How many times have you seen a stunning tablescape or place setting on Pinterest and thought ‘OOOOOOHHHH I’d love to have that at my wedding day’ and then had a total confidence crisis and decided that there’s no way you could recreate it in real life? I’m guessing more than once. We’ve all been there.
There is this crazy idea that the weddings we see on Pinterest aren’t real. Well most of them are! We feature beautiful weddings every single day on RMW and more often than not they are styled by the couple (with a little help from some fabulous wedding suppliers). THOSE are the ones we see repinned the most – not the styled shoots. You can TOTALLY do it, just read these top tips from Love Lust List stylists Duchess and Butler and you’ll be well on your way to a beautiful wedding…
1. When it comes to tableware, what does the venue provide already? And does it work for you? i.e. Many venues have table cloths but they aren’t floor length. We always advise to go for floor length cloths as exposed table legs detract from the pretty table top details and floral arrangements. Or alternatively, if it suits your venue and your style then opt for exposed tables.
2. Consider how you can work with the room’s decor so that everything compliments well. Ideally, create a mock up in the space that the dinner will take place with all of the elements you are considering. Then you can what works well together and what, ahem, doesn’t…
3. Research as many existing images from the venue as you can – what did you like about the images you saw? Look at the chairs, tablecloths, did they have low arrangements or high? Remember high ceilings merit oversized arrangements.
4. If you can, get all the samples (including linens) to a meeting with a florist and catering company so that you can play around with place settings and really craft your look. Having the florist attend is really useful as it gives them an idea of the palette and what physical items you are having at the table.
5. Consider lighting and try to re-create a mock-up using the same lighting that you will have on your wedding day i.e. 4pm dinner reception in the summer will be bright and full of natural daylight but in the winter, will feel different. Blush and pale tones don’t always come across in more dimly lit reception spaces so you may have to introduce stronger colours or more metallics for reflection for instance.
6. Think outside the box when it comes to items on the tables. Piles of books, bird cages filled with blooms, glass cloches and we’ve even seen salt and pepper served in scallop shells – which looked GORGEOUS.
7. When working on a budget, spend on the items that will create most impact when you first walk into the room – a nice chair, a charger plate, a coloured glass. Using the caterers or venues glassware but introducing a coloured goblet is a great way to create impact without spending too much if budgets are tight, you could also consider upgrading to a different coloured tablecloth.
8. If you want to embrace a subtle hint of colour think about introducing a colour through a napkin and have a play around with how it will be positioned.
9. Some rules of thumb to apply, items look best grouped in odd numbers – so threes or fives, and try to position things so the largest/tallest item is in the middle, with a gradual decline as you move away from the centre.
10. Ask for help – once you’ve planned and mocked up your place setting and tablescapes, make sure you have enough pairs of hands on the day to actually set it all up. And we won’t judge you if you get your ruler out, in fact we’d actively encourage it for creating a striking look. Even if you’re going for a relaxed, rustic vibe, making sure things are placed evenly apart will take your styling to the next level.
A big thanks to Maria-Antonia from Duchess and Butler for helping us put this post together. You can visit the Duchess and Butler showroom to see their gorgeous tableware in the flesh and play around with place settings. Or if you’d like some more inspiration, do visit their gallery on the website.