Tag Archives: table setting

How to Make a Table Runner for Your Wedding Reception

These instructions will give you a high-quality table runner. You can use just about any type of fabric: linen, cotton, velvet, whatever fits the style of your wedding. If you want to use the runner after your wedding and the fabric is washable, wash and dry it before you cut it.

  1. The length of the runner will be the total length of the table plus 30 inches. Buy runner fabric and lining fabric in a length that is a little more than half the length of the runner.

    For example, if the runner is for three 8' tables put together, the length of the runner will be:

    (8 x 12") x 3 + 30" = 318" or 8.8 yards. Half of the length is 4.4 yards.

    In this case, buy 4½ yards of runner fabric and 4½ yards of lining fabric.

  2. Cut the pieces out of the fabric and lining as shown in the diagram below. One piece should be half the length of the runner and 16″ wide. The other two pieces should each be a quarter the length of the runner and 16″ wide.
    DIY table runner pattern

  3. For both the runner and lining, sew the shorter pieces to the ends of the longer piece with straight seams and the right sides of the fabrics facing each other. Use a 5/8″ seam allowance.
  4. Press the seams open.
  5. Pin the runner fabric the lining fabric, right sides together. Sew around all four edges of the runner, leaving a 5″ opening. Trim the fabric at the corners of the runner.
  6. Pull the runner fabric right side out through the opening. Press the edges. Sew the opening closed by hand. Sew around the entire runner, 1/8 – ¼” away from the edge.
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Stylish Long Tablescapes on a Budget #3: Create a Display of Pre-Set Food

Long tables are increasingly popular, but the cost of filling them with decorations is not. You don’t need to fill the entire space along the middle of the table to create a stylish look. All this week I’ll be posting tips to create a stylish long tablescape on a budget.

wedding table decor bread sticks

Source: Wild Yeast (www.wildyeastblog.com)

Vegetable basket wedding table decor

Cathy's Rum Cake Caterers, Pheonix (cathys-rum-cake.com)

DIY chocolate truffle wedding dessert

Source: Borrowed & Bleu (www.borrowedandbleu.com)

Create a Display of Pre-set Food

family style catering weddings

Source: Family Style Catering, Portland, Oregon (www.familystylecatering.com)

Whether you are serving a sit-down meal or a buffet, you can pre-set some of the food on the table and make an artful display of it. Some of the foods that lend themselves to creative displays are assortments of breads accompanied by ramekins of herbed butter, salad platters with dressings, and chocolates. When you set out some of the food on the table, not only does the food serve double-duty as decor, everyone will spend less time standing on the buffet line.

Consider serving the entire meal family style, a quirky micro-trend in the wedding industry that I think will become more popular over the next few years, especially for small, intimate weddings. As the term family-style suggests, all the food is set out in serving bowls and platters on the table and guests pass the food and serve themselves. Of course, when people are seated at long tables, you will need a number of dishes of each type of food, set out along the length of the table.

Next: Stylish Long Tablescapes on a Budget #4: Candles, Candles, Candles

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Stylish Long Tablescapes on a Budget #2: Opt for Color and Pattern

Long tables are increasingly popular, but the cost of filling them with decorations is not. You don’t need to fill the entire space along the middle of the table to create a stylish look. All this week I’ll be posting tips to create a stylish long tablescape on a budget.

Choose color and pattern.

When selecting table linens, stemware, and even chairs, choose color. When a table isn’t piled high with decorations, colors and patterns can fill the visual field and go a long way toward setting your desired mood.

wedding table decor colored chairs

purple wedding decor stemware rentals

Source: Totally Tabletops, Seattle (http://totallytabletops.blogspot.com/)

black organza overlay table linen

Source: celebrationspartyrentals.com, California

bird fabric table cloth

purple and orange table decorations

Source: everybridesbestfriend.blogspot.com

Next: Stylish Long Tablescapes on a Budget #3: Create a Display of Pre-Set Food

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Stylish Long Tablescapes on a Budget #1: Repeat Small Decorative Elements

Long tables are increasingly popular, but the cost of filling them with decorations is not. You don’t need to fill the entire space along the middle of the table to create a stylish look. All this week I’ll be posting tips to create a stylish long tablescape on a budget.

Repeat a small element at regular intervals along the table.

