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Make your tables stand out and add to the ‘tablescape’ at your next event with some inspiration and ideas for all budget types.
For events with seated meals, the table can be one of the most important décor aspects. It needs to be functional, in keeping with the themes and look great. Attendees will be spending a lot of time sitting and noticing it. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to spend a fortune on large, lavish table displays as the table settings themselves can go a long way in creating the effect that you want. So, here are some examples and ideas on how you can use the table settings to your advantage, to create stunning table displays!
This clean and modern table setting makes use of the room decor and brings it to live on the table with individual succulents, geometric cubes and simple layouts with combination plates. It definitely makes a sophisticated statement!
Credit: Alexandra Philps, Rochelle Cote Interior Design
If you are looking to brighten up a boring venue or room, adding striking patterns and bold colour combinations are a fantastic idea. Using the linen to make a statement and the simple plain plates to tone it down also stops it from being too much.
Adding a combination of print and plain can go a long way and in this example, the addition of the smaller, blue china plate adds a sense of tradition and class. Bringing in the blue napkin to this setting can help to tie in the rest of the setting with the colour palette or scheme.
Credit: The White Boutique - Events
These fun and striking table layouts are bound to be a hit at eco-friendly events, or those with a green theme, as it incorporates this on both the china print as well as the mats! Use these types of layouts to bring the outdoors inside and add a touch of foliage to the table without flowers.
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Credit: Evergreen Enterprises
This stunning setting is an elegant idea and another example of how one creative element can spruce up the rest. These marble effect plates, together with the marble coloured napkins, help to offset the white and silver of the rest of the setting and make it look more complex than it is.
Opt for natural hues and simple floral centers laid on the table, if you don’t need much height. Make the table settings simple but meaningful by adding small plant cuttings to the napkins and individual types of flowers to personalise each setting.
Offsetting the simple plates using inlay patterns for this table setting with fall themes creates stunning and sophisticated effects. The thick tartan table cloth covered with the patterned runner also helps to add a new dynamic and texture to the table, showing that you can use different linen types of what you have available and still create breath-taking effects. The gold cutlery gives the final touch.
Credit: Styled Settings
This table setting looks rich and classy for this nautical themed wedding, with sequin textured linen and placemats adding small details that make a difference. These plates with their textured and patterned rims and bright white centres also create a statement.
Incorporate seasons in different and original ways like switching out table florals for floral print plates and rose candles. Adding a smaller square plate like this one adds more layers and makes the themes very clear!
The stunning lace effect of these plates and glassware can help to avoid expensive linen and works perfectly against a standard white tablecloth. Simple alternating colours and a plain white plate can stop it looking too busy and helps to encourage simplicity for the rest of the table. The pastels of the table setting are reflected perfectly by the event florals too.
Credit: Tanya Costigan Events
Picnic Place Setting
Paper or disposable settings can look as effective as china crockery, but easier to clean away after your event. These Gingham plates and place settings are made entirely of paper to give a classy picnic vibe.
A stunning modern design that uses the offset hexagon plates at varying levels so that the layout isn’t entirely uniform. The fact that these are also made of paper brings a modern touch to the disposable plate, without the washing up (not that you would want to throw these away)!
Credit: Harlow and Grey
Black & White
It’s traditional but it works, black and white gives a striking colour combination that stands the test of time for events. Make it more original and interesting by adding pattern combinations to block colours and stripes.
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Credit: Styled Settings
Incorporate different era’s into your table settings like these fun and quirky 1970’s vibes created with bold print linen, a strong colour theme and vintage animal napkin rings. Great conversation starters for your guests to strike up a conversation.
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This beautiful table layout has an overarching peacock theme that is seamlessly combined throughout the table to create this cool effect. From peacock feathers on each setting to incorporating them into the centerpieces, the print is also continued with chair hoods (a variation on chair covers) to tie it all in together.
Sometimes you can let the linen do the talking and add plain plates that are part of your color scheme. In this example, using simple silver plates avoids the setting from looking too overwhelming against the opulent sparkles of the table cloth, while the diamante napkin rings bring a sparkle to each place.
Nude colours can be understated and classy for your event table and you can tie them in with event themes with relative ease. This table setting also combines quirky characters and a splash of gold to make it more sophisticated too.
Credit: Renata Couto Falcao Gomes
This fun spiral plate layering idea is a great way to continue a theme or pattern across the setting. By stacking the plates with an extension pattern you can create funky illusions like this one or line them up perfectly to make a statement!
Credit: Hirotsune Nakazato
These plates give a galaxy or otherworldly feel. When combined with the handwritten calligraphy name card it definitely adds a touch of class to a simple table setting that would be enough for smaller, personal events to make a big impact.
Credit: Shooshy Cadoodle
This place setting has an underlying theme but has managed to successfully incorporate a variety of different colours, drawing on the main colour palette which would work wonders for an open air, summer gathering.
Credit: Cute Home
Offset vibrant tablecloths and linen by opting for plain or singular colour plates to tone it down and allow somewhere for the eye to focus. Opting for square plates also makes a simple table layout more interesting too, giving a modern look.
These fun Halloween themed table settings are sophisticated for adult events and highlight the ease that you can incorporate themes or seasons without coming across as tacky! Also these mini square plates nicely offset the other circular patterns and work well with the napkin choices too.
Credit: Styled Settings
Go plain and simple while channeling an eco or environmental theme by using dried flowers from previous events for your settings and combining with linen used from recycled materials to wow your attendees but show them you are environmentally conscious.
These transparent places with a beaded edge are simple and effective, plus they go with everything and can showcase the natural tables and bare wood underneath. Combining with gold colour cutlery also adds a splash of colour and rich effect.
Credit: The White Boutique - Events
Add an interactive element to the table settings to keep your guests entertained such as trivia or mini games that they can also use to interact and network. These fun masquerade masks get guests involved, encourage photo opportunities and can tie in nicely with your theme.
Credit: Oh My Gosh Events
If you are looking for colour theme inspirations for your table setting, why not use the florals as a focal point, like these orchids. Using napkins to match the petal colours and the plates for the darker center it brings the pieces together on a busy table. The leaf serving bowl shows that you can let your imagination run wild and do much better with beautiful crockery options.
Credit: Prima Mesa
Who said a Christmas theme had to be over the top and tacky? This beautiful layout adds some Christmas colours with the golds and greens, without overpowering the table and making it look garish. The addition of the snowflake in the layering also cements the theme as well as adds a classy touch to the setting altogether.
Add a fun and quirky side like with these pineapple napkin holders and placemats. You can save money here by choosing fun mats and having perspex or clear plates rather than opting for decorated china. Let the statement theme tableware do its job.
Credit: Kasa Com K
Make your plates the floral feature of the table with these white peony places that match the centerpieces. By adding the patterned napkins it gives a touch of colour and brings out the plate patterns even more for a sophisticated look.
Credit: Q Squared
Sometimes an old classic works wonders and the statement of this circular table is made with the florals rather than the setting themselves. Using silver cutlery and white plates makes it look fresh and welcoming but the lace linen adds a touch of class to finish it off.
Credit: Oh My Gosh Events
As you can see, your event theme can be easily incorporated into your table settings to create stunning effects without being too plain or overpowering! These are just a few ideas to give you some inspiration but regardless of your budget you can create beautiful table displays.
Looking for more table inspiration? Check out these 30 stunning event table centers.