Last month I talked about dry hire of table linen. Today I want to talk a bit more about how it features in your “grand scheme”
The provision, type and colour of table linen is often overlooked as you view the bigger picture on your big day. If “bad” table linen is a worry to you then here are a few simple prompts to ask yourself as part of your planning.
- Does your venue include table linen for tables? Now that might appear a pointless question but the answer really does depend on your choice of venue. Hotels almost certainly do – unless you are opting for dinner in their bistro style restaurant or setting where while linen is not generally used. Restaurants vary. If they are your more rustic bare polished table style then the question of linen might not even arise in your early discussion. Halls often don’t – unless they are also offering a catering service. Then it is still worth checking if linen is fabric or paper banquet roll.
- Are you having to hire tables in? Then don’t forget to order the right quantity and size of linen. You have three options for this in the main – get linen from the same hire company, ask your caterer for a quote to include linen. If you have booked a venue stylist then many also have linen to compliment your theme. This opens a whole host of opportunities to use colour too. Be aware – some caterers include linen in their price – so be sure you don’t double book it either.
- If linen is included what colour is it? We are all familiar with crisp white linen at the vast majority of weddings. But did you know there are still a few hotels, restaurants, clubhouses who still favour cream or colours. If you are having chair covers then white will be the default in most cases. It is always better to have a match for a clean look.
- The flip side of that of course is..you have decided to have ivory chair covers. Can your venue supply ivory table linen? Ivory seat covers against crisp white linen can simply make the ivory seat look grey – grubby. If they cannot supply ivory then you have three obvious options – hire table linen to match your covers – settle for white seat covers and bring the ivory in your accessories – ask your venue stylist to supply an ivory overlay.
- Having round tables? Is it important you have round cloths on your round tables? If so then ask what your venue supplies as standard. Some use a large square – some do a double square to disguise legs. Is it a deal breaker if cloths aren’t round? Remember covered chairs will hide a good bit of any gap.
- Everyone loves crisp linen napkins for the wedding breakfast – but does every venue include them as standard? The reality is not everyone does. If this is important to you then ask the question. While your venue might not – one of your other suppliers (dresser, caterer) might be able to include them for you.
- Is your top table clothed to the floor or is it skirted? If you plan a lovely top table swag it ideally needs a full cloth backdrop for best effect. And an elaborate top table swag can look over fussy over a skirted table.
- One final tip – if you do plan to use an “external” supplier for your table linen then you should understand their timings. There is an “order of play”. Tables in place – linen on – then place settings and centrepieces to finish. It sounds obvious but you can’t finish dressing your tables if they are still awaiting a cloth ;). You wouldn’t think a table cloth or a napkin could bring about so many variations would you? For many it is not a deal breaker. If it matters to you however then the best tip I can give is “ask”.
If the answer is not entirely what you had hoped for then all things are possible – it really depends where you want to spend your budget. Ask yourself is it a deal breaker, will anyone notice when your room is dressed, are you planning to cover it all up. I am a big supporter of quality linen hence we keep all ours in house. You may not meet anyone who notices table linen more – be it beautifully crisp or appallingly bad. However in the big scheme of things it shouldn’t spoil your day. If everything else is just perfect, the food, the decor, the venue then put it into context. Remember your guests are not there to look at your tablecloth, they are there to celebrate your day with you. 🙂