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Transform your tables with these linen ideas.
Photo by Jenna Greenawalt Photography
When designing your wedding reception, you’ll probably spend the most amount of time fine-tuning your tablescapes. Not only do your tables take up the most amount of space, but they’re also one spot your guests will spend a majority of the evening. From glassware to cutlery, there are countless items you need to consider when finalizing your display. One particular detail that can make or break your tables? Your wedding tablecloths. “Linens are the baseline for the room’s décor,” wedding planner Elana Walker says. “The linens will be seen the most and will set the tone for the design of the room and each tablescape.”
Of course, having your tables wrapped in white or beige linens is always a classic option. But, embracing something bold and unexpected is becoming more and more popular with couples. Whether it’s an eye-catching color, a playful pattern, or a fun texture, your wedding tablecloths will add depth, dimension, and visual appeal to your reception space. Throwing a glamorous party? Pull your event together with metallic linens. For modern couples, you can never go wrong with black. If you’re hosting a backyard summer bash, consider a checkered pattern.
Whether you choose something simple or striking, remember to balance your tablecloths with the rest of the decorative details. “For the tables you want to stand out, make sure the linen and the centerpiece don’t compete with each other,” Walker explains. “My rule of thumb is the fancier the linen, the more toned down the centerpiece and vice versa.”
Since your linens tie all of the other decorations together, choosing the right wedding tablecloths is crucial. Wendy Kay of Birds of a Feather Events suggests familiarizing yourself with the different kinds of fabrics before making any decisions. “You want something that is thick and not see-through,” she notes. “You also want it to be the correct size and drape nicely on the table.”
Instead of viewing your tablecloths as an after-thought, Kay also recommends allocating funds for them. “If you’re on a tighter budget, make the linens and chairs your priority when it comes to décor and go more simple on everything else,” she advises.
Another way to cut back on costs is renting your linens instead of buying them. “When purchasing from inexpensive sites, the linens can be of bad quality,” Walker shares. “Also, a lot of labor goes into buying linens. They need to be steamed before putting on the table and dry cleaned afterward to avoid molding from food and drinks being spilled on them.”
From colorful hues to show-stopping fabrics, here are 23 tablecloth ideas that will make your reception unforgettable.
Treat your wedding tablecloths like highlighters and use them to draw attention to the intriguing colors or design elements of your venue. That's exactly what this pair did for their nuptials at Palácio Marquês da Fronteira in Lisbon, Portugal. The powder blue linens emphasized the historic tile and sculpture around the property—as did the blue foxgloves in the grounded and tabletop floral arrangements.
The dynamic tablescapes at this Sicily wedding prove that cobalt can absolutely be a neutral. The vibrant blue wedding tablecloths complemented colorful dried centerpieces in shades of sea foam green, beige, rust, indigo, and hot pink—which means this hue can anchor just about any tabletop arrangement.
Photo by Studio This Is
Who says your wedding tablecloths have to be flat? At this rainbow-inspired wedding, the couple opted for a 3D tinsel overlay, which sparkled under the glow of multi-hued taper candles. You aren't limited to holographic iterations, though—a see-through lace or embroidered covering can take just about any linen to the next level.
Photo by Alicia King Photography
If you're planning on adding Dutch delft or chinoiserie elements to your big day—both are common motifs for those designing around blue-and-white color palettes—consider thematic table linens that reinforce them, like this pair did at their elegant nuptials in the Hudson Valley. We love how the centerpieces' vessels continue the pattern off the table and that the rest of the design was kept simple and structural to prevent the look from feeling too busy.
Photo by Franklyn K Photography
If you're getting married in a ballroom or ornate building (like a French chateau) consider a gilded wedding tablecloth. The table coverings at this opulent Paris wedding were more gold than blue and paired prettily with the matching chairs and the space's metallic millwork.
Photo by Studio This Is
If you’re looking to wow your guests, cover your tables in colorful linens, like this duo did at their outdoor wedding in Illinois. This velvet green tablecloth is perfect for warm-weather weddings or open-air nuptials. When paired with neutral accents, such as wooden chairs, white plates, and white napkins, this bright hue will really stand out. For a cohesive look, select floral arrangements that feature the same tone. “Allowing the colors of your wedding to be in your linens allows you the freedom to play up or down your centerpieces,” Walker notes.
Photo by Jenna Greenawalt Photography
For seaside ceremonies or lakeside celebrations, choose wedding tablecloths in blue hues to reflect your waterfront venue. This couple used linens in different shades of blue and various patterns to paint the picture of coastal Northern Michigan. They kept their tablescape design minimal, so their linens could be the primary focus. Other decorations, such as rope-hung chandeliers, also helped strengthen their theme.
Photo by Love Tribe Weddings
If you want your table elements to be the center of attention, a white tablecloth is your best bet. Instead of overpowering your décor, neutral linens provide a blank canvas for you to execute your vision. A simple tablecloth fares best with vivacious blooms, textured napkins, and metallic flatware.
