30+ Wedding Table Ideas: What to Put on Wedding Reception Tables

Are you looking for wedding table ideas? Don’t know what to put on wedding reception tables? Look no further! Today we cover all you need to know to host the wedding reception of your dreams!

Simplicity at the bride and groom's table with chairs that complement the wedding table decor to perfection.

Simplicity at the bride and groom’s table with chairs that complement the wedding table decor to perfection.

If you’re the type that’s been dreaming of your wedding your whole life, you might know exactly what you want your wedding reception tables to look like. If you don’t, then you are in the right place. Use this checklist to choose what to put on wedding reception tables and get inspired by some stunning wedding table ideas that will sweep you off your feet!

How to Decorate Wedding Reception Tables

When styling a wedding reception table, there are a myriad of options to choose from to achieve your desired look. Here’s a short checklist to keep in mind when decorating your wedding tables.

1. The tables themselves: tables come in all shapes and sizes, but wedding tables are somewhat standardized. 😉 From round to square, your tables may be so stunningly beautiful that you may want to show them off. A good example would be rustic heavy wooden tables, too gorgeous to hide under a tablecloth.

Wedding table ideas in soft pink and blue by Celios Design.

Wedding table ideas in soft pink and blue by Celios Design.

Don’t know what to put on wedding reception tables? Look no further! Today we cover all you need to know to host the wedding reception of your dreams!

Don’t know what to put on wedding reception tables? Look no further! Today we cover all you need to know to host the wedding reception of your dreams!

2. Table linens: From simple white to luxurious heavy silk brocade or modern sequined tablecloths, table linens help set your table style. Spend some time considering the colors of your napkins, linens, skirting and table runners and their impact on your reception decor.

3. Place settings: This refers to setting the table with tableware which includes utensils, glasses, dishes, etc. Each individual set is called a place setting. You may choose to go with a formal or an informal setting for your sit-down dinner. Or no setting at all if you are going for a cocktail wedding reception! 😉

Tip: Remember to match your utensils to your wedding menu items or courses.

4. Centerpieces: Tall, hanging, short or even as table runners with wreaths of greenery, make sure the wedding centerpieces match your wedding theme and do not block your guests’ view of the rest of the people at the table. You can go with lanterns, bird cages, floating candles, votives, floral wedding centerpieces or a mix of these. There is so much variety to choose from! (Check out this affordable wedding centerpieces article for more inspiration and fabulous and simple DIYs!)

Adorable votives, shells and white flowers to decorate this beach wedding reception tables. Photography: kiwiphotostudio.

Adorable votives, shells and white flowers to decorate this beach wedding reception tables. Photography: kiwiphotostudio.

Soften the look of your long tables with round plates and round centerpieces.

Soften the look of your long tables with round plates and round centerpieces.

5. Place cards and table numbers: Your escort cards, place cards and/or table numbers can be subtle or used to make a statement besides helping you with your seating arrangements. You can do away with them if you choose to have your guests sit wherever they like. These adorable and creative pieces, really do come in handy at a sit-down dinner as it makes it easier for your waiters to deliver specially ordered menus – like those gluten-free, kosher or vegetarian options – to your guests when you know where they are sitting.

Read more: How to seat guests at your wedding for a lively celebration

6. Other additions to help you decorate wedding reception tables: Add a few surprises to your wedding table decor such as wedding favors and conversation ice-breakers. A few crayons or papers for them to add a well wish for the newlyweds can be a great conversation starter. You may also want to add wedding menus with a small lavender sprig or vine leaf on top of the plates.

Boho wedding. Nothing transforms your reception table ambiance more than the right lighting.

Boho wedding. Nothing transforms your reception table ambiance more than the right lighting.

Wedding table ideas and tips to learn how to decorate your reception tables.

Wedding table ideas and tips to learn how to decorate your reception tables.

7. Chairs: Usually a forgotten item even though they can really help spruce up the place. 😉 Look for comfort, style, and quality. The last thing you want at your wedding reception is a guest that gets hurt because the chair was too flimsy. Chair covers, original sashes, affordable baby’s breath and greenery decor can help you add that stunning personal touch to your wedding chairs. Feel free to browse some chair decor and other original wedding ideas on this article!

8. Table lighting: Nothing transforms your reception table ambiance more than the right lighting. Get inspired by twinkling lights, LEDs, chandeliers, candles and more to create an unforgettable dining space.

Candelabras with tall tapered candles and hanging chandeliers for an upscale outdoor wedding.

Candelabras with tall tapered candles and hanging chandeliers for an upscale outdoor wedding.

You can play with these elements when decorating wedding reception tables but always follow the golden rule: “Stay true to your own style.”

Wedding Table Ideas on a Budget

If you want to save money on your reception tables decor, there are plenty of affordable and amazing wedding table ideas to pick from. Here are a few of them.

  • Long live DIY! If you, or someone you know, is crafty, make the centerpieces and other wedding table decor yourself. Fill glasses or vases with strings of lights or votive candles, purchase your own fabric for your tablecloths or table runners or create your own flower arrangements.
  • If you are hosting a buffet-styled reception, use chic plastic plates and plastic “silverware” that look like the real thing instead of renting expensive china. This will help cut down on the cleaning costs as well. 😉
Make these gorgeous but simple DIY succulent centerpieces for your wedding reception tables. What you will need: Moss table-runner with loose succulents, mini terrariums and mica flakes.

