Although there are other significant elements (like furniture, stationery and drapes), I think of basic wedding design in three main areas: floral; lighting; and tablescapes.
If your wedding colors are not white or ivory, why settle for the standard white or ivory linens when you can really give your reception tables some pizazz? It doesn't have to cost a lot of money. Starting with the linen choices - your venue will likely provide the white or ivory but you can choose a different solid color linen (same general fabric) for about $15/table. You can spend $60 or more per table if you choose a beautiful damask, pintuck or satin, but if you're looking to keep things simple and inexpensive, this is an easy way to go.
Table runners are very popular right now. If you're crafty (or willing to try), I've seen some cute DIY ideas recently - these will give your table some contrast, sophistication and textural depth. Runners can be made from discount fabrics, wallpaper or whatever your imagination will allow. With fabric scissors, an iron and stitch witchery, you can make your tables pop. There are also some really cute runners for sale on Etsy.com if you're looking for someone else's handmade designs!
If you have the ability to do so, beautiful tablescapes can also include crystal (instead of glass), silver flatware (instead of stainless) and interesting china. Chargers are another beautiful addition to a tablescape that can add some whimsy, elegancy or color, depending on what look you are going for. I've even seen fun paper chargers/placemats (but I don't like to waste paper). All of these can be rented at Be Our Guest, my favorite local source for these rental items.
Add to all this stunningly cohesive and complementary place cards and menus and you will have a gorgeous tablescape!
So, what am I doing to create beautiful tablescapes for my own wedding? Well, our colors are navy, silver and white and our design aesthetic is contemporary (because the space is contemporary) with vintage throwback in the form of decor.
Start with the silver ballroom chairs, with white cushion. We'll have solid navy linens and silver runners. Add in the standard white china and glassware. Our napkins will be navy tied with a modern, crisp silver napkin ring placed vertically across the plate. Finally, we'll scatter a handful of crystals across the table for a little bit of opulence and shimmer. No place cards and no menu cards (because we're doing our part to plan a green wedding).
And in another entry I'll tell you what we're doing for lighting and flowers...
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