Your wedding table is probably the first thing that comes to mind when you start thinking about what your wedding will actually look like. It's when your guests really get to be up close and personal (and sometimes even interactive) with your chosen design.
But, in our experience, we've seen couples tie themselves into knots trying to figure it out, get a little bit overwhelmed overthinking it or, worse, not thinking enough about it.
Planning your wedding tables falls into two different categories - design and logistics. Let's kick off with the latter.
What do you actually need on the table?
The answer to this will differ according to what style of dining you're going for.
If you're having a plated meal across a number of courses, the formal option is likely where you're headed. For more relaxed, perhaps family-style sharing platters or a buffet you might have something closer to the informal diagram.
It's really important not to underestimate how much room each guest will need at the table, so avoid packing people in at tables. If you're having a formal dinner for example, take the maximum number of people you could fit at each table and take away one - eg. a 5.5ft round table can seat between 9 and 11 people, so don't try to fit more than 10 if your dining is more formal.
Don't forget the extras
This is all, of course, what each individual needs at the table. But lots of couples forget to plan room for the shared items like salt and pepper, menus, table names/numbers, bottles of wine and water - and that's before you even get to the centrepieces!
If you're having sharing platters, you'll have less room to play with for centrepieces so be aware that you'll have to opt for something minimal with a big impact like some gorgeous, statement candles in between plates or a foliage runner that plates can be laid on.
A dynamic tablescape comes about with a number of factors:
Colour and texture - standard plain, white linens do not a great tablescape make. Add a colour or even a pattern to one or both tablecloths and napkins. Contrasting colours look beautiful, or even hues of one colour family. Layer different colours and textures together - such as an antique paper scroll place name on a clean, crisp napkin. Or a sprig of foliage against a gold charger plate.
Upgrades - if budget allows, you can add in design touches by upgrading your cutlery to something a little more special (maybe copper or gold) and ordering in charger plates that work for your overall design.
Rule of three - grouping your tabletop decor into three is just plain pleasing to the eye, it's science. Clusters of votive candles or individual vases on a table looks gorgeous and creates a dynamic look super easily.
Varying heights - similar to the rule of three, creating various heights with your decor and centrepieces goes a long way. Perhaps it's a row of flower arrangements on a long trestle at different heights, or tall taper candles standing out against a low foliage runner. Just make sure the heights aren't so high your guests can't see each other!
Don't be afraid to add a few miscellaneous items to the table by way of decor, if you have the space. Perhaps something that ties into the table's name, or that hints at your combined hobbies and who you are as a couple.
And speaking of personal, don't be afraid to get creative with your place names either - there are some fantastic and beautiful design options that mean your guests will be over the moon to take their little name token home with them as a keepsake of your day.
Find more table setting inspiration and image credits over on our Pinterest board!