Setting a table for your wedding reception isn't quite the same as throwing down a knife and fork for a Wednesday night dinner.
There are multiple sets of cutlery, menus to place and centrepieces to position. Plus, how you set your table is often a major player in nailing your wedding's theme. It also happens to be one of the things that couples can spend the longest time deliberating over. There are questions about colours and flower heights, tablecloth fabrics and flatware. Do you want to go with a tried-and-true setting or should you opt for a left-of-field tablescape (yes, that's the fancy name for your setting) that's unique to your own style? Just like other elements of a wedding, certain table settings go in and out of fashion and new trends pop up all the time. If you're anything like us, your mood boards and scrapbooks are probably already brimming with tablescape inspiration, but just in case you need some more, we've picked out eight of our favourite upcoming trends. These styles are guaranteed to pop up at some of the weddings you hit this year and, who knows, one might even find its way into your own reception!
1. Bold florals
Go big, go bright, go bold: that’s what this trend is all about. The name of the game is eye-catching colour with striking floral patterns. There’s nothing understated or subtle about this style, but that doesn’t make it garish or gaudy. Rather, it's cheery, bright and fresh. Focus on one or two different elements – linen, crockery, centrepieces – and make those the standout accents. We love the idea of making a statement with a boldly printed tablecloth. If you’re the crafty kind, you might even want to have a crack at making your own by stamping block stencils onto plain or textured fabric. Too much? Take it down a notch with floral crockery and napkins. You can put all your attention on your centrepieces too, using patterned vases or pots and incredible bunches of mismatched blooms in every colour of the rainbow.
2. Cool succulents
These beauties will still be going strong in 2016. Putting succulents on your table is a cool, contemporary spin on all-green flora and can make an already pretty setting even prettier. There is a wheelbarrow-load of different shades, sizes and shapes of succulents, so it's pretty easy to find one or several that fit with your Pinterest board vision. Long communal tables look beautiful with petite potted succulents scattered (read: painstakingly positioned) down the centre. For smaller or round tables, pop a larger pot that has been planted with a cluster of different plants in the middle. Succulents look great no matter what kind of pot or planter you put them in, whether it’s a rough wooden box for a rustic ‘do, glass terraniums for a modern twist or simple silver buckets you picked up from the two-dollar store.
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There's more to it than flower arrangements and centrepieces.
3. Hanging baskets
Okay, so this trend may not sit exactly on your table, but since it's still a part of your overall tablescape it deserves a spot in this round-up. The suspended floral installation isn’t exactly a newcomer to the world of reception styling, but hanging baskets brimming with florals is a fresh twist we love. By keeping a bulk of your styling above eye level, you’ll free up space on your table and that means more room for bread baskets or sharing platters! A minimally dressed table will give your guests the chance to their neighbours without having to crane their necks to see over high or bulky centrepieces. The size of your tables will influence how many baskets work best (keep in mind this trend is more suited to longer rectangular tables), as well as the fit-out and capacity of your venue. Also keep in mind that hanging baskets can be more expensive than their table-sitting counterparts, and too many can edge into OTT territory.
4. Whites and creams
A clean, fresh colour palette is one of our favourite things and it doesn’t get much cleaner or fresher than all-white or almost all-white. Let's set the scene: beautiful, freshly pressed white tablecloths, laden with bone-coloured crockery, heavy silver cutlery and simple glassware. Finish with bunches of pure white blooms – roses, hydrangea, baby’s breath, peonies – or candles. It’s a classic, elegant setting that will look just as good in 20 years as it does now. But if all white is too bright for you, incorporate warmer tones, like eggshell, blush or ivory. Remember, the green stems and leaves of any flowers you use will add a hit of colour too.
5. Properly set
To set each place at the table with a full suite of forks, knives, spoons, plates and glasses is the epitome of fancy-pants dining. It’s also incredibly elegant and guaranteed to make your guests feel a little bit posh. Unsurprisingly, this style of setting is best suited to a more formal sit-down celebration. The courses you’re serving will dictate just how many pieces of cutlery you’ll need for each place (it could be upwards of 10!) so take this into consideration when you’re doing your table layout - you don’t want your guests to be too cramped and bumping elbows. A formally set place will also influence your centrepieces, because more cutlery equals less space for candles, flowers and vases. For a Downton Abbey vibe, opt for tall candlesticks and bouquets of tightly bunched flowers.
6. Natural elements
Forget man-made fabrics and decorations, you only have to tap into Mother Nature to nail this trend. Natural elements like wood, stone, marble and even corks can be used to suit any style of wedding, whether it's a rustic event in a barn, an edgy celebration in an industrial warehouse or a classic 'do at a vineyard. Timber for a rustic theme is a natural choice that makes everyone happy and is also pretty easy to do. Think timber rounds doubling as placemats, wooden planter boxes as centrepieces and wood benches without a tablecloth. Cuts of stone or rock can be made into table numbers or edgy name cards. You can also find stone tableware, like plates and bowls. A touch of marble will instantly up the elegant feels of a table, but you don't need to fork out on a marble slab to achieve it. Instead, think marble-printed table cloths or napkins.
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Think broccoli and berries.
7. Potted centrepieces
Easy to transport? Check. Can double as wedding favours? Got it covered. Bang on trend? Absolutely. Meet the potted or planter centrepiece. One of the best perks about this trend is its versatility: you can plant your flowers in just about anything - spray-painted tins or cans, washed glass bottles, mason jars, terracotta pots - and don't have to worry about affecting the overall look. You could even do a mismatched line-up and still pull off this trend. This style is also DIY-friendly, especially if you have a green thumb and are prepared to be swamped with compliments once your guests hear you knocked the tablescapes together yourself. For a uniform look, keep to one style of pot in a single colour. For something more relaxed, we love a jumble of pot heights in the same colour (just like the image above). You could easily do this trend with one kind of flower, but don't be afraid to mix things up and use blooms with different sized petals, different textures or even succulents.
8. Woodland feels
Dark, intimate and moody: that's the atmosphere a woodland-inspiration tablescape will create. This trend has been on the up for a while and has seen rich colours - deep purple, oxblood, forest greens - pop up in table settings everywhere. It's also seen the introduction of moss. Trust us on this one, moss makes a downright beautiful table runner or centrepiece. It's quirky, adds colour without using too many flowers and instantly creates a whimsical, enchanted-forest atmosphere. It works particularly well with al fresco and evening receptions, especially when combined with the glow of fairy lights, rustic wooden tables, heavy glassware and gold cutlery. It also looks gorgeous contrasted with crisp white tablecloths and delicate crockery.
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