Tablescape design

Planning a table setting with The Event Merchant Company.

You'll notice that each Oh Wow venue contains Planning Essentials, areas of coordination that we think really help craft a bespoke wedding.

One such area is the table arrangement. Annie and Andrew from The Event Merchant Company help us better prepare and execute on a tablescape design.

About the business

While planning their own wedding three years ago, the couple struggled to source the unique tablescape elements that would define their wedding the way they'd envisioned.

Their aim was to create a heartfelt experience for their guests, one that offered an insight into the couple in every detail.

Knowing that a great deal of wedding time is spent enjoying the company around them and the incredible food offered, Annie and Andrew looked at the tables, and defined a specific design by selecting specialty cutlery, linens and charger plates.

It was the attention to these details on their wedding day that prompted them to explore developing our own specialty tableware rentals business.

Purpose

"We’re passionate about tablescape design, that’s pretty obvious, and we also value the time spent at the table. To us, it’s these moments your guests will remember, when they slow down, savour the food and laugh at the speeches," said Annie. "Why not treat your guests to an experience they’re likely to never forget! This is the driving force behind our designs and we encourage our couples to create a unique and memorable setting for their guests."

Planning

The business has found most couples can provide a good indication of their style and direction, allowing the quoting process to be fairly simple. There are however, certain elements of tableware rentals that can be overlooked.

Pink and black tablescape design

For example, the tables in your venue may not be wide enough to accommodate long thick garlands and larger sized plates, where slightly smaller plates would fit more comfortably.

Consideration needs to be given to the placement of flowers, glassware, stationary, candles and cutlery, and how each will fit on the table. It’s critical that each of these products are closely aligned, and each supplier is informed of the neighbouring items.

"We’ve encountered issues where the couple have selected stand-out tableware pieces and chosen larger floral centrepieces for their tables," Annie recalled, "however on the day the width of the table, combined with the larger floral centrepieces made it difficult to comfortably place the glassware!"

Being prepared and understanding of all the requirements of the venue is incredibly helpful and important in the quoting process.

Some venues have a blanket policy not to rinse or wash external rentals like tableware. Other venues require all rentals to be collected at the conclusion of an event which can mean a 12am or 1am pick up time.

Being aware of the fine print in advance can save couples a shock surprise when they are required to pay additional fees in the final weeks before their wedding day.

The Event Merchant Company has seen an increased focus on sustainability. "Rentals," said Annie, "are one solution to reduce the environmental impact of your wedding day, while maintaining a level of luxury that may not be affordable if purchasing those same products at retail price."

Working with vendors and venues

One of the biggest pieces of advice Annie and Andrew can suggest to couples, is at the beginning of their wedding planning journey, to utilise their vendors contacts.

"Vendors have an intimate knowledge of the industry and those that work not just in their own field but also complimentary fields," said Annie. "If you’re planning your wedding, and have a long to-do list, ask your vendors for suggestions!"

When planning your tablescape design, there are multiple elements that will affect the possibilities you’ll be able to achieve within your chosen venue.

It’s important to make a checklist when visiting the venue and make note of details, such as how long and how wide the venues tables are, and what style chairs does the venue provide.

It’s advantageous to query the venue on their guest capacity, and if they are able to supply identical tables to fit your guest list.

"This may seem like a strange question to ask," said Annie, "but you would be surprised at how many venues have beautiful timber tables for their restaurant, but must provide trestle tables in order to increase the tables to cater for a large wedding. This may then add to linen hire to your to do list!"

Image: Ashleigh Haase

The Event Merchant Company provide specialty tableware rentals for weddings and events. Based in the heart of the Yarra Valley, servicing Melbourne and beyond. You can find them on Instagram or head to their website.