Designing Stylish Wedding Tablescapes


Designing Stylish Wedding Tablescapes

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

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Your wedding day provides unlimited opportunities to show off your personal style. The tablescape is the design gem of your overall wedding. Your reception table is the place where your wedding guests will gather and are usually focused on the design. This is the one location where most of your major wedding vendors' products are showcased together; for example, your florist, caterer, and stationary. It is therefore essential to know how to properly set the table.

The possibilities these days are endless when it comes to wedding centrepieces, table décor elements, menus, wedding flowers, napkins, and the list goes on.

The table layout for a wedding reception can be challenging to plan, but a good tablescape encourages mingling, conversation, and celebration. Whether you're having a formal reception, a laid-back dinner, or a themed event, it's important that you carefully set the scene for your meal. After all, it's the one special day your friends, family, and loved ones will sit together in your honour, making it a truly magical day.

Steps to designing a stunning wedding tablescape

Find your inspiration

It is no secret that we are all completely obsessed with saving photos of things we love on social media. Use these ideas to inspire your wedding details and tablescape design. This is where you will start to get a sense of your wedding styling and narrow your vision.

Key questions to ask yourself for your table to take shape: Are you working with a long table or a round one? Do you favour a centre arrangement that is high or low?

Choose your focal point

Figure out what will be your eye-catcher. This is the element within the design where your eyes are instantly drawn to.

Pick a type of table

When selecting a table type, first think about how many people you need to seat in total. Choose the type of table that would best fit in the space at your venue. You may decide to use a round table, or a rectangular table, or a combination of both! These are the most popular size tables and how many they typically seat.

60” Round = Seats 8-10

72” Round = Seats 10-12

6” Banquet (rectangle) = Seats 6

8” Banquet = Seats 8 (10 if you set one person on each end)

Select your linens

Choosing tablecloths for your reception tables may not seem like a very important item to think about but they are an ideal way to bring beauty into your reception space. Always, always, always use floor-length linens; this polishes the look of the table and hides the ugly table legs... unless you're using a wood table. If you're adding a table runner, choose a colour or texture that will add contrast to your floor-length linen. Don't forget to give thought to your napkin folds. Here are some I'm loving: Knotted, angled pocket, rolled and tied, or paired with flatware. I'm not saying to have a swan or a fan fold tucked into each guest's water goblet but I would encourage you to do something that adds dimension, texture and/or colour to the setting.

The chair

The chair is an important visual element in the overall design. Many different options cater to a variety of design styles. The chair should of course be functional and comfy. The ever-popular Chiavari and garden folding chairs seem to never go out of style, but select one that complements your venue.


A floral centrepiece generally combines and completes all of your table elements and creates a cohesive look. Floral arrangements add accents, texture, and colour, which are visually pleasing to the eye. They add life to your table décor. Consider practicality and leaving sufficient room at the table for table setting; this is where size and height come into full consideration. If you're at a round table choose one main floral piece or a cluster of smaller pieces. If you're at a long rectangular table, you'll want to think about the width you have between your glassware, and the person sitting across from your glassware. There's nothing worse than sitting down at a table and feeling cramped. For rectangular tables, repeat a small element at regular intervals along the table. I like to cluster florals in groups of two or three.

I always like to add candles to centrepieces. They are the easiest way to add romance to your ambiance. If you're setting a round table, use three or five candles. If you're designing a long rectangular table, I cluster them in groups of two or three with varying height.

Plates, chargers & cutlery

The first thing to remember is that the dinner plate will not be at the table when the guests arrive. Guests will either pick it up at the buffet station or receive it when their plated meal is served.

Your fork, knife, and spoon placement is also another chance to be creative.

The fork always goes on the left and the knife and spoon go on the right. You can also place them on the centre of the plate, in a cute linen bag, or tied together or tucked into a creative napkin fold. A charger plate is a great way to add some dimension to the tablescape.


Your menu and whether you are offering wine or champagne service at the table will determine the number and types of glasses you place on the table. A water goblet and a wine glass are a good start. Your selection of glassware should match the formality of your design.

Paper goods

Your tablescape paper goods will include the table number (or name), menus and place cards. Menus are a perfect place to keep guests informed and add detail to your reception tables. If you have a menu, be sure to think about the placement before designing your menu. Try a small twist on the classic menu tucked into the napkin by simply changing the shape of the menu.

Table numbers are another small detail that can have a strong visual impact — think about the font, frame or holder style, and materials.

Tips for different types of tables

Round tables

They provide excellent conversational benefits and are the easiest to design. They can fit with just about any scenario.

• Don't be afraid to play with different colours, patterns, and textures.

• Subtle details often make an unexpectedly pretty presentation; for example, a sprig of fresh greenery or a floral bloom at each place setting.

Long & rectangular tables

• Balance the layout on your table.

• Use height — break up with décor by using different heights to give your long tables some dimension.

• Play with shape — you don't have to settle on round, standard plates.

• Elongate the table — by working the focus to the middle zone. A garland is a perfect way to accomplish this.

• Disperse details — rectangular tables have a lot of space to fill.

• Use an even number of chairs.


Your wedding table settings add a lot to the total décor of your wedding. Whether you are on a budget or not, it is a great idea to decorate in line with your overall wedding theme.

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