Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Step 91 - Decide on your Wedding Table Place Settings
Before deciding on your wedding reception table place settings, you want to decide on your specialty table linens. Your specialty linens include table cloths, napkins, and chair covers and are the perfect way to transform an ordinary wedding reception facility into an awe inspiring place. The influence of these decor items can leave a powerful impression upon your wedding guests when they first walk into the wedding reception room, since the tables and chairs that linens cover tend to cumulatively take up the largest surface space in the room. Use of these three fabrics pieces together overwhelms the wedding guest and leaves them with a feeling and sense that they are at a very special event.
The fabrics that are chosen should be determined by the bridal couple's color scheme and theme very early in the wedding planning process and matched with colors that are near or complement the main color using a color wheel. The colors then should be applied to other items at the wedding including bridal wear, florals, decorations, invitations, wedding favors, table centerpieces and event lighting.
When deciding on wedding colors, make sure the linens don't clash with the color of the carpet, walls, or decorations built into the walls. Popular linens can be ordered about a month before the wedding while uncommon colors it may be better to order them about 10 weeks in advance of the wedding. The rule of thumb for ordering fabric napkins is to start with the amount of wedding guests and then add about 20 percent to the total, for wedding guests who ask for an extra napkin and wait staff sometimes use the napkins to clean up crumbs. Don't forget to order table linens for your cocktail hour tables and for your buffet tables too.
Table Linen Websites
After you have chosen the color of the table linen fabrics, your attention now moves on to your table place setting. You first look at the meal you are going to present and determine the dishes that you will need for the meal. Are you having a salad with the meal, and if so you should include a salad bowl and a salad fork? Are you having a soup with the meal, and if so you should include a soup bowl and soup spoon? Are you have bread or dinner rolls with the meal, then you should include a bread plate and butter knife? Are you having red wine, white wine, or champagne with the meal, then you should include the appropriate drinking glass with the meal? There are other possibilities too, you may include shrimp cocktail, a fruit cup, or sherbet dish or you may have entrees that include lobster or barbecued ribs and will need special dishes for those.
As you are laying out the table place settings you want to insure each seat is at least 30 inches apart and each chair is easy to get out from the seat. You don't want each place setting to look too crowded. Event planners recommend the table place settings are laid out the following way.
1. Charger plates or Service plates - If you are looking to enhance the wedding reception table and if it fits your budget you may consider using what is called a charger plate. A charger plate is a decorative plate that goes underneath the dinner plate, sometimes like or is a circular placemat. The charger plate stays on the table through the whole meal. If charger plates aren't in the budget some couples opt to use them as a table centerpiece instead. Other couples use them for buffet table items, under a guest book, or cocktail table.
The charger plate should be stationed 1 inch from the edge in front of each seat.
2. Dinner plates - Sits directly on top of the Charger plate or Service plate. The dinner plate is always used for the main entree and may or may not be setup at the start of the wedding reception depending on what foods are being served prior to the main course. If there are no Charger plates or Server plates, the Dinner plate should be about one inch from the edge of the table in front of the seat.
3. Salad plates - Are usually placed on the Charger plate or Service plate. Depending on the meal, sometimes they can be set upon the Dinner plate, if there are no Charger plates or Service plate the Salad plate may be placed directly on the Table linen but preference is to be placed on some plate.
4. Soup bowl - Can either be placed on a Salad plate or a Salad plate can be removed and replaced by a Soup Bowl. Soup Bowls can also be placed on a Charger plate or Service plate or right upon the Table linen. Preference though is the Soup bowl be served on another dish
5. Dinner knife - Should be placed directly to the right of the Charger, Service, or Dinner plate aligned with the bottom plate.
6. Teaspoon - Should be placed directly to the right of the Charger, Service, or Dinner plate aligned with the bottom plate next to the Dinner knife.
7. Soup spoon - Should be placed directly to the right of the Charger, Service, or Dinner plate aligned with the bottom plate next to the Teaspoon.
8. Oyster or Seafood fork - Should be placed directly to the right of the Charger, Service, or Dinner plate aligned with the bottom plate next to the Soup spoon.
9. Dinner fork - Should be placed directly to the left of the Charger, Service, or Dinner plate aligned with the bottom plate.
