Wedding Table Setting Design

Wedding Table Design 101

One of the most creative parts of a wedding design is often the wedding table setting. And, we all know where we go these days to get inspiration… Pinterest. However, it is important we learn to rein ourselves in when it comes to design and practicality – not to mention your budget.

It is all too often that brides share their Pinterest board with me, for their dream table setting design, and the pins look more like something you might see in a showroom than on a dinning table. These days, it seems to be a trend to have a pile of plates at each place setting, starting with a base plate (also called a charger) with a dinner plate, salad plate, a napkin, a menu, and maybe even a fig or even a cupcake or tart on top. Not only is this impractical, it is actually not a “proper” place setting- not to mention the cost of upwards of $30.00 per place setting.

Wedding Table Setting One

The proper etiquette is for the charger to be preset at the table. It is often cleared before the guests are served, but can remain down through the first course. In this case, the dinner plate is placed on top of the charger, and then both the charger and dinner plate are cleared before dessert is served. In the pictures illustrated above, the server would need to clear 2-3 plates before the dinner service, making for a lot of uneccessary clearing and rattling of plates.

I do agree, a second plate on top of the charger can be a lovely, decorative element; so if you want to gild the lily a little, since it is a wedding, I would suggest no more than one plate on top of the charger. It will add to your wedding table setting design, and can be easily cleared by the servers before the entree is placed.

Wedding Table Setting with base plate

Wedding Table Design Idea

Then, there is the most traditional, timeless setting of a beautiful base plate, with your menu and place card. Of course, there really is no right or wrong when it comes to designing your table setting for your wedding. If there is ever a time to gild the lily, this is one of them. However, it is not necessary for photo shoots and styled shots to persuade you into thinking you must have a mountain of china at each place setting, in order to have a beautiful wedding table design – often, simpler can be the most elegant.

Wedding table design

Budget tip:

If you love the look of the layers of plates, and I must admit is is grand, you can still get this look by setting only the head table with this design. It is perfectly acceptable to have a more elaborate design on the head table, and it will save you quite a bit of money, as well as time, and labor if the servers do not need to clear this many plates from every setting, and you still get your dream table design.