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As a wedding florist, a big part of my job is coming up with the design plans for how to incorporate florals throughout the whole wedding day. The reception tables are always a big item to consider – typically they take up a good deal of the budget and there are also so many options for how you can bring a design scheme to life through florals on the tables. There is so much room for creativity with the designs. Many venues use rectangular tables for the guest tables and they always look beautiful when placed individually or together to create a longer row. However, they come with a lot more design options than circular tables so it can be a bit overwhelming to start thinking about the design.
I wanted to share 5 simple ways that I like to add flowers to rectangular tables. I like to start with these more broad design ideas and then get more detailed – things like deciding on the spacing of the florals or thickness of the garland, the colour scheme and style of the arrangement, vase and candle materials etc. I hope these few ideas will act as a good starting point for you to see the different ways you can add florals to rectangular tables!
Garland has been an extremely popular choice for rectangular tables at weddings for many years now. I’m sure if you have scrolled through Pinterest for any event inspiration you have come across countless images of beautiful lush garlands down long tables. While lush garlands are beautiful in the right setting, in an effort to share another take on the garland look I wanted to show something a little more delicate like this placed greenery. In the right setting, I find that a light greenery accent like this has a really modern feel. I especially like this option when I am working at venues that have a combination of circular and rectangular tables and we use a lush floral arrangement on the circular tables and compliment it with light greenery like this on the rectangular tables. If you are in a large hall or tall tent using all rectangular tables, greenery of this density would not usually be my first suggestion because it might feel too sparse, but in a more intimate space with narrow tables this look is very romantic and creates a beautiful atmosphere. This is best completed with LOTS of candles and some fresh fruit for decoration is always a nice touch too! If you are planning to serve the meal family style, I would not recommend garland as it will make placing serving dishes in the centre of the table difficult.
The next way that I like to add flowers to rectangular tables is using bud vases. In this example, the bud vases are treated like little mini arrangements and use a couple of mixed blooms along with some sprigs of greenery. I find these organic arrangements look really beautiful in clusters down the table. It looks most beautiful when each vase is different but all within the same style and using vases at a couple of different heights. The small scale of votive candles is perfect for pairing on a table with bud vases. Depending on desired look and budget, you can alter the spacing between the bud vase clusters to find the look that is right for you! With the appropriate spacing, this can be a good look on tables where the meal will be served family style to allow for serving dishes inbetween.
The above option used the bud vases to create mini mixed arrangements and this next design gives the bud vases a more simple feel by using just one variety of flower throughout. I’ve also done similar variations of this simple bud vase scheme where not all the flowers were the same like they are here but still have a more minimalist feel. For example, doing each vase with just one variety of flower but still mixing up the floral varieties is one of my favourite design options. This simplified look is a bit more modern than the above option and looks best with uniform placement (as opposed to clusters) and I also like to use more vases for a greater impact. With this placement, this option is not as conducive to family style dining.
Traditional centrepieces are a beautiful option for circular and rectangular tables. On a rectangular table I always start by placing one in the middle of the table and then deciding on the design further from here. When deciding how much to add to a table, table width plays into this a lot. If you have a wider table, 3 or more arrangements might feel appropriate. If your table is more narrow, you may find that one arrangement with just candles on either end works well. My typical go-to suggestion, which is shown below is a centrepiece in the middle with candles and bud vases on either end. If you are placing multiple tables together to create a very long table you can repeat centrepieces down the entire length or alternate centrepieces with clusters of bud vases. The spacing between elements depends on budget, desired overall look (lush vs. light), and required space for other elements on the table (dishes, glassware etc.). Spacing and quantities is something that I advise on all the time with weddings and your florist will certainly be able to do the same!
This final design is a similar design to the above but uses small arrangements – something that is between a centrepiece and bud vase in size. I like these for their delicate feel but they offer a bit more of a visual impact than an individual bud vase. Like with the above option, these small arrangements can be used in combination with bud vases or centrepieces down a long table. I find a small arrangement looks especially beautiful when paired with taper candles like shown here.
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