10. Salad fork - Should be placed directly to the left of the Charger, Service, or Dinner plate aligned to the bottom plate next to the Dinner fork.
11. Napkin - Should be placed to the left of the Salad fork or directly on top of all the plates. Another option is the Napkin can be placed into the Water glass into a decorative design.
12. Cup and Saucer - Should be placed directly to the right of the Soup spoon centered to the plates directly after the Soup spoon or Oyster fork. The preference is the Cup and Saucer should not be put out on the table until the Dessert course begins.
13. Cake fork - Should be placed directly above the Charger, Service, or Dinner plate laid horizontal with handle on the left and fork prong on the right.
14. Dessert spoon - Should be placed directly above the Charger, Service, or Dinner plate laid horizontal with handle on the right and spoon scoop to the left above the Cake fork.
15. Bread plate - Should be placed to the left above the Charger, Service, or Dinner plate at a 45 degree angle with a Bread knife on top of the plate with handle pointing at main course plates.
16. Water Glass - Should be placed to the right above the Charger, Service, or Dinner plate at a 45 degree angle.
17. Red, White, Champagne glass - Wine glasses should be placed to the right above the Charger, Service, or Dinner plate at a 45 degree angle aligned either in a row or in a triangle formation above the Water Glass.
18. Place cards - Should be placed above the Charger, Service, or Dinner plate almost directly in the middle but a tad to the left next to the Dessert spoon.
19. Wedding favors - Can either be placed directly on the Charger, Service, or Dinner plate or at a 45 degree angle opposite the Bread plate.
20. Table centerpieces - Whatever table centerpieces you create the Table centerpieces should be set low or high, never at head level. The goal is to have beautiful centerpieces so as to not obstruct wedding guest's views as they can see each other when they are conversing. Best centerpieces have a tower tree like structure.
Place Setting Websites
Being that a wedding is an extraordinary event, decorative folding of napkins should mark the occasion which furthers adds to the glamour of the decorative reception table. There are a couple of dozen ways that a napkins can be folded or displayed. Napkins and napkin ring holders can be picked up from many bridal registry type stores including Bed Bath, and Beyond, Crate and Barrel, Pottery Barn, Target, and Williams-Sonoma. Napkins with ideas on ideas on how to fold them and online websites from which napkins can be ordered from reputable websites are shown below.
Linen and Napkin Folding Websites
Wedding place cards that displays the names of where each wedding guest is assigned a seat should also be displayed on each table. Place cards enhance the beauty of the wedding reception table and can be designed in many ways. Another option is to pick up a picture place card and add a picture of the wedding couple, a picture of the wedding cake, a picture of the ice sculpture, or picture of the candy bar. Some reputable companies that have websites where you can order place cards are listed below.
Wedding Place Card Websites
Instead of assigning numbers to each wedding reception table, many couples have fun with the naming of each wedding reception table. Often the naming conventions of the tables are geared to a hobby one of the couple has or something that interests the couple. Some ideas on the naming of the tables are listed below.
Ideas for Naming Reception Tables
Classes Taught in School
Fairy Tale Names
Favorite Chocolates or Candies
Flowers or Garden Terminology
Historic Names of Places
Pictures of Couple at Special Places Around Town
Places Special to the Wedding Couple
Signs of the Zodiac
Table Numbers in Different Languages
The Word "Love" in Different Languages
Trivia Questions about Bride and Groom
Types of Cakes or Desserts
Also it's a good idea to leave a menu of what is being served at each wedding guest's seat. Some other ideas is to include recipes of the entrees being served at the wedding or leave about 5 trivial pursuit cards at each table to leave a little fun activity for each wedding guest.
If it's an outdoor wedding, and you are using disposable plates. Make sure any disposable plates, silverware, and glasses are ones that are strong and elegant. It's a wedding after all, don't use cheap paper plates, plastic silverware and glasses, if you can avoid it.
Make sure when you set your flatware on your table setting that the spacing is equal. After you know what foods are being served and what dishes you need at your wedding, play around with your table setting a little and come up with the display that looks best with the spacing you have available.
Have fun with decorating your wedding table and make it look impressive to your wedding guests!
See you on the other side!