Post # 1
I am having a small wedding- 50 people in total. We will be having it between meals from 1-4, and are offering cake/champagne/macaroons/cheese and fruit trays and other light refreshments. It will be set up buffet and self serve style. Our venue has an outside pavilion space with about 10 round tables, but I have the option to switch to long tables
I am a little stuck on how to decorate because typically the bulk of the table space is used for plates, silverware and glassware. Since we aren’t having a full meal I don’t see the need to rent plates and will be using clear plastic ‘chinette’ wear, as well as clear plastic glasses and ‘silver’ plastic wear (hope this is making sense! Haha). I will have table clothes and napkins which I can fold. My question is- do I set the table with the plastic wear? And if not how do I set a table to make it look less empty? My budget for centerpieces is also pretty modest- I would like to stay around $500 for all 10 tables.
Thanks in advance!
Post # 2
moon_river : hi bee, I took this out of classified decor and put it in board decors for you.
Post # 3
Since it is buffet style, I wouldn’t actually set the tables, and let individuals take what they need. Especially since it is plastic, they might get thrown away instead of being reused. I would just leave a stack of everything at the beginning of the buffet table. You can make the tables look less empty by using simple centerpieces. They wont look empty once people are sitting there, and I think that everyone will understand why the tables are “empty”
Post # 4
Honestly, I wouldn’t worry about it. Most people don’t pay attention to decor. I also would not set the tables with anything unless you are having table service bringing food to people at their seats or assigned seating. At most, you could stick a vase with some flowers in the middle. Scour thrift stores and garage sales for cheap vases. Go buy a few bouquets from a farmer’s market or a store like Trader Joe’s. Both usually have really big bouquets for super cheap. You would be at the mercy of whatever is available that morning or the day before, but I have never been disappointed with the flowers at either.
Post # 5
You could set the tables with just the napkins and silverware in the center of each seat. That way people can get their food and come back to the table for the silverware and napkins. Like this:
Post # 6
BalletParker : thank you! I submitted a help request this morning. It kept putting all of my posts to classifieds after I hit ‘submit’, although I double checked and went through the discussion boards. Hopefully the issue will sort itself out eventually!
Post # 7
ctbee818 : that’s what I was thinking. I don’t want to confuse anyone into thinking we will have waiters etc. Plus, it’s less hassle to get plates at the table. I guess that thought came from wanting to pad the tables a little- haha.
annabananabee : that is comforting to know! We are trying to keep this wedding affordable/small scale so it seemed a little out of place to spend an enourmous amount on decor. I have looked a fifty flowers and similar sites- but you make a good point- grocers often have good selections. Actually, I think my friend ordered ahead of time from Sams and was very happy.
Sunshine024 : I love that! The napkins and silverware make a difference, but are also practical for a buffet style reception.
Post # 8
moon_river : I would have the plates at the buffet, but there are many options for placing the cutlery and napkins at the place setting as the pp suggested.
Post # 9
We had a buffet and no seating plan. We decorated the tables with runners and centre pieces and otherwise left them bare – initially we started laying out napkins and cutlery but it just made everything look more cluttered and formal (we were going for a very relaxed vibe) so we took them away again! It still looked lovely, and it meant guests were free to choose where to sit and move around (I think I ended sitting at every table at some point during the evening, lol) and the tables weren’t cluttered up with glasses and other bits that people weren’t using.
Post # 10
julies1949 : I love the idea of folding the napkin with a pocket. We don’t have a menu but I could tuck a sprig of greenery or flowers into it.
sensiblesusie : yes! We are the same way. Do you have photos?