When it comes to dressing your wedding reception tables, the first step is often to choose the linens. While tablecloths do set the foundation for a tablescape, they're not a necessity when it comes to your décor. In fact, many couples are embracing the trend of keeping their tables bare of linens. If you don't want to get rid of them altogether, we recommend keeping the head or sweetheart table tablecloth-free and dressing your guest tables in luxurious materials that will add an element of beauty and dimension to the overall space.
If you are comfortable going the non-linen route, it's important to select a beautiful table – after all, you won't have a tablecloth to hide any unsightly details. There are many options that need not be covered. Wood tables are popular at rustic weddings, and we've seen white or black lacquer tables at contemporary celebrations as well as glass or mirrored varieties at opulent fêtes. Since you're technically losing an element of your décor when you don't have a tablecloth, it's important to keep centerpieces interesting and have fun with the place settings. Don't be afraid of using various colors, patterns, or textures!
Be inspired by the photos below – all from real weddings – that showcase beautiful reception tablescapes with no linens. Let us know if you'll be following this new trend in the comments!
Photo by Bryan N. Miller Photography; From Real Wedding: Dreamy Alfresco Wedding with Textured Florals and Lavender Accents
Photo by Eric Kelley; From Real Wedding: Chapel Ceremony + Tented Reception in the South Carolina Lowcountry
Photo by Branco Prata; Planning & Design by Evoke Design & Creative; From Real Wedding: Chic Destination Wedding with California Style in Washington, DC
Photo by Christine Bentley Photography; From Real Wedding: A Rustic-Elegant Barn Wedding in Santa Barbara, California
Photo by Katie Shuler Photography; Planning & Design by Tessa Lyn Events; From Real Wedding: Rustic-Chic Outdoor Wedding at a Winery in Northern California
Photo by Vue Photography; From Real Wedding: Romantic, Rustic-Chic Wedding at a Whiskey Distillery in Atlanta
Photo by Kate Osborne Photography; From Real Wedding: Stylish Destination Wedding with Gorgeous Blooms in Sundance, Utah
Photo by Annette Navarro; From Real Wedding: Romantic Garden Wedding with White & Green Motif in Cincinnati
Photo by Simone Photography; Planning & Design by International Event Company; From Real Wedding: Gorgeous Rooftop Wedding Ceremony & Reception in West Hollywood
Photo by Jessica Claire Photography; From Real Wedding: 50th Anniversary Party with Fall Foliage and Unique Performances
Photo by Milanès Photography; From Real Wedding: Glamorous White & Gold Wedding at a Private Estate in Georgia
Photo by Aesthetiica Photography; From Real Wedding: Modern Fall Wedding with Courtyard Ceremony + Rooftop Reception
Photo by Bob & Dawn Davis Photography; Invitations & Calligraphy by Elizabeth Grace; From Event: Inspiring Styled Shoot with Deep, Dark Color Palette in Chicago
Photo by Brian Leahy Photography; Rentals by Luxe Linen; From Real Wedding: Two Music Managers Marry at Malibu Estate with Stunning Views
Photo by Jessica Claire Photography; From Real Wedding: Traditional Armenian Ceremony + Luxurious Ballroom Reception
For more wedding ideas and inspiration, find out how to add romance to your event with drapery, learn the benefits of having low centerpieces, and read your guide to a tented wedding.
The Ultimate Guide to Wedding Linen Rentals
When it comes to the nitty-gritty details of your big day, from floor plans and seating charts to transportation and menu selections, wedding linen rentals seem easy. After all, you just pick a color and put it on the table, then the centerpieces go on top... right? Wrong.
The world of wedding linen rentals is vast and complex, and all of these choices will help you truly customize your wedding decor to enhance your vision and create an even more immersive experience for your guests. But the average person doesn't spend much time thinking about the difference between satin and damask, and there's a good chance you've never wondered what size linen you'd need to cover a table for 10.
Thankfully, the fabulous experts at La Tavola Fine Linen have! This Napa-based linen rental company has seen it all and has a reputation for some of the finest offerings and largest selections around. Who better to break it down for us? Buckle your seatbelt, get your hands on some fabric swatches, and get ready to take a deeper dive into the world of wedding day linen rentals.
Meet the Expert
Based in Napa, California, La Tavola Fine Linen is the leading fine linen rental company nationwide.
Let's start with the fun part, shall we? There's so much more to tablecloths than the white and lacy variety your grandmother takes out once a year for Thanksgiving. Here are some of the most common fabrics you'll come across, as well as what they're best for and what you might expect to pay for each.
Satin: A smooth, glossy fabric typically made from silk. Satin is a step up from regular solids, and will give your décor an enhanced and polished finish, while still remaining elegant and simple. At La Tavola, satin linens run from $39-$42. Their Peau de Soie is a great example.
Damask and Brocade: Damask is a pattern that is usually seen on heavier weight woven fabrics. It works well for formal events with a truly traditional feel. Brocade fabrics are made of silk threads that are woven to create an embossed or embroidered look. Like damask, they're a more traditional choice. Both linens run from $39-$100 at La Tavola, and can be seen in their Pompeii collection.
