Wedding, soiree, gala, banquet, celebration, party, gathering, shower,
shin-dig, whatever you’re planning, I’ve got some tips to help you create a beautiful tablescape from top to bottom!
Step 1: Choose a Theme & Color Scheme
Define what type of look you want to create; for example, rustic, coastal, glamorous. Decide what colors you’d like to incorporate. Keep your theme and color scheme in mind as you follow all other steps.
In my example, I chose green, white, and metallics.
Step 2: Choose a Tablecloth
Keep in mind there are many other options besides traditional tablecloths. Ideas include fabric by the yard, linen sheets, and my favorite go-to…canvas drop cloths from a hardware store. Here I used a linen sheet and I chose not to iron or steam it because I like the texture that the wrinkles give. It also gives a more casual and comfortable look.
Step 3: Choose Dishes & Flatware
Start with a base layer such as a charger. You can also use a fabric square, placemat, lace doily, wood slice, or my favorite, a square sheet of scrapbook paper.
For your dish layer, china is a classic choice but you may also want to consider melamine and disposable options. They have come a long way in terms of design and color over the last few years. For your flatware, traditional flatware is great, but you might also consider plastic or wooden cutlery.
Glassware can carry out your theme. Do you want your glassware to be something elegant? Casual? Fine wine glasses? Mason jars? Use whatever fits the event best. Pictured here, I used gold plastic chargers, faux marble melamine plates, traditional polished gold flatware and delicate glassware.
Step 4: Choose Centerpieces
Start with your focal point, and there’s no end to the options! Use vases with real or faux florals, lanterns, bird cages, vessels with water and floating candles and/or fish, hang jewels or beads from branches or stems, plants under glass domes, candelabras, vintage glassware, and so forth. Now add a layer of lighting for ambience, such as candlesticks, tea lights, fairy lights, etc.
I definitely recommend battery powered candles over open flames. We used lit tea lights at my own wedding and a few table cloths actually caught fire!
Finally add a layer of confetti. This added touch could be jewels, seashells, leaves, stones, paper confetti, dried flowers, flower petals, etc.
In this example, I used an elegant vase with faux flowers, two contemporary candelabras, and organic baths salts for visual interest and fragrance.
Step 5: Choose a Parting Gift
I recommend incorporating your parting gift into your table setting, because it adds another layer to your tablescape. I also love to attach the name cards to the parting gift.
When choosing a gift, there are so many possibilities! Small jars of jam or honey, petite plants or saplings, fresh fruit, seashells, miniature pumpkins, small candles, herbal teas, are just a handful of ideas. Here I used potted succulents.
Step 6: Menu
Don’t forget all of the steps so far have been to create the background for the best part…the FOOD! Here, Chef Lucy of Homegrown Market created a salad of mixed greens with beets and grilled jicama. For the entree, she created a chicken thigh with basil couscous and a peach chutney.
Whether you’re planning a big event or a date night in, it’s always fun to curate a beautiful experience for you and your guests to enjoy. Cheers!