access to a unique collection such as yours but still wants to have an heirloom feel to her tables, what would you suggest she try to incorporate?
It isn’t easy to do. Small Masterpiece is the only company in the United States that has this one-of-a-kind collection with the quantities a bride would need. I love to mix vintage and modern. It makes for a more interesting and unexpected tabletop. Give yourself the proper lead time to collect whatever it is that will help achieve your vintage tabletop. If you are mixing vintage and modern, your vintage piece could be old black and white photos you use for place cards, old ribbon to tie napkins, pictures from an old book for table number signs, etc. The fleas will provide anything and everything so as long as you are creative and think outside the box! Make your table deliberate and accentuate what is there. Do it with confidence! Go to your local Goodwill or thrift stores and see what is there. Travel! Go to another town if you don’t have the resources locally. You may find a treasure trove just 30 miles outside of where you live! The tabletop is a blank canvas, so be creative, fun, and outgoing.
OK, we are in love with your collection! You are based in Los Angeles…can brides rent your collection outside of California as well? What price ranges would she be looking at?
Yes, The Small Masterpiece Collection does ship throughout the United States. I travel with the collection because of its value. We are on site from start to finish boxing, cleaning and working with the caterer and waitstaff on the proper handling of the inventory. The collection is versatile and a bride may only rent the Haviland Limoges porcelain or the Early American Pressed Glass goblets, etc. It all depends on the budget and what the tabletop design calls for. I am looking into housing half of the collection in New York, making the freight cost much easier for east coast brides. And yes, I am more expensive than your rental companies but you are getting something that is unique and looks like you set the table with your own private collection of tableware!
To find out more about The Small Masterpiece Collection, and to make an inquiry for your wedding, click here
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