Organza: This thin, sheer fabric is perfect for everything from a single cake stand to draping over the tables in an entire ballroom. It can be made from cotton or silk, and is available in both plain and embroidered varieties. Organza linens, like those in the Dolce collection, range from $45-$135.
Taffeta: Taffeta is crisp and smooth, woven from silk or rayons. It is structured and has an iridescent, sleek surface. You can use taffeta on its own, or paired with an overlay. The finish makes it perfect for modern, clean designs. Prices range from $39-$59, and the Topaz collection is a great place to start.
Velvet: For a rich, elegant style, this closely-woven fabric with a soft pile gives the table a distinctive, smooth feel. The La Tavola Velvet collection ranges from $39-$66.
Cotton: Most often used for outdoor events or parties with an informal vibe, cotton is a soft and breathable natural fabric. It can be dyed, patterned, or embroidered, and heavier cottons can have an embossed texture. With prices ranging from $39-$100, it's a relaxed choice featured in the Milano collection.
Linen: Linen tablecloths will give your event effortless style and rustic charm. The texture is grainy, and the fabric can be dyed in a variety of colors. It is often a more formal alternative to cotton. La Tavola's Tuscany collection features linen that ranges from $39-$69.
Sequins: These fabrics, embroidered with shining paillettes, come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors, from tiny and oversized to square. They're the perfect way to give a high-fashion, glittering feel to accent tables like cake or sweetheart tables. The La Tavola Sequins include single color, patterned, and textured options that range from $22-$90.
Raw Silk: Often used for more formal events, this textured fabric is woven from spun silk with a little shine and more movement than taffeta. La Tavola's Dupioniques collection features these fabrics in a wide range of shades, from $29-$69.
Polyester: This solid, versatile fabric is a great budget-conscious way to dress up your event. La Tavola's Nuovo collection features spun polyester, which has a more natural fiber feel and ranges from $10-$28.
Embellished: A variety of fabrics can be embellished, flaunting everything from sequins to linen to faux leather and more, perfect for accent tables. Ranging from $45-$135, the Dolce has a huge range to add extra texture to your tables.
Lace: This delicate, open fabric is made by looping, twisting, or knitting threads in patterns. It gives a romantic feel to tables, and will dress up any event. It ranges from $74-$110, and can be found as additions in La Tavola's other collections.
Now let's move on to all the terms you'll hear tossed around as you're considering different linens for your wedding.
Liners: A protective fabric to lay underneath a linen. Also called a table pad, it's not meant to be seen but is used to enhance the feel of the tabletop and linen. Liners are typically used under fine or delicate fabrics to give them a more luxurious feel.
Overlays: A linen laid over another linen to give dimension or create pattern. A shorter or different shaped linen can be layered over another, or a thin or sheer fabric can be overlaid over a solid one to dress up a tablescape.
Runners: Narrow lengths of fabric layered on top of tablecloths or placed on a bare table for a decorative touch.
Chair Covers: A fabric embellishment, usually covering the entire chair down to the floor.
Chair Sash: Ornamental fabric tied or placed around the back of a chair to enhance and decorate.
Drape: The way a fabric hangs from a table. Also known as a puddle when the linen lays onto the ground and pools at the base of the table, giving it a stylish and luxe feel.
Got all that? Let's get into the basic logistics of linens: figuring out what size you'll need for your tables!
84" Square: A topper or overlay, used on a round table so the corners drop down to create a layered effect. It can be used on a number of sizes, depending on how much draping you'd like.
108" Round: Typically used on a 48" round table (which seats 4-6 people) for an exact fit that reaches to the floor but does not pool. It could also be used as a topper or overlay on a larger table.
120" Round: Used for 60" round tables (which seat 8 people), as well as highboy 30" cocktail rounds. On both tables, this linen breaks right at the floor, with no puddle.
134" Round: This size is used on 60" rounds with a puddle effect, or 72" rounds (seating for 12) with a perfect fit. It can also be used on cocktail tables for a puddle or on 6' banquet tables.
8' King's Drapes: These 108" x 156" linens are made for an 8' by 48" King's table, and can fit more narrow banquet tables, as well. It can also be used for a 6' banquet table with a puddle effect.
Standard 8': This is the standard size for an 8' x 30" banquet table, which is more narrow than a King's table.
Table Runners: The standard runner, made for an 8' table, is 22" x 120", which provides for a one-foot drop on each end of the table. La Tavola's runners are wider than average, which ensures that you'll see the runner, even with the florals and centerpieces set on top.
23 Beautiful Banquet-Style Tables For Your Wedding Reception
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Your Guide to Wedding Reception Linens
Your wedding tables and chairs probably need a little help being turned from drab to fab - and that’s where linens come into play. Tablecloths, runners, chair covers and the like can play a big role beautifying your tables, so finding the right ones is necessary. While you don’t need to invest in each and every one of these linens, adding a few may be just what your wedding decor calls for.
Here are the linens you may need for your reception.
