Designing the wedding reception tables for a compelling tabletop is important for the entire experience. The elements of your tables should be coordinated to create harmony with the décor and chinaware. We have a few tips to help you design the tables for your wedding reception.
Coordinating the China and Linens
Chinaware and linens are actually a significant part of the design. You might not consider your dishes to be décor, but when the charger plates frame a napkin with a decorative ring and create a balance of color with the linens and flatware accents, the table becomes quite impressive. A standard place setting will consist of a charger plate, napkin, dinner fork, salad fork, soup spoon, dinner knife, water goblet, wine glass and champagne flute. While the etiquette for the placement on the table is pretty standard, you can create a dramatic effect with the design and the way you coordinate the pieces.
Napkins and Linens
Napkins play a role in designing the wedding reception tables. Napkins add color and texture to the table setting. You can insert a napkin into a goblet and spread it in the shape of a fan. You can add dimension with an elegant triangle fold that pops off the plate. You can tuck a menu into the fold of a napkin or insert a sprig of lavender or an orchid. Napkins have an important function beyond the design; therefore, you should consider the fabric. The design is all in the presentation.
Small decorative touches create big impressions. A table number is part of the design. It usually consists of a paper in card stock that is folded to create a tent card and embellished with designs and a calligraphy number. These decorative signs have purpose. They will help your guests find their table. If your theme calls for it, you could name each table with a place, character or song, instead of a number. Place cards will designate seating for each guest. Menus are another decorative accent that can be tucked inside the fold of a napkin for an elegant touch. Favors provide a keepsake for your guests and decorate the table. They can be placed above the plate or on the charger plate, depending on how you design the space.
Candles add a romantic glow to the table. You might consider small votive candles to accent the other décor on the wedding reception tables or create a focal point with three-by-nine-inch pillars. Candles can be used in lanterns, hurricanes or tall glass spheres. Vases can be filled with water to float small votive candles. It is recommended that you avoid using scented candles on the wedding reception tables where food will be served. The scent will affect the way food is experienced.
Head Table or Sweetheart Table
Traditionally, the bride and groom sit with their parents and the bridal party at a head table. Some couples hold to the old traditions, but many couples choose to sit alone at their own romantic sweetheart table. Sitting alone at a sweetheart table eliminates all the confusion about tradition and creates a separate space for the bride and groom to celebrate. Couples do not normally spend a lot of time at their table during the reception, but their table should be elaborately designed. Avoid tall centerpieces and oversized floral designs that would block the view of the bride and groom. This is especially important for photography.
Dressing Up Wedding Reception Tables
Not every table requires a full tablecloth, but nothing will add more texture and color to the room than elegant linens. You might consider an overlay or runner to compliment your table décor. Think about the fabric and texture. Your theme and season will help you make most of the decisions about your linens. Fabric is associated with season. Velvet, brocade, dark satin and damask are reserved for fall and winter. The light and airy organza look works best with warmer seasons. Cotton, linen and silk work during any season. A polished look requires that you properly cover your wedding reception tables. This requires that you consider the length and shape of the fabric.
Centerpieces on Your Wedding Reception Tables
Set your wedding reception tables with centerpieces. Think about the shape and size of your tables for a dramatic look that fits the space. A long table could be perfectly designed with linear centerpieces, such as rectangular baskets of wheat grass and gerbera daisies. Round wedding reception tables are best suited for clusters and a large centerpiece as a focal point. You might consider alternating the height of centerpieces on different tables to break up the space and add dimension to the room. If you dream of the rustic look, bring the outdoors in with garland runners and oversized floral arrangements. Oversized candelabras and lanterns design elegant spaces. Create a romantic vibe with vases filled with your favorite wedding flowers. Make sure the widest part of the arrangements are over the tallest person’s head or beneath the shortest person’s head.
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