SUCH WAS THE case for a high-end wedding produced by Kathy G. Mezrano, owner of Kathy G. & Company, a catering firm in Birmingham, Alabama. The wedding, held at Birmingham's Pine Tree Country Club, for which Mezrano is the in-house caterer, blended trend with tradition. "Our client was well-traveled and wanted an elegant wedding that was different, with elements that had not been seen before in Birmingham," Mezrano says. To that end, Mezrano used two rental companies-The Premiere Event of Birmingham and Los Angeles-based Unique Tabletop Rentals, whose East Coast distribution is handled by Perfect Settings, Washington, D.C. Among the never-before-seen rental items that Mezrano and her client selected to wow guests with and to achieve the desired silver-and-white color palette were silver chiavari chairs, silver baroque charger plates, silver-rimmed china plates (reportedly used at the Academy Awards Board of Governors Ball), oversized Euro- pean-style silver flatware and candelabra embellished with pink, white and ivory rose centerpieces, designed by Birmingham florist Bill Johnson.

On the catering side, hors d'oeuvre stations included Mediterranean and sushi stations, as well as a vodka "slide," which featured a tilted Absolut vodka bottle, sculpted in ice. Vodka was poured down a groove carved into the bottle, chilling it before it hit the glass. Caviar and smoked salmon canapes were served with the vodka. Dinner featured a split entree of beef tenderloin and hazelnut-encrusted grouper, a local Gulf fish. For dessert, each guest was presented with an individual two-tiered wedding cake by Birmingham-based baker Betty Hill of Sweet Magnolia. Hill created five differently decora-ted cakes, which were alternately placed at each setting. The cakes featured intricate sugar paste flowers that looked as if they had been plucked from nature. Gold boxes were presented with the cakes in the event that the guests wanted to take them home, which, according to Mezrano, many did. "I got the idea for the individual wedding cakes from Colin Cowie," Mezrano admits. "However, he suggested using them for a small wedding. This was done for almost 300."

Service was another element that needed to stand out. It was imperative to the bride that service be akin to that expected in a five-star restaurant. To accommodate this request, Mezrano extensively trained and rehearsed a staff of 42 waiters. Each of the 27 dining tables had its own server who introduced himself and made an effort to learn each guest's name. "There were no tray stands," says Mezrano. "Everything was hand-served. If guests left the table, their napkins were re-folded. There were many, many extra touches at this wedding."

One special touch, however, will forever remain in the memories of the two united families. The wedding took place on the same date as the 50th wedding anniversary of the bride's grandparents, making the event something of a dual celebration. "That made it even extra special," Mezrano says.