Top Tips on How to Style a Wedding Tablescape

Written by Katrina Otter
Images by Katie Julia.
The months have all kind of merged into each other haven’t they? But my calendar (and inbox!) tells me that 2022’s wedding season is officially upon us!

Spring is also in the air, and I don’t know about you, but with the promise of sunnier and longer days ahead (and especially the emergence of all the beautiful bulbs that bloom in spring), my thoughts turn from the practicalities and logistics of planning a wedding to the more creative, personal + pretty details… so with this in mind, let’s talk tablescapes!

The rise in popularity of tablescaping, especially during lockdown, can’t have passed you by. Instagram feeds were (and still are) awash with at-home dining inspo, printed linens, patterned plates, ruffled napkins and ALL the bows! This has understandably transferred over to the world of weddings / wedding tablescapes and is BIG NEWS for the wedding season ahead.

For my latest feature (for the Coco Wedding Venues blog) I’ve teamed up with my dear friend Maria-Antonia, Director and Owner of Duchess & Butler (a rental company and event design house with an impassioned approach, a timeless touch and a creative eye for detail who, by popular demand, have also recently launched an online shop for customers wanting to bring the Duchess & Butler collection into their homes) to impart some of our top styling tips on how to curate and elevate your wedding tablescape.

We’re also sharing piccies (courtesy of the phenomenal Katie Julia) from our Curated Gatherings editorial at Holywell Hall – a shoot celebrating the art of dining at home and gatherings around a beautifully dressed and considered table, in collaboration with JenniBloom Floral Design, Wedhead and Nevie Pie.

If you’ve fallen out with Pinterest or feel overwhelmed with where to start when styling your wedding tablescape, read on…

Top Tablescape Tips

Work with what you’ve got

Every venue is different, every personal taste is unique and whilst you might be dreaming of a specific wedding tablescape, this might not be possible. Our biggest piece of advice (there are others though so do keep scrolling), is to work with what you’ve got. There’s no point wasting time and energy suddenly wishing your reception space didn’t have a patterned carpet, or boldly painted walls, or heavy curtains – it’s time to embrace the room / venue / space you’ve chosen and not fight against it. Consider the ‘blank canvas’ space you have available and think about palettes and textures that complement those dominant and / or existing features.


This really is something we all need to consider in every aspect of our lives, weddings or otherwise, and it’s something we, and the Coco Wedding Venues team, are incredibly passionate about. Embrace seasonality within your wedding, from the food served at your feast, to the drinks to toast your marriage, all the way through to the flowers and foliage chosen to decorate your tables. Work with your florist to make the most of what that season has to offer, after all, each month presents different opportunities to make your day truly unique, special and of course, seasonal.

What’s included?

You could end up saving quite a bit of time and money by finding out early on what’s already included, and what you’re able to utilise. Talk to your venue / caterer about what’s available for your wedding (i.e. chairs, tableware etc.), ask for images and think about whether or not this works for you. If it doesn’t, there are plenty of wonderful decor hire companies out there who would be delighted to turn your vision into a reality.

Impactful statements

Let’s be honest, a wedding can be a pretty expensive milestone and it’s possible your budget might not stretch to cover every single thing on your wish list. If this is the case, how about about replacing / upgrading (included) items that you like the least or those that really don’t work with your vision.  Also think about what will have the biggest impact when it comes to your tablescape i.e. the chairs, tableware or linen (it’s ALWAYS the linen!), so if you can’t upgrade everything just upgrade these elements – you won’t regret it.

Create a mock-up

If styling / visualisation isn’t your forte, you could always do a tablescape mock-up (potentially at your venue or with your florist if possible). Source linen swatches, order candles, ask your stationery designer for paper samples etc. and have fun playing with various set-ups and gaining confidence in your design. Maybe you’ll smash it or maybe your brilliant ideas aren’t quite as harmonious in real life as you had first hoped. It’s certainly better to discover this sooner rather than later i.e. the day before your wedding!

Pin…with caution

Pinterest is an invaluable wedding planning tool but it’s also a monster time-suck + it can make you fall into the trap of comparing yourself to others or second-guessing your already carefully thought-out choices. Take inspiration from Pinterest but don’t get lost in it. Remember, those weddings or styled photoshoots are someone else’s vision. Take notes and be inspired by the detail, but it’s important to inject your own personality too.

Be creative

Don’t be afraid to have fun / be creative! Another super important tip that couples deep in wedmin often forget. People LOVE attending weddings that feel personal and authentic so try not to be too influenced by trends or what’s hot on Instagram that week, otherwise your wedding could end up looking just like everyone else’s. Sit down with your partner and reflect on your individual tastes and your combined style, your favourite films / books / music / destinations etc and consider whether they could inspire elements of your tablescape and wider wedding decor options.

Florals are key

They really are! They make a huge difference to any tablescape so really take your time when choosing your floral partner. There are so many options out there these days but it’s important to make sure your visions and values are aligned. Are they foam-free? Do they grow their own or support British flower farms? Do they have the capacity to create that mega hanging floral installation over your top table that you haven’t stopped thinking about? These are all important things to consider.

Don’t forget about the practicalities

It’s easy to get swept up in the aesthetics but don’t forget about the practicalities. From dining / guest visibility to catering logistics i.e. stacked plates look great but they don’t necessarily work from a service perspective, and if you’re having sharing courses ensure you leave enough room on the tables to facilitate this (the key here is to talk to your caterer!).

Ask for help

When the day finally comes to set everything up, try and be realistic about how long it might take to make this happen. If you’ve gone all out with linens, layers, candles etc. ensure that you have enough hands on deck to bring your vision to life.

Don’t just stick to one colour

Instead of picking one colour and dedicating your whole wedding to this, think about a wedding palette. Starting from that one colour that you love, build it out with multiple tones and textures. Before long you’ll have a dreamy, stylish wedding aesthetic that is perfectly coordinated, but not in a matchy-matchy / blocky way.

Create Interest and intrigue

Use your table décor and florals to create layered depth and varying height. This will add visual interest and intrigue to your tablescape (from tablecloths and placemats to undulating florals and tapered candlelight) – there really is so much creative potential here.

the space

Stop! We know we’ve given you lots of inspo and ideas to get on with but wait, before we send you off on a tablescape styling mission and you starting placings lots of orders, we have another important and super practical tip for you. Find out how much space you have available on each table and the number of guests that will be seated there = if your tables are only 2ft 6 wide and you’re going all out with florals, you may not / won’t have room for other important elements such as chargers, the same also applies to rounds and number of guests.

The pet (linen) peeve

Probably the largest (in size) single element of your tablescape is going to be your linen. Chances are, if it has come from your venue’s / caterer’s laundry or you’ve transported it in the back of your car, it’s going to be a little dishevelled and in need of a good iron.

So, our final tip…invest in a really good steamer + ask your venue / caterer / linen provider whether it will touch the floor (we could write a thesis on tables and cloth dimensions, that’s how passionate we are about this topic!).


Venue Holywell Hall

Photography Katie Julia

Creative Concept, Tableware + Linens Duchess & Butler

Concept + Planning Katrina Otter Weddings

Florals Jenni Bloom Floral Design Studio

Furniture Wedhead

Biscuits + Cakes Nevie Pie

All tableware and linens can be found via the Duchess & Butler Shop

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