Set the Table (and the Tone!) for Your Wedding With These Expert Tips

From florals to napkin folds, the ways in which to set the tone of your event are both endless and overwhelming. Jess Levin, founder and CEO of Carats & Cake, interviewed some of her favorite event planners and designers to get their advice on how to create a cohesive table layered with personal detail.

Image by Gesi Schilling

“Early on in the design process, it’s important to define the focus of your celebration and integrate it into your table. For a foodie couple, for example, edible décor, unique utensils, and a plethora of condiments in interesting vessels underscore the idea of a gourmet celebration.” —Erica Taylor, Tinsel & Twine


Florals by Tinsel & Twine

Image by Ira Lippke Studios

“Gather inspiration from all the little things you love as a couple, from your favorite restaurant to memorable vacations to the design of your home. Make guests feel like they are sharing a moment with you where everything down to the napkin is reminiscent of you as a couple.” —Alison Schajer and Maya Katz, Alimay Events


Planned by Alimay Events, florals by DeJuan Stroud


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Image by Erik Ekroth Photography

“It’s important to choose a talented team of vendors to collaborate and play off each other’s designs. At this wedding, for example, Matthew Robbins Design carried over several elements from the wedding invitation, such as the rose gold found in the napkins, onto the tablescape.” —Laura Remmert, Laura Remmert Events


Planned by Laura Remmert Events, florals by Matthew Robbins Design


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Image by Matthew Sowa Photography

“Your table setting should be a representation of you as a couple. Make sure you spend time with your florist so that he or she can understand your vision and help curate all the materials needed to execute it.” —Paul Tsang-Diaz, Spina


Planning and floral arrangements by Spina


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Image by Amber Gress

“You should be able to name the design aesthetic of your wedding in three words or less. In order to blend cohesively, every element on your table should speak to one of these three words.” —Katie Fischer, Katie Fischer Design


Planned by Viva Max Weddings, florals by Blossom and Branch, stationery by Katie Fischer Design

Image by Jennifer Roper Photography

“Designing the tabletop is a delicate balance between what is too much and what is beautifully complex. That being said, don’t be afraid to make bold choices and incorporate little personal details—that’s what will make your wedding unique and show off your point of view.” —Kristin Banta, Kristin Banta Events


Designed by Kristin Banta Events, florals by Asiel Design

Image by Donna Newman

“To create a dramatic tablescape, layer details on the table using different vessels, candles, and napkin treatments. To keep your look consistent with the overall vision and décor aesthetic, consider using a monochromatic color palette and two to three different types of flowers maximum—anything in multiples is more impactful.” —Jennifer Zabinski, Jennifer Zabinski Events


Planned by Jennifer Zabinski Events, florals by Bill Beers

Image by Christian Oth Studio

“Use your menus, place cards, and any other signage to pull your design together and create one unified look.” —Tricia Kim, FOURTEEN-FORTY


Planned by Lyndsey Hamilton Events, florals by Poppies & Posies, stationery by FOURTEEN-FORTY

Image by Leila Brewster Photography

“The design of your table sets the tone for your guests before the focus shifts to the food. A beautiful linen and charger plate are two of the most noticeable details on your table and are a seamless way to carry the overall color palette and mood of the wedding through to your design.” —Sarah True, True Event


Planned by True Event, florals by Stoneblossom Floral & Event Design

Image by Christian Oth Studio

“Make sure your taste and vision are on the same page and that all your vendors are working around the same idea so every element not only shines individually but also comes together like an orchestra.” —Eyal Tessler, Tessler Events


Planned by Tessler Events, florals by Lewis Miller Design

Image by Robert and Kathleen Photographers

“It is important to acknowledge the environment and setting of the wedding and integrate a sense of seasonality into the design.” —Bess Wyrick, Celadon and Celery Events


Planned by Baton NYC, florals by Celadon and Celery Events

Image by Studio Castillero

“The key to creating a table that meshes with the entire wedding is to emphasize one element throughout. So, for example, if you love lavender, use it in your floral arrangements and boutonnieres, put a spring at each place setting, and in your cocktails too!” —Polly Harrington, Valley Flora


Planned by Yong Suk Events, florals by Valley Flora

Image by Josh Strauss Studios

“A great table design is all about editing. Consider each element and make sure it truly enhances the mood you are creating.” —Denise Fasanello, Denise Fasanello Flowers


Planned by Bellafare, florals by Denise Fasanello Flowers

Image by Jose Villa

“Be intentional with your tableware selections. A charger plate can add both texture and interest to the table while vintage glassware is the perfect opportunity to add a pop of your favorite color while reflecting your personal tastes.” —Diana and Josh Perrin, Casa de Perrin


Planned by Aaron Hartselle Creative, florals by Yasmine Floral Design, tabletop rentals and design by Casa de Perrin


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Image by Ashley Kelemen Photography

“A table setting is all about details. Choosing the right elements from the glassware to the charger plate is just as important as the centerpiece. Make it personal with a little note to your guests or a hand-calligraphed place card.” —Lindsay Longacre, LVL Weddings & Events


Planned by LVL Weddings & Events, florals by Sweet Marie Designs

Image by Sylvie Gil

“A table setting should be a snapshot of your style. Take advantage of a variety of textures—from paper to china to an interesting linen—and build a layered tabletop that creates anticipation for the special meal to come.” —Rebecca Reátegui, Rebecca Reátegui Weddings and Special Events


Planned by Rebecca Reátegui Weddings and Special Events, florals by Max Gill Design


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About the Author

Jess Levin

Jess Levin is the founder & CEO of Carats & Cake, a premier network representing the best in the wedding industry. A native of Laguna Beach, California, Jess attended the University of Pennsylvania before heading to New York to work in venture capital at Burch Creative Capital, where she helped manage investments and brand development for a portfolio that includes Poppin and...


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