Top Tips for Wedding Tabletop Decor

If you’re in the middle of planning your wedding then you’ve probably found yourself pinning lots of beautiful and elegant tablescapes. But with so many styles and ideas to choose from, how do you build tabletop decor that’s perfect for your wedding style and theme? It all comes down to the details! While elements like napkins, glassware and menus may seem small, they all work together to create an experience for your guests. After all, they’ll be spending a lot of time at the table (if you have a sit-down reception). You’ll want to ensure that your tabletop décor is something they can enjoy.

To help you get started, I’m breaking down the key parts of creating a stunning tablescape and including some of my top tips for getting them right!

Place Settings

Depending on the level of formality you choose for your reception, you’ll need some essentials at each place setting. These include a service plate or charger, side plate for bread and butter, flatware and cutlery for each course, glassware (including water and wine glasses), and a napkin. Most venues will include these basics as part of their package, although you can choose your own to suit your wedding colors or theme. These details can really elevate your tabletop décor.

TOP TIP: To get the most impact on a budget, introduce an item that makes a big impact, such as colored glassware or a patterned plate.


Your table linens will mainly be tablecloths, table runners, and napkins. The linens provide the base of the rest of your tabletop décor and can be classic or bold and unique. The actual linens you use are up to you. For example, if you’re having a rustic farmhouse-style celebration you might choose to go with bare wood tables and runners instead of tablecloths. Your venue will usually have a standard option they provide, so it’s worth finding out what this is and building from there.

TOP TIP: While you can opt for classic white linens, this is a great opportunity to add texture. Think beyond the norm! For example, lace, velvet, or plaid. Or you could opt for a unique (or even a custom) pattern that will really set your tables apart.


The centerpieces are one of the biggest impact-makers on any wedding table, whether you choose fresh florals, dried florals, or greenery. There’s a huge variety that can be created by a talented florist that will really give your tables the wow-factor. Be sure to make whatever style you choose consistent with the style and formality of the rest of your décor.

TOP TIP: Always make sure that guests can see above or below the centerpiece. You want to encourage them to interact, not put up a wall between them! Varying heights across tables can also make for a wonderful visual display.


Custom stationery is one of the best ways to personalize your tabletop décor. It’s also an opportunity to create consistency between all your wedding elements, like a thread that runs from invitations to ceremony to reception. Table stationery options include menus, place cards, and table names or numbers.

TOP TIP: If you want to keep things simple, you can combine some of your tabletop stationery elements. For example, menus can be personalized with a guest’s name, doubling up as place cards. You could even choose to print the menu on your napkins!


Although your tabletop lighting won’t be the only lighting at your reception, it should work in combination with the rest. Whether you’re using crystal chandeliers, Edison bulbs, or twinkle lights, you’ll probably also want some form of candles on the tables. These can be tall pillar candles, taper candles in holders or formal candelabras, or low votive lights. Play around to see what works best.

TOP TIP: Try to recreate the lighting at your reception when you do the table mock-up so that you can see if additional lighting or different colors or reflective materials are needed.

Favors and Extras

Aside from all the practical elements, there’s always room for creativity when it comes to customizing your tabletop décor! Favors that are in line with your wedding colors or theme are always a great addition. But you could also add extra pieces, from natural, organic textures to glam ones like crystals and pearls. This is where looking at Pinterest and wedding blogs can really spark ideas.

TOP TIP: When arranging décor elements, think in threes. Odd-numbered clusters or arrangements are pleasing to the eye and create a sense of balance.

Be sure to check out my gallery for lots of tabletop décor ideas from my real weddings!


Image by Norman and Blake Photography