First, what is a place setting? It’s the table-top set of plates, cutlery, glasses, napkin, and more provided to a guest at a meal. Why are place settings important? For starters, they hint at what’s to come. A salad plate indicates that greens are imminent, and a champagne glass lets guests know complimentary bubbles are on the menu.
Place settings also make a table look lush and elegant, especially when crafted with thoughtful consideration. There are lots of layers that can go into a place setting. It might be bare bones with just the necessary plates, forks, and glassware. Or you might take it to an artful level by mixing in paper goods and three-dimensional flourishes. Here are some ways to approach place settings for your wedding.
Make the most of your basics. Your caterer will have an inherent need for certain types of plates, cutlery, and glassware. These may be provided by your venue or by the caterer themselves. Ask to see a sample of the plates and glasses in question. If you’re not loving the style, ask about alternatives. It’s possible you could upgrade. Bring this same critical eye to your table cloths, since choosing a patterned or textured cloth can make a big difference.
If you don’t have the budget to turn every guest’s place setting into a work of art, don’t hesitate to upgrade where it counts. Simplify your place settings for the majority of tables, but do your sweetheart table or king’s table up to the nines. After all, your table is the focus of not only your guests’ attention, but the vast majority of your photos. Don’t hesitate to go the extra mile for yourselves. After all the work you put into making this wedding a beautiful one, you deserve to dine at the table of your dreams.
Colored chargers are a great place to start. Chargers are larger plates not intended for food, rather the dinner plates sit on top of the chargers. Their main purpose is to add to the visual effect of the table. Two other easy ways to give your place setting a boost are napkins and glassware. Consider choosing a napkin color that reflects your wedding palette. Or, if you have the budget, swapping plain glasses for colorful vintage goblets is an easy way to bring some lovely life to your place settings.
Photo by amandaketterhagenphotography.com
Once you’ve curated all the basics of your place setting, it’s time to think about any extra-special touches. Things like sprigs of greenery, fresh blooms, or dried slices of citrus may not add anything functional to your place settings, but they add a dash of elegance and eye-catching beauty. You can also consider how your centerpieces mingle with your place settings, as floral arrangements, candles, and table numbers all add to the aesthetic of a table.
Photo by sharoncoker.com
First, consider the basics: plates, napkins, and cutlery. You can display these items the traditional way with the napkin, fork, and knife to the right of the dinner plate, or you can get creative with it. You might tie the napkin into a pleasing shape and place it on top of the plate. If you have seating cards, you might place these on the plates as well for added visual depth. If you’re sharing other paper goods with your guests, such as printed menus, consider the placement of these as well.
Photo by wildelegancewi.com
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