Tips + Tricks: Wedding Table Design

July 10, 2019

Whether you’re a design enthusiast or not, articulating the theme of your wedding through your table design can sometimes be a daunting task. There are so many details – from glassware and flatware to table numbers and paper goods that effect the overall mood of your reception. We’re here to talk through all the aspects that create the perfect (for you) table setting. First things first, we recommend sitting down with your partner to decide what design direction you’d like to go in. If you’re at a loss, you can always reach out to your wedding planner for design assistance

Wedding Table Top Design Tips

1. The Foundation

We recommend starting with your foundation which could be the table itself, the linen you select for your table, and your napkin choice.

Depending on the statement you’d like to make, you can select a variety of different tables that will be set without linen. Whether you go with a rustic farm table or industrial concrete table you can create an impact without table linen altogether. Another option would be to select a stand-out table linen to drape your tables of choice. Your tables of choice could be round tables, long rectangular tables, or even a mixture of both! When thinking of the overall mood of your wedding much of the tone will be set with the type of tables you choose and the linen you select, so make sure together, they make an impact.

For example, if you’re looking for a modern twist we like to pair black velvet table linen with white napkins for a bold reception statement.  You can also take some mid-century modern inspiration from the table setting below, using clean lines with natural shapes and materials. Don’t forget to tie everything together with chairs of a similar style!

Wedding Table Top Design Tips

2. The Fundamentals

Next, we’ll get into the basics of your table set. The following are fundamentals because, well, you can’t eat dinner without plates and flatware.  These are all items that each of your guests will have directly in front of them for a good portion of the evening so make sure you select items that make a cohesive visual impact.

  • Plates
    There are a few different ways to create a visual impact with your plates. One option is selecting a Charger plate that enhances the style of the wedding to serve as a focus for your entire table top setting. Another option would be to select a single stand-out dinner plate that pops against your table top. Finally, our favorite option is corresponding your b&b plates, with your salad plates, with your dinner plates as shown in the photo below.
  • Flatware
    In terms of styling, this is where you can really elevate your table scape. Coordinating your flatware to the overall style of your wedding can leave your guests with a feeling that every detail was truly thought out. We just recommend sticking with flatware that serves your overall vision. Gold flatware can really enhance a romantic table top but won’t fit as well if you’re going for something clean and minimalistic.
  • Glassware
    This is our favorite way to enhance a table top. There is an array of glassware that will be stationed at each place setting throughout the evening so swapping out even one of those standard glasses will create a huge impact. We recommend a specialty water goblet or wine glass in a similar color scheme.
Wedding Table Top Design Tips

3.  The Anchor

The center of your table is the obvious focal point of your table design. What you place down the center of the table relies on the type and size of the table. For example, we love to add a swathed table runner down longer tables along with floral designs that are shorter and father reaching. Alternatively, with round tables, we prefer a mixture of high and low floral designs to create some depth in your reception space. Another great way to add visual interest is to add a mixture of candle sizes and heights. We just advise to check with your venue before incorporating candles into your table design, so you can stay within any regulations during the design process.

Wedding Table Top Design Tips

4. The Details

This is where your creativity can really shine. There are little details (some necessary and some a stylistic preference) where you can design something one-of-a-kind for your wedding.

  • Table Numbers
    This is a necessary detail that you can really have fun with. There are so many different options to help direct guests to where they will be seated. If you’re into something more modern, we love marble table signs with hand calligraphy designating the table number or table name on it. Remember, you don’t always need a number – assigning a name to each individual table works just as well!
  • Napkin Folds
    Napkins are a necessity, but the napkin fold design is entirely up to your style and preference! If you are adding any paper elements like a printed menu, a pocket fold can often work well. You can also go the modern route and do a draped napkin or even a knotted napkin. If you’d like to add some flair to your table, you can also choose a napkin ring that will fall in line with your other table décor. 
  • Escort Cards / Place Cards
    If you are hosting a plated dinner and are able to provide multiple options to your guests, you’ll need to provide escort cards with your guest’s name and something to indicate their menu selection. This should be in similar style to your wedding suite with matching font, color scheme, etc. to keep everything cohesive.
  • Printed Menus
    Providing a printed menu is completely optional. If you are hosting a plated dinner and would like a printed menu to enhance the overall style of the table setting we recommend to, again, keep in style with your wedding suite. If you are hosting a buffet dinner, we prefer styled signage at the buffet or dinner stations.
Wedding Table Top Design Tips

5. Add Interest

Our last recommendation for a stand-out table design is to add something unexpected. Whether you add unexpected décor elements like fig, plums, or artichoke – make sure they stay within the same color scheme as the rest of your centerpiece or table top design. Even unexpected textures like velvet or hanging center pieces can become conversation pieces.

Wedding Table Top Design Tips

If this design roundup left you feeling more daunted than inspired, seek the advice of your wedding planner. They are there to help you through this process and want you to enjoy it as much as possible. A good rule of thumb is to always start with your venue’s options and work outward from there. Many venues have a wide selection of table options, linen colors, plates, and flatware to choose from, so select the items you like and outsource the remaining items. Regardless what may be popular now, your wedding design should be a complete reflection of both partners individually and together.

Wedding Table Top Design Tips

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