When it comes to creating stunning tablescapes, I always try to focus on five key elements to ensure that my designs are as extraordinary as the event.
First, remember to keep your centerpieces either very low or very high. I like to either use items that are no taller than twelve inches, or create taller centerpieces using a thin or transparent base, so that your guests can see each other while seated.
Typically, guests are seated next to someone they already know or came with, so help keep the conversation flowing throughout the evening by giving everyone at the table an opportunity to meet their table-mates. This makes for a much more fun evening than one where flowers are blocking your view and ability to socialize. Remember, you’re spending a lot of time and money on your centerpieces with the hope that they will be admired by your guests, not pushed to the side so that they aren’t blocking everyone’s line of vision.
Second, when I design a wedding or event I always like to create what I call “Hills and Valleys”. This means mixing tall arrangements that are eye level and will always be seen, with shorter arrangements that add color and texture to each table. I recommend using a combination of different varieties and styles rather than just one unified arrangement.
Variety is the spice of life and so having three different versions that share a cohesive style will make the reception look more unique and up-scale, as opposed to a corporate event where everything is often uniform.
Third, stunning tablescapes don’t always require extravagant floral arrangements as the centerpiece. Try using potted plants like orchids and succulents in beautiful arrangements that all of your guests can take home at the end of the evening.
This is an excellent “GREEN” option, and perfect for charity events because you can sell the arrangements at the end of the evening as an opportunity to make your money back and cover the cost of the decor.
Forth, I love incorporating lots of candles when creating a stunning and romantic tablescape. Natural lighting is one of the best ways to create impact while keeping your budget in check. If you are spending money on beautiful table arrangements, you need to “pin spot” them to ensure that they get the pop of light they deserve. Pin spotting is when you light each table from the ceiling or from lights around the room that are focused directly on the centerpiece so that it pops! If your budget restricts having pin spots, bump up the amount of candles you are using in order to create your own natural glow to illuminate your centerpiece… if you are paying to have a centerpiece, it is important to light them so everyone sees them throughout the entire event.
Fifth, if flowers and candles are not your thing or your budget just won’t allow for them, you can still create a stunning tablescape with a little creativity! Try building your centerpieces out of found objects or items that relate to the event in some way. A collection of giant shells, vintage books, interesting rocks, unique blown glass, feathers, or interesting uses of paper, are all great alternative tablescape materials.
You could even use edible centerpieces or build a mini “candy island” (aka candy buffet) on each table using your favorite candies with jars and scoops.
Be sure to include small to-go bags though, so you’re not left with buckets of leftover candy. Have fun with it and try to think outside of the box!
Your tables scapes are the cherry on top of the event you’re designing! Use this opportunity to create something extraordinary that will keep your guests buzzing all night. Good luck!