We give a lot of focus and tips on decorating wedding tables at your reception because to be honest, that’s where guests are going to spending a large part of their time.

So making your tables stylish, welcoming and well-thought out is key to feeling that your wedding day is as beautiful as you ever wanted it to be.

Today we thought we’d show you five key tricks for decorating wedding tables – an insider’s guide if you like.

charger plates at wedding

Just see how effective charger plates can be. Provided by our York stylist

1. In charge of your place settings

We’re big fans of charger plates and with good reason. A charger plate is a bit like a table mat but much more decorative and sits under the serving plate. They make a table look ‘finished’, instantly create a place setting and come in a host of materials like china, metallic, glass etc. to offer a variety of looks. The ornate charger plates above used by our York stylist gave a really ‘luxe’ feel to the table and the rose gold colour toned in beautifully with the table length arrangements of rose buds.

Gold charger plates look beautiful with blush pink and taupe roses, as you can see here. By our York stylist photographed at Saltmarshe Hall

For extra effect, a glass charger can be placed over the gold to add a different dimension.

Silver beaded glass charger plates are gorgeous! Metallics and white are a stunning combination

wedding table setting

Think about your colour scheme as a whole. Here the golden touches to an Autumn themed wedding is perfection!

2. Lighting the way

Here our Buckinghamshire stylist arranged for lighting to be incorporated into the styling behind the top table which looked dazzling when the lights were dimme.

Don’t underestimate the effect that light has on the mood of your table or wedding venue. Don’t have bright overhead lighting. Instead light the tables individually with soft candles and ensure that your venue can dim the lights, nothing ruins a mood more than dazzling lighting over dinner, especially in a winter wedding.

Mirrors double the light reflected – Styling by Ambience Bradford

You’ll often see mirrors placed underneath candelabra and tea lights at weddings we’ve styled. That’s because a mirror will reflect light upwards and also double the light available but keeping it soft. It creates a very romantic ambience.

3. Saying it with flowers

Delicate white rose buds placed underneath simple glass candlesticks with tea light candles for the ultimate romantic feel. Created by our York stylist.

The flowers you use on your table decorations are also going to set a mood. If you want dreamy romance, then you can’t go wrong with roses. If you’d like a more vibrant mood, then opt for colourful gerberas or chrysanthemums, your florist will definitely be able to advise you on this.

Tall black vases each with a simple orchid make for very elegant wedding tables

Mexican fiesta wedding day theme

Here our stylist created a Mexican Fiesta theme. Bright yellow and red flowers were called for to stand up to the vibrant shades used on the table and seating.

4. Every napkin can be a style feature

Don’t forget that every napkin is an opportunity for stylish decoration

This is an easy one to get right but we’re often amazed how often napkins are left unadorned at weddings. You can tuck flowers into them, tie up the napkin with ribbon or lace (very mood-setting for a vintage wedding) and put place names on them.

A dark napkin creates drama.

Just simple touches to the napkin, like in this Woodland themed place setting, can make all the difference!

wedding table setting

Think of different ways to present your napkins and you don’t have to use white. Having them placed vertically with a menu on top is super stylish.

5. Name your tables


Give each of your tables a name – which could be part of your theme. Philippa James Photography

Rather than call your tables “One”, “Two”, “Three” and so on, it’s much more creative and fun to think up a name for each one. These could be just about anything. If you and your partner are sporty, then they could be favourite footballs teams, favourite athletes or favourite sports. If you both love reading then you could have the names of your favourite authors. If you have travelled widely then the names could be countries you’ve visited.

It’s a lovely idea to name each individual table