by Shirley Hailstock
It’s May and the summer wedding season will gear up soon. I thought of creating a tablescape for the groom and his party. Do you know what a tablescape is? It’s decorating a table for some event. It could be a children’s party, movie night, a holiday celebration, or a dinner without any special reason. However, when there is a special reason, I like to do something a little more than putting plates on the table and loading them up with food.
There is no wrong way to do a tablescape. You don’t have to design it or plan it, but that isn’t a bad thing to do. I usually plan a theme, a color scheme, and a centerpiece. Once I have those items in mind, the other objects on the table fall into the plan. However, if none of these things come to mind, at least you should balance the table someway. Even if you’re setting a table for one, you can still balance it.
The tablescape I created for this article I called the Tuxedo Table. Names don’t generally come with a tablescape. You can name it or not. I like giving them names. It makes it easier for me to remember what it is. Once I have this idea, I thought of the napkins. I wanted them to look like a tuxedo. This table name is based on the way the napkin is folded. Folding can be elaborate or simple. The photo above has a simple fold. As this is a male oriented table, I didn’t want it to be too feminine. Placement of the napkin can also be in various places, on the plate, next to it, in the glass, etc.
The idea for a Tuxedo Table came because when we think of wedding, the bride usually comes to mind. Dressed in white and floating down the aisle toward her soon to be husband, is a mental image we can pull into view. But what about the groom and his before the wedding activities? We all have cliche images of the bachelor party, but even there, it isn’t all beer and pizza. So the napkin I folded for the groom’s party is to the right.
Earlier I mentioned a tablescape should be balanced. I also come up with a color scheme. For a wedding, the colors are coordinated between whatever the bride and bridesmaids are wearing. The subtle message here is the bridesmaids wear red and the groom and his men have white tuxedos.
Let’s look at the balance on this table. In the photo below, if you remove all the place settings except the one at the head of the table, it remains balanced. The huge centerpieces balance the table. Don’t be afraid to use large or tall centerpieces. Most of the colors I used in these photos are red, black and white. Keep the number of colors to a minimum. As this is a set up for the groom and his party, the bride’s colors are subtle and the groom colors are prominent.
The centerpiece in this tablescape is tall. The longer the table, the more centerpieces you might need. These can be spread out, but remember to balance them. Don’t have different centerpieces for different sections of the table. Make them all the same, even if they are clusters. The clusters, like the ones above, would be repeated and evenly spaced.
I once worked in a bridal shop and saw mainly the bride’s side of the wedding party. Many of my novels are wedding stories. The groom always has a part in the planning. And his bachelor party should be something to remember. Just as the bride will remember her shower, the groom should have pleasant memories of his last night of bachelorhood.
Doing tablescapes are not difficult. You do them every time you set the table. Next time you feel like doing a little more, think of a theme and add a little extra. You don’t have to learn to fold napkins or find the exact color napkins, tiny bow ties (that took forever to find), or crystal glasses, but a little effort will make your guests feel special and you can take a well deserved bow.
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