Wedding table decorations, from place cards to centrepieces, add colour and interest to your wedding breakfast celebrations. Find out how to style your tables, use complementary and accent colours, and be inspired by this beautiful variety of themes and colours.
Stylish wedding table decorations are the finishing touches to your wedding that leave a lasting impression on your guests. Purely practical or simply decorative, your table decor is there to add height, shape, colour, light, scent and interest to your guests’ dining experience.
Depending on your overall wedding theme or colour scheme, you’ll probably want to have the following on each table: an attractive centrepiece, table name or number sign and holder, place cards and holders, napkins and favours at each place setting.
Optional extras include table confetti, sparkling gems or pearls that can be scattered across the table linen to add a touch of sparkle, a splash of colour, or both. Gorgeous hanging paper lanterns above the table, for some themes, will complete the look.
Where the centrepiece is floral, you might choose to place small candles around it to add natural light to the table. If your centrepiece is a candelabra, you may wish to decorate the base with flowers. Whereas many table centrepieces include flowers or lighting or both, you could create a focal point with a decorative birdcage, vintage cake stand, glass vase or bowl filled with fresh fruit, or a metal sculpture or wood carving.
A low-level crystal bowl filled with water and floating candles makes an unsual and very beautiful centrepiece. You could add floral scented candles carved into delicate flower and leaf shapes. The height of your centrepiece needs to be just right as if it’s at the same level as your guests’ faces then they won’t be able to communicate across the table. Aim for centrepieces that are either higher or lower than guests’ faces when seated.
Wedding favours, also known as ‘bonbonierres’, are the customary way of thanking your guests for coming to your wedding. Traditionally, five sugared almonds were given to each guest, in a decoratve bag or box, to symbolise health, wealth, happiness, fertility and long life.
While many couples still choose to give the traditonal sugared almonds for good luck, many couples now choose more modern gifts, from chocolates to Lottery tickets to handmade cookies, cakes or jams. Keepsake favours that will last a lifetime as a reminder of the day are very popular, and charity donations will also help others.
Reception Table Chair Decor
If the chairs in your venue are not particularly attractive you could cover them, or even if they are, you may wish to enhance them for added colour and style. You could have your name printed onto signs put on the backs of your chairs, decorative monograms or simply ‘Mr and Mrs’ or ‘Wifey and Hubby’! Keep them to take home with you as a special keepsake of your big day.
How to Use Colour in Your Wedding Table Decorations
If you haven’t yet decided on a particular wedding theme or colour scheme, consider the colours you have chosen for your bridal gown, bridesmaid dresses and invitations, as these will generally form your colour scheme. If, for instance, your bridesmaids are in the same navy blue colour as your wedding invitations, a navy blue base colour for your tables will ensure everything looks co-ordinated.
Your caterers or venue are likely to have white or ivory table linens which are the perfect blank canvas for colourful table decor. Choose a complementary colour to go with the navy, a neutral ivory to match your bridal gown perhaps or a softening pale pink, and an accent colour such as gold or silver to add another dimension. The main colours can come from either your table linens, chosen centrepiece, or simply your flowers.
Personalised Wedding Table Decorations
You may wish to add a little personalisation to your reception tables with these lovely and quite understated paper napkins. They come in a wide range of colours and styles, with the option of adding a little message and your names and wedding date.
Satin ribbon in your chosen wedding colours with your names and wedding date on are the perfect finishing touches to your favour boxes. These ribbons are available in a wide array of colours and widths, in satin, with some colours also in organza chiffon. There are ribbons with messages, including Love is Sweet, From the Love Birds and From the Happy Couple, which are ideal for wrapping favours.
DIY Wedding Table Decorations
Making your own table decor is a very popular new trend, suprisingly simple and great fun. Follow our step-by-step tutorials to create your own with these decorative trims and add your own spin on the design with something meaningful to you.
Wedding Top Table
Traditionally the top table seats eight of the bridal party, usually in the following order: chief bridesmaid, groom’s father, bride’s mother, groom, bride, bride’s father, groom’s mother, best man. If parents have remarried then there are other ways of ordering the top table to ensure everyone is happy.
As the top table is generally the focal point of the wedding reception it is usually at the top end of the room, with all other tables in front, and the family usually being positioned nearest to the bride and groom. As the top table is often long, whereas the other reception tables may be round, it may require a different kind of decoration to go along the front of the table, rather than in the centre.
Wedding Gift, Guest Book and Cake Tables
Your wedding gift and cake tables are usually separate to the dining tables but still in view. Even if you don’t have a gift list your guests will still bring cards and want to show their best wishes in a guest book. You may choose to have a posting box or wedding wishing well for cards and well wishes and use this table for your guest book.
The cutting of the cake is always one of the highlights of the wedding reception and a photo opportunity so it’s a good idea to decorate the cake table for this reason. Sometimes just a decorative table linen in your main wedding colour is enough, though you may also want to add some floral decor or simple foliage for a finished look.
For more ideas on wedding table decorations please visit our Inspiration articles.