The Best in West Coast Florida Weddings

The Best in West Coast Florida Weddings

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Bayanihan The Beautiful


Photo by Timothy Capp

We at Catering By Robert, have had the pleasure of seeing a versatile, non-profit run facility evolve into one of the Tampa Bay Area's most spell-binding locations for weddings, banquets, and other large celebrations
Built in the 1990's, the Bayanihan Arts Center, is the centerpiece of  the Phillipine Cultural Foundation compound off Racetrack Road in the Westchase area. The surrounding grounds host the annual Philfest, a major source of operating money for the foundation and its preservation of Filipino music, food, and art, on the West Coast of Florida.

The Bayanihan building holds a treasure chest of stunning furnishings from the Phillipines. From intricately carved wood easels and cradenzas to charismatic chandeliers, there is much more to experience visually at the center than just an event. While the main ballroom, with a capacity of up to 600, had dimmer lights and demur scone lighting, it did require some additional features to "dress it up" for a party.

As the "lounge look" gained popularity over the past several years, local event designer, Arlene Tolentino, was inspired to help enhance the beauty of the building with her work. From sweeping ceiling drapes lavished with hanging crystals to a whole system of color changing uplights on wall features, Arlene introduced a whole new concept of  luxury to the Bayanihan Center.

While this initial decor was an upgraded option, the center has since adopted Arlene's artistry as a standard offering at the facility. For clients wanting a complete look for wedding and reception, this was a valuable inclusion.



Photo by Chi Photography


For those wishing indoor wedding celebrations, the BC staff "hides" pre-decorated guest tables behind tall curtains in the corners of the ballroom. The center of the room is lined with chairs for the ceremony facing an elevated platform. During social hour in the lobby and outdoor terrace, the room is transformed into a magical reception space in less than 15 minutes with the assistance of hall and catering staff.

We'd like to share two fashionable events we hosted at the Bayanihan this past season. The first was an annual end of year event for Arbitration Forums, headed by Emily Perez. Theme was Phantom of the Opera. The second was a vintage soiree wedding reception for Tonilee and Matt in March.

A spacious entry provides many options for guests to enjoy the comforts of indoors for social hour or explore
 the Terrrace area with a bit of the outdoors.

Tonilee enjoyed a leisurely afternoon of getting ready in the center's library area with herattendants.
When it came time for pre-ceremony pictures, she was cool, calm, and ready for the celebration to begin.

With hues of red and white uplighting the stage area was set for the couple's indoor celebration. Since the main ballroom was to be turned around for the reception after the ceremony ended, pre-set guest tables were hidden behind curtained corners at the back of the room.

Bradley Dempsey, their event designer from Catering By Robert, designed an exquisite, flowing ceremony area which included our in-house glass cylinders encasing submerged silk orchids and natural rocks with ivory floating candles. The aisle walkway was flanked with cylinders both elevated by Bayanihan columns and those sitting on the floor. Scattered rose petals framed the long aisle runner leading to the ceremony area at the front of the room.

One of the things we love about the Bayanihan Center is their acquisition of new "bling items." 2012 introduced two tall, modern votive towers with infinite possibilities for ceremony backgrounds

Tonilee and Matt choose Arlene's special centerpiece package that included dramatic tall pillar candle holders with an assortment of silk flowers at the base. Coupled with our burgundy votive holders, pocket folded napkins on top of gold charger plates, this table design paralleled the spectacular lighting throughout the room.

An ivory fondant cake from Sweet Tweets Cakery floated upon Arlene's huge glass pedastal surrounded by glowing red candle holders and rose petals.

The center offers many photo opps for for the bride and groom including the lobby's famed baby grand piano.

The mood is the thing. From purplish casts to bright pinks, the mood-swinging uplighting transfers an event from dinner time into an uplifting party atmosphere.

Want some magic for your party? The possibilities are here as The Phantom of the Opera comes alive for our Abitration Forums end of year party. The Phantom character along with all entertainment was provided by DeLite Entertainment.

The client chose a black and white damask palatte for alternating guest tables. They included floor length satiny cloths and black floor length cloths topped with a contrasting black on white design runner. Centerpieces were either 45" tall classic silver candlelabras or varying szes of our glass cylinders lavished with red rose petals.
Event Designer Bradley Dempsey. Runners and damask cloths from Kate Ryan Linens.

Black chair covers (sans sashes) offered a dramatic silhouette effect around each table. This blending enchanced the enchanting feel of the evening's theme. A pop of color was found in red napkins, red votive candle holders, and red silk petals.

Clear glass reflects a rosey assortment of petals and blooms when sunken LED lights are involved. The cylinders are part of our regular inventory of guest table centerpieces available at no extra charge.

Catering By Robert's French theming went beyond decor to include a Parisian Whipped Potato Station under the watchful eye of our eiffel tower centerpiece.

Many kudos to the Bayanihan Arts Center, Arlene Tolentino, Arlene Floral Designer, and our own Bradley Dempsey for 
collectively creating these two events.

Photo Credits:

Chi Photography - Tonilee & Matt
Timothy Capp - Arbitration Forums

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