It’s your big day, so why not play around with unique color combinations for your wedding tablecloths? With a light pink table covering, red goblets, blue napkins, tall floral arrangements, and fruit accents, the table setup at this Nashville event was bursting with color and depth. To balance everything out, stick with simple chairs.
Photo by Sanaz Riggio Photography
Looking to add a little glitz and glamour to your reception? Have your tables draped with sparkly wedding tablecloths. Gold-rimmed glassware and brass candle holders at each place setting will help bring out the metallic hue and give your evening a glittery feel. Pull your fairy-tale vision together with twinkle lights and chandeliers suspended overhead.
Photo by Sydney Noelle Photography
One trend that’s taking the wedding world by storm is incorporating multiple layers of linens into your tablescape. “The use of light and airy runners that flow to the ground on rectangular tablescapes adds an additional layer to the design of the table,” Walker says. A gauzy beige piece of fabric draped across a white tablecloth gives this reception more dimension and intrigue. We love how the knotted napkins, votives, and towering centerpieces all match the runner.
Why settle on just one color when you can use multiple hues? Embrace the colors of the rainbow and paint your tablescapes in various tones. This couple threw an ombré-themed wedding, so each of their reception tables was enveloped in a tablecloth that featured a different shade of white or blue. Coordinate your floral centerpieces with the linens for a consistent design.
Photo by PS Photography + Films
Keep guests on their toes with an unexpected linen choice. A dark purple tablecloth, like the ones seen at this hot pink-themed celebration, is a chic way to decorate a fall or winter wedding. Floating feather centerpieces in purple, pink, and orange tones will complement the tablecloth and make your design unforgettable. Illuminate the dark hue with a runner of candles scattered across a lucite layer.
Photo by David Bastianoni Studio
Let the natural beauty of your venue's surrounding landscape shine with white tablecloths. Whether you’re celebrating amid the rolling hills of Tuscany or on a tropical island, minimalist linens will let the scenic views serve as the main décor. Combined with white chairs, napkins, and chargers, you’ll create an understated backdrop that will let jaw-dropping florals also come to life—just like this pair did at their wedding on the Amalfi Coast.
Photo by Will Reid Photography
Without a doubt, flowers are one of the most important details of every outdoor wedding. From backyard bashes to garden-inspired parties, floral wedding tablecloths will help you accomplish your aesthetic. To really drive your theme home, have your table numbers adorned with a floral illustration, elevate your place settings with a sprig of fresh blooms, and select seasonal buds for your centerpieces.
Photo by Janelle Elise Photography
A colorful tablecloth isn’t the only way to elevate your reception. Textured linens will also upgrade your space. With its rich and luxurious appearance, velvet is one material that will give your tables a smooth finish. The thicker fabric is especially ideal for autumn or winter weddings. A fusion of dried and fresh flowers throughout your centerpieces and hanging installations will provide an additional element of texture.
There’s nothing more timeless than an all-white color palette. Instead of wanting a certain detail within your tablescape to stand out, go with a monochromatic look. White tablecloths, chairs, china, candles, and flowers created a chic setup for this rooftop wedding. A single-hue color scheme is extremely versatile and a viable option for any style or season.
Photo by Charla Storey Photography
If you’re looking to take your tablescapes up a notch, opt for satin or silk tablecloths. A step up from regular solids, this glossy linen is the preferred choice for formal weddings. These shiny tablecloths will give every event a polished look.
Photo by Kiyah C Photography
White wedding tablecloths don’t have to be boring. Depending on the decorations you use, simple linens will help bring your vision to life. Ghost chairs, gold-rimmed chargers, gold flatware, and light pink taper candles give this subdued tablecloth a modern feel.
Although bright colors are captivating, incorporating black details into your wedding design will give your gathering a sophisticated edge. If you aren’t keen on going all dark with your décor, balance out a black tablecloth with white flowers. Not only is a black-and-white aesthetic a classic option, but the contrast of colors will bring equilibrium to your reception. For modern or glamorous nuptials, select gold chairs.
Photo by A Bitter Orange Photography
With playful patterns, your tablecloths can represent unique facets of your personality and relationship. By dining on yellow checkered tablecloths, you’ll bring a laid-back air to your wedding and feel like you're picnicking in the park with all of your favorite people. Pink taper candles in yellow retro holders, single-stem flowers in bud vases, and citrus accents all complement this gingham pattern.
Photo by McKenzie Smith for Tanya Menoni
If you’re swapping vows in the summertime, light blue linens will make your warm-weather wedding feel light and airy. A soft color palette is ideal for backyard nuptials or secret garden weddings in your venue’s courtyard. Including the blue hue in your centerpieces and having your places set with blue and white china will maintain cohesion.
Photo by Kurt Boomer Photography
Although a neutral tablecloth gives you the autonomy to accentuate other features of your tablescape, it also sets the tone for a minimalist design. These linens in an oatmeal shade along with wooden chairs and black flatware prove that less really is more.
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