Choosing your table linens
Many times table linens are one of the last things one thinks about when planning an event. But the linens you use for your tables can be one of the most important decisions you make. Choosing your table linens can be easy if you follow the tips below.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when deciding on your linens.
- Visit your local rental store. Talk to the rental representative. Give them as much information as possible. Let them ask you questions about what you want the look and feel of your event to be. Let them make recommendations – they may suggest something that you hadn’t thought of such as runners, chair ties and napkin designs.
- Research! Different rental companies sometimes call the same type of linen by different names. Polyester linens at one store may simply be called “Solids” whereas at another store called “Classics”. Are you looking for polyester? Cotton? Satin? Burlap? Understand the differences and know what you want before ordering.
- Don’t wait until the last minute. Many times, if you wait until right before your event to decide on linens, you’ll find that what you really want is not available. Many times a rental company will have linen samples on display that they do not stock but are more than happy to special order for you. Rental companies need advanced notice to special order linens.
- Know what you need. Your rental representative cannot provide you with the right linens if you do not have all the required information. What size are your tables? How long of a drop do you want? Remember that you’ll want linens for not only your guests’ tables but also buffet tables, cake and gift tables and any other tables being used. If you have any non-standard size tables, be sure to have the exact measurements.
- Colors vary. The turquoise color of your bridesmaids may not be the same color as the turquoise napkins from your local rental company. Make sure you see an actual fabric swatch and compare the swatch to a sample of the color you are trying to match. Never take the color you see on your computer screen as the exact color as it could turn out to be completely different in person.
- Learn to spend wisely. In most cases, your wedding venue will have linens that are included in the price of your wedding. But these linens usually come in very basic, neutral colors such as black, white, ivory, etc. If you’re looking to save some money, you can take advantage of these linens and simply rent overlays, runners or chair ties from your rental company. A basic, white polyester linen can really be dressed up with an organza overlay and not-so-pretty ballroom chairs can be transformed into a thing of beauty with a simple satin chair tie!
- Understand the costs and the delivery/pick up procedures. When you get a price quote from a rental company for your linens, be sure to understand what those costs entail. Do you need to pick up and return the linens? Can they be delivered? Is there a delivery/pick up charge? Does the rental company set the linens onto the tables or will they expect the caterer to be responsible for that? What happens if a linen is lost? (Waiters are notorious for accidentally throwing out napkins during clean up.) What if a linen is stained and cannot be cleaned? Does the rental company charge a damage waiver fee?