Whether you’re planning an intimate or micro wedding for a small number of guests, or whether you’re planning a large, lavish affair, wedding table styling is one of the easiest and best ways to weave in your personality and create a unique and memorable dining experience for your guests.
When it comes to wedding styling, the table is not only one of the places where your guests will spend the most time but where they’ll also be up close enough to appreciate all the details. This is why, when helping our couples styling their weddings, we always recommend this as a good area to splurge on the styling budget (versus some of the other details throughout the day which can more often be overlooked by your guests).
A restriction on guest numbers doesn’t mean holding back when it comes to styling – if anything, it’s the perfect excuse to go all-out on the little details to really wow your guests and create an unforgettable experience. So, here we wanted to share some of our favourite intimate wedding table styling inspiration for you.
Tables & Chairs
It’s easiest to start with the ‘big’ pieces – the tables and chairs – as these can often dictate many of the other table styling choices you then go on to make.
First up – tables. Do you want traditional round tables or long trestle tables? If the latter, do you want them rustic style for a more relaxed look, or with table cloths for something a little more refined and elegant?
When it comes to chairs, there are a whole spectrum of different styles available. Wooden cross-back chairs are always a great option and work well with most looks. However, for something more contemporary you could consider a white masters chair, an elegant cane back chair, or a stylish ghost chair. Or, for a more relaxed look, opt for wooden benches and pair with the rustic trestle tables for something a little more informal.
With such a wide range of tableware options available to choose from, there are an endless array of choices to create a look that really reflects you and your chosen style. Where possible, ask if you can visit the tableware hire company’s showroom, or ask if they’d do some virtual set-ups for you so you can see all of your chosen items together.
Your plate choice may vary slightly depending on the food you’re serving at your wedding; think about the dishes you’ve chosen for your wedding menu and what will work well with that in terms of both colours and styles.
When it comes to cutlery, aside from colour and style it’s also important to get the right feel, opting for something which feels high quality and has a good weight to it too.
Your glassware choices will also really dictate the look and feel of your table. You can opt for something quite classic and elegant, or can easily add a pop of colour in through coloured glassware – we love a smoky grey as a great way of adding interest whilst also tying in well to most colour palettes. Don’t forget about glasses for your drinks reception too – whether some fun cocktail glasses or a tower of champagne coupes, there are plenty of ways to create a really high-impact drinks display for your guests.
Whilst tablecloths are a great way of creating a really polished and elegant look, rustic tables with a textured linen runner are equally beautiful whilst creating a more relaxed feel. And when it comes to napkins, the material used and the type of fold will really set the tone.
For a more classic and elegant look, opt for a heavy weight linen to create a high-quality and luxurious feel. Outdoor weddings and destination weddings lend themselves really nicely to more natural fabrics, like chiffons, silks and natural hand-dyed linens, for a softer, more romantic look.
When it comes to folds, a more traditional fold will always give a timeless look, whilst a loosely tied knot is much more relaxed.
Choosing the right colour is key; go bold with coloured tablecloths for a more dramatic look, or opt for something more understated like a soft grey or off-white to let the flowers and tableware do the talking.
The stationery you choose is just as important when it comes to styling your wedding table – think about menus, place names, table numbers, table plans and personalised details.
Stationery is a great way to play around with different textures and materials – from luxurious handmade papers to contemporary acrylic or even natural materials such as shell or wood, there are so many beautiful options available to really create something pretty yet personal which can tie your look together.
Even with a smaller number of guests for an intimate wedding or micro wedding tables plans are if anything more important now than ever to help direct your guests straight to their table and avoid any bottlenecks. Table plans area great way to get creative and weave in your personality, like with this wine bottle themed table plan we created for a destination wedding in France.
Flowers are of course one of the most important parts of your table styling and one of the first things your guests will see when entering the room (anyone who knows us will also know we are an absolute sucker for flowers and can never get enough..!).
Foliage garlands or meadow-style arrangements work so well running along long trestle tables, whilst tall stands are a great way of adding visual impact and wow-factor. Work with your florist to really refine the colour palette and textures used, as these will impact a lot of the other choices you make when it comes to the colour and textures of the linens, candles, stationery and other details.
Whilst flowers are of course a great way to add colour and visual interest to your room, think about the scent too – scent is one of the most evocative senses and fresh florals and herbs are a great way to perfume the room and reach all of the senses to create something truly memorable for you and your guests.
The Finishing Touches
When it comes to intimate wedding table styling, no table would be complete without the little details and finishing touches. Candles are an easy way to add atmosphere to your day, especially over those autumn and winter months (although do check with your venue around any restrictions).
Whether you choose small tea lights for a subtle glow, clusters of pillar candles, or tapered candles with tall candlesticks for a more elegant look, there are a range of different styles to choose from and looks you can create. Our favourites are the Ester & Erik tapered candles – available in a range of colours they’re a great way of tying into your overall colour palette and creating a really soft and romantic look.
Photography Credits: Rebecca Goddard Photography