get the most bang for your wedding decor buck: tabletop design

Last week we talked about focusing your design dollars on where the pictures will be taken. Years down the road, you will look back on your friends and family that day with great memories and have the pictures to prove it.

Today, we are talking about the one thing that dominates any event room and where your guests will be gathered 90% of the time (and no, it’s not the bar). It is the tables. So tip number two for making your wedding design budget work for you is…

Create great tabletop design

eye catching and over 5' tall - these centerpieces matched the design and the space flowers by bent willow designs

eye catching and over 5′ tall – these centerpieces matched the design and the space flowers by bent willow designs

when you walk into any event, the tables dominate the space. Make them work for you. If you want a space that blows people away when they walk in the door, work your tabletops.

When designing any table, keep in mind the goal -which is to create a cohesive design that starts at the outside but ultimately drives your eye to the center(piece). Use charger plates, fun napkin folds and even pull in the chairs to create a cohesive tabletop design.  Usually this means not using the linen and centerpieces provided by the facility but do you really want the same tired centerpieces that have been used by every meeting, trade show and half the other brides that year? Here are a few tips:

Do:

    • Vary centerpieces.Use 3-4 different centerpieces with similar elements.
two of the three centerpieces we designed - both have feathers, red roses and black accents but are totally different

two of the three centerpieces T4D designed – both have feathers, red roses and black accents but are totally different

  • Upgrade your linen. Table 4 Decor offers over a hundred rental options for your Black Hills reception. Simply changing the tabletops to a colored linen or adding a textured runner will put your own stamp on an event and show your guests that you want this to be special for them too.
  • Invest in better chairs or chair covers. Granted not everyone’s budget allows for all these as options but chair covers are a very unifying design element.On the rare occasion a groom comes to a decorating consult and I ask them to look through our books and tell me what they like, 100% of the time the groom’s pick the events that have chair covers. And what they find most attractive about the pictures is that it looks “clean” or “complete”. I credit the chair covers.
  • Play with your napkin folds. If you have a 4 foot tall centerpiece, use a candle napkin fold that has some height. If you want a linear feeling, fold the napkin in thirds and lay it on the table.

Don’t:

  • Alternate napkins on every other place setting. If you have a varied color scheme, keep it table to table. Walking into a room with alternating napkins on each place setting is like looking at a room of polka dots and has an effect similar to watching Japanimation. There is a heckuva lot going on without much point.
  • Use exposed candles.
    brand new real wax LED candles for rent for your Black Hills wedding reception

    brand new real wax LED candles for rent for your Black Hills wedding reception

    All candles should be enclosed in containers. It is not only a safety issue, it can also save you money by not getting wax all over the tablecloths.  Or you can rent real wax LED candles (shameless plug for Table 4 Decor’s fantastic new very high quality LED wax candles)

  • Allow your guests to ‘pot luck’ your centerpieces/decor. Besides the fact that you are giving your guests a chore and creating a logistical nightmare for yourself, it also ends up looking like decorating vomit.
  • Underwhelm with centerpieces. The mason jar trend is a perfect example. All the cute close up pictures we see on the internet make them seem so perfect. And they can be – when used en masse. (check out more insider thoughts on mason jars here: blissfullyinspired.com)
    lovely but not statement making and shouldn't your wedding make a grand statement?

    lovely but not statement making. shouldn’t your wedding make a grand statement? photo by JennyMoloney.com

    But plunking down a wood cookie, a quart sized mason jar with wildflowers, maybe an old book and some pearls  in the center of a 6′ round table does not a grand statement make.  A 6′ round table leaves at least a 3′ circle in the center of the table unused. Now add a mason jar that is less than 6″ in diameter – not particularly impressive to the overall design unless photographed up close.

Join us next week when we talk about part 3 – why to rent instead of buy.

About designdakotastyle

ideas about event design and function from one little party design firm on the prairie... a glimpse into design with dakota style.
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One Response to get the most bang for your wedding decor buck: tabletop design

  1. Pingback: get the most bang for your wedding decor buck: part 3 | designdakotastyle

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