Determining the colors or theme of your wedding can be one of the most enjoyable tasks in the long list of things that need to be done before the big day. These days, weddings can have simple centerpieces and minimal décor — or you can go over the top and be colorful and elaborate. Regardless of the size or complexity of your wedding decor, you will need tables and chairs, tablecloths, and perhaps even chair covers. But there are so many options to choose from — from linens, to patterns, to fabrics, and event tents! So to help alleviate some of the confusion, I’ve put together some decorating tips as well as useful information as you begin planning how your wedding will look and feel.
Selecting Colors & Patterns
Selecting colors and patterns requires careful thought. You don’t want to create a look that’s too busy. Table linens should allow the centerpieces and other décor elements to be the focus of attention and should not overpower them. The basic rule of thumb is to match bright, busy centerpieces and décor with simple linens, and to match simple, basic flowers with colored or patterned linens.
White or off-white linens are the most popular choices, and are often accessorized with an accenting table runner, overlay or sash. When ordering linens, don’t worry too much about the aspects of the room which you cannot change (carpets, window trimmings, wallpaper, wood). Once the space is filled with décor, including lighting, those “always there” aspects of the room will hardly be noticeable.
Reserve linens at least 6 to 10 weeks before the wedding. Order 10% to 20% more napkins than the guest count to have extras in case of mishaps. Invest in a hand-held steamer so that any wrinkles or folds can be steamed out prior to placement. Be sure to understand all of the rental company’s policies about when to pick up linens, how to care for them, and how and when to return them. Take extra time to read the damages/stains policies.
As your wedding planner, I have familiarized myself with many different fabrics and patterns, and have developed working relationships with local rental companies such as Unlimited Events, Prime Time Party Rental and A&S Party Rental. I am prepared to work closely with you to plan the look and feel of your wedding, and to accompany you to design planning meetings with these companies.
Wedding Décor: Buy or Rent?
The first question to ask yourself as you are planning your wedding decor is whether you want to buy or rent your wedding décor. Rental companies carry more than just tablecloths and chair covers — many also offer centerpieces, lighting, backdrops, and event tents.
The choice is yours! While purchasing items can sometimes be less costly, you then face the need to either store numerous items that you will never use again or sell them. And, if you have purchased tablecloths, napkins, overlays, runners, sashes, or chair covers — you also face the daunting task of washing, ironing and folding everything before placing in storage or selling. For many couples who are planning their wedding, it is much more desirable to rent the items and not have to worry about transporting them or dealing with all the work after the wedding is over.
Wedding Decor: Popular Fabrics
Let’s take a look at the numerous types of fabrics that are available.
- Artistic Braided Silk – a soft, lustrous cloth woven with intricate decorative patterns.
- Braided Taffeta – a thin, glossy material (usually silk) embellished with a geometric, square pattern of braided ribbon.
- Brocade – the patterns on this rich silk fabric are raised for added texture and dimension.
- Burlap – a coarse, plain-woven fabric pattern often made from jute or hemp.
- Crinkle Taffeta – a thin, glossy material that includes pleats, giving it a crinkled appearance.
- Crushed Shimmer – metallic threads are sewn into this fabric, making it shine and shimmer under light.
- Cutwork – patterns are literally cut out of this fabric, creating an effect that resembles a stencil.
- Damask – unlike brocade, a damask pattern lies flat on a fine lustrous fabric, often with a satin weave.
- Elastic Taffeta – also known as pinwheel taffeta, this glossy fabric is pinched to create a series of gathers or rosette patterns.
- English Beaded Lace – intricate floral patterns are sewn over delicate lace; they are often further embellished with beads or sequins.
- Flocked Taffeta – a glossy fabric with velvet-like embellishments, often in a damask pattern.
- Floral Bouquet – often cotton, this fabric is printed with patterns of flowers and floral bouquets.
- Floral Tinsel – a solid colored, shiny background is decorated with embroidered floral swirls and details.
- Floret Rope Taffeta – a glossy taffeta fabric embellished with rope ribbon in looping swirl patterns.
- Hemstitch – often in cotton, this simple heavyweight fabric is detailed with a hem or border.
- Iridescent Taffeta – the alternating weave of this glossy fabric causes light to refract, producing a spectrum of color.
- Nets & Sheers – a simple, transparent fabric often in a single color.
