With all the details that come with planning a wedding, it is easy to overlook the place setting. But remember, this is where your guests will sit the longest and it will be repeated for every guest in the room. Done well, it can leave quite an impression!
We know that not all of us attended Charm School classes and know the inner workings of china and flatware placement. But, don’t fear! We are here to decode the proper way to set the table and have provided a list of the finer details to consider and select when designing your perfect tablescape!
Charger – Chargers add pizzazz to table settings before your meal is served. For chargers it is best to utilize the standard offering of the venue or catering company since they are quickly removed from the table once dinner service begins, and is never seen again.
Plates -Prior to making a decision on what plate to order, check in with your catering manager on what’s standard. A plate might be an expensive upgrade, but keep in mind the different shades of your plate color (i.e. white, ivory, black) and the shape (i.e. round, square, rectangular) can have an affect on the look of the table as a whole. Your plate is not typically pre-set, but will affect the look of the table once guests begin eating. If you are going for a vintage, rustic look to your wedding, renting mis matched china to use for dining is one of the best ways to give your table a little more wow factor.
Water -Ensure that every guest stays hydrated throughout the night by providing a water glass. Whether it’s a mason jar, tumbler, or a wine glass turned into a water glass, make sure sure you are providing some sort of vessel for guests to have throughout the night.
Wine -Typically when you look on a store shelf, you see glasses for red or white wine. At a wedding, it’s completely fine to offer one glass for both the red and the white to be served as your guest will be choosing from one or the other. If you are offering both colors of wine with different courses, you will need to provide 2 separate wine glasses at their place setting. We recommend matching, or at least ensuring the glasses are complimentary, as the water, wine and champagne glasses will all be next to each other at each place setting.
Appetizer -The smallest and farthest fork from the plate, you will need at least a fork for this course. Depending on what you are serving, an extra knife might be needed as well. Consult with your catering manager on what they recommend based on each course you are serving.
Salad -The 2nd fork in, this will be used for your salad course. We also recommend an extra knife for this course as some guests like to cut their salad while eating.
Entrée -You will use the largest fork for this course, along with a knife, and at times, a spoon. Based on your selection, you will either need a dinner knife or steak knife. Your catering manager should be able to guide you on the correct utensils for this course as well.
Dessert & Coffee -Your dessert and coffee utensils do not necessarily need to be pre-set. If you are doing tableside coffee service, the servers will bring out a mug, saucer and teaspoon at the appropriate time. For dessert, you should have an extra fork at the top of your place setting. Some venues will recommend bringing out a fork with the cake instead of pre-setting this utensil.
Table -Make a statement with your linen! If you are saving on florals, go bold with your linen. If you have an extravagant display of florals, keep it simple, but classic with a shantung or satin linen. You can make a huge statement with either a printed or textured linen. Don’t be afraid to mismatch and pick two to three different styles of linens, if you have a lot of tables to set!
Napkin -Ensure that your napkin is complimentary to your linen and flower selections. The napkin fold is an important aspect as well, so confirm the fold with your catering manager and/or planner. Whether it’s pocket fold to hold a menu, wrapped around the charger, or made in the shape of a bow, your napkin is one thing your guests will be seeing and touching throughout dinner so make sure it’s a nice texture and complimentary to your design!
While there are a number you can choose from, we always recommend upgrading to a formal chair in a material and color that best fits your design. This is an impactful spend as they are seen throughout the room and by every guest!
Table Number – Table numbers are a perfect way to continue your theme and color scheme in every little detail of your special day.
Escort Card – Mirrors, frames and other fun non-traditional escort cards are gaining more and more popularity. Don’t forget that even if you opt out of standard cards, guests still need a way for servers to know which meal they requested, if they chose ahead of time.
Menu – If guests are offered tableside selections or there is a buffet, it is common to have a menu card so guests are aware of options. Also, guests may have RSVP’d months before your event, making a menu card a good way to remind them what they will have for the evening’s meal.
Thank you – While it is customary to write personal thank you notes after your wedding, many couples choose to have thank you notes for guests at every setting. It doesn’t have to be long, but it is important to remember to thank those who came to celebrate your special day.
Party Favor – Many have mixed feelings about favors. Some feel as if the invitation alone is enough while others order ornate and custom items. Some may have candy or cigar bars and others may donate on behalf of guests to their favorite charity. From pashminas for chilly fall weddings to a couple’s favorite drink for friends to take home, your guests are sure to remember your beautiful day no matter the favor.
We hope we have helped to decode the details of a place setting and helped you determine your perfect look and feel! If you have any questions, we are only an email or comment away and ready to assist!
The Ladies of Intertwined Events
P: 949.748.8786 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
We are proud to announce that Intertwined has won “The Knot Best of Weddings” and Wedding Wire’s “Bride’s Choice Award” for 2011, 2012, 2013 & 2014!