Turn the Tables

Tips for creating a beautiful, personalized setting for your reception guests.

Nowadays, couples are customizing their reception tables with personal touches that reflect their interests, dreams and hobbies—some even pay homage to their past with photos and mementos. Central Florida wedding experts Brian Joyce of Flourish Floral Productions and Susie Weiss of Wonderful Weddings weigh in on how to create a meaningful and aesthetically pleasing tableau.


Brian Joyce designed a mirrored table that he calls “Reflections,” which represents reflecting on a couple’s life together, as well as looking into the future. When designing a personalized tablescape, he recommends choosing and committing to a color scheme.
“Don’t be afraid to ask for professional help; put your idea in someone else’s hands. It’s still your idea, but you’ll benefit from the professional’s expertise.”—Brian Joyce


Floral Wonderland
“Fresh flowers always add grace and style to any table setting,” says Joyce. “Make sure you have some small watertight containers in the mix.” Michelle Widmer and Dan Predko chose unique watertight containers for their Alice in Wonderland tea party-themed reception at Enzo’s on the Lake in Longwood: vintage teapots and other vessels that the bride had collected from antique and thrift stores over the years.
“It’s good to involve friends and family to help develop your reception theme and choose accents, but be cautious of having too many cooks in your ‘design kitchen.’” —Brian Joyce


Fresh and Simple
Consistency is the key to successful tablescaping: select a theme and keep it simple. Says Joyce: “Choose décor elements that convey your message and stay with them.” Carmen Taylor and Aaron Rogge settled on a casual Florida theme for their DIY backyard reception and used fresh citrus and cigar boxes to achieve the desired look.
“Create a diagram indicating where you want specific elements placed on the table to serve as a guide for those who are doing the setup. Extra guidance is much better than leaving it to chance.”—Susie Weiss


Keep it Light
Remember that a little goes a long way. “Be ready to edit,” says Joyce. He suggests putting everything on the table and then edit down to what you want.  Here, newlyweds Vi Nguyen and Matt Borchelt took an understated approach to their reception last March at Celebration Golf Club. They chose to show their Florida roots—hers in the Panhandle and his in the southern Gulf Coast—with sunshine-yellow lemon slices and down-home Mason jars they used for their fresh and simply styled tablescapes.
“Do your trial run by putting all the decorative elements on the table along with the linen, tableware, glassware, centerpiece, menu cards, table number, napkins and so on. These items take up a good bit of room, so you need to be careful to avoid clutter.”—Susie Weiss





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