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Trend Alert: The Evolution of Tablescapes

Table design has always been in the forefront of event décor, which means it’s an element that is more subject to change with the shifting trends. While roses and peonies will always have a place in floral arrangements, you likely haven’t touched a burlap runner in a few years because rustic chic is a trend of the past.

Browsing Pinterest will reveal a slew of contemporary design styles that are gracing the tables of events around the world, but there are certain elements that have risen in popularity across the board. Our experts shared insight into what we’re seeing in the tablescapes of today.

A shift to classic romance

From lush greenery to soft gauzy linens, couples are embracing elements that exude romance to celebrate their weddings. It’s a feeling that can be captured by any color palette, whether it’s all about neutrals or it’s a display of bold jewel-toned hues. Of course, candlelight is the perfect addition to any tablescape for a truly romantic ambience. 

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“Tabletop design is going back to classic romance,” states industry expert Mindy Weiss. “Couples are opting for low centerpieces instead of tall and that lends itself to a more natural, romantic look. The style is more of an unkept garden than a tight and formal wedding for 2019. Couples are also investing more in tabletop than before and renting unique dishes that are often mismatched and paired with cut crystal.”

Photo courtesy Mike B Photography – www.mikebphotography.com

Jes Gordon of jesGORDON/properFUN adds: “I am finding that our couples feel that it’s important to include and harmonize with other elements of their designs, including the architecture surrounding them. They seem to be gravitating towards well-designed raw venues, then wanting to add a layer of romance and softness to them via lighting and romantic flowers. To me, it’s a statement on the world today paying honor to its more practical elements while keeping the glamour and luxury in the mix.”

Have fun with metallics

We’re starting to see the rose gold and copper trend wane and, in its place, we’re excited to see silver and chrome making a comeback. However, tablescapes aren’t necessarily excluding any metallic — instead, they’re playing with them in new ways for a fresh take on metals.

“Industrial style brings a new set of options to the table,” explains Sandra Santoro of Getting Married in Italy. “In 2019, couples will be sticking with coordinated mix and match place settings. And, with all the new metals appearing in 2019, something we may see in dishware and décor this year is mixing metals.”

Gina Holz of Gina Holz Designs, Inc. agrees: “Mixing different metals was once taboo, but it is taking the interior design world by storm. A careful balance of warm metals mixed with cool tones gives a layered feeling that embraces old and new finishes in a fresh way.”

Photo courtesy Sunshower Photography – www.sunshowerphotography.com

No need for themes

In the past, weddings have widely adhered to a specific theme, whether it’s a tropical celebration or a garden fête. Nowadays, however, couples don’t feel the need to stick to a theme and instead look to customize each detail to fit their personalities.

“We continue to hear from our featured real wedding couples that they chose to steer away from a set theme for their big day and, instead, made the celebrations all about them as a couple,” shares Julia Braime and Rachel Parry of Brides Up North. “This often results in an eclectic mix of décor and details, making the wedding stand out on its own merits as it doesn’t fit into a ‘themed’ box.”

That means that no two weddings are alike, as couples seek to branch out and try new things.

“There are no limits with table design,” reminds Bruce Russell of By Bruce Russell. “Mix and match colours and textures with glassware, crockery, and linen. Impressive long tables win out over traditional round tables. The focus is on the guest and the dining experience created with magical tablescapes.”

Make a statement with linens

For many celebrations, linens are the pièce de résistance of the design scheme. On the smaller scale, they contribute color, texture, and patterns to the tablescape — yet, they also have the power to transform the big picture design of the overall space.

“Linens are ever-evolving and becoming used as statement pieces alongside interesting tableware,” explains event designer Kate Cullen. “Bolder colours are especially seeing a resurgence, with greens and blues being in particularly high demand. Fabric choice is more abundant than ever before — from silks and velvets to linens and lace. Layering of textures is a strong theme for more minimalist colour palettes, deriving interest from pattern and texture rather than through colour.”

“Patterned and textured linens are key features to creating an interesting table design,” says Karen Gordon of GoodShuffle. “Floral continues to be a popular choice as well as metallic accents (way beyond sequins!). Event designers aren’t afraid to mix and match patterns and textures to create unique, one-of-a-kind ‘wow’ moments.”

Tablescape trends are always changing with the tides, but the fundamental goal for any table design is to bring together all of the various elements—place settings, centerpieces, linens, table numbers, and such—to create a beautiful and cohesive style.

Kylie Carlson

Founder / CEO, The Wedding and Event Institute

Kylie Carlson is the CEO of the International Academy of Wedding and Event Planning. With six locations globally, the academy boasts an internationally recognized accreditation program that brings professional training to wedding planners, designers and stylists.