October 23, 2013

Wedding Advice: {Choosing Your Furniture and Tabletop Rentals}

Since every couple has very different styles, this post is going to be more about the anatomy of a tabletop setting rather than the style choices on tabletop rentals. However, we will provide some great resources for rentals in the San Francisco Bay Area throughout the post.

Because guests will likely spend the most time at your wedding seated at the dinner table (assuming you are opting for a formal seated dinner service), we feel it makes a great impact on the guest experience when the table is dressed up nicely.

First of all, you should decide the type of table you want. Rounds? Squares? Long Kings' tables? We often do a combination of these to spur things up a bit. If you're going for rounds, we would recommend a smaller round--48" or 60" because anything larger will make it very hard for guests at that table to hold decent conversations.

If you choose a table that doesn't require a linen over it, like this modern Bourgeois Table from Blueprint Studio, that's fantastic. However, if you do need a linen, there's certainly no shortage of amazing linens for rental, such as Wildflower Linens, La Tavola Linens, and Napa Valley Linens. Linens in every color, texture and fabric imaginable can be found at these places, and if not, they are happy to custom make one for you! Below are a few photos of our previous events where custom linens were made for our clients:

Wildflower Linens custom made this gorgeous lace cap for our clients' tables (Photo by Anna Kuperberg)

Wildflower Linens custom made this beautiful linen for our clients, with layers of grey tulle
(Photo by Augie Chang Photography) 
Because tables and linens take up so much real estate of a reception venue, they can really make an impact when guests enter the room, so we feel it's worth it to splurge on ones that look and feel special.

Next, you're going to need some chairs to fill those tables! Chairs make a great impact as well, because when you multiple that by the number of guests that you have, they are going to be a big part of the visual presentation of the reception room. Chiavari chairs are familiar to most people, but there are lots of other styles of chairs to choose from these days, from the ghost chairs that you see in the photo above, to the modern Louis chairs, and many more, as you can see below from more of our event photos:
Sleek Chameleon Chairs from Classic Party Rentals (Photo by Lisa Lefkowitz)
White Compass Chairs from Hartmann Studio (Photo by Lisa Lefkowitz)
Elegant gold versailles chairs from Classic Party Rentals (Photo by Lisa Lefkowitz)
Custom blue Louis chairs from Hartmann Studio (Photo by Angie Silvy)
Specialty chairs from Hartman Studio (Photo by Lisa Lefkowitz)
Once guests arrive to their assigned table, they will get to admire (and Instagram) the beautiful place setting you have designed for them. We recommend charger plates so that the table setting has some texture to it. We often layer on an additional show plate on top to create even more texture. Nix the bread and butter plate--it clutters up the table in a not-so-pretty way, and guests can use their chargers when being served the bread.

There really isn't a function to the charger as it is more for aesthetics, but it really enhances the overall table decor, as you can see from our event photos below:

Photo by Lisa Lefkowitz
Photo by Cliff Brunk
Photo by Lisa Lefkowitz

The "icing on the cake" will be to finish off your tabletop with napkins, menu cards, flatware, and stemware. If you don't have a Wedding Planner to help you with this, you should partner with your caterer in the rental selection process, so they can help you to identify the quantities types of flatware and stemware for the menu that you have chosen. 

Pick a simple napkin fold to go with your table settings (no swans in your glassware, please). We particularly love the flat fold so that it becomes an added color/texture to the menu laid on top. We also like rolling it up and adding a lovely napkin ring to it as an added decor element to the table:

Photo by Gary Ashley
Photo by Lisa Lefkowitz

Have fun selecting your rentals and dressing up your tables! Below are some great rental resources in the San Francisco Bay Area, with some that will ship/deliver beyond the Greater Bay Area.

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