Wedding Table Styling Guide: What You Need To Include

Mar 14, 2024 | Planning
Wedding Tablescape with blue table linen and peach florals Pin it

When it comes to designing the perfect tables for your wedding reception, there are lots of elements to consider. Obviously your wedding tables need to look gorgeous. You want to hear an audible gasp when your guests see your tables for the first time! But crucially, the tables also need to serve a practical purpose. The items on there need to be suitable for the food and drink that guests are about to enjoy. It's really important to marry style and substance when it comes to your wedding table settings.

Not sure where to start? Read our wedding table styling guide to guide you through the essential details...

Rustic Wedding Table With Blue and White Floral Plates Pin it
Le Vie Photography
Wedding Table Setting With Patterned Linen and Pops of Pink Pin it

What You Need On Your Wedding Tables

Firstly, you'll need to make sure your guests can eat and drink the delicious fare about to be presented to them. You'll want to consider the following:

Wedding table cutlery

You'll need appropriate cutlery for each course. Ask your caterers or wedding planner to double check if any dishes need specialist cutlery, and if so make sure it has been ordered. For example - soup spoons, steak knives or dessert forks.

Wedding table glassware

It's essential to provide appropriate glassware for each drink you're serving. If you'd like to serve multiple wines, or specific wines for each course, make sure you provide adequate glassware that suits each drink. If your catering team can't help with this, ask a wine specialist to advise you.

Wedding table crockery

This is an area that often gets missed - when you're looking at Instagram and Pinterest, remember that the tables have often been styled for a photoshoot, rather than a real dinner service. If you're serving individually plated food, rather than family style, don't forget that your plates won't be stacked on the table. If you'd like a plate to sit at each place setting for the aesthetic, then you can hire a charger plate, but make sure that the plates being used for food service will sit well on top of these. Otherwise, you will need to factor in staff removing these plates as the food is served.

Wedding Table With Blue Table Linen Pin it
David Abel

Wedding table stationery

Remember to include your table stationery when you're briefing your designer. You'll need the following:

  • Table names or numbers
  • Place name cards
  • Menu cards and wine list/cocktail list
  • Table plan or escort card display (What's the difference?)
Wedding Table Set Up With Floral Print Linen Pin it
WEP in Provence | Delphine Closse

Styling your wedding reception tables

Wedding table florals

The biggest consideration for your tables is often your flowers - and while it's easy to get carried away here, make sure you're leaving enough space on the tables for any sharing dishes, wine bottles, water and the actual place setting itself. Tables get full very quickly. And remember not to block anyone's view with super high displays!

If you're having round tables, a round arrangement in the centre will sit the best, and banquet tables naturally sit better with long meadow box style arrangement on top, or with bud vases in varying heights. Let your florist know what type of food you're serving as this will really help to ensure the tables feel comfortable and not cramped. And if the table styling is your number one priority, then serve individually plated food as it's much neater than serving family style.

Wedding favors

We've seen a real decline in wedding favors over the year, with lots of couples either forgoing them, or donating to charity instead. If you're keen to do favors, make sure they match the aesthetic of the rest of the table - and perhaps consider making them multipurpose. A named favor doubles up as a place card.

Wedding table candles

Before getting your heart set on particular look with candles, check what your venue permits. Some will request that all candles are in holders and use glass cylinders, some might even not allow real flames. Check the timings of your day and whether candles will be useful for ambience or whether ultimately they won't be seen as the dinner service will be in daylight. Again check with your florist as to what they think will work well with the floral elements. Candles can give a table a real lift - so this is possibly somewhere to inject colour.

Wedding table linen

This is an area where you can have real fun - particularly for 2024 weddings as patterned table linen is having a real moment. If your venue or tent is a real blank canvas, going for a bold colour or pattern will really help to bring the space to life. You can mix and match or coordinate with your napkins and it's an easy win for elevating your wedding tables. A lovely heavy tablecloth really does set the tone for a special meal.

Rustic Wedding Tables With Peach, Pale Pink and Gold Details Pin it
Thomas Audiffren
Wedding Table With Boxed Wedding Favours Pin it
2 Brides Photography

Top Tips For Styling Your Wedding Tables

Choose your overall vision

Whether this is a colour palette, a texture, a feeling you want to create, make sure each decision you make relating to tableware comes back to this. For more inspiration check out all of the beautiful real weddings here on Wedding Sparrow, or have a look at our Wedding Reception Pinterest board. Have fun with it! This is one of the best parts of planning your wedding, and an incredible part of the day too.

Set priorities

If your budget doesn't allow upgrades on every item of tableware, upgrade the linen and glassware. These are the items that will make the biggest difference to the tables.

Ensure communication between suppliers

If you have a wedding planner or coordinator, it should be a given that they are communicating with your chosen catering team and florist about how the tables will look and feel, but also about how this will impact food service. If you don't have a planner then you'll need to have these conversations yourself and it's worth running through the menu and tableware a few times to ensure nothing has been missed. You want to avoid anyone turning up on the day and being shocked by how little / how much room there is on the table. Good vibes within your wedding supplier team are essential. Equally, you don't want guests attempting to eat soup with a fork.

Use the Wedding Sparrow Vendor Guide

Remember you can find incredible tableware rental companies in the Wedding Sparrow vendor guide, who will be able to help you to create the wedding tables of your dreams.

Wedding Table With Rattan Place Mat Pin it
Lindsey Boice Photography


Submit a comment
* Required fields