Wedding table setting, according to etiquette

Wedding table setting, according to etiquette

How to fabulously set your wedding reception tables!


The hall where your wedding reception will take place should be arranged carefully and precisely: after all, it’s the space where you and your guests will spend most of your wedding day!

First of all, it’s important to have a fil rouge that brings together all of the various elements present in the room. From the tableau, to the centerpieces, to the floral arrangements, to the decorations set around the hall, to the table setting, to the tablecloths and the plates and cups: everything must be coordinated following a well defined style, to create a harmonious, elegant and romantic setting.

Some practical tips for the preparation of the room and table mise en place is explained by our partner Integra Rent among the leaders in the field of wedding fittings:

The centerpieces: should decorate the table harmoniously, without becoming obstacles! So, for example, it will be better to prefer short ones, or tall and slender ones that won’t interfere with the guests’ interactions. There truly are a lot of different models: made with flowers, candles, or mirrors. The important thing is to coordinate the centerpieces amongst themselves, and perhaps customize each one to make every table unique!

The tablecloth: must be clean, ironed, and should not touch the pavement. The color and fabric should follow a specific style: so, for example, a white satin tablecloth is ideal for a very formal wedding, white one made in decorated jute – perhaps with a lace runner – or a crochet one is more suitable for a shabby chic reception.

Etiquette follows some very precise rules regarding the wedding tables’ mise en place. First of all: the plates must be set in the order with which the courses will be served. So, we start off with a base plate, above which the second course plate must be set. Above this, we must set the entree plate. The first course is usually brought to the table by the waiters. If that’s not the case, the first course plate must be the last one to be set on the table. Each guest must also have a bread dish available, a fundamental detail to keep the table organized: it must be set at the top left side of the plates. The silverware should instead be used starting from the last one and following towards the dishes. The forks should be set on the left side, while the spoons and knives should be put on the right, with the blade set towards the plate. The dessert silverware should be set above the plate, between the dishes and the glasses. And, as far as glasses go, the ideal thing is to set three different ones starting from the left and moving towards the right in a decrescent size: the larger glass is for water, the rounded one for red wine, while the tulip shaped one is for white wine. They should be set on the upper right side of the plates. If you want, you can also add champagne flutes tot he mix. Lastly, the napkins should be set on the left side of the silverware.

Follow these rules for an elegant and refined final look, to surprise your guests with gorgeous table settings! Be creative and try to reflect your wedding’s fil rouge even in the smaller details. After all, it’s always the details that make a difference!


Marta Boldi