Natural elements work really well for this approach, but you can use any small object that builds on your theme or the feeling you want to create.

apple table decorations weddings

Photo: Kacy Photo | Source: the-wedding-information-site.com


small flower in glassDIY_Wedding_Flower_Buy
natural-wood-old-sports-carOrange Flower Wedding Decorsage leaves herb wedding table decor

Next: Stylish Long Tablescapes on a Budget #2: Opt for Color and Pattern

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Tips for Designing Long Wedding Tablescapes


Long tables are very popular for wedding receptions at the moment, and they’re especially appropriate for small weddings. They engender an intimate atmosphere and promote conversation. Premiere Los Angeles florist Amy Child Marella, owner of The Hidden Garden Floral Studio, calls them “Feasting Tables”, and she offers some questions to think about when designing tablescapes for long tables (you might also want to take a look at our 7 Tips for Designing Stylish Long Tablescapes on a Budget):

1. What is the width of the table?
You want to make sure the table is wide enough to incorporate the dinner ware, glassware AND the flowers (or whatever your table centerpiece is) Most long tables come in 32 in widths, 40 inch widths or 48 inch widths. My personal preference is 40 inch wide. This gives the guests ample room for their service ware and the florist ample room for the arrangements without making the table seem too large. Keep it intimate…

2. How full do you want the table scape to be in the center?
This can come down to how many flowers/candles you would like in the center of the table. Should it be a consistent arrangement (as seen in photos below) or do you want a little more “space” between the designs? Are you serving family style so arrangements & food will be incorporated into the center – then your table scape needs to be a little less dense.

3. What is your budget?
Long table scapes can be much more costly than a traditional single piece for a round table. So be aware that there is more product put into filling the center of your 6 foot or 8 foot table. As you can see in our photos below this is a “lush” design of florals, candles and natural elements so our budget per table is rather high.

Take a look at our 7 Tips for Designing Stylish Long Tablescapes on a Budget

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8 Stylish Wedding Trends for 2011

Stylish Wedding Ideas identified 8 wedding trends for 2011 that work fabulously for small weddings. Here they are:

pretty simple wedding tablescape
Photo source: Stylish Wedding Ideas
1. Pretty & Simple

After the weddings with huge and opulent flower arrangements come the small and simple ones, with less quantity. Tables should be long and elegant instead of round, because long tables not only emphasize the decoration but are also reminiscent of other times, when they were part of homemade family celebrations. Must trends: include country flowers, recycle small glass recipients (such as yogurt or mason jars) and tin tea cans, create an eco-chic and rustic ambience for the wedding, which is simultaneously original and elegant.
Huppah ribbon poles
Source: Style Unveiled | Photographer: First Comes Love Photography
2. Outdoor Weddings

The weather is hard to predict, but outdoor weddings are a huge trend for 2011 because a party in the outdoors is different, fun and relaxing. If it’s possible to make yours an outdoor wedding, than do it! However, it’s very important that you have a plan B, just in case the rain decides to bless your big day!

3. Back to the Past

The past is back and all vintage ideas as well. Incorporating modern elements that have a historical past is a growing trend, which is very appreciated by everyone that participates in weddings with these types of ideas. Presenting your guests with party favors from historical brands, building the wedding theme around this concept, recycling and wearing your mother or grandmother’s wedding dress, incorporating your parents’ or grandparents’ wedding pictures into the décor, creating an atmosphere of nostalgic romance is always nice and very, very trendy these days.
green brown wedding
Source: The Wedding Chicks | Photo: Karie McLain, Denver
4. Details, Details, Details

Details are hardly overlooked but now they are more important than ever! No tiny detail should go unseen and everything should be planned right down to the last feature. If you don’t have time for details, there’s nothing like hiring a wedding planner to transform your wedding dreams into reality. The wedding cake table is a main focal point, the place cards should be original and personalized, the chairs should have a special touch, the wedding color palette should be very well thought out – basically, think about all the small details that will make a big difference.

5. DIY

The DIY concept – Do It Yourself – is definitely here to stay and it’s one of the biggest 2011 wedding trends, not only from an economical point of view, but also because there isn’t anything more special than incorporating handmade elements – made by the bride and the groom – into the wedding.

6. Old School Photography

Photography is going to take a vintage spin, with wedding albums that are reminiscent of the seventies. Draped textiles as backgrounds for photographing the bride and the groom, as well as guests, in a relaxed setting is a big trend, so don’t forget to set up something like this at your wedding: it’s very simple and, best of all, loads of fun for everyone.
economical wedding beverages
Photo source: Stylish Wedding Ideas
7. Simple But Quality Menus and Food

Just as weddings in general are going to be simple and pretty in 2011, so should the menu. Traditional food presented in a very modern way or with a touch of originality is the way to go. Serving lemonade, mazagran, colorful teas – all in a special way – is definitely a very pretty trend.
rustic wedding cake
Photo source: Stylish Wedding Ideas
8. Rustic Wedding Cakes

Wedding cakes will continue to be tall and elegant, but with a touch of rustic-chic, where fondant is replaced by a delicious butter cream and large sugar flowers are substituted by natural flowers, sugar glazed fruit or just fun details. The wedding cake table is a huge trend: it should be beautiful and a highlight at the reception venue.
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A Handcrafted Harvest Wedding

autumn wedding apple place cards

Apple place cards.

Mosey and Alexander’s wedding was destined be a home crafted and home grown affair. Mosey creates a line of recycled woolen crafts and wedding items, and Alexander works on a sustainable farm during the summer. And with lots of friends and family members who are artists, bakers, farmers and gardeners, many of whom contributed their talents to the wedding, the event was bound to become not only a community celebration, but also a celebration of community.

