If you’re heading for nuptials, you’ve surely seen some of the most beautiful tablescapes Pinterest has to offer in your search for great wedding ideas. Fortunately, it doesn’t take a high-priced designer to create the perfect table settings and centerpieces for your special day. In fact, as long as you make sure to include the necessary parts for a great setting, taking care of the wedding tablescape can even be D-I-Y! Check out these essential pieces for creating a beautiful table for your guests.

Get in Shape

Essentials Pieces for Stunning TablescapesPhoto credit: True Photography

Your first choice in creating the perfect table is shape. The most common choices for reception tables are round and rectangular, and it’s up to you to decide which shape is best for you and your selection of guests. Are you aiming for a more modern feel (rectangular), or is your wedding more traditional (round)? Many brides choose round tables for the sake of easier conversation, but others feel that the shorter width of rectangular tables makes being social a bit easier.

Essentials Pieces for Stunning TablescapesPhoto credit: Hayne Photographers

When considering table shape, size is also a factor. How many guests do you have? Rectangular tables typically seat more guests while taking up less room, but if you have fewer guests, round tables may be the way to go, especially since they’ll require fewer decorations as well.

Lay Down Linens…or Not

Essentials Pieces for Stunning TablescapesPhoto credit: Clayton Austin

Once you’ve decided on tables, linens are the next logical step. As wedding trends progress, the idea of excluding linens from the equation gets more and more popular. Some brides still choose to add tablecloths and sometimes runners as well, while other ladies opt for the less formal, easier to clean choice of not including linens at all.

Essentials Pieces for Stunning TablescapesPhoto credit: Rachel May Photography

Again, this is really up to you and the style of your wedding. For outdoor or rustic weddings featuring wooden tables, sometimes leaving out the linens adds even more charm to an already cozy occasion. If you’re at an indoor venue with long, rectangular folding tables, you may want to cover up the plastic table tops and metal legs. You can even choose to put down a runner but not a tablecloth, or vice versa, depending on the type of table you’re using.

Offer Direction

Essentials Pieces for Stunning TablescapesPhoto credit: Natalie Franke Photography

Now that your dining table is covered (or not) and ready to go, make sure it’s easy for each guest (and staff member) to find their table. Table numbers are the most common way to do this, though some brides to choose to distinguish tables in unique ways such as by color, by letter or any other number of creative options.


Essentials Pieces for Stunning TablescapesPhoto credit: Hyer Images

Whatever method you choose for determining which table is which, know that you have options galore. If you’re using numbers, there is an endless variety of ways to display them, from classic to unique and humorous. It’s your wedding; you choose!

Welcome Each Guest

Essentials Pieces for Stunning TablescapesPhoto credit: This Love of Yours Photography

Got your tables defined? Now think about what sort of setting you’d like to feature for each guest. Settings may be one of the most customizable aspects of a tablescape, in that you can go as simple or as intricate as your heart desires.

Essentials Pieces for Stunning TablescapesPhoto credit: Kristin Soileau Portraits

After all, this day IS all about your heart. If you’re hoping to draw attention away from the table and towards the dance floor or game center, you may want to keep the place setting simple and effective. Napkin, tableware and a place card.

Essentials Pieces for Stunning TablescapesPhoto credit: Jacque Lynn Photography

If dinner is the highlight of the reception, or if you’re very dedicated to a theme, opt for a more detailed setting featuring props or components that add to the feeling of your special day.

Let There Be Light

Essentials Pieces for Stunning TablescapesPhoto credit: Studio Impressions Photography

While chances are your venue will be lit well enough to eat, dance and so much more, there’s something about adding lighting to the table that just begs to be a part of each wedding reception. In many cases, candles make the best option, as they are easy, personal additions to tables that also lend an even more romantic atmosphere to an already loving event.

Essentials Pieces for Stunning TablescapesPhoto credit: Best Photography

If candles aren’t your thing, though, or you’re worried about setting a fire, try chandeliers, hanging lights or other secure lighting options to make your tablescape shine.

Frolic Among the Flowers

Essentials Pieces for Stunning TablescapesPhoto credit: Altmix Photography

While we’re on the topic of adding a little something to each table, don’t forget to include florals with each tablescape.

Essentials Pieces for Stunning TablescapesPhoto credit: Anita Martin Photography

Whether you decide to create a massive centerpiece featuring florals or just add a few of your favorite buds in a simple vase to each table, flowers are a big part of a wedding day, and they make a meal that much nicer. On your first anniversary, don’t you want your new beau to set the table with candles and flowers?

Pull It All Together

Essentials Pieces for Stunning TablescapesPhoto credit: Joielala

Finally, don’t forget to include a centerpiece on each table. Not only does a centerpiece bring the entire look together, it often gives guests an in to conversation, especially if they don’t all know each other. Let’s be clear though, having a centerpiece doesn’t necessarily mean making space for a giant flower arrangement on every table.

Essentials Pieces for Stunning TablescapesPhoto credit: Paula O’Hara Photography

If that’s your style, of course, go for it, but if you’d rather give your tables a more personal touch, or if you just want to keep the floral bill a little lower, feel free to add whatever makes you happy to the center of the table. Books, birdcages, wine bottles and photos of you and your love all make spectacular, creative additions to a beautiful tablescape.

Like everything at your wedding, this is a chance for you and your fiance to show your guests who you, as a couple, really are. Bring your man into these choices (if he’s willing) and aim to make your tablescape a creative reminder to all your guests of just why they love you and the union this day represents.