Let’s start off with the most obvious linen of the bunch: tablecloths. While many couples opt for plain white tablecloths, this is a great place to use your wedding colours or incorporate texture into your tables. Think about making a statement with this linen and going for something a little different (if your budget allows).
A good table runner makes all the difference when it comes to table design. If you want yours to really pack a punch, consider using a bold coloured or patterned runner against a plain tablecloth or wood harvest table. Pro tip: you can make runners out of just about anything - from macrame to bedazzled cloth - so use your imagination and get creative.
Table skirts are a little bit different than tablecloths, they only conceal the front and sides of a table, not the top. These are especially popular for buffet tables, welcome tables, head tables and sweetheart tables, because they add a bit of extra oomph. Feel free to play around with textures and patterns - you may be able to invest a little more in these since they won’t be used on every single table.
You probably want to give your guests something a little more elegant than paper towel to keep themselves clean during dinner, so invest in some napkins. This is a great place to play around with more adventurous patterns and colour, since it’s one of the smaller details. If you’re looking to go above beyond, consider stamping them with your monogram.
If your chairs are a little lacklustre, consider renting some covers to spruce them up. These slide over the tops of your chairs, concealing the back, seat and, sometimes, the legs. They can be used to cover up less-than-impressive seats and to add a pop of colour to a more neutral tablescape.
Want to pretty up your chairs even more? Add some sashes! These are pieces of material that are wrapped around the back of the chair for decorative purposes. They’re especially useful if you’ve gone for a simpler seating style, like folding chairs. They can be interwoven with flowers and greenery, tied into bows or elaborately knotted, depending on what look you’re going for. If you don’t want to rent them for all of your guests - that can get pricey if you’ve invited hundreds of people - you can always just add them to the happy couple’s chairs or the chairs at the head table.
Find event rentals in your area on WeddingWire »
Budget Tablecloth Ideas
How to Save on Linens for Your Next Event
We are often asked at Linens by the Sea how to save when your taste and vision are both a bit above your budget.
First and foremost, adding a tiny expense line item on napkins can make basic poly linens become amazingly glitzy and glamorous. Napkins are the most inexpensive upgrade one can do and they make the maximum impact on a table decor.
For instance, our Lamour Seafoam napkins over Solid Khaki linens:
Next are more ideas and options that are smart on price and savvy on style:
1. Once a year, Linens by the Sea holds an Annual 50% Off Sale on rental prices of the majority of our tablecloths, overlays and runners. See below our flyer from this past summer. What’s amazing is that each year, the sale items are good for one year until the next sale takes place.
2. On trend for 2017 are runners. They are posted everywhere on Pinterest including our Linens by the Sea Pinterest page. They are also a beautiful option to add glam to an “ordinary” table on a budget. Instead of renting an entire cloth to the floor or even and overlay, a runner will add a special touch, for less! Pictured below is our Raindrop Sequins Champagne runner.
3. We also have Limited Edition linens at Linens by the Sea. Many of these are items that we are able to offer to you at half price for your special occasion or fundraising need.
Many are quite beautiful, like our Tucson inspired Florence Sequin overlay pictured below.
Check out the photo below of our Ltd. Ed. linens at a breezy beach wedding. So pretty!
- Once a year for our local clients, we have a Super Saturday Sale! We offer discontinued items and off dye-lot color linens at garage sale pricing. We have beamed with pride and been filled with joy, as many clients have enjoyed these at their festivals and events.
For example, this farm-to-fork dinner event purchased every single one of their linens at our linen sale to be able to raise even more funds for area farmer initiatives:
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These Statement Linens Will Take Your Wedding Reception to the Next Level
Designing your reception tables is one of the more creative aspects of planning a wedding. There are just so many items to nail down—the dishware, cutlery, and drinking glasses, to name a few. There's one particular detail, though, that can make or break your tablescape's entire aesthetic: your linens. While sticking with classic tablecloths, runners, and napkins is perfectly fine—there's something to be said about a crisp, all-white scene—we're partial to the tablescapes you didn't see coming. While all of those eye-catching place settings we love tend to be as different as it gets, they do have one thing in common: Their table linens are all next-level.
You'll see exactly what we mean once you click through to the following images. They show what's possible when a couple's artistic vision, an event designer's expertise, and an elite linen rental company combine forces. From bold colors and unique patterns to sparkly accents and unexpected textures, these table textiles completely stole the show at real wedding receptions. And though these statement linens may stand out all on their own, they still work cohesively with the rest of the tabletop's décor and floral design—that's what makes them truly noteworthy. As for our favorite pairings? You'll fall in love with emerald velvet runners and gold vessels, vintage lace tablecloths and peacock chairs, and jute placemats and blush pink dinnerware, just like we did.
Don't just take our word for it, though. Click through to discover all of these incredible reception tables, complete with statement-making linens that will surely inspire your own, whatever your design vision.
Stop doing that. I have a man. I don't need your fantasies. - Truth.
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For the first time in her life, they took her not by force, but by gentle caress, which she really liked. What a gentle woman. No, man. - she thought, tightly squeezing the hard nipples of the hemophrodite with her fingers, who had already inserted her magic penis.