Chances are you’re having a seated dinner for your wedding, and you’re scouring the web for tabletop inspiration in the form of detailed + thoughtful tablescapes. Never fear, mes amies- I’ve done that for you. Remember you’re dealing with an official fine china nut- the kinda girl who never even considered not having fine china in a mashup of several different patterns with cachepots and soup tureens to boot! I think I even own an épergne. Gold star for the girl who knows what that elusive but fabulous animal is.
Some rainy Saturday, you can likely be found giddily scanning teacup bar code after dessert plate bar code with abandon throughout your registry shops, theoretically snapping up all the Herend + Anna Weatherley you can find for your in-home tablescape fabulosity. Another weekend may find you perusing the warehouses of your local event rental companies- which likely leaves you a bit dismayed at the grim selection, especially in comparison to your registry experience. We can fix that, too!
Top tips for setting a stunning tablescape for your big day:
1. Study the images below:
. . . and of course turn to our lookbook for inspiration, and obvi stalk our Pinterest if you’re not already. Note how layered and nuanced the below place settings are, and how that makes them incredibly impactful. Ask yourself questions like- are we pouring 2 different wines? How about champagne? Do I like mismatched glassware? Do I want a layered plate look? Can I track down an amazing softly colored napkin or perhaps implement a pattern? What will my menu card look like and what will its placement be? I could go on + on- that’s why you need a “me“. (wink)
2. Narrow down what matters most.
If you’re not getting married near a major city with fine tabletop rentals, consider the option of box-to-ship. Several high-end rental companies will ship you “light” and non-fragile items like flatware . . . a great example of a game-changer tabletop addition that takes up the space of a shoebox shipping-wise.
3. Call in the big guns.
If you’re a tablescape aficionado, you’re going to have to call for reinforcements. White-with-gold-rim china just isn’t gonna cut it; don’t worry, I get it. Casa de Perrin, DC Rental, Snyder Rentals, Eventworks, and Small Masterpiece are just a few of our favorite creative partners across the country to tap for fine china collections, delicate crystal stemware, and fabby flatware.
4. Don’t be afraid to ask.
You may not be the only bride asking for custom whitewashed Marie Antoinette chairs. For example, if you’re having a 250 person seated dinner and you’re willing to commit a reasonable financial piece toward your dream rental item, ask a few different rental companies if they’ll invest on your behalf and still sub-rent to you at a fraction of the actual investment. You know what they say: if you don’t ask, the answer is always “no”.
If I could only pick one designer in my field who inspires, it would have to be David Stark. This tablescape he designed for his client blew me away with its charm + whimsy. Shot by Aaron Delesie, this wedding was featured in Martha Stewart Weddings.
The LH image speaks volumes in its simplicity: gold flatware on deep blue linens topped with crisp white china and a powder blue napkin- all surrounded by such quotidian items such as cabbage + radishes . . . perfection, thanks to Martha. Valentino nails it (natch) in the RH image with his gorgeous chinoiserie collection of Chinese porcelain, his monogrammed napkins, and his denim blue Battenberg lace overlays. Here is another one of his famous fêtes– le sigh. Peak of chic.
We had a ball with our bride Meg layering kiwi upholstery-weight linen with cork chargers, flaxen hemstitch napkins, horn handled flatware, linen-wrapped votives, and simple stemware. I used antique wood weights as table numbers for a touch of rustic flair. via A Bryan Photo
These two have been in my style files for a long time. The hint of blue on the left keeps the overall look crisp, and I love the flatware, the table numbers printed on the table, the dip-dyed votives, the heavy-lipped modern charger, and the simple rocks glass as water glass. (via Martha Stewart Weddings, shot by Petra Bindel) On the right is a snap from one of my favorite French weddings as featured in Veranda. The Ladurée goodies are spot on and add a hint of pistachio to an otherwise white-on-white scheme, and the chocolate velvet ribbon band + lamb’s ear elevate the already stunning Bernard Maisner calligraphy menu. Heart.
I love this image from Rylee Hitchner. The soft blue patterned charger and gold calligraphy menu card + place card complement the trailing blooms + golden roses perfectly.
The pink, gold, and gray table setting shot by José Villa is a total win for several different reasons, not the least of which is the beautiful charger (carried by several companies like Event Rentals Unlimited, if you want to track it down!) On the right is one of my favorite tone-on-tone snaps from Pretty Stuff, if only for the dotted swiss effect the linen gives the neutral tablescape.