When considering the style for your wedding, the tablescape is often the first place to start. Choosing your table centres, whether it be a beautiful floral arrangement in a signature colour or that perfectly toned candle carrying over to the place settings, glassware and napery to perfectly marry your look together. There really are no rules when it comes to building your table look. Natural textures, organic weaves and bold metals can all be used. The important part is to ensure your table look is softened with floral and napery, as often it can feel too stiff or cold if these elements are not thought out.
Tables & Chairs…Take the Floor
The layout or floorplan of your tables is an important element to consider. Weddings have changed so much over the past 10 years, and we often hear married couples gesture that weddings are so different now to when they were hitched in the early 2000s.
The traditional round tables have been transformed into elongated lengths, with guests seated on rectangle tables across from each other. This creates a warmer family feel dining experience compared to formal round tables. From a styling perspective, long tables create more space to build your table centre look. It takes away the need for every table to be matchy-matchy, and allows a flow with your floral and decor. Styling long tables can also work out to be more cost effective, as you do not need to have a floral arrangement or cluster per table, but can spread them down the lengths to fill the room. Often when styling long tables, we don’t have a set plan, but instead place elements where they best fit on the day. With some areas being heavier and others more sparse. Despite its popularity, many couples still prefer to choose round tables. This is often influenced by guest preferences of seating and couples wanting to ensure that everyone will be happy with who they are sitting with. Another consideration is the flow of the room, with long tables often creating long corridors for guests to walk down to access other guests, the bathroom, dancefloor or the bar.
Is The “Head Table” Still A Thing?
In addition to table shape, the head table placement is another consideration to throw in the mix. Traditionally, the couple would sit with their wedding party on a head table, sometimes even on a raised stage overlooking their guests. With the move away from traditional styled weddings, many couples now choose to sit in the centre of the room amongst their guests. Bridesmaids and groomsmen are now often seated with their partner and some couples even choose to have their parents and siblings seated on this centre table. Couples embrace this option because they prefer to not be on show all evening, and also would like to be more accessible to their guests throughout the reception. Styling is also easier with this option, as you are not needing to dress the entire front of the table. I always suggest to my clients that we do something of note in their table centre, whether it be fuller floral, denser candlelight or a hanging piece above them.
Colour (and Texture) Me Happy
In terms of styling, we like to play with colour in a tasteful way. Couples will often bring to our initial styling meeting some inspirational photos of looks they love. We pick a colour palette to work with and then build the look from there. It is important to note that just because you pick a key colour, it doesn’t mean that you have to stick to exactly that colour. For example, a client may show us a terracotta they are loving, and so we build their colour palette using; beige, nude, blush, latte, coral and toffee. This gives you room to move in your styling and enables you to introduce this colour way throughout the elements. For this particular colour palette as an example, we may use: quick sand and toffee roses, blush phalaenopsis, terracotta vases, white clay candlesticks with latte candles, baked clay napkins, rose gold cutlery, an organic textured plate and cream menus with a coral font.
It’s All About the Small Things
Consistency is essential in pulling off a look that inspires, gives direction and makes sense. Something as simple as a tablecloth or seating can really change the whole room. These are large items, and if they are the right or wrong colour or style for your chosen look they can make or break the vision. Bringing in a chair that not only works with your colour palette, but also the style and feel of your wedding can be the finishing touch your look needs. Consider that these chairs for example will be filling your room, times the number of guests you are having, this can really make an impact. Tablecloths are also similar, in that they really fill the entire table. From a stylists perspective it isn’t the best when you have spent all of this time curating a beautiful table look, you arrive at the venue to style, and the white poly tablecloths from the venue are all set with iron lines on show. Having a hired natural weave tablecloth in your colour palette creates an impact and marries together all of the elements.
Less Is Still More
We are so excited to see what 2021 will bring for the wedding and events world. I think that we will see a few of 2020’s trends carry over into 2021. We have seen a real shift with people turning their noses up at non recyclables and single use items. Styling has turned away from the glossy and opulent and more towards the organic, textural and raw elements. Wedding styling tends to follow the interior design trends, which is strongly influenced by clothing and fashion. Cooler colour palettes are beginning to emerge, with sage and soft blue hues trending. We have been working on a few mood boards with sage and soft green colour blocking lately, and we are absolutely loving it.
A Final Thought
Following this current health crisis (he who shall not be named) and the reduction in imports along with people wanting to support local, I believe we will see a stronger focus on locally sourced materials. As a hire company we will be looking inward and sourcing our new ranges locally as much as possible. We are so excited to see what local artisans and creatives will be developing over this period and will certainly be sourcing their products. Handmade will replace mass produced and with this we will see more unique tablescapes coming to life. Imagine clustered miss shaped clay vases all in the same material and colour, filled with locally grown floral and hand dipped candle light. The options are endless and we are so excited to create these looks for our new couples.
About The Small Things Co: Paula is the part owner and creative director at The Small Things Co, a Melbourne based decor hire and styling company. Paula is a passionate creative who has flourished in the wedding space, creating unique styles for her clients along with her team for the past four years. The Small Things Co prides itself on sourcing unique and hard to find products to make available in their hire range for couples to style their events. Paula shared some of her passion with us at Polka Dot Bride about creating the perfect tablescape for you and your guests to enjoy.