- Lamour – a smooth fabric made from a type of satin.
- Pandora & Delhi Shimmer Silk – these Indian-inspired silks often come in vibrant hues and have elaborately decorated borders; the silk itself is slightly iridescent, giving the fabric its shimmer.
- Pintuck Taffeta – this often iridescent fabric is pleated in a diamond pattern.
- Poly Dupioni – this coarse type of silk produces a textured effect in the fabric; this fabric is more popular in polyester for durability.
- Regal Strip Sheer – a sheer, lightweight fabric woven with opaque, striped detailing.
- Ribbon Swirl Taffeta – shiny fabric featuring heavy ribbon stitching in a swirling pattern, creating a textured effect.
- Ribbon Taffeta – a shiny fabric with satin ribbon detailing in floral or rosette patterns.
- Solid – a heavy, matte fabric in one color with no embellishments.
- Suede – a soft, treated leather with a fuzzy surface.
- Velvet – a thick, soft fabric made from silk, cotton or other synthetic materials.
- Vine Organdy – fine, stiff cotton fabric often in white, embroidered with a green vine pattern.
- Whimsical Sheer – a sheer fabric often in a bright color, with embroidered curlicue detailing.
Wedding Décor: Fabric Types
There are many types of fabric as well. Just a few are:
Wedding Décor: Patterns
But wait! The selection doesn’t stop there! Now you need to consider actual patterns! Here are just a few:
- Polka Dot
- Hound’s Tooth
Wedding Décor: How You Can Use Linens
There are endless ways to use linens to create the look and feel of your wedding. Yes, you can even use fabrics and patterns in your attire! Tie in the colors of your wedding reception with the men’s ties and pocket squares, and even in the bridesmaids’ dresses. Carry the color scheme from ceremony to reception to complete the aesthetics you are envisioning.
Some of the ways linens can be used are:
- Table Runners
- Chair Covers
- Fabric Arches
- Head Table Draping
- Other Draping Around the Reception Hall
Overlays, Chair Covers & Sashes
Head Table Draping
Understanding Linen & Table Sizes
Let’s take a look at linen and table sizes to understand the correct size to buy or rent.
30” Cocktail/Bistro (42” High)
# People Seated
60” or 90” Round
90” or 108” Round
Floor Length Linen
Be Seated (aka Choosing Chairs)
Now let’s take a look at various types of chairs.
Has a formal design and fabric cover. Most readily available chair type and commonly used in large banquet halls due to simplicity and low cost. Can be covered to create a more formal effect.
$ (Lowest Cost)
One of the most popular chair choices and very cost-effective. Can be covered or have a sash or other decoration added. Typically available in gold, silver, white and brown.
Appropriately named since it is designed to blend with its surroundings and “disappear” into the décor. Can be dressed up with sashes, brooches or other decoration.
Has a vintage, old-time feel and is a very traditional choice. Also commonly referred to as the “Versailles chair”.
Crossback Vineyard Chair
This chair is up and coming as one of the most popular choices, especially for vintage or rustic weddings.
This is a fairly new favorite and has a contemporary and modern appearance. Chair is translucent and looks like glass or ice. White “clear” is the most common choice it also comes in tints. It is also one of the most expensive options.
Crossback Vineyard Chair
Under Cover: All About Tents
Basic Canopy Tent
Does not have walls and is normally built using standard metal frames. Does not require tensioning ropes and works well in small spaces. The more frames you have, the bigger the tent. Works well in warm weather but watch out for cool evenings or heavy rain.
A Frame Tent
This is effectively a canopy tent with walls. Can either be heated or air-conditioned. Walls create an intimate environment.
Looks a lot like a circus tent. Tall poles support the interior structure and the tent is tensioned at the perimeter with ropes. The push-pole tent provides a grand interior but requires a good deal of space. Can be rented with or without walls, and can be heated or air-conditioned if the walls are in place.
Make It Fun!
Above all else, have fun planning your wedding décor! And … ensure that you will not have the added stress of setting it all up on your wedding day by hiring a professional wedding planner! TLC Events & Weddings will be your guardian angel and be by your side from start to finish, so that all you have to do is have fun, relax, and thoroughly enjoy your wedding day! Visit our Services page to learn more about how you can do just that!
My commitment to you is to help you plan your wedding ….
With Tender Loving Care,