When planning your wedding or party, you will already have a vision in your head of the style and the feeling that you want to create for you and your guests, and your table set up is the first place to start.
There are so many options available with tableware that you can get really creative if you wish. Whether you want modern, classic, rustic or elegant, simple or dramatic, there's so much to choose from and using your chosen style consistently will enhance the whole wedding day for you and your guests.
Wedding table settings can vary greatly, but the main elements are always expected. Every guest will need utensils, a napkin, drinkware, and dishes to eat from. So rather than feel overwhelmed, I have broken it down and started from the beginning with what style of table you prefer.
Most venues or caterers will have round cabaret tables and long rectangular tables for you to choose from. These are the standard but beautiful choice but you can also hire square or oval tables from many companies, which can bring an unexpected look to the space.
Choose your colours. Pick 2 or 3 main colours for the table, then add a brighter or metallic highlight colour. These choices will be inspired by the colours your wedding party are wearing initially, but the venue and décor within it will also play a part in your choices. You may even be inspired by your menu and food options, and you need to consider the colours of the flowers that will be on the tables and elsewhere at the wedding.
My advice for the table cloth linen is to go neutral so that you can bring in colour through other elements such as your crockery, glassware and floristry, menus, place names and table numbers.
However, if you have your heart set on coloured table linen then keeping it simple by matching it to the napkins gives a gorgeous, elegant look too.
You may be able to add a runner depending on your chosen table shape or amount of space on the table so if you do decide on runners then choose a colour that contrasts with your table linen, remembering that this is still only your first layer which you still need to build on with your other elements so keep it simple.
A runner placed directly onto a beautiful wooden table gives a real soft rustic style allowing the warmth of the wood to show through
Again your venue may have chairs for you to use. Your caterers usually offer a few different options to choose from too. These may work really well with your chosen style, but if not and you have budgeted for these upgrades then choose a chair that works better with your style. There are so many examples to choose from so think about your venue and style of wedding you are wanting and go for the best fit.
Crockery and cutlery
The plates are often the first thing guests will notice, considering that they take up the most space, and are what place cards and menu cards typically sit on. So, although plain white options are readily available, you may want your dishes to pop a little more. If you're wanting to add colour your plates are a great place to start.
There are so many crockery choices available now, different colours, shapes, patterns, textures, matt, shiny, ornate or simple. There are a variety of sizes available from charger plates through to tiny butter or salt/pepper dishes. You can use these different plates to add texture, a charger is a great way to do this and can give you a pop of colour.
My advice is to explore and experiment, layer up different options and see what works well in conveying your style. There are many options with cutlery as well, something weightier and in gold/silver is quite a classic choice, whereas a thinner or coloured option would convey a more modern style.
Firstly you need to choose the number of glasses you need. It is usual to have a glass for each type of wine and one for water. Once you know the number needed you can think about the style of glasses.
There are a variety of choices available with glassware from different shapes, sizes, styles and colours. So, you need to consider your wedding style and ensure that your choice fits with that. For example, if you are having a traditional wedding then something like a crystal glass would complement your tablescape, whereas this wouldn’t necessarily work for a modern look.
You don’t have to choose all glasses from the same design, for instance, you can choose tall elegant glasses for wine and bubbles and then have a coloured tumbler for water. This gives you another way of injecting your colour scheme into the table design.
There are many things to consider when choosing your wedding flowers and your florist will be the one to help you decide on what will go with your chosen tablescape. They will need to know the amount of space available on the table. So every little detail you are adding to your tables needs to be discussed with them.
This is especially important for low arrangements or multiple smaller arrangements, so not only do you need to think about glassware and crockery etc, but don’t forget about the smaller details such as your table number or name and whether or not you are placing bread and butter and bottles of wine or whether this will be served.
Also think about the fact that people need to see and speak to each other so if you are having a lower arrangement make sure the flowers don’t stand too high and if you are having a tall arrangement then make sure the stand or vase is something that guests can easily see through.
How about having a hanging floral display above your table that incorporates the lighting too
As with your main linen there are many choices for your napkins. Different colours, textures and designs. You could consider using your napkin as a pop of colour or as another neutral colour to complement your wider colour palette.
Many decor and rental companies will dye napkins for you too. The position of the napkin can vary depending on what else you’re including in your tablescape. You may want to hang the napkin off the table, fold it into a pocket on top of your charger plate or fold it into a relaxed knot to add to the texture of the tablescape.
When it comes to stationery you will likely have a suite of wedding stationery that includes your save the dates, invitations and orders of service, so you may choose the same or a similar style for your place settings, table names and menus.
However, you don’t have to do this. You can opt to use stationery that is different in print or texture but that still works to deliver your wedding style and is potentially more complimentary to the other layers on your tablescape.
So think about the texture and the style as well as the placement of it, such as whether it’s on the table, in a napkin, on a napkin or on a stand.
Not only do you need to ensure that guests can see their food to eat, and can see each other, but you should try to create a beautiful, relaxed atmosphere.
The easiest way to do this is through lighting. There are so many options to think of, such as, lots of candles at different heights, overhead string lights in a warm yellow white, hanging chandeliers above your table, lanterns around the dining area for example.
You can even use the lights of the heaters to add ambience if you are having an outdoor wedding in the slightly cooler months.
Candlelight is such an essential part of dressing your tables. There are so many different styles to choose from. For example, there are tapered candles, pillar candles,long dinner candles and of course tea lights.
It can look fab for a table to have a mix of candlelight heights and choosing a mixture of complementary shades, shapes and heights will add interest, For me, the more there are, the better!
Tapered and long dinner candles are gorgeous, but have a shorter life span than tea lights, which can have an 8 hour burn time, making tea lights the perfect option for evening tables.
If you would like to know more about my services or if you need help with designing your perfect tablescapes or want to discuss how I can help you further with any aspects of your wedding, then please get in touch with me