Make these gorgeous but simple DIY succulent centerpieces for your wedding reception tables. What you will need: Moss table-runner with loose succulents, mini terrariums and mica flakes.

  • Glassware can also double as party favors. Use customized or personalized wine, pint or mason jar glasses for each place setting that your guests can take home at the end of the wedding reception. You can have them engraved with your names, initials and the wedding date or you can tie on a small tag with a note and a ribbon.
  • Grab old pieces of reclaimed wood, vintage jars and vases, or thrift store candles and trinkets to create unique and stunning wedding centerpieces. Tie the look together with inexpensive ribbons, or not. 😉
Wedding table ideas on a budget. Achieve the classic-clam look with a golden frame some votives and a delicate flower arrangement in white and green like at this stunning West Hollywood wedding. Photography: Jose Villa Photography.

Wedding table ideas on a budget. Achieve the classic-clam look with a golden frame some votives and a delicate flower arrangement in white and green like at this stunning West Hollywood wedding. Photography: Jose Villa Photography.

  • This is one of our favorite wedding table ideas: Secure your napkins with bracelets or jewelry from the dollar store! Tres chic!
  • Winter wedding? Sprinkle pinecones with glitter. For a beach wedding, mix and match some seashells with lace and create some unique wedding table decor and favors.
Glam up your look with rhinestones, lace and ribbons - one of the many wedding tables ideas you will find on this article.

Glam up your look with rhinestones, lace and ribbons.

Tips for Decorating Wedding Tables

Decorating wedding tables should be a fun task. Follow these tips and never forget to be true to your style.

  • Choose your wedding color scheme and/or your wedding theme before buying or renting the wedding reception table decor
  • Don’t be scared to go for an eclectic look, especially when on a budget. Unique and creative wedding table ideas and decorations add to the fun
  • Not every table has to have a uniform look and feel. Feel free to experiment with color, shapes and unique pieces that distinguish a table from the next. They will certainly help your guests break the ice!
  • Consider round or oval-shaped dishes for long or square tables to soften the look
  • Table numbers or folded napkins that are triangular or diamond-shaped add more visually appeal to a round table
  • Formal place settings take up more table space than informal ones
  • Add an original wedding sign to the bride and groom’s chairs
Original elegant and modern wedding centerpiece.

Original elegant and modern wedding centerpiece.

Sophisticated and magical wedding table ideas for a candlelight reception dinner.

Sophisticated and magical wedding table ideas for a candlelight reception dinner.

These are some of the many beautiful and fun wedding table ideas to help you decide what to put on wedding reception tables. Now, don’t be shy and follow us on Pinterest to discover thousands of other ideas to make your wedding as exceptional as these!

Incredible and Original Wedding Table Ideas Photo Gallery

  • Nice and simple green fresh garland.

    Nice and simple green fresh garland.
  • Purple passion wedding inspiration

    Purple passion wedding inspiration. Photography Damion Hamilton.
  • Mint and gold wedding with succulents and sequins

    The Biltmore Ballrooms in Midtown Atlanta is an inspirational site in and of itself. Mint and gold wedding with succulents and sequins. Photography: Melissa Prosser Photography.
  • Tall and modern greenery centerpieces with an edge.

    Wedding table ideas you’ll love. Tall and modern greenery centerpieces with an edge.
You may choose to go with a formal or an informal setting for your sit-down dinner.

You may choose to go with a formal or an informal setting for your sit-down dinner.

Show your guests their assigned table with these impressive seating card scrolls! Damask pattern double-sided champagne flute seating card scroll in plum, sage, and nude.

Show your guests their assigned table with these impressive seating card scrolls! Damask pattern double-sided champagne flute seating card scroll in plum, sage, and nude by PennyAnnDesigns.

Wedding reception tablescapes for organic theme wedding.

Wedding reception tablescapes for organic theme wedding.

Wedding Table Ideas: What to Put on Wedding Reception Tables.

Wedding Table Ideas: What to Put on Wedding Reception Tables.

Modern elegance in this Dallas wedding.

Modern elegance in this Dallas wedding.

Love this wedding table idea! Match your wedding color-scheme with a paper and wrap your utensils with it and a doily for a vintage rustic look.

Love this wedding table idea! Match your wedding color-scheme with a paper and wrap your utensils with it and a doily for a vintage rustic look.

Spanish-themed wedding table decor. Mission inn wedding Photo credit: Amalie Orrange photography.

Spanish-themed wedding table decor. Mission inn wedding Photo credit: Amalie Orrange photography.

Beautiful and affordable wedding table decor ideas.

Beautiful and affordable wedding table decor ideas.

Incorporate colorful flowers and lighting to your rustic chic wedding dessert table. Photography: Angela Gagnon.

Incorporate colorful flowers and lighting to your rustic chic wedding dessert table. Photography: Angela Gagnon.

Peach tulips for a peach, white and green elegant and simple centerpiece at this Chicago wedding. Photography: Gerber +Scarpelli Photography. Vale of Enna flowers.

Peach tulips for a peach, white and green elegant and simple centerpiece at this Chicago wedding. Photography: Gerber +Scarpelli Photography. Vale of Enna flowers.

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Photo Credits: Rustic Chic Weddings, bridalshowplanner, weddingbee, MODwedding, mibelleinc, la decoración de mis mesas, indulgy, Deer Pearl Flowers, southernproductions, mydiaryofus

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