Tablescape Planning 101

Want to create warm, inviting wedding reception tables? Today, Eastern Floral‘s very own Molly Tiesma talks about what it takes to craft a table scene that’s a veritable feast for the eyes.

Aside from budget, what are some of the most important considerations when it comes to designing a wedding tablescape?

I would consider the number of people seated around the table, and where you’d like your focal point to be. A lot of people opt for a king’s table, which allows the bridal party to be seated all around a long table. Sometimes leaving a window “focal point” at the center for the bride and groom is a great way to intentionally create a space for a broadening of the tablescape. Maybe a large floral piece, a gathering of candles or plants, or perhaps a hanging piece could add some dimension and variety to your table.

Emily Capisciolto Photography

Walk us through the different centerpiece shapes.

An oblong centerpiece could gracefully accent the center of a long table, while a more gathered design could accent a round table. Don’t be afraid to be creative as well! Centerpieces can be a combination of items and even vary from table to table. Play with heights with some lower centerpieces mixed with tall centerpieces, or have a mix of candles on one table and a lush floral arrangement or runner on the others. Sky’s the limit!

Hannah Zeigler Photography

Are there specific flowers or greens that are better for reception tables?

If you’re using loose garlands and florals to accent your table, make sure they’re hearty flowers that aren’t too wide for the table. You want to be mindful of the width of your centerpiece so it doesn’t get in the way of the place settings. We here at Eastern Floral can absolutely guide you on the best designs for differently-sized tables.

Tana Helene Photography

How do floral designers create the concept for a particular centerpiece/tablescape?

Typically, I like to take elements from the couple’s overall style and the venue itself to inform my centerpieces; an industrial venue can be celebrated with subtle metallic accents, like copper or bronze and geometric shapes, while a ballroom lends itself well to crystal and mercury glass. Usually, I’ll use the textures from the bouquets to inspire the foliages and florals used in the centerpieces. If the bouquet is bohemian, I’ll use lush, draping foliages and textural blooms in a natural style, perhaps even introducing potted plants and vines. A clean, modern bouquet would inspire the same kind of clean lines and shapes, sticking to a simpler palette and more cohesive, structural floral choices.

Can bridal bouquets be repurposed on tables? 

Absolutely! We include vases for all our bouquets, so they can be repurposed wherever you like!

Tana Helene Photography

Do you have a favorite tablescape design you’ve done that you’d like to share? 

We had an amazing wedding last year in South Haven. The bride had collected various bottles and candlesticks and runners, and we created fun, simple centerpieces. The whole reception took place under a tent on a bluff, overlooking lake Michigan. The simple yet elegant centerpieces accentuated the created space perfectly. It was so fun to see all the fun items she had collected!

Mae Stier Photography

What are some new, fun ways to decorate tables that you’ve done or seen recently?

Don’t be afraid of unique materials and designs! This is a great opportunity to include some personality, so go for it! For example,  at one wedding I saw recently, the couple were both runners, so each table number was a bib from a race they did together. Such a fun way to tell your love story throughout the night. Feel free to tell us  your story, and we can help you discover the best way to accentuate and celebrate it!


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