Table Design

If you want your wedding to have a unique look, consider creating your own tablescape with the tablecloth at the center of your design.


First choose a theme – romantic, modern, nature-inspired, nautical, etc. Be sure you know what your dishes will look like when you start this process. Will they have chargers? What color? What do the glassware and silverware look like? You will need to know this to have a cohesive look.

Consider your chairs. Will you be using the chairs provided, renting chair covers, or renting all new chairs? This decision may limit your table design choices, which isn’t a bad thing. You’ll spend a few less sleepless nights narrowing down your choices.

Next choose your color palette, which should be easy if the attire has been chosen for your wedding party.

Start with fabric from your local craft shop that you can use as tablecloths. Be sure you have the correct measurements. If you're handy with a sewing machine, this should be a simple DIY project.  If not, visit a local rental company to browse their offerings.  All of your tables can be outfitted with the same tablecloth or they can vary – maybe a different pattern in the same color on every table, or the same pattern in alternating colors.

Once you have the main tablecloth in place, you can choose to let it stand alone or layer other fabrics on top. You can place secondary fabric underneath just the centerpiece to draw the eye, lay a shorter piece on the diagonal to create interest, or you can set a lace overlay for texture.

Ask your reception hall or rental company to provide coordinating napkins. Decide how they will be laid out – maybe in napkin rings or maybe folded only once and draped across the plate top to bottom. If you don't like what they have you can always bring in your own.

Compliment your look with flowers. If your tablecloth is simple, opt for simple flowers for a clean look or balance it with a mixed bouquet. Be sure to choose appropriate sized vases. Square vases or colored vases often go well with modern looks. Tall, ornate vases will compliment a more traditional tablecloth. You can use an assortment for a more casual look. The next most popular centerpiece choice is probably candles but use whatever strikes you.

Be sure to wrap your wedding favors in the theme of your tablescape if you are putting them at the place settings. If you have place cards or menus, you’ll want the holders and the paper, font and colors to coordinate with the look you’ve created too.

There are countless ways to create a unique centerpiece, but the foundation of a unique table setting will make your reception stand out even more.

All of the swatch images above are courtesy of joann.com. Image just above courtesy of naplesillustrated.com from HGTV's Monica Pedersen's Book Make It Beautiful.

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