The tablecloth: bringing it together

Many brides stress about ceremony details, but I’ve been to enough weddings to be able to tell you that the real point of focus is the reception, mainly because it’s the place where the bridal party and guests spend the bulk of the celebration. Often overlooked, tablecloths can actually have a huge impact on the wedding ceremony. Pick the wrong fabric or colour, and your whole theme can be thrown off-kilter. Meanwhile, if you choose wisely, you may score a miracle and bring the whole event together.

Remember your theme

At last week’s wedding, the tablecloth, elegant dark-blue cotton with silver lining, perfectly matched the silver-lined dishes on the table and the formal décor of the banquet hall, a high-ceiling, columned, whitewashed ballroom. I asked my friend Anna, the wedding planner, what she took to heart when selecting the tablecloth, and she said it was a process made simpler as long as you keep a few elements in mind.

Elegant dark blue tablecloth

“Above all things, remember: theme, theme, theme!” According to Anna, once you have a theme, you have it all, because it will determine the colour of the cloth. The colour and shade need to match that of the wedding itself, but both also need to keep in mind the surroundings. If the staging room is simple, go crazy with the colour, but if it’s a grand hall, better to go for something neutral. Think royal wedding: with Buckingham Palace’s gilded State Ballroom as a setting, the Dukes of Cambridge went with white table cloths to avoid clashing.

Always keep the surroundings in mind

Practical matters

Like all other wedding matters, remember to set a budget and stick to it. Having a formal wedding with a bigger budget? Wow your guests with satin or brocaded fabric. Celebrating a frugal, rustic affair? Feel free to match that country setting with a nice gingham or muslin tablecloth.

After the theme, keep in mind the number of tables and decide which ones definitely need cloths. While some don’t, others, like the gift table– will look nicer, and more part of the event, if they’re covered in the same fabric.

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