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How to Coordinate your Wedding Table Settings and Linens. How to Plan your Wedding Linens. Wedding Table Settings. Wedding linens. How to Plan Wedding Linens. Wedding Linen Help. Wedding Rentals.Let’s talk about your Table Settings, Linens and Reception for a bit… Your ceremony will end, cocktail hour will begin and you’ll be announced in as Mr. and Mrs. to finally open that buffet line. Perhaps you’re trotting off to your spectacular Sweetheart Table and guests are skimming the Reception Seating Plan that you have diligently prepared. Everyone knows where they’re going… Is there enough room? Will they have everything they need when they get there? What does it look like? These are all questions we’re about to answer. We are going to plan and prepare for your table setting needs in 3 {not so simple} Steps…

Table Settings in 2 Steps

    1. Table Appearance {P21B}- What will tables look like and who is setting them
  1. Rental Distribution & Set Up- Organize your Worksheet & Linens
Each has an assignment and homework. I know what you’re thinking… this Project is a doozy… and it is! This is one of the Top 5 stressful areas of Wedding Day Set-up! Chairs, Tables & Linens Oh My! It is a big machine with a lot of parts that can go south really quick without careful pre-planning.


Step 1: Table Appearance

When chairs are finally placed at your tables, what will they look like? Will they be set with places and glasses or perhaps just flatware? How will your tables look and who will be dressing them? You’re going to need rentals!
How to plan your Wedding Table Settings, Linens and rentals

Here are items you might reserve:

Linens = 1 per table

Remember to include ALL surfaces and tables throughout your wedding! I highly recommend using linens that touch the ground on all sides for aesthetics. For the standard, 5′ round {60″ round} guest tables that seat 8-10 you’ll want 120″ Round Linens. Then will they also have an overlay or a table runner? Account for these extra pieces too. The overlays in the picture above are 72″ Squares on a 5′ round table.

Water glasses = 1 per person

If placed at a table. {If you’re using plastic cups refer to Project Block 9}

Flatware = Knives & Forks

What style of food are you serving? Do they need a spoon to eat it? You’ll want to over order your numbers. Guests will often drop a fork and come asking for another and your vendors will need to eat too! Please always plan enough plates and utensils for your vendors. I personally have been behind a barn, washing plates and forks in a hose so that the photographers could eat! {Fortunately, I always pack dish soap and now plastic forks in my auxiliary kits!}

Cake Forks!

Don’t forget these babies! Everyone does! You do not need one per guest. You can also use plastic forks here. Refer to Project Block 13 for more details!

Napkins = 1 per person plus 10-15 extra.

Boy are these often overlooked! Several weddings I have attended have completely forgotten napkins. Someone assumed the caterer was providing them and never confirmed. Once it was even BBQ!

Napkin Prep

If you’re ordering cloth napkins you’ll want to ask/know how they will arrive from the rental company. Often they come flat, wrapped in plastic. Rental companies do not automatically starch them into little, folded flowers for $0.50 each… you’ll have to do that yourself! So budget in some time on Friday to fold napkins! If you hire a REALLY awesome caterer, he/she might take on your napkin folding for you if you ask super nicely. Especially if he/she is already setting your tables for you!

Plates = 1 per person + 10 extra.

Same story as the Flatware… people will drop them, need a second and your vendors will need them too! Yes, even your bartender and the whole band! If you have a whole band coming you should also offer up a lot of complimentary drinks to all of them and a LOT of water! Always take care of your band! They are your whole party! {if you’re using a band}

Where will plates be?

On the tables or stacked at the buffet? Ask your caterer! Many brides have assumed that plates would be set at their tables and were disappointed to see the room look “unfinished” for pictures. All you need to do is ask and communicate where you want them.

Everything else

Your tables might have other things set on them prior to guests eating such as Favors {P5}, place cards {P10} Centerpieces {P22} and perhaps even menus, games and programs. These all have their own Project Blocks.

Step 2: Rental Orders

Decide on and reserve your rentals. Remember you can always reduce as you get closer, but YES reserve now! You’ll need to decide on colors, sizes and styles for linens and service ware. Have a conversation with your caterers about what they provide, set up and breakdown. Refer to Project Block 12 for questions to ask your Caterer. If you can have them order all of your rentals as a subcontractor from the rental company DO IT! No joke. The caterer best knows everything there is to know about food service and truly is your best resource for an inclusive system and efficiency here. They bring them, they clean them and take them back. Pay the extra fee! Trust me!

Post Image Credit(s) Alyssa Armstrong Photography ~ Ann Nunn Photography ~Green-Eyed Girl Event Team

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