Tips on how to select your wedding linens, tables & chairs
Beyond florals, here’s some tips on how to transform your wedding venue with your wedding linens, tables & chairs.
photo by Mango Studios / planned by Bisous Events / picture: chiavari white chairs with 42″ wide tables
If you’re not on a big budget or you want to incorporate a colour, there’s no better way than with a linen. Most venues will come with a basic polyester or damask linen but upgrading or sourcing an outside linen will really make an impact on your wedding design.
Damask & in-house linens: Those damask linens probably came with the venue when it was first built and are probably in every photo of the venue. Make your wedding your own by incorporating your favourite colour or a warm, neutral tone to brighten up a dark venue such as a matte satin ivory or champagne. If your venue comes with a polyester (or “poly”) linen in white and you don’t have a big budget, go with the plain linen – this will make your floral centrepiece really pop and still look modern.
Colour & patterns: If you’re looking for a bold colour or pattern, just make sure it doesn’t overwhelm your other decor items or match your bridesmaids dresses so much that it’s hard to spot them out.
Creasing: When looking for a linen, keep in mind fabrics that wrinkle. Although, all linen companies make an effort to steam and hang your linens, there’s no way of avoiding some creasing so remember which fabrics crease more than others when considering.
Overlays & runners: Overlays are a beautiful option if you go with a neutral underlay but keep in mind the scale of the print and the shape of the linen. Our rule is always have the linen to the ground and this includes overlays. Runners can be great but make sure they don’t make the surface unstable for your decor items. Usually runners work best on a wide rectangular table only. Make sure if it’s linen, you have a steamer on hand to flatten out those creases!
Napkins: When choosing napkins, the most expensive is not always the best choice. You don’t really want a rough or super silky material to wipe your mouth so opt for a cheaper polyester or a cotton linen napkin. If those options are limited in colours, try a double-sided material.
****Planner tip: Don’t forgot all your extra tables like DJ and cake. We always suggest 3 extra minimum. Ask your lead planner about sourcing linens because the price range is huge and with 20 linens, you can be saving 50% through your planner sometimes!
There are many table lengths, shapes and configurations to maximize the shape and flow of your wedding day.
Round tables: There are 2 sizes of round tables: 60″ and 72″ rounds. There are also small rounds used for cakes.
60″ round table: This size table fits 8-10 people but we recommend 9 people comfortable or 8 if you’re doing chargers. The great thing about this size is it is easily movable and allows for more configurations in small spaces. To get your linen to touch the ground, you will need 120″ round linens. Best thing about this linen is you don’t need large florals to make it look full and lush.
72″ round table: This table size fits 10-12 people (10 if using chargers). This size is great if you’d like you don’t want to break up a group (ex: the co-worker table or immediate family) and they’ll have plenty of people to converse with. 132″ round linen will touch the ground. Make sure not to push the chairs in too much or else you’ll see the table legs and ensure you have favours or enough tea lights to fill the centre to keep it from looking sparse.
photo by Philippa C. Studios / planned by Bisous Events / picture: 30″ wood banquet table
Rectangular / banquet / harvest tables: Most foldable tables will come in 30″ wide; this is not wide enough in most situations for people to be sitting on both sides. This size is ideal if you’re doing a head table where people are only sitting on 1 side or if you’re having a very casual wedding without lots of florals, no garland or family style dinner. Otherwise, we would suggest 36″ or 42″ tables – these are specialty sizes so not all rental companies have them so check first. Most rectangular tables come in 6 and 8ft long, cake tables or signing tables can be 4ft long.
6ft x 30″: Seats 3 on each side (max 6). If you seat someone on the end, most likely they won’t be able to full their chair in because the table legs are in the way. Requires a 90” x 132” linen to hit the ground.
8ft x 30″: Comfortably seats 4 people per side or 3 on the sides and 1 on each end (8 max). Requires a 90” x 156” linen to hit the ground.
photo by Ashley Bosnick / planned by Bisous Events / picture: gold chiavari chairs
photo by Philippa C. Studios / planned by Bisous Events / picture: white harvest crossback chairs
There are so many types of chairs that can add to the decor. Many people don’t realize how chairs really compliment the design since there is no piece of decor that large in the room that each person requires. Our personal opinion on chair covers is they are very outdated and give your chairs a creepy, haunted-vibe.
Here are some of our favourite chair designs:
- Harvest / Wood crossbacks
photo by Philippa C. Studios / planned by Bisous Events / picture: white harvest crossback chairs with 4″ table
photo by Rhythm Photography / planned by Bisous Events / picture: gold chiavari chairs with 36″ wide tables
There are a few things you may want to think about when choosing your chairs…
comfort: If you have a lot of older guests, have a lot reception or just want to make sure your guests are comfortable, make sure your seats have padding on the seat. For added comfort, a back padding helps. Check out the chairs personally if you can and ask how long it’s been since the chairs have been reupholstered or replaced.
style & colours: If you’re going for a boho look, perhaps the harvest cross back in white would be a great fit. For a more formal affair, the Louis would bring that elegant and regal look to your wedding day. If you have a dark venue, bring in some light with the chairs or add contrast to a blank space with a gold chair.
price: The more labour intensive a chair design or how many flights of stairs the movers have to go through to deliver, the most expensive your chair and delivery will cost. Chairs that are not foldable or cannot stack high (ex: with attached padded seats that cannot be removed) will also add to the high cost.
size: If you have a tight venue with a high guest count, reconsider your large chair options. The most space-saving chairs would be chiavari or the white foldable chairs.
babies/children: Make sure your venue has booster chairs and high chairs for the little ones. If you do have booster chairs, make sure they can secure snug to the chosen chair.
Hope this helps with planning your big day and gives you more insight when choosing which wedding linens, tables and chairs fit your wedding design. Help save the environment by renting rather than buying many of these items and returning or reselling.
All these tips are great but you’ll need someone to execute everything while you’re getting ready and it’s never fun to ask your family/wedding party/close friends when they should be having drinks and taking pictures with you. Remember… it’s better to have a coordinator than not to have anything at all!
photo by EvaImage / planned by Bisous Events & August in Bloom / picture: 30″ round bistro tables with bistro bentwood chairs