Gorgeous Table Décor

What does it take to create a tour-de-force table? Top event designer Sasha Souza shares some memorable settings.
By: 
Mary Clarke

elegant table setting
A serene setting features eight-foot-long "King's" tables dressed in shades of blues, stemware set on the diagonal and high and low centerpieces of tulips, hydrangea and calla lilies. (Photo Credit: Sherman Chu Photograhy)

Considering that wedding guests typically clock major reception time sitting down, you will want to provide each of them with a stellar experience—not just delicious fare, but a compelling, beautifully realized tabletop. What sets the so-so from the spectacular? Take inspiration from the elegant examples here, each perfectly proportioned, in glorious color and with every (padded) chair precisely aligned and crystal, napkins and flatware placed just so. What informs our wedding guru’s philosophy? “It’s all about making people feel  comfortable,” Souza says. “Always remember, these are your guests.” 

elegant table setting
Photo Credit: Sherman Chu Photography

Galax leaf, amaranth and super green roses decorate the chairs. Lime-hued charger, kelly-green linens, emerald goblet make table. Talk about mixed greens!

elegant table setting
Photo Credit: Sherman Chu Photography (left); Tu Photography (right) 

An airy arrangement of birch branches and white and yellow blooms coupled with a vintage gate impart a cotton-garden vibe. A silver charger and menu printed in blue and silver ink add sparkle to brown linen.

elegant table setting
Photo Credit: Sherman Chu Photography (left); Tu Photography (right) 

A seating rule, per Sasha Souza: "Chairs should be plased so they just 'kiss' the tablecloth." Make sure chairs are perfetly aligned, and be sure to provide padding. A head table for eight features tall Manzanita branches interspersed with French calla lilies. White flowers nestle at the base of tall candlesticks.

elegant table setting
Photo Credit: Alisha & Brook Photography

"How long is too long? That depends on your location. The tables here are created with King’s (also known as Feasting or Great) tables set end to end. Each one can accommodate eight guests, four on each side.” Roses, dahlia, clemantis and chocolate cosmos decorate this table for 90(!) guests. These romantic blooms are accented with bling-y touches like crystal beads and silver trimmed glassware.

elegant table setting
Photo Credit: Alisha & Brook Photography (left); Sherman Chu Photography (right)

A menu tucked into a neatly folded napkin is both elegant and wind-proof—essential when outdoors.
“Keeping the mass of the flower decor high will allow your guests to talk across the table instead of trying to speak through a centerpiece.” Towering centerpieces of cymbidium orchids and peacock feathers stand high to allow greater conversation.