In planning the wedding, the bride and groom were inspired by the local Maine woodlands and the autumn harvest, especially the apples in the local orchard. The wedding colors were moss, apple, and the hues offered up by the locally available foods and flowers.

Home grown autumn Jewish wedding huppah

Mosey and Alexander under their huppah. The huppah was built by a friend who is a talented woodworker.

autumn huppah decorations

The bride's mother decorated the huppah poles with bittersweet and crab apples from the backyard.

autumn bridal bouquet

The flowers were picked the morning of the wedding at a local sustainable farm by the ladies in the family. The bridal bouquet: Ranunculus, larkspur, yarrow, eucalyptus, straw flower, snap dragons, Chinese lanterns, and zinnias.

DIY flower girl dresses

The flower girls wore simple white cotton dresses embellished with satin and grosgrain ribbon.

Candied apple hors d'oevres.

apple tartlets autumn wedding cocktail menu

Apple tarlet hors d'oevres.

Autumn wedding reception menu

Guests were invited to share handmade pies, tarts and cakes.

autumn wedding reception table decor

For the reception, the wedding moved to a local restaurant and art gallery. Tablescape of moss, Chinese lanterns, acorns and tiny pumpkins.

autumn wedding cake

The big splurge: Wedding cake by Wendy Kromer with forest elements crafted in marzipan.

Photos: Karen Rusten

Source: From Seedling to Sachet: Growing Your Own Wedding by Mosey.

Wedding East River State Park BrooklynAnd Check this Out:
Real Life Wedding: Hipsters Marry in their Native Environment

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Filed under Catering, Green and Just Weddings, Huppah Examples, Huppahs, Wedding DIY, Wedding Reception

Something Borrowed: Gemachs Cut Wedding Costs

A gemach? What’s a gemach?

A gemach (sometimes written “g’mach”) is the Jewish community’s name for a special collection of items that can be borrowed at no cost or for a small fee for a short period of time. The term is an abbreviation of the words “gemilus chasadim”, acts of kindness.

Gemachs are usually started by one or a few people who see a need and get organized. A gemach might be in a private home, synagogue, or community center. You can find gemachs that focus on practically any type of items, like toys, wheelchairs, or clothing patterns. I just got an email announcing a GPS gemach. But the most popular kind of gemach by far is the kind that offers items for weddings.

The gemach is an idea that’s centuries old, but gemachs are being rediscovered by couples planning their weddings. Gemachs cut wedding costs – and they also serve the larger goal of cutting consumption.

Whether or not you borrow anything from a gemach for your celebration, consider donating items from your wedding to a gemach near you.

The kind of things you can often borrow from a gemach or that gemach organizers are looking for are:

  • Wedding dress
  • Veil
  • Clothes for the bridal party and mother of the bride
  • Folding tables
  • Folding chairs
  • Table linens
  • Centerpieces
  • Benchers (Prayerbooks with “Grace After Meals”)

Most gemachs won’t be found online. To find one in your area, contact a few local synagogues or a Jewish community center.

Ode to a Gemach
Something old,
Something new,
Something borrowed,
Colors subject to availability.

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Filed under Charity / Tzedakah, Green and Just Weddings, Jewish Wedding Ceremony, Wedding Reception

Beyond Green Weddings: Green and Just Weddings

Jews United for Justice Celebration Buying GuideJews United for Justice (JUFJ) in Washington, DC held its annual award dinner last week, which makes this a good time to give a shout out for JUFJ’s event planning guide, Green & Just Celebrations. The guide goes beyond the basic buy-local green wedding tips. JUFJ helps you dig deep, so that your once-in-a-lifetime wedding purchases can be as green and just as you can make them. Among the topics covered are buying rings and negotiating the venue contract.

Most of the vendors in the buying guide are local to the Washington, DC area, but some are national organizations that you can find online. And the ideas work where ever in the world you raise your huppah.

By the way, at the award dinner, JUFJ honored four Washington, DC and Maryland area activists:

  • David Cohen, co-founder of the Advocacy Institute.
  • Carla Furstenberg Cohen, civil rights activist and founder of the independent Washington, DC bookstore Politics and Prose. Carla passed away a couple of weeks before the award ceremony.
  • Gustavo Torres, founder of CASA de Maryland.
  • Elissa Froman, legislative associate for the National Council of Jewish Women. As a student at The George Washington University founded the GW Jewish Progressive Political Association.

See our list of unique Jewish wedding vendors in the Washington, DC / Silver Spring area.

You might also like:
green lavender wedding tzedakah placecard Free Printable Templates for Tzedakah (Charity) Favor Cards

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Filed under Charity / Tzedakah, Green and Just Weddings, Jewish Wedding Ceremony, Wedding Reception