Decorating a long table with centerpieces for a wedding presents unique obstacles. A large centerpiece will not have the same visual impact on a long table as it will on the center of a smaller round table, so decorations should focus on creating a dramatic statement that continues down the entire table. Layering decorations with texture and color, then accenting them with several small centerpieces creates a sophisticated look with practical benefits for a wedding reception.
Instructions How to Decorate a Long Table With Centerpieces for a Wedding
- Cover tables with long tablecloths to build a colorful, textured base for your decorations. Table cloths do not have to be rented table linens; long lengths on fabric purchased from a craft store can be hemmed for a custom table cover. Unconventional fabrics make creative table cloths as well; rustic country wedding tables can be decorated with long pieces of burlap or unbleached cotton, while plastic table cloths at a beach or garden wedding can be upgraded when layered with swaths of ethereal tulle that billow in the breeze.
- Layer a runner over the center of the table to provide another level of visual interest. A runner is typically a narrow strip of fabric, roughly 6 to 8 inches smaller than the width of the table on both sides. You can layer one wedding color as the table cloth and the other as a runner, but unique materials can be spread down the center of the table as a creative runner alternative. Silk rose petals make a luscious runner when scattered down the center of a long table, while smooth, round river stones are elegant and sculptural additions to a long table at a mountain wedding. Seasonal touches are appropriate for weddings throughout the year.
- Accent your tablecloths and runners with flowers, candles, and other romantic touches. Keep arrangements low to avoid blocking guests’ views of their tablemates and the proceedings on the dance floor. Float blossoms or votive candles in shallow glass bowls filled with water for an inexpensive, elegant and guest-friendly centerpiece. Votive holders running the length of a long table fill the reception hall with light and are far easier for guests to see past than tall, ornate candelabras. If your wedding flowers incorporate tall blossoms like gladiolas, calla lilies, and irises, ask your florist to design arrangements where the flowers can be laid on long tables instead of standing upright.
- Place centerpieces at regular intervals down the center of the table. For tables that seat eight, one medium-sized centerpiece in the center of the table is sufficient, but for tables that seat 10 or more, consider placing smaller centerpieces every three seats for a coherent look. Take a seat behind your centerpieces before the wedding begins to ensure that sightlines are not compromised by your arrangements, then adjust if necessary.
Candles can create a romantic atmosphere at your guest’s tables. A cluster of candles alone, or among other decorative items can be formal or casual. A candelabra featuring long, tapered candles compliments a formal wedding. A grouping of three tea candles in holders that are complementary to your wedding theme makes an attractive centerpiece. The creative bride can make luminaries by stamping her and her groom’s names onto tall, white bags. Add small pebbles and a tea candle inside for a pretty, glowing effect. A few tea lights floating in a bowl of water makes a simple, yet elegant, wedding centerpiece. Whenever candles are used at a dinner table, they should be unscented so guests are not overwhelmed with smells.
Edible centerpieces are probably the most practical centerpieces. A centerpiece made from fresh fruit that has been cut to look like flowers is pretty and edible. Encourage the guests to eat the centerpiece, or play a game to have one person take it home. Alternately, a couple of crafty bridesmaids could be asked to make centerpieces with candy, such as lollipops and other candies tied to sticks, that are poked into a Styrofoam cone or ball and decorated with ribbon. For a spring or summer wedding, lemons and limes lined up in a tall, thin vase with a ribbon tied around it is a fresh arrangement for a wedding with a similar color scheme.
Use the season, theme or destination of the wedding to create a wedding centerpiece. If the wedding is at the ocean, an arrangement of seashells, sand and tea lights on a silver platter could be an extension of the theme. For a fall wedding, use seasonal vegetables coming out from a cornucopia. Tree branches with lights entwined are a pretty centerpiece for the fall. Incorporate peacock feathers or crystals into centerpieces with candles, according to the type of wedding you are having. Pussy willows in vases bring signs of spring into an April or May wedding.
Place a small wish tree on each table. A traditional Dutch wedding custom, guests are encouraged to write their wishes for the bride and groom on a piece of paper that is then tied to the tree. The paper can be in a rectangular shape or the shape of a leaf. The tree can consist of branches placed into a vase or can be purchased ready-made. Beads or crystals can be strung among the branches to create a sparkling effect.