When planning your wedding décor, table settings will be high up on the list of important decisions. The three major elements to consider when selecting items for your table settings are linens, center pieces, and place settings. They are the most important factors for the décor of each table, and will set the mood for your guests. The number of guest tables is important to keep in mind when deciding on décor. You will want to contemplate the number of guests you invite, as more guests means more tables. A larger guest list may increase your décor budget, as the more tables you have, the more decorations you will need. This is where renting portions of your décor can really come in handy to help minimize the amount of your budget spent on decorations.
The best place to start when deciding on your table décor is linens. If you have not chosen a theme, color scheme or a simple accent color, now is the time! Traditionally, a neutral color is used for the base table linen, and accent colors are used for runners, overlays, and napkins. However, with the new 2018 trend of bold colors, it is becoming popular to use a chosen color scheme for all linens, and just skip the neutral color all together. If you are having a smaller event and using farm tables, you may want to only use a runner to keep the natural look of the table exposed.
A great way to incorporate an accent color, if you don’t want to be too bold, is with napkins. When you are having a large event, overlays and runners may become a significant part of your décor budget, so using napkins as a base for your center piece can be a fantastic money saving tool. If you are having a smaller wedding, a fun napkin fold is a great decorative detail. However with a larger event, try alternating folded napkins with draped napkins. This still gives each table a classy look, without spending hours folding napkins. Keep in mind, once a guest sits down they will unfold their napkin, so don’t spend too much time on intricate folds. Stick with something simple, like a rose fold, to cut down on folding time while still adding a touch of whimsy.
The next part of your table setting to consider is the center piece décor. When it comes to center pieces, vases, lanterns, mirrors, votive holders, and even chargers, are all items available for renting instead of purchasing! If you are getting married during popular months such as June or August, keep in mind you may need to reserve these items well in advance in order to make sure you have enough for all of your guest tables. A great option is to have two or more slightly different center piece decorations, to not only add some extra style, but to ensure you are able to have center piece items on every table. Alternating napkins, mirrors, or chargers as a center piece base, can not only save you money, but is much easier to ensure all your rental items will be available during busy months.
Your best bet is to think simple when it comes to your center piece design. The more concise your center pieces, the classier they tend to look. The large, fancy center pieces can look amazing in pictures, but your guests may have to lean side to side simply to hold a conversation with the person sitting across from them. Large flower arrangements, or other large objects as center pieces, may also block the view of the head table or dance floor, which may leave guests feeling left out of the celebration. Floating candles, or flowers, in vases filled with water, are very popular center piece items. If you are not floating candles in water, and just want them in a vase, or in lanterns, it is highly recommended to use flameless candles. LED candles prevent any possible wax from getting onto linens or other rented items, which may cause more cleaning time and lead to damage charges. Flowers, twigs, stones, beads, or general greenery are all great items to incorporate into your center pieces, and are easy to set up and take down.
The last decision to make for your table setting décor is the actual place setting for each guest. The choices of cutlery, dishes, and glassware, are based on a few factors. The type of food you are serving is the first thing to consider when making these decisions. You will want to make sure if you are serving items like steak or soup, that you have steak knives and soup spoons available for your guests. Regular dinner knives, or tea spoons may not work in these situations, and you want to make sure your guests can actually eat their meals! For an informal gathering, a dinner and dessert plate, a fork, and a knife, are the perfect place setting for each guest. However, if your event is a formal affair, you may want to provide guests with more than just the standards. Salad, dinner, and dessert forks, tea and soup spoons, as well as butter knives, are all typically included in a formal place setting.
Having glassware for water, as well as additional drink options, is a great idea to ensure that your guests are not having to choose between water and other available beverages. Depending on the drink service, you may want to only have water glasses on the table. In this case, the bar would distribute other needed glassware, such as pilsners or martini glasses, as drinks are ordered. However, having a wine glass at each place setting, along with a water glass, is the traditional way to set up glassware. Also, if you are having a tea or coffee service, be sure to have mugs available. Mugs can even be incorporated to your setting with napkins to add a bit of flair.
No matter what size event you are hosting, having both dinner and dessert plates is a must. This applies to every style of food service as well, since dinner and dessert are usually served separately. Your guests will very much appreciate not having to reuse their dinner plate for the dessert course. If having a buffet, you can choose to have plates at each place setting, or ready and waiting for guests at the buffet line. For a smaller events with plated service, using chargers as place settings can add a touch of elegance, but tend to be a bit over the top for larger gatherings. Soup bowls, or cups, are important to remember is you are doing a soup course. Bowls can double as dishware for soup and salad to create a uniform look if you are giving your guests an option for this course.
Be sure to discuss the items you will need to take care of with your venue and caterer. Certain venues, or catering companies, may provide linens, cutlery, dishware, glassware, or even décor options. Any additional needed items will be much more affordable to rent, rather than to purchase. Once you have a list of what you will need to rent, contact Front Range Event Rental (or your local event rental company if you are not in northern Colorado) to start reserving these items. The rest is up to your style and food service choice! So have fun, and happy wedding planning!