Whether planning a holiday soiree or the wedding of your dreams, what goes on the table is just as important as what is served on your plate. Not only have holiday tablescapes become the focus of many instagrammable moments, but it is where guests are likely to spend the majority of their time. Here, Montage Beverly Hills Director of Catering and Conference Services George Nickels and renowned event planner, Kristin Banta of Kristin Banta Events share their expert tips and tricks for setting a table that will be remembered long after it has been cleared.
Tell a Story
“It’s not about choosing a theme any more than it is about selecting a color palette,” says Banta. “It’s about telling a story—one that is fully developed and impacts all senses.” When designing wedding receptions, Banta will use the tablescape as a way to convey the story of the couple and what makes them unique. “It’s about inserting all the things that pay tribute to who they are and what they love.”
Think Beyond the Centerpiece
“Tablescapes can and should be more than just florals or a centerpiece,” says Banta. “Think about the tablescape as an extension of the overall interior design and decor throughout the reception space,” she adds. “They should add dimension, depth and personality.” Banta recommends adding rich, layered textiles and textures via chargers, glassware and fabrics, in addition to—or in lieu of—florals. “Picture flowers as more of an accent…but don’t be afraid to omit floral all together if they are not a part of your design story.”
Mix & Match
In addition, just as it is often effective to include tables in a variety of shapes and sizes, don’t be afraid to have a number of different, yet cohesive tablescapes throughout your room, mixing mediums and patterns.
For those who choose to forgo flowers altogether, Banta suggests using assorted greenery, succulents, bunches of herbs and branches as an effective way to create a residentially-inspired space rich in textures and depth.
Cover All Angles
“As part of the story telling process, be sure to find a way to incorporate your food and beverage selections with the look of the event,” says Nickels. This could mean adding décor elements to the butler passed tray, such as mini stacked books or a single flower. “Our Executive Chef Patrice Martineau always adds to the look of an event by adding small edible flowers to his dishes. These special touches help tie the look together and create special and memorable experiences in all cases.”
For more tablescaping tips and inspiration or to share your own mention @montagebh and @kristinbanta.