Settling on your table settings

Summer weddings provide the perfect opportunity to create a really strong theme. You can co-ordinate your colours with the vast array of seasonal flowers or be inspired by an evocative summer occasion such as the village green fête, an afternoon tea party or nostalgic trips to the coast.

Whatever theme you choose, beautifully presented tables will set the tone for an extra special event. All too often, wedding tables have a real déjà vu factor when in fact they are a great opportunity for you to make your own mark and let your personality shine through on your big day. With just a little planning, your table dressings can make your guests feel extremely special and create a wedding that will stand out and be remembered for years to come.

Introducing colour into your wedding reception by using plain cotton tablecloths and napkins can create a dramatic effect, with very little effort. Or dress up the standard white tablecloths provided by venues by using an organza overlay on top: this is a very cost-effective way of adding a touch of luxury.

Your choice of table centrepieces will also help you create your desired theme. Floral arrangements will always be a feature of any summer celebration, particularly a wedding, but think about using alternative centrepieces. Cake stands, candelabras, baskets and bird cages can all be used to really make your guests sit up and take notice. These items can be hired and are a far cheaper alternative to floral centrepieces.

Candlelight can provide a very romantic addition to a wedding table and not just for evening receptions. Even in the summer, candles can work just as well during daylight, particularly if they are surrounded by glass and mirrored surfaces that will reflect the flickering light. Don’t forget about other areas of your venue that would benefit from candlelight: mantelpieces, your cake table and areas for drinks and quiet seating. Alternatively, use votive and tealight holders to display single blooms at each guest’s place-setting.

Place-settings for your guests are a great way to personalise your wedding and create lasting finishing touches. Napkin rings and ties, place name holders and favours can all be sourced to co-ordinate with your theme. Whether you opt for pastel organza ribbon and a sprig of fresh herbs or an over-sized diamond ring to secure your napkin, there is a solution for every summer theme.

Write your guests’ names on handmade or speciality craft papers to introduce further colour and texture to your table. Source gifts and favour boxes that add interest to your place-settings and that will be kept by your guests as a memento of a beautifully designed summer wedding.

Table dressing experts like Bonne Fête - - provide a one-stop hire service with collections to suit every budget. Bonne Fête offers a wide range stylish centrepieces, candle holders, napkin rings, table linen, chair covers and accessories to suit a variety of summer wedding styles from vintage garden parties to elegant country house receptions, with a minimum order of just £75. The same company also has a personal venue dressing and styling service covering 50 miles from Birmingham.

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