Bespoke Tablecloths, Flowers and More – How to Dress a Top Table for a Wedding

Updated on: August 22 2013

Trying to decide how to dress a top table for a wedding can have many hotel owners quaking in their boots. While there’s slightly less pressure on the design of the guest tables at a reception, the top table is seen as the beautiful focal point that will continue to draw attention throughout the wedding breakfast. But dressing wedding tables doesn’t have to be scary.

It’s no surprise that there’s so much pressure to get its design just right. What this doesn’t mean, however, is that you should start to panic and throw together every element you see recommended in a magazine. Take a look at our suggestions below to see how you can dress a top table for a wedding using a bespoke tablecloth, flowers and more in an impactful yet minimal way.

Use bespoke tablecloths as the perfect blank canvas

While the bulk of attention paid to the top table is usually focused on things like flowers and centrepieces, the tablecloth is just as important. Offsetting other decorative elements and keeping the colour scheme consistent, an ill-fitting or incorrectly sized tablecloth or a series of tablecloths laid over one another won’t go unnoticed and has the potential to throw off the rest of the table setting.

Instead, consider a bespoke tablecloth. With such a diverse range of table sizes at hotel venues and a growing requirement for more specific colours, bespoke tablecloths are the ideal way to fit a top table with the perfect blank canvas.

Don’t scrimp on napkins either

Like it or not almost every element of a wedding attracts scrutinising eyes, even the napkins at a top table!

Another common afterthought, napkins actually hold the potential to enhance a top table setting and will attract just as much attention as other elements. Consider a contrasting or complimentary colour, a unique way to fold them, or even bespoke napkins in the same design and/or colour as the tablecloth. If all else fails, a luxurious white napkin goes with anything!

Decorate with flowers

Everyone knows that a wedding reception means flowers. They can be subtle or strong, be strung around the room or just reserved for the bride and her bridesmaids. They also look great when decorating a top table.

Top table flowers should be relatively understated. Smaller bunches of classic, elegant flowers that don’t obscure the view of guests or those seated at the top table are enough to give the space a beautiful impact without going too over the top and having the opposite effect. They don’t all have to be placed in vases either – jam jars, teacups and other quirky containers are becoming increasingly popular and lend top tables something special.

Also, if your clients want a little something different from the flowers, here are some unxpected wedding flower ideas that you can suggest to them.

Give careful consideration to centrepieces

It’s easy to get carried away with impressive, extravagant centrepieces that actually block the view of guests and the bridal party during the wedding reception. If you’ve found something tall that you really have to have, buy a second one and place them at both ends of the table.

Couples and hoteliers alike have begun to get really adventurous with centrepieces. From more bizarre ideas like fish bowls complete with goldfish to vintage-inspired bell jars containing something emblazoned with the couple’s names, work together with your couple to create something that’s really unique to them.

Include vases for the bouquets

One lovely way to help your couple save on costs is by including vases in your top table setting where the bride and bridesmaids can place their bouquets. As well as a way to prevent expensive flowers from getting trodden on or getting in the way, this technique also doubles up as a table decoration.

If you do decide to go down this route, just make sure that any accompanying top table flowers compliment the bridal bouquets.

Don’t over-clutter

There are so many different ideas for how to dress a top table for a wedding that it’d be very easy to mix, match and clash elements in a style that look more cluttered than captivating.

Many couples will have plenty of ideas flying around their heads about what to include on their top table, so don’t be afraid to step in and help guide their choices. After all, they’ll want their day to be as perfect as possible and will no doubt welcome input from someone objective.

If you can, try drawing up a simple plan of the top table to see how each chosen element will fit into the setting.

Ensure the top table doesn’t clash with guest tables

Impactful flourishes and bolder colour palettes do work well on top tables, so long as they complement how the guest tables are decorated. You want the top table to form a focal point, not an eyesore, so make sure the couple’s table theme, colour scheme and plan for the guest tables is clearly outlined before crafting their top table.

When it comes to dressing wedding tables, less is more when it comes to quantity. Instead, focus on the quality of the individual items you will be including and how you’ll incorporate them in an interesting yet unobtrusive way. Most of all, bear in mind the couple in question’s theme and chosen colour palette at all times. Consult with them regularly and in detail, and you won’t go far wrong.

If you’d like more information about how you can prepare not just top tables, but your entire hotel for wedding season, take a look at our earlier post for more tips and advice.

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Hilden Team
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Hilden Team

Hilden Team

Michelle Pegg is the Assurance and Compliance Manager at